Windows 7 Is A Success, But Has It Won the OS Race?
It has now been about nine months since Microsoft's Windows 7 operating system arrived, and, without a doubt, it has been a success. Arriving in the wake of Windows Vista--which turned into a nightmare for Microsoft after it had to take engineers off of the core Vista team to sic them on security problems--it reversed many people's perception that Microsoft can't deliver a solid OS. Indeed, I use Windows 7, the Mac OS, and Linux, and Windows 7 is competitive. Now, though, Microsoft is touting Windows 7 as "better" than competitors. The fact is, in some ways it is, and in some ways it isn't.
Softpedia reports that at Microsoft's Worldwide Developer Conference 2010 (WDC), Kevin Turner, Microsoft's Chief Operating Officer, proclaimed Windows 7 "superior" to Mac OS X and Linux. Softpedia also notes that Microsoft has sold more than 150 million licenses for Windows 7.
Windows 7 is a huge improvement on Windows Vista, and has the feel of a very modern operating system. Critics of it will argue that it lifts many aspects from the Mac OS interface, but it seems to lift them well. The interface and user experience in Windows 7 are smooth--products of the lengthy beta test that Microsoft put the OS through before releasing it. (The beta test was much longer than Windows Vista's.)
Whenever comparing Windows to other operating systems, one also has to remember that there are just many more applications--and many more critical ones--available for it than there are for Mac OS X or Linux. Applications matter a lot. They are driving the success of the App Store concept on mobile platforms aren't they?
Still, despite these advantages that Windows 7 has, I use it, the Mac OS, and Linux, and I see advantages to all of them. The Mac provides a beautiful user experience, and the design of the Mac OS is unmatched. I never run into a hardware incompatibility on the Mac.
Linux gives me access to numerous applications that aren't available on any other platform, very fast boot times, lots of room to customize my experience, and I never worry about staying secure when running Linux. It has its advantages, too.
In the future, if modern operating systems continue to evolve at the current pace, I won't be surprised to see most users and most businesses join me in running multiple operating systems. Why does one have to pronounce any given OS the winner?