For many of us in the IT industry, 10/22/09 was an important day - Windows 7 was released. For me, believe it or not, I was actually excited about a new operating system (which probably speaks volumes about me needing to get other interests). I wanted to write in the blog some of my thoughts about why I am excited about it, and get your thoughts as well. As always, the thoughts, information, and positioning of this blog are mine and not those of my employer.
Perhaps it is the recession and the day to day stress we all feel, where some sort of innovaiton can become the "next big thing". There is a convergence going on in client computing- Microsoft's Windows 7, Intel's architecture, and OEM's features and form factors. If you are like me, the question on the table is - is this combination driven by a new O/S going to create the impetus for technology refresh, and, as important, is this technology refresh going to make a difference.
I think the answer is yes.
The answer is yes because coming out of the recession, many businesses have deferred refreshing the PC's only to find themselves in a dilemma- how to revert back to a logical planned phased refresh and not a "big bang". If the convergence of all three factors decscribed above are really compelling, shouldn't this technology refresh cycle reduce IT recurring spend? I think that it may in fact do so. The answer, however, is to look beyond the actual hardware acquisition and focus on the more holistic perspective. For those of you who do not believe in TCO, this may prove to be difficult. If cost reduction is gauged only by spending less capital dollars and not operating expenses, then it may be a challenge (as they say in New England) "to get there from here".
Windows 7 combined with various features from Intel and the product features have seemed to embraced my core discipline of client lifecycle management or CLLP (Closed Loop Lifecycle Planning). Power management, faster boot times, touch enablement, quick look ups, and other features can be quantified and a solid business case created. I think that this is one of the first technology refresh cycle where a business case could be defined that can effectively discuss ROI, cost reduction, risk reduction and cost avoidance. In other words, this refresh may not be a pure cash outlay in terms of ROI. This technology refresh cycle has embraced lifecycle management.
Another convergence, it seems to me, is the consumerization of the business PC. Without changing core imaging, applications, and other aspects of a business PC, the combination of form factors, W7, and Intel can provide the business end user much more of a consumer and personal look and feel of the business computer without many of the risks associated with BYOC discussions (Bring You Own PC, see my previous blog). W7 may in fact seems to address a lot of the feedback we all discuss day to day (it suggests that concerns about Vista registered).
There is a lot to like, but as we all know, your experience may vary. Each business implementation will have some aspect that is unique, Pareto's 80-20 rule. However, W7 for me gives me something to believe in- a catalyst to refresh older technology that may consume more power, may be riskier in its operation (afterall XP is 8 years old) resulting in in PC's that weigh/cost considerably more, and laptops that have a shorter battery life.
Let me know what you think and what your W7 perceptions and realities are.
The dialog for this refresh is compelling, and whether or not you believe as I do that the O/S is a catalyst, there is actually a "buzz", excitement associated with, of all things, an operating system.