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More Indications Windows 7 Is Coming In 2009 369

Posted by kdawson
from the can't-hardly-wait dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Following on the news that Microsoft was going straight to a RC for Windows 7, the One Microsoft Way blog has put together some dates on the upcoming roadmap for Vista's successor. Microsoft has always said 'three years after the general availability of Windows Vista,' which was released on January 30, 2007, and that the release date was also dependent on quality. Internally though, Microsoft is saying other things. It looks like we'll see the RC coming in April, and a final RTM version before October 3. Yes, that means Redmond is currently hoping to get Windows 7 out the door in 2009."
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More Indications Windows 7 Is Coming In 2009

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  • Drivers (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 01, 2009 @09:40AM (#26683801)

    If I recall correctly (rhetorical, I *do* recall correctly) the problem with Vista was *not* the OS itself, but driver support from Vendors.

    Even Nvidia were ironing out Video card bugs months past the release date. It took Creative almost 14 months to release a Vista Audigy driver. That's not even touching on people who had to purchase new Wifi cards because the likes of Netgear refused to even release *any* drivers for supporting 'old' hardware (801.22g is super old?).

    Unless Redmond is putting pressure back to hardware Vendors, regardless of the much impressed SDLC Microsoft are displaying, the OS will only an *end user* disappointment.

    • by jlarocco (851450)

      Even if that's the case, it shouldn't be a problem. Little or no driver support from hardware manufacturers is par for the course for every other PC operating system, and they all seem to get along okay.

    • Re:Drivers (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Tony Hoyle (11698) * <tmh@nodomain.org> on Sunday February 01, 2009 @10:12AM (#26683945) Homepage

      No it wasn't, it was the fact the release was barely beta quality (corrupting files during copy, UAC going nutso and not letting you do simple things, etc.), it hit the hard drive almost constantly, took 3 times as long as XP to start apps even when fed 4GB of RAM.

      Drivers just wasn't the issue.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by nosfucious (157958)

        Changing OS verions is almost as in depth and challenging for a business as completely changing OSs. And costly. There is no "low cost" upgrade path.

        Drivers for us were THE issue. Big business class printers cost real money and not one driver was released for Vista. And that was spread amount several manufacturers, so it wasn't isolated. No drivers for our scanning solution either, which handles many thousands of invoices per month.

        UI bugs you mentioned are quite legitimate problems preventing adoption. How

        • UI bugs you mentioned are quite legitimate problems preventing adoption.

          Corrupting files during copy (one of the problems listed) is not a UI bug, it's something that should never have gotten into the earliest beta, let alone the production version. That's a glaring, show-stopping bit of inexcusably careless coding, not a minor glitch. And how hard is it, anyway, to read a chunk out of one file, write it into another, then lather, rinse repeat until you're done? That's all a file copy is, after all, yo

    • Re:Drivers (Score:5, Informative)

      by gEvil (beta) (945888) on Sunday February 01, 2009 @10:37AM (#26684091)
      Windows 7 uses the same driver model as Vista. So as long as companies have released Vista drivers (which many finally have over the past few years), then the hardware will work fine with Windows 7.
    • ... (801.22g is super old?).

      The IEEE hasn't even released an 801 standard, at least as far as I can tell. Even if it has, 801 likely has little to do with 802.11.

  • by rolfwind (528248) on Sunday February 01, 2009 @09:42AM (#26683811)

    are celebrating their Vista SP 2-3, er, Mohave, um, I mean Windows 7 as the greatest thing since sliced bread, and lining up to pay for it; I will still be getting my Ubuntu for free and with an (often) significant upgrade every 6 months.

    • by betterunixthanunix (980855) on Sunday February 01, 2009 @09:54AM (#26683865)
      The fact that you can download Ubuntu without paying a single cent for it is not a very compelling argument for Ubuntu. Case in point: at my university, we have subscriptions to the "MSDN Academic Alliance" which grants us no-cost downloads of various Microsoft products.

