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Windows 7's Media Hype Having the Opposite Effect As Vista's 864

Posted by Soulskill
from the decide-first-think-after dept.
Death Metal Maniac tips an Ars Technica piece suggesting that the media's coverage of Vista's flaws portrayed the operating system as worse than it was, and, if early reports on Windows 7 are any indication, positive hype will create the opposite reaction this time around. Quoting: "... the problem is exaggeration; ... bloggers and journalists alike use their personal experiences to prove their point in their writing. The blame doesn't solely lie with us, as Vista was by no means perfect, but we did manage to amplify the problems beyond reason. And if the beta is anything to go by, Windows 7 is going to fly. This is, by far, the best beta operating system the software giant has ever released. The media has locked on to this, and is using exaggeration already, before Windows 7 is even ready for prime time." Apparently a decent beta can succeed where $300 million and Jerry Seinfeld failed.
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Windows 7's Media Hype Having the Opposite Effect As Vista's

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  • by M1rth (790840) on Sunday January 18, 2009 @10:43AM (#26506247)

    but we did manage to amplify the problems beyond reason.

    No you didn't. And yes, I've had to use Vista.

    • by davester666 (731373) on Sunday January 18, 2009 @03:21PM (#26508855) Journal

      Windows 7 is just Vista SP2 + 3 years newer hardware + drivers.

      When Vista came out:
      -people had slower CPU's and GPU's, which couldn't run Vista well. Also, MS said OK to Intel screwing everybody with the 'Vista-capable' debacle.
      -people had older peripherals, which either didn't have drivers available for them when Vista launched, or the manufacturer decided to never make Vista drivers for them
      -Vista itself wasn't particularly bug free or user friendly (UAC anyone)

      Now, 2 years later (3 when W7 actually ships)
      -people have thrown away older peripherals and bought new ones, that have Vista drivers
      -drivers are also less buggy, especially graphics drivers
      -people (particularly companies) have bought new computers, with a more capable cpu and gpu
      -MS has looked to the other major OS's for tips on how to resolve their more egregious UI problems (Linux/MacOSX)

      Windows 7 will be still the bloated pig of an OS that Vista was (and is), but hardware and time has caught up so that now, it runs at a reasonable clip on the latest hardware.

      This is just a huge rebranding job for MS. It had to be clear to MS shortly after Vista shipped that Vista as a brand was dead from all the negative press it had received. Now, it's just a happy bonus for them to be able to sell you an upgrade to get a package that says Windows 7 instead of Windows Vista.

  • Well (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rodrigoandrade (713371) on Sunday January 18, 2009 @10:45AM (#26506259)
    Call me troll, but I've seen several sub-par products that sold well on hype alone. Windows 7 will do just fine, whether it's any good or not.

    At least Microsoft's marketing department is doing its job right this time.
    • Re:Well (Score:5, Interesting)

      by mikelieman (35628) on Sunday January 18, 2009 @10:54AM (#26506319) Homepage

      It looks like their marketing department has refined what appears to be their only effective strategy.... Which we've seen before with Win98->WinME->WinXP.

      You HAVE a perfectly serviceable product, WindowsXP.

      You release something really shitty, Windows Vista.

      The expected backlash gives you an opportunity to announce the release of the panacea for all Vista's ills. Windows 7.

      Now, since Windows 7 APPEARS TO BE so much better than the APPARENTLY SHITTY Vista, there's a lot of positive attention.

      But at the end of the day, Microsoft's PRODUCTS still aren't compelling -- Windows 7 main selling point is that it just doesn't work like shit -- and that appears to be good enough.

      But 'not working like shit' is what we already HAVE, with XP.

      Brilliant.

      • Re:Well (Score:5, Interesting)

        by HerculesMO (693085) on Sunday January 18, 2009 @11:06AM (#26506413)

        Problem is that it relies on OLD technology to 'work well'.

        In that case, why upgrade the Linux kernel, ever? It works well. Why upgrade your car? It gets you from point A to point B. Why upgrade anything, ever?

        If you're in that mindset, you would suffice with having a butter churn and live by candlelight. They are servicable too.

        But for the rest of us who want "next gen" technology, I think Windows 7 does have some benefits (as did Vista, in a much crappier package) over XP. And if you don't see that, then stick with XP. I don't see the big deal.

