Friday, August 22, 2008

OPINION: It is time for Microsoft to start making nice with competing software vendors if they want to sell Vista. Save your $300 Million!

This is my Opinion and does not reflect those of any of my employers. I have never been a Microsoft Basher (in fact I am probably one of their biggest champions over the last 25 years) But I am really fed up with the hype and also the infighting between Microsoft and other competing computer companies and this isn't going to sell me Vista. And since my MVP status was taken away I'm not going to hold back anymore. (not that I did when I was an MVP which is probably why they didn't pick me up again in the first place LOL)

NEWSFLASH TO MICROSOFT: Jerry Seinfield isn't going to help you sell more Vista licenses to Enterprises no matter how much you pay him. (and it is $10 million for those who care.) It is very funny to poke fun at other vendors, but I hate to tell you that Apple is spot on with most of it's Mac and PC commercials when it comes to the Enterprise.

I have been trying to roll out 700 Vista machines in our enterprise since last July (2007!) and at every corner I arrive at a new STOP sign that prevents me from doing it. Our organization requires several plugins and pieces of software from many vendors. These vendors deem their software Vista compatible but in reality they are only Vista compatible if the user is local and not on a domain or is an administrator.

And some of these programs, whether you turn off UAC, tell them to always run as administrator, put them in compatibility mode or whatever, still crash hard as soon as the user account is made a mandatory or roaming profile.

Companies like Adobe, Sun, ADP, Altiris, Symantec seem not to really care whether their software is fully compatible with Vista. I've had issues with every one of these companies getting one of their products to work on Microsofts Darling new OS.

Countless hours of my time have been wasted attempting to circumvent Vista's built in "security" just to get simple core applications (like Adobe Reader 9) to work in a domain environment. Sun only certifies the latest versions of Java to work with Vista and ADP whom refuses to update their applications like eTime to run properly with the latest version for example refuse to play. Time keeping is a critical thing here as our employees like to get paid.

There is a wonderful open source IM application that we are going to use called Spark to provide support to our customers. Worked fine for local user accounts but as soon as you put it into a roaming profile, bam, for some reason now you have to be an administrator to run it. Same for Adobe Acrobat 9 and countless other programs.

Every program has had a different solution in trying to get it to run in an enterprise environment on Vista. I really doubt that Microsoft used a domain with mandatory roaming profiles to the user in it's so called Mojave experiment. If they did the users would not be saying how great it was.

Dammit Microsoft! I really want Vista to work and to give it to my users. I really do. I know it isn't your fault that OTHER vendors can't get their software written correctly to adhere to your stringent security requirements but it SHOULD be your responsibility to ENGAGE them and assist them in getting it to work. These are not small companies I am talking about and yes most have competing products to your offerings. But bringing on the Borg attitude is not going to win you any customers and comedy is not going to make it any easier for them to deploy Vista.

Right now the Adobe problem is a project killer for us. Windows XP is looking mighty fine.

Save your $300 million advertising dollars and go out and use it to send a couple of code gurus around to these companies and get them to help get their code to work! You could spend half the money, donate the other half to charity and sell 10 times more product cause it would WORK!

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