Microsoft Repeats The Broken Windows Fallacy

from the come-again dept

Back in September, we noted that Microsoft had commissioned a study that tried to demonstrate how much of a boon the release of Vista would be to the European economy. The company bragged about the thousand of IT jobs that would be "created" due to people working on Vista installations. Of course, this was precisely the opposite of what the company should be touting. It would be far more impressive if they could anticipate how many existing positions in IT could be eliminated, freeing up workers to do jobs that produce more value than installing an operating system. Well, it sounds like the US is in for even more fun once Vista is released here. The company says it will create 100,000 jobs, and $70 billion worth of business. Put another way, companies will have to bring on 100,000 more people and spend another $70 billion to deal with the launch, if the figures are accurate. Why are they bragging about this again?


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    jeff, Dec 11th, 2006 @ 9:23pm

    ..

    they're bragging about it because they get to say "heh, we'll make a whoooole lotta money off of you fuckin' suckers and we'll create a lotta temporary jobs leading to a lotta people being laid off in a few months, and no one will do anything about it, fuck you, you owe us 600 dollars"

     

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    Steak, Dec 11th, 2006 @ 9:38pm

    I seem to remember...

    I remember an interview with bill gates yammering on about Office being the most used application software and saying something along the lines of "any improvement is a really big thing". I'm sure some of this (probably fictional/inflated) $70 billion is actual increased productivity of workers. M$ seems to be claiming that their "ribbon interface" on Office 12 is a sizable reduction in number of clicks. Personally, I am unimpressed with it for my $350. I predict they are going to run into some serious problems convincing people they need to continually buy new software to do old tasks.
    Hell, I didn't see any huge advantage to switching over to Windows 2000, save some disk capacity limitations, and the fact that ME and 98 were horridly bug-ridden. To this day I don't even know why I went over to XP... certainly wasn't a huge step up, save for prettier graphics.
    Now, I'm supposed to crank out $200 for Vista? Check that, $300 or more if I want to put it on a virtual machine. Maybe at home, but only because they're not supporting DX10 in XP. At work? Why do I need a brand new OS (and new hardware to run the bloated OS) to run my excel files?
    I think Vista is destined to be as much of an XP-killer as the Zune was an iPod killer. The IT industry will not see many jobs created, it will see a lot of pissed off IT workers, longer lines for support, and pissed off employees. For the few who choose to upgrade.

     

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      Mattb, Dec 12th, 2006 @ 6:46am

      Re: I seem to remember...

      I think Vista will succeed just like XP eventually. XP started out slow and gathered steam as it. Vista will come on all new Windoze PCs starting sometime in January. More applications will getter written to it. Microsoft and others will slowly reduce support for the older operating systems, including those critical updates that are constantly coming through. I'm running Vista on my main PC (granted I paid nothing for it since I have a MSDN license), and like it much better than XP, though it does have some annoying quirks.

      Not sure if Office 2k7 will work out. Since 2000, MS has come out with Office 2000, 2002, 2003, and now 2007. Why so many versions- just hoping people will upgrade more and more and feed their cash cow. It's ridiculous. I, myself, don't like the new ribbon bar, I'll stick with Office 2000.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 11th, 2006 @ 9:38pm

    The only fallacy here is the assumption that progress can be made with no investment in time and money. The

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 11th, 2006 @ 9:38pm

    The only fallacy here is the assumption that progress can be made with no investment in time and money. The

     

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    SimplyGimp, Dec 11th, 2006 @ 10:04pm

    MS also said...

    If I recall, MS also stated that their Vista OS would be hard to pirate. Well, as of this week, pirates have released a permanent activation server using a VMware virtual image that allows anyone with the new Enterprise editions to activate without the use of MS servers.

    WAY TO GO MS!

     

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    Ramon, Dec 11th, 2006 @ 10:51pm

    Time for open source!

    Why not put some of the 100k jobs and $70billion in business toward implimintation of open source platforms. I think some fraction of the business world will be inspired to go Linux/Open Office, particularly in Europe where they seem more sensitive to the bulk of money being sent over the pond to Redmond for little more additional features. Of course we can hope it inspires people to go Apple.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Dec 11th, 2006 @ 11:26pm

      Re: Time for open source!

