Mojave, strength of the Bear, speed of the Puma?

So, Microsoft decided to pull some publicity about Vista by inventing a name, and showcasing it under that name.  This is what they did: An few weeks ago ( July 2008 ), Microsoft gathered 120 computer users ( supposedly Mac, Linux, Win XP and Win 2000 ) users and showed them a new OS, called Mojave. They get a 10 minute demo of the fancy OS in action. Then once the salesperson pulls his pitch and got some comments ( on camera and writing ), people find out it was Vista. 90% of them said that they liked what they saw of Mojave. Now what is wrong with that. Its a great marketing stunt, I mean these are people who won't use Vista, and now they see it in action and are impressed. Well there are a few points I want to make about it:

UAC: Microsoft admitted that UAC ( where it asks for a password to run any app not designed specifically for Vista ) was designed to annoy the user and that although it is a good security feature, because its new to Windows users, its a pain. Mojave did not feature UAC. Or at least in the demo, they didn't do a real "test in the wild" where random user apps were run, no, just their base set of applications. So take out one of Vista's most annoying features, and demo Vista, of course people will be happy.

Hardware: They ran this demo on the HP Pavilion DV2000. Hardware built for Vista. There was no cheap TV card inserted, or random webcam from 2003. This was a fully featured, decent spec laptop, which was built to work with Vista. Out in the real world away from Microsoft land, people want to plug in that sound card they bought in 2001, and that funky no name brand webcam that only works in Linux and Windows 98 that they bought before Microsoft rushed to make Win ME cause 2000 failed as a end user desktop. Vista is great if you plan only to ever have hardware built for it. Vista is also a resource hog. Old machines won't run it. I don't see Vista on the EEE ( altho it was done, I'm sure it was as a joke ). I do however see XP on mobile laptops, OSX on the iPhone, and Linux on just about anything more than a calculator ( remembering that Android, Google's new phone OS is Linux based ).

Software: I really enjoy Worms World Party, I don't know about anyone else, but its a game ( like StarCraft ) that I can keep playing. They didn't demo it on Mojave. Obviously, because its a random application that a user might want to run, that isn't Vista compatible. Microsoft might deny it, but there are a lot of applications that don't run on Vista. A 10 minute demo of selected apps in a controlled environment means that these problems are not obvious.

Time: Well, 10 minutes is not really enough to do anything decent with like determine whether 2 hours of music listening will degrade the system performance. I used to have an openSUSE 10.3 pc running 24 hours a day. I would reboot it mostly because in South Africa, power is not a consistent resource. Thankfully I'm in Netherlands now, and when I get a desktop I will probably do the same thing again. But on occasion that Eskom could maintain electricity for more than a month, we had uptimes of 30+ days. No slowing down, no crashing, no poor memory management, and no BSOD ( blue screen of death ). In 10 minutes you won't see these problems which are common to Microsoft operating systems.

The point is that in 10 minutes, I could sell a toaster running the first Ubuntu release with Enlightenment 0.16 to the Armish. If a demo is set up properly, anything can look good. I have always maintained that any OS is good enough for anyone to use if it is set up properly. Over the last few years linux distributions have got to the point where the end user no longer feels alienated by the OS, and honestly, Mac OSX and Windows Vista are becoming more like linux, so a demo of any of these