Given the widespread disappointment with Windows Vista, Microsoft is now pinning its hopes on Windows 7. But why should it get a better reception? True, Vista upon introduction had problems with device support that Windows 7 will not repeat. But that’s not the main problem, which in my opinion is this: people who have Windows XP (like me) generally don’t want a newer version. Even if they get one “for free” upon buying a new computer, they don’t want a “better” version of Windows, they want the one they have (hence the popularity of XP downgrades). They’re familiar with it, it works acceptably well by Windows standards (sad but true), and they don’t want to risk new problems, especially after hearing so many complaints about Vista. The shift to Vista caused many Windows users to decide that “well, if I have to switch operating systems, I might as well switch to a Mac”.
Why the lack of interest in improvements to Windows? To hack an old phrase, “it’s the online, stupid”. My earlier post The decline of the personal-computer operating system
talked about this.
Windows 7 will be better than Vista, both by lacking Vista’s initial technical problems and by having some nice features, and power users will like it. Nevertheless I predict that Windows 7 will be a commercial flop in much the same way that Vista was. Microsoft is flogging a dead horse.