Vista has been a disaster for Microsoft and in an effort to eliminate the animosity associated with the doomed operating system, Microsoft is fast tracking the launch of Windows 7, a developer conference was told overnight.

Microsoft claims that they plan to have the new operating system on retail shelves in little more than a year and that a select group of developers will test and improve the product during the next 12 months in anticipation of a January 2010 launch in Australia.

Microsoft claims that big benefits of the new OS is the way that it interfaces with  touchscreen monitors and lets consumers  use their computers to control other electronic devices, such as TVs and stereos in the home.

Steven Sinofsky Microsoft senior vice president for the Windows and Windows Live Engineering Group discusses the features of Microsofts’s new operating system Windows 7 at the 2008 Microsoft Professional Developers Conference in Los Angeles October 28, 2008.

The Company has also said that the media centre side of the operating system has been totally changed with new benefits added that will allow for better connectivity with devices.

Vista has continued to suffer problems with privacy, security, and performance. Many businesses have continued to use XP, the previous version of the operating system, which is considered more stable.  It has also been revealed that most Vista installations are not by choice with manufacturers loading Vista on new PC’s and notebooks as opposed to consumers upgrading a version of Windows XP to Vista.

In defence of Vista Microsoft has said “Vista is in great shape It has been the fastest-adopted operating system of all time. If you look at people who are using Vista today, 90 per cent are satisfied with that experience and would recommend it to friends and family.”

Windows 7 will be tested and developed over the next few years, Microsoft said, but users can expect the launch version to include a “touch” feature that will work with compatible touchscreen monitors. People will be able to do simple tasks such as selecting a folder without using a mouse, and write on the screen with a stylus or finger. Software will convert the handwriting into text.

Some Vista applications, including Calender, Windows Mail, Movie Maker, Contacts and Photo Gallery, will be cut from Windows 7. Instead, those applications will be available for download from the Microsoft website.
The Times in London said recently that Microsoft denied that calling the new software “Windows 7” rather than sticking with the “Vista” tag was a rebranding exercise, saying that the company has historically referred to operating systems by their version numbers.

Sceptics pointed out that Microsoft has recently launched a $300 million advertising campaign to improve the brand’s image and counter Apple’s “Get a Mac” campaign, which characterises PCs as slow and uncool. Industry insiders have said that problems with Vista were the primary reason the company felt the new advertising campaign was needed in the first place.

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