Windows 7 – Suspicious Behavior Or Rumor?

Over at ZD-Net, two well respected technology writers are bringing up a few facts, rumors, that may spell out what Windows 7 may be. Both Mary Jo Foley and Ed Bott who have both been following the ins and outs of Microsoft for many years, have presented some interesting points of view as to where Windows 7 is heading. Some of what they say makes sense and also disturbing at the same time. Disturbing because Windows 7 could turn out to be just a finally polished copy of Vista.

Ed Bott says:

For Windows 7, I expect the beta pool to be far, far smaller than it was during either the Vista or XP projects, with confidentiality agreements strictly enforced, and I would be surprised to see more than four widely released builds before RTM.

I believe that Ed might be right on the money. In past beta’s, Microsoft offered a public beta for both Vista and XP testing software. But I believe that this time around they will limit the product to people who will actually test it and report back bugs. Also by using a NDA [Non Disclosure Agreement], they limit the amount of information that is made public, prior to the time Windows 7 is released.

I am not a big fan of NDA for one simple reason. Though you get to test the new software, you have to keep your mouth shut about what you find, the good, the bad and the ugly. I recall a beta release for Vista, which was made available to MVP’s and had a NDA as well, and I couldn’t speak about it, while others who blog were free to talk about it openly.

Mary Jo Foley reportes:

I got a gander at the latest test build of Windows 7 briefly (courtesy of a source of mine) and was not allowed to take any screenshots. But it is real, it does exist and it is, indeed, in certain testers’ hands inside and outside the company.

She went on to state that in Paint and Wordpad there was a ribbon like feature similar to what Office uses. WOW! That’s exciting. :-)

I’m going to take a huge guess here, but I would not be totally surprised if Windows 7 has minimal changes compared to Vista. Why? Microsoft invested a huge amount of time and energy in Vista, and still is having troubles convincing the public and businesses that Vista is ‘sweet’. Case in point are the Gates-Seinfeld commercials which are designed to convince us that Vista is good. Though the original purpose was to counter the Apple-PC ads,  I believe that Microsoft is trying to convince more folks that they should make the switch to Vista.

What do you think? Will Windows 7 just be more window dressing for Vista, or will it really be a vast improvement over Vista itself? Share your expertise and opinions with all of us.

Comments as always welcomed.

Ed Bott

Mary Jo Foley

Article Written by

I have been writing for LockerGnome since relocating to Missouri seven years ago, where I continue to be a technology enthusiast who enjoys playing with the newest and latest gadgets.

  • Zachary Magee

    So is it windows 7 or vista sp2? Sounds to me what everyone has been looking for with sp1 that came out but instead of trying to keep improving with sp2 they want you to spend even more money to buy virtually the same product.

  • Don Naphen

    Ah, shades of Windows 98SE “upgraded” to Millenium (ME)!! “ME” was supposed to be a brand new OS but was nothing more than an upgrade to 98SE, and a disaster at that, as it was worse than the OS it supposedly improved. I think Microsoft took a bath with VISTA Ron, and is applying a band aid fix to a ruptured artery!

    I can’t name one corporation that’s switched from XP Pro to VISTA, and for reasons I’ve mentioned in previous comments. XP PRO has been fine tuned to the point of near total reliability. VISTA on the other hand is still a big question mark. Microsoft is hell-bent on pushing out a new OS every 2 or 3 years … it’s been their track record for years. Big business is finally learning how to say “NO”. MS’s customer base is shrinking faster than the devalued dollar! LOL

  • WereBo

    Whether it’s a ‘Vista’ rehash or a brand new OS, the one thing it will be, is overpriced!…

  • Urban Underbrink

    I hope Microsoft can get Win 7 to run good as Win XP! But my life is almost over so it doesn’t matter for me.

  • http://www.residentialpc.ca Cold Wind

    OMG please don’t tell me it will resemble Vista! I, personally, can do without anything that resembles office 2007 either.
    KISS – keep it simple stupid ! applies everywhere..

  • Gary C

    You said: “She went on to state that in Paint and Wordpad there was a ribbon like feature similar to what Office uses. WOW! That’s exciting.”

    WOW! You’ve got to be kidding!

    Just like the disappearing menus in Win 2000 and Office 2000, that’s a really stupid change. It was a stupid change in Office 2007 too! We have all become used to the standard Windows interface. Why would anyone want to waste their time learning a new interface to accomplish the same tasks.

    Microsoft (and many technical writers) just don’t get it. We use Operating Systems and programs to accomplish tasks not to play with the interface. As such, we want to accomplish our work with as little effort as possible. So quit changing the interfaces that we have already learned. They may be imperfect but we know them and don’t waste a lot of time on them.

  • Jerry

    If you were a Microsoft executive how would you recover your losses on Windows Vista? Well let’s see, you could recompile a nice new operating system and call it Windows 7 (only it’s the same old operating system, just working now). But best of all you could charge 140 dollars for it, or maybe 160 dollars, and the contented public would never know that they paid twice for Windows Vista.

  • Wildebras

    It’s going to be a win98 to win98SE or a win2000 to winXP kind of upgrade since the underlying kernell will be that of Vista.
    I will have a look once a few service packs are out. Then it might just be on par? Maybe, probably?????

  • GiM

    My switch from 2K to XP was in 2004 for “aesthetic” only and I compensated with serious hardware upgrade, RAM and CPU…

    To my continuous astonishment, I see big companies using mainly 2K and NT4, rarely replace it with XP and only for very good reasons, also have bought licenses for XP for all computers…

    I will not return to 2K, but certainly I will stick with XP as much as possible – many-many years to come. No problems with with DRM, I do not need HD-DVD or Blue-Ray DVD, as long I can transfer data in my network or I can record direct from HDTV. My actual AMD 3000+ processor, 4GB RAM and ATI 3850 + HD650 HDTV tuner just work perfect to record and play, only converting to XviD / DivX is more time consuming than real time…

    I discovered that the users who like Vista, they like the “visual effects” of the operating system so much that agree to run on hyper-inflated hardware… with associated costs and they are not intrested in real computing performance !!!

    I don’t even like the idea of it… ( this document from 2006 explain all: http://www.cs.auckland.ac.nz/~pgut001/pubs/vista_cost.html )

    Finally, I do not believe that Windows 7 will be something else than a Vista with some enhancements… For me, at this moment, Windows as curent (Vista) and any future operating system is just a bad joke.