How Microsoft is shooting themselves in the foot

When Microsoft launched the idea of Vista. They named it as a way to bring games back to the PC. Not a bad idea for them at all, as games are what generally drive the PC market. If not for games, there would be very little reason for anyone to upgrade their OS from Windows 95. And do you really think Office has changed that drastically in the last 10 years to warrant an upgrade on its own either? No. What does warrant an upgrade is bigger and better games which require faster and faster computers, which require an OS that can handle the speed and compliment it.

Vista is in fact having many nice features that should help gaming quite a bit. Their higher standards for drivers and hardware compatibility should make it much easier to develop for games. They have several features to the OS specifically geared towards the gamer crowd. For instance, one oft touted feature is to have the OS shut down everything but the game when a game is playing. A long needed feature if you ask me, this alone could mean a much faster gaming performance. The OS will also finally have native support for those dual processors that everyone now sports. The OS also has native support for HD, widescreen monitors, HD-DVD, 802.11n, and other newer technologies that should help push gaming. And the Aero look is sweet and to be honest I think gamers are very interested in looks.

However, Vista looks to be an unbuyable OS as a gamer. I had originally intended on putting together my new PC to run Vista. Now I am considering converting over to a Linux OS, and dual-booting into Windows 98. Why this drastic change? First there are the hardware issues. Vista has cripled Soundblaster’s popular EAX standard, therefore making my Soundblaster totally useless. And DirectX 10 cards like the Nvidia 8800 aren’t working correctly for some reason. Now these two issues may get fixed fairly quick, but it is still a little disturbing that a popular standard has been broken and a graphics card made for the OS doesn’t work. Added to this is the activation issue. XP’s biggest problem was the Activation. It was annoying, and pointless. You had to activate everytime you installed the OS, sometimes it wouldn’t let you because maybe your motherboard crashed and you had to get a new one, or perhaps you have reformatted too often, which meant you had to call Microsoft and get them to give you permission to install your OS. Now, that is gone, you can install Vista one time, and then you are locked out. You can’t call anyone at all at a later time, if you change your hardware, you are locked, if you need to reformat, tough cookies. Go shell out another $200 for the same operating system. It is rediculous. I was actually building the new computer for this very reason. I didn’t want to get screwed by it because I KNEW I’d be upgrading sooner or later. In fact, I think this is the biggest detriment to the gaming sector than any. PC Gamers need to be on the newest system available. They sink thousands every year on upgrades. And now Microsoft is hoping that they will sink hundreds every year to keep their OS. That is retarded to the biggest degree and I refuse to do it. On top of all that, it isn’t even your OS if you buy it. You are now just liscensing the OS so you have no rights to it! You are essentially paying microsoft for the right to borrow their products.

It is for these reasons that I have no interest in Vista anymore. If I really wanted the prettier look, which seems to be the biggest selling point really. I would have bought blinds or some other skinning program for XP years ago because people have been skinning windows to look like Mac OS X for years.

I see what Microsoft is doing is similar to what Apple has been doing all along. They want you to buy a new system instead of upgrading. They don’t even want people to upgrade anymore. The problem is that if this is how both companies are going to be, I would almost rather go to Apple as they are more innovative with their UI design than Microsoft is. I mean, the biggest benefit to the PC has always been upgradability, if Microsoft takes that away… then what is the benefit of being on a PC? I have even started to look to see if I could find an easy way to install OS X on my PC instead of Windows (after all I can’t use XP on two computers and I’m giving my old PC, XP included, to my roommate), but this is seeming to be complicated. I think at this point I would rather go with OpenSUSE or Kubuntu which seem to have prettier UI Linux versions. At least the OS would be free that way.

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