Big day for Microsoft
November 30, 2006 1:10 PM   Subscribe

Today is a big day for Microsoft with the launch of three key products - Windows Vista, Office 2007 and Exchange Server 2007. User groups are already up-and-running. Vista and Office have been available for some time. But maybe this is just clever viral marketing? In spite of lots of new and improved features, Vista has not been well received by reviewers. But this has been true of every Windows version since Windows 95. One thing is certain, these versions will be the last releases that focus on the desktop rather than the Internet.
posted by bobbyelliott (109 comments total)
 
One thing is certain, these versions will be the last releases that focus on the desktop rather than the Internet.

Isn't that what was said about XP?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:15 PM on November 30, 2006


The desktop is never going to go away. Microsoft would never allow themselves to go broke.
posted by StrasbourgSecaucus at 1:16 PM on November 30, 2006


Er, no?
posted by Artw at 1:16 PM on November 30, 2006


Meh.
posted by scheptech at 1:18 PM on November 30, 2006


lol microsoft
posted by keswick at 1:19 PM on November 30, 2006


Free copies of Vista or Office 2007 from Microsoft.
posted by four panels at 1:19 PM on November 30, 2006


I hope they'll both be as wildly successful and critically-acclaimed as the Zune...

(time to get the "No, I will not fix your computer" t-shirts out)
posted by clevershark at 1:22 PM on November 30, 2006


One thing is for sure...


No, wait. That's not true (I think).
posted by ba at 1:27 PM on November 30, 2006 [1 favorite]


I think I might buy a Zune out of shear bloody mindedness, since it upsets M$ bashers so much.

OMG! The Wi-fi won't let you let you trade warez infinitely! END OF THE FUCKING WORLD!
posted by Artw at 1:31 PM on November 30, 2006


My Windows upgrade path was Windows 3.1 -> 95 -> NT 4.0 -> 2000 -> XP. In retrospect, 2000 was the best version of Windows I've used and I doubt that Vista will change that opinion.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 1:32 PM on November 30, 2006


Much as I love bashing MS, that PCWORLD review that you linked to doesn't actually review the OS, it just reviews the marketing hype around it. He's never actually used Vista.
posted by octothorpe at 1:39 PM on November 30, 2006


I happen to like my desktop, thank you very much ...
posted by jbickers at 1:41 PM on November 30, 2006


Welcome to the Social!
posted by mazola at 1:43 PM on November 30, 2006


Welcome to the Social!
posted by mazola at 1:43 PM on November 30, 2006


Artw, its not just that. It turns even legal data into DRM'ed data. If you grabbed an mp3 off an artist's site which said to share it with everyone, the Zune would still encrypt the mp3 when you sent it to a friend and delete it after 3 days. The Zune doesn't discriminate between "legal" and "illegal". It just assumes you are doing something illegal.

People don't like being treated like criminals when they aren't being criminals.
posted by jmhodges at 1:44 PM on November 30, 2006 [1 favorite]


Windows 3.1 -> 95 -> NT 4.0 -> 2000 -> XP

I had Windows 2, then Windows 286, then 386. At the time I preferred Amiga. I still do. But at least these days with XP you don't generally have to engage in epic battles to free up the odd few K here and there. And things just usually work when you plug them in. After 20 years... progress!

Having said that, my server has been running Windows 2003 since, well, 2003 and has yet to crash. That has impressed me.
posted by meehawl at 1:53 PM on November 30, 2006 [1 favorite]


Your choice of operating system, mp3 player or music will never make you more interesting. If it does then it is only due to a floor effect.
posted by srboisvert at 1:54 PM on November 30, 2006 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I read Boing Boing too. Sorry, I don't think the level of pissing and moaning is justified.
posted by Artw at 1:58 PM on November 30, 2006


Vista will be adopted slowly in the U.S., and very slowly abroad. Prediction: 1 year from now, MSFT will be at least 25% lower than it is now.
posted by gsteff at 2:24 PM on November 30, 2006


Eh? What's this? A new version of Bank Street Writer?
posted by jeremy b at 2:24 PM on November 30, 2006


But this has been true of every Windows version since Windows 95. One thing is certain, these versions will be the last releases that focus on the desktop rather than the Internet.

First of all, what the hell does this even mean? You need a computer to get on the internet, and it might as well be a desktop operating system. Even if we replaced every application with web-based equivalent you would still need something to manage your browser windows.

Also, there are a lot of things that work much better as a local process then in a browser. Anything data intensive (like photo management... why do I need to re-download all of my pictures to edit sets in flickr? It's idiotic. But because the 'organizr' doesn't have local storage, I'm hosed)

Also, the statement is so vague as to be meaningless. Microsoft makes "Internet centric" operating systems for servers (Windows 2003 server, for example). Meaningless and dumb.

