Thurrott: many of Windows Vista’s upcoming features appeared first in Apple’s Mac OS X

“Echoing my earlier comments about Windows Vista being a train wreck, Microsoft group vice president Jim Allchin walked into chairman Bill Gates’ office in July 2004 and told him that the software project was horribly behind schedule and would never get caught up. ‘It’s not going to work,’ he said, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal. The problem was that Vista was too complicated, and Microsoft’s age-old methods for developing software just weren’t going to be good enough,” Paul Thurrott reports for WinInfo.

“Despite my repeated efforts at getting Microsoft to speak on record about the events of last year, when the company halted development of Windows Vista–then codenamed Longhorn–so it could completely start over, from scratch, the software giant and its PR firm has consistently railroaded me and prevented me from sitting down with people who are knowledgeable about what happened,” Thurrott reports. “However, I had been briefed informally about these events, referred to internally as ‘the reset.'”

“Contrary to the WSJ report, however, the reset was underway months earlier than July 2004… Apple’s technically excellent Mac OS X system, while not a threat at all to the PC desktop, remains in the game with an ever-possible sales boost from the iPod and iTunes, which dominate the consumer electronics and digital music markets, respectively,” Thurrott reports. “Much of [Microsoft’s] problems are related to corporate culture, and that won’t be fixed by Microsoft’s recent reorganization. Microsoft is far too big a company with far too many levels of executives, to move quickly and seize on new market trends. Windows Vista, as a result, is fighting the OS battles of the last decade, reacting rather than being proactive and innovative. Mac OS X users, for example, can point to many of Vista’s features and correctly note that they appeared first on Apple’s system, sometimes years ago. For Microsoft, a company that desperately wants to be seen as an innovator, this situation is untenable… All that said, Windows Vista is now on track. Current beta builds of the system show an OS that is far more similar to Windows XP, with fewer new features and a much less elegant interface, than originally planned. But it’s a solid-looking release…”

Full article here.

The Wall Street Journal article referenced by Thurrott is here.

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29 Comments

  1. Best thing for MSFT shareholders is to break MSFT into three companies – an OS company (Vista, PDA OSes, etc), an applications company (office, etc), and a media/accessories company (Xbox, mice, WMA, etc).

    This would give MSFT the ability to work in different markets – the gaming group could have a Rapid App development culture for new games, the OS group a Waterfall design slow-boat-to-China culture, and the Applications group could finally develop for other OSes using the iterative design model that has actaully served them well.

    MDN word: again

  2. What i want to know is, what features will Longvista have that won’t be migrated to XP?

    I read that BG’s goal with longhorn was to rewrite every line of code to make it lighter and faster and just better. Sounds good, but decades of testing can a solid platform make. This seems like exactly the best way to doom Vista with exploits, and why OS X is a smashing success.

    Bah! Apple has decades to go before Windows is forced out of the enterprise. Meanwhile we have to put up with all this…

  3. The unfortunately reality is that even though Mac OS X is far superior, easier to use and more trouble free than Windows it will always be a mediocre and predominent as it is today. The truth of the matter is that most people are not educated enough to learn anything other than Windows. They really don’t even know Windows very much either. It’s a sign of “mediocrity” at its best. A true sign of the way America and the world to an extent and going. Microsoft will always be king because of this.

    The Macintosh truly attracts the more educated and assertive individual. Individual being the key word. Most Macintosh users are curious and intersted in learning. How many Windows people have you met that say “oh my computer doesn’t work” and they just do nothing about it.

    Unfortnately, it is the way of the world.

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