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When will Windows 7 be standard on new computers and how should this affect my intent to buy a new laptop?
June 17, 2009 2:54 PM   Subscribe

When will Windows 7 be standard on new computers and how should this affect my intent to buy a new laptop?

I am in the market for a new laptop--mine is ANCIENT. I figure I might be best served by waiting until Windows 7 is standard, since all I ever hear is cracks about the quality of "Mojave".

When will Windows 7 be standard?

Is this a good idea?

Please keep the level of discussion in the kiddie pool; I'm no expert!
posted by jefficator to Home & Garden (13 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
Windows 7 is launching in mid-October. If you buy at Best Buy between June 26th and the release date, they'll upgrade you for free when Windows 7 comes out.
posted by emilyd22222 at 3:03 PM on June 17, 2009


October 22 is the official release date for Windows 7. Judging from past Windows releases, it'll be widely available on new machines at launch. So you shouldn't have to wait much past that time to get a machine of your choice with Windows 7 on it.
posted by zsazsa at 3:05 PM on June 17, 2009


Windows 7 launches on 10/22. Any PC with Vista you buy from Best Buy after 6/26/09 will qualify for a free upgrade to Windows 7 in late October. I'd imagine the other retailers will follow suit.

So new computers will be on shelf on 10/22 but you'll also see ones still with Vista along side until that inventory is gone. These older systems might have the same components on them as the new ones but with the old OS, and you might get a good discount (and the free upgrade to Win7) on the older stuff. It depends on how well the Back to School season goes in retailer. If there's lots of inventory left over, there will be sales. If they manage it better, almost all the stuff on shelves will Windows 7 on launch day.

I've found Windows 7 superior to Windows Vista, but I'm a Mac guy.
posted by birdherder at 3:09 PM on June 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


Windows upgrades are, historically at least, a poor substitute for a clean install of your new OS. You will want 7 if they don't mess it up between the release candidate and October, but if you can hang on to get a clean machine with it then, I would. Otherwise, I would still plan to do a clean reinstall in October.
posted by IanMorr at 3:15 PM on June 17, 2009


all I ever hear is cracks about the quality of "Mojave".

Some people I know who have tried Vista say it isn't as bad as a lot of people say.

When will Windows 7 be standard?

If you mean standard as in 'included as standard', consumer PC manufacturers usually start selling PCs with new OSes immediately upon release, which for Windows 7 is 22 October 2009, i.e. in 4 months' time. Of course, that's assuming they release it on time.

You might find products on the market now being sold as 'windows 7 capable', or with a coupon saying they can be upgraded to windows 7 upon its release at no cost. However, some people who purchased 'vista capable' computers later discovered that they had purchased computers not capable of running the full version of vista. If it was me, I'd try to hold out until I could buy a computer (and read reviews of a computer) with windows 7 already installed.

If you mean 'standard' as in 'industry standard' and what most big companies will use, that will depend on whether it turns out like Vista; industry won't be in a hurry to spend on computer upgrades to run a flashy interface, and IT workers probably won't want to deal with the compatibility problems and user backlash of a changeover, unless there are compelling benefits to doing so.

Even if Windows 7 does turn out popular with corporate IT, it will take several months after the release for rollouts to start, and longer if it requires hardware upgrades as most companies upgrade their hardware on a 3-year or 5-year cycle.
posted by Mike1024 at 3:29 PM on June 17, 2009


Another alternative that hasn't been mentioned:

Buy what you want at the end of the month (which will get you the free upgrade), sign up for the Windows 7 Candidate Program now, install it, and get your free upgrade when it's released.

I upgraded a PC recently and have been experimenting with Windows 7 to use the 4 GB of RAM. I'm not fully enamoured of the interface changes compared to XP, but it's a hell of a lot faster and makes better use of modern hardware than XP does. The Release Candidate is, if anything, more stable than XP SP 3.
posted by rodgerd at 3:31 PM on June 17, 2009


If you mean 'standard' as in 'industry standard' and what most big companies will use, that will depend on whether it turns out like Vista; industry won't be in a hurry to spend on computer upgrades to run a flashy interface, and IT workers probably won't want to deal with the compatibility problems and user backlash of a changeover, unless there are compelling benefits to doing so.