      Instead, one should focus on the legal restrictions on that software. MSDNAA lets me get gratis copies of Windows, sure, but reviewing the license reveals some interesting terms; for example, upon graduation, I am supposed to remove the software from my computer. With Fedora (likewise Ubuntu), there is no such restriction: I am free to use the software for any length of time, regardless of my status as a student or my employment. MSDNAA also forbids the use of the software for any use that is not personal or academic; once more, Fedora (etc.) comes with no such restriction.

      Purchasing a copy of Windows in order to gain the right to use the software indefinitely only partially addresses that issue. I cannot modify Windows in such a way that allows me to access it remotely while someone else is accessing it (multi-user access). Again, in Fedora, there is no such restriction.

      I do not agree with everything RMS/FSF has to say, but in terms of proprietary versus free-libre licensing, they are spot on.
      • by diskis (221264) on Sunday February 01, 2009 @10:07AM (#26683929)

        Your university is a for profit organization. Guess from where they are getting the money to pay Microsoft for the university wide license.

        That's right, your tuition. I hope you are using Windows, as you are paying for it in any case.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Vexorian (959249)
          What? I thought MS was actively giving them to free for students and universities. As you know the students of today are the locked-in professionals of the future.
          • by Penguinisto (415985) on Sunday February 01, 2009 @01:30PM (#26685299) Journal

            Nope - as a former prof myself, I can tell you that the little college campus I worked at paid Microsoft $1500 per year for the privilege of MSDNAA covering approximately 150-200 students. They kept perfect accounting for it as well, and if the numbers went up, your yearly fees went up.

            Meanwhile I was handing out copies of RedHat, Mandrake, Gentoo, and SuSE as fast as my CD burner could spit them out. RedHat themselves sent me a stack of pre-burned CDs when the Linux classes first began in early 2000, and they practically evaporated. The cool part was, I didn't have to give a damn if you were using them for academics or not, and I usually (and gently) extracted a promise that you would share it with someone else if you had a burner at home.

            /P

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Ralish (775196)
          Your argument is in all likeliness true, but not entirely fair in my view. If you were to break down your tuition fees so that you knew where every dollar was being spent, I suggest a large portion of it would go into all kinds of things that you never use.

          It may go to sporting infrastructure (you're a slashdot poster, so I assume you don't use it ;), it may go to infrastructure improvements to faculties that you don't belong, it may go to university services you never use (social services, medical, etc.
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by lyml (1200795)
        Really, my MSDNAA license says nothing of the kind. Perhaps this is a regional thing (swedish here).
      • by Ash-Fox (726320)

        The fact that you can download Ubuntu without paying a single cent for it is not a very compelling argument for Ubuntu. Case in point: at my university, we have subscriptions to the "MSDN Academic Alliance" which grants us no-cost downloads of various Microsoft products.

        But I don't goto your university. That's only useful for people who are even at unviersity and have that "MSDN Academic Alliance". So it certainly is a compelling argument for me, and the majority of the planet that isn't in a university wit

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by drsmithy (35869)

        I do not agree with everything RMS/FSF has to say, but in terms of proprietary versus free-libre licensing, they are spot on.

        Your complaints above are not about the licensing, but the cost (albeit in an indirect fashion). If you are prepared to pay for an appropriate Windows license, all of your complaints are addressed.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          "Your complaints above are not about the licensing, but the cost (albeit in an indirect fashion). If you are prepared to pay for an appropriate Windows license, all of your complaints are addressed."

          Which is a licensing issue. You need to pay Microsoft to get a license to use the same software in a different way. In the case of free software, that is not true -- you get a license, and from there, you can do what you wish with the software.

