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Readers Respond: 100 Million Vistas?

Last time, I blogged about Bill Gates' boast that Microsoft has sold 100 million copies of its latest OS. Here are some of your thoughts:

Don't Drink the Kool-Aid!
"There's a need for a reality check. How many of the 100 million copies are actually used? Were they shipped with PCs that got immediately 'downgraded'? Were upgrades installed and removed? I know of some that were and it's not an urban legend.

How many people have the time to learn a new interface for no real reason other than 'it's cool'? Businesses can't support it. For instance, Microsoft has a complete set of standalone tools to show people where things once were in Office 2003 and where they now are in Office 2007. Seems to me that answers a problem with the rollout of the product.

By the way, for real businesses, if they have to learn a new user interface, why not look at Linux or OpenOffice? Yes, there's a support cost, but there's a support cost to Microsoft as well -- what's the cost delta? Besides, it's free, which somehow seems to cover some of the cost of support and training since you aren't in the position of using your prior product experience.

Once you make major improvements to the user interface, you open the door for re-evaluation of the product. For the record, my company develops Microsoft-focused applications using the .NET platform.

You should also give some thought to where the market for information use is going. Most users need a subset of functionality and not the bloatware they're presented. More and more, I seem to be getting requests for BlackBerry, PDA and SmartPhone functionality and not PC platform applications, which are used more by 'clerical types' and not by managers, road-warriors, floor-staff, etc. At least, that's been my recent experience with several of the [small to medium sized-businesses] my company deals with.

Contrary to popular belief at Microsoft, I don't think the majority of users (programmers included) like having to (re)learn how to use products they once knew how to use, and at the same time meet business-driven deadlines. Maybe that works in consumer products, but it's different when your boss is breathing down your neck.

But that's just my opinion. And frankly, I never developed a taste for Kool-Aid.
-Gus Coniglio
Vice-President of Software Engineering and Operations
Newport Beach, Calif.

Vista Is Better
I know that there is an undercurrent about Vista; however, I develop for both XP and Vista and I have to tell you that I much prefer Vista to that of XP.

Just for the record, I have personally developed software for all Windows operating systems. Yes, from Windows 1.0 and up. Vista is the best so far.
Pete Smietana, Ph.D.
Danville, Calif.

Got more thoughts on Vista? E-mail me at [email protected].

Posted by Michael Desmond on 01/10/2008

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