April 6, 2009

Windows 7: Downgrades Included

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It’s been pretty obvious that Vista is not doing as well as Microsoft had hoped it would. So in an attempt to save its franchise, Microsoft has embarked on a mission to create a better Windows, namely Windows 7. You should all understand that the offer to try the beta had ended back in February, so if you’re hoping to pick up a copy to play around with, you’re straight out of luck.

News of Windows 7 has been floating around the dark and decrepit tubes of the internet for a while now and it’s time to really take a look at it, especially since the announcement today that it will allow users to downgrade to Vista and even XP.

Now I’m no marketing expert, but whenever a company touts downgrading an operating system as a selling point, something is then very wrong. We live in a world that constantly strives to move forward, to progress, to change things for the better. So why would downgrading be such a nice selling point?

Was Vista THAT bad?

Granted I never tried Vista, seeing as my super Windows XP PC with 2.4Ghz dual processors, 1GB of RAM, and a 512MB PNY Geforce 8500 graphics card barely met the minimum requirements to run the operating system . So I can’t be a fair judge of the situation. But based on the Internet testimonials from Microsoft execs, I can safely conclude that Vista was terrible. So the downgrade feature that comes with Windows 7 might make some sense.

However, is it really necessary? I’ve been looking through the features that Windows 7 offers, and if they are anything like Microsoft promises, then it just might save the company from the embarrassment that was Vista.

Granted, a lot of the features that I’m seeing have been taken straight out of Apple’s book, such as dimming the display after periods of non-usage, a task bar that bears an eerie resemblance to the Mac Dock, and the multi-touch feature that will be available on-screen. So Microsoft’s not being too original, but I’m willing to let it slide for now.

Why does Microsoft feels the need to include the ability to downgrade all the way to XP as a main selling point for the operating system? Microsoft should focus on the future and just develop better solutions to current problems rather than saying “Well, we screwed up, but on the plus side, you can take a step backwards!”