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Vista Indicates A Shift in Microsoft's Priorities

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the end-users-at-the-end dept.

Microsoft 499

jcatcw writes "After hundreds of hours of testing Vista, Scot Finnie is supremely tired of it. And of Microsoft. Although 80% of the changes in Windows Vista are positive, there is nothing about Vista that is truly innovative or compelling; there's no transformational, gotta-have-it feature in Vista. But the real problem isn't with Vista. It's with Microsoft itself. His opinion is that Microsoft has stopped focusing on end users. They 'now seemingly make many decisions based on these two things: 1. Avoiding negative publicity (especially about security and software quality) 2. Making sure the largest enterprise customers are happy.'"

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499 comments

Yep.... (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17851832)

That's about my thoughts exactly, except let's not forget turning the screws on the paying customers.....

In other words (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17852158)

Scott Finnie tests Vista for hundreds of hours, finds nothing wrong with it, so he complains that Microsoft now focuses on " Avoiding negative publicity (especially about security and software quality)". And it's somehow wrong.

Booohoo, Microsoft releases a secure system! They are doing it only so that they can avoid negative publicity, let's slam them!

Ummm. enterprise are their customers (5, Insightful)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 7 years ago | (#17852268)

where they make the most money. The moms and pops are not as big a revenue source and are a pain in the ass (low profits per sale)!

MS's biggest problem is to try justify all the effort that goes into making something "new" that is not perceived to be new by most people looking at it from the outside. There must be a lot of investors/share holders asking why MS spent $5bn or whatever developing Vista when XP seems healthy enough.

Re:Ummm. enterprise are their customers (4, Insightful)

Runefox (905204) | more than 7 years ago | (#17852712)

Huh? No profit margin on the moms and pops? When a retail copy of XP Pro costs $389 CAD, and an OEM copy costs $189? How much are the megacorps buying it for?

Join the bandwagon (4, Insightful)

alshithead (981606) | more than 7 years ago | (#17851836)

"Although 80% of the changes in Windows Vista are positive, there is nothing about Vista that is truly innovative or compelling; there's no transformational, gotta-have-it feature in Vista. "

They attempted to improve their security and GUI. Any additional features were already available as third party add ons or with different OS's. Were we really expecting anything else? Time will tell if their attempts were successful. I for one have no interest in Vista other than possibly having to use it at work.

"His opinion is that Microsoft has stopped focusing on end users. They 'now seemingly make many decisions based on these two things: 1. Avoiding negative publicity (especially about security and software quality) 2. Making sure the largest enterprise customers are happy."

Again, no surprise here... Marketing is all about positive publicity and MS recognizes that their bread and butter is evolving into the large, medium, and small corporate entities that are locked into their OS and apps...not the everyday home end user.

Re:Join the bandwagon (2, Insightful)

eviloverlordx (99809) | more than 7 years ago | (#17851880)

They attempted to improve their security and GUI. Any additional features were already available as third party add ons or with different OS's. Were we really expecting anything else? Time will tell if their attempts were successful. I for one have no interest in Vista other than possibly having to use it at work.

I guess they're also trying to sell high-end graphics cards and CPUs, too.

Re:Join the bandwagon (4, Insightful)

russ1337 (938915) | more than 7 years ago | (#17852304)

>>> "I guess they're also trying to sell high-end graphics cards and CPUs, too."

Not selling the cards directly, just the revinue from the 'Trusted driver' scheme.

Re:Join the bandwagon (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17852308)

And already I am hearing about glitches in the DRM making mistakes and DVD drives and hard drives turning off. All that Spayware in Vista has to go! Microsoft's Spyware is just another vulnerability for ID thieves to break into your computer!

Re:Join the bandwagon (5, Funny)

slashwritr (1009921) | more than 7 years ago | (#17852438)

I don't know if "Spayware" was a typo on your part but it seems oddly appropriate, given your "hard drives turning off" statement. Of course, "Neuterware" would've been more appropriate, but what can you do?

Re:Join the bandwagon (5, Interesting)

suckmysav (763172) | more than 7 years ago | (#17851908)

You know, I agree with most of what you write, apart from the "everyday home user" stuff.

If they are not interested in the everyday home user then why on earth would they be currently in the middle of ploughing through half a billion dollars woth of mass market TV adverts trying to convince people to go "Wow" when they first see Vista?

Re:Join the bandwagon (1)

alshithead (981606) | more than 7 years ago | (#17851970)

"If they are not interested in the everyday home user then why on earth would they be currently in the middle of ploughing through half a billion dollars woth of mass market TV adverts trying to convince people to go "Wow" when they first see Vista?"

Good point. I think however that their marketing campaign towards the end user is really nothing more than trying to justify why folks should buy new PCs with Vista. Folks buy new PC, get Vista, AND upgrade to the new Office. The OS is a freebie and the bonus is selling the new version of Office. Most folks could probably stay with their previous version of Office.

Re:Join the bandwagon (2, Insightful)

fistfullast33l (819270) | more than 7 years ago | (#17852072)

Good point. I think however that their marketing campaign towards the end user is really nothing more than trying to justify why folks should buy new PCs with Vista

Not to mention the anti-PC Apple advertising that is on the air right now. It's like a political contest - if you don't respond soon people will think the meme is true and stop buying PC's altogether. Particularly because A) Apple is attacking Vista head on and B) the commercials are really funny and easily likeable.

Re:Join the bandwagon (0, Flamebait)

Cylix (55374) | more than 7 years ago | (#17852192)

I disagree!

They could be likeable, but I hate both the actors!

The whole "going in for major surgery" gag was actually pretty good, but I don't like either of the people involved in the commercial. Someone else, somewhere here had a better arguement on the whole commercials... for whatever reason... I just don't like the people currently involved.

Re:Join the bandwagon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17852598)

O, i love the Apple commercials!

You can always pick them apart, like that "going in for major surgery" one you talked about. With Vista, youll need MAJOR upgrades, with a new MacOS, youll HAVE to buy a new computer!

