What Microsoft needs to do about Windows
Sunday, Nov 30 2008 09:02 | Technology
So, recently I got a new computer at work. It's not really new - the hardware is a year old, but it's new to me. I asked for Vista on it since I was using Vista before on my aging Dell GX270. All I have to say is WOW. It makes such a difference to run Vista on capable hardware. I had no problems with vista on my aging GX270, even though boot-up was slow so I was not a hater.
Thinking about Vista's problems, here is what I think Microsoft should do with Windows 7
1. Vista is partly a PR problem. People think it sucks because people are running it on inferior hardware. Those people talk, and influence the thought of others. The stupid "I am a PC ads" don't work. They are...well...stupid! I think the Seinfeld+Gates ads were AWESOME! Get some better ads, bring back Seinfeld.
2. Get rid of legacy shit and let people know that you are doing so! Look at Apple. They buried MacOS 9. They made a mostly compatible layer called classic and shipped it with all PowerPC machines. Now with the Intel transition MacOS 9 is gone. Microsoft needs to get rid of Windows 3.x and 9x underpinnings. Make a separate sandbox for the old 3.x and 9x based apps, and let people know, given them a firm date on when you are stopping support. Work with your developers to make the transition smooth. People who need those old apps will still run XP but at least they won't badmouth your product.
3. Be more ridgid on what runs windows! Again, look at what Apple does. No need to support a million configurations, and no need to support el cheapo $500 PCs with Vista. Force manufacturers to get rid of those crapola cheap PCs and design an experience just like apple does. There is no need for experience and utility to be separate and mutually exclusive entities.
4. If you REALLY need to have cheap PCs and webtops running Vista,build a microPC version of Windows that runs MOST programs. Dont taint windows's name my trying to make it all things to all people. Look at the various linux webtops like the eeePC. Their version of the OS is not the same as one you would find on the desktop and for good reason. Maybe you could assist your developers to create those webtop versions and have a way of marketing that it works with Windows-the-desktop-version and Windows-the-webtop-version.
5. Other people have said this, maybe this time you will listen. Get rid of those stupid and artificial distinctions between home basic, home premium, business and ultimate. Your BASIC BASIC sucks and it's more expensive than MacOS X (os x being $129 and home basic being $200). Just give everyone the Ultimate experience at the same Apple price of $129! If everyone has the same experience, everyone has the same basis for comparison. There should only be three versions of Windows: Server, Desktop (aka Vista/7 Ultimate) and Webtop.
Thus concludes my advice to Microsoft. Now go forth and stop shooting yourselves on the foot!