With two overlappig events, Microsoft admitted what we have been saying all along: Vista, aka Windows Me Two (Me II), is a joke that no one wants. It did two unprecedented things this week that frankly stunned us.
Dell announced that it would be offering XP again on home PCs. This means that Me II sales are at least as bad as we think, the software and driver situation is just as miserable, and Dell had no choice but to buck the trend. If anyone thinks this is an act of atonement for foisting such a steaming pile on us, think again, it doesn't care about the consumer.
What happened is the OEMs revolted in the background and forced Microsoft's hand. This is a big neon sign above Me II saying 'FAILURE'. Blink blink blink. OK, Me II won't fail, Microsoft has OEMs whipped and threatened into a corner, it will sell, but you can almost hear the defectors marching toward Linux. This is a watershed.
The Vista/ME parallels really are striking. Both were a new OS from MicroSoft that was uglier, slower and buggier than the better version it was supposed to replace. The major difference is that at least ME didn't break driver compatability, or intentionally destroy media playback functionality!
Selling Vista as an "upgrade" is like selling someone an "upgrade" for their car engine that makes the fuel injection system shut down once a month, unless the person comes in and pays $20 to the shop to have the little "magic" switch flipped. How dumb do you have to be to fall for that?