Windows 7 hit the marketplace in October 2009 – and not a minute too soon for many PC users.
With disappointment with Windows Vista running rampant, Microsoft's Window 7 was greeted enthusiastically because it addressed many of the shortcomings of previous Windows products.
Unlike other Windows releases, Windows 7 was not intended to be a total redesign of Microsoft's operating system. Instead, it was an incremental upgrade that dramatically improved compatibility problems that plagued Windows Vista. Vista's compatibility, usability and performance issues were more than minor inconveniences. Without the ability to seamlessly and effortlessly integrate their OS with a range of applications, PC users lacked an environment that could keep pace with their computing demands – and Microsoft ran the risk of losing customers to other computing platforms.
In response to customer demands and the whirlwind of negative publicity surrounding Windows Vista, Microsoft ramped up the development of Windows 7, releasing it less than three years after Vista's release. The end result has been an operating system with significant user benefits and a product that lays the foundation for further advances in the area of Windows mobile technology.
When they released Windows 7, Microsoft stated that one of their goals was to make Window more user-centric. This reflected current trends in computing (e.g. social networking and mobile apps) that place user preferences at the heart of their relationships with technology. Subsequent comments from Microsoft indicated that some of the other goals of the Windows 7 release included performance enhancements and device compatibility.
Like other versions of Windows, Windows 7 is available in several different editions, each designed to meet the needs of a specific user segment. The most popular versions currently available on the retail market include Windows 7 Home Premium, Professional and Ultimate. Microsoft also offers a family pack of the Home Premium version that grants permission for the software to be installed on up to three PCs.
Reception in the Marketplace
From the day it was released, Windows 7 sales quickly exceeded the sales of Windows Vista. Software critics, consumers and business users agreed that Windows 7 was a far superior operating system than Vista and that it put Microsoft on course to compete with the rest of the marketplace. Named one of the best products of the year by PC World, Windows 7 has continued to impress the computing world with its performance, usability and security features.