A week after Microsoft launched Windows 7, users are familiarizing themselves with the more intuitive interface while some have faced problems installing the software. Despite these difficulties, analysts still predict PC sales will rise worldwide in the fourth quarter of this year.

Starting last Friday, some Vista users trying to upgrade to Windows 7 found their computers stuck in an endless reboot cycle, particularly if the installation package was a downloaded version.

On the growing Answers thread dedicated to this topic on the Microsoft forum, users who followed the steps support engineers have offered said their computers are still not working.

I've got the same problem. Tried to upgrade last night, upgrade failed, reboot, reboot, reboot…, wrote a user identified as MJMacinhack.

Microsoft has not yet released an official solution to this problem, but said they are continuing to investigate this issue and will post it up on the existing thread as it becomes available, a Microsoft spokesman said in an email.

If you are downloading and installing Windows 7, we recommend that that you burn the DVD at the slowest speed, said Vishal Dhar, co-founder and President of Marketing of iYogi, a tech services company.

Additionally, Dhar said that through iYogi's internal testing of Windows 7, they found that the User Account Control settings or default Microsoft security settings do not provide adequate protection from online threats, and users should also install additional security software.

The Upside

Microsoft has stripped several applications which had often come preinstalled on a new computer, such as Windows Messenger and Windows Movie Maker. These applications are now made available online as optional downloads. While some users might feel they’re getting less than they bargained for, anything that helps create a more-streamlined, less-cluttered interface is a step in the right direction.

Windows XP users may have at first been apprehensive of upgrading to Windows 7 because of the radical change in the graphical user interface, but reviewers have gone on to say the change is more subtle than expected. CNET's Ina Fried's shared about how her 92-year-old Aunt Hilda migrated and said the user experience isn't that different from XP.

Best Buy Co.'s Geek Squad services unit said they haven’t found major issues with Windows 7 upgrade. “The nice thing about Windows 7, applications that were applications with Vista are easy to upgrade,” said Ish Matos, a Geek Squad agent.

The initial reaction among analysts suggests that the release of the new operating system has been stronger than expected. It has not only given a boost to Microsoft’s revenue stream, but it may also boost PC sales for the rest of the year.

We expect Windows 7 to spark a multi-year upturn in PC unit growth, Deutsche Bank hardware analyst Chris Whitmore said in a research note Monday.

Annette Jump, a research director for Gartner Research wrote that “with its polished user interface and several new consumer-friendly features, (Windows 7) will likely reduce the gap in perception between Windows and Mac OS.”

“Gartner does not expect that Windows 7's release in October 2009 will have a major boost on worldwide PC sales in the fourth quarter of this year,” Jump added.
According to an iYogi survey, 36 percent of respondents intended to migrate to Windows 7 in the next 18 months.

I think the adoption is going to be much faster and the life cycle of PCs are extending. Windows 7 is a great product and I don’t think anyone will be disappointed using it, said Dhar.