Windows 7 will be available for MSDN subscribers on August 6th.

I would like to upgrade but I need to get approval from management, currently only a few other developers and I are running Vista in the office.

What would be the best reasons for a .net web and business intelligence developer to upgrade?

On the contrary, what could hurt me if I upgraded?

I'll compile a list here:

  • Virtual XP Mode
  • Virtual Hard Disk (Bootable to)
  • Usability
  • Performance
  • Stability


Thanks for the replies all, I'll listen to the suggestions and will run Windows 7 virtually for some time so that I can test company apps and my personal dev environment before upgrading the main OS.

  • 5
    Why do you want to upgrade? – Adrian Godong Jul 23 '09 at 20:11
  • 4
    to be honest... because I'm an early adopter and I don't feel like it would hurt anything, plus I'll be using it at home so having similar environments at home and at work would be nice. – Jon Erickson Jul 23 '09 at 20:16
  • 3
    I don't know why you're coming here. We don't know much of anything about your workplace, and you haven't given anything hinting at a business reason. You'll have to figure out what they want, and come up with a reason why this actually benefits your employer. – David Thornley Jul 23 '09 at 20:21
  • 1
    Dear God, Yes! Let's rid the world of Vista asap. – squillman Jul 23 '09 at 21:18

16 Answers 16


While I look forward to Windows 7/Vista 2.0, for your case being in BI developer I see no incentive in upgrading now in comparison to the consumer market. Unless your job involves creating Vista, er.. Windows 7 apps with Visual Studio, why switch now? If you really want to run Windows 7 or toy around with it, download Sun's VirtualBox (for free) and download the Windows 7 beta (or the MSDN release) and run it virtually. Wait at least 4-6 months and let Microsoft and all the other companies/organizations deal with the installation headaches (if there are any) or security issues and patches (which there will be), etc. etc. Like all the Service Pack releases, why be the first to switch when there's so much to jeopardize, especially at the office?

If that's not enough for you to stop the itch to switch, just think of the software you use today and ask yourself is it compatible with 7 to begin with. This is your job on the line, not your home computer. Learn to separate what you use at home and work. I wouldn't risk a job for the glitz and glamor of supposed stability, performance, pretty icons until after everyone else has gone through the endeavor. Let other people/companies figure out if Windows 7 was actually worth the upgrade.

Don't get me wrong, Windows 7 is so much better than Vista as Vista itself set the bar so low, but even that in and of itself is no real reason of substance to switch immediately. For all those features/reasons that you list, do you need those to do your job today? Do you need IIS 7.5? Do you need Virtual XP mode? Do you need the uber-cool taskbar? I'm willing to bet that you don't and are simply sick of Vista (who isn't?) and want to move on to the next thing.

While I empathize with you and the torture of Vista, just stick it out until it looks like all the kinks and issues have been resolved and all your apps/tools for work are compatible with Windows 7. Don't be foolish to upgrade for the promise of a better experience. No product is foolproof/bulletproof especially on the first try. I don't care that this is Microsoft's 6th/7th/Nth release. No company is perfect. Why throw away your time and energy for what may turn out to be little to no benefit to you now?

Sorry for the rant. I just felt that everyone was ignoring the job aspect of this question. If this was for a home computer, I probably wouldn't have spoken up but in this economy and just in principal for work, do yourself a favor and don't risk it.

Edit: Sorry, but a few of you did mention the job aspect of this issue so I apologize for ignoring your comments. I didn't mean to loop everyone was ignoring this work related issue. ;)

  • +1 for the job vs home observation, and no need to apologise for the rant - it was a GOOD rant...! :) – Maximus Minimus Jul 24 '09 at 9:12
  • And what if everybody waits for everybody else to start using windows 7. Infinite loop?! – cmserv Jul 28 '09 at 8:36

Are you going to be deploying the software you develop to Windows 7? If so then you need a test machine (maybe a VM) with Windows 7 running on it. If you're developing software that is going to be deployed to XP or Vista (corporate policy that the users are running whatever version of Windows and won't be upgrading anytime soon) then you don't really have much reason to upgrade. Building and testing on the platforms that you're deploying to is important.


Upgrade? I'd rather keep my stuff around for a while and create a VM for windows 7, and a good reason would be simply to get acquainted with the new platform.


If you are upgrading from Vista I don't think there is much difference, as far as running your developer tools. If you are upgrading from XP then you may encounter all kinds of issues, like UAC. My desktop stays on the same desktop the rest of the company is using. I'm already running a version of Windows 7 in a VM for testing applications. I'd say stick with the same version of Windows everyone else is on and see if you can't get 7 running in a VM. The cool thing about having it in a VM is that you can snapshot it, mess it all up, then restore it back to a normal condition.

  • this is true, but couldn't I do the opposite and do everything in Win7 and have a VM (or just use XP Mode or boot to VHDs) to test applications. That way I get all the benefits of Win7 and still be able to support the company, which is definitely my primary responsibility? – Jon Erickson Jul 23 '09 at 20:24
  • Depends on your corporate environment. We have login scripts that run, windows updates are pushed, everyone has the exact same web browser (for RIAs), same MS Office, etc. I wouldn't want to have some problem with my host OS and not be able to run the VM. If I'm not there someone else could use my workstation and be familiar with the OS and apps, although it hardly ever happens. My Win7 VM graphics are limited by the VM drivers, but I need those features. I wouldn't take the chance because its a pain to go back. – Bratch Jul 24 '09 at 3:39

Because you are developing something to be deployed on Windows 7 would be a good reason. Because you want to make sure your system works with UAC (if your on XP and not Vista). Because you want to test your system on Windows 7 in case any of your customers are upgrading. Other than that, you could make a productivity argument if you felt that you are significantly more productive on Windows 7. But, I most companies do not generally do one off deployments like that.


