MSFT Vista

I read a /. linked blog on ComputerWorld.UK this morning. In it was a most amusing characterization of Vista:

Microsoft’s constant backtracking on the phasing out of Windows XP is perhaps the most evident proof of the fact that people do not want to be forced to ‘upgrade’ to something that has been memorably described as DRM masquerading as an operating system.

The post goes on to suggest that upgrades are over as a business. I am not convinced this is true, but their point is that things like OpenOffice are pretty good.
Well, yes. OO3 is actually quite good. I use it on Linux, on Windows. Even on Vista (long story, daughters future laptop … shhh … don’t tell her … would like to get her using Linux, maybe we will … lets see). OO2 had problems with a few docs, and couldn’t read that confounded new “standard” OOXML that we started getting documents in. OO3 can, though rendering is off. Thats ok, as rendering is off in Office 2003 with the back translators. Whoops.
I think the real issue is not Vista. It is compatibility. People just want their stuff to work, and not break. They don’t want to have to re-purchase new apps year after year, OS ‘upgrade’ after OS ‘upgrade’.
Ok, Vista is a part of it. Using it on that laptop (a fairly beefy late model dual core chip running at 2.6 GHz, with 4 GB ram, and a fast 250 GB disk, accelerated ATI graphics) is dog-slow compared to XP on my 1-year old laptop, which is dog-slow compared to Linux on that same laptop.
Too bad Microsoft isn’t going to create office for Linux any time soon. They could, they simply choose not to. They run it on OSX which really isn’t a serious competitor to Windows the way Linux appears to be (when I can run OSX on my Dell laptop, legally, by all means, thats when it becomes a serious competitor).
Its a shame that office won’t show up there. Because I would buy it.
Until it does, I will keep using OO3, and make sure every machine has a copy of OO3. With a copy of office sitting on one machine somewhere for the occasional cranky file that doesn’t render or convert properly.
This could put a dent in the upgrade cycle. No, not me doing this. But hundreds and thousands of businesses realizing that they can do the same thing.

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