          Also, the OP was trying to make the point that Ubuntu costs n
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by cenc (1310167)

        I focus on money very very much. My company is an all linux and open source shop, and my total cost of ownership as MS once loved to push is saving me an easy $250,000 a year or more. From servers and routers to desktops. We are not an IT company, and most of employees could hardly type when they came through the door. I am not against paying for software, I just have found free open source software which is superior for my purposes.

        The open source biz model works. At our current small size, whenever possib

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by onion2k (203094) *

      For all the Linux and open source community says about embracing freedom there are always a few "evangelists" who completely miss the point. While people such as yourself continue to "promote" Linux by rubbishing the opposition (both product and people) millions of Windows users will continue to think of Linux as a geek toy used by nerds and children.

      Anyone and everyone should be free to use whichever OS they fancy. If someone asks why Linux is great then explain, but please don't refer to Windows users as

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        But then what sort of smug satisfaction can we derive? For Apple users it comes from the fact that we paid a premium for a stylish and well done product. For Linux users, it comes purely from the fact that we aren't using Windows. And for Windows, well, there isn't much to be had since everyone runs it.

        If what you say is true, then this has serious implications for my self-identity.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Draek (916851)

          For Linux users, it comes purely from the fact that we aren't using Windows.

          It also comes from the fact that we didn't pay a premium for a stylish and well done product ;)

      • by spitzak (4019)

        Of course nobody calls Linux users 'fanbois', right?

        Pot/Kettle and all that...

      • by Pecisk (688001)

        Sorry, but what I have read in Internet in last few weeks, it all smells like so well orchestrated hype and geeks, who are usually so smart to point out what's wrong with Linux, suddenly are ready to pass over the fact that Windows 7 is just marketing ploy to try to sell Vista.

        And I am usually very careful with words, because yes, I agree, everyone uses what suits them best and what they know. And yes, saying "Windows sux0rs, Linux ftw!" is totally wrong way to spread the world of positive effects of using

      • They are free to choose.

        And when they call for some informal friendly tech support, we're now free to offer them the help they really need: a disc that can relieve them of the pain of viruses and spyware forever. And if they decline, we're free let them walk the path they've chosen and leave them to their adventure.

        Except for Mom, of course. Mom gets the same service as before.

  • by jkrise (535370) on Sunday February 01, 2009 @09:43AM (#26683817) Journal

    The Protected Video Path has introduced several problems with pre-existing software that deals with video and works perfectly with XP but fails in Vista. I operate in the healthcare segment, and GE's medical records software still does not possess Vista support. PACS viewers from major companies like VEPRO and E-Film still do not support Vista.

    Given that three are no architectural changes in Windows 7; these problems will remain with Windows 7 and corporates looking to use pre-existing application software will stick with XP as long as they can.

    http://www.merge.com/na/efilmlanding.htm [merge.com]

    • by jkrise (535370)

      Here is a more relevant link... this page has remained so for the past 1 year and more...

      https://www.merge.com/NA/estore/content.aspx?pname=eFilm%20Workstation%E2%84%A2&returnUrl=&productID=215&contentTypeID=4 [merge.com]

      MS Vista Users:
      eFilm Workstation 3.0 is currently undergoing testing for operation within the MS Vista operating system environment, and will be validated for use in Vista systems soon.

      Supported Operating Systems:
      Windows 2000 Professional (SP4 or higher)
      Windows XP Professional (SP2)

    • by drsmithy (35869)

      The Protected Video Path has introduced several problems with pre-existing software that deals with video and works perfectly with XP but fails in Vista.

      Given the Protected Path is not even active unless you're using DRM-encumbered media, I think you need some evidence to back that up.

      • by jkrise (535370)

        Given the Protected Path is not even active unless you're using DRM-encumbered media, I think you need some evidence to back that up.

        Why else would video software that worked with XP suddenly stops working with Vista? Is PACS video DRM encumbered? Why should software vendors be compelled to keep rewriting their code everytime Microsoft releases a new driver model, concept or Operating System?

    • It also doesn't come with a compiler, perl, python, or any other real programming environment.