And as always, what really funny, is how they call them "Mac" and "PC". Like Macs are actually diffrent from PC's? Not anymore, now, they are overpriced PC's that require you throw them out if you want a new OS.

Re:Join the bandwagon (5, Interesting)

timeOday (582209) | more than 7 years ago | (#17852602)

"If they are not interested in the everyday home user then why on earth would they be currently in the middle of ploughing through half a billion dollars woth of mass market TV adverts trying to convince people to go "Wow" when they first see Vista?"
This reminds me of some ads I've seen "BASF... We don't make the things you buy, we make the things you buy better." Remember those? It was like they were purposely saying, "99% of you within the sound of our voice, we don't care about you... you can't even choose to buy our products or not, because they're everywhere in everything. To the other 1%... look how much we can waste on this - that's how big we are."

Or remember Enron saturating the airwaves with ads for their new bandwidth commodities market? How many of the viewers were really commodities traders? I think it's just a "show of force."

Is Microsoft really trying to accomplish anything or spread any message, or simply maintaining their larger-than-life image?

Re:Join the bandwagon (4, Insightful)

Vengeance_au (318990) | more than 7 years ago | (#17852212)

Marketing is all about positive publicity and MS recognizes that their bread and butter is evolving into the large, medium, and small corporate entities that are locked into their OS and apps...not the everyday home end user.

I think it goes a little deeper than that - as another reply points out, they are spending buckets of cash on heart-and-minds right now (anyone else notice the slew of Vista ads on slashdot?). I believe they recognise people prefer to use a single system across all their computing, and if they can get Vista in homes, there will be more pressure for it to be running in the office.

Additionally, corperate users are generally slower adopters (or at least should be!) - validation of existing software on new plaftorms, cost/benefit analysis, beta testing etc. And most corp IT shops have learned to wait for SP1 before giving software a good shake anyway. So for now the majority of Vista uptake will be home users. In 3-6 months, the corps will start coming online with their purchases and the balance will swing.

Re:Join the bandwagon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17852262)

If you think about it in more than just the kneejerk "Micro$oft suxxorz!" way, this isn't surprising in the least. Microsoft is trying not to get sued for the umpteen billionth time. EVERYONE sues Microsoft for something whenever they think they can get away with it. Adding the DRM stuff to Vista just adds complications that I'm betting the designers would rather avoid, but failure to add that "functionality" is just going to get MS sued by the companies that developed those DRM mechanisms. Don't up the security? Someone will sue when they fail to secure their own network and want to blame someone besides their own ineptness. At least half, if not more, of Vista is simply adding features that will keep Microsoft from getting sued. The UI is probably the only feature that isn't related to keeping Microsoft from going to court.

Re:Join the bandwagon (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17852394)

They attempted to improve their security and GUI. Any additional features were already available as third party add ons or with different OS's. Were we really expecting anything else?

Yes!

I've been waiting for WinFS for like 12 years now. I thought, this time for sure! But no. Maybe next decade.

When was Microsoft ever user focused? (4, Funny)

suckmysav (763172) | more than 7 years ago | (#17851864)

I suppose Microsoft BASIC was good back in the day.

Re:When was Microsoft ever user focused? (1)

FatMacDaddy (878246) | more than 7 years ago | (#17851974)

That was my first thought as well. My reaction to the whole article was, "Gee, ya think?" They've always been first and foremost about making money; innovation and quality are definitely further down the list.

But maybe the real import of the article was that this thought process used to be just the thoughts of a few and is now the realization of many. Don't know if that'll actually change much, though, given the way things are.

Re:When was Microsoft ever user focused? (1)

Dark Kenshin (764678) | more than 7 years ago | (#17852056)

I agree, Microsoft as a whole has never been really end user focused. With the exception of maybe their marketing department, Microsoft seems to go where ever they feel best, despite the users.

Um, excuse me but (2, Insightful)

winkydink (650484) | more than 7 years ago | (#17852440)

large enterprise customers are end-users if you define end-user as the one who writes the check for the software.

MS-Basic ?? (2, Insightful)

Anne Honime (828246) | more than 7 years ago | (#17852584)

Pardon me, but back in those times, you never tried CBasic dialects, did you ? If you had, you surely wouldn't mention MS-Basic as a good product from Microsoft, focused on users. Even then, most other basics had already dropped line numbering in favor of non-sequential numeric labels at worst, alpha labels at best. And to nail it, no other basics of reputation I know of had computational bugs in floating point arithmetics.

Re:MS-Basic ?? (1)

7Prime (871679) | more than 7 years ago | (#17852736)

He didn't say CBasic, he said MS-Basic, which also includes GW-Basic, QBasic, and Visual Basic, all of which were great.

Newsflash (4, Insightful)

HMC CS Major (540987) | more than 7 years ago | (#17851870)

Making the largest corporate users happy is the same thing as making the end users happy. The corporate desktop represents a large portion of their end user install base, and it's definitely a larger portion of the end user paying install base.

Like it or not, corporate desktops are Microsoft's bread and butter.

Re:Newsflash (1)

mordors9 (665662) | more than 7 years ago | (#17851994)

And when did: 1. Avoiding negative publicity (especially about security and software quality} become a bad thing. If your system isn't secure and stable how happy is the end user going to be.

Re:Newsflash (2, Insightful)

mandelbr0t (1015855) | more than 7 years ago | (#17852066)

You've taken this out of context. TFA gives the User Access Control example. People turn off UAC because it's constantly prompting you, even for things that you don't think it should. It was a feature added to avoid negative publicity about security and software quality while contributing to neither.

Re:Newsflash (2, Informative)

VertigoAce (257771) | more than 7 years ago | (#17852662)

Aside from installing software, I doubt the typical user will see a UAC prompt. In eight months of using Vista, I don't recall a single unexpected UAC prompt. To put it another way, I have yet to see one for something that a normal user can do in Linux.

Most people are under the impression that UAC is primarily intended to stop the user from doing something. To me that is a secondary goal. The real purpose of it is to prevent programs from harming the system. In other words, it's not really there to stop a user from doing something stupid like deleting files from C:\Windows (but it may have that effect), instead it's intended to stop malicious/broken code from harming the system.

