Daniel Eran Dilger
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Windows 7 so great Microsoft is giving it away for free

windows 7 RC

Daniel Eran Dilger

When Microsoft released Windows Vista after 6 years and $6 billion of development, the company was so proud of its new product that it hiked the price dramatically over the existing Windows XP. Two and a half embarrassing years later, Microsoft is showing its pride in the revamped Windows 7 by unprecedentedly giving it away for a year, just to get people to try it.
Launch Panic

Realizing that another failed launch of its flagship Windows operating system would be beyond devastating for the company, Microsoft isn’t taking any chances this time around with another highly publicized retail launch that may fizzle the way Vista did.

Back in 2007, Microsoft pulled out all the stops to hang balloons outside of CompUSA and other retailers in hopes that crowds would flock in to pick up a DVD in a box for several hundred dollars. It paid flacks to chat up shoppers in special kiosks, and spent millions on “Wow” ads that fell flat.

When the reviews started to come in, it was clear that Vista wasn’t ready for mainstream adoption. It wasn’t compatible with lots of existing hardware and software, it was much slower than Windows XP, and it made a lot of arbitrary changes, many for no obvious reason.

Pundits assured their readers that no matter how bad Vista was, it was fated for ubiquitous deployment anyway so they’d better all just buy it and be done with any resistance to progress. They also insisted that Vista wasn’t nearly as bad as the liberal press was making it out to be, with all that unfair criticism, don’t cha know.

Windows 95 and Vista: Why 2007 Won’t Be Like 1995
Microsoft’s Mojave Experiment Exposes Serious Vista Problems

Windows 7: buy it or it’s free

What a difference two and a half years makes: the Windows Enthusiast pundits who were all once shaking their fists at the less than enthusiastic reviews for Vista are now themselves characterizing Vista as fetid garbage with a dismissive contempt far in excess of what the initial reviewers ever suggested.

What was once the bee’s knees is now an arthritic old cow, they say in unison, because Windows 7 is so much better than Vista. One would expect as much, given than hardware has has two years to grow into the increased overhead demanded by Vista/Widows 7 over Windows XP, and that Microsoft has had another two years to fix many of the issues related to Vista/Windows 7 code base.

Unfortunately, Microsoft’s target market has also changed. Consumers aren’t just buying bigger and faster general purpose PCs anymore. Since the release of Vista in 2007, the price of PCs has plummeted, global growth in the PC market has flatlined, and excitement has largely been associated with low end, low priced, low powered, light duty netbooks, which do not benefit from the fancy, resource intensive, high end gloss delivered by Vista/Windows 7.

There’s simply no way Windows 7 can eclipse Vista on an excitement level because the world is now experiencing a jobless recession and people want cheap utilitarian computing devices, not fancy $2000 PCs that show off the sizzle Microsoft baked into Vista/Windows 7. Microsoft’s last hope is to buy off consumers the same way that it recruits pundits: by giving them free stuff in exchange for a favorable review.

And so, for the first time in Microsoft’s history, Windows is now free, at least for the next year. Anyone can go to http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windows-7/download.aspx and download the software for installation onto any PC, including Intel Macs. They can use it until March 2010, at which point it will begin nagging for payment by shutting down every two hours. This is similar to how heroin is sold.

Why Windows 7 on Netbooks Won’t Save Microsoft

Planned piracy

Software piracy has always played a large role in establishing market share, and Microsoft has always been aware of this. In the early days, Microsoft allowed users to install its OS and software rather liberally, knowing that the real money came from its partnerships with OEM PC makers.

However, once Microsoft gained its monopoly position with locked in, guaranteed sales from every PC orifice, it began rigging Windows XP to demand dial-up authorization, locking the license to a specific PC to maximize the number of times a user would have to pay for software. If you own a Windows PC and build your own replacement, you can’t simply transfer your valid license to the new machine. You have to buy a new one, and your old license is worthless.

In some markets, Microsoft realizes its potential to grab every last dollar is less important than its ongoing relationship and potential to syphon off future dollars. In corporate circles, for example, the company provides license-verification free media for installing the software liberally, which helps to ensure that they don’t get fed up with licensing hassles and start investigating alternatives. In emerging markets, Microsoft is willing to offer totalitarian countries like China extremely low licensing fees to help ensure that its citizens are locked into the same technology deep freeze as the West.

