Best Thing About Windows 7? It's Not Vista.

Published on October 22, 2009
by John Paczkowski

images“I’m Steve Ballmer, and I’m a Windows 7 PC.”

With those words, spoken at a big company event in New York City (see video below), the Microsoft CEO launched the newest version of Windows, the one he hopes will regain the customer goodwill lost with its predecessor, Vista. There’s no question that the stakes are particularly high this time around. Vista was widely maligned as mediocre, and Microsoft (MSFT) needs something to reverse three quarters of declining Windows sales.

By most accounts, Windows 7 fits that bill. Reviews of the new operating system have been largely positive, calling it faster, more secure and easier to use that its predecessors. Our own Walt Mossberg describes it as “the best version of Windows Microsoft has produced…a boost to productivity and a pleasure to use.” Quite an endorsement, but one that was hard won. According to Microsoft, more than eight million people participated in the Windows 7 beta program–more than for any Microsoft beta program ever.

In any event, if any OS has a shot at succeeding Windows XP as the world’s most ubiquitous operating system, it’s Windows 7. “I think Windows 7 will be the biggest, one of the biggest, products to hit the tech industry this year,” Ballmer told CNBC. “Just because Windows is used on about one billion computers around the planet. There’ll be another 300 million machines that ship this year, and the diversity of PCs that ship with Windows 7, the simplicity that Windows 7 brings–I think it’s a pretty banner year.”

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