Microsoft for some time has been wanting to kill off XP --- and when Windows 7 hits, the company will finally be able to do it. Here's why Windows 7 will let Microsoft pull the plug.
First off, it's no secret that Vista hasn't been embraced by enterprises, many of whom have treated it like the plague. That's unlikely to be the case with Windows 7. One reason: Vista wouldn't run properly on a fair number of PCs in enterprises when it was initially launched because the hardware wasn't high-powered enough.
Today that's no longer the case. Enterprises have gone through at least one round of hardware refresh since the Vista launch, and so now virtually all of their PCs will run Windows 7.
The same thing holds for printers and other peripherals. One of Vista's biggest problems was that too many peripherals wouldn't run with it.
Again, though, that's no longer true. Enterprises have newer peripherals now than they had years ago. Newer peripherals will work with Windows 7, because it was designed to work with Vista-compatible hardware.
In addition, the Windows 7 beta has been quite solid and stable -- so much so that Gartner has been telling businesses that they don't need to hold off until Windows 7 SP1 to plan for deployment -- they can start planning at launch.
Given all that, Microsoft will be able to move enterprises toward Windows 7 and away from XP, ultimately allowing the company to kill XP.
Windows 7 will run on netbooks, which Vista can't do. Because Vista can't power notebooks, Microsoft has had to keep XP alive for the large and growing netbook market. But when Windows 7 ships, Microsoft will have Windows 7 installed on netbooks, not XP. That also will let it kill XP more quickly.
The upshot? Windows 7 will do something that Vista couldn't -- kill XP.