      ...hope it inspires people to go Apple.

      For God's sake man! Apple isn't any better than M$! I use both OS X and XP extensively every day in my line of work and all the fanboys out there on both sides have their heads up their dirty asses.

      Windows is good for some things. OS X is good for some things - neither can replace the other (thank God, we need more competition here) and to hell with S.Jobs. Apple is just as big a money grubbing machine as M$ - the only difference is M$ is on top at the moment. Anyone who thinks Apple would be a "kinder, gentler corporate overlord" is fucking nuts.

      If ANYTHING hope it inspires people to go OPEN SOURCE - and if I have to explain that one you haven't been paying attention to anything tech.

       

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    Austin, Dec 11th, 2006 @ 11:09pm

    Spin

    Because it's going to happen anyway, so they might as well spin it in their favor.

     

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    one man, Dec 11th, 2006 @ 11:43pm

    good luck getting a cablecard to work on anything

    vista may be a PITA, but good luck getting a cablecard working on any other pc. Point it out, if you have any better ideas...

     

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    Justin, Dec 12th, 2006 @ 12:13am

    Vista...

    Sure, you can go open source ... get live support? doubtful, might get some a$$hole on IRC saying how he is "more better" then you because he rolled a 27 in dungeons and dragons, knows all the linux shell commands by heart ... and since you don't know the proper command, yet alone the posix syntax ... all the man pages/support pages are written by a bunch of geeks that don't invest any time into anything user-friendly and assume you are an expert at the OS already. Yeah, it gets easier over time ... but very intimidating at first.

    Sorry, all the NIX OS's are nice, but I'd pay the money for Vista, the support and the evolving technology that is being pushed out of Redmond. The company is trying to open up to open source because they are realizing it's a real threat to their lead... whether they actually embrace it fully and take the right direction meaning I get to keep my job... who knows...

    Macs IMHO are equivalent to the metro sexual male in today's society ... pretty, yet useless ... not to mention your hosed if something goes wrong. How the hell am I suppose to remember apple-c,b too boot ... or whatever the hell it is. Go web-design, Photoshop ... and now your dual boot of vista. =P

     

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      Dave Lynch, Dec 12th, 2006 @ 2:23am

      Re: Vista...

      Huh ? Have you ever tried M$ support ? Whether it is Linux, Windows or whatever, Google is my first (and second, and ...) line of support. If you can't figure out how to google the answers to your questions, Vista live support (or any other) is going to be useless anyway.
      Their are idiots offering stupid advice for free regardless of the OS. I have received plenty of really really stupid windows advice. There are also very capable people providing quality advice and decent assistance - free, regardless of the OS. I am fairly fluent with Linux and I can read a man page - I would point out there is no real Windows equivalent. But you can pick up any of about a dozen Linux live CD's boot them up and barely know you are not running windows, and never read a man page. On many you can add a USB flash disk, and go anywhere with the Live CD and flash disk, and boot up your work on anyone else's system - without effecting their system at all. Make the flash drive large enough and you can skip the CD.
      I beleive there are a few pirate windows live CD's but microsoft doesn't offer anything vaguely similar.

       

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      Dave Lynch, Dec 12th, 2006 @ 2:23am

      Re: Vista...

      Huh ? Have you ever tried M$ support ? Whether it is Linux, Windows or whatever, Google is my first (and second, and ...) line of support. If you can't figure out how to google the answers to your questions, Vista live support (or any other) is going to be useless anyway.
      Their are idiots offering stupid advice for free regardless of the OS. I have received plenty of really really stupid windows advice. There are also very capable people providing quality advice and decent assistance - free, regardless of the OS. I am fairly fluent with Linux and I can read a man page - I would point out there is no real Windows equivalent. But you can pick up any of about a dozen Linux live CD's boot them up and barely know you are not running windows, and never read a man page. On many you can add a USB flash disk, and go anywhere with the Live CD and flash disk, and boot up your work on anyone else's system - without effecting their system at all. Make the flash drive large enough and you can skip the CD.
      I beleive there are a few pirate windows live CD's but microsoft doesn't offer anything vaguely similar.

