It is the post season in the National Football League here in the US.  Every game is a “must win” game because otherwise your season is over.  Another “must win” for Microsoft is Windows 7.

Now if they miss with Windows 7 they of course always get to try again down the road – just like an NFL team gets to try again next year.

The folks at Redmond have had a couple of recent opportunities to comeback next time around and try to improve on their flagship operating system.  The first time was after Windows Millennium Edition (otherwise known as Windows ME).  Everyone knows and remembers how that went over.  Windows ME followed Windows 98 and was a disappointment to many.  It was buggy and many people skipped right over it.

Microsoft had their next season start with Windows XP which has been hugely popular.  It ran well, worked with your hardware and was well supported.  It did what Windows ME could not – satisfied the fans with a solid operating system.

After Windows XP you had Windows Vista.  This version of the Microsoft operating system was disliked as much, if not more, than Windows ME was.  It had high system requirements – almost needed upgraded components to run decently with all the fancy interface upgrades, etc.  It was not as gamer friendly due to its User Account Control (UAC).  Much of existing hardware had to be upgraded because manufacturers would not support older versions of their gear on the new system.

Now – why do I bring all of the above history up anyway?  Well as mentioned in the first paragraph Microsoft is about to embark on the beta process and ultimate release of their next version of the Windows operating system – Windows 7.  It is expected that the big announcement of its beta release to the public will come at CES 2009 (08 to 11 January 2009).

Windows 7 follows a release of Windows that has certainly had its detractors – much like Windows XP followed Windows ME.

Well if you keep up with the news around the Internet you have seen that Windows 7 is out there in the wild and getting what I believe are very positive reviews – especially for beta software.

I frequent one social media site on a very regular basis – Twitter and it is a constant flow of the consciousness of its users.  They comment on anything and everything they are up to.  Well then it is no surprise that Windows 7 comes up a lot in the various tweets (individual messages of no more than 140 characters) that people are sending.  Most of the comments are positive (I say about 80%).  There are comparisons to OS X as there always are but there are also comparisons to how much better this beta operating system runs compared to its predecessor, Windows Vista.

Here are some positive examples I have seen over the last several hours (yes hours):

