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Why Microsoft must Abandon Vista September 28, 2007

Posted by rjdohnert in 1.
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Don Reisinger over at News.com wrote an interesting blog post that says that Microsoft should abandon Vista before its too late.  He cites poor sales figures, bugs in the system and other topics he deems to be proof of Vista failures.

Read more here

While I agree with some of his objections, I think most are materially false.  Im going to go over the exceptions I take to the article.

” With a host of issues that are inexcusable and features that are taken from the Mac OS X and Linux playbook, Microsoft has once again lost sight of what we really want.”

False, if you did your homework you would realize that the Linux crowd and the Apple crowd took many ideas from the longhorn beta and put them into their systems. 

”  Vista Ultimate comes at a premium. For an additional $160 over the Premium SKU price, Ultimate gives you a complete backup and restore option, BitLocker Drive encryption, the ever so popular Windows Fax & Scan, and the “Ultimate Extras.””

Yes I do agree, Vista is too expensive.  And I think thats part of the problem.  Vista does pick up on new PC purchases and what comes with new PC’s?  Windows Vista.  I think that trend will grow.  If you are upgrading your PC then you may find Vista a bit expensive.

“The first indication that Microsoft should abandon Vista is its poor sales figures. According to a recent report titled “Windows Vista Still Underperforming in U.S. Retail” from NPD, Vista sales are significantly behind XP sales during its early days. Even worse for Redmond, some are reverting to XP, citing issues with compatibility and overall design. And if that wasn’t enough, Macs continue to surge and with the impending release of Leopard, Microsoft may be in for a rough holiday season.”

A lot of people are reverting back to XP due to the compaitibility with older devices and/or just until new device drivers have been written.  Many businesses have the problem with older applications that simply wont run on Windows Vista.  Does this mean Vista is a failure?  No, it simply means people have a need that Vista can’t address.  When hardware breaks and needs to be replaced, Windows Vista will simply be the thing then.  Has Windows Vista been the biggest tech blunder?  There have been worse, but throwing that in that Vista is the biggest tech blunder is like telling someone their mother is ugly.  C’mon.

As for his argument on Service Pack 1, will it fix many of the issues.  Yes it will.  Service Packs are often needed to fix issues and Windows Vista is certainly no exception.  Think about all the problems that were fixed when Windows 2000 service packs were released, or even when SLED 10 SP1 was released.  Software has bugs, those bugs are discovered.  They are fixed.  Don wants to sit there and poke at Windows and not at Mac or Linux.  Look at the user bases.  Windows:  Millions of users, billions of different system configurations.  Nobody, not Apple, nor Red Hat nor Novell if they had that type of userbase would be able to guarantee their software would work flawlessly.  In fact, I think Apple would probably collapse in that situation.  The Linux crowds try and look at all the problems they have.

” I also find it interesting that Microsoft decided to take the user access control concept from Mac OS X and make it much worse. Can someone please explain to me why I need to be asked if I wanted to do something entirely innocuous like open a third-party app from a well-known software company?”

And if Microsoft had nothing at all Don and the other naysayers would be criticizing Microsoft for not protecting their users.  Next.

” Not only does it cost too much, it requires more to run than XP, there is still poor driver support, and that draconian licensing scheme is a by-product of Microsoft picking on the wrong people.”

I agree that the hardware requirements are simply stupid but the poor driver support is not the fault of Microsoft the blame lies with the hardware companies.  You call Microsofts licensing scheme draconian?  That simply tells me you havent read the GPLv3.

” The road ahead looks dangerous for Vista and Microsoft must realize that. 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.”

I think Vista competes extremely well on an OS level.  I think incompetent and biased press commentary has much to do with a lot of the bad impressions of Vista.  Mac OS X is not “hot on the tails of Windows Vista”  Apple controls all the aspects of Mac OS X from hardware to software.  When people buy a Mac they have no choice but to buy from Apple.  If Apple becomes the dominant supplier of OS software they will have to unbundle the OS software from their hardware simply because Apple will not be able to keep up with supply and demand.  As for happy users of Vista,  I have done hundreds of upgrades to Windows Vista for people and Im actually running one while I type this.  How many have actually told me they wanted to go back to XP?  None.  How many have wanted me to downgrade their systems to Linux?  None and none of them have bought a Mac.

