“It certainly sounded like Microsoft leadership committed to us, our customers, our partners, and our shareholders that Vista would be out in 2006,” Mini-Microsoft, a blog from a Microsoft insider, vents. “Slip!”

“We should have asked for more details around the ‘or else’ part of that commitment,” Mini-Microsoft writes. “I was upset at missing the back-to-school market. Now we’re missing the holiday sales market. All of those laptops and PCs are going to have XP on it. What percentage will upgrade to Vista? Well, I guess that’s the little dream that I need to give up on. Vista’s deployment is going to come from people buying CPUs with the OS pre-installed, not dancing down the CompUSA aisle as they clutch that boxed version of Vista to their loving chest. So not only did we miss last year’s opportunity, we’re missing this year’s opportunity, too. With the convergence of high-tech media, this holiday season would have been an explosive nodal point to get Vista out for a compounded effect.”

Mini-Microsoft writes, “People need to be fired and moved out of Microsoft today. Where’s the freakin’ accountability?”

Some of our favorite comments to the article over on Mini-Microsoft, many of them presumably from Microsoft employees, include:
• Fer cripes sake, just get a Mac already.
• Being a 10+ year [Microsoft] vet I feel ashamed and sad. This company is a mess on so many levels.
• Here’s the way out: MS should swallow real hard, ante up half of what they blew on Longwind, and buy an OS X license from Apple. That would be about $10B up-front, and a hefty royalty. MS would have to assume the burden of making it run on all the crapbox PCs out there, which have had all the quality squeezed out of them, due to MS’s having sucked up the lion’s share of the profit from all PCs for the last 20 years or so. The benefit is that MS could finally ship a securable OS, and the users wouldn’t have to lose countless hours trying to work around the malware. Meanwhile, the only semi-competent part of the company, the Mac Business Unit, would take the lead in Apps development.
• Vista is a disaster. The “reset” you mention is nothing less than a FAILURE to SHIP. What you’re working on now isn’t Longhorn, it’s SP4. Don’t kid yourself. If you want to salvage your career, flee to Office, or better yet, get the heck out of the company before it all collapses.
• Ballmer is incompetent. The interview mentioned previously is terrible. Ballmer has presided over the fall of Microsoft. He sucks. When are internal folks going to stop falling for this mythological aristocracy? He and Bill are just weak men who aren’t in control.
• Compare this to OS X, where people fall all over themselves trying to get the newest version running on their old hardware because there’s actual value in the new features. So Vista has its guts ripped out, slips, and we wait another 5 years for a potentially insipring version of Windows, meanwhile Apple ships another 3 updates to OS X.
• God, we look like DEC more and more every day.
• I took part in a computer trade show early this month in Germany, and Microsoft was showing Vista, and the Microsoft fans were saying it looks like OS X (Apple wasn’t there). Apple is on a roll, and we’ve just given them enough time to get the next version of OS X out the door (whatever animal name it is going to be). And we can guess right now what their marketing push will be: Stop waiting for those guys who can’t even copy our old stuff in time. Get the original from us — we ship on time, we’re shipping right now.
• I wonder how many employees at PC hardware companies are wishing they had some way to call up Apple and license OS X for Intel. They could have 10.4 “Tiger” on PC hardware in a matter of weeks.
• What’s the difference between Mac OS X and Vista? Microsoft employees are excited about Mac OS X.

Full article, with many more comments, here.

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