If you have any interest in computers you know that Microsoft is planning on releasing it’s new version of Windows- Windows Vista (which, by the way, lame-ass marketing attempt with that name). The real story behind it however, is that it won’t be ready until January 2007 – at the earliest. This is a product more than 5 years in development and long awaited.
I am a Windows girl and I am proud to say it. Despite the fact that I am a designer and use Illustrator, Photoshop and Flash, I prefer the intuitive design and functionality of a Windows machine to a Mac. And yea, I do use a Mac. I have a Windows, Mac and a Linux box hanging around my office and though the Windows machine is my primary machine, I use all three regularly. This is why I get so annoyed when I come across sworn Mac users- not because I don’t think it’s a good machine, but because they inevitably have this opinion that Mac’s are the PC’s of the gods, and that anyone who uses one will naturally be instantly converted. I do not share that sentiment. I like right-clicking, playing games on my machine and using web browsers that display correctly.
That being said, Microsoft is doing it’s best to shoot itself in the foot these days. They have released Internet Explorer 7 which is buggy at the best of times and blue-screen inducing at the worst. They have delayed Windows Vista repeatedly after already beginning a marketing push for it and they have also delayed Office 2007, which appears to ready to go, but is waiting so as to allow a one-two (Vista-Office) punch. Finally, Microsoft is requiring at least 1GM of RAM in machines running Vista. That alone is not a bad idea- people should be moving in that direction anyway. However, if 1GB is a minimum requirement, you have to assume it will take 2BG or more to get quality performance. Let’s not even talk about the rash of required patches to keep XP running and to fix the massive security flaws.
I happen to have had the opportunity to play with Vista- it’s pretty (very Mac-like) but still very buggy. I don’t feel desperate to escape the bounds of Windows XP (yet), but I do feel desperate to know that I am depending on a product whose company can continue to innovate. We all know how important it is to give Bill Gates millions to redistribute to the world’s poor and needy, but it’s also important that the company demonstrate why it’s a product we want on 90% of our PC’s. In trying to combat Google, Yahoo and Apple, they’ve found too many battlefronts and all their products, from Vista to X-box, are suffering for it. Last I heard they were going to try to develop their own graphics and web design applications a la Adobe (and the former Macromedia). I haven’t seen those and I have to assume they’re low priority right now.
I hold out hope that Vista will be released in a timely and bug-free manner, and I’ll have a copy on (or before) the day it’s released. But I will be unhappy to fall back on my Mac if Microsoft can’t get its shit together. Hello Linux!
[Comment added 4:38pm, 7/28] Total coincidence, I swear- a friend wrote on a similar topic today… http://blogs.lib.ncsu.edu/page/web?entry=macintoshin