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A Tale of Two Windows 7s

Soulskill posted about 5 years ago | from the dickens'-ghost-just-sighed dept.

Windows 770

theodp writes "It was the best of operating systems, it was the worst of operating systems. When it comes to the merits of Windows 7, it looks like Slate's Farhad Manjoo and PC Magazine's John Dvorak are going to have to agree to disagree. Manjoo gives Windows 7 a big thumbs-up (a sincere one, unlike Linus!), calling it a 'crowning achievement,' while Dvorak is less than impressed, saying, 'Win 7 is really just a Vista martini. The operating system may have two olives instead of one this time out, but it's still made with the same cheap Microsoft vodka.' So, for those of you who've had a chance to check things out, are things really different this time?" Multiple readers have also pointed out that there have been problems with the download and installation of Windows 7 upgrades obtained through the student discount offer, which Microsoft has confirmed.

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Vodka (5, Interesting)

sopssa (1498795) | about 5 years ago | (#29857787)

Microsoft Vodka? When do they learn to use Russian Standard Vodka [russianstandardvodka.com] (worth checking out btw, some style for the Saturday night).

But for that matter, haven't it been established for long already that Win7 is basically Vista with the quirks removed and improved features. Vista was more like a transition, while actually still being a good OS.

Re:Vodka (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29857841)

I agree with you. I have had vista on my PC for a while and I like it except for annoying UAC messages. I am definitely going to upgrade to windows 7.

Re:Vodka (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29857907)

more like... Windows 7 Has Two Tails... all the better to shit in your face, my dearie!

Re:Vodka (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29857923)

I am definitely going to update to windows 7.

Fixed it for ya.

Re:Vodka (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29857861)

Yeah, Vista was good enough to last an entire evening before I had to go back to XP instead. The pre-installed image crashed and crashed then crashed some more.

At least something good came out of the Vista train wreck. Microsoft realized they had to do some proper work, and ended up with Win7. By the looks of it, an actually decent OS. I could make do without all the DRM chugging through its innards, wasting cycles, but as usual it'll only really affect a few people (and no pirates), so it's not that critical.

Re:Vodka (3, Funny)

Altus (1034) | about 5 years ago | (#29857889)

that should be thier slogan

Windows 7: decent

and only half a decade late

Re:Vodka (0, Troll)

mwvdlee (775178) | about 5 years ago | (#29857959)

Wow! I was wondering what all the fuzz was about with Windows 7. Fanboys all squirming in joy and suck-up reviews all around whilst I had no idea of what new features would actually make it worthy, but "decent"... given the Windows track record, a "decent" OS is a must-have upgrade.

Re:Vodka (3, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | about 5 years ago | (#29858029)

While Windows 7 is late, both rival desktop systems have yet to really gain enough traction. Linux is still hampered by -perceived- usability problems and the fact that WINE isn't 100% yet. If people were willing to re-learn an OS and developers would re-write all their applications, I have little doubt Linux would have majority marketshare. But people don't want to learn something new and so developers write for the masses with Windows and WINE isn't perfect at running Windows apps so while Linux is improving at a breakneck pace, its just not enough to overtake Windows. OS X is still hampered by price. When I can go out and get a $350 laptop that runs even Vista decently, and the cheapest Macbook is $999, something is wrong. A lot of people want to go to OS X but yet the price premium is so expensive for casual users (yes, yes, we've all heard that if you add up all the components things just about average out) but to pay $600 for their cheapest desktop that I could buy for $400 retail or build/upgrade for less? Thats just a bit ridiculous, especially for a machine that you can't upgrade easily.

If Linux could gain Windows binary compatibility, it could overtake Windows. If Apple would drop its price on Macs to more reasonable levels it could overtake Windows. But since neither have managed to do that, Windows still survives despite a terrible OS (Vista) and the new usable OS being almost too late (in 2009 not 2007)

Re:Vodka (5, Insightful)

commodore64_love (1445365) | about 5 years ago | (#29858203)

>>>Linux is still hampered by -perceived- usability problems

That's because it's written for programming geeks, not your average idiot. Heck even an engineer, like me, has a difficult time using Linux. (Change an Ubuntu screen to 640x480, and then try to change it back, without using secret hidden commands. Can't be done.)

Windows and MacOS are idiot-friendly. Even the ancient AmigaOS and C=64 GEOS are idiot-friendly. That's what Linux needs to become if it wants to be a universal replacement desktop, instead of just an isolated tool for technicians.

Uh oh. Here come the mods...

Re:Vodka (2, Interesting)

commodore64_love (1445365) | about 5 years ago | (#29858245)

Staples is selling a brand-new AMD X2 desktop with brand-new Windows7 at only $300. A comparable Mac costs about $1500.

Re:Vodka (1)

sopssa (1498795) | about 5 years ago | (#29858281)

Linux has a lots of other problems (on desktop usage) than just Windows compatibility. User still needs to go into shell lots of times to actually do something when things go wrong and the UI design isn't exactly average user friendly. Windows programs dont work on Mac either, but they've atleast made the user experience easy and just straight-forward. That's why Mac OS X has some marketshare too.

Other problem with Linux is all the over-fanatic GPL geeks that make an uproar when something closed source *dare* to appear on their loved all-open OS. Companies aren't going to open up their drivers or libraries and even less so when the marketshare on linux desktop is like 0.1%. Just read what happened when Spotify decided to be nice for the small Linux community and released closed-source library for Linux [slashdot.org] .

