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Windows Vista is a “Faustian bargain”

Our sister site perused the blogosphere to see what people are talking about on the wire. Today’s word is that Microsoft’s pride and joy, Vista, is getting a beating over security issues.

I decided to see how people felt about Vista in general. On Microsoft’s blog newschannel, I discovered Vista’s “Wow” ad, which compares encountering Vista with seeing Apollo 11 launch, a suburban jogger encountering elk on his manicured lawn, and a panoramic view of mountainous terrain; in each scenario someone says, “Wow!” (sometimes repeatedly). Does Vista make you say, “Wow!”

Jethro Carr a systems engineer employed by Prophecy Networks is not saying “Wow!” He calls Vista a “Faustian bargain.” He airs a number of criticisms including that Vista doesn’t support HDCP — so those who want high resolution screens will have to wait for the Vista compatible hardware to come out. He also said Vista hardware requires a unique fingerprint, which will make getting specs for open-source drivers challenging. He claims that the SMB owners he’s spoken to will avoid Vista as long as possible because of the expense of upgrading all their computers.

But — despite the criticism — according to The NPD Group’s vice president of industry analysis, Stephen Baker, PC retail sales have increased significantly since Vista’s release. In a podcast interview with eWEEK’s Microsoft Watch, Baker said overall PC retail sales were up about 67% from the previous year: notebooks sales saw a 119% increase and desktop sales increased 20%. By the way, Baker recommends SMBs go with Vista Business. What do you think?

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