Windows Users React to Execution

By Ericka Chickowski  |  Posted 2008-10-28 Email Print this article Print

How will Microsoft adjust its operating system software strategies with Windows 7, cloud computing, software as a service and beyond? Baseline digs in to the Windows operating system now and in the future. Will Microsoft continue to dominate the market or will a shakeup of traditional enterprise software practices force Microsoft out of its dominant position?

Windows Users React to Execution

The wisdom of the move may be debatable, though. Didio believes that user reactions to this move will depend on its execution. “If you’re taking things out, why are you taking them out? Are you saying that you think that the OS got too bloated?” she asks. “If that’s the case and you’re putting them in some place [else], how easy are you going to make it for customers to access Windows Live for these downloads? They’re going to have to be pretty explicit; otherwise, I see confusion down the road.”

Perhaps one of the most  interesting aspects of Windows 7 may not be a new feature, architecture or design element. Instead, Thurrott believes the differentiator this time around may be the way that the developers are putting the software together.

“The way things used to work was that during the beta process you would have all of these different groups in the Windows team that were working on different parts of the operating system, and they would put them into different builds that would then go out to testers. These [parts] would be of varying degrees of quality, so that one component might be an utter piece of junk and not ready, but this other thing had been done for some time and looked good,” Thurott says. “The way that [Microsoft is] doing it with Windows 7 is: If it’s not ready, it’s not in any beta version. It’s a very different way of looking at things [from the way it was done] during Windows Vista, which was a nightmare.”

Conceivably, he says, the company could set a firm date and release the build with all of the finished components, with the expectation of rolling out unfinished features later on. This is another benefit of unbundling features, along with the fact that—similar to Linux—users can control how big their operating system needs to be.

“I think people look at Windows Vista—and I think there is some validity to this—they look at it as big and bloated and slow and full of stuff that not everybody needs, and I think Windows 7 will be smaller and faster and lighter,” Thurrott says.

Didio says that it needs to be all of those things to convince users to upgrade. “[Microsoft has] to live down history, and [it has] to live down its past mistakes. You can’t make the upgrade experience jarring; otherwise, guess what? Nobody is going to upgrade. And if it costs people unnecessary money and time, they just won’t do it. That's the issue.”

Thurrott believes that Microsoft has the right leadership in place to accomplish this. “He kind of reminds me of General [Douglas] MacArthur, and sometimes you need a guy like MacArthur. I think that eventually he’s gonna want to nuke China, and then you’ve got to say goodbye to him, but I think for the short term, he is the right guy because [Microsoft needs] to turn that ship around. Eventually that style is not going to work, but right now, yeah, Windows is a mess so the company needs to rein all of that stuff in, and I think that [it has] the right people in place to make that happen.”


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