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Microsoft Should Abandon Vista? 1119

Posted by Zonk
from the seems-a-bit-harsh dept.
mr_mischief writes "An editorial written by Don Reisinger over at CNet's News.com takes Microsoft to task for the outright failure of Vista. He suggests that Vista may be the downfall of the company as, despite years in development, Vista was delivered to market too early. His suggestion? Support those who are running it, but otherwise ditch Vista and move on. 'Never before have I seen such an abysmal start to an operating system release. For almost a year, people have been adopting Vista and becoming incensed by how poorly it operates. Not only does it cost too much, it requires more to run than XP, there is still poor driver support ... With Mac OS X hot on its tail, Vista is simply not capable of competing at an OS level with some of the best software around. If Microsoft continues down this path, it will be Vista that will bring the software giant to its knees--not Bill Gates' departure.'"
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Microsoft Should Abandon Vista?

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 27, 2007 @03:22PM (#20772647)
    How fucking dare anyone out there make fun of Vista after all it has been through?

    Its sales are flagging. Leopard made Steve Ballmer mad. He threw two fucking chairs.

    Mr. Mischief turned out to be a blogger, and now he's posting stories to slashdot. All you people care about is quality and usability.

    It's a version of Windows! What you don't realize is that Vista is just being Windows and all you do is write a bunch of crap about it.

    Microsoft hasn't made a good OS in years. It prefixes everything with "Win" because all you people care about is WINNING! WINNING! WINNING!

    LEAVE IT ALONE! You are lucky it even boots you bastards! LEAVE VISTA ALONE!

    Please!

    Don Reisinger talked about professionalism and said if Steve Ballmer was a professional he would've shouted "developers" a few more times.

    Speaking of professionalism, when is it professional to publicly bash an operating system who is going through a hard time?

    Leave Vista alone, please.

    LEAVE VISTA ALONE RIGHT NOW. I MEAN IT.

    Anyone that has a problem with it you deal with me, because it is not well right now.

    LEAVE IT ALONE!
    • Whatever (Score:5, Insightful)

      by imstanny (722685) on Thursday September 27, 2007 @03:28PM (#20772761)
      The problem is not the operating system itself. The problem is with Microsoft's development processes. Its ineffiency bloats the operating system and bogs down the speed and quality of the development. Moving on to a new operating system will result in the 'same' product. Think about it... telling the development team of Duke Nukem Forever to move onto Duke Nukem Whenever will not result in an expedited, improved, or actualized product.
      • Re:Whatever (Score:5, Funny)

        by rucs_hack (784150) on Thursday September 27, 2007 @03:49PM (#20773099)
        if they drop it, how will I play Halo 2 and 3?

        Thus far these are the only two reasons to buy vista, and even then, probably not for another year, and then as a secondary boot to linux...
      • Real problem (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 27, 2007 @03:57PM (#20773219)
        The real problem is that CPU speeds have nearly flatlined. Making a new more bloated OS on the assumption that CPU speeds will offset the slowdown is yesterday(7 years ago?)'s development model. Moore's law still holds for a while but it will result in more cores and memory rather than a significant per-cpu speed increase.
        • by Futurepower(R) (558542) <MJennings.USA@NOT_any_of_THISgmail.com> on Thursday September 27, 2007 @05:25PM (#20774641) Homepage
          "The real problem is that CPU speeds have nearly flatlined."

          MOD PARENT UP. The abuse of deliberately making an OS require far more power, so people would feel it was necessary to buy another computer, has become a much bigger abuse than it was before.

          However, that's not the REAL problem. The real problem is just a misunderstanding. People think that Microsoft is a software company that is routinely abusive, but it isn't. Microsoft is an abuse company that merely uses software as a means of delivering abuse.

          It is more abusive to not just deliver abuse in constant streams, but to deliver big booms of abuse, too, so that people can't learn as easily to defend themselves. So, DOS 1.0, 1.1, 2.0 BOOM, 2.1, 3.0 BOOM, 3.1, 4.0 BOOM, 5.0, Windows 3.1, Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows ME BOOM, Windows NT first release BOOM. Windows 2000, Windows XP first release BOOM, Win XP SP1, Win XP SP2, Windows Vista BOOM.

          Dr. Death has arrived. After only 3 years, requiem for an OS: Dr. Death is ready to begin killing software that customers want to use. He has decided that Windows XP will begin to die soon [microsoft.com]: January 31, 2008. The purpose is to make Bill Gates richer. Bill Gates can't invade Iraq, so he has to be happy with killing an operating system.

          The huge number of bugs in Windows XP before SP2 was very expensive for us. If I remember correctly, Windows XP SP2 fixed more than 630 bugs, and some of the fixes were not documented. The really major problems in Windows XP stopped only after SP2 was released, on August 25, 2004 [microsoft.com]. That means we have gotten only 3 years of good use from Windows XP.

          Let other people have the grief. Unless forced by circumstances, never move to a new version of Microsoft software until the second service pack is released.

          (Someone said that rule will just cause Microsoft to release service packs much more often. If that happens, it may be necessary to change the rule to "until the X service pack...")

          Even though updating Windows XP from an SP2 CD requires downloading more than 170 Megabytes of files, Microsoft hasn't delivered a service pack for Windows XP in 3 years. The Windows XP updates of just August's Patch Tuesday were more than 20 Megabytes. Microsoft seems to have delayed releasing an SP3 for Windows XP to try to discourage people from using Windows XP.

          New versions of Linux are released to make a better OS. New versions of Microsoft Windows seem to have the purpose of 1) killing the old version and 2) using more CPU power so that it is necessary to buy new hardware. When you partner with Microsoft, you partner with a company that may sometimes choose to be your enemy, in my opinion.

          It is not only the vulnerabilities that are expensive. Microsoft's adversarial behavior is expensive, too.

          Some of this may be a joke, and some of it may be the truth.
          • by Shadowlore (10860) on Thursday September 27, 2007 @06:52PM (#20775767) Journal
            "Some of this may be a joke, and some of it may be the truth."

            And some of it is both.
          • by kklein (900361) on Thursday September 27, 2007 @07:21PM (#20776063)

            Yikes. Well said, even if some of it was kidding on the square.

            The problem, however, isn't that MS is a mean company (it is) that makes bad products (well--bad OSes. I can't believe how much I love my Xbox 360, and I've never even been tempted to buy a console before). The problem is that so many of us need their OSes to do our jobs. There really is very little most people can do about it. Linux really isn't an option for most people, and for a considerable number, OSX really isn't either.

