Is Windows 7 the panacea?


Microsoft recently announced that Windows 7 beta is available for download. There were so many people trying to download it, that they had to disable the link for a while while upgrading the hardware. A lot has been said about its predecessor – Vista. After all the complaints and attempts from Microsoft to actually conceal the low performance and mistakes they had done, they finally admitted Vista’s problems and decided to release the next version.

But even if it is called the next version, is it actually that? Here’s what Microsoft say on the Windows 7 website:

"Windows 7 was built around your feedback, so you’ll see a lot of things you’ve asked for. You asked us to make everyday tasks faster and easier, make your PC work the way you want it to, and make new things possible. And that’s exactly what we’re doing."

From my perspective, the most criticized thing in Vista was performance and lack of usability. We all know about the "Cancel or Allow" ad (click 2007, Security) that Apple used to mock Microsoft in their get-a-mac series. And still the impression I get from the site is that they still focus on eye candy in the next version. Here are the highlights:

  • Faster & easier
    • Improved taskbar
    • Jump lists
    • New ways to work with windows
    • Internet Explorer 8
    • Windows Live
    • Better device management
    • HomeGroup
  • Work your way
    • Faster, more responsive performance
    • Extended battery life
    • Theme packages reflect your style
    • Take control of problems
  • New possibilities
    • Share music and videos
    • Windows Touch
    • Handwriting recognition additions

Somehow I fail to understand how this is user feedback. Did anyone complain that he misses handwriting recognition in Vista so much? How about themes, IE8? I only see two points in the list above which could be directly related to users’ requests.

I didn’t intend to write a critical review, as there are good moments, too. People have had different things to say about Windows 7. I only hope Microsoft are aware that if they fail to make everyone happy this time, it might as well be the last chance they’ve had.