Microsoft Details More Windows 7 Vaporware

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Computerworld plays Microsoft fanboy in “Opinion: 10 Best Features in Windows 7 for IT Professionals.” The Windows developer conference underway now will generate a tidal wave of “inside information” which is Microsoft PR speak for “vague promises” with little connection to reality.

No doubt all the things promised in Windows 7 sound wonderful, reactive to customer needs, and guaranteed to wash the bad taste of Vista out of everyone's mouth. I just don't believe it.

In the listing of “great new features” from ComputerWorld, I didn't notice something that's been promised since before XP: the new Windows File System, or WinFS. Microsoft executives touted that for years leading up to XP, then they went quiet the year before XP finally shipped, then promised it again in Vista. Guess what: Vista has no new file system. Guess what: Windows 7 has no new file system, either.

Critical features disappear before operating systems ship from Microsoft. This time, they're not even going through the motions of lying to us about WinFS. Or maybe they feel this is such a minor upgrade it's not worth mentioning. I doubt that.

This early flood of hype is convincing some news agencies that Windows 7 will actually ship in 2009. I don't buy it. My prediction of 2010 still stands, not counting a few copies sent in December 2009 just for the face saving value. That's what they did with Vista, and I predict that's what Microsoft will do again.

If you're in a small to medium business, ignore the hype. You're now stuck with Vista on new systems for the most part, but don't stop complaining to your Microsoft rep about Vista problems thinking Windows 7 is riding over the hill to save the day.

Windows 7 is not coming soon, and history tells us it won't cure the problems of the world any better than Vista. And since Vista is actively worse than XP in many ways, history also tells us Windows 7 could actually go backwards again. Don't hold your breath, but be prepared to hold your nose.

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