Daniel Eran Dilger
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Why Windows 7 is Microsoft’s next Zune

Windows 7 Zune

Daniel Eran Dilger

Every once and a while I get the opportunity to appear brilliantly prescient by pointing out something that is blatantly obvious but which has been so obscured by valiant marketing efforts that it makes me look like a grand wizard at detecting emperor nakedness just to say it. In this case, it’s that Windows 7 is becoming the next Zune.
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Consider the Zune.

Over the past couple years, while I enjoyed explaining why the Zune was set up for disastrous failure, I was even more entertained by the caustically religious response that it elicited from Windows Enthusiasts. I was accused of predicting things nobody could yet know and was assailed for being “biased,” as if the facts and rationale I presented to outline why I thought the Zune was doomed were all based on wishful thinking and a blind attraction to Apple.

It’s almost like having the 22% of inbred Americans who think Iraq was involved in the attack on the World Trade Center point their quivering finger at me and disdainfully accuse me of being against war, all because I’m biased toward presidential candidates who can speak articulately and intelligently.

The problem with the Zune wasn’t just that it was from Microsoft, but that it was a copycat product trying to be something Apple already had delivered, which of course does means that the problem was related to being from Microsoft, as that’s all the company knows how to do. Despite being congratulated at every opportunity for copying other’s successes in a half-assed and often more expensive way, Microsoft’s business plan isn’t all that cool.

It’s not impressive when Korean car makers clone portions of a BMW, or when the Chinese attempt to copy the iPhone using portions of Windows Mobile, or when WalMart releases a suitable clone of Adidas sportswear it can market for ten dollars to the kind of people who live in sweats and drink most of their calories two liters at a time.

Microsoft’s attempts to copy the iPod was a store-brand strategy, hardly genius. In further laziness, however, the company didn’t just set out to make a copycat iPod but started by building on top of a flawed product that had already failed in the market. The Zune was a Toshiba Gigabeat with slightly different plastics and navigation, where “different” should not be confused with “better.”

Imagine Microsoft trying to enter the SUV market by taking a Pontiac Aztec and adding new pin striping and perhaps flames, and its obvious why the Zune was doomed even before considering how terrible Microsoft is at developing consumer software (Songsmith?), how counterintuitively bad the company is at forging relationships with media companies (the Zune was abandoned by MTV’s PlaysForSure Urge store in the first year), and how terrifically incompetent the company is at conceptualizing and delivering consumer features (I already cited Songsmith, so I’ll just point out the train wreck that Zune “WiFi sharing” was).

pontiac ass-tech

Why Microsoft’s Zune is Still Failing

Why Windows 7 is another Zune.

But wait, you may ask, the Zune was an effort by Microsoft to travel well outside its core competency. Microsoft has never delivered consumer hardware products outside of its Microsoft-branded Logitech mice and keyboards (and if you are counting those as innovative or interesting products, please put down the invisible scissors you’re using to craft those exquisite invisible clothes for the Redmond emperor before you hurt yourself with them), the company has never been cool, and has never really successfully sold anything to anyone outside of OEM hardware makers and brainwashed IT drones.

Windows is an entirely different story, say Windows Enthusiasts. Microsoft has sold those two categories of customers–PC makers and IT drones–so much “Windows” that it can afford to blow out billions in hobbies that never go anywhere, from Windows CE devices and Windows Mobile to Microsoft TV to SPOT watches to the Surface and the Xbox, which isn’t a game console business so much as a multi-billion dollar bribe to prevent video game developers from using open and interoperable APIs.

What Microsoft is really good at is keeping generic PC OEMs and IT drones happy, right? That’s where the company makes its money, and back in 2006 when I was pointing out how badly Windows Vista would tank, the conventional wisdom pundits were laughing at me because there was No Chance the company would fail at selling Windows, because it doesn’t have to sell Windows, it merely forces the industry to pay for it as a tax on all new hardware.

Even if Vista were terrible, they insisted, companies would still roll it out and PC makers would still force it down the throats of consumers, just as they had for the last fifteen years since Windows 3.1 showed up offering them a way to insist that their generic PCs were just as good as a Macintosh. No amount of terrible Windows software, from 98 to ME, had ever prevented Microsoft from milking the tech industry dry and starving out competitors selling products that actually worked. How could things possibly ever change?

