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Microsoft Software

Is Windows Vista in Trouble? 879

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the shooting-feet dept.
Ken Erfourth writes "The Inquirer.net is running a story about what they consider two powerful indications that Vista is failing in the marketplace. One, Dell has reintroduced PCs running Windows XP on its website due to customer demand. Two, Microsoft is conducting a worldwide firesale on a bundle of Microsoft Office 2007/WindowsXP Starter Edition. According to Inquirer.net, at least, these are signs of serious problems selling Vista. Are we seeing the stumbling of the Microsoft Juggernaught with the slow adoption of Windows Vista?"
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Is Windows Vista in Trouble?

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  • by nweaver (113078) on Monday April 23, 2007 @04:45PM (#18845085) Homepage
    With XP, there was a compelling reason for a lot of people to upgrade. For the Win2K users, it got you the gaming APIs and other things formerly only good in the Win98 branch. For the Win98 branch users, it was a huge upgrade in stability and robustness.

    With Vista, there is no compelling useful feature for users, and much of the content added is particularly ANTI-user. So why upgrade?
  • It was trouble (Score:5, Insightful)

    by neoform (551705) <djneoform@gmail.com> on Monday April 23, 2007 @04:45PM (#18845087) Homepage
    when they slipped their release date by 3 years..

    they're in even more trouble since they haven't said a word about their next version of windows..
  • Get real (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Lord Grey (463613) * on Monday April 23, 2007 @04:46PM (#18845097)

    Are we seeing the stumbling of the Microsoft Juggernaught with the slow adoption of Windows Vista?
    Are you perhaps reading just a little too much into these events in the interest of journalistic sensationalism? Is an article on Inquirer.net really worth referencing anywhere else on the internet?

    I don't like Microsoft, and I gleefully read all about Vista's "innovations" and the Zune's "features" and laugh. But this article is just a little too opinionated to make worthwhile.
  • by Captain Splendid (673276) <capsplendid@g m a i l . com> on Monday April 23, 2007 @04:46PM (#18845099) Homepage Journal
    Did the submitter know this is /.? Plenty of us here think the answer is yes, and have been thinking that for a loooong time. I'm more interested in anone here who thinks Vista will do well, and why. So step right up and change my mind, let me know why you think Vista will eventually dominate. And I need a better argument than "800-pound gorilla".
  • No, It's Not (Score:5, Insightful)

    by asphaltjesus (978804) on Monday April 23, 2007 @04:49PM (#18845143)
    There's this thing called a monopoly that prevents this trouble from occurring.

    Windows users will buy new machines, and get Vista "real soon now." The number of users that switch will be nominal. No harm done to Microsoft.

    As much as the media may want it to be, there is no competition in a market with a Monopoly.

  • by HighOrbit (631451) * on Monday April 23, 2007 @04:49PM (#18845155)
    By now, the PC market is saturated and MS already has 90+ percent of it. Nearly everybody who needs or wants a PC already has one. This means that there will be little growth and the market is really based on replacement of older models with newer ones. MS already has a huge market share, so they can't grow by taking share away from the competition.

    This does not mean MS or Vista are washed-up. It just means it is a mature market. MS and Vista are actually sitting pretty. They will continue to see 90+ percent of new computers running their stuff for the foreseeable future. But they simply won't have double-digit growth year over year, just a steady torrent of replacements.
  • It's great, but... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Last_Available_Usern (756093) on Monday April 23, 2007 @04:50PM (#18845169)
    Vista is a great OS, it just may be a little too bulky for it's time. It probably needs to wait a little bit for mainstream hardware to catch up to it's outlandish specs (which in all honesty, you don't need if you don't run it in it's Turbo Hyper-Fighting Championship Edition graphics mode).
  • by Travoltus (110240) on Monday April 23, 2007 @04:53PM (#18845225) Journal
    Windows ME.
  • by KingSkippus (799657) * on Monday April 23, 2007 @04:53PM (#18845245) Homepage Journal

    Is Vista in trouble? Why wouldn't it be? Even if Microsoft gave the thing away for free, it totally ignores the fact that there's an enormous cost [auckland.ac.nz] to upgrading. Microsoft doesn't need a fire sale, it needs to be paying people to install this thing.

    Let's run down the usual suspects of people who upgrade and see how they feel:

    • Business users hate it. The hardware required to run it cost a lot of money when multiplied by tens, hundreds, or thousands of employees. Add to that the training costs, the support costs, the deployment costs, and so on ad nauseum, and the business decision easily becomes a no-brainer. And for what? Beefed up "security" that causes your user base to go nuts answering "Allow or deny" dialog boxes?
    • Gamers hate it. It just plain doesn't run with the hardware that's out right now. I really think that Vista is trying to be the proverbial egg that comes before widespread manufacturer support (the proverbial chicken), but it's just not happening. Every gamer I know is avoiding Vista like the plague. As long as gamers aren't begging for Vista support in their high-end components, manufacturers are still going to continue to be reluctant.
    • Speaking of manufacturers, it's obvious that they hate it, too. When I tried Vista for a week a while back (not the beta, the so-called real version after launch), two things didn't work. My Creative SoundBlaster Live! card and my nVidia video card. To be fair, the latter technically worked, but some of its higher-end functionality didn't. We're not talking about little no-name manufacturers here or bizarre equipment, we're talking about common cards from major manufacturers. Have you even seen the hoops that hardware manufacturers have to jump through to comply with Vista's outrageous requirements?
    • The emerging home entertainment market hates it. Let's not mince words: One of Vista's primary design goals is Digital Rights "Management," keeping these people from doing what they want to do. Why would buy software that takes functionality away!!?