Sometimes the computer industry just seems retarded, I mean, all these ad-ons to the original idea of the web so that people can use it for a GUI, something that could be done in the early 80s with X-windows.
posted by delmoi at 2:26 PM on November 30, 2006


I agree that your consumer choices are the most (perhaps only) interesting part of your personality.
posted by signal at 2:27 PM on November 30, 2006


Vista will be adopted slowly in the U.S.

i'll get it when i get a new computer ... (i probably won't have a choice) ... they'll have to wait awhile, though ...
posted by pyramid termite at 2:27 PM on November 30, 2006


My Windows upgrade path was Windows 3.1 -> 95 -> NT 4.0 -> 2000 -> XP. In retrospect, 2000 was the best version of Windows I've used and I doubt that Vista will change that opinion.

I agree, although XP has that built-in firewall which is nice. You might like Windows 2003 server, which is basically XP stripped down as much as possible.
posted by delmoi at 2:28 PM on November 30, 2006


People are sheep and MS has plenty of cash for advertising. That is why the Zune will succeed despite being inferior in several ways to products already on the market.
posted by weretable and the undead chairs at 2:28 PM on November 30, 2006


Artw, its not just that. It turns even legal data into DRM'ed data. If you grabbed an mp3 off an artist's site which said to share it with everyone, the Zune would still encrypt the mp3 when you sent it to a friend and delete it after 3 days.

Actually, no. The mp3 file sits on the Zune without encryption or DRM on it. It's the Zune player itself that tracks what it's received via the sending and creates those limits.

And if you don't like those limits, come get a job at Microsoft and convince the music industry to not have a problem when the Zune allows unlimited sharing, of the kind that worked out SO WELL for the original Napster. Considering the abject loathing the music industry has for their criminals customers, the 3/3 sharing itself is a big deal (as it seems most songs from the Zune marketplace don't even allow that, at bequest of the copyright owners).

Oh, and how do you determine which music can be legitimately shared around in a manner that prevents every user from just marking their entire music library as such and sending to all their friends? Remember, you have to get it right the first time, or you get hit with a massive lawsuit from the music industry.
posted by evilangela at 2:34 PM on November 30, 2006


Let's see for $299.00 I can buy a stae of the art OS that won't even play a commercial DVD movie without purchasing an additional CODEC. Yep That's 20 years of progress for ya. Fact is if it weren't for OEM's throwing in the correct codecs and drivers half the systems out there wouldn't work out of the box.
posted by Gungho at 2:37 PM on November 30, 2006


Artw writes "Sorry, I don't think the level of pissing and moaning is justified."

Now you're just sparring with yourself.
posted by defenestration at 2:38 PM on November 30, 2006


Steven Manes is a moron. Anti-MS trolls abound. Its an operating system, not a religion. I have close to 12,000 users, and we almost never have any OS related problems. The idiocy about 'Microsoft OS crashes' is total BS. My Mac and Safari crash way more. Big deal. Each OS has strengths and weaknesses. Bill is rich, get over over it. That is all.
posted by sfts2 at 2:42 PM on November 30, 2006


evilangela, may we assume from your wording ("come get a job...") that you work for Microsoft?
posted by adamgreenfield at 2:43 PM on November 30, 2006


Spent last part of the day installing Vista and Office etc for testing on one of my work workstations...no problems, MSDN licensing model is hosed, takes too long...last thing I need is someone ranting about how bad it is...:-)
posted by sfts2 at 2:47 PM on November 30, 2006


Sometimes the computer industry just seems retarded, I mean, all these ad-ons to the original idea of the web so that people can use it for a GUI, something that could be done in the early 80s with X-windows.

Indeed. I keep hoping the server/terminal model will make a comeback; we have the network technology to deliver full screen video easily. The latency might not be acceptable if the server were 1000 miles away, but it would be minuscule over a corporate campus. Using Sony's Blu-ray as the desired standard for video quality, the necessary 36 MBits/sec (wiki) is well below the 100 MBits/sec now standard on network cards, leaving plenty of room even if on-the-fly compression were less efficient. And, of course, current desktop interfaces compress much, much more easily than actual video. Its a little bit silly that we still buy computers at all.
posted by gsteff at 2:47 PM on November 30, 2006


People don't like being treated like criminals when they aren't being criminals.

Or even when they are being criminals.
posted by FelliniBlank at 2:48 PM on November 30, 2006


I'm in ur Vista, pissing out ur Windoze!
posted by fenriq at 2:58 PM on November 30, 2006


or,

I'm in ur Windoze, pissing on ur Vista.
posted by fenriq at 2:59 PM on November 30, 2006


I'm right there with Armitage: Win2k was the best one. It was the first one to combine the relatively functional device discovery/driver wizardry of Win98 with the NT kernel. XP doesn't add enough benefit to warrant the new headaches, and it adds the stupid "contact the mothership" piracy protection.

Vista...meh. It's a hardware jumpstart, not much more. It's not as good as it needs to be.

See, this is the first Windows release where, at the time of launch, there are actually easy-to-use alternatives available and understood by the average Joe. Even when XP launched, you didn't see the kind of easy to install Linux distros that are freekin everywhere now.

Now you can get simple, solid distros like Ubuntu very easily. And you can try them while you limp along on the previous version of windows. By the time you need to move to the next version, you might not even go there. Windows apps compatibility? Not many everyday tasks can't be performed just as well on an open-source linux app.

Again, this wasn't the case when any previous version of Windows launched.

