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With Windows 7, PC users will at last have a strong, modern successor to the sturdy and familiar, but aged, Windows XP, which is still the most popular version of Windows, despite having come out in 2001. … While XP works well for many people, it is relatively weak in areas such as security, networking and other features more important today than when XP was designed around 1999.

Walt Mossberg: A Windows to Help You Forget

Think about that for a minute.

Windows is the most popular desktop operating system by a long shot, and Windows XP, most of which was designed and written ten years ago, is the most popular version. In other words, most computer users are running 10-year-old technology.

To most computer users, overall industry progress has seemed stagnant for nearly a decade. It’s as if the majority of computer users in 2000 were using Windows 3.0.

Way to go, Microsoft.

The rest of this review is odd. Mossberg says OS X’s advantage over Windows is “no longer true”, the comparison has become a “toss up”, and “Apple will have to scramble” to become better than Windows again. But then, after praising a few shallow features, he mentions many massive shortcomings and headaches. It sounds like Windows 7 is a lot better than Windows XP (which, based on my brief time using it in VMware, seems accurate), but is still in a different league from OS X in many important areas. Has Mossberg always been the king of trumpeting diminished expectations, or is this a new thing? Is Microsoft a major Wall Street Journal advertiser?