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Windows 7 “feature”: let’s include XP!

Boring Introduction I recommend you skip reading but you’ll read it anyway.

Firstly, hello Planet Larry! For existing readers, thinkMoult is now also a citizen of Planet Larry, which is governed by a cow named Larry (isn’t Larry a guy’s name?), and is mainly populated by geeky blogs. I decided to delay my next article about the practicality of the open source business model/culture and instead have a very quick post about a feature I read about in Slashdot. The next part of my analysis will likely come soon after.

Ok, now for the actual post itself.

Apparently Windows 7, the upcoming buzz from Windows land will have as a “free” feature (add-on, actually) for its professional and ultimate (hence, not really “free”) editions which will allow virtualisation of the Windows XP operating system. For those casual readers of my blog, it’s like running an operating system on an operating system, a bit like what I did when I reviewed Windows 7, except instead of Linux, you’re running XP on Windows 7. I wrote about how the majority of US businesses had stated that they would not switch to Windows 7 due to worries over compatibility issues, but this just might be overdoing it.

On one end of the spectrum, you have Windows Petite, which is supposed to take over the mini-computer market, with one super feature: you can only run 3 programs at one time. Oooh, then they can advertise along the lines of “Hey guys, we don’t lag at all!“. And then you’ve got the other end of the spectrum where you’ve got two operating systems lumped into one. This got me thinking. What if I wanted to install Windows Ultimate on a netbook, then run XP on it at the same time, will it explode or something? (Wait, do netbooks even support hardware virtualisation?)  Obviously somebody in Microsoft’s marketing departments didn’t talk with the product design department.

Not to mention the support hell it will all create. Where you once had to support 10,000 copies of Windows, you now have to support 20,000. (yes I ripped that shamelessly off somewhere I can’t remember now) Oh, and what was that about Windows stopping their support for depreciated Windows versions? Looks like it might not happen.

Seriously, somebody please help me understand the thinking that goes behind all of this. “Let’s create two products to cover all our bases. One will only allow 3 programs to be run at one time, and another we’ll simply take our 7 year old product we once said we wouldn’t support anymore, and lump it in one big package.

Oh wait a minute, why didn’t they choose to lump Vista with it?

Dion Moult

I've been developing software for well over 10 years, work as an architect (not the computer kind, the regular sort), and am classically trained as a pianist. I try to do the right thing when I get the chance in my field, such as through contributing to open-source communities and promoting sustainable living.

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