I came across an interesting editorial today entitled Vista - Arrogance & Stupidity. It was an extremely interesting read. So interesting, in fact, that I had to share it just because it astounds me what Microsoft is (or isn’t, as the case may be) thinking. Disclaimer: I have spent all of 5 minutes in any kind of close proximity to a Vista install, and that was at Staples when I went in for some more blank DVD-R’s. All I can say is it looks pretty, but from a useability standpoint, I have no idea as I pretty much just opened the start menu (honestly, I was more interested in the laptop hardware Vista was running on than Vista itself).

This fellow, Andrew Grygus, makes some interesting points. I’ve heard many of the horror stories of Vista, and I’ve also heard a lot of the PR crap coming out of Redmond, but it becomes more interesting when governments and schools are putting full-out bans on Vista installs and/or are upgrading entire networks to Linux systems instead of taking the plunge to upgrade to Vista. I also find it interesting that a lot of consumers are sticking with XP and their older hardware, than having to pay for the upgrade to Vista, buy a whole new system and, in many cases, having to buy new hardware that’s been certified for Vista because no Vista drivers for their old peripherals are forthcoming, and probably never will.

Actually, I find it more than interesting. I find it astounding. I also find it amazing that with all this negative press on Vista, that hardware manufacturers are allowing Microsoft to bully them into not selling XP anymore, but only selling Vista. I realize that forcing the upgrades to Vista will, in the end, put more money in Microsoft’s pocket, but if no one is interested in Vista and they can’t get a computer without it, most people seem to not be buying new hardware (because they can’t get XP), which has to be hurting the bottom line for these hardware vendors.

It also freaks me out the kind of stuff that Microsoft has put into Vista in terms of DRM and the “modular OS” and the fact that they can do damn near anything they want with your computer. Almost makes it feel like you buy the computer and OS, just to end up renting it from Microsoft anyways.

I can honestly say that, despite it’s many shortcomings, I didn’t mind XP too much (I prefer Windows 2000 to it, and, of course, Linux and OS X to that). It had many many problems, sure, but it still let me use the computer the way I wanted to (more or less) and didn’t get all snotty when I did things that maybe Microsoft wouldn’t have liked, such as installing Cygwin, etc. But for them, via the DRM “machine”, to potentially lock out applications like Cygwin and others on a whim freaks me out. I can honestly say that although I still dual-boot XP here, I will never ever use Vista. And if I can’t buy a machine without it, then I won’t buy the machine. Plain and simple. Microsoft needs a good economical kick in the arse to make them realize that what they’re doing is beyond moronic… it’s downright morally wrong. For them to dictate the terms of how I use my own computer is beyond egotistical.

Yes, some of you may be snickering right now knowing that I use OS X and it has it’s own issues but they are nothing like what Vista is imposing. The only DRM on Apple (thus far) is iTunes and I have a choice there as to whether I want to buy from the iTunes store or not. I can still easily rip my own CDs, or download any music from any disreputable source I like, and still be able to use it in iTunes. Will DRM in Vista now, or in the future, allow the same? Somehow, I can see Vista’s “paperclip” (or demonic imp perhaps) popping up when I insert a legitimate Opeth CD to make mp3’s of telling me that if I don’t buy it from the Zune Marketplace or whatever they call their iTunes-wannabe, I can’t listen to it in my computer.

I think Linux on the desktop leaves a lot to be desired, but to be honest… I’d rather put up with it’s rough edges than Vista’s dictatorial crap any day. Oh, and Apple? I hope you’re paying close attention to the fallout from Vista and be damn sure you never try to pull the same stunts.

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