            The new Macs are the only threat I see, being that they can now boot Windows natively. I have a Mac laptop now, because I can still run my critical Windows apps either natively or in emulation (I haven't noticed any speed difference between the two, but games require a native reboot), and this has caused me to begin to loathe XP, whereas I used to be ambivalent. The Intel move is the smartest thing Apple has ever done.

            Similarly, what may make Linux a viable option (provided drivers for people's hardware actually existed and worked), and which would give me pause, would be someone like VMware entering the fray with a desktop-class emulator like Fusion for OSX (which is what I use and which is awesome, BTW) on Linux. I've been accused of trolling about Linux's lack of viability 'round these parts, but really, until people can run the programs they really actually run (hint: MS Office isn't the only program people run) in a Linux environment, it's just going to live at the sysadmin level, and at the sysadmin's home computer level. A workhorse or a toy (as something of a statistician--don't tell a real statistician that I said that, though--I would like to head off any comments of "but I use it and I'm not a sysadmin" with a word of caution about generalizing from small N sizes, statistical outliers, and self-selected populations).

            I'd happily reformat my desktop and put on Ubuntu (which I find slick and intuitive--though I suppose that has more to do with the Gnome folks than the Ubuntu folks, but still) if I could still use my Windows apps without a reboot (I'm open to a reboot for games)... Provided, that is, that I could get the nVidia drivers to work this time...

        • Re:Real problem (Score:5, Informative)

          by fractoid (1076465) on Thursday September 27, 2007 @11:54PM (#20778323) Homepage

          The real problem is that CPU speeds have nearly flatlined.
          I think the REAL problem is that with Windows XP, they created an OS that is 'good enough' that people don't need to upgrade from it. Windows 3.1 was OK for its time but on a scale of 1 to Awesome, it was shit. Windows 95 was better. Windows 98 SE was pretty damn good, people used that for ages, but it still required semi-regular reinstalls. *sweeps Windows ME under the rug where it belongs*

          Windows XP will run for years+ without needing a reinstall, it has excellent hardware support and will run practically any software. It works fine on 5-year-old or ultra-cheap hardware. It has a familiar interface, good-enough network support for file sharing etc. Basically it does everything people need from it. So they have no motivation to go to Vista, which by all accounts provides an overall worse user experience than XP, while costing a lot more and requiring a fuckton more hardware power.
      • Re:Whatever (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Prof.Phreak (584152) on Thursday September 27, 2007 @04:14PM (#20773553) Homepage
        How about they release their own distribution of Linux/BSD/whatever, and then make all of their other apps work great on that (as well as backwards compatible). They can make it look like XP---but without having to pay for developers to support all sorts of obscure system level stuff. They can do the same as IBM: benefit from it, instead of competing with it.

        The OS itself is becoming less and less relevant---to have a company spend billions on developing a NEW one is mind boggling. Look at how quickly Apple caught up in this business; without putting in nearly as much effort as MS!
    • Re:leave it alone!! (Score:5, Informative)

      by commonchaos (309500) on Thursday September 27, 2007 @03:32PM (#20772823) Homepage Journal
      For those of you that don't get the joke, check out the video [youtube.com] that this is based on.
      • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 27, 2007 @03:41PM (#20772977)

        the video

        That's easily the most fucked up thing I've seen in the entire month of September ... and I've had a pretty fucked up month.
    • by Miamicanes (730264) on Thursday September 27, 2007 @09:45PM (#20777265)
      There's a good reason why driver support and bugfixes for Vista are taking forever. In the past, programmers and L337 users lived on the razor's bleeding edge, had the latest version of Windows installed MONTHS before it hit the stores, and were STILL there at midnight to buy it the moment it was officially available.

      With Vista, that hasn't happened. To a large extent, it's been shunned even worse by the computer elite than by any other single group. There's peer pressure to NOT run Vista, widespread sentiment that it's rotten to the core thanks to Microsoft's deal with the DRM Devil, and general disinterest. That's a big problem for Microsoft, because the bugs people who bought a new laptop with Vista from Dell experience aren't part of the daily lives of the programming priesthood. Vista has become the "other" OS, shunned, scorned, and psychologically written off as irrelevant to their daily lives. The bugs don't annoy the very people in a position to fix them, so they remain and fester. Ditto, for drivers. If programmers aren't personally affected by whether or not some device works under Vista, they're not going to feel the same sense of urgency. Of course, there's always the business motivation... but when you get down to that special something that really drives programmers to spend their weekend fixing something, even though they aren't getting paid overtime... it's just not there.

      If Microsoft REALLY wants to save Vista, they need to introduce one more editon: Vista LE ("Liberty Edition") -- $199, bootable from CD, freely installable on any 2 computers owned by the individual, installable and runnable on an unlimited number of virtual machines, as long as the host machine is running Vista as well, and an unlimited number of "floating" installations that can be activated for up to 30 hours at a time, with the catch that if you activate machine #3 for 30 hours and don't de-activate it, you can't activate machine 3b until the original 30 hours have elapsed. Oh, and every last bit of kernel-level DRM including protected audio and video paths COMPILED OUT. Of course, this means you won't be able to run WinDVD or view premium protected content... but nobody who buys VistaLE will really care, because we'd never buy DRM'ed content anyway.
  • Huh? worst start? (Score:5, Informative)

    by nanowired (881497) on Thursday September 27, 2007 @03:23PM (#20772653)
    Windows ME anyone?
    • Re:Huh? worst start? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Thyrteen (1084963) on Thursday September 27, 2007 @03:28PM (#20772745)
      Yeah, I must admit as well, I don't know what that was about :) ME was absolutely awful, and any computer I've ever serviced running it has mostly just called for XP. I run linux on a server, a desktop, and a personal laptop, and I really hate to admit it, but XP has grown to be a nice OS of sorts. I'd almost rather see them further development on XP instead of ditching the nice foundation they have. I think linux kind of thrives in that although their are major releases, people have constant input into the minor changes that get made to make a major release, as well as govern the major changes all throughout its development. This ensures that the OS helps to fulfill the interests of the users, not just the company producing it. Since there's not as much monetary pressure as a publicly owned company has, Linux can live its destined life. If it doesn't fulfill the needs of the users at any point, it would become abandoned. At least the linux community has the chance for slow path traversal, versus just releasing one product to the public and having it be done with.
    • by leroybrown (136516) on Thursday September 27, 2007 @04:13PM (#20773547) Homepage
      A friend of mine is a computer repair technician who spent a number of years in jail for armed robbery and didn't get out til 2002. He's really cleaned up his act since then and was lamenting the other night that he missed out when computers really started to make inroads into homes. He said, "I really missed out on the beginning years, with Windows 95, 98, ME, and 2000". I told him, "Well, I don't know about 95, 98, and 2000, but for Windows ME you were probably better off in jail."