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How Microsoft has become the Beleaguered Apple ‘96

Vista? Que?

In retrospect, Vista was the Zune. Rather than Microsoft doing what it had been doing all along to please the PC makers and IT drones (that is, releasing a rewarmed version of Windows every few years that did little more than keep the tech industry consumed with keeping up with the latest version), Microsoft looked at Apple and tried to copy it. But what makes Apple interesting and successful as a hardware and software integrator is not transferable to a software monopolist.

The straw that broke Vista’s back was Microsoft’s attempt to give Windows XP a graphics compositing engine just like Mac OS X’s, a technology which Apple had initially debuted in 2000. Microsoft delivered its own version six years later, but the problem was that that feature, which worked so well to breathe new life into the Mac and differentiate it as a platform, was an unwelcome albatross around the neck of generic PCs.

Generic PCs are sold to be cheap. When Microsoft ripped off the Macintosh look and feel and introduced the first version of Windows that PC users could actually use (which was in 1991, six years after the introduction of the Mac and nearly ten years after Microsoft gained access to Apple’s technology as a software partner, and not in the early 80s as historical revisionists in Wikipedia attempt to claim in order to shore up some credibility for the company), PC users never claimed that Windows was anything comparable to the Mac environment. Instead, they prided themselves with how cheap they’d acquired their generic PC, and only ever mumbled about Apple’s superior user environment in an embittered shrugging off of somewhat out of reach sour grapes.

When Mac development at Apple ran off the track in the late 80s and early 90s and the creative forces behind the Mac jumped to NeXT and Be, Inc and to other efforts that seemed more promising, Windows gained credibility solely from the fact that nobody was around to show how hopelessly behind and conservative Microsoft was. The one-party tech kingdom ended up a Soviet Union of sorts, where everyone hailed the supreme leaders who were really doing so little to accomplish anything. Compare PCWorld from the 90s with Pravda and you’ll find lots of similarities.

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NeXT strikes back.

When Mac OS X broke loose on the scene, Microsoft realized the danger of allowing a competitor to show up how little the company was doing in exchange for the massive profits it was syphoning off of the tech industry. Linux was already indicating how little Microsoft was adding in the enterprise software arena, but now Apple was proving the same thing to consumers, a market Linux didn’t have the unified leadership required to woo.

Vista was a desperate attempt by Microsoft to turn Windows into Mac OS X. In 2000, Windows was Windows 2000, aka NT 5. Microsoft had spent the 90s trying to deliver an alternative to Unix with the administrative ease of use of the Mac. In large part, it had succeeded with Windows 2000, but that accomplishment was embarrassed by the fact that a small group at NeXT had already delivered a superior product that did the same thing a full decade prior, albeit without losing any compatibility with Unix.

Bill Gates had used his position to hamstring NeXT and refused to develop for it, which had helped to hide the fact that all Microsoft had managed to do in the 80s was copy Apple’s Mac, poorly, and all it had managed to do in the 90s was copy NeXT, badly.

Now, all of a sudden, NeXT was back in the form of Mac OS X. Except this time it had two new features: an open foundation based on open source software (a heretical liberal cancer in the mindset of Microsoft’s hard liners) and an advanced compositing graphics engine that promised to do to desktop graphics what QuickDraw had done for the original GUI in the early 80s, what QuickTime did for video in the early 90s, and what NeXTSTEP did for object oriented development in the same period: embarrass Microsoft.

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1990-1995: Microsoft’s Yellow Road to Cairo

Rise of the GPU.

Mac OS X’s Quartz graphics compositor wasn’t just a new feature. Apple was onto a very powerful new concept in computing: the offloading of desktop graphics to the GPU. The company realized that the CPU was no longer the engine that would define the power and usability of a computer. It was being eclipsed by the latent processing power of the GPU. Microsoft and Intel realized this too, to some extent.

In the late 90s, the team of tech monopolists tried frantically to figure out a way to get PC users, primarily running Office, to continue to buy increasingly faster PCs, but ran out of reasons for consumers to keep buying new PCs when their old one ran Word pretty decently already. Their solution was to build 3D visualizations into web pages, so that users would need a faster CPU to look at crap on the web designed entirely to make their CPU hot. This was the extent of their vision.

