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Mom Blasts Ballmer Over Kid's Vista Experience 767

Posted by Zonk
from the i-know-bill-gates-i-call-him-money-for-short dept.
Lucas123 writes "While on stage at a Gartner's ITxpo conference today, Ballmer got an ear-full from the mother of a 13-year-old girl who said after installing Vista on her daughter's computer she decided only two days later to switch back to XP because Vista was so difficult. Ballmer defended Vista saying: 'Your daughter saw a lot of value'; to which the mother replied: 'She's 13.' Ballmer said that Vista is bigger than XP, and 'for some people that's an issue, and it's not going to get smaller in any significant way in SP1. But machines are constantly getting bigger, and [it's] probably important to remember that as well.' Says the mother: 'Good, I'll let you come in and install it for me.'"
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Mom Blasts Ballmer Over Kid's Vista Experience

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  • +1 Funny (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 11, 2007 @01:57PM (#20942703)
    Can I mod the submission?
    • Re:+1 Funny (Score:5, Funny)

      by halcyon1234 (834388) <halcyon1234@hotmail.com> on Thursday October 11, 2007 @02:11PM (#20942921) Journal
      I think this article would have been funnier if it was as I first read it-- that STEVE'S Mom showed up and bitched him out.
      • Re:+1 Funny (Score:5, Funny)

        by Greyfox (87712) on Thursday October 11, 2007 @04:20PM (#20945119) Homepage Journal
        That would be funny. I think it would go something like this...

        Mrs. Ballmer: Stevie! Stevie! Your operating system SUCKS! I'm going to F***ing KILL YOU! (Throws chair)
        Steve: Mooooom! I'm doing a THING right now! Can't this wait? I'm going to F***ing KILL YOU! (Throws chair)
        Mrs. Ballmer: No! It's too big and it's bloated and it SUCKS! I'm going to F***ing KILL YOU! (Throws chair)
        Steve: FINE! I'll send someone over to install it for you! I'm going to F***ing KILL YOU! (Throws chair)
        Mrs. Ballmer: Fine, honey! Will you be coming over tonight? I'm making spaghetti! I'm going to F***ing KILL YOU! (Throws chair)
        Steve: Ooh! I love your spaghetti! I'll be over around 7! I'm going to F***ing KILL YOU! (Throws chair)
        Mrs. Ballmer: Wonderful! We'll see you there! I'm going to F***ing KILL YOU! (Throws chair)(Exits)

  • A lot of value... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mind21_98 (18647) on Thursday October 11, 2007 @01:57PM (#20942707) Homepage Journal
    ...in learning something difficult?

    Ballmer's comment seems really prick-like to me. It probably wasn't meant as such, but still.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 11, 2007 @02:06PM (#20942867)
      The article is a bit terse, but Ballmer meant that her daughter saw a lot of value when she looked at her friend's install of Vista...enough value that she immediately went home and told her mom "I've got to have that!"
    • by Tibor the Hun (143056) on Thursday October 11, 2007 @02:09PM (#20942897)
      Quite clearly, you've never tried using gadgets. Gadgets are the paradigm-shift (I hope I can still use that word) we've all been waiting for.

      Why I myself am about to ditch OS X in favor of gadget... err Vista.

      If you can't see the insurmountable value of gadgets, and that their existence warrants a 7 year development cycle, multiple delays and feature reduction not to mention complete industry IT overhaul and user re-training, then, you sir are not a visionary, and should promptly log out of this site, and clear your history.

      Good riddance I say!
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by rtyhurst (460717)
        How dare you defend this kid for not seeing that Vista is the Next Coming?

        I *want* swooshy 3-D graphics stolen directly from OS X!

        I *want* the Blue Screen of Death in 5.1 surround-sound!

        I *want* to play solitaire on an x86 box that has 8 gigs of RAM and a 200 gig hard drive!

        You sir, are an anti-Windite!
      • by Rallion (711805) on Thursday October 11, 2007 @03:01PM (#20943771) Journal
        Heh. Yes.

