Anyone else remember the Olds Vista Cruiser? Now there was a station wagon that had everything including a vista sunroof, third row seating and horsepower that at the highest end included a 455 cubic inch Rocket V-8. The Vista cruiser was designed to include everything you’d want as you, well, cruised along. Windows Vista reminds me of that cruiser. Vista was, and is, a software operating system that included all the features of the past built into a newer looking package built for comfort, not for speed.
The reminisce of the Olds cruiser was prompted by an outcry this week following a couple of Gartner analysts saying Vista is collapsing. First off, let me say that I am still an XP user who gets more taken by changes in browsers and new services accessed via the web than excited about Vista. When Vista first came out I think I was pretty close about what it meant for the enterprise. CIOs would hold off on Vista deployments for at least a year and until service pack 1.0 before thinking about going forward with Vista. As desktop systems were replaced and new llaptops came into the company already preloaded with Vista, at some point a critical mass would be reached and a company would find itself a Vista user by default. That transition seems to have gone slower than I thought.
Microsoft’s biggest competitor has always been the previous version of its product and that seems to have proven particularly true with Vista. While Vista is burdened by the need to be compatible with the past, I don’t think it is bloated if bloated is defined to mean too much code for the local system storage to handle. Storage is widely available and mighty cheap these days.
Microsoft is intent on proving that it can produce a hybrid operating system. A system that uses the local system resources and the web’s resource to provide the user with a grander computer experience than simply running on the browser. Maybe the comparison to the Olds Vista isn’t that far off. The U.S. auto companies also need to show they can build hybrids instead of big, fat, resource hogs.