There has been a great deal of fuss regarding the Windows 7 beta release and how it may be everything Vista should have been. To see what all the fuss is about, I grabbed a copy and set about installing it in a virtualbox VM and having a play. Here are my observations.
It’s very polished for a beta. It looks more like Apple OSX than any previous version of Windows. It seems quite stable. It boots and shuts down reasonably quickly (about XP speed to my eyes) and uses an order of magnitude less system resources than Vista. However, all of the above points bring to mind one question: Vista was created after many many years of development, whereas Windows 7 was evolved from Vista in about a year I think. So why was/is it so hard to get Vista to perform like this? It almost looks like they released Vista as a buggy bloated waste of hard drive space on purpose just to make the next (much sooner) release look so much better.
When you think about it, Windows 7 has almost the speed and system resource usage of the 8 year old XP OS, it can still suffer from Viruses and Spyware, It doesn’t seem any more or less stable than XP (which was pretty good in my experiance), so I’m left wondering why people are singing the praises of an OS that manages to mostly match its much much older sibling? Don’t get me wrong, Windows 7 is a MASSIVE step up from Vista. Unfortunately for Microsoft, it’s only a minor step up from XP. It looks better than XP or Vista, it seems easier to use and more intuitive than Vista as well. (I’m so used to and familiar with XP that my opinion is not valid as to its ease of use)
Conclusion: Well done Microsoft for fixing the problems with Vista, but why didn’t you do this the first time around? Also, XP has been a pretty good OS for Microsoft and for end users. Until something really revolutionary comes along, everything is going to just seem like an incremental upgrade of XP.
Windows 7 is a good looking, stable and solid OS, but I’ve not seen anything so far that would compel a tight fisted company bean counter to justify replacing XP as it doesn’t really do much extra for a corporate desktop. As with MS Office, Microsoft’s older OS products are going to become their biggest competitors, especially with the current financial crisis making everyone nervous.