        To me, the funniest thing about Vista's gadget system is that (still, in 2007!) when your resulotion gets changed (by a game, for example -- happens to me far more than once a day ) the gadgets in the lower and right-most portions of your screen get pushed up/left, and have to be moved back manually. For the love of god, people, anchor the things to the nearest edges.
      • by Hatta (162192) on Thursday October 11, 2007 @03:01PM (#20943773) Journal
        I guess we now know why Inspector Gadget's gadgets were always malfunctioning. They were running vista. Good thing Penny runs linux.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 11, 2007 @02:11PM (#20942917)

      ...in learning something difficult?

      Ballmer's comment seems really prick-like to me. It probably wasn't meant as such, but still.


      The kid wasn't having difficulty, the mother was.

      From her comments, I doubt she even installed XP. It probably came preinstalled, and her complaint is with the complexity of installing any OS.

      Ballmer's comment was spot-on - the daughter saw value in Vista's widgets - and the mother's response was fallacious and nonsensical ("She's 13" - so what, her opinion means nothing, while her ignorant, incapable mother's should be taken seriously? Children are our future. Teach them well and let them lead the way.)
      • by cyber-dragon.net (899244) on Thursday October 11, 2007 @02:27PM (#20943173)
        Ballmer? You are on /.? I didn't think you an Anonymous Coward though.
      • by XenoPhage (242134) on Thursday October 11, 2007 @02:47PM (#20943543) Homepage

        The kid wasn't having difficulty, the mother was.

        From her comments, I doubt she even installed XP. It probably came preinstalled, and her complaint is with the complexity of installing any OS.
        I didn't get that feeling from the article. This was at ITxpo, not Joe's Supermarket. I have to imagine that the majority of attendees are computer literate and work in the IT field.

        Ballmer's comment was spot-on - the daughter saw value in Vista's widgets - and the mother's response was fallacious and nonsensical ("She's 13" - so what, her opinion means nothing, while her ignorant, incapable mother's should be taken seriously? Children are our future. Teach them well and let them lead the way.)
        A 13 year old sees the shiny and wants to have it for their own. While they have opinions, and they should be respected, that doesn't necessarily mean they are right.

        From TFA, it sounds like mom installed the OS and then spent two days fighting with inadequate drivers and other problems. She specifically states that "It's safe, it works, all the hardware is fine, and everything is great" when she refers to XP. The fact that she indicates hardware in there makes me think there were hardware issues with Vista.

        I'm sure the daughter's friend had a good install of Vista, though it was likely due to purchasing a new computer, not upgrading an old one. Seems Vista sucks on anything not brand new. Contrast that with my Linux box here, running on an old Pentium 4 with an outdated video card. Runs blazingly fast, even with Beryl installed and running. I guarantee I couldn't turn on the flashy effects in Vista if I could get it to install on this same machine.
    • Re:A lot of value... (Score:5, Informative)

      by RonnyJ (651856) on Thursday October 11, 2007 @02:19PM (#20943049)

      Ballmer's comment seems really prick-like to me. It probably wasn't meant as such, but still.

      From the article: Ballmer was good-natured about the critique as he defended the operating system.

    • by plague3106 (71849) on Thursday October 11, 2007 @02:57PM (#20943713)
      See, I don't get this. Its not more difficult; the start menu is largely the same. The Documents folder is layed out differently, which Pictures and Movies and such becoming peers to documents... but its not really that different. Is it UAC that everyone is saying is so different they can't figure out how to use the computer? Aside from clicking a dialog when i try to do an administrative task, nothing substancial changed from how I used Windows.