Re:Vodka (1)

zach_the_lizard (1317619) | about 5 years ago | (#29858293)

Linux is still hampered by -perceived- usability problems and the fact that WINE isn't 100% yet.

I have to agree that Linux does have a reputation for lacking usability. Just the other day, a guy in my (CS) major remarked that he wouldn't run Linux because he didn't want to have to edit config files all day. I can't say I've never had to edit config files, but for newer, mainstream versions of Linux, I haven't had to do so. Ubuntu 8.04 - 9.10 RC had sound and graphics working out of the box for my laptop, and wireless was easy to add with the restricted hardware drivers module.

That said, Linux does have a few nagging issues. Problems with sound can crop up. Not all drivers are in good condition. Sometimes UIs are not very well thought out. Distros jump to the latest and greatest without sufficient testing (e.g. KDE 4.0 when it wasn't ready for primetime).

Re:Vodka (1)

lukas84 (912874) | about 5 years ago | (#29858041)

I've used Vista since the end of 2006 on my media center, on my desktop at home and on my work laptop.

I've never experienced any crashes on those machines. I did see crashes on customer machines, though. Analyzing the crashdumps with windbg usually revealed a faulty driver, antivirus package or broken hardware to be the root cause.

I like how people can judge an OS just because whoever sold you that piece of hardware fucked up the base image.

Re:Vodka (1)

Teun (17872) | about 5 years ago | (#29858227)

Analyzing the crashdumps with windbg usually revealed a faulty driver, antivirus package or broken hardware to be the root cause.

And I thought a modern OS would be intrinsically safe for virus infection...

Re:Vodka (1)

lukas84 (912874) | about 5 years ago | (#29858283)

And I thought a modern OS would be intrinsically safe for virus infection...

You can ensure that on a managed enterprise desktop.

But if the user and the administrator are the same person, without the necessary knowledge to operate a computer safely, it is impossible to prevent this from happening.

The malware now available for OS X just proves that.

Re:Vodka (4, Insightful)

cjfs (1253208) | about 5 years ago | (#29857901)

But for that matter, haven't it been established for long already that Win7 is basically Vista

Vista was somewhat unfairly blasted, Windows 7 is being somewhat unfairly hyped. The differences really are trivial, the Vista launch was just poorly managed. If you took an average customer and stuck windows vista and windows 7 in front of them they'd probably not notice the difference.

Re:Vodka (5, Funny)

Torodung (31985) | about 5 years ago | (#29857999)

If you took an average customer and stuck windows vista and windows 7 in front of them they'd probably not notice the difference.

Are you the guy behind the "Mojave" campaign? ;^)

Re:Vodka (1)

cjfs (1253208) | about 5 years ago | (#29858107)

Are you the guy behind the "Mojave" campaign? ;^)

No, of course not. I'm a mac [youtube.com] , really.

Re:Vodka (1, Informative)

HermMunster (972336) | about 5 years ago | (#29858049)

Your statement is not true. Vista was as bad as they say and worse. I fix computers for a living. I've been in the industry for over 25 years now. Vista deserved all the bad press it got and then some. Since Win7 is just Vista I don't think anything but some stability issues have been ironed out. I await the same type of screw ups that are endemic to Vista that Microsoft made with Vista on incoming machines that need repairs.

Re:Vodka (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29858075)

You need a new profession if you can't make Vista stable.

Windows hasn't crashe-prone since pre-XP, end of story.

Re:Vodka (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29858253)

Uh read again, he fixes the machines. Microsoft, Nvidia and friends are the ones who couldn't make Vista stable.

XP original release was crash prone.
XP SP3 is solid.

Vista original release = crap.

Re:Vodka (1, Insightful)

commodore64_love (1445365) | about 5 years ago | (#29858057)

What if you put XP and Win7 in front of them (in classic appearance)?

I bet I could tell. For one thing XP doesn't crash. For another it doesn't take 2 minutes to open my external USB: drive and get a listing of files (I exaggerate but there is a noticeable difference). For a third, I don't have a stupid popup telling me, "You must type your administrator password to install Firefox.exe" and then after I type the password..... nothing happens.* And finally when I upgrade my RAM from 1/2 to 1.5 gig XP happily accepts it. Whereas when I did the same with Vista I was accused of stealing the OS and taken to a page where I was asked to pay $100 for a license.*** I bet Win 7 Vista 6.1 will have similar behavior.

*
* This just happened to me this past weekend.
*
*** At this point the mods are probably marking me troll. No buds it's an OPINION. Tolerate others views even if you disagree.

Re:Vodka (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29858173)

I personally enjoy you complaining about it performing badly with 1/2 a gig of RAM when the memory requirements are stated as 1 GB for Windows 7. As for the stealing OS part, you have to reactivate which I think is personally fine given the amount of piracy Microsoft has been/are subject to.

Re:Vodka (1)

sopssa (1498795) | about 5 years ago | (#29858183)

For one thing XP doesn't crash.

It does a lot more than Vista. I dont even remember when my Vista has crashed, and I run it 24/7.

For another it doesn't take 2 minutes to open my external USB: drive and get a listing of files (I exaggerate but there is a noticeable difference).

Never had such a problem with Vista, and I dont even understand why there would be such a difference.

