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Windows 10 and "The Grand Illusion" as seen from 2020

A few days ago, I started thinking about all the hype surrounding the release of Windows 10, and I realized that Windows 7's extended support doesn't end for another five years in 2020. In a Fellini-esque flashback moment, I thought of the same hype, pomp, and circumstance that swirled around the launch of Windows 8 a few years ago. Still unimpressed with Microsoft's latest efforts, I, like many, will remain loyal to Windows 7 for a few more years, but not without reservations.

You see, I'm as much a victim of the great marketing machine as anyone else. I watch, with anticipation, the announcements and the press releases for new products. Marketing people are clever at making me want that new thing that seems just within reach – for a price, of course. But every time I get a little too excited about a new-fangled doodad, I think back to my younger days when people still listened to music on turntables, and not ironically, but because that was what we had. There was a popular album by Styx titled, The Grand Illusion, which included the song of the same name.

A sample of its wisdom-laden lyrics:

"But don't be fooled by the radio

The TV or the magazines

They'll show you photographs of how your life should be

But they're just someone else's fantasies

So if you think your life is complete confusion

'Cause you never win the game

Just remember that it's a grand illusion."

It's the job of all companies to produce the next big thing that you must have, because having it will make you happy, or thin, or smart, or something that's just beyond your reach. Do you get the grand illusion? Marketing types put products within our grasps and promise us that which is just beyond our reach – well, beyond our reach without said product, that is.

Windows 10 is that grand illusion for me. It's as if Microsoft is saying to us, "Yes, we know that XP was great, Vista was not, Windows 7 is awesome, 8 not so much, but you definitely want Windows 10 because it's the best thing since, well … Windows 7. You know, good old reliable Windows 7 that's still good for five more years. And before that five years is up, we'll produce another must-have operating system that will knock your socks off and bring you even closer to Cyber Nirvana."

Of course I'm being facetious. Windows 10 is a decent desktop operating system. It might be better than Windows 8, although the jury is still out on that. Some people like it, but some people also loved Vista. I did not love Vista, and I did not particularly care for Windows 8. I tried them both for a while and then went back to Windows XP and Windows 7, respectively. I'll likely remain with Windows 7 until its inevitable demise in 2020. And who knows, by 2020, locally installed operating systems might well be a thing remembered. I feel sometimes that I'm channeling my inner curmudgeon when I wax poetic about the good old days of Windows 7. Perhaps I should embrace that which is shiny and new. I should stand in line or camp out overnight to be one of the first to grab the next illusion – I mean, life-fulfilling product from the hands of Millennials who, without looking up from their phones, tell me how "on fleek" my purchase is.

So perhaps, from 2020, my perspective will be a little clearer than it is now. Maybe I'll see that Windows 10 was grand instead of being a grand illusion. I'll see it for what it is, or was, which is a transitional product between Windows 7 and something that's really awesome indeed. And, it could be that I'll have to recant every sarcastic comment I've made about Windows 10. I'm beginning to understand why no one ever says, "Hindsight is 2015."

Ken Hess * ADMIN Senior Editor