Windows 7 bloggers' panties in a bunch

In Friday's IT Blogwatch, Richi Jennings watches bloggers get to grips with Windows 7: with mixed results. Not to mention the supermarket joke...

Previously in IT Blogwatch:

Stan Schroeder calls the Windows 7 installer, "shady at the very least":

Windows 7 screenshot
Have you tried the Release Candidate (RC) version of Windows 7? If you upgrade from a previous version of Windows, and choose the “Express” option when installing, your default browser will be changed to Internet Explorer. ... Needless to say, this behavior has immediately sparked complaints from Mozilla and Opera, and rightfully so.
Most users will choose the express option; and if they’ve already selected a default browser other than IE, why not leave it that way? This isn’t accidental behavior; it was intentionally done by Microsoft, and today things like these don’t go unnoticed. ... it won’t look good on June 3 in Brussels, when the European Union will decide whether Microsoft’s practices are hurting alternative browsers.

electronista quotes those complaints:

"Our initial review suggests this is a blatant use of the Windows operating system to change the market dynamics of browser usage," Mozilla chairman Mitchell Baker said, further contending that Microsoft's attempt to revert settings is a "clear example" of why the Windows monopoly is flawed.

Opera CTO Hakon Wium Lie echoed the statements and said the express option was an example of a "problem" with the current browser environment.

But Shawn Ingram calls them "whiney":

It’s really no surprise that Microsoft would make such a move, from what I remember this happened a lot when using Windows. Microsoft likes it when you use Internet Explorer, so you can annoy web developers who hate the way the browser works.
Most people who prefer Firefox and Opera probably won’t mind having to change the settings once, even if it is and inconvenience. I know when I’m in Windows I’ll jump through whatever hoops I have to to get to Chrome, or Firefox if that’s not an option. Either way, IE does have a purpose. You need it to download the other, better web browsers on clean installs, and then ignore it.

Even Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols has been trying it out:

I vastly prefer Windows 7 to Vista. So, when it came time to try out the release candidate, I didn't expect to have any trouble. I was wrong.
After zapping the Windows 7 beta on my PC, Windows 7 couldn't find a hard drive partition to install itself on. ... So, having had enough of this, I went to a tool I knew would work: my favorite Linux system repair CD, SystemRescueCD 1.1.2. With this Gentoo-Linux based distribution, I used GParted (Gnome Partition Editor) to set up the partition yet again and format it with Windows' NTFS.

Preston Gralla grabs the opportunity for some fanboi-baiting:

Microsoft has been accused over the years of stealing many of the Mac's features for Windows. But Windows 7 shows that there are things that Apple can learn from Microsoft. Here are four things that Mac OS X can learn from Windows 7.
  • The Windows 7 taskbar ... simply better than the Dock. ...
  • Mac OS X should learn from Window 7 and add ... jump lists. ...
  • I have no doubt there are plenty of artists at Apple waiting to strut their stuff. Apple should turn them loose ... [on the] desktop backgrounds. ...
  • The Windows Network Center ... remains one of the best things about Windows ... Apple should steal it.

And ahoy there, Marius Oiaga, ye scurvy dog:

Windows 7 will not reinvent the anti-piracy wheel for Microsoft. Instead, the next iteration of the Windows client will be based on Windows Vista's Software Protection Platform, especially in regard to the activation and validation experience. Microsoft is apparently going with an “if it ain't broken don't fix it” strategy.

Just like Vista, Windows 7 will have a certain level of self protection when it comes to actions designed to circumvent the normal activation process. In addition, the very activation tasks have been simplified in order to permit the user to better perform the tasks and to deliver a deeper understanding of the process.

Harry McCracken feels vindicated:

Microsoft is dumping “Windows Genuine Advantage” ... a patronizing moniker ... for ... Windows Activation Technologies. And it’s making activation slightly less annoying.
I suspect I haven’t squawked about Windows’ copy protection for the last time. But to be fair to Microsoft, most of the changes it’s made to activation in the last couple of years have been to make it less annoying, and it’s suffered no recent meltdowns. And at least I won’t feel like my intelligence is being insulted every time I hear its name.

And finally...

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Richi Jennings is an independent analyst/adviser/consultant, specializing in blogging, email, and spam. A 24 year, cross-functional IT veteran, he is also an analyst at Ferris Research. You can follow him on Twitter, pretend to be Richi's friend on Facebook, or just use boring old email:

Copyright © 2009 IDG Communications, Inc.

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