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Tennessee Slim
07-25-2008, 09:49
July 22, 2008, 11:57 am
Microsoft Tries to Polish Vista (http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/07/22/microsoft-tries-to-polish-vista/?scp=2&sq=vista&st=cse)

By Saul Hansell

Microsoft is really taking the gloves off this time. ZDNet is reporting (http://blogs.zdnet.com/microsoft/?p=1453) that it will spend $500 million to make a powerful statement to its hundreds of millions of customers. I imagine the statement would have to go something like this:

Windows Vista isn’t really as bad as they say. Honest. Please don’t be mad at us. We promise our next operating system will be better. Pinky swear.

Those aren’t exactly the words they use, but it is certainly the tone of the ad that Microsoft has started running on its site. I can’t find it, but Ed Bott at ZDNet did and has a copy here (http://blogs.zdnet.com/Bott/?p=499). It shows a painting of a tall ship with the headline “At one point everyone thought the Earth was flat. Get the facts about Windows Vista.”

That promotion leads to a page (http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windows-vista/discover/why-now.aspx) that acknowledges that Vista had problems:

But we know a few of you were disappointed by your early encounter. Printers didn’t work. Games felt sluggish. You told us—loudly at times—that the latest Windows wasn’t always living up to your high expectations for a Microsoft product.

It takes a minute to figure out where to find Microsoft’s response to this criticism: You need to click some arrows on the page. (Why can’t Microsoft use the plus Icon popularized by Google and lots of others?)

The company asserts that it is now compatible with the vast bulk of software and hardware. It also boasts that Vista is more secure, faster, uses less energy and is even “sexier.”

Sure, Windows Vista gets a lot of compliments on its aesthetics. But its style serves an important purpose: to put everything within a click’s reach and make you more productive.

Microsoft, is probably right that Vista gets a bit of a bum rap. Lots of people find that Vista works fine and is an improvement over Windows XP. I use Vista on a home computer with little trouble. (And no, I don’t hate Microsoft, despite what some commenters say. I am a big fan of Word 2007, and I even pay for Microsoft’s OneCare anti-virus and backup software.)

But this is still a dreadful place for Microsoft to be. It is fighting Google on one side and Apple on the other. And both of those companies have flaws, products that don’t quite work right, have gaps and disappoint users. But both Google and Apple have products that you don’t need to be told to notice they are sexy. That changes how people see the more prosaic parts of their product lines and makes people far more open to considering new products.

Even if you are a big fan of Microsoft, consider which you would rather read about first: a something new from Google, Apple or Microsoft?

After spending $500 million, Microsoft might be able to convince people that Windows Vista is not awful. But just because you can show the earth is not flat, doesn’t mean you will rule the new world.

Tennessee Slim
07-25-2008, 09:56
July 21st, 2008
First hints of Microsoft’s “fight back” ads appear

Posted by Ed Bott @ 9:00 pm

I just noticed this teaser on Microsoft’s home page:

http://blogs.zdnet.com/Bott/images/windows_earth_flat_ad.png

If this is going to be the overall message of Microsoft’s much-vaunted new $300 million ad campaign, it might be money well spent. According to the folks at LiveSide, the first ads in the new campaign were previewed at Microsoft’s employees-only Global Exchange conference (http://www.liveside.net/blogs/main/archive/2008/07/20/microsoft-global-exchange-ballmer-ozzie-rock.aspx) last week to rave reviews. As Tim Anderson astutely noted the other day, “Vista is now actually better than its reputation. That’s a marketing issue.” Microsoft’s biggest challenge is to get would-be customers to set aside whatever preconceptions they have and listen to its pitch for Vista. Aligning its most vocal Vista critics with the Flat Earth Society is a clever way to get people’s attention.

But the bigger job, that of actually changing people’s minds, will be easier said than done. Apple has largely defined Vista’s public image so far with its devastating “I’m a Mac, I’m a PC” ads. Responding directly to those ads is a losing tactic. Largely thanks to John Hodgman, the humor bar is set extraordinarily high. Any kind of response ad would legitimize the claims in those Apple ads and run the significant risk of being seen as lame and uncool.

