Saturday, April 11, 2009

Microsoft: No Worse than Before

From the headline reviews of the forthcoming Windows 7, you'd think Microsoft has a hit.

Walter Mossberg of the Wall Street Journal titled his preview 'Even in Test Form, Windows 7 Leaves Vista in the Dust.' He found it 'very promising' and 'a pleasure to use.' Could Microsoft have turned the corner?

Hold that thought.

Look more closely, and you see we have the same giant company with the same huge problems. 

What were those problems with Vista? Mossberg sums them up for us: an operating system that required huge amounts of memory, one that wasn't really compatible with the countless programs written for Windows XP.

How does Windows 7 compare? It uses the same amount of memory and also lacks compatibility with Windows XP.

What Microsoft proclaims, and Mossberg accepts, is that Windows 7 is no worse than Vista. Microsoft proudly touts that this operating system upgrade is fully compatible with the previous one, the one everyone hates, but it doesn't actually expand compatibility as hoped.

Nor does it reduce the memory costs. It doesn't make them any worse, says David Pogue of the New York Times, who calls Windows 7, 'Vista, Fixed.'

But what does it actually fix? None of the problems that Pogue notes made users 'beg, plead, and sign petitions to bring back the previous version of the product.' It just doesn't make matters worse.

Same system requirements. No improved compatibility with XP programs. And, like Vista, it will apparently be sold in six confusing versions, rather than a single, simple package.

That's progress?

This post is going up early, as I'll be away on Monday. Next week will go up as usual, and it will be on The Modern Gas Mileage Mystery.

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