You didn’t misread the title, and April Fool’s day is indeed 13 days behind us. The good news for Microsoft is that it has some customers who are passionately attached to Windows, some eager for the new version, and, I think it’s safe to assume, some who fall into the intersection of the two sets.
One of my sources for this, and the place I saw the word passion used to describe attitude toward Windows, is an article by AP’s Jessica Mintz. She refers to the Save XP web petition organized by InfoWorld journalist Galen Gruman.
While XP arouses passion, Windows 7 arouses eagerness. This is because it is expected to address the criticism that Windows is too monolithic. Gartner Group’s recent version of this criticism gathered a lot of print and pixels. Matt Asay’s (perhaps partisan) pixels arranged themselves to suggest that Windows needs to become more like Linux in order to avoid such criticism.
So, let’s sum up (by the way, did you know that sum up comes from the Latin for over-simplify) about three generations of Windows. There’s the passion-inducing one (XP), the excessively-monolithic one (Vista), and the eagerly-awaited one (W7). If Microsoft listened to Meatloaf, they’d realize that two out of three ain’t bad. Trying to force Vista down throats that lack the need or hardware capacity for it, on the other hand, could turn out very badly.