Windows Vista: Caught between Scylla and Charybdis

Microsoft’s equivalent to Duke Nukem Forever, Windows Vista, is caught between Scylla and Charybdis: if they delay, they’re facing hundreds of millions of dollars in losses, the continued rise of Linux,, Firefox and other FOSS. If they ship on time, they’ll cement their reputation for shoddy software, find adoption slow and still face the continued rise of Linux,, Firefox and other FOSS :)

Update Sept. 26, 2007: So its a year later and the verdict is:

With each passing day, it’s becoming blatantly clear that Microsoft released Vista too early and the company’s continual mistakes and promises that can’t be kept are further annoying the Windows faithful. […] Never before have I seen such an abysmal start to an operating system release. For almost a year, people have been adopting Vista and becoming incensed by how poorly it operates. Not only does it cost too much, it requires more to run than XP, there is still poor driver support, and that draconian licensing scheme is a by-product of Microsoft picking on the wrong people. […] As a daily user of Mac OS X, Ubuntu and Vista, I’m keenly aware of what works and what doesn’t. Mac and Linux work.

Update October 4, 2007: Some comments from two posts by Chris Pirillo:

I’ve long contended that Vista itself is still very much acting like a beta. […] I’m fed up with Windows… and I’m not alone. Microsoft dropped the ball in a very big way when they released something they never should have. They left themselves wide open to losing a very large number of people.

Everyone agrees that Vista was simply not ready for release when Microsoft let loose Vista on the general public. Unfortunately, we all also agree that it would take drastic overhauls to make Vista better.

Update March 21, 2008: An article titled “10 Things I Warned Microsoft About Windows Vista” sums up the disappointments of Vista fairly well.

Update April 17, 2008: An article discussing the bloatware that is Vista.

And speaking of

Vista is a mediocre operating system, when Microsoft needed to release something great. Vista is to Windows XP what the old Elvis was to the younger one. Gray best sums up Vista’s perception problem in this sentence: “Forrester has spoken with dozens of companies that are internally debating the possibility of skipping Windows Vista entirely and going straight to the next release, known as ‘Windows 7.'” Considering that about six years separate XP and Vista, such willingness to wait even longer is sad commentary on Microsoft’s current Windows version.

Update April 24, 2008: John C. Dvorak writes of “Vista’s 11 Pillars of Failure


5 Responses to “Windows Vista: Caught between Scylla and Charybdis”

  1. inaeth Says:

    Well, the only thing that I find wrong with that is the “continued losses” part. I am not a believer in losses based on projected gains. That is mysticism and product faith at its worst. However, they will have to face F/OSS sooner rather than later, and with the hardware requirements that they are putting out for Vista, I think “sooner” just became “today”! Especially with the release of SLED 10, Red Hat expanding into the telcos, and even Lenovo pre-installing Suse onto the Thinkpads! :)

  2. Andrew Says:

    I am waiting for the release. Not because I wish to purchase it, but because I want to see the effect on the ordinary user looking forward. I already have people around me upgrading from the now unsupported win98 to Ubuntu instead of any Windows version. The next 12 months are critical for the snowball of the OSS effect and I wait with very curious eyes indeed.

  3. Microsoft must be hurting for market share: no more WGA for IE7 « Limulus Says:

    […] to aggrivate honest users? And Firefox is kicking IE7s ass in terms of adoption rate? And with Vista sucking so bad and XP being given a temporary reprieve to make up for it, IE7 would never get above 60% market […]

  4. An Unscientific Poll « Limulus Says:

    […] a slightly related note, Bill Gates seems to be cementing the Vista-as-Windows ME 2007 reputation by claiming that “Sometime in the next year or so we will have a new […]

  5. Ubuntu has won the distro wars; now onto the desktop wars « Limulus Says:

    […] is on its way out; Vista is mediocre at best and an excellent example of bloatware, but still has inertia helping it along; OS X is tied to Apple’s hardware, so the mid-to-high […]

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