And in netbooks, Microsoft has literally given away Windows XP to manufacturers to prevent them from using Linux, as they had been prior to Microsoft’s product dumping. In other markets, this would be illegal, but Microsoft is exempt from the law, presumably because of a long historical precedent of ignoring court orders. Microsoft has repeatedly violated consent decrees with US courts over anticompetitive behavior, and judge after judge has simply issued new ones like the ineffectual parents who warn their out of control children “one more time and something’s gonna happen!”

After years of proof were assembled to show how Microsoft has distorted markets and prevented choice in the Netscape-orientated monopoly case, Microsoft simply walked away after the Bush administration dropped any interest in enforcing the rule of law, presumably because Microsoft is an American company. Unfortunately, the administration didn’t seem to understand that Microsoft only uses the United States to write off its billions in development costs; worldwide profits are collected through satellite offices in other countries, enabling the company to hide its profits and skirt the payment of US taxes on its monopoly sales.

Bill Gates for President? No Thanks.
Office Wars 3 – How Microsoft Got Its Office Monopoly
Mac Office, $150 Million, and the Story Nobody Covered

There’s no competition because of you

If you’re looking for who’s to blame for Microsoft’s sprawling control over technology and the chilling effect on progress its determined assault on competition has caused, blame the same people who supported the US’ decline into war crimes and a repudiation of basic civil rights while waving crosses and flags.

It’s us. Distracted by shiny baubles, we’ve become complacent slobs with no sense of righting wrongs and only the most fleeting sense of outrage. We deserve what we get. So go to Microsoft’s site, download the latest Windows 7, accept it as not nearly as bad as the last operating system the company pooped into your mouth, and then while you’re at it, download Silverlight just for kicks.

Then sit around fighting Windows for the better part of a year before you realize that the reason its shutting down sporadically is because you now owe the company lots of money to continue using its software. Briefly realize that you are part of the problem, then pay off the company and accept that you are powerless and don’t matter, a simple pawn in promoting the efforts of a monstrous salesman to prevent any real progress from ever occurring in consumer technology.

  • worker201

    Actually, I’ve heard from a lot of people (many of whom are Linux users) that Windows 7 isn’t all that bad. It’s still trying to play catch-up with Jaguar, as far as GUI is concerned, but supposedly it’s one of the best Windows versions yet. I’m sure that will all change once they start charging money for it…

    FYI – heroin and heroine are 2 different words.

  • http://www.roughlydrafted.com danieleran

    heroine is for girls : )

  • gus2000

    In a free market, we get what we deserve. But Microsoft has made sure that the market was anything but free. The PC makers share some of the blame for enabling the bad behavior, and the government for ignoring it. Apple Computer helped by stagnating during the dark, non-Jobs years.

    Now is the time for change. Yes, we can.

  • Thomas Menguy

    It’s always all well and good Daniel …but Apple also for sure is not collecting all its profit in “advanced countries (ok unverified, but I count on the great talent of our modern CTO to rip off the States and don’t pay what they owe to the community, I disgress).
    I’m a very recent switcher, just bought a 2500€ macbook pro 15”, top specs…but as hundreds of people (see the articles/forum threads about this issue) my hard drive is beeping, clicking and my computer hangs for seconds all the time with this awfull beachball … and the only answer from Apple :”this is normal behaviour”! Beside that I enjoy the mac experience, but I’m very dispointed by the Apple Support on this one.
    So just please sometimes, use your talent to help Apple improving by pointing its own weaknesses, … and try Win7 before :-)

  • bartfat

    actually, they don’t say that’s normal behavior… but they don’t really know what the problem is. I blame the firmware.. but thankfully I have an older Macbook Pro that doesn’t suffer those problems :)

    http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/09/07/09/macbook_pros_suffer_7200rpm_drive_issue_korea_ipod_nano_recall.html

    Anyway, Windows 7 is similar to Vista, I mean it might be a little faster than Vista because of the code optimizations, but it’s nowhere near as fast as Windows XP. Guess you can’t have it both ways.. with eye candy and blazing fast. Anyway, Daniel, I think you should go back to lampooning why other pundits hate Apple’s products so much. That always seemed to get people’s attention ;) As for claiming that vendor lock-in with Apple is better than Windows, well, that’s only because Apple did innovate, but Microsoft stagnated. If the PC market had been dominated by some other company like Amiga, I’m going to guess you’d probably pick NeXT as your favorite.

