Windows 7 will begin shipping in late October 2009. Prior to the arrival of Windows 7 on new computers some people will make computer buying decisions and may face a choice between Windows Vista and Windows XP on their new computer. Anyone buying new computers before Windows 7 ships should consider the potential for upgrading to Windows 7 in the future when choosing between Windows Vista and Windows XP.
Choose Windows Vista Not XP on New Computers
The vast majority of testing and analysis from numerous sources indicates that Windows 7 will be a very solid, highly functional operating system that most PC users will want to migrate to over time. Based on the level of quality and on the upgrade process requirements for XP and Vista my recommendation is that anyone buying a new computer before Windows 7 ships on October 22, should have Windows Vista pre-installed on that computer not Windows XP.
While Windows XP has been a viable, and many times preferable, option since Vista’s release things have changed. The impending arrival of Windows 7 in October and the significantly different upgrade paths to Windows 7 for XP and Vista now make Vista the best choice on a new computer. A key reason is that Windows Vista has a clear, relatively straightforward upgrade path to Windows 7, while the upgrade path for Windows XP to Windows 7 is a more labor intensive, time consuming process requiring what is known as a clean install.
Windows XP’s Continued Availability
Currently, retail stores only sell PCs with Microsoft’s Windows Vista installed. However a number of manufacturers still sell computers with the older Windows XP installed when the computers are purchased direct through the manufacturer. This was detailed in an earlier post, “Windows XP Availability on New Computers”
Plan for Windows 7 Over Current Windows Versions
In summary, if you will be buying a new computer after the October 22, 2009 release date of Windows 7 you should purchase that system with Windows 7 pre-installed. If you purchase a new computer before Windows 7 ships on October 22, you should have Windows Vista pre-installed on the new computer.