      When we talk about how crippled the thing is, let's not forget the basics.

  • RTFM? (Score:2, Funny)

    by gzipped_tar (1151931)

    and a final RTM version before October 3.

    So finally Windows will start telling the users to RTFM, well, without the F word?

  • But, DirectX 11 will be supported on Vista too.

    http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=3507 [anandtech.com]

    "To be fair, the OS upgrade requirement also threw a wrench in the gears. That won't be a problem this time, as Vista still sucks but will be getting DX11 support and Windows 7 looks like a better upgrade option for XP users than Vista. Developers who haven't already moved from DX9 may well skip DX10 altogether in favor of DX11 depending on the predicted ship dates of their titles, all signs point to DX11
  • by Vandil X (636030) on Sunday February 01, 2009 @09:52AM (#26683857)
    Many people I know agree that Windows XP SP2 was more than just a service pack for XP, it made XP feel like a whole new OS. All the newly added features, much needed tweaks, and even the usual program incompatabilities that come with having a "new" OS.

    For those who loved Windows 2000, Windows XP SP2 was the version of Windows XP that finally got holdouts to switch.

    Windows 7 is built on Vista. Like XPSP2, Windows 7 fixes almost all the bad aspects of Vista and adds new features and tweaks. With such a promising, upcoming OS, it's no wonder why MS is having a hard time finishing Vista SP2. It must be like coding for a dead fork.
    • Yes, but it should be acknowledged that M$ is *charging* for Windows 7, while XP SP2 was free.

      If I were Apple, I would start readying the ad campaign:

      Apple guy walks up, sees "PC guy" obviously dressed up in drag.

      Apple: "Uhh, what are you doing, PC?"
      PC: "Shhh... I'm not Vista. I'm Windows 7. I have nothing to do with Vista. I'm the new, sexy, operating system of the future."
      Apple: "Do you really think anybody will be fooled by that?"
      PC: "Yes."

    • Actually, and this is a conspiracy theory on my part, I think Microsoft is secretly planning to release Windows 7 as the Service Pack upgrade to Vista. If you own Vista already, you can upgrade (perhaps for a nominal fee). If you don't use Vista yet, you can skip buying Vista altogether and jump to Windows 7. Not only will this give Microsoft a bunch of street cred for not being as greedy as they are made out to be (though, really, Apple's overpriced, closed-system stuff is greedier) by making Vista owners
  • Windows 7 (Score:3, Interesting)

    by chrisgeleven (514645) on Sunday February 01, 2009 @09:56AM (#26683875) Homepage

    I have to admit, Windows 7 actually looks really good. I may even get a home PC loaded up with it again, just to have it on hand.

    Still will be mainly a Mac user. But I will be finally comfortable recommending Windows 7 to those who need to run Windows.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by samkass (174571)

      I had the opposite reaction. I put Windows 7 Beta on a VirtualBox partition on my Mac and tried using it for awhile, and I find using it awful. Compared to XP it feels like a mish-mash of web interfaces and compared to MacOS X it feels like a toy. I would still recommend XP over Windows 7 any day of the week, and recommend neither to any non-geek or non-business user.

    • by bmartin (1181965)

      Unless its virus defenses have been upgraded, I'll have a hard time recommending Windows 7 to the people getting new computers.

      The US computer market is saturated right now; there are almost 0 "first time buyers". As a generalization, the only people who are getting their first computer are the elderly and a few middle-aged people. Even with virus protection, spyware protection, and a firewall, the last two people in my life who bought PCs needed a "quick restore" due to viruses or worms. This is unacceptab

  • !notnews (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Khan (19367)

    Who cares when it will be released. Windows Se7en will still require the outlandish hardware that Vista does. Most Enterprises will not be migrating to it anytime soon due to cost and time of upgrading desktops and application incompatibility for their outdated software that they rely on to keep the business running. Trust me, I see this first hand at my job.