        • poor reasoning (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Reality Master 201 (578873) on Sunday January 18, 2009 @11:13AM (#26506493) Journal

          Problem is that it relies on OLD technology to 'work well'.

          That's a dumb argument. I still slice bread with knife, a technology which has been around for thousands of years - I could move to spiffy new computer controlled laser system, but why? It's expensive, both to acquire and replace, it's more work to service, and it doesn't get me much.

          So what if the technology is old? Why is the new technology any better? What is the new technology that Win7 introduces that makes it so much better than XP? You don't mention it in your post.

          • Re:poor reasoning (Score:4, Interesting)

            by thermian (1267986) on Sunday January 18, 2009 @12:19PM (#26507175)

            Problem is that it relies on OLD technology to 'work well'.

            That's a dumb argument. I still slice bread with knife, a technology which has been around for thousands of years - I could move to spiffy new computer controlled laser system, but why? It's expensive, both to acquire and replace, it's more work to service, and it doesn't get me much.

            So what if the technology is old? Why is the new technology any better? What is the new technology that Win7 introduces that makes it so much better than XP? You don't mention it in your post.

            Speak for yourself. My PC has some seriously expensive and very recent technology in it, and XP has lots of problems with it. I get lockups, driver issues (XP seems almost incapable of reliably running my Geforce 280), and the boot time is appalling.

            And no, its not out of date drivers or too much stuff loading at startup. I have antivirus and gmal notifier, that's all. Plus my drivers are all up to date. The problem is that XP is ten year old technology. Patched up or not, its still far too old. It seems that once you move past a certain technology threshold, XP just can't cope.

            The Ubuntu I duel boot runs the same hardware smooth as a jolly smooth thing, so its not crappy hardware either.

            WIndows 7 Beta loads fast, has *zero* driver issues for me (the geforce drivers need to improve, but they work, and it is a beta...), and overall beats the crap out of XP in every respect. I even tried it on my laptop (usually that runs Vista), and the improvements were imediatelly apparent in terms of speed.

            I've shied away from using it as my main development OS thus far, but plan to in the next month or so.

            • by Haeleth (414428) on Sunday January 18, 2009 @02:48PM (#26508597) Journal

              The Ubuntu I duel boot

              That sounds exciting. Does that involve you fighting Ubuntu, or is it Ubuntu versus Windows to decide which gets to load?

        • Re:Well (Score:4, Interesting)

          by Creepy Crawler (680178) on Sunday January 18, 2009 @11:17AM (#26506535)

          And pray-tell, what real benefits are those?

          Badly composited windows that take way too many resources?
          Removal of receiving and sending faxes from the home (crippled user) version?
          Non-accelerated sound system?
          DRM system built in on the audio and video subsystems?
          Ram gobbler (2GB.. not enough)?
          10GB install with no real apps (where did the space go)? yay solitaire.

          • Re:Well (Score:5, Funny)

            by LighterShadeOfBlack (1011407) on Sunday January 18, 2009 @11:19AM (#26506567) Homepage

            And pray-tell, what real benefits are those?

            Vista's Freecell is fully horizontally resizable. I've been waiting 15 years for that feature, if that isn't worth the upgrade I don't know what is.

          • Re:Well (Score:4, Insightful)

            by abigsmurf (919188) on Sunday January 18, 2009 @12:23PM (#26507223)

            And pray-tell, what real benefits are those?

            Badly composited windows that take way too many resources?
            Removal of receiving and sending faxes from the home (crippled user) version?
            Non-accelerated sound system?
            DRM system built in on the audio and video subsystems?
            Ram gobbler (2GB.. not enough)?
            10GB install with no real apps (where did the space go)? yay solitaire.

            1: opinion, I quite like the windows layout in Vista. Vista uses lots of resources as a whole, it's not down to the windows. Don't want your GPU being used for Aero? Disable it.

            2: Are you serious? How many home users ever send a fax at all, let alone through their PC? I've not seen a PC built in the last 5+ years that had a fax modem.

            3: That is one of the best features of Vista. Bad sound drivers were one of the main causes of blue screens in XP. Putting a software layer between the drivers and hardware prevents a lot of problems because manufacturers simply couldn't be trusted. I suppose the per application volume control and other benefits the Vista sound system brings are awful too?

