For many years Microsoft has been the ‘Go To’ operating system for computer users all over the world. Even with the release of many competing operating systems from other companies, Microsoft has stayed at, or somewhat close, to the top since its inception in April 1975. However, with the release of every Microsoft Windows version the company is met with failure, persistently proving that they can’t please everyone. Everywhere you look, thousands of web sites share one common theme when it comes to any version or release of Windows, just that it is worse than the last. With Windows XP rapidly becoming outdated, Windows Vista was supposed to be the brilliant and exciting new product from Microsoft. But, after virtually being forced to release the new operating system before serious beta testing was completed, Vista was met with criticism and backlash. With complaints that it was bloated and plagued with performance, diver and compatibility issues, Microsoft was encouraged to go back to the drawing board and reinvent their next step in the technology industry.
After creating and testing their new operating system Windows 7, which was distributed to about 15 million people for a public test of the Windows 7 beta version, Microsoft analysed the data and response from those computer users to find out exactly what people did with their computers, then learnt from their Vista mistakes to make Windows 7 quicker and smoother. Windows 7 has been made to use fewer resources and has a smaller memory footprint, which enables the consumer to use multiple applications, thus improving the user experience. (Schofield, 2009)
Even in beta form, with some features incomplete or imperfect, Windows 7 is much better than Vista, whose sluggishness, annoying nag screens, and incompatibilities have caused many users to tweak some of its features or just stop using it all together. In many respects, Windows 7 isn’t a drastic move from Windows Vista, but is more of an attempt to fix Vista’s main flaws. It shares the same fundamental architecture, and retains much of its visual appeal and it introduces some key new navigation and more straightforward features, plus scores of small usability and performance upgrades.
Windows 7 will eventually do away with some familiar bundled programs from Windows. Vista’s Mail, Calendar, Photo Gallery, Movie Maker, and Address Book programs are being removed. To get similar basic free programs users will have to download them from Microsoft’s Windows Live service, or use alternatives from other companies. This is seen as a downside to the users that have enjoyed Vista, however through reviews and on-line blogs there does not seem to be many faithful Vista users. But Microsoft defends this move as supporting consumer choice and better coordination with Web services, but it does remove out-of-the-box functionality from Windows. (Mossberg, 2009)
But now, as technology improves and moves forward, Microsoft must keep updating and improving their products and they are taking their first leap with Windows 8. This is a chance for Microsoft to really stretch their legs. Windows 7 was a strong, perfectly acceptable operating system. But it always felt like it was making up for the sins of Windows Vista before it. Windows 8 can claim an identity of its own. (Wagner, 2012).
Windows 8 is seen by many users as Microsoft’s push into the mobile market where the company is still in the process of making a name for themselves. This area has majorly been dominated by companies such as Apple and Samsung. Microsoft’s ultimate goal is to dominate this market, and they see it happening with its own advancement with Windows 8, being more portable friendly while moving away from primarily creating desktop technology. By making Windows 8 a multi platform system, Microsoft can rest assured that a dominance in both markets is almost a guarantee in the future.