Microsoft's "Lucky 7" Gamble: Page 2

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Sure, there will be some interface tweaks (for one thing you’ll have to get used to seeing the Ribbon toolbar from Office 2007 scattered liberally throughout the OS), some new applications and features (for example, it seems that support for Virtual PC virtual machines will be available out of the box), and a few new bells and whistles.

But underneath the hood Windows 7 will be like Vista. Or, for that matter, Windows Server 2008, which many seem to believe makes a better OS than Vista. However, all my testing shows there to be little or no difference, leading me to the conclusion that this is just another example of the Mojave Experiment effect – put Vista in a different wrapper and people shed their preconceived negativity.

Here’s how Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer described Windows 7 at conference in Florida last week:

“Windows Vista is good, Windows 7 is Windows Vista with cleanup in user interface, improvements in performance. I'm not going to encourage anyone to wait; I'd go ahead and deploy Windows Vista today. I certainly run it, we run it everywhere at Microsoft. But we didn't have to go in an incompatible direction in order to make big strides forward in terms of cleanness of user interface, quality of user experience, performance.”

There are other “sweeteners” that Microsoft could add to “Lucky 7” to make it luckier.

For example, I think that it’s safe to say that people would appreciate a cheaper Windows (it’s a long shot, but it could happen), less confusion through having fewer flavors (do consumers really need three flavors to choose from? ) and maybe genuine extras for those opting for the Ultimate version (the Ultimate Extras program for Vista ended up being a major disaster for Microsoft, which was only able to deliver a handful of mediocre extras over two years).

Given that the financial climate is so very different this time around, I think that Microsoft is going to have to work harder at tempting people to upgrade.

However, just as with Vista, the main competition facing Windows 7 doesn’t come from Mac of Linux, but from XP. If people decide to stick with what they know or a few more years, that could be a real problem for Redmond.


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Tags: YouTube, Windows, Microsoft, software, Vista


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