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Microsoft's horrible Windows 7 dilemma

We're excited about Microsoft's forthcoming new operating system Windows 7 here at PC Advisor, and have been busy installing it on test machines.

It's not a Windows Vista killer - Windows Vista fulfils that role quite well enough, thank you.

But it's hard to know how excited Microsoft itself is about Windows 7. Show it too much love, and it's effectively agreeing with everyone who hates Vista - and sometimes it feels like that really is everyone. So Microsoft is keeping Windows 7 at a distance, and not saying that much about it at all - or perhaps just enough to stop its users going on and on about how much they love Windows XP.

Windows 7: the public beta explained

Windows 7 review

Windows 7 news

A nice counterpoint is Apple, which actually does get excited about new versions of its Mac OS X operating system - or as excited as a cold, controlling organisation run by one cool man can be. (Obviously, Apple's manic users go way over the top in their pant-wetting love of Jaguar, Tiger, Leopard, et al - tatooing System Preference icons on their faces, endlessly rolling their cursor along the Dock with Magnification set on Maximum, leaving their screens on all night so they fall asleep under the warm glow of a Time Machine backup.)

Just take a look at how Apple shows off its operating system - full of quirky action and colour.

Mac OS X Leopard Finder

Mac OS X Leopard Stacks

OK, let's take a look at Microsoft's released screen of Windows 7.

Windows 7 screen

It looks like the bottom of the ocean - dark and lit only by life outside. Now start humming the theme from 'Jaws'.

Maybe Microsoft is keen to show the minimal system requirements that Windows 7 will ask of its hardware, after Vista's mauling for demanding the latest, fastest, most expensive components.

Or maybe Microsoft simply still just doesn't get it...

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