As if delays and mishandling of the release were not bad enough, now MS has announced it is pulling a prerequisite upgrade for SP1 from Windows Update because it may cause some computers to go into an infinite reboot loop. Lovely.
Look, I’d really like to be enthusiastic about Windows Vista. Really I would. I use it every day and it does a lot of stuff I like. I like the way it looks, I like the way it runs on my laptop, it gets the job done an looks nice doing it. But if I wholeheartedly accept Windows, then I tacitly accept all the boneheaded screwups leading up to Vista.
And what monumental screw ups. Vista shipped after many delays without most of the highly touted features and with a large number of bugs. Then the fixes take a year, but we can’t get the fix yet, oh wait, yes you can, oh no the prerequisite fixes for the fix are broken.
MS is also not doing anything to help those of us who like to tinker with computers and networks in our spare time embrace Windows. MS is not cool. They want to be in the data center (running Exchange and MSsql) and they want to be on the desktop of the average suburban home (making picture albums and posters for school fairs), but they have nothing for the high end hobbyist.
By way of example, part of the reason file copy was so slow in Vista was that it was optimized for transfers over high latency networks like the ones found in large companies. On the gigabit network a hobbyist has at home, transfers were painfully slow.
Controls for the Vista firewall are simple and allow the average home user to at least have one in place. But if I want to tweak (I am a hobbyist, therefor I want to tweak everything) it I have to get to the Group Policy editor and the controls are a mess, to say the least.
The bottom line is, that between the screwups and the lack of love shown to people who want to like Windows and Vista, MS is shooting itself in the foot. Loyalty and trust are earned and MS’s accounts are badly in the red.