Vista, did they even fix anything?



  • @bstorer said:

    @MarcB said:
    Ah, but if 99.9% of the PC users of the world weren't ignorant sheep just using whatever came with the "compew-tah" they bought at Best Buy or Dell or whatever, and knew enough to make a choice, would they be happy with Windows?
    That's a fair point. I always wonder why Apple doesn't lower their prices (without resorting to things like the iMac) in order to better compete. I mean, they've got a great brand thanks to the iPod and now the iPhone. Make use of it to cut into the market!

    They are no longer a primarily hardware company, but they still make a large part of thier profits on hardware. Also, they have a policy of using the more reliable hardware for each part, and limiting the range of parts offered, in order to improve the stability and reliability of the product. This inflates (or at least allows Apple to inflate) the price of their computers.



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    People have a choice, Apple advertises widely and you can buy Macs almost anyway.
     

    That's true today. But remember, a few years ago, Apple was essentially a dead company walking. The only people buying them were DTP and video editing shops, plus the (comparitively) microscopic gang of die-hard Mac-heads. The only places Macs were available were the small 'stuck in a bad neighborhood' Apple dealers or from Apple directly. You couldn't walk into a Costco or some other major store chain and just pick up a Mac, the way you could a cheap PC. Apple existed at Microsoft's sufference ("Hey, we're not a monopoly, there's always Apple!") - remember Microsoft investing in Apple and offering to continue development of Mac Office?

    Then the iPod and the iMac came out, and slowly things turned around. Today, I'll agree with you, the Mac is a going concern and reaching the spot where critical mass can kick in, and you just might actually see a lower-end model in the electronics department in that chain store.

    @morbiuswilters said:

    People choose Windows because it works best for them.

    People don't CHOOSE Windows, it's essentially crammed down their throat. Except for the weirdos who line up for the midnight sales when 95/98/XP/Vista are released, of course. Unless you jump through an incredible series of hoops, buy via a business account, or build your own PC, Windows comes with the PC whether you want it or not. Remember, Microsoft had a pretty big campaign going to convince OEMs that selling a 'naked' PC was essentially encouraging piracy, as people would just get a copy of Windows elsewhere anyways. Getting an alternate OS installed from the factory is essentially impossible. You can't ask Dell to get the latest XPS box with Linux - that option's restricted to one or two mid- or low-level systems that are buried 500 clicks down on their site.

    @morbiuswilters said:

    it almost put Apple out of business in the mid-90s.

    Exactly, but it wasn't because people 'chose' Windows. Microsoft is a monopoly, remember. A somewhat diminished monopoly, but still the 900lb gorilla in the hotel lobby. Without Microsoft having sunk a few hundred million in to Apple (and then having a 50ft Bill smiling over Steve's head at a WWDC), Apple would be toast now.




  • @morbiuswilters said:

    I believe [market penetration] is one of the only truly objective metrics of quality.

    I believe astrology is one of the truly reliable methods of planning for my future.

    Market penetration is a reliable method of assessing popularity, which as you well know usually has little to do with quality. Consumers will buy quality if they have information. One baker can put a near one out of business if he simply bakes the finest loaves. It's easy to assess the quality of food. Software and computer systems are on the other side of that complexity scale, and it is hard to be well-informed. They buy Windows because everybody else has it, and because it comes with their computer.

    I have the knowledge to make myself well-informed, but I personally stick with Windows because it's the current PC gaming platform plus has the most software, and I'm too lazy to set up dual boot for linux, and to cheap to buy a small Mac for daily user purposes.



  • @MasterPlanSoftware said:

    @morbiuswilters said:

    Having known a lot of PC and Mac users, I would claim that Mac users are far less informed about Windows than vice-versa.
     

    I agree 100% with this assessment.

     

    I agree 100% with this agreement. 



  • @dhromed said:

    I believe astrology is one of the truly reliable methods of planning for my future.

    Well, that's your problem.  We're talking about market economics here, please try to keep up.

     

    @dhromed said:

    Market penetration is a reliable method of assessing popularity, which as you well know usually has little to do with quality.

    First, I do not "know" this.  If you're going to make an argument, please refrain from fallacies such as this.

     

    @dhromed said:

    Consumers will buy quality if they have information. One baker can put a near one out of business if he simply bakes the finest loaves. It's easy to assess the quality of food.

    Yes, and any assessment of food quality is essentially subjective.  Which is why I said market penetration is one of the only truly objective metrics of quality.  That's because it represents the aggregate of millions of individual subjective valuations.

     

    @dhromed said:

    Software and computer systems are on the other side of that complexity scale, and it is hard to be well-informed. They buy Windows because everybody else has it, and because it comes with their computer.

    Install base, compatiblity, familiarity and availability are all critical factors in choosing a technology.  It's odd that you not only think these are not particularly valuable traits,  but that you think they count against Windows.  To me a somewhat strained analogy would be saying "water isn't all that good because every one else drinks it, it comes out of your faucet and you are required to use it".  I'm not saying that these are all major wins for Windows, but to suggest that the availability and familiarity of Windows are negative things as you have done strikes me as quite ridiculous.

     

    @dhromed said:

    I have the knowledge to make myself well-informed, but I personally stick with Windows because it's the current PC gaming platform plus has the most software, and I'm too lazy to set up dual boot for linux, and to cheap to buy a small Mac for daily user purposes.

