Microsoft has a decision to make. No, not should it throw a few more bucks in the pot to sweeten its bid for Yahoo. I’m betting they will continue their unfriendly ways (so much for Bill Gates’ compassionate capitalism) until Yahoo gets sucked into the Redmond maw.
The decision I’m talking about is whether to extend — once again — support for Windows XP after the June deadline or say “that’s it!” for XP and tell its corporate customers to get on with the Vista migration right now.
Of all the Windows migrations, the one to Vista seems the most rocky. Okay, maybe not as rocky as Windows Millenium which I don’t think even Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer ever used. But the journey from XP to Vista has been fraught with customers and even the PC vendors clinging to XP.
Why that affection for XP? Windows bashers aside, I think Microsoft has done a good job at collecting bugs and fixing bugs based on user experience. All those little pop up windows telling users that Windows has encountered some sort of error and are you willing to transmit the information to Microsoft does get accumulated, sorted and fixed at Microsoft. In fact, Ray Ozzie’s plans for Microsoft Live aside, I think the continual web-based bug collecting and operating system repair of XP has been Microsoft’s most successful web oriented software project. So successful, that users have grown affectionate of old XP and are reluctant to drop an old and now reliable friend for Vista.
Our ace labs director Jason Brooks has just finished reviewing Vista Service Pack 1. This is the service pack that many corporate types have been waiting for. They know that waiting a year until most of the bugs are ironed out of a major new software release makes a lot more sense than being the first on the block.
Read all of Jason’s review to get the full story, but here is a quick summary, “Microsoft’s Windows Vista Service Pack 1 has hit its RTM milestone, so if you’ve been waiting for SP1 to begin your organization’s move to Vista, now is the time to start turning over your upgrade engines. On the other hand, if the conventional wisdom around the SP1 marker isn’t enough to get your Vista testing efforts in gear, Microsoft’s planned June 30th halt to sales of shrinkwrapped or OEM copies of Windows XP means that if your company is going to get ahead of Vista, it’s now or never.
On the whole, Vista SP1, which becomes generally available in mid-March, is a fairly staid update with very little in the way of new features or cosmetic changes. SP1 consists of a rollup of Vista’s first year of security and bugfixes, new support for a handful of emerging hardware and software standards, and an update Vista’s kernel and core systems that bring the operating system in line with the also recently RTM’d Windows Server 2008. SP1 also features a handful of performance improvements around file copy operations, which I was able to confirm during my tests in our lab..”
I think Microsoft will stay firm on its June 30 deadline for XP and faced with supporting an unsupported product, corporate IT execs will plan in earnest their migration to Vista. This isn’t product innovation, this is hassle avoidance based on corporate decree. Maybe now I’ll see if this old notebook of mine finds Vista to its liking. Or maybe it is time to look at that Mac platform once again.