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Microsoft Disses Windows to Sell More Windows

CmdrTaco posted more than 6 years ago | from the last-years-model-sucks dept.

407

mjasay writes "I stumbled across this fascinating Microsoft tutorial entitled "How to Justify a Desktop Upgrade." It's an attempt to coach IT professionals on how to sell Windows desktop upgrades internally. Apparently the value of Vista is not readily apparent, requiring detailed instructions on how to connive and cajole into an upgrade from XP. The most intriguing thing about the tutorial is its implicit rejection of Microsoft's older technology. Just a few years ago Microsoft was pitching the world on how secure and cool XP was. Now it's telling us largely the opposite, implying that XP is a security threat, costs too much to run, and so on. With Microsoft marketing against itself, perhaps the Mac and Linux camps can simply wait for Microsoft to self-destruct?"

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a few years late (4, Funny)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 6 years ago | (#21641653)

Now it's telling us largely the opposite, implying that XP is a security threat, costs too much to run, and so on.

Hah! Now I have the evidence I need to convince my boss not to make that XP transition. Now where did I put that time machine?

Re:a few years late (4, Funny)

Slashidiot (1179447) | more than 6 years ago | (#21641823)

I think you left it on OS X Leopard...

Re:a few years late (3, Insightful)

Wiseman1024 (993899) | more than 6 years ago | (#21641971)

I hope we get to see the day where they'll diss Vista. I'm sure it'll be a much easier job than dissing XP was.

I wish they were as sincere from the start, though.

op ed on Ms Windows "security" or rather the lack (5, Insightful)

Grampaw Willie (631616) | more than 6 years ago | (#21642155)

OP ED

Microsoft will *never* produce a secure system: the user is *not* the customer: the advertising industry is. just as in television, *we* are *not* the customer: *we* are what is for sale, advertising is the customer, tv industry is selling *us* as *audience* to the advertisers

and Windows is not any different in this respect but is rather a transitional product taking us from the television screen to the selectivision screen which is what the WWW+television will morph into

the initial work is already done: the www has injected so much graphics into computer presentaions that hi-speed broad band is now necessary for "surfing".

now that that's been done the next step is to combine the web with digital TV and you have the advertising marketing dream come true: television with instantaneous feed-back on what everyone is watching and how everyone is responding to it

the ability to adjust your windows programming all along a little here and there is critical to the development and maintenance of this scheme and that is why Microsoft can *never* produce a secure system. Their system provides access to customer computer for paying customers and that includes the ability to modify the client programming ( your computer ). all of this is hidden from everyone except the hackers of course

why do you think we patch and patch and patch and patch and for every patch a new vulnerability shows up? because the patch only moves the remote access capability from one hiding place to another it doesn't remove it. and never will.

"IMHO", -- FWIW

Re:a few years late (1)

jo42 (227475) | more than 6 years ago | (#21642279)

Every time I install XP these days, the screens during the initial install phase crack me up. They proclaim it to be the most secure Microsoft OS product to date, etc. I wonder if a class action lawsuit could be raised to take them to task for making these bogus statements about their product...

Re:a few years late (2, Insightful)

Grampaw Willie (631616) | more than 6 years ago | (#21642483)

is used to be "military intelligence" was the favorite example of an "oxymoron" not no more "computer security" is the oxymoron

Value of Vista (1, Insightful)

lordshipmayhem (1063660) | more than 6 years ago | (#21641683)

"Apparently the value of Vista is not readily apparent" Vista has a value that is all too readily apparent. That's why the uptake has been, ahem, less than enthusiastic. Vista DVD's have a much higher value - they make dandy drink coasters!!

Re:Value of Vista (0, Offtopic)

nwoolls (520606) | more than 6 years ago | (#21641849)

Only on Slashdot would this be modded insightful.

Re:Value of Vista (0, Offtopic)

Wiseman1024 (993899) | more than 6 years ago | (#21641949)

Exactly, nobody wants to use a Vista DVD as a drink coaster; you could get sued for who knows what, and the digital AIDS (DRM) built into Vista may be bad for health.

Re:Value of Vista (2, Interesting)

Albanach (527650) | more than 6 years ago | (#21641947)

My primary desktops run SUSE and Ubuntu, but I have a new laptop that runs Vista and to be honest I don't see what the fuss is about.

Windows 2k used more resources than windows 98 and offered a host of new features. Windows XP used more resources than win2k but was mostly eye candy.

Vista looks to me like it's mostly eye candy. Some of the UI changes take some getting used to, but so does upgrading gnome or kde.

I don't think vista is a compelling reason to upgrade, but new machines will run it because that's what MS sell, and the transition will happen slowly, but it will still happen. I certainly don't think it's going to become another Windows ME - at least Microsoft seem to have learned that lesson.

From an open source perspective it's certainly a good thing MS haven't come up with anything terribly new and innovative. If they had, it would almost certainly be patented and have become another reason for folk not switching to the linux desktop.

Re:Value of Vista (3, Informative)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 6 years ago | (#21642139)

However, apart from the fact that my Mandriva Laptop (which came pre-installed with Vista) doesn't run a lot of windows programs, it does a lot of stuff that win 2k, win 98 didn't do, and it doesn't take up any extra resources. It can run Compiz Fusion just fine on 512 MB of RAM, and an integrated Intel Video card. Why can't Vista run it's cool 3D desktop on the same? KDE4 touts a lot of new features, and it's going to be faster than the old KDE3. Just because they added new features, doesn't mean it has to run slower, or consume more resources. I shouldn't have to buy a $1000 machine every time I want to upgrade my OS. The OS should be at least as efficient, if not more efficient than the previous version. There is no reason why Vista cannot do what it does on a machine with only 512 MB of RAM. It's just badly coded. If they created a quality product, you wouldn't need a monster machine to run it.

Re:Value of Vista (1)

plague3106 (71849) | more than 6 years ago | (#21642193)

Vista looks to me like it's mostly eye candy.

Right, because you can see security improvements in the UI.

Re:Value of Vista (3, Funny)

peragrin (659227) | more than 6 years ago | (#21642385)

Of course you can see the security improvements in the UI.

