It looks like Windows 7 is finally arriving on the computer scene. Frankly, I think Microsoft could just re-release Vista with new labeling and do better than the first release. Vista had a number of problems but in my view the biggest one was that it was designed too far ahead of the hardware curve, compounded by a very poor (and misleading) marketing effort of “Vista Ready” vs. “Vista Capable”. Now, three years later, those hardware issues have effectively disappeared with new computer systems easily being capable of running Vista, eliminating much of the pain of upgrading.
I have heard rumours that Windows 7 will be much less backwards compatible, which I think is a good thing. No small amount of the ugliness of Windows stems from it trying to keep decade old software operational. There will have to be a break at some point (which Apple has already gone through). I think Windows 7 is a good point at which to do that, because of the rise of easily used virtual machine software. Now, if you really need to run some old Windows 2000 software, any moderately savvy user can set up a virtual machine to do that without requiring direct support from the operating system. I am surprised Microsoft hasn’t done that internally.