So Windows 7 was launched this week and it went surprisingly well, most people are generally quite content with the improvements to the Windows 7 experience.
Speaking as someone who has used every version of Windows since 3.1, and hated every single one (except windows 3.1, it had a certain charm to it, although 98 and 2000 were certainly serviceable) the new release looks surprisingly usable. And again, as someone who has used Linux since finding Slackware 3.0 in the back of some discount book somewhere, as someone who remembers the glory days of Gnome .98 segfaulting every which way, the days of enlightenment themes and netscape navigator, and is now using Ubuntu, well I'd just like to say you're welcome.
You see, without Linux, and sure, Mac OSX, you would not have Windows 7. Microsoft NEEDS Linux, and Mac OSX. It NEEDS someone to rip off features. Microsoft has been doing this since the days of DOS. MS DOS was the KING of DOS'es even if DR DOS was probably technically superior. But the days of DOS were numbered after DOS 5.1. Microsoft was too powerful already, and had nobody left to rip off. So they ripped off the GUI and created Windows. Okay technically they helped create OS/2 and screwed over IBM by championing Windows which IBM is bitter about to this day, but that's just history. Dos 6.0 came out and it was pretty much bullshit. Heck I think MS even added a virus scanner to DOS 6.0. Didn't they just add a virus scanner to Windows 7? Probably.
To be fair, Vista was a first attempt at giving Windows users some of the functionality Linux and Mac users take for granted. pretty desktop themes? Yeah, way ahead of you. Superior install programs? Yeah, Linux boot CD's can give you a workable desktop in less than a minute, and get you on the net while you install. Windows still doesn't seem to do that, but hey, it can finally load drivers in Windows 7 from something more than a floppy disk. Isn't that handy? Bravo, Windows 7 users. Kudos to you.
Windows 7 also offers much saner security measures, unlike Vistas horrible "you will need permission to install this shortcut to your desktop (wtf)" bullshittery. Similar to the way most Linuxes do things now.
Tabs in Microsoft Internet Explorer? You can thank Firefox for that (yeah I know that Opera came up with it first, but Microsoft could give a fuck until Firefox did it) every single browser created for linux in the last decade had a tabs feature. Again, you're welcome.
Now, you windows 7 users probably still have to reboot after installing drivers, and you know what, I agree, that sucks, cause we don't have to do the rebooting thing. But still, its probably a good idea for Windows users to reboot after driver installation anyways. It's like having a shower after crawling through the sewers, you know? Just cleanse yourself of the whole experience.
The ribbon interface is pretty kewl, the UI seems to be much improved, all in all, Windows 7 (Windows kernel rev 6.1) seems like a remarkably improved upon release candidate of Windows, much improved from the Alpha version software that Microsoft has been charging money for the last few years. So Windows users, you're welcome. And to Microsoft, thanks. Thanks for finally giving something back to Linux. (mildly) Worthy Competition other than Mac OSX. Heres to Ubuntu 9.10 coming out next week.