{it looks like your posting to an insecure site. WWW.slashdot.org, would you like to continue? allow/deny}

the problem with UAC is that MSFt went straight to fine grained control of applications without having a general course grain security refined and in place to start with. It will take a while to sort out all the random issues with it. Maybe by SP2 it will be secure and useful.

then again MSFT doesn't think you own your PC or the content that's on it so maybe not.

Default Administrators (4, Insightful)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 6 years ago | (#21641719)

Probably the biggest hassle from a security perspective [with past technologies] is that users tended to run as administrators. In Vista, that's not the default anymore.
Ok, yeah, he's probably talking about XP. I mean, when he says [with past technologies] they can't be talking about older operating systems like Unix, Solaris or Linux because root is simply not the default. I don't know a lot about arcane operating systems but I think that in the beginning a careful security scheme was thought out that defined a protected 'kernel space' that the operating system needed to run that the daily user simply could not touch or needed credentials to do so.

Now, this is funny, but I want to caution you that this is something they need to change. If you criticize them for attacking their own vulnerabilities, you're not giving them a chance to change. Microsoft isn't going to self destruct so let's hope they stop giving botnets & trojans a home in this world. Better security is better for the community and the users. Don't attack someone when they recognize their wrong doings and attempt to correct them. If you don't allow that, then how can anyone improve? Personally I examine my mistakes, acknowledge them and fix them. I certainly hope that Microsoft does this because it's evident that they'll still sell well despite them.

Re:Default Administrators (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21641843)

Who cares what the default is? It is the job of the system administrators to make the correct settings on computers. Setting the "default" value to not allow users to have administration privelege is easy on XP; it is ridiculous to say that Vista has improved this by making it the "default".

Re:Default Administrators (5, Insightful)

ultranova (717540) | more than 6 years ago | (#21641965)

Microsoft isn't going to self destruct so let's hope they stop giving botnets & trojans a home in this world. Better security is better for the community and the users.

Oh, I don't know. I, for one, take great comfort in the thought of Microsoft delivering the DRM products of tomorrow. It's like being locked in the Alcatraz for life and realizing that the walls are made of wet cardboard.

Re:Default Administrators (1)

iG34RH34D (1064162) | more than 6 years ago | (#21641975)

I'm sorry but that's foolish. They've had since 2002 to recognize such serious security faults in XP/2003 and correct them without it being asked or demanded of them. This article in effect says, "We recognize there are serious enough security concerns to warrant the development of an entirely new OS, yet there is no plan on our side to do something much less painful and expensive, namely fix the issues in the current OS, primarily because this makes us no extra money. Therefore, here is a way to convince the technically ignorant to pay an extraordinary amount of money for both hardware and software upgrades." Talk about passing the savings on to the customer!

Re:Default Administrators (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21642125)

I'm sorry but that's foolish.
I think the word you were looking for here is 'forgiving' not 'foolish.' Perhaps you (and a few members of Slashdot) could learn from the parent post?

Re:Default Administrators (1)

plague3106 (71849) | more than 6 years ago | (#21642241)

Have you ever had to make such a huge design change in your existing large software that you thought maybe it WOULD be easy to start over, at least for a large portion? Hell, I've had programs written by a team as small as five where I thought that would be the best choice.

Not everything can be fixed by a few meg patch.

Re:Default Administrators (1)

iG34RH34D (1064162) | more than 6 years ago | (#21642319)

I'm well aware of that as I to am in software development. However to say to a customer that not only will you simply have to swallow this and by a new piece of software, it will require that you also upgrade most if not all of your hardware, because we don't know how to do this any better and refuse to learn is pathetic. My company would not stay in business long, would yours?

Re:Default Administrators (1)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 6 years ago | (#21642375)

Modifying the installer to enforce creation of a non-admin user account is "a huge design change"? I guess you must be a consultant.

Re:Default Administrators (2, Funny)

the_humeister (922869) | more than 6 years ago | (#21641989)

Please turn in your Slashdot ID and nerd card. Also, please unholster and return your pitch fork.

In principal, you are right. Practice? Wrong (3, Insightful)

mpapet (761907) | more than 6 years ago | (#21642087)

As individuals, yes I agree 100%. Especially as a sysadmin, no one bats 1000. It's all about setting things up so the failures are graceful rather than total flame-outs.

But we're talking about a company with proprietary operating system and total market control that spent man-years developing kernel-level DRM for practically all I/O instead of developing a sane security model. "Allow/Deny?" is not a security model. Neither is UAC. It allows privilege escalation. Mark Russinovich, MS's own man said so much to the chagrin of corporate I'm sure.

Some of the people modding your comment insightful have (probably) fallen into Microsoft's version of the Steve Jobs Reality Distortion Field.

Re:In principal, you are right. Practice? Wrong (2, Informative)

plague3106 (71849) | more than 6 years ago | (#21642275)

Allow/Deny?" is not a security model. Neither is UAC. It allows privilege escalation.

Right, because *nix OSes don't allow privledge escalation either. Do an experiment. Take your Vista machine and remove your account from the Administrators group. Notice how Allow / Deny becomes "Enter administrator password."

Then, logon to your Linux machine and run any UI tool for administering the system. Notice the same "Enter administrator password" prompt.

Re:In principal, you are right. Practice? Wrong (1)

jorghis (1000092) | more than 6 years ago | (#21642317)

What is it exactly you dont like about UAC and the allow/deny thing? I hear people rant against it all the time but I still dont know why it is inferior to other models. Not trying to flame you, I am genuinely curious what you think is wrong with it.

Re:In principal, you are right. Practice? Wrong (1)

compro01 (777531) | more than 6 years ago | (#21642523)

I hear people rant against it all the time but I still dont know why it is inferior to other models.

it's a fine idea, but it's too prompt-happy IMO. it prompts for things it shouldn't need permission for. with KiCAD (a PCB design program), it randomly prompts when you open the program, and i can't think of anything that it would need permission for. another friend of mine has it prompting him for permission everytime he compiles a program (using code::blocks (forget what build) and gcc. though i haven't heard of anyone else getting this, so i think it's just something odd with his system/configuration.)

the frequency of the prompts effectively trains user oh-it's-bugging-me-again-just-hit-allow, which completely defeats the purpose.