    I could go on, but you get the point. Is Vista in trouble? You bet. Add to all of the above the competition that it faces from various Linux distributions that are easier than ever to install and use, products like Mac OS, clever new projects such as ReactOS [reactos.org], and even its own predecessor! and it becomes clear that Microsoft should be praying that people pirate it, because that's the only way it's going to make any kind of splash when all is said and done.

    Don't get me wrong, it won't die completely, any more than Windows ME is dead. But in the annals of operating systems, my money is that it will be merely a blip on the screen. If Microsoft is smart, it should be working on adding features to its operating system, making it faster and more powerful and easier to use. It should be fighting with us against DRM, not against us by crippling their software with it.

    Personally, I think that Microsoft is not very smart, but who knows, I guess we'll see. At any rate, after giving it a week to try to convince me that it's not as bad as everyone says it is, I was very disappointed in it and won't be running it anytime in the forseeable future.

  • by Reason58 (775044) on Monday April 23, 2007 @04:54PM (#18845257)

    It probably needs to wait a little bit for mainstream hardware to catch up to it's outlandish specs (which in all honesty, you don't need if you don't run it in it's Turbo Hyper-Fighting Championship Edition graphics mode).
    The new UI is 95% of the reason to move to Vista. If you are going to disable it then why use Vista over XP at all?
  • Re:Well (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Last_Available_Usern (756093) on Monday April 23, 2007 @04:54PM (#18845265)
    Care to elaborate? Or are you just onboard with the "Hate Microsoft" bandwagon? As someone who works in an environment supporting Microsoft (and other) products, I'm in no immediate hurry to see them tumble down just because I like to watch big things go boom.
  • by cliffski (65094) on Monday April 23, 2007 @04:56PM (#18845285) Homepage
    because it's better than XP.

    I have 2 machines, a vista one and an XP one (plus an XP laptop). The Vista PC is newer, so i can't do an apples and apples comparison, but still, my impression is that Vista feels nicer, slicker, more responsive and faster than XP.
    Like most versions of windows, it's hard to really put my finger on a single 'killer app' that makes Vista better, but as a user, the overalle xperience just feels more polished.
    I *had* to get a vista machine, to do compatility tests for my games, but I certainly don't regret doing so. I'd be suprised if many end users who get an O/S with a new PC, who aren't uber geeks will go out of their way to ask for the earlier operating system, especially as any new machine will run vista fine.

    I know lots of people have a beef with various aspects of Vista, but they don't bother me. I don't watch downloaded movies on my PC, I use it for gaming and surfing and developing, so the DRM that may be in it doesn't bother me personally.
    Apart from anything, Vista is more likely to be safer, as XP will now be ignroed in terms of patching exploits.

    Vista will win in the long term. it might be longer than the short-termists who write magazine articles are used to, but in 3-4 years from now, it will seem funny to have written off vista.
    Microsoft aren't as strong as they used to be, Google has seen to that, and I doubt they would attempt to do an even more bloated expensive O/S after vista, but I also doubt there will be any long term problems in its takeup.
  • by notaprguy (906128) * on Monday April 23, 2007 @04:57PM (#18845307) Journal
    Microsoft reports earnings on Thursday and I'm sure they'll provide some details on sales of Vista and Office 2007. From what I've read, sales of Vista seem to be good. Dell's decision to offer XP is a PR thing...they had a few customers who complained.
  • by m0rph3us0 (549631) on Monday April 23, 2007 @04:57PM (#18845325)
    It's not restraint of trade. They simply don't offer the product for sale anymore. Why should a company not be allowed to discontinue a product? If a more satisfying product is offered by another company consumers will simply migrate.
  • by zenasprime (207132) on Monday April 23, 2007 @04:58PM (#18845343) Homepage
    I thought about installing on a spare drive just to see what all the non-fuss was about but then I saw that it was going to cost $200+ and said "no thanks".

  • by jmorris42 (1458) * <`jmorris' `at' `beau.org'> on Monday April 23, 2007 @05:00PM (#18845361)
    If you are a gamer, XP is an upgrade from Vista. Helped one build a new system recently. Of course they they bought a copy of (32bit OEM) Vista. 3D performace (with a 512MB NVidia card running current drivers) was pitiful and the machine only saw 2GB of the 4GB installed. They are in an area with no broadband so PeoplePC being unable to get them connected via dialup was the final insult.

    So they bought a copy of XP and reinstalled. 3D looked like what a top of the line card should be able to do and dialup worked. Performance in general was vastly improved. Still had the 2GB memory limit though, probably not much to there except go to a 64bit system and suffer the issues involved with that... not worth it.

    Yes most of their problem was probably driver related. Doesn't matter, Vista is now facing the same problem we Linux users deal with every day. Users don't want to hear excuses, if the OS doesn't work with their hardware NOW they don't want to hear "maybe it will work someday". Especially since right now it doesn't appear a Vista user has any good options. NVidia doesn't perform well, ATI doesn't even have a DX10 hard out and Intel only has low end onboard stuff.

