Looking at Vista

Whew, the comments on my Windows Vista ship date rant are coming in hot and heavy. I usually would answer them in the comment area, but I think some of the thoughts posted there need more discussion. So, let’s go.

Cody says “Windows Vista is the wrong direction for Microsoft. Instead of putting in MORE bloat, they need to seriously re-work Windows, and make it lean and mean.”

Um, sorry, I TOTALLY disagree. This is SUCH a engineer’s way to look at the world. “Take out the features,” is what he’s really saying. Sorry, I want an OS with more features. I want an OS that’ll protect me against phishing attacks. I want an OS that’ll play videos better. I want an OS that has handwriting recognition and speech recognition built in. And a lot more. You want an OS without all those things? Then load up Linux and take all the crud out and build your own OS. It’s not what the market wants or needs which is why more people use Macs than use Linux on laptops.

Anona says I said that Vista would never slip more. I never said that. I attacked a “journalist” for saying that he knew that for sure. That isn’t something that was possible to report (still isn’t) so that’s why I attacked that journalist, cause I want news to be news and opinions to be opinions. Hint, what I wrote last night was an opinion. Just to make it clear. And you know what they say about opinions, right? Everyone has one.

For the record, go back and read what I wrote when I worked at Microsoft in the last six months: I said I didn’t know when it would ship and that Microsoft should make sure it ships when it’s ready, and not feel pressure to ship sooner than that.

Cody again: “Why does an Operating System need to use so many damn resources? Why?”

Cause it does more. If you don’t like that, go back and use Windows 3.11. It ran on a machine with 4MB of RAM. (Not 4Gigs, 4 megs).

Christopher Coulter says the world won’t forget about Vista’s slip. Well, that might be true, but for Microsoft it’ll be far worse to be remembered for shipping an OS that isn’t finished than shipping one that’s a few more months late.

Asssuck says: >you suckass worm….remember when you were pimping this ?

Go back and look at the last year’s worth of my posts. I think they stand on their own. I do like Vista, still do. But I want it to be a great OS, not one where my friends are reporting tons of troubles cause they didn’t take the time to do it right.

Garth says: “Also is Vista not supposed to make our computing lives easier and simpler or are they trying to shovel everything including the kitchen sink onto our desktop to justify the pricetag ???.”

Huh? I believe Vista DOES make our computing lives easier. The desktop search features are a huge advance. The multimedia capabilities are WORLDS ahead of anything else I’ve used. And the Tablet PC, Speech Recognition, and Media Center stuff that’s in there is WORLDS ahead of Apple. Although watch Apple in a week. Hint hint.

JuanDG writes: “Shame on you scoble, I know MS is not the hand that feeds you any more, but you don’t have to turn and bite it. Shame on you. I was waiting for a reason to unsuscribe, and I guess this is it…”

You should have unsubscribed long ago. I attacked Microsoft before I worked there (told Bill Gates to split up the company). I attacked Microsoft when I worked there (on many many times). I will attack Microsoft now when it does things that I don’t like. If that’s not something you are comfortable with you shouldn’t be reading me.

Booger: “Who are you and what have you done with the real Robert Scoble?!? Or is this real Robert Scoble unmasked?”

I said pretty much the same stuff when I worked at Microsoft. Yeah, my tone was probably nicer.

Myles: “They have to have something special in Vista for the people who are satisfied with XP.”

Let’s just start with TONS BETTER SECURITY.

TomB: “MSFT had a chance to re-work the OS and put it on top of a BSD or a LINUX kernel. They chose to stay proprietary instead. The customers will continue to pay a price for that decsion.”

Sorry, throwing application compatibility out the window would be monumentally STUPID. Stop thinking like an engineer. Start thinking like a customer.

Jeff: “From what I’ve seen, much of what the consumer is going to *perceive* as being “Vista” can already be accomplished by skinning XP and maybe some add-ons.”

If that’s how they preceive Vista then they simply aren’t listening. Maybe that customer would be better off with a Macintosh anyway. Oh, and I’m gonna run Vista on my Mac if they come out with what I hear they are gonna come out with next week.

Miles: “Robert, I’m amused that you post this now. There’s no way you would have posted this as a MS employee. You would have self censored it, or at a minimum, sugar coated it somewhat.”

We’ll never know for certain, but I think at some point I would have said pretty much what I said last night. I never was one of those who cheerleaded trying to ship crap.

John: “When things are working correctly, STFU already. If I have all the drivers to make my USB device work, I don’t need to know that.”

John, have you ever worked on the customer support lines for Windows? Sorry, many users are NOT like you. I agree with you, by the way, but if I designed an OS for myself it’d have 10% marketshare. Or worse.

Jared: “I agree that Vista is not ready to ship but I put the blame on the managers at Microsoft. You have a product that is two years late and you answer “it will ship when it’s ready” at your annual finance meeting? I believe Microsoft is losing their best programmers because they can not offer better benefit packages. They can’t do this since their stock is no good because they have no product(Vista).
Balmer is a good CEO if you need a cheerleader. Microsoft needs better management.”

Jared, you must have mistaken me for Mini-Microsoft. There’s enough blame to go around. When a team doesn’t do a job on time the blame can’t just go to the ones on top. Sorry. I know of plenty of ways that employees made promises that they couldn’t keep either.

This is STILL software. Software is a human endeavor. It’s not something done by a machine. Until a programmer cranks the code out, and it compiles, gets tested, gets integrated with the rest of everyone else’s code, gets tested again, etc etc there’s really no way to know when it’ll be ready. Anyone who says they can accurately predict when software will be ready is a liar. If you expect accurate ship dates in the software industry you’ll constantly go unsatisfied.

James Clarke: “5472 is way better and pretty much usable where beta 2 was an abortion. 6 months is overkill if it keeps getting better at this rate.”

