Weak Vista Launch Continues To Take Its Toll On Computer Industry

from the wow dept

The release of Vista was supposed to have been a boon for the computer industry, as many were expecting business and consumers to upgrade their hardware at the same time they upgraded their operating system. But, despite Microsoft's claims to the contrary, the launch has generally been regarded as weak. The upshot is that makers of computers and parts are now being forced to ratchet down expectations. Yesterday, chip maker AMD warned of terrible earnings stemming from low volume and a brutal price war with Intel. Today, hard drive maker Seagate is getting slammed after it warned of weak demand and a difficult price environment. The company didn't say it explicitly, but it seems that the whole industry may have produced way too many drives in anticipation of strong, Vista-driven sales that never materialized. Seagate, of course, has another challenge: convincing investors that its core business is not under threat from makers of flash memory. There's no evidence that its troubles are related to competition from flash, but you can be sure that investors are keeping a close eye on the situation. If makers of flash memory continue to sail along, and prices in that space hold up fairly well, you can be sure that obituaries for the hard drive industry will be written once again.


Reader Comments (rss)

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  1.  
    identicon
    Norman Munce, Apr 10th, 2007 @ 5:10pm

    Ha Hah!!!

    Obligatory S post

     

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  2.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 10th, 2007 @ 5:40pm

    Screw the makers.

    Toshiba S135-S4447

    Drivers only exist from the maker for Vista.

    FreeBSD mostly works, so I don't give a damn

     

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  3.  
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    Della, Apr 10th, 2007 @ 5:47pm

    I find it so curious that every "vista isn't selling story!" (these exact same stories were out when xp launched btw) gets covered but when there are reports (outside ms) that it is doing fine...somehow no one, including techdirt, links to them. So very curious. No wait, I mean pathetic. It is...Forget the whole story! It is either the meme or nothing!

    http://www.pcworld.com/article/id,130395-pg,1/article.html

     

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  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 10th, 2007 @ 5:52pm

    Two outlets verses the industry doesn't exactly count as high demand

     

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  5.  
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    Bumbling old fool, Apr 10th, 2007 @ 5:56pm

    There's no evidence that its troubles are related to competition from flash, but you can be sure that investors are keeping a close eye on the situation.

    Yes, yes there is. Seagate sunk millions into researching micro storage solutions. There was a booming market for micro storage. Now that market has completely migrated to flash.

    You keep saying the rotating disk manufacturers aren't competing with flash, but thats just not true.

    And regardless of how you might want seagate to "recognise the market they are in is digital storage", its jsut not true. They are in the market of making rotating disks. That is all. They are NOT in the digital storage market. The rotating disk market and the flash market may have overlapping uses, which flash has so far decimated its rotating disk counterpart at every turn, the manufacturing processes of said devices have absolutely nothing to do with each other, and as such, "A" cannot market themselves into "B".

    The reason the carriage manufacturers couldnt stay in business with the advent of cars was not due to the lack of their ability to recognize they were in the business of transportation, it was because they had nothing to offer in the new market.

    Seagate has nothing to offer in the microstorage market. All that they have tried has failed. Why is microstorage so significant? Because it's storage density is growing far faster than mass storage.

    On a somewhat but compeltely off-topic note: Every time I plug my iPod into a vista pc to recharge it, I fall out of my chair laughing. Vista practically BEGS me to let it use the iPod to make it faster. How funny is that?

     

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  6.  
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    Bumbling old fool, Apr 10th, 2007 @ 5:59pm

    Re:

    And once again, I have proven that I cannot tell the difference between Mike and Joe.


    Sorry Joe, its Mike that typically uses that line about recognizing the market you are in.

     

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  7.  
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    dorpus, Apr 10th, 2007 @ 6:01pm

    Thought it was cheap

    Only $650 for my new PC.

     

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  8.  
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    wouldn't you like to know, Apr 10th, 2007 @ 6:05pm

    vista compatablity is the culprit

    Until I can get a 1tb(terabyte) flash drive hard drives do not have to worry. The obvious advantage to flash is speed and less moving parts(no read write head ect..) But flash drive technology has a long way to come to replace hard drives. Did Segate ever consider the fact there drives are way more than their competitors. Hrmm or maybe even lack of marking I dunno perhaps one of those two is the cause not flash drives. But on a side note to the vista yes I am sick of bad Vista reports. I have yet to upgrade myself do to apps I use for work that are not vista compatible yet. I think compatibility is the huge issue. I might as well switch to linux if i want those issues. So until more software vendors start making the switch to vista it will be slow. I just bought a dual nvidia sli witch SLI technology still does not work in vista so why would i buy a new os when the key feature of my laptop does not even work...