       

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    Just me, Dec 12th, 2006 @ 1:12am

    Why should one purchase Vista? Is it because they say it is more secure? well, that is what they said when they released Windows XP...but guess what, it was not very secure after all.


    As for the number of job forecasts etc...well, it is a report which has been commissioned by MS and by the sounds of it...I have a feeling that it has more to do with encouraging investors to invest in MS products than to do with the product itself.

     

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    George, Dec 12th, 2006 @ 3:41am

    You are all fucking nuts, except one guy up here. I cannot fathom how the hell you can reason that going open source would be better than using a fully supported, stable OS. The amount of money required to move to vista would be FAR less than that required to go open source, as linux requires a shitton of extra IT staff, not to mention the heavy retraining it would require. The move to Vista from XP is minimal in complications. Any business complaining of high retraining costs must have absolute retards working for them, as no retraining is required at all. For Office 2007, give the staff a day off with a worksheet of activities to complete and bang, they can now use the ribbon interface. I've been using it for months now, and its a HUGE improvement over endless menus.

    It is undeniably pathetic how unintuitive some workers are these days, with the large retraining required of workforces. The interface is so easy to learn for both vista and office 2007, that i'm surprised there are complaints at all. Hell, everyone should be praising MS for the work and time they've spent researching and developing this new system.

    It fucking infuriates me when faggots like you lot pull out the 'oh liunx si coelre casue ist OEPN SUORCE!!!!111'. Put down your fucking white flag and go and buy vista.

     

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      ConceptJunkie (profile), Dec 12th, 2006 @ 6:26am

      Re:

      Wow! Forget your meds today?

      Everyone around here seems to forget that there are a lot of companies that provide enterprise support for Linux, including RedHat (it's their primary source of revenue), IBM, and a whole bunch of others I don't even know about.

      Switching to Linux does not mean you are faced with only "informal" tech support on the Web (which is usually pretty darn good from my experience), it simply means you pay for a support contract with one of the companies that provide it, and you still are much better off financially.

      As has been stated many times, Linux isn't going to replace the Windows desktop for the average user... yet. But it could for a reasonably motivated user, and I would seriously look at it for the server room (The idea of running Exchange scares the crap out of me... on the other hand, I've had good experience with SQL Server).

      But if you guys would rather sit around and call each other rude names like a bunch of eighth-graders, by all means, don't let me stop you.

      p.s. I just switched to Ubuntu on my primary home machine. My 13th Level Fighter will totally kick your butt, so I am the supreme Linux h4x0r!

       

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      StuJ, Dec 12th, 2006 @ 7:31am

      Re:

      fully supported, stable OS Stable? Windows has crashed on me more times than i can remember. the major problem is lazy driver writers and hardware incompatibilities. sure, its not microsofts fault, but you never find these problems open source The amount of money required to move to vista would be FAR less than that required to go open source Vista = $500? plus new hardware to support the bloat. Open source = Free. works on anything. yes, ANYTHING if you're a small business with a handful of PC's, you're forking out too much for a flashy interface and "ribbons". That much could be saved and spent on a few hours of training. its not brain surgery learning Linux, i'm only 18 and i got a fairly good grasp in a few hours, just from my own experimentation! Any business complaining of high retraining costs must have absolute retards working for them, as no retraining is required at all. For Office 2007, give the staff a day off with a worksheet of activities to complete A whole day of lost revenue? yea, go tell that to any business and you'll get the reason why its never done. I've been using it for months now, and its a HUGE improvement over endless menus. thats your opinion. It fucking infuriates me when faggots like you lot pull out the 'oh liunx si coelre casue ist OEPN SUORCE!!!!111'. Put down your fucking white flag and go and buy vista. because we're actually commited enough to trying something new and intuitive, rather than paying for the same old stuff with a frosted pane infront of it? I've been using Ubuntu for a few months now (on a Dual boot system with XP.). i'm certainly not upgrading to Vista, and if i had it my way, i'd have the PC as a linux machine.

