Windows 7 needs to target XP users

Expectations around Windows 7 remain high fueled by the optimistic views of analysts but the latest high profile launch from Microsoft has its work cut out persuading existing users of XP they should upgrade.

Expectations around Windows 7 remain high fueled by the optimistic views of analysts but the latest high profile launch from Microsoft has its work cut out persuading existing users of XP they should upgrade.

Some analysts are forecasting success with Forrester following on from upbeat forecasts made by IDC earlier this summer also revealing that according to a survey of users in Europe and the US a healthy majority plan to migrate to the latest OS within a year.

Nearly two-thirds of those IT decision makers in large and SME firms quizzed by Forrester said they would move to Windows 7 eventually.

Tim Coulling, research analyst, at Canalys, said that the Microsoft needed to be clearly positioned as a business application.

“Microsoft needs to reposition the Windows 7 marketing campaign to put the business customer at the centre,” he said.

“The challenge is not to convince business buyers that Windows 7 is better than Vista or Snow Leopard, but that it is better than XP,” he added that it would have a battle to wind XP down within a year.

Jens Butler, principal analyst at Ovum, said that there could be a positive knock-on effect for system integrators.

“Ovum expects to see significant interest in adoption in 2010 and which will in turn have a positive impact across the whole PC ecosystem (hardware suppliers,applications developers, systems integrators and channel providers, for example),” said Butler.

“From a buyer perspective, Ovum expects the Windows 7 launch as an opportunity to undertake some serious housekeeping, especially for organisations that have stuck with XP,” Butler added.

Some of the problems with Vista were associated with the large expectations set at the launch but Microsoft has told resellers repeatedly over the past few months that is has learnt those lessons and ensured that the launch will be a success.

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