Gartner too cautious toward Win7

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13 October 2009

A lot of organizations rely on Gartner for valuable advice. Personally though, I remember a point in the mid-90’s where Gartner pronounced that Unix would be the dominant operating system long before 2009. Of course actual Unix is a total non-issue, having destroyed itself through fragmentation. Linux is still very meaningful, but that wasn’t what Gartner was talking about…

So when Gartner speaks, people listen – but if people are smart they’ll take what’s said with a big pile of salt.

Gartner apparently just came out with some thoughts on Windows 7. Mary Jo Foley has a summary.

And some of what they say rings true. Businesses really are more conservative than consumers about adopting new operating systems. So when Gartner talks about the lack of adoption and slow movement at the corporate level I tend to agree.

But Windows 7 really is a different release from what we’ve seen in many years. The caution expressed around maturity of the product, and shifting to 64 bit deployments is, I think, misplaced.

I can honestly say that I’ve never seen Windows be so smooth, and provide such comprehensive driver support before official launch. Remember, it doesn’t really come out until later this month, but Windows 7 64 bit is already more compatible with my computer than Vista.

Sure, an enterprise does need to run through a testing period, especially if they are upgrading from Windows 2000 or XP. There are changes, as you’d expect given that Win2k and XP are nearly a decade old. But 99.9% of the changes in Win7 are for the better – making the user’s life better, and the network/system admin’s life better.

My recommendation however, is for organizations and individuals to be aggressive in moving to Windows 7. This is because the transition is the smoothest I’ve seen in nearly 20 years of working with Windows, and the user productivity and sheer enjoyment are the highest I’ve seen since Windows 98SE.

(disclaimer: I don’t own Microsoft stock, so my recommendation here is based purely on my personal enthusiasm for Windows 7 and how much more fun my computers have been since I upgraded)