"Missing Classic Start Menu, but otheriwse OK"3.0 starson by rklrkl
Pros: Quicker than Vista (but every other Windows versions is!), still got the Classic Theme available, which I was convinced Microsoft was going to ditch.
Cons: Lack of a Classic Start Menu is a needless and disastrous UI omission - Vista has it, so for Win 7 to drop it and leave you with a bloaty 2-panel menu that looks ludicrous if you start removing unwanting items from it (huge amount of wasted space!).
Summary: In the UK, you can pick up the full retail DVD (both 32-bit and 64-bit in the same package) of Windows 7 E Home Premium until about 6th August for as low as 45 pounds ($75), which is the first time in a long time that Microsoft have priced a full retail copy of Windows at its actual real worth.
MS Vista Ultimate was initially released in the UK at a scandalous 370 pounds ($618) - hardly surprising it was a major flop in the UK then.
Windows 7 will be successful, mainly because MS has a vice-like grip on OEMs (who "recommend" Windows not because it's better than alternatives (in many ways, it's worse), but because MS pay them to say so!) and will yet again end up being pre-installed on the vast majority of PCs from October onwards. This is how Vista got most of its (relatively poor) market share - people didn't buy an upgrade to Vista, especially when its deservedly bad rep became widespread.
The general view on Win 7 is that it's mostly made up for the disaster that was Vista and I know several of my colleagues have taken up the 45 quid early bird offer here in the UK and I can't really blame them at that price. I think retail purchases in the UK may well set a record for Windows - the only thing Microsoft have done wrong is not to make the 45 quid price permanent (it goes to 80 quid on launch and then a suicidally priced 150 quid on 1st Jan 2010 - at which point, retail sales of Windows 7 in the UK will die horribly).
Me? I'll stick with 64-bit Fedora Linux - for a technical user, it pounds all versions of Windows into the dust and just gets noticeably better with each release and they're not 3 years apart either.
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