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Way down deep it's the same old you
Way down deep you ain't hiding the truth
Just for a minute you had me confused
Baby way down deep it's the same old you
~Tom Petty, Same Old You.

My colleague Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols in his aptly titled Cyber Cynic column on Computer World is always good for a reality check for all things technology, especially Microsoft. This week Vaughan-Nichols takes a look under the hood of the highly-vaunted Windows 7, and he finds nothing more than warmed over Vista stew, the same OS we didn't like much the first time Microsoft served it.

Seems Randall Kennedy over at InfoWorld put the new version of Windows through its paces and found, surprise, surprise, that it's no different than the old Windows. I've never hidden my disdain for Vista (as I wrote in How Much Does Vista Suck, Let Me Count the Ways) and ever since people have been gushing about Windows 7 at the recent Professional Development Conference, I have warned that controlled presentations do not mean diddly. As usual, Vaughan-Nichols has found me proof.

Microsoft's Marketing Machine Goes To Work

For all its problems, and Microsoft is facing many on a number of fronts these days, it still remains a formidable company with huge cash reserves. This means they can dazzle us with presentations and fancy conferences. They can trot out the company's stars to mix and mingle with the technology industry and press glitterai. They can show off new technology in the comfort of their own playground surrounded by big screens and fancy presentations. But you can't judge any product from any company based on what they tell you at a marketing convention with the hype machine in high gear. You can only trust what you see in your own lab under your unique conditions. That's why Kennedy's research is so important.

As I wrote recently in my post Microsoft Tries Desperately to Turn the Corner on Vista at PDC, you have to look at all of this with a healthy dose of skepticism:

It all sounds lovely and some of this technology, especially exposing some key software such as Exchange and Sharepoint as services could potentially be very interesting, but today we don't have much more than some controlled demos and early prototypes. All of this technology has a long way to go before it's market ready.

You Believe What You Want to Believe, Baby

Of course, Kennedy's experiment is just one look at Windows 7, although one that appears to be quite comprehensive and fair, but we are very early in the game. It's possible that Microsoft will improve it along the way. Yet Microsoft has had no problem stoking the hype machine having us believe that it will be different this time, that Windows 7 is better and faster than Vista. Kennedy's work shows us that it's not.

It also provides further proof, if you needed it, that where Microsoft is concerned, keep your eyes wide open, be critical and be skeptical until you have a product in hand that you can test on your own machine under your own conditions. You would be foolish to do anything less.

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Last Post by Lead Goat
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Windows 7 basically is Vista SE. Its a minor vesion release, what more did you expect

And yes, thats true. Windows 7 is NOT NT 7.0 - its a marketing only name, it will remain as NT 6.x for compatibility, as well as the fact that there is no major kernel level changes (ms changed so much for vista they dont want to break driver compatibility again)

Its got the same relationship to vista as XP had to windows 2000. They are virtually identical apart from supporting newer technogies and a better user experience.

Windows 7 will be based on Server 2008 which is basically Vista SP1. This is a good move as microsoft worked hard to modularise Server 2008, and this coupled with the debundling they are performing, should lead to a leaner, less bloated, and hopefully faster OS.

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What did I expect? I expected that Microsoft recognizes that Vista is a dog and they should want to run as far away as possible and produce something that the market wants. If they giving us warmed over Vista, they will continue to lose market share and industry respect. The market has shown nobody wants Vista. Why would they want warmed over Vista.

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I like vista, its just a shame that many drives and apps dont work very well
thats not nececerially microsofts fault, more the fault of the software houses and OEMs

same thing happened when XP came out. Everyone said XP was crap and that 98 was way better (lol) but then they saw the truth when SP2 came out

Win7 will be to vista what SP2 was to XP

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The only people I know who like Vista have at least 4GB of memory. Beyond performance issues, Microsoft went so overboard on wanting to protect us from possible security violations that it literally made the OS unusable. Every time I have to use Vista I walk away frustrated. I hope Windows 7 will be an improvement and not just more of Vista because if it is, Microsoft will surely have lost for me for good, and I don't think I will be alone.

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Vista runs fine for me on 2gb / Core (1) Duo 1.8ghz
Originally had 1gb which was a bit slow, 1.5 or 2gb is fine for most users.

The only reason it has a rep for being slow is because OEMs load thier sytsems up with crap.
A clean install of vista is actually very fast. And it is faster to boot up and sleep/wake than xp

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I can only tell you that I've used Vista on a number of different machines with a number of different configurations. I've even run it on a virtual machine, which was completely clean and it was still a dog. I know anecdotally that some people have had good experience with it, but most people I've heard from, and this includes some highly technical people, have had horrible experiences with it.

The fact that even Microsoft has pretty much abandoned it at this point should tell you that even they don't believe in this product and have decided to move on. The question now to bring us back to this post is whether they will really move on or just dress up Vista and try to sell it as something different. This study suggests it's the latter.

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