Why Not Simply Be Truthful?

Over at ZDNet, Ed Bott has, yet again, another article chronicling the XP versus debate and trying to shift the blame for Vista’s problems on a tendency for people to cling to the familiar.

He brings a few pieces of an article from 2001 to bear, and shows us that we (supposedly) had the same reaction to the introduction of XP in 2001.

Well. as the song says, “It Ain’t Necessarily So”.

Those of us who are willing to supplement our memories with some help from Google can attest that XP was not welcomed with open arms. In fact, it was slammed by magazines like InfoWorld, where P. J. Connolly and the very same Randall C. Kennedy published this not-so-glowing review in the October 26, 2001 issue:

Hopeless optimism must be a fundamental part of human nature, because we want to believe that new operating systems truly represent an improvement on their predecessors. It’s easy to point to certain features in a new OS as examples of progress, but end-users often find that a new OS performs like molasses compared to the version they were using. As a result, CTOs wanting to capitalize on the benefits of a new OS may find that new hardware investments are necessary — and expensive — requirements.

Unfortunately, Microsoft’s Windows XP appears to be maintaining that tradition …

Windows 2000 significantly outperformed Windows XP. In the most extreme scenario, our Windows XP system took nearly twice as long to complete a workload as did the Windows 2000 client. Our testing also suggests that companies determined to deploy Windows XP should consider ordering desktop systems with dual CPUs to get the most out of the new OS. …

Sound familiar?

I’ll be the first to admit that XP was slower than Windows 2000. The real story is, however, that most people in 2001 were not switching from Win 2000 to XP – the change was from Win 98 or Me, to Windows XP. 

Yes, the speed difference was there as well, but the difference, as I’ve spoken of several times, is that with XP, the user immediately got the ability to use more than 512MB of main memory, use hard drives larger than 128 (yes, 128, not 137 as so many stupid people speak of, as a gigabyte is in fact 2 to the exponent 20 bytes, not 1 billion!) gigabytes, and not have to worry about those 3 silly heaps that kept us rebooting a few times daily.

Vista brings none of this! It doesn’t increase memory available, unless the 64bit version is used. It doesn’t break any drive limitations that matter – we are far from the limitations of the file system of XP (most of us anyway – and again, the same benefits can be had with XP in its 64bit form), and Vista does not appear to make the time between rebooting a machine any longer.

Instead, Vista brings slowed performance, poor driver support, and questionable security improvements.

Back to Mr. Bott’s rant

Get the picture? Back in 2001, Kennedy and InfoWorld were bashing XP and recommending that their readers stay with Windows 2000. Today, they’re bashing Vista and hawking their “save XP” campaign. But judging by the progression that XP made in six years, all that the Windows Vista architecture needs is time and a hardware replacement cycle or two.

And we’ll be able to read all about in InfoWorld’s “Save Vista” campaign.


Once again, Mr. Bott misses the point. After stating that all will be fine with Vista with more familiarity, and a couple of iterations of hardware upgrades, he is wrong – we will not be more familiar, as most of us will not be using Vista, with its slowness, DRM laden code, and uncountable lines of code to be able to ‘accuse the customer at any time of being a thief’. (I wonder how many times per second a ‘test for authenticity’ is being run with Vista!)

www.pocketpicks.co.uk_latest_wp-content_uploads_2007_05_ballmer Does anyone else expect this guy to don a top hat and tails and sing ‘Puttin’ On the Ritz’? (Apologies to Peter Boyle)


Why does Mr. Bott simply state that his job, as reviewer, and part-time shill, is to get the unwashed masses to blindly accept the mediocrity that is Vista, in all different flavors. We could all use the honesty in this election year.

Quote of the day:
We rarely think people have good sense unless they agree with us. – Francois de La Rochefoucauld

[tags] Microsoft, Vista, benefits?, ZDNet, Ed Bott, beating a dead horse [/tags]