    • by MoonFog (586818)
      But most companies (anecdotal IÂm sure) have not upgraded from XP yet, and no matter how good it is, it is showing its age. Windows 7 could actually be perfectly timed, and with the right marketing perhaps they can land some deals that Vista failed to do.

      The hardware demands are not finalized and most companies will turn off the visual effects anyway.
    • by ratbag (65209)

      Pedant alert: didn't you mean to title your comment "notnews" or "!news", rather than "!notnews"?

      Anyway, with my "Systems Manager for a London University" hat on, I agree. We're still using XP on our student desktops and in classic mode, to boot. We're agonising over Vista right now because some staff have a perception that students "want Vista" and also a tiny percentage of the applications we provide are starting to require Vista.

      Rob.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by drsmithy (35869)

      Who cares when it will be released. Windows Se7en will still require the outlandish hardware that Vista does.

      And by "outlandish" you mean "sub-$500 PC", right ?

      Heck, even when Vista was released, a PC that could run it well was only about $800.

    • by T-Bone-T (1048702)

      Windows Se7en will still require the outlandish hardware that Vista does.

      You mean it will require at least a Pentium 4 2.4GHz, 1GB RAM, 32MB video card, 80GB HDD? That's what I have and it runs as well as XP, except for Aero.

  • Curious (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ShakaUVM (157947) on Sunday February 01, 2009 @10:00AM (#26683893) Homepage Journal

    I'm curious why all these people who hated Vista are showering love on Windows 7. Is it some sort of mass psychology type thing?

    I'm a UNIX guy, and I don't consider myself a Microsoft hater per se, the visual changes in Windows 7 just look hideous. I try and keep my screen as clean as possible to cut down on the distractions (meaning my windows machine looks about the same now as it did in 1995), and by this benchmark, Windows 7 is even worse than Vista with all its worthless gizmos and gadgets and stuff like that.

    Is it really so hard to understand that I don't want shit moving around on my screen when I'm trying to think? Or that I don't want to see icons for anything except stuff I'm actually working on? The new Windows 7 taskbar looks -- crap, I already used "hideous" -- uh, distracting.

    Combine with all sorts of stupid decisions in Vista like to replace the up-arrow button with a refresh button that does nothing in all common cases, and, yeah... I'm mystified why people are so positive about Win7,

    • Re:Curious (Score:5, Insightful)

      by gzipped_tar (1151931) on Sunday February 01, 2009 @10:11AM (#26683943) Journal

      It's natural that people would lower their expectations after the dissatisfaction of Vista. Once the expectations are lowered, they are in turn easier to satisfy. Especially when most of the customers have few other choices.

      Yes I know they do have choices. But MS now is still a monopoly.

    • by Tony Hoyle (11698) *

      As another poster wrote, this is the vista equivalent of XP SP2.. it gets the major bugs out and finally produces something usable.

      Yeah it still has some of the UI stupidities of Vista (although they've fixed quite a few too) but at least it's not actively preventing you from getting any work done any more..

      • Yeah it still has some of the UI stupidities of Vista (although they've fixed quite a few too) but at least it's not actively preventing you from getting any work done any more..

        Yes, it does still have some of the UI stupidities of Vista (thankfully you can turn some of them off), but it also introduces some really nice usability changes. The Win-arrow key shortcuts, for example, are great (win-up to maximize, win-down to minimize, win-left to dock to left half of screen, win-right to dock to right half
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by ion.simon.c (1183967)

          but it also introduces some really nice usability changes. The Win-arrow key shortcuts, for example, are great (win-up to maximize, win-down to minimize, win-left to dock to left half of screen, win-right to dock to right half of screen).

          *boggles*
          These have been *configurable* shortcuts in KDE for a coon's age.

    • Re:Curious (Score:5, Informative)

      by Ash-Fox (726320) on Sunday February 01, 2009 @10:24AM (#26684009)

      I'm curious why all these people who hated Vista are showering love on Windows 7.