For a third, I don't have a stupid popup telling me, "You must type your administrator password to install Firefox.exe" and then after I type the password..... nothing happens.*

You can disable UAC and get stuff to work exactly the same way as in XP, if you want to.

Re:Vodka (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29858225)

You are describing problems you may or may not have actually experienced in Vista and attributing them to win 7.

Yep. You are a troll.

If you want to bash on MS for being MS, go for it. If you are going to bash an actual product try having some actual experience first.

Re:Vodka (0)

ZosX (517789) | about 5 years ago | (#29858233)

Clearly you have not used windows 7 as there is no classic mode anymore. Nice try troll. Also when I insert a usb disk in windows 7 it comes up immediately and I never had a problem installing firefox on any machine. Ever. UAC AFAIK doesn't even prompt for a password.

Re:Vodka (2, Informative)

cjfs (1253208) | about 5 years ago | (#29858295)

Not sure how this got to +5 insightful, but to offer a different take:

I've been running windows 7 on two systems since the RC. It crashed once right at install. It's been perfectly stable the entire time on both systems since (several months). The only times I've restarted were to install updates.

I just timed the usb external drive and flash drive, less than 5 sec on each. I haven't tried out a ram swap, so not sure about the licensing. As for the prompt to install, it's not a bad idea for people that just click okay to everything to make them pause before installing their malware.

Re:Vodka (4, Insightful)

HermMunster (972336) | about 5 years ago | (#29858007)

Dvorak is saying that there's really not a lot new. He's saying that Microsoft didn't bring into the fold those things they promised in Vista prior to the launch (all the interesting technologies they cut out). He's saying that Windows 7 is really just Vista with a few new eye-candy like things. Yes, it is a bit less resource hungry but even with all that the amount of performance gain is only about 5% over that of Vista, which goes unnoticed by the average user.

The feature sets that they added are not that significant and some of them aren't even based on Vista, instead they are based on add-ins such as WMP.

Technically, Dvorak is correct. It's just another run on the laundry where some of the more significant stains happened to come out.

Re:Vodka (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | about 5 years ago | (#29858135)

>>>He's saying that Microsoft didn't bring into the fold those things they promised in Vista prior to the launch (all the interesting technologies they cut out). He's saying that Windows 7 is really just Vista with a few new eye-candy like things.
>>>

Well of course. Window 7 == Windows Mohave (which was Vista in disguise).

A page from Apple's PR book... (2, Insightful)

klubar (591384) | about 5 years ago | (#29858143)

Dvorak complains in his rank that "Somewhere along the line, Microsoft apparently decided that it only wants to deal with those amenable suckers who will give it a pass on everything". This has been the apple strategy for years, any new hack who doesn't write glowing reviews (or even has the slightest criticism) is cut off from Apple. The hacks, like Mossberg, who praise every apple-touched product are showered with special treatment--including preview samples and preferred access.

When Apple does this it's called brilliant marketing (you better call it that if you're a hack who wants your calls returned), when Microsoft does it, it's unfair competition.

Dvorak...why should MS give you special access?

Re:A page from Apple's PR book... (1)

dpilot (134227) | about 5 years ago | (#29858237)

> Dvorak...why should MS give you special access?

No, they should recognize him as a "friendly" critic, and examine his criticisms. That doesn't meant that they should take them as marching orders, but it means they should consider them, along with other criticisms.

"Business myopia" is a terrible disease, especially in an industry dominator. It's when businesses become preoccupied with their own internal plans and desires, and kind of forget about what the customers need and want, and what gets customers ticked off. Business myopia brought us things like Vista, Pentium4, IA64, etc.

Re:Vodka (5, Insightful)

murdocj (543661) | about 5 years ago | (#29858189)

Mostly it sounded like Dvorak was annoyed that he wasn't being treated like the big cheese that he thinks he is:
"I haven't received a single personal note from a Microsoft PR person for roughly four years."

Re:Vodka (1)

tverbeek (457094) | about 5 years ago | (#29858195)

Vodka and martinis are a good metaphor. Whatever "brand" of Windows you're taking about, it just isn't relevant to anyone who's gone on the wagon and left it behind for OS X and/or Linux.

Slashes still lean the wrong way (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29857817)

As such, it is completely useless, unintuitive and uncomfortable for me. Will not use it.

Die Dvorak (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29857839)

Seriously allready, it's not funny anymore

Butterface (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29857849)

It's like a hot chick with an ugly face...

On one hand, John Dvorak is saying something negative about Microsoft.
On the other hand, I would have to agree with something that troll John Dvorak thinks.

Quite the dilemma.

Re:Butterface (1)

El Lobo (994537) | about 5 years ago | (#29857887)

Naee, it's like an ugly chick criticizing a hot one, green of envy... and the question is, when was the last time you (yes I'm looking to you Dvorak) put something decent out? Can you do better? Well do it!!!

Dvorak is right about Microsoft on this point (2, Funny)

Dystopian Rebel (714995) | about 5 years ago | (#29858111)

I don't have any time for Dvorak (or other "pundits") but he is right about Microsoft's publicity and media work being haplessly out of touch. I'm a PC... The Wow Starts Now... Gates and Seinfeld... Windows 7 Party... and, of course, any time CEO Steve Ballboy speaks ("Squirt me that... IBM should do hardware...") or is photographed without a bag over his head.

