Microsoft Matters

We use the word “matters” as a noun and a verb. In the matter of Windows XP and Windows 7 and Microsoft’s OS odyssey, migrating to 7 still makes the most sense. Despite all the chatter about Windows 8 upgrades and moving to Linux, Microsoft remains the dominant OS in the PC world for many reasons.

OS performance aside, Microsoft has done a great job of penetrating the market. Despite all the Apple devotees, the vast majority of businesses and government agencies (from national to municipal) run on Windows, and they have hundreds of millions of computers. Hundreds of millions of iOS and Android mobile devices tie themselves to the networks that tie together all those computers.

With the end of the XP operating system plainly in sight – April 8, 2014 is the day Microsoft pulls the plug – we see migrating to Windows 7 as the only viable option for our PC-based clients. Here’s why:

  • Linux is simply too cumbersome for home, SOHO, small business and mid-size business use. Yes, it has great flexibility, and because it’s open software, anybody can add great new features and upgrades at any time. But there’s a downside to all of this.Home and SOHO users may not have the technical knowledge to install, configure and use Linux software and upgrades. A few users may like the hobby aspect of playing with Linux, but if you are running a business from your home, you probably don’t want to mix business and play time.For businesses, you’ll just spend way too much time and money training and retraining employees. You need to assess how many of your employees have the ability to absorb all of the training and if you have the ability to absorb the loss of efficiency as they navigate the learning curve. For the most part, you didn’t hire them to become geeks.
  • Everybody knows Windows, especially the straightforward XP and 7 systems. In addition, many business applications from accounting to manufacturing operations are written for commonly used interfaces. That means Microsoft Windows – along with Apple and the common iOS and Android devices.
  • Better business software and upgrades will continue to be written for Windows. Why? It’s basic business: Everyone uses it, creating a lot of profit opportunities. Highly popular consumer programs and apps will continue to be written for Windows for the same reason.

If you are a small to mid-size business, we believe it’s imperative to migrate to Windows 7. Besides tax advantages for acting now (See 1040 Over and Out), you need to stay on the good side of the law – the law of supply and demand. Right now, Windows 7 computers are available, and prices are stable. But as we get closer to April 8, 2014, any increase in demand can rapidly deplete supplies; that’s a prime condition for rising prices. Even if supplies are stable, a sense of urgency can trigger a price increase. On top of that, the available IT resources to install, configure and test systems will be strained. You could wait longer for service, or it could become more expensive, especially if you lose production at an inopportune time.

Our solution? Call us (973-433-6676) or email us to assess your technology needs and develop a schedule to get your new systems up and running in a timely and efficient manner. Microsoft matters, and it really matters that you resolve any issues as quickly and effectively as possible.

This article was published in Technology Update, the monthly newsletter from Sterling Rose LLC.