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Thread: Microsoft (Decline Of)

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Gerry Patterson, The World's Most Humble Blogger

Windows Seven Triumphant Beta


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Date: Wed, 04 Feb 2009 01:03:53 +1100

Well, dear reader, the new year has well and truly started. And it seems that Microsoft are modestly jubilant about the impressive uptake of the recent beta release of Windows Seven. All around the world, microserfs are emerging from the rocks, under they have been hiding during the recent global warming, financial meltdown, Vista hard times. And many of them are triumphantly declaring that Windows Seven is a huge success and really cool. Not only does it not crash several times a day, but it actually uses less resources then Vista!.

Gosh!, Golly-Gee, Oh! Gasp! An operating system that uses less resources (and is faster then) Vista! Omigod! Is that like just unbelievably fantastic?, or what? Well before we all get over-excited about the prospect, we need to bear in mind that Windows Seven isn't the only operating system that use less resources than Vista. For example: Windows XP, Windows 2000, Linux, FreeBSD, AIX, HPUX, Solaris, OS X, Xenix, BeOS, OS2, VMS, MVS, DOS-VSE ... well in fact, every operating system ever written in the entire history of computing.

And while the microserf press continues to celebrate and talk up the advantages and opportunities that might be derived form this remarkable new OS Microsoft may soon deliver, I have to say that with the benefit of many years exposure to operating systems releases and corporate bullshit, one would consider that Windows Seven is little more then Vista SP2. In which case, as a release, it might be passable. I should remind you that Windows XP was originally intended to be part of the Microsoft grand Web Services strategy. The apocryphal tale about XP is that these two letters were supposed to be a shorthand rendition of the word "Experience". In other words, Microsoft's vast experience with distributing online services. The plan was to sell XP as a subscription service and finally abandon the shrink-wrapped model, which is clearly a twentieth century paradigm (i.e. out-of-date).

As it turned out, Microsoft didn't have any experience with the online marketing model and in this regard XP was a big failure. The first release of XP was buggy and riddled with security flaws. As a working OS, it wasn't really usable until the release of XP SP2. With that service pack and the almost irresistible juggernaut-like momentum of their installed base, Microsoft succeeded in making XP the world's most widely adopted operating system.

And so based on their past performance, Windows Seven, which is really Vista SP2, might turn out to be ok. And if the sales and marketing spin merchants can disassociate the latest release completely from Vista (or at least in the minds of their customers), it may become a successor to XP. And if I were cynical (how could I not be?) I might say that the main reason for calling it Windows Seven was to put as much metaphorical distance as possible between the new release and the badly tainted Vista brand.

However the original Vista release sucks so deeply and profoundly that (in the humble opinion of your humble blogger), Microsoft should be giving Windows Seven away to their miserable, long suffering, thoroughly buggered and hapless customers as a free upgrade to make amends for the appalling crapware that they have pumped down their distribution channel for the past three years. And who knows? US customers might even find that the courts decide to award this to them as part of the settlement for the Vista-capable litigation. In other words, Microsoft may be required to give away Windows Seven for free. (That's free as in beer not speech). And if that was the case they might even do the same for their equally unlucky customers who don't live in the USA.

Not that I want to pre-empt the court's decision, but if that were the case, it might even be a good outcome for Microsoft. It would allow them to move on and put the whole Vista Horror Show behind them. If they weren't tied up in the current litigation proceedings, Microsoft might even attempt something like this as a peace offering anyway. A giant corporation with as much cash as Microsoft can afford to spend some money on polishing their tarnished image.

And thanks to the execrable Vista, their reputation is badly tarnished. And as long as Vile Vista remains visible Microsoft will find it hard to redeem themselves. Children now think that the Internet means Firefox and Google, and senior executives now aspire to own a Mac laptop. The general impression is that Apple is cool and their stuff just works and Microsoft is crap and their stuff just works. And this has triggered a very slow but steady decline in Microsoft's desktop market share. And, who knows? If news of Vista's bad performance continues to spread some individuals in the mooing, browsing consumer herd might even discover Ubuntu.

In the meantime, even if things may not be so rosy on the operating system front, Microsoft seems to have successfully deployed Netflix on the Xbox 360, which is another small step on the road towards world domination of the "set top in the lounge room" market. Like two gladiators with different weapons, Microsoft with their streaming solution, and Sony with their Disk solution, there can be only one eventual winner. Last time (Blu-Ray vs HDD) it was Sony. Who will it be this time?


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