Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 3rd Apr 2008 22:40 UTC
Windows Microsoft will shutter its Windows XP line June 30, as planned, ceasing sales of Windows XP Professional and Windows XP Home to retailers and direct OEMs, Microsoft confirmed to eWEEK April 3. The statement from Redmond executives ends weeks of speculation that Microsoft would extend the life of the operating system as users turn up their nose at Vista, the operating system meant to supplant XP, and OEMs argue lighter versions of desktops and notebooks don't have the juice to run Vista.
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Not quite
by zugu on Fri 4th Apr 2008 13:15 UTC
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I won't argue, Vista is a pig and MS should not have released it. Should I ever be forced to switch from XP to Vista, I would choose the most basic version, as none of the features in the more expensive versions are a real need to me - besides, most of them can be emulated with third party software (drive encryption, remote desktop etc).

But here comes the fun part: since MS has a 95% market share, they can do as they please without jeopardizing their position. Who cares if Vista is awful? People will adopt it, just like they did in the 2000 to XP transition. The switch might be slower than the last time, but it's taking place, nonetheless. I pity the zealots who think otherwise.

However, I can't say the free software world is able to offer real alternatives. Linux-based operating systems are a mess. With 1 or 2 releases per year, bugs are getting fixed and a shitload of other bugs emerge. Most popular distros don't give a damn about LSB. People are spending more time looking for support on forums and following third-party tutorials found on God-forsaken blogs than actually USING their machines. BSD couldn't care less about the desktop. Source patches and updates at the end of the first decade on the 21st century? They must be crazy. And no, PC-BSD, although admirable for its PBI effort, is the same as any other binary Linux distro.

People don't have time to tinker with their machines!

The hardware support on Linux is not on par.

The Linux counterparts of Windows applications are not quite the same and and thus have a learning curve, no matter how small.

All this requires time by default, a resource that a lot of people cannot afford to lose.

Backwards compatibility is a no-no for FOSS programmers, they always focus on the latest version and since backporting fixes and features is a difficult task, few take on the job. Thus we have 2 versions of the same operating system, released no more than 6 months apart - yet they are not backwards compatible with each other. I know that focusing on the latest and greatest means progress, but what about what is left behind? Everyone wants to be in the spotlight since that's where interesting things happen. "If it doesn't work upgrade to the latest version / compile against the latest version of library xyz". OK, progress is good, but what about stability? Programmers that code for money are compelled to do the dirty work of backporting, it's their job - hence the versatility of Windows.

I'm sick of 6 months "good enough" OSes. In 6 years of Windows XP, I installed whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. In Debian or Ubuntu, there's no official way of upgrading Firefox or, because it would break the whole goddamn apt-get ecosystem. What use is such a fragile OS that forces me to go through the pain of upgrading every 6 months? This sucks badger wiener! Users can't be bothered to upgrade, they're used to buy an OS, install it and never look back. Look at how reticent are people when it comes to upgrading to Vista - same happened with 98/2k and 2k/XP - and you want them to do the "distribution dance" every 6 months? Dudes, just because you have the time to tinker with your boxes, or just because this is a hobby of yours, it is NOT for most of the rest of the world.

The word of the day is CONVENIENCE. People are able to put up with the feces flung by MS because no matter what they do, they offer a CONVENIENT operating system. DRM, bloat, high requirements and other crap are overlooked, because of the CONVENIENCE offered by Windows. There's a balance in all this and MS is smart enough to keep it. The day when Windows will offer less than the annoyances, bad design decisions and bloat it provides, is going to be the day its competitors win. Otherwise it will be Good Enoughâ„¢ for most people.

I'm not here to insult people or to troll. I am sure there are people who use Linux or BSD and couldn't care less about the Windows world since their OS of choice provides everything they need. They also probably have the time and the necessary skills to set up such a system, and that's cool.

But deluding yourselves that Joe Sixpack users are going to:
- compile things,
- apply source patches,
- willingly and constantly use the command line,
- read changelogs,
- put up with constant upgrades, bugs and regressions,
- spend countless hours on forums in search of a solution,
- give a damn about the UNIX file hierarchy or put up with the naming conventions in use,
- ask for Linux compatibility when they buy their hardware from Walmart,
- put up with Firefox/Flash crashing and freezing when it's smooth on Windows,
- abandon their games, whether they're GPU hogs or ActiveX controls embedded in a page

won't get you anywhere.

Edited 2008-04-04 13:19 UTC

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