From what I have seen using the Release Candidate:

  • XP and Windows 7 are comparable in speed
  • Windows 7 Multi screen support rocks
  • Supports horizontal and vertical monitors natively
  • IIS 7 (good for mvc and infact anything ASP.Net related)
  • Its really nice to use, apart from the start menu which I replace with "Vista Start Menu" anyway

1000x better than Vista, but with nice Vista like stuff. No big freezes yet.

  • Guess I should note that when I say comparable in speed, thats using am entry level system that came out a few years ago. I am using a MSI M670 with 2.5g RAM and AMD Sempron 1.8Ghz and the graphics card is a onboard (shudder) Geforce Go 6100 that is not at all fast. If your machine came out with Vista on it, it can easily run 7. – burnt_hand Jul 23 '09 at 20:27

What are you running now, and what kind of applications do you develop?

If you're running Windows XP and do web development, having IIS 7 over IIS 5.1 will be an advantage. For example, it allows you to set up and run multiple websites on your machine, taking away the need to stop one / start another when you need to switch.


You should upgrade from Vista. You can tell your employer that it's worth the upgrade to benefit from the performance and stability improves that have been made to the OS. You mentioned MSDN, so it sounds like it's going to be a free upgrade. If so, it's a no-brainier.


As a developer you should definitely have access to a Windows 7 machine, as well as any other versions you are required to support. Whether that should be the OS on your workstation or not is a whole other matter. Personally, I'd say no, at least not yet. Windows does not have a good track record for stability until at least the first service pack. As a developer you will almost certainly trigger bugs that others may never encounter.


Answer should be absolutely "NO", (and Wait for Windows 7 Service Pack 1) Reasons,

  1. Microsoft Developers use older operating system version to develop platform for new version.

  2. And all development related programs are made and tested in older version, so they will work better only on older version. We had similar issues with Vista, Visual Studio 2008 itself had lots of problems on vista, and certainly Visual Studio 2010 will have lot of issues on Windows 7.

  3. I am not being negative, but I agree to fact that, stick with Vista, test your solutions on Windows 7 on virtual machines and after Windows 7 Service Pack 1, it will be right time to switch.

  4. All good said and done, marketing never says anything bad about product, only number of service packs reveals that.

  • re: #1. Microsoft is notorious for dogfooding their latest operating systems. Check out what all these people are using: bit.ly/SYVvy – p.campbell Jul 26 '09 at 13:54

Are you talking about the beta or the retail version of Windows 7? If beta, the fact that it is free should be enough reason to persuade management.

  • 1
    Not all management wants developers to slap anything they like on their work machines just because it's free. – David Thornley Jul 23 '09 at 20:19
  • When did I state that? If the OP concludes that it would be a good thing, then the fact that it is free should put him well on his way to persuading management to upgrade. – Hooked Jul 23 '09 at 21:07

If you're only into web development, then there is no reason whatsoever to upgrade. There will be IE 8 built-in (in non-EU version), but you can have it right now on Vista/Server 2008 as well as on XP.

I intend to keep XP on my working machine and Server 2008 (not even upgrading it to R2) on my personal machine.

The only reason could be is for you to have a look at IIS 7 (if right now you are on XP and not yet on Vista/Server 2008). If you just develop a single web project and do not normally look into IIS, then you don't really need to upgrade at all.


As a devout Mac User and occasional flirter with Ubuntu, I find it hard to get excited about windows 7, I was windows all the way for many years, but now doze is confined to VM fro browser testing purposes.

From what I have heard Windows 7 might be a reason to reconsider giving MS another crack of the whip.

The biggest reason would be the performance and stability that I hear is good, If your responsible for administration then you need reliability more than most. and I hear the price (for once) isnt going to be a big stumbling factor as is often the case with MS OS.

Heck I might even give it a look myself. but if its performance and reliability you need and your company is prepared to digg deep to extend you that luxury then for goodness sake consider A Mac. You can run all the windows/linux OS you want from VM and you get a fast, stable unix platform with the best GUI money can buy.


If your customers would be using Windows 7, it may be useful to have that environment as something you can use for testing and thus see what the customer is seeing. I'm not sure if there would be a platform difference between using IE in Vista versus 7 but there may well be. The improvements in performance may be worth wanting to do the experiment of seeing if 7 is better than Vista and what are the gotchas.


I'd say for performance reasons it is worthwhile upgrade. Also, if you plan to support TLS1.2 in your work, it is the only Windows platform (at this time) that has the support for it (though disabled by default).


I can think of one very good reason NOT to upgrade: you say you are one of few developers using Vista, so if you upgrade you'll be leaving your other devs (presumablyon XP) even further behind. One day you'll develop a Win7-only feature (with IIS7 its not goingto be a surprise if you do) and suddenly you've screwed everybody up, cost your company a load of money finding, testing, and resolving the issue.

My advice is to upgrade to XP, and join your other devs in a stable platform. When you have to upgrade, everyone upgrades at once. There's no need to be special in the workplace, everyone should be pulling together to build the applications, not play about with the latest toys.

Also, you never know what might hurt you - you'll have to try it first to find out, but I prefer to let others do that and read about their pain on google/tech blogs.

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