I don't foresee buying Windows 7. Windows XP works just fine. I see no compelling reason to attend any Windows 7 "Support Our Corporation" Party unless Pamela Anderson has accepted to do a striptease.

Re:Dvorak is right about Microsoft on this point (5, Funny)

maxume (22995) | about 5 years ago | (#29858149)

You have poor taste in strippers.

Re:Butterface (1)

cjfs (1253208) | about 5 years ago | (#29857933)

Quite the dilemma.

Just say he's right for the wrong reasons ;-)

Dvorak is just not feeling loved anymore (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29857867)

I haven't received a single personal note from a Microsoft PR person for roughly four years.

And therefore Windows 7 will achieve moderate success, at best.

Very Different (1)

homey of my owney (975234) | about 5 years ago | (#29857877)

But the same. this one has a number in the name. Everything old is new again

Is it just me... (1)

Flibberdy (780254) | about 5 years ago | (#29857879)

Or is Dvorak's article more of a complaint that MS no longer writes him love letters than anything else?
He barely mentions Win7 at all

Yep (1)

cjfs (1253208) | about 5 years ago | (#29858197)

Definitely sounds like it:

I haven't received a single personal note from a Microsoft PR person for roughly four years. Instead, the company has taken to sending out very lengthy and somewhat boring cheerleader-type consumer newsletters to the media in an attempt to keep us informed. It's essentially spam with lots of links and no real compelling content, which seems to be the work of someone who has recently finished taking English as a Second Language courses.

And then 6 more paragraphs complaining about their marketing, not the product.

Let's get a few things out of the way... (2, Insightful)

Anita Coney (648748) | about 5 years ago | (#29857895)

John Dvorak is...
Old, real old.
Out of touch.
An old fogey.
Stupid.
Really stupid.
A troll.
Illogical.
Ignorant of what he writes and says.

Now feel free to actually comment about the topic at hand: Windows 7, worth it or not?

Re:Let's get a few things out of the way... (1)

supremebob (574732) | about 5 years ago | (#29857989)

I'm not a Dvorak fan either, but you gotta admit that article was pretty pointless. It really wasn't about Windows 7 at all, and was just a bunch of cranky ramblings about Microsoft's advertising and PR programs.

Sadly, it was still better than many of Dvorak's articles that got posted on Slashdot.

Re:Let's get a few things out of the way... (1)

HermMunster (972336) | about 5 years ago | (#29858061)

And your assessment is based on what factual information?

Re:Let's get a few things out of the way... (1)

Hymer (856453) | about 5 years ago | (#29858089)

It may become "worth it" when one can recompile the kernel whenever one likes...

Good and bad... (5, Informative)

SerpentMage (13390) | about 5 years ago | (#29857905)

I have installed it on three machines:

The good is that desktops work rather well.

The bad is that notebooks are rather problematic. I have an HP tablet that when the screen is flipped causes the machine to stop dead in its tracks.

The other problem I had was that upgrading an XP to Windows 7 machine worked ONCE I completely removed all of the partitions. Windows 7 needs a system partition that is blocked by most OEM's backup and restore partition. It frustrated me for five hours, and the messages from Windows 7 were crap.

Overall, Windows 7 is acceptable. Definitely needed when using Vista, but Windows 7 no work of wonder...

Want work of wonder... Ubuntu Netbook Remix. Now that has me impressed. I run Windows machines, but on my netbook Ubuntu Netbook Remix runs perfectly and the UI is brilliant. Much better than the Windows 7 stuff.

Re:Good and bad... (3, Insightful)

cjfs (1253208) | about 5 years ago | (#29857957)

Overall, Windows 7 is acceptable

Yay! We have XP back. Only took 8 years!

Re:Good and bad... (1)

lukas84 (912874) | about 5 years ago | (#29858125)

We've been using the RC on about 20 ThinkPads. Not a single one of them had issues or functionality that didn't work. One of them was an X200 tablet.

None of them had issues with installing (we upgraded from Vista). By now, we've upgraded all of these to the RTM version. No issues either.

Maybe you shouldn't buy HP.

Re:Good and bad... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29858129)

upgrading an XP to Windows 7 machine

I though that it has always been common knowledge among geeks to never upgrade to a new version of Windows. Always install a fulll version of the new OS from scratch. Upgrading to a new OS from an old OS version has always been the cause of problems and even when it goes right the resulting system tends to have all kinds of leftover bloat and bugginess.

Re:Good and bad... (2, Informative)

Taur0 (1634625) | about 5 years ago | (#29858277)

I've been running the windows 7 RC for about 4 months on my HP tablet tx2500z. All the drivers installer automatically, except for one of the HP ones to deal with the extra buttons like the sound and rotate buttons (never experienced a crash due to rotation even before I installed the driver). The only other problem was a minor issue in getting the adobe flash debugger to work, took like 2 seconds to fix though. Never had a blue screen. It runs just fine for me and I'm still using the RC.

not a download issue... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29857913)

anybody realize that you can't do an upgrade installation from a 32 bit OS to 64 bit? and this has nothing to do with the download? Not even MS support?

Sure, an iso would be nice, but still, lots of people getting their facts wrong...

micros~1 pays slate's bills (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29857915)

The usual astroturfing vs. the usual critiques. And then there's the mere coincidence that every windows to date has been branded "best windows evar". I can't help but understand, even share, the dark^Wcynical^W critical outlook of some. But then, we also already know that this usually gets snowed under the marketeering driven onslaught that micros~1 does best. They really are more of a marketeering company than anything else. The rest is just gimmick to help sales.

