If Microsoft likes anything more than making money, it’s completely dominating a market. After years of uncontested desktop operating system rule, the combination of the Vista flop, the growing maturity of the Linux desktop, and the Mac’s growing popularity, Microsoft was losing its grip. So now, by giving away the Windows 7 RC (release candidate), which won’t expire until June 1 2010, Microsoft is now in the free software business.
Mind you, Microsoft isn’t making Windows 7 free in the sense of truly free software, where the real freedom is the freedom of thought and open-source code, but free as in ‘free beer.’ This actually goes further than my own suggestion that Microsoft owed its poor, benighted Vista customers a free upgrade to Windows 7.
It’s a good deal for Vista users. I’ve been running Windows 7 both on PCs and netbooks. There’s no question in my mind that Windows 7 RC is already better than Vista SP1.