Re:In principal, you are right. Practice? Wrong (1)

canuck57 (662392) | more than 6 years ago | (#21642453)

Some of the people modding your comment insightful have (probably) fallen into Microsoft's version of the Steve Jobs Reality Distortion Field.

Not all of us have. Microsoft security model sucks. It is even too complex for MSCEs to understand. And how many used "Policies" in the NT and XP models? I mean really used them?

The model needs to be simplified. Linux is my answer. Ubuntu has it down nicely and so does Fedora.

Slackware what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21642117)

*Installs Slackware Hey look guys root is default

Is an old version of Linux better than the latest? (5, Insightful)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 6 years ago | (#21641739)

It's kind of silly to blame Microsoft for making the claim that their latest OS is better/more secure/prettier/whatever than previous versions. After all, isn't that the whole point of versions? i.e. To easily identify the progression of features and functionality. If the latest version of Windows weren't the latest and greatest, I'd be very surprised to hear Microsoft say otherwise.

Linux may be a great OS, but I'd take a 2.6 kernel over a 2.2 kernel any day for my desktop computing needs. 2.2 is buggy, slow, insecure, and sucks compared to the latest kernel. If you were in charge of upselling users to 2.6, you'd say as much, I hope.

Re:Is an old version of Linux better than the late (0, Flamebait)

jayhawk88 (160512) | more than 6 years ago | (#21641829)

See the difference though is that Linux was perfect from the start because it was free and it wasn't Microsoft, so any changes since then have just been improving on perfection. And anyway Windows sometimes crashed so that made Linux better too. And something about beer. Shut up and drink more Kool-Aid.

Re:Is an old version of Linux better than the late (0, Offtopic)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 6 years ago | (#21641895)

I drank the Kool-Aid, and now I feel the need to piss on everyone and everything in sight.

Re:Is an old version of Linux better than the late (2, Funny)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 6 years ago | (#21642431)

Stallman? Is that you?

Re:Is an old version of Linux better than the late (2, Insightful)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#21641955)

Linux may be a great OS, but I'd take a 2.6 kernel over a 2.2 kernel any day for my desktop computing needs. 2.2 is buggy, slow, insecure, and sucks compared to the latest kernel. If you were in charge of upselling users to 2.6, you'd say as much, I hope.
Maybe. But I'd take a 2.2 kernel any day over any version of Windows.

Re:Is an old version of Linux better than the late (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21642141)

I'd take the version of windows.

Then eBay it!

Re:Is an old version of Linux better than the late (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#21641997)

Also, I'd say the point of the article is that Microsoft even has to upsell Vista over XP. The last time they needed to snowjob corporates into upgrading was around 1995 or so. And not nearly so much so as they're doing today.

Re:Is an old version of Linux better than the late (1)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 6 years ago | (#21642215)

But if we follow that logic, the move from 16-bit Windows to 32-bit Windows was a significant and necessary step. Win95 provided the launching pad for all future Windows operating systems, even WinCE which is 32-bit from the ground up. If anyone was blind to the benefits of the move from a 16 bit to a 32 bit architecture, they at least got carried along on the tsunami-like transition. While Win95 wasn't their best product, it may have been Microsoft's most important OS to date because it provided the foundation for all subsequent Windows versions with its Win32 API.

Now, if Vista needs to be sold in this way, with IT teams kicking and screaming all the way, what is it that they are missing in the bigger picture? Sure, non-root access has always been a staple of Unix-like systems, but for Windows systems, this is something very new. If you are going to run Windows, you are going to run it as non-administrator from here on out. All new apps must stop assuming root privileges or get left behind. Windows systems are going to get more secure as the technology becomes more understood. So this is a sea change in programming styles that we're staring at.

Is Vista getting it right? No, of course not. It's got tons of problems. But neither did Win95 do everything right. It took 3 years before Windows finally became solid in the form of Win98, and it took another 2 years after that to get to a point of rock-solidity in Win2K. Now, after XP has been updated several times, even Win2K feels dated and clumsy. Vista, with all its flaws, has a clear goal: keep the ease of use of Windows and provide a system of security that doesn't need arcane commands to configure. So far, it sucks. The permission dialog pops up way too often and there doesn't seem to be a way of setting it to "always allow" for some apps (VSExpress, for example). But those problems will eventually get ironed out, I'm sure.

Sometimes "corporates" need to be snowjobbed in order to get things done.

Re:Is an old version of Linux better than the late (1)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 6 years ago | (#21642399)

Now, after XP has been updated several times, even Win2K feels dated and clumsy.

In what ways, precisely? OK, you don't get the fuzzy fonts, or the Barbie Horse Adventures default theming, but in what other ways does 2K feel "dated" and "clumsy"?

Re:Is an old version of Linux better than the late (1)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 6 years ago | (#21642533)

The long boot times.
The lack of OS-level zip file support.
Lack of wifi support.
Lack of support for certain software (granted, this is a software problem, but XP supports more of the software I need).

It's not all about the fonts and eye candy, which are typically turned off right away. It's about the niceties and necessities of working in the system every day that make XP a better system than 2K.

The only real ding against XP is that you can't install it willy nilly like you can with 2K. I still have a 2K disk lying around here that I used to use to get old systems up and running, but nowadays not so much with Ubuntu replacing it mostly. But having the ability (though perhaps not the legitimate right) to install 2K as much as I wanted was definitely better than XP's product activation scheme.

You are Nuts (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21642339)

and have no understanding of the Linux development process.

Re:Is an old version of Linux better than the late (2, Insightful)

gwait (179005) | more than 6 years ago | (#21642495)

Us unix/linux fanboys have been saying for years that the biggest hole in the many versions of windows was the lack of password protection of the operating system files (install as root, run as user - otherwise a simple batch file can be used as a virus..)

This simple idea has been around for at least 25 years, so there is no technical reason that Microsoft are so late to this party.

Comparing this gaping security hole (from DOS to WinXP) to minor linux kernel enhancements from 2.2 to 2.6 is not terribly relevant..

