Tuesday, January 29, 2008

It's all in the game, it's all the same

I've talked about InfoWorld's Save XP campaign before, and you know that they're not going to stop talking about it. In fact, it was mentioned again recently in a post entitled "A Tale of Two Microsofts."

Since InfoWorld launched its petition drive to save Windows XP two weeks ago, we've had over 75,000 people sign up. That's a strong message to Microsoft that people don't want to be forced to into buying Vista if Windows XP goes belly up on June 30, 2008....

The point of all this is not to slam Vista. The aim is to keep XP alive, because businesses should be able to choose where they put their resources. If they want to upgrade to Vista, they should go right ahead. If they have other priorities they feel will yield more bang for the buck, then they should be able to continue to buy XP licenses and put their resources into something else.

Then Eric Knorr claimed that there was another Microsoft:

Microsoft may have its ups and downs on the desktop, but when it comes to serving its developer base, the company knows its customers and keeps trotting out more crowd-pleasing goodies.

Just check out this week's in-depth review of Visual Studio 2008 by InfoWorld's Martin Heller. Is there another IDE that even compares with Visual Studio in its vast scope and emphasis on ease of use? As Heller says, Visual Studio has become "so big it's hard for any one person to keep it straight in his mind."

In this version, the highlights are support for Vista, .Net Framework 3.5, and Web 2.0 technologies (including Silverlight and Windows Presentation Foundation). Developers will also be glad to learn that data queries have been integrated into .Net languages.

After listing all the goodies, Knorr reached this conclusion:

See? Microsoft can still hit the nail on the head. Let's hope for more of that good aim in the future.

In a comment, I differed with the entire "two Microsoft" thesis:

This is not a tale of two Microsofts. This is a tale of one Microsoft, and is true for all software companies (including my own).

Vista and Visual Studio 2008 are both new versions of software. All software companies trot out new versions of software, wait for the "exclusive reviews" and praise for the new "goodies"...then ax the old versions, leaving current users in the lurch.

Microsoft is going to can Visual Studio 2005 in the same way that it is canning Windows XP, and they're going to point toward InfoWorld's praise of Visual Studio 2008 and say, "See, InfoWorld says you should upgrade. Pay up."

As long as we keep on demanding the latest and greatest, and as long as the computer magazines pander to our desires, software companies are going to keep introducing new goodies and obsoleting the old ones.

Or perhaps InfoWorld is already planning its massive "Save Visual Studio 2005" campaign, which will launch on the day that Microsoft announces THAT software package's end of life.

Or perhaps not. I don't think InfoWorld would get as many webpage hits for a "Save Visual Studio 2005" campaign.

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