I have been reading with interest in blogs, newspapers, magazines, and other online sources all that has to be said about Microsoft’s new operating system that will be released to the masses on January 30, 2007. Some of the commentary reminded me of things that had also been said in previous Windows releases going back to Windows 95. And fortunately some information is still available on the Internet that jogged my memory of past statements, which proved to me that nothing much has changed in the past 11 years.

For those of you who might recall, Windows 95 was the most anticipated Windows release, since it was going to be the first time that Window users were going to be able to truly multi-task. Windows 98 was going to make it easier to connect to the Internet. Windows 2000 was as sound as a rock, but didn’t meet the demands of gamers, who stuck with 98. And then there was ME – I don’t believe any of us understood what ME was all about. It was so bad that people uninstalled ME and went back to 98. And then came XP, which did most things well, but every hacker in the world besieged us with viruses and hacks. Now Vista is going to make its way front and center.

We always end up with three different camps:

Microsoft bashers – They nitpick everything they can find about a new OS (‘an icon is out of place, I wish it were here instead’). We also hear that the new OS is always going to need new hardware and more power. That drivers for the new OS are not ready for every single hardware product on the market. No, duh! I remember waiting six months for HP to make its software compatible with XP so I could use my all-in-one printer. Now we are going to need 2G of RAM to run Vista and if you have a laptop it will suck your battery dry so fast that you will barely have time to open the lid.

Microsoft zealots – Every version of Windows they have owned works perfectly on their system. All of their hardware is always supported and there is never any type of issue with their system. So they say. They exaggerate their claims and say that every Windows versions is faster than the last version, more user friendly, and is the best of the best.

The rest of the world – Gets the new Windows version when buying a new PC. Just wants the old software and hardware to work with the new system. Wants to play a few games, surf the Internet, send a few emails, and in general just wants the computer to work. Doesn’t understand what all the fuss is about from the other two groups above, and does not have a life that completely revolves around technology 24 x 7.

So as we wait for the arrival of Vista to hit the store shelves, we will be bombarded with tales from the first two groups, while the rest of the world sits back and wonders what the problem is.

[tags]Microsoft, Vista, windows, software, hardware, games, surf the internet, email, computer, work[/tags]