I'm going to have to get my 80 year old Mom a new computer sometime soon, and to her, having not used a computer since Win3.1, the difference between Windows Vista and Ubuntu is negligible.

My decision will be made on price, since features and ease-of-use are comparable. MSFT loses.
posted by Pliskie at 3:01 PM on November 30, 2006


I think.. whether or not you like or hate Windows it would be foolish to buy the product straight out of the gate... and that goes for any systemic wide software as well. Lets others work out the major kinks, then a year or so into it reevaluate it and you should have a better idea if it truly sucks, or is awesome.
posted by edgeways at 3:05 PM on November 30, 2006


evilangela, may we assume from your wording ("come get a job...") that you work for Microsoft?

Actually, yes, I do - on the Xbox team, pretty much a dream job for me as a long-time gamer. :)

I wasn't part of the Zune development, nor do I really know anything about it that's not already out there - everything I said was just someone on the sidelines looking at how difficult it must have been for them to get the level of sharing they've already got. And I really don't want to see my dream job lost because a too-lenient sharing policy on a music player brings on the wrath on the dark armies of the music industry.

(For the record, almost all of my music is on non-RIAA labels)
posted by evilangela at 3:14 PM on November 30, 2006


Free copies of Vista or Office 2007 from Microsoft.

Could someone explain this to me? Why are they giving it away when they've just spent all this money to develop and market it? Are the webcasts truly as irritating as they sound?
posted by anotherpanacea at 3:14 PM on November 30, 2006


More GUI glitz, more DRM, more invasive "activation" and "validation", higher hardware requirements, new useful functionality is minor - and when all the useless junk features are turned off, it will still be slower than XP on the same hardware.

Most of us who work with computers will have to use it sooner or later. But it's never going on any machine of mine unless I get paid to run it. Since XP I have thought that Microsoft peaked with Win 2000, and I see more and more tech-knowledgable folks agreeing with this.

"IE 7 is mere mouse-droppings compared to the elephantine excretion that will be Vista."
-- loquacious on mefi, 2006.10.19
posted by jam_pony at 3:18 PM on November 30, 2006


Macs crash sometimes and Steve Jobs is rich too. Can we go get a coffee now?
posted by davebush at 3:19 PM on November 30, 2006


I agree with the post written by sfts2: Get over it.

Anti-MS people amuse me.

People are not sheep when it comes to this stuff. We just don't care as much as you do.

MS works fine. I'm sure the other ones work fine, too.

I would never buy a Mac because it's not what I'm used to.

Big f-ing deal.
posted by wfc123 at 3:19 PM on November 30, 2006


I'm wondering when it became uncool to promote your products...I see hype coming from every tech startup, and the dot.com era was fuled by press releases and vaporware. Its part of every tech culture. To single MSFT out in this regard is just stupidity. By the way, who thinks guys who write about technology for PC World/Magazine have a fucking clue?
posted by sfts2 at 3:32 PM on November 30, 2006


I'm not so turned off by the Zune's or Vista's DRM - I think it's probably going to be a fact of life sooner or later. What's baffling to me, however, is how they made the Zune so it can't play Microsoft's own DRM scheme "PlaysForSure." (and what an ironic euphemism that is.) Are they serious? It's the same fucking company.
posted by fungible at 3:41 PM on November 30, 2006


ohgodmicrosoftmmmphdicksinmoufohgodsoogoodiloveyoubillmmmmph
posted by keswick at 3:48 PM on November 30, 2006 [2 favorites]


I think this is the exact place in the discussion where a bona-fide Mac user is supposed to step in and say something utterly unsolicited, and smugly superior, about OS X, followed by a haughty, disdainful sneer at Micro$oft.

Remember, I'm here to help.
posted by Devils Rancher at 3:50 PM on November 30, 2006


My upgrade path so far has been 3.1>95>98>XP.

I get Vista free though my job, so I'm sure I'll get it at some point.
posted by aerotive at 3:53 PM on November 30, 2006


Windows really is that bad. Glad it works for you though.
posted by cj_ at 4:04 PM on November 30, 2006


Looking at the new and improved features list is pretty disappointing. Lots of stuff but not a lot of meat. Aero and sidebar are just cosmetic changes that add little to no functional improvements (and aeros a huge hardware hit). Explorer 7 is too little too late (way too late, should have been out years ago). The biggest real improvements are to security, but from a user perspective a lot of these will be annoyances rather than improvments. Why does whole screen dim when an "important" dialog comes up that requires the users attention? It feels paranoid and overly protective. I was waiting for the threat level indicator to show in my task bar.

By and large if you go through the list, the things that are most obviously missing are anything new and exciting. I see a lot of catching up with OSX and lot of (possible) fixes for things that have been broken for way to long. But where's the vision? These guys are the leaders in OS software and I don't see any ideas, or new directions, just reactions to previous mistakes.
posted by doctor_negative at 4:06 PM on November 30, 2006


But this has been true of every Windows version since Windows 95

I dunno... I went 3.1 --> 95 --> 98 --> XP. WinXP is the first one I had that doesn't totally suck.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 4:08 PM on November 30, 2006


These guys are the leaders in OS software and I don't see any ideas, or new directions, just reactions to previous mistakes.