    Three years late and they still couldn't manage to bully the key hardware players to have proper support available for launch. Doesn't sound like an 800lb gorilla to me. This fiacso is going to be long remembered.
  • by baggins2001 (697667) on Monday April 23, 2007 @05:00PM (#18845363)
    Most vendors I talk to have said that they are being allowed to sell XP until the end of the year. Systems sold in 2008 will have to have Vista.
    Part of the problem is that there was not enough support for Vista ( a lot of people ran into problems with drivers ).
    Basically MS got some of the pressure off of them to put a new OS out. Early adopters get to be the guinea pigs while the rest of us wait for the major problems to be fixed.
  • by MSFanBoi2 (930319) on Monday April 23, 2007 @05:01PM (#18845391)
    When Windows 95 came out people said the same thing.
    When Windows 98 came out people said the same thing.
    When Windows 2000 came out people said the same thing.
    When Windows Me came out people said the same thing (and were right)
    When Windows XP came out people said the same thing.

    Rest assured, Microsoft will do all they can to make sure Vista is very much a success. Remember, even with it's supposed bad sales, Windows Vista already has more users than MacOS as a whole...
  • Re:It was trouble (Score:5, Insightful)

    by StarvingSE (875139) on Monday April 23, 2007 @05:02PM (#18845401)
    Not only did they slip on the release date, but they dropped many features that would have made the OS actually new. What we have now is on OS that costs a lot of money for a bunch of features that are truly cosmetic in nature. There is absolutely nothing to get excited about with Vista.

    I could see delaying release for 3 years becuase they wnated to perfect some brand new must-have feature, but the product that was delivered was simply anti-climatic to say the least.
  • Re:Now if only... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by paeanblack (191171) on Monday April 23, 2007 @05:03PM (#18845435)
    Dell would release PCs running XP without all the other crap it might be worth buying one. Maybe...

    You do realize that all that nagware crap subsidizes the cost of the hardware, don't you? All that crap is exactly why Dells are worth buying. One wipe, which I'd be doing anyways, and it's all gone.
  • Re:Get real (Score:1, Insightful)

    by kid_oliva (899189) on Monday April 23, 2007 @05:04PM (#18845443) Homepage
    I am going to have to agree here. Although, I like Microsoft more because they keep me employed. The real test will be next year about this time. Gamers don't drive adoption of OS's. Normal people buying PC's out of the box from retailers do. When you are not able to buy XP on an out of the box system is when you will start to see wider acceptance as the threshold of users increase. It is still way to early to tell anything.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 23, 2007 @05:04PM (#18845445)
    That would be the author of the Inquirer "article". He makes no factual assertions beyond what has already been printed in the press for the last week. Then he asserts that this means *DOOOOOM* for Vista. Ah, yes. "*BSD is dying" for the Windows crowd.

    Allow me to break the bad news: Vista won't go away. Back when XP was released, there was popular demand for Windows 2000 for several years. Where I work (University lab), we *still* get requests for Windows 2000 from time to time. The university will not support Vista for at least a year. And then it will take another good year to deploy. By that time, I expect a service pack will have been released.

    Demerjian is a troll with the backing of the worst IT rag in the industry. And /. keeps giving him, and his lame publisher, links and press time and time again.

  • by jellomizer (103300) * on Monday April 23, 2007 @05:04PM (#18845451)
    With Microsoft Goal a PC on every desk with Microsoft on it. Coming as close to reality as it is going to get. People are no longer excited by computers as they once were. Back in the 80s and early 90s PC were things for Geeks and Young People and Computers are the future but the presents is fine. So the younger generation started getting computers and such causing the growth in the PC market. Everything was new and exciting. Then the last big hooray was Windows 95 where all computers not just Macs were considered easy enough for everyone to use and with a timely popularity of the internet (in which MS jumped onto late) PCs became technology of NOW where everyone needs it, to function in our society fully. Now computers are way to common and the average person is not excited about the upgrade they have been threw the process and most people today have at least one upgrade under their belt, and that upgrade wasn't as exciting as they expected. So more and more people are not caring about a new flashier version of windows. Now the Geeks are hoarding and around Linux and Apple, so that is where the people who care are giving excitement too, back in 95 a lot of geeks were willing to wait until midnight to be the first for Windows 95 and now many of those people will hit refresh on their browser waiting for the next version of their favorite distribution or go to Apple Update Parties. As for Windows people don't care. Sure they use it but they are not excited on getting a new version just because it looks cooler. If they are going to put money into it it needs to be something much bigger. And the fact they learned that they could keep Windows 98 running for almost a decade afterwards and still run modern stuff. Makes them realize that XP will be around for a while to and no need to upgrade, heck they could probably skip a version if they felt like it.
  • by hedwards (940851) on Monday April 23, 2007 @05:13PM (#18845561)
    I ran one of the RC releases of Vista on this three year old computer with a half gig ram. And it wasn't really that much slower than XP. In some respects it seemed faster because it wouldn't come to a screeching halt every time I went to connect to a network site that was down. And I didn't spend a whole lot of time searching around for the icon I wanted when cruising through huge directories of folders.

    I think that the hatred of vista will largely subside once people actually use it. The OS is clearly the best thing that MS has put out in a number of years. It will be profitable eventually, I mean even ME was eventually profitable, but I think that with vista that it will take less time.
  • by Richard_at_work (517087) <richardprice.gmail@com> on Monday April 23, 2007 @05:14PM (#18845579)
    When Windows XP was released, I distinctly remember the same 'theres nothing compelling to upgrade to XP for' pieces doing the rounds on Slashdot and other tech op-ed sites - people were predicting Microsofts failure, that XP wouldnt sell at all because it demanded huge hardware requirements, that XP had a Fisher Price interface that would scare buyers away and it would only really sell through forced OEM installations.