            4: I wish people would stop parroting this stupid point. The DRM Vista enables you to play things you otherwise couldn't play. You strip out the DRM and there's no difference except you can't play certain media types. Don't like DRM, don't buy protected media!

            5: unused RAM is wasted RAM. So long as it frees up the RAM when a high priority application needs it, using spare RAM for caching can have huge benefits. Don't trot out the power usage argument. The difference in power between half full ram and full ram is miniscule

          • Re:Well (Score:5, Informative)

            by aaron.axvig (1238422) <aaron@axvigs.com> on Sunday January 18, 2009 @12:59PM (#26507543)

            It only took ~6GB when I installed it.
            7 ran quite well on 512 MB RAM.
            Turns off defragmenter for SSDs
            More efficient SSD formatting
            Boot from VHD
            CableCARD and H.264 support built-in
            MP4, MOV, 3GP, AVCHD, ADTS, M4A, and WTV multimedia containers, with native codecs for H.264, MPEG4-SP, ASP/DivX/Xvid, MJPEG, DV, AAC-LC, LPCM, AAC-HE
            UAC is way better--less prompts
            Windows Biometric Framework
            DNSSEC support
            Powershell built in
            Can burn ISOs
            Wordpad supports OOXML and ODF
            Libraries
            Federated Search via OpenSearch
            Re-arrange things on taskbar...yes you can make it look almost exactly like the Vista taskbar if you want.
            Jump Lists
            WinKey+Arrow Key for moving applications to one half of the monitor or the other
            Touch integration

            Yes a lot of these things can be had on Linux/through 3rd party programs. But now they are included in the OS, which 99% of the time means less problems/slowness/crashes. And developers can count on them to be there.

            Check out http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Features_new_to_Windows_7#Core_operating_system [wikipedia.org]

          • Re:Well (Score:5, Insightful)

            by Fallingcow (213461) on Sunday January 18, 2009 @01:03PM (#26507583) Homepage

            10GB install with no real apps (where did the space go)? yay solitaire.

            Seriously, what the hell are they doing with all that space? Freshly-installed Vista eats more space than Ubuntu with every app I might conceivably want to ever use installed, even with Vista's disk-swap turned off!

      • Re:Well (Score:5, Insightful)

        by wvmarle (1070040) on Sunday January 18, 2009 @11:13AM (#26506501)

        I would phase that slightly different.

        The bar has been lowered.

        Vista was compared to XP, which thanks to its long long long lifetime has become a standard, fairly polished, with known and mostly manageable security issues.

        Vista comes along, does things different, breaks a lot, and is considered shitty.

        Then Win7 is released, and it is now being compared to it's direct parent, Vista. Not XP. So MS only has to put a product in the market that appears better than Vista (reviewers won't complain too hard about drivers and other compatibility I suppose, it's beta after all), not better than the old and trusted XP.

        That said I doubt Win7 will work on netbooks, so I won't be surprised that XP will be with us for a long long time to come.

        • Re:Well (Score:5, Informative)

          by SolemnLord (775377) on Sunday January 18, 2009 @11:28AM (#26506671)

          That said I doubt Win7 will work on netbooks, so I won't be surprised that XP will be with us for a long long time to come.

          Actually, there have been lots of Win7 installs on netbooks, [liliputing.com] and the general consensus is that it runs fine. Is it as quick as running XP? Well, no, but don't forget that XP is a seven-year-old operating system that required a Pentium II at release.

          I've been running the Win7beta for a couple weeks now, and it's been a pretty nice experience. My machine's perfectly capable of running Vista, though, so I haven't noticed many speed gains. The UI touch-ups are nice, though.

          • >Is it as quick as running XP? Well, no, but don't forget that XP is a seven-year-old operating system that required a Pentium II at release.

            You see I don't get this comment. Since the operating system 7 years ago had to run on much slower hardware, well, don't expect that now?

            WHY F***G NOT! What on earth does an operating system have to do so that it sucks up ever bit of my quad core machine?

            Here is the irony. Superfetch... Superfetch makes my programs faster to load and run. Well, are they counting the

            • by KingAlanI (1270538) on Sunday January 18, 2009 @12:11PM (#26507099) Homepage Journal

              >>Is it as quick as running XP? Well, no, but don't forget that XP is a seven-year-old operating system that required a Pentium II at release.

