Tuesday, March 28, 2006

behind microsoft's product delays

mar 28th

the bottom line is the windows OS has become 'the Thing from outer space'. it sucks big time.

i am a laggard in os, i have never once upgraded a machine to a new windows os (i have installed new unix versions though). because, there is no reason to upgrade to a new windows version other than feeling the urgent need to enrich microsoft and intel.

microsoft is probably a good buy at $27, though. they have underperformed over the last 3 years and when vista comes out, a lot of sheeple will upgrade. and of course vista will come out. eventually, that is. note that they trashed longhorn completely a couple of years ago. at some point they'll take whatever crap is there, half-baked, and call it 'vista' and ship it out for the public to debug. and they'll declare victory in the usual american way.

i would like to buy one of those gorgeous mac intel ibooks. i used to be a fanatical mac user until i wanted to buy a laptop (in 1990?), and the windows laptops were much cheaper. now i think i'll return if apple can lower the price tag to below $1500. and then run dual booted mac os x and windows and maybe linux as well.

btw, apple just lost avadias tevanian (formerly of CMU and next), their OS guru, who i think did the multithreaded unix-derived NeXT OS, the basis for apple's OS X. that sounds like bad news.


the whole windows os trap reminds me of the eagles, hotel california:

"they stab it with their steely knives
but they just cant kill the beast
last thing i remember
i was running for the door
i had to find the passage back to the place I was before
Relax, said the nightman
We are programed to be nice
You can check out any time you like
But you can never leave"


KapiDhwaja said...

ROTFL reading your views abt Microsoft...

Sheeple, huh? Rajeev, you are just ruthless! That Eagles song applies very well to our own sorry Nuke deal with the Yanks too.:-(

KapiDhwaja said...

at some point they'll take whatever crap is there, half-baked, and call it 'vista' and ship it out for the public to debug. and they'll declare victory in the usual american way.

Why blame Microsoft alone? Every damn software products/services company out there routinely makes the public debug their software, all the quality BS about CMM-5 nothwithstanding.

DarkStorm said...

I must say that it was Apple who was responsible for the mess. Overpriced Macs means people will obviously go for intel/amd and microsoft/linux, basically IBM PCs. Who is going to pay for something that is overpriced and does not work with any other computer in the world. They isolated themselves. Rajeev, if you support opensource, Apple is the most closed-source company around. I feel iPod is very overpriced. There are good MP3 players like Transcend and Creative around available for one-fourth the price for the same memory, and they are not Chinese made. Of course, Ipod is not just a mp3 player.

With Microsoft, the trick to get around is to upgrade as late as possible. The prices go down and the OS becomes more stable. No need to upgrade to Vista now, go for it two years down the line. Yes, Windows is overpriced I feel. Atleast the home and professional editions. The server editions have a lot more services and much more support for complex hardware so thats ok. One should use Linux here instead of Windows server ;-). Stable on server plus less cost.

Say we are in 2000. Now, Windows 2000 is released. You dont go for it immediately. In 2002, you can upgrade to Windows 2000 and by that time, prices go down and also the service packs and patches are released. So when Vista comes out, there will be quite some patches for Windows XP (xp is quite faster than 2k), so go for XP.

Microsoft does have a good OS. Yes, their earlier OSes (Win 9x, NT3, NT4) were buggy, but I have never seen any OS as stable as Win 2k, which I use in office. I find it better than XP and did not opt to upgrade when the office was upgrading their machines to Intel Hyperthreading 3 Ghz procs with Win XP. I am pretty much happy with my old IBM 2.4 Ghz, Win2k box. I must say I have rarely seen my Win2k crashing. I have observed that most of the crashes are because of mapped drives to Linux servers. And I found Windows XP to be good enough, though not as stable as Windows 2000.

Also, I have noticed many desktop users use Windows much more roughly than they do with Linux. With Linux, they know if they do something wrong, they wont be able to fix it easily. You know, you have to handle Linux much more carefully, you cannot use it "roughly" as you do with windows. Therefore, Linux crashes much less often. And so users say "hey linux doesnt crash". Yes, try installing/uninstalling all kinds of shareware and adware on Linux, play graphics intensive complex games, and you will definitely find Linux to be unstable.

If people use Windows with as much knowledge as they use Linux with, chances are less that Windows will give trouble. Forget it, even with Windows, one needs to have some knowledge, forget whatever Microsoft says. Thats why accounting firms have system admins who manage the accountants computers.

With Linux, though it is quite good on the server side, it isnt doing really well on the desktop side. In my experience, Linux world is too fragmented with each distro having its own quirks, even though there is a Linux Standards Group, which specifies minimum common denominator for Linux, and all vendors agree to.


Linux on the desktop, in my experience, is a bit slow and demanding on the system. The IDE is a bit clumsy, though I must say that it has improved quite a lot from the days I used Red Hat 7. (Maybe I am so used to windows that I dont find Linux GUI easy to use).

By the way, even many Linux vendors do what Microsoft does. Let the users test the OS. Thats what is Red Hat's Fedora. Its a less tested build of Linux, with experimental code. The community does the testing and RedHat *sells* the proper version, and the license does not allow you to make copies and distribute. Similar is the case for Mandrake(now Mandriva Linux) which has a community edition(ie untested) and a paid edition (ie tested). So RedHat and Mandrake say - take our community edition for free. As usual, like everyone says, we are not responsible if it screws up your computer, but we dont even know whether it will/will not do that.

Its Debian Linux and Slackware that is totally free for use, but they dont have many extra frills like MP3 players and are quite "dull" out of the box. Slackware is known to be the Linux closest to Unix in behaviour.

Bottomline: Linux for serious server side work, Windows for the desktop and fun.