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Monday, July 5, 2010

The Return of Windows

It’s not even a year after the release of Windows 7, and apparently Microsoft is already preparing software developers for Windows 8.  Doesn’t that seem a bit drastic?

Well, not really, no.  Let me explain.

People were upset with Windows Vista.  I talked about that in an earlier post.  (In fact, to use the word “upset” would be an understatement.)  And then people claimed that Microsoft were themselves upset with Vista, using as evidence of this the fact that MS released Windows 7 a mere 3 years after Vista, while there was a gap of more or less than twice that between XP and Vista.

But, in fact, Vista wasn’t the odd one out there; XP was.  There has always been an average of a 3 year gap between Microsoft OS releases.  Windows 1 was released in 1985; Windows 2 in 1987; Windows 3.0 in 1990 and 3.1 in 1992.  Then Windows 95 in 1995, and 98 in 1998, followed by Windows 2000 (based on NT) and Windows Me (based on Windows 98) in 2000.  Windows XP followed 1 year later, in 2001, only to be replaced by Vista at the end of 2006.

So in all honesty, Windows 7 is just Microsoft getting back on track.  Also, another thing I want to point out, while I’m on the subject.  Someone commented on one of my earlier posts that “Windows 7 is just Vista with the bugs sorted out”.  True; but that’s usually the case with operating systems.  Windows 98 was just Windows 95 with newer features and fewer bugs.  Similarly, Windows Me was 98 with new features and fewer bugs (though some would say more bugs).  Similarly, XP was just an overhaul of 2000 (though an excellent overhaul, I have to say).  Vista was Windows redesigned from the ground up, but Windows 7 is, once again, an overhaul (but just like XP, an excellent overhaul).

So to get back to the point; Microsoft starting to talk about Windows 8 is really not surprising to me at all.  In fact, Microsoft started talking about it before the release of Windows 7!  They are looking toward the future, which is a good thing.

Now, I know that some of my readers love to criticise MS, and will use the release dates as further criticism.  (These readers are especially Linux fanboys!)  And though I love Linux (yes, I really do, and I will feature some Linux-related posts in the future as well!), I have to point out that a new version of Ubuntu is releases every 6 months.  And the reason?  To add new features, and to sort out bugs.  Yes, I know that Ubuntu is free.  But in principle it’s the same thing – People improve their software and release it to the public.

So, in summary – Windows 8 is coming, whether we like it or not.  “Will it be good?”  We’ll just have to wait and see.  “Does it look promising?”  Yes indeed; if half of the new features people are talking about are included, then it will be excellent.  “I’ll just wait for Windows 8 then instead of upgrading to Windows 7 right now.”  Well, it’s up to you; but seriously, 7 is brilliant.  And don’t hold your breath; it’s probably going to be more than 2 years before we can actually install Windows 8.


  1. I am definitely not a fan of the Linux (and yet I am using the Unix architecture in terminal more each day...strange but true). However my point is that the average user of any OS would not want to spend loads of cash to keep up with the Gatses. This makes the upgrades seem drastic as you know that the new release will have some financial impact.

  2. True; but still I find that people will rather pay the money for(or steal a copy of) MS's software (even the newer versions) than to learn something new, even if it's free. And on that point, I think the fact that Microsoft dropped their software prices considerably is a good sign...

  3. What is the price for a current copy of windows 7?

  4. Depends on the version you want; but here in SA there are places (not the "incredible" ones, obviously!) where you can get a Win7 version from as little as R350. Legally. That's Starter Edition; but unlike the Starter Editions of XP and Vista, it's actually quite powerful.