Anonymous Coward (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29857925)

I got the student 64-bit version for my laptop and it runs like a dream.

Martini? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29857929)

Vodka? In a Martinia? Whoever this John Dvorak character is he reveals himself to be unsophisticated and boorish. Who else would turn the martini from a subtle melding of flavours into a delivery device for yet even more of the high-octane, low-flavour swill they call Vodka?

Re:Martini? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29858209)

Mmmm, chilled Bombay Sapphire, a splash of dry vermouth in a chilled glass, and a twist of lemon peel. Oh god I'm thirsty.

Re:Martini? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29858289)

I prefer with two olives and a bow in the direction of France.

Different reasons (1, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | about 5 years ago | (#29857937)

There are many uses of Windows and each will offer their different opinion, there are some people who will use Windows 7 to get things done. The fact that it seems to run faster than Vista, seems to have usability improvements and has some new features makes it a "win" in their eye. There are some people who just use a computer for internet, e-mail and perhaps typing up a few documents. Windows 7 wins in that it is faster than Vista, is currently lesser used so for a while it will be more secure, and it seems like MS learned to only certify machines that will actually run Windows 7 decently so we won't have some of the Vista disasters, however it is still not as familiar as XP is, so it will require some re-learning especially if they are one of the many still using XP. Then there are the PC "fanboys" these people are usually either people with a lot of cash and like having "the fastest" machine, are PC gamers or developers with expensive MS certifications. These people see Windows 7 and the second coming of the messiah and will overlook any and all flaws. There are still other people who look at each OS looking for the "perfect" OS, they will undoubtedly see many flaws and some benefits to using Windows 7. And yet there are people who prefer a different OS, but are looking at Windows 7 to run Windows only apps, with the XP compatibility mode, the fact that Windows 7 is installed by default on most newer computers now, and the improved speed will usually make these people like it for its features, but still feel that their installed OS (OS X, Linux, BSD, VMS, etc) is still superior.

Windows 7 is clearly better than Vista (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29857953)

(not to mention being WAY better than XP)

As someone who ran Vista from the get-go (well, almost, since it was RTM) - on numerous systems, I can say that Windows 7 is a huge upgrade from Vista. Yes, it's not a whole new operating system (although it's pitched that way by MS) - it is in fact Vista the way it should have been in the first place, but that doesn't change the fact that it's way better.

The two key improvements are:

1. Performance - and I'm not talking about benchmarking DVD-burning or file copying being one second faster than Vista or two seconds faster than XP - but about overall, sustained system responsiveness. Windows 7 easily beats Vista here without a doubt. I'm actually running 7 on an eee 900 - and it's as fast as XP was, and I'd have to say it's probably actually slightly faster than XP was. Vista, of course, never cut it for that particular box. On 2 other machines (a desktop and a laptop) - both of which used Vista beforehand - 7 shows tremendous improvement.

2. Usability. This is actually not such a big deal, but honestly, the only cool thing Vista had to show for itself was the all-but-useless Flip 3D. In almost four years of using Vista, I've never once used it for actually switching apps - only to show people what it looks like. 7, on the other hand, comes with a variety of useful UI improvements that I'm already hooked on, e.g. aligning windows to the left and right for easy comparison between windows, taskbar previous improvements (can't wait for Firefox to support those, aero peek and a couple of others.

I'd say that Dvorak is simply feeling sour about not being treated like a celebrity like he was used to at the past. That has nothing to do with 7.

The key place where Microsoft made negative progress is on the taskbar. Everyone's saying how Microsoft's version of the dock is better than the original - I say both suck. Why on earth one would want to mix between running applications and switching to running applications is beyond me. Thankfully, the new 7 taskbar can be tweaked to behave like the XP/Vista taskbar (quicklaunch for launching apps, the rest of the taskbar for showing running apps) in under 3 minutes.

Are desktop OS's really dying ? (3, Insightful)

Kylock (608369) | about 5 years ago | (#29857955)

From the article:

The desktop OS is besieged from all sides: More and more of our applications now run on the Web, and the idea of running huge, complex, and expensive personal systems will, in time, seem strange.

Does this remark seem strange to anyone else ? I, honestly, am not seeing this trend at all, but I've seen it talked about. What's the reality here ?

Re:Are desktop OS's really dying ? (1)

cjfs (1253208) | about 5 years ago | (#29858031)

Does this remark seem strange to anyone else ? I, honestly, am not seeing this trend at all, but I've seen it talked about. What's the reality here ?

It's mostly in the portable space. Netbooks, phones, etc. Lots of people seem to be replacing their desktop with a netbook altogether. Office web apps have been growing (slowly) for a while and a lot of people see that as the eventual favorite. There's also services like OnLive for games that are getting decent reviews.

Everything does seem to be moving that way, but at a very slow pace. As decent, reliable broadband becomes ubiquitous (sorry USA) it will probably speed up.

Re:Are desktop OS's really dying ? (1)

lukas84 (912874) | about 5 years ago | (#29858097)

I've never seen a single person that used Office web apps except for playing around with them.

I do see the trend towards laptop though. But many people that bought a netbook soon got buyers remorse - because most of them jsut aren't powerful enough.

