Not known for his subtlety, This Week in Tech regular commentator and cranky host of a number of tech podcasts, John C. Dvorak in his day job as columnist with PC Magazine, spells out exactly what’s wrong with Microsoft Windows Vista.
As the man himself points out, the list could have been much longer, but from my experience (remember when I revealed that in the interest of balance I had secretly been using Vista for a week?) his list just about nails all the major points.
The worrying thing, which I think a lot more people will pick up on in the coming weeks and months, is that, love them or hate them, Microsoft are a HUGE part of the American economic general well-being, which can well do without adding another major employer to the list of companies on the cusp of an economic winter.
The technology sector needs Microsoft to be strong, because they – along with Intel, AMD and all the usual suspects from the Silicone Valley end of the NASDAQ – are bellwether stocks. The last thing any of us need is an economic meltdown at the same time as a dip in general confidence that the whole Windows ecosystem is spiralling out of control.
Microsoft seem so busy with a possible Yahoo! buyout, you’d be forgiven for thinking the whole thing is just a distraction from the fact their flagship product looks like having to wait another few years on top of how long it has waited already, before it is ready to compete on every major level with its nearest competitors – which in some areas is Linux and in others is Mac OS X.
As an Apple user I’d love to say this was a good thing, but as I’ve mentioned before, I’m under no illusions as to Mac OS X’s readiness to step into the role of the dogsbody OS where Windows currently sits, in terms of its ubiquitous sprawl among office workers and embedded systems.
Mac OS X – at least in its current guise, simply put, is never going to be THAT kind of operating system – and if it isn’t going to be Windows, it has to be Linux.
Is Linux ready for this sort of exposure? Absolutely. In fact you’d be amazed how many major systems already run it. Every time you get a delivery from UPS and you sign that little screen with the pen that slips all over and makes your signature look like etch-a-sketch, you’re looking at embedded Linux.
Are yet more huge global businesses ready for Linux of this kind and larger? Absolutely. Could Windows vanish without a trace in less time than you can say OS/2? Undoubtedly. It’s happened before and it’ll happen again – but not without a great deal of unforeseen chaos in our modern day-to-day life. The scary part is I just don’t think Microsoft realise how important it is for them to wake up and fix their roadmap, before it’s too late – and if they do realise it, all signs indicate they just don’t care.