     

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  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 10th, 2007 @ 6:05pm

    Vista is the new Windows ME except ms wouldnt release that piece of crap to the bizness world, this time they said we will screw them all

     

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  10.  
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    erv, Apr 10th, 2007 @ 6:20pm

    VISTA is all eye candy

    VISTA in my opinion is a DOWNGRADE from XP. I have no plans to do so.

     

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  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 10th, 2007 @ 6:37pm

    Wear 'n' Tear

    The problem with flash versus hard drives isn't that flash is more durable; it's that flash memory has a limited lifespan with respect to writes. The rule of thumb is that you can write to a bit 10,000 times before it will fail.

    For a media player like an iPod, the write frequency for a given bit is most likely measured in days, if not weeks. For general purpose computing, the frequency is much much lower (minutes or even seconds).

    There are some improvements to the technology coming down the pike, but until they reach the consumer flash for main storage will remain an expensive and short-lived option.

     

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  12.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 10th, 2007 @ 6:42pm

    i like it but i went from 256 mb of ram to 2 gb of ram so maybe thats why, and i got ultimate

     

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  13.  
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    Gunnar, Apr 10th, 2007 @ 6:43pm

    Segate's drives are worth the extra $5 every 100 gigs. They have a 5 year warrenty. My brother's 160 broke after 2 years and they replaced it in less than a week no questions asked.

    And with rebates, I haven't payed more than 25 cents a gig in a long time. I'm pretty sure Segate is doing just fine against it's competitors in the moving parts harddrive market.

     

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  14.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 10th, 2007 @ 6:45pm

    The difference between this launch and the XP launch is support. When XP came out, every package in the store said "supporting XP!" I'm noticing a tremendous lack of that right now. With many items out there only officially supporting XP, or not advertising Vista compatibility better, the Vista sales are going to be slow.

     

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  15.  
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    Joe Smith, Apr 10th, 2007 @ 6:46pm

    Incompatible POS

    I bought a new Vista machine the other day. When I went to install one of my favourite applications (which I've used under Windows 98, Windows 2000 and Windows XP without incident) up pops a Microsoft message box announcing that there is a [b]known[/b] compatibility problem and that it is the software supplier's fault and I need to contact the software supplier.

     

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  16.  
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    Joe Smith, Apr 10th, 2007 @ 6:49pm

    Incompatible POS

    I bought a new Vista machine the other day. When I went to install one of my favourite applications (which I've used under Windows 98, Windows 2000 and Windows XP without incident) up pops a Microsoft message box announcing that there is a [b]known[/b] compatibility problem and that it is the software supplier's fault and I need to contact the software supplier.

     

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  17.  
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    FUG Buster, Apr 10th, 2007 @ 6:58pm

    More Anti-Microsoft FUD

    AMD is hurting because Intel caught up with them. Geeze how much of an anti-Microsoft lemming do you have to be to twist this with that headline.

    I and many people I Know that have been AMD since the 1.4 Ghx Athlon kicked Intel to the curb are building Core 2 Duo systems.

    BTW I have Vista running perfectly on my Vista system using Nvidia, HP, Epson, drivers all from the makers not just Microsoft..

    I have also installed all my XP aps just fine including some great small apps from one developer shops...

    BUT THE FUD!!! Vista is a nice upgrade... Don't listen to the lemmings...

     

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  18.  
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    Bumbling old fool, Apr 10th, 2007 @ 7:14pm

    Re: More Anti-Microsoft FUD

    AMD is hurting because Intel caught up with them. Geeze how much of an anti-Microsoft lemming do you have to be to twist this with that headline.

    You might want to go back and read AMDs statement, as they were the ones blaming weak sales of vista for their current situation.

    And if what you said were the case, then how would you explain the fact that INTC has also been taking a beating since the failed launch of vista?

    BTW I have Vista running perfectly on my Vista system using Nvidia, HP, Epson, drivers all from the makers not just Microsoft..

    If I'm not having problems, then there is no problem. That's not an argument, its an acknowledgement that you live in a bubble.

    I have also installed all my XP aps just fine including some great small apps from one developer shops...

    See above. Oh, and why is it that you cannot even get Microsoft's own OWA to work under vista? is it that wonderful compatability? Just curious. Sure would be nice if Microsoft would patch that. (I've seen 3 companies so far advise their employees not to get vista on their home machines if they want to be able to login to the work email.)

