September 14th, 2009


Redmond, We Don't Believe You

10-22-2009: The End Of The World Is Coming

Microsoft is getting ready to release Windows 7 to the world. Windows 7? Really? Actually, I know it's Windows NT4, NT5 (2000), NT5.1 (XP), NT5.1 (6) (Vista)... so obviously WIndows 7 comes after NT, 2000, XP and Vista. What?

But the marketing campaign... shakes head. The latest commercial with some six-year-old "on Daddy's laptop" cutting and pasting preliminary Windows 7 reviews into shots of marshmallows, bunnies and hamsters with skimmer hats. Right... I am surely going to believe someone who cannot read the big words properly. I'd rather have, what did they do? Jerry Seinfeld and Bill Gates stealing a stuffed giraffe to sell Vista? Geesh.

We've Been Through This Before

It's actually possible to fix Windows. XP Pro SP2/SP3 is pretty stable, for example, and its library of printer drivers is a helluva lot more successful than the Vista driver situation. Not that we'd ever want to actually ever print any of the work on OUR computers. Using hardware we actually ALREADY OWN.

But seriously.

WIndows 1.04 shipped with some IBM PS/2 systems -- and was worthless and useless.

There was Windows 286 versus Windows 386... and then Windows 3.0, which really didn't work right and had early Word and Excel for Windows which didn't work right. Windows 3.1 and 3.11 -- they actually performed good enough that Windows actually began showing up on machines.

Windows 95 made a better interface and allowed easier windowing and task switching. Of course it was supposed to work with USB, and Windows 95B OSR2 had USB drivers -- which didn't work with most USB devices without crashing or ignoring the USB hardware.

Windows 98 fixed the USB problems and... oh crap, Win98 had enough problems they had to come out with Windows 98 Second Edition. Which actually works. Then they upgraded it to Windows Me Millennium Edition and the shit really hit the fan. Not a good upgrade, though some computers equipped with Win98ME work okay -- hell, I have a Sony laptop with Win98ME I still use, go figure.

Meanwhile, in the NT parallel universe, NT 3.51 was functional, but NT 4.0 Professional was much better. Service Pack 6a was good enough that SP7 was cancelled.

Windows NT 5 became Windows 2000 Professional and shipped with thousands of bugs. But it's up to what, SP4? SP5? And some IT departments still use it because they've made it stable.

And XP. Once we got to Windows XP SP2, it was worth using. Even Win XP Home SP3 on netbooks seems to work. The same, I fear, cannot be said for all users of Windows Vista, which has so many damned versions no one can quite keep them all straight.

Bottom Line

So you want us to think that Windows 7 is the greatest thing since sliced bread, because you say so?

I don't think so.

Call me in 2012 when you've got Win 7 SP2/SP3 going. Meanwhile, stop with this nonsense of planning to kill Windows XP too soon. Really.

Dr. Phil