Re:Newsflash (2, Insightful)

mollymoo (202721) | more than 7 years ago | (#17852572)

And when did: 1. Avoiding negative publicity (especially about security and software quality} become a bad thing.

The aim should be improving security and software quality, not trying to make it look like you are improving security and software quality.

Re:Newsflash (1)

teh_chrizzle (963897) | more than 7 years ago | (#17852142)

The corporate desktop represents a large portion of their end user install base, and it's definitely a larger portion of the end user paying install base.

ahhh the crux of the issue... do we cater to the people who are required by fear of litigation to pay... or force more people who pirate to pony up? that appears to be the question.

i wonder how many people below class 3 geek can still pirate windows. isn't there a large portion of people who get windows with their new dells or hp's?

Re:Newsflash (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17852622)

Making the largest corporate users happy is the same thing as making the end users happy

Nope. Making large corporate users happy is the same thing as making CORPORATE IT DEPARTMENTS happy. It's a different kettle of fish.

What sorts of things do corporate IT managers want?
* Standardization
* Security, especially protecting data.
* The ability to set policys, and lock the users out of policy-violating actions (such as installing new software)
* Ability to push required patches/updates out to users quickyl and efficiently
* Ease of recovering from outages/problems
* Easy back up of files.
* Secure communication and collaboration tools.
* Make my employees more efficient--make it easier to find and use tools and shared data.

Basically, make it easy to maintain, secure, and don't let the users do anything I don't want them to do.

What do end users want?
* Ability to get news and information
* Entertainment, be it DVD playback or streaming audio.
* Communication with friends via a potentially diverse array of protocols
* Play the latest games and work with the latest peripherals.
* Share video, pictures, and other content with others on demand.

See the difference in the lists? One of the reasons Apple is doing so well in the consumer market is that they focus on the second list (well, except games per se, but that's a different topic). They focus on what individuals would like technology to let them do.

Re:Newsflash (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17852634)

Is that why people at every workplace curse their desktop computer every day?

Re:Newsflash (1)

digitig (1056110) | more than 7 years ago | (#17852716)

Yes, corporate desktops are Microsoft's bread and butter. But "Making the largest corporate users happy" is not the same thing as making the end users happy. The people who make the corporate buying decisions -- I'm pretty sure that's who was meant by "corporate users" and I'm absolutely sure it's who Microsoft are trying to please -- are not the end users. My experience of corporate buying decisions is that the buyers don't bother asking the actual users what they need, they give the users what they've read somewhere is good for the corporation.

I agree (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 7 years ago | (#17851910)

Why else would Bitlocker not be available in the Professional version?

The coolest thing about Vista (5, Funny)

DrXym (126579) | more than 7 years ago | (#17851912)

Is the hologram on the DVD. That is pretty fucking cool! Otherwise... meh.

Re:The coolest thing about Vista (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17852318)

Is the hologram on the DVD. That is pretty fucking cool! Otherwise... meh.
Watch your language young man! Do you kiss your mother with that mouth?

Re:The coolest thing about Vista (1)

pchoppin (864344) | more than 7 years ago | (#17852526)

ROFL!!!!!

Nothing New (2)

Gearrion (1040680) | more than 7 years ago | (#17851960)

This is nothing new. Any company whom knows whats is what would approach business in this manner. why focus on the market which Has no value or cost more to support than implement?

Nonsense (3, Insightful)

The_Wilschon (782534) | more than 7 years ago | (#17851988)

His opinion is that Microsoft has stopped focusing on end users.

2. Making sure the largest enterprise customers are happy.
Stop me if I'm wrong, but the "largest enterprise customers" are end users. They are not all end users, but they are end users nonetheless.

Re:Nonsense (2, Insightful)

EXMSFT (935404) | more than 7 years ago | (#17852026)

Most enterprise customers are not "Wow"'d by Vista either.

Re:Nonsense (4, Informative)

Strudelkugel (594414) | more than 7 years ago | (#17852426)


Stop me if I'm wrong, but the "largest enterprise customers" are end users

I have copy of Vista Business, so I installed it on a spare disk. The hardware compatibility test app GPFed, which wasn't a great sign. I went ahead with the install to see what would happen. The installer archived all of the XP files on the disc, then installed Vista without any problems - or so I thought. Turns out there were no Vista drivers for my brand name NIC. Bought one of the few NICs with native drivers, so I was able to connect to the net. But what? No sound? No drivers for my sound card either.

That was as far as I wanted to go at this point. The stark reality about Vista is that driver support is minimal at best. Rather shocking considering XP had drivers for much more hardware. I'm really curious if anyone knows why driver support is so minimal at this time. Does the consumer version have more? If not, all of the people who bought Vista are in for an uncharacteristic surprise.

<tinfoilhat>Is the lack of drivers a conspiracy to get people to upgrade hardware?</tinfoilhat>

Why are the hardware vendors so far behind supplying drivers?

Re:Nonsense (3, Informative)

jonwil (467024) | more than 7 years ago | (#17852696)

Remember that Windows Vista has changed the way some drivers are written. The audio subsystem has been completely rewritten for example. And the way windows talks to display drivers has changed too. So all the drivers for these subsystems have to be rewritten to fit the new Vista driver model.

Also, in order for all the DRM to work, only software drivers that are secure enough are allowed to run on vista if you want to use "protected content". This means that all those old XP drivers (many of which don't meet the requirements vis a vis protected content) wont work if you want DRM.

Re:Nonsense (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17852666)

Stop me if I'm wrong, but the "largest enterprise customers" are end users.

STOP You are wrong. The largest enterprise customers are a handful of PHBs who may or may not actually use a computer. They do have a nice pen that signs those big checks for Microsoft.

The people in their companies sitting at the computers are indeed end-users, but don't confuse the desire of end-users of Microsoft with the desires of those who are the enterprise customers of Microsoft. The customers's decision making is based more on how tasty that steak dinner was in Vegas.