Microsoft staff are remarketers first and technologists second. Every decision they make reflects their philosophy.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:17 PM on November 30, 2006


I wasn't part of the Zune development, nor do I really know anything about it that's not already out there - everything I said was just someone on the sidelines looking at how difficult it must have been for them to get the level of sharing they've already got. And I really don't want to see my dream job lost because a too-lenient sharing policy on a music player brings on the wrath on the dark armies of the music industry.

I think the problem with the Zune is that it doesn't offer any real improvement over the now-ubiquitous ipod. The only improvement that it offered - sharing via wifi - is so crippled as to not make it much of a feature at all.

Vista? People will get it pre-installed on their PCs. It will make MS enough money to justify its continued existance to its shareholders, but not enough to lift its stagnant share price or offset its massive losses on xbox. (sorry evilangela)

Mac will continue to erode Windows's market share, albeit very slowly. Lots of people will be buying macs in the coming years, now that they can run Windows on it. However, running Windows still requires buying a Windows license, even if you do it on a Mac.

Desktop linux will continue to be a joke. (Sorry Pliskie)

And, finally, web technologies will someday make the desktop operating system irrelevant, just like it's been predicted to do Any Day Now since 1995.
posted by Afroblanco at 4:24 PM on November 30, 2006


Devils Rancher, I'm late, sorry. Someone mentioned that Vista has a built-in firewall; my Mac has had that for years.

Does that suffice for smug?

Really, the only thing that bothers me about Windows is how fucking ugly the little bits of interface are, not to mention the meretricious font rendering. Blech. But we are deep in the realm of subjectivity here, so let's just have fun licking our chains.
posted by Haruspex at 4:26 PM on November 30, 2006


Could someone explain this to me? Why are they giving it away when they've just spent all this money to develop and market it?

For the same reason that the crack dealer gives you the first hit free. If you get Vista and install it on your home computer, and you like it, you might pressure your company to get it too. This can help push the corporate upgrade cycle a bit.

Most of us who work with computers will have to use it sooner or later. But it's never going on any machine of mine unless I get paid to run it.

So, when you buy a computer in a couple of years, and it comes with Vista, will you downgrade it to 2000 or XP?

Since XP I have thought that Microsoft peaked with Win 2000, and I see more and more tech-knowledgable folks agreeing with this.

In my opinion, XP SP2 is, for daily use, a much more friendly OS than 2000. Functionally, it's not that much different, but there are plenty of little niceties that overall make a big difference on the desktop. This is especially true if you're using a laptop.
posted by me & my monkey at 4:30 PM on November 30, 2006


I think this is the exact place in the discussion where a bona-fide Mac user is supposed to step in and say something utterly unsolicited, and smugly superior, about OS X, followed by a haughty, disdainful sneer at Micro$oft.


Actually, it appears to be the exact place in the conversation where someone makes a snarky and utterly unsolicited comment about a hypothetical Mac user.

What is a "bona-fide Mac user," anyway? Is that like a card-carrying Mac user? Do you need a license?
posted by brundlefly at 4:33 PM on November 30, 2006


Artw writes "I think I might buy a Zune out of shear bloody mindedness, since it upsets M$ bashers so much."

Fools. Money. One coming apart from the other. etc. etc.
posted by clevershark at 4:34 PM on November 30, 2006


I think I might buy a Zune out of shear bloody mindedness, since it upsets M$ bashers so much.

OMG! The Wi-fi won't let you let you trade warez infinitely! END OF THE FUCKING WORLD!
posted by Artw


That wouldn't upset me, as much as give me a good chuckle.

zune lol.
posted by justgary at 4:34 PM on November 30, 2006


Could someone explain this to me? Why are they giving it away when they've just spent all this money to develop and market it? Are the webcasts truly as irritating as they sound?

This is legit. They do similar things with major releases of stuff, every time. And who cares how annoying the webcasts are? If you live in the States, you can give up a bit of your time and save upwards of a grand, retail (even though only dummies pay retail).

If I lived in the US, I'd be all over it. Perhaps the only time in my life I've wished I lived in America.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:35 PM on November 30, 2006


Devils Rancher, I'm late, sorry. Someone mentioned that Vista has a built-in firewall; my Mac has had that for years.

Does that suffice for smug?


Yes, but points off for being ill-informed, since XP has a built-in firewall, and for that matter Windows 2000 let you create IP security policies to allow/block specific IP traffic.

ohgodmicrosoftmmmphdicksinmoufohgodsoogoodiloveyoubillmmmmph

keswick, as an experienced cocksucker myself, I can assure you that you can't talk with a cock in your mouth. But I would have figured that you learned that with Steve Jobs.
posted by me & my monkey at 4:37 PM on November 30, 2006


Win2K was a very, very good operating system. I liked the previous NT iterations too, but Win2K was where they first got serious about fixing bugs and making sure things worked. The freeware Linux made the NT 4.0 devs look downright sloppy; at the time, Linux never crashed, and NT bluescreens were still very common under heavy loads. Win2K was Microsoft's first answer to that, and it was pretty darn good. It wasn't yet as good as Linux in terms of never, ever breaking, but it was still pretty solid.

