It’s been a few weeks now since the launch of the Windows 7 release by Microsoft. The, in general, was much lower key than past version launches, probably for a couple of reasons. The most significant being that Windows 7 iso was the solution to the Vista version of 2 years ago. That was a debacle on every level.
Of course, Microsoft has stated that the revenue generated was higher than any other Windows version release. Considering that the Windows 7 prices were higher than any different version, I’m not so sure that’s a good measurement of the success.
Then you have a relatively large group of users who saw the Vista problems and decided to wait. Moreover, this most likely is the group that made the difference in the sales figures. Many people were sticking with Windows XP since it worked. So there was a pent up demand for a viable new windows operating system.
Plus there was, and still is, much confusion over whether you need to buy the upgrade or full package. If you have any version of Windows on a computer, you can upgrade due to the very liberal upgrade policy on Windows 7. Moreover, there is absolutely no difference in the features on upgrade or full version in any of the choices of Premium, Business, etc. The premium version is by far the most popular, followed by the Professional version, which can run older Windows XP applications in a protected environment.
The problem with upgrading in place (installing on top of the current operating system) is twofold. One, if your computer is older and underpowered, it may not handle the new operating system, and two, you bring over deadweight and junk that you had on the original order. I always recommend a clean install, just back up your data, find all your software CDs, and get a fast and fresh install. It may take an extra hour or two, but the performance in everyday tasks will more than make up for it. If your computer is three years or older, it may not have the juice to run Windows 7 well.
Back to the sales results on Windows 7, no actual figures are available yet. However, there was no real spike seen in new equipment sales reported by most significant sources. Some tracking firms have stated that Windows 7 sales were over 200% better than Vista were two years ago. I would take this with a grain of salt since all the new computers come with Windows 7 now, so you don’t have much of choice unless your particular order.
No one feature stands out on the new Windows 7 version. Boot times were touted as being faster along with fewer crashes of the operating system. For those who had a problem with Vista, this was a welcome relief and based on feedback so far; Windows 7 is a much more reliable and stable operating system. However, for those that weren’t having problems with Vista, there isn’t a must-have featured in Windows 7 to warrant a 100+ dollar investment.
So the bottom line is the sales were better on Windows 7 than Vista. There was no real evidence of any surge in new equipment sales. Most likely the many people who chose not to upgrade to Vista are the ones who helped increase the sales of Windows 7. So the Windows 7 launch was a significant improvement over the Vista launch since no significant problems have emerged and few people are having problems. Moreover, fewer problems is a perfect thing.