Are you looking forward to Windows 7? I’m not

Author : M Babb

05 September 2009

Special commentary by Michael Babb, editor of Control Engineering Europe, on the launching of Microsoft Windows 7.

Are you happy with the way your PC is working these days?

Good. How would you like to tear out all the operating system software, install something completely new and untried? Windows 7 is for you.

And if you hurry, Microsoft will make a special low price deal for you.

Mind you, this doesn’t have anything to do with improving technology. It’s all about getting more money into Microsoft’s bank account. Their business model depends on a steady revenue stream from PC users, and lately, you people out there haven’t been contributing your fair share.

Microsoft was expecting to collect billions of dollars on the Vista operating system, and you disappointed them. So this has got to change.

What is amazing to me in all of this is the way technical journalists all line up to praise the putative benefits of Windows 7, like the government-controlled media in a communist country.

It happens every time Microsoft releases a new operating system: the journalists line up to become an extension of Microsoft’s public relations department. All objective criticism is completely ignored. Saying anything controversial would be like breaking the code of Microsoft conduct. No journalist would dare do that.

I’ve read a dozen reviews from these zombies, and not one of them hints at answering the most obvious question of all: Why are we going through this upgrade, when nobody needs it or wants it?

Windows 7 is the same old stuff, just re-arranged a little bit to make you think you’re getting ‘the latest technology.’ In the past 15 years Microsoft has done nothing new in the way of office software technology, yet they have millions believing the illusion that they have.

The only improvement I’ve seen is that their operating system doesn’t crash as often as it used to.

One brain-dead journalist says the taskbar is at the top of his list of the  ten most outstanding feature of Windows 7.

A taskbar? He wants me to rip my computer apart to get a cool new taskbar? All a taskbar does it point you to which program you want to run. What’s so special about this new taskbar?

Why, he says, it’s more like the one on the Macintosh computer.

Information Week says that one of Windows 7’s most sought-after features — 52% plan to use it, according to their survey — is Windows XP mode. This is praised as ‘virtualisation technology’ that lets applications run in a virtual instance of Windows XP alongside Windows 7.

What a wonderful thing.

If over half the people who buy Windows 7 are going to use it in XP mode, why not just keep Windows XP?

In fact, running XP software on Windows 7 might not be such a great experience anyway. The article says XP mode is ‘unmanaged’ and businesses who want to do that will have to buy a ‘Desktop Optimisation Pack,’ whatever that means. Sounds like more money for Microsoft, to me.

I would very much like to make a deal with Microsoft.

I'm a very understanding, reasonable person. I understand they need more money.

I just want to keep my PC the way it is, without any changes.

I’ll give Microsoft 100 euros if they will let me keep my XP system the way it is and leave me alone for three years.

Now wouldn’t that satisfy both parties?

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