Hmmm (3, Interesting)

wattrlz (1162603) | more than 6 years ago | (#21641753)

Is there a way to sell upgrades without, "dissing" your previous product? On the other hand, this is a great way to justify not fixing known bugs.

Re:Hmmm (1)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 6 years ago | (#21641797)

Nikon just stops building parts for cameras they don't want to sell any more.

My poor FM3a is facing a death sentence at some point because Nikon decided that the damned FM10 is going to carry the "pure manual" banner from now on.

Re:Hmmm (1)

Slashidiot (1179447) | more than 6 years ago | (#21641937)

Well, Microsoft could continue selling and maintaining XP, and acknowledge that not everybody needs Vista, and keep XP as the cheap OS and Vista as the expensive one. But truth is this will never happen...

Re:Hmmm (1)

fox1324 (1039892) | more than 6 years ago | (#21642231)

There are plenty of ways to sell upgrades that don't require dissing your previous product. All you need to do is offer value that justifies the cost of upgrading. (see: people who own more than 1 generation of ipod) Vista obviously falls far short of that, if it was actually a product people WANTED, wouldn't they be lining up to get a copy?

Re:Hmmm (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 6 years ago | (#21642267)

How about saying the older product was already good, but here, we have new features that you want and need.

Umm... Ok, that would require actually having any features the user needs or at least wants.

How about saying the older product was less stable and prone to sudden crashes?

Umm... Ok, that would require that the new product is at least as stable.

How about saying the older product offers great compatibility, but the new one is more compatible with products from other manufacturers, so you can more easily integrate them into your environment?

Umm... Ok, that would first of all require something like this to exist and it could break your monopoly if it existed.

Ah to hell with it, if I was working for PR at MS I'd get paid better, why should I bother pondering that?

Things change (4, Insightful)

Pr0xY (526811) | more than 6 years ago | (#21641763)

You know, when Microsoft (or any company) makes a mistake, I'm usually first on the bandwagon trying to point out the stupidity. But times change. What was awesome last year may be crap this year. Especially in the computer world where technology moves very fast.

Think about it, there was a time when Apple said that the PPC arch was far superior to x86....they may have even been right, there are tons of things that I personally would have designed differently. But here we are today, using x86 Macs. No biggie, it was a big flip flop or anything, they just decided that switching to PPC made more sense on enough levels. In fact, now Apple is advertising that they are great because they can run Windows too (more that Windows is faster on a mac...but still). This implies that the switch to x86 was an improvement!

Bottom line is that they weren't lying when they said XP was better. By the time SP2 came out, this was very much the truth. Now they believe that Vista is an improvement, and antiquates XP. And you know what, in many ways this is the truth. Vista is FAR more secure than XP is, the technologies applied make it simply harder to weaponize vulnerabilities than it was with XP.

Technologies evolve, times change, perspectives get updated. No biggie.

Re:Things change (1)

deftones_325 (1159693) | more than 6 years ago | (#21642097)

You are right. Vista is probably harder to exploit...right now. I mean, I had a hard time finding the "Run" command so I could type CMD. Let alone write some exploit. But givin time it won't be much different, after everyone has had a while to work it over...then M$ will come out with more service packs.. and the process repeats..

Re:Things change (1)

plague3106 (71849) | more than 6 years ago | (#21642331)

I doubt that. How many exploits have there been to Win2k3 compared to Win2k? The number dropped quite a bit. I think Vista will be harder to exploit as well.

As a side note, you can type cmd into the search box and hit enter, and it will open the command prompt. Ya.. much more difficult.

Re:Things change (1)

oh_my_080980980 (773867) | more than 6 years ago | (#21642205)


I guess you tell yourself whatever you need to in order to sleep at night. You poor pathetic wretch. Vista is better than XP - keep saying that. Soon all the voices in your heard will be silent.

Re:Things change (1)

iG34RH34D (1064162) | more than 6 years ago | (#21642235)

However you also have Windows ME, the palm pilot, the SEGA Saturn, and other technological 'changes' that now grace the scrap pile of history. The question is how much financial damage is done before a new and improved turd makes its way to that pile.

Leet business model (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21641793)

I beginning to think they made Vista a pile of crap deliberately so that they wont have to lie so much when the next upgrade cycle comes along.

OK, maybe not, but it must begin to dawn on them that the "next big thing hype" business model is getting stale.

Value of Vista (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21641805)

Vista has just *tons* of value, it's totally worth the 400.00 to 'upgrade' to this OS.

For just $400.00 you get:

1. New Screensavers
2. New DRM = be treated like a criminal
3. New Product activation = be treated like a criminal
4. New Desktop 'Gadgets' - more stuff to break
5. New Windowing System
6. New Eye-Candy

for no Extra charge, you also get:

-New Support Costs
-Upgrade your applications that suddenly don't work anymore
-New Training Costs
-New Hardware - because the eye candy NEEDS 256Mb of video ram

I remember the days when all an OS had to do was manage memory, IO resources and schedule CPU time. It didn't have all this damn cruft.

Oh wait, there are still OS's that 'just work', Linux is one, if I want a fancy window manager, I have what, 10 to choose from?

Wow, what a deal!

Nothing New... (5, Insightful)

EastCoastSurfer (310758) | more than 6 years ago | (#21641809)

MS and Intel have been their own biggest competitor for years. With each new revision they have to go out and convince people that latest one is the best one ever and the old one should be replaced.

Re:Nothing New... (1)

houstonbofh (602064) | more than 6 years ago | (#21641933)

MS and Intel have been their own biggest competitor for years. With each new revision they have to go out and convince people that latest one is the best one ever and the old one should be replaced.

The problem is that New Version is not a forgone conclusion. Reading TFA, Linux is actually a better answer to most of the issues raised. And if you convince your customers that they need to replace the old, they may look at other options for the new. Windows can become Mac or Linux. Pentium can become AMD... This is risky, but what choice do they have?

Re:Nothing New... (2, Insightful)

plague3106 (71849) | more than 6 years ago | (#21642379)

Reading TFA, Linux is actually a better answer to most of the issues raised.

