10 Issues That Could Spoil the Release of Windows 7

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2009-10-13

10 Issues That Could Spoil the Release of Windows 7

Ioio Technologies has been using Windows 7. And although the company has been relatively happy with the way the operating system performs, it found that it boots much slower than Windows Vista.  

In fact, the company claims that Microsoft's upcoming operating system boots a whopping 42 percent slower than its predecessor. Microsoft, meanwhile, contends that Windows 7 boots more quickly to the desktop. The difference is that Ioio's measurement looks at the time the system is booted up to the point of "usability"-and Ioio found Vista was "usable" first.

Semantics aside, if word gets out that Windows 7 boots slower than Windows Vista, it could spell trouble for the software giant. That's just one of many issues Microsoft doesn't need as it prepares for the launch of Windows 7. The next nine days are critical for Microsoft. Everything needs to go right.

These issues can't control the discourse:

1. Boot times are slow

The word is already out that Windows 7's boot times are slow. Microsoft needs to make sure that it doesn't reach critical mass. Users want to be able to get on their computers as quickly as possible. They don't want to wait. Microsoft needs to reassure them that they won't be waiting longer than they would on Vista.

2. Security

As more people get their hands on Windows 7, the last thing the company needs is an insecure operating system. That was one of the main issues affecting Windows Vista, and it caused Microsoft to lose some of its dominance in the PC business. History can't repeat itself with Windows 7.

3. Beware of drivers

One of the main reasons why Windows Vista wasn't adopted heavily by both the enterprise and consumers was its driver issues. The operating system was incompatible with far too many existing applications. It didn't work with several legacy hardware products. And it turned many users against the operating system.

4. Apple hype

Although it's unlikely that Apple will make any major announcements related to Mac OS X, it's certainly possible that the company will try to limit Windows 7's appeal by announcing new products that captivate audiences. Speculation abounds that Apple will release a tablet and update its Mac lineup. What better time to announce those updates than when Windows 7 hits store shelves?

Winning over Enterprise IT

5. Enterprise concerns

The enterprise is Microsoft's gateway to the consumer. It's also a key path to success for the company. If organizations believe that Windows 7 is as much of a liability as Windows Vista was, Microsoft will have a hard time winning those customers. And in the process, it could lose more market share to its competitors.

6. Vendor revolts

Remember when PC vendors were offering consumers "downgrade rights" to those who didn't want to deploy Windows Vista? Well, if Windows 7 doesn't appeal to vendors the way Microsoft hopes, it's entirely possible that that could continue. Microsoft doesn't need that.

7. Laughable marketing

Microsoft has had a less-than-stellar marketing campaign over the past couple years. The company's ill-fated Seinfeld ads made consumers wonder what the point was. Its more recent "I'm a PC" ads had similar results. Microsoft can't afford any missteps with its Windows 7 marketing. It needs to put the best foot forward as soon as possible. No time can be wasted.

8. Comparisons with Vista

Media reviews can be a major contributing factor to the success or failure of an operating system. Many people read those reviews in the hopes that they will be able to determine if they want an operating system or not. If those reviews contain too many comparisons to Windows Vista or, worse, a mention that Windows 7 is similar to Windows Vista, it could turn users away. And that would only spell trouble for Microsoft.

9. User Account Control annoyances

When users finally get their hands on Windows 7, User Account Control (UAC) cannot start annoying customers. Although it is a necessary evil to help safeguard those who would otherwise succumb to security issues, it's important for it to not be so intrusive.

10. Enterprise skepticism

It's extremely important for Microsoft to quickly get to work at enticing corporate customers to deploy Windows 7 in their operations. It's a necessity. If companies wait too long, employees will start considering Mac OS X. And in the process, Microsoft could lose customers. The enterprise has always been the gateway to operating-system dominance for Microsoft. Skepticism will only hurt its chances of staying dominant in the space.

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