Windows_generic_v_web Yep, Mike Nash announced it today on the Windows Vista blog. The next version of Microsoft Windows will be named: Windows 7

I like it, but then I’ve been accused of being a Microsoft fan-boy, so my opinion probably doesn’t count. It’s a name anyway, and darn early for a Microsoft OS release at that. Not even in beta yet. The idea with Windows 7 is simplicity, and the name seems to fit fairly well.

At any rate, I’d like to toss a few ideas regarding W7 (can I coin an acronym this early?) at Microsoft that would make the next version a little bit better than Vista. These are mostly non-technical suggestions, but one’s I’d like to see at any rate.

  • SKUs: Let’s pare it down to 3 versions of W7: Basic, Home, and Business. Forget about anything else.
    • Basic is just that and should be for UMPCs and Netbooks, etc…
    • Home should have Media Center, Tablet support and a few other “fun” things that used to be in “Ultimate”
    • Business is the standard business client with full Active Directory & corporate security functionality. It should also have Tablet PC extensions.
  • Licensing: Home licensing should be made super-simple. It’d be great for home users to by a 3-Pack of “Windows 7 Home” licenses for $99 (US). How about a 5-Pack for $150 (US)? Sure, not all home users will need many of these license packs, but the positive PR from bloggers of low-cost upgrade license packs, reduced packaging materials & shipping of these is a great “green” spin.
  • Include the Windows Home Server client components on the Windows 7 DVD.
  • Nice to see the duplicated “live” components being removed and available as free add-ons. Now do this with Media Player, Internet Explorer, and other non-essentials. You don’t need to go open-source with Windows, but take out all the optional-extras that you’ve been making us install by default. Make it so damn easy for Google, Apple, Yahoo!, Facebook, Twitter, IBM, Bob’s Computer Supply, etc… to make available downloadable replacements for these. Then make the Live offering so damn good that everything else can’t compare. A tall order, but one that is based on true competition and is what users what anyway. Can you imagine folks not complaining about IE or WMP? Wouldn’t that be nice for a change?
  • Publish all the hooks needed for 3rd party developers to create replacements for these and share them. Shout from the rooftops about it. make it simple and easy for any developer to find and use it.
  • Create an installation routine that will include 3rd party components during the install of Windows 7. Let the user choose from an alphabetical list of choices, with no pre-set defaults. MAKE them CHOOSE one. Make it easy & free for 3rd party developers to get their wares in the list.
  • Make all the “Windows Vista Ultimate Extras” that you were supposed to offer for
  • Windows Vista Ultimate available at no charge as offerings from the Live site to any Windows SKU.
  • Be 100% accurate when you share resource requirements to the average Joe.

Something I’d like Microsoft to get as well is that we’re buying an operating system. We’re not buying a soup-to-nuts software suite. I’m not sorry to tell you that, that is all I want. Just like all I want from my broadband ISP (Cable in this case) is a simple, fast, pipe. Nothing else. Your value-add is the Windows Live stuff, so make that good.

Some of the early indications on Windows 7 is a new approach. I’m not sure it that’s true or just more spin like the last 20 years. Prove our suspicions wrong. If Windows 7 is really about “simplicity” than make it so – make it OSX simple.

I know you can do it – I’d just like to see folks as happy with Windows as I’ve been for nearly two decades.

Ok, I’m off my soap-box. What’s your take? More spin? Stupid or great name? Do you believe the next version of Windows will be worth your time? Tell Microsoft what you think – some of ‘em are actually listening.

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