Microsoft also saw games as a reason for buyers to spend absurd amounts for PC hardware, but Microsoft doesn’t sell hardware, so all it could do was devise software to make games that only worked on Windows, further tying Windows to PCs sales. This wasn’t so much a strategy as a reaction, a ploy to shore up the moat surrounding its monopoly.

While Microsoft and Intel were in monopoly maintenance mode, a myopic condition that almost always results in a face planting stumble before long, Apple was assembling a GPU strategy that took everything painted on the screen and made it an OpenGL surface. The Mac OS X desktop was now a video game; individual windows could be slurped into the Dock with their contents being rendered live during the animation. Vector art could resize with liquid realism.

Ten Myths of Leopard: 1 Graphics Must Be Slow!

Microsoft tries to clone Mac OS X.

Microsoft wanted to stop the comparisons between Apple’s new Aqua-smooth operating system and its boxy Windows 2000, so it renamed the next NT 5.1 service pack Windows XP, in the hopes that consumers would confuse XP and OS X just as quickly as they might equate Mr. Pibb for Dr Pepper.

The problem was that Apple capitalized upon its core technologies to rapidly outpace Windows XP, which despite being a fairly decent operating system fitting the needs of PC makers and IT drones, could not fake the ability to render its graphics using a modern Open GL surface, but was instead tied to the simpler graphics model Apple had originally introduced in the early 80s, which Microsoft duplicated in the flattering imitation of Windows GDI.

In the last few years, Apple rapidly advanced its graphics compositing engine to take increasingly fuller advantage of the untapped power of GPUs. Similar efforts on Windows have been entirely limited to screen savers and video games. However, while this was a source of embarrassment to Microsoft, it did not represent much of a problem for Microsoft’s key customers, who are not consumers and end users, but rather PC makers and IT drones.

When Microsoft released its own graphics compositing engine in Windows Vista (NT 6), it hoped to wow consumers sufficiently enough to jack up the price of Vista significantly. However, the PC buyers of 2007 were largely the same cheapskate demographic of 1991 who prized cheapness over utility. Microsoft’s attempts to make Vista match the graphics savvy of Mac OS X were like WalMart trying to introduce its sweats-wearing customers to organic vegetables.

Pearls before PC users.

Like the proverbial swine who have pearls thrown at them, they reacted with umbrage and ferocity. They’d grown used to every version of Windows being slower, but Vista was much slower without any advantage apart from looking more like Mac OS X. If they wanted a nice looking computer, they’d have bought a Mac.

PC buyers wanted trough-cheap hardware with the least invasive annoyance of Microsoft possible. Instead, they got a more expensive operating system that demanded greater hardware resources, didn’t quite work with their existing software and peripherals, was significantly slower overall, pushed Microsoft into their faces to a greater extent, and attempted to extort Vista upgrade to unlock Ultimate features Apple was offering for free in Mac OS X.

When somebody asks for an iPod and you hand them a Zune, which has no cost advantage, no compatibility with either the iPod nor PlaysForSure, is slow and looks silly, they fail to see any reason to buy it. Connecting the dots between the Zune experience and Vista should not be necessary at this point.

Windows 7′s audience problem.

However, what some pundits are still missing is that Microsoft’s promise that Windows 7 is some flawless hyper-jump advancement over Vista is a typical Microsoft assurance, with all the utility of toilet paper. Apart from cleaning up an unpleasant mess, there’s not much else it’s suitable for. Recall that Microsoft has also promised that each version of Windows was its best operating system ever, even as each got slower as it dragged along the legacy required to please its customers, which again is not consumers but PC makers and IT drones.

Windows 7 does offer some real fixes for Vista, which it damn well should a full three years after that high-priced catastrophe was launched. The problem is that Microsoft’s customers, those same PC makers and IT drones, do not want another generation of Vista and its Mac OS X-envy imitation. They want a thin layer of supportable software that runs legacy Windows software. That’s not at all what Windows 7 is aiming to do.

PC makers are desperately trying to weather the storm of a brutally competitive market that is shrinking globally for the first time ever. They don’t want a fancy bunch of glitz that shows the power of GPUs, they want Windows XP as cheaply as possible so they can apply it to netbooks and sell something, anything, before they go out of business.

