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Just a Thought - Vista: Blogger Has It...

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- April 19th, 2006

Now, I'm not one to go 'round spreading gossip, but did you see this bit about disgruntled Microsoft employees calling for the removal of upper management over yet another put-off of the release of their new, improved, much ballyhooed, often delayed OS, Vista (formerly known as Longhorn)?

Seems the worker bees at Big Redmond are upset over their leadership, or the lack of it, and are voicing their opinions in blogs and such. I get where they're coming from: When you work on something such that it has been your primary focus for months, even years, delays in its release can be agonizing and frustrating. You know how good your work is, your coworkers know how good your work is, but the true validation is the accolades, or jeers from the consuming public, and they can't heap praise or pans if they can't buy it.

Meanwhile, rivals (read Apple and Linux) are sneaking bits of turf that was once exclusive to the Gates Gang. Internet Explorer has been in a very slow, but very steady decline over the past few months, and now that Apple has released Boot Camp, pundits predict a noticeable loosening of Big Redmond's stranglehold on the desktop as dual-booting Macs makes the transition to OS X far less painful.

Of course, except for the browser market share bit, all of this is hearsay and speculation, gossip to be passed around while hanging out at the virtual water cooler. The supposed disgruntled MS employee can't give his or her name for fear of the loss of his or her job and livelihood. Who would want to hire someone who airs the company's dirty laundry when things aren't popping according to plan?

Dude may as well brush up on his grocery bagging or burger flipping skills if he is dumb enough to tell us who he (or she) is. But, to be truly credible, the blogger has to reveal herself, otherwise, we may be just repeating the droppings of an Apple fan-boy's fertile imagination.

Which makes me wonder why some fairly major news outlets picked up the story, I mean, a blogger dissing Big Redmond is nothing new. That he (or she) is doing it because of the delays in delivering Longhorn, er...I mean Vista makes it mildly more interesting, but it is still hearsay.

So, do I believe there's some Gates Gang Geek mewling publicly about the poor upper level management skills at Microsoft? Absolutely. There's probably several bus loads of Big Redmonites gnashing their collective teeth and spitting gallons over the Vista delays among other issues concerning the software giant.

Of course, even if the public could buy Vista this year it is likely that only rocket scientists would be able to cipher which version to buy; according to a review in Information Week, there are 6 (six!) versions of Vista to choose from. Will it make sense to buy Vista Basic, which has almost no advanced features, or do you spring for Vista Ultimate, which is loaded with everything? Or maybe you should opt for something in between. Reading the Information Week article may offer clues, but, until Big Redmond offers up more info on their marketing strategy, consumers are left scratching their heads.

Maybe the worker bees at Microsoft should add poor marketing to the list of management complaints. It is apparent that Microsoft has not made things easier for the buying public when it comes to their OS.

Instead of coming out with a basic OS package that includes features that most folks will want and a list of upgrades and add-on that more advanced users might be interested in, it looks like the Redmond Crew would rather offer a confusing menu of several OS versions, making it tough to decide what to buy.  People buying new PCs won't be safe from this chaotic arrangement; PC makers will likely decide to put in the least expensive version of the OS in order to keep prices down, which means that the box you take home may not be able to do what you expect it to do, unless you upgrade.

Microsoft marketing: Can you say "Cha-Ching!"?

Do I care? Only from the perspective a disinterested bystander watching a poorly executed clown act.

Beyond there being the inevitable joke beneath the surface of every new delay of Vista -- Vista means 'A distant view or prospect', appropriate since it seems that "at a distance" is the only way we'll get to see Vista, and it may be the only way we'll want to see it -- the more Microsoft fumbles the less relevant they become, and, to me, that's a very good thing; the world could use a breather from Gates and his Gang.

Also, I really don't wish the house that Gates built ill, but wouldn't it be nice to read a trade magazine and not see one word about Microsoft?

It could happen.

is a writer who currently lives in Orlando, FL. He's been a Mac fan since Atari Computers folded, but has worked with computers of nearly every type for 20 years.

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