Knowledgeable Vista critics

Wonderful New York Times piece by Randall Stross.

Can someone tell me again, why is switching XP for Vista an “upgrade”?

Here’s one story of a Vista upgrade early last year that did not go well. Jon, let’s call him, (bear with me — I’ll reveal his full identity later) upgrades two XP machines to Vista. Then he discovers that his printer, regular scanner and film scanner lack Vista drivers. He has to stick with XP on one machine just so he can continue to use the peripherals.

Did Jon simply have bad luck? Apparently not. When another person, Steven, hears about Jon’s woes, he says drivers are missing in every category — “this is the same across the whole ecosystem.”

Then there’s Mike, who buys a laptop that has a reassuring “Windows Vista Capable” logo affixed. He thinks that he will be able to run Vista in all of its glory, as well as favorite Microsoft programs like Movie Maker. His report: “I personally got burned.” His new laptop — logo or no logo — lacks the necessary graphics chip and can run neither his favorite video-editing software nor anything but a hobbled version of Vista. “I now have a $2,100 e-mail machine,” he says.

Here’s the punchline: ‘Mike’ is Mike Nash, a Microsoft vice president who oversees Windows product management. ‘Jon’ is Jon A. Shirley, a Microsoft board member and former president and chief operating officer. And ‘Steven’ is Steven Sinofsky, the company’s senior vice president responsible for Windows. Mr Stross garnered the quotes from a cache of internal Microsoft emails unsealed by the judge who is hearing the Vista Class Action suit.

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