Dateline Austin - November 17
Heard about Windows 7? Who hasn’t by now – it’s all over the blogosphere and trade mags. Beta reportedly scheduled for December, release sometime late in 2009. Oh boy, you’re thinking. Another operating system. Super – and this just after I finished worrying about Vista.
It’s not a problem. Here’s why. (This takes a bit of reading – pay attention and try to keep up)
Vista hasn’t been the success that Microsoft was hoping for – that you can still get XP on new systems pretty much says it all. Every now and again, big successful companies pull a “New Coke”. Remember New Coke? It was going to create a whole new market of Coca Cola drinkers (This was in 1985 – so if it was before you were born and this analogy makes no sense at all, go read about it in Wikipedia.) Instead, it pissed off a lot of people who loved Coke the way it was, didn’t want a change – you know, soft drink luddites. Short story – new coke fizzled (pardon the pun), coke classic was (re) introduced, and Coca Cola went back to dominating the soft drink universe and over-caffienating teenagers (Until the arrival of Red Bull – which is another story altogether. Tastes like cr*p – made billions.)
Vista is kind of like New Coke – newer, better, shinier, safer (except it actually has useful features – not just more sugar) – and a new name. Some people love it, most don’t care, and some hate it. Great promise – under delivered.
Here’s the good news – Microsoft didn’t get to be a great big software company by making the same mistake twice. In a row. So you can bet Windows 7 (note the change back to the traditional naming conventions – can’t slip anything by those Microsoft marketing people) is going to have all the good stuff Vista had, plus some more, and without the things we didn’t like – poor driver support, slow to launch, memory pig, etc. And, they’re going to make really sure everything works the first time – including backward compatibility. The great thing about following a release that was less than a success is that it focuses your attention on really nailing the next one. Much less likely to over sell, too. If you’re curious about what’s happening with Windows 7 – check out the Microsoft Engineering Blog.
Here’s the rest of the good news – if you’ve got PSQL v10 (which we released for Vista and Server 2008), then you know your application is going to be fine on Windows 7. If you’re waiting until Windows 7 because you don’t want to go through this twice – stop waiting. Unless you’re running an absolutely ancient OS, PSQL v10 will work with what you’ve got. And…we’ve added a few things that will make the change worthwhile no matter what OS you’re running – XIO (improves i/o performance on 32-bit applications) and 64-bit support (so you can put your whole dataset into RAM) are two that come to mind. So just do it already.
Just in case you’re wondering how we have so much institutional knowledge (and strong opinions) on marketing software versions and how that relates to cola – think back to Pervasive.SQL 2000. We went from Btrieve 6.15 (awesome) to Pervasive.SQL 7 (that change was related to creating the new company “Pervasive”, going public, adding a SQL engine etc.). Then, in a fit of millennia fever, we named the next release Pervasive.SQL 2000. Then 2000i. Ugh. The next release (v8) was awesome – and back to the original naming convention – v9 then v10. Throughout all of those releases we’ve been pretty much in lock step with Microsoft operating systems. And we’ve maintained fantastic backward compatibility. We’re still on a roll. Everybody slips – good companies learn from it. And you, lucky customer get the long term benefit.
Stay tuned. We’ll let you know when we start testing with Windows 7. Expect a boring, but comforting – “It works just fine” report.