I totally agree that Vista is starting to feel good in lots of places. I’m just going off of my past experience with Windows and Macintosh betas and where they started feeling good in their ship processes. That tells me that October won’t be the date (which is what they needed to nail to get it out in January). What will the real date end up being? That’ll be very interesting to watch and see. I just want them to take the time to really nail this.

I don’t want to see blogs that, when it finally ships, says “wait for the service pack.”

159 thoughts on “Looking at Vista

  1. Oops – “To suggest that Microsoft can do the same with its Windows Vista is to suggest that Microsoft is incompetent.”

    should read “To suggest that Microsoft can’t do the same with its Windows Vista is to suggest that Microsoft is incompetent.”

    My bad.

  2. Oops – “To suggest that Microsoft can do the same with its Windows Vista is to suggest that Microsoft is incompetent.”

    should read “To suggest that Microsoft can’t do the same with its Windows Vista is to suggest that Microsoft is incompetent.”

    My bad.

  3. One thing I fail to understand about this whole MS Windows Vista/LongHorn saga, and of course the whole MS Windows Legacy albatross-around-the-neck-thereof, is why Microsoft, being world-famous in Redmond for “innovation” (RT[F]M), hasn’t done anything with virtual machines and emulation to solve its “can only run as administrator” albatross.

    (Of course, that leads on to the deep and meaningful question of why Microsoft’s application certification is so stuffed-up that as long as a program runs on MS Windows, it gets the certification, even if it poses a major security risk? But let’s leave that to another day, shall we?)

    In Linux I can run anything that demands super-administrator rights in a UML – User-Mode Linux. To suggest that Microsoft can do the same with its Windows Vista is to suggest that Microsoft is incompetent.

    That could well be the truth. Who knows?

  4. One thing I fail to understand about this whole MS Windows Vista/LongHorn saga, and of course the whole MS Windows Legacy albatross-around-the-neck-thereof, is why Microsoft, being world-famous in Redmond for “innovation” (RT[F]M), hasn’t done anything with virtual machines and emulation to solve its “can only run as administrator” albatross.

    (Of course, that leads on to the deep and meaningful question of why Microsoft’s application certification is so stuffed-up that as long as a program runs on MS Windows, it gets the certification, even if it poses a major security risk? But let’s leave that to another day, shall we?)

    In Linux I can run anything that demands super-administrator rights in a UML – User-Mode Linux. To suggest that Microsoft can do the same with its Windows Vista is to suggest that Microsoft is incompetent.

    That could well be the truth. Who knows?

  5. Robert,

    even though I’ve programmed I wasn’t too deep into it, to be able to answer this question well—

    do you think if Microsoft was able to migrate everyone to managed code, that it would be much easier to introduce radical changes to the foundations of the Windows code, because old applications would function based on an object model, which could be maintained, or compensated for ?

  6. Robert,

    even though I’ve programmed I wasn’t too deep into it, to be able to answer this question well—

    do you think if Microsoft was able to migrate everyone to managed code, that it would be much easier to introduce radical changes to the foundations of the Windows code, because old applications would function based on an object model, which could be maintained, or compensated for ?

  7. “I heard howls from Apple users who had software that didn’t work on OSX, and there is relatively little software that runs on OSX.”

    A purely laughable comment, there are about 11,000 OS9 or (Classic Apps) and 15,560 OSX Apps, and since OSX runs most every Classic App there are about 26,560 current Apps for Macs today. The software library on OSX is the best in the industry, the quality is stunning!

    And no, Quark Inc. messed up with Xpress, not Apple… but it ran fine in Classic so it was never really an issue.

    Lastly, Mac OS9 was just a stopgap version to bridge over the user from the failed Copland Project. Vista is “MS’s” Copland Project, so they will end up releasing a major XP Update before Vista appears.

    MS’s tried to do too much, provide too much legacy support in Vista, when they should have copied what Apple / Steve did and “bury” the old DOS/XP code and start over. OSX is now the leanest, meanest OS there is on the planet, and will overwhelm Vista going forward.

    OSX Leopard on Intel is the next iPod… just watch!

    Monday is going to ROCK the Computing World…

    100′s of news stories will be here:

    http://www.macsurfer.com/

    The tape/digital delay will be here:

    http://www.apple.com/quicktime/qtv/wwdc06/

    Last year’s big announcement is here: fun to watch!

    http://www.apple.com/quicktime/qtv/wwdc05/

  8. “I heard howls from Apple users who had software that didn’t work on OSX, and there is relatively little software that runs on OSX.”

    A purely laughable comment, there are about 11,000 OS9 or (Classic Apps) and 15,560 OSX Apps, and since OSX runs most every Classic App there are about 26,560 current Apps for Macs today. The software library on OSX is the best in the industry, the quality is stunning!

    And no, Quark Inc. messed up with Xpress, not Apple… but it ran fine in Classic so it was never really an issue.

    Lastly, Mac OS9 was just a stopgap version to bridge over the user from the failed Copland Project. Vista is “MS’s” Copland Project, so they will end up releasing a major XP Update before Vista appears.

    MS’s tried to do too much, provide too much legacy support in Vista, when they should have copied what Apple / Steve did and “bury” the old DOS/XP code and start over. OSX is now the leanest, meanest OS there is on the planet, and will overwhelm Vista going forward.

    OSX Leopard on Intel is the next iPod… just watch!

    Monday is going to ROCK the Computing World…

    100′s of news stories will be here:

    http://www.macsurfer.com/

    The tape/digital delay will be here:

    http://www.apple.com/quicktime/qtv/wwdc06/

    Last year’s big announcement is here: fun to watch!

    http://www.apple.com/quicktime/qtv/wwdc05/

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