    Im quietly confident that in 5 years time, when Vistas replacement is released, it will all happen again.
  • by beckerist (985855) on Monday April 23, 2007 @05:15PM (#18845603) Homepage
    You aren't kidding, and when I read the title "Vista in Trouble?" I thought to myself HELL YEAH! I bought Windows XP x64 less than 2 months ago (OEM Edition) with the promise of a FREE VISTA UPGRADE!!! I got it off Newegg, which I've NEVER had problems with... Microsoft doesn't recognize my computer's serial number (no kidding shits, I built it!), and even though I got XP legitimately, MS STILL won't honor my FREE VISTA deal.

    As far as I'm concerned, forget Vista, XP works fine and for what it DOESN'T do..I have virtualization.
  • by hey! (33014) on Monday April 23, 2007 @05:20PM (#18845675) Homepage Journal
    I'm posting this from a Vista laptop.

    Now, If I had my choice, it would be a MacOS or a Ubuntu laptop. But I specifically requested a Vista laptop so I could evaluate our software on it (it seems fine).

    The thing is, other than some fairly trivial eye candy, there is nothing here that is a must have for users. The thing that was great about the Win2K upgrade from NT was that the horrible instability of NT4 was fixed. Vista at first blush is a lot like the Win 2K to XP upgrade -- basically eye candy as far as most users are concerned. But unlike XP, Vista comes with a pretty hefty sacrifice in RAM and CPU. So it feels like a bit of a downgrade.

    Much of what we'd really like to know about Vista lies in the future. The great fault of NT4 was stability. The great fault of 2K and XP were security. If Vista, in the long term, proves more secure than XP, then it will be a worthwhile sacrifice of RAM and all will be forgiven. For now, savvy users are not counting on it in the short term. Vista was a horribly late project pushed out the door. It introduces many new technologies, none of which are particularly important to users, which add massive complexity to the product. Both these argue for a bumpy start.

    Overall, I'm pleased with this Vista machine because it has enough RAM and power to run to OS adequately.
  • by walt-sjc (145127) on Monday April 23, 2007 @05:20PM (#18845687)
    the DRM that may be in it doesn't bother me personally.

    Don't worry, it will eventually - vista hasn't been out long enough for the restrictions to become obvious and troublesome.

    As for vista "winning" in the long term, I do believe that vista will become the dominant home-user OS because of forced integration (no more OEM sales of XP and EOL date for XP) than for any other reason.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 23, 2007 @05:22PM (#18845705)
    anti-climatic

    Vista contributes to global warming? We'd better call Al Gore!

  • Uhh... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Belial6 (794905) on Monday April 23, 2007 @05:23PM (#18845727)
    "Why should a company not be allowed to discontinue a product?"

    Uhhh...Because they are a monopoly that was convicted of using their monopoly position in an illegal manner. Given that people still want to buy XP, and that they can sell it at a considerable profit, one must then ask why they would not be willing to sell it to an eager public. The answer entail vendor lock in. This is a problem for a monopoly that has been convicted of anti-competitive behavior.
  • Even more so... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by symbolset (646467) on Monday April 23, 2007 @05:32PM (#18845869) Journal

    That extra three years XP became more entrenched each day. Every time somebody installed a new printer or upgraded their wireless or beat their way through a software install, the compatibility bar for vista got higher. Every time someone new installed XP, the breakthrough point for widespread adoption of Vista got higher too. Each time XP gained share the leverage of having everyone on the same plan became more apparent as the pool of people you could exchange files with grew. Every time somebody bit their lip and bought a hugely expensive new program in the faint hope it would install and run correctly and be compatible with their extant setup and not be lame, the cost of upgrading to vista grew higher again. Even the negatives of some of these things forewarned people that change can be very bad and unnecessary change can be dumb when things go horribly wrong as they sometimes do over the simplest things.

    XP isn't perfect and it doesn't have to be. XP works reliably enough for most people to do what they want to do most of the time. They've grown comfortable with their XP setups and invested heavily in padding their XP nests. To abandon that for a whole new Vista that doesn't have any of their expensive software or work with their expensive peripherals or just won't do what they've done each day for years or isn't quite interoperable with their friends' just isn't going to fly unless there is a compelling reason. A new desktop theme is not compelling enough for most people. For that level of sacrifice people want real change.

  • by Angst Badger (8636) on Monday April 23, 2007 @05:35PM (#18845929)
    Two words: MSDOS 4.0.

    Those of you old enough to remember, and yet who can't even recall MSDOS 4.0, will immediately know what I mean.

    For those of you who are too young, MSDOS 4.0 was a tremendous flop. MSDOS 3.3 was used pretty much continuously from its release in 1987 until it MSDOS 5.0 came out in 1991, and even then, I ran into machines running v.3.3 for years afterwards. Version 4.0 was buggy and bloated while adding virtually nothing in the way of useful features, and the market reacted with a resounding yawn.

    Microsoft, it should be remembered, was the dominant OS vendor in 1987, but it was not a monopoly yet. There were still plausible alternatives (then as now, technically superior). Microsoft is the dominant OS vendor in 2007, but its monopoly is crumbling, and all it will take is one gigantic screwup for competitors to move in. Vista is a gigantic screwup, just like MSDOS 4.0.