              >You see I don't get this comment. Since the operating system 7 years ago had to run on much slower hardware, well, don't expect that now?

              >WHY F***G NOT! What on earth does an operating system have to do so that it sucks up ever bit of my quad core machine?

              Hear Hear.
              Yeah, early computing tech was slow, but at least the programmers were on average more careful with resource use.
              Today's increase in tech level has allowed people to make bloated stuff where the bloat isn't really necessary. There are improvements in general, but so much of it is just stupid waste.

              I shouldn't _need_ 42 bazillion megs of RAM for my computer to work properly

              • by failedlogic (627314) on Sunday January 18, 2009 @01:45PM (#26507977)

                When someone always decides to reinvent the whole fucking wheel, its always wasteful. I care for mother earth - the only thing I really need to upgrade is a higher efficiency PSU. Requiring a new computer for an OS is good for the economy. Landfills are getting more and more computer and related equipment which was perfectly functional but wasn't good enough for a new commercial OS. Productivity software and and the Internet work just fine for most people until a new OS shows up.

                My current system has 1 GB of RAM and a 2.4 GHz CPU which does more than enough for the work I need. Windows 7 add absolutely no value to me and does not help me more productive and organized. The marketing dept. at MS loves that line. But they can never prove it "productive and organized".Where's a better Windows Explorer? Its been a total rehash since Windows 95 days, but just some newer icons each time. Since MS likes Ctrl + C, Ctrl+ V, just give me OS X Finder in Windows already. Guess that comes with the next OS.

            • by HAKdragon (193605) <hakdragonNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Sunday January 18, 2009 @01:02PM (#26507571)

              Windows 7 is literally putting lipstick on a pig!
               
              I don't think that word means what you think it means.

        • Re:Well (Score:4, Interesting)

          by Richard_at_work (517087) <.moc.liamg. .ta. .ecirpdrahcir.> on Sunday January 18, 2009 @11:42AM (#26506811)
          I think you will find a lot of comparison between XP and Windows 7 is going on, you are simply assuming your view is correct.

          I prefer Windows 7, even at this beta stage, over XP - direct comparison.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by unfunk (804468)

          That said I doubt Win7 will work on netbooks, so I won't be surprised that XP will be with us for a long long time to come.

          Heh. It actually boots faster than XP on my EeePC 1000HD (900MHz Celeron, 1GB RAM). It's also a touch more responsive overall. If it didn't have the interesting habit of crashing randomly, I'd replace XP with it right now. But it's a beta, what do you expect?

  • by localroger (258128) on Sunday January 18, 2009 @10:55AM (#26506331) Homepage
    Consumers don't care. They didn't care about Vista, except that it didn't work like their old XP box and they had to learn new stuff. Consumers don't like learning the new stuff but they do it because it's easier than jumping through the hoops to get another XP box.

    IT people killed Vista, and I see no reason why they will be any happier with Win7. I have talked to dozens of industry people, from the guys who network mom & pop shops to guys who run databases for Fortune 100 companies, and NONE of them wanted anything to do with Vista. Their complaints were that it was entirely too dependent on internet connectivity, it was totaly different and therefore a major hassle to integrate with their existing network infrastructure and to maintain at the user level, and could not be locked down in a corporate environment properly. Win7 is a finger in the eye to these people -- it doesn't even have Classic mode any more. I've only spoken to a couple of them since Win7 was introduced but they aren't impressed.

    And it is a truism from the days of Dos 2.0 that people do prefer to use at home what they use at work. When the tech friends they depend on to fix what they can't insist they run XP, they will insist on XP. Office and Word became popular not because they're all that good but because people brought them home and became comfortable with them there.

    This has all come down to a giant Mexican standoff between Microsoft, which wants to determine how your computer looks and acts, and corporate IT types who want to determine those things. (As for you determining those things, that ship has sailed; the end of Classic mode tells that tale.) The IT guyes will not give up their control. Microsoft has obviously dug in their heels. It is not clear to me how this will end, but from what I have seen it will not end with widespread Win7 on the corporate desktop.