    Whatever the case, Microsoft is only doing what it deems profitable, it’s a company just like Apple! And yes, people will tend to use whatever gives them the most value for their money so Microsoft is hoping to charge nothing (for now) to get them to use it. But they have to get paid someday too for their work. And you can blather on about how this prevents choice, but then choosing an Apple product prevents you from using another manufacturer (why you would I wouldn’t know, as I love Apple products, but I’m sure others feel differently, which is why Palm still exists). So the only way to truly use whatever manufacturer you want is to use some form of Linux, like Ubuntu.

    Just let the flame wars die off… they’re better that way. You can’t convince everyone that an Apple offers more value than competing products if they won’t pay that much for it.

  • patriot

    nice to see a new article Daniel. Very interesting. When Vista came out I was enthusiastic to see what Microsoft came up with. That experience has resulted in my complete elimination of PC’s at home and work except virtualized XP for the few Windows only applications and IE only sites I don’t have an alternative for. Personally, I wouldn’t download the free Win 7 even if it remained free but with an expiration/payment next year? You gotta be kidding. Might as well sign up for an AOL dialup, subscription music plan and have unprotected sex with a rock band groupie while your at it. Cuz your livin dangerously. IE only sites are soon to be a thing of the past as is Microsoft’s relevance. Google Chrome OS will undercut Microsoft on the low end and Apple will outclass them on the high end leaving the monopoly wondering how things went so wrong. I disagree about us getting what we deserve. If our election system was verifiable, our court system just and our representatives accountable, I’d agree. They aren’t. We have been herded like seals by the killer whales and they are flipping us around for fun before the slaughter. God help us all.

  • Forrest, Forrest Gump

    Yesterday I read in a blog about Windows 7 and Mac OS X and one person wrote that both OSs are the same and added that Windows 7 is an Operating System for “adults” meaning a mature OS. Is it possible that MS radically changed and did a good job on W7? Where can I find a good comparisson between both OS, Mac an W7? Can anyone help?

  • http://home.comcast.net/~daguy daGUY

    “And so, for the first time in Microsoft’s history, Windows is now free, at least for the next year…They can use it until March 2010, at which point it will begin nagging for payment by shutting down every two hours. This is similar to how heroin is sold.”

    How can you possibly have a problem with this? It’s not like PCs are being *shipped* with a “free” version of Windows that then has to be purchased later. You make it sound like a bait and switch campaign. Everyone who downloads the beta/RC knows exactly what they’re getting into. Personally, I think it’s pretty generous.

    Has anyone here even USED Windows 7? I have the beta on my MacBook and it’s surprisingly speedy and stable. I haven’t had a single crash or anything, and again, I’m running the beta – not even the RC.

  • jd

    It is sad that the author is trying to misguide the readers by telling them that Microsoft is giving away a free copy of Windows 7 and further down the road they will be charged after evaluating it?. Please spare us the change.

    [What part of that is inaccurate or misguiding?]

    What Microsoft is offering and which it does for almost all its major product is to allow everyone to download the BETA/RC. This is not the FINAL product that you get on the laptop or off the shelf but almost very close to the final product.

    [Vista’s 2006 beta program did not continue with a free RC version throughout 2007, when it was actually trying to sell Vista. So your contention that this “happens all the time” is inaccurate and misguiding.]

    Even if that was the case, there is nothing wrong to allow the consumer to have a choice and the ability to test the product BEFORE they buy it. I think that is a welcome move and in fact a number of software companies do provide you with a trial varying from 30 days to 90 days. For the record, Most of the Microsoft products are available for downloand for a trial period.

