Change

The end of the year tech wrap ups are in full swing and most of them are talking about the flop of Vista http://www.cbc.ca/news/interactives/who-tech-yearinreview2007/.  Links to articles about performance benchmarks are being posted http://www.news.com/Windows-XP-outshines-Vista-in-benchmarking-test/2100-1016_3-6220201.html.  (For the record I haven’t bought a 1 gig RAM workstation or server in ages and in fact my home SBS server at 1 gig is totally suffering because I’ve been lame and haven’t ordered the second gig strip that it so desperately needs. )  CRN even picked XP as operating system of the year… http://www.crn.com/hardware/204700548?pgno=6.


It’s funny because I’ve done a slow deployment of Vista myself, only putting it on new desktops we’ve purchased.  Our older hardware is working just fine for now, but I’m looking down the road for when the SBS behind the scenes will be a 64bit Longhorn era version.  So it was with a little hesitation that I sent a brand new laptop with a user that had only used XP and left UAC on with him on a trip overseas.  I gave him training and then sent him on his way.  He came back with no issues. 


My Sister with her customized Disney desktop, who upgraded to Vista because the Disney screensaver she wanted to run wouldn’t install on her old laptop, also has been of interest.  Again, accepting of change.


Some of this has to do with how these systems are being deployed.  Outlook is below the 2 gig recommendation as per the Exchange blog http://msexchangeteam.com/archive/2007/12/17/447750.aspx, time was spent to educate and inform.  Applications were installed ahead of time so that the person using the computer only had to use it, not install software. 


But I found it funny in reading a newsletter the other day I came across these sentences written by Chris Pirillo… you know…this Chris… http://chris.pirillo.com/2007/02/27/windows-vista-im-breaking-up-with-you/ and the Chris referred to in this blog post… http://blogs.msdn.com/imtesty/archive/2007/12/23/blindly-buying-into-rumor-and-innuendo-or-how-to-loose-stock-in-your-credibility.aspx


He said in his recent video/newsletter the following sentences:


  • There is always a fix to something in ____. Just because it doesn’t work, doesn’t mean its broken. Now I’m not talking geekiness here. There are a lot of time when a problem arises such as applications not working because its missing a certain application, or file that it needs. The best solution to this is going on Google, or to the ____ Forums, Support or Wiki’s page. Here you can find a lot of good information to fix these issues.
  • Lastly and most importantly: when it comes to ____, it requires patience. Don’t give up. There will be days when you will get so upset with ____ that you want to just uninstall it. Take time, relax and sleep on it. I have figured out many issues just by taking time away from my ____ Machine and just thinking about it for a bit.

  • Now I’ve removed the operating system that was mentioned in the article because I want to see if you can guess what operating system his post is was referring to.  But I found it interesting to say the least, that sometimes when you have an expectation of change, the mindset shifts.  It accepts change.  It accepts differences.  It embraces being patient.  It’s accepting because the brain turns on “learn mode”.  And that’s the thing that I think people have forgotten since it’s been such a long time between operating system releases.  We’ve forgotten to learn.


    I think the biggest failure of Vista is the lack of training and education of IT professionals that use it and deploy it.  We don’t understand it’s foundational changes, nor did we understand permissions much in the first place.  Microsoft blew it’s opportunity to educate us on the importance of the changes it made under the hood.  That’s the failure of Vista.  We’ve forgotten change is hard.


    But post your answer to the blog or ping me at sbradcpa@pacbell.net if you think you know what operating system Chris was recommended that people be patient with.


    (P.S. Bob Nitrio has a great follow up in the comments and knew the answer)

    9 Thoughts on “Change

    1. Bob Nitrio on December 26, 2007 at 10:43 pm said:

      Chris was speaking about Linux. I have always been one to look ahead at emerging technology in order to be ready for change when it makes sense to change something. But when it comes to advising my clients, I will never recommend a change that carries undue risk or cost with it. While I appreciate that Linux represents an alternative to Windows, I cannot yet recommend it to my business clients as something that they should adopt as a foundation for business computing.

      At this point of its development, Linux is beginning to distill down to a handful of distributions that are no longer in the infancy stage but they are far from mature. In some ways I see a parallel to the various versions of DOS that once existed before Microsoft took control of that platform once and for all. Even as DOS matured, we had various developers creating tools to get better performance from DOS through the use of third-party memory managers. There are many other examples that I could cite, but the independent development from a multitude of sources that takes place with Linux reminds me of those DOS days. I don’t want to be constantly looking for ways to tweak Linux in order to get it to work better and then have to be responsible for deploying that to my clients. I don’t want to deal with numerous possible versions of an operating system from developers who offer little to no support for their creations. I don’t want to make the operating system the focal point of my efforts with clients when I have a solid solution already in place. I’ve lived through that phase of my computing life and I have no desire or need to return to it.

      Which brings me to Vista by way of XP. For many years Microsoft has been the single point of contact and responsibility that has provided operating systems that, for better or worse, have enabled my clients to run their businesses with the knowledge that someone of real substance stood behind the product. There have been ups and downs but for the most part the progression from DOS through several (but not all) versions of Windows has been good to and for my clients.

      Certainly Vista incorporates some technological advances that offer benefits to its users. I believe that Vista or its successor will be the operating system that my clients will be using at some point in the future. Yet at this stage of its development, Vista has not demonstrated a compelling reason to make the switch from what is a very solid, reliable, dependable and profitable computing platform for my clients, namely XP Pro. It’s not about my unwillingness to look at something new with an open mind because I spend a lot of time and energy doing that every day. Rather, it’s a matter of knowing that my clients don’t need to switch to Vista in order to keep advancing their businesses. Much has already been written about the need for different hardware in order to obtain the full Vista experience. That experience – at this point – simply isn’t as valuable as the return available from other initiatives that my clients can invest in. It’s all about return on investment.

