The last two days has been filled with so much armchair prognostication that you might think it was time to put in the order for your own personal crystal ball.
Everyone who has access to the internet, it seems, has put forth an opinion on the possible outcomes of the Google admission of its pursuit of an operating system, at least on a limited basis. The opinions vary widely, but we all know that things are going to change in ways we might not imagine, as this is all new territory. When IBM was in the desktop software business, it was more than a little involved with Microsoft. That is the only time a company with the bank account approaching the size of the one owned by Google has been in a position to challenge the boys in Redmond.
This announcement has gotten many fans of Microsoft thinking that perhaps a little shaking of the tree in Redmond might be good. That perhaps Microsoft is getting a bit complacent, and not hungry as it once was. It’s good to know that the planet is finally waking up!
Somehow a company full of millionaires at the top aren’t quite as worried about the next hill to climb as they were when the first one was approached.
Longtime fanboy, and Microsoft apologist, Paul Thurrott is one of the recently discontent. In an article on his own website, he spoke of the little amount of change in the basic applications that Windows has, and the lack of push to follow the things the company develops, such as Windows Presentation Foundation, a style of coding that gives a certain look and feel, not to mention, work quality, to applications. It is the latest design strategy from the company. It is a ‘best effort’ thus far, and one would think that the company would follow its own strategy.
He cites the small, and truly insignificant, changes to things, using the Windows Calculator as an example. The picture of the version for Windows 95 – Windows 2000, along side of the small change when the Windows XP look was incorporated, and now, the Vista lacquer job, shows that too much time has been wasted on color coordination and proper pastel shades, and not enough on nuts and bolts.
If the company wanted to, it could produce updated versions of each mini-app, and overall make the justification of the ever increasing price of Windows a bit more palatable to the customers. The calculator could, very easily, have all of the functionality of a Texas Instruments graphing calculator. Sure, there have been additions that are available from Microsoft, but they are not that powerful, and Microsoft always makes additions harder to find than hen’s teeth. That points to another problem, and though I won’t belabor the point, if you are going to release things to be helpful, increase value, etc., why make them almost impossible to find? Isn’t the company proud of these items?
But back to Thurrott’s point’s –
He further states that you might think that the WPF would have been a part of the Live Essentials, which is enjoying a more than moderate amount of success. As good as these applications are, they are not without problems. It is as if Microsoft gets to a point of quality and stops dead. No more progress. No explanation. No justification; almost as if the company collectively had ADD, and found it was time to move on, all interest being gone.
But the WPF is not a part of these applications, and no reasonable hypothesis exists as to why this is so.
Microsoft needs to take the posture of best possible or nothing, always, as giving away something free still shows how much care is put into the project. The company is, after all, competing head to head with Google now.