Have you ever seen Microsoft churning out so many fixes and new versions of classic products such as Office, Windows, and Internet Exploder? No! Because of the fact that they are finally facing serious competition in the marketplace after decades of monopoly abuse, they are finally buckling their shoes and putting out some impressive software.

Because Vista was such a joke, the Release Candidate for their “new” operating system Windows 7 will be coming out sometime in May 2009. Only 2.5-3 years after Vista, and they have a BRAND NEW operating system out? Terrific. What’s this, Internet Exploder 8? After only 3 years they have a new web browser? With tabs!? And enhanced surfing privacy? So innovative and unique Microsoft. How did you ever come up with those concept by yourself?

At my new at UQ, they have been training me (and paying me) to better understand Office 2007. I was quite impressed. Many of the features were probably already available for Office 2003 (and perhaps others) but they are now more accessible. Office ’07 is probably best suited for people with very little background in office productivity software. The new interface will probably appeal to them. But for the millions with years of experience on previous version of the office sotware might be annoyed by the “idiocy” of the interface. “Don’t treat us like idiots!”

The fact that Microsoft has applauded Windows 7’s ability to run on low (under?) powered netbooks is testament to the fact that XP on those devices is crap (they are practicaly losing profits on them) and that other choices (like GNU/Linux) are increasing in popularity and viability. When they first hit the “scene” netbooks ran only GNU/Linux. After some dancing and bribery, a thinned out dumbed down version of XP was available on those machines. In fact, after Microsoft revealed to the world that they would no longer be selling copy if Windows XP back in June 2008 (I think), they announced that they would continue selling it to netbook vendors. =) how sweet of them!

GNU/Linux runs better and faster on netbooks, and will soon be even more suitable to the “platform” with the introduction of ARM processors on them. ARM is distinct from Intel/AMD/x86 archicture, and Microsoft does not have an operating system (in production) that can run on those chips — but GNU/Linux has (MANY!). ARM will provide a significant savings to netbook manufacturers (as well as greater profits), and to customers as well. Also, it will allow netbook battery life to increase (by how much I don’t know). It will also facilitate (near) instant-on/off capabilities. Microsoft is debating wherther or not to include ARM support in the new Windows 7.

This competition from Microsoft is great and means one thing – customers win. They can choose other good, strong, free (in more than once sense) operating systems. They get improved Microsoft software with better features, better security. Microsoft will not be held (more) accountable and responsible for the stunts and shit that they pull with clients, customers, and the public because customers can just say “to the hell with you, I’m going to use ** instead of Windows, Internet Exploder, Office, Longhorn (server), Messenger) Even both of my Universities computer systems have Firefox installed by default as their dominant (preferred) web browser. They are still glued to Office 2007, but be because of its influence as “compliant to standards” and commitment to “backwards compatibility”