    [No, there isn’t anything “wrong” with making Windows 7 available as an RC, and I didn’t say there was. What I pointed out is that MS jacked up the price of Vista out of hubris, and it now knows the only hope for Windows 7 is making it freely available (cutting 100% off the cost!) for at least the rest of the year. – Dan ]

  • http://vitotechnology.com hrissan

    Daniel, you must be more honest. :) Windows 7 works fine on my Macbook Pro, and it is much faster then Leopard or Snow Leopard. Apple apparently uses too much old-school developers using outdated programming tecniques so that all Apple apps work sluggish, they frequently crash.
    I frequently see beach balls spinning for 2-6 seconds on 2.5GHz machine with 4Gb RAM in most basic iPhoto, iMovie, Finder, iTunes, Mail. And this is not hardware problem – it is the way applications are written, all my friends have the same behaviour on their Macs. As a developer I know reasons for that and I know how to avoid these problems, apple engineers do not. Steve Jobs must see these problems on his Mac but every version Apple apps get worse and worse. I’m a fan of Apple, but I know if Apple does not change it’s software technology to make application fast responsive and crash-free, Apple will lose me and lots of fans. :) And we will probably switch to windows…

  • bartfat

    @hrissan

    sorry, but i believe you’re mistaken there.. I’ve used those same applications on my 3-year-old Macbook Pro with zero problems, minus Safari 4 crashing now and then (well I do think that’s badly written, especially in the launching part of the code). And then ran those programs on my brother’s Macbook Pro, which is a year old, and they ran fine, and his is only 2GB of RAM and it’s a 2.2ghz machine. And then those applications ran fine on my mom’s Mac mini, which has a measly 1.83Ghz processor and 1GB of RAM.

    actually, I think I know what problem you have… it’s the same hard drive problem AppleInsider mentioned that applies to macbook pros sold within the last 2 years that have a 7200RPM hard drive. Anyway, you should probably take it into an Apple store and get the hard drive replaced (or problem fixed at least) for free :)

  • http://wondersoftech.blogspot.com/ jmdunys

    A few thoughts from this enjoyable article:

    – Most people, when describing Windows-7, mention ‘pretty fast’ and ‘pretty stable’. Well it should! Microsoft pulled all the stops and poured millions of dollars into optimizing and strengthening Vista for the past 2 years. However it is still Vista – with some cosmetic change. I suspect that once Windows 7 is widely accepted, Microsoft will provide incremental changes, as it did in the past on other platform: IE, Office, etc.
    The historical problem with Microsoft, is that once a product reaches a level of stability and speed, the subsequent updates or upgrades, are messing that up. I don’t know of any Microsoft product that hasn’t gone into the getting-bloated getting-slower no-real-change phase. Compare this with Linux running on ‘old’ hardware and performing consistently fast and stable. Compare this with OS.X code getting faster at every upgrade. I suspect Windows-8 will be a dog compared to Windows-7.

    -Windows-7 is NOT MUCH of what was promised from Microsoft years ago about their upcoming OS. IT is an optimized Vista. No ground breaking technology they wapowared us with earlier on. Where is the new micro kernel, the new graphical subsystem, the new file system, etc? Vista revisited is here, and the low price – at the moment – seems the hundreds of dollars users spent on Vista that gave them so little (with still so many compatibility problems today). Yet I’m amazed that people see it as a new product.

    – Microsoft already does this kind of deal on new PCs that come preloaded with Office trial. What I find interesting is that none of the people I know who I hear about actually convert the trial into a purchase. They will get a pirated copy, borrow an install CD from a friend or relative, or install Open Office. Because none of them care for Outlook – an application frankly targeted to work usage – which is the one product that no one else has really emulated (although Zimbra Desktop is a step in the right direction whereas Thunderbird/lightning is still too messy, and Evolution is not nice looking and not Windows friendly), there is no Microsoft product they can live without.
    Therefore I suspect that very little of the upgrades from free Windows-7 will end up being fully paid Windows-7. I suspect that Microsoft will be OK with that too, as it keeps users under the Windows/Office umbrella for a while longer.

