An opinion about Microsoft Windows Vista, that is. One look at the other posts on this forum and it is amazing to see the variance in opinion.
Somewhere in the midst of all the opinions is the truth. Somewhere in the halls at One Redmond Way, a head of a programming team knows the answer to why the release of Vista was so filled with problems, and why the efforts of so many, for so long, proved to be so fruitless.
It doesn’t matter that the public disdain for the company is great, anyone who is blessed with any intelligence must see that Microsoft has turned out some products that are great enough to be on the majority of the computers on the planet. Innovation has been there for a long time, and it must also be seen that the large problem looming over the programmer’s heads is the difficulty with innovation, coupled to backwards compatibility.
The best case, in my opinion, would have been to continue to maintain Windows XP, while taking a few more years to invent a new system, completely removing any backwards compatibility, and with a huge campaign to publicize the newer, better system – leaning heavily upon phrases like ‘completely different’ and ‘breaks all bonds with the past, in order to innovate’.
By removing backwards compatibility, and doing the advertising over a few years (at least four), the drivers and operating system could arrive together. The leadership position that Microsoft is in would allow them to do this.
Perhaps as much as a break with the x86 architecture would help here. It would be a blow to Intel and AMD, but it would also shake up some innovation in those camps as a by-product. One look at the Power6 numbers and it’s easily seen that the coders at Microsoft could be really sloppy, and the operating system would still be very fast.
Some would say that there is no need to re-invent the wheel, but clearly, in some minds there is, as those minds are not happy with the mature operating system that is Windows XP, and must instead move to a new operating system with much glitz and many problems. It is so important that these same users must then state conditions of near perfection of operation, trying desperately to negate the comments of so many who work with the same machines, more hours per day, and pushing the same machines further towards the ragged edge that exposes flaws in anything man-made.
In closing, I wonder why the powers that be in Redmond are not more forthcoming with some great tome explaining the need for a different operating system, and why simply evolving XP will not do it. After all, it is easier to incrementally change something, rather than work with something new. From a monetary standpoint, it is simple enough to keep selling XP, with minimal changes, and the greatly reduced staff to maintain the code, knowing that with the changes in the EULA, a copy of XP dies when the motherboard dies. This makes the most sense, and the most profit.
[tags] Microsoft, Windows XP, Windows Vista, innovation, Power6, EULA, leadership, Black Comb [/tags]