Over time, the two positions have switched; I think the Linux guys believe their own hype. From their own polling, they've determined that 20% of their userbase is affected by one or more kernel bugs, and they're just fine with that. They want to do the fun stuff, which is writing new code and inventing new features... they don't want to do the hard work of making it reliable.

At this point, I think Microsoft makes some of the most reliable operating systems you can buy, and the interface, while not wonderful, is the default that everyone knows.

OSX is pretty good. Its security model is much better for a desktop, but it's got some strangenesses to it that make it suboptimal for server usage. It takes substantial retraining to really understand, but it's got a lot of cool stuff as well. Good desktop, bad server.

Solaris and FreeBSD are incredibly solid, but quite hostile to users. They make excellent servers, but for most users are completely impossible as desktops.

Linux has gotten almost as friendly as Windows in many areas, but of all these OSes, it's probably the least reliable. A kernel upgrade on Linux is always dangerous, and the kernel devs only support a given version for 60 days, so there's a lot of forced upgrading. The distros help insulate end users from the pain, but the pain is still there. It's just not about reliability anymore, and hasn't been for a long time.

So where does Vista fit? As far as I can determine, almost all of the things that are being added are for Microsoft's benefit, not mine. I have zero intention of buying or using it until I am forced to. Like with the Zune, the 'features' are more like handcuffs. This operating system is not aimed at solving customer needs. It's aimed at making Microsoft more money, and removing freedoms from their users... but with a lot of chrome and glitz.

Dunno about the rest of you, but I will not run an OS with a remote kill switch, no matter how shiny it is.
posted by Malor at 4:38 PM on November 30, 2006


(Also, the iPod is a piece of garbage (compared to, say, iriver's products), but the Zune is an embarrassment. It amazes me the shit people will swallow, and pay their hard-earned (or more pathetic, borrowed) money for, if you spend enough ad dollars to tell them it's sugar.)
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:40 PM on November 30, 2006


Afroblanco writes "Desktop linux will continue to be a joke."

Oh, whatever there sonny.
posted by clevershark at 4:42 PM on November 30, 2006


Yes, me & my monkey, but I wasn't using XP. I was using OS X, and the word 'Firewall' was beautifully rendered — gorgeously aliased — in 11pt Lucida Grande.

So I clicked it!

After that, I have no idea what happened. I just use this shiny box to make a living.
posted by Haruspex at 4:50 PM on November 30, 2006


You know what we need? A choreographed dance sequence/gang fight between the Mac Users/M$ haterz and the MS Users/Mac haterz, a la West Side Story. That would be the shiznit!
posted by papakwanz at 4:57 PM on November 30, 2006


I'm just happy that the Vista release gave me this image.
Don't look at it all at once. Go through and individually look at the faces of every person in that picture. Enjoy the experience.
posted by 235w103 at 5:23 PM on November 30, 2006 [1 favorite]


You mean, of course, the XPerience™. Those goofy bastards have joined the social with a fucking vengeance!
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:28 PM on November 30, 2006


Afroblanco, you're invited to come over and watch XGL/Beryl on my Ubuntu Edgy laptop.
posted by limon at 5:30 PM on November 30, 2006


> If I lived in the US, I'd be all over it. Perhaps the only time in my life I've wished I lived in America.

All gone as of a few minutes ago. I am not fated ever to have Vista, because I sho' ain't buying a copy.
posted by jfuller at 5:32 PM on November 30, 2006


blah, blah, blah.
posted by fixedgear at 5:33 PM on November 30, 2006


It's uncool for MSFT to market but the coming macstrubation surrounding the Steve's keynote in January is cool. Of that you can be sure.

iPod cool, Zune uncool. Even if it is technically impossible for the Zune to be a bigger piece of shit than my second generation iPod with craptastic battery.

MacOS X with Safari cool, Vista uncool. Connecting to 95% of the resources on the Net without a problem is apparently uncool. I know plenty of Safari die hards who insist on using it because it's pretty not compatible.

On Metafilter discussion of merits of operating systems or mp3 players or browser apps are impossible because conviction of belief in these things carries more importance than conviction regarding religion.
posted by shagoth at 5:35 PM on November 30, 2006


I'm not saying that Linux on the desktop is completely useless. I'm just saying that it's unlikely that the large majority of people will take linux seriously as a desktop option anytime soon.

Considering that most people who buy home computers consider something as common as a Mac to be too outlandish, do you really think that these same people are going to buy a computer with an operating system that nobody they know has even heard of?

And yes, I have tried running linux on the desktop. My memories mainly consist of kernel recompiles, limited hardware support, and spending 5 hours to find some stupid number I had to change in a 3000-line configuration file in /etc.
posted by Afroblanco at 5:47 PM on November 30, 2006


OSX is pretty good. Its security model is much better for a desktop, but it's got some strangenesses to it that make it suboptimal for server usage. It takes substantial retraining to really understand, but it's got a lot of cool stuff as well. Good desktop, bad server.

