I've done a bit of research on Windows 7 Enterprise to discover some of its new features and to uncover its secrets. From what I've seen so far, Microsoft has provided some interesting Linux-esque features that might accidentally boost Linux adoption as a side effect. The two primary features to which I refer are 7's ability to natively use virtual hard disks (VHDs) and the easy to add on UNIX-compatibility services and applications.
Once Windows 7 users get a whiff of those UNIX utilities and their power, the Linux sell is easy. To enable these utilities, one only has to go as far as the Control Panel and install new Windows features. Included in the mix are a native NFS client, Telnet client, Telnet server and Subsystem for UNIX Applications (SUA). SUA is a rather large download (~500MB) that includes a few hundred UNIX utilities and support programs.
After the customary reboot, you have what is in essence a hybrid system. It falls short of a Cygwin installation by a country mile but it's a step in the right direction. Speaking of Cygwin, I'm not exactly sure why Microsoft just didn't enable installation of Cygwin instead of a small subset of similar utilities. Cygwin's license is unrestrictive enough to allow it but that's the topic of another post, I suppose. A Cygwin installation perhaps makes their operating system too much of a hybrid and it might work a little too well. They (Microsoft) certainly don't want another Windows XP on their hands, after all.
Windows users will soon discover that their system contains some powerful utilities that run directly from the dreaded command prompt without engaging the installed versions of the Korn or C Shells.
When Joe Windows User realizes that he can have a whole system that sports those utilities natively that reboots less and serves more, how long do you think it will take for him to add a Linux computer to his fold? Windows 7 also hits your desk with native virtualization software (Virtual PC), so experimentation is that much easier.
So, be my guest at using Windows 7. You'll like it. But what you'll like most about it are its UNIX and Linux compatibility and related features not common to other Microsoft operating systems.
What do you think of Windows 7 and the ability to do Linuxy things in it? Do you think the temptation to try Linux will be too much to resist?