    BUT THE FUD!!! Vista is a nice upgrade... Don't listen to the lemmings...

    If only there was a word for the equal yet opposite of FUD. Ah yes, "shill".

    Lay off the kool-aid man, its clouding your judgement.

     

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  19.  
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    UniBoy, Apr 10th, 2007 @ 7:24pm

    Not a Windows user...

    But if I was one, I would certainly make sure that my next PC purchase was for a Vista-capable PC with Vista pre-installed.

    I don't think it is so much that people want to steer clear of Vista as it is just that people don't really care about their OS. They'll think about it when they're ready to buy a new PC for some other reason (like actual, as opposed to *planned*, obsolescence).

     

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  20.  
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    KC, Apr 10th, 2007 @ 7:26pm

    Flash has it's own uses. Sure there are some overlaps. Sometimes you only need 2GB of portable memory for use in cameras or to move files from one PC to another. The main use of rotating storage is just mass storage.

    What you see and experience is just the consumer side of storage. On the enterprise side, just think of all the storage for all the government, military, hospitals, libraries, media (video and audio) companies. Flash isn't going to be useful there anytime soon. Maybe in 20 years, but in 20 years, we'll probably be thinking of storing even more information. Just video applications alone, the storeage requirements changed from SD to HD is huge. Look at how we progressed from VCDs to DVDs to HD-DVD/BD. Think of the jump in storage requirements just going from 1080p to 1440p. Think of all the backend storage that's required to store, edit and process all this information.

     

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  21.  
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    The new guy, Apr 10th, 2007 @ 7:37pm

    Whatever

    Yeah your right AMD is having slumping sales because of Vista. It must be true because that's what they said. Let's not forgot that their sales started tanking after Intel released it's newest batch BEFORE Vista and that this is the second quarter in a row that they haven't met their goal.

    I'll admit I havent upgraded to Vista because XP still does a good job for what I need. But I don't see what's with all this crap about it's Vista's fault that a company is doing bad.

     

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  22.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 10th, 2007 @ 7:44pm

    Is this about Vista or flash HDDs? Wait, is this a news story at all?

     

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  23.  
    identicon
    |333173|3|_||3, Apr 10th, 2007 @ 7:45pm

    Re: Re:

    Well, Mike is Joe's employer, so you would expec thim them to be of a similar mind about such things. Of course, he is wrong in this case, in that HDDs and flash sticks are not in the same market, except for in such devices as the current HDD based iPods.

     

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  24.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 10th, 2007 @ 8:09pm

    BYE BYE VISTA

    APPLE RULES..............

     

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  25.  
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    erythros, Apr 10th, 2007 @ 8:22pm

    Re: Whatever

    But I don't see what's with all this crap about it's Vista's fault that a company is doing bad. Basic economics. Nothing exists in a vacuum...

     

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  26.  
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    erythros, Apr 10th, 2007 @ 8:23pm

    Re: Whatever

    But I don't see what's with all this crap about it's Vista's fault that a company is doing bad. Basic economics. Nothing exists in a vacuum...

     

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  27.  
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    Le Blue Dude, Apr 10th, 2007 @ 8:30pm

    Well

    Personally I'm not buying a new computer until I see black smoke...


    And I'm not installing Vista on a five year old computer....

    And my computer is not making black smoke quite yet. So vista will go unsought.

     

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  28.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 10th, 2007 @ 8:38pm

    I would like more features in the basic version. I need eye candy, and vista basic is slower on the same computer that runs XP and it isn't even cool looking. Why upgrade to get more eww and and no awe?

     

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  29.  
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    Pepe le Pew, Apr 10th, 2007 @ 8:51pm

    Just get windowblinds. Forget all the Vista dog and pony show crap.

     

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  30.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 10th, 2007 @ 9:04pm

    Re:

    >Two outlets verses the industry doesn't exactly count as high demand

    Well, two outlets that make up a huge percentage of the retail channel for both hardware and software but...that's not even the point. The point is that their view doesn't even get covered. Too funny. And "the whole industry" is an absurd overstatement. The post is about Seagate and AMD.

    Also, the author makes leaps of logic. "The company didn't say it explicitly" but seagate's troubles are vista fault? If so why wouldn't theysay it? Not a reason in the world. Indeed it would be good for them to have someone to blame! Even the author notes they have other troubles. As for AMD - everyone knows they are having trouble and being bested easily by intel at the moment. Slashed prices has less to do with Vista and more to do with trying to compete with Core Duo. They don't blame vista but somehow the author does...just because...quite an analyst.

