Win7 Not Worth $120 Upgrade, Critics Suggest

Dennis Faas's picture

Microsoft's chief software architect Ray Ozzie believes the company's upcoming operating system (OS) Windows 7 can and will make PCs just as slick and cool as their counterparts at Apple. Unfortunately, some early reviews of the OS suggest it might not be 'cool' enough to justify a $120 upgrade.

In an interview with the New York Times late last week, Ozzie bristled at the idea that Windows 7 might change the way people think about PCs and using Microsoft operating systems -- something that in recent years, thanks to an effective Apple campaign making PC users out to be bumbling fools, has been something of a joke. "[Windows 7] gives us an opportunity as a software vendor to refresh our value proposition," Ozzie said. "I just think it's an exciting time for Microsoft."

Google, Apple Synonymous with 'Cool', Not MS

Critics agree that Microsoft's image really does need a shot in the arm. "Microsoft sort of disappeared from the scene," said marketing and strategy specialist Regis McKenna, who believes that Microsoft might not be the go-to company when people think of truly cutting-edge tech innovation these days. "Every once in a while, they have a delayed Windows release or something like that. By and large, I think the marketplace is focused on what Google and Apple are up to." (Source:

CEO of Marc Benioff wonders if the world is beginning to, or already has, passed Microsoft by. "They are trapped in their own psychosis that the world has to revolve around Windows on the PC," he says . "Until they stop doing that, they will drag their company into the gutter."

PC World says Win7 Upgrade Not Worth $120

These kinds of comments are unlikely to sap Ozzie's excitement, for now. However, his happiness and Microsoft's momentum depend in large part on the commercial and critical success of Windows 7, which launches on October 22nd. And thus far, not all of the early reviews are good. In a recent blog for PC World, Jeff Bertolucci complained that although users upgrading to Win 7 will notice a boost in visual flair and performance over Vista, the improvement is modest.

Is it worth a $120 upgrade? Bertolucci says no. "As much as I like what Microsoft's done with Windows 7, the improvements don't warrant such a steep fee, particularly for home users upgrading from the much-maligned Vista." As for XP users, the clean install requirement will force most of you to consider buying a whole new computer altogether. (Source:

Unfortunately, that's an even more expensive option than buying the $120 upgrade. Will Windows 7 generate enough buzz to make users forget about their tightening budgets? We'll see in three days.

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