You see? See how smug & insufferable they are?? How many thousands of teetering, unhappy Windows users will you chase away from the Mac platform by putting such a pompous face on the Mac fanboi userbase??

Seriously though, I hope Vista is nice, since I very occasionally have to administer a Windows box, & I'm all for anything that makes Windows more Mac-like, because it currently befuddles me.
posted by Devils Rancher at 5:49 PM on November 30, 2006


evilangela: That's exactly what I meant. Sorry for the poor wording. Still feels ridiculous to me. The IPod doesn't worry about what songs come down its USB cord (that is, other than ones with Apples own DRM), so I don't understand why Microsoft needed to worry about it for all files coming over WiFi.

But, hey, seeing as the Zune doesn't even work with MS PlaysForSure, its WiFi DRM can still be routed around by calling the file a JPEG, its super buggy install software, and doesn't work with Vista (compiling a DLL? kernel patch? what was the fix again? I remember it being crazy.), I doubt this even matters.
posted by jmhodges at 5:58 PM on November 30, 2006


er.. all music files.
posted by jmhodges at 5:58 PM on November 30, 2006


I've been using Vista on an almost two year old laptop for months now with no problems. It loads and runs faster than XP did and my wife is jealous because it looks much nicer than the XP she has to use. I didn't pay for any of it and I don't have any emotional investment either way

I don't work for M$ and don't have any strained emotions about it because that would be kind of misguided.

Or, *shrug*.
posted by Burhanistan at 6:02 PM on November 30, 2006


"So, when you buy a computer in a couple of years, and it comes with Vista, will you downgrade it to 2000 or XP?" - me & my monkey

Desktops I build from parts. Servers get upgraded to Linux. My next laptop will get upgraded from Vista to XP.

"Dunno about the rest of you, but I will not run an OS with a remote kill switch, no matter how shiny it is." - Malor

Word.
posted by jam_pony at 6:06 PM on November 30, 2006


Thanks, Harsuspex, I learned a new word today: meretricious.

meretricious |merəˈtri sh əs| adjective 1 apparently attractive but having in reality no value or integrity : meretricious souvenirs for the tourist trade. 2 archaic of, relating to, or characteristic of a prostitute. DERIVATIVES meretriciously adverb meretriciousness noun ORIGIN early 17th cent.: from Latin meretricius (adjective from meretrix, meretric- ‘prostitute,’ from mereri ‘be hired’ ) + -ous.
posted by emelenjr at 6:59 PM on November 30, 2006


And yes, I have tried running linux on the desktop. My memories mainly consist of kernel recompiles, limited hardware support, and spending 5 hours to find some stupid number I had to change in a 3000-line configuration file in /etc. a he

As a point of reference, I recently installed Ubuntu on my desktop machine. I did no kernel recompiles, and all my hardware was supported except the USB wifi card. I did spend 5 hours finding the right line to add to a config file in /etc, though. %#&@$.

Bottom line, it's a hell of a lot better than it was 5 years ago, but it's not seamless.
posted by A dead Quaker at 7:03 PM on November 30, 2006


stavros, iriver's are great, until they break and you have to deal with their non-existent customer service. You might as well throw it in the trash and go buy another. But they are slick little things, I do give you that.

The Murky News estimates that MS spent as much as $10 billion on the development of Vista. And also that its little more than some cosmetic upgrades. And that it will be the last time MS does a huge OS "upgrade" like this.

And yes, I do love my Macs.
posted by fenriq at 7:53 PM on November 30, 2006


And that it will be the last time MS does a huge OS "upgrade" like this.

It's a lot easier to release a few new features / built-in applications each year and charge $79 for them.
posted by smackfu at 8:07 PM on November 30, 2006


Another vote for Ubuntu, Quaker. If you haven't tried it, I think you'll be impressed at how far desktop linux has come. It's almost boring... In my case, the latest version knew about my nvidia card and my pci wifi card.
posted by ph00dz at 8:26 PM on November 30, 2006


stavros, iriver's are great, until they break and you have to deal with their non-existent customer service. You might as well throw it in the trash and go buy another.

That may well be the case in America, unfortunately. They're a Korean company -- here in Korea, the customer service is great . And given the high build quality, rarely necessary (though I understand that doesn't help you much).
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 8:27 PM on November 30, 2006


stavros, it makes sense, the US arm of the company has nowhere near the resources. But I had alot of fun playing around with the U10 model. I love the concept of the screen is the buttons (are the buttons? neither sounds right).

smackfu, and more lucrative too. Though I will freely admit that I was pissed I had to pay $90 to get iPhoto in the iLife package because they don't sell it separately.
posted by fenriq at 8:41 PM on November 30, 2006


Switched to linux on my servers, osx on desktop. Good luck with Vista Bill.
posted by furtive at 9:00 PM on November 30, 2006


Is this something I'd need a computer to know about?

But seriously, I'm surprised nobody's mentioned the new EULA yet. You know, the one that says you can only transfer Vista to a new machine one time.

That's right, buy a new computer - delete Vista from the old one, and install on the new PC is OK, but do it again and you have to shell out $300 bucks. And they don't really define the difference between an upgrade and a 'new' machine.

