Tuesday, April 12, 2011

For Windows, It's XP Down and Windows 7 Up

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Here's an interesting tidbit that really piqued my interest.  As most of you know, I'm a confirmed "Mac Guy".  Now what that means is that I'm a big Mac fan and enthusiast, but I'm not a fanboy.  My affection for Apple is strictly built on the fact that they have good, ultra-reliable stuff... and it just flat out works.  No muss, no fuss.  However, I'm also a practical guy and I will state for the record that we're talking about computers and that all of them are susceptible to problems.  It just seems in my experience that Macs suffer fewer of them.
Now, I'm also (at least I'd like to believe I am) a practical guy and I understand that there are going to be situations where I need a program run and it's only available on Windows.  LIke... oh... I don't know... like my dental office.  I happen to be an Eaglesoft user and I have been for years.. not quite 20... but close.  It runs my office and I can't get it to run on a Mac.  The same goes for my 3D cone beam imaging software.  I happen to run iCat VisionQ and Anatomage Invivo to capture and read the 3D scans we are routinely taking in my office with the Gendex CB-500HD.  Neither of those programs will run on a Mac either.
As I've delved further & further into the world of 3D imaging,  I've found myself needing more computer horsepower to quickly render, view, and enhance the computer generated images.  Because of that, this past December, I decided to put a new machine at my desk in the dental office.  I had managed to skip the entire Windows Vista era, demanding instead that my Windows machines be built with an XP install.  This ensured that every computer in my professional world functioned exactly like every other computer.  There is something to be said for consistency and I prefer to have machines in my office that we can all use without having to think "how do I open the browser on this one?"
However, this time the new machine came with Windows 7.  I had done some research, being the good geek, and I'd concluded that the risk was worth it.  I wanted to run the 64 bit OS so that I could have access to extended memory and some other features.  I'm pleased to say that in the 3 1/2 months since receiving it, I have had zero... that's right... zero system crashes, freezes, or blue screens.  Let me restate that.  The Windows 7 operating system is really, really stable.  It also has some very nice features, making it a bit "Mac like" although that probably makes the Microsoft engineers stomachs turn.
Of course, the point of this post isn't to tell you how great and stable Windows 7 is, it's really to tell you how popular the OS is becoming.  You may not remember, but Microsoft Vista was heckled and had doubts cast its way before it was even on the shelves.  Customers stayed away in droves and before long, OEM's like Dell were offering customers the choice of having Windows Vista or Windows XP as the default install on a new system. Windows Vista just never took off while customers like me continued to order systems running XP.
Now, look at the chart at the top of this post and what you'll see is the fact that it seems that lots of people are having the same type of experience with Windows 7 that I have had.  Due to that fact, while Vista continues to fall like a stone, Windows 7 continues to grow.  Also of interest is the top line in the graph that features XP.  From the slopes of the graph, one can estimate that sometime in the not too distant future, Windows 7 will overtake XP.
So if you have been considering a new system, but have been hesitant to make the jump for fear of the dragons of Vista and 7, take it from me, Windows 7 has proven itself.  The last 12 months have seen it almost triple its presence and it continues a steady growth due to its stability & ease of use... and that's coming from a Mac guy!

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