Will Microsoft's upcoming Windows 7 put the brakes on OS X's soaring market share gains? Does it have what it takes to out 'innovate' the world's best OS? Could it even be conceivable that it could somehow even kill off the world's most advanced operating system - OS X?
Well, those are good questions, but, in the mean time, one thing is for sure, and that is the reaction of the press concerning Windows 7 - it's a complete 180 degree turn around from what it has been for Vista, the OS that Microsoft would rather have us all forget about! From it's inception, it seems, Vista has been perceived, more-or-less, as a dog of an OS, and as such, people even compared it to Windows Millennium, which was absolutely one of the worst OS's ever fostered on an unsuspecting public!
It's hard to believe the difference in the press and their attitude concerning Windows 7, and especially so when compared to Vista. Even as a beta, people have been amazed and have likewise been tripping all over themselves as they gloat over how stable, secure and fast Microsoft's latest OS is. It's almost seems as if Microsoft were paying people to write such glowing and positive reviews. Who knows, maybe, in some instances, they are, I really don't know, except that I do know that, as the old saying goes , " perception is reality!" I also know that this perception could have a huge and positive effect on the adoption of Windows 7, and likewise, also have a negative effect on both the Mac and Linux crowd in their attempts to grow even more at the expense of Windows, the market leader.
It's also obvious to me, that this is going to make it a little bit harder for the people behind Apple's popular, "I'm a PC, I'm a Mac" ads and other such advertising endeavors. It will be interesting to see how Apple responds to Windows 7, as Vista itself was such a really easy target for Apple to take advantage of. This to a large extent, of course, is going to depend a lot on how Apple's upcoming Snow Leopard will be perceived. Apple has said that Snow Leopard won't be concentrating on introducing any real new features, but, instead it will be concentrating on delivering a remarkable increased in speed, power, stability and over all security. These are all fantastic features to be sure, but whether they will be enough, or not, is another question.
Personally, in my mind at least, people are real suckers for shiny new features that look really cool, regardless of whether or not they are really practical or not. Windows 7 will certainly have lots of such shiny new features - from Microsoft improving it's Task Bar to be more like OS X dock like, to the adoption of multi-touch features, features that remarkably resemble the iPhone in it's look and feel. Well, we all know how that all turned out, but will it do the same for an OS as it did for a mobile device? Most likely it will and, luckily, for Apple, they have at least been granted a recent patent that covers pretty much everything that Windows 7 will do in that regard. Unfortunately, for Apple, it has also extended a cross-licensing deal with Microsoft, so Microsoft, for it's part, may feel they have every legal right to use multi-touch in any old way in which they feel, regardless of what Apple thinks!
Even without such a cross-licensing deal, Microsoft could still always challenge any Apple patents and thus drag the whole thing out for years and years to come, enjoying in the meantime all the benefits thereof. But that may not much in the end, because Apple too has also been planning to bring multi-touch to OS X's desktop, sooner or later, as well. Unfortunately, they just haven't given us any information as to when. Hopefully, Windows 7 will force Apple to bring multi-touch to the Mac sooner rather than later. At least I hope so, so don't be surprised if your surprised that this is indeed the case here as well. Hopefully, when Apple does announce the release of Snow Leopard they too will announce a date for the inclusion of multi-touch, or - who knows - maybe it will even be a part of Snow Leopard when it arrives! It wouldn't be the first time that Apple has surprised us, and hopefully we will have yet be surprised by another one of Steve Jobs famous, " - oh, just one more thing," when it comes to multi-touch on the Mac as well.
Personally, I like what I'm reading, hearing and seeing about Vista 2 - excuse me - I mean Windows 7, but I'm convinced that it will still not be anywhere near compelling enough for me or any other Mac user to switch over to. OS X has gotten too big and too popular for Windows 7 or any other OS to kill off completely, but certainly it makes a compelling secondary OS and will give any Mac user access to a lot more software that they otherwise wouldn't be privy too.
When it's all said and done, I must say that I love having choice and as such, well, Windows 7 will most likely become my second favorite OS of all time. Finally having a version of Windows that doesn't suck for a change, well, at least not as much as usual, will be a nice change indeed, and I'm looking forward to adding Windows 7 as one of my secondary OS. My first choice is, and, no doubt, will still remain OS X, and that, my friends, is exactly one of greatest reasons for using a Mac in the first place, namely - you can run virtually anything and everything on a Mac - be it another OS, such as Windows 7, or any and all of the software apps that goes along with it!So, is Windows 7 an OS X killer? No, not by a long stretch, but it is still a great OS on it's own merits and as such, it merits the praise that it has so far received and it makes a great choice either as a secondary, and for some folks, their primary OS. As much as I'm looking forward to Windows 7 , I'm looking even more forward to Apple's upcoming Snow Leopard, because when the dust settles, and when it comes down to what really matters, Snow Leopard should make mince meat out of Windows 7. Even though Windows 7 may possibly end up with a lot more shiny new features, Snow Leopard should end up with the best, most important and the most usable features of them all.
And that's my 2 cents 4 this Friday, January 30, 2009