Really? Linux is better? Considering that you have to throw out all investment in the software you have which runs on Windows? You need to forget everything you learned about Windows, and re-learn for Linux? That's a better idea?

Doubtful.

Re:Nothing New... (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 6 years ago | (#21642293)

But this is true of almost every electronics, computer, or software company. How can you convince people to pay money for something that already does everything they need it to do, and that has already scaled up without too many perceivable problems? The only companies that aren't competing against themselves are the companies that continue to make money on a particular product, like Sun or Red Hat, because to them, the upgrades aren't the source of revenue (actually, Red Hat provides free upgrades for life, AFAIK).

What really interests me about Microsoft is that, because they need to get people to continue to upgrade year by year, what could motivate them to fix all their bugs? Perhaps the reason their products keep getting bigger and bigger but not doing proportionally more is that they are keeping the bug rates up -- fix old bugs, but introduce new bugs, so there is a constant incentive for people to upgrade. It doesn't seem so implausible, since they already have a monopoly position and therefore have little room to make a business of acquiring more customers...

Re:Nothing New... (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 6 years ago | (#21642369)

The problem is that so far, there was a reason to upgrade. The 286 could handle more ram, the 386 could handle protected mode, the 486 came with a built-in math coproc, the Pentium ... had a bug, then there was MMX and 3DNow and whatnot. Every new generation of a CPU had something new that enhanced the user experience and made the whole thing faster, better, greater.

Same with Windows. Along came 95 with a completely integrated graphical interface (ok, more or less, don't bash me). 98 was a huge leap forwards, better support for networking and far superior stability. ME is not to be mentioned, ok? 2k was the fusion of the NT and the 9x branch, adding USB support to the former and FAR superior stability and memory handling to the latter, XP finally added WiFi and support for a lot of peripherals, as well as a near perfect API.

And now we're at the point where the user (and programmer) has everything they want. What now? I can see CPUs getting faster and offering better parallel computing, but what should MS do? XP already has everything one could want. What is missing?

Virtualisation? How many care about that? IPv6? Ok, will become important "really soon now" (and has been becoming important for about 10 years or so now). New peripherals? Which ones?

MS greatest competition is themselves (2, Insightful)

redelm (54142) | more than 6 years ago | (#21641811)

Numerically speaking, MSFT's greatest competition in selling OSes and even Office Suites is themselves, specifically their older versions.


They have not been able to add compelling enough features, and customers get very angry at incompatibilities such as MS-Word has seen.


So they have to resort to targetted obsolescence, cajolery and legalistic tactics such as trying to tie the OS the the machine it was first licenced for. I'm not sure if those portions of the EULA violating ":first sale" have been upheld.

Does what I need syndrome? (2, Insightful)

bjourne (1034822) | more than 6 years ago | (#21641855)

While the summary, in typical Slashdot style, is heavily slanted, the article offers some interesting advice. Microsoft apparently has some serious problems trying to convince people to upgrade to Vista. Not because Vista is particularily bad (it isn't), but because XP is good enough already. So what would you do? You either use "evil" techniques like stopping distributing the old OS, shutting down upgrade servers or making your new software exclusive to the new OS. Or you use "good" techniques like publishing articles about how bad your previous OS was. Pick your choice. Also realize that all arguments presented in the article for switching from XP to Vista could equally well be applied to switching from XP to Linux.

Not because Vista is particularily bad? (1)

Nursie (632944) | more than 6 years ago | (#21642025)

I beg to differ.

It's horrible.
It tells me that my system administrator has set up policies to stop certain things (I haven't, and neither can I find where it claims these policies are set).
It refuses to run some programs on startup and has no button for "Just run it, asshole", admin privileges or no.

It's confusing and restricting. That and the enormous system hoggery have really put me off. I always used Windows for my main system before, the machine that came with Vista finally pushed me to use linux full time.

(why yes I am a geek. And no, I don't expect everyone and their granny to make the same switch. But for *me* vista finally became more trouble to run than Linux)

I'll agree with your main point though - XP was plenty good enough for me to be going on with, though many many people do get into virus/malware hell. But of course now some new hardware has no XP drivers so I'm forced not to downgrade.

Viva Ubuntu.

Re:Not because Vista is particularily bad? (1)

plague3106 (71849) | more than 6 years ago | (#21642467)

I beg to differ. It DOES run better than XP did on the same system, I find the new UI easier to use, and haven't had startup programs blocked and not runnable. At worse, I'm notified and its easy to tell Windows to allow the program to run.

Of course, when XP first came out, it drove me nuts, much like it seems Vista has done for you. So I switched to Mandriva in 2001 or so (my server had been RH for years). I ran it as my desktop (except for games) until about 2005, when the latest Mandriva was pissing me off to no end, and changing how my network was setup was taking more and more of my time. Also, linux had just as many odd problems as windows (sound dying randomly, KMail "losing" my mail, upgrades to software packages an absolute nightmare that not even Windows users deal with), that I switched back.

I'm happy again, as I'm not using my computer for things that interest me, and not having to spend hours figuring out odd Linux problems (in Windows, these things have become rare, for me) and if I need to change my network setup, its done and I'm back to work.

Not that you'll follow that path, but you never know.

Good luck.

Re:Not because Vista is particularily bad? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21642485)

Oddly enough the only time I've ever had driver problems was trying to run Ubuntu. Man it must suck. Maybe I should go off on some odd rant to make it seem worse than what it is.

Screw it, you're not worth the effort.

Justify? (1, Insightful)

blake1 (1148613) | more than 6 years ago | (#21641861)

What management may not realize, however, is that they are already paying a hefty hidden cost by having outdated systems in place

As opposed to hefty upfront costs upgrading hardware and troubleshooting software-related issues on a poorly supported and performing operating system? What about the extra costs involved in paying staff to wait for your brand new Vista computer to do the same thing an XP machine would do in half the time, like boot?

"The increase in security - the inability for users to just simply install stuff, means that you are decreasing the amount of reactive tasks that an administrator has to perform," said Johnson.

Isn't that what restricting Administrative privileges are for? Grandma's XP Home machine has that feature.

I guess there's no point me pasting any more of the article, it sort of speaks for itself.