    I am also quite well-informed on all three platforms as I would imagine many of the users of this site are.  In your case, the opportunity cost and hassle of using another platform is not worth it.  Windows gives you what you want and has done so consistently enough that evidently you have felt no need to switch.  Personally, I don't use Windows, I have only run Linux for many years now because it gives me what I want and I also have felt no need to switch.  There have been times that frustration has overwhelmed me and I have thought "fuck it, I wish I could just be using Windows" but so far those feelings have not compelled me to actually ditch Linux and I don't see it happening any time soon.



  • @MarcB said:

    That's true today. But remember, a few years ago, Apple was essentially a dead company walking. The only people buying them were DTP and video editing shops, plus the (comparitively) microscopic gang of die-hard Mac-heads. The only places Macs were available were the small 'stuck in a bad neighborhood' Apple dealers or from Apple directly. You couldn't walk into a Costco or some other major store chain and just pick up a Mac, the way you could a cheap PC. Apple existed at Microsoft's sufference ("Hey, we're not a monopoly, there's always Apple!") - remember Microsoft investing in Apple and offering to continue development of Mac Office?

    Then the iPod and the iMac came out, and slowly things turned around. Today, I'll agree with you, the Mac is a going concern and reaching the spot where critical mass can kick in, and you just might actually see a lower-end model in the electronics department in that chain store.

    And the reason Apple almost went out of business is because their products were of inferior quality to Microsoft's.  OS X definitely helped the company, but it has evolved slowly and has only recently gained featues Windows has had for years.  For now, there are still the compatibility concerns and the learning curve to take into account, as well as the higher cost of Apple products. 

     

    @MarcB said:

    People don't CHOOSE Windows, it's essentially crammed down their throat. Except for the weirdos who line up for the midnight sales when 95/98/XP/Vista are released, of course.

    Seriously, do you think this is an actual argument?  You are just spouting biased garbage here.  If I wanted to read this brain-dead nonsense I'd be on Slashdot.

     

    @MarcB said:

    Exactly, but it wasn't because people 'chose' Windows. Microsoft is a monopoly, remember. A somewhat diminished monopoly, but still the 900lb gorilla in the hotel lobby.

    I have to wonder why this even matters.  Microsoft is not a monopoly in the true sense as anyone else can create their own OS and market it against Windows.  I also have to wonder why you think Mac purchasers are more savvy than PC purchasers.  Every Mac user I have known has bought Macs because it was what they were used to from working in graphic design or because they thought it looked slick.  I don't know if I've known more than 2 Mac users who even understand how computers work or can objectively compare Windows and OS X on a feature-by-feature basis.  Most Mac users I've known were in the bottom 25% of technical knowledge.  That's fine for them if they like buying Macs, but I think your insinuation that it is a higher-quality choice is just absurd and without any merit. 



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    And the reason Apple almost went out of business is because their products were of inferior quality to Microsoft's.

    Perhaps, but can you really argue Microsoft's were "better"? Market share does not indicate quality, you know. Up until Win95 came out, their stuff was downright pathetic.  I'm not an outright Microsoft basher, not in the fanboi sense. I have problems with their products, and their conduct as a company, But it's not blind "Microsoft sux. <something else> RULEZ!!!11!1!11one!". I've been using their stuff since '91 when I bought my first PC (486-33 with Win 3.0). I'd like to think that gives me the right to claim to be somewhat informed on the topic.

    Apple nearly failed because they kept chasing the wrong products, overstuffing the sales channel with products no one wanted, and multiple false starts in modernizing MacOS (Pink/Taligent, Copland anyone?). But they also failed because people simply weren't buying their stuff because Microsoft became the new "No one got fired for buying IBM".

    The PPC cpu was definitely far more advanced than anything Intel had in the pipeline, but withered on the vine because IBM/Motorola/Apple didn't throw enough resources into keeping up on development. What's the point in throwing a billion or two into a CPU line that's only going to sell a few hundred thousand units? Other than Apple, there was essentially no market for PPC beyond boutique workstation makers.

    Apple's hardware basically did suck for a while, especially after Intel boosted x86 performance far past PPC levels. But software-wise, Apple's been the real innovator. They had a far superior graphics and multimedia architecture than Microsoft (there's a reason desktop publishing and video editing's so huge on Macs). There isn't much you can point to on Windows and says "wow, that's brand new, never seen elsewhere before".

    @morbiuswilters said:

    but it has evolved slowly and has only recently gained featues Windows has had for years.

    Yes, up until OS X came out and they adopted BSD as the core, Mac OS's technical underpinnings were pretty weak. I'm not familiar enough with the core tech of the older MacOS's - when did Apple stuff pre-emptive multitasking into the system? Windows has been mostly pre-emptive since Win95, and completely pre-emptive on the NT side of things. But again, we're down to the "who cares" level when talking about the vast majority of the market. Will the average PC user care if their favorite game uses OpenGL or DirectX? No one's going to run down to the store and scream for a copy of Vista because they replaced the NT/2k/XP boot system with something that's EFI-compatible.

    @morbiuswilters said:

    Seriously, do you think this is an actual argument?  You are just spouting biased garbage here.