    This could be good news for Linux, great news for Apple, and freaking fantastic news for ODF, especially if MS takes as long to recover from Vista as they did from DOS 4.
  • by pandrijeczko (588093) on Monday April 23, 2007 @05:42PM (#18846047)
    If you really want Vista to truly fail, then as a computer geek (and let's face it, if you read this on Slashdot then you *are* a geek), do your utmost to go and educate all the Joe Averages in the world.

    No, don't try to convert them to Linux (unless they ask you to) but go help them when their computers fail. When you hear a friend or a relative suggest that they're going to buy a new PC because their old one is getting slow, go and help them out. Tell them it probably just needs a reinstall, maybe a bit more memory, a bigger hard disk... But *STOP* them buying new computers just for the sake of it.

    And when you've helped them out, help them to install Firefox and Thunderbird, install OpenOffice for them and set it up.

    People need to be educated properly about what it is to own a PC and what they need to do on a regular basis to keep it running relatively fast. We need to take control of our PCs - not buy every Microsoft upgrade, remove the Norton and McAfee Nagware crap that comes installed on every new PC.

    That's the *PROPER* way to make Vista fail...

  • by Achromatic1978 (916097) <robert&chromablue,net> on Monday April 23, 2007 @05:43PM (#18846063)
    What a load of crap. OEM is meant to be "Original Equipment Manufacturer", not "toss in a $2 mouse and you get a discount". He might have built his system, doesn't make him a manufacturer.

    Yes, I know this'll get plenty of troll and flamebait mods.

  • by jtosburn (63943) on Monday April 23, 2007 @05:43PM (#18846075)
    When Windows XP was released, I distinctly remember the same 'theres nothing compelling to upgrade to XP for' pieces doing the rounds on Slashdot and other tech op-ed sites - people were predicting Microsofts failure, that XP wouldnt sell at all because it demanded huge hardware requirements, that XP had a Fisher Price interface that would scare buyers away and it would only really sell through forced OEM installations.

    Yes, you heard that. It's what people who had Windows 2000 said, and a heck of a lot of them stayed with Win2k. There really wasn't any compelling reason to move to XP.

    But there were a LOT of people running Windows 98/ME. For them, Windows XP was a huge, meaningful upgrade. They all went with WinXP, either as an upgrade, or as part of a new hardware purchase.

    With Windows Vista, there doesn't seem to be any substantial group for whom a compelling reason to upgrade exists.

    None the less, maybe you're right; in five years we'll all be running Vista SE, Service Pack 3, Trademark, All rights reserved. It'll be the only platform to access Windows Live, so it's gotta sell!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 23, 2007 @05:44PM (#18846083)
    If some OEM forces Vista on you , the License Agreement apparently gives you the right to return it.

    http://www.ideastorm.com/article/show/66189 [ideastorm.com]

    Linux users have used this technique for a while. In some jurisdictions you might have to take the OEM to small claims court if their customer support people are uncooperative -- but since the license is in your favor you'll win a default judgment and they won't even try to fight it.

    With that discount you can then install the OS of your choice.
  • by alexhmit01 (104757) on Monday April 23, 2007 @05:59PM (#18846287)
    Everywhere by the US has sugar, NOT corn syrup. However, because of high tariffs on sugar, and heavy corn subsidies in the US, high fructose corn syrup is cheaper than sugar in the US, so most products use it. In the rest of the world, importing sugar is cheaper than corn syrup, better for the customers, and tastier, so nobody else using all the corn syrup products that are used in the US.

    Every Jew gets to realize this during Passover, as all our corn syrup products are unavailable to us for a week. In fact, it's the ONLY time you can reliably get Coke/Pepsi with sugar instead of corn syrup and is tastier.

    It's a shame, a short-sited policy, but benefits a few (I think two) wealthy families that own the US sugar production and benefit from high prices.
  • by shlashdot (689477) on Monday April 23, 2007 @06:01PM (#18846307) Homepage Journal
    maybe, but I don't recall uninstalling 98 so I could buy and run 95. I don't recall uninstalling XP so I could pay for and run 98...

    I'm quietly confident that in 5 years time I will have more Linux machines than I do now. As far as I am concerned, they've already failed. As for the rest of the world, you're almost certainly right. They'll do fine.
  • by deets (1072072) on Monday April 23, 2007 @06:03PM (#18846319)
    Yum, Dr. Pepper from the Dublin, TX plant.
  • by mrchaotica (681592) * on Monday April 23, 2007 @06:03PM (#18846331)

    You're missing the point. What if "Susan" says "no, you can't have a code?" You're shit outta luck, that's what!

  • by KingSkippus (799657) * on Monday April 23, 2007 @06:05PM (#18846355) Homepage Journal

    I find it hard to believe that many gamers actually want Vista instead of XP. Here are a few reasons why:

    • Hardly any game companies support running their games under Vista.
    • Gamers I know like to squeeze as much performance out of their machines as they can, and Vista's bells and whistles, the things that separate it from XP, are intensive resource hogs. If those fancy Aero graphics are consuming your GPU's cycles, guess what... Your game isn't.
    • Hardware support, as you pointed out, is sketchy at best. Spending $1,000 on video cards that don't work is, well, not fun.