Re:Are desktop OS's really dying ? (1)

reub2000 (705806) | about 5 years ago | (#29858251)

On average, how much use of a computer is really taking advantage of it's full power? Really, I can get a lot done on a 1.6GHz Atom processor. And I absolutly love that I can go all day on one charge of a 6 cell battery. No need to carry around a power cord, unlike my laptop.

Re:Are desktop OS's really dying ? (1)

lukas84 (912874) | about 5 years ago | (#29858307)

The main issue isn't the CPU. It's the small screen and shitty keyboard.

My media center is an Asrock ION 330. It's plenty fast, works great, but i'm glad my desktop has an i7-920 and my laptop has a P8700.

Re:Are desktop OS's really dying ? (1)

maxume (22995) | about 5 years ago | (#29858035)

Everyone in my family has a laptop that is fast enough for everything they do on a computer. For us, the portability more than makes up for the higher cost (and we are all probably sliding down the cost curve as stuff gets bigger/faster/better).

Re:Are desktop OS's really dying ? (2, Insightful)

Torodung (31985) | about 5 years ago | (#29858087)

From the article:

The desktop OS is besieged from all sides: More and more of our applications now run on the Web, and the idea of running huge, complex, and expensive personal systems will, in time, seem strange.

Does this remark seem strange to anyone else ? I, honestly, am not seeing this trend at all, but I've seen it talked about. What's the reality here ?

The reality here is various business interests with a large stake in server farms and service based software fee structures are pushing cloud computing. Hard.

You will see it talked about as if it is reality a lot, but it really hasn't fully materialized yet.

This is like someone in the 50's talking about things in "The Jetsons" as the way the future will be, for the time being. A "personal robot" will not seem strange in the future, and so on.

--
Toro

Re:Are desktop OS's really dying ? (2, Insightful)

Kryptonian Jor-El (970056) | about 5 years ago | (#29858263)

Yeah its 100% bullshit. The cloud is a horrible idea. Whats the point of storing all of my information and applications on someone else's computer, only to use the internet to access them. The only "web" applications I use are flash games and stuff for school.

Dvorak is the enemy of slashdot (1)

gozu (541069) | about 5 years ago | (#29857965)

Dvorak is an idiot, trying to get publicity for his stupid views. Windows 7 is good.

Re:Dvorak is the enemy of gozu (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29858099)

Wait... that makes no sense. Dvorak is ragging on M$ (lololo) and that makes him the enemy of /.? You must be new here.

Re:Dvorak is the enemy of slashdot (4, Funny)

julesh (229690) | about 5 years ago | (#29858157)

Dvorak is an idiot, trying to get publicity for his stupid views

Yeah. What kind of moron makes a martini [wikipedia.org] with vodka?!

Re:Dvorak is the enemy of slashdot (1)

RedK (112790) | about 5 years ago | (#29858211)

You did notice the word vodka that appears a few times on that wikipedia page right ?

It's more important MS had another release (3, Interesting)

xtal (49134) | about 5 years ago | (#29857969)

If Windows 7 is any good or not is really a moot point. Every new, additional release of windows, and every new API they introduce dilutes the Windows XP/IE monoculture that was stopping the acceptance of alternative OSes. Microsoft is unlikely to ever regain the position of dominance they had on 2000-01, so it's only a matter of time.

A martini... (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29857977)

Dear John Dvorak,

A martini [wikipedia.org] is made with gin and vermouth.

A vodka martini is made with vodka.

Stick to bad car analogies next time.

Re:A martini... (1)

lukas84 (912874) | about 5 years ago | (#29858077)

So if i drive a car after drinking gin i'm less likely to crash?

Re:A martini... (1)

Altus (1034) | about 5 years ago | (#29858145)

It is a martini made by Microsoft after all.

It's the best version of Windows I've used so far. (1, Redundant)

the unbeliever (201915) | about 5 years ago | (#29857987)

And I've used Windows from 3.0 to current, every version and every service pack level.

It's replaced the linux partition on my gaming desktop even.

Re:It's the best version of Windows I've used so f (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29858071)

similar story here.

I'd actually installed (k)ubuntu, and was seriously considering switching to that as my main OS such were my bad experiences with Vista.

kubunutu was far from perfect however, often feeling like processes were blocking other processes for no reason, not really giving any error, just hanging until other things were done. add to that audio problems, and it wasn't really much better than Vista, it just had it's own set of problems.

Windows 7 on the other hand is streamlined, and functional, I've had no issues with it at all, even on machines where Vista was troublesome.

As a result I've been able to wipe off kubuntu and now have an up to date operating system that serves all my needs.

Re:It's the best version of Windows I've used so f (1)

dpilot (134227) | about 5 years ago | (#29858301)

Replacing a "linux gaming partition" is a pretty low bar.

You read like a pretty dedicated Windows user. That's not meant as a criticism, merely that you've stuck with it over the long haul - even Windows 98 original, WindowsME and Vista. That you even had a Linux partition on any of your machines also speaks well of you, being sufficiently interested to even try it out. I'm curious why you "replaced the linux partition" on your gaming machine, though. Don't you already have Windows on that machine, on another partition? Were you running out of space, or did you want multiple Windows installs on it?

On the other hand, in VLSI engineering, it's just really nice to have a native Unix-family desktop, X windows, and the like, to run the software and peer with the other similar machines.

