"Vista 1.2 forget what the review says."3.0 starson by Jeremy Chappell
Pros: Actually "another Vista" is exactly the right choice. Vista was too much change all at once, more change isn't what's needed. Windows 7 has some new features (though unless you're buying a new system touch is pointless) but it's basically Vista.
Cons: If you're on Vista already - well Windows 7 is "meh". If not, well many of the bumps have been addressed (mostly by the vendors of the products that got bumped) so now might be the right time to move.
Summary: If you're hoping for something other than a new Vista, forget it. Microsoft's future is here, and they aren't changing course. Is this "just Vista" well no, it's got some new features, and some elements have got some extra polish. But actually Vista has done the hard work for Windows 7 - most things now work, because the original developer has changed their product to work WITH Vista and my extension Windows 7.While a lot of responses have said "he knows nothing" I think the review stands up pretty well. I still think Vista got a bad rap, and the "success" of Windows 7 is actually more about the industry getting (belatedly) up to speed with Vista. I've yet to see anything run on Windows 7 (without the aid of "XP Mode") that doesn't run on Vista.
If you tried Vista and found lots of the stuff you needed didn't work, well probably those issues have been addressed, not by Windows changing but by the products being more compatible. Now might be the right time, and Windows 7 may make sense now.
Of course, if the things causing you problems were "in-house" or no longer supported, things could be different. Here you're going to have the face the painful truth - XP is going away, you'll either have to get with Windows Vista/7 or get off Windows altogether, sticking isn't an option long term.
Now the Ultimate version has a kind of "XP compatibility mode" but you may find your PC can't handle that - this isn't a "sure kill" for your particular issue. While it sounds great, I'm not convinced that for the majority of users it's going to be especially helpful. The system requirements are steep.
What are the chances for Windows 7? Well mixed I'd say. The hype around Windows 7 is off the chart, and actually that's not even (entirely) Microsoft's fault, no product can live up to the expectations that Windows 7 has. However, the world has moved on since Vista shipped, and Windows 7 is much more likely to "work" for you now that Vista was when it shipped. Microsoft's inability to understand that all the different SKUs are stupid still astounds me and that is unlikely to get much love from customers. The expectations of the "XP compatibility layer" won't be met by the vast majority of PCs already out there. But this seems like a solid release of Windows, the new plans for Europe might actually fly (Windows 7E seemed like a suicide note) and the world is much more ready for Windows 7 that it was for Vista.
If you're on XP, you're on notice, you need to think seriously about where you want to go. If you're sticking with Windows, well Windows 7 IS the right choice, staying where you are isn't going to be an option long term.
If you're on Vista, well you might have some pressing need for something in Windows 7 that I'm not seeing, but probably you're fine as you are. When you replace your PC, Windows 7 should be really easy for you (you've already done the hard part!)
If you're on Vista and qualify for a free upgrade, you should take it - maybe wait a month after release to make sure it's as solid as it seems, but really there is no real reason not to go.
If you've switched away from Windows? Well it probably doesn't matter how good Windows 7 is, if you're happy in your new home - enjoy. Windows 7 is still Windows (albeit the best version ever). Forget the comparisons with Mac OS X, or Linux - Windows 7 isn't going to kill either of those.
So in summary, Windows 7 IS the best version of Windows Microsoft has ever shipped, but it IS still Windows. Will Windows 7 live up to the hype? Nope - but that's a criticism of the hype not Windows 7 (and actually I'm not even sure I'd blame Microsoft for it). Will Windows 7 fail? Nope, this is the Windows juggernaut, Microsoft haven't fundamentally broken it, Windows 7 is a solid release, the best so far. Does Windows 7 represent something important? Probably not, it's a nice upgrade to Vista but not revolutionary, as more and more of a users activity concentrates on the browser the OS becomes less important.
So what is important for Microsoft? Well they need Windows 7 to do well, and I think it will - mostly on the back of the pain that Vista endured. More than that they need the next version of Office and the Office ecosystem to be compelling, that could be harder.
Updated on Jul 11, 2010
I still support a couple of Vista boxes, and mostly they are no problem. We have an application that means they can't make it to 64bit - but outside that most things work.
I tried to stress in the review that I thought Windows 7 had more to offer users who'd not moved to Vista, and not so much for those already on that platform - I still think that's true.
I don't know why people worry about Snow Leopard when talking about Windows 7 - though conversely Windows 7 now runs just fine on the Mac. Mac OS X is irrelevant to PC users. The marks given to Win7 were because I don't think it offers much to Vista users (upgraders from XP would do better).
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