    Ok, then. Go down to the local Best Buy and buy an HP or Dell or Acer or whatever system, and ask the sales droid for that machine without Windows on it. Or even ask them to refund you the extra $150 you pay for Windows on the machine because you aren't going to accept the Windows EULA and install BeOS instead. Ask for a naked PC because you want to run OpenBSD instead.

    @morbiuswilters said:

    Microsoft is not a monopoly in the true sense as anyone else can create their own OS and market it against Windows. 

    Of course they're a monopoly. The US government proved so in court. Remember that "minor" little case where a bunch of states and the Feds sued? They proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that Microsoft used collusive agreements with OEMs to keep competitors products (Netscape in particular) off the shelves. Microsoft was found guilty and the judge's ruling was Microsoft be broken up into seperate companies.

    The only reason it didn't happen was because the judge on the case couldn't keep his fat mouth shut and let Microsoft argue bias at the appeals court level. I remind you that Appeals courts don't accept cases unless there's a valid question of law. You can't appeal just because you didn't like the verdict. You have to prove that the judge made an error in law to appeal. And the appeals court ruled that the judge in fact did NOT make any errors in law. They allowed every ruling made against Microsoft stand. But they reversed the judgement anyways because the judge's public statements presented the appearance of bias.

    In other words, if the judge was a schoolkid, he wrote a test, got every answer right, but spit on the teacher on the way out. Oops.

    I will agree that anyone can build and market their own OS. Microsoft is not quite a big enough juggernaught to have that kind of stranglehold on the market. But then, how far do any of those operating systems ever get? Remember, 99.9% of the world are sheep. If you can't get an OEM to jump on board and install your OS, it's going to go exactly nowhere in the market. Exactly how many people in the world know enough to install a new OS without calling in the local geek?

    Maybe those uber-cheap Everex PCs on sale at Walmart with Linux on them will take off and finally kill the Microsoft stranglehold, but those are just test-market machines. The stores get in 5 of 6 of the machines and when they're gone, that's it, until Walmart HQ decides it was worthwhile. 

    @morbiuswilters said:

    I also have to wonder why you think Mac purchasers are more savvy than PC purchasers.

    Where do you get this from? I've been arguing that essentially the entire non-business market for PCs and Macs are comprised of sheep, minus the bitheads and fanbois.

    @morbiuswilters said:

    I don't know if I've known more than 2 Mac users who even understand how computers work

    Not exactly a fair comparison, given that Macs have what.. a 5% market share? What about the other 95% that use PCs? Once you eliminate your fellow geek/nerd friends and co-workers and look around, how many of the rest of the people in your neighborhood know what happens under the hood of a PC?

    @morbiuswilters said:

    Every Mac user I have known has bought Macs because it was what they were used to from working in graphic design or because they thought it looked slick. 

    Yes, exactly the point I've been making. Either you need a Mac because you're in the only two Mac-dominated industries (desktop publishing and video editing), or you wanted one for the looks. Everyone else buys PCs

    @morbiuswilters said:

    I don't know if I've known more than 2 Mac users who even understand how computers work or can objectively compare Windows and OS X on a feature-by-feature basis.  Most Mac users I've known were in the bottom 25% of technical knowledge.

    Again, how many PC users also have this knowledge? Eliminate the known nerds/geeks in your sample (let's make it a generous 10% of computer users in the world), that still leaves around 900 million people who have no idea whatsoever happens inside the PC when you hit the power button. As a parallel, how many people in the world are going to buy a car because it has a GM model XYZ engine under the hood? Or buy a Toyota hybrid PQR instead of a Honda hybrid JKL because they use ABC brand batteries? Most people are going to buy a certain car because it comes in the color they want, or has the proper number of cup holders, or because the badge on the front matches the badge their parents or best friend drives. And these days, probably buy the car because it has a decent MPG rating.

    People are going to buy what they "know", and that means buying a PC because most everyone else they know has a PC.

    @morbiuswilters said:

    but I think your insinuation that it is a higher-quality choice is just absurd and without any merit. 

    I'm not insinuating anything about quality. I could argue that Macs are a superior choice because the Mac UI is more consistent and has fewer WTFs like "click start to shut down". I could argue a PC is superior because it's got the by far vaster software (especially games) selection. But that's all just surface gloss. When you get right down to the nitty gritty, a Mac and a PC are essentially identical. They take different roads and the ride is a bit different, but you end up at the same places and get the same things done.

    If they're essentially the same thing, we're right back to "why is the Mac market so small" or "why is the PC market so big?". So here's a thought experiment for you: If Apple relented and made boxed versions of OSX available for sale and installation on any PC the way Microsoft has boxed version of Windows; if you could go to the Dell and HP sites and OSX was a choice alongside all the Windows variants; if you could walk into a Best Buy and they had two of every model of every PC  with OSX on one, and Windows on the other: just how many extra sales would Apple rack up? I'd posit that there would only be a small bump and we'd continue with the 95/5 split (or whatever it is these days) between Windows and OSX



  • @MarcB said:

    ...
     

    Alright, so let's sum things up to move along a bit.

    MarcB's point:

    Marc is upset that the vast majority of the market only ever considers Windows. He feels this is because MS has been a bully and elimintaed the opportunity for other OSes to grow.