Couldn't have put it better myself (4, Interesting)

mandelbr0t (1015855) | more than 7 years ago | (#17851996)

When all is said and done, it's not that I don't like Vista. It's that I've lost faith in Microsoft to deal in an evenhanded way with end users and corporate buyers of its software.
We just need more intelligent, rational people to start thinking like this. I have no doubt that Vista will appeal to lots of users. Unfortunately, those users have been hosed repeatedly by Microsoft and still appear no closer to the quoted revelation.

shift in yOUR attitudes/behaviors indicates (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17852016)

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Think Different... (2, Insightful)

creimer (824291) | more than 7 years ago | (#17852036)

2. Making sure the largest enterprise customers are happy.

I guess this is why Apple is deliberately ignoring the Enterprise market.

Re:Think Different... (1)

DurendalMac (736637) | more than 7 years ago | (#17852186)

Yeah, becasue the average user will certainly have a cluster of XServe RAIDs running XSAN over fiber channel.

Re:Think Different... (1)

creimer (824291) | more than 7 years ago | (#17852298)

Kinda hard to sell a vidoe iPod with that configuration. ;)

Re:Think Different... (2, Insightful)

teh_chrizzle (963897) | more than 7 years ago | (#17852314)

i think that the focus on the enterprise is because THAT is where people learn about the computers they use at home.

unless you work with images, video, or music for a living, there is a pretty good chance that you are going to use a PC at work. there is a reason that apple runs those "i'm a pc and i'm a mac" commercials... apple wants people to equate PC's with boring work stuff.

the only hole in this whole thing is, of course, games. directX 10 is a vista exclusive... a clear indicator that while the enterprise side is where MS's bread is buttered, it's games that keep them alive at home. i would imagine that this is why bootcamp is such a big deal for apple.

"Sell to the masses..." (1)

myowntrueself (607117) | more than 7 years ago | (#17852520)

Theres an old salesmans saying:

"Sell to the masses, live with the classes. Sell to the classes, live with the masses."

Where 'the classes' are the 'enterprise customers'.

Re:"Sell to the masses..." (0, Flamebait)

heinousjay (683506) | more than 7 years ago | (#17852652)

Yes, Microsoft is certainly hurting for money.

Re:Think Different... (1)

0racle (667029) | more than 7 years ago | (#17852588)

You mean the XServe, XRaid and XSan were intended for grandma?

Just sayin' (2, Insightful)

kahei (466208) | more than 7 years ago | (#17852038)



Now I'm not saying this [slashdot.org] all came exactly true but if'n you ask me, some serious trolling of blogs for peeved-at-Vista articles is going on :)

Which makes Slashdot about the only place in the world where anyone cares about it.

Re:Just sayin' (3, Informative)

marcello_dl (667940) | more than 7 years ago | (#17852482)

I keep hearing about the partiality of slashdotters, but some moderations i got seem to come up with a different picture.

http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=217328&cid=176 45444/ [slashdot.org]
http://it.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=212480&cid= 17295322/ [slashdot.org]

Problem is, i didn't really care about microsoft. Bought a bundled office back in 1997, seen the first bomb on my new mac after 5 minutes, uninstalled it, manually removed files that the installer forgot about, started realizing people weren't bashing microsoft for nothing.

Then at work I had to use XP and the hate slowly mounted.

Odd logic (5, Insightful)

Merkwurdigeliebe (1046824) | more than 7 years ago | (#17852042)

But the real problem isn't with Microsoft itself. His opinion is that Microsoft has stopped focusing on end users. They 'now seemingly make many decisions based on these two things: 1. Avoiding negative publicity (especially about security and software quality) 2. Making sure the largest enterprise customers are happy.'"

How can Microsoft simultaneously focus on their large enterprise customers (who have hundreds of thousands of end users) and simultaneously stop focusing on end users?

Second: why would it be a negative to fucus on security and SW quality? Were these not the things MS was criticised the most for --for not focusing on security and quality enough --now this is their bane? What??? Make a straight argument. Or is he trying to say that MS is only pretending to address the issues and their main strategy is really a public relations strategy on security and SW quality?

I get his gist, but he's just not explaining himself clearly. In critizing MS he's using odd logic.

throw that boy some coffee

Re:Odd logic (1)

bjbroderick (1019016) | more than 7 years ago | (#17852450)

Merkwurdigeliebe wrote:

              why would it be a negative to fucus on security and SW quality? Were these not the things MS was criticised the most for --for not focusing on security and quality enough --now this is their bane? What???

That was their bane. Unfortunately, only upgrading your security and software quality pretty much just makes Vista the equivalent of Windows XP, SP3.

This guy has a good point. If you are not going to innovate your product (and by innovate I mean give me more than see through windows) then how can you justify a $100 plus pricetag. I shouldn't be stuck paying for something that should have come with the last version.

I'm not a Microsoft hater. Just not a fan of their product.

Re:Odd logic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17852674)

> How can Microsoft simultaneously focus on their large enterprise customers (who have hundreds of thousands of end users) and simultaneously stop focusing on end users?

Because at the end of the day, end users don't decide what computers they get or how they are managed and what servers they talk to etc.. IT depts do. So MSFT sells to the IT dept, and the end users in corp environments only indirectly. Unless there is an obvious incompatibility or problem with a business critical process, 9 times out of 10, solutions that are adopted are those that make IT's life easier first, the corp end users second. There are verticals where this isn't necessarily the case (graphic arts/publishing/video editing/etc...), but in the generic Word/Spreadsheet/Email/Calendar space, this is definitely true.

The opposite is true in the consumer space. The vendors have to appeal to end users directly. End users usually don't have an IT dept and enterprise support contract at home to get them out of sh*t when it happens, and usually care more about ease of use, cool graphics, photos, music, home movies, snazzy marketing, convenient service, no virii etc.. This is why MSFT is getting their ass handed to them by Apple in this space.