    -I think putting the full blame on people for buying Microsoft products is a little cheap. While I agree with a lot being said, I know by experience how many techno-fearful will listen to whatever advice from PcWorld staff or seemingly-knowing (who don’t really know, bu they own a PC) friends. Can’t we put some blame on the advocates of the free world that fight each other over Gnome/KDE concepts, an such matters? Can’t we put some blame on the developers of OpenOffice/Koffice/etc. that haven’t really achieved a complete and transparent MsOffice document translation (even version 97/2000) as a basic functionality, and given their suite a proper performance boost? Can’t we put some blame on Linux distros for not getting together with a budget to advertise Linux properly and smartly (on TV, magazine, etc.)? Can’t we put some blame on schools that teach our kids all about computing: programming on PCs, doing Macros in Excel, etc.?

    What do you think?

  • TheMacAdvocate

    @hrissan
    The mark of an unsophisticated troll the use of anecdotal evidence to substantiate a claim‚ but the clincher is the use of “my friends have the same behaviour” to verify. Consider yourself fed‚ but please work on your game.

  • John E

    well that was fun to read!

    the unfolding self destruction of America via greed, self indulgence, and lack of moral courage is indeed a profound topic i could get into … but i’m not sure Microsoft is the right metaphor for it. more like a symptom.

    but back to just computing …

    MS is finally turning NT 6 – the proper name for Vista/Windows 7 – into a decent OS from the user point of view, and the hardware keeps getting more powerful. so it will be a genuine success compared to the Vista flop. No matter what is still wrong with it.

    the pricing is telling, as Dan headlines. even more so than the free 9 month teaser for NT 6.1 is the advance $50 consumer bargain sale. MS really wants to move a lot of units in the first year to validate the product in the public mind. Enterprise on the other hand always goes slower, and prices remain high there like NT 6.0 because this is where MS really makes most of its money – Exchange, Office, etc.

    but the digital world overall is quickly moving beyond desktop PC’s now. the rapid growth in netbooks and smartphones shows that consumers want computers that are small, portable, and simple to use – that they can focus on their own personal everyday stuff. hence the huge success of the iPhone and the proliferation of less-satisfying netbooks. if they still have a desktop PC, they want it to be part of an “ecosystem” of such linked devices and services too. Apple’s iTunes platform does a decent job of that, with MobileMe starting to contribute. whereas the mish-mash of MS services is still an uncoordinated mess – but they’ll finally clean it up in a year or two.

    i’m not sure “cloud” computing will ever live up to its hype. it’s kinda like music subscriptions not being satisfactory – we all like our important files to be on our hard drives. and there always needs to be at least a thin desktop client OS for off-line use. if i understand Google’s Chrome OS concept, maybe this is what they are trying to address. it might work, but it would take many years to really gain widespread adoption. decades do pass, tho …

    Apple really has a huge window of opportunity right now. it successfully ported OS X to a small device, the iPhone, and now just two years later it has fostered an incredible base of simple easy to use app software for it like no one has ever seen before. it’s still real OS X software. MS on the other hand is trapped with WinCE, now WinMobile, as an entirely different OS than NT. and its first competitive generation – WinMobile 7 – won’t be even ready until 2010. by that time its other competitors – Android and Nokia’s Symbian especially – may be too well established and MS is just too little too late, and it will flop as just an also-ran.

    Apple could win the game if it takes advantage of its current huge app lead (which can’t last forever) by enabling them to run on desktop Macs and, especially, AppleTV too – plus of course the new iTablet that is clearly coming this fall aimed squarely at the netbook market. that would establish a Mac OS X app ecosystem that absolutely no other company could possibly replicate.

    which would be Apple’s best answer in the marketplace this fall to NT 6.1 finally “getting Windows right.”

  • http://home.comcast.net/~daguy daGUY

    @hrissan: “I frequently see beach balls spinning for 2-6 seconds on 2.5GHz machine with 4Gb RAM in most basic iPhoto, iMovie, Finder, iTunes, Mail.”

    Then something is seriously wrong with your machine, because I have a 4-year-old 1.67 GHz PowerBook G4 with 2 GB of RAM and I *never* see beach balls like that.