IT drones don’t want a layer of GPU sophistication, they want Windows XP as cheaply as possible so they can roll out centralized services in the pattern of mainframes and dumb terminals, the game they were playing when Microsoft waltzed in and sold them on PCs running DOS and then Windows as an alternative to the terminals they’d been using.

Netbooks killing off sickly Windows PC sales

Bad news: Windows 7 no faster than Vista.

The fact that Microsoft has borrowed its operating system strategy from Apple is also the reason why Windows 7 is no faster than Vista. Anecdotal excitement from Windows Enthusiasts aside, recent testing (by no less than PC World) has shown that Windows 7 does nothing to noticeably speed up PCs over the baseline performance of Vista. That’s a huge problem for PC makers and IT drones who have pushed back against Vista adoption in large measure because it was too slow.

It’s also a rude awakening to the dreamy illusion that Windows 7 would somehow enable Microsoft to sell a Vista-based operating system for netbooks that was wildly faster than Vista and therefore could bring the company greater revenues on netbooks compared to the Windows XP it had been dumping on netbook makers for next to nothing, just to prevent them from using Linux instead.

Never mind the reality that even if Windows 7 were spry and capable on netbooks, Microsoft wouldn’t be able to bleed significant software revenues from the ultra cheap hardware that is now commonly selling for $300 or less. The big problem is that Microsoft can’t speed up Windows 7 appreciably because it is Vista, and the reason Vista is so slow is not just because Microsoft didn’t have the time to worry about optimizing code in its 6 years of gestation, but centrally due to the fact the Microsoft was copying Apple to deliver a product that is not like the one Apple wanted to deliver.

Speed Test: Windows 7 May Not Be Much Faster Than Vista

Microsoft is no Apple.

Microsoft does not have Apple’s audience of sophisticated consumers, and it’s ridiculous that the company keeps trying to pretend that it does. Microsoft serves an installed base of cheapskates through a blackmailed array of PC hardware companies who are forbidden from selling alternative software by exclusive licensing contracts. It also services, at very high cost to companies, a large number of corporate cube-holders who have no voice in the technology decisions forced upon them by corporate IT drones.

Both markets are impossibly out of reach to Apple. That’s why Apple does not copy Microsoft’s development or marketing strategies; they simply wouldn’t work at Apple. But the converse is also true; Microsoft can’t be successful at its own business by copying Apple, because the two companies serve very different markets.

The Zune clone of the iPod was a good example of this and the results of trying. It’s like stealing answers from your classmate during a test, even though you know he’s taking an entirely different exam. Don’t plan on acing your test no matter how smart he is!

Microsoft’s consumer failure is only going to get worse.

The biggest problem for Microsoft, outside of the fact that it is getting ready to release another tepid Zune to follow up the original lead balloon Zune (and if you didn’t catch that metaphor, I’m talking about following up Vista with Windows 7), is that the PC cheapskates and IT drones are not as valuable as Microsoft seems to think they are. All the buzzword dropping around netbooks aside, the real value in PC hardware and consumer electronics is in delivering devices that work, which users will pay extra to obtain.

That’s a market Apple has locked up. Despite the efforts by Dell and HP and Acer to tiptoe past Microsoft’s Iron Curtain and investigate free market ventures using Linux, none are even close to delivering a well-integrated product similar to the Mac. All they can do is cater to cheapskates with unprofitable, low-end hardware that is so problematic and virus-vulnerable that those consumers will be forced to return and buy a new PC within a year and a half.

Having staked out a business that serves PC makers first, IT drones second, and consumers dead last, Microsoft is left only to advertise that its software arrives on cheap hardware that isn’t burdened with being cool or sexy like Apple’s. As a marketing strategy, that’s so blatantly moronic that it’s hard to imagine a Fortune 500 company could decide to do that.

This company delivered also Vista and the Zune, and all I’m pointing out is that the company is getting ready to do the exact same thing this year. Now will all those people who insisted that Microsoft would never stop making increasing amounts of automatic money regardless of how badly it performs please post an apology? Thanks!

