APLawrence.com -  Resources for Unix and Linux Systems, Bloggers and the self-employed

Vista Boomers - Microsoft's Power Failure

© January 2009 Anthony Lawrence

Whenever there has been a protracted power outage, it has often been followed by an upsurge in births nine months later. We all understand why: people are bored, stuck in the dark with nothing else to do.

We're having a bit of a Microsoft power outage right now. All but true Windows fans understand that Vista is awful. Windows Seven isn't ready yet (and frankly looks just as unappetizing as Vista) and although Microsoft has again extended XP's drop dead date to May 2009, everybody also understands that XP is showing its age - never mind that it began life with problems!

Oh sure, some will buy Vista. Total ignorance drives a lot of that: those are the people who haven't read anything about Vista except the fluff that Microsoft produces. For others, it's just desperation: they don't know what else to do.

Do you know that feeling you get when you come across someone running Microsoft ME? You think "Oh, you poor thing - you bought that and have been using it all this time? Such a shame.."

That will be Vista users five years from now. Forlorn orphans who foolishly bought the wrong OS at the wrong time.

For a lot of other people, the lights are still out. They know their XP machine is risky, but they don't want Vista. Can they hang on and wait for Windows Seven? Is there any point to waiting? It's dark, and it's getting cold..

It's baby making time.. or rather time to switch. The year 2009 could see the biggest market share losses that Microsoft has ever experienced. It's a "perfect storm" scenario: a bad economy where no one wants to spend money to start with makes Vista look like an even worse choice: Microsoft is already pushing Windows Seven to replace it. How comfortable can anyone feel about Vista when even Microsoft is plainly about to abandon it? XP is still possible until May (assuming Microsoft doesn't have to push that out farther again!) but its bones are creaking and every one knows its security problems will be even worse when Microsoft finally does pull the plug. What to do?

Well, we know the answer: buy a Mac or, if you are a little more techy and adventurous, install Linux right over that ancient XP. In a bad economy, Linux is a great choice: nothing new to buy at all!

Microsoft may never turn the lights back on. If they ever do, they may find it's too late: the world will have moved on. The "Vista boomers" may turn out to be Macs and Linux boxes. Too bad, Microsoft, but really: you deserve it.

Keep reminding your Windows friends and neighbors that the lights are out and that Microsoft isn't doing so well getting them back on. Show them that they do have better choices. Tell them you don't want to see them end up raising a Windows ME baby..

Got something to add? Send me email.

(OLDER)    <- More Stuff -> (NEWER)    (NEWEST)   

Printer Friendly Version

-> Vista Boomers


Inexpensive and informative Apple related e-books:

Take Control of Automating Your Mac

Take Control of Pages

Take Control of OS X Server

Take Control of Upgrading to El Capitan

Take Control of iCloud, Fifth Edition

More Articles by © Anthony Lawrence

Sun Jan 4 14:28:00 2009: 5068   TonyLawrence

The link that inspired this: (link)

Thu Jan 22 06:05:03 2009: 5069   BigDumbDinosaur

My insurance agent is also a client and recently ask me about getting him a laptop to give to his daughter as a college graduation gift. We are an authorized Sony Vaio reseller, so I offered several recommendations in that product line (as well as a couple of IBM Thinkpad models). All of these machines ship with Vista in one form or another.

Much to my surprise (or maybe I wasn't so surprised after all), he said he'd prefer that I sell him something with Windows XP professional. His rationale makes perfect sense to me: XP has been around long enough for Microsoft to fix a lot of the problems that have surfaced and, presuming the user doesn't do anything stupid, generally behaves itself in everyday usage. Also, the 64 bit version of XP performs with surprising alacrity. It's no match for Linux, of course, but as Windows goes, it sure beats Vista bloatware all to hell.

Accordingly, I called my Sony rep to find out about the availability of XP on the Vaio model he was interested in and was told that a "Windows XP professional downgrade" was available on certain models (none being what Mike wanted) -- at extra cost! I guess I must have made a lot of strange noises into the phone when I heard that, because she (the Sony rep) asked if I was choking, which I was in a manner of speaking. I asked her how they could justify charging extra for furnishing XP, since it was, by Sony's definition, a downgrade. My analogy was if I decide to fly coach instead of first class, shouldn't my ticket be cheaper? Evidently not! The rep didn't know why it cost more to fly in the back of the plane than in the front, although I'm sure some subtle arm-twisting on Microsoft's part had something to do with it.

