first impressions and after a month use) about Windows 7, I really love the product and even made an endorsement video. It's the best Windows version ever. As a business user I've adopted Windows 7 as my primary operating system since the early beta in January. However as a private person I will NOT upgrade my home equipment, due to practical consumer considerations.
My house is a mixed Apple and Microsoft environment consisting of MacBooks, a desktop and a Media Center. Both the desktop and the media center are running Vista Ultimate, because I was one of the fools that 3 years ago believed the Microsoft promise for Ultimate Extras. I prefer in place upgrades over clean installs, but that is now making an upgrade a too expensive exercise.
The Media Center is a critical component in this house hold and the only 'maintenance' window available is in the night. This is also the reason why no automatic updates can't be installed, because this might interfere with lets say an episode of 'Desperate House Wives' or even worse reboot the machine. Microsoft already made severe enemies in this household by resetting all play counts after a security update and I don't want to go thru that again. If I want to upgrade this machine within one night and maintain all settings my only option is to do an in place upgrade and will cost me 299 Euro. It's just no worth the money, because the added value is minimal and Vista works fine. I could consider alternatives and do a clean install of a downgraded Windows 7 version, but still it's relatively expensive. A more viable option is to buy an Apple TV starting at 269 Euro and start using this side by side to avoid the nightly maintenance Window.
The desktop is an other story. Windows Vista is giving a lot of problems and was actually the primary reason to install the first beta of Windows 7. The hardware is great, because I made it completely silent, it's only time for a 300 Euro investment for a larger screen. While considering my options with the required investments, I can't help also looking at the new 21.5-inch iMac starting at only 1099 Euro that gives me a silent, great looking piece of design in my office.
Apple does an upgrade form Leopard to Snow Leopard for 29 Euro. The Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate upgrade of 299 Euro is 10 times as expensive. The buying considerations are very different, the first is hardly worth thinking about, the second really needs to deliver value. Unfortunately I haven't found 10 times as much value in Windows 7 as in Mac OS-X Snow Leopard. As a practical consumer I don't want to spend this amount of money without being able to justify the investment.