    I'm not even saying that Vista is selling well just pointing out that not only do "vista is working for us" stories not get covered but that we also get utterly lame ant-vista posts full of supposition.

     

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  31.  
    identicon
    Reed, Apr 10th, 2007 @ 9:06pm

    We have the next great product!

    Any hardware vendor or chip manufacturer that actually believed that Microsoft was going to be able to bring in more business with Vista deserves their fate. People are in no rush to buy new computers.

    Computers are being bought with Vista and thats about it. The adoption rate will likely be just that. A slow and methodical march to the junk heap for XP with a new pre-loaded Vista computer.

    I am sure a whole lot of people who already have pretty fast computers with XP will scratch their head and wonder "why the hell would I upgrade?".

    DX10 could push some gamers to upgrade early though. I wonder if Microsoft will seriously continue to support PC Games though when they have their proprietary dream the Xbox. Maybe it will be one of those Corvette and Firebird things that Chevy had going on for so long.

     

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  32.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 10th, 2007 @ 10:24pm

    Seagate could be facing serious competition in the near future from flash drive makers. Tigerdirect.com has 32 GB USB flash drives for sale. They cost a cool grand but in a couple of years when the capacity has grown further and the prices have dropped I could see having four or five 100 gig flash drives installed internally in a laptop taking up less space than a 500 gig Hard Drive and being quicker and more durable.

     

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  33.  
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    Jess, Apr 10th, 2007 @ 10:54pm

    ok, first of all, I beta tested vista for 7 months on an athlon xp1900 and it was running just fine. Second of all a new OS with up to date technology means you need up to date technology as a pc, not rocket science! Now third, vista basic is just that, basic. If you can't spend the little differnce for premieum then you obviously can't have an up to date computer. I bet if you put win 98 on your xp system it would load faster than xp too huh. Carlos Mencia says it best... dut du doo!

     

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  34.  
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    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Apr 11th, 2007 @ 12:39am

    Vista Antipathy

    Harris did a couple of polls which suggest that, the more consumers learn about Vista, the more they want to stay away from it.

     

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  35.  
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    glitch, Apr 11th, 2007 @ 1:20am

    i beta tested on an opteron 165

    i have since upgraded...Athlon 64 4000+ [939 chip], `1 gig [pc3200, 2.5 cas], nvidia en6200 [pcie,256 meg] and moved over to SATA HD [16 meg cache] and SATA DVD..Vista ran fine, as well as XP..i just cant justify buying Vista..i dont game, but i dislike sitting around waiting for a slow comp..i do a lot of music..i am getting ready to move up to an ath64 5600, 2gig mem..but i am thinking of switching to ubuntu or kbuntu, not sure 32 or 64 bit...and i am thinking WINE will end any diff between 32 & 64 bit Windows apps i like..i have been using ms prods since DOS 3.2..i just dont see any dependency any longer between me and windows...

     

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  36.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 11th, 2007 @ 2:13am

    I upgraded because of supreme commander, not vista. I just happened to get vista because my old XP didn't support a drive larger then 130 gigs.

     

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  37.  
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    SomePerson, Apr 11th, 2007 @ 6:18am

    BUT THE FUD!!! Vista is a nice upgrade... Don't listen to the lemmings...

    LMAO. YOU sir are the "lemming" if you believe that "Vista is a nice upgrade."

    Yeah, let's all upgrade to a bloated, "Windows Me on CRACK" OS... no thanks. Have fun with your "nice upgrade." Have fun with the DMCA crap they throw in there, too.

     

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  38.  
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    one more idiot, Apr 11th, 2007 @ 8:20am

    Re: Re: More Anti-Microsoft FUD

    look! Another idiot has posted. nuff said...

     

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  39.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 11th, 2007 @ 9:33am

    Vista back burner

    #36, yes XP supports over 130gb. It can support larger than currently on the market with no problem.

    Vista sales are slow because people are happy with what they have. The gamers will flock to Vista when DX10 Vista only games are released. M$ knows this so is pushing hard on the game developers. As newer bloatgrams come out people will need new computers to run them and be forced into Vista only.

     

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  40.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 11th, 2007 @ 10:08am

    I've gladly supported friends, families, and coworkers pcs since I was old enough to string together complete sentences.

    I am not supporting vista.

    We have to put our foots down somewhere.