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  • http://twitter.com/NateTehGreat nat

    Mike V.,

    Can you not see the hypocrisy in calling Dan a “d-bag” for correctly describing Microsoft’s key customers—a description you yourself agree with—and then…forwarding the myth that all Mac users are latte-sipping hipsters!? Oh, I guess that’s “the conservative in you.”

  • gus2000

    I’m not going to apologize for Daniel, but it seems like the histrionics over his usual liberal-minded asides are well overblown. The volume and frequency of complaints compelled me to re-read the article, and I found only a handful of inflammatory references:

    “…the 22% of inbred Americans who think Iraq was involved in the attack on the World Trade Center”

    This was clearly a shot at the chronically ignorant, since Iraq was no more responsible for 9/11 than, say, Canada. The term ‘inbred’ suggests a congenital stupidity. It was a non-partisan remark, since AFAIK no party has monopolized absurdity.

    “…disdainfully accuse me of being against war, all because I’m biased toward presidential candidates who can speak”

    DED is a supporter of Obama. No surprise. But stupidity is bi-partisan, and Daniel chose to poke fun at the idiots on the other side of the aisle to make his point. He’s not suggesting that everyone to his right is an ignoramus, nor that the left is exempt (witness Stallman, who won’t use a cell phone nor surf the web from his own computer…dude, paranoid much?)

    “when WalMart releases a suitable clone of Adidas sportswear it can market for ten dollars to the kind of people who…”

    This is not a shot at WalMart; it’s an analogy about the futility of a discount retailer marketing high-end goods to a demographic without the money to afford it nor the sophistication to care. There was no outrage over the denigration of Korea and China, but both are well-known for making cheap knockoffs which is a central point of the article.

    “The one-party tech kingdom ended up a Soviet Union of sorts…”

    We liberals did not voice our outrage over this USSR slight, but that’s because we’re not socialists. Sadly, none of the conservatives here gave DED his props for assailing the Communist Hoards. Better Dead than Red-mond?

    “…an open foundation based on open source software (a heretical liberal cancer in the mindset of Microsoft’s hard liners)”

    Linux is socialism? Should anyone have been offended? Wait until Limbaugh finds out his favorite OS is based on *gasp* community-written code.

    “…were like WalMart trying to introduce its sweats-wearing customers to organic vegetables.”

    Again, this is a reference to a consumer-to-product mismatch, not an assault on shopping. I’m inclined to believe that people just see what they want, just as both Liberals and Conservatives think that Stephen Colbert is one of “Them”.

    I did not find anything offensive here. I am offended by a sycophantic tech media that expects me to swallow their thinly-veiled press releases as journalism, by bloggers that are nothing more than shills, and by companies like Microsoft that think marketing will solve their technology problems and I that I won’t notice the difference.

  • stefn

    Clearly Mike V. prefers his arrogance to Daniel’s. Get a mirror, Mike.

    “And I’m probably the only person posting here with aSmallWorld account -ooh la la.”

  • http://www.cyclelogicpress.com Neil Anderson

    Or should that be aSmallMind account? ;)

  • wtfk

    If you want to convince people that your opinions are based on something other than kneejerk assumptions, you might want to omit kneejerk political comments from your blog.

    [And if you have an opinion on the subject worth offering, why don't you offer it rather than posting jingle-laden bullshit? - Dan]

  • bfancher

    I don’t really care what happens to Windows 7, but I wonder why you felt the need to refer to Americans who think that Iraq had something to do with the attack on the World Trade Center as “inbred?”

    In fact, there is plenty of evidence of a connection between between Saddam Hussein’s regime and various terrorist groups, include Al Qaeda:

    http://www.amazon.com/Connection-Collaboration-Hussein-Endangered-America/dp/0060746734

    [ Sorry, but citing a right wing columnist's 2004 book which bent over backwards (in all senses) to "document" links between Saddam and Al Qaeda in order to justify actions we now know to be entirely fabricated upon lies does not prove anything other than the willing credulity of the extremist fringe in America. I used the term "inbred" not in a literal genetic sense, but in a figurative way, as these people get all their ideas from the same, stagnate pool of dead-end ideology, and it retards their ability to make any progress. What's next, a Michael Crichton book "dispelling" any human involvement in global warming? - Dan ]

    And Saddam’s regime gave sanctuary to Abdul Rahman Yasin, who was one of those who carried out the first attack on the WTC, in 1993.

