When our house was originally built, there were no other houses behind it, just empty fields and woods. A number of years back, however, new houses were built and during construction, the trees were cut down and the fields were grated to manage water runoff. Unfortunately, a crappy job was done, and whenever it would rain or snow would melt, the runoff would stream across our backyard. Fortunately, the problem wasn't big enough that the water ever reached the house, but if it rained for consecutive days or we received a lot of snow (like this past winter), the water would stand for days; and, as any married man will tell you, once the wife points a finger and says, "Fix that," (no matter how slight you believe the problem actually is) it must be done.
Over the years, I've attempted to fix the water problem in various ways and wasn't even moderately successful until this past summer. I installed a tall and deep dirt berm along the back of the property and angled it so that runoff would seek a ditch along the side of the house. So after many years of trying, I was finally able to fix the problem. And truly, the problem was that water always takes the path of least resistance. My task was to give the runoff the easiest path available to ensure that it ended up where I wanted it. In the beginning. the water and I were fighting each other, but we both wanted the same thing; I just had to find the best way to accomplish it for both of us. Now we're both happy.
Microsoft continues to push customers still using Windows XP to Windows 8. As we all know, support for Windows XP expires on April 8, 2014, and folks, that's just around the corner. Microsoft has only recently begun to make noise about the impending death of the 13-year-old OS through direct messages in the OS and in Security Essentials. Just last week, Microsoft rolled out a promotion that offers $50 in store credit and free support for 90 days to customers that buy new PCs with Windows 8 pre-installed. The intent is good, but it's just about a year too late. Microsoft waited for the rain to come before trying to install their own dirt berm.
I realize there are some companies that are actually migrating to Windows 8, but with the limited amount of time left, there's absolutely nothing wrong with migrating to Windows 7, and Microsoft should state that. I realize the company has a lot invested in the Windows 8 code, but if it truly wants to show good customer support, particularly for those customers that are a bit miffed that they have to move away from Windows XP (despite having 5 years to do so—Windows 7 released in 2009), Microsoft needs to show just as much love for a Windows 7 choice as a Windows 8 one.
Truly, Windows 7 is the path of least resistance, providing a very similar UI that includes the familiar Start button and a Start Menu full of applications. Windows 7 operates in much the same manner as Windows XP. And if you take into account the costs of end-user training alone, Windows 7 is just the better choice for all involved.
I've read articles over the past couple weeks that suggest that if Windows XP users don't want to migrate to Windows 8, they should give Linux a try. That's just silly. That's like asking a one-eyed man if you can poke out his remaining eye. Taking the "path of least resistance" approach, Linux would be a horrible decision. Windows 8 at least sports a Desktop mode in addition to the Tiled UI. Can you imagine the amount of retraining that would be involved deploying Linux desktops across the company? And not just retraining on how to actually use the computer, but also every business application would need to be replaced with something comparable, which adds a lot of bulk to end-user education. Again. . . that's just silly.
Extended support for Windows 7 ends in January 2020, so there's quite a bit of time for companies to get better acclimated with Microsoft's new OS models, and a fair amount of time to watch many new versions of Windows roll out from the Redmond shores. Announced in February 2014, business can still buy PCs with Windows 7 installed, and there's currently no expiration date applied. Windows 8 is not the last version of Windows and Microsoft has a habit of getting it right—eventually.
So, Windows 7 it is.