Re:Justify? (1)

Mr. Underbridge (666784) | more than 6 years ago | (#21642145)

Isn't that what restricting Administrative privileges are for? Grandma's XP Home machine has that feature.

Problem is, between Microsoft and their dev community, you pretty much need Admin access to install anything. As a result, windows gives you the choice between having security and being able to use your machine. Fantastic.

Granted it's not entirely their fault, but they've let the dev community persist too long with the whole 'run everything as admin and install globally' thing.

Re:Justify? (1)

plague3106 (71849) | more than 6 years ago | (#21642503)

Well now the dev community is being hit in the face (at least those of them that HAVEN'T been following best practices all along), which is why users are complaining about UAC.

As the other devs release the next version of thier software, these UAC issues should die out.

Re:Justify? (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 6 years ago | (#21642505)

It IS their fault, sorry. When you give programmers too much leeway, they will use it. MS failed to put its foot down and tell in no uncertain terms that user space programs have no business in the HKLM tree. Sure, for a programmer it's easier to install its junk globally. Don't have to care about having the "right" user logged in (as if that is of any importance, I bet my rear end that 90% of home computers never see another user log in than the standard one), you can put your libraries somewhere in the system directory (that way you can make sure that YOUR software runs. To hell with the rest of the system), and so on.

Yes, that's comfortable for the programmer. But it leads to what we see now, and what finally drops on us with Vista. Programs that don't work or ask for insane permissions (from a security point of view, a program asking to replace a system file rings some alarm bells), and copy protection mechanisms that rewire the driver makeup completely (and fail in a system that doesn't allow Joe Random Program to redo its drivers).

Yes, it's the programmers who "did" that. But it's the system that allowed it for far too long.

Re:Justify? (1)

malevolentjelly (1057140) | more than 6 years ago | (#21642497)

As opposed to hefty upfront costs upgrading hardware and troubleshooting software-related issues on a poorly supported and performing operating system?
I thought they were talking about Windows, not linux. It sounds like you're talking about an operating system that's been hacked up by hobbyists and CS undergrads based on 30 year old computing dead end that never really worked right to begin with.

Their security infrastructure did move ahead from XP, so it's the same as when Apple says "Mac OS 9 was a great operating system a few years ago, but (something about Mac OS X)", an operating system that runs *slower* and has *more features*. It's like how Ubuntu 7.10 runs slower and has more features than 7.04. Unfortunately, what's working against them is their robust support cycle for XP. They will not let go of that, even if it chokes their Vista sales.

FAT32 (-1, Troll)

FozE_Bear (1093167) | more than 6 years ago | (#21641877)

I remember FAT32 being billed as "New" with Windows 98! The Ministry of Truth is nothing new at MS.

Nothing to see here... Move along....

Vista Costs Too (3, Interesting)

explosivejared (1186049) | more than 6 years ago | (#21641909)

What management may not realize, however, is that they are already paying a hefty hidden cost by having outdated systems in place, "because you are paying for an administrator's time to deal with these issues," Johnson said.

So there aren't any costs to maintaining Vista? Yeah right. Marketing FUD if I ever heard. I guess it's no real surprise though. Business x wants you to pay them the most money, so they'll say whatever to get your money, even if it is FUD.

Re:Vista Costs Too (2, Insightful)

bcwright (871193) | more than 6 years ago | (#21642167)

Obviously there are always costs to maintaining any system. However it is not at all unreasonable to say that there are hidden costs in maintaining older systems, and in fact it's very often - even usually - true. Updates are generally slower, new versions of applications that run on them will gradually become unavailable, security issues or system efficiency or human factors or other flaws may slowly drain productivity.

By contrast there are often costs with new OS versions as well - you often need to upgrade hardware, sometimes older versions of applications won't run on the new OS, and there are often bugs that didn't get caught in beta testing. Additionally when an OS version is very new, sometimes an application that's critical for your business isn't available for it yet.

I don't think it's unreasonable for them to point out the hidden costs of maintaining an old system, and many customers may overlook those costs if they're not pointed out. But by the same token, customers need to be aware that they need to look at the whole picture to figure out what makes the best business sense for their particular situation.

Microsoft can't self-ditruct (-1, Troll)

blind biker (1066130) | more than 6 years ago | (#21641913)

I was telling a friend today what Microsoft did to get OOXML passed by the ISO as a standard - the bribes and the bullying - and he was wondering how can a company get away with such behaviour. Well, Microsoft can get away with it, and still be a multi-billion per quarter company. Microsoft can put a resource syphon in its OS, and still get away with it - people will buy it even though it wastes 30% of their computers' resource for nothing, not even eye-candy.

I am sad to say this but Microsoft could get away with nearly anything for a very long time to come. Maybe it is in decline, but it will be long after Ballmer had his last heart attack.

This is how it works (1)

E. Edward Grey (815075) | more than 6 years ago | (#21641919)

They have certain objectives with each OS release - they focus intentionally only on the "hip" and "now" features that are getting all the press and buzz. Features that are flashy now, but in a couple of years, will seem incredibly dated and myopic. Then they can later market a new OS version by telling us that the older one was missing all kinds of important design features. Well, duh! It's like that by design.

Why not just get an operating system that's more modular, and it will have all the features you want? That way, you won't have to pay for an expensive upgrade just so that you can have that one really neat thing. It'll already have that one really neat thing, because you already installed it the minute it was available.

Really? (4, Insightful)

Erwos (553607) | more than 6 years ago | (#21641923)

Because, you know, it was just yesterday that Apple was telling us how 10.4 was the shiznit. Now we've got 10.5, and suddenly, they won't even sell 10.4 anymore!

Or consider the Linux kernel. Back in the 2.0 days, everyone was telling me about how great Linux was. Now that we've got kernel 2.6, everyone's just dropping support for 2.0 and telling me it sucks compared to the latest version.

It is not unfair for a company to say that the newest version of their software is BETTER than their old version. If it wasn't, why release it?

Re:Really? (1)

blake1 (1148613) | more than 6 years ago | (#21641985)

Because... it isn't better.

