The Macalope didn’t see it, but his friend the Kraken was watching CNN’s Vista-palooza this morning and noted with some glee that after an interview with Bill Gates, Ali Velshi was talking about how many Windows users will face a confusing upgrade that may require them to buy new machines. Miles O’Brien replied “Or, they could just go Mac.”

The Kraken dryly noted that that pretty much took the air out of the whole piece which had been sounding a lot like an ad for Microsoft up until then.

But O’Brien’s comment is exactly what the Macalope’s been thinking about this all along. The Vista upgrade forces a purchasing decision for many Windows users. Most will simply suck it up and buy a new PC with Vista already installed because they either fear change, don’t know any better or just really prefer Windows.

But if you know any wavering Windows users, now would be a good time to try to talk them down off the ledge.

UPDATE: O’Brien also apparently asked Gates if he was deliberately trying to copy OS X.

  • […] 43f Links for Wednesday, January 31st Flying Meat: VoodooPad Good old VoodooPad. I forgot what a great app this is. Re-upped my reg for 3.x this morning. Also it’s my software pick for MacBreak Weekly. Go, Gus! (tagged: gusmueller osx applications voodoopad) pixelpressicons.com Whoa — not sure how I missed that beautiful hPDA icon til now. Nice! (tagged: osx mac icons hpda hipsterpda) The Macalope » Blog Archive » Ouch! “The Vista upgrade forces a purchasing decision for many Windows users.” (tagged: mbwideas macalope microsoftvista vista) BBC NEWS | Business | Can Microsoft’s Vista inspire consumers? “One of Vista’s new features is that it shuts down in just two seconds.” I’ll bet I’m reading this differently than a lot of Windows fans do. (tagged: windowsvista windows) […]

  • Simon:

    Reminds me of the CNN(?) piece on the Zune where the female anchor whipped out her 2G iPod shuffle and started playing with it on air, wondering aloud why anyone would get a Zune when they could have “one of these tiny little things.” Lovely.

  • The Macalope thought of that as well. Good times.

  • Peter Cohen:

    Similarly, on WCVB in Boston last night, after a report on the Vista rollout, the anchorwoman (Natalie Jacobson) remarked that Mac users didn’t need to be concerned.

  • I was talking to another journalist this morning, and she wondered why Microsoft didn’t just cut off the past — you know, start fresh. We were both talking about how much they have to support older software, blah blah blah. And then I’m thinking — they bought Connectix. They own Windows XP. They could just have distributed Windows Vista with ClassiXP Mode, to copy Apple, and offer XP in a window for any legacy apps with decent integration with Vista.

    Then they could have actually started fresh with a new platform that has no promised legacy support, but that still use the same .Net and other programming frameworks. So they could just dump everything that was a pain, software developers would have had a chance to do the transition (and would have also liked to dump legacy crap), and so on.

    I guess Apple showed it was too easy to do that (Classic, Rosetta).

  • Gary Patterson:

    Glenn, I think that’s what Microsoft tried to do, but after a few years of fruitless development they ditched all their work to date and started again with an existing codebase (I think it was Win2K, but I may well be wrong).

    Things I read at the Miini-Microsoft blog give an indication of a company that just can’t manage its people to create great products. I know it’s a very self-selecting survey, but it does highlight a lot of political crap and personal issues flying about the halls of Microsoft.

    Apple’s OS X and Classic OS should be considered an example of an OS transition done *right*

  • John Muir:

    Absolutely. In fact, does anyone remember that thread full of Microsofties debating Windows’ future which went on in public about a year ago and made the rounds of the Mac Web? It was linked to one of the big delays. Maybe the Macalope is sufficiently sagacious to be able to find a link, I’m hitting nothing here though remember reading quite a lot of it at the time with great interest.

    Anyway, the MS devs were right. Vista is their Copland and unlike Apple they had no choice (and almost limitless resources) so pushed it out the door at last. Or was it more like OS 8?

    Microsoft’s only option for their next OS is to do a REAL REWRITE, not a marketing BS one as everything has been since Windows 2000. They need a new core, they need new frameworks, damn they need an OS X to their System 7.

    Running Vista apps in Parallels desktop style direct to hardware virtualisation is definitely the way to go. But MS don’t have a NeXT to buy. Or a Be. They’ve got a lot of work to do. And unlike Apple, they have stark ideological reasons NOT to adopt an open source base, be it BSD or Linux.

