Windows 7 Should be a Fixta Free For All

Windows 7 Should be a Fixta Free For All

Summary: Okay, never mind that I'm a dinosaur with an affinity for 1990's era User Interfaces --  I think even my best critics will very likely agree with me that Windows 7, for all of its performance improvements and bling, is essentially one big service deluxe pack for Windows Vista.



Okay, never mind that I'm a dinosaur with an affinity for 1990's era User Interfaces --  I think even my best critics will very likely agree with me that Windows 7, for all of its performance improvements and bling, is essentially one big service deluxe pack for Windows Vista. It's the Windows Vista that customers were promised when they bought "Vista Capable" PC's 3 years ago, and despite the rest of us dinosaurs that are set in our ways about the way we like to work, it's the Windows Vista that even Micosoft's most ardent supporters hoped that would finally replace Windows XP. Windows 7 is the Vista that we were guaranteed would work properly, the first time around.

Taking a page from the 1955 Brooklyn Dodgers, Windows 7  and it's accompanying sales propaganda is the Microsoft corporate mantra equivalent of "Wait 'till next year" that everyone is hoping may actually result in that all-elusive pennant win -- the end-user and corporate acceptance that Windows Vista was never able to achieve.

Click on the "Read the rest of this entry" link below for more.

Let's face it, Windows 7 is Windows Vista Service Release 2, more than a service pack but less than a major release, with only a few added extra features, or as I am now in the custom of calling it, Windows Fixta. And since Windows 7 is essentially a performance and usability fix for a defective product, I'm of the increasing opinion that a Windows 7 upgrade should be free to anyone who was conned into buying Windows Vista.

Yes, you heard me. If you own a copy of Windows Vista -- Microsoft should be giving you a download entitlement to whatever corresponding version you have. So if you have Home, you should get Windows 7 Home. If you have Ultimate, you should get Windows 7 Ultimate. For Microsoft to do anything less would be a disservice to their loyal customers, especially to the enterprises that actually bought into Enterprise Agreements for Vista desktops.  It isn't just good business for Microsoft to redeem itself in this way, it's simply the right thing to do. Anything less than a complete "Mea culpa, we'll do anything to make this up to you" move by Microsoft is likely to open them up to further litigation, especially by angry EU lawmakers who are just looking for another excuse to hit the company with billions more in fines as well as an expansion of existing class action in the United States.

As reported by Mary Jo Foley today, selected PC OEMs will begin offering free upgrades from Vista this summer, but these upgrades will not be retroactive. Microsoft needs to address their loyal customers and early adopters with free certificates NOW.

Should Vista users get Fixta For Free? Talk Back and Let Me Know.

Topics: Operating Systems, Microsoft, Software, Windows


Jason Perlow, Sr. Technology Editor at ZDNet, is a technologist with over two decades of experience integrating large heterogeneous multi-vendor computing environments in Fortune 500 companies. Jason is currently a Partner Technology Strategist with Microsoft Corp. His expressed views do not necessarily represent those of his employer.

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  • I agree


    I totally agree. I am no vista fan. However if i am a dinosaur like you ( I am in my early 30's) well so be it. Vista is a complete J.O.K.E slow,UI is hard to use etc etc. These are not only my views but i have been told by other co workers as well. My CFO just purchased a new machine with Vista Home Preminum. He has had it for 2 weeks and asked me today if i can unload vista and install Xp Pro. I said if i am luck enough to find device drivers for it then yes.
    • J.O.K.E. ?

      Joint Organization to Kill Elephant ?


      IMHO Vista users must pay again to windows7, after all they was the sponsor of vista so they can have anything from me but my appreciation.

      Windows ME was killed not because the operating system was disastrous but because users decided to stay with windows98 or to jump directly to windows2k.

      Vista otherwise, is still kicking because the amount of vista user. Without vista user, Microsoft will be forced to rethink their strategy and to bring a decent OS instead of a bling-bling skin.
      • Millenium?

        Millenium was a disaster and I recall replacing it as soon as I could in the Toshiba Satellite that was inflicted with it. I ran an ancient 95 and then XP as soon as it was available - paying good money, under protest, at the time. Now I'm satisfied with XP - Pro, have tried Vista on another machine - with enough headaches to justify waiting for 7 ... and why not free? Specially to those that paid Microsoft bundled into the price of pour computers - with no choice in the matter.

        Bah! Or Linux ...
        Peter Knight
        • Agreed

          Vista is just another Millennium. I remember back when Millennium was the big talk "Choose ME"; what a flop and sweep under the rug that turned out to be. I got suckered into buying a PC with ME on it and it had more bugs than a Brazilian anthill.
      • Actually, no...

        ME died because it was one big mess---driver
        incompatibility, constant crashing...much like Vista
        out of the box. :)

        Win7 should be free, as is stated in the article it is
        the OS people paid for when they bought their shiny
        new PCs 3+ years ago.

        And for the record---the average user does NOT buy a
        new PC to get the new OS...that's kinda like cutting
        off your arm to address the boil on your finger.

        And contrary to popular belief, the "average user"
        isn't THAT dumb---given the current economic climate a
        new PC purchase just to get a new OS isn't gonna
        • "given the current economic climate..."