      My major gripe with Vista was games performing poorly, having a few heavy processes caused the system to perform poorly, pretty much poor performance all around.

      On the same machine, where I had recently installed Vista. With the same drivers from Vista I install Windows 7, poof, problems gone away - I am certain it wasn't a driver issue.

      I'm a UNIX guy, and I don't consider myself a Microsoft hater per se, the visual changes in Windows 7 just look hideous. I try and keep my screen as clean as possible to cut down on the distractions (meaning my windows machine looks about the same now as it did in 1995), and by this benchmark, Windows 7 is even worse than Vista with all its worthless gizmos and gadgets and stuff like that.

      The taskbar? I just unpinned everything, set it to small and stuck what I regulary use in the bit that often shows recently, frequently used programs menu. Taskbar has more space now than ever before. More space than Win95 ever had.

      Is it really so hard to understand that I don't want shit moving around on my screen when I'm trying to think?

      No idea what you're talking about? If you're talking about graphics, like any modern *nix system's default setup (excluding OS X), you can disable effects if you don't like them.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by GF678 (1453005)

      You are not the target audience. You'd prefer to remain in a stoneage of GUI (no offence, but it's true), and people have gotten use to a pretty interface for their operating systems.

      Plus, those gadgets aren't worthless. I have gadgets to show me the weather, CPU and network activity, etc. They appear when I want them to appear, and they aren't distracting because you get used to them. Why can't you evolve like everyone else has? That's my question.

      • Why must he change? If something works, you should keep it working. I thought the whole idea of desktop gizmos was stupid and pointless when Active Desktop first came out and I have yet to see any reason why I should think differently. Aside from a clock in the taskbar I cannot image any use for all those stupid gadgets floating around. If people like them, that's fine. I, however, have no use for them.

        Of course, I stopped using Windows some time ago. Vista was the last straw. Microsoft is evil and h

    • by jd142 (129673)

      Because I actually tested the beta and compared it to Vista? I'm not saying it is the world's greatest operating system. Eventually, XP will die and neither Mac nor PC are going to be an option where I work. And in the enterprise, there are some good client management reasons to go with windows.

      But anyway, on to the comparison of Vista and 7. On a Dell Optiplex 620 with 1 gig of ram, 7 runs faster and is more responsive than Vista. I gained about 30 seconds in boot time and application launches, while

  • from their mistakes. Vista was unleashed/released upon the Earth far too early, and their solution to this has been "Windows 7 will fix it all".

    It's the Obama of Operating Systems, and it's been getting some damn positive pre-release press and general good vibes from techies who've seen the Beta.

    So naturally, the only sane and rational thing to do (in M$ world) is cut the testing, drop a beta from the schedule, only have one release candidate and hit the markets.

    No company this stupid should survive the cre

  • Guest post [today.com] by Mary-Jo Enderle

    I have seen the future: Windows $NEXT_VERSION build $MOCKUP.

    I tried it on a low-end netbook with four Core 2 Duo chips and only 8 gig of memory, and trust me: $NEXT_VERSION is shaping up to be one heck of a product.

    WordPad and Paint have seen major overhauls to their user interfaces. Forget the freetards and their "distros" full of all sorts of useless shovelware like "FireFox" and "OpenOffice" and, haha, "GIMP"! - the bundled software with Windows $NEXT_VERSION is clear, simple, sparse and to-the-point. The much-loved $HATED user interface from Office $HATED_VERSION is now part of WordPad and Paint!

    The controversial Digital Rights Management system in Vista has been worked over, with user-downloadable "tilt bits," which you can configure to your own liking. It'll require every user to supply a blood sample for DNA analysis, and the beta nearly took my finger off, but of course that's only if you want to play premium content. The Blu-Ray(tm) of Battlefield Earth was unbelievable on this operating system.