  • vampaccino: Totally just installed Windows 7 Ultimate. OHHHHSOOOO fancy it is!
  • istone: @infilmity i mean windows 7 default able to use WIFI driver.. so good
  • rigar: Windows 7 & Ubuntu like my dream machine
  • zlike: Windows 7 is cool!
  • hdragomir: windows 7, it rocks!
  • angelsomething: ok. second day of windows 7. it actually is not bad. not bad at all. I actually like it. I would actually get an eeepc just to use it.
  • jkuter: Just installed Windows 7 and I like it. I can’t say I hated Vista and they left a bunch of it intact. BTW Server 08 is great for dev desks
  • ClanThrasher: So far enjoying the workings of Windows 7.
  • onlineshopping: Windows 7 is fast. Very fast.
  • georgestanley: First tweet from Windows 7.. This thing really is slick as hell… Of course the next challenge is to bring it up on the EEE pc :D
  • jtaylorhoopla: Using windows 7. Its amazing :) Maybe a youtube video on it or something.. idk.
  • adamzwakk: Laptop is 100% on Windows 7 now
  • Richard_Hansen: @DanOCan – have you played w/ Windows 7 yet? I downloaded a copy via a bit torrent and installed as a VM … seems nice so far
  • jyoungest1: Woo running windows 7 on my laptop now. It is frickin awesome!
  • hejaeslov: Playing w/ Windows 7 in Vmware. Liking the new taskbar. Fast too.
  • justnick: Windows 7 keeps growing on me, Vista wasn’t this nice at beta 1 or even launch for that matter! Must resist installing on non-test boxes…
  • davepope: Windows 7 even plays my divx avi files out of the box without anything extra installed.
  • jackolas: Only had to reboot twice for Windows 7… so far. Aw cute little betta fish and bootsplash.
  • rhwalt: running Railo on Windows 7 beta. Runs smooth as all get out.
  • Hidesquadron1: I just got my hands on a Windows 7 beta and I am totally blown away by it.
  • georgestanley: Wow, trying out Windows 7 Beta 1 and the first stage of the install only took 12 mins… I’m worried now as to what it skipped :D
  • redG: Windows 7 is awesome. (yes I am legit)
  • ralphsmith: Testing Windows 7 application and driver performance. My overall impression so far is still this is What Vista was supposed to be.
  • davepope: so, windows 7 beta (bld 7000) kicks ***! loaded it on my 5 year old laptop and besides having to force a video driver, it runs great!
  • maciekl: Using windows 7 beta – pretty sweet!
  • tamorgan: Just installed Windows 7 for a test run. Full marks so far, and its only a developer beta build? Getting excited for this one :)
  • awbennett: Mesh is awsome, Laptop and Samsung NC10 documents now in sync. DId I mention I am running Windows 7, sweet.
  • epicjoshftv: tried windows 7 again. and for it being windows, i like it.
  • koenitz: Not bad Windows 7: but i’m still waiting for snow leopard…
  • kevinmw1987: I just installed the new Windows 7 Beta and I love it! It kicks Vista’s *** for sure.
  • me1000: Windows 7 works a lot better than Vista on a clean install. The task bar is a dock, big rip off. I dont like a few things, but it’s alright.
  • petergene: BTdubs, Windows 7 is suuuuper quick and I don’t hate the new taskbar as much as I thought I would. Libraries feature is a little confusing.
  • tikian12: Loves windows 7 and hasn’t really even tried it out yet
  • nathancook: @Geekdom … but windows 7 is fantastic!
  • Alli_Flowers: Windows 7 works on my Wind netbook!
  • creativeweb: Windows 7 is fast. Very fast.: Okay, there is a lot of Vista hate out there, and I’ll stand up and say,
  • K_Asante: Just installed the new windows 7 beta build on my asus g70s laptop. This is seriously awsome! Even Apple fanboys will agree I think.
  • andrewdarrow: first impressions of Windows 7….way to go M$ finally a OS that is’nt a memory hog and can compete memory wise with Linux..keep it that way
  • parkinsonliam: windows 7 beta is certainly snappy and stable
  • nemolian: I finally got a chance to install Windows 7 (7000 build) on a box. The new Media Center is shweeeet.
  • i3g: is really impressed with windows 7! Have it on both laptop and desktop now! Hoping it wont die in 30 days…………….
  • Lewisham: Surprisingly impressed by Windows 7. Am I impressed because it’s taking cues from Mac OS X (see Taskbar -> Dock)? Probably.
  • credendino: Checked out Windows 7. Looks solid.
  • atmasphere: @wonderhelm windows 7 on the netbook is solid … I like it more than XP

Not to just focus on the positive – here are some of the negative perceptions of Windows 7 from Twitter:

  • Tower1984: Windows 7 is pretty but I can’t get fallout 3 working on it yet :(
  • luke188: Installed Windows 7, things are a bit buggy at the moment but everything else seems to be ok. Will review it tomorrow
  • urbanminstrel: Looks like my old laptop won’t support Windows 7 … LINUX time!
  • chilkotardis: IT’s sort of pathetic that office apps wither and die under Windows 7. I know it’s a BETA, but it’s not TOO different from Vista.
  • grahamhancock: Hmmm… The Mac Pro did not like Windows 7. Trying it on the old Dell notebook.
  • shanselman: Google Chrome works on Windows 7 if you add "–in-process-plugins" to the icon’s target command line
  • itilir: useing windows 7 now. kinda slow, but i like it. i know why there is a beta fish background too, because this is a beta version of windows
  • gregbond: #5 Vista sucks and it looks like Windows 7 will not be the game changer they (we) need.
  • petergene: BTdubs, Windows 7 is suuuuper quick and I don’t hate the new taskbar as much as I thought I would. Libraries feature is a little confusing.
  • Lewisham: Surprisingly impressed by Windows 7. Am I impressed because it’s taking cues from Mac OS X (see Taskbar -> Dock)? Probably.
  • hamil242: I installed Windows 7 beta. It’s been a day and it crapped out on me lol.

As you can see the positive comments, and some have a spot in both lists, run about 4 to 1 against the negative ones.  What is going to make Windows 7 a success is public opinion – that is why Windows ME and Windows Vista were hurt – the people did not like them.  I also recently ran a poll on my website asking visitors if they planned to upgrade to Windows 7.  An overwhelming 83% percent said yes – again – not scientific by any means but a good indicator of public opinion.

I say at least a small sampling of the people have spoken on Twitter and based on that I predict Windows 7 is going to be a hugely popular upgrade to Windows and considered a bigger success than Vista ever was.

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