The thing that really irks me is.. (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17852062)

that I can't get a PC/Laptop anymore with XP. I don't want Vista. I wouldn't even know which version to buy. You go up to MS's website to get a feature comparison and the only thing I can find is vague marketing descriptions of who should get which version. From what I gather, I just need the Home edition - I think. It would REALLY piss me off if I got that and then had to "upgrade" to "Business" edition just to run Office! And, other than viewing photos, the occasional mpeg, and multimedia things, I DON'T need video editing or sound editing capabilities, but am I going to have to buy the "Home Deluxe" or whatever the fuck it's called to view these multimedia files?!?

Yessiree bob, Apple is looking better every day!

Re:The thing that really irks me is.. (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17852240)

And, other than viewing photos, the occasional mpeg, and multimedia things, I DON'T need video editing or sound editing capabilities, but am I going to have to buy the "Home Deluxe" or whatever the fuck it's called to view these multimedia files?!?

Sounds like you need Vista Pr0n Deluxe Edition

Re:The thing that really irks me is.. (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17852532)

This gets modded interesting? WTF? I double checked the Vista product page, and it's so easy to understand that a trained monkey could choose the right version of Vista. That speaks volumes about the intelligence of the parent.

Would you rather try to pick out the right Linux distro? A comparison would be 300 pages long and have a 10,000 point venn diagram, filled with obtuse technical jargon not fit for consumption by the masses.

Re:The thing that really irks me is.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17852760)

Well, every major linux distro has everything. Pretty easy choice.

Re:The thing that really irks me is.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17852550)

At least yesterday Lenovo was stll offering XP. Just like that Lenovo is the only game in town.

Re:The thing that really irks me is.. (1)

ploss (860589) | more than 7 years ago | (#17852740)

Don't worry, you can always get a MacBook without Vista installed.

What a load of... (4, Insightful)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 7 years ago | (#17852076)

Scott: it's a friggin OS, not a video game, it's not supposed to have a nice plot twists, hot action and lots of suspence.

1. Avoiding negative publicity (especially about security and software quality) 2. Making sure the largest enterprise customers are happy.

Funny, that. I can see how it's bad they don't attract negative publicity and piss off their largest enterprise customers.

But tell me, how do these features fall into any of those two categories:

* New aero candy interface (I bet enterprise customers demanded this!).
* DVD maker.
* Photo processing.
* Live thumbnails.
* Updated Windows Games.
* DirectX 10
* etc etc.

There's a real reason why nobody is impressed with Vista as much: we've been watching it for 5 years. Previews, alphas, betas.

Maybe Jobs is right to sue blog sites that leak product info, and release everything with a ton of hype, of the "Best. Chewing. Gum. Evah!!!".

Because you see what happens now: people who followed Longhorn's development since it's inception are now whining that they're kinda familiar with what's new. Well duh, smartass.

Re:What a load of... (1)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 7 years ago | (#17852238)

Maybe Jobs is right to sue blog sites that leak product info, and release everything with a ton of hype, of the "Best. Chewing. Gum. Evah!!!".

On that note, might I point out that the features you mentioned are akin to the comic included with each piece of Bazooka bubble gum: mild amusement wrapped around a pink, flavorless brick.

Re:What a load of... (0, Troll)

Disharmony2012 (998431) | more than 7 years ago | (#17852624)

* New aero candy interface (I bet enterprise customers demanded this!).
The Aero interface is probably pleasing the likes of companies such as Dell and emachines. =)

DVD maker.
Shit... the only somewhat remarkable thing that stands out about upgrading from 2000 to XP was CD burning capabilities. Looks like Microsoft sure is good at keeping up with the portable media standards... (but not really).

Photo processing.
Woo they upgraded paint.

Live thumbnails.
This is interesting, possibly even usefull, though, I wonder if they are any bit quicker than XP at loading a folder filled with a thousand photos?

DirectX 10
Because every new DX version is very innovative. Another hardware push. The only difference is that this time you can't upgrade existing DX versions on XP machines to this spec, forcing many [gamers who would rather use every inch of reasources they could towards their software rather than an OS] to move to Vista specifically for this reason.

etc etc.
Oh?

Re:What a load of... (3, Insightful)

Chandon Seldon (43083) | more than 7 years ago | (#17852640)

Every one of the features you mention falls into the "avoiding negative publicity" category.

Microsoft needs to keep Windows up to date on eye candy / included basic functionality so that they don't get smoked in reviews compared to Mac OS X (and even Linux desktops). The minor effort that it required for them to add a 3D UI and "live thumbnails" was more than worth it so they could bullet point those things on a feature list.

As for the DX10/Games thing, that's more of an Anti-feature. Updates to Direct X are normal as graphics cards improve. The news here isn't that Microsoft is releasing a new version of Direct X - that's normal, the news is that they're *not* releasing it for XP. It's not that the Vista users are winning, they're getting the status quo. It's that the XP users are getting owned.

Has stopped? It never started. (5, Insightful)

Tackhead (54550) | more than 7 years ago | (#17852096)

> It's with Microsoft itself. His opinion is that Microsoft has stopped focusing on end users. They 'now seemingly make many decisions based on these two things: 1. Avoiding negative publicity (especially about security and software quality) 2. Making sure the largest enterprise customers are happy.'"

That's been the case since 2K/XP, and arguably since Win9x and the introduction of IE/ActiveX.

Word and Excel macros on by default? Of course! Everybody's on the LAN, and all content created by people in the office is trusted!

NetBIOS filesharing on by default in 9x? Of course! Everybody's on a LAN, everyone should be able to share their documents with each other!

ActiveX things that autoinstall and execute when some string on a webpage tells them to? Of course! Everybody's on the LAN, and the only thing they should be browsing is the company Intranet, and the only web applications are going to be about entering your vacation time into a database of timesheets!

Javashit on by default! Of course! See above -- how else can we be sure to tell those UNIX greybeards that they're fired (because they can't run ActiveX TimeSheet Thingy that the consultant was paid $100K to write) unless they're running IE!

Install IIS by default and make it listen to requests from everywhere? Of course! Everybody's on the LAN, and wouldn't it be cool if everyone had their own little web server thingy running on their desktop so they could share their Word documents with other people in the office?