      Unfortunately I couldn't really find anything specific that caused the switch back. Was it the kid's choice? The mother's?
  • by moderatorrater (1095745) on Thursday October 11, 2007 @01:58PM (#20942717)
    The mom's body was later found floating in a river. The cause of death: chair-related injuries.
  • by techpawn (969834) on Thursday October 11, 2007 @01:58PM (#20942731) Journal

    Ballmer said that Vista is bigger than XP, and 'for some people that's an issue, and it's not going to get smaller in any significant way in SP1. But machines are constantly getting bigger, and [it's] probably important to remember that as well.'
    Does that sound like they're proud to be bloat and have no plans to reduce because machines are getting bigger?
    • by Mr. Underbridge (666784) on Thursday October 11, 2007 @02:06PM (#20942855)

      Does that sound like they're proud to be bloat and have no plans to reduce because machines are getting bigger?

      No, but it makes sense in a twisted way for MS. What are they averaging, 5 years between major releases? When you have that long between releases you have to balance the featureset you want to include against the fact that it's going to be a long time before the next OS release. As a result, it makes sense that you design it such that the full 'experience' will just barely run on a decent new machine at release.

      This does illustrate the utility of more frequent releases.

    • by Workaphobia (931620) on Thursday October 11, 2007 @02:49PM (#20943569) Journal
      Oh absolutely. When machines get more powerful and can perform the same function for a tenth of the cost, they won't sell you the same machine at the reduced price running the same software. They'll sell you a more powerful machine at the same price, and upgrade your software's bloat to make you require the horsepower.

      Funny how I can pretty much do everything I do with my new lenovo T61 windows (formally vista, now XP) laptop, on my six (?) year old 1.2 GHz Sempron running gentoo.
  • by langelgjm (860756) on Thursday October 11, 2007 @01:59PM (#20942739) Journal

    So the "value" that the woman's 13 year-old daughter saw were Vista's gadgets:

    My daughter comes in one day and says, 'Hey Mom, my friend has Vista, and it has these neat little things called gadgets -- I need those.'

    I'm glad the end-user is seeing so much value in Vista.

    • Value = Subjective (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Mongoose Disciple (722373) on Thursday October 11, 2007 @02:06PM (#20942853)
      Selling an OS is, in this respect, not a lot different from selling a car.

      Some buy their cars for the greatest reliability. Some for performance or efficiency. Some people buy their car to have the newest and flashiest on the block. Some for safety. Some because they know the brand or it's what their friends have.

      And some people just fall in love with the color or, wow, big cupholders or heated seats, and they're sold.

    • Re:Value = Gadgets (Score:5, Insightful)

      by RonnyJ (651856) on Thursday October 11, 2007 @02:25PM (#20943125)
      I feel it's somewhat hypocritical of the mother to use the fact that her daugher was 13 as a defence - if she really placed little value in her daughter's opinion, she shouldn't have bought it solely on that opinion in the first place.
      • Re:Value = Gadgets (Score:5, Insightful)

        by everphilski (877346) on Thursday October 11, 2007 @02:31PM (#20943239) Journal
        Precisely. She's not willing to be held accountable for the fact that, in the end, she made the operating system purchase and was not pleased with it. So she's blaming Steve because her precious daughter 'doesn't know any better' ... even though she was apparently the sole motivation for the purchase. It's sad how little personal accountability people have these days.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Rudisaurus (675580)
          In fairness to the kid's mom (who is an "analyst", according to TFA; presumably that would mean she's an IT analyst or why else would she be at ITxpo?), she was comparing the Vista experience with the XP experience.

          XP, for all its security holes, updates, and service packs, was a comparatively stable platform (NOTE: I'm not saying good; just stable), which most home and business users could learn to navigate with relatively little difficulty. Now along comes Vista, and this person -- with presumably some
      • Re:Value = Gadgets (Score:5, Insightful)

        by MightyMartian (840721) on Thursday October 11, 2007 @03:13PM (#20943985) Journal
        Obviously you've never had kids. "Mom, my best friend has Vista, and it's so kewl. Can you install it!"

        "Fine dear."

        Three days later...

        "Mom, I can't figure out how to use this. Where's my music? How do I get my pictures off my digital camera? How come the printer won't work? Why does it keep asking me these stupid questions?"