    If this is due to “outdated programming techniques” as you claim then by definition, if these apps are that slow on your machine, they’d be unusable on mine. Since they’re not, I’d wager something is wrong on your end…

  • http://www.adviespraktijk.info Berend Schotanus

    YES

    People do love Windows. Consumers love Windows because it was the first computer system they ever mastered and they don’t want to be their investment in vein. Corporations love Windows because Windows is like they are: hierarchical and conservative. And Pundits write what their readers want to hear, which is that the next Windows version will be a success and the world will remain as it used to be.

    BUT

    This all doesn’t prevent Windows to be dead. Or, to be more precise, it is the Microsoft revenue model that is dead as a doornail. And you, Daniel Eran Dilger, helped to reveal the analysis behind that.
    The reason is a huge conflict of interest between the Google revenue model and the Microsoft revenue model. What Microsoft needs is a medium priced, medium volume kind of computer market where they can leverage their software monopolies with the infamous Microsoft tax (as you explained to us). What Google needs however is a low price high volume computer market because any new Internet user means new audience for their advertisement market. Google wants the other 3 Billion humans to get internet access as well. When these computers run Windows, that’s fine for Google, only it shouldn’t cost a dime because expensive computers means less market. So what Google is basically doing is pulling the plug out of the price level. No more $50 OS on a computer, you can get one for free. No more $150 Intel x86 chip either, a $10 ARM chip will do. It’s not about getting people away from Microsoft, it’s just about getting things cheaper and getting more units sold.
    So it is not that Microsoft is loosing their clients, they are only loosing their revenue. The obvious reaction from Microsoft would be to offer value for money so that customers are willing to pay the directly. So the attempt you are describing might be quite understandable, even as it is (as we both expect) ultimately bound for failure.

    SO

    Say goodbye to DLL’s, say goodbye to Windows Registry, say goodbye to x86 architecture. It was nice for the time being but these things will be hopelessly outdated in the near future.

  • http://home.comcast.net/~daguy daGUY

    @John E: “Apple could win the game if it takes advantage of its current huge app lead (which can’t last forever) by enabling them to run on desktop Macs”

    This makes no sense to me. You just described earlier in your post how people are moving away from big desktops to smaller, network-connected portable devices. So what exactly would be the point of bringing iPhone apps over to the Mac? There are already more iPhones/iPod Touches in use in just 2 years than there are Macs.

    Plus, iPhone apps aren’t designed to be used on a desktop with a keyboard and mouse. I just can’t understand how such a move would solidify Apple’s lead in any way.

  • John E

    @ daGUY – right, some apps won’t work with mouse/keyboard only. others could be mapped somehow to those controls and work. but all should work with trackpads. so all apps could run on laptops, and some on a desktop Mac. apps are very similar to desktop widgets of course – small focused programs aimed at one convenient thing. Apple should unify the Snow Leopard UI of both. maybe let us add a second dock for them or set up a special Spaces page … anyway, i was trying to be brief.

    as to Apple TV, your iPhone/Touch/Tablet would serve as your app remote control. and iTunes would synch all settings and retained data across all devices.

    why? then you can run your favorite apps anyplace on your bigscreen TV or laptop or desktop Mac. start a game on your Touch, finish it on your TV. enter wine info at a restaurant on your iPhone, finish research and buying in the same app on your iMac. manage your household accounts in a single app you always have with you and can access on anything. and oh, print stuff from an app, which we can’t do now.

    people psychologically develop personal connections with their apps. this is what Apple can capitalize on with “your apps everywhere, anytime!”

  • http://home.comcast.net/~daguy daGUY

    @John E: but we already kind of have that, in the form of iPhone apps that have Mac app counterparts and vice versa (like Things or NetNewsWire). The key is that each version of the app is designed for the environment it runs in. For example, the iPhone version of NetNewsWire isn’t just a scaled down form of the Mac version, because that would be terrible. Rather, it’s designed specifically for the iPhone, but syncs back to the desktop client.

    Anyway, my point was that mobile devices is clearly where all the action is right now. If anything, things are increasingly trending toward using the iPhone as a replacement for a computer, not as something that hooks back up with one.

    That’s why I don’t think being able to run iPhone apps directly on your desktop would really amount to much.

