Windows Vista was supposed to usher in a new era for Windows
operating systems, employing a stylish
aero graphical user interface and offering many improvements over its
However for all its hits, the OS has certainly had its misses. Initial
hardware support for the 64-bit home version was bad leading
to multiple incompatibilities, while
the more "user-safe" interface with its many prompts (which some
don't realize can be disabled) left many annoyed. Further, the multiple
SKUs left many wondering what they were buying, though in Microsoft's defense,
the software giant did document the differences between versions extensively
online, and worked with retailers to provide this information.
The company was also slammed with a major class action suit, after its executives
admitted lying to consumers about computers' "Vista readiness"
under pressure from a hungry Intel looking to sell chipsets. Said one
executive, unhappily, "We set
For all its problems, though, Vista delivered a rather solid experience for the
majority of users. Its improved search features, improved
office suite, and more interaction-friendly graphics interface have all
Microsoft is pushing
ahead strong on its plans to release its next generation operating system,
Windows 7. Whereas Vista took over 5 years to release -- XP released
October '01, Vista's retail release was in January '07 -- Windows 7 will reach
customers in a mere 3 years, according to Microsoft. Leaks also reveal
that the Redmond-based company sent a test version of Windows 7 known as
Milestone 1 (M1) to select partners in January 2008.
In an email, a Microsoft spokesman, confirmed that 2010 was the correct Windows
7 date -- three years after the consumer Vista release. He stated,
"We are currently in the planning stages for Windows 7 and development is
scoped to three years from Windows Vista Consumer GA. The specific release date
will be determined once the company meets its quality bar for release."
Microsoft may have already reached Milestone 2 (M2) in the development, which
it had projected to reach in March/April, though the company refused to comment
on the progress. Microsoft, under extended supervision by the U.S.
government for past antitrust abuses, submitted a copy of Windows 7 to the
Technical Committee – the group of technology experts appointed by the
Department of Justice and the other plaintiffs in Microsoft's U.S. antitrust
The committee released a
status update on this examination. The committee states, "In
addition, the [Technical Committee] has begun to review Windows 7 itself.
Microsoft recently supplied the TC with a build of Windows 7, and is discussing
TC testing going forward. The TC will conduct middleware-related tests on
future builds of Windows 7."
The committee apparently shared an undisclosed issue they already found and
would like Microsoft to fix.
Microsoft has disclosed little about how Windows 7 builds on Windows
Vista. Bill Gates did state in an interview that it will provide
revolutionary advances in voice recognition and other natural interfaces.
The OS will also interface with Windows Live Wave 3, the latest version of Microsoft's