    Morbius' point:

    Anyone who actually cares about whether to buy a Mac or a PC will go ahead and make their own informed decisions. 

     

    My summary of this:

    If Windows is the default for marketshare and all they have done is what a good company would do (form partnerships and alliances, promote their product as the best and only solution), then why is this a problem?

    Apple has their own stores in many malls throughout the country and could open as many more as they want. You cannot tell me that they couldn't get their product into more of their stores, or other stores. But this is not what Apple wants. They want to be exclusive. They want to be trendy. They dont want to be on store shelves. If they wanted to be in every household, they would price their hardware similar to places like Dell.

    As for why you cannot buy a PC with no OS? Who would want that? Most people who are going to just go home and install linux are going to know where to buy their PC, and I doubt it will be at Staples.

    A computer preinstalled with linux on staples shelves? How well do you really think that would sell? I bet it would bomb. Big time. Plus, what company is going to put out the capital to get it out there? How about support?



  • @MasterPlanSoftware said:

    Apple has their own stores in many malls throughout the country and could open as many more as they want. You cannot tell me that they couldn't get their product into more of their stores, or other stores. But this is not what Apple wants. They want to be exclusive. They want to be trendy. They dont want to be on store shelves. If they wanted to be in every household, they would price their hardware similar to places like Dell.

    Spot on, for the most part.  I don't think Apple would mind being in every household, but they want to retain their air of exclusiveness.  Also remember that Apple didn't always market this way, it's only since Steve Jobs came back and had the (IMHO) brilliant realization that technology was not sexy and that people would pay for it to be.  We at least have Apple to thank for the fact that home electronics and computers have moved from plain and ugly to sleek and sexy as the market responds to pressure from Apple.  However, Apple also wants to maintain its profit margins and it is in a delicate situation in many markets.  They dominate portable media players but that's because anyone can afford an iPod so the slight premium over the comptetition is hardly a big deterrent from buying.  Personally I think Apple's greatest acheivments have been in marketing, not in actual tech development.  I find OS X annoying to use.

     

    @MasterPlanSoftware said:

    As for why you cannot buy a PC with no OS? Who would want that? Most people who are going to just go home and install linux are going to know where to buy their PC, and I doubt it will be at Staples.

    As a Linux user I wish I could buy all of Dell's computers without Windows (and save the $29 Dell pays for a Windows license) but I also realize how markets work.  For Dell, the overhead of having a completely separate product with its own production and testing procedures is far more expensive than having a single OS option.  I don't know what that expense is, but I know somebody at Dell has crunched the numbers and knows how much it costs to offer an option almost nobody will buy.  I also understand Microsoft's stated position on this: If you offered an OS-less computer, people would buy that and install pirated copies of Windows.  Not everyone, sure.  Not even myself as I am strictly anti-piracy.  However, anyone who thinks this is bullshit should think about every tech person they have known and ask the following question: How many run pirated software and how many run Linux?  Seriously, nobody I have ever known has only run Linux.  A few people dual-booted but they had tons of pirated software.  And many people had only pirated software.

     

    @MasterPlanSoftware said:

    A computer preinstalled with linux on staples shelves? How well do you really think that would sell? I bet it would bomb. Big time. Plus, what company is going to put out the capital to get it out there? How about support?

    It would sell horribly and be a nightmare for many users.  Any belief otherwise is a pipe dream of Linux fanbois.



  • @MasterPlanSoftware said:

    Marc is upset that the vast majority of the market only ever considers Windows. He feels this is because MS has been a bully and elimintaed the opportunity for other OSes to grow.
     

    I wouldn't say upset. That'd be like being "upset" that the car companies have made it impossible for the Horse 'n Buggy makers to get their products into showrooms. You can't deny Microsoft is a bully, though. The antitrust trial showed quite a few ways in which they do business with companies they consider a threat. They're not a traditional monopoly the way Standard Oil or AT&T were ("don't want to use our oil/phone? Then no heat/communications for you!" - after all, you can install whatever you want on your own PC (for the time being) including another OS. But they are monopoly in that they use their dominant position and massive bank account to supress products (Netscape for one).

     

    It's more along the lines of sadened at missed opportunies, both for the other OSes (BeOS sounded quite interesting), and for Microsoft themselves. Look at how IE was completely ignored for years until Firefox showed up as a "threat". MS can't kill Firefox, because there isn't a coporation like Netscape was to squash. They can't go and buy out the Mozilla organization, because it's a non-profit, and they've got the antitrust people breathing down their necks. So now they actually have get off their lazy asses and compete on features and do some real development. IE7 would never have happened if alternate browsers didn't start taking market share. We'd still be on rebadged and rethemed IE 5.5 or 6.0 otherwise.



  • @MarcB said:

    You can't deny Microsoft is a bully, though.
     

    I don't deny it, but I don't agree with it. I think it is pure garbage to call them that.

    @MarcB said:

    But they are a monopoly company in that they use their dominant position and massive bank account to supress products (Netscape for one) like any good business would do.

     FTFY.

    @MarcB said:

    It's more along the lines of sadened at missed opportunies, both for the other OSes (BeOS sounded quite interesting), and for Microsoft themselves. Look at how IE was completely ignored for years until Firefox showed up as a "threat". MS can't kill Firefox, because there isn't a coporation like Netscape was to squash. They can't go and buy out the Mozilla organization, because it's a non-profit, and they've got the antitrust people breathing down their necks. So now they actually have get off their lazy asses and compete on features and do some real development. IE7 would never have happened if alternate browsers didn't start taking market share. We'd still be on rebadged and rethemed IE 5.5 or 6.0 otherwise.

