Longhorn and Microsoft

Julian Bond thinks that Longhorn (Vista) will be the end of Microsoft.

Well I’m reading more and more about how Intel and Microsoft in conjunction with the hardware manufacturers will be bolting DRM in various forms right in the middle of the OS. I’m reading about how I won’t be able to do what I want to do. The only reason I stay with XP is because so much software appears on XP first, Apple later and if you’re lucky and Linux hardly at all. But if significant software I want to run is prevented from running, It’s finally going to tip me over the edge to switch.

The other side to this is that MS is getting into the classic big software project mentality. Whatever the bug or feature is, it will be fixed in the version that comes out with Longhorn. Because all the software is so intimately tied to the OS, there’s come a point where they can no longer ship each individual piece early and often. Everything has to wait for the big release. And that big release therefore ends up being vast and untestable. And late.

Now it looks like I’m going to be due a machine upgrade round about the time of the Longhorn release. And by chance that coincides with when Apple-Intel laptops should be available. So finally I’m being forced into making a choice that I otherwise could have put off for a bit longer. Will I stay with MS for another cycle or is this the time I jump ship? Will all the endless annoyances of windows being added to by another load of DRM and control finally tip me over the edge?

I think I’m not alone in this. A Unix based OS with a pretty face, stable drivers, and easy access to all that OSS feels awfully attractive. Just maybe a Linux distro will be as good as Mac OSX but I kind of doubt it.

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Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.