Hardly a week passes where I don’t have reason to deal with Microsoft’s disreputable behavior. Just the other day, one of the conservative TV pundits was ranting about a stimulus package provision that allows the folks in the state of Washington to build a bridge that connects two campuses at Microsoft’s main headquarters. You’d think the company could afford to pay the multimillion dollar cost themselves, because with their resources it’s chump change.
But somehow this $11 million earmark got stuck in the bill anyway, no doubt due to Microsoft’s intense lobbying of the appropriate politicians. In any case, some are calling it “Microsoft’s bridge to nowhere,” just where some feel their operating system strategy is going. Well, not financially of course, since I don’t think that anyone will disagree that Windows 7 will probably fare better in the marketplace than Vista.
I say that despite the fact that Vista’s replacement is probably closer to a Service Pack 3 in concept, since most of the changes are designed to make it a leaner, meaner operating system. There is some extra eye candy, of course, the better to entice customers to pay up to hundreds of dollars for a copy. Contrast that with Snow Leopard, which Apple is offering for $29 to those who already have Leopard — and that’s a heavy proportion of the Mac user base.
Believe it or not, a heavy proportion of Windows users, particularly the enterprise, are sticking with Windows XP, circa 2001, because Vista was such a mess. While that probably didn’t hurt MIcrosoft’s bottom line all that much, it wasn’t so good from a PR standpoint.
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