Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Does The World Need Vista?

by: Onuora Amobi

Here I go again...

So, let's talk about a sacred topic. An Item that is whispered but RARELY openly discussed by the larger websites.


I'm not so sure that Vista is even necessary at this point in time. As I continue to use Vista and Microsoft continues to refine their betas (Currently at 5472), this has been a question that has been nagging at me.

The biggest reason that's offered up when I take this topic to the forums is that Microsoft needed to create a new OS because of security concerns with XP. That there is a void for a really secure Microsoft OS.

Does any mature Microsoft user REALLY think that with all the new code being introduced into this OS, it's going to be much more secure?

Ummm it's going to be different..maybe a little more secure but much more secure?? I doubt that.

Why do I doubt that? Two fundamental reasons.

1) History (look at all the releases that have come before)

2) The beta process. This open beta process has been interesting and along with all the good civil people helping to beta test, hackers now have a head start on exploring and cracking this O.S.

So we can argue security (especially for the enterprise) and Vista all day long but I would also like to explore another angle.

If you take a look at the features that Vista is offering, you'll see a lot of stand alone products.

Microsoft Mail (Basically Outlook express)
Microsoft Defender
Windows Media Center
Windows DVD Maker
Windows Fax and Scan
Windows Calendar
Windows Meeting Space
People near me
Windows Photo Gallery
Windows Movie Maker
Windows Contacts
Windows Sidebar

It can be argued that these and several other Vista offerings could have been offered as updates to XP and/or separate products. This is where the concept of Microsoft as a monopoly comes in. These products (if released separately) would probably not be able to dominate their respective markets.

For instance:

Media Center is cool but there are much better media players (WinDVD etc).
Defender is cute but there's Spysweeper, Adaware and Spyware Doctor.
Meeting Space would face stiff competition from several collaboration software vendors.

You get the picture.

BUT, if you had a new Operating System, well, instantly you have millions of customers who would not ordinarily have touched these products..

Now, I like Microsoft. I also think the idea of a new O.S. is healthy and exciting for the marketplace. It keeps Apple (the competition) on their toes and thus fulfills the mandate of a capitalist market.

I wanted Vista to be exciting and offer exceptional value but it seems to me, Vista should have had one major objective:

To be MUCH MUCH better than XP and Windows 2003.

Windows XP and Windows 2003 were really good Operating Systems and it would be hard to claim that they didn't provide overwhelming value compared to their predecessors.

Today, I use a dual boot PC with Windows 2003 and Windows Vista (5456) installed.

It's a testament to Microsoft that today I can dual boot into Vista beta and use it for days on end. It is a solid beta. It is a strong product. It is very stable. It's pretty.

Unfortunately, I know this for a fact:..... I can live without it.

Till next time...