Re:Really? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21642135)

Difference is, Apple calls 10.5 better. It doesn't talk about how many millions of dollars are being wasted if you don't upgrade (because this time it's really secure -- unlike the last 3 times... yeah right).

Huge difference.

PS. I have a story for you. Once there was this company that cried security. It kept doing it, and eventually no one listened to it.

vista ha (1, Insightful)

jt418-93 (450715) | more than 6 years ago | (#21641935)

vista still == WinMe2.0
bah.... what is the compelling argument to upgrade all my hardware? the aps i need still run perfect on my old athlon 64 xp3200. i mean this box is 6 or 7 years old, and it still works fine. where is my motivation to replace it all? im old enough the next quake doesn't matter anymore.

bah humbug

Re:vista ha (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21642199)

Didn't that processor come out In 2003? I remember buying one during the summer or fall of that year and it was brand new. Or maybe I'm thinking of another processor.

Pssssst.... (1)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 6 years ago | (#21641973)

Every reason given there applies doubly to Linux.

Now if Only Linux had the desktop apps....

yay paid postings (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21641977)

This article is astroturfed to hell. So far almost every comment is about how acceptable Vista is. Sad to see /. fall so low.

Take a few hints from drug manufacturers . . . (1)

defile39 (592628) | more than 6 years ago | (#21642007)

I preface this comment by saying that I am in no way bashing drug makers. They finance the development of life saving drugs and should be commended (usually). But seriously, Microsoft's consultants and business development teams NEED to look at the drug industry to get ideas on how to switch users from XP to Vista. Frequently when a drug looses patent exclusivity, the manufacturer will have in place a strategy to get most patients on that drug to switch to their "new" (and exclusive) drug. Just look at what AstraZenica did with Prilosec and Nexium. When Prilosec (a drug to treat GERD, aka, heartburn) was going off-patent, the AstraZenica had Nexium waiting in the hopper. The only difference between the 2 drugs was that Prilosec was a racemic mixture [wikipedia.org] and Nexium was the active enantomer. [thefreedictionary.com] So basically, AstraZenica was able to successfully switch millions of patients off of one drug and onto, basically, the SAME drug with a MUCH higher price tag.

So yes, Vista costs more than XP . . . and Vista is much more clunky, etc. Microsoft is going to need some serious marking muscle to move its customers over to a product that is, at best, a marginal improvement. Drug companies, as in the Prilosec to Nexium example are quite adept at this. They need to talk.

Re:Take a few hints from drug manufacturers . . . (1)

deweycheetham (1124655) | more than 6 years ago | (#21642063)

Balmer and company need to get off the Happy Pills asap.

Value? (0, Redundant)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 6 years ago | (#21642051)

Apparently the value of Vista is not readily apparent

Neither is the value of used cat litter.

Re:Value? (4, Funny)

Solder Fumes (797270) | more than 6 years ago | (#21642165)

Apparently the value of Vista is not readily apparent

Neither is the value of used cat litter.


You'll find even more similarities as you dig and sift through everything, too.

Bad headlines all the way (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21642067)

This headline was just rubbish. Aren't moderators supposed to clear them up?
A typically american, non-informational, slightly missleading, only-making-you-wonder headline - to waste your time to read the first paragraph. And we're getting a lot of those lately.

What's so difficult about "Microsoft Vista advisory makes XP look bad" ?
Ah, right! That headline would make this story to a non-story.

No Moderation Box on this comment! (1)

iBod (534920) | more than 6 years ago | (#21642411)

Well, I was happily reading along and moderating when I came to this comment where there was no moderation drop-down - even though someone had already moderated the comment +1 Insightful.

What gives Slashdot?

Don't tell me you can suddenly withdraw the powers of moderation from a comment if you don't like the way it's going?

Nah! Probably a technical glitch, eh?

Beware XP Service Pack 3? (0, Flamebait)

Peter Trepan (572016) | more than 6 years ago | (#21642103)

In light of this, should we be afraid of Service Pack 3 being designed to make Windows XP worse?

Microsoft... trying to be too many things. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21642143)

I'd say microsoft's biggest problem is trying to be a zune,xbox,wordprocessing, ect.... company.

Why on earth would they just not stick to their knitting/bread and butter products which are operating systems. By trying to be the be all end all of technology companies all we as consumers can expect is mediocre products. Am I the only one who see a major problem with this as a business model?

To me it seems elementary that taking resources away from your core business to try and beat others at their core businesses is ridiculous and also opens up the company to many competitive threats at the same time. Instead of just having to compete with OS manufacturers they now have to compete with a whole new list of competitors. Whoever decided to take the core business and expand is directly responsible for a product like Vista

Stressing secrurity is good. (1)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 6 years ago | (#21642147)

From the article: The hidden cost of vulnerability

What management may not realize, however, is that they are already paying a hefty hidden cost by having outdated systems in place, "because you are paying for an administrator's time to deal with these issues," Johnson said. The trick is to show management this in a way that translates into dollars saved.

"It's a hard sell, because security is not a line item on their income or expense sheets. There also is not a line item that says they lost, say, $100,000 on their security problem last year. Or lost staff productivity because people had viruses on their machines," he said.

Of course, MSFT can claim Vista is better than XP. It should not be seen as dissing XP. In fact every company makes such a claim. On the other hand, MSFT taking time to educate the IT honchos about the hidden costs of vulnerability and security implications etc might benefit Linux as a side benefit. If they get the message that security is important, they might see that monoculture is a vulnerability too.

The nature of the beast (1)

east coast (590680) | more than 6 years ago | (#21642171)

Is this new or interesting to anyone who has spent anytime watching generation after generation of technology go by?

This reminds me of a commercial that Best Buy was running a few years ago about a guy who was looking to something for his brother for Christmas. The Best Buy Guy(tm) was asking what kind of person his brother was and there was this cheesy flashback of a guy with a mullet in a Camero who was all stoked about buying "the latest technology" (a VCR with a tethered remote). The Best Buy Guy and the brother kind of laughed about it as if to say "he thought that was cool?". But we all know damn well that if this was 1982 again Best Buy would be pushing these things off on the consumer as the latest "must have" tech. anyway...