     I cannot deny that competition is good in any industry, and especially in software, but this sounds like complete tin foil hat garbage to me.

    You could easily make a private company, make your own browser, and choose to never give in to MS'es buyout options (assuming your were even good enough for them to notice). Plenty of companies have done this. I am not sure how you think they would 'squash' you. Certainly, they can throw their vast inertia behind their product and completely outpace you. But if you really feel you can build a better browser, then this should not scare you. This is also not anything unethical. It is good business.

    Sure it is hard for companies to compete with a titan like MS. But it isn't like MS will send a set of thugs to break your kneecaps. MS is just a company that will still fight hard to protect it's business. It is how capitalism works. I know if I am going to build a car and market it, I am going to have a long struggle to get anyone to even know about me in comparison to Ford, Chrysler, GMC, Toyota, etc. Will I sit here and cry about 'Monopolies!' 'Strong arm tactics!' 'They are not promoting a free market!' ? Hell no. That is how business works! And if I have a truly great car, do you think one of those companies wouldn't try to buy me out before I could come to market with it?

    I have a hard time sympathizing with anyone who can keep a straight face and cry that 'MS is a monopoly, they keep Apple and Linux, and FOSS down!'. It is like a bigger kid on the playground who can play kick ball better than everyone else can. Should that big kid suddenly start playing at 10% of his capacity so everyone else can win? No. He should continue to kick everyone else's ass so that everyone has to try and become better. Will some people decide to never play kickball again? Sure. Does anyone care? Nope.

    You say that Firefox is creating the competition for browsers, I say MS put the initial bar up, and everyone else is trying to raise the bar. Without MS, who knows where we would be. And if they have 'squashed' people before, I say good. We could use less browsers in this world. Signal to noise ratio and all that. To be in the running these days, you need to be on top of your shit.



  • @MarcB said:

    You can't deny Microsoft is a bully, though. The antitrust trial showed quite a few ways in which they do business with companies they consider a threat. They're not a traditional monopoly the way Standard Oil or AT&T were ("don't want to use our oil/phone? Then no heat/communications for you!" - after all, you can install whatever you want on your own PC (for the time being) including another OS. But they are monopoly in that they use their dominant position and massive bank account to supress products (Netscape for one).
    I wouldn't deny it at all. Microsoft has indeed engaged in monopolistic practices. But this isn't anything special to Microsoft. They're just doing things that make good business sense. It's kind of a double-edged sword: on the one hand, you're supposed to grow big and expand your business and always do what's best for the stockholders. On the other hand, don't get too big, and don't do what's best for the stockholders if it's not best for the market. There's a blurry line in there, and Microsoft has crossed it. They're not alone in that regard.



  • We already have a court decision. MS has abused its monopoly in the desktop OS market to damage Netscape. Do we really have to discuss that topic again?

    Anyway, at least to me it seams that MS has learned a lot since. For the last 5+ years, I have not noticed any similary hostile behaviour.



  • @ammoQ said:

    We already have a court decision. MS has abused its monopoly in the desktop OS market to damage Netscape. Do we really have to discuss that topic again?

    Anyway, at least to me it seams that MS has learned a lot since. For the last 5+ years, I have not noticed any similarly hostile behaviour.

    There was the European court case about Windows Media Player, which lead to the versions of Vista without media player. That was a while back, I can't remember when, but it was within the last 4-5 years. There has also been OOXML, although that is a different kind of abuse.

    On the whole, however, I agree with AmmoQ. MS are behaving better than they have in the past, and seem to be spewing less FUD than even quite recently



  • @Physics Phil said:

    There was the European court case about Windows Media Player, which lead to the versions of Vista without media player.

    There was a version of XP without the media player, though nobody wanted to buy it (obviously). Currently, it seems already pointless - flash video has won. 

     

    There has also been OOXML, although that is a different kind of abuse.

     

    IMO OOXML is just a political thing. For any practical purpose, it's worthless. 



  • @ammoQ said:

    There was a version of XP without the media player, though nobody wanted to buy it (obviously). Currently, it seems already pointless - flash video has won. 
    Flash has won for streaming video, for sure.  But you can still download high-bit rate, high-resolution video in WMV/Quicktime/xvid/x264 formats/containers.  For example, gametrailers.com allows you to download "HD video" in WMV or Quicktime.  And I have seen high-res movie trailers available in downloadable format.

    To play those, you obviously still need a media player.  Personally I like to use Media Player Classic whenever possible, but I imagine most Windows users would stick with the default WMP.



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    First, I do not "know" this.

    Popularity != quality

    And you do not know that?

    @morbiuswilters said:

    Yes, and any assessment of food quality is essentially subjective.  Which is why I said market penetration is one of the only truly objective metrics of quality.  That's because it represents the aggregate of millions of individual subjective valuations.

    That aggregate of millions forms another subjective evaluation, which still does not measure quality in any reliable way. This is not the type of statistic where tons of slightly erroneous measurements average out to the correct value. It's a vote. Votes measure opinions.

