So why might I want to give MS some money...
In an effort to be fair, I googled 'windows 7' and the first hit was http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows7/products/what-is?os=other - ok, they've noticed I'm not using windows, so far so good.
Not a lot of content on the page, but 'see what makes it different' looked a possibility and took me to ../why-choose?os=other (I elide for brevity) and I note once again the 'os=other' observation. On this page I am offered three reasons:
(a) simplifies everyday tasks;
- I can share music (presumably non-DRM-encumbered, though that's not stated), documents, printers, and 'everything else' (viruses?) with other PCs running W7 in the house. And presumably anyone else in range of my wireless network.
(b) works the way I want;
- apparently, I want it to sleep and resume faster, and to support 64-bit and multicore processors. I can't help feeling that it'll have to work hard to improve on the couple of seconds my current OS takes (an OS that also knows about 64 bit processors and multicores).
(c) make new things possible
- I'll be able to connect to networks with a couple of clicks; just like I can now. With the right hardware I'll be able to use Windows Touch to flip through files and even 'paint'. Since I can connect to networks with a couple of clicks now, and I don't have the hardware for Touch, this is hardly a compelling reason.
Ho-hum. We proceed. There's an interesting looking link - take a tour. First thing it does is ask me to install a windows media plugin, but it seems to work without it (so why did it ask?). Apparently, the target market can't read anything like a document, so we have to waste bandwidth with a chirpy young lady telling me what I could have read. I'm particularly impressed with the new facility to 'just type the name of the programme' - didn't that used to be called a command line?
Ahh, I can't go on. Having suffered the remaining videos, I'm told of 'ooh, windows that snap to the edge of the screen' and 'ooh, favourites done in a new way' and 'ooh, frequently used documents' and 'ooh, view one computer's contents from another'. No mention of how to stop people viewing my documents from another computer, no mention of security, no mention of virus protection, no mention of firewalls, no mention of DRM, no mention of network storage or network printers - surely a far more logical method of remote services than having to keep a computer turned on all the time?
I'm obviously not the target audience. I can certainly see no compelling reason to send MS lots of dollars to tie myself down to their latest and greatest. The only reason I'm ever likely to see this is the next time I buy a computer and MS have persuaded the maker not to ship bare machines.
The model isn't flawed, it's broken. But MS can't survive without forcing regular upgrades/updates down people's throats, hence an unending cycle of unnecessary and unwanted changes that suffice only to break perfectly workable, usable, and above all familiar applications on a regular basis.
Stand by for the new, improved, and incompatible Windows 8.