Should You Delay Switching to Windows 7?

Paul Mah

Rescuecom.com, a New York-based computer support company is asking users to delay their upgrade to the just-released Windows 7 operating system. President Josh Kaplan cited a litany of reasons to Computerworld on why users should hold off the upgrade, which ranges from a potential risk of losing data during an upgrade to the current "tough economic times."


I am not so sure about the advice to delay a Windows 7 rollout due to the state of the economy. However, it is certainly true that conventional wisdom pertaining to operating system releases from Microsoft is to wait until the first service pack before making the leap, a point mentioned by Kaplan. My own Windows 7 Enterprise RTM trial installed without a hitch and has performed flawlessly since.


Still, there are a couple of points that SMBs will want to take note of.


Upgrading From an Old PC

SMBs need to be aware of reports that some users upgrading to Windows 7 from Windows Vista have run into problems. For these users, the Windows 7 upgrade stalls two-thirds of the way through, then presents a message that the upgrade has been unsuccessful. Rather than restoring Vista as promised though, the Windows 7 setup process is triggered upon restarting, and the vicious cycle continues.


While a number of suggestions were offered on Microsoft's support forum, the instructions apparently do nothing for some users, who are effectively left with crippled machines. At the point of writing this post, there is no "fix-all" solution available from Microsoft yet.


Driver Support

Assuming a successful installation of Windows 7, another consideration for small and medium businesses would be testing to ensure that all requisite hardware is properly supported on Windows 7. This is especially crucial before rolling out a company-wide upgrade.


Personally, I installed the Vista drivers for my Sony VAIO laptop, which worked without a hitch on Windows 7 Enterprise. Your mileage might vary, and some administrators will want to wait for the official Windows 7-certified drivers to be released before making a switch.



My advice would be to avoid doing an upgrade from Microsoft Vista to Windows 7 for now. Indeed, the best solution would be to purchase a new computer with Windows 7 preinstalled. This will ensure the most seamless experience with updated and tested drivers already preinstalled by computer makers.


Unfortunately, your SMB might not be due for a scheduled hardware refresh yet. For this scenario, I would advocate doing a proper backup of user files followed by a clean install. Software drivers meant for Vista can be installed if those for Windows 7 are not yet available, but be sure to test first before doing a company-wide deployment, though.

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Add Comment      Leave a comment on this blog post
Nov 3, 2009 9:47 AM Paul Mah Paul Mah  says: in response to David

Dave, sorry to hear that. So what happened in the end? You are back to XP now?

Nov 3, 2009 10:44 AM Stephen McConnell Stephen McConnell  says:

I had heard many good things about Windows 7 from computer geeks that had hated Vista, but tried the Windows 7 beta.  On that strength, I bought Windows 7 and am running it on my Mac using Parallels.  

It works beautifully.  If you took the best of Vista and the things you liked about XP,  that's what Windows 7 appears to be, so far.  Even the interface is more intuitive.

That doesn't mean, I'm switching from my Mac, but it is one reason not to pooh-pooh Windows anymore.   I think they have a winner this time.  Now, if they could just fix security.

Nov 3, 2009 12:34 PM Bruce Benson Bruce Benson  says: in response to Peter


That seems to justify upgrading Vista to Windows 7, but not XP.  If so, I'm annoyed that my "newest" OS needs to be upgraded but my old ones do not.  I'm paying to fix a flawed OS release?

Not being able to update XP without a clean install still floors me.  My clients don't use standardized images and applications that go uncustomized (it is a personal computer, not a computing appliance).   So not being able to update XP is a huge "bug" in W7.  W7 fails on the vast majority of PCs in that regard.  I can't imagine any other company being able to get away with this kind of flaw.



Nov 3, 2009 12:48 PM Hank Freeman Hank Freeman  says:

I have purchased four Toshiba E105-S1402 Vista64 Home Prem. system that all were quite capable of being upgrade to Windows 7-64 Ultimate without an hitch.

The trick is to have all the Windows 7 drivers and MFG (Toshiba is mine) software updates for Windows 7 at the ready on a thumb drive. 

Windows Updates will be needed and Bios upgrades may be as well. All of which is to be expected.  I creted a blog at Toshiba User forum and 4,800 folks read the 4 page blog and got the upgrade done or will soon.

Sooo, Enjoy the process.

Nov 3, 2009 6:01 PM Peter Peter  says:

Let the guy at Rescuecom say what he wants, I have done dozens of "flawless" (inside joke) upgrades to Windows 7 for my customers and it plugs and plays EVERY driver perfectly AND it runs better than Vista. MY recommendation is to avoid Vista Service Pack 1 which has damaged about every fourth machine I have seen, mostly HP media center audio devices

Nov 3, 2009 8:51 PM David David  says:


I sure wish that I were you!

My install stops saying that I need to update/load drivers - BUT is does NOT TELL ME WHICH ONES!!!!

It will not continue from there and the only way that I got out of the install loop was to insert my XP CD.


Nov 5, 2009 7:54 PM Jake Blazsek Jake Blazsek  says: in response to Stephen McConnell

The problem with security is that people want faster and more efficient ways of communicating with sometime creates more security holes. Every time we communicate with things outsidre our networks it leaves that same hole for the bad guys to get into. Microsoft is the dominant leader in Market share with over 90% so they are the number 1 target. Microsoft created UAC in Vista to protect people but in the end they thought was an annoyance and didn't want to be protected. That sort of like complaining the the police didn't catch a criminal and then complain because the police are patrolling their neighborhoods. Security is funny thing it takes up resources to protect you which may slow your machine down, it sometimes mistakes good sites for bad. Security isn't a black and white thing as there are lots of gray areas in security.

Dec 1, 2009 5:35 PM Umesh Harigopal Umesh Harigopal  says:

TCO, ROI are always top of mind as you figure out how to manage your top and bottom lines as a CIO looking to make a difference for your company. Our objective is to provide you with a quick and easy estimate of potential savings and does not substitute for a full TCO/ROI analysis. It is based on a user segmentation model and desktop re-fresh cycle.

Recently I had shared with you a Red Hat TCO calculator based on the Liberate-Migrate strategy and IBM's Lotus Software. This calculator offers a 5-year TCO view of your IT spending and how you can save money around Software license, Hardware, and Opera-tional costs with an annual and cumulative comparison of as-is and future (proposed) situations. Is it just 50% reduction in TCO? Check it out here:      


Meanwhile Red Hat has also published a C level whitepaper that provides strategies and best practices to reduce TCO of IT investments on desktop and server by using IBM   Client for Smart Work on Red Hat:


The arithmetic is simple. Share this also with your CFO. Save the results if you want to get back to it later on. Share this with your social network.

Best Regards,

Umesh Harigopal

Ecognize LLC



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