Thursday, September 06, 2007


Micro-babble, and Vista SP1

In describing how they decided what fixes to put into an upcoming Windows Vista service pack, Microsoft’s Senior Vice President of Windows Core Operating System Division, Jon DeVaan, said this:

Our primary focus after launch became addressing ecosystem compatibility issues that the data showed had adversely impacted some users’ Windows Vista experience.

That has to be one of the biggest loads of corporate-babble garbage that I’ve seen or heard in quite some time — and that’s saying a lot. Nearly every word here is corporate-babble, or is part of a phrase that is: “primary focus”, “launch”, “addressing”, “ecosystem“, “issues”, “the data showed”, “adversely impacted”, “users’ experience”.


Let’s try a translation into user-speak:

“After we started selling Windows Vista, we decided that the most important thing to do was to fix the stuff that makes our customers think it’s a load of crap.”

And, after all, isn’t that what any business ought to do? Shouldn’t they have done it before they forced it on everyone by having it installed on every computer sold?

I’m not a Microsoft basher; in fact, I think they generally do a good job, and they’ve made vast improvements in Windows through the years. Vista is not one of them, overall; there are real enhancements there, but there's too much junk in it too, and too much has changed at once. And Mr DeVaan can’t hide that behind buzzwords and babble.

[Hat tip to Les Jenkins, at Stupid Evil Bastard.]


Paul said...

It seems to me that we play out the same old story every time Microsoft releases a new version of Windows. I distictly remember being told not to upgrade to Windows98 because it didn't work. I also remember being told not to upgrade to ME because 98 was so much more stable. "XP's a load of crap," they told me. "Stick with ME." (Well, OK, that last is a bald faced lie. If I recall, "ditch ME and go back to 98," was the rallying cry of the day.) Now, my neighbour, who owns his own software company, tells me under no circumstances should I buy a new laptop that has Vista installed on it. I should stick with XP, because it works.

Barry Leiba said...

Windows ME was certainly horrible, but I don't recall any advice to stay away from the new NT-based systems before Vista. Windows 2000 was a huge improvement over anything before, and XP was a good move too. Maybe you're getting different advice than I am.

There was some reluctance to go to XP SP2, because the security changes caused some incompatibilities. And that's a lot of what the usability problems are with Vista, too. On top of those, Vista changes the UI quite seriously, and many who are used to 2000 or XP just find it confusing, hard to find things that they used to be familiar with.