      I am not a Vista obstructionist, but I am a trusted adviser and a realist. In that role, I want my clients to have a stable computing platform that can meet their needs and still have an ability to move them forward. XP Pro continues to fulfill that requirement. When something comes along that is so compelling that it makes sense to switch, I will embrace it wholeheartedly. At the moment, neither Linux nor Vista nor Apple have reached that point but as a supporter of technological advancement I wish these platforms well and I will await the day when one or the other seizes the moment and rock my world. Until then, there are many other ways I can help my clients become more profitable through the use of technology solutions. An operating system change simply isn’t the focal point at this time.

    2. Bob,

      I’m curious how your going to feel six months from now if/when Microsoft stops selling XP. Then you will have no choice but to sell Vista to your customers. Now I’m not saying I don’t agree with everything you said but I think you, along with the rest of us, are going to have to change our tones over night.

    3. Bob Nitrio on December 27, 2007 at 9:23 pm said:

      Dean,

      I have no control over Microsoft or the decisions it makes regrading XP, but it definitely concerns me that they will at some point stop selling XP in favor of XP. If Microsoft delivers a compelling business reason to make the move to Vista, I will embrace it. But if they are unable or unwilling to do so, perhaps those of us who represent a rather large client base that uses Microsoft products have an obligation to unite our voices so that Microsoft hears our concerns and addresses them.

      I don’t want to get into any details here, but I will say that based on my convictions I presented a very sound business case to a very large vendor that one of their policies was neither in their financial interests, nor that of their solution provider partners nor that of their clients. As a result, that company made a major change in policy and now all three groups are better off as a result.

      Maybe XP will fall into that category and maybe I should start preparing my argument to Microsoft. And maybe, just maybe, if my peers feel that same way they will join me. After all, what good is a partnership relationship if we can’t discuss our mutual business needs? You would be surprised how much weight you can move with a simple lever. Would you like to eat your Wheaties and join me?

    4. bradley on December 27, 2007 at 9:31 pm said:

      Did XP have a compelling reason? Or did you migrate to the new operating system as the hardware changed out. At a minimum one should plan on ultimate upgrades.

      I cannot in good conscious place a 6+ year old operating system on brand new hardware that I will expect to be in the firm for 4 more years.

      I am looking at the long term ROI impact. My end users already have computers at home with Vista and they do the best when they match home computers with desktop computers.

      I’m looking long term as well and while I’m certainly not doing software upgrades on current systems, I can’t buy new hardware with XP. The long term ROI isn’t there.

    5. “but it definitely concerns me that they will at some point stop selling XP in favor of XP”.

      No kidding. Although I think you meant XP in favor of Vista. I get mad when they stop selling any previous product that works just because they have a new version out. Why can’t they just sell both for say 7 years and then get rid of the old product. I’m scared to death of when they stop selling SBS 2003 because it works fine.

      “Would you like to eat your Wheaties and join me?”

      Well if I can do something sure but I’m an EXTREMELY small fish. I don’t even show up on the fish finder.

      “After all, what good is a partnership relationship if we can’t discuss our mutual business needs? ”

      No one is ever really a partner with Microsoft.

      “I don’t want to get into any details here, but I will say that based on my convictions I presented a very sound business case to a very large vendor that one of their policies was neither in their financial interests, nor that of their solution provider partners nor that of their clients”

      Do you think you could make the same case to our government ? Someone needs to.

    6. “I cannot in good conscious place a 6+ year old operating system on brand new hardware that I will expect to be in the firm for 4 more years.”

      That’s insane. The 6+ year old operating system is the one that will just be getting to the stage where it’s bullit proof. Does IBM replace it’s mainframe operating systems just because they are 6 years old ? Of course not. It keeps fixing more bugs and making them better and selling them for years more. Microsoft can’t do that because they don’t sell the hardware the operating system runs on. They would have to except a LOT less profit which of course they won’t. Young programmers don’t want to keep working on the same “old code” either which is also a problem because to them 3 years is old.

    7. bradley on December 28, 2007 at 4:59 pm said:

      If that was true, Windows 98 would be unbreakable and Windows 2000 would be bulletproof. They are not.

      There are additional security resources under the hood that are in the newer platforms that are not in the older ones.

      SMBv2 is just one example of a technology that will match up with Win2k8 that is not in 2k3.

      It’s not insane at all to be looking at the security settings under the hood and realizing that a newer operating system has the ability to take me farther and longer term for my firm.

    8. “If that was true, Windows 98 would be unbreakable and Windows 2000 would be bulletproof. They are not.

      There are additional security resources under the hood that are in the newer platforms that are not in the older ones.

      SMBv2 is just one example of a technology that will match up with Win2k8 that is not in 2k3.

      It’s not insane at all to be looking at the security settings under the hood and realizing that a newer operating system has the ability to take me farther and longer term for my firm”

      Your to obsessed with security. If security has become that much of a problem then we all need to throw in the towel. Plus if Microsoft kept working on XP then it would have to eventually be more secure than Vista by default. And Windows 2000 would be bullit proof by now if Microsoft had kept working on it.

      Can SMBv2 be added to XP ? Of course ! But Microsoft won’t do it.

      There is nothing that XP couldn’t be made to do if Microsoft wanted it to. It even has a 64 bit version. I mean that version alone could be made to run circles around Vista if Microsoft wanted it to.

    9. bradley on December 28, 2007 at 6:09 pm said:

      SMBv2 can’t be added to XP. There are fundamental changes to the tcp/ip stack.

      And I’m not obsessed with Security, I’m realistic of what can be bolted on afterwards and what must be coded into the software.

      Read Dr. Jesper Johansson and Roger Grimes’ book on Vista Security.

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