You think getting people off XP will be hard, wait until it’s Windows 7


It's challenging to get people off Windows XP. What will it be like getting them off Windows 7?

Microsoft hasn’t said anything about the end date for Windows 7 support: Windows Product lifecycle. Such a date will be determined at some point in the future. Usually it would be after the next major OS release. As the hints seem to be that “Blue” isn’t that release, so who knows when that will be.

By the time end of support rolls around, Windows 7 is likely to be as entrenched as Windows XP is today. Perhaps this because of the reaction to Windows 8. Although my wife and mum both like Windows 8, their enthusiasm relies on the caveat that I spent some time customizing the start screen for each person so that 95% of what they want to do with the computer was visible immediately. The new start screen works on the premise that you’ll customize it to suit yourself. Except most people won’t – so they’ll keep seeing the travel and the finance app.

I will admit I still don’t grok the removal of the button on the taskbar that allows me to get to the screen. I suspect that 90% of the antipathy towards the OS wouldn’t be there if the start button had been kept on the Win 8 desktop as a way to launch the tiled Start screen, sort of like it was back in the beta of Windows 7.

But back to today.

What today’s marketshare resiliency of Windows XP suggests is that once people find an OS that they like, they generally don’t want to shift off it. Even if there are great reasons to do so. Given how great Windows 7 is (and even with that greatness there is still a reluctance for some people to get off XP) – imagine for a moment what sort of incentive will need to be present to get people off Windows 7 when it approaches its end of life?

It’s an interesting question to ponder.

Luckily, Windows 7’s EOL is off in the comfortable future and in the present the concern is getting people off Windows XP.

If anyone can come up with an incentive that might work, I suspect Microsoft would love to hear it.

Discuss this Blog Entry 7

on Apr 11, 2013

1. Let the user choose to the Desktop app if Windows 8 detects a physical keyboard or mouse is connected. 2. Restore the Start button in the Desktop app.

on Apr 11, 2013

2. Give them an OS that people actually want to move to. It doesn't matter if a few people think it's better. It has to believed to be better by most of the users. And that's not the current Win 8.

on Apr 16, 2013

It's not Win 8. People love Windows 7 like a fat bloke loves a donut, yet they aren't going from XP to that either.

on Apr 12, 2013

Realize what you've talked about in WTT about the future: your desktop and apps everywhere on every machine and screen.

I bet Apple will do it first (as it pretty much already has) and then everyone has to because that's what people will expect.

on Apr 16, 2013

When Apple does it "first", it's magical and revolutionary. Steve Jobs could have sold Metro in a way that people would be giddy to use it.

on Apr 12, 2013

It seems, incredibly, as if there are no hard core power users among the top management of MS . It's as if all the decisions are made by people who don't actually use Windows, certainly not in the way that power users do.

on Apr 16, 2013

The Start button is more a "whinging touchstone" than anything else. Instead of having to type in the textbox, pressing the Start button and typing is faster for "power users". It's more that MS misunderstood interface intertia

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