        After three days of that, I'd be pretty hot under the collar too.
  • by Rimbo (139781) <rimbosity AT sbcglobal DOT net> on Thursday October 11, 2007 @01:59PM (#20942743) Homepage Journal
    If Microsoft were anything other than one of the most dominant monopolies the world has ever seen, this would be a hideous and grave error.

    As it is, people just shrug their shoulders and say, "Who is John Galt?"
    • by ackthpt (218170) * on Thursday October 11, 2007 @02:06PM (#20942851) Homepage Journal

      If Microsoft were anything other than one of the most dominant monopolies the world has ever seen, this would be a hideous and grave error.

      As it is, people just shrug their shoulders and say, "Who is John Galt?"

      They're probably wondering who let this troublemaking person in here. Don't we screen attendees for product loyalty?

      I love how people like Ballmer throw around the word 'value' The product is actually a hook, designed to get you tied into Microsoft's other products and services - Office, MSN, media content through their partners, etc. If it was about an operating system it would fit on one CD, require a few megabytes of memory and be secure. Windows is not an operating system, it's an environment bundled with an operating system.

  • by ackthpt (218170) * on Thursday October 11, 2007 @01:59PM (#20942755) Homepage Journal

    "Let's start with the end user. Your daughter saw a lot of value," said Ballmer.

    Translation: We spent a lot of money packing it with bloat.

    "Users appreciate the value that we put into Vista," he said. But, as with earlier operating system releases, "there is always a tension between the value that end users see -- and frankly, that software developers see -- and the value that we can deliver to IT."

    Translation: No matter how many versions we have, it's still one size fits all. The tension is generated because our developers don't lead normal lives and see things the way ordinary people do, which makes the end product obfuscated and confusing

    "the most secure release of Windows you can humanly make," said Ballmer. "We have had better security, we have had fewer vulnerabilities, fewer issues with Windows Vista in its first six months than any OS that preceded it.

    Translation: We're banking on bloat, the more there is the longer it takes the crackers to find the exploits, but sure as the Sun rises, they will find them because more code has more holes.

    "I think there is a lot of value in Vista," he said.

    Translation: Stock value. If we didn't come out with a new version of Windows everyone had to buy every few years our stock value would drop. We have to keep addicts supplied.

    "When we initially shipped, fewer device drivers were ready for Vista than I would have liked, but we constantly worked with the device vendors to get new drivers available and implemented through our Windows update service," he said.

    Translation: We rushed it to market. If we had waited until it was really ready we would have seen our stock drop. The premature release was purely driven by profit motives rather than care for our customers.

    "We are in, from ... a corporate and enterprise side, an early adoption cycle," said Ballmer.

    Translation: Revenue generating cycle - Bleeding edge, counting the casualties.

    • by jamstar7 (694492) on Thursday October 11, 2007 @02:27PM (#20943175)

      "Let's start with the end user. Your daughter saw a lot of value," said Ballmer.

      Translation: We spent a lot of money packing it with bloat.

      Translation: "Our Marketting Department spent 5 years changing the specs for the Engineering Department based on focus groups stuffed with hydrocephalic chimpanzees. We gotta get our money back before our stockholders show up with pitchforks & torches and lynch us."

      "Users appreciate the value that we put into Vista," he said. But, as with earlier operating system releases, "there is always a tension between the value that end users see -- and frankly, that software developers see -- and the value that we can deliver to IT."

      Translation: No matter how many versions we have, it's still one size fits all. The tension is generated because our developers don't lead normal lives and see things the way ordinary people do, which makes the end product obfuscated and confusing

      Translation: "Our chimpanze focus groups are fickle as hell and constantly change their minds from minute to minute. This leads to developement team frustration, so we were forced to sedate them. That didn't work so well, so now we're trying lobotomies..."

      "When we initially shipped, fewer device drivers were ready for Vista than I would have liked, but we constantly worked with the device vendors to get new drivers available and implemented through our Windows update service," he said.

      Translation: We rushed it to market. If we had waited until it was really ready we would have seen our stock drop. The premature release was purely driven by profit motives rather than care for our customers.