    • by fermion (181285) on Thursday September 27, 2007 @05:23PM (#20774599) Homepage Journal
      I think there is a bit of hyperbole in the article, but here is my take on Vista, and why MS should be ashamed of it.

      For most of the life of MS Windows, the product has been a hack. It was intended to provide added functionality to MS DOS. As MS evolved Windows, MS bolted on more bloat to compete, for instance MS Windows for Networking. Therefore MS Windows worked not unlike those old jalopies with an air intake clamped on the hood, bad bondo job, and, in modern terms, a rear wing made from an old hockey stick.

      All this was true until NT. This is the first time I was impressed with MS, and considered it more than a toy or cheap workhorse. The improvements continued through 2000, and I gave XP a lot of slack. MS did a good job producing a real OS, and the fact that it ran on cheap commodity kit made it a valuable product.

      The product with MS Vista is that, as far as I can tell, it returns to the bad old day of hacking together a toy OS. I give it no slack. After the experience with XP, there is no reason why MS Vista should be of pre XP quality. To quote the parent, there is no excuse to produce an OS of the poor quality not seen in 10 years. The problem is not that MS broke every promise that would have made MS Vista a superior product. The problem is that MS has not even been able reach the level of respectable inferior product that made MS Windows 3.11 to 95 at least tolerable.

      • by localroger (258128) on Thursday September 27, 2007 @09:21PM (#20777049) Homepage
        That was a crew of people they hired en masse from DEC, whose previous experience was developing the operating system for the VAX mainframe computer. Unlike Microsoft, whose core competency was writing slow buggy 8-bit BASIC interpreters, these guys knew how to build a pre-emptively multitasking OS, and they did their job.

        Today none of them work for M$ any more. I believe that factoid should complete the picture for you.

  • by SatanicPuppy (611928) * <Satanicpuppy&gmail,com> on Thursday September 27, 2007 @03:24PM (#20772677) Journal
    Hello inflamatory headline.

    On the one hand, I'm not touching Vista with a 10 foot pole until service pack one at the earliest. On the other hand, any self-professed Ubuntu/Mac guy is not who I look to for advice about Windows.

    Yea, it sucks. Yea, included DRM sucks. Yea, their goddamn "Allow or Deny?" stuff is flat awful. Slow file copy, etc, etc. Hell, I'm not even sure if I like anything about it.

    But I'm not going to run out and buy a Mac! I don't like the fricking hardware, frankly, and since you have to buy the hardware to use the OS, screw it, I'm not using the OS. And even if I did, the software is still not there, and don't say "bootcamp" like it means something. We've been able to dual boot in linux forever.

    And as for Linux, I already USE Linux. If I could use it to run all the software I need to run, I'd toss my Windows machine. So far, that's not happening. I don't see it happening any time soon; WINE is never going to take up the slack, so it's all down to the software manufacturers. Unfortunately for me, one of the software manufacturers I need to start doing Linux versions of software is Microsoft, and that's about as likely as Bush raising taxes.

    So no, I'm not happy about the situation. I don't think ANYONE is happy about the situation except irrational fanboys who think that this is going to be the end of Microsoft, completely missing the point that the alternatives are no more attractive today than they were five years ago because the goddamn software is still not available!
    • by xs650 (741277) on Thursday September 27, 2007 @03:36PM (#20772891)
      "On the one hand, I'm not touching Vista with a 10 foot pole until service pack one at the earliest. On the other hand, any self-professed Ubuntu/Mac guy is not who I look to for advice about Windows."

      MS has learned from Vista. The Vista follow on (7?) will be released simultaneously with it's SP1 so people don't have to wait.
    • by nine-times (778537) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Thursday September 27, 2007 @03:39PM (#20772939) Homepage

      Well the headline (and summary, and article? Didn't RTFA yet) doesn't suggest that Microsoft should abandon Windows totally, only Vista. They could realistically retreat back to XP, backport any Vista features/improvements that are actually good, and start from there.

      Honestly, I don't think the failure of Vista will come anywhere close to breaking Vista, but hopefully it will make hardware and software vendors question their strategy of only supporting Windows. If the future dominance of Windows is called into question, the developers may look to support other platforms instead. Then, hopefully, theoretically, you could have all the software you need running on Linux. In that case, Microsoft can still compete in the OS market, but they just won't be able to use vendor lock-in as such a huge barrier to switching to another OS.

      Personally, I'd love to see vendors generally developing cross-platform solutions. Ideally, people should be able to choose their operating system on the strengths or weaknesses of that operating system, and not on the basis of what software it can run.

  • Second Edition (Score:5, Insightful)

    by eepok (545733) on Thursday September 27, 2007 @03:26PM (#20772695) Homepage
    Don't ditch it. There's no need to ditch it altogether. Release a "second edition" a la Win98, give some options to reduce bloat, work with major hardware manufacturers to make useful drivers, and work on general compatibility (back and forward). Then re-release the OS to praise and thanks.

    Make it a logical step from XP so that companies needn't retrain their employees.
  • by Jennifer York (1021509) on Thursday September 27, 2007 @03:26PM (#20772701) Homepage
    Losing the leadership of Bill is actually the devastating blow. Perhaps Vista is the result of his taking a less hands on role over the past year... When you lose the leader you change the face of the company.

    All that being said, Microsoft is still a juggernaut, and they will continue for many years to come. My guess is five to ten years...

    • by Midnight Thunder (17205) on Thursday September 27, 2007 @03:38PM (#20772937) Homepage Journal
      Losing the leadership of Bill is actually the devastating blow.

      There is that and also the fact the guy in charge of development is throwing chairs. Not something to be done when your system is called Windows ;)

      Seriously, while some nay sayers might be right they are often proved wrong in the long term. I am not moving to Vista, because I have no need and I seriously have to ask myself what went so seriously wrong. I am suspecting a certain arogance and disconnect with the user base. History has shown us that Microsoft seems to get it wrong every other release and then sorts it out. The way I see it is that people who want to use Vista will and those don't won't. Sure its an obvious statement, but it is one that seems to need repeating so often.
    • by MightyMartian (840721) on Thursday September 27, 2007 @04:21PM (#20773691) Journal
      Vista may be a disaster, but Microsoft has had those before. OS/2 was pretty much a flop (I'm talking the MS versions). MS-DOS 4 was a terrible failure. Windows ME arguably gets the big award for the most pointless and worthless operating system update in the history of consumer operating systems.

