"Now we're hitting the other end of the wave, and Windows 7 is hailed as the second coming, even though I get the feeling it's not actually
that much better than Vista."
Yea, I am baffled by that too. I have installed the Windows 7 beta, and I was not particulary impressed by it. It looked and felt just like vista, just with the new taskbar and some other tweaks. It's like Vista SP3.
Vista was often unfairly mocked as "XP Service Pack 3" two years ago, something I do not agree with. But Windows 7.. I think it's more justified to call win7 as a service pack to Vista.
Win7 is quite a boring windows release in my opinion, it has some tweaks and improvements and a new taskbar, but.. that's it mostly. Vista was much more ground breaking, even in the cutted state it was released in - DWM, Aero, the new IP stack, the new sound
stack, new printer architecture. And despite all that, Win7 is so grotesquely overhyped by the same people who insisted that Vista is the worst thing that affected humanity since the black death.
Win7 is rated so good, because it uses the same driver interface and mostly the same kernel as Vista, and the Vista drivers are mature now. That's it for the most part. I don't think this fact deserves such a high praise, since the mature drivers work of
course with Vista too.
Not that something is bad about 7, far from it, but I don't get what's so damn sexy about it, compared to Vista.
I am a bit pessimistic about future Windows releases. Somewhat radical new releases like Vista are gettng badmouthed to the extreme now, while conservative updates like 7 are lauded as God's gift to humanity. That makes it harder to release truly new technologies
for the windows plattform, since these will come of course with initial problems, and problems will be blown out of proportion.
One main problem is the stupidity of tech-"journalists". They are incompetent lazy fools. If one "journalist" sets the tone, all the others just follow. Ten years ago, some trainee at a backwater PC journal wrote better stuff than all the idiots at cnet,
zdnet combined now. It went really downhill.
Pleasing the tech-"journalists" reminds of the following allegory in Plato's republic:
I might compare them to a man who should study the tempers and desires of a mighty strong beast who is fed by him--he would learn how to approach and handle him, also at what times and from what causes he is dangerous or the reverse, and what is the meaning
of his several cries, and by what sounds, when another utters them, he is soothed or infuriated; and you may suppose further, that when, by continually attending upon him, he has become perfect in all this, he calls his knowledge wisdom, and makes of it a
system or art, which he proceeds to teach, although he has no real notion of what he means by the principles or passions of which he is speaking, but calls this honourable and that dishonourable, or good or evil, or just or unjust, all in accordance with the
tastes and tempers of the great brute. Good he pronounces to be that in which the beast delights and evil to be that which he dislikes; and he can give no other account of them except that the just and noble are the necessary, having never himself seen, and
having no power of explaining to others the nature of either, or the difference between them, which is immense.