” As a daily user of Mac OS X, Ubuntu and Vista, I’m keenly aware of what works and what doesn’t. Mac and Linux work.”

Thats funny considering poor hardware support, buggy software and breaking of applications is one of the biggest complaints with Ubuntu 7.04.  With that comment Don has simply wrecked all credibility with me.  Of course he can come back and say ” All my hardware and software works with Ubuntu”  My response could be so does mine with Windows Vista but we would both be exageratting a little.  Linux doesnt simply “just work” and I doubt he has the know how or the experience to get Linux to “just work.”  He has jumped on a train with a lot of other people.  Its cool to hate Microsoft these days and it jacks up blog hits.

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Comments»

1. Nikola - September 28, 2007

Agreed. The guy is obviously just trying to get comments. I’m switching to Vista with my new computer, and my old machine will get Ubuntu, which I am expecting to complain a heck of a lot more during installation then Vista.

2. Jesse W Clark - September 29, 2007

I found your blog post entertaining, and it’s nice to hear from people enjoying Vista. However, you would do well to strengthen your argumentation skills and avoid weak assertions. Here are some logical flaws in your post:

–begin quote:
” With a host of issues that are inexcusable and features that are taken from the Mac OS X and Linux playbook, Microsoft has once again lost sight of what we really want.”

False, if you did your homework you would realize that the Linux crowd and the Apple crowd took many ideas from the longhorn beta and put them into their systems.
–end quote.

Your rebuttal may be true, but as a response to an assertion it is logically flawed. The substance of the quote is that Microsoft has lost sight of what people want. The issue of who did what first is incidental to that issue, not central. By refuting that issue you in no way contest the substance of the remark. The substance is that there are inexcusable issues and features (regardless of whose innovation they were) that people do not want. A proper rebuttal would assert that Microsoft is in fact aware of and delivering what people want.

—begin quote:
” I also find it interesting that Microsoft decided to take the user access control concept from Mac OS X and make it much worse. Can someone please explain to me why I need to be asked if I wanted to do something entirely innocuous like open a third-party app from a well-known software company?”

And if Microsoft had nothing at all Don and the other naysayers would be criticizing Microsoft for not protecting their users. Next.
–end quote

The quote stresses that the feature is annoyingly implemented. Your rebuttal argues that if the feature didn’t exist people would still complain. This is logically flawed. To argue over a feature’s implementation is not to argue over its existence. Your response implies that the choice is between a bad implementation and no implementation at all–which is logically incorrect. A proper response must defend the implementation.

–begin quote:
” Not only does it cost too much, it requires more to run than XP, there is still poor driver support, and that draconian licensing scheme is a by-product of Microsoft picking on the wrong people.”

I agree that the hardware requirements are simply stupid but the poor driver support is not the fault of Microsoft the blame lies with the hardware companies.
–end quote

Your rebuttal again is logically irrelevant to the issue raised. The argument states that the Vista experience is poor because of poor driver support. Your rebuttal is that this is not Microsoft’s fault. That is not in fact a rebuttal, it is an attribution of blame.

If I were to order a car from BMW and when I got it there were no wheels, BMW could say to me “it’s not our fault, Goodyear didn’t supply the wheels,” but the point is moot. The thing still don’t go. In other words, while your rebuttal defends Microsoft, it really says nothing about Vista. Regardelss of blame, the author is deriding the Vista experience. A proper response must defend the Vista experience.

I am not contesting any of your points. They may all be true. Your other rebuttals seem to be on point. In the cases above, however, the rebuttals are weakened by being irrelevant to the discussion at hand. I don’t think you’d find it hard to sharpen your arguments, if you care to. And if you do, I hope I’ve been helpful.


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