    Are they crying loudly for Vista drivers? Sure, because some of them have made the mistake of getting Vista, most likely by buying a new PC that didn't give them the opportunity for getting XP, and most of them would rather spend the $200 retail for a new copy of XP on some system component. But, like I said, most gamers I know aren't crying to manufacturers; they're simply avoiding Vista like the plague.

    Say, though, since you bring it up, and now that I've told you why the gamers I know are avoiding Vista, exactly why do you think that "most of them want to get vista"? What is it about Vista that's better than Windows XP?

  • by mkoenecke (249261) on Monday April 23, 2007 @06:11PM (#18846429) Homepage
    Unless their contracts specifically required that an OEM be someone building a system *for resale*, it's their own fault. I may not be in the business of selling computers, but if I build my own I *am* an OEM.
  • by swalters1 (1008477) on Monday April 23, 2007 @06:19PM (#18846563)

    So.. exactly what part of that article qualified as journalism? It read like a page from a scandal rag... well anyway...Why upgrade... you probably shouldn't.. you've already decided you don't like it..... why else? You're computer probably can't handle it anyway. Unless your purchasing new hardware or you're the tuner type like me, Vista really doesn't hold much in the "I need it now" catagory. Of course, if you're a gamer, there's good reasons to upgrade, as long as you're willing to buy a DX10 card with it. (And don't give me the XP could run DX10 line, that's pure BS and anyone who programs understands exactly why XP can't use the memory funcitons that are in DX10.)

    As for the two indications the article spoke of: First Dell letting people have XP again. Yes.. they should. Especially on the low end sale computers, they just arn't designed to handle it and really suffer in the performance department. So putting XP back on the low end stuff is a good thing. I applaud Dell for not screwing their customers on the OS. As for the second "Indication", ug... this guy's so far off base it's comical. The computers that will run the XP starter edition and Office that Microsoft is selling for $3 a copy can't possibly run Vista in the first place. Often these developing nations that are going to get this software are looking at getting the bottom of the barrel, whatever is left over after the rest of the world bought their machines. They can't run it, end of story, and MS isn't going to say to a devloping country, "Oh sorry, you have to buy Dell's highend machines, because we're only giving you Vista." *sigh*

    People please... logic... it's not just for breakfast anymore.

    In short, hate on Vista all you want. Call it MEII, call it the worst OS from MS, I really don't care, but at least show why it's a bad os, not "Oh MS must think it's failing because they're giving away copies of XP to people who can't run Vista." And before you judge, run it on a PC that it was actually designed to run on, not one that's 2 years old and you bought on sale from Dell for $499

  • Actually... no (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Opportunist (166417) on Monday April 23, 2007 @06:22PM (#18846607)
    Dunno where you pull that "info" out of, but I remember it quite differently.

    When 95 came out, people were literally storming the stores. There were geeks camping outside like it's some sneak-rare-midnight-preview of Star Wars 7. There were people buying it that even didn't have a computer 'cause it was supposedly SO cool you had to have it.

    98 was originally more a downer, even though it did add new features and fixed a lot of problems. And the "SE" of it surely showed that it was superior to its predecessor and soon became the clearly superior system to 95.

    ME was a desaster. For many reasons. First of all, it was essentially Win98. Second, pretty much all the new gadgets that separated it from 98 were buggy, flawed or simply useless and nobody wanted them. Most had all 3 features. And finally, 2k was around the corner.

    2k was a definite improvement, over both, WinNT4.0 and Win98. It was the merge of the simplicity and compatibility of 98 and the stability (you there, stop that snickering, will you?) of NT4. It certainly was a key cornerstone in the development of the Windows platform and was received as such. Geeks, gamers and businesses alike loved it.

    XP already had to deal with a problem: What for? 2k was already the "perfect" system. It had everything you wanted to have. There was no really compelling reason to upgrade, and it would have been far from impossible for MS to add the features (like WiFi and other support) to the core of 2k if they would have wanted. Of course, they wanted to sell XP, so that was a no-go option.

    And Vista now is suffering from the same problem. Why upgrade? We might see some reason in a few months or years, when some new fad or feature picks up that MS doesn't even dream of supporting in XP, so we'd have to switch to Vista to benefit from it, but so far, we're at the same point where we were with the introduction of XP: Why upgrade?

    XP is "good enough". In some ways, it is even "better" than Vista. We will eventually see the reason why we'll have to get Vista instead when MS refuses to support some essential hardware, but the way you put it is simply and plainly wrong.
  • by IceDiver (321368) on Monday April 23, 2007 @06:25PM (#18846641)

    Dell's decision to offer XP is a PR thing...they had a few customers who complained.

    And for each person who complained, how many did not, but just took their business elsewhere? Personally, I did both.

    Dell is smart enough to know the relationship between complaints and lost sales. Hint: it's not a one-to-one relationship.


  • by cryptoluddite (658517) on Monday April 23, 2007 @06:28PM (#18846667)
    It's simply not true that Mac need that much memory. I was doing development work on G3 and G4 macs with 768mb memory and typically >512mb was disk cache. If you need 1gb let alone "another 1GB bar" then it is for video editing or some other profession, in which case that has nothing to do with the OS. Further, from 10.0 --> 10.4 at least the OS requirements got smaller (windows took less ram, etc).

