Windows 9 Is Badly Needed, Assuming It Actually Works
Fortunately, there are some options. If you're still running Windows 7, it doesn't look like Microsoft will make you change immediately. In addition, you can still, at least for now, buy machines with Windows 7 installed. At this point, there's no really good reason to abandon Windows 7 until Windows 9 proves itself. But, at some point, Microsoft will start requiring computer vendors to preload Windows 9, so like it or not, your new machines will come that way. Eventually, Windows 7 won't be supported and you'll be stuck, just like you are now with your XP machines. But as I said, there are options. One is that you can replace your Windows computers as they age with Macintosh computers. You can get Microsoft Office for those, which means that the vast majority of your work will still be accessible, and if you have applications that require Windows, you can install them on a Mac running Windows in a virtual machine. The other option is to move your company to the cloud, at which point it won't matter much what your local client machines are running. In fact, you might find that a Chromebook is all you need.Or if you find that you need local client machines, maybe a switch to Linux and LibreOffice will do, although there are questions about its compatibility with existing Office documents. But if your document needs are fairly simple, it may be just fine. But you have to ask yourself whether you can depend on Microsoft, given its inconsistent update and support history, and its history of disastrous Windows versions. Can you afford to risk your company's productivity to a company that suffers such abject failures as Microsoft has so far? The answer, of course, is that you can't. Right now, your only option is to keep using Windows 7 in your company and hope that Windows 9 is a vast improvement over Windows 8, that Microsoft delivers it on time in a form that's workable and stable. In the meantime, you should start planning for alternatives, such as machines from Apple. Microsoft, unfortunately, doesn't have much to say about the current difficulties that have beset Windows, except for a brief official comment from a spokesperson. "We are aware of some issues related to the recent updates, and we are working on a fix," the spokesperson wrote in an email. There was no additional explanation available.
The Chromebook has the advantage of being inexpensive and it can use open-source software based in the cloud such as Google Apps, which would be an alternative to Windows. But, of course, then you'd be dependent on Google.