Memory Lane, Part II . . .

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Yesterday, we pointed out that the lack of drivers for a new MS OS was nothing new.

Is the “Stop Selling XP” order another “same old, same old?”

Not quite.

MS did have a “cease and desist” order to OEMs to stop selling Win98 and 2K, but it didn’t happen until eight months after XP arrived.

Eight is a lot better than two.

Then again, the big OEMs, at least on the consumer end, have had no problem cutting people off immediately, as evidenced by this article about Windows ME.

That article has a great line by an analyst, “”Typically, for consumer systems, you don’t have a choice. And typically, with consumers, (the new version) is what they want.”

Gee, if they don’t have a choice, how would you know how many would want something else? Not to say most probably wouldn’t choose the new, but at least they’d get to choose.

There’s also a quote from somebody from Gateway, “”Once we started shipping Windows Me, we stopped with Windows 98. [We offered Windows 95 as an option] but the demand was almost nil.”

Well, hindsight is 20/20, but those of us who were around a while now know that there were plenty of people who would have liked to have had a choice between Win98 and ME.

“We Did It Before, And We Can Do It Again”

We can see that the current situation with Vista, while somewhat worse than with XP, is more a continued deterioration than a sudden collapse.

While MS has made matters worse by coming out with an OS that really isn’t much of an improvement over XP for the average person and trying to push people into it a bit harder than they have in the past, the much bigger problem lies with the manufacturers and their “if we feel like it” attitude about drivers. After all, if Vista-compatible drivers (and software) were all ready by now, there would be a few less reasons to complain about being forced into Vista.

However, saying that doesn’t excuse or justify the situation. It’s like getting beat up by the school bully, and when you go to complain to the principal after the second or third time, you hear this:

Principal: Has he beaten you up before?
You: Yes
Principal: So what’s the problem?

The issue really shouldn’t be “This beating isn’t much worse than the last one,” but rather, “Stop beating us!”

I could rant a bit about how beatings are bad for you, but I don’t think most of you really need to be convinced of that.

Not all, though. There’s some people out there who really find these kinds of beatings to be a good thing. I’ve had a few over the course of time that have practically said “It’s the American Way.”

Even if you agree that beatings are bad for you, it really doesn’t do much good to complain about the beatings (and some like to anonymously complain about them) as opposed to trying to do something to make them stop.

So I have two little voluntary assignment, due by early next week.

For those of you who don’t like what they see, I’d like to know what you plan to personally do about it to try to make “business as usual” not being usual.

For those of you who think the situation is at least OK, I’d like you to explain to me and the rest of us why it’s OK (I won’t use your name, but I would like to know, in general terms, what you do for a living).

Both sides might want to express their opinion on whether or not a law that required manufacturers to provide drivers for their products for a warrantied period of time (say three or five years) would be a good idea or not, and why.

You know where to find me.



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