Well on May 5th, it might just be the one day that ISPs around the world wished that would never come. Torrents or not, geeks by the millions are going to hammer servers at Microsoft, it’s mirrors and torrent hosts like never before. Even MS haters and ex users might be getting into the action, and for just over one year, they will all get to use Win7 for free until June 10th 2010 (GN). This might be a good thing as I don’t think that everyone who wants to get the iso on the first day (or who doesn’t already have it) will likely have to try for a few weeks to get it down. By giving away Win7, MS will effectively play the Linux game for a year and allow everyone legitimately use the OS without paying for it, taking the one thing that leaves a bad taste in the mouths of MS haters out of the equation. This year will also allow a massive amount of public beta testing to be done on MS’s behalf.
If MS plays it’s cards right, it will release the official version of 7 Ultimate for around the same price as OS 10.6 (or 7) – and not through OEM (which is already cheap), but as legit new version/upgrades. This strategy might also have the impact of killing off the Hackintosh market. These hacks are the people that MS wants back in thier camp, because these are the people who are telling average consumers what to get. And now that there are equivalent apps on all OSes, getting these users back into the fold is going to be more important than ever.
So what does that mean for me? Was my experience in one day so Earth shatteringly amazing that it’s got me thinking about using Windows of my own accord? Well not really, but if I build my Hackintosh in early 2010 and it fails to “bless” properly (bonus points for those who remember about blessed folders on OS9), I will have a machine that I can use Adobe’s Lightroom and Premier Elements on without having to deal with the issues associated with RYO production apps (though I’m pretty sure Lightzone and FilmGIMP -aka Cine Paint – on Ubuntu 9.04) are going to be pretty brainless to support). I will, if I build it in the right case, have a machine that I can stick into my component stack and use as a Home Theater PC – for sure an over build, but certainly future resistant. And in an odd turn, if that comes to pass… I will be using a Mac to get “real” work done and Windows will be my toy OS.