UPnP on by default? Of course! Everybody's on the LAN, and wouldn't it be cool if you just plugged the computer into the LAN, and it automatically knew about the printer down the hall.

DCOM and RCP services turned on by default, listening on ports 135, 139, 445 or 593 for requests from everywhere? Of course! Everybody's on the LAN, and DCOM makes it easy for people to stick Excel spreadsheets in their Word documents!

Goddamn near every out-of-the-box remote exploit (and most of the designed-in insecurities in IE and the Office suite) arises from the assumption that everyone's on a LAN, and that all content is trusted.

Re:Has stopped? It never started. (5, Insightful)

YogSothoth (3357) | more than 7 years ago | (#17852260)

Excellent, excellent comment. If MicroSoft had simply realized from the beginning that they needed to treat *all* incoming content as hostile until proven otherwise they'd have avoided so many of these mistakes.

Personally, I think they've always had a "not invented here" mentality and for that reason, didn't bother to study the lessons of those who'd been dealing with the internet for ages before it exploded in popularity.

There's a reason java applets (lame as they were) weren't associated with the type of security problems we've seen over and over from MicroSoft. Sun understood the "all incoming content should be treated as hostile" principle and sandboxed applets by design from the very beginning.

I've often wondered why some enterprising bottom feeder ... erm ... lawyer didn't take these assholes to court in a class action suit for the billions of dollars in damages their idiotic design choices directly caused.

let me be the first to say.... (2, Funny)

ganjadude (952775) | more than 7 years ago | (#17852100)

They 'now seemingly make many decisions based on these two things: 1. Avoiding negative publicity (especially about security and software quality) 2. Making sure the largest enterprise customers are happy.'"

DUH!

Here's a thought (0, Troll)

eebra82 (907996) | more than 7 years ago | (#17852102)

So, is Microsoft actually marketing Vista in a way to lure current XP users into Longhorn? The way I feel about it is that a lot of computers aren't very capable of running Vista plus applications on the side, so Vista will be a great purchase with your new computer. It will probably also take away some of the shine from OS X as Vista is a good step forward, too.

I think Vista is more of an upgrade that included features a lot Windows XP users have requested, but I don't think the intention was to create an operating system that would change as much as OS X did if compared to previous versions of the Mac OS.

If you're buying a new PC, make sure to get Vista. If you're on an older PC, stick to XP or previous versions of Windows. If you're on a new, Vista capable PC, consider it and buy it if you think it still sounds affordable.

Re:Here's a thought (2, Interesting)

jgoguen (840059) | more than 7 years ago | (#17852670)

buy it if you think it still sounds affordable
My problem is exactly this: I've looked at Vista, I've used the betas, I've seen the improvements, and it's just not worth it. I've already been swamped with people coming to me saying "Vista sucks and now my WinXP key won't work anymore and Microsoft told me it's been permanently de-registered so I want you to install Linux for me". Even people who had previously said that Linux wasn't good enough for them, because, as one person put it, "no modern system could be worse than Vista if it tried". Some people are even looking at moving to Mac. It says a lot to me if even people who used to be Microsoft-loving Windows users are now adamant about a permanent move away from Microsoft. I'm not sure how long this "permanent" move will last for some of them, but I'm going to enjoy it while I can.

Testing (4, Funny)

ShakaUVM (157947) | more than 7 years ago | (#17852122)

I'd get supremely bored of testing an OS for hundreds of hours, too. My lord, man, have you never heard of applications? I'd shoot myself after the 300th hour of "fun with notepad".

Although there's no must-have features, they'll bludgeon everyone with the DX10 stick and the "we won't patch XP any more stick after 2011" until everyone has bought it.

It's like Kevin Costner's Movie "Nowhere to Run" (2, Insightful)

stun (782073) | more than 7 years ago | (#17852128)

Windows is not secure......Bad Microsoft
Security (a.k.a, User Account Control (UAC) for Trigger-Click-Happy People who click "Yes" no matter what).....Bad Microsoft

Give me a break....Bashing Microsoft just-because-I-hate-Microsoft (a.k.a, Linux fan bois)
is getting too old and childish. Grow up people!
It is a "No-Matter-What-Blame-Microsoft" attitude.


Overall, I think Vista is a gradual evolution of the Windows platform.
Just like every other company, Microsoft had to make hard Business decisions.

That is why, they delayed one of the most anticipated features
like WinFS because it is NOT ready and solid yet.

In my opinion, Microsoft is focusing on releasing a STABLE OS rather than an error prone insecure OS.

:shrug: (1)

Ayanami Rei (621112) | more than 7 years ago | (#17852312)

Why couldn't they just release an NT 5.3 that's backwards compatible with the drivers from XP/2003 to some degree (WDM), while ditching the older VXD model?

What would have been wrong with that? And keep the fixes for how async IO is done, and keep the new schedulers, and keep the new installer process, and so on.

I don't care if it was a $149 box and $79 upgrade like XP vs. 2000... I just want some continuity between my OSs. Give me some nice benefits without the drawbacks.

I mean, you want to talk about being business-oriented; it didn't take a kernel version jump to give us the features we wanted (we being the IT folks). DX10? New APIs to validate our apps against? We don't want any of that stupid shit.

SQL Server 2005 runs just fine on Server 2003 fuck you very much microsoft.

Oh, I forgot. They need a secure DRM platform so they can make me rent my software and music. God fucking damn it.

Re:It's like Kevin Costner's Movie "Nowhere to Run (1)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | more than 7 years ago | (#17852366)

I can't help but agree with your statement that Microsoft bashing for its own sake is childish, but since when do we expect people to act grown-up on teh interwebz?

Re:It's like Kevin Costner's Movie "Nowhere to Run (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17852428)

Whatever. The DRM in M$ Windoze Vista will erase all your mp3 files, send you a bill for any pirated movies found on your system, and make love to your wife. My home-built rig made of tinker toys and recycled aluminum runs dual-boot Gentoo/FreeBSD and can smoke M$ Pissta any day.

Have fun with all those bluescreens of death.