       

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      StuJ, Dec 12th, 2006 @ 7:32am

      Re:

      fully supported, stable OS

      Stable? Windows has crashed on me more times than i can remember. the major problem is lazy driver writers and hardware incompatibilities. sure, its not microsofts fault, but you never find these problems open source

      The amount of money required to move to vista would be FAR less than that required to go open source

      Vista = $500? plus new hardware to support the bloat. Open source = Free. works on anything. yes, ANYTHING

      if you're a small business with a handful of PC's, you're forking out too much for a flashy interface and "ribbons". That much could be saved and spent on a few hours of training. its not brain surgery learning Linux, i'm only 18 and i got a fairly good grasp in a few hours, just from my own experimentation!

      Any business complaining of high retraining costs must have absolute retards working for them, as no retraining is required at all. For Office 2007, give the staff a day off with a worksheet of activities to complete

      A whole day of lost revenue? yea, go tell that to any business and you'll get the reason why its never done.

      I've been using it for months now, and its a HUGE improvement over endless menus.

      thats your opinion.

      It fucking infuriates me when faggots like you lot pull out the 'oh liunx si coelre casue ist OEPN SUORCE!!!!111'. Put down your fucking white flag and go and buy vista.

      because we're actually commited enough to trying something new and intuitive, rather than paying for the same old stuff with a frosted pane infront of it?

      I've been using Ubuntu for a few months now (on a Dual boot system with XP.). i'm certainly not upgrading to Vista, and if i had it my way, i'd have the PC as a linux machine.

      sorry, repost!

       

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      eb, Dec 12th, 2006 @ 7:53am

      Re:

      You need to get a life and/or increase your meds. Geez, talk about overreaction.

       

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    George, Dec 12th, 2006 @ 3:44am

    Also one more thing i'd like to say.

    Those of you who say that since the move from 2000 to XP wasn't secure, then this won't be, THINK AGAIN FUCKHEAD.

    XP is a gargantuan improvement over 2000, where the fuck have you been living? The story is that hackers evolve you idiots, and with it the OS evolves too, hence the service packs. Microsoft hasn't spent the last ten years with their thumbs up their asses like the linux/apple crowd, they've been working.

     

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      The infamous Joe, Dec 12th, 2006 @ 4:10am

      Re:

      Georgie-boy, you've got quite a potty-mouth, and a North Dakota-sized chip on your shoulder.

      Don't get me wrong, I'm a windows-or-die kind of boy myself-- but there's a right way to make a point and a wrong way. Calling people names doesn't make them pay attention to your opinion, it makes them wonder why a 9 year old is on his parents computer unsuvervised, if you get my drift.

      ...and, it's my opinion that you may feel a bit too strongly about your operating system. It's just software-- I learned Windows and I know Windows so I'm sticking with windows. I've tried to help a friend of mine with her (numerous) mac problems, and google just shouts gibberish at me-- I got the impression that OS X wasn't as user friendly as it could be. Never seriously tried Linux, but I figure my OS should run the programs I want to run-- not run a program to pretend to be the OS that will run the programs I want to run. :-P

       

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    George, Dec 12th, 2006 @ 4:14am

    BTW

    I also work for Microsoft, so I think I have a reason to be mad here...

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Dec 12th, 2006 @ 5:34am

      Re: BTW

      No wonder... Hopefully, the majority of MS employees don't have the same flawed thought pattern that you are expressing.

      "how the hell you can reason that going open source would be better than using a fully supported, stable OS"?

      George, when was the last time that you tried to get tech support from Microsoft? Was it actually helpful?

      "give the staff a day off with a worksheet of activities to complete"

      George, do you have any idea how expensive this would be? I didn't think so...

      "everyone should be praising MS for the work and time they've spent researching and developing this new system"

      Wrong George! Everyone should be crucifying Microsoft for their unwillingness to actually bring to market a polished product that anticipates the needs of their customers, without making the early adopters pay for the privilege of finding the bugs the hard way, or exposing their infrastructure to poorly thought out security schemes.

      Shall I go on?

