Most Disappointing Software of 2007

The most disappointing software of 2007 ranked in reverse order from bad to worse are:
5) No IE8 on the horizon. (in contrast see what eWeeks Jim Rapoza has to say about Firefox 3.0 beta 2) when Microsoft got back into the browser business because it had serious competition, Bill Gates promised at MIX conference much more rapid updates with IE in 8-12 month cycles. Well its well past 12 months and no sign of IE8. Meanwhile, IE7 continues to deliver less – less JavaScript, DOM, HTML, and CSS compatibility; less functional features than Firefox, Opera or Safari; less themes and plugins than Firefox.

4)Virtualized Desktop PCs. With Apple Dual Boot and Microsoft Virstual Desktop languishing with no real follow-ons and the major PC hardware vendors unable/unwilling/unauthorized(?) to deliver any desktop virtual software as a supported offering from any of Microsoft, VMware or Xen – a real opportunity to see desktops alternatives was frittered away for another year.

3)AJAX is absolutely revolutionary and disruptive – it has helped to unleash the RIA forces such as Adobe Flash/Flex/AIR, Microsoft Silverlight, OpenLaszlo, and Sun Java/J2ME/JavaFx. But also neither AJAX nor W3C have been able to corral in Microsoft with its highly proprietary JavaScript and Atlas; there is little or no progress towards E4X or JavaScript 2; there is continued proliferation of so many disparate AJAX frameworks with only small inter-framework integration; plus continued JavaScript security problems and risks. Unfortunately, a lot of Web 2.0 sits on a shaky AJAX foundation.

2)Collaboration software such as Google Docs; IBM Notes/Sametime, etc; Microsoft Exchange , LiveDocs, and Sharepoint; Joomla, WordPress, and the PHP Bulletin boards; and Source Control Systems of every ilk are such a mishmash of overlapping functions, extortionate costs, proprietary features, and/or failed integration – its no wonder shared workspaces continues to be the missing link on the PC desktop. The result: there is room for a Collaboration Killer App because there is still a major missing link for Information at your Fingertips – only database integration is worse.

1)Vista, even after the soon-real-soon-anyday-now SP1 for Vista with 300 fixes(which will leave many software and hardware compatibility problems untouched) has to be the years No 1. disappointment. And even after the SP1 patch, compatibility and learning curve problems for Vista remain. Meantime almost all home desktop PC vendors have caved in and do not offer Windows XP for users who would like to use the tried and true Windows XP. And given there is a SP3 for Windows XP to appear roughly at the same time as Vista SP1 – this is a travesty second only to the persistent, bloated clumsiness that is Vista itself.