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Microsoft Not Sure Of Its Own Future

Posted by ClifNotes, Mar 2008, permalink Windows Tips


From Clif:

Once again, MS Mole surfaces and speaks to our friend Bill. What evil lurks in the dark underground passages of Redmond? Only the Mole knows.


From Bill Allin:

Hi Clif,


I wasn't sure that we would ever have another report from MS Mole, but apparently he is still well connected and not afraid to speak behind the scenes.

Microsoft Not Sure Of Its Own Future


To say that Microsoft is in disarray over its operating systems is an understatement. As usual, MS acts as if everyone approves of its anointing itself King Of Software for life.


Speculation is that the lifespan of Vista may not even be as long as the initial commitment of five years. Its supporters, mostly those with Vista who have software that is all compatible, are in a minority, and a relatively quiet one at that.


MS has tried to focus itself especially on commercial clients for the past few years, despite its public claim that it has the operating system for the people. But industry IT people are up in arms. Major software makers such as accounting systems, for example, require years to tweak and debug their packages until they work perfectly with an operating system.


With a forecast lifespan for Vista of only five years, major manufacturers would be lucky to have their Vista systems online dependably for three years before they had to begin all over again with a new operating system.


Home users aren't any happier because many of their favourite programs, especially freeware, won't work on Vista or may be buggy with Vista. They want software fixes, but software manufacturers aren't eager to spend much time and money on fixes when a new OS should be tested shortly.


Then there are millions of XP fans who cry "If it ain't broke, don't scrub it!" Speculation is now that Microsoft will extend its final deadline for selling XP an extra year from its announced end sales date of June, 2008. My guess is that MS may extend its sales deadline even beyond the one year.


Meanwhile MS has withdrawn countless salable copies of XP from resellers, while at the same time forcing them to promote Vista, a situation which may cause outright rebellion among MS software sellers who are fed up with the dictatorial and seemingly backward tactics of Microsoft.


Major software testers in Malaysia have found so many faults with Vista and compatibility problems with Vista that IT publications following the tests are advising people who don't have Vista now to not buy it.


Way in the background, beyond visible distance and hearing by Microsoft, is a growing support base that's cheering on the still-mysterious new operating system supposedly coming from Google. Considering Google's track record, who would bet against them?


Now that Service Pack 1 for Vista is on the street, to the delight of some and the regret of many, Microsoft is set to release Service Pack 3 for XP, almost certainly in April's Update Tuesday bundle.


Despite the fact that MS conducted extensive testing of the beta version, Mole strongly advises everyone to avoid installing SP3 immediately. Such releases never come without grief for many. MS has been known to substitute revised versions of its service packs for download anywhere from a day to a week after the official release date without making a public announcement. After that MS calls the patches hotfixes.


The screaming should begin at least by the Wednesday following Update Tuesday and continue for weeks afterward. Wait until you have read of the success or the troubles of others with similar setups to yours before taking the plunge. If you aren't having problems with your XP SP2 now, you have no reason to hurry to install SP3. As always, eventually you will be required to get SP3, but you can be an interested spectator for a while.


Bill Allin


Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today’s Epidemic Social Problems, a book about real and inexpensive solutions to personal and community problems most people think are inevitable evils of modern society. They aren't. We just have to look in the right place.

Learn more at http://billallin.com

Contact author Bill Allin at turningitaround@sympatico.ca