Windows 7 actually appears to be worth the upgrade. I got a firsthand account from my roommate, who says it’s combines Vista features with XP efficiency. And for a limited time that upgrade is cheap: $50 for Home Premium and $100 for Professional.
To make it easy on the consumer, each version of 7 has all the features of it’s lesser brethren – no more Home Premium vs. Business vs. Ultimate BS. E.g., since Premium includes Media Center, so does Professional, even though it’s targeted at small business users. Here is a good article comparing the different versions. I think Professional is a pretty clear win (at least for me).
To ease the minds of upgraders, Professional and Ultimate include a fully licensed copy of XP SP3 that runs in a virtual machine. There is one big gotcha, though – not all Intel CPUs support Intel VT (Virtualization Technology), required for this XP compatibility mode. Here is a list of supported (and unsupported) CPUs.
Please comment if you’ve had any luck (good or bad) with Windows 7.
This is pretty big news: Macs now account for 14% of all PC sales by units sold. By dollars spent, it’s 25% – yes, they are friggin’ expensive.
In my microverse, the laptop share must be 80% or more. What’s interesting is that even by techies, they’re not being bought for OS X. The reasons I’m hearing are that it’s very reliable and (this is coming from a very talented sysadmin, mind you) “it’s just so thin…”. Several people are using Windows as the main OS.
By non-techies, it’s totally the external form that sells it. Clearly Microsoft thought making Vista look more like Aqua would help, but it’s the container, not the guts, that’s grabbing buyers. I heard another story on Hacker News from a guy who explained to his friend how the Macbook Pro was so much faster than the Macbook, even though the specs look similar. His eyes glazed over, and then he proclaimed, “Yeah, I like look of the glossy black one better.” These aren’t computers, they’re accessories.
I think they’re cool, and I love the fact that it’s UNIX under the hood and runs Windows reliably. But I still have a hard time spending $600+ more for a laptop with fewer features than an HP or Dell. But I’d definitely take the Apple over the Sony.
Microsoft has become proactive about fighting obesity in their company [BusinessWeek]. They’re paying for 80% of the cost of a $6,000 clinical weight-loss program. And they’re getting a 1:1 ROI as their employees use expensive healthcare services less often. Of course, this doesn’t count the added benefit they get from happier, grateful employees.