       

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    backroads, Dec 12th, 2006 @ 4:35am

    Wow -

    I'm sensing some anger here!

    The problem is that most everyone has valid points - once you sift out the crap. In reality most people will make the same decision that I will make. As a CIO (read non - Linux techy) the fact is that NONE of the software my vertical requires to do business runs on Linux or Macs. Thats not my fault or anything I can change. Software vendors simply support whats most profitable and that's Windows. I buy equipment and OS's that support our business objectives - or get fired. Maybe someday governments will invest in armys of programmers to take Linux mainstream instead of investing in Microsoft's latest release, but until then most businesses and therefore most of the world will remain at Bill Gates mercy. Would Steve Jobs be better? Have you seen what "upgrades" to OSX cost just to have the latest cat name? I have Mac, Microsoft and Linux running at home. And that's where they'll stay - at home. Since most people (read non-geeks) want what they have at work so they can further their careers, don't expect a big shift any time soon. Unless France decides to hire as many open source programmers as their licence fees to Microsoft would have paid for (unlikely) on top of what the conversion will cost them anyways, I don't see the world changing overnight.

     

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    The Original Just Me, Dec 12th, 2006 @ 5:56am

    DirectX 10 revolt

    I'm a gamer and don't mind spending $$ on a high-end system and great vid card. I also buy several games a year. However, I'm not going to upgrade to Vista just for DX10 support.

    What I'll do instead is to vote with my dollars and refuse to buy DX10-enabled games. The game makers will pressure MS to release an upgrade for XP.

     

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    Eddie, Dec 12th, 2006 @ 6:32am

    Screw All U Apple Lovers

    Your just a bunch of Apple fanboys. ie: Zune is not an iPod killer.. How about giving it more than a month on the shelves before you kill it. Without Microsoft 3/4's of you wouldn't have a job in the IT industry, including myself.. So pipe down with the Microsoft bashing.. It's so old and lAmE!

     

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    Kiknit, Dec 12th, 2006 @ 7:38am

    Hope this site is going somewhere...

    I used to enjoy the articles. Now I see that this is just a vent for IT cubicle-junkies trying to vent steam.

    For now... CYA techdirt. I'm taking ya off my google start page. I look forward to the articles, but the comments are just to whacked-out mean spirited.

     

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    Liberty Dave, Dec 12th, 2006 @ 10:00am

    Screwed up economics

    The reason MS and others use figures like this is because they know that most people are not versed in economics, and will not do much to investigate any such claims.

    There's also the fact that a big company like MS feels it has to make claims like this for political points. These types of claims are looked upon as positive by most politicians, and most of the public, again mostly because it sounds good, not because it really is good for society economically.

    I think it's a stupid thing to brag about, they should just be touting the benefits of their product, and leave it at that. Saying this crap just shows that they're playing politics.

    Dirty, ugly, highly questionable politics.

     

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    JustinD, Dec 12th, 2006 @ 10:36am

    ConceptJunkie -
    Ok, you are right, Redhat / IBM offer support for the redhat OS, you are 100% correct ... and they even offer there spun off product Fedora (which I like actaully) for free. However, have you looked at how much the support costs? You are going to definitely pay more then the upgrade to Vista and not get the games, and a sleu of other software packages supported on the windows platform... Redhat is great for business, not for homewares...

    George, calm down man, I work for MS as well, it's not huge deal if ALL the people don't like the Vista ... people that are generally mad at microsoft will be the first one to voice -- and everyone that is looking forward to it will just ignore 'em. It's a great product ... why do you think all the AV companies are complaining =)

     

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    Tyshaun, Dec 12th, 2006 @ 11:02am

    Open source and linux aren't the answers...

    I don't think that Open Source (by implication linux) is the answer to the Microsoft "problem". Microsoft provides the one thing that linux can't, for now, consistant interfaces and mass utilization. These factors can't be overlooked in any discussion like this.

    Yes linux is powerful but the problem with it is that it does have a learning curve (even if you throw some type of CDE over it like gnome it's still the 800 pound gorilla in the room). Macs are cute and all, but they are just as proprietary as Microsoft(moreso because they lock out hardware) and with increasing market share has the potential to be just as arrogant (and maybe moreso) than Windows.