  • beanie

    Daniel Eran wrote:
    “There’s simply no way Windows 7 can eclipse Vista on an excitement level”

    Windows 7 pre-sales on Amazon is selling better than Windows XP. Microsoft wants consumer demand for WinXP to die. When Win7 displaces WinXP on netbooks, then WinXP is really dead.

    Anyway, self-installing an OS, such as the free trial of Win7 and retail OS packages, is probably limited to a small portion of users.
    Most users buy a new laptop when they want to upgrade the OS.

  • John E

    @ daguy – counterpart apps/applications are fine if you are just logging in to a web service. like Yelp or something. they are less ideal if you have to manually transfer something from a device to PC or vice versa, like upload/download. they are no good at all if you want to transfer an application’s state, like a game your are part way through and don’t want to start over, either way. web based apps can solve this by storing everything in the “cloud” – that is one of their big advantages. but they have other practical limitations.

    the holy grail of “convergence” is from a consumer’s point of view they install one app just once and it magically works on everything anyplace all the time – your phone, your TV, your laptop/desktop, your car, whatever – always synchronized no matter where they last left it off – with absolutely no extra effort on their part. “seamless” + “just works” + “for dummies”. with the only universal OS that can run “apps” on everything, OS X, Apple can pull this off. no one else could.

    so i betcha the new iTablet runs iPhone apps, not desktop applications. and i betcha that starting next year Mac laptops will include a GPS/compass and accelerometer.

  • Pingback: Windows 7 so great Microsoft is giving it away for free — RoughlyDrafted Magazine « David Chin Online()

  • http://www.transchristians.org Ephilei

    I get so annoyed by “Windows XYZ is the best Windows yet.” Every software update should be the best yet because you’re building on the last. We need a higher standard.

    And, “Windows XYZ is the most popular/best selling/more aniticipated Windows yet.” Again, the newest always should be. There are simply more people with computers now than when the last version came out.

  • contextfree

    “There’s simply no way Windows 7 can eclipse Vista on an excitement level because the world is now experiencing a jobless recession and people want cheap utilitarian computing devices, not fancy $2000 PCs that show off the sizzle Microsoft baked into Vista/Windows 7.”

    and yet my $360 laptop already has more than enough juice to run Vista (and W7) just fine with all sizzle enabled. and of course the price of such a laptop will only continue to decrease over the next few years.

    [What $360 laptop a) comes with Vista or 7, and b) please post its specs. Thanks – Dan ]

  • bartfat

    haha, it would be funny if Microsoft compared their products and said this is the best OPERATING system yet… but of course they can’t entirely make that claim without some people in California being very upset…

  • genovelle

    “And so, for the first time in Microsoft’s history, Windows is now free, at least for the next year…They can use it until March 2010, at which point it will begin nagging for payment by shutting down every two hours. This is similar to how heroin is sold.”

    “How can you possibly have a problem with this? It’s not like PCs are being *shipped* with a “free” version of Windows that then has to be purchased later. You make it sound like a bait and switch campaign. Everyone who downloads the beta/RC knows exactly what they’re getting into. Personally, I think it’s pretty generous.”

    “Has anyone here even USED Windows 7? I have the beta on my MacBook and it’s surprisingly speedy and stable. I haven’t had a single crash or anything, and again, I’m running the beta – not even the RC.”

    How is it generous? Its not really a year. For you its like installing a program because its just a file on your computer. For a regular user it is replacing the whole OS. I run XP using parallels on my Macbook. I also use to have it on a mac mini. It has always run better than on any of the PCs I was forced to run at work. Even when they were new.
    Parallels has optimized their Virtual Computer in such a way that it runs more consistently. The other part is its hardware is consistent.
    Even XP runs fine on a PC when you first install it. Its when you run it for a while and install and load things that its registry gets compromised. When it is in the wild with the millions of configurations and with all of the functions activated you will see what it is made of. It’s still Vista. Until the put down a better foundation which is currently the registry it will always be like building your house on a stack of cards. Move the wrong one and it falls apart.

    I always refer to a comment by Microsoft 2nd level support. When Windows decided to put a pass word on one of my computers on its own and all I could do is pay Microsoft $50 for phone support, Setup. They had me to dive about 10 or 12 levels deep into the registry to change two letters in a long text string that was in this folder. I asked him is it good to have to fool around in here. He said, “I don’t even like having to go there”.

