Q&A: Why Windows 7 SP1 is a “total non-event”
Q. Windows 7 ships with IE8 but you’re about to launch IE9. Presumably you’ll encourage people to upgrade. Will you ship Windows 7 with IE9?
A. IE9 isn’t out yet and our guidance right now is to go with IE8. IE9 has a compatibility mode for IE8 so you’re protected, but I don’t know if we’d ship IE9 with the operating system. The move to a support HTML5 and other standards is a very positive thing.
A bunch of slates are already out there and we’re working with OEMs to deliver slates with compelling features
Q. Are companies upgrading as they buy new PCs in the refresh cycle or are they doing “big bang” upgrades?
A. Most organisations are having a mixed environment for a period of time, but they are moving to deploy as fast as they can.
Early on, we’ve seen more customers upgrade than install new PCs, when they’re trying the product, but over time it will balance out. One of the great things about Windows 7 is that anything that will run Vista will run Windows 7, so three-year-old PCs will run it comfortably. The reality is that most enterprises will “wipe and load” – they’ll put their own image on it whether it’s a new PC or an old one.
Q. At the current rate of Windows 7 adoption, Windows XP is still going to be around for a long time. Is adoption going to speed up or slow down?
A. I actually think it will accelerate. On the enterprise side, it takes a certain amount of planning [to roll out Windows 7]. If you look at Boeing, for example, it will do 7,200 this year: next year it will do 120,000. If you believe Forrester statistics and so on, it’s not whether they’re going to move, it’s the time-frame.
Some application vendors are already talking about stopping support for XP: it’s a ten-year-old operating system. It was designed for a very different environment.
Q. Are you seeing take-up of Windows 7 on new form factors such as tablets and all-in-one PCs with touchscreens?
A. Tablets? “Slates” is the term that we use. A bunch of slates are already out there and we’re working with OEMs to deliver slates with compelling features. What we hear from customers, particularly enterprise customers, is that they want a great UI and a great way to deliver applications, but they also want the security and management they get with Windows PCs, office productivity, video conferencing etc etc.
I’ve heard of banks in the US implementing things with all-in-one machines, and there’s a bunch of interesting business scenarios for them in things like healthcare and hotels.
Q. Do you want to talk about Windows 8?
A. There will be another version of Windows!