It is said that with adversity comes clarity. Perhaps Microsoft will take the criticisms generated over Vista and use them to turn Windows 7 into the most awesome operating system ever.
Here's a wish list for Windows 7:
Easy upgrade path from XP SP2 -- Yes, Microsoft has warned that it would be foolhardy to expect to go from XP straight to Windows 7. That advice, not only annoyingly patronizing, kind of shows Microsoft still does not get it—there are some who simply do not want to go to Vista. It would be in the software giant's best interest and the best interest of customers if an upgrade path is provided for both Vista and XP SP2.
Virtualization capability -- How about some native desktop virtualization? Use some of the hypervisor technology that makes Server 2008 so cool.
Less versioning -- Vista Home Basic, Vista Home Premium, Business and Ultimate. Windows 7 Home, Windows 7 Professional. End of story. (Although a tablet version is acceptable).
Less resource usage -- Please, please, please if Windows 7 needs a minimum of 4 GB to run effectively, do not list its minimum memory specs as 1 GB. Memory is pretty cheap nowadays, even in these hard times. It would be great if it doesn't need 4 GB to run optimally, though. Also, whatever it takes, please make it run faster than Vista (or at least as fast as Vista runs inside a VMware Fusion virtual machine on an Intel "based Mac).
UAC -- Allow for more control, and less of the all-or-nothing way of administering it; by enabling it or disabling it. What about giving specific user accounts access to specific things without having to give those accounts Administrator permissions—and all done through the UAC interface?
Driver and third-party application compatibility -- After all of the driver woes with Vista, it would be a downright embarrassment if Windows 7 has the same issues.
Time to download and test -- No coquettishness about beta versions. Get prerelease Windows 7 out to the public ASAP— to partners, developers and users. Allow a significant amount of time for feedback and then don't rush the final release.
Graphics -- Lose the Hanna-Barbera-Flintstones icon look. They look awful on Server 2008 as well. Also, the watered-down version of Direct X 10 known as Windows Presentation Foundation needs to be beefed up.
Windows Update -- Streamline it. Why should needed critical updates take hours to install? Also, test them. Thoroughly. There is nothing more frustrating than applying an update and having a system crash as a result.
It's an opportune time for Microsoft to present a groundbreaking OS. The software giant can achieve it by listening to customers and developing features that will rival those offered by the likes of Apple, Linux and Google.
What's on your wish list? Let's get the conversation going.