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Underwhelmed by Vista

As ever, the Microsoft PR machine steadily built up to full steam in time for the Windows Vista launch in January, but the question I keep asking myself is 'What happened to everything else?'. My wife and I caught one of the TV commercials and she asked me what the big deal was with Vista and after a few moments thought I admitted defeat and told her I didn't know. The fact that, in writing these words, I had do some research first maybe tells part of the story.

The Vista homepage tells me that the 'Wow' starts now. Vista, it tells me, is easier, safer, more entertaining and better connected. Than what, I ask? Windows XP or Mac OS/X? And as I walk through the simple, functional demos online, my suspicions are realised. This is a software release designed primarily to appeal to those home PC users who may be tempted by the funky, fun and entertaining OS/X that runs on the iMac, or at least that is the feeling I have taken from this site.

Now let's get back to the PR. This is where Microsoft are at their slickest, with worldwide TV news and business news coverage around the clock on the day of launch. The Microsoft brand is as powerful as it gets and the world wants to listen and, as ever, we did. But the online IT communities quickly launched their own counter-PR and exposed the now ubiquitous flaws in new Microsoft operating systems. These are powerful groups of people who need to be won over before any launch. And then came a story almost as big as the Vista launch itself - the potential incompatibility with iTunes - the message being 'don't upgrade to Vista until they fix the iTunes problem'. Oh dear.

There is no doubt that Vista will continue Microsoft's domination of the personal computer market. But unfortunately the 'Wow' belonged to Apple a couple of years ago.

 

As ever, the Microsoft PR machine steadily built up to full steam in time for the Windows Vista launch in January, but the question I keep asking myself is 'What happened to everything else?'. My wife and I caught one of the TV commercials and she asked me what the big deal was with Vista and after a few moments thought I admitted defeat and told her I didn't know. The fact that, in writing these words, I had do some research first maybe tells part of the story.

The Vista homepage tells me that the 'Wow' starts now. Vista, it tells me, is easier, safer, more entertaining and better connected. Than what, I ask? Windows XP or Mac OS/X? And as I walk through the simple, functional demos online, my suspicions are realised. This is a software release designed primarily to appeal to those home PC users who may be tempted by the funky, fun and entertaining OS/X that runs on the iMac, or at least that is the feeling I have taken from this site.

Now let's get back to the PR. This is where Microsoft are at their slickest, with worldwide TV news and business news coverage around the clock on the day of launch. The Microsoft brand is as powerful as it gets and the world wants to listen and, as ever, we did. But the online IT communities quickly launched their own counter-PR and exposed the now ubiquitous flaws in new Microsoft operating systems. These are powerful groups of people who need to be won over before any launch. And then came a story almost as big as the Vista launch itself - the potential incompatibility with iTunes - the message being 'don't upgrade to Vista until they fix the iTunes problem'. Oh dear.

There is no doubt that Vista will continue Microsoft's domination of the personal computer market. But unfortunately the 'Wow' belonged to Apple a couple of years ago.