July 30, 2001
8:30 AM   Subscribe

Slate's Mickey Kaus and the Washington Post ask the question: For all the claims of illegal monopolies and unfair advantage, is the tech industry counting on Microsoft and Windows XP's Oct. 25 release to save its bacon?
posted by rcade (18 comments total)
does anyone really think XP will break this "slump" of the tech market? i mean, really? will people just run out and buy whole new computers because of this? windows 95 was different: the pentium chip was quite a bit faster than some of the older computers people had, relatively speaking. most of the demands of common programs today, however, need nowhere near the advertised clockspeeds of these new pentium chips, and i think most consumers will be cheap enough not to care.
posted by moz at 9:14 AM on July 30, 2001

WindowsXP will do a lot of good for the market in a lot of ways - but no, it isn't about people buying all new computers.

What people WILL do is upgrade some ram, call in someone to upgrade their OS and feel better about adding that new hard drive.

With a stable, reliable OS ont he desktop that is consumer friendly and the inheritor of the Win98 user base (or a good portion of it) then the games and app guys can start bringing out new stuff that takes advantage of the way cool new stuff WinXP has over Win98.

In other words, this really will make a difference... but not int he "whole new machine" category.
posted by soulhuntre at 9:33 AM on July 30, 2001

Corporate buyers are still in "nuclear winter" after over-spending in preparation for Y2K. Windows XP isn't going to change that, just as Windows 2000 didn't really change it. What it does do, as soulhuntre hints, is force up the minimum hardware requirements for OEM machines, so that the major retailers can shift a little more of that stockpiled RAM.
posted by holgate at 9:55 AM on July 30, 2001

for all that i've been reading about it (including trying to find out stuff at microsoft's site), i haven't heard any reason for me to get XP. if all it does is require more resources, than maybe i'm just going to up to 2000, since the only cool thing i've heard so far is transparent windows...
posted by lotsofno at 10:06 AM on July 30, 2001

I'm simply sticking with good ol' NT.
posted by dagny at 10:16 AM on July 30, 2001

We haven't even done a widespread deployment of Win2K in my company, never mind XP. We're developing XP-compatible versions of our products, naturally, but internally we're a primarily Win98 company
posted by briank at 10:18 AM on July 30, 2001

If by "tech industry," you mean PC vendors and the like...yes, many are counting on XP's release to kickstart widespread upgrades and so on. However, this could all be a moot point if XP's release is delayed by the courts...
posted by kphaley454 at 10:21 AM on July 30, 2001

I want it for one thing and one thing only.
posted by honkzilla at 10:34 AM on July 30, 2001

You find ClearType easier to read, honkzilla? I tried it when running XP on a TFT monitor, and it gave me a headache after about half an hour: eventually, I ended up switching back to "classic" font smoothing.

I don't even like it on my laptop's copy of Microsoft Reader...
posted by holgate at 10:47 AM on July 30, 2001

XP is a classic example of Microsoft forcing a product that is not needed. With Win2k, MS released a stable OS that can run on a sub-standard machine (read = 64 Mb RAM) for weeks on end. In comparison, XP is just a resource hog designed to increase the value of Bill's chip and components investments. Nothing but high-tech price-fixing if you ask me.
posted by dogmatic at 10:58 AM on July 30, 2001

Yeah, we all know that so-called usability improvements are just code-words for "you will need to buy a new computer." The blueprint for XP was simple: Bill Gates went to his programmers and said, "I don't care what you put in it, I don't care what you call it, as long as it increases the value of my chip and component investments."

*rolling eyes*
posted by kindall at 11:23 AM on July 30, 2001

Every big Microsoft software release is a covert effort to sell computers, processors, hard drives, and memory. (And -- please answer my prayers O Lord -- computer books.)

I've been using the basic features of Windows XP for a couple months on a book project, and it feels like an incremental upgrade wrapped into a new look-and-feel that's so visual and touchy-feely it almost seems like an Apple product.

There are built-in programs to support digital video cameras and publishing, moviemaking, and instant messaging. MSN Messenger, which is being renamed as Windows Messenger, nags you to make it the default video messaging product.

The Windows XP boot-up page is a list of people who use the computer. Clicking one opens a desktop with the icons, start menu, Internet connections, and other features personalized for that user. You also can associate a Microsoft Passport with each account, which Microsoft encourages everywhere it can. The user account feature doesn't use passwords, though this may be something you can turn on.

The biggest reason to use XP over 95/98/Me is that it's based on Windows NT/2000. As a result, it should crash less frequently. The fact this is being touted as a selling point says volumes about the state of software development at Microsoft.

The rest of the big features of XP are features of software you can get separately: Internet Explorer 6 and Windows Media Player 7. Internet Explorer tries to get you to let it play MP3, MPEG, AVI, and other file types within a frame inside the browser by default, using the rest of the frame for ads.

The biggest losers, if this OS is popular, will be the other instant messaging clients, RealPlayer and Java (which aren't in the browser any more), and some of the photo companies marketing their own "Send My Digital Pictures" software.
posted by rcade at 11:27 AM on July 30, 2001

::looks that over::

windows 2000, it is...
posted by lotsofno at 12:31 PM on July 30, 2001

I'm half expecting XP ME to be announced in a few weeks.

Curse you, Milkman Dan!
posted by rushmc at 1:49 PM on July 30, 2001

"The biggest reason to use XP over 95/98/Me is that it's based on Windows NT/2000. As a result, it should crash less frequently. The fact this is being touted as a selling point says volumes about the state of software development at Microsoft."

Well, that's no different than the Mac folks pushing OSX as a way to finally get memory protection into the MacOS :)

WindowsXP is an incremental upgrade to Win2K - why start a whole new kernal when you have that one?

But the increments are important - WindowsXP is an OS that the general public can make good use and benefit from. Windows2000 was simply never that non tech friendly.

WinXP is Win2K all grown up to do what it is supposed to do - provide a good landing zone for all the folks ousted now that Win9X is finally going to die.

Clearly, there were things about Win2K that had folks clinging to Win98 - not with XP those things are addressed and dealt with.

If your running Win2K... don't switch, it's cool. If your running 98, you'll be much happier on XP than you would have on 2K.

Hell, the integrated fast user switching is a boon to home users ("Mom! I just want to check my mail!") and the "Run as" functionality is so well integrated the average user probably won't run as "administrator". That has obvious anti-virus benefits.

It's a good upgrade, and with ram so cheap this is a good time to bring it out.
posted by soulhuntre at 1:57 PM on July 30, 2001

But will XP run my games? :::darts a quick glance at kindall:::
posted by rushmc at 2:23 PM on July 30, 2001

Great, XP crashes less, so you can spend more time looking at the inferior Windows interface. Super. Thanks, Microsoft!
posted by Spirit_VW at 1:42 AM on August 1, 2001

Linux IS exciting!
posted by crasspastor at 2:44 AM on August 1, 2001

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