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back to article Ballmer and Gates defend Vista, drop Windows 7 hints

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer yesterday insisted that the firm was not guilty of making huge blunders with its unloved operating system Windows Vista. Speaking at the All Things Digital D6 conference alongside lame duck chairman Bill Gates, Ballmer contended: "Vista's not a failure and it's not a mistake.” He also took the …

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@Greg

'Have you ever considered the possibility that - when soooo many people are of the same opinion - rather than everyone else being a moron out to slate your OS of choice, perhaps you're one of the lucky ones?'

Have you ever thought that the majority off people will post only when there hacked off with something. If I have a crap meal I tell more people about that than the when I have a good one.

I'm no MS lover and Vista is not the answer to all our wishes but its not that bad either. I would bet my life on the fact the majority of people flaming it havnt even used it.

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Flame

Irrelevant irrelevant irrelevant

This comment block is why techies get no respect. We shouldn't be arguing about who has betrayed the Church of UNIX and installed vista (the horror!) or whether vista is rubbish. Let's focus on the real issue which is: can Microsoft make money on Vista, sufficient to recoup the massive development costs? They are a business after all and that's all that counts. And if not, why not?

I believe that they have 18 months to find out. 9 months to produce the next service pack and 9 months to watch adoption. Reasons below.

1. Quality. Like all OSes, it's had it's problems. Let's assume that after SP2 it'll be "good enough", like all versions of NT to date. If this is the only issue, expect to see a big uptick in corporate licensing in a year or so. The file copying issue alone will have scared a lot of them.

2. Hardware support. Microsoft messed up here. They failed to get the hardware/ driver community to keep up by stabilizing the driver interface early and giving them time to write solid drivers. Another nasty problem was the vista support logo program, which confuses the hell out of consumers. Joe Average goes into Best Buy, sees something that says "Vista Capable", finds out the hard way that that doesn't mean it actually runs with Vista, and tells all his friends that Vista sucks. Ouch. Microsoft need to flush these out quickly and end the 'capable' program. It either runs natively in Vista, runs with a IHV-supplied Vista driver, or doesn't run at all. No gray areas.

3. Marketing. MS tried to segment the market by offering different versions of Vista. A decision that probably sounded great in the marketing research department but falls flat in the cold light of the retail store. When you are looking at four different boxes, all costing a few hundred bucks and with no meaningful information on the back, it's easy for the consumer to say "I think I'll stick with XP for a bit longer". I suggest they bail on all editions except Ultimate and cut the price a little. It also makes ISV life easier by having only one target to support.

4. Corporate reluctance. This is more than quality. Enterprises are generally happy with XP; it's "well-understood", runs nicely on laptops etc and doesn't burn up cycles doing nothing. However I believe that there is a growing feeling within enterprises that Microsoft are changing their OSes to go after the consumer market at the expense of business customers. Hence all the work on interface design and not much work on bread and butter things like boot time (45s?? in 2008? and multitasking. MS need to knock some heads together here. Any IT person who read about tricks like ReadyBoost/ReadyDrive would have read between the lines: "Vista performance is going to be so bad that they're advising customers to set up caches". That issue should have been resolved and the message should not have been allowed to escape from Redmond.

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Anonymous Coward

Bad Start

Saying vista was not a blunder is false. Mainly because they released the OS before Intel could put a chipset together that could manage aero and then stick vista capable stickers. This is how vista was born and consequently took off and immediately crashed and burned. This along with oems shipping many systems early on with 1 gig or less which surely upset their new owners. UAC and the huge slow network transfer bug that should never ever have made it to final release was completely, and totally inexcusable. Any kind of feasibility analysis and listening to beta tester concerns surly would have steered them clear of vista's weaknesses. But the huge differences in hardware requirements between XP and Vista with little or no gain in productivity and in most cases produced a system that actually reduced performance and productivity is why MS failed miserably with their business customers. We have not seen anything yet. Just wait when they end the life XP next month. That will no doubt be the dumbest, most catastrophic move that MS will ever make. Forcing vista on their business customers and the consequent issues and problems and additional resources that it will stress on them will surely turn many companies to other options. Things will get really bad for MS next month. I don't think they will do any more extensions for XP. MS ego will remain intact with market share will drop.

With all the controversy with Vista why MS does not extend XP until windows seven is beyond me. Mainly ending the life of XP will affect their business customers and messing with that base is a really bad move. This could be the real turning point for MS dominance in the market.

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Happy

Vista bashing??

I don't believe anyone has been Vista bashing per se, a lot of the comments are all around personal expriences with Vista so its a bit of an ezaggeration to say they have been "bashing".

The simlpe facts remain Vista has not done as well as expected, MS are conducting some damage limitation to maintain integrity.

Will MS topple over as most anti-MS fanboys want as a result of Vista no but it does allow a more competitve market for OS's which benefits me as the end user so I am happy!