My employer is a bank. They will be skipping from XP to 7 and bypassing Vista, and they're looking to roll 7 out fairly aggressively. This appears to be a common pattern for corporates.
posted by rodgerd at 3:33 PM on June 17, 2009


I'm running Vista on my company laptop, got upgraded about 2 months ago from XP. Overall, it's not as bad as it's been made out to be, but it has had a few annoying bugs and foibles that seem to primarily result in the system hanging on a regular basis whilst it has a wee think.

Talking to my IT guy yesterday, we have now stopped issuing the Vista image to anyone due to a variety of issues with software compatibility with various specialized and in-house software packages. We are actively waiting and developing a Win7 image which will be rolled out later this year. Until then, everyone needing a new laptop or re-image will get the XP image.
posted by arcticseal at 5:21 PM on June 17, 2009


WAIT.

"Not as bad as people say" = "slightly better than the worst OS imaginable." And "hanging on a regular basis whilst it has a wee think" is not only unacceptable, it's a gigantic euphemism for the sore-throat suck that Vista imposes on its every victim. If you have a functioning computer running Windows 2000 or XP, embrace its shiny keys and learn to love its humble specs for at least a little longer. Vista is punishingly bad. It pushed me over to fulltime Linux after less than a month of open-mouthed horror when the death of an old laptop put me in Vista's cruel grasp.

If you must, must, must have a new Windows laptop now, insist on XP. They're calling 7 a version of Vista with a decent service pack, which sounds like a version of Rosemary's baby with a decent diaper to me.
posted by gum at 5:54 PM on June 17, 2009


FYI, and this probably doesn't matter, but the upgrade path from XP to Win7 is going to be ugly:
The official word from Redmond, or at least from an unnamed "Microsoft spokesperson," is that you will be able to "purchase upgrade media and an upgrade license to move from Windows XP to Windows 7; however, [you] will need to do a clean installation of Windows 7."
So, you may want to keep that in mind.
posted by General Malaise at 8:04 PM on June 17, 2009


By the way, if it helps your decision, reports are just now coming out that the lowest price you'll be able to get on Windows 7 (for Windows 7 Starter Edition) is going to jump from between $25 and $30 (which computer manufacturers have been paying for XP) to between $45 and $55. So you'll be paying at least $50 for Windows 7 in the store if you buy it alone, if not more—probably more, something like $60-$70 if the markup retailers are currently taking on Vista is any indication. Of course, since you're paying that cost even if your new machine is equipped with Windows 7 (since the manufacturer has to pay for it before they put it on your computer, too) I don't know how much that will matter.
posted by koeselitz at 9:18 PM on June 17, 2009


"Not as bad as people say" [...] it's a gigantic euphemism for the sore-throat suck that Vista imposes on its every victim.

Perhaps I should clarify: I have seen experienced computer users, people who are quite capable of replacing Vista with XP, choose to use Vista because they think it's better.

People's experiences with Vista vary from hating it (like gum) to liking it more than XP (like the people I've seen running it). If you check through some reviews and make sure you're buying a computer that won't exhibit the problems arcticseal experienced, you might like Vista as much as the people I know.
posted by Mike1024 at 12:26 AM on June 18, 2009


I've been using Windows 7 for a while at work with an admittedly very powerful desktop computer and have rather been enjoying it.

I am not really seeing why folks hate it and its parent, Vista, but whatever.

Were I you, I'd probably wait for the Windows 7 package to be the default shipped OS with a new computer before buying a new one, assuming the keys aren't falling off your current one, etc.
posted by kalessin at 9:49 AM on June 18, 2009


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