      Translation: "Our developers couldn't keep up with our changing specs. Don't blame us, blame the chimpanzes."

  • Oh really... (Score:4, Informative)

    by Tarlus (1000874) on Thursday October 11, 2007 @02:00PM (#20942771)

    'Good, I'll let you come in and install it for me.'
    Uh, Vista is easier to install than XP.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Orange Crush (934731)
      Not if the machine shipped with XP preinstalled (which is almost certainly the case here).
    • Re:Oh really... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by UnknowingFool (672806) on Thursday October 11, 2007 @02:26PM (#20943141)
      I don't think the woman was saying that Vista itself was harder to install. Like many others she's complaining that there were many issues after the install like with drivers, stability, etc. Since MS changed many things in Vista this was not unexpected especially for a 1st generation product. She figures that maybe something she did caused it, and Ballmer is trying to put the best face forward. I think he and Gates both know what a fiasco Vista has been and that the installation process is a small role in how unfinished many feel that Vista is. Gates and Co are trying to get everyone to install it so that MS can make money.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Minwee (522556)

      >

      Uh, Vista is easier to install than XP.

      And it's even easier for me to install a waffle covered with maple syrup in my DVD player, but that won't make it work any better.

  • Sooo? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by renrutal (872592) <renrutal@gmail.com> on Thursday October 11, 2007 @02:01PM (#20942789)

    >> Your daughter saw a lot of value.
    > She's 13.
    Am I the only one missing the point here?
    • Re:Sooo? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by njfuzzy (734116) <ianNO@SPAMian-x.com> on Thursday October 11, 2007 @02:05PM (#20942837) Homepage
      It seems pretty simple to me. The mother, who cares about performance and utility, wasn't impressed. The tweenage daughter, who cares about gadgets and superficial appearances liked it.
    • Re:Sooo? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Archangel Michael (180766) on Thursday October 11, 2007 @02:18PM (#20943021) Journal
      You obviously never been or had a 13 year old. They think all sorts of things have "a lot of value" based upon "peers opinion". In fact, Junior High is filled with various peer groups that base all sorts of things on the perceived value assigned to things by the peer group. As one grows up, many realize that 13 year olds don't really know jack about the world yet.

      So, the retort from the mother is basically ... "she's 13 years old, she doesn't know jack, what else would you expect." Her retort nullifies the previous comment as only a mother of a 13 year old could, and it is quite amusing, IMHO.
  • by Aladrin (926209) on Thursday October 11, 2007 @02:01PM (#20942791)
    So, in short, the 13 yr old had no problem with it, but the mother couldn't understand it, so it's a bad OS? Yeah, that's GREAT logic.

    Also, "she's 13" is not a valid retort for why it shouldn't matter that she found value in it. She obviously knew how to use it more than the mother did.

    Ballmer was in an impossible situation here. He could make her look the complete fool and catch hell for picking on that woman, or let her 'win' and catch hell for letting a woman beat up his operating system. He chose the right route, for once.

    For the record, Vista was the wrong route.
    • by stewbacca (1033764) on Thursday October 11, 2007 @02:20PM (#20943059)

      Also, "she's 13" is not a valid retort for why it shouldn't matter that she found value in it
      Actually it is the PERFECT retort, because it shows just how out-of-touch Microsoft is. Teenagers don't care about value, because they have no concept of what value is.
      • Okaayyyy. (Score:4, Insightful)

        by SatanicPuppy (611928) * <Satanicpuppy@g m a i l .com> on Thursday October 11, 2007 @04:22PM (#20945151) Journal
        As an adult, please define value for the rest of us.

        Saying a teenager doesn't understand value, just shows that you don't understand value. Value is absolutely relative to the individual, and it varies wildly based on fashion, personal experience, age, sex, race, everything.

        When you say that someone of a different demographic from yourself "doesn't understand value", what you're really saying is that you don't understand them, and that, therefore, you think the things they value are meaningless.

