Windows 7: Release Candidate 1

When we wrote our Windows Vista Performance Guide, we were left wondering about Microsoft’s ability to sell Vista to a community of users well entrenched with Windows XP

Among those that won't become switchers, Microsoft's own worst enemy is itself, as it needs to prove that Vista is a worthwhile upgrade to XP when XP is already so refined. For many users in the consumer space, Vista is simply a version of Windows where (to borrow a quote from Field of Dreams) "If you build it, they will come." These people will get Vista on their new computers and they'll like it because it is good, but having never had the chance to decide if they didn't want it.

Now two and a quarter years later we can see the outcome of that. It’s not favorable to Microsoft.

While Vista’s adoption has not been a failure, it hasn’t necessarily been a success story either. Microsoft’s own worst enemy was XP, and the users complacent with it have been in no big rush to upgrade. The primary vehicle for moving Vista has been new computers, and even that has taken a hit in the kneecaps with the sudden rise of netbooks, which fit poorly with an OS that was made for newer, faster computers.

Further complicating matters is that the quality of Vista wasn’t particularly stellar at launch. We’ve already covered this with our Vista SP1 article, so we won’t completely rehash this, but specific performance problems such as file copies (local and networked) and Vista’s hunger for virtual address space quickly made themselves evident. Netbooks drove this point home even harder –Vista doesn’t do so well with so little RAM.

Finally, Apple deserves a great deal of credit here for driving the stake into the public opinion of Vista. The extremely popular Get a Mac campaign took the dissent from above and managed to amplify it and sew it into the public at large. Apple made it popular to hate Vista, and Microsoft did too little too late on the marketing front to counter that. Never underestimate the power of marketing – many people can tell you they don’t like Vista, few can tell you why. That’s marketing.

Even though many of the technical problems were fixed before or at the launch of Vista SP1, by then it was too late. The public had become permanently dissatisfied with Vista. Regardless of the quality of the OS these days, the Vista name has become poisonous.

Of course as far as consumer sales are concerned, this hasn’t significantly dented Vista adoption. Vista’s still going out on virtually every new consumer-level computer shipped. People may be dissatisfied, but so far they’re not doing anything about it other than complaining. Business users on the other hand are acting, or rather are not acting. They’re not upgrading to Vista on existing computers, and on new computers they’re still installing XP. Vista’s not taking at the corporate level, and that’s Microsoft’s more immediate problem.

So here we are today with Windows 7 Release Candidate 1, Microsoft's grand attempt at taking Vista and building a more palatable operating system out of it. With Windows 7, Microsoft has ripped the Vista playbook to shreds and they are going an entirely different route. The goal: make Windows 7 successful before it even ships.

Windows 7: A New Marketing Approach
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  • Lexington02 - Wednesday, May 06, 2009 - link

    He is not late, he is claiming otherwise to the other people who think that Anandtech is MS loving while this dude is claiming to be Apple loving. I wonder, which is true... Apple lovers or Microsoft lovers... Reply
  • Lexington02 - Wednesday, May 06, 2009 - link

    He is not late, he is claiming otherwise to the other people who think that Anandtech is MS loving while this dude is claiming to be Apple loving. I wonder, which is true... Apple lovers or Microsoft lovers... Reply
  • Ryan Smith - Thursday, May 07, 2009 - link

    From my perspective, if I'm being accused of being an Apple and a Microsoft fanboy in the same article, then I must be doing something right.;-)

    I'll note that I have a preference for Mac OS X if given a choice, but I'm getting ahead of myself. I'll talk more about that in next week's Ubuntu article.
    Reply
  • strikeback03 - Thursday, May 07, 2009 - link

    That was my point - I have long stated that 90% of the articles here that compare something generate comments from both sides claiming bias each way. So the anti-Apple comments were late arriving compared to the anti-MS ones.

    Are we really going to get a Ubuntu article? Is it now on the transition to 9.04 instead of 8.04?
    Reply
  • Ryan Smith - Thursday, May 07, 2009 - link

    8.04 (because it's the LTS and most comparable to Windows/Mac OS X as such), to be followed up with 9.04. Reply
  • strikeback03 - Thursday, May 07, 2009 - link

    Cool. 9.04 finally resolved some out-of-the-box compatibility problems my desktop has had with each release since I started (6.10) Reply
  • Gary Key - Thursday, May 07, 2009 - link

    I am still a big fan of DR-DOS. Does that mean I am anti-MS also? :) Reply
  • MichaelD - Wednesday, May 06, 2009 - link

    This is important for me as that's what I use for an AV/AM solution. Overall, it looks very impressive, particularly for a RC; it may just get me away from XP. Reply
  • masterbm - Wednesday, May 06, 2009 - link

    I have been using windows 7 on my old amd socket 939 4200 4gb ram 8800gs. I started since build 7000. I started out being guy how felt that I was going to stay on vista for most of my machine I will upgrade to windows when it released. My htpc/file server at this time I plan on leaving it at vista. Due to their is no really good way to convert the .wtv format. This htpc box is automated in since it defrag it self scan it self for virus and spyware. Then It just added auto convert of the show that records. I took while to do that stuff not sure if want do every again.(also note htpc is amd 3800)The other thing I will note is that windows 7 becuase it feels snappier has made use that system more then use to Reply
  • fausto412 - Wednesday, May 06, 2009 - link

    They need to make the defrag problem able to do more than one drive at a time...or to schedule them out. Reply

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