Microsoft: Small Businesses Making Switch to Win7

Dennis Faas's picture

Many small businesses were put off the Windows Vista operating system (OS) because of early complaints about compatibility problems and its tendency to bog down older machines. However, positive reviews of the new Windows 7 have finally started to shake upgrade fears amongst smaller companies, and Microsoft says they're starting to see these firms make the shift away from previous stand-by Windows XP.

Microsoft's claim that small businesses are diving into Windows 7 after taking a pass on Windows Vista was made by company Vice President Brad Brooks during an interview earlier this week.

"Windows Vista was a generation of the operating system that was passed up by small businesses; they stayed with XP," Brooks noted. "We're seeing a lot of trends at retail that are telling us small businesses are starting to come back in the marketplace." (Source:

So, what's bringing small businesses to Windows 7?

For one, more tech-based retailers are installing the professional edition of Windows 7 on the laptops and desktops they sell. That option makes purchasing entirely new systems for business purposes much easier than before, Brooks says, and it indicates the new OS is clearly catching on. "That's a good early indicator for us," he said.

Beyond just the work of retailers and Microsoft's own marketing department, Brooks credits one advertising campaign you can't buy: word of mouth. It was the same informal networking that critically wounded Windows Vista, but now some positive early reviews for Windows 7 are starting to work in Microsoft's favor. "We are sitting in a very different position than where we have been in the last three years," Brooks admitted.

Windows 7 Sales Hit $90 Million

Word of Windows 7's commercial success can't hurt either.

It seems every few weeks we're reporting a new sales plateau and, recently, Microsoft hit another landmark in the number of copies sold. Earlier this week company Chief Financial Officer Peter Klein told the media that Microsoft has now officially sold 90 million licenses of Windows 7, a jump of 1/3 since just the end of December. (Source:

The pace of Windows 7's success has been incredible -- so much so that even small businesses, one of the more conservative markets in terms of upgrading to new OS', are beginning to take notice. After all, there's no denying how impressive an OS looks when it dominates the tech industry the way Windows 7 has done since it launched.

In fact, only the flat-screen television market exceeded Windows notebooks in sales across the wider electronics category during the 2009 holiday season. While not every one of those systems was running Windows 7, there's no denying that Microsoft has made some strides in redeeming an image tarnished by a troubled Vista.

"Windows 7 is growing incredibly fast right now for us," said a very pleased Brooks.

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