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Lucky 7, or 7 Deadly Sins

Lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, envy and pride are the seven deadly sins. How many of these will Windows 7 cause, or is it likely to be more of a “Lucky 7” phenomenon. It’s still way too early to tell, but gosh the news and rumors about Windows 7 are flying thick and fast this week.

Here are some facts, or at least recent events:

  • Microsoft’s servers crumbled under the onslaught today as users flocked to download a free trial version of the Windows 7 operating system. Feeling lucky: try the Windows 7 Beta link. It says “coming soon” as I try it right now.
  • Recent reviews of the current Windows beta stress performance, compactness, and vast improvements over Vista. Adrian Kingsley-Hughes “Windows 7 beta 1 review” is one of the best and most thorough I’ve seen so far, and may even help to explain why so many people want to download a beta OS.
  • Ballmer’s Windows 7/Vista keynote at CES (tip: scroll past the CES CEO’s frantic cheerleading at the beginning, and maybe even skip the multi-screen warm-up before Ballmer walks on stage)
  • Microsoft and its OEMs have announced an “upgrade to Windows 7 for free” program for those who buy a Vista-equipped PC on or after July 1, 2009.
  • The Windows 7 Beta does not support upgrades for systems running Windows XP; only systems running Vista can do an upgrade install. All other Windows versions must do a “clean install”–ouch! Will this affect enterprises planning the “XP to 7 jump?” Methinks not.

Here are some rumors that have surfaced during the past few days as well:

  • Windows 7 is further along than MS will admit right now. Although the official release date is still “early in 2010” the latest word is that if it doesn’t RTM (release to manufacturing) some time in Q3, it will do so very early in Q2.
  • Some believe that the “upgrade to 7 free” programs already announced presage RTM and release in Q3.
  • Microsoft is pushing its hopes for Windows Live technology onto the shoulders of Windows 7. See “Windows Live being targeted for Windows 7?” and “Windows LIve memo (part 2)” for some juicy and evocative details. Ballmer’s CES video actually shows itself heavily aligned to these intimations.

Where will it all lead? To Windows 7, of course. The questions are: When? Who gets it for free? How much will it cost? Will Microsoft back away from the 7 Vista SKUs it currently offers?

I can’t wait to see what will happen next. Stay tuned. In the meantime, I’ve got to keep my Vista desktops running. CYA!

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