Bonum Certa Men Certa

Microsoft Has Already Moved on to Vista 8 Vapourware

"In the face of strong competition, Evangelism's focus may shift immediately to the next version of the same technology, however. Indeed, Phase 1 (Evangelism Starts) for version x+1 may start as soon as this Final Release of version X."

--Microsoft, internal document [PDF]



Summary: Microsoft feels like talking about a product that comes after a product that's not even available yet

WHEN Microsoft starts talking about products that do not exist, it is indicative of issues with the present products. The reality behind Vista 7 is already rather uncomfortable, so unofficial spokespeople like Rob Enderle [1, 2] bring back the illusion (and decoy) which is Vista 8. We saw this before. He does this in his blog at IT Business Edge ("Looking Ahead to Windows 8 and the Rebirth of Windows"), linking to Harry McCracken, whom Microsoft gave a Vista 7 laptop because he's close to the company.



The past week's news ought to reveal interesting trends. We were unable to find any headlines about "Vista" this week, whereas there were only 10 about "Windows 7". It's not even a product that's available to the public.

Regarding Vista 7, we were able to find reports of cracks in its most important feature -- being able to, well... run an older version of the same operating system. Check out CRN:

Windows 7 XP Mode Hits Patch Of Turbulence



XP Mode has been hailed within the Microsoft channel as a potentially effective carrot for enticing small businesses to upgrade to Windows 7, but reports of glitches in XP Mode suggest that it might not be easy to use.

[...]

"Whether XP Mode will be enough to get people to upgrade remains to be seen, but this is definitely the right way to deal with the issue of backward compatibility," said Kretzer. "There will be glitches, as there always are with any new software solution, but this sort of backward compatibility will only get robust as time goes on."


Here is another new analysis of XP versus Vista 7. It looks encouraging for GNU/Linux, which can be run under Windows (or as a standalone operating system) and even run XP programs using Wine, all free of charge.

So, since nobody has come forward with this killer feature and nobody can even highlight a killer feature that can be done in 7 that can’t in Linux I can only conclude that there isn’t one and the only draw I can see for Windows 7 is that “its better than Vista”. Maybe if you are an unhappy Vista user you can consider trying an alternative first to see if like me the dependency on Microsoft products is simply an addiction which really has no relevance in modern computing?


The very fact that Microsoft began talking about Vista 8 is a sign that Microsoft expects some backlash. It's preparing appropriately.

"The purpose of announcing early like this is to freeze the market at the OEM and ISV level. In this respect it is JUST like the original Windows announcement...

"One might worry that this will help Sun because we will just have vaporware, that people will stop buying 486 machines, that we will have endorsed RISC but not delivered... So, Scott, do you really think you can fight that avalanche?"

--Nathan Myhrvold, Microsoft



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