Why Windows 7 Won't Save Microsoft

A famed tech writer's adoring review of the soon-to-be-released operating system gets vivisected by the blogosphere

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On Wednesday, the Wall Street Journal's award-winning personal tech columnist Walter Mossberg published an extremely favorable review of the new Windows 7 operating system set to hit stores October 22. Mossberg's endorsement comes as a godsend to Microsoft as the company attempts to rehabilitate its image after the disastrous launch of its last operating system-- the universally decried Windows Vista. Bloggers, however, were mostly pessimistic, picking apart Mossberg's post and hammering home the negative aspects of Windows 7:

  • One Step Forward, Two Steps Back Outside the Beltway's James Joyner concentrates on the fact that it is "next to impossible" to upgrade to Windows 7 straight from XP, which many Windows users will have to do after holding-out on Vista: "My guess is that I won't bother with Windows 7 until and unless we get new machines at the office. I'm certainly not willing to go through such a radical installation routine to test out a new operating system when the existing one more-or-less suits my needs. Let alone do so on two PCs and a notebook."
  • Trustworthy Source? Going even further, CNN Money writer Philip Elmer-DeWitt excerpts all of the "juicy bits" of Mossberg's 2000-word review, i.e. the parts that collectively make Windows 7 sound not-so-great. But his most critical assessment is saved for the the Wall Street Writer's credibility. After a reader pointed it out to him, Elmer-DeWitt posted two nearly identical quotes from Mossberg hailing the new Windows as the best ever- the only problem; in one of them, he was talking about Windows Vista.
  • Apple Will Bite Back At Silicon Alley Insider, Dan Frommer gets behind Mossberg's assertion that Windows 7 has the potential to negate any technical advantage offered by Apple's critically-acclaimed operating system, OS X: "Mac business has gained a substantial amount of momentum over the last several years in part because Windows Vista was a huge disaster. Apple could easily lose some of that momentum now that Windows 7 is not terrible." But he also offers his suggestions for what Apple could and should do to stay competitive, including continuing to "point out Windows 7's flaws."
  • Apple Doesn't Even Need To Try argues Kevin C. Tofel at JK On the Run. Concentrating on Mossberg's assertion that it is a "toss-up" between Windows 7 and it's biggest rival, the new Mac OS X Snow Leopard, Tofel maintains that the true techies would actually prefer to have at least one of each--on a Mac computer: "Using Parallels Desktop for Mac 4.0, I'm running Windows 7 and Mac OS X Snow Leopard at the same time throughout the day. Sometimes the best choice is the one you don't have to make!"
  • It Will Succeed, affirms Zoli Erdos for Cloud Ave. But the blogger doesn't think this is because Windows 7 will be revolutionary. Windows users desperate for anything that's not Vista will adopt it out of necessity: "Those who avoided Vista (smart decision), and that includes most of Corporate IT are on a good but ancient WinXP, which will be phased out eventually, so the only choice is to go ahead with Windows 7. "
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.