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The Computer Buzz December 13th, 2007

Nome and Paul Van Middlesworth - owners - The Computer Fact


Just Ranting

Microsoft and its co-conspirators in the PC industry are trying to force PC users to accept a product, "Vista," that is inferior to a product that is already in widespread use, "XP." Their tactics are deplorable.

Why would Microsoft spend years developing a "bad" product and why would the entire industry try to force it down our throats? Here's why.

Microsoft makes money selling PC software, essentially operating systems and office suites. Microsoft has usually offered a new and improved operating system every two to three years. In the past, new operating systems provided significant advances in functionality and were compatible with nearly all existing and contemporary software and hardware. Most users found it advantageous to upgrade even their older PCs to the new operating system sometime within the first two years after release.

Microsoft enjoyed profits from selling upgrades to end users and OEM (original equipment manufacturer) licenses to PC makers. PC makers profited from a surge in new PC sales from users eager to get the latest PC and operating system.

This time things were different. When "Vista" was introduced this year "XP" had been around for over five years, nearly twice as long as any previous Microsoft operating system. XP was stable, fast, and compatible with all hardware and software and everyone was accustomed to it. XP worked equally well in business networks and homes. Users were perfectly happy.

Microsoft and its cohorts (Dell, Compaq, Gateway, HP etc) were very unhappy. Users were upgrading five year old systems with new motherboards, CPUs, hard drives, DVD's, video and audio and using the XP operating system license from their existing PCs. In essence, users were upgrading components to create virtually a new PC without having to buy a new PC or a new operating system. PC sales were tanking.

To "save" the PC industry Microsoft introduced "Vista." This time they blew it. Instead of being perceived as an advance, "Vista" was quickly discovered to be slower, buggier and incompatible with thousands of existing software programs and hardware devices. It provided no features or advantages for the overwhelming majority of users. It consumed more energy, required more expensive components and necessitated wholesale upgrading of applications and peripheral devices.

Microsoft and the industry had counted on "Vista's" incompatibility to create a windfall of sales throughout the entire industry. Instead, the business community and virtually all PC literatilly rejected Vista. Today "Vista" has victims, not customers.

Microsoft and its henchmen haven't given up yet. They're still trying to force you to take "Vista". You'll have great difficulty finding XP in "name brand" desktop or notebook PCs. Dell, Compaq, and the others have been forced to offer XP based PCs to some businesses customers but they still stonewall the public. While Microsoft has been forced to offer free XP "downgrades" with Vista Business and Ultimate editions, they cynically refuse to certify XP drivers for many of the newer "name brand" PC system components.

Last week the owner of a medical practice asked us for help. They had purchased an HP at Fry's only to discover that "Vista" was incompatible with their business software. They bought a copy of XP Pro and when they tried to install it they found that HP would not provide the motherboard drivers for XP. When they tried to return it, Fry's told them they had exceeded the return policy time limit.

We'll likely be able to find these drivers. By threatening HP's Tech Services and doing some Internet research we'll eventually get the XP operating system on this HP PC.

Perhaps we should be grateful for all the business Microsoft and its confederates send us but we can't help being disgusted by their business practices. Things can’t continue this way, something needs to change and we bet it will. Stay tuned.





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