    I’m not laughing at their expense. In fact I’d like to see them really unleash their coders on a long term project they could relish instead of dread. But let’s just say politics is a huge problem for them, and I don’t expect anything more than service packs and rebranding from them for the rest of this decade and a few years after that as well.

  • John Muir:

    As for the “new PC or a Mac?” theme, I refer interested readers to the debate we had recently here:

    Basically, I’m of the view that Microsoft have the market share they have now because of institutional buyers and the network effect surrounding those, rather than very many people actively choosing “oh I think I’ll have Windows over a Mac, I like it better”. Microsoft has the awesome power of Default, hallowed be thy name!

    There is every likelihood of continued growth in Mac sales this year however, as the effect this post is about will be present among some buyers. But the end of Windows this is not. I’m sure Microsoft will be crowing about their OEM sales figures soon enough, as the whole generic PC industry is hyper wired for this and has been waiting so long they’re all desperate to regain what they consider to be new Windows version lag sales.

    A more troubling matter for Redmond will be the big buyers (read: IT departments) who have every reason to be cautious about new releases. But the chances of them sticking with Windows is a few orders of magnitude greater than them dumping their whole platform and going Mac. Here lies the great distorting factor between OS X and Windows sales.

  • huxley:

    The codebase they used after “ditching everything” was Windows 2003 Server.

  • James Bailey:

    I just finished a 4-month contract (tomorrow actually) where I was doing enterprise development in Java and was using a XP Pro ThinkPad. This is the first time I’ve used Windows extensively in a few years and the first time I had to use XP extensively.

    I never really had a problem with Windows 2000 Pro in the past. It worked well enough as a development platform and I would always install Cygwin to get a bash shell and some compatibility with Unix tools. For this contract I didn’t install Cygwin because the laptop was temporary and the tools were all Java anyway. I have to say, using XP felt like going back in time by about a decade as a developer.

    I was using the same Java development tools that I would probably use anywhere: Eclipse, Java 1.4, Ant etc but the day to day usage of XP took a toll. Things just didn’t work right. Now part of that is probably because the XP Pro install was borked. The “IT” guy was purely incompetent and I wasn’t allowed to do much with configuring the machine. But the oddest things just cropped up. For example, I generally leave the Task Manager open in the task bar so that I have the small performance monitor available in the system tray. But for some reason on this machine it would 3 or 4 launches of the Task Manager for this status display to appear. No reason that I could determine, it just didn’t work 3 out of 4 times or so.

    One day, out of the blue for no discernible reason, Wordpad decided that it was not available. This continued until I rebooted and then it happened again a day or so later. I used Wordpad to open Unix formatted files which are quite common when working with Java so this was a nasty problem. So I started to reboot the computer every morning and then deliberately test to make sure that Wordpad would work on the current startup. By doing this, I never had that problem again. Just plain maddening. Wordpad is a tiny application yet it appears to be embedded in the OS in some bizarre way. Why would anyone write applications that way?

    The thing was, these problems are endemic across the division of the company that I was contracting for. Nobody in the building used the network to share files. Everyone had a USB thumb drive. I haven’t seen sneakernet used on this scale since the early 90’s. Nobody trusted that their computer would be able to connect to another because of the persistent problems with the local active directory domain(s). Everyone was so used to the problem that they just ignored it and worked around it. What a huge productivity waster.

    Like I said, these problems are probably self-induced by the lousy IT in the building but it still felt to me like it was coming from the Windows DNA that pervaded the company.

    The final comment is that I heard several people mention Vista over the last few days. No one wanted anything to do with it. These people were convinced that trying anything new with Windows just made everything worse. I can’t imagine that this attitude is unique to this company. I think that Microsoft has a huge problem on their hands. Their FUD worked so well, people really have given up hoping for a better solution, even from Microsoft.

  • Yup. If you have to buy a new box anyway, might as well get OS X on it.

  • Andy:

    Well, sounds more unbiassed than the BBC reporting over here in the UK, which was basically a 5 minute advert for Vista, coupled with a sycophantic ‘interview’ with Gates (in which the interviewer said Gates was known as an ‘innovator’. Really ?).

    This is likely something to do with the cosy little arrangement the Beeb has got into with MS.

    Ironically, one of the graphics used to illustrate the piece, showing computer windows listing the benefits of Vista, actually used – yep, you guessed it – Mac OS X windows. Chortle ! Clearly there’s a rebellious Mac user in the graphics department !

  • smiler:

    Digg.com had an funny item: a video of Microsoft Norway showing off Vista–on an Intel iMac! Quite a hoot!



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