      I don't think Vista is the end of the company. The problem is that the software engineers are the second-class citizens of Redmond, and it's the marketers and the strategists who rule the roost. The dev teams certainly knew Vista wasn't ready, and delayed it as long as possible, but because Microsoft's long-term strategy absolutely requires a major operating system and Office upgrade every five years, and the delays were already fouling up The Plan.

      It does create the rather unique event that Microsoft has generated its own major competitor. By folding to the demands of major manufacturers like Dell on continuing to allow OEM licenses of XP to be sold with new machines, they essentially ave created a situation in which Windows XP and Windows Vista are actually in competition with each other. If XP was like, say, Windows 98/ME and Vista was Windows 2000/XP, then Microsoft wouldn't have this problem, because there would be clear technical and feature merits. But XP is sufficiently mature, sufficiently well-supported and sufficiently popular that it actually directly stands in the way of the Vista upgrade path.

      I'm not sure this has ever happened to a major software vendor before. Most other operating system manufacturers are as much in the service industry as in the licensing and distribution industry, so if someone sits around still using a ten year old operating system, you make your money with via support and maintenance contracts. You really don't expect systems to have a lifetime of just four or five years, so you build a business model that permits you to make $$$, support your R&D and keep the shareholders and customers happy. Since Microsoft has never been a support-oriented company, but rather a shiny widget company, they don't have that sort of model, and I think, after twenty years, they may be reaching the economic limit of their business model.

      They haven't made the case for upgrading. They clearly haven't convinced a lot of peripheral manufacturers to pull their driver teams off of other projects to make Vista high priority. Computer manufacturers, at least for the business consumer end of things, are the 800lb. gorilla.

      In the long run (over the next two or three years), I'm sure Vista will pick up the slack, but what has got to be filling guys like Ballmer with fear (and ought to be concerning Wallstreet) is what happens in four or five years, when the next Windows comes out.
  • Mars rovers (Score:5, Funny)

    by SpaceLifeForm (228190) on Thursday September 27, 2007 @03:27PM (#20772721)
    So, they may *outlast* Vista.

    And, for a fraction of the cost.
  • DRM (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Puls4r (724907) on Thursday September 27, 2007 @03:27PM (#20772725)
    Why do so many people ignore the often-cited reason for not switching to Vista? DRM is invasive, restrictive, and ridiculous. Hard-core gamers went vista ASAP, much like file-sharers who got it for free. The universal response was either that they hated it, or that they didn't see an improvement.

    I've had to trouble shoot computers with it on there. I repeatedly found myself wondering why they had changed things that were so simply on XP to be so complicated on Vista.

    Microsoft won't "drop" Vista, any more than they "dropped" their most horrible other operating system - Windows ME *cringe*. They'll just move on. They've already wrote the system. They'll keep updating it. The real question - the critical one - is how long they will support XP. They'll need to continue to support XP until they get a system out that is an actual improvement, and not just a corporate-ass kissing piece of crap.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 27, 2007 @03:28PM (#20772739)
    I'm a linux sysadmin. For work reasons (stupid software only runs under windows) I need to run Windows on my office desktop. I'm running XP here, Vista on my laptop, and Vista on one of my machines at home. Personally, I don't see what the problem with it is. Yeah, some stuff works a bit differently and things aren't in the places I'm used to seeing them, but on the whole it's not *that* bad. I'd take it over WinME any day.
  • by mnslinky (1105103) on Thursday September 27, 2007 @03:29PM (#20772771) Homepage
    From my limited perspective, it appears to me that Microsoft tries too hard to be everything to everyone. Other operating systems do not follow this plan. What you end up with is audio drivers slowing down network performance and a whole lot of feature bloat. Whereas I'm a FreeBSD/Mac OS X fan through-and-through, I have to admit Microsoft wouldn't be where they are if they didn't have decent product. It's just unfortunate to see them getting 'a little big for their britches.'

    I'm sure we're just heading into something of a reform in the world of operating systems. I think that Vista is going to be just one of many casualties of competition. In the end, I feel the users will win.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 27, 2007 @03:29PM (#20772783)
    I really don't get the point of these commentaries. Yes, Vista is a bit of a dog's breakfast. Yes, companies aren't rushing out to buy it en masse.

    But it's being bundled with home computers, and your average Joe is NOT going to know about the problems. If he's lucky, he may have a friend who recommends staying with XP for now. But for many, many people, they'll just buy 'the whole thing' from PC World and be running Vista.

    Like a lot of things Microsoftish, it may not be a running success out-the-door (Zune, Xbox), but it'll slowly get a foothold until more and more people start using it. Vista is here to stay folks, and in five-or-so years, it'll be the dominant OS. Microsoft won't support XP forever.

    (Posted on a Mac mini!)
  • Unlikely (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Baron_Yam (643147) on Thursday September 27, 2007 @03:31PM (#20772801)
    Dumping Vista is unlikely, as the real driver for change here is revenue.

    If Microsoft switched to a support model - cheap OS and bill for official MS tech support (or charge officially trained MS techs to keep their credentials via refresher courses and recertification) - they wouldn't need to force out a new product on a regular basis to make money.

    Instead, we'd be seeing 'XP 2.0' coming out with incremental improvements and a whole slew of new support docs, training, and tech certificates.
    • Re:Unlikely (Score:4, Insightful)

      by PCM2 (4486) on Thursday September 27, 2007 @03:40PM (#20772965) Homepage

      If Microsoft switched to a support model...they wouldn't need to force out a new product on a regular basis to make money. Instead, we'd be seeing 'XP 2.0' coming out with incremental improvements and a whole slew of new support docs, training, and tech certificates.

      Except "incremental improvements" don't generally require a lot of additional support. What do you do when Joe Blow has pretty much figured out how to use Windows? What do you charge for then?

  • by Mongoose Disciple (722373) on Thursday September 27, 2007 @03:31PM (#20772811)
    This article doesn't make any sense.

    Microsoft can't be sunk by people choosing XP over Vista. Those people are still paying for a Microsoft OS. Congratulations, you've decided to give Microsoft money instead of giving Microsoft money.

    A lot of things could someday sink Microsoft. People choosing to buy one of their products won't be it.

