Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Windows 7. How good, and for how long?

From a former Microsoft employee:

Linux is the future, even after Windows 7 release
[...] Software is hard, and Microsoft has many thousands of smart and experienced developers. Its problem is this: Microsoft is greatly hampered by backward compatibility and old code. Having seen lots of codebases inside and outside Microsoft, I conclude that one of the best things the Macintosh and Linux have going for them is that Microsoft has so much baggage that it could be an airline.

I haven't run Windows 7 (I'm still debating which of the 20 editions to install) but I've spent several hours reading about it, and while the list of new features is reasonably impressive, and the reviews are generally positive, the most important aspect is the fundamentals. Will it have sufficiently patched the bugs that Microsoft couldn't get to in Vista's six-year development cycle? Can it run well on machines with a mere 1 gigabyte of RAM? Will it work with the vast array of hardware that is the modern PC industry?


If Apple is threatened by Windows 7, Linux is much less so. Linux runs on the same inexpensive PC hardware, has a robust worldwide community of programmers, less baggage, a better development model, and can be acquired for free.

Many of the benefits of Linux are subtle. It doesn't come with any nagware. The default media player supports both many formats including QuickTime and Windows media. Likewise, the instant messaging program supports 16 different protocols. The GUI is more customizable. But the best feature of Linux is something that neither Windows nor the Macintosh have: a rich set of free applications, installable with one click: [...]

Windows sure isn't going to disappear anytime some. But you have to wonder how long their business model will last, and what that will mean in the long run.

Meanwhile, someone's found a Windows 7 flaw they consider to be serious:

UPDATE: Less than 24-hours on and a potential Windows 7 Achilles' heel surfaces

I don't consider it to be all that serious; but then I don't use WM or OE. For some who do, the lack of those features might be a deal-breaker, or at the very least, an annoyance.

The next Ubuntu launch (9.10) is coming Oct 29th, and IBM and Canonical are promoting Ubuntu as a cheaper alternative to Windows 7. Only time will tell how successful that will be. But I must say, it's nice to have choices.


1 comment:

r4 sdhc said...

Windows 7 is more than what Vista should have been, it's where Microsoft needed to go.