April 26 2008

Computer Makers Tell Microsoft To Take A Hike

Windows VistaIt seems that computer makers have decided that I, amongst many, many others, am right about Vista not being the be-all, end-all of computing. HP, Dell and Lenovo computer manufacturers are all formulating plans for how they will continue to sell XP well past the June 30th cutoff set by Microsoft.

The plans consist of HP providing XP recovery discs to business customers who wish to downgrade from Vista for an undetermined amount of time. Lenovo will be stick with XP recovery options through January 31st of this year. However, Dell is taking the cake and promising XP, for possibly a small extra fee, through 2010, when Windows 7 is expected.

This information may end up being moot as Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft, hinted to a conference in Belgium on Thursday that Microsoft may just extend XP themselves if customers demanded it. Um… I could be wrong, but when the computer manufacturers start telling you that customers want it, you may have the consumer vote you’ve been waiting on.

While many commenters on my previous Vista posts have been telling me it’s all about how the users use it, I think that is part of the problem. XP, for all of its flaws, was pretty straight forward for the common user, and, sad to say, but you need to design for them still, they are still a large portion of the consumer base.

I think of the other huge problems was the lack of computability with older peripherals. Notice I said above that HP was going to be doing this for their business customers? Well, think about a large corporate office. Printers… scanners… networked drives… UPS supplies… peripheral after peripheral, and Vista not being compatible with that many of them. Many people said, “Oh, just buy new!” Er… I’m glad you think companies have never-ending tech budgets! As a small business owner, I have 3 printers in my office alone, and my key one, an HP LaserJet 6P has served me well for years… and would not work with Vista. So if I buy a Vista-based computer, I have to also budget for a new printer? I think not.

Microsoft thought of no one but themselves when it comes to Vista, and I think that concept is now biting them in their collective behinds, just as it should.

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