Saturday, January 25, 2014

HP Brings Back Windows 7

HP brings back Windows 7

(Users unhappy with Windows 8)

What ever results you see or hypothesize for ordinary consumers accepting Win8, industrial users will be a thousand times less. Many industrial technology users still keep a laptop with XP on it. This is because the software they need to use to interface with 10 year old, or older equipment only works on XP or is too expensive to upgrade all the many vendor's software. So in the common industrial scenario, switching to just Win7 can cost a manufacturer thousands in downtime, let alone trying Win8. Not to mention the industrial sector's concerns about cloud computing security and internet dependency.

The consumer market appears to be much more accepting of new operating systems because learning curves and compatibility issues just cost them a little time and inconvenience, not thousands in downtime. Plus many just switch because that is what is on new computer they bought, not because they wanted to change to Win8. Until now, now that HP gives customer's Win 7 on many of their computers.

I'll give you an industrial technology example. If a manufacturing plant only has legacy PLCs from 10 years ago or more in their plant, if they decided to upgrade their laptop to Win7 or Win8 , they would have to go out buy new PLC vendor software to access their machines (PLCs). That could cost them an additional $2000 or more just for the initial cost, then they would need an annual subscription to that new PLC/PAC software. Then they would have to deal with learning curve of new Win8, and of new PLC access software, AND new bugs. These two things would slow their time using new OS and PLC/PAC software, cause longer physical downtime of equipment which would cost them even more thousands of dollars. Or they could keep their old computer with XP and save from $3000 to $300,000. Other old equipment vendors may not even have their automation equipment software available in Win 7 or Win 8. So we always advise industrial maintenance to keep an old XP laptop around just for maintenance department and working with industrial equipment.

Smart companies like HP computers are offering their computers with Win7 instead of Win8. The bottom line, because of the bottom line, industry is slow to change on this issue. And rightfully so.

Don (Follow me on Industrial Skills Training Blog and on Twitter @IndTraining .) Be sure to to stay on top!