    My experience is that in general Macs *with* the fancy UI took less resources than XP without. I haven't used an Intel mac yet though, or vista, so can't comment on the current state.
  • by Grave (8234) <awalbert88 AT hotmail DOT com> on Monday April 23, 2007 @06:29PM (#18846683)
    I disagree. There is, at this time, no compelling reason to upgrade to Vista. If your employees/IT staff are trained on XP, but not on Vista, you aren't going to be buying Vista machines. As a home user, what do you have to dislike about XP? 95, 98 and ME were all pretty crappy (relatively few people ran Windows 2000 on their home machine), so XP provided a significant improvement. People are generally resistant to change. Vista is change for the sake of change for most home users. Eventually, DX10 gaming will provide reason to upgrade. Linux isn't even on the radar for most home users, and that's largely thanks to XP not being horrible. If it had been a failure of an OS, Linux (and the Mac) would've gained significant traction as users became fed up with Microsoft's buggy software--but it wasn't a failure, and XP was actually pretty stable.

    DirectX 10 is the only reason I bothered to get Vista. But it appears that games taking advantage of DX10 are at least a few months away, and games that *require* DX10 are likely not going to show up for a couple of years at least. So until DX10 becomes necessary for a mainstream game, I don't see much interest in a majority of home users for Vista.
  • by crabpeople (720852) on Monday April 23, 2007 @06:54PM (#18846975) Journal

    "When Windows XP was released, I distinctly remember the same 'theres nothing compelling to upgrade to XP for"
    There wasn't and there still isn't. Win2k forever.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 23, 2007 @07:00PM (#18847045)
    If any one remembers when XP was originally released, and how buggy it was I'm sure everyone just feels the same about Vista, give microsoft itme to work out the kinks and I'm sure it will replace XP.
  • by EmbeddedJanitor (597831) on Monday April 23, 2007 @07:12PM (#18847181)
    Said this before, and I'll say this again... The biggest failure is not how it is perceived by customers but how it is perceived by the MS shareholders.

    $5bn development costs might not be huge for MS, but it is still a wad of money and shareholders are going to want to see some benefit for their investment. Most shareholders will probably be wondering why MS spent $5bn when the masses would rather have XP, and anyone buying a new PC would have bought XP if they didn't buy Vista. In other words, for the shareholders Vista has been pure cost with no benefit.

    This comes at the same time as Zune too. It would have been easy to say "Hey we goofed with Zune, but Vista is great". Now they have to admit two major screwups at the same shareholder meeting. Ouch!

  • by fyngyrz (762201) * on Monday April 23, 2007 @07:31PM (#18847383) Homepage Journal
    You call the 1-800 number on the popup window

    Yes, that sounds good, doesn't it. It's difficult to think ahead years at a time. However, I've already been down the road. I've got win98 machines, no longer networked, that are doing various things. They work fine, no particular need to fuss with them. Microsoft stopped supporting them - meaning no security updates, no nothing - fairly recently. In 1998 that didn't seem like much of a threat. Today, it means they can't safely be on the Internet. There's no recourse other than upgrading them, but if they fail, reinstall requires no interaction with Microsoft.

    Having gone from brand new win98 install to "no longer supported", I tend to think in terms of "what happens?" when the latest and greatest thing of today is discarded, as win98 was. It'll happen; you can count on it. As I said in the original post, since activation is required for a reinstall, and activation, even today, is based on Microsoft policy, you are tying yourself to the whim of whoever sets that policy a few years down the road.

    Do you think in five years, when Vista's been out all that time, that they'll re-activate copies of XP? They might, but where is the certainty? And then when Vista is 10 years old and HooHaOS is the latest and greatest, will they reactivate Vista? You seem to think so, while I observe that the fact is I'd have to guess. In the end, I'm not willing to tie the continued functioning of my computers to a guess about Microsoft's future policies. To be frank, I don't trust them.

    OSX will work for me as long as the computer does and I keep track of the install disks. Linux will work for me as long as the computer does and I have disks. Hell, I've still got a couple of machines running AmigaOS, and Commodore is long since nipples-north. XP and Vista will work as long as Microsoft lets it, and as long as they are around to let it. After that, one crash, and you're dead in the water -- you must migrate to something else, regardless of what compatibility problems and other inconveniences (like spending money) that may cause you. See the conceptual difference?

    Activation is literally Digital Rights Management, where the concept is, you don't have ANY right to reinstall your software. That right belongs to Microsoft and is entirely subject to Microsoft policy, as well as their existence. My reaction to that is unprintable.

  • by fyngyrz (762201) * on Monday April 23, 2007 @07:41PM (#18847489) Homepage Journal
    I'm pretty sure microsoft will have to keep their XP activation servers open for a long time. If they turn them off in even a decade, they will be wide open for some very nasty, very easy lawsuits.

    Ok, let us presume that Microsoft would not, under any circumstances, refuse to activate an OS they took money from you for. Even if some serial number generator put your serial number out on the net, Microsoft would say, well, we love you man, and so we're going to re-activate you anyway.

    Now. Suppose Microsoft is destroyed as a company. Big earthquake, sinkhole, meteor, new OS company kicks their ass, Apple takes over, the stock market crashes hard and they simply bail, a worm kills every Microsoft machine out there and no one trusts them any longer, linux becomes the obvious choice even to the sheep out there, whatever.

    Microsoft is gone, just a memory, like Commodore is today. Who are we going to sue? And how does that help get XP or Vista or HooHaOS working again, anyway?