    (Unless one of those products somehow combusted and burned down a pack of orphanages, resulting in worse publicity and lawsuits.)
  • by 140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) on Thursday September 27, 2007 @03:32PM (#20772827) Journal
    It will work out OK for Microsoft. Reminds of on old joke.

    Guy goes to an astrologer and he looks at the horoscope, does lots of calculations and says, "Jupiter is in the same House as Saturn. And Saturn will stay in that House for 7.5 years. All through that 7.5 years, you will have misery and misfortune. Your wife will leave you. Your son will usurp your house and throw you out. You will lose all your wealth and fall sick. You will be miserable for 7.5 years."

    The guy, visibly disturbed asks, "What happens after 7.5 years when Saturn moves out of the House of Jupiter?"

    The astrologer shrugged and said, "You will be used to the misery."

    Same way, in three years the miserable performance of Vista will be defined to be industry standard fast tracked and approved by ISO and users will use 4GB of RAM to browse the internet.

  • by lobiusmoop (305328) on Thursday September 27, 2007 @03:32PM (#20772835) Homepage
    This short essay [apocalypse.org] by Orson Scott Card (of Ender's Game fame) I think describes the development of the Microsoft Vista disaster pretty well.
  • by techpawn (969834) on Thursday September 27, 2007 @03:32PM (#20772841) Journal
    It's just cobbled together CE, ME, and NT versions with a new GUI. Though, they could of stuck with the first name... Windows CEMENT... Would of been far more accurate.
  • by KingSkippus (799657) * on Thursday September 27, 2007 @03:33PM (#20772845) Homepage Journal

    I doubt Microsoft will take Don Reisinger up on his suggestion, if for no reason other than sheer arrogance.

    Companies kill me, it's a corporate lifecycle that we see again and again, and very few seem to learn from it. Once a company gets so big, it gets it in its head that it's invulnerable. It thinks that it can do anything it wants, and people will flock to it because it's the latest and greatest offering from the King of the (Whatever).

    We see it now with Microsoft and Vista. We're also seeing it from Sony on its Playstation 3. Sony thought, "Of course people will buy the Playstation 3. It's a Playstation, for crying out loud!" Anyone remember when Hayes thought that they had the modem market locked up tight? Or when IBM didn't treat clones as serious competitors?

    Usually, companies like this end up either going out of business, or at least eventually become relegated back down into the fray because they stop asking themselves, "What do our customers want?" and become totally focused on "What do we want?

    I see the same thing happening before too long with Apple and its iPods and even Google, which as recently announced that it's going to start running image and video ads and plastering ads on its YouTube videos. Once a company starts thinking about its own interests over that of its customers, it's the beginning of the end of that company's dominance.

    Of course, who knows? They might eventually pull a Nintendo. Go into a slump for a few years, learn from their mistakes, and come back out swinging. Historically, though, that is rare, and we are talking about Microsoft here.

    • by dpbsmith (263124) on Thursday September 27, 2007 @04:03PM (#20773321) Homepage
      H. G. Wells got it right in Tono-Bungay:

      "The idea of cornering a drug struck upon my mind then as a sort of irresponsible monkey trick that no one would ever be permitted to do in reality.... I thought it was part of my uncle's way of talking. But I've learnt differently since. The whole trend of modern money-making is to foresee something that will presently be needed and put it out of reach, and then to haggle yourself wealthy. You buy up land upon which people will presently want to build houses, you secure rights that will bar vitally important developments, and so on, and so on.... I will confess that when my uncle talked of cornering quinine, I had a clear impression that any one who contrived to do that would pretty certainly go to jail. Now I know that any one who could really bring it off would be much more likely to go to the House of Lords!"

      The process has become somewhat moderated by antitrust laws, but the dynamic is still the same.

      The phase in which a company produces good, useful stuff, and sells it to pleased customers, who are happy to pay money because of the value the product delivers... is just a temporary phase which all companies yearn to get past. It's just a ploy to expand market share in hopes of getting to the big payoff. The big payoff comes when the company is so dominant that it can stop pretending to be nice, and stick it to their competitors, their customers, and any meddling bureaucrats that have the nerve to try to regulate them.

      Companies want to reach the stage where they can be arrogant, like Microsoft. It's not an aberration, it's what every good company is trying to achieve.
  • Hyped too soon (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Aqua OS X (458522) on Thursday September 27, 2007 @03:33PM (#20772857)
    If MS is guilty of anything, they are guilty of pushing and hyping and Vista too soon. We all knew that Vista wasn't going to be ready for prime time until SP1 or SP2. However, MS was overconfident and they shoved Vista down a lot of throats.

    MS should've followed Apple's playbook. Release the OS according to it's already delayed schedule, let early adopter screw with it, but don't force the new OS on people who simply want new hardware.
  • Great article! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by GMO (209499) on Thursday September 27, 2007 @03:34PM (#20772867)
    "Of course, categorically dumping an operating system is quite difficult.." - I suppose it will be! When will Microsoft come to its senses and completely abandon its new Os on the basis of this sensible bloggers devastating comments?!!1!

    "With Mac OS X hot on its tail, Vista is simply not capable of competing at an OS level.."
    Of course! It makes such sense!!

    This article is unmitigated crap, and I'm typing this on a MacbookPro, so I have a bias towards agreeing with the idiot.
  • I backrevd (Score:4, Interesting)

    by blantonl (784786) on Thursday September 27, 2007 @03:36PM (#20772889) Homepage
    Folks,

    I've always been in the camp that admired Microsoft and their products. I was an OS/2 guy out of the gate in my career, and when Windows 95 was released I was blown away at how innovative it was when it came to a consumer operating system.

    Fast forward to today. I waited about 4 months before going out an purchasing Vista for my primary Windows XP machine. When I purchased Vista, I opted for the Ultimate edition, and looked forward to working with it. After one month, I was so disgusted with the OS as a whole, I backrevd my machine to XP and have been happy ever since.

    I then within the past month purchased a Macbook Pro at my local apple store, and have been thrilled with how easy MAC OS X is to use, along with all the associated software products. I converted my XP machine to a VMware image, and now run it in Fusion to support IE and Visio. I've never been happier with a computer or platform until now... reminds me of when Win95 was released.

    It is clear that MS has missed the boat, and that either XP will be built upon and support extended, or MAC OS X and Linux are going to begin to take even further mind and market share. ..and in the IT Consulting community, the cache of owning a MB Pro is really taking hold.

