Microsoft is using this week’s Professional Developers Conference to celebrate the birth of Windows 7, its next operating system. And guess who wasn’t invited to the party?
Of the 194 sessions at the PDC, 22 are devoted to Windows Seven, according to Microsoft Watch. Zero are devoted to Vista, the oft-criticized successor to the popular Windows XP. And that’s only one of the many signs that Microsoft is using the PDC not just to introduce Windows 7 to the world, but to distance itself from the Vista flop.
Microsoft Watch’s Joe Wilcox declares that, between the PDC and recent Windows ads that don’t even use the word “Vista,” “Windows Vista no longer matters.” That’s been the case with a lot of customers and partners for a while, but it now seems to be the position of Microsoft as well.
“Vista is headed to as quick a death as Microsoft can give it,” Wilcox wrote. “Someday soon, some gun-toting Microsoft executive will lead Vista out back and ‘Pop!'”
Microsoft’s move away from Vista is mostly happening on the marketing and PR front. That’s OK for now, but the company will eventually have to prove that Windows 7 is an actual improvement over Vista.
And that could be a hard sell, according to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer Microsoft Blog. There, Joseph Tartakoff reports that Microsoft isn’t starting from scratch with Windows 7.
Instead, the company is positioning it as a better, more polished version of Vista. That will probably work with the general public, who will see a new name and assume it’s a new product. But if those in the know see Windows 7 as just a souped-up version of Vista, their long-held criticisms and negative perceptions may remain.