Microsoft’s “Mojave Experiment” was an interesting case of managing expectations. Convinced that Vista OS had gotten the short shrift, Microsoft demoed its next OS, Mojave, to a slew of people. Everyone thought it was a great improvement over Vista, and then came the surprise ending: Mojave was Vista. Ta-dah!
If the lesson for Microsoft was that Vista failed largely because it was badly marketed, the solution was simple: launch it again, this time with better marketing. And thus we come to Windows 7, the real-life Mojave.
To be fair, Windows 7 has some significant differences. One of the best new ideas in Vista was UAC, which fixed the fairly big security risk of programs always running with administrator privileges. But Vista’s UAC was poorly designed and annoyed users: Windows 7 should fix that to a large degree, although programmers will also do themselves a service if they elevate privileges correctly.
The biggest new feature in Windows 7 is the new taskbar, a significant if largely cosmetic change. Instead of a program living in up to three places on the taskbar — as a quicklaunch icon, a notification tray icon and a window tab — all its functionality is now consolidated into a single, square icon. You can also reorder icons, which is great for OCD people like me who just have to have their browser on the far left.
Yes, the new taskbar in Windows 7 has design implications for developers, and yes, Windows 7 has better connectivity for peripherals (although I haven’t been able to test it; the laptop I have it running on isn’t connected to any peripherals). But all in all, Windows 7 feels more like a big minor release than a lurch forward in OS technology. Vista took the hits — especially for UAC — and
Mojave Windows 7 will reap the rewards. So it goes.