    Open source is great, no doubt about it, but it also sounds like an IT divisions nightmare, especially at a large corporation. There would be so many possibilities for divergent configurations and that's not even taking into account the myriad of flavors of linux out there (marketing likes SusE, but Engineering needs RedHat, etc. This guy wants to use CShell, the managers want to use BASH). By the time you finish standardizing linux into something easily deployable and/or maintainable across a large corporation, what have you got? Basically windows!

    The main problem, as I see it, isn't the OS used, it's the user. I think you can pretty much put any OS in front of a savy operator and they will pick it up in pretty short order (OK, perhaps an OS and some type of users guide!). The problem is how we teach people to use a computer, especially non-developers who strictly use the productivity apps like Excel and such. Ever been to one of those "certification" programs for Office or something. They aren't teaching them how to work in a GUI interface in general, they are teaching them about a particular GUI, and what's worse, most times a particular version of a GUI. I've actually interviewed people who were certified in using Offifce "whatever version" and the scary thing is that when given an earlier or later version of the product to use, they sometimes had issues adapting. I think that people using computers in the corporate world should be taught general principles of how to use a GUI, not trainined on a particular product. That way the whole Mac versus Windows versus Linux debate becomes far more mute and corporations are free to deploy solutions that are appropriate and change them with little financial consequence as needed.

    So, my advice is to do what my company does, which is very smart. We are about 2 years behind Microsofts release cycle. As new products come out, we don't early adopt them, we wait until relatively stable hardware/software is available. That means that normally the prices have gone down, there is lots of inexpensive compatible hardware available, and enough bugs have been worked out to actually make the thing usable. I wished that Microsoft concentrated more on quality and less on profit, but that is their job, to generate a profit. Bear that in mind in all of this, especially when comparing open-source to other platforms. Open source is a labor of love, other platforms are a labor for profit.

     

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    JustinD, Dec 12th, 2006 @ 11:08am

    ConceptJunkie -
    Ok, you are right, Redhat / IBM offer support for the redhat OS, you are 100% correct ... and they even offer there spun off product Fedora (which I like actaully) for free. However, have you looked at how much the support costs? You are going to definitely pay more then the upgrade to Vista and not get the games, and a sleu of other software packages supported on the windows platform... Redhat is great for business, not for homewares...

    George, calm down man, I work for MS as well, it's not huge deal if ALL the people don't like the Vista ... people that are generally mad at microsoft will be the first one to voice -- and everyone that is looking forward to it will just ignore 'em. It's a great product ... why do you think all the AV companies are complaining =)

     

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    Chronno S. Trigger, Dec 12th, 2006 @ 2:00pm

    New tech jobs

    no one has touched on the fact that it will create those jobs. not because of the installation but of the inevitable tech support for all the new stuff.

    My company had an MSDN account so I did get to play with the vista bata and I can say that there isn't much of a learning curve. So a few things look a little different, there all still named the same.

    For all you people out there that think that switching to open source would be less expensive than going from XP to Vista...

    Buying the OS
    OK *nix wins

    Finding software that works with the new OS
    chances are yours already works with Vista

    Migrating to the new OS
    Have you ever tried to migrate an SQL database to linux? Or oracle? or maybe exchange? How about active directory? or however many thousands of other things that may be out there.

    Training
    There are people that have spent weeks just learning what button to click where and when. With the new windows they just have to remember that it looks different. In linux they have to spend those weeks over again. That means training cost and loss of productivity.

    I have had clients that have come over from a mac or unix system to a windows XP system and they picked it up much quicker than when they trained on the other two.

    Chances are that the people that read techdirt are tech people and are able to make a switch like that (I cant), but the rest of the world can't. So just remember that before you swing your Tux flag.

     

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    Dillenger69, Dec 12th, 2006 @ 4:08pm

    if that's the case...

    If they use the same logic in other situations then natural disasters aren't disasters at all!
    Just think of all the jobs and work that things like hurricane Katrina bring to an area.

     

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