Microsoft has given all the IT students at my university free licenses to almost all the software common developers use. So I have been using Windows Vista right from it’s release with satisfactory results.
Well it seems not everyone is getting the same results. I am tired of reading about companies that migrate back to XP for lack of some functionality, that companies deny to make drivers for Vista when they already have for XP, etc. Will SP1 fix all this and make Vista a better choice? For Microsoft sake it better be.
Let us see. Apple (and Mac-OS) are on the peak of their popularity yet and Linux platforms like Ubuntu give a easy to use operative system where you can do everything you normally do in Windows (and a bit more if your a coder) with a slight difference, it’s free. Many of you are unaware of this fact but when you buy a new laptop 120€ go straight to Microsoft. That about 10% of the value of your laptop. Why pay for it when you can have it for free?
Right now the Portuguese Parliament is discussing the adoption of open-source software in the public companies. The mentality is changed and personally I don’t believe Microsoft would survive a new Windows ME, there’s simply no contingency plan like they had back then. I know that Microsoft has some advantages, people are used to it, they don’t know they are paying for it, laptop manufacturers enforce Windows as mandatory, PC games are for Windows only, etc. But things have changed and I don’t know how much more time can Microsoft live of the past. If they don’t give users a a new way to interact with a computer, if they don’t trill the crowd with a new Windows, a genuine breakthrough, then it’s a one way street to nowhere.
I know a new service pack won’t change Vista as much as it is necessary to satisfy consumers. But if it succeeds it will provide Microsoft the time to rethink their strategy. If they continue to bet on the same they did 10 years ago, they will fail. And then, they will fall.