Those that have followed my blogs over the years know full well that I'm operating system neutral. At work I use Windows and Linux right next to each other. At home my family uses a mix of Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux PCs. I have my likes and dislikes with each operating system. I don't drink the kool aid with any of the systems as I'm not easily impressed with what I see.
During the past couple years, I've been extremely disappointed in Windows Vista and consider the experience delivered by the operating system to be just as bad as Windows ME. It has long been my view that if Microsoft screwed up Windows 7 we could kiss the Windows line goodbye and for evermore be just as happy with both OS X and Linux (with Ubuntu as my favorite Linux client). However, it looks like Microsoft's developers have responded well to the criticism and Windows 7 is going to deliver the goods consumers and enterprises need in their operating system.
I'm one of the unfortunate souls that is a Verizon customer. I'm unfortunate in the sense that my cell phone company has been very slow in bringing modern SmartPhones with full browser and Wifi capability under their service plans. Oh how I would love to have an iPhone or G1 Android in my hand, but neither AT&T nor T-Mobile includes big 'ol South Dakota in their service plans. But someday things may change and I might get the iPhone or possibly even better, the Palm Pre (we have Spring here!).
I've been extremely interested in the Palm Pre since Palm first made their product announcements earlier this year. How well the Palm Pre can compete with the Apple iPhone is up in the air, but I'm hopeful. Today, I really enjoyed this article at CNET, Can a Palm Pre multitask better than an iPhone?
Not long ago I wrote that KDE 4 might produce enough changes to its look and feel to help Linux become more Mac-like. At the time, Windows Vista seemed to be trying to move in the same direction. Interestingly, someone has noted that Windows 7 now appears to be moving towards Linux's direction with the Windows desktop looking more like KDE 3.5.
The review features screenshots and I must say, even though it has not convinced me, Windows 7 is a step forward from Vista, at least as far as the GUI is concerned. Aside from the removal of some annoying Vista bells and whistles and the new Peek and Snap window-management enhancements, it is difficult not to notice the resemblance between Microsoft’s much-touted revamped Aero and the excellent, now 3-years old, KDE 3.5.x.
Gizmodo published their first impressions of the Windows 7 operating system currently being developed by Microsoft. Microsoft allowed developers and reviewers get a sneak peek of this Vista replacement during this week's Professional Developers Conference. Gizmodo and other tech blogs have indicated Windows 7, although still incomplete, looks to be a better version of Windows than Vista. Improvements in boot-up time, work-flow, performance, and user interface all take center stage with this new version of Windows.
In the Gizmodo article, one new feature listed for Windows 7 hopes to improve customer experience with home networking. As I read how the new feature, HomeGroup, is described...I'm sort of disappointed.
Last Tuesday evening, I upgraded my Windows Vista desktop to Service Pack 1. If you regularly visit my blog, you know that I'm a long-time user of both Windows and Linux. You also know, that I've been deeply disappointed in Windows Vista.
The install of Vista SP1 went smoothly and I haven't discovered any of the driver issues other Windows users are having. This shouldn't be a surprise since I did have good luck running my box on the SP1 RC1 Refresh. Performance has been slightly improved since the original version of Vista. More importantly, I don't have to reboot my PC once a day just so I can get my LAN connectivity back. In short, Vista users will want to upgrade to SP1, but I still recommend those happy with their Windows XP, Linux, or Mac desktops to stay exactly right where they are.
"At day's end, what I found was that Vista SP1 really has not improved that much from Vista. The Linux desktop, on the other hand, has improved since I first compared MEPIS 6 to Vista. It's not so much Linux has improved its performance as it has increased its ease of use and hardware compatibility. The Linux desktop of early 2008 is clearly better than the Linux desktop of early 2007. The same cannot be said of Vista."
- Steven J. Vaughan-Nicholas, "Vista SP1: Still lagging behind the Linux desktop", DesktopLinux.com, March 4, 2008