Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Can Microsoft do it with Windows 7?

By: Subhadeep Bhattacharjee

It was just about two years ago that Microsoft built an immense hype for its latest operating system Windows Vista. Microsoft created a sense of "wow" factor surrounding its new baby. But within months the truth was out and the entire world discovered that Vista was unstable, offered less than promised security and didn't work all that well with third-party peripherals. This meant that Microsoft was pushed to the drawing board and now has now come out with Windows 7 in less than two years after the launch of Vista.

First things first this time around Microsoft is taking a more subdued approach and wants the product to speak for itself. Windows 7 could be the make or break OS for Microsoft as it faces threat from Linux, Apple and Google. The industry has changed a lot since the release of Vista. PC sales have slowed during the recession. This means that Windows 7 will have to survive in a more challenging environment than Vista. It may not see swarming sales it saw with Vista as many people will be sceptical this time.

Windows 7 is coming with a touch-screen support. It will integrate with any new touch-screen PC. This feature gives Microsoft a rare leg up on Apple, whose newly revealed Macintosh line-up doesn't include a touch-screen desktop or laptop (funny considering Apple is revolutionising the touch generation elsewhere). A new Snap feature predicts where users want to place their application windows. Windows 7 allows users to pin their favourite applications to the taskbar, similar to the Apple's Mac OSX

Windows 7 is also coming with security features in the enterprise-targeted version, such as BitLocker and BitLocker To Go, could be attractive for businesses that deal with sensitive data. Documents and storage devices can be password-protected and securely recovered. With Windows 7 Professional and up, people can use XP Mode to emulate the old operating system and run XP applications. This will be huge advantage over Vista as many applications compatible with XP didn't run on Vista.

Many feel Vista failed not because it was bad but because it was ahead of time. The hardware in most PCs around the world wasn't ready to deal with Vista which is not the case with Windows 7. The majority of businesses around the world are running an 8-year-old operating system, XP on pre-Vista computers now want to upgrade. With recession subsiding many corporates are looking forward to upgrading their PC and using the latest Operating System.

Experts who have used the Beta version of Windows 7 say it is faster, more reliable and more secure than Vista. Although the new operating system and fixed the loopholes it had with Vista it is not very different from its predecessor as both have been built on the same platform. It will be too early to predict the future of Windows 7 but one thing is sure this OS might very well decide the future of the Microsoft.


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