  • It's disaster (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Keruo (771880) on Thursday September 27, 2007 @03:36PM (#20772895)
    We've tried deploying vista in a corporate environment, but were forced to switch back running XP.
    Our company uses 3D design software which has been certified "designed for windows vista" for almost a year now.

    Only problem is, that the particular software doesn't work on vista! (business edition)
    At SP0 level, the design program installs, but doesn't start.
    We tried upgrading to latest SP4 version of the software, and now it doesn't even install properly.
    After spending +40 hours trying to get it to work, the support team responded to our request and told us to forget
    running on vista before next version which will be available somewhere 2Q2008.

    Long story short.. We cannot deploy an operating system which disables us from doing our core business, 3d modelling and design.
    Good thing we bought XP with volume licensing so we can freely switch our new workstations preloaded with vista back to XP
    and actually get some work done.

    • Re:It's disaster (Score:5, Insightful)

      by ScytheBlade1 (772156) <scytheblade1@noSPam.averageurl.com> on Thursday September 27, 2007 @04:05PM (#20773371) Homepage Journal
      It sounds to me like the creators of the software you need to use have no clue how to write software for a multi-user environment.

      Drivers and kernel aside, Vista changed one huge thing: through UAC, people can no longer write files to Program Files.

      It's shocking how many programs did this in the first place. Almost every game in existence writes saves to their folder in program files. For work, I'm forced to maintain 10-15 different programs which allow the users to view "documents" (that's an entirely different story) - and half of them copy the file from the temp folder, to another temp folder... in Program Files.

      Vista is trying to be secure. And, if you run Vista and Vista only, it is secure. Other big Microsoft products (MSSQL, Office, Visual Studio) all run happily - as a guest user. Admin to install, guest to use.

      Sound familiar? It should. This is slashdot. We all use Linux, right? ... right? This "admin to install, guest to use" is nothing new to the world. It's been doable on Microsoft products since NT.

      So Microsoft comes around and says, "you know, enough of this, we're going to make the OS stable by preventing unauthorized programs from writing files where it shouldn't" - and everything dies. Dies horribly.

      Microsoft has many sins upon their heads, in the software realm. However, countless program incompatibilities because software designers have no clue what "multi user" really is - is not Microsoft's (direct) fault. Vista was in beta for an extended period of time. Then they pushed an open beta. It's not like they made these changes behind closed doors and shipped it.

      The day that the complaints will stop is the same day that the third party developers get a clue how to design a program around the fact that they can't always write files everywhere they please.

      It could be a while.
    • by dtolman (688781) <dtolman@yahoo.com> on Thursday September 27, 2007 @04:12PM (#20773497) Homepage
      If your vendor says their software works on Vista, when it clearly doesn't - how is that MS's fault?
  • by RobertB-DC (622190) * on Thursday September 27, 2007 @03:37PM (#20772909) Homepage Journal
    You know, the last time Microsoft rolled out an operating system that was a complete market flop [toastytech.com], the developer had to marry Bill Gates [wikipedia.org].

    There are worse fates for a failed project's lead, I guess.

    So the question now is: is Steve Ballmer single, or will he just take on a mistress?
  • sigh (Score:5, Interesting)

    by MOMOCROME (207697) <momocrome@NosPaM.gmail.com> on Thursday September 27, 2007 @03:38PM (#20772915)
    Such nonsense... flame bait: rabble rousing.

    I've been using this 'abysmal failure' as a primary OS for 8 months with nary a hitch. I really have. I spend every day developing various codes with various tools, for what turns out to be many different platforms. Among a few others I have a Debian box and OS X 10.4 within reach, on equally capable hardware and I don't even bother with them. To the point where I'll probably power them down to save money on the electric bill.

    I suspect all the bad mouthing comes from people trying to shoehorn the thing into old hardware, or from people who fancy themselves capable with PC maintenance but can't handle simple configuration issues. Or most likely, by people who only ran a shoddy beta or have never run it at all. I'd really like someone to explain why the OS that I'm using right now without any problems doesn't work and should be abandoned.

    oh, I know, not towing the party line here will get me modded down quick. but aside from the excited FOSS fanatics here and a few ad-hit grubbing bloggopundits and the like, millions of people are getting along just fine with vista. hopping up and down while shouting about what a failure it is doesn't actually make it a failure. sorry to break it to you all.
    • Re:sigh (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Etrias (1121031) on Thursday September 27, 2007 @03:55PM (#20773195)
      My company foisted Vista on me because we thought market penetration was going to be higher and we had to learn the system to support it. A "for the clients" thing, and being intrigued and seeing what we do is support IT for our clients, sounded like a good idea.

      I think I'm going to have to go with the "abysmal failure" part of your essay. And this isn't on old hardware. Brand spanking new T60 Thinkpad stacked with RAM and video.

      I have to say that Vista gives me more time in the morning...while I'm waiting for it to boot, never a problem with my XP box. At least I have time now to get coffee while the damn thing loads up after I log in. The general feeling in the office is to wipe the new laptops and put XP back on to it so we can get our functionality back.

      So, I'm not speaking without experience. Networking was a pain, drivers were an issue, security was a pain, performance was terrible...and for what? A sidebar? New user interfaces and every system tool moved somewhere else? Gah, Vista is a dog.
  • by rrudduck (1148949) on Thursday September 27, 2007 @03:39PM (#20772941)
    The real fact of the matter from those of us that use Vista everyday is that fact that it works just fine. My games play the same or better than they did in XP, my development tools run just fine, and the UI for once is actually nice to work with. Now call me crazy, but I don't find Vista bad at all.

    As a software developer myself I realize the fact that OS's are large and complicated and they all have some issues. I use Linux, I use OS X, and I use Vista. Each has their own merits and their own problems. The problem is that now, just like it was popular in the 80s and 90s to hate IBM, its popular to hate Microsoft. News writers see this as a bandwagon they can use to get articles read and website hits. The real fact is that Vista has no more problems than any other OS at this point in its life cycle.

    I truly wish that for the good of all of the tech industry, people would see that every piece of software, and every OS has its place. Vista does a lot of things well... It just happens to have a few flaws and a few "features" that just seem to go against the grain of the most vocal people in the geek world (i.e. DRM) and thus we see articles like this that are ridiculous and inflammatory simple for being as such.
  • Oh Please. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MtViewGuy (197597) on Thursday September 27, 2007 @03:41PM (#20772987)
    Didn't we go through this same issue when Windows XP first came out in 2001? I remember back then you needed 512 MB to make it run decently fast, and the "sweet spot" was 1 GB of RAM (both of which were not that common back in 2001).

