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The Computer Buzz March 27th, 2008

Nome and Paul Van Middlesworth - owners - The Computer Fact


Microsoft's new Edsel, 32 bit "Vista"

The original holder of the sobriquet "Microsoft Edsel" was Windows ME (Millennium Edition). ME was released in November of 2000. Microsoft announced that ME would replace Win 98 and that production of Win 98 was kaput. Windows ME was so bad that Microsoft was forced to bring back Win 98 and cancel production of ME all within the first year.

What about the millions of PC buyers who got stuck with ME in 2000 and 2001 (Microsoft always forces the major PC makers and retailers to agree to sell only the most recent operating system)? Microsoft dismissed them all with a corporate shoulder shrug. Monopolies don't care; their customers have nowhere else to turn.

At the Computer Factory we're proud to say none of the several hundred PC systems we built that year had the ME operating system. We knew better.

We are equally proud of the fact that none of the five hundred PCs we've built since Vista was released in early 2007 had "Vista." All were built with XP or Win 2000. Our customers know better.

Microsoft has announced a succession of termination dates for the sales of XP and each time they backed off. The latest announcement states that XP will be discontinued at the end of June 2008. The fine print reads that system builders like The Computer Factory will have access to Win XP until January 2009.

What would happen if Microsoft actually followed through and ended the sale and support of its most popular and successful operating system ever? It would be very interesting.

Since 90% of corporate IT (Information Technology) Managers have severe reservations about Vista, the industry trend toward non-Microsoft operating systems and applications software would surge forward at an accelerated pace.

Since 95% of business users and 80% of home users have elected not to buy Vista based PCs in the past year, the repair and upgrade businesses would continue to boom.

With Microsoft no longer supporting XP, a new industry devoted to maintaining and upgrading XP would spring up overnight. The service and support level for XP would improve dramatically with Microsoft and India out of the picture.

The price of two to five year old PCs with the XP operating systems would surge past the price of brand new Vista based PCs. Why? Because Vista is slower than XP and incompatible with many industry specific applications, businesses would have no choice but to upgrade or replace aging PCs with other XP based systems.

If all this sounds to you like bad news for Microsoft, you're right. That's why Microsoft will not really enforce the sales and support deadline on XP this June.

We bet that Windows XP will outlast Windows 32 bit Edsel (Vista) and when Vista is rendered obsolete by the new seventh generation 64 bit operating system in a couple of years, XP will still be on more PCs than Vista.





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