April 19 2008

Windows Vista Is “A Work In Progress”

Windows VistaEarlier this week I wrote a diatribe about Windows Vista that got some… passionate… comments from Vista users. The feeling seems to be that it is fine once you fiddle with it, and that you need to “learn” how to work with it. It would seem that Steve Ballmer, the CEO of Microsoft, shares a similar view as he referred to Vista as “a work in progress” this past Thursday at a technology conference.

“A work in progress”?

You spent five years in development and you have one year of real world release under your belt, but it’s still “a work in progress”.


I instant messaged my ever-allusive friend, M, since she was the one who had the issues that set off the article the other day that I wrote. Once I filled her in on Mr. Ballmer’s comments, she replied with ‘”this car that you are driving down the highway … it’s a work in progress” -crashes into divider-‘. I had to give her points for the analogy.

Could someone else tell me when something that is this mission critical to the way something works is allowed to be released to the public as “a work in progress”? Mr. Ballmer has basically told you that you are working with a Beta version of the program, but they let you pay for it. How kind of them.

Ballmer Casts A SpellI really cannot understand why people are not more outraged by this. Is there any other time in your life you would accept a sub-par product that costs hundreds of dollars, and you allow the manufacturer to describe it as “a work in progress”? Somehow I doubt it.

M made another very valid point when she said to me today, “but that’s exactly the point, a computer is like a car. The only difference is that instead of maintaining your life, the computer maintains your livelihood, and there’s a big connection between livelihood and life, so the difference is very minuscule.”

For me, this couldn’t be true.  Every cent I earn is earned via the computer.  Whether it be my online store, my eBay auctions or my writing, my entire livelihood is derived from being on a computer, and that means “a work in progress” is not acceptable to me.  I should not have to “learn” to do tweaks, I should not have to turn off features so it will work in an acceptable manner, I should not have to sacrifice a chicken to it to get it to boot, and it certainly should not be “a work in progress”.

One thing people have to remember is that the majority of computer users are not like the people who have no problems with Vista.  The people I know who say this are computer savvy individuals, but you have to remember we are the minority.  Why do you think places like Geek Squad exists?  It’s not for us, it’s for people like M.  Mind you that she is an exceedingly intelligent person, and talking to her sometimes makes me feel like I’m about 10-years-old because I can’t comprehend some of the things she discusses, but when it comes to computers, the roles reverse.  She is indicative of the common user; they don’t know this stuff, and I’m sorry, it’s not their place to.  Your operating system should be the most basic thing possible because everything relies on it, if it starts acting up, you have a very expensive paper weight, so how about making sure you take those people into consideration and you don’t release “a work in progress”?

For those new people out there, “M” is real, she just prefers her name not to be spread all over the Internet… it hinders her nefarious plans

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