Hell, I went to Vista site wide and will be going to 7 eventually. Vista works fine for us and has actually reduced the support burden for many of the machines because Vista has built in install sources even a totalled bunch of sectors on a hard drive will not stop it. I had a teacher complain that a funny message came up about the hard drive and it was slow. Turned out that the HD was slowly dieing taking out system files and all sorts. This resulted in a slightly longer boot time as Vista restored itself without intervention.
Drivers are fantastic as vast amounts are included and a huge percentage of those that aren't just download automagicly from windows update after install. The group policy is implemented way better and is much more comprehensive which makes management easier and stuff like powersettings just work unlike XP. The install method is also fantastic when dealing with lots of machines off one image. Wireless and file sync are also hugely upgraded and more reliable / faster.
All of this and more carries over to Windows 7, from a managment point of view both are totally superior to XP and so short of abject fear of change or a justifyable aversion to spending any money it makes little sense not to look at moving foward.
I definitely agree with Synack. Windows 7 is so much better than XP. Don't let the luddites hold us back.
Compared to XP, why would you not want things such as...
* Easier deployment. Especially being able to create hardware-independent images so you can have one image for all computers in the school, plus integrating drivers and hotfixes into an image without having to recreate it is great too. Being able to boot the operating system from a .vhd file is pretty cool as well.
* Drivers for the latest hardware built in. Not having to search for drivers either saved on the network or on the Internet is a massive time saver.
* The ability to install Windows using a USB flash drive. Particularly useful if you have computers without CD/DVD drives like netbooks. Also good, is being able to load SATA controller drivers from something other than a floppy disk!
* Better security inc. a much less annoying UAC. This should force developers (particular those who create educational software) to create programs which work properly under limited user accounts.
* The ability to encrypt your HDDs/removable media and manage them through AD/Group Policy (for free).
* An operating system that actually makes use of all of your RAM, especially if you have 4GB or more. Starting with Vista, this has helped make 64-bit software/drivers more common place.
* Support for > 2TB hard disks inc. booting from them (if the motherboard uses EFI) and improved support for solid state disks. Within 1-2 years I reckon all laptops will come with SSDs as standard.
* A built-in search tool on the start menu/in Windows Explorer and 'Libraries' to group similar content.
* Federated search. This enables you to search websites like Flickr, Bing, TechNet (and many others) directly in Windows Explorer.
* Taskbar jump lists for accessing frequently used files and controlling applications.
* Faster boot up and shutdown times. Hibernating and standby are also much quicker.
* Better power saving and energy efficiency features.
* More resilient to hard disk problems. Not having to deal with BSODs with unmountable boot volume or corrupt registry errors is nice.
Personally, after using Windows 7 I wouldn't want to go back to XP. The sooner it gets killed off the better!
Last edited by Arthur; 7th August 2009 at 02:58 AM.
Interestingly though, Microsoft views XP mode as 'the last resort'. The application compatibility layers are usually enough to get most software working.
I agree, however, that Capita should at least publish a timeframe to say that W7 will be supported within 6 months of general availability.
My job no longer involves installing/supporting PCs and Infrastructure in schools, but if it did, I would be salivating at the thought of ditching XP in favour of W7 hooked up to 2008R2 servers. The enhanced group policy settings are very enticing although it would be death of my trusty old logon scripts.
I agree that educational software if some of the worst designed from a system point of view; probably because so much has been developed by ex-teachers... The design guidelines from Microsoft (you know, don't write to HKLM, %ProgramFiles% etc) has been available on the MS website for many years. There really is no excuse for any user application software needing PowerUser let alone Admin rights. As someone who used to spend a lot of time repackaging application, it really gets to me
At the moment I can understand why some users would ask this question. You can use IE8 and MP11 on XP, just as you can on Windows Vista and Windows 7, but I think in the next 12 months or so Microsoft will inevitably release new versions of their applications. Remember XP now officially is in an extended support phase upto the year 2014 so only security updates will now be released.
