Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Underwhelmed But Happy About It

Earl Moore is underwhelmed by the relatively quiet launch of Vista. Actually I haven't been paying much attention to Vista simply because I'm almost well and truly Linux-ized (is there actually a term for that? - there should be..)

However I did know about it since I caught 5 minutes of CNN this morning where Miles O'Brien talked a bit about it, showing an interview clip with Bill Gates and discussing it very briefly with their financial guy. I shook my head a little and chuckled when Miles ended the segment by stating that a lot of people were saying that Vista brought the Windows desktop experience up to OS-X standards and perhaps more importantly ended off with the comment that people could upgrade to Vista or "just get a Mac". I betcha Microsoft PR was just gleeful hearing that comment this morning. ;)

I also had a couple of co-workers discussing Vista with me today. Of course I took the opportunity to nod repeatedly - yes it looks quite flashy... yes it supposedly requires lots more hardware power... yes it supposedly really cracks down on pirated applications and media.. ever heard of Linux?... I actually run it at home...yes it is actually free...

The impression I get is that while Vista will be no outright failure (it'll be installed on virtually every PC you buy) there are more and more Linux and Mac types who will have more and more conversations with their non-techie co-workers and friends just suggesting (not pushing it down their throats) that there *are* alternatives out there. My feeling is that while MS is not ceding it's king of the hill status any time soon, the earth is slowly eroding under their feet. It may take a long while, but I think it is happening right now.

Combine all those water cooler conversations with the fact that the OS itself might be of diminishing importance as more and more services reside on the net irrespective of OS. The resurgence of gaming consoles at the expense of PC-based gaming also makes switching from Windows to something else significantly easier.

The fact that the launch didn't seem to generate much fanfare only bodes well for the future in my mind. It would be nice to see some real market competition in OS's again.