    • What alternative is there? You can't stay on XP forever - eventually support will go away, patches will stop, fire and blood will rain from the skies, etc. Eventually, IT will have to move to a new OS, and the odds are that OS will be Win 7 or whatever chunk of crap MS is peddling that year. It's still more compelling for business users than any alternative.

      You could move to the Mac, but then you need all new software and you need to completely retrain your staff. Same thing for Linux. So you can move

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        What alternative is there? You can't stay on XP forever - eventually support will go away, patches will stop, fire and blood will rain from the skies, etc. Eventually, IT will have to move to a new OS, and the odds are that OS will be Win 7 or whatever chunk of crap MS is peddling that year. It's still more compelling for business users than any alternative.

        You could move to the Mac, but then you need all new software and you need to completely retrain your staff. Same thing for Linux. So you can move to Win 7 - where you can at least expect some of your software to continue working. Developers can keep cranking out crap in VisualStudio (which is a shitty fucking IDE, whatever it's cadre of loyal adherents say about it), executives can continue using Outlook and schedule meetings with each other, your shitty ActiveX control laden intranet will work without changes (MS is never, ever, ever, gonna give that shit up if they can help it).

        You will still have to retrain your staff to use the windows 7 interface and the new office interface

        • yes, but (Score:3, Insightful)

          That doesn't address all the other stuff - software that you can still reuse, stuff with an upgrade path to new version. It's still far cheaper to move to a newer windows than a completely different OS for most businesses.

          Believe me, I'd love to see MS lose it's market position, but it's probably not gonna happen because people refuse to move to Win7.

      • Choice of pain (Score:3, Informative)

        by localroger (258128)
        I know plenty of people (not as many as 2 years ago, but still some) who run Win2K because of their objection to the license key checks introduced with XP. As long as they aren't playing games or HD multimedia, it doesn't seem to matter.

        And if a large organization has to make a major unscheduled effort because Microsoft is ramping up the pressure -- you can still get XP but it's more expensive, available on fewer models, and deliberately more poorly supported -- then you have to ask whether to take the n

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        What alternative is there?

        Linux. OS X. ReactOS and FreeDOS, if it comes to it.

        You can't stay on XP forever - eventually support will go away, patches will stop, fire and blood will rain from the skies...

        So you put it in a virtual machine. If you can't lock it down from inside the OS, lock it down from outside the OS.

        You could move to the Mac, but then you need all new software and you need to completely retrain your staff. Same thing for Linux.

        With Win7 or Vista, you've got to completely retrain your staff on the OS, anyway. With Office 2k7, you probably have to retrain them on applications, too.

        So you take the legacy apps you care about, and you run them in Wine and/or Crossover. Maybe you even donate/pay your Windows 7 licenses to the Wine/Codeweavers people (respectively) to get

  • by jd142 (129673) on Sunday January 18, 2009 @11:49AM (#26506883) Homepage

    The users I support are going to have *huge* problems with the new taskbar. First, they have a problem with grouping tasks into one icon. They never did get the hang of that, so we ended up just unchecking that feature.

    Second, the default is to have no text under the icon. They are going to have a hard time figuring out what is already running. They'll end up double clicking everything.

    Third, the taskbar no longer appends each new application to the end of the running tasks. That will throw people off.

    In addition, they are really going to confuse themselves with all of the new mouse gestures.

    Other than that, windows 7, like Vista, and XP before it has the same basic interface as 9x. Taskbar at the bottom of the screen, Menu launcher in the lower left hand corner.

  • by Tau Neutrino (76206) on Sunday January 18, 2009 @11:52AM (#26506913)

    This is, by far, the best beta operating system the software giant has ever released.

    Is that the best that can be said about it?

  • by slyn (1111419) <ozzietheowl@gmail.com> on Sunday January 18, 2009 @12:00PM (#26506987)

    The real reason Vista really failed is the same people who are hyping up 7, the media.

    Vista changed the way drivers needed to be written for security reasons, and because hardware vendors suck at writing drivers for whatever they make, there were all sorts of problems with hardware compatibility, ESPECIALLY with older hardware. Add to that UI changes ranging from minor to extensive in both Vista and Office 07, overzealous UAC, and a million other little things (on top of the million other little things that didn't make it into vista (i thought it was funny that theirs actually a wikipedia page for "Features removed from Windows Vista")), and obviously, almost no ones first impressions were good. Tech writers ravaged it, the mainstream media picked up on their stories and killed most of the little momentum Vista had by simply parroting the tech writers.

