Does a Better Windows World need, Windows

First, there was the near meltdown over the announcement that XP was going to be pulled off the shelves at the end of June 2008, then Apple starts running the Vista commercials. As if that was not bad enough, Dell decides to continue beyond June 30 to offer Windows XP, and then Microsoft announces a temporary reprieve.

Windows Vista was going to be met with opposition. I knew that the second I loaded the beta onto my desktop. The more I looked around the more I knew it was going to be a hard sell. The move to save a seven-year-old operating system does not make it easier.

When I was named a Vista Master in the book "Tricks of the Windows Vista Masters", I thought this is going to be cool. Lately I am thwarted by people who know I carry that title as they take every opportunity to tell me how they hate Vista. We know Vista is not really the problem the problem's change. People hate change and Microsoft with the release of Windows Vista, followed by the re-design of Office 2007 has served up customers and completely new world.

Better, many think not in fact the petitions and backpedaling would lead you to believe they are right. So, where are we headed do we keep stagnant with Windows XP continuing to be the OS of choice. Does Windows Vista go down in history as Windows Millennium Edition -The sequel? "One Operating System in his struggle to keep his world from crumbling is driven to the point of no return. Now he must decide to give in or fight. What they have unleashed is their worst nightmare. He will fight, he will win, and he will destroy them all, coming to theaters summer 2008".

I know my little movie trailer voice is over the top, but I think it is appropriate. When we look at Vista and its successor "Windows 7" we need to ask, what is the future? If they won't buy Vista, why would they buy Windows 7? Some early screen shots show that the base look and feel of the next OS will be the same as Vista, if people haven't embraced this one why would they suddenly love the next one that looks just the same.

Now I like the look and feel of Vista, I didn't care for the bright colors and almost animated feel of Windows XP. The OS was solid, but I thought the "bliss" was being rid of Windows 98 not the color scheme and menus. Inherently though, people will look at the new Windows as being a version upgrade and will not give it a chance. My real fear is not people using XP forever they will tire of it at some time. The fear is people moving from Windows all together and the competition is making it tempting.

Linux and Mac realize they will never capture the desktops by saying they are better. Reality check here, people want a stable OS, but more important to the corporate non-techie end user. Its looks and simplicity, Linux has been the ugly stepsister for a long time and Mac has been the "super model" girlfriend whose shallowness just gets to you after a month.

However, things are changing; Mac runs PC software including Microsoft Office. And, Linux is working on the GUI. They realize that the person that needs to work for 8-10 hours a day needs to feel good about what they are looking at on the screen. The average Joe does not care that the OS will run without a reboot 15 years after they are dead. They want to look at something pleasant and they want to run their favorite software. This is another area being explored; XP compatible OS' are being created that will load the drivers and software most people want to run.

So what about our "Better Windows World", does it need WINDOWS. I hope so and reality is that Microsoft will continue to be a force in the future. I just think we need to rectify this bad publicity and stop backing off; Microsoft has never taken this tact in the past. Much to the ire of Microsoft customers, this has always given way to acceptance. People hate change, but they realize that nothing is as certain.

The future is where we are headed, But more than ever before Microsoft needs to look over its shoulder. It is interesting how more open source tools are available for Windows and how Apple has made peace with fact that they need to run Microsoft products on their Macs. I think A Better Windows World will be collaboration, not just between Enterprises but also between OS'. I could not think of a better time to be a part of the technology industry. I was too young to take part when it started, but I am right in the thick of it as it grows up and becomes better every day.

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