On 27 December 2008, Windows 7 Beta was leaked onto the Internet. According to a performance test by ZDNet, Windows 7 Beta has beaten both Windows XP and Vista in several key areas, including boot and shutting down time, working with files and loading documents; others, including PC Pro benchmarks for typical office activities and video-editing, remain identical to Vista and slower than XP.
Microsoft, as usual, is hoping that their next Windows version succeeds in the market. After the disaster that Vista was, it’ll take some mighty hard work (not to mention luck) on their part to get the ball back in their court.
A few years ago, owing to Vista’s failure, many regular computer users reverted to XP while the few adventurous ones gave Linux a try… a serious try. A still smaller fraction of the latter few actually liked Linux and decided never to turn back.
Now, if Windows 7 turns out to be even half as popular as XP, Linux adoption will again take a back seat – the process has already started IMO, judging by the popularity of the Beta. People will upgrade their XP machines saying “Finally, the Windows version that I was waiting for has arrived!”.
Meanwhile, the Linux and Open Source community will go on about their jobs, slowly but steadily creating software that’s far superior to anything that the corporate world could ever hope to produce.
And one day, many years from now, Microsoft will screw up again… perhaps with Windows 10. People will get a 2 or 3 year hiatus where they’ll have a choice to either stay with Windows or move onto Linux. Some will move on – in fact many will move on, since Linux will have become so much better by then.
And before long, Microsoft will bounce back – and they’ll still get users that upgrade their PC’s and be all fired up about switching to a newer version of Windows (humans!). But this time around, the numbers will be smaller.
The cycle will go on… but not unto eternity. Very soon, Microsoft, or any other software giant for that matter will struggle, trying to keep up with the elephantine OSS movement. Acts of desperation… until one fine day, a long way away from now, the world will mourn the death of Windows.
Ah! What a theory! I’m so proud of myself… *sob*
Too bad I’ll be dead before anyone even thinks about “The Year of the Windows Desktop”.. if you know what I mean.