     

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  41.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 11th, 2007 @ 10:14am

    vista has its advantages, most importantly a 'attempt' at security, this may or may not pan out.

    i dual with windows xp and vista, mainly because i do tech support and need to know vista. i half to say, i want windows vista to break so i can troubleshoot, but other then realy annoying bugs with drivers the os has been solid....like a rock, but it moves just as fast. my customers however would completely disagree with me and i cant tell you how many times i hear "i want to go back to windows xp"

    any games i want to play or applications that i want to run still get ran in windows xp, there stable, quick, and the bugs have been worked out. the fact remains, at about the time SP1 gets out for vista it will either be a win ME horror story or its going to be the primary os. im assuming the later because of DX10 and the fact that microsoft is going to do everything it can to lead it in that direction.

    the whole AMD and segate thing is just annoying, tech earnings rise and fall as technology has its period of major tech breakthroughs and then pauses. AMD is in one of those states, it will break through and take intel again and then it will be intel's turn... none of this is new and people are acting surprised.

    AMD forever, i dont care there market, i dont care there slumps, i am loyal to AMD for more reasons then just the performance of there chips or there reported earnings.

     

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  42.  
    identicon
    NPGMBR, Apr 11th, 2007 @ 10:40am

    Re: More Anti-Microsoft FUD

    Yeah, I got a Vista PC from HP in February I think. I love Vista compared to XP. I truly belive anyone saying that Vista is crap compared to XP are just silly.

    And if you honestly expect all your legacy programs to work every time a new OS comes out you are a fool.

     

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  43.  
    identicon
    Justin Scheuer, Apr 11th, 2007 @ 11:35am

    The real problem with Vista

    People argue about Vista sales and the steep hardware requirements, lack of drivers, software compatibility, etc. until they're blue in the face, but they (and you, gentle reader) are all missing the central problem which is simply this: my ass stinks like shit. Wtf is up with that!?

     

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  44.  
    identicon
    Dan, Apr 11th, 2007 @ 12:09pm

    Re: Re: More Anti-Microsoft FUD

    Oh that's right I better believe what AMD says, talk about cool aid clouding your judgment. You must be an amd fanboy eh? AMD has admitted that Intel has got back all the ground that AMD had taken from them when they were making better CPU's. Intel is clearly a better cpu right now, even though I own a FX-57 I also have a QX6700 which I'm waiting for more multi thread programs to come out, so my daughter is using it until then. To blame MS for AMD's woos is like blaming you for them.

     

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  45.  
    identicon
    Nex6, Apr 11th, 2007 @ 12:31pm

    well......

    I have been testing Vista for a few months(since beta), I also have it as my laptop as my primary OS.

    Vista for sure has alot of changes in it. some of them in the UI, but most are under the hood. and in that respect most of the under the hood stuff is pretty good. like putting drivers in userspace. and MS is the only OS vender which has backwards compatibility to the level MS does. and with VISTA, most apps will run fine, sure some wont but thats not that big a deal. becuase most apps will run, and sure: a few wont.


    -Nex6

     

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  46.  
    identicon
    Sapien Erectus, May 16th, 2007 @ 6:39pm

    Vista is underwhelming

    Vista's subtle charm needs a few decades before it becomes apparent just where it shines over its older brother XP. Fer instance Vista has transparency, my god why aren't people death queing for this program??? I said transparency - thats a feature!!!

    Vista has a little radar screen graphic when it is searching for a wireless signal!!! Man I gotta have that, that probably took 2-3 years to program by itself - now I can see why it took 5+years to code this beast. Whoa!!! man the feature rich gravy of Vista sweeps me thru this moment. W

    What would you expect to pay for an operating system like this 300$? 400$? Wrong $500.00 but wait if you buy today we'll throw in massive DRM that makes copying large files nearly impossible!! Watch as your hair turns gray waiting for the files to be moved. And if you act before midnight you'll get mindnumbing user protection and extremely short battery life thrown in at no extra cost and with WGA we can shutdown your software remotely every time our server farts!!!

    What would you pay now?? $600? $700? That's right a genuine Bill Gates signed copy of Vista Super Deluxe Premium Medium to Semi-large Business with extra extreme deluxe networking including tcp/ip Super extra good Edition can be yours for only $999 includes a genuine simulated rosewood gunrack with a webcam so we can watch your every move.

    Why hasn't everyone upgraded yet???? I love this thing it has wifi radar- wow!!!

     

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  47.  
    identicon
    jack, Dec 1st, 2008 @ 4:11am

    Re: Vista is underwhelming

    The reason the carriage manufacturers couldnt stay in business with the advent of cars was not due to the lack of their ability to recognize they were in the business of transportation, it was because they had nothing laptop battery to offer in the new market.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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