Waiting for Windows 7: Page 2

Posted February 4, 2008

Rob Enderle

Rob Enderle

(Page 2 of 2)

Where Windows 7 Will Likely Miss

One of the big ongoing problems with Windows is the separation between hardware and the OS. Before Windows, in mid-range and mainframe computers the two were tightly coupled, yet Windows floated free. This separation has created sustained communications problems between the hardware vendors who want one thing and Microsoft, which has the power to say “no.”

This has led to a general unhappiness between Microsoft and the OEMs, all of them, and resulted in many of the problems we have seen with Vista. Whether we’re talking Windows or Windows Mobile, the OEMs that build PCs and phones would like more input. They’re screaming – but fearing they aren’t being heard – that the products need to either be made vastly easier to use, or they need to be allowed to go in and fix them.

In many cases, particularly for the bigger OEMs, they are willing to fully resource fixing the user experience with Windows because they see this as a way to gain significant competitive advantage over smaller players and white box manufacturers. It’s also a way to build a system that is as good as an Apple box without losing the Windows advantages.

But, Microsoft continues to say no. And if you’re wondering why there is so much interest by the OEMs in stuff like desktop Linux, this goes to the core of that. So most seem to think both Windows 7 and Windows Mobil 7 won’t have the user interface improvements that customers are demanding, and that will likely be a huge miss.

Microsoft’s New Leadership

We are still early in the Windows 7 development cycle and the lack of Vista adoption certainly has resulted in a lot of changes in the Windows team. Even with the OEM complaints, I’m hearing that the Windows folks are trying to listen. But apparently, there are still way too many folks that may be refusing to hear.

As IT folks you actually get a vote if you stand up and make yourself heard. But remember a lot of the problem with Vista was probably Microsoft trying to respond to too many different requests and cherry picking many of the wrong ones.

If everyone had 10 things they would like to remind Microsoft they want in Vista – and if many of those 10 things were consistent – we might be able to steer this puppy.

Here are my ten:

1. Better than Apple Ease of Use (Consistent user interface/fewer levels to drill through, etc.)

2. Better than Apple Initial User Experience

3. More consistency with Office

4. No Meaningless Warnings or Alerts (and fewer of them in general)

5. Integrated Anti-Malware

6. Improved Self Diagnosis

7. More selection with regard to content (if I don’t need it, I don’t want it on the system)

8. Bulk Application Delete (crapware elimination)

9. Seamless Migrations

10. One trusted consistent place for updates

Your list may be different, but if Microsoft doesn’t know what we want I’ll guarantee they won’t build it.

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