And there’s no sign that anyone in Redmond is going to go down that road. Instead, clicking the link on the “World is flat” ad leads to a page headlined, “Windows Vista: Look how far we’ve come.” (http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windows-vista/discover/why-now.aspx) The copy beneath leads off with a sheepish admission:

When Windows Vista debuted in January 2007, we declared it the best operating system we had ever made. “Windows Vista is beautiful,” The New York Times raved. It’s humbling that millions of you agree.

But we know a few of you were disappointed by your early encounter. Printers didn’t work. Games felt sluggish. You told us—loudly at times—that the latest Windows wasn’t always living up to your high expectations for a Microsoft product.

But that’s followed quickly by a reinforcement of the theme set out in the visual above:

We know that’s what some people are saying on the Internet. And in its early days, Windows Vista did experience some compatibility problems. But thanks to our industry partners’ efforts during the past 18 months, here’s where things stand today.

Next up is a bullet list emphasizing the sheer number of Vista-compatible hardware devices and applications, and it’s followed by this ringing defense aimed at XP enthusiasts:

Windows XP is a great operating system. Its continuing popularity, just shy of its seventh birthday, makes us proud.

Our goal is always to make each new version of Windows better than the last. With Windows Vista, we’re convinced we succeeded.

That’s a pretty good start. The real hard work begins with the messages that immediately follow this one. Microsoft has to identify the real benefits in Windows Vista and communicate them clearly and crisply. That’s not going to be any easy task.

Update 23-July: A Microsoft spokesperson confirms that the ad shown here is not part of the upcoming ad campaign, which is due to launch soon.

denfoote
07-26-2008, 03:43
http://usera.imagecave.com/denfoote/Misc_Pictures/linux-penguin-we-are-free-and-legit-now-no-worry-150807.jpg

http://usera.imagecave.com/denfoote/Misc_Pictures/MaxLinuxPenguin.jpg

http://usera.imagecave.com/denfoote/full_messwithtux-copy.jpg

http://usera.imagecave.com/denfoote/killbill-linux-penguin.jpg

Scarecrow28
07-26-2008, 08:48
http://usera.imagecave.com/denfoote/killbill-linux-penguin.jpg


:rofl: Took me a minute to catch on to that one. I'm an XP user, although I plan to get a new computer w/ Vista at somepoint soon. Hopefully, they'll have sorted everything out by then. :dunno:

slewfoot
07-26-2008, 09:05
They will have to pry XP from my cold dead hands.

HAVOC
07-26-2008, 13:03
They will have to pry XP from my cold dead hands.

I'm pretty much in the same place... which is funny cuz I hung onto 2k and avoided XP like the plague for years.

Dandapani
07-26-2008, 13:31
Did M$ fix Vista Digital Rights Managements intrusions into the user experience? I'm a Linux user, but early indications of Vista was that the OS was locking down a users ability to rip music CDs, disable recording streaming (digital) audio, etc. Anyone a Vista user and can comment?

ETA: found a critique

http://www.cs.auckland.ac.nz/~pgut001/pubs/vista_cost.html#functionality

Wulfenite
07-26-2008, 21:30
July 21st, 2008
[SIZE="4"]

http://blogs.zdnet.com/Bott/images/windows_earth_flat_ad.png

[/I]

Slow, out dated, an excessive amount of sails and rope, complicated control system to make it go, nausea inducing. Great image to represent your product.

denfoote
07-27-2008, 05:13
Did M$ fix Vista Digital Rights Managements intrusions into the user experience? I'm a Linux user, but early indications of Vista was that the OS was locking down a users ability to rip music CDs, disable recording streaming (digital) audio, etc. Anyone a Vista user and can comment?

ETA: found a critique

http://www.cs.auckland.ac.nz/~pgut001/pubs/vista_cost.html#functionality

I haven't tried it on the wife's Visduh laptop.

