Vista Annoyances Resolved
[Page 9] Windows 7 & Conclusion
It's time to bring this thing to a conclusion, but not before examining what many Vista detractors consider to be the Holy Grail, namely the next version of Windows - you know, the one which will revolutionize Windows as we know it and solve all our problems.
Windows 7 Cometh
Possibly the most compelling reason why people are hesitant to switch to Vista right now is because of the 'imminent' release of Windows 7, officially set for its debut in January 2010, although more accurately, it's set for release whenever it meets required quality levels, as Microsoft has stated many times. Ironically, as you will soon see, Windows 7 might actually give you more of a reason to start using Vista, rather than less.
Let's backtrack a bit and consider our earlier look at the FUD Industry, and how they have every incentive to produce sensationalist articles that follow the mood and preconceptions of their readers. Well wouldn't you know it, given the level of Vista hatred that these purveyors of FUD themselves had stoked up via numerous inaccurate articles, there was also a commensurate growth in the level of interest in Windows 7 by the very same readers. The logic is simple really: if someone is using Windows XP right now, and along comes news of a better, faster and more magical OS that is "just around the corner", and would allow them to bypass Vista altogether, wouldn't that be music to their ears? Doesn't that sound like a great angle for an article? Not surprisingly that's precisely what happened, with Skip Vista becoming a catch-cry for the FUDsters. Then began the rumors that Windows 7 might actually ship in 2009, further exciting those who wanted to skip Vista.
Then came the speculation about Windows 7's 'MinWin' core, a more compact approach which would apparently fix all of Vista's problems. The name MinWin excited people; suddenly visions of dragging out that old Pentium 2 and using it to run Windows 7 began to arise, with the always-shrewd commentators on PC forums and blogs declaring conclusively that it was finally time for Vista's "bloat" be put to rest. Of course soon afterwards more grounded information came to light explaining that MinWin is essentially based on the same NT Kernel that has underpinned the Windows architecture for years, it will simply evolve from the Windows Server 2008 Kernel which itself is much the same as that used by Vista SP1. It's not going to be some sort of super-tiny revolutionary new core which provides full Windows functionality on the equivalent of a pocket calculator processor. Of course this news was far less popular and hence didn't receive the same sensationalist and hyped coverage on many blogs and sites. Subsequently the lofty dreams of Windows 7 died down, awaiting a new wave of FUD upon which to pin the fleeting hopes of the Vista detractors.
So where does that leave Windows 7 now? There are several sources of information which are more reliable and paint a reasonable picture of what to expect. Paul Thurrott's Windows 7 FAQ is one, and the recently opened official Engineering Windows 7 Blog is another. As Steven Sinofsky, MS VP in charge of Windows 7 says:
We're very clear that drivers and software that work on Windows Vista are going to work really well on Windows 7; in fact, they'll work the same. We're going to not introduce additional compatibilities, particularly in the driver model. Windows Vista was about improving those things. We are going to build on the success and the strength of the Windows Server 2008 kernel, and that has all of this work that you've been talking about. The key there is that the kernel in Windows Server 08 is an evolution of the kernel in Windows Vista, and then Windows 7 will be a further evolution of that kernel as well.
From existing accounts and indications, including early Milestone release screenshots, and the news that Windows 7 Server will be a relatively minor release, Windows 7 will not be any sort of radical departure from Vista, nor will it change the major underpinnings of the OS.
This then is a very good reason why as a PC user I would strongly recommend that you become acquainted with Windows Vista, even if it means dual booting your system with both XP and Vista if you fear that Vista will somehow let you down as a sole OS. Windows Vista is not going to disappear quietly into the night and leave no traces. It will form the heart of Windows 7, and in many ways, rightly so - there's no logical reason why it shouldn't. I'm sure there will be some further improvements and changes along the way, but ultimately it will be a far more jarring leap for those using XP to go to Windows 7 than it will be for those using Vista. And to me, that's one of the best reasons to come to terms with Windows Vista sooner rather than later.
There you have it. We've had what is hopefully an informed look at Windows Vista, countering much of the FUD and inaccurate negative press that the OS has received with facts and logical thoughts, as well as a look at some of the agendas underlying Vista's "failure". However as I promised you, this article isn't here to tell you what to think. My responsibility is simply to point out the type of things which you probably haven't seen or heard much of around the web, if only because sensationalist and popular "news" that panders to the lowest common denominator seems to generate much better revenue than the sometimes uncomfortable truth.
What do I personally think about Vista? What would I recommend if you asked me today? I would say that quite honestly, I am having a great time using Vista as my main OS. It's fast, problem free, does everything I want extremely well, and I have no wish to go back to using Windows XP. I have a dual boot of XP and Vista, and have been using both OSes since they came out. Around two months ago however I finally weaned myself off Windows XP, which after seven faithful years of usage was really starting to show its age. I'm now completely committed to using Vista for every single purpose for which I use my PC, from writing to browsing to gaming, and everything in between.
If you're completely and utterly happy with Windows XP, or you run a very old system, or are on a budget, and having seen some of what Vista has to offer, can truly say that none of it interests you - then by all means stick to Windows XP. If on the other hand you're a PC enthusiast, you want to enjoy some new and neat features and conveniences that Vista brings, and you also want to prepare yourself more fully for Windows 7 so that it will be a smoother transition for you, then I would recommend Vista to you, even if you install it as a dual boot with XP. As the title of this article suggests, many of Windows Vista's 'annoyances' can be classified as Resolved for the most part. The past few months since the release of SP1 in particular have seen Vista really hit its stride, both the OS itself and developer support has become very solid, and if the only thing keeping you away from Vista is what a friend told you, or what some blogger is trying to convince you to believe, or you blindly poked around Vista for a few days or weeks before giving up, then maybe it's time you committed yourself to learning how to use it properly and enjoy its benefits. I leave the choice in your hands.
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In any case I hope you enjoyed the article, and as I always say:
Until next time, take care!