        There are a lot of people who will profit from those people and their "meaningless" values, while you sit smugly telling them they're stupid for valuing those things anyway. Microsoft has become a monopoly doing this crap. It's heart and soul why Office beats the crap out of Open Office. OSS people need to take the needs of non-geeks seriously.
    • by Tibor the Hun (143056) on Thursday October 11, 2007 @02:23PM (#20943093)
      Also, "she's 13" is not a valid retort for why it shouldn't matter that she found value in it. She obviously knew how to use it more than the mother did.

      Quite wrong. 13 year olds see a lot of value in Zwinkies, expensive ring-tones, and fake plastic jewelry. So when it comes to deciding value, "she's 13" is a perfectly good answer. (Next time you have a grand to spend on a home project, ask your 13 year old to be in charge.)

      Secondly, nowhere there does it say that she knew how to "use" it. What does she know how to use? She saw some eye-candy and wanted it for herself.

      I agree that Vista is the wrong route, and that Ballmer was in a tight spot. Nevertheless, he took 7 years to create that tight spot, and he just reaped a bit of what he sowed.
    • by chrysrobyn (106763) on Thursday October 11, 2007 @02:26PM (#20943157)
      So, in short, the 13 yr old had no problem with it, but the mother couldn't understand it, so it's a bad OS? Yeah, that's GREAT logic. Also, "she's 13" is not a valid retort for why it shouldn't matter that she found value in it. She obviously knew how to use it more than the mother did.

      I'm sorry, wait, what? The 13 year old daughter liked the widgets. Mom explicitly said that's why the daughter wanted it. Maybe we can assume Mom thought shelling out >$100 would at the minimum be neutral (hopefully improving) every feature she came to love about XP. Instead, the experience degraded. The 13 year old daughter, who has probably never worked a day in her life, nor is she likely to for another 2-3 years, is unable to grasp the value of the money it cost to get the OS upgrade, so is unable to judge the value of the product. Just because she knows how to use the widgets better than Mom doesn't mean she can weigh the value of the money it took to buy the upgrade against the other things that money could have been used for.

      I side with Mom. The girl is 13. Her opinion matters, but her opinion is not the only thing that matters.

  • Yikes! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Otter (3800) on Thursday October 11, 2007 @02:01PM (#20942795) Journal
    I can't say I'm looking forward to Mom's arrival in #gentoo...
  • Or, better yet (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Rinisari (521266) on Thursday October 11, 2007 @02:01PM (#20942799) Homepage Journal
    Or, better yet, she can use an operating system that doesn't practically require new hardware for every new release, but operating system of which I speak can take advantage of new hardware when it's available, and that'll be sooner because she won't have to spend $400 on just the operating system.
    • by westlake (615356)
      because she won't have to spend $400 on just the operating system.

      The Geek always quotes the list price for the retail box when he wants to slag Microsoft.
      This isn't "insightful," it is ignorant and foolish:

      The Vista Basic laptop at Walmart starts at $400 Everex StepNote w/VIA CPU [walmart.com]

      The Dual-Core Vista Basic desktop with 1 GB RAM, 160 GB HDD and a DVD burner at $350. Compaq Presario w/ Dual-Core Athlon CPU [walmart.com]

      The Vista Premium HP Pavilion [walmart.com] desktop with 3 GB RAM, 2.6 GHz Athlon Dual-Core CPU, 500 GB HDD, and

  • by Perseid (660451) on Thursday October 11, 2007 @02:04PM (#20942831)
    ...in my experience Vista is easier to transition to than most operating systems I've upgraded. Most hardware still works. Every program I've tried so far has worked. Can you say the same thing for 98 to XP? No. OS 9 to OS X? No. Linux to newer Linux? Well, yes. :)

    Take a machine that runs 98 tolerably well and upgrade it to XP. Pain. Take a machine that runs XP tolerably well and upgrade it to Vista. Pain. Nothing is new here. You upgrade your OS and you'll probably need to upgrade your hardware too. And purchasers that doesn't realize this only have themselves to blame. Did I just agree with Steve Ballmer? Damn it, get me a razor blade...
    • by Mattwolf7 (633112) on Thursday October 11, 2007 @02:19PM (#20943039)
      I love how every piece of software works with Vista except Microsoft's own programs...

