[CS-FSLUG] What Vista means to Linux

Nathan T. celerate at gmail.com
Sun Sep 30 00:54:24 CDT 2007

I've seen a lot of people saying that Vista is a flop, I've seen the 
same things said when Windows XP hit the market and for the same 
reasons. A lot of people see the phase between Vista and it's successor 
as an opportunity for Linux, but the door has actually been open for 
longer than that, Microsoft simply opened the door wider by making 
Windows XP harder to get. In this time where Windows was (and continues 
to be) vulnerable I haven't seen Linux make any notable gains, in fact 
lately it's been pretty quiet besides the usual progress and claims that 
20xx will be the year of the Linux desktop.

I chose to move from Windows XP to Vista on the grounds that customers 
keep asking what the feature differences are and I am frequently asked 
whether or not it's worth "upgrading". I have been using it for a few 
months and I think the biggest flop for Vista is actually the third 
parties *caugh*Apple*caugh* who either haven't put effort into making 
their products Vista compatible, or even seem to intentionally leave 
annoyances in their products for Windows. Microsoft does deserve two 
thirds of the blame though, they broke compatibility with a significant 
number of network devices and introduced the plague that is UAC so that 
deleting a file and emptying out the recycle bin would involve several 
different confirmation dialogs.

Getting back to Linux's opportunity, I don't think it would mean 
anything until some software producing third parties that make products 
for your everyday desktop users show real interest; the open source 
community has had at least decade to challenge problems like buggy 
multimedia codecs, network incompatibility with the very same NAS 
devices Windows Vista won't talk to, and attracting third party 
developers. I've seen a lot of focus go into improving parts of Linux 
that your average desktop user won't see, some of that is more important 
such as driver development; but, amid all the victory cries and 
contentment of OSS advocates with Linux, I don't see it winning any 
ground in the next few years except with those who already share the 
ideology of open source and make up a small minority. Vista will be a 
boon for Linux, but it won't be a big victory like some people imagine.

What are your thoughts on this?

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