Re:It's like Kevin Costner's Movie "Nowhere to Run (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17852538)

Bashing Microsoft just-because-I-hate-Microsoft (a.k.a, Linux fan bois)
is getting too old and childish. Grow up people!


And assuming everybody who disagrees with you are "fan bois" is mature?

Overall, I think Vista is a gradual evolution of the Windows platform.
Just like every other company, Microsoft had to make hard Business decisions.


Apple threw away their OS, and then changed architectures. That's a hard business decision.

What hard decisions did Microsoft make? Cutting WinFS? Congrats, I guess. But if you want to survive for long, you have to be known for delivering, not cutting.

That is why, they delayed one of the most anticipated features

You misspelled "a dozen".

In my opinion, Microsoft is focusing on releasing a STABLE OS rather than an error prone insecure OS.

So the reason Windows 95 was error-prone and insecure is because in 1995 Microsoft was focusing on delivering an error-prone insecure OS? Good thing they changed their focus, then!

And this is a surprize how? (2, Insightful)

crovira (10242) | more than 7 years ago | (#17852178)

Microsoft doesn't really care about the little single machine buyer.

The entire publicity was done to get mainstream media's attention and tell the corporate buyers, who buy not 1 machine at a time but 10,000 to 20,000 machines at a time that the change is coming.

The end-user who's sing a PC at home isn't going to upgade his OS until he buys a new machine, and he's taking what they're giving because he has no real choice.

Unless he buys a Mac or is geeky enough to get a Linux box. (That means YOU reading this, and you didn't give a shit what Microsoft was doing anyway, did you?)

Its all being done for the volume buyers.

A very good thing for MS (3, Insightful)

fermion (181285) | more than 7 years ago | (#17852208)

If this were the 80's, and people had a choice, then I could see why this strategy would be bad for MS. In the 80's, it did not matter what computer a user had at home. As long as the computer had the appropriate terminal emulator, the user could dial in and work. This is why I could work on my Apple /// with little ill effect. I had Kermit, so it did not matter. Most everything was transfered in text, so weird binaries formats were not an issue, and when data was transfered as binary, little endian to big endian was not a major problem.

Fast forward 20 years. Everything is in MS Word format, which may or may not work with a particular version of Word, and is much more likely to work with another Office application. We are nearly 100% connected, but if you do not have the MS Windows only version of IE, there are significant web pages that will not work. It now matters that you have the same computer as work, if for no other reason than you can use the office copy of MS Office.

If there was the fluidity of motion of the 80's, then perhaps the MS strategy would be as disastrous as the IBM strategy. However, I do not see millions of users moving from the WinTel machine to something cheaper, nor do I see millions of users who never bought a computer before buying something other than a Wintel. Perhaps a few hundred thousand will buy a Mac, and few hundred thousand will buy a *nix machine, but that is not going to be a short term problem for MS.

Ultimately Vista does what it is supposed to do, which is to satisfy the contract of those that paid MS for very expensive long term licensing, as well as justify the higher cost machines from MS real customers, the OEM computer people. A positive ancillary purpose of MS Vista is to further isolate MS OS from other commodity products, thus making it harder to switch. This is a risky proposal, but perhaps the only way that MS can continue to amass the huge profits on what is essentially old stock. Good for them.

Pay Very Close Attention (2, Insightful)

mpapet (761907) | more than 7 years ago | (#17852258)

to the phrase "largest enterprise clients."

I keep having this strange dream where most of the governments of the industrialized nations got tired of the myriad of problems they have when one connects a relatively anonymous PC to the Internet and decided to do something like mount a smart card module on a motherboard to generate a unique, verifiable signature (among other things) for each pc.

Just a dream though...

$400, and all I got was Texas Hold em'? (1)

LibertineR (591918) | more than 7 years ago | (#17852324)

Well, not fair, as I got IPv6 too, and a pretty little clock.

Buy it bitches! (still a shareholder)

Another point (1)

noz (253073) | more than 7 years ago | (#17852336)

I'll let others discuss the merits of points 1 and 2 in the blurb. There is definitely another: keep content providers happy with DRM "technologies".

I'll let others debate the merits of DRM. ;-)

MS doesn't care about you, Film at 11 (1)

wardk (3037) | more than 7 years ago | (#17852342)

wow, how long did it take for him to figure out MS doesn't give a rats ass about him?

all they care about is large corporate accounts? what? they don't love Joe consumer as much?

how long before this lucid moment wears off?

Widespread Vista Adoption very likey by Q1 2008 (1)

countSudoku() (1047544) | more than 7 years ago | (#17852356)

But only in Romania and China. :P

New Vista Audio Tweaks (2, Interesting)

chromozone (847904) | more than 7 years ago | (#17852386)

It seems to me Vista has had a lot of its inner gears re-tooled so that others can add-on the new applications. The sound features alone seemed to have been re-oriented more than people might be aware of.

"Vista redefines the audio landscape, but is it a landscape of forced obsolescence?"

http://pc.ign.com/articles/759/759538p1.html [ign.com]

In this blog there is video about how the audio stack in Windows Vista has been rewritten so people can have per-app audio control.

http://channel9.msdn.com/Showpost.aspx?postid=1163 47 [msdn.com]

I don't have Vista and am not in a rush to get it, but I think perhaps in time there could be more benefits to Vista than meets the eye. Certainly the 64 bit security functions don't seem exciting but if they block remote code execution then that's something to like.

If MS really cared... (0)

Kris_J (10111) | more than 7 years ago | (#17852390)

If Microsoft really cared about end users, the latest Windows would be a small, tight little GUI shell with the bare essentials that still ran smoothly on 5-10 year old hardware. And IE would still be part of the Plus! pack, along with everything else they currently feel the need to bundle.

Re:If MS really cared... (2, Insightful)

QCompson (675963) | more than 7 years ago | (#17852746)

If Microsoft really cared about end users, the latest Windows would be a small, tight little GUI shell with the bare essentials that still ran smoothly on 5-10 year old hardware.
Re-release W2K?

