Forget about Windows 'Blue' -- stay focused on Windows 7

Microsoft's touch approach isn't fully baked for most users, so sticking with what works today is the best strategy

A pirated copy of Windows "Blue" has leaked, and from what I've seen in screenshots, it is awesome. What???!!! Right, I know everyone else is trash-talking the 20 screenshots that show nothing really and give us no solid indication on what we are looking at. Seriously folks, we have greater flexibility with the color schemes for our Start screen and new tile options. Great stuff, love it -- but let's get back to work.

For more detailed look into the little we actually know about Windows "Blue," you can read Woody Leonhard's "Windows 'Blue': We waited for this?" Personally, I don't know that anyone is really waiting for it. It's just the next tweak of Windows 8. What do people really want to see? A Start orb! Or more specifically, a choice to reenable a Start orb without having to install third-party Start menu applications.

[ Read InfoWorld's guide to migrating to Windows 7. | Stay atop key Microsoft technologies in our Technology: Microsoft newsletter. ]

From what I'm seeing, that isn't happening in "Blue," so we might as well focus on the one operating system that is ready and available to save us from the looming end of XP support: Windows 7!

I've been using Windows 8 on both an Acer touchscreen all-in-one PC and a Dell Alienware Aurora with a traditional nontouchscreen monitor. It's tough either way, though more difficult without the touchscreen because the OS was built for finger swipes. That means the traditional enterprise must either replace all its hardware with touchscreen devices and replace all personnel with 15-year-olds who are more comfortable with touch than mouse, or we can go with Windows 7, get 90 percent of the benefits of Windows 8 in terms of security enhancements and so forth over XP, and wait.

Wait for what? Well, not "Blue," apparently. Perhaps for more turnover in hardware and a workforce more comfortable with gesture-based computing as Baby Boomers retire and Gens X, Y, and Z take over the workforce with their mad finger skills.

Right about now is when some of my readers will begin furiously typing up comments about how 1) they are going to switch to Mac, 2) Linux is not dead, or 3) XP is still working and that they will die running XP, plus my column stinks. To those folks I say:

  1. Switch to Mac -- you can join the three other people using a Mac in the enterprise.
  2. You're right Linux is not dead; it lives and prospers as the base OS for appliances and such, although your career in enterprise IT might be dead.
  3. Mom, stop trashing my column; I switched you to Windows 7 years ago and you're doing fine.
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