alliance.

Vista… If We Didn’t Have Darth Vader We’d Invent Him

The Dark Force – We often wonder why Macophiles and Linux people portrayed Bill as the dark force in the universe. Guy was just trying to earn a buck…and put a computer on every desktop. Now he’s turned his attention to righting other wrongs. Photo – Lucasfilms

“Until this battle station is fully operational, we are vulnerable. The Rebel Alliance is too well equipped, they're more dangerous than you realize.” – General Tagge (Star Wars, 1977)

Admit it.

Now that Bill has turned the helm over to Steve to guide the MS death star and the ship has taken more than its share of broadsides, it’s almost tough to keep kicking Vista…almost.

Ok so maybe Intel did finally decide that they’re not going to install Vista across the board.

So?

Maybe they’re going to put all their corporate systems on their other customer’s OS?

Maybe they’ve decided that freeware -- when we first heard of Ubuntu we thought it was a new African nation -- is easier for the global enterprise to use and support?

Maybe they’re still satisfied with XP – as we are – or maybe they’re “a little” closer to MS than we are and have seen what Windows 7 looks like and know it’s closer than we think?

It’s true that MS’s CFO Liddell wasn’t really credible when he said that there were no Vista-related issues but what did you expect him to say?

In his best Darth Vader stance he responded to one analyst’s challenge saying, “I find your lack of faith disturbing.”

He’s not used to being beat up when he talks like Bill and Steve are when they step on the stage.

Ballmer, the company’s big bear, super salesperson, had a great sound byte – “we can always wake up smarter,”

Liddell needs a better speech writer!

State of Change

In the name of full disclosure (popular phrase these days) we use XP on all of our systems including the two new notebooks we just purchased.

Three reasons:

XP and the apps do everything we want to do very nicely thank you

We admit we’re human and don’t really like a lot of change

We figured we’d wait to upgrade a year or two until all of Vista’s “undocumented features” had been ironed out

But we know a lot of very technically-savvy people who use Vista.

Being very objective they’ve noted:

recalling the release of earlier MS operating systems it is cleaner, better and more solid than the others in the same time period

there are security features that were added – sorely needed in our malware world – that are bothersome but can be disabled

Vista enables a lot of video-centric work much better than XP

Vista is backward compatible and works with enterprise systems and applications which is extremely important in the business environment

Vista does a more efficient job of using dual and quad core chips which helps sell…more computers

The new OS means new applications, new drivers, new peripherals, more customer support but that drives the PC/CE economy

Doing More

The IT industry is the engine that drives almost every aspect of our lives today.

Computers used to be glorified typewriters or game systems but people have found more uses, more applications, more benefits with the technology.

Figure 1 - Expanding Options – With a common computing platform that was fairly open, creative minds have been able to offer new/different solutions at a reasonable cost. More importantly, businesses/governments have been able to use the applications in new, different ways. Source -- IDC

Our kids have more computing power in their rooms today than a room full of IBM mainframes. And they “need,” use it all without even batting an eye.

The more they have, the more they want.

The more the industry delivers, the cheaper it is.

Writing with their systems is of almost no importance to our kids today. They’ve got serious needs.

Figure 2 - Must Have Features – Suddenly computing power is in nearly everyone’s hands and we can’t seem to get enough of it. We have adapted the systems to video, audio and even work functions and the uses continue to expand. Source -- Intel

They’re busy making new environments in SecondLife.

They’re designing/producing their own game avatars and scenes in their video games.

They’re taking brilliant photos, modifying them, turning them into photo videos, adding sound tracks and sharing them with everyone.

They’re shooting video as good as the pros, adding superb transitions and eye-popping special effects, editing/authoring it and making movies people actually want to watch!

They’ve got all that stuff stashed on their new Instinct phones.

Sure couldn’t do that on our old Atari system!

Vista Moves Mac Sales

It isn’t true that when Bill saw the final version of Vista he invested in Apple and started planning his retirement.

A lot of people (mostly Mac users) like to say that Vista is the best sales tool that Jobs has for Macs.

They love to point out the “dramatic” sales increase Macs have enjoyed.

Figure 3 - Dark Horse – Mac users like to point with pride how Apple’s systems have gained market share compared to WinTel PCs. The move is probably more a result of the success of iPods and iPhones than the sudden realization that a Mac is a better platform. Of course, Vista did help Apple system sales…a little. Source – Piper Jaffey

Eight – ten million systems in use compared to a paltry one billion plus PCs.

True Mac sales have grown pretty dramatically.

The numbers have grown so much Macophiles are starting to admit that:

Macs do crash (occasionally)

The OS does have holes and doorways hackers can exploit

More malware is finding its way onto people’s system

The difference between the two OSes is that Jobs really doesn’t want all the headaches (and costs) involved in supporting everyone.

Like it or not business runs on Microsoft.

Figure 4 - The Business of Business – While Macs have shown a slight increase in the business environment, they continue to be relatively niche applications in the marketing and communications departments. The global business of business still runs on Windows and its many flavors. Source – Yankee Group

Small/medium/large businesses, governments, non-profits, legal/medical/educational institutions, you name it probably wouldn’t fare too well working day-in, day-out on the Apple OS.

As Hans Solo said, “Traveling through hyperspace isn't like dusting crops, boy!”

Dealing With Tomorrow

Things might have been different …if:

Gary Kildall (check Wikipedia) hadn’t decided to go fishing instead of meeting with the IBM renegades who liked the idea of DIY computing

Bill hadn’t struck the deal with IBM and ran across the street to buy his neighbors’ DOS stuff

Jobs hadn’t nosed around Xerox’s PARC labs and “adapted” all the neat toys they created

It isn’t different.

But it is changing.

The OS is the foundation for a questionably profitable industry.

At least it counts for a lot of jobs around the globe.

It takes a lot of people to develop, support, buy, use the technologies that are an integral part of business, industry, government, personal/home entertainment.

Consumers want, “need,” expect complete and seamless business and entertainment at home and on the road.

We expect it to work with hardware/software across the network that may be two-three generations old.

We expect it to work with chips, boards, memory, applications, content from as many as 30 different firms on our system…flawlessly, immediately.

We’re lucky the darn ship even gets off the ground!

If we didn’t have Vista to “hate,” we’d have to turn on Jobs’ closed garden or the freebie stuff you can download, use and support on your own.

Seeing that he had to get back to manning the MS helm and the approaching horde Ballmer calmly asked Gates a few weeks ago, “We've analyzed their attack, sir, and there is a danger. Should I have your ship standing by?”

The Long Walk – At the end of June Bill took the long, lonely walk as he “retired” from Microsoft. Funny, his office still has his name on the door and no one has taken his name plate off the parking spot. He’ll probably stop in from time to time…just to check things out. Photo Source -- Lucasfilms

Bill walked down the hall with a sense of fulfillment and commented, “Don't be too proud of this technological terror you've constructed, the ability to destroy a planet is insignificant next to the power of the Force.”

Graphics, Illustrations available. Contact andy@markencom.com

Author:.

G. A. "Andy" Marken President Marken Communications, Inc. Santa Clara, CA Andy has worked in front of and behind the TV camera and radio mike. Unlike most PR people he listens to and understands the consumer’s perspective on the actual use of products. He has written more than 100 articles in the business and trade press. During this time he has also addressed industry issues and technologies not as corporate wishlists but how they can be used by normal people. He has been a marketing an...

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