You probably know Microsoft's "I am a PC" marketing campaign. While I was playing with Windows 7's new ISO burning feature, I realized that I am not just a PC. Let me explain why.
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This feature is yet another tiny Windows enhancement that is particularly interesting for IT pros. To use it, all you have to do is right-click on an ISO image and select "burn disc image." Of course, there are also free ISO burning tools for Windows XP and Vista. My favorite is ISO Recorder. It basically performs the same function as the ISO burning feature of Windows 7, so you might say you don't really need this Windows 7 feature.
I often hear similar arguments from Vista's detractors. Windows XP already does the job, so why upgrade my hardware to run Vista or Windows 7? Just for a screenshot utility or an ISO burning tool that I can get for free, anyway?
In my opinion, this argument is fundamentally flawed. Of course one such feature does not justify the costs of a Windows upgrade, especially if you have hundreds or thousands of machines in your network. The point is, of course, that every new Windows version includes countless similar improvements that increase the productivity of end users and IT pros.
Vista certainly has many more of these little improvements than Windows 7 does. They are so numerous that they are hard to count. Many of these features are available as third party tools for Windows XP. However, they are not all free. And have you thought about the time you would need to find, install and update them?
You also have to take into account that end users will only learn about the usefulness of many of Vista's and Windows 7's enhancements once you have upgraded the XP machines in your network. I have no doubt that Vista and Windows 7 will improve the productivity of every PC in your organization.
Of course, all of these tiny enhancements make Windows an even fatter operating system. But, as I have said before, there is nothing wrong with a bloated OS, because every new bit improves its productivity. This is the reason why I am not just a PC. I am a fat PC!
If you don't believe my arguments, I recommend working with a Windows 2000, or, even better, Windows NT 4 machine for a week or so. If you are still convinced that nowadays a modern user only needs a web browser to accomplish all kinds of tasks, then you can stay "slim PC" until the letters on your keyboard are barely readable.
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This might sound like sponsored text, but I am not getting paid for articles like this. I'm just expressing my humble opinion. Long-term readers of this blog know that I am not afraid to criticize Microsoft whenever I am in the mood for it. The fact that I have been honored with an MVP award hasn't changed my disposition at all.