Microsoft – Windows 7 to drive Online App usage

Date: 8th May 2009
Author: Deri Jones

With the past record of Microsoft’s business practise, such as lost court cases in the EU for misuse of monopoly power with billion dollar fines, I guess no one is surprised at the hard line Microsoft takes at most every opportunity.

But this time, I wonder if they live to regret it sooner rather than later.

Windows 7 will have a Starter edition – a cripple-ware version, priced to be cheap enough to be bundled with NetBooks. I guess they had to do something to stop Ubuntu and other Linux versions becoming dominant in that market.

But the cripple-ware limit is a show stopper – only 3 applications can be used by the user. Yup, just 3. So that’s your browser, your email and maybe a music player…and you’re done. Some one emails you a photo you want to edit… tough, close something first. You want to run Openoffice, or a stripped down word processor..nope, close something first.

And what about that the cool new tool for desk-top apps that are kind of the step-brother to javascript/web apps -will they count as an app each too?

Ouch. Those are nice Web 2.0 kind of applications -the open source Titanium is looking like it’s getting nicer, Adobe Air is there of course

But instead of shelling out for Microsoft’s new idea of upgrading online your Windows 7 to something sensible…. won’t users just be more tempted than ever to try out online hosted Apps like GoogleDocs?

That’ll mean more pressure on the website performance consultants of Google Docs and everyone  else running web based applications.

Windows 7 also seems to have caused hiccups with Intel, as several Notebook makers are now admitting that their models won’t all quite work with Windows 7 – the ability to run XP virtually on top of Windows 7 won’t work.
Not only is XP much more loved than Vista… but Windows 7 appears to be losing more compatibilty to the past, so that some folks with old Windows apps they still want to use, really do need the XP virtual machine on top.

So when shopping for netbooks and laptops in the next 3 months, be sure to check it’ll cover everything – check down to the Intel processor model.