Wednesday, February 07, 2007

The Vista is full of rocks and gullies ....

I'm sure I'm not the only one to write something similar but Microsoft have REALLY failed with the Vista launch.

Why ?

Well, today I bought a new computer for my home office from Dell. Dell, according to its website, officially recommends Windows Vista. I had heard nightmares from various sources of people trying, and failing, to upgrade but thought that since it was a new machine and that Dell were recommending Vista I may as well go ahead with it. So, I specced the machine; dvd/cd drive, graphics card, internal modem etc etc etc.

Short while after placing the order online I receive a phone call from Dell. "Sorry, your optical drive is not compatible with the software ... is it OK if we substitute another drive ?". Well, OK, reluctantly I decide that it is OK.

Short while later again, a further call arrives from Dell. "Sorry, your internal modem is not compatible with the software ... nor is the graphics card .... can we substitute the graphics card and use an external modem ?". No, I decide, you can't ... I don't want an external modem ... they're a pain in the posterior. And then, suddenly, it clicks .... "by software you mean Windows Vista don't you ?". "Well, yes, it is a very new system" comes the reply. "So", I ask, "if I just buy it with Windows XP installed does everything work ?". Guess what, the answer is yes !

So, needless to say, I have ordered my new desktop with Windows XP installed. And this is where I start wondering how on earth Microsoft can have got it so wrong. I wasn't ordering anything strange or esoteric; I was ordering from a reputable manufacturer; I was ordering Microsoft Office as the only other pre-installed software. Yet, despite that, Vista was incompatible.

How ? Just what were those five years of development spent on ?