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Monday, June 04, 2007

Is Windows Vista the end of the road for Microsoft?

Today a question stuck me - "Is Windows Vista the end of the road for Microsoft?" and I just wanted to share my thoughts with you on this.

Well, it wont kill Microsoft completely. But just think back of ME (Millennium Edition), luckily at the time, they had 2000 to fall back on. Its self inflicted, as Microsoft refused to allow even anti-virus software vendors to create software by closing the system to outsiders, hoping their own one-care would do it, by doing so, they simply closed their own door shut.

If you look at the numbers, they are selling Vista fairly well.
For the people who advocate sticking with XP, that is fine for now. But I can recall the hardcore win 98 holdouts who said the same thing about XP when it was launched too.

As for ME and Windows 2000, I remember that ME was regarded as awful, and that Win2000 would not play games. At that time(and even now) XP is great and I have had no major problems with it, but I can recall people complained that it required hardware upgrades and that it took too much hard drive space - when XP was launched. I've heard the argument before, that an OS shouldn't require hardware to be upgraded. That's fine, but with computing the way it is, hardware will upgrade.

One of the few major drawbacks of Vista that I feel would be speed, hardware requirement, lack of hardware support, and most annoying bit is the interface, after using Windows for almost decade, changing a well known and easy to use interface is like forcing all drivers on the road to now drive backward, sure, you still get from A to B, but at what cost ? Most IT pros had to rethink/retrain their knowledge and experience, and strange that Microsoft cant see that their first critics are these people, if they don't like the OS, they will soon tell their customers, and like whispers, something minor or annoying can turn into statements in the street like 'it doesn't work' , 'its terrible'. Imagine the end results.

Even if they managed to fix most of the problems (i.e, dead slow file copying which at my friend's place took 15 min's to copy 250MB), they are still looking at speed and hardware requirement, most of the customers are happy with XP on 512MB, most businesses have over 100+ workstations, and in no way they will upgrade to Vista to gain nothing but a large bill for hardware and software, not to mention of unforeseen problems that may take their business down.

Microsoft is a huge company, Vista alone cant bring it down, they can always fall back to XP or by extending XP to OEM for another 2-3 years until the next version of Windows are ready. Plus they can sense that all their eggs are in one basket, hence the XBox.
Whatever it is, I feel Vista is a poor product, for a company to spent 5 years and $5-6b to create something this bad is simply amazing. Sadly there's no real competitions, Linux is mature as a core, but lack user support, too many companies are heading different directions, like everyone wants to reinvent the wheel themself. And for Mac - it seems to be struck with new releases not paying much.

Do let me know your thoughts too - Love to hear them as usual.