    The problem with Windows Vista is that the hardware has not yet completely caught up with the potential of the OS. Just wait till 2008, when machines with 4 GB or more of RAM become more commonly available and graphics cards that support DirectX 10 are more widely available.
    • Re:Oh Please. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by cmowire (254489) on Thursday September 27, 2007 @04:06PM (#20773383) Homepage
      The problem is that each time, the reason to upgrade, other than not being able to purchase a new version of the OS when your CD dies, gets smaller.

      Win98 to Win2k was a great upgrade. Suddenly, I didn't need to reboot every few days. And it supported multiple processors once everybody got their act together on drivers. And stuff.

      I just finally upgraded to WinXP at home, largely because WinXP handles hyperthreading properly and I have a hyperthreaded CPU and because I figure it'll last slightly longer in the market than 2k since I'm avoiding Vista.

      But before that, I was running XP at work and 2k at home and noticed no real difference other than a few bits of eye candy.

      Vista was doomed as soon as they realized that all of the really innovative features weren't going to work out and dropped them... so it ends up being a few fairly marginal improvements and a bunch of features that nobody wants.
  • by geeknado (1117395) on Thursday September 27, 2007 @03:42PM (#20772997)
    Virtually every major Microsoft OS release has been plagued with issues(I think Win2K was relatively smooth). XP was plagued with issues prior to SP1(my boss-at-the-time managed to totally toast his laptop with it, as I recall). It had serious system requirements for its day, and chugged if you didn't have an appropriately potent machine. Now, XP is being touted as the 'good' Microsoft OS by many pundits, which seems tinged with irony to me.

    That's not to say that Microsoft couldn't suffer losses in this generation, but it would be more about the presence of strong alternatives than their failure to adopt a 'move on' strategy.

    What's really interesting about this /particular/ FUDy article is how quibbly it is. He appears to have three major complaints: the pricing scheme, specifically of the Ultimate edition, the UAC(and specifically, that it doesn't like a specific unnamed third party app which we're assured is from a 'well-known software company'), and DRM. We're not talking about blue screens and security holes here.

    There is no compelling reason to move to Vista, and it seems obvious that waiting for SP1 is probably the right move for anyone who wants to upgrade. That doesn't mean that this OS won't succeed, however, and it's shown marked improvement on many counts since launch. Can we just call this FUD and "move on"?

  • Is it 2001 again? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Computershack (1143409) on Thursday September 27, 2007 @03:43PM (#20772999)
    Is it 2001 again? I'm pretty certain that exactly the same mutterings were made about XP when it was first released. Oh yeah...they were.

    Here's a few choice quotes from a 2001 "Techspot" review of Windows XP. They may sound familiar...

    On installation...

    Let me start off by saying the installation of Windows XP is long. When I say long, I mean REAL long. It took me over an hour to install on either test system!
    On speed...

    Well now, how does it feel you ask? It feels incredibly slow on the first system. That might just be an understatement. It feels ridiculously slow. If your system specs look anything like my first system, or even a little better, Windows XP is going to depress you.

    To me, the speed thing is also a concern. The desktop moves a bit slower than a Win9x GUI, and there are still some worries about gaming performance.

    On native drivers...

    One quick note, XP did have drivers for the GeForce 2 card, but came up empty handed for the classic Voodoo2.

    On whether to upgrade from Windows 98SE...

    I really do not see a need to upgrade from Windows 98/ME. If you are building a new system, then by all means, install Windows XP. If you think that Windows XP is going to revolutionize the way you use a computer and surf the web, wake up and save your money.

    And as plenty of recent Slashdot posts supporting XP have shown, we all know how short sighted the last quote was.

    As I said, we've been here before in 1991 with Windows XP yet Windows XP is now touted as Microsofts greatest OS. I expect the same will happen with Vista and be said about Vista when Microsoft releases it's next OS in a few years time.

  • It's no ME (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ObiWanStevobi (1030352) on Thursday September 27, 2007 @03:44PM (#20773033) Journal

    My main problem with Vista is that it is a resource hog. As far as I have seen, it isn't a flop in terms of capability like Windows ME was. The problem MS has is that standard computers are designed for low price. Most models still come with a gig or less of RAM and second class CPUs. On those machines, Vista doesn't run well. On a high-end dual monitor machine, it runs well.

    The biggest problem they face is that a computer that runs Vista well still costs quite a bit of money. Leaving aside the obvious complaint that people don't want to waste so many resources on the OS no matter what they have, I'd think that waiting is the best bet for MS. Following Moore's law, it won't be too long before bargain PCs are fully capable to run it. Then, I think it would catch on better.

  • This reminds me..... (Score:4, Informative)

    by JDHawg (800829) * on Thursday September 27, 2007 @03:53PM (#20773151)
    .... of DOS 4.0

    Now for you youngsters who don't know what I'm talking about, DOS 4.0 was a train wreck of an operating system that gave user's who 'upgraded' from 3.X nothing but bugs and heartache.

    What's that old saying? Oh Yeah, it's "Those who don't study history are doomed to repeat it." I guess 15-18 years is enough time to forget about past mistakes.

  • by Animats (122034) on Thursday September 27, 2007 @03:53PM (#20773157) Homepage

    Sometimes the new product flops. New Coke and the Sony PS3 are well known examples. Automobile models from major manufacturers flop regularly.

    The problem for Microsoft is that they now have only one main OS product line. When Windows ME flopped, they had the NT product line almost ready for consumer desktops, and could afford to kill off the DOS/Win3.1/Win95 product line. This time, they only have one offering in the desktop/laptop OS space.

    This is certainly fixable from the Microsoft side, but they need to recognize that they have a serious problem and fix it.

  • by UnknownSoldier (67820) on Thursday September 27, 2007 @03:53PM (#20773163)
    Maybe if Microsoft spent more time on stuff (that people actually _use_ you know), instead of fluff, maybe Vista would actually be half decent.

