Back in the day, OK, back in 1998… there was Windows 98. Windows 98 was a step up from Windows 95, but it did have significant problems. First off, it did not support DVD drives properly, and while it was supposed to help usher in the USB era for PC’s, USB support was buggy at best. Finally, it included IE 4, which many considered to be barely an improvement over IE 3.
Just under a year later, Win 98SE (Second Edition) was released. This included improved USB support, DVD support, and IE 5, a major upgrade for IE. However, this was not released as a free upgrade to those who already had Win 98, they had to pay extra to upgrade to SE.
Fast forward to 2007, when Vista finally came out. Problems and complaints abounded. Now, Windows 7 is being touted as the ‘next big thing,’ but is it really something new, or just VistaSE?
There is an article at PC Pro, which concluded that “Windows 7 is exactly what Vista should have been.” This statement alone does not make 7 merely VistaSE. Though you can find other articles, such as this one from PC World, which also comments on how 7 is a big fix for Vista.
However, when you look at another article at PC PRO, and you see that the internals of 7 is so much like Vista that it is “similar enough to explain why Windows 7 has an internal version number of 6.1.” Speed tests between the two show that programs take the same amount of time to finish a task in 7 as they do in Vista.
This could lead an average computer tech to conclude that Windows 7 is just an slightly improve Vista kernel, with new screens, cleaned up interfaces, and better configuration settings. While these things can, and will, make things better, does it really qualify as a new OS?