A day or so ago I was on Twitter helping out some Windows 7 users and remarking about Windows 7 and its beta.
I started to get some intriguing comments and questions from another Twitter user I follow, _Goblin. Now you can look at his Twitter background and take a peek at his website and see that he is an fan of Free and Open Source Software (FOSS). I am guessing the BSOD on his background is not in recognition of its ability to communicate a message to the user :-)
Anyway, he asked a few things of me and I tried to start replying back via Twitter but found the 140 characters limiting so I asked him if I could reference his Tweets in a blog post and provide my feedback/opinion. He graciously agreed and I am sure he will be here with commentary as soon as he can. Open discussion is not a problem in my book.
So onto the comments/responses:
I know the majority of backward compatibility problems I have seen or found are related to programs that are not yet written to use the new features such as jump lists, the new taskbar, etc. The basic infrastructure from what I can tell is Windows Vista based and therefore compatibility issues should be at a minimum. Of course this is up to the software companies to rewrite/update their software to sync up with the new system user interface, etc. I have found through personal experience and chatting to other Windows 7 users that drivers for Vista work in Windows 7. Again, the manufacturer has to get those drivers updated to take advantage of new programming in the OS.
I can not speak from personal experience about the performance differences between Windows XP and Windows 7 because I am on Windows Vista across the board. I can say that Windows 7 on my 2 1/2 year old Gateway MX6455 runs better than Windows Vista did which came installed on the system. I have also exchanged info with others via Twitter that have said they see the performance gains from Windows XP to Windows 7. I can not do much more but take their word for it.
Those individuals who do not want to leave XP certainly don’t have to and many most likely will not make that move on their current hardware although there will be upgraders especially since it appears Microsoft is offering discount pricing to Windows XP users. Many folks will get to Windows 7 when they purchase new hardware once RTM happens. That is where the majority of Windows OS’s are sold. I personally will make the move across the board when it releases. I just do things that way myself. I would like to see a family pricing plan but that is fodder for another blog post.
I am not Microsoft and like all of my other these are my opinions but I think Microsoft is ready to move beyond Windows Vista. Lets admit it Windows Vista is Windows Millennium Edition (ME). It was not the most popular iteration of the Windows OS and was quite a bear on underpowered hardware. For me personally – I went to Windows Vista at RTM and have been a fan of it however, I also upgraded my gear to run it the way it was meant to be run. In all the time I have had it on my systems it has done its job and done it pretty well I might add.
I agree – people who were upset with Windows Vista probably did move to open source OS’s and software. NO heartburn with that because the beauty is we can make a choice and we have choices out there. Power to the people to make a choice and then live with it. I did the Linux thing myself using Lindows – it was OK but I eventually came back to Windows for compatibility with my gear and software.
Again – all my opinion – but probably because they are ready to move on from Windows Vista. They have to have an income stream and OS upgrades are part of that. Windows 7 is going to be to Windows Vista what Windows XP was to Windows ME. It is going to be a good upgrade for a majority of people.
There are some people out there with disposable cash that will be able to upgrade at any time they so choose – just as there will be others who can not do it. Again – it is all about someone’s choice and options. As a friend of mine says “Do what you can stand.” I think it will be a while before the Enterprise can do major upgrades – the cycles have had to extend because the cash flow is a problem for many companies. Just a reality of the current economic situation.
Open Office is a very good suite of software and I will recommend it to people because it has compatibility with Microsoft Office formats/files. I personally use Microsoft Office Standard at home because I get a great discount being a member of the military. It sells for about $59 in our base Navy Exchange and can be installed on up to three computers with that license. Otherwise I would have Open Office installed and use free tools for email, etc. I think a home user will get Microsoft Office if it is affordable to them – otherwise they will not have it.
Thanks for giving me the opportunity to be a little more verbose in my replies. As I have said above all of this is my humble opinions and thoughts. Anything and everything is subject to change as we well know.
I look forward to hearing back from you and anyone else who would like to comment on what we have discussed.