      I am a college student and needed to install MS Visual Studio for a project. Our CSE lab is partnered with MS through MSDN. We have access to most MS software. So I went online and noticed that Visual Studios 2003 Pro was on the website. (2005 is not available) Checked out the cd from the lab and went home to install it on Vista. After having trouble getting it to work I went searching for a fix.

      http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/vstudio/aa948854.aspx [microsoft.com]

      Q: What products are supported?
      A: We are supporting Visual Basic 6.0, Visual FoxPro 9.0 and Visual Studio 2005 Service Pack 1 with the Visual Studio 2005 Service Pack 1 Update for Windows Vista.


      So Visual Basic 6, created in 1998, is supported but software from 2003 isn't??
    • by varmittang (849469) on Thursday October 11, 2007 @02:30PM (#20943203)
      Actually, OS 9 to OS X had something called Classic in OS X, so that you could run all your OS 9 programs without a rewrite.
    • Take a machine that runs Mac OS X "Leopard" and upgrade it to OS X "Panther". Painless. Take a machine that runs "Panther" and upgrade it to Mac OS X "Tiger"-- also painless. It doesn't have to be this way. I am assuming that most major linux distros can say the same thing, probably even more so.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by laffer1 (701823)
        I'm assuming you mean a machine that shipped with 10.3. Newer apple hardware requires newer OS X versions for drivers. My ibook can run 10.3.5 but my wife's can't.

        I built my pc last september. I had to install 6-7 drivers including video, sound, chipset, etc for XP. I formatted and put vista on it in january (along with a new bsd install). I only needed to install a sound and video driver. It was less work for me to go to vista in that sense. I'm running x64 vista at that. On newer hardware, it's ea
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by shaka999 (335100)
        Hmmm, not the best comparison. I upgraded from XP to XP SP1 to XP SP2 without much of a hitch. SP2 had a couple hitches but all my programs still run just fine.

        The XP->Vista is much closer to the 9-X transition.
    • "You upgrade your OS and you'll probably need to upgrade your hardware too." Correction: "You upgrade your Microsoft OS and you'll probably need to upgrade your hardware too."
      Neither my Linux nor my OS X needed hardware upgrades.

      --

      hint: try to look outside the cube...
  • by Sciros (986030) on Thursday October 11, 2007 @02:11PM (#20942925) Journal
    Vista is NOT harder to use than XP. It's virtually the same, especially from the point of view of a non-power user. UAC might be a huge nuisance, but parents or whoever can just turn it off. I wouldn't give a 13-year-old admin privileges to a machine in the first place; you're just asking for trojans otherwise.

    Ballmer was probably thinking "either you or your daugher or both are just stupid" but knew he couldn't say it so he was trying to be passive and just said some BS to try and get the lady off his case.
  • by stewbacca (1033764) on Thursday October 11, 2007 @02:12PM (#20942933)
    Ballmer's response is a nice little nutshell of everything wrong with Microsoft and why I'm a home Mac user (replace Mac with Linux if you must, but the point is the same). Ballmer talks of "value", as if HOME USERS give a shit. Microsoft is in so deep to corporate ass kissing, they forget that there are millions of home users who use computers for things OTHER than work and "value" means something completely different to a home user. If I have to give into Mr. Ballmer's Econo-spin I'd have to tell him that "value" to me means I sit down at my computer and use it with as little fuss and interruption from the OS as possible. In this scenario, every flavor of Windows ever has very little value. My time and convenience have more "value" to me than any corporate bottom-line will ever have. In fact, I'd rather NOT be able to do something than be stuck in the perpetual co-dependent cycle that Microsoft has created.

    And this, ladies and gentlemen, is why I'm a home Mac user.

