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I see this debate a sort of non-issue, and I stress sort of.

The debate over the evolution of operating systems for consumer and business desktops is pretty much a non-issue these days. Lepoard to Snow Lepoard, Vista to Windows 7.

The reality is there is very little feature/functionality that can be added that doesn't already exist today. Yes there have been big advances in media and gaming in particular, and networking and formats and standards, but this is evolutionary stuff, not revolutionary stuff. I mean come on, people were using QuickTime and WiMP 10 years ago - playing MP3 and editing/viewing pictures on your computer is not revolutionary stuff these days.

The larger debate, which always breaks down into sectarian violence is Mactel vs. Wintel vs. Open Source Tel (e.g. Linux et al) and I'm not even going to wade into that cespool for this discussion.

Windows 7 is based off of Vista? So WHAT. Seriously.

Windows 98 was based off of Windows 95 and Windows 98 SE was based off of Windows 98 an Windows Me was bassed off of Windows 98 SE. If I apply the somewhat warped logic that if product Y is based off of product X it HAS to be better or worse because it is an evolution of that product - that is just plain dumb thinking. I don't think many people would debate that Windows 98 was better than Windows 95, that Windows 98 SE was a darn good operating system, limitations of the Registry not withstanding, and that Windows Me - SUCKED. So wait a minute. Better. Better, Worse. Gee, that theory doesn't hold then.

Windows XP SP2/SP3 is probably the best consumer/commercial desktop OS Microsoft has come out with to date. It was an evolution of W2K which was an evolution of NT4 with some Windows 95 sprinkled in for legacy issues (and that damn Registry).

I have always aaid, with a straight face, Windows XP (the first released edition) is everything that was promised to use in Windows 95. This goes into te whole USB, plug and play, stability (one app goes down the whole OS doesn't go down) ability to run multiple applications, memory management, graphical capability, battery management on laptops, etc. etc.) that Windows 95 was suppose to do - well we finally got.

You don't need to be a marketing genius to figure out that, for now, Microsoft is turning its marketing back on Vista. If they weren't it would be called Vista 2. Vista 10, or something else with Vista in it. For now it is called Windows 7, which isn't to say longer term and up to releas it won't get called something else (and maybe I'll eat crow and it will be called Vista xxx).

I just find it silly to say that something will be crappy because it is based on something crappy. Seriously, in software the universe is filled with endless examples of something crappy out of the gate, turned great through evolution, and likewise something great out of the gate, turned to crap out of evolution. I don't see how anyone at this stage of the game can judge either way, considering a viable released beta isn't even in the hands of a broad audience yet. It is speculative at best, fan boish at worst. Right now given the history of evolution it is a coin toss - it could be Windows 98 SE - it could be Windows Me, it could be Windows 98. Time will tell.
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