  • by misleb (129952) on Monday April 23, 2007 @08:31PM (#18848001)
    Tetris? Solitaire? Maybe some useful, specific tips as opposed to the marketing garbage?

    -matthew
  • I have a Win2k vm running on an Ubuntu VMware host.

    There comes a point after successive rounds of intensifying hostility to the customer that this customer flips them the bird.

    Has there been a significant step in the evolution of the MS EULA that has been in the customer's favor? I'm not aware of one. Having run out of scope to do harm with the license, now the violation is baked into the OS. No thanks.

    (Interesting Freudian typo - I wrote "evilution" at first...)
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 23, 2007 @09:05PM (#18848337)
    Hardly any game companies support running their games under Vista.

    Because at the time the game was designed, vista wasn't around, therefore they aren't going to provide tech support for it. This is true of any and all new versions of windows.

    Gamers I know like to squeeze as much performance out of their machines as they can, and Vista's bells and whistles, the things that separate it from XP, are intensive resource hogs. If those fancy Aero graphics are consuming your GPU's cycles, guess what... Your game isn't.

    Well here is some news for you: AERO doesn't consume -any- GPU cycles while the game is running. Microsoft kept games in mind while designing it. Also the FUD about OpenGL not running natively isn't true, it can run natively in full-screen mode, or if you must run your game in a window (who does?) you can turn off aero if it offends you so much.

    Hardware support, as you pointed out, is sketchy at best. Spending $1,000 on video cards that don't work is, well, not fun.

    As with any new version of windows. This is no different than when people switched from 98 to XP. In fact, 98 to XP was worse, because the voodoo 2 users were completely screwed as they could no longer play any d3d games, and it was impossible for 3dfx to write any drivers to correct this. Creative users had to wait a whole year before seeing any non-beta drivers for XP as well.

    Are they crying loudly for Vista drivers? Sure, because some of them have made the mistake of getting Vista, most likely by buying a new PC that didn't give them the opportunity for getting XP,

    No. Again, you don't know gamers. Gamers don't buy new PC's, they build them. If so many gamers didn't have vista, you wouldn't hear complaints that often, rather you would more often hear people telling them to just continue to use XP.

    and most of them would rather spend the $200 retail for a new copy of XP on some system component. But, like I said, most gamers I know aren't crying to manufacturers; they're simply avoiding Vista like the plague.

    Again, you don't know any gamers. Most of them who don't already have vista are waiting for DX10 games to come out. This is basically what I am doing. I got a free copy of vista from intel, and while I do have it installed (I dual boot vista 64 with xp 32,) I don't use it often simply because the need for it isn't quite there yet, and for the time being I prefer to avoid the compatibility issues present with any new OS. This is no different from what I did with windows 98 to windows XP. I didn't use XP that often at first, but over time I completely ditched 98.

    Say, though, since you bring it up, and now that I've told you why the gamers I know are avoiding Vista, exactly why do you think that "most of them want to get vista"? What is it about Vista that's better than Windows XP?

    Easy. Many new games are going to support DX10, and anybody who calls themself a true PC gaming enthusiast is going to want to play these games to their full potential. Take Crysis and Unreal 3 for example, which many, many gamers are looking forward to. The developers of both of these games have spoken great lengths about how much their games are going to take advantage of SM4.0, which is only available in DX10.

    Besides that, the games that are designed specifically for vista will have support for another feature that puts all of the drivers and unnecessary processes into a minimal footprint state which will improve performance. That, combined with several features of the new driver model and the way dx10 works at a lower level with the kernel, you'll start seeing hardware/software performance efficiency that approaches the range of game consoles.

    That is why gamers will want vista if they don't already have it. I rarely ever hear of any gamers saying that they'll never upgrade to vista.

    Granted you could (if you had access to the source code) add dx10 features to the current directx API in XP, you would see quite a performanc
  • Re:Wow (Score:4, Insightful)

    by asifyoucare (302582) on Monday April 23, 2007 @09:51PM (#18848689)
    Wow, six years for this?!

  • And kids, this is probably the best sign you would be so much happier with a freshly cracked Vista downloaded off the 'net... when available.
    Ok, so it comes with a free botnet or other zombified software pre-installed, but at least it:
    a) never requires an activation
    b) is probably safer as the commercially available Vista
    c) might even have *gasp* some levels (or ALL levels) of DRM disabled

    Ok, ok, so I'm being saracastic... still... is it only me, or does Windows mainly survive BECAUSE of the pirates, and not vice-versa ?
    I mean... hell... if everybody that had XP (or will have Vista in the future) would have to actually PAY for it... how many computers with Windows ** would be around on the net ? My guess is, significantly less.
    Oh, and you can bet your ass that whoever has a pirated copy of Windows *WOULDN'T* have bought it anyway.

    On second thought, maybe the FOSS community should support the fight against software piracy more actively :)
  • by Yvanhoe (564877) on Tuesday April 24, 2007 @02:57AM (#18851219) Journal
    Well, it is worthwhile to point out that Vista is the first Microsoft OS that people don't want. While w2k and XP were welcomed with apathy by new PC buyers, Vista actually is met with a rejection reaction. That becomes really interesting.
  • by seguso (760241) on Tuesday April 24, 2007 @07:49AM (#18852865) Homepage

    As much as the media may want it to be, there is no competition in a market with a Monopoly.

    Do you think the pricing of Vista would be the same if MacOSX and Linux did not exist? Do you think Vista would have even been released without their competition?

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