Thursday, October 30, 2008

Why Windows 7 has so little to offer...

... and misconceptions / revisionist history on the 'greatness' of windows XP.

There will never be another system like XP. There CAN'T be. To understand that you need to know what XP was. It was a merge of Windows 2000 and Windows 98. Windows 98 was a 'home user' operating system great for web browsing, games and such. Windows 2000 was a more user friendly Windows NT with some major updates, and great performance as a server / business platform. The problem was that windows 2000 and windows 98 were two completely different operating systems, as different as OSX and Solaris. One was targeted more towards business and the other towards everyone else. A lot of people didn't get this, and were quite upset at the incompatibility of software. "Why can't we just have one operating system called Windows?", thus, Windows XP was born. It took somewhere the best of each, and everything of both and put them all into one system. XP is VERY little more than Windows NT and Windows 98 all in one.

Vista offers nothing significantly new, and I doubt Windows 7 will have much more either except with some hope, FINALLY posix compliance somewhere in some broken weird way, you know, where tools can only be used in a very specific, Microsoft anticipated and approved way. But that isn't any motivation for me since I already have a real posix / iso compliant OS. But it will be nice Windows 7 might give Windows fans a chance to catch up with the rest of the world.

And with regard to the linked article, being better than Vista, putting hype against hype, is a pretty low bar. Will "better than Vista" really be a selling point?

Ok, I can't help it. Ubuntu 8.10 (released today, woot) has been advertising for months, both short and long lists describing the specific functionality and productivity that 8.10 users will gain by upgrading from 8.04. You can actually watch the progress of individual components of the system and their integration by checking out the blue print.

So there are supposed to be some performance improvements, but we can't see what they are, or know how it works, or criticize the method. Linux had a huge debate over the "completely fair scheduler". a LOT of people gave their input on that. How many people audit components like that in Windows? Ok, so personally, I thought XP had a reasonably good scheduler from what I could tell (not including network applications).

My problem is that I am simply supposed to put out all this money for yet another operating system, without really ever getting to know what I am buying... err... licensing to use?

Its not a bad idea, and many people feel like it works for them. It just doesn't work for me. Windows 7 does not draw me at all, and neither did Vista. It wasn't a 'Vista bad' thing for me necessarily, I just didn't see anything that should catch my attention.

Well, at least they aren't claiming "Windows 7 will be WAY better than Windows Me!". But it feels a little too similar.

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