Thursday, October 22, 2009

Windows 7 Released Today

windows_logo Ding dong, Vista’s dead.

Microsoft’s Windows 7 operating system has been done since mid-July, but today marks the final step in its needlessly drawn-out release schedule – starting today, at least in theory, Joe the PC should be able to go into a retail store and grab Microsoft’s latest off of the shelf.

Gallons of ink have been spilled about this operating system’s development and release (some of it my own), so I’m going to try to keep this short. I have not one, not three, but two things.

First, do not believe the hyperbole, and that goes both ways – Apple acolytes trying to paint this as a warmed-over Windows Vista are wrong, as are Microsoft zealots who are trying to tell you that this operating system is the pinnacle of operating systems, that three decades of personal computing have all been building to this single moment in time.

Windows 7 is just an operating system. It is a good operating system. But once you open up Firefox or Skype, the differences between it and any other operating system on Earth are basically moot.

That being said, my second thing is that anyone running and disliking Windows Vista should seriously be considering an upgrade right now, as should anyone with a year-or-less-old computer that is running Windows XP.

The Home Premium version is the one you want for your home PC, and while the upgrade version can be had for $120, don’t pay that. That’s the stupid price. For the next few months, students can pick the software up for $30, and households can pick up a 3-pack for $150. Be smart about this. I know you can do it.