    A release candidate should be available by the end of this year. There's just no way that Steve "Trains Run On Time" Ballmer will miss the Christmas deadline. The final release should leave the midnight queues on Vista release day - the street riots, the water cannons, the rubber bullets - in the shade.

    I am so excited about $NEXT_VERSION of Windows. It will go beyond just solving all of the problems with $CURRENT_VERSION, it will be an entirely new paradigm. Forget about security problems, those are all fixed in $NEXT_VERSION. And they're finally ridding themselves of $ANCIENT_LEGACY_STUFF.

    Also, there'll be $DATABASE_FILESYSTEM. It'll be awesome!

    I wonder how $NEXT_VERSION will compare to $NEXT_NEXT_VERSION.

  • ...using rumour, extrapolation and second-hand information. Sooo, can we please not call it "slippage" when your hopes and dreams are shattered when it doesn't appear in October? Because it seems bashing Millisoft on here for things they never promised is a very popular pastime. And no, I'm not new here. Bashing for letdowns is one thing, but when you're making up release dates for something you're not involved in, well, work it out for yourself. I'm not suggesting it makes you look foolish or anything.

    Oh,

  • The prevailing driver for buying new versions of Windows has always been the hope that the next version would be decent and safe (a bit like Bush & Blair promising glory to get elected).

    At least they have given up on that [istartedsomething.com].

    I still won't buy it.

  • This is all a sham (Score:5, Interesting)

    by meist3r (1061628) on Sunday February 01, 2009 @12:54PM (#26685023)
    Let me explain how it works:

    Phase 1:
    People have high expectations of your new product. They're fed up by the repetitive software releases you've done over the years and the lack of innovation from your part. Then you release a software that draws all the attention (or aggro, for WoW players). Once everybody has jumped either on the hater bandwagon or put up with the new, yet old, system you go to the next step. You use popular figures (like comedians) and one of your famous company people (maybe a nerd) to make advertisements that make people go "Really? What is this shit? I won't buy, but I know it's Delicious" to sidetrack even more of the critics.

    Phase 2:
    You announce your "true" new product (which was in development all along and was intended to be the successor to your old product line in any case) as the next big thing "coming soon". Since that newly developed system doesn't have enough new ideas to convince people to switch, and people are already confused by your current shitfest of a project you need to give them an incentive, that's what they needed Vista for. MS released Vista saying it will be their new OS and after the confusion had manifested and the expectations had been severely disappointed they start the next phase.

    Phase 3:
    You release an older polished release candidate of a less important branch of your true product as "the real deal". Then when people start questioning your abilities you go ahead and re-release your original new product line under a fancy new name. This way the expectations have already been lowered from the outset and the "new alternative" looks like a worthwhile contestant all of a sudden. Without Vista, the very same criticism that hit it, would have hit Windows 7 instead. Win7 looks like a slightly improved Vista, whereas Vista looked like a slightly improved XP. So, instead of making real big jumps and actually innovating you do two little intermediary steps and consumers will praise you for two entirely different new version of the operating system.

    Phase 4:
    Profit?

    Seriously this, to me, sounds like an elaborate plan to con consumers into buying into the age old "fuck up and re-release" cycle that we have come to expect from Microsoft. A clever usage of market economics of perception rationale. If you serve people average products you will eventually go broke. But if you sell them really terrible products for a short period of time, rule out all options for downgrading and then start selling average products again you will be better off than by simply selling average crap to begin with.

    They've employed a 300 Million Dollar ad strategy and let me tell you ... Seinfeld wasn't the expensive part. The costly part was to produce a mock-up product that was only meant to distract customer and media attention for long enough for the disappointment to wear off into "I'll settle with average"-ism. I tip my hat to thee Microsoft. This time, I'm actually impressed. Or rather I would be, hadn't I been able to see through it.
  • ... won't be the Year of Windows on the Desktop either.

What this country needs is a good five dollar plasma weapon.

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