No More Microsoft to Kick Around

One of the reasons this column has been so tough on Microsoft is simply the fact that Redmond has been in the business of offering customers Chartreuse lowcut dresses. As my Kensington market shopkeeperess so eloquently describes them: “my buyer got us these lowcut dresses, unfortunately 2 dozen too many in chartreuse and spangles, so I have to flog them before Fall gets too cool.” Well Redmond has been doing the same – committing the IBM cardinal sin of the 1970s and 1980s. In full imperial monopolistic mode, Redmond has insisted on telling customers “frankly we know best what you really need and its Chartreuse lowcut dresses otherwise known as Smart Clients (translation: no no no to the Web with our concerted campaign to tilt the playing field towards our desktop Smart Clients and make a eunuch of IE and most other popular Web Standards like Java applets, CSS, DOM, standard JavaScript, SVG, JPEG2000, etc, etc.) and Windows Vista (translation: we offer you Windows Bloat, Clot and Rot with our undying promise that eventually everything will run best in Windows)”. The other reason is that the major IT trade press (think Computerworld, eWeek, Information Week, InfoWorld, Publish, etc) have been giving Microsoft kid glove treatment for the past 5-7 years. So to redress the balance, so to speak, we have been pointing out some of the sins of commission as well as omission in the Microsofts IT line up and policies.

But now the jig is up on both counts. Information Week is the first major IT Trade Press to call a busted flush… well, a busted flush. In two articles by John Foley, Aaron Ricadela and Information Week staffers, Windows Vista: The Last Supersized Operating System and Windows After Vista:Radical Surgery, Aaron and crew are calling for radical surgery to Vista. Not quite what one would expect for a new product yet to be rolled out. But the unspoken consensus among industry watchers is now getting ink. And Windows Bloat Clot and Rot are getting major play along with delay, how much backward compatibility, and “whats-new-?” calls for more secure software.

So now that the ice jam is broken with a comprehensive analysis of Windows Vistas problems, I suspect the rest of the trade press will start to come around and debate the issues more fully and objectively. Iweek has dared to raise the issue that Vista is really not Web 2 ready with the various Lives being knee jerk, rush-overnight reactions to Google, Yahoo and others better laid plans. Whether anybody dares to report on Microsofts deliberate efforts to sabotage Web standards both internally and in most Web products delivered by 1 Microsoft Way remains to be seen.

Information Week has paid a price. After averaging 2-3 full page Microsoft ads per month throughout the Summer, the September 4th issue has none. We will be watching the next few issues to see if that trend continues. Meantime, just for interests sake, guess who has gone from 2-3 to 7 full page ads in Information Week?

I am not telling – listen I am too busy, I have to find a new kicking horse.

(c)JBSurveyer 2006