“Since the euphoria of PDC 2003, Microsoft’s handling of Windows Vista has been abysmal. Promises have been made and dismissed, again and again. Features have come and gone. Heck, the entire project was literally restarted from scratch after it became obvious that the initial code base was a teetering, technological house of cards. Windows Vista, in other words, has been an utter disaster. And it’s not even out yet,” Paul Thurrott writes for Windows IT Pro. Microsoft “has turned into that thing it most hated (read: IBM), an endlessly complex hierarchy of semi-autonomous middle managers and vice presidents of various levels and titles, many of whom can’t seem to make even the smallest of decisions. The company is too big and too slow to ship updates to its biggest products. It’s collapsing under its own weight.”
“For Windows, specifically, the situation is dire. As I’ve noted in the past, the Windows Division retains, as employees of the software giant have told me, the last vestiges of the bad, old Microsoft. This is the Microsoft that ran roughshod over competitors in order to gain market share at any cost. The Microsoft that forgot about customers in its blind zeal to harm competitors. The Microsoft, that frankly, all the Linux and Apple fanatics always imagined was out there, plotting and planning their termination,” Thurrott writes.
“So what went wrong [with Windows Vista]? What didn’t go wrong? When Bill Gates revealed in mid-2003 that he was returning to his roots, so to speak, and spending half of his time on what was then still called Longhorn, we should have seen the warning signs. Sadly, Gates, too, is part of the Bad Microsoft, a vestige of the past who should have had the class to either formally step down from the company or at least play just an honorary role, not step up his involvement and get his hands dirty with the next Windows version. If blame is to be assessed, we must start with Gates. He has guided–or, through lack of leadership–failed to guide the development of Microsoft’s most prized asset. He has driven it into the ground,” Thurrott writes.
“Promises were made. Excitement was generated. None of it, as it turns out, was worth a damn. From a technical standpoint, the version of Windows Vista we will receive is a sad shell of its former self, a shadow. One might still call it a major Windows release. I will, for various reasons. The kernel was rewritten. The graphics subsystem is substantially improved, if a little obviously modeled after that in Mac OS X. Heck, half of the features of Windows Vista seem to have been lifted from Apple’s marketing materials,” Thurrott writes. “Shame on you, Microsoft. Shame on you, but not just for not doing better. We expect you to copy Apple, just as Apple (and Linux) in its turn copies you. But we do not and should not expect to be promised the world, only to be given a warmed over copy of Mac OS X Tiger in return. Windows Vista is a disappointment. There is no way to sugarcoat that very real truth.”
Thurrott writes, “You’d have to be special kind of stupid to look at Windows Vista and see it as the be-all, end-all of operating systems. It some ways, Windows Vista actually will exceed Mac OS X and Linux, but not to the depth we were promised. Instead, Windows Vista will do what so many other Windows releases have done, and simply offer consumers and business users a few major changes and many subtle or minor updates. That’s not horrible. It’s just not what was promised. Because it failed so obviously with Vista, my guess is that Microsoft is a bit gun shy about major OS releases and will be for some time. And that’s too bad. Windows Vista was Microsoft’s first chance since Windows 95 to reach for the golden ring. It may be another decade before they try again.”
There’s much, much more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: Karma is a bitch. About the only thing Thurrott fails to mention — perhaps he couldn’t bear the thought of it — is that the successor to Mac OS X Tiger, “Leopard,” will be out around the same time as Microsoft’s Windows Vista. In fact, it’ll probably be released before Vista. Thurrott doesn’t detail how Windows Vapor, er Vista, will surpass Mac OS X (Tiger, we presume), but one can only imagine that Microsoft would easily best Apple in the “sucks” category. Thurrott was probably referencing “malware infestations” and/or “user frustration level,” two areas where Vista will certainly surpass any version of Mac OS X. Also, the degree to which Microsoft copies Apple cannot be equated with the one or two things Apple may have seen in Windows and improved upon (Command-Tab or Fast User Switching in Mac OS X for two possible examples). The fact remains today as it has always been and will continue to be for the foreseeable future: Apple leads. Microsoft follows poorly. As usual.