  • Scary (Score:5, Insightful)

    by suv4x4 (956391) on Thursday October 11, 2007 @02:17PM (#20943003)
    That's it. I've never seen the public react this way to a Windows release before. Not Linux geeks, but the average Windows users.
    Yea, yea, every new release faces nostalgia of the previous release blah blah. It's way worse here.
    Average people call Vista shit. Businesses run away from it.

    The Vista brand is ruined. Now even if they fix Vista, the brand will never recover.

    I hope Microsoft learns something from this. First impression lasts forever. Don't release software unfinished.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by wodgy7 (850851)
      I agree with you about the Vista brand being damaged in the minds of ordinary people. One anecdote: I'm in law school, and on Tuesday I noticed the girl sitting next to me had brought in a new MacBook Pro. I started chatting with her about it, and she told me the reason she had got it is because she needed a new laptop and didn't want to move to Vista. I've heard similar things (though not in such point-blank language) from other non-technical users. It's surprising to me. The word of mouth problems wi
    • Meh (Score:4, Insightful)

      by paranode (671698) on Thursday October 11, 2007 @02:58PM (#20943721)
      XP was not finished when it came out and now it is the flagship operating system. This happens everytime, there are problems cause some old POS hardware doesn't have a driver for Vista yet (or at all) and there are bugs here and there in the OS. Time will change it, whether the anti-MS crowd likes it or not, and MS will stay rich another day.
  • by blhack (921171) * on Thursday October 11, 2007 @02:19PM (#20943037)
    Don't you all see! Vista was a wise move by Microsoft. IT has been long been agreed upon that one major contributor to windows' insecurity is its popularity. If Microsoft comes out with an OS that nobody wants, they won't be popular anymore, and suddenly they'll have a secure OS!!!

    DUH!
  • OS Wars (Score:4, Funny)

    by Andrewkov (140579) on Thursday October 11, 2007 @02:21PM (#20943073)
    Only on Slashdot do we discuss what is the most appropriate OS for a 13 year old girl. :)

  • by log0n (18224) on Thursday October 11, 2007 @02:38PM (#20943371)
    Something interesting to take away from this. The 13 year old (the future of technology) wanted the gadgets - or rather - the useful yet entertaining and social aspects of Vista - rather than the technology underneath. Technology that serves a personal purpose, rather than technology that simply serves a purpose.

    As we've all learned for ourselves now back when we started CS/IT/ENG/whatever, we constantly evolve using what we started with as a base. I can trace my usage of linux/unix now back to first using NextStations and IRIX boxes back in school.

    What is Linux/Ubuntu/younameit doing to capitalize on the 13 year old market? What does Linux offer a teenager, or better yet, why would a teenage want to use Linux? Social interaction, gadgets/widgets, entertainment, etc may seem like a waste of purpose and time to us hardcore nerds, but these are very important to non-tech types. Once the 13 year old is interested, then the whole 'get em early' evolution begins.

    A great example is the XO laptop. The XO has considered the social target audience of the product like few other hardware and software developers previously (except maybe Apple). As such, every review of the laptop so far by a schoolage child (the target) loves it. For Linux to succeed on the desktop for the masses, developers needs to consider what the desktop for the masses actually is - not what developers think the desktop to be where the masses adapt.
  • Where's the Beef? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by geeknado (1117395) on Thursday October 11, 2007 @02:39PM (#20943389)
    What I'm struck by in this article is a lack of the specific detail in her complaints. Was it too hard to install? Did it crash? Were the drivers lacking? Was there something baffling about the new interface to her? TFA makes it sound like she spent money, installed it, then said "Bah, XP was fine" before uninstalling it again. It's rather obvious that she installed it for skin-deep reasons driven by her daughter's preferences, but surely the reasons she uninstalled it were more considered.

    This would've been a lot more interesting if she'd challenged him about the actual problems she encountered...Perhaps she did, and it just wasn't captured? Ah well.

  • by telbij (465356) on Friday October 12, 2007 @03:59AM (#20950491)

    But machines are constantly getting bigger


    Much like Ballmer himself.

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