Thursday, August 27, 2009

How I feel about Windows (7)

How do I feel about Windows 7? Windows has been Microsoft's most phenomenally successful product ever and I have a huge emotional attachment to it.

Microsoft will be launching Windows 7 in October. How do I feel about it? Not so good and a bit worried for Microsoft. The future is not so good. Windows 7 makes some of the same mistakes Windows Vista did - changing the UI radically, having poor backward compatibility with Windows XP-era apps, removing a bootload of features (the thing I hate the most with a Voldemort like hatred) just like Windows Vista did and making some new design mistakes. Plus it has very little in terms of really new features for Vista upgraders (I really feel sorry for poor Vista customers victims). Windows 7 is Vista 1.5. That said, it is not a particularly bad annoying OS like Vista was but the venerable Windows XP remains my favorite OS and the dominant one (as of this writing). You may wonder why do I say this without anything to back my statements. Over time, I will write on why but let's say at the moment, the primary reason is removed features. I hate the way how Microsoft is dumbing down Windows with each successive iteration (and hence the blog name). Windows Vista received very bad PR (a bit too much if you ask me), it is not that bad for newbies, grandmas and Joe Average. Windows 7 is receiving the exact opposite treatment - it is receiving much more praise than it deserves. Just shows how much of the media and Joe Average never tried Vista. It will be interesting to see how it fares after launch.

Why am I and (will I) be writing with such negativity and making a huge fuss of this? Because it's a myth that Microsoft listens to feedback. It's an illusion they have very succesfully managed to create with Windows 7. I have been reporting the issues I will be writing about through every possible means: Connect, team blogs, forums, email. I understand that they can't listen to each and everyone's suggestion and that there are time and other resource constraints but hey don't you care about making sure the existing features of your OS are working or broken while developing new features? Are you trading new features in exchange for the working old ones?

If Windows 7 is SO good, Windows Vista wasn't THAT bad and if Windows Vista was THAT bad, Windows 7 isn't SO good. That's my point. The two OSes are more similar than any other Microsoft Oses, maybe Windows 98 SE and Windows Me.

Windows 7 sadly doesn't live up to the hype and my expectations. One only has to look at the consistent dumbing down of Microsoft products to see this. Windows XP remains more popular than its two successors combined. Why? Not because people are reluctant to change, but because each successive Microsoft product gives the user less options, less customization. For all its bells and whistles and "I'm a PC" BS, Windows 7 has simply enhanced the autopilot and hidden the manual controls even deeper. If something is good, let people choose it. It may not be good for everybody.

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