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Microsoft employees call for heads to roll over continual Vista slips – March 27, 2006
Microsoft’s Windows Albatross, er Vista could slip even more – March 27, 2006
Harvard prof: Microsoft Windows users ‘may simply end up with a more and more inferior OS over time’ – March 27, 2006
60-percent of Windows Vista code to be rewritten – March 24, 2006
Microsoft reorganizes moribund Windows unit – March 23, 2006
Microsoft’s inability to ship Windows Vista leaves door open for Apple – March 23, 2006
Tech writer: Forget booting Windows on Macs, now is the time for Apple Mac to take back share – March 23, 2006
Microsoft Vista fumble could lead to score for Apple Mac; Mac OS X Leopard may beat Vista to market – March 23, 2006
Analysts: Apple could benefit from Microsoft’s latest Vista slip – March 22, 2006
Forbes: Microsoft’s Vista slips again – Steve Jobs must be waking up a happy man this morning – March 22, 2006
What’s the difference between Mac OS X and Vista? Microsoft employees are excited about Mac OS X – March 22, 2006
Vista delay causes Windows-dependents slump in pre-market trading; Apple rises – March 22, 2006
Enderle on MS Vista slip: ‘I personally can not recall Apple ever getting an opportunity like this’ – March 21, 2006
Microsoft delays Windows Vista again – this time until January 2007 – March 21, 2006
Episode 2 of Microsoft Windows Vista, Bill Gates CES keynote video spoof now online – January 07, 2006
Microsoft Windows Vista, Bill Gates keynote video spoof debuts online – January 06, 2006
NY Times’ Pogue on Gates’ CES demo: Most of Vista features unadulterated ripoffs from Apple Mac OS X – January 05, 2006
Analyst: Windows Vista may still impress many consumers because they have not seen Apple’s Mac OS X – January 05, 2006
Gates: ‘People tend to get overfocused on one of our competitors’ – January 05, 2006
Microsoft Windows Vista compared to Apple Mac OS X – December 05, 2005
Gartner: Ignore Microsoft Windows Vista until 2008 (why not just get Apple Mac OS X Tiger today?) – November 12, 2005
Microsoft’s Windows Vista strives to deliver what Apple’s Mac OS X already offers – October 10, 2005
Thurrott: Microsoft’s Windows Vista Beta 1 vs. Apple’s Mac OS X Tiger – August 29, 2005
Thurrott: many of Windows Vista’s upcoming features appeared first in Apple’s Mac OS X – September 26, 2005
Microsoft’s Ballmer: It’s true, some of Windows Vista’s features are ‘kissing cousins’ to Mac OS X – September 19, 2005
Microsoft suffers from malaise, key defections, Windows Vista struggles, lack of towels – September 16, 2005
PC World: Microsoft innovation – an oxymoron – September 15, 2005
Microsoft debuts Dashboard Widgets, er, ‘Microsoft Gadgets’ – September 13, 2005
Apple to unleash Leopard on Microsoft’s Windows Longhorn; Mac OS X 10.5 due late 2006 – early 2007 – June 07, 2005
Windows tech writer Thurrott: ‘In many ways, Mac OS X Tiger is simply better than Windows’ – May 07, 2005
Bill Gates jokes about Mac OS X ‘Tiger’ and calls Apple ‘the super-small market share guy’ – May 03, 2005
Thurrott: ‘Longhorn is in complete disarray and in danger of collapsing under its own weight’ – April 27, 2005
Windows czar Allchin says Apple copying Microsoft’s Windows Longhorn – April 27, 2005
Thurrott: Longhorn ‘has the makings of a train wreck’ – April 26, 2005
Thurrott: Longhorn demos ‘unimpressive, fall short of graphical excellence found today in Mac OS X’ – April 26, 2005
Microsoft employees leaving due to (and blogging about) malaise smothering company – April 25, 2005
eWEEK Editor Coursey: Longhorn so far ‘looks shockingly like a Macintosh’ – April 25, 2005
Due in late 2006, many of Windows Longhorn’s features have been in Mac OS X since 2001 – April 25, 2005
Microsoft’s new mantra: ‘It Just Works’ ripped straight from Apple’s ‘Switch’ campaign – April 22, 2005
Apple CEO Steve Jobs on Microsoft’s Longhorn: ‘They are shamelessly copying us’ – April 21, 2005
Microsoft’s Windows Longhorn will bear more than just a passing resemblance to Apple’s Mac OS X – April 15, 2005
The Age: ‘Apple’s Mac OS X at least a generation ahead of Windows XP, iMac G5 clearly the best’ – December 15, 2004
Silicon Valley: Apple CEO Steve Jobs previews ‘Longhorn’ – June 29, 2004
Apple CEO Steve Jobs: Mac OS X Tiger ‘is going to drive the copycats crazy – June 28, 2004
Apple’s CEO Steve Jobs previews Mac OS X 10.4 ‘Tiger’ to ship in the first half of 2005 – June 28, 2004
Apple takes dead aim at Microsoft, ‘Longhorn’ with WWDC Mac OS X 10.4 ‘Tiger’ ads – June 28, 2004
PC Magazine: Microsoft ‘Longhorn’ preview shows ‘an Apple look’ – May 06, 2004
Microsoft concerned that Longhorn’s look and feel will be copied if revealed too soon – August 25, 2003
Windows ‘Longhorn’ to add translucent windows that ripple and shrink by 2005 – May 19, 2003
Apple leads; Wintel follows as usual – November 11, 2002