For someone like me, who upgrades motherboards, video cards, and hard drives several times a year, this alone is reason enough not to buy it. I can't imagine the headaches I'd have waking up one day to have my computer tell me "Please deposit $300 continue using your OS..."
posted by bashos_frog at 9:02 PM on November 30, 2006


You know what we need? A choreographed dance sequence/gang fight between the Mac Users/M$ haterz and the MS Users/Mac haterz, a la West Side Story. That would be the shiznit!

The Windows users would have more street thugs and would arrive better armed, but the sneezing might hold them back. The Mac users would be the better dancers and snappier dressers.

Agreed, stunning choreography is an absolute necessity. Mambo!
posted by stewiethegreat at 9:21 PM on November 30, 2006


But seriously, I'm surprised nobody's mentioned the new EULA yet. You know, the one that says you can only transfer Vista to a new machine one time.

I thought they retracted that? Something about "forgetting about the enthusiast market" or some such rubbish?
posted by fusinski at 9:23 PM on November 30, 2006


I guess I just don't see desktop linux gaining much market traction as long as the best thing that its users can say about it is, "It's not that bad anymore!" "It actually recognized most of my hardware!" and "There's now some open source imitation of X software package that you know and love!"

Most people just don't care enough about their OS to try something new and unfamiliar. They're happy with something that works most of the time, and that their slightly computer-savvy friend knows how to fix.
posted by Afroblanco at 9:34 PM on November 30, 2006


I think the problem with the Zune is that it doesn't offer any real improvement over the now-ubiquitous ipod.

The thing it could potentially offer me is that screen. I've got a gen 3 ipod and nothing but non-DRM'ed mp3s. If I ever bother replacing the ipod I would certainly look at the zune. I mean it plays my music and has a far, far better screen for watching video (which would be the feature that would get me to upgrade, rather than just replacing the ipod's batteries again).

The wifi limitations, while stupid, just takes it out of the equation, no-one else has it either, so just ignore it.

Realistically I won't get an ipod or a zune, because neither of them will just let me copy songs on to it as a normal storage device, and then browse the songs in the file structure I choose. ID3 tag based browsing shits me, and needing a special program just to copy files from my computer to what is essentially a portable hard drive, shits me more.
posted by markr at 10:15 PM on November 30, 2006


ph00dz: Another vote for Ubuntu, Quaker. If you haven't tried it, I think you'll be impressed at how far desktop linux has come. It's almost boring... In my case, the latest version knew about my nvidia card and my pci wifi card.

The last time I tried Ubuntu, it failed to know about one of my IDE controllers. That's a pretty hard one to work around.

I eventually got it going with on another hard drive with a different controller, but more hardware work caused the install to die and now it panics every boot. It's a pity, because I like to at least dual-boot Ubuntu on any system I don't use for gaming. They have to work on supporting the JMB361 chip.
posted by Mitrovarr at 10:22 PM on November 30, 2006


I've thought and I've thought and I just can't come up with anything that could be considered a productive comment here.

At least I'm not alone... excepting that I didn't actually talk about my preferences/hates. Ahem. However, I did write a poem while I pondered the opinions here.

Maybe it was the champagne or, maybe,
A chance encounter:
Can cats dance better than penguins?
Sanguine, with a Buddha's smile, I

Reserve my judgment for the nonce...
Unless my unconscious speaks on its own,
Letting slip my deep-seated opinion in its
Entirety -- ignoring the vista before me.


Oops.
posted by Moody834 at 12:12 AM on December 1, 2006


But seriously, I'm surprised nobody's mentioned the new EULA yet. You know, the one that says you can only transfer Vista to a new machine one time.

Mostly unmentioned because it ain't true.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 2:01 AM on December 1, 2006


markr: I'm typing this on Opera via my glorious touch screen Archos 604-Wifi. It has wifi (obviously) with no DRM restrictions, and works using any file structure you want. Now its nowhere near as slick as an iPod and iTunes (especially on a mac) but the screen is beautiful and the wifi is very useful (Downloading mp3s from eMusic and del.icio.us directly on the player is awesome!). Just thought everyone should know there is a Zune alternative for those aching for DRM-less wifi. . .
posted by Boydrop at 2:25 AM on December 1, 2006


Meretricious, not to be confused with meritorious:
adj.
Deserving reward or praise; having merit.
posted by asok at 2:42 AM on December 1, 2006


If someone buys a zune your iPod won't stop working.
posted by srboisvert at 2:51 AM on December 1, 2006


> I guess I just don't see desktop linux gaining much market traction as long as the best thing
> that its users can say about it is, "It's not that bad anymore!"

I've played with various versions of Linux over the years but only used it seriously, i.e. on a job-related server that needs to be up 24/7/365, twice -- first way back in the day, to serve out the website of a school I worked for at the time (Slackware, kernel version 1.0.13) and very recently to run the database portion of a big hospital enterprise app (MySQL on Ubuntu.) The feel has altered completely in that time.

The Slackware was from a time when Men were Men and Fake Unix was Fake Unix: all system configuration was done by recompiling stuff with different switches set and different portions of the source commented out, or by performing myriads of little edits in scripts and other text files. I lived and died at the $ prompt. My most-typed string was :wq.