MS snatched victory from the jaws of failure... (3, Insightful)

cyclocommuter (762131) | about 5 years ago | (#29857995)

Well it looks like Microsoft has turned the Vista blunder into a Windows 7 success, money making opportunity... great move on their part. They did this by basically just waiting for drivers to mature, waiting for the hardware to catch up, and focusing on creating some fancy ads like these: Windows 7 Ad Campaign Kicks Off, Focuses on Features [osnews.com]

I tend to agree with Dvorak... Windows 7 is more like Vista SP3...plus some fancy interface updates but basically the same deep down.

Re:MS snatched victory from the jaws of failure... (1)

lukas84 (912874) | about 5 years ago | (#29858067)

Yeah, but XP was basically the same to Windows 2000. And we all know how that turned out.

Obligatory Futurama response (5, Funny)

Dachannien (617929) | about 5 years ago | (#29858083)

Small Glurmo: But, your Highness, she's a commoner. Her Slurm will taste foul.
Slurm Queen: Yes, which is why we'll market it as New Slurm. Then, when everyone hates it, we'll bring back Slurm Classic and make billions!

Re:MS snatched victory from the jaws of failure... (0, Flamebait)

Torodung (31985) | about 5 years ago | (#29858109)

And if anyone had a job, they could all buy new computers. Oops. Economic timing at odds with market synergies. What to do?

We'll see how successful this launch is in 5 years. I'm sure they'll fake the numbers in the short term, even if no one is buying.

--
Toro

The name is Bond (1)

HangingChad (677530) | about 5 years ago | (#29858021)

I'll have my Windows 7 shaken, not stirred.

On a serious note, he's right about what's going on inside MSFT. That's been happening a long time. I actually think they would have been farther ahead letting the government break them up. They act like a company that's not all that excited about what they do anymore.

Does anyone REALLY take Dvorak seriously? (5, Insightful)

mattand08 (1663615) | about 5 years ago | (#29858033)

I've been listening to Dvorak on Twit for a few years now. Why does anyone listen to this guy? His whole shtick is to say everything sucks. I'm guessing LaPorte, Marketwatch, et. al. have him on for the "controversy", but more often than not he's just wasting everyone's time.

I know this stuff has been beaten to death, but here's a guy who:

A) thought the mouse was a waste of time
B) thought the iPhone would fail
C) proclaimed there was no way Google would ever buy YouTube

among other things. In a strange sort of way, I almost admire him. He's managed to make a career of just complaining about stuff with not much to back it up.

The only thing I sort of remember is Dvorak claiming he had the scoop on Apple switching to Intel, but IIRC the rocket scientists at MacOS Rumors made the same claim. The implication here is that that prediction may not have been the most difficult to devine (i.e., saying that in the future, there will be a cure for cancer or some other disease.)

Quite frankly, if Dvorak is shitting all over Win7, my first reaction is that it's probably going to do well. In some ways, Dvorak is to tech as Jim Cramer is to stocks: Do the opposite of what they say and you'll be fine.

Re:Does anyone REALLY take Dvorak seriously? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29858181)

His whole shtick is to say everything sucks.

Well, just imagine a Pollyannaish columnist:

"Vista is just so wonderful! It's colorful and pretty! And there's just no more hunting for programs - you just type what you want in! And maybe there's no compatible Vista drivers for you hardware, but think of the challenge of working around it! It will make you smarter! Vista is just sooo wonderful!

Dvorak's complaints have nothing to do with the OS (1)

GT_Alias (551463) | about 5 years ago | (#29858045)

Dvorak's article is completely useless. He's concerned with the fact that MS doesn't coddle the media like they once did and that their marketing material is overly pro-corporate (imagine that!) and lacking in punctuation--there was nothing in the article about the OS. I'm not sure how this guy manages to stay employed other than the fact that he's entertaining in his complete lack of relevance. Also, the cheap vodka/martini/two-olives analogy made no sense...it did make me want a martini though.

What Cloud??? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29858065)

Both reviews are based of the reviewers perception of what Microsoft needed to get right, and both are crap. Nobodys opinion matters as much as mine, cause I actually have to *buy* my copy of ... whatever.

My beef with the Microsoft fanboy's review is not that he got all mushy on 7, which I will admit is not a bad OS in my experience, but his insistance that its all pointless anyway, cause the 'cloud' is coming....

I know the mainstream media has to jump on the 'next new thing' bandwagon, but this particular bit of hype is baffling for a couple of reasons....

The entire concept of 'cloud computing' is moronic. Lets throw out 30 years of computer science innovation, turn our boxes into the computing equivalent of a toaster so we can use the internets, office software, Quake, and photoshop by subscribing to a never ending service that we cant actually even license...much less 'own'.

What could possibly go wrong? Once we all have thin clients on our desks hooked into the cloud, we can get rid of all the desktop programmers and put all the software innovation concentration on those super awesome AJAX developers out there, who can 'almost' pull off web apps that have the features of desktop apps we stopped using in 1998. Hype is stupid, the cloud is marketing fog.

Re:What Cloud??? (1)

lukas84 (912874) | about 5 years ago | (#29858179)

I've never even heard our executives or customers talk about cloud computing. So it must be a fad.

haven't tried it yet (1)

u4ya (1248548) | about 5 years ago | (#29858091)

but windows 7 is at least twice as good as windows 3.1

Re:haven't tried it yet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29858169)

and at least 285x as bad as Windows 2000?