          Spudrock, Your statement is just not correct. With a complete computer being sold at big box stores for the price of two copies of an operating system, people do, by the masses, buy a new computer rather than purchasing a new OS and installing it on their old machine. The "new" OS, in all probability, will require a new computer with upgraded components anyway. Remember 98 to XP? Remember XP to Vista? SOOOOO, the economics is that if and when a user really feels compelled to buy a new OS and has to upgrade their computer to do so; they WILL buy a package deal and WILL buy a new computer to have the desired OS preinstalled.
      • ME J.O.K.E.

        Hang on minute here... ME was a rubbish platform that's why people either stayed with 98 or went straight to 2000...
        We allow microsoft get away with continually building inefficient platforms so that they can continue to make money from us suckers... after all the golden rule of computing as I was taught in the early days is GIGO... garbage in garbage out... Time microsoft actually moved into the 21st century for the time of dinosaurs is over... no wonder Bill is one of the richest men in the world.. he laughs on the way to the bank...
        Psymon FC
    • TUT...TUT...TUT

      Im afraid your wrong DUDE.. most of you all said the same about Xp when it first came out me included but Vista is a huge leap above Xp..Driver problems for vista has been a thing of the past for ages and ill tell you something else when Xp first came out it had much broader issues than Vista has had with drivers and compatabillity issues..If your a dino and can only go back as far as Xp i can go a lot futher back to windows 3 and even futher back as far as the commodor so what does that make me mate..Now thats going back to problems..Best Regards Steve
      • I agree with your points, not your conclusion

        I agree about the original problems with XP. Based on your same arguments, the post's conclusion is that if XP SP2, which fixed most of the issues was free, then the release that fixes the Vista problems should also be free.
        • Vista 7

          I agree
      • How soon we forget

        I have to agree with you vlf126 and yes I started out with a Commodor so if they refer to themselves as dino's then we must be as old as dirt itself. I've had very few problems with Vista even driver issues have pretty much gone away. If I had to guess maybe those that had river issues weren't reading the recommended system specs for Vista and are still trying to use old outdated printers, scanners, and so on. Besides didn't everyone want better security which is what Vista brings to the table?
        • It is not clear why

          we had to throw out our scanners and printers, just because M$ wanted to release an OS. Nobody yet, least of all M$ has justified this particular curse in their OS. Whatever happened to "HAL", the Hardware Abstraction Layer?
          • Whatever happened to HAL...

            It changed. Drivers that worked under XP work differently from those used for Vista. XP's drivers were all linked to the system Kernal. If one didn't behave properly, it could, therefore, crash the whole box with a brilliant BSOD.

            Vista's drivers are kept in the user space. The Kernal is now off limits to most, if not all device drivers. Now, if something crashes, you get an error message and the system recovers - life goes on.

            As for why the old hardware became useless... Even with a HAL, you still need drivers. Microsoft doesn't write drivers for everything. That'd be pretty close to impossible given the HUGE volumes of hardware that have been created over the past 20+ years.

            It's up to the hardware manufacturer to create new drivers for their stuff. As such, the hardware people have to balance what they're going to support with each release. Writing new drivers costs money - they have to pay programmers, they have to host the drivers somewhere, etc...

            Once you've bought the printer and the drivers for the current OS, that income stream stops. Many times, the printers are even sold at LESS than what it cost to make it. Yes, there's money in consumables - toner or ink and paper, but that money goes toward the consumables.

            Creating drivers for older hardware also tends to make it harder to sell the new hardware. If a piece of hardware never goes obsolete, they can't sell you a new one.
          • HAL in Vista

            Well, as for HAL, I've lost ALL mouse drivers in
            Vista on two separate occasions on two different
            computers. Not specialty mice, just vanilla optical
            USB and ps/2 serial mice. Really.
            MS may not be able to provide drivers for all
            possible devices, but some very basic devices
            should be in the kernel. Face it, Vista was the
            wrong OS at the wrong time. Yes, Windows 7
            should be free to all Vista owners.
        • oh so secure ha ha ha ha ha

          Of course Vista is secure..... any OS that spends more time with blue screens than working (WITH BRAND NEW HARDWARE) is secure indeed as it does not work. Typical Microsoft
          • Maybe

            you should have an IT pro look at your system, it's not usual to blue screen more than not.

            Although your assumption and exaggeration tells the true story.
          • I think you are drunk...

            It pays to be biased...
          • Where do you get this "Blue Screen" stuff?

            I have yet to see one, and I'm a tech repair. Because you heard of one or saw one doesn't mean they are the norm. Myth, nothing but myth.
        • I agree

          One year into Vista use (100% of the time) and I am very happy with it
          Dwayne M
        • Us Dirt People... ;)

          Yes, I too started with a Vic20 as my First PC. Then Commodore 64, Then a Tandy WITH a 10 MEG (not GIG) Hard Drive, & 5 1/4" Floppy! In school, (I went to private school where funds were plentiful), we got Commodore PET's, $2,500 each. WOW were those cool, and we did not have to plug them into a TV, they had their own monitor! We learned how to make our names scroll across the screen in COLOR, and we could make it play music that sounded about like Mary Had a Little Lamb being punched in on a phone keypad. It was awesome, and they came with Cassette Tape Backup Devices! Major Coolness! We used to carry those Cassette Drives home each day. They were about the size of a small desktop CPU, but how cool we must have looked to all our friends.

          Vista drivers WERE, at the beginning, hard to find, but at this point, that issue us moot. If you don't have compatible hardware now, then you REALLY need an upgrade.