Microsoft proves that seven is indeed a lucky and magical number. It would be too, for a company which decided to skip a version 13 for their Office suite to avoid bad luck.
Despite the criticism and negative publicity, Windows Vista was a significant Windows release, and a step forward in the evolution of the Windows operating system. Yet in the evolution of Windows, Windows Vista was akin to a horse which grew wings, but couldn't fly, an incompetent beast with hundreds of gallbladders and appendices ready to burst. With Windows 7 the unnecessary organs have been surgically removed, and finally we have lift-off.
Windows 7 is a marked improvement over Vista all around, and its new features and improvemnts make it a strong competitor for Windows XP as well.
Ironically, Windows 7, isn't even Windows 7.0! It runs a slightly improved kernel of Windows Vista with a version number of 6.1 much like Windows XP ran an improved Windows 2000 kernel with a version of 5.1 (Windows 2000 was 5.0). However as Microsoft has painfully pointed out on several occasions, this makes Windows 7 no less significant.
While the new Windows taskbar interface, the new window management features etc, could go either way and gain great acclaim, or great criticism from the users, the bloat reduction is sure to be appreciated by all, and is the one thing Windows 7 has going for it from the start. After all, every version of Windows has been criticized for being more bloated than its predecessor, and for once people will have to think up of something better than just that.
However the large similarities between Windows Vista and Windows 7, and the fact, that Windows 7 is something that was entirely possible 3 years go when Windows Vista came out, is something which bound to make Vista users even more disappointed that they invested money in such an OS. In computer software it is otherwise unthinkable that people would prefer and eight year-old software such as Windows XP. Looking at computing a decade ago, this would be much like choosing Windows 3.1 over Windows 95. While features introduced in Windows Vista, such as Aero, indexing etc were unfeasible when Windows XP came out, all or most of Windows 7's features could have easily come in Vista, an operating system which people waited much longer for. It would appear that even after 6 years Microsoft released a beta operating system, which took another three years to release as Windows 7.
Yet even so, Windows 7 has been mostly corrections to Windows, and those needed to come sometime or the other. For someone purchasing a new operating system, going for Windows 7 should require no thought. It will run on all current computers, as well as any computer released during Windows Vista's reign.
Windows 7: Final Verdict
Windows 7 is an OS which manages to stand out in itself, over and above its predecessors. While its massive changes in user interaction design are sure to be jarring to some, the changes are something that are much needed, and people are sure to benefit by adapting themselves now.
More so than its mobile OS, Windows 7 has adapted changes in its design which allow it to be used better on touch screen computers, whether it be the new taskbar design or the multitouch support, Windows has come to terms with the present.
Windows 7 is a much needed upgrade, and a necessary one to bring millions of computers to date with current technologies. Despite all its flaws, Vista was an operating system of the present, and with Windows 7, the world of Windows can finally move forward.
One of the most important things about Windows 7 has been its open development, while nowhere near that of open source software and operating systems, the approach taken with Windows 7 with public beta releases and an open feedback system, represents an evolution of thought which was as needed as the evolution of the operating system itself.
Yes, Windows 7 is a significant release, one of the most significant releases in Windows history, being the first one to break many traditions. A true operating system of the future, and a highly recommended upgrade for both Windows Vista and Windows XP users.