    [So the US invades every country that a known terrorist may have entered? Given that the NeoCons spent America's children's and grandchildren's futures in a monumental deficit to pay for this boondoggle war, as well as destroying nearly 5,000 US soldiers so far and causing unnecessary damage to the military, just to pay for this false goose-chase which really had nothing to do with terrorism and everything to do with access to oil, how many more times can we afford to do this for every other country a terrorist might enter? And how many terrorists are in Iraq now that Saddam's regime has fallen, giving way to Al Qaeda to control of large parts of Iraq which Saddam was formerly holding in check against his Al Qaeda enemies (they represent rival factions! They hate each other, look it up.)?

    There's no question that Saddam was a terrible leader, but removing him to create a power vacuum for even more brutal warlords, radical religious extremists setting up "schools", and other terrorist enemies of Saddam has not exactly brought peace and tranquility to Iraq. ]

    No one has proved that Saddam was behind the 9/11 attacks, and based on what is publicly known so far, I’d guess that he probably wasn’t. But given the long history of collaboration between Saddam and various terrorist groups, thinking that he might’ve been is not entirely unreasonable. Insulting people who hold such a view as “inbred,” says more about the one making the insult than it does about those the insult is directed at.

    [There's a HUGE difference between saying there might have plausibly been some relation between Saddam and unsavory characters (as Cheney now says of Iraq and vaguely identified "middle east terrorists,") and saying there was a clear link between Iraq and 9/11 involving imminent danger to America that demanded immediate military action, as Cheney said before invading Iraq. Clearly, Cheney lied.

    And trying to spin the idea that "maybe he didn't entirely lie about everything" and "it doesn't really matter so much because it all turned out so well" after the needless deaths of so many people based on those lies, the destruction of so much of America's principles and its world reputation, and the gutting of the American economy to pay for trillions of dollars of war efforts that attacked Iraq for Oil rather than bin Laden to stop actual threats against America.... well, that's just inbred.]

  • bfancher

    Yes, well, reasonable people may disagree, preferably without resorting to insults. Unfortunately, too many on the Left have been seduced into believing that anyone who disagrees with them is stupid, dishonest or crazy (or all three). This mindset allows them to demonize dissenters and ignore any facts, evidence or arguments that contradicts their positions, while at the same time thinking of themselves as open-minded, well-informed and tolerant. That’s not reason, it’s religion.

  • arlix

    When I saw the lady that was supposed to be the chief designer of the product I knew that things went terribly wrong wrong wrong with Windows7. Girls as corporate spokespersons = FUBAR

  • snookie

    “Either you meant Ron Paul or maybe the Teleprompter, because unless you’ve been under a rock, it’s pretty well known that our current president is about as inarticulate on his own as our last one was. Not being a hater, just stating the facts.”

    No your not being a hater you are being an idiot. Telemprompter…what an ass. think for yourself instead of regurgitating Faux News, Beck and that hypocrite Limbaugh.

    I’ll pretend you really believe this teleprompter foolishness for a minute. if you watch the news, at all, or watched the campaign, at all you would see many, many example of Obama’s intelligence and speaking ability. Like when he wiped the floor with McCain during the debates. That you claim otherwise says a lot about you none of which is good. Either you are stupid, delusional, a liar, or all three.

  • snookie

    Oh yes bfancher because if its one thing that Republicans are its victims. Poor little things. Did we make you feel bad? Awww.

  • snookie

    As to Linux, it is quite popular these days as a server OS in corporations. I have architected some very large Red Hat environments in quite a few well known companies. At some point it would be really nice to extend Linux to corporate desktops. As you say the Linux desktop is fragmented so they are their own worst enemy much like the mainstream Unix vendors were for years. Now Linux is eating their lunch. the other thing holding Linux back on the desktop is the Outlook/Exchange hegemony to which you can add Sharepoint in a lot of cases. All three of those suck hard. I’ve done very large architectures in all three for years and its just awful crappy software in every possible way. The things you have to do to get exchange to scale and remain stable are way out of bounds but it is the corporate standard for e-mail and scheduling. The only real competition it ever had is Lotus Notes which is even worse. On the bright side I do see some well known companies offering their IT Architects MacBook Pro’s if they want them. Cisco, oracle, Motorola and some other companies I have consulted with offer this option and it has been very well received.

