I think the answer is Yes.
When you consider that the 3 major products that Microsoft is releasing this year, Windows 7, Bing! search, and Security Essentials(code-named ‘Morro’), have all gotten positive reviews by some of the biggest critics of Microsoft, it looks Microsoft has achieved something truly memorable for the company and its products.
Windows 7 has become more than ‘just Vista Service Pack 2’; Microsoft has improved all of the things that worked about Vista to make them easier to use, fixed or otherwise adjusted all of the things that Vista’s critics felt were unusable.
The smallest amount of computer hardware needed to run Windows 7, and have it not feel like swimming through molasses, is equivalent to what Windows XP was running on when Vista was released (2 Ghz CPU, 1GB of RAM, and video hardware capable of running Direct X 9).
This is like running tomorrows high-needs programs on a three year old computer and never noticing the difference in speed.
Bing! search is now what Google was like to begin with but with all of the knowledge of what people want and how they look for it. Bing! isnt quite as good as Google, yet, but there are some areas where the supplemental information that Bing! provides alongside the search results make it as or more useful than the same search on Google.
Search engine reviewers say that if Microsoft focuses on making Bing! searches better, rather than more marketable or whatever Microsoft usually does that turns a bright idea into garbage, that in 2 years Bing! will be a serious competitor to Google.
Don’t hold your breath on that, though; this is Microsoft we’re talking about here. They somehow always find some way to turn a diamond into glass.
Microsoft’s Security Essentials software, which is their latest attempt at serious and effective protection software, is a suite of programs that includes anti-virus, firewall and anti-spyware.
It appears that the third time really is a charm for Microsoft’s attempts at security software; reviewers who have tried out the test, or ‘beta’, release have had positive things to say about it.
Which is unusual for an industry which has grown accustomed to warning people about avoiding certain Microsoft programs.
There you have it; the very real possibility of Microsoft having a year of successes for the first time since Windows 95, perhaps for the first time in the company’s history.