The upshot after that conversation was I suggested to my client that if he truly wanted XP we could get the Vaio he was interested in, strip the drive and load XP. Of course, he'd have to pay for the OS package (I get them in OEM three-packs), as well as my labor. Or, I suggested, perhaps his daughter would be interested in a Mac. He hadn't thought about that angle, and said he'd think about it.

A few days later, Mike called and asked if he could bring the new Mac laptop over so I could load and configure the latest versions of Firefox and Thunderbird, as well as set up Open Office. It's a honey of a machine, and fast! Looks like Microsoft's arm twisting succeeded in breaking their own shoulder!

Sun Jan 4 17:23:16 2009: 5070   TonyLawrence

And another Vista-boomer baby is born!

Sun Jan 4 21:44:23 2009: 5073   Patrick

At least during the WinME days you had the choice to get Win2k instead. ME was so much more short lived than Vista will be. Maybe Windows users (and those of us who support Windows) need to petition for a free upgrade to Windows 7 (presuming it's any better).

Sun Jan 4 22:45:44 2009: 5075   TonyLawrence

I doubt it is going to be any better. Certainly there's no sign of that now.

I think Microsoft has pretty near run its course. Time to move on.

See (link)

Mon Jan 5 01:13:11 2009: 5080   BrettLegree

I like your analogy here - it is a serious, long-term power failure in my opinion with lots of babies to be made (I know this as a dad of 4...)

It's why I bought a Mac, why I installed Linux on my work laptop to dual-boot, so when I am not using the VPN (like I am now... *sigh*) I can run a real OS.

XP is pure pain on this thing, I can "hardly wait" (hah!) until we upgrade to Vista. Yes, apparently we are supposed to be upgrading. I have no idea why. I think the money would be better spent somewhere else.

The more I think of it... crazy. They want to go Vista and Office 2007. Interfaces are different from what we have now (XP and Office 2000), so people will complain and moan. Why not go to Ubuntu and OpenOffice maybe? They work perfectly on our hardware (I know this to be true) and cost is only training for our techs.

Heck, I'd train them for a princely sum heh heh

Mon Jan 5 01:17:39 2009: 5081   TonyLawrence

Just a princely sum? Why not a bazillion dollars? Stop undervaluing yourself :-)

Mon Jan 5 01:58:30 2009: 5082   BrettLegree

Okay, you convinced me - a bazillion ought to do it! I'm going to march into the CEO's office tomorrow in my Dr. Evil costume ;)

Mon Jan 5 01:59:50 2009: 5083   TonyLawrence

I'm going to march into the CEO's office tomorrow in my Dr. Evil costume

Dress for success :-)

Mon Jan 5 16:13:51 2009: 5087   TonyLawrence

The Windows folks seem to be pitching "it's different but better"

For example,

Yes, there’s a learning curve. And if you insist on using those techniques you learned back in the last millennium with software that was designed differently, you will be frustrated.

from (link)

Well, gosh, if you have to relearn everything, why not learn something that really is better like OS X?

Mon Jan 5 18:31:34 2009: 5088   BrettLegree

I tried that when my mom got her new laptop. She didn't want a Mac because the interface was "different", even though I pointed out that Vista was also different... oh well!

Mon Jan 5 18:55:22 2009: 5089   TonyLawrence

Well, you can't yell at Mom..

Mon Jan 5 19:50:32 2009: 5090   BrettLegree

That's true - she's a good mom, and (perhaps other than the OS) the laptop she has is actually quite nice!

Tue Jan 6 21:26:20 2009: 5091   anonymous

More Vista commentary: (link)

Sun Apr 5 17:19:57 2009: 6006   TonyLawrence

Oh, poor Microsoft; the puppets it used to jerk around the stage are revolting:

Microsoft allows HP to wipe Windows 7 with XP through 2010: (link)


Printer Friendly Version

Have you tried Searching this site?

This is a Unix/Linux resource website. It contains technical articles about Unix, Linux and general computing related subjects, opinion, news, help files, how-to's, tutorials and more.

Contact us

Printer Friendly Version

Technology is anything that wasn’t around when you were born. (Alan Kay)

Linux posts

Troubleshooting posts

This post tagged:



Unix/Linux Consultants

Skills Tests

Unix/Linux Book Reviews

My Unix/Linux Troubleshooting Book

This site runs on Linode