I use the GNOME 2 CD Ripper.

Tennessee Slim
07-27-2008, 07:17
Slow, out dated, an excessive amount of sails and rope, complicated control system to make it go, nausea inducing. Great image to represent your product.
:rofl: You don't suppose other folks drew the same association, and that's why they pulled this pic, do ya? :winkie:

slewfoot
07-27-2008, 07:21
Slow, out dated, an excessive amount of sails and rope, complicated control system to make it go, nausea inducing. Great image to represent your product.

You forgot dragging anchors.

Wulfenite
07-27-2008, 08:31
You forgot dragging anchors.

...and piracy, scurvy, dysentery, tight quarters with sweaty unwashed men who haven't seen a woman in months...

najaboy
07-27-2008, 11:04
Did M$ fix Vista Digital Rights Managements intrusions into the user experience? I'm a Linux user, but early indications of Vista was that the OS was locking down a users ability to rip music CDs, disable recording streaming (digital) audio, etc. Anyone a Vista user and can comment?

ETA: found a critique

http://www.cs.auckland.ac.nz/~pgut001/pubs/vista_cost.html#functionality

I've had no problems ripping CDs and DVDs. Likewise, I've had no problems with Vista.

The bulk of the bashing that you'll find doesn't come from firsthand experience, but is merely folks jumping on the bandwagon and parroting the opinions of others.

Cody Jarrett
07-27-2008, 11:24
Never had a problem with it. Doubt I ever will.

Tennessee Slim
07-27-2008, 16:42
Never had a problem with it. Doubt I ever will.
So you're the one!! :rofl:

Patrick Graham
07-27-2008, 17:47
I struggled with Vista a little at the beginning but now I like it a little more than I like XP.

I'm not going to put Vista on my older systems, just the new one's.

RTmarc
07-27-2008, 19:21
I've had no problems ripping CDs and DVDs. Likewise, I've had no problems with Vista.

The bulk of the bashing that you'll find doesn't come from firsthand experience, but is merely folks jumping on the bandwagon and parroting the opinions of others.

100% correct.

Dandapani
07-27-2008, 19:51
Never had a problem with it. Doubt I ever will.

Me neither....

I run Fedora 9 (Linux) at home and Windblows XP at work (and we are mandated to NOT run Vista)

:tongueout::rofl::wavey:

Cody Jarrett
07-27-2008, 19:58
So you're the one!! :rofl:
Yeah, I'm the guy. :supergrin: I actually FORCED this product on my company. By trade I'm a software engineer and certified as a Microsoft Systems Engineer (MCSE), and Microsoft Solution Developer (MCSD). So I guess I'm an MS snob to some people... but hey, it sure paid the bills. As a (supposedly silent) partner in an IT consulting firm in NY, we develop Visual Studio Pro based ASP.NET applications under the .NET 3.5 Framework using, Visual Basic, C#, PHP, AJAX, SQL Server and a number of Java based applications running in the J2EE environment. We made the cut from XP about a year ago on all the consultants' computers. Being sort of retired from the "hands-on" part of the business I'm not directly developing any applications. But I have to say that our groups have had no signifcant issues using this platform. There was a small learning curve but they handled it pretty easily. The applications are generally developed on Vista machines and migrated to Windows Server 2008 Enterprise Edition. We did however find that Vista took more system resources to run properly but crashes less than XP did. Our developers used to get frustrated with the hung systems and constant reboots using XP.

I don't recommend using Vista unless you have a lot of horsepower under the hood. It can be quite a dog on machines with less than 2GHz of processor speed, a minimum of a Core 2 Duo processor and 2GB RAM. Definitely for the faint hearted sysem.

Cody Jarrett
07-27-2008, 20:19
Me neither....

I run Fedora 9 (Linux) at home and Windblows XP at work (and we are mandated to NOT run Vista)

:tongueout::rofl::wavey:
The end is in sight so your employer will need to make arragements at some point. Linux is a suitable replacement.