    - A way to customize the File Open dialog box, with the folders you constantly use, gasp!?
    - Expose. Enough said.
    - A built in spell checker / Dictionary / Thesaurus, with quick access to wikipedia
    - A search that isn't broken (Thx WinXP!)
    - The ability to re-locate, (or hide) the dam 'close' button
    - Title bars that stop sucking up valuable screen space, instead of being small movable tabs like in BeOS
    - Virtual Desktops
    - An OS that gets FASTER from version to version (again BeOS)
    - A proper KILL command -- I'm admin on the dam box, let me kill that process.
    - Unified widgets/gadgets: NO, I don't want seperate run-times for Yahoo, Google, Apple, Microsoft, insert flavor of the month company because they decided to do their own implementation.
    - A home folder without spaces that doesn't move with almost every version of windows.
    - A file system that doesn't suck. YES, I want to be able to start my filenames with spaces for sorting purposes (Thx Explorer. NOT.) have my filenames contain colons, end with a period or question mark. And treat the underscore as a virtual space, so we don't have to quote filenames in our command scripts. A way to "tag" files, so I can visually see BOTH a heirarchy, AND flat filesystem.
    - Config files that can be moved from system to system instead of hiding everything in the bloated registry
    - Free dev tools would be nice.
    - Stop rebooting my dam system everytime you update system software. Or at least give me notification/icon that a reboot is required BEFORE installing.

    All I want is an OS that doesn't suck... is that _really_ too much for a programmer to ask?
  • by Aslan72 (647654) <psjuvin@ils t u . edu> on Thursday September 27, 2007 @03:54PM (#20773167)
    Don't make me install Vista Bro!
  • by Sloppy (14984) on Thursday September 27, 2007 @04:21PM (#20773701) Homepage Journal
    Good job. [buzzhumor.com]
  • Maybe, maybe not (Score:4, Insightful)

    by jc42 (318812) on Thursday September 27, 2007 @04:49PM (#20774151) Homepage Journal
    Vista is simply not capable of competing at an OS level with some of the best software around.

    Not true. Vista is quite capable of "competing" in the same way that all Microsoft software has always competed with higher-quality software from competitors: Microsoft's marketing budget is larger than the marketing budgets of all its competitors combined. This is what made MS-DOS the instant success it was over the much better (at the time) CP-M. It's what made MS Windows more successful than the better Apple and unix (X-Windows) offerings.

    Microsoft has understood from the start the lesson that IBM (their initial funder) pioneered in the 1960s and 70s: If you have a big enough marketing budget, it doesn't matter whether you have a quality product. Computer customers mostly can't judge quality; they buy entirely on "reputation", i.e., marketing.

    Consider the piece of crap that were Windows ME and Windows 2000. They did just fine, despite the long list of quality problems reported in the tech media (but never noticed by 90% of the buying public). There's no real reason to believe that Vista will do any worse. All it takes is the right marketing, and Microsoft has the budget to do it.

    I'd love to be proved wrong, but ...

  • by dm0527 (975468) on Thursday September 27, 2007 @04:53PM (#20774211)

    He suggests that Vista may be the downfall of the company
    Oh please! Microsoft could run in the red for ten years before they had to start thinking about maybe laying someone off if things don't turn around in the next five or ten years.

    ...cost too much, it requires more to run than XP, there is still poor driver support...
    You mean Microsoft released an operating system before it was really finished? It costs too much? Requires "more" than their previous OS (I'm guessing you mean resources)? Poor driver support?
    NO!!! SURELY NOT! - That has NEVER happened before! Well, except for the last time they released an OS...oh, and then there was that time before last too...and the time before that...

    it will be Vista that will bring the software giant to its knees
    No. In order for Microsoft to be "[brought] ... to its knees", there would have to be a failure on a much larger scale than Vista, and it would need to happen repeatedly over the course of say, eight to ten years. Long before that happens, someone in Microsoft management would go crack some skulls.
  • Slashdot logic (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Schnapple (262314) <`tomkidd' `at' `viatexas.com'> on Thursday September 27, 2007 @05:25PM (#20774645) Homepage
    Windows Vista has been slow to gain acceptance and adoption in the less-than-a-year since it was released

    Abandon it! Kill it! It's had its chance, but it's too late!

    Linux has been slow to gain acceptance and adoption in the sixteen years it's been available

    Linux is improving! It's getting better! Give it a chance! Yes it has problems but these things take time!
  • by m2943 (1140797) on Thursday September 27, 2007 @05:30PM (#20774701)
    With Mac OS X hot on its tail, Vista is simply not capable of competing at an OS level with some of the best software around

    "Hot on Vista's tail" would mean that OS X has a market share close to Windows, which is obviously not true even under the most optimistic assumptions.

    There is also no sense that I can see in which Microsoft has anything to fear from Apple. Even if Microsoft got out of the OS business tomorrow, Apple simply could not fill the void. Most likely, a disappearance of Microsoft would benefit Linux and BSD much more than it would Apple, because people can run those systems on the hardware they already have.
  • by holophrastic (221104) on Thursday September 27, 2007 @05:39PM (#20774833)
    Speaking as a Perl developer, a JScript developer, an IT professional, and a kiosk developer, I now adore the Microsoft corporate assistance, as well as Vista.

    The article is question -- and boy is it questionable -- says things like "vista is too expensive" and "it sales are lower than xp's were". Welcome to economics. Just because you lack the funds, doesn't make it a bad thing.

    As a business, I've had wonderful times with Microsoft licensing over the last six months. Where I thought I'd have to pay $300 per kiosk, I wound up having to pay $200 one-time licence. Umm, that's basically free.

    I'm using both XP and Vista for the kiosks. XP is missing a number of features that Vista has perfectly --
    all on the IT side.

    I've been reading slashdot for well over a decade now. You guys have it all wrong. Windows is much more flexible than you give it credit for -- and all without having to re-compile a kernel. Absolutely every OS tweak and alteration is possible just as simply as changing a registry key. And each and every one is well named and documented. Just start reading.

    Deploying a few hundred configurations is a breeze -- as easy as plugging in a UFD.

    There are more tools, support, documentation, and details available for Microsoft's corporate professional solutions than Linux users have all but hoped for. And when they aren't free of charge, they are impressively within budget.

    Sorry that your budget is absolute zero. Some of us actually operate successful businesses, and simply love the idea of spending one dollar to make ten. Spending zero to make ten is actually worse, not better. And spending half a dollar to make ten isn't significantly better than spending one.

    Do something legitimate, with actual business intentions, and Microsoft is a dream to work with. Want to do something all on your own? That's a different story.

    I have no problems with Vista. And any problems that you have with any features, are easily solved by disabling those features. I can't believe that linux users are upset with a default configuration -- freakin' change it. The only difference is that you aren't starting from scratch. You're capable, just do it. And if you do it for someone else, they'll pay you for it.

    And no, you don't have to want to get paid. And no, they won't be paying you for your time, or your skill, or your abilities. They'll be paying you for the sole reason of not having to do it themselves. Welcome to the wonderful world of profitable business -- you don't do anything by yourself.

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