Vista/XP/Linux/Solarias shit even VMS used em all and all have good vs bad points. I just love seeing an OS will pretty colours...

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@Craig

So now you agree that people HAVE had a lot of problems with Vista? Good.

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Sigh

No I'm saying the people who wish for the return of green screens, command prompts, hand cranked petrol engines and have never used Vista are the ones complaining.

Oh, and no need for caps, my eye sight is just fine :-)

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Bronze badge
Gates Horns

Vista SE

I bought a Compaq PC with Vista basic on it last November. I don't need any of the bloat ware that comes with any of the more expensive versions of the OS. Service Pack 1 still will not install. If I didn't have an XP laptop, I'd be up the creak without a paddle. I won't be rushing to get Windows Vista SE (Windows 7) when it is released. If it isn't more bare bones than Vista Basic, I won't touch it.

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Gold badge

Vista

Start

Run

CMD

TELNET [computer] [port]

Command not found?

Fair enough. Where's that XP CD...

If the powers that be at Microsoft honestly believe that enabling things such as Aero, Windows Search, Turbo/Hyper/Super/Mega/Ultra/Monster Cache etc. by default, while leaving out fundamental tools such as Telnet from a default install on a business computer is a good idea, then they've gone 'round a bend I won't follow. I don't care what you put on your "home edition" operating systems, remember, those fools bought Windows ME. I've no sympathy for them. And while I agree that maintaining two separate dev streams (a-la NT/9.X) is insane...

...the defaults need to be changed. I install Windows Server 2008, and right off the bat, it flies. It's not perfect, a lot of "little things" that should be there...aren't, and I still want my 2K/XP explorer interface back, (WITH the damned up one level button,) but it's a far sight from a default vista install.

The needs of those different tiers, Home, Business, "You're so stupid you thought ultimate would actually grant you something to justify the extra $200," are different. If your marketing droids feel that you absolutely HAVE TO slap a bunch of bling on to sell it to Johnny Dell Customer, fine.

Make that business edition smooth, sleek, with all the tools and default settings a business user or power user would use, as well as the option to return the interface components of both the OS, and critical elements like Windows Explorer to that of previous versions, (read: XP,) and maybe, just maybe, we'll consider using Vista over XP.

I've nothing against paying for the software I use. The thick of it is that if I'm to pay for software, it had better do what I want, rather than tell me to change my ways to match what some suit tells me I want.

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Paris Hilton

@Chris (re: Sigh)

Please tell us who has harkened back to the days of the Green Screen and VT100/GT1003 terminals for I see not one.

So were you complaining about NOBODY?

Why then post it? I think maybe your eyes ARE failing.

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Silver badge

@Craig: Redux

Wanting to stay on an OS that works and can produce all the same flashy nonsense when necessary is hardly wishing to return to monochrome screens and dot matrix printers... Once again you seem willing to dismiss all those not engaging in NewThink as idiots.

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Go

Vista works great!

Vista Ultimate 64 works flawlessly on both laptop and dev system out of the box. It recognizes 8GB RAM perfectly -pagefile is turned off and dev box is amazingly fast. I neither have problems with games (UT, Guildwars) nor drivers problems (old CD/DVD burners, soundcard). Eclipse/Tomcat/VS2005/Oracle 10g/MSSQL 2005 the likes work without any problems.

My girlfriend's laptop came with Vista. She is no techie but adapting to the new interfaces quite quickly from XP and the laptop runs without any hiccups. Now let's observe her productivity level when she is confined to using Linux...

Bottom line: If you are happy with XP, by all means do not upgrade. If you want to stay with MAC or Linux or Ubuntu then move on your merry ways. I recommend keeping your criticism privately until you actually try the product and have a clue. Every new OS has its pros and cons. If you whine about the price then develop your own OS to see how far you go.

nuff said!

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Flame

Witty

I dont brand anyone as idiots, I also don't flame and chatise those who wih to voice their opinions as heritics.

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Thumb Up

Re-Arrange "Windows 7"

Actually, I try to refrain from windows bashing per say, preferring instead to M$ bash, being as it is they who are the slacktards who keep dredging up the unnecessary and unwanted "new and improved". Also, I am very much of the opinion that "if it ain't broke..." and thus still await the time when I will reluctantly drag my lazy carcass into service pack 3 for XP. (It took me some 4 years to finally move from Win98 to XP so I'm only being consistent).

Suggestion: turn the "7" upside down...

Anagram of [Windows L] is "slow wind". Hmmmmmm!

It's almost an anagram of "Soiled Wank" too but I'd need a different icon for that.

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Re: Witty

However, you do intimate that anyone who disagrees with you are harkening back to the VT100 days, a position NOBODY BUT YOU have taken up.

By mischaracterising the ideas of everyone who disagrees with you, you are calling them idiots (via strawman) and inviting flame (hence flamebaiting).

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