    @morbiuswilters said:

    Install base, compatiblity, familiarity and availability are all critical factors in choosing a technology.

    Correct. So you'll agree that people choose windows because everybody else has it and because it comes by default with their computer.

    By the way, you left out "quality" from that list.

    @morbiuswilters said:

    It's odd that you not only think these are not particularly valuable traits

    Because of the [ popularity != quality ] principle.

    @morbiuswilters said:

    but that you think they count
    against Windows. [...]To suggest that the availability and familiarity of Windows are
    negative things as you have done strikes me as quite ridiculous.

    I made no reference to the quality of Windows in any way. I'm attacking the point that popularity is a valuable, objective metric. It is not and never has been. I find it equally puzzling that an obviously intelligent, (highly) critical being such as yourself would adhere to Hey, everybody else is using it. Must be good!

    Or do you mean to say, Hey, everybody else is using it -- can't be really bad, now can it?

    @morbiuswilters said:

    In your case, the opportunity cost and
    hassle of using another platform is not worth it.  Windows gives you
    what you want and has done so consistently enough that evidently you
    have felt no need to switch.

    It should be noted that both causes as described in the above two sentences, however true, work in conjuction to prevent major switches. The first actually makes it harder to objectively compare the quality of one's current system with the alternatives, while a 'sufficient' experience as from the second can easily blind one, especially the uninformed and unimaginative majority.

    I do feel that Windows is 'sufficient' -- but I wonder if it could be better. Toyish experience with Ubuntu says No, but it comes down to individual elements: X from Linux is better than X from Windows, but Y from Windows far exceeds Y from Linux. So far, it averages out. I toy with the idea of a lover, but I'm not leaving my wife, so to speak.



  • @MasterPlanSoftware said:

    @MarcB said:

    But they are a monopoly company in that they use their dominant position and massive bank account to supress products (Netscape for one) like any good business would do.

     FTFY.

     

    If that were true, then GM would be going all out to try and make sure Toyota and Honda were kicked out of the North American market. Or GE would be trying to kill off ABC/CBS/FOX so that NBC could be the only network. But we can go to any car dealership we want and get whatever brand/model we want. We can go to an electronics store and buy a TV and know it will pick up programming from any source available.

    @MasterPlanSoftware said:

    I am going to have a long struggle to get anyone to even know about me in comparison to Ford, Chrysler, GMC, Toyota, etc. Will I sit here and cry about 'Monopolies!' 'Strong arm tactics!'

    If you could prove that the big auto makers were actively colluding to supress your product's market access, then yes, you could scream monopoly, and could sue them into the ground. Take the Yugo for example. They didn't fail because the big 3 car makers prevented their ads from running. It's not as if GM went to the TV networks and threatened to pull their mega-buck tv spot buys if anyone dared run a Yugo ad. No, Yugo failed because they were crappy cars and no one bought them. That's not a monopoly abusing its power, it's just natural market forces killing off an inferior product.

    But that's exactly what Microsoft does. In Netscape's case, Microsoft threatened to withhold the various subsidies and incentives from OEMs if they pre-installed Netscape. The PC market margins are thin enough, pulling those extra bucks is quite literally the difference between profit/loss for some OEMs. They weren't about to put a bullet in their own heads just to offer a different non-MS browser, even if that different browser was the world standard at the time.

    @MasterPlanSoftware said:

    'MS is a monopoly, they keep Apple and Linux, and FOSS down!'.

    As we've hashed over earlier in the thread, Apple and Microsoft's PC markets don't much overlap. Microsoft owns the business and most of the home side of things. Apple owns the DTP/vid editing area and the 'boutique' "I want a cool looking machine" segments. Microsoft isn't going to actively work to deny Apple access to the market, but Apple's access is via completely different channels. But let's say Apple decided to offer up a bargain basement Mac so Costco and Walmart could sell them. If Microsoft went to Costco/Walmart and pulled whatever strings they have to make the Apple deal fall apart, then that would be a monopolistic abuse of their power.

    As for Linux/FOSS, Microsoft can't do much against them. Again, essentially totally different markets. Much as I'd love Linux to supplant Windows as the dominant OS (which ain't going to happen, I know), Microsoft can't do anything to deny you the right to CHOOSE to run Linux or whatever FOSS app you care to. But what they can do, and have done, is scream loudly that FOSS (the GPL in particular) is un-American and a threat to the country. You have to admit, Ballmer's and Gates' claims in that regard are a steaming load of bullshit served with a side of horse piss.

    @MasterPlanSoftware said:

    It is like a bigger kid on the playground who can play kick ball better than everyone else can. Should that big kid suddenly start playing at 10% of his capacity so everyone else can win?

    Some kids will naturally be bench warmers, some will be the rear defense position players, and some (like the big kid) will be the forward offensive player who gets all the glory. But if the big kid uses glue to keep everyone else on the bench and hogs the field for themselves, then the big kid needs to be taught a lesson.

    @MasterPlanSoftware said:

    You say that Firefox is creating the competition for browsers, I say MS put the initial bar up, and everyone else is trying to raise the bar.

    Perhaps, but that's only because MS set the bar on the ground and glued it there. Remember, IE was utterly stagnant at the 5.5/6.0 level for years until FF actually  started taking away market share.

