I have a confession.
Today I bought and installed Windows 7 Professional.
Cost me the best part of £180.
And for what?
Okay - I've not gone over to the dark(bluescreenofdeath) side - I've installed it in a VirtualBox VM under Kubuntu 9.10. I figured that in order to make an informed decision when advising my clients which is the best OS for their needs I thought I should have a copy to hand for comparison.
Having given it 50Gb of disk space and 2Gb of RAM the install was fairly nippy (for a bloaty Windows product) and it does seem more responsive than Vista.
But that's really it. I remain totally underwhelmed by this so-called "Flagship" operating system.
I suppose I've been spoilt by Linux. When I install my distro of choice I get all the apps I need whilst the Win7 desktop and programs menu are disappointingly bereft of anything useful. Granted, I'm only currently using it for cross browser testing of some of my more advanced (ie HTML5, CSS3 based) websites - but even after installing Firefox, Chrome and Safari it's still a let down.
Comparing my KDE 4.4. desktop to Windows 7 I can see where Microsoft got some of their inspiration - but also where they completely fell flat with the implementation of any of it.
For a 21st century operating system that's has to compete with the "everything on the disk" approach of Linux and even the "We'll provide you with a load of useful tools with the letter 'i' in front of the titles" methodology of Apple I really think that Windows still has a long way to go and I really believe that the more people are made aware of the alternatives out there, and just how much more advanced they are, the more users we will see actively choosing to ditch Windows. In my own business circles I'm already seeing it happening.