April 12th, 2007

jeanie

Microsoft to ram Vista up your ass, news at 11.

http://apcmag.com/5835/vendors_in_no_rush_to_ditch_xp_for_vista

In short, Microsoft is pushing their OS on you.  Vendors will no longer be able to sell XP with their new systems as early is the first part of 2008.  Sure, Vista has huge compatibility problems.  Sure, it doesn't run games properly.  Sure, it has all kinds of driver issues.  Sure, it's a performance hog, but hey, Microsoft needs to make more money somehow, right?

This is different from most other major MS release in the past in a lot of very critical ways:

1. The OS is effectively unusable performance-wise on a significant amount of pre-existing hardware.
2. The OS has almost no compelling functionality enhancements or improvements that make it worth making the switch.
3. The OS has major incompatibility and driver issues (last time we saw this was really Windows 95).
4. The OS is actually less compatible with older applications, whereas most of their new releases compatibility has improved.  (again last time we saw this much of a dip was Windows 95)
5. The OS is more about being in bed with major media houses and content providers than it is about making the user experience better.  (I hereby rename Windows Vista to Windows DRM+)

My advice to anyone with a PC has consistently been to avoid Vista like the plague.  There's no good reason for it and it causes way more harm than good.  

This is a huge statement coming from me.  I have been a Microsoft booster for years.  I love their products.  I think they work pretty well, and in some cases VERY well.  I think that their standardization of the desktop platform has brought the compute industry nothing but success.  

While they laud themselves as innovators in technology and I tend to laugh that off, their real innovation is more important.  They innovate in integration, standardization and making a complex thing a commodity that we can all pretty easily use and interact with in a very successful way.  That is no small thing.  I'm loathe to make the comparison, but it truly is akin to what Henry Ford did for the automobile.  He didn't invent the automobile, he didn't perfect it really... what he did was perfect a way to make it easy to build, affordable and comparatively easy to maintain.

Microsoft has now fallen completely off even that position of worth.  Unfortunately for them, they are a business and they've managed to continually improve to the point where their products are basically solid.  XP is, in my opinion, an almost perfect operating system.  Yeah, sure security holes and all that rot- whatever.  You have that much of an install base and you're a big target.  Sure, MSFT needs to continue to improve their coding practices and plug up the holes, but if they had just decided to continue to tune and patch XP it would be a usable platform for a great many years to come.  Arguably for the forseeable future. (which is scary to me as a total geek) :)

Now, as a business, they are presented with this problem of  "Oh crap, it doesn't need many changes, but we still need to make money!!!"

So everything they are doing is trying to get a last fast buck out of the consumer in Vista, establish a solid platform to begin their next push (in Vista), and then start holding the compute industry hostage for monthly or yearly fees to use their products.  

This is the Holy Grail of business, of course- if you can get people to pay you yearly fees for your product, you have a continual revenue stream forever.  You don't necessarily have to do much different as long as you can hold the majority and keep collecting checks.  I don't blame them for trying this tactic, but I'm certainly not going to be a part of it if I can avoid it.  I don't buy products just to give money to a vendor I don't believe is pulling their own weight, and I'm going to do whatever possible not to give to a vendor that I think is actually trying to rip people off.  Which is why I say...

Just say No to Vista.  Just say No to Microsoft.

God I can't believe I wrote that.  I guess I should go home and install Linux now.

blech.

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