Windows 7 is about to be released. Will this have a fast uptake in the market place?
Short answer: The uptake will be about as lethargic as for Windows Vista by the business users. New computers will come with it pre-installed, most likely users will keep it (rather than down grading to XP).
What is the basis for this bold assertion?
Reason 1: Corporate Support Staff know Windows XP inside out -- most know the typical issues and resolutions. They can do it in their sleep. When we bring a new O/S into the equation, this is the area that ends up being the bottle neck. Support staff just will not be able to pick it up and have it supportable in anything under 24 months (minimum). Sadly, this will mean that Microsoft will struggle to gain sufficient traction and very likely have Windows 8 ready.
One other reason --- Windows 7 does not have any ground breaking features that most users are dying for and will care to part hard-earned cash for (esp. in a recession). It will be about as exciting as a new Operating System for your mobile phone -- most people do not know nor care. The geeks will go gaga over it, the tech. press will fill pages about the fantastic features, the Apple fans will still be cool -- but, most users will want to know if Facebook will render nicely on it and if they need to still install a virus scanner.
Yet another reason -- IT budgets are getting chopped and trimmed (right-sized is the term these days). Companies will want to know cost savings of an upgrade to Windows 7. Microsoft better have real good answers for this aspect (and people are not just going to believe as facts Gartner reports or claims made in PC World).
Sadly ... we are pretty much at the cusp of a new ear. One where PC Operating Systems are slowly going to disappear into the background, reliably doing their job, just like they do on the mobile phones, game consoles and a billion other devices.