By Martin Vedris

SYDNEY, NSW: Vista is the operating system that Microsoft can’t replace quick enough with Windows 7, but at least they’re being honest and humorous about it.

There will always be knockers, in fact I’m a knocker of various products, events, causes, things and even people, from time to time — it’s human nature. So it comes as no surprise that there are Microsoft knockers. There are also Microsoft devotees. Many people will love Windows 7, many will hate it, most will probably really like it or appreciate its many new benefits.

But in the world of computing, Vista is a four letter word and the fact that it’s a five letter four letter word just emphasises its lemon credibility. Vista just didn’t live up to its hype and besides that crime, it just didn’t work well.

“A lot of you know me from a few years ago when I launched Vista, and I’m here to say, as of today, the current version of Windows is Windows 7,” said the Microsoft Windows evangelist, Jeff Putt — officially titled Microsoft Australia Windows Consumer Lead — to the assembled media at the official Windows 7 Sydney launch this morning. The crowd cheered, clapped and laughed.

Later in the presentation Putt was going through the new features of Windows 7 and said, “Another thing we’ve seen since the Vista time frame, and that’s really starting to feel like a long time ago already — it’s great — is the Snap feature …” Again the crowd appreciated the humour.

Ok, so we’re all human, we all make mistakes, and companies and corporations make plenty of them. People are willing to forgive if a product works or if they feel they’ve been listened to. The best thing about the Windows 7 development and launch is that Microsoft says it listened to consumer feedback —eight million people reportedly beta tested it and many more offered feedback — and did its best to live up to the new Windows slogan ‘Simplifying the PC’.

For those offended and turned off by “slick marketing” talk, this slogan should be inoffensive enough. And if it can live up to that claim then there’s a huge number of additional features and benefits on top of that.

There are probably people in the world who like Vista, even love it, fortunately, the rest of us have a new alternative, Windows 7.