    On the other hand most windows programs you install changes these files. Load a program with sloppy programming and you are toast.
    System 7 continues this foolishness. Instead of using self contained packages.

    Now lets look at their generosity. A normal non tech consumer downloads system 7 and installs it. Keep in mind the article say a year but if it is released in October and March is the deadline thats really 6 months. It starts asking for payment. If they are not satisfied, how easy will it be for them to go back. Well, if they still have their XP disc and passwords provided no equipment has changed they could reinstall XP. But wait, would you really want to install it on top of system 7? Would it even let you? They would most likely have to backup their data, reformat the drive, then do a clean install of XP and all of their software. Very time consuming. Or they would have to pay someone to do this for them. So even it they don’t see the benefit of 7, it could still cost them money to go back. Then if they have installed any updated versions of theirs software they are stuck and have to pay Microsoft like it or not. If they need to go back and don’t have the XP disc or have change their configuration they have to pay Microsoft.

    Slick, but not generous!

  • gus2000

    “…it was the first computer system they ever mastered and they don’t want to be their investment in vein.”

    Now THAT’S for heroin. :p

  • http://crankyoldnutcase.blogspot.com/ The Mad Hatter

    ROFLMAO. Yep, that’s the only way Microsoft can sell Windows. Give it away, or make sure it’s pre-installed. Like they did on the new Fords. I went out to look at a Fusion, and was annoyed to find out that every single one came with Microsoft/Ford Sync. I ended up walking out of the dealership with the salesman plainitivly saying “But it’s the greatest…”

  • http://nsrd.wordpress.com pdeguise

    There is also somewhat of a revenue trick associated with this. With all the different editions of Vista, Microsoft found that most of the versions purchased were the lower-cost ones.

    This version of Windows 7 that’s being given away is Ultimate. When it expires in 2010 and a fully licensed version is required, I’d bet that users won’t have the option of purchasing a lower-priced version – instead they’ll be faced with two options: wipe and reinstall, or purchase Ultimate.

    Guess what Microsoft will be counting on them doing?

  • mihomeagent

    No column is so good that it can’t be brought down to ludicrousness with a bit of your left-wing hysteria. “War crimes” are your delusion. Tell me which of your basic civil rights have been lost? “Waving crosses and flags”? You’re so oppressed, I’m surprised that you can still write your blog freely. Especially in view of the populist-Microsoft-Bush complex coming down on you and blocking you and imprisoning you at every byte.

  • http://crankyoldnutcase.blogspot.com/ The Mad Hatter

    There is also somewhat of a revenue trick associated with this. With all the different editions of Vista, Microsoft found that most of the versions purchased were the lower-cost ones.

    This version of Windows 7 that’s being given away is Ultimate. When it expires in 2010 and a fully licensed version is required, I’d bet that users won’t have the option of purchasing a lower-priced version – instead they’ll be faced with two options: wipe and reinstall, or purchase Ultimate.

    Guess what Microsoft will be counting on them doing?

    My guess is that they will head straight to their favourite torrent site, where broken copies of Windows 7 are already available for download. So Microsoft’s expected profits will be zero.

    Of course if they were really smart they’d buy a Mac or convert to Linux, but hey, these are Windows users.

  • http://home.comcast.net/~daguy daGUY

    @pdeguise: “This version of Windows 7 that’s being given away is Ultimate. When it expires in 2010 and a fully licensed version is required, I’d bet that users won’t have the option of purchasing a lower-priced version – instead they’ll be faced with two options: wipe and reinstall, or purchase Ultimate”

    What? You can’t upgrade from the beta/RC to the final – you have to do a clean install. So, when the beta/RC times out, just buy the version you want and install it.

  • http://spacecynics.wordpress.com Thomas

    mihomeagent wrote:

    “Tell me which of your basic civil rights have been lost?”

    How about habeas corpus?? Turn off FoxNews, put down the remote, Google the Military Commissions Act, and read where fundamental civil rights that we’ve been fighting to preserve since the Magna Carta was signed were flushed down the tubes.

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