  • bfancher

    > Oh yes bfancher because if its one thing that Republicans are its victims. Poor little things. Did we make you feel bad? Awww.

    It makes me sad to be reminded that so many people are so steeped in anger and hatred that they’re unable to think rationally or see those that disagree with them as human beings. The only victim of your hatred is you.

    Who said anything about being a Republican?

  • snookie

    SteveS
    Either you have not been in IT very long or you don’t know as much about NT as you say you do. Microsoft made a big friggin deal about Unix compatibility, being Posix compatible, and even buying a company so that NT could run Unix command line tools. Look it up. Corporations are not moving to Vista because it offers no advantage over the archaic Xp OS yet consumes far more resources. So new hardware, operation support tools, and user training, all of which is very expensive is seen as having no business value and therefore not worth doing. Interestingly enough the interest in Windows 7 by corporations is also very low at this point which is a serious problem for Microsoft. they don’t care how many bloggers or teenagers with their Dells playing games buy Windows 7. It’s nothing compared to large scale corporate adoption. I see the dingbat Army is moving to Vista but hey I was in the Marines so I guess I’m not surprised.

    hey beanie…Zune HD looks like its going to be a hit? Do you have a crystal ball because noone knows what the new Zune will be, it’s not out yet yet you say looks like a hit. Right. For the record and the too young to know this would be the 3rd or fourth time Microsoft has tried to combine, music, games and entertainment and they have failed every time. Each time they left the earlier adopters stuck. Maybe you say XBox has been a success? Well no because Microsoft has actually lost money on it. Microsoft will have to radically change how they view consumers, development, manufacturing, support, and licensing to get anywhere close to Apple. instead they are creating even bigger armies of developers wherever they can get them for the lowest dollar. So we will have even more management and development by committee. All you get from this kind of organization is mediocrity and lowest common denominator products.

    As to Wal-mart how anyone can defend or be offended by negative comments about Wal-Mart is beyond me. You apparently know nothing about their business practices and the way they treat employees. Oh yes they make money but they spread disaster and ruin in their wake. How many Wal-Mart full time employees have to get public benefits because they don’t make enough money to pay for the shitty insurance Wal-Mart offers a handful of them? Sound good to you? How about paying themselves rent for their stores and writing it off on their taxes? Or are you the type that prefers socialism for big corporations put pure capitalism for the employees?

  • snookie

    Windows Services for Unix
    http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/interopmigration/bb380242.aspx

    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/323952
    File Format Compatibility
    You can transfer most binary-format files from UNIX to Windows without modification. Binary compatibility is the responsibility of the program. For example, graphics files, movies, and other binary data files are the same on both platforms. Binary executables are not transferable.

    For text-format files, UNIX uses a linefeed character to end each line in the file, but Windows uses a carriage-return and linefeed-character sequence to end each line. This difference may cause problems in the following files:
    Text-based data files.
    Script files for Perl, Python, or other languages.
    HTML files are not affected because browsers ignore line termination.

    Programming Language Support
    Windows supports C, C++, and Java languages directly or by means of Microsoft Visual Studio. Java-based programs do not require any modifications. You have to rewrite programs that are written in C and C++ if the programs use libraries other than the standard C and C++ versions. There are also versions of Perl, Python, PHP, and other languages that are available for Windows and that work for most scripts.

    Networking Support
    Windows 2000 supports the BSD networking standard. Because of this, you can use standard TCP/IP networking principles. Windows 2000 also supports standard UNIX services such as DNS, DHCP, HTTP, FTP, and others.

    POSIX Compatibility
    Windows 2000 is compliant with the POSIX 1003.1 standard. It is not compliant with the later POSIX 1003.2 standard.

    Interoperability Support
    The Microsoft Services for UNIX product incorporates many tools and utilities that you can use to migrate between the two platforms. These tools and utilities also act as conduits between the platforms during general use. The Windows Services for UNIX product also includes an NFS client and server, user and group data conduits that you can use to share information between UNIX and Windows computers, and tools that you can use to migrate authentication and permission data.