It's the same here. Companies and stores dick on yesteryear's models/version to make the new stuff seem more of a bargain. How else do you think that EA keeps selling the same sports games to the same gimps year after year? It's certainly not like they're changing the game play that much and as we all know the story line isn't changing.

Just like markting a used car (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21642251)

Whenever you purchase an automobile, the dealer makes sure to tell you how incredibly reliable and maintenance free the vehicle your buying happens to be in order to get you to put down the money to purchase it. Minutes later, the same dealer will be warning you that the very same car could break down at any time and cost you thousands in repair costs within the first year of ownership in an effort to get you to buy an after market warranty.

Schizophrenic marketing is certainly not unique to Microsoft or the software industry!

That's the point (4, Interesting)

Eddy Luten (1166889) | more than 6 years ago | (#21642349)

With Microsoft marketing against itself

I guess you've never read the “Intel Retail Edge” program manual or virtually any software's change-log/release notes.

It's been a long time since I've seen such crap on the frontpage of /. Almost every product out there gets released under these values, including the Linux kernel and MacOS. “It's more secure, upgrade now!”

Just a few years ago Microsoft was pitching the world on how secure and cool XP was. Now it's telling us largely the opposite

That's the point. XP came out years ago, and finally in 2007 a new version of Windows was released after much bitching by the market (us). Now that it's out, we're attacking its release because of the reasons we wanted a new version of Windows?

Excuse me if I don't see the point of this news...

Laugh? (1)

His Shadow (689816) | more than 6 years ago | (#21642367)

I damn near died.

Lead slashdot post is a lie (5, Informative)

computerchimp (994187) | more than 6 years ago | (#21642373)

The heading "troll" on this slashdot article is correct and appears to be a fabrication that misrepresents the article
"How to Justify a Desktop Upgrade." Why is garbage like this allowed to stay up?

1) The MS tutorial mentions older operating systems as a generic, it does not diss XP, it does not even mention XP!

2) "newer operating system, such as Windows Vista". Vista is the example, put "XP" or other OS in there if you want.

3) The article is a template to help frustrated IT admins/managers show reason and overcome objection to a proposal of migrating to a newer OS. Any admin in any environment could use this template.

I am not commenting on the PCWorld article here, just the misrepresentation in the first part of the article. Let me know if the poster is talking about a differnt version of "How to Justify a Desktop Upgrade" because from what I see the posting is a lie, plain and simple.

CC

Funny--Admitting They Make Shit (1)

curmudgeon99 (1040054) | more than 6 years ago | (#21642389)

This is just too funny. Microsoft is admitting that their previous software is crap. Well, they're preaching to the choir oin that one. A lot of us have already decided that MS = crap.

You are coming to a sad realization... (0, Redundant)

nweaver (113078) | more than 6 years ago | (#21642427)

You are coming to a sad realization, Cancel or Allow [apple.com] .

Vista is better for ME! (1)

sp4c3cl0wn (1097819) | more than 6 years ago | (#21642463)

Honestly switching to Vista had some unexpected results. First, my graphics card stopped overheating and blue screening my computer. Second Vista installed all the drivers that I used to have to install myself. Third, I have Aero running, and after some minor tweaks, I am using the same amount of RAM that I was using on XP. So, For me the upgrade was a good one. Also, I put all the of the crappy Vista programs (Vista Mail, Defender, etc.) in program folder titled Microsoft. Then I installed Firefox and Thunderbird. Now I am happier than ever.

NT was supposedly bullet-proof too... (2, Funny)

TheIndifferentiate (914096) | more than 6 years ago | (#21642471)

Nowadays, Microsoft likes to boast that they have always produced the most secure version of Windows yet. Well, whoopdidoo. You will notice how they will never say they have produced a secure version of Windows. This helps them prevent lawsuits.

nothing new (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21642487)

this is hardly news. i spent the late nineties being told that NetWare is garbage you have to deploy NT, then i spent the early zeros being told that NT is garbage you have to deploy 2000, then it was 2000 is garbage you to deploy XP, then it was 2000 is garbage you have to deploy 2003, now it's XP is garbage you have to deploy Vista and 2003 is garbage you have to deploy 2008.

I ran viruses on purpose on Vista (1)

lobobueno (1201029) | more than 6 years ago | (#21642517)

And the answer is YES vista is more secure than XP, and yes I prefer vista than fixing viruses and computers all the time, more to VISTA favor: Viruses are winning, most antivirus applications are not 100% safe. I would really like to work with linux but lets face it, even ubuntu is missing a lot of drivers, and I just tested 10 linuxes these days, and even if i like it I know most microsoft users are not willing to have problems with configuration, or the shockwave and flashplayer bugs on linux browsers. If you are not using games XP VISTA is far better, for every day office work, internet etc. and it work fast enough, lets considere that most users dont really care about performance nowadays, between a cup of coffee or chatting with coworkers they loose considerably more time. BUT WHAT THEY WANT IS a PC that is there when they need it, NO viruses, No driver problems. If you are a gamer most games have problems,and vista prefetch is lousy, eating your memory, it create problems with cards that can expand memory using RAM PC memory. a guess, vista solution seems easy just buy a better graphic card or expand your memory to 4 Gygabyte, i wonder how many out there have enough money to do that. If you really need autocad or your a professional designer, WHy are you using microsoft??!!!, better use, open VMS, linux or something else. So real power users dont use windows for they work, for most companies, althought VISta is far better, and they have a plus.. VISTA IS NOT GOOD FOR GAMERS....YET

Microsoft's competition (1)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 6 years ago | (#21642571)

Microsoft's biggest competition is itself.

They hardly can compare themselves to Apple or Linux, because those aren't really competition ... YET.

All the reasons to upgrade to Vista I've seen are in reality nothing. The support costs for Vista in my organization are huge, especially when dealing with re-imaging issues (Ghost, WDS etc). It will take one of us (Analyst level) guys six months to evaluate, test, and prepare for a Vista rollout. That's six months of dedicated planning. Six Months with our small under staffed department.

It isn't going to happen for at least two years, and by then, the next version will probably be out, some sort of XP on steroids.
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