Some users may choose to use FF or of course iTunes for example and this would extend the life of XP further using alternative applications. Yesterday I worked on a Vista desktop which (for an unknown reason) was stuck in a loop attempting to remove a failed installation of a service pack. To cut a long story short I couldn't fix the problem, so I backed up the user data and performed a new Vista installation.
Installing Vista itself was relatively quick, but applying service packs was extremely long winded taking almost an hour each to apply. The results however were fairly impressive with Vista SP2 and I am personally more confident in Windows 7.
I wouldn't recommend anyone to jump into a Windows 7 deployment immediately. Testing is always required and it's important to get the server side of things setup before deploying Windows Vista/Windows 7. You can of course use 2003 Server and Windows 7 together, but it could create a lot more work.
And looking at it from curriculum based systems including CC4 W7 should be a godsend too. XP is now well over 7 years old and it still suffers from the biggest bug in Windows that should have never existed in the first place. And it still exists.
"I'm trying to install this hardware that has previously been installed. Please direct me to the drivers. I've provided you a browse dialogue to point me to them."
* stares straight at the driver within the automatically opened dialogue box, clicks it and presses OK*
"Thank you. Drivers installing."
Many people with Digital Blue and other types of USB camera will appreciate that
That's one of the reasons why XP *needs* to die. The article from the OP really does seem to be more than a little misinformed. I'll agree once it's up and running, it's rather good but on any modern system if 7 or even Vista is running any worse than XP, you've got a problem outside of the OS. Plus of course security - I suspect the average techy spends most of their life patching XP.
I've been running W7 on two test PCs and a laptop ever since Beta was released. It's a dream of an OS (well, for MS anyway). Stuff just works, much like stuff 'just works' on a Mac.
The only incompatibilities we've found are SIMS (because Capita's product development is rubbish - system doesn't even work on Vista without patching) and some of the more screwy educational software, most of which is rubbish even on XP. Even SIMS will run on 7, our problem is the support side - if you have an issue then Capita just won't help you if you're running on a non-supported OS! As all our staff will be using SIMS at classroom level from September then we're stuufed.
But in general, those who are saying XP is still the way to go are really burying their heads in the sand. W7 is light years removed from XP and has been a dream to support so far - not even found any major issues running W7 as a client to Server 2003.
It's about time Capita got real, after all they've had many months now to get drivers coded for W7, there's just no excuse, especially at the prices they charge! It would also be nice if writers of educational software also generally got their act together and realised that BBC micros are no longer used in schools!
Just had a message from Capita. They're working on making SIMS compatible with W7 now - allegedly.
Is that at home or on your production network?From someone who made the xp -> Linux jump a few years back : what am I missing from Vista to W7? I don't care about the difference between XP - I found a better alternative to XP already. I never saw the advantage to vista - what is the advantage to W7?
We avoided vista, but having used the 7 betas and RC, I actually like it (and my workstations run Linux). The prompts still need to be more sudo-like (IMO), but then 2008 suffers in that respect too (yes, I want to do something requiring admin credentials, yes that click a second later was also me, and yes, that one too -- gaah, surely it's not too bloody difficult to trace the request to me and maybe remember for a minute?). Exchange powershell makes up for that though.
That doesn't mean we'll jump straight on the 7 bandwagon. We might deploy it on the CAD boxes if Solidworks benefits from more ram though, since the alternative is XP 64bit or Vista.
We'll definitely moving to W2k8 R2 and Windows 7 sometime around the second quarter of next year.
Once i've got to grips with the deployment and management features, plus the all important user acceptance testing and ensuring compatibility
The pre-releases had missing functions that we will need to emulate if they are not in the final release. We intend to be W7 compatible by October 09. (We never developed for the BBC )
Last edited by PhilNeal; 7th August 2009 at 10:13 PM.
synaesthesia (7th August 2009)
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