Is Windows 7 the panacea?

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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."

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SearchPerks and Live.com – Microsoft Marketing

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Recently I came across this TechCrunch article about the efforts from Microsoft to push their Live search engine and I was surprised by how bad they can be about their marketing. Now I don’t know if their purpose with Live is to conquer the world or just get a piece off Google’s search cake, but they obviously don’t do what’s right to attract people to it.

When I visit SearchPerks, this new service of theirs where you get coupons for using Live, I come across a page telling me to install Internet Explorer 6.0 or higher. Are we still in the twentieth century? A company like MS does not support different browsers? The only reason I can see for making such a bad move would be that they want to integrate Live with IE. Now, as far as I can remember, trying to force users to use IE by integrating it in Windows cost them a sum. Why they still think that forcing users use something (not giving them another option) is the way to go, I don’t know. I’ve defended Microsoft many times, although most of the people I know hate them. But still, sometimes they do things that are beyond me, beyond my level of comprehension and common sense.

Now, you can say I’m not a normal user, I’m a developer. So despite all the hardship and difficulties I actually open up Internet Explorer and go to SearchPerks. From what I can see, I have to actually download an application that counts the searches I make with Live, in order to collect tickets. I also have a limit of 25 per day. Well I don’t know about the rest of the people, the normal ones, but I refuse to switch a browser, sign up and download an app, then use a worse-than-regular search engine and collect tickets till April, so that I can get a t-shirt (yay) free. Come on, MS, is this today’s marketing?

Thanks for reading.