Time to buy Vista and Office 2007 (and incompetent contractor)

Line up for IT Blogwatch, in which Microsoft releases Vista and Office for retail sale. Not to mention the incompetent contractor's note...

Martyn Williams is in Tokyo:

Hundreds of people braved chilly weather in Tokyo on Monday night and into the early hours of Tuesday to be among the first in the world to buy a retail copy of the Windows Vista operating system. Major electronics retailers across the city and specialist PC retailers in the electronics mecca of Akihabara were open at midnight to sell the first copies.

At Tsukumo Denki in Akihabara, a crowd of about 200 people had gathered by about 10 p.m. in anticipation of the launch. An equally large line of people waited at the nearby Yodobashi Camera store, which is Japan's largest electronics store. A couple of hundred people also waited outside Bic Camera in the Yurakucho district of Tokyo. Some were there to buy Vista; others appeared to be office workers on the way home who had stopped to take in the scene and watch the comedy duo the store had hired to entertain those waiting.

...

Japan got a head start on most of the rest of the world thanks to its position just three hours west of the international date line.

But Carol Sliwa strikes a note of caution:

Corporate users have had access to the new software since late November. But that early access isn’t translating into early deployments for most business customers ... In several cases, the reasons extend beyond the typical issues that delay major migrations. High-profile new features such as the volume-activation and product-validation tools in Vista and the dramatically different user interface in Office 2007 are causing some IT managers to think hard about their upgrade strategies.

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Other executives are struggling to find business drivers for migrations, especially if they haven’t bought into Software Assurance, the Microsoft maintenance program that entitles users to product upgrades ... Vista's ... Software Protection Platform technology, a set of built-in antipiracy and antitampering ... mechanisms, are making some customers uneasy.

Gasp! Mac cultist Leander Kahney likes Vista:

Macs are great machines for running Vista. They're new, they're fast and they exceed Vista’s demanding specs. They can even run OS X and Windows at the same time. For the last couple of weeks, I’ve been running Vista on a quad-Xeon Mac Pro ... a very fast and capable OS X machine, but it’s an even faster Windows Vista machine. Vista really flies on this beast, and feels like it’s faster than OS X – it boots faster, folders burst open and apps launch instantly.

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There’s a bunch of interface features I wish Apple would copy. Vista’s widgets, called “Gadgets,” are always on top – a vast improvement over having to hit a hotkey to see them. Vista’s icons are big and colorful, and frankly, a lot more logical and easy to read than some of OS X’s, like the intelligible iWeb icon.

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Thing is, after I got Vista set up, I’m like, what now? I noodled about a bit, but I’ve no real use for it. My entire computing life is already in OS X. The eye candy is nice, but I’m already committed. I guess that’s what a lot of Windows users think when they look at the Mac. Hopefully Vista is spurring Apple to reinvigorate the interface of OS X in Leopard.

Matt Buchanan watched BillG on The Daily Show:

If you were hoping that on The Daily Show last night Bill Gates would give you a compelling reason to rush out and buy Vista, then move along, cause there's nothing to see here. Overall, it was standard PR that sadly lacked in hilarity other than Jon Stewart asking if the beta version of Vista will make you sterile. I guess the answer depends on who you ask.

Sacha Lecca took photos in New York and Jen Chung wrote:

It's a new step in outdoor advertising: Have a big billboard, then wire dancers to get all Microsofty over it! We heard that there would be a special billboard today outside the Terminal Building on 11th Ave between 27th and 28th Streets, but we didn't know it was going to be this...well, Cirque du Soleil. The sixteen dancers were charged to "move across the exterior walls...to form the images of the Windows Vista and Windows Office icons."

Michael Geist squints at the fine print:

In the name of shielding consumers from computer viruses and protecting copyright owners from potential infringement, Vista seemingly wrestles control of the “user experience” from the user. Vista's legal fine print includes extensive provisions granting Microsoft the right to regularly check the legitimacy of the software and holds the prospect of deleting certain programs without the user's knowledge.

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The terms and conditions remove any doubt about who is in control by providing that "this agreement only gives you some rights to use the software. Microsoft reserves all other rights."

Frank Hayes notices something else:

There's some very interesting speculation on the future of Windows on Groklaw today. Microsoft has applied for a patent for a system to sell a minimal operating system, then deliver additional modules to add functionality, using digital rights management to control what modules can be added and by whom. It's pretty clearly the first draft for a subscription model for Windows home users.

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  • Will corporate IT shops have to depend on Microsoft for functionality such as VPNs and remote backup?
  • Is Microsoft simply giving up on the part of the market that might lean toward Linux?
  • Is the Xbox really the model for Microsoft's future?

Shark Bait denizens bite:

  • jaws: Seriously, how much hype can there really be about a product that no one is going to use for the next 3 years? I can't imagine many IT shops are prepared to make this upgrade nor have businesses budgeted what what is sure to be a high-cost, low-ROI software package.
  • SpawnyWhippet: After spending an hour or 6 optimising performance by turning off all the flashy interfaces and UAC etc, I can confidently report that my laptop now runs at 25% of the speed as when it had XP Pro and 2 years of junk cluttering it up. I'll be rolling back to XP next weekend.
  • benezzell: Does anyone remember DOS 4.0? ... Yeah, the "version" that was withdrawn after three days (and lasted on my computer for about three hours).

Buffer overflow:

Around the Net
Around Computerworld Previously in IT Blogwatch

And finally... The contractor who "foched up" [I think that's what he wrote] -- but at least he was inexpensive

Richi Jennings is an independent technology and marketing consultant, specializing in email, blogging, Linux, and computer security. A 20 year, cross-functional IT veteran, he is also an analyst at Ferris Research. Contact Richi at blogwatch@richi.co.uk.

Copyright © 2007 IDG Communications, Inc.

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