Partners Face Challenges with Vista

Kachina Shaw

Please stick to at least a neutral tone when it comes to Vista, some Microsoft channel partners are saying this week. A CRN article yesterday reports that some partners are feeling the pressure of supporting and selling Vista to their customers against a backdrop of negative, or at least confusing, statements out of Redmond, such as Steve Ballmer's comment that Vista is "a work in progress."


But it seems that the bigger problem for these partners is the actions of manufacturers such as Dell, HP and Lenovo, who all say they will offer "downgrades" to XP on certain systems beyond the June 30 cut-off date for the operating system. Ballmer was not necessarily saying anything shocking -- it's not news that Vista is a work in progress, but his every word is overly parsed for meaning. If the statement makes partners nervous, they shouldn't call more attention to it.


With these three computer makers easing the way back to XP for some customers, the bump that the release of Vista SP1 was expected to give to the struggling OS may flatten, no matter what comments Ballmer may let slip.

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Apr 30, 2008 11:26 AM Ralph Stoos Ralph Stoos  says:
I think the fact that Micro$oft is extending the "death" date of XP is a great indicator that Ballmer merely states the obvious.This has no effect on me as I have not used anything Microsoft in ten years. It does very much effect the hardware OEMs that try to provide (and whose reputations rely on) an OS when selling laptops or desktops/server. Because MS shipped beta code, they now must allow their customer to buy yesterdays news for their system that MS can abandon at any time, and then they will have to provide "the latest stuff" for cost+. Oh yeah, add in that the Vista compatible logo means nothing (unless you are very tech savvy) and you have something with a very diminished value. I too am a Microsoft Hardliner. I will never again pay money to "rent" the OS and have to wait for bug fixes while the OS reports back to the mothership my "service information". The ONLY reason MS is not losing marketshare faster is that the Office apps and Visual Basic has companies locked in because rework is expensive.Microsoft hasn't innovated ANYTHING since Windows 95. All since has been propelled by other technology (Integrated TCP/IP stack, USB, USB2, FireWire, Web Standards, Media trends, etc.)The smart people of EU are spanking MS for their horrific lack of ethics. More power to them.Open Source is the only and best answer to true computer freedom.Intelligent Arguements accepted, all others, don't waste your time or keyboard.Ralph Reply
May 6, 2008 12:13 PM mark schneider mark schneider  says:
While I admit from a PR point of view Vista has been a debacle. As an end user who has been using Vista for a little over a year I'm actually quite pleased. By building my own desktop for home and carefully picking an OEM for my laptop I haven't experienced any major problems. When servicing Vista machines I find that much of the problem is the OEM's themselves. I've seen machines running 1-2 year old technology, poor drivers, and a load of trialware that was installed at the factory making the computing experience miserable. When you take a low powered processor, integrated graphics, and 1GB of ram forget it, it will leave the user miserable, blaming Microsoft when in fact the OEM built a machine that was doomed from the get go. Although by downloading the latest drivers, uninstalling all the trialware and adding 2Gb's of ram will dramatically improve almost all these machines it's frequently the less knowledgeable user who buys the discount computer, and is also the least likely to know how to deal with it. Reply

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