Hey look, YAOOTI…that’s me saying Yet Another Opinion On The Internet!  Would I know how to say that word?  No – I just made it up!

I’m going to briefly give my opinion about Windows 7 since it’s finally here and I’ve used it a bit.  I haven’t used it extensively but I do know Geeks who have.  Those who’ve used it a lot (Geeks) say they’re happy with it and that seems to be the consensus of other Geeks on the net who use Windows.  I think I’m only a border line Geek; I’m more of a technology utilitarian and use it for what it’s worth.  If the bells and whistles don’t really add anything useful they don’t matter to me.  I hung on to Windows 2000 forever because Windows XP’s release was nothing more than Windows 2000 with a pretty desktop.  I eventually converted to XP and have used it ever since.

So what’s Microsoft say about their new product?  What’s my motivation for switching to Windows 7?

Here’s your: “Top 10 reasons” to buy Windows 7

10 Reasons Microsoft says you should upgrade to Windows 7
10 Reasons Microsoft says you should upgrade to Windows 7

Lets see here:

Get quicker access to all your stuff, quickly find what you’re looking for, manage open windows easier, oh and this is by far my favorite…”Stay entertained effortlessly“.  Isn’t that just what everyone wants?  To be effortlessly entertained?  Is that possible?  WOW!  I actually think that’s a tie with “Do more and wait less” because your computer goes to sleep faster and resume’s faster?  Really?  All those seconds must add up to some BIG productivity gains.  I bet as a result of Windows 7 that national productivity will spike in the coming quarter!  They use the words easier, easily, quicker, effortlessly, etc…if you can’t already tell; this would seem like nothing more than a Microsoft smoke and mirrors advertising campaign.

In fact, the people at Apple already picked up on the silliness of the M$ campaign and made PC and MAC commercials satirizing Microsoft’s Windows 7 release!  They’re brilliant!

MAC | “Broken Promises” commercial

Apple sums it up nicely don’t they?  FYI – I’m not even a MAC fan!

What I am a fan of is usefulness.  If it’s useful it’s good.  Can I edit documents, surf the web, check email, can I watch a video?  Those are the questions most home users need answered.  Of course we assume we can do all that on our systems.  A recent Microsoft “I’m a PC” commercial echo’s that when the people in the commercial say only seem interested in the PC’s looks, sturdiness and whether it can manage pictures.  “We’re PC’s so we can share photo’s of this little guy”.  Why do you need a PC to do that again?

Microsoft | Laptop Hunters

Many of those in the commercials did say they want it to be fast, have long battery life or use it for gaming.  With the exception of gaming any operating system can do that for you.  Most computer users be they MAC, Windows or even Linux users don’t utilize 100% of the features on their systems, most do basic tasks.  We drive a Mercedes Benz but most of the time we leave it parked in the garage collecting dust.

The death of Windows:

For most people it’s because of the Windows operating system that the Internet became common place.  My first computer was a 233 Mhz, 64 meg of RAM, 2 gigabyte hard drive HP with Windows 95 that included Internet Explorer 4.0 with a dialup modem for Internet!  There’s more power, memory and storage on an iPod now.  Occasionally I’ll run into some old timers who reminisce about 4 meg hard drives or programming on “punch cards“.  It’s all a result of the Internet being brought to you by Microsoft and Internet Explorer that people even needed a computer!  First the Internet, then came the MP3 and file sharing, online shopping, online banking and easy financial transactions, now YouTube, FaceBook, Twitter, etc.  I can’t help but to think that the extraordinary life the Windows operating system was given due in most part to the Internet will also be the death of the Windows operating system even though Internet Explorer will likely live on.

Many individuals and corporate organizations can almost do without Windows as a desktop operating system they just don’t know it.  I listed a few things I needed to do as a user and corporate users arne’t too disimilar:

…I think you can see what I’m getting at?

I believe that only now (or soon), with Web 2.0 +, the integration of mobile devices into our lives…giving us instant access to people, web, email, video and even document management; that we can get past one dominant operating system on the desktop.  The operating system will only facilitate your web browser which will be the gateway to do everything you need!  You can use your web browser in more ways than you think already!

The only thing slowing down the transition process to a move from desktop operating systems like Windows 7 to pure web browser based systems with a minimal underlying operating system are proprietary applications that require a desktop to function or those users who need the power to run their games like the kid in the I’m a PC commercial.  Additionally for the enterprise it’s IT security (and rightly so), you don’t want to have your proprietary corporate data in “the cloud” thus out of your control.  For corporations, they’ll soon be standing up their own internal clouds and giving their end users what amounts to a kiosk or terminal.  Applications without a complementary web interface will one day find themselves without a place to live.

There are other challenges ahead I probably haven’t thought of I’m sure.  What might Intel or AMD do without a processor speed war to compete over since an OS that merely needs to support a web browser doesn’t need  Ghz upon Ghz or multiple processor cores to process data?  What might happen to the memory manufactures who continually supply us with more RAM?  What might happen to the hard drive storage companies if we’re storing data “in the cloud” rather than on our workstations?  What might happen if your device lasts for 20 years instead of just 2 to 4 because they have less moving parts, consume far less power and thus more durable?

It doesn’t seem to be in their best interest to truly do more with less?  It also seems like they’ll all eventually be dragged kicking and screaming but you can bet they’ll protect their pocket books by charging fees for access to their clouds, whether that be the apps you use, the storage you use or the amount you process.  Is it easy to leave the cloud once you’re in?

To summarize:

I think that Windows 7 is more hype at the moment brought to you by the Microsoft Marketing Department.  Functionally it’s more bells and whisltes than substance for most people.  You need to buy it though because they won’t support XP much longer and unless you’re an OEM manufacturer of “Ultra Low-Cost PC’s” you can’t even get it any longer.  Sure it’ll let you make a window shake like a piece of paper or jump through hoops but who needs that?  I know I don’t!  If you are a Windows junky you’ll soon get version 7, if you’re not a Windows junky you’ll be pulled that direction when you buy a new computer.  Perhaps Apple is right, consider an alternative or try a popular Linux distribution?  You do have options, suffer with your old sluggish hard to use dusty XP (sarcasm!), upgrade to Windows 7, buy an Apple with OSX or be a rebel and try Linux.

Either way you slice it your on your own!

Rafael Wolf
Director for The Center of My Own Opinion