    @MasterPlanSoftware said:

    Without MS, who knows where we would be.

    In terms of browsers, we'd probably be stuck on a Netscape 4.x level system, ploughing through sites littered with <blink> and <layer> tags. I'm not saying NS didn't deserve to die in the end. The 4.x series was a pretty gruesome steaming pile of code, but it was still better than the version of IE being served up by MS at the time.

    @MasterPlanSoftware said:

    We could use less browsers in this world. Signal to noise ratio and all that.

    Agreed. We could also use better written standards from the W3C that leave absolutely no ambiguity or room for interpretation. But then, if you eliminate too many browsers, at some point you reach that spot where innovation stagnates. Perhaps 2 or 3 main major browsers (IE/FF/Opera) for the desktop is fine, and one or two in the mobile space for the major OSes (windows mobile & symbian) would be just about right.

    @ammoQ said:

    There was a version of XP without the media player, though nobody
    wanted to buy it (obviously).

    You know, I never really looked at that version of Windows. Did they just ship a regular XP without wmplayer.exe and mplayer2.exe? Or did they literally strip out the entire codec subsystem?  If it was the whole codec business, then I can see why no one would buy it - no one really provides codec plugins for anything other than the Windows system (not counting Quicktime and Realplayer). SSDS would undoubtedly be even more useless on that type of system since MMC wouldn't be included at all.

    @ammoQ said:

    IMO OOXML is just a political thing. For any practical purpose, it's worthless.

    Especially since MS has finally come out and admitted that Office 2007 doesn't, and will never, support the final OOXML spec as was railroaded through ECMA and ISO. True support of the ISO 29500 version of the spec won't be available until the next Office version ('09? '10?) comes out. 

    @dhromed said:

    Or do you mean to say, Hey, everybody else is using it -- can't be really bad, now can it?

    You could look at the recent shift away from trucks and SUVs as being something similar. Gotta have a big car to keep up with the Joneses and all, but not if it costs you an arm and a leg at the gas station.

     



  • @MarcB said:

    then GM would be going all out to try and make sure Toyota and Honda were kicked out of the North American market.
     

    You don't think that they are/would be doing everything in the power to do so? If you think they wouldn't you are naive.

     @MarcB said:

    That's not a monopoly abusing its power, it's just natural market forces killing off an inferior product.

    I could argue the same thing for Netscape, Linux and Apple.

    Microsoft has a superior product (maybe not for you, but for the actual customers) and the right business plan. 

    If the other products were so vastly better and were run in a competent business sense, they might stand a chance.

    @MarcB said:

    Microsoft threatened to withhold the various subsidies and incentives from OEMs

    Sounds fair to me. If you scratch my back, I will scratch yours. This is how business is done all the time. I see nothing wrong with this.

    Why couldn't the other people compensate those costs and push their products out if they were so much better?

    @MarcB said:

    But let's say Apple decided to offer up a bargain basement Mac so Costco and Walmart could sell them. If Microsoft went to Costco/Walmart and pulled whatever strings they have to make the Apple deal fall apart, then that would be a monopolistic abuse of their power.

    Nothing like wild speculation to prove a point.

    No, that would not be monopolistic in my opinion. If Microsoft gives those people a better deal to use/sell their products than the other company does, that is business.

    @MarcB said:

    As for Linux/FOSS, Microsoft can't do much against them.

    I think it has more to do with they don't NEED to. Linux and FOSS is it's own worst enemy. You cannot blame anyone else for Linux's failure so far. Microsoft did not make Linux not ready for the desktop.

    @MarcB said:

    Microsoft can't do anything to deny you the right to CHOOSE to run Linux or whatever FOSS app you care to. But what they can do, and have done, is scream loudly that FOSS (the GPL in particular) is un-American and a threat to the country. You have to admit, Ballmer's and Gates' claims in that regard are a steaming load of bullshit served with a side of horse piss.

    I have no idea what you are talking about (and I suspect you don't either). Why would MS do anything BUT protest FOSS and Linux? It is direct competition to them. Expecting anything less would be stupid and naive.

    If I sold petroleum, I would do my best to scream and rant and rave about alternative energy. I would do everything in my power to try and make sure that doesn't happen.@MarcB said:

    But if the big kid uses glue to keep everyone else on the bench and hogs the field for themselves

    Again, I don't know where you get this from, but I think you shouldn't take so much stock into every Slashdot article you read.

    @MarcB said:

    Perhaps, but that's only because MS set the bar on the ground and glued it there. Remember, IE was utterly stagnant at the 5.5/6.0 level for years until FF actually  started taking away market share.

    What is your point? Firefox needs IE every bit as much as the opposite. If you have no competition why on earth would you continue to dump money into a product's development?

    Firefox wouldn't. And if they did, they would disappear like Netscape.

    @MarcB said:

    it was still better than the version of IE being served up by MS at the time.

    I fail to see how this is relevant. So what if it was better? They lost. Fair and square. Despite what you think is going on under your tinfoil hat.

    @MarcB said:

    We could also use better written standards from the W3C that leave absolutely no ambiguity or room for interpretation

    This might be the most ridiculous thing I have heard in a long time. I have no idea where to even begin with this, so I will just say: Gee, why didn't they think of that? Maybe you should rewrite it for them! You will be famous!