From PCWorld.com

XP Reprieve: Microsoft Gives OEMs Five More Months
Elizabeth Montalbano, IDG News Service

Sep 28, 2007
Microsoft is extending the time it will allow original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and retail outlets to sell PCs with Windows XP as customers continue to balk on upgrading to Windows Vista.

Microsoft had planned to stop selling XP through OEMs and retailers on Jan. 31, 2008, while custom system builders have until Jan. 31, 2009, to pre-install XP on machines. But because sales of Vista PCs have not been as strong as expected, OEMs and retailers have asked Microsoft to extend XP's availability. OEMs and retailers will now have until June 30, 2008, to sell PCs with Windows XP preinstalled on machines, Microsoft said. Retailers also can sell XP out of the box until that time if they choose, the company said.

In fact, some PC makers are selling Vista-equipped systems with an XP Pro recovery disc to those who request one so that it can be used in case the purchaser isn't happy with the new Microsoft OS.

Why?
"While we've been pleased with the positive response we've seen and heard from customers using Windows Vista, there are some customers who need a little more time to make the switch to Windows Vista," Microsoft said in a press statement.

Microsoft also is extending the life of Windows XP Starter Edition, the version of XP for emerging markets. The software will be available until June 30, 2010, so users in those markets can take advantage of low-cost, hardware-constrained PCs that Vista may not be compatible with. Vista requires hardware upgrades that most PCs running XP do not have.

Per Microsoft's policy as of 2002, a new Windows OS would stay on the market about four years after its original availability date. But XP was released on Oct. 25, 2001, more than five years before Vista limped out the door to consumers Jan. 31, 2007, after several delays and a major code overhaul.

Vista Expectations Lowered... Microsoft had high expectations for customer adoption of Vista, and claimed the launch would be one of the most successful in Windows history. Unfortunately for the company, those predictions so far haven't panned out, and in July, Microsoft lowered its projections for customer adoption of Vista. The company had said the split between XP and Vista sales in its fiscal year ending June 30, 2008, would be 15 percent to 85 percent; now the company is saying the split will be 22 percent XP and 78 percent Vista.

According to some, that may even be optimistic. Paul Ghysels, a custom system builder who owns the Neighborhood Computer Store in Moraga, California, said that Microsoft has "really blown Vista." He said he's not surprised Microsoft extended the availability of XP for OEMs. "I figured Microsoft would have to come up with something because Vista is so unprepared for the market right now," Ghysels said.

He added that the extension likely won't affect his business much, since most of his customers come to him because they are already disillusioned with the major PC manufacturers and thus unlikely to want a name-brand PC pre-loaded with Vista.

Vista Service Pack 1 (SP1), a rollup of updates for the OS that Microsoft has said will be available in the first quarter of 2008, should make Vista more market-worthy. In fact, many consumers and businesses have said they would wait for the update before moving from XP to Vista.




From the Associated Press

Microsoft to stop selling Windows XP on Monday
Jun 29, 2008

REDMOND, Wash. (AP) — Microsoft Corp. is scheduled to stop selling its Windows XP operating system to retailers and major computer makers Monday, despite protests from a slice of PC users who don't want to be forced into using XP's successor, Vista.

Once computers loaded with XP have been cleared from the inventory of PC makers such as Dell Inc. and Hewlett-Packard Co., consumers who can't live without the old operating system on their new machine will have to buy Vista Ultimate or Vista Business and then legally "downgrade" to XP.

Microsoft will still allow smaller mom-and-pop PC builder shops to buy XP for resale through the end of January. A version of XP will also remain available for ultra-low-cost PCs such as the Asus Eee PC.

A group of vocal computer users who rallied around a "Save XP" petition posted on the industry news site InfoWorld had been clamoring for Microsoft to keep selling XP until its next operating system, Windows 7, is available. The software maker has said it expects to release Windows 7 sometime in 2009.

Last week, Microsoft said it would provide full technical support for six-year-old Windows XP through 2009, and limited support through 2014.