A Paragraph Worth of Monday Rants

July 3rd, 2006

You have to give credit to Microsoft’s spin-meisters. They’ve managed to find all sorts of reasons why their two flagship products, Vista and Office 2007, must be delayed, or features shed. I can’t begin to tally the excuses, but perhaps the most creative person on Microsoft’s corporate communications staff ought to volunteer to become the next White House press secretary. In any case, as you recall, Office 2007’s release was first postponed to coincide with the updated release timetable for Vista. Now it has been delayed yet again for alleged performance improvements, which means that, in the real world, the beta isn’t going all that well. The same might be said for Vista beta 2, where drivers are still troublesome, among other things. Of course, the situation with Office 2007 now gives Microsoft yet another excuse to synchronize the timelines and postpone Vista too. But there is yet another reason why more delays might come. Microsoft claims to have some 300 employees assigned to produce documentation about its operating system for its rivals as required by European Commission regulators. As of now, the remaining parts of that material are going to be a little late, apparently, which gives Microsoft even more reasons to delay its products. I have to wonder, though, just how messed up Windows must be if it requires months of labor by all those employees to figure things out and explain it to outsiders.

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6 Responses to “A Paragraph Worth of Monday Rants”

  1. Ivo Wiesner says:


  2. gopher says:

    Microsoft may finally get rid of the show stoppers in its operating system by isolating one last bug.

    Or they might do an entire rewrite and trim it to 100,000 lines of code.

    With the number of 10.4.7 show stoppers, sometimes I wish Apple spent as much time ironing out the last few bugs of its operating system. They are numerous, and thankfully they have little to do with security, but some are really bad. Audio Midi setup on some machines are resetting themselves to 96 Hz, even though people are not touching the program to begin with when updating to the latest Quicktime or Java, and now once again with 10.4.7. Net result, no audio on some applications or movies.

    Data corruption is frequently yielding hard to troubleshoot cache problems, which require an erase and install to repair.

    RAM causing kernel panics prove that Mac OS X needs better error handling.

    Spinning beachballs that don’t allow force quit require a forced restart and a rebuild of the directory.

    Spotlight’s ability to Find files is pitifally slow compared to the old Panther Find File. And yes, while Easy Find is there, that’s slow too. I may have to pitch in for File Buddy, or just keep behind a Panther partition just in case I need to search my files.

    I’m thankful it doesn’t happen to me that often, but it has meant, I can’t capture my EyeTV simultaneously as burning DVDs. It also means I can’t

  3. gopher says:

    part 2 of my post, I didn’t notice I left a dangling sentence!

    It also means I can’t play games simultaneously while capturing video.

    Multitasking needs to be vastly improved.

  4. skribbler says:

    In response to Gopher, let me say I have none of these problems, either with my old 1 gig iMac, or the new duo core model, with the exception of burning DVDs. Those spinning discs require unfocused attention because it’s the disc, and not the system, that calls the shots. I’ve never experienced data corruption and I find Spotlight to be fast. I have other issues with Spotlight as a system — I prefer organizing my files in a ladder model, broadest rung at top, narrowest at bottom, and reading through lists is not the quickets way to do anything. As for playing games while capturing video, I would point to the games themselves which are often designed to take over the system and very often don’t follow system protocols.

    Just my experience. Doesn’t negate his.

  5. michael says:

    It used to be fun to point the finger at Microsoft, but Vista has been delayed so often that fatigue is setting in. I really don’t care anymore.

    When it does finally come out, late and still be buggy, I’ll have to buy it because I need to support Microsoft using clients. No, I’ll just buy a new cheap computer with Vista installed and hope it will keep running until the first service pack gets released in another couple of years. That might get it to the level it should have been at on release, three years ago. I suppose that I should actually be happy that I can postpone the inevitible for a few more months.

  6. sam williams says:

    Oh Gene, you’re getting yourself all worked up over nothing. The reality is MS will throw enough money and resources at the problems and deliver a product. It will suck, but be less buggy – good enough for government work. Yes it will pale when compared to OS X, but it just doesn’t matter due to the growing irrelevancy of the desktop OS. For several years, both OS X and Windows (starting with NT) have offered reasonably stable platforms. Graphics pros spend their day in Photoshop whose interface and workflow are mostly platform independent. Most cross-platform games look and run the same. In business, thin web clients are replacing desktop software; you don’t even need PCs. Let’s face it, the boring desktop OS is so 1990 chic. It’s the software, and this is why Apple should be touting iLife over OS X.

    The focus on Vista missteps is really a small part of the computing world and Mac users wishing to turn back the clock. But take heart and realize that a tiny percentage of PC users are going to adopt Vista no matter when it ships or how good or bad it is. Vista could be as good as OS X, ship tomorrow, and the majority of PC users (read ga-zillions of boxes in the enterprise) would not switch.

    Not right away that is. Eventually, 90+% of the market will follow the leader 🙂

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