Thursday, January 8

Windows is officially irrelevant

In a NYT piece this morning, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer argues that the upcoming "Windows 7" will be important. However, this paragraph from the article just made me laugh:

He added, however, that Windows 7 should not have the same sort of problems with compatibility with devices and programs that Vista did. While some of underlying architecture of Vista changed from earlier versions of Windows, Windows 7 is built on Vista’s underlying structure.

That means that users upgrading from Vista to Windows 7 won't experience any problems. However, anyone that didn't upgrade to Vista because of the compatibility problems will still face the exact same roadblocks if they try to use Windows 7.

He's assuming that all his customers are using the latest version and just might just have had some problems getting it to work. But in my lab, I still have all the workstations running Windows XP. I was hoping the next version of Windows would respond to criticism from the cautious and provide a cleaner upgrade path from XP, but based on this report of Ballmer's CES keynote I'm no longer optimistic.

Thankfully, our use of XP is just a fallback measure for a few pieces of software that aren't cross-platform; Linux is our main operating system and will continue to be for the foreseeable future.

Ballmer: Windows Is Still Relevant - Bits Blog -


Anonymous said...

I completely agree with you. Not only do I agree, but I commend your place of business for using Linux as the main operating system.

Being one that deals with Windows issues all day long, any changes in Windows news hits me directly.

Every day I get to listen to how and why Windows systems are broken. I can completely dissect an XP system with my eyes closed; but when it comes to Vista, there's almost nothing that can be done. Its frustrating to explain to customers that they're new system they just purchased is a giant piece of garbage. (I take pleasure in that actually -- but that's another story)

I guess I'm lost. For the most part, I get the story "I only use it for e-mail and web surfing". Why don't they just use a Linux distro that has everything built in and forget about all the crap Windows brings with it?

I had recently installed Windows 7 in VM and was simply not impressed. I say that from countless hours behind Vista machines asking "why is this not working like it should?". It seems as if all they did was push a new UI, a new name, add some hype, pretend Vista never happened, and tell everyone that things are going to be okay. For the techs, I don't think there's going to be much serious substance change. Other than the "its awesome because its not Vista" crowd, there's really nothing different.

Granted, we're only seeing an early (public hype) release, so things can (and hopefully will) change before gold.

augmentedfourth said...

Well, since my "place of business" is a public university, it's actually less surprising than you might think. A lot of our MRI image analysis tools are open-source projects distributed primarily for Linux. Hopefully, though it's still just a un-researched dream, we might eventually be able to run Windows in a VM and forget entirely about booting it.

As far as the "email and Web surfing" thing goes... I'm going to be reinstalling Windows on the wife's lappy soon since she's polluted it with all sorts of garbage and slowed it down way too much. I suggested putting Linux on instead, and her initial reaction was pretty vehement against it. I think, however, that I'll set her up with a dual-boot and hopefully she'll see how little difference there is for her kinds of tasks these days.

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