windows-errorOne of our favourite shills over at Microsoft Watch has proudly announced on his blog that he has helped with the Windows 7 FAQ.  I thought it would be nice to add our views on what THEY are saying.  Note for the purposes of clarity Open Bytes commentary is in bold italics.  Now because we are dealing with Microsoft, I need to make this very clear, lest they send me a legal letter.  The FAQ q&a’s were copied from the FAQ which can be found at the the Activewin.com site.  If you want to read the whole article get yourself over.

Here are a selection of questions that Microsoft are asking and answering themselves (in no particular order):

Q. What new experiences does Windows 7 offer for users?

A. In Windows 7 controlling the computer by touching the screen is a core user experience, with visual feedback provided for tap and double-tap gestures. The Start menu, Windows Taskbar and Windows Explorer are touch friendly, with larger icons that are easier to select with your finger, Browsing the web with Internet Explorer 8 is easier too – just use your finger to scroll down a web page or browse your favourite links. You can even use your finger to arrange the pictures in a photo album. Windows 7 also includes multi-touch technology, which lets you control what happens on the screen with more than one finger. You can zoom in on an image by moving two fingers close together, like you’re pinching something, or zoom out by moving two fingers apart. You can rotate n image on the screen by rotating one finger around another and can right click by holding one finger on your target and tapping the screen with a second finger. Touch Gestures provide direct visual feedback and interact with underlying content in a natural and intuitive way. So what youre saying (and Ill shorten it for you MS) is that the new experiences will be only relating to touchscreen technology?  Thats very nice Im sure, but what if you dont have a touch monitor?  What if you have your monitor a considerable distance from your keyboard?  Are you providing a pointy stick as part of your new version?  Well thats all cleared up.  I think Ill stick with keyboard shortcuts thanks.

Q. How many editions of Windows 7 are available?

A. Microsoft plans to continue its current SKU strategy, customers will see Windows 7 in 6 distinct editions: Starter, Home Basic, Home Premium, Business, Enterprise and Ultimate. Well thats what I call keeping it simple.  6 versions.

Q. What are Windows 7 system requirements?

A. Windows Vista – Recommended system requirements: Ok then, What are Windows Vista system requirements?  Nobody really seems to know and judging from the forums that I read even the latest specs can have trouble with Vista.

Q. What is the strategy Microsoft is employing in creating Windows 7?

A. n general, Microsoft wants the next operating system to focus on the fundamentals, better performance. This includes, improved boot time, shutdown and power management and better ways of doing common task in Windows through new ways such as Windows Touch technology and traditional point and click. Am I being thick, or wasnt something similar said before Vista was released? and shouldnt performance have been the focus of previous versions? Have you just realized that people want functional and fast software? Im sure Windows Touch technology is lovely, but before you start adding more bells and whistles to your bloat, shouldnt you get the fundamentals sorted first?

I also think you will find that there is already 3rd party solutions to your touch screen idea, so really its not that new or exciting and you dont even need Windows to experience it.  Great stuff MS, Mac will be thanking you for more sales next year, and I will be welcoming new people to Linux.

Ok commentary over.  If this offers anyone any confidence in the Windows platform and are willing to wait until 2009/2010 and risk removing XP, great.  Am I the only one who cant see what would make someone want Windows 7, and what about the people burnt by Vista? are they going to get a free upgrade?

I dont think so.

Windows “Life without walls?” – I believe 2009 will be the start of “life without Windows”