Okay, never mind that I’m a dinosaur with an affinity for 1990’s era User Interfaces – I think even my best critics will very likely agree with me that Windows 7, for all of its performance improvements and bling, is essentially one big service deluxe pack for Windows Vista. It’s the Windows Vista that customers were promised when they bought “Vista Capable” PC’s 3 years ago, and despite the rest of us dinosaurs that are set in our ways about the way we like to work, it’s the Windows Vista that even Micosoft’s most ardent supporters hoped that would finally replace Windows XP. Windows 7 is the Vista that we were guaranteed would work properly, the first time around.
Taking a page from the 1955 Brooklyn Dodgers, Windows 7 and it’s accompanying sales propaganda is the Microsoft corporate mantra equivalent of “Wait ’till next year” that everyone is hoping may actually result in that all-elusive pennant win — the end-user and corporate acceptance that Windows Vista was never able to achieve.
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Let’s face it, Windows 7 is Windows Vista Service Release 2, more than a service pack but less than a major release, with only a few added extra features, or as I am now in the custom of calling it, Windows Fixta. And since Windows 7 is essentially a performance and usability fix for a defective product, I’m of the increasing opinion that a Windows 7 upgrade should be free to anyone who was conned into buying Windows Vista.
Yes, you heard me. If you own a copy of Windows Vista — Microsoft should be giving you a download entitlement to whatever corresponding version you have. So if you have Home, you should get Windows 7 Home. If you have Ultimate, you should get Windows 7 Ultimate. For Microsoft to do anything less would be a disservice to their loyal customers, especially to the enterprises that actually bought into Enterprise Agreements for Vista desktops. It isn’t just good business for Microsoft to redeem itself in this way, it’s simply the right thing to do. Anything less than a complete “Mea culpa, we’ll do anything to make this up to you” move by Microsoft is likely to open them up to further litigation, especially by angry EU lawmakers who are just looking for another excuse to hit the company with billions more in fines as well as an expansion of existing class action in the United States.
As reported by Mary Jo Foley today, selected PC OEMs will begin offering free upgrades from Vista this summer, but these upgrades will not be retroactive. Microsoft needs to address their loyal customers and early adopters with free certificates NOW.
Should Vista users get Fixta For Free? Talk Back and Let Me Know.