  • bornonjuly4

    @ snookie – I am sick and tired of people blaming Walmart as if they are the champion of the workers. For a second if you step aside from that mentality and analyze Walmart as a business (in pure Adam Smith sense), they do what they are supposed to do as a corporation. It is a well known fact that even in this recession WalMart puts more affordable food in the table for a lot of people who can afford it due to their low prices.

    Come down from your ivory tower. This just not a black or white issue. There are shades of gray which need to be considered. Yes, Walmart is known for their strong arm twisting techniques with their suppliers and paying the minimum wage for their workers. If that reduces their overall prices so more people can afford their products so be it.

  • bornonjuly4

    And for crying out loud this was supposed to be a technology thread where people discuss about the merits of two upcoming OS’s. This has become a flaming board for repubs/dems!

  • enzos

    BoJ4: There’s only so many ways of saying that Apples are good for you and that Piece of Craps should stay in the WC. A bit of politics generates postings, and sometimes people remember what the thread is about.

    As an outsider to the world’s greatest plutocracy, I find the juvenile political blathering of otherwise intelligent Americans a bit baffling.. but you know what they say about arseholes and opinions…

    scatologically
    Enz

  • Joel

    Exactly. IMO there needed to be more moderation for this topic…

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  • gunjin

    Just a couple a brief points since I don’t really want to get bogged down in a debate of which software/hardware developer is better than the other.

    1 – IT “drones” as you put it, love Microsoft because it keeps us employed, driving the economy and giving license to companies like Apple to do what they will in a niche market. I suppose somebody has to be the mediocre giant.

    2 – I happen to agree with the point made about Microsoft lacking innovation. Think bing.com, Live Search, etc.

    3 – I’m certainly not a Microsoft fanboy, by the way. I can’t wait for platform independence to become a widespread reality. To pre-qualify, I am new to your postings and have read only one. Based on the tone of your article, I can see why people think you are a biased Apple fanboy. A truly objective article would point out the pros and cons of each platform and let the readers decide. Instead you choose the diatribe method and hammer away at the flaws of one of the most successful companies in the world without comparing them to how Apple successfully resolved the same issues. To get to my point: I don’t recall seeing anything about Xerox in this latest article while you hammered away at Microsoft for attempting to “clone” Apple’s GUI. If you are thinking, “What the heck does Xerox have to do with Microsoft and Apple?” it’s time to do some homework.

  • http://crankyoldnutcase.blogspot.com/ The Mad Hatter

    gunjin { 08.18.09 at 8:44 pm }

    Just a couple a brief points since I don’t really want to get bogged down in a debate of which software/hardware developer is better than the other.

    1 – IT “drones” as you put it, love Microsoft because it keeps us employed, driving the economy and giving license to companies like Apple to do what they will in a niche market. I suppose somebody has to be the mediocre giant.

    Curious. The IT people I know hate Microsoft with a passion. If you work in IT, you’re a newbie.

    2 – I happen to agree with the point made about Microsoft lacking innovation. Think bing.com, Live Search, etc.

    3 – I’m certainly not a Microsoft fanboy, by the way. I can’t wait for platform independence to become a widespread reality. To pre-qualify, I am new to your postings and have read only one. Based on the tone of your article, I can see why people think you are a biased Apple fanboy. A truly objective article would point out the pros and cons of each platform and let the readers decide. Instead you choose the diatribe method and hammer away at the flaws of one of the most successful companies in the world without comparing them to how Apple successfully resolved the same issues. To get to my point: I don’t recall seeing anything about Xerox in this latest article while you hammered away at Microsoft for attempting to “clone” Apple’s GUI. If you are thinking, “What the heck does Xerox have to do with Microsoft and Apple?” it’s time to do some homework.

    I can understand why Daniel doesn’t mention any of the pros of Microsoft Windows. There aren’t any.

    Just like Microsoft isn’t a successful company. Consider Honda. Honda has a lot of loyal buyers, because they make a damned good product, whether it’s motorcycles, cars, or ATVs. Taylor has a lot of loyal customers, they make damned good guitars, as does Gibson, and Fender. Unlike those companies, and Apple, Microsoft doesn’t have loyal customers. To make customers loyal you have to produce a great product. Microsoft can’t do that.

    Oh sure, they’ve made a lot of money over the last 20-30 years. But if you don’t produce a product that your customers want, well, you can’t expect to survive long.

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