I read both articles... (2, Interesting)

trudyscousin (258684) | about 5 years ago | (#29858133)

...and came to the conclusion that I was dealing with a couple of cranks in Mssrs. Manjoo and Dvorak (not that the latter comes as any surprise).

Manjoo's piece attempted to 'prove' that Windows 7 was a better operating system based on one feature (Taskbar/Aero Views vs. Exposé) and provided a rather subjective critiqué even for that. I'd have liked to have learned more from him about why Windows 7 supposedly beats out Snow Leopard. Nonetheless, his first paragraph (with regards to crapware and the like) tells me what I've always known about the Windows experience: The more things change, the more they unfortunately remain the same.

As for Dvorak's piece, "cheap Microsoft vodka" paints a funny picture, but droning on about how he never gets any more press kits from Microsoft (is it really any wonder, knowing Dvorak?) doesn't tell me anything about Windows 7.

Meh! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29858141)

What does Dvorak's article have to do with anything? He's not even arguing it's a bad product, he's just saying the other stuff (PR, marketing, whatnot) has to come together.

I'm not sure if this is the power's fault, or Dvorak's, but what does this article even intend to say? "MICROSOFT MOAR ADS NOAW!"

They made a good product and dvorak didn't even touch on that subject in the entire article.

Not too bad... (1)

ducomputergeek (595742) | about 5 years ago | (#29858161)

I installed Windows 7 RC whatever a while ago on my Bootcamp partition. As a lark, I pulled out some older applications and programs that gave Vista fits when it first came out a couple years ago. Installed on Windows 7 without many hiccups, had to set the emulation and run in administrator mode on a couple, but at least they installed and ran without any problems after that.

Now I need to upgrade to Parallels 4 so I can run it in a VM like I did XP. It's not replaced OSX as my everyday OS, but we still have to test our web apps in IE and desktop apps in Windows and Windows 7 runs happily on my older MacBook with 2GB of Ram.

Windows 7 is... (1)

CFBMoo1 (157453) | about 5 years ago | (#29858163)

.. what Windows Vista should have been. I've been a day 1 adopter of both and Vista made me pull my hair out with driver problem, slow file operations, and a long boot time with a fresh install. Windows 7 on the other hand has had no driver issues for me, file operations are fast, and the boot time is even faster.

Microsoft needs to stop rushing and stop promising big. They also need to suck it up when people think something sucks and go back to the drawing board like they did to turn an ugly Vista duckling in to a nice 7 swan.

So what? (5, Interesting)

VinylPusher (856712) | about 5 years ago | (#29858177)

If I pretend Vista never happened and I'm going straight from XP to 7, 7 is good.

I could do everything I need to do using just XP, but it wouldn't get done quite as rapidly or elegantly. The whole side-by-side window thing wins a bunch of gratitude from me to Microsoft. Windows key + left/right arrow = definite winner. Anything that reduces my interation with my mouse is a good thing. Works great with side-by-side monitors too :)

Windows 7 improves things *just* enough for me to have little moments of 'ooh, that's nice', which is something missing from XP and Vista.

USB device recognition: Fast. Very fast.
Multi-monitor support: Slick. Unobtrusive. A no-brainer.
UI interactions: Rapid. Responsive. Highly configurable. -- I tend to turn off all the animations / slide effects. Me click close gadget = window gone instantly. Thus my productivity goes up a small percentage.
Hardware support: Inconspicuous. Works just like magic. -- My Nokia N97 (with or without installation of Nokia's Ovi application suite) works exactly as I need it to when I hook it up.
Firewall: I will never need a 3rd-party firewall. Windows 7's firewall (once you get at its interface) is nothing short of perfect.
Networking: Again, it just works. No need to faff about with it. Even recognised my nForce 4 based motherboard's Nvidia ethernet port. Not just recognised, but supports TCP offloading. Not that I needed to know this, but I went poking around ;)

OK, I had to install graphics drivers to get any reasonable performance, but if I hadn't, I could still use my 1920x1200 native resolution and not really suffer *too* great a performance loss in office apps.

Windows 7 will see me through the next 6 years quite happily.

On Par with XP, Quality-Wise (2, Interesting)

ovanklot (715633) | about 5 years ago | (#29858207)

I've been using Windows 7 for a couple of months now, since it was RTW, after using Vista for a couple of years.
There is absolutely no comparison to Vista in terms of speed and stability, as it it far better. I also love some of the new features they added. Windows 7 is to Windows Vista what Windows XP was to Windows ME.

By the way, Apple's ads have been going downhill since they started. They started out nice and truthful, highlighting Microsoft's failures and Apple's successes nicely, but now they've turned into mostly FUD and cheap-shots.

Show me a bullet list (1)

camg188 (932324) | about 5 years ago | (#29858231)

I'd like to see a bullet list of the features in Win7 versus Vista and XP. For the typical home user, I don't see big differences in functionality between the different Windows versions from Win2K forward.
The only reason I upgraded from Win2K to XP was for remote desktop functionality that I needed for work. If the biggest differences are widgets on the desktop, fancy picture viewers, etc., then it's not worth the $100+ to buy it for my current systems. I'd take it pre-installed on a new system, but if I build my own system I'd probably use the XP that I already have.

Farhad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29858269)

Anyone who looks to either Farhad or Dvorak for insight needs to have their head examined.

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