10 Reasons Why Windows 7 Could Be Best Microsoft OS Yet

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2009-09-29 Print this article Print

NEWS ANALYSIS: Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has said Windows 7 will be the best operating system his company has ever released. Assuming that's true, eWEEK takes a look at 10 possibilities that might arise from the success of the upcoming operating system.

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer wrote on Sept. 29 that not only is Windows 7 an outstanding operating system that both consumers and the enterprise should want, but it's the best Windows operating system ever developed. It's so good, in fact, that Ballmer called Windows the "new normal."

Those are some lofty statements from the Microsoft chief. But they shouldn't be taken lightly. On the contrary, there is a possibility that Windows 7 will become the greatest operating system Microsoft has ever released. And if that happens, it's entirely possible that the entire scope of the tech industry could change.

Here's how:

1. Enterprise order would be restored.

One of the biggest fears Microsoft has is that Windows 7 will be received the way Windows Vista was by the enterprise. After trying Vista out, many companies decided against switching to the new operating system for fear that it would cause more trouble than good. For that reason, there are still quite a few companies using outdated equipment running Windows XP in the hopes that Windows 7 will be different. If Windows 7 is as good as Ballmer says, Microsoft could reclaim enterprise confidence and solidify its success in the corporate world for the foreseeable future.

2. Apple might have trouble.

Following that, it's entirely possible that Apple, which was picking up some share from Windows' problems, could see its growth stymied. If Windows 7 is as good as Ballmer says, then not only companies but consumers will be choosing the operating system far more often. And in the process Apple's market share would decline somewhat as those who need a computer try out the new and improved Windows.

3. Microsoft could gain some online leverage.

Although it might seem like Windows 7 doesn't have any applicability to Microsoft's battle with Google online, I believe that it does. If Windows 7 is popular and appreciated for providing a more robust, secure experience, I don't think it will hurt Microsoft in its fight against Google one bit. In fact, I think it might help the software giant. With a better Windows operating system, Microsoft might be able to regain some of its customers' lost trust. Those users who were suspicious of Microsoft and Windows might have a change of heart and support more Microsoft products online. It's the halo effect. And it's powerful.

4. Google's Chrome OS might be hurt.

If Windows 7 is successful, it could have a serious impact on Google's Chrome OS. At this point, that operating system is designed solely for netbooks, but part of its appeal is that it isn't Windows. If Windows 7 is highly valued in the market, it's entirely possible that the number of people who are willing to move to Chrome OS will be lower. That would especially be true in the enterprise.

5. Microsoft could regain leverage over vendors.

With a successful Windows 7, Microsoft would be able to regain some of its lost leverage with PC vendors. In the last OS cycle, PC vendors were offering "downgrade rights," allowing consumers to opt for XP in their computers rather than Vista. It was a response to problems vendors were having selling Vista PCs. With a popular Windows 7, Microsoft can regain its position as the powerful force among vendors. And in the process, it could help Microsoft wield the power it enjoyed during the height of its XP days.

Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Gearlog.com. Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for CNET.com, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at http://twitter.com/donreisinger.

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