Column: Me and my Windows 7
by Florian Wimmer 12/15/2009
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Part 5: Final Verdict?
The journey that our author and his (actually too old) notebook have made knew only one aim: To install and test Windows 7. Now this adventure is coming to an end and our author asks himself: Was it worth it? So, read today in the last part: Various opinions.
If you stand in a pedestrian zone to make a survey, you encounter the most different and also partly strangest people: Most simply don't want to be bothered, many hastily change their direction when they see someone standing there with a notepad, microphone or camera, but a few are absolutely keen on telling what they think.
You've got to find these types of people if you want get various opinions about a topic, in this case about Windows 7. Prior to stating my very own personal, and in no way objective, opinion about the new MSOS (for all non-nerds: MicroSoft Operating System), I'd really like to know what the man and the woman next door think about it.
Opinions from the PZ
Mrs. K from M., housewife: "First I heard about these parties that they want to throw to bring out a new computer or something like that on the market. Then my son showed me this Youtube video. I mean, I don't understand any English but the people looked like they were having a great time with the computer. My son then explained that it's not a new computer but a new "operating system" that's coming out. I don't really know just exactly what that is, but I think I might throw a party like that anyway – especially if Microsoft also sends such a good-looking black fellow."
Mr. B from K., computer merchant: "It was clear to me that Microsoft had to decide on taking drastic steps after the chaos with Windows Vista. After upset customers had thrown their Vista PCs through my window for the third time, I stopped selling it and opened a side business in glazing. I'm making the 'if and when' I'll be selling Windows 7 dependant on when my new armored glass is finally going to be delivered. I'm not taking any risks anymore."
Max L. from M., semi-professional skateboard ramp cleaner: "Hey, dude, it fits, the new Windows 7. Looks cool and if it's hot, then I'll plan my cleaning trips with it. As long as it's not as smashed as the last one…"
Maybe you've noticed that it was simply too rainy for me to really get people's opinions. But you would get these or similar comments about Windows 7. Microsoft hadn't lastly started weird promotion campaigns with launch events like Tupperware parties, which customers were supposed to give at home. Windows Vista didn't appeal to private customers nor could it convince business clients, who preferred to stick to XP.
Opinions remote the PZ
But you could also hear opinions like this:
Florian Wimmer, Notebookcheck.com: "With Windows 7 everything was supposed to change and Microsoft made efforts to apologize: A free trial version for everyone to download and a pre-sales action at really low prices can almost be seen as an apology for the last Windows version and actually you can even accept it."
I even got hold of following letter from an employee of a big electronic chain, let's call them Mars, after long and hard research, amongst other places in the Rumanian underground. In an excerpt:
"Dear Microsoft! We're not daft but an increasing amount of customers are coming to us with something called a notebook or a computer or something like that and are complaining that there's something installed on it that's called Windows Vista and it doesn't really work. Is that from you? If it is, then please develop something that our customers can understand. We don't really find it cool to leaf through whichever manuals for hours on end. We then simply tell the customers the device is defect and he should buy himself a galactic-smashed, cheap new one…"
It goes on like that for a while, but I'll spare you the rest.
More serious opinions about the topic from a real academic: Professor F.X. Frankinscence holds the chair for parapsychology at the University of Bergheim:
"I see it very clearly in my crystal ball: Only gamers will probably have to change if they always want the latest DirectX effects. Windows 7 has a lot of nice gimmicks for everyone else, but only a few real advantages in comparison to Windows XP. A more elegant look, built-in media center, a simpler network or a better scale for high resolutions are nice to call your own, but that already worked in Windows XP, at least with additional programs."
The professor has amazingly clear views. I still have another one, the security fanatic Mr. Finger from the little town of Print:
"Of course, you shouldn't ignore the security aspect. Due to the user account control, that can now be elevated or reduced fairly simply to the desired measure, especially novices will probably be much safer surfing in the internet. Aside from that, there are only the most essential security updates for Windows XP, which also provides Microsoft with a big bonus point for the newer version, even if it has been created artificially."
But I actually wanted to tell you my own personal and subjective opinion. For this, I'd like to reach back to a thought that stood in the very beginning of the first part of "Me and my Windows 7": If I had a happy relationship after a few start problems, then Windows 7 is an affair. In the beginning there is the allure of novelty, you have fun together, are delighted about the great looks and the straightforwardness of a new relationship.
If the affair will develop to more will still have to be seen but you slowly find more and more fissures after a seven year relationship and think about maybe replacing the shared home (house number T41) with a new accommodation with the affair.
Sooner or later I'll probably switch to Windows 7, more likely sooner because I really need a new laptop. Actually, I don't have any bigger reservations anymore – after I now know that even older programs and games run on Microsoft's newest Windows without too many problems. If Microsoft would continue the security updates for Windows XP and maybe a new DirectX version for the older operating system would be released, then this step would probably be a lot harder for me. I actually feel a bit obliged now.
Finally: A conclusion
Conclusively you might say: In Redmond, probably also in a not less glamorous Unterschleissheim and in many other places in the world, heads were spinning and something came about. Namely a faster, more intuitive and more stable version of Windows Vista that is now called Windows 7.
It even runs on older PCs and is about as fast as Windows XP. If it's really a step to being as fast as it once was is something you can argue about. Microsoft actually still owes with innovative, new functions. In the end, only new packages have been bundled, for instance with the new media center or improvements of functions already found in Vista (for example the screwed up WLAN control) only so far as they are now smoothly useable.
So, and now?
A few prophecies of doom that Windows 7 might well be the last operating system that Microsoft has developed in this way are already echoing through the internet - because if Cloud Computing breaks in, Google will rule the world and change their motto to "Be evil!". It then at least remains thrilling if and how Windows 8 will be a part of it. Actually, it would also be gripping if Microsoft's next operating system still runs on my old Thinkpad. We'll have to see if I can still expect that of it.