I need a new computer. Badly. My old iMac, which I'm using to write this now, has seen better days. My Windows machines, strewn across the house, are old and tired. But I'm unwilling to buy a new computer today. It's not that I haven't seen machines that I really would like to have, or that I don't have a desire to build my own. But there's a single factor that's forcing me to wait: Windows 7.
I'm done with buying Macs for a while. I really do love my iMac and my MacBook is my trusty companion when I travel, but after using Windows 7, I now know that I'm ready to jump back into the world of Windows. In my testing, Windows 7 isn't just an outstanding operating system that provides an ideal experience, but it's also a great alternative to Mac OS X. I find it superior to Apple's software on almost every level. It's that good.
But there's more to this story than Windows 7's superiority. I want to wait for Windows 7 for a number of reasons.
Windows Vista? Nah.
If I don't want to run Mac OS X anymore, what makes you think I would even consider running Vista? I can't stand it.
I will say that Vista improved after SP1 was released, but what still plagues the software--bloat and resource-intensiveness, to just name a few issues--is present even after Service Pack 1. In fact, if I was forced to choose, I would rather use XP than Vista, since it's more reliable, doesn't require a new, powerful computer to run, and forgoes beauty for usability. Windows 7, on the other hand, finally blends beauty with usability. Why buy something that doesn't offer both when its successor will?
Windows 7 release date
There's another issue that I can't overlook before I decide to buy my next computer: I believe Windows 7 will be released in 2009. I realize Microsoft has said that "it will be released when it's ready," but Windows 7 is near-final as a beta and the company is already moving forward with Release Candidate 1. It looks like Microsoft is really hustling this time.
From a financial standpoint, it's the right move. Vista hasn't performed nearly as well as Microsoft would have liked and businesses are loath to switch to it, even though Ballmer and Co. are trying to coax them into switching. Microsoft simply needs to get Windows 7 out the door as soon as possible to start repairing its strained relationships with businesses.
Assuming that's Microsoft's plan, how much sense would it really make for me to buy Vista? Sure, I need a new computer now and it would be nice to have one soon, but if I'm intent on buying a Windows machine, I don't see any reason to buy one packed with an operating system that will be made obsolete in a matter of months. It doesn't make any sense.
Best of the best? You bet
Say what you will about Microsoft and Vista or the value of Mac OS X, but I'm a firm believer that Windows 7 will be remembered as one of the greatest operating systems Microsoft has ever released.
I want my next computer to run the very best operating system on the market. And although that may be Mac OS X today, when Windows 7 is released, I think it will easily capture the crown from Apple. And as long as the final build confirms my speculation, I'll have no problem holding off.
I'm willing to wait.