Why do we even try anymore. (1)

Broken scope (973885) | more than 7 years ago | (#17852400)

No one OS will ever make everyone happy. One group will always bitch about something. You know what, its time to go back to scratching stuff in the dirt.

Microsoft Vista : Nothing new... (0, Troll)

Banekartr (1058752) | more than 7 years ago | (#17852464)

I just attended a very popular IT industry event in San Diego, and finally saw Vista for the first time. I went in with an open mind, but quickly realized it does NOTHING that is original or interesting. However, the reps were very excited about some new features the "public has not seen yet". For example: New tabbed browsing (FireFox), A desktop side panel with e-mail, news, and tasks (Google desktop), new window management (XGL!), and some other lame stuff. In fact the rep actually admitted to using FireFox when all was said and done. Don't waste your time even considering this OS. Linux is coming.

"largest enterprise customers" (2, Interesting)

IGnatius T Foobar (4328) | more than 7 years ago | (#17852472)

He's right about those "largest enterprise customers." The example I've been following is Exchange. If you've installed Exchange 5.5 back in the 1990's, you'd remember a relatively easy installation. Set up Windows NT, pop in the Exchange CD, and you basically had a working system. (It'd be an open relay, but that's another story.)

Fast forward to 2007. In order to install the current version of Exchange you pretty much have to become a directory services expert. You need to know Active Directory pretty well, and basically be at the MCP level of Microsoft-brainwash. Sure, this is great if you're running something like Ford Motor Company and you have 100,000 users at dozens of locations, but what if you're a small to medium business and you just want to set up a basic mail and calendar server?

Disclaimer: the reason I know about this is because I'm involved in the development of Citadel [citadel.org] , an open source groupware server. One of the things we focused on was making the installation as easy as Exchange 5.5 used to be. That's my "full disclosure". :)

Focusing on end users (2, Insightful)

Schraegstrichpunkt (931443) | more than 7 years ago | (#17852512)

His opinion is that Microsoft has stopped focusing on end users.

Which is exactly what an operating system maker is supposed to do. End users don't use an operating system, developers do.

If Microsoft finally starts giving developers priority over end users, Windows might actually become something useful someday.

Re:Focusing on end users (1)

Schraegstrichpunkt (931443) | more than 7 years ago | (#17852544)

Note that I'm not in any supporting DRM/activation/etc, which simply isn't good for anybody.

Something else too (1)

jonwil (467024) | more than 7 years ago | (#17852582)

Despite all the talk about "security", Vista includes NO tools of any kind for detecting nasties (viruses, trojans, spyware, worms, rootkits or anything else).
Way back in the dos 6 days Microsoft included an anti-virus program.
Then when windows 95 came out, they stopped doing that.
With nasties of all kinds being one of the top reasons for people to need some kind of computer help/support, one would think that adding anti-virus and anti-spyware (both of which would be memory resident and catch stuff before it can take hold of your PC) and such to Vista would be a great way to get sales from people tired of dealing with such crap.

Lack of Enthusiasm (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17852594)

I think what the author meant by no huge breakthroughs, was that all of the big breakthroughs that were promised (WinFS, database filesystem, etc.) were scrapped. Microsoft touted and planned on a huge makeover for the Windows operating system, hoping to do a big change to the core of the OS ala Mac OS Classic to OS X. It proved to be more difficult than they had planned, so they scrapped all of their big plans and went with WinXP with a rework of the gui and tweak to the way it handles file permissions.

The reason people aren't going apeshit over the Vista, is that it's nothing really new. It's just XP with a facelift. It looks pretty, has some nifty new widgets...err, gadgets, and uses twice the resources at idle time. In short, all of the original big promises were dropped, so all of the big expectations were dropped as well. It's all ho-hum now.

Microsoft has Peaked. Downhill slide begins. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17852630)

Microsoft continues to lose touch with the home user. Lately, they've just been blatantly copying features from other products. Were it not for corporate workers needing compatible software both at work and at home, I think more people would have already switched to Mac or Linux. Not only that, but Windows is the only non-unix-like mainstream OS left. Give it up Microsoft! You will be assimilated into the unix collective. Resistance is futile.

Large enterprise? (1)

ximenes (10) | more than 7 years ago | (#17852650)

How is Vista in any way targeted at large enterprises? From all of the extra licensing nonsense in Vista and Office that make life more difficult for cloned deployments, to its desire for awesome video cards, to all of the extra DRM and media features that are worthless in an enterprise environment the very notion that Vista is targeted at enterprises is absurd to me.

I can tell you that my particular environment can't get Vista to work correctly with our 2k3 Active Directory server. That we have no desire to buy thousands of $400 video cards to replace GeForce 4MX's that do manage to render Excel documents correctly. And that we could care less about upgrading to Vista Ultimate and whatever else.

But, this is basically the same thing that everyone said when XP came out. 2000 works fine, we're just going to stay with that forever. Shockingly that becomes impossible; time passes and eventually you'll have to keep up with the Microsoft Joneses.

wasn't that the whole point? (1)

neax (961176) | more than 7 years ago | (#17852686)

I was always under the impression that the focus of vista was on re-writing the stuff under the hood to make it more reliable and more secure (this is a direct benefit to the end user...isn't it?), not to make it do new flashy things. Some of that has been thrown in just to help market the product and keep up with the times....but i did not think that was the intention of vista.

so it's more like Linux? (1)

wall0159 (881759) | more than 7 years ago | (#17852692)

The way I see it, this is exactly what they needed to do, as XP seemed like a bug-ridden hideous security and usability nightmare*. If they make Vista more stable and secure, then it will do a lot more for MS's street-cred than almost anything else.

Windows has never really been about innovation - the 3rd party apps do that. If it becomes more secure, we'll all be better off. It's (hopefully) gonna be more like Linux (minus the freedom/flexibility/no-DRM part, of course), and I personally think that's a Good Thing.

I won't be using it personally (nor did I use XP), but it'd be kind of nice if the huge number of computers in botnets was reduced somewhat...

*personal predjudice there.. ;-)
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