Vendor and Enterprise Appeal
Windows 7 is better than XP. And yes, it's better than Vista. That should help it redeem itself with major vendors such as Dell and HP that were exercising downgrade rights to offer XP to customers. With the vast improvements implemented in Windows 7, like security and better control over UAC, it won't be so annoying. And since it's a much better operating system than Vista, there will be far less outcry on the part of journalists to scare customers away from the operating system.
Dell and HP wanted a better operating system that would appeal to customers. They didn't find that in Vista. They will find that in Windows 7.
One of the biggest issues most companies had with Windows Vista was its incompatibility problem. When it was first released, the operating system broke most software and hardware installed on company computers. That was unacceptable. And so, instead of trying to wait Microsoft out, most companies simply decided to stay with XP out of fear that Vista wouldn't provide what they need.
Windows 7 can change that. The operating system won't have any compatibility issues. Thanks to its XP mode, any company that's running applications built specifically for Windows XP won't have any trouble with Windows 7. Simply put, the OS is more enterprise-friendly than its predecessor.
Windows Vista had its problems, it suffered from poor PR, and it wasn't as appealing as it could be. If Microsoft wants to redeem itself, Windows 7 better live up to its potential.