Windows 7 RC: Reality Check Edition


Yes, I know “RC” designates Windows 7 as a Release Candidate, but a better designation would be Reality Check.

Windows 7 is an improvement over a very bad Vista, OK? Big deal. Let’s not pretend it’s more than that. The signal-to-noise ratio from some quarters is getting ridiculous.

Let’s look at the reality check:

  • Did they address that whole sluggish performance thing? Not really.
  • Did they address that whole confusing number of editions thing? Not really.
  • Did they address that whole XP compatibility thing? Not really.

I installed Win7 beta on my MacBook a few months back, and recently installed the reality check on my iMac. Most of the improvements Microsoft (s msft) made in either version are fine (especially those that pay homage to Mac OS X), and driver support is better, but this would all have happened to Vista in 2.5 years anyway.

Steve Ballmer said it best: Win7 is just Vista done right. Fine, but the problem is that Vista was never anything more than a replacement for what was at the time a 6-year-old XP. It had long since lost the shine, promise, and propaganda of a Longhorn we never got. And even with the broken promises, Microsoft still couldn’t get it “right” until now.

I did not upgrade to Vista. It was a horrible release that had issues even with new hardware, let alone the 2-year-old PC laptop I owned then. My experience with Vista, like most peoples’ at the time, was a disaster. I went back to XP and never looked back. But at some point one must question the sense in using an OS struggling under the weight of issues and security concerns rooted in decisions made a decade ago.

The biggest thing Windows 7 has going for it, by far, is that while after six years XP was showing it’s age, after nine it’s almost comical. The hardest reality check for Microsoft is that XP had to become so dated to make their “new” OS finally look reasonable by comparison.