Ubuntu was very much easier to install, really was pretty much press-go-and-stand-back, it did recognise everything it needed to (won't be playing music or videos on an enterprise server) but where's *nix? Yeah, I know it's down there somewhere but it's almost impossible to find, buried under layers and layers of Fisher Price colors and GUI sugar coating. You can't win.
posted by jfuller at 3:48 AM on December 1, 2006


For what it's worth, I've been using the RTM version of Vista for a few weeks now (I'd been part of the beta testing group).

Thus far, I've really liked it.

You're free not to if you so desire.

Just my two cents.
posted by owenkun at 4:20 AM on December 1, 2006


I've been using the RTM version of Vista for a few weeks now (I'd been part of the beta testing group).

Which beta team would that be, the PiratesBay team or the TorrentSpy one?
posted by limon at 4:43 AM on December 1, 2006


That is why the Zune will succeed

Obviously, you haven't been paying attention.
posted by grubi at 5:19 AM on December 1, 2006


The connect.microsoft.com beta team, limon.
posted by owenkun at 5:42 AM on December 1, 2006


I mean it plays my music and has a far, far better screen for watching video (which would be the feature that would get me to upgrade, rather than just replacing the ipod's batteries again).

I've heard that the screen is larger but the resolution is the same as the iPod, so I don't know if that second "far" is justified. Maybe not even the first.
posted by effwerd at 7:19 AM on December 1, 2006


I think.. whether or not you like or hate Windows it would be foolish to buy the product straight out of the gate... and that goes for any systemic wide software as well. Lets others work out the major kinks, then a year or so into it reevaluate it and you should have a better idea if it truly sucks, or is awesome.
posted by edgeways at 6:05 PM EST on November 30


Experiences differ. I've always adopted the latest releases right away and have never had a problem. And I use my system primarily to make money freelancing.

Count me as one of the people who doesn't care what OS others use. I work with people who use Linux, Mac, Windows, and Solaris. I find the people are the main factor, not what operating system they use.

I'll get Vista when CS3 (Adobe) is released.
posted by juiceCake at 7:50 AM on December 1, 2006


I actually think the zune wifi is a neat idea, and would be willing to accept the limited lifetime of the files to keep it around. But I'm not in the market for an MP3 player.
posted by drezdn at 8:17 AM on December 1, 2006


I'm not so turned off by the Zune's or Vista's DRM - I think it's probably going to be a fact of life sooner or later. What's baffling to me, however, is how they made the Zune so it can't play Microsoft's own DRM scheme "PlaysForSure." (and what an ironic euphemism that is.) Are they serious? It's the same fucking company.

Even worse, what's up with the incompatibilities between Excel, Word, Access, etc. Not just the same company, they're from the same software suite, they come in the same box! The whole point of software suites is that they are supposed to interoperate well. MS Office doesn't even play well with itself.
posted by sonofsamiam at 8:30 AM on December 1, 2006


I'm using Windows XP and Microsoft Internet Explorer 6 to view MetaFilter and it keeps embedding YouTube links on the front page. Help?
posted by NationalKato at 9:29 AM on December 1, 2006


None of these programs will work on my Datapoint 2200, dammit!
posted by you just lost the game at 9:49 AM on December 1, 2006


Desktops used: Mac System 5 > 6 > 7 > Windows 3.1 > 3.11 > 95 > 95B > NT4 > 98 > 98SE > 2000 Pro > XP > XP2. Browsers: Mosaic on the Macs, and Internet Explorer thoughout Windows.

Within the last month, I've installed cost-free, registration-free Ubuntu 5.10 on an old Dell Inspiron 3800 and Gateway Solo 2550 laptop, and it worked out of the box, including WiFi. Firefox is nice, but many MeFites know that already. Like anything, there are tweaks (Flash, QuickTime, and WMV plugins are thorny), but I've encountered no showstoppers thus far.

Ubuntu Linux fits on one CD, it installs automatically, and its popularity [see column right, "Page Hit Ranking"] is on the way up. Rightfully so: it's good enough for home users, small businesses and non-profits, and maybe some large enterprise users. The newer 6.10 version is better, but I needed less overhead on my old machines.

I just don't see any compelling reason to voluntarily adopt Microsoft Vista or (groan), yet another version of Office. We may not escape Windows completely, but Ubuntu is a step in the right direction. Did I also mention that it's free?
posted by cenoxo at 2:51 PM on December 1, 2006


None of these programs will work on my Datapoint 2200, dammit!

here's a nickel ... get yourself an upgrade, kid
posted by pyramid termite at 3:44 PM on December 1, 2006


And I really don't want to see my dream job lost because a too-lenient sharing policy on a music player brings on the wrath on the dark armies of the music industry.

Well, at least you have the integrity to state forthrightly that you put your own personal interest ahead of the common good, I'll grant you that much.

"Too-lenient sharing policy": Words to warm a Ballmer's heart, Orwellian claptrap any other way you slice it. They're my files; I shall do with them whatsoever I please.
posted by adamgreenfield at 5:02 PM on December 1, 2006


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