Friday, May 23, 2008

Windows 7

Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer gave the tech world a small glimpse into the new Microsoft operating system project, codenamed Windows 7. The word on the street is that the OS will be out in 2010. The OS promises to be an "evolution" on the current Vista OS (they didn't abandon the old kernel like Apple did when they made Mac OS X, but are using it to base the advances they have planned). The most fundamental change will be a touch GUI (graphics user interface). The new OS will look and feel like Vista but will be primarily controlled by finger-to-screen contact. Check out this video preview:

Video: Multi-Touch in Windows 7
So my thoughts: It seems like Microsoft is exploring everyone else's ideas . As you saw in the video, they have pinch to zoom feature and a scrolling and finger-through feature much like you see in the iPhone and iPod Touch. The video even plays off products offered by other companies like the Google Earth-like map program. Obviously, the company is only able to provide a preview into what they are planning. Frankly, it appears that Microsoft is taking a big step toward something "different", but its a step that other companies have already taken and are perfecting.

How hard will it be for Apple to put out a iPhone-like GUI for personal computers, playing off of ideas (software AND hardware) they already have in place? Not hard. At least not nearly as hard as it is for Microsoft to structure a similar platform. So, then, how hard would it be for Apple to advance the technology and make it better and easier to use in relation to other products like Microsoft's? Again, not hard. So, thus far, Microsoft still has to take some serious strides towards actually innovating something that will WOW us rather than serve to keep up with current innovation. Here are some screen shots:
Its obviously a waiting game at this point. We don't know exactly what Microsoft is planning for Windows 7. I only hope they will give us more information on this project before release than they did on Vista before its release so that we know what to expect. Maybe if we know whats coming, it won't hurt as much when it isn't as big a deal as we want it to be.

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