    However, since then drivers have gotten good, service pack 1 has come out, and Vista has matured. You'd have a hard time finding a second impression review of the OS that did nothing but bash the OS like the first impression ones did. In fact, lots of reviews coming out now are actually praising Vista for becoming better than its predecessor (granted only with modern day hardware).

    Windows 7 is Windows Vista++. A refined UI, refined UAC, drivers are mature now, performance is approximately as good or better than vista (which is as good or better than XP on the right hardware), IE8 is shaping up to be an improvement, and the whole package seems to just work better. Most of the tech writers have already been won over by Vista, windows 7 appears to be better than that (and its just a beta!), so obviously they write favorable reviews. The mainstream media is picking up on their stories and hyping up the slowly growing mass of momentum Windows 7 has by simply parroting the tech writers.

    TL;DR: vista was killed by bad first impressions that the mass media ran with. windows 7 will succeed because of good first impressions that the mass media is running with.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by symbolset (646467)

      The real reason Vista really failed is the same people who are hyping up 7, the media.

      Completely wrong. There are two reasons why Vista failed. The first is that it's a crap product. The media duly took their ad money and their Ferrari laptops and reported their unbiased finding that it was the coolest thing since sliced bread. They squandered their credibility because far and away most people who tried it hated it.

      The second reason why Vista failed was us. We tried it. We put it through its paces. We compared it side-by-side with XP. We tried to prepare it for deployment to our myr

  • by Joe The Dragon (967727) on Sunday January 18, 2009 @12:05PM (#26507027)

    Windows 7 should go back to home and pro setup no 5+ vers like vista. Maybe also have a enterprise ver with extras apps / tools for that as well.

    Also all packs should oem and retail should come with the 32bit and 64bit disks or let people down load the 64bit iso for free and let them use there key that they have.

  • by willoughby (1367773) on Sunday January 18, 2009 @12:34PM (#26507313)
    Isn't that something like "Best Mexican wine"?
  • by HangingChad (677530) on Sunday January 18, 2009 @12:46PM (#26507415) Homepage

    Blog hype or lack of it may change the impression of the product, or maybe MSFT finally has brought out the product Vista should have been, but the real question is does it provide value for the money it costs?

    Microsoft's strategy of keeping itself inserted in the market by pressuring OEM's isn't going to last. There are already cracks in that wall. Netbooks almost got away from them, still could unless Windows 7 flies on low end hardware and doesn't add $100 to the cost. Maybe a lower cost version for low end hardware

    Any way you slice it MS is in a bind. Sure they'll keep muscling the market via OEM's and leveraging school and government officials, the dead weight of legions of MCSE's and .NET developers, people invested in Microsoft, many in positions to influence decision makers. There's a lot of institutional inertia there. But if they field a crippled version for lower cost netbooks, Linux will eat their lunch on features. If they charge full price that will essentially double the cost of low end hardware. In addition, hardware OEM's want to sell more powerful and more expensive new desktops. But the market for high end hardware is not growing that fast. There's gaming, video, CAD and a few other specialized areas where you need beefy horsepower. The average productivity workstation doesn't need dual cores. For a majority of home users being able to see pictures of their kids, dash off a quick letter once in a while and check email is all they need to do and they don't need a $300 OS or high end hardware to do that. I just don't see a bright future for Redmond in this.

  • by Runaway1956 (1322357) on Sunday January 18, 2009 @04:15PM (#26509329) Homepage Journal
    but the original article seems a rather twisted exercise in logic. ON THE SAME HARDWARE, I tested Vista and Win7. Vista proved a resource hog, ran slow, and caused a number of headaches due to incompatibilities. It's "security features" were intrusive, among other things. Win7 proves to run faster than WinXP, I ran into no compatibility problems, and the security seems to be a slight improvement on WinXP. No, it isn't all media hype that's responsible for Vista's flop, and Win7's impending success. The Win7 Beta is superior to Vista, plain and simple. The finished product is likely to be even better.

If I have seen farther than others, it is because I was standing on the shoulders of giants. -- Isaac Newton

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