    @MarcB said:

    Perhaps 2 or 3 main major browsers (IE/FF/Opera) for the desktop is fine

    Ok, and that is where we are basically at. So what is the problem?



  • @MasterPlanSoftware said:

    If you have no competition why on earth would you continue to dump money into a product's development?
     

    For the same reason the US Airforce is developing the F-22, JSF and whatnot - just because you can't see the competition doesn't mean someone isn't developing the app that'll pound your company so far into the ground there's kangaroos and pandas dancing around the exit hole.

    Microsoft got lazy, stuck IE into a closet and forgot about it, until Firefox came out and kicked them in the balls. Now they're dumping who knows how much into the IE7/IE8 development.



  • @MasterPlanSoftware said:

    I think it has more to do with they don't NEED to. Linux and FOSS is it's own worst enemy. You cannot blame anyone else for Linux's failure so far. Microsoft did not make Linux not ready for the desktop.
     

    It's obviously very difficult to break into the desktop market, no matter how well a system is made. Millions of programs have been written for Windows, many of them don't run on Linux even with Wine. Most users depend on one of those programs or another. Plus many users are unable to adapt another system at all. They fail when an icon is not at the same place as the day before.

    Anyway, Linux is slowly, but steadily making progress. And now that the eeePC and similar devices, many of which are Linux-powered by default, have hit the market, MS NEEDS to do something. Vista is obviously no choice for such devices, and XP is getting old.



  • @MarcB said:

    In terms of browsers, we'd probably be stuck on a Netscape 4.x level system, ploughing through sites littered with <blink> and <layer> tags. I'm not saying NS didn't deserve to die in the end. The 4.x series was a pretty gruesome steaming pile of code, but it was still better than the version of IE being served up by MS at the time.
     

    IE3 was crap, but IE4 was definitely better than Netscape 4. 



  • @ammoQ said:

    IE3 was crap, but IE4 was definitely better than Netscape 4.

    IE was the best browser for quite some time.  I only switched from IE6 to Mozilla sometime in 2002 because the tabbing made it easier to organize open windows.  I would also frequently have dozens of open windows and Mozilla had a larger initial memory footprint but a lower per-window one, which meant it had lower memory usage once you crossed ~20 open sites.  Mozilla sucked for startup, though, and I hated the clutter of the features I didn't use, so I switched to Firefox for the first release in fall of 2002.  Unfortunately, Firefox has become so bloated now that it's worse than Mozilla ever was.  Still, I think IE7 is a fine browser if you're running Windows. 



  • @ammoQ said:

    @MasterPlanSoftware said:

    I think it has more to do with they don't NEED to. Linux and FOSS is it's own worst enemy. You cannot blame anyone else for Linux's failure so far. Microsoft did not make Linux not ready for the desktop.
     

    It's obviously very difficult to break into the desktop market, no matter how well a system is made. Millions of programs have been written for Windows, many of them don't run on Linux even with Wine. Most users depend on one of those programs or another. Plus many users are unable to adapt another system at all. They fail when an icon is not at the same place as the day before.

    Anyway, Linux is slowly, but steadily making progress. And now that the eeePC and similar devices, many of which are Linux-powered by default, have hit the market, MS NEEDS to do something. Vista is obviously no choice for such devices, and XP is getting old.

    True. It isn't the actual quality of the rival OS market, but that people have been deeply ingrained into "the Windows way" that they dislike any kind of change.

    Funny thing is, I distinctly remember that back in the 80's, the desktop market was dominated by Apple. Contrary to morbiuswilters' beliefs, Apple's stuff was vastly superior than the mediocre IBM-PC offer back then, even when they still ran the 680x0 chipset. My 1986 Mac Plus had integrated network capabilities, sound support and SCSI hard-disk support. Even if LocalTalk isn't that good, it did have this out of the box, while PC's required buying an external Ethernet (thicknet/thinnet) card, and a separate soundcard. System 7 0wned pretty much everything out there, for ease of use; I even remember reading a feature comparison with Windows 3.1 (or was it 3.0?) and showing the hassle that using Windows 3.x was. In fact, the nice look and feel for the Office suite came to life in the Macintosh years before Windows even existed.

    Apple got ran over because of pricing and lack of "cheaper compatible Macs", while PCs were being sold at vastly lower prices. Of course, the Windows 3.1 GUI wasn't good enough to win users over, but this changed with win95. With all of the bugs win95 brought, it was the first Windows to actually come up to par with System 7. Ok, maybe System 6, or 5; but at least it was more Mac-like. (Where do you think they got the "Recycle Bin" idea?)

    By the time Apple actually opened up the Mac-building market, the masses had already flocked to the PC, and Windows was already eating away the market. Back in the early-to-mid 90's, the best games came out for Mac (Populous, Myst, the nice versions of Wolf3D and Descent, even SimCity was born here!). So did most "nice-looking" desktop applications.

    The sad thing is that what saved Apple was that big MS buyout back in '97, and Jobs returning to the helm, which lead to:

    - Killing off the Mac clones (Power Computing's license revoked)

    - Turning the Mac into a snobby fashion appliance.

    Mac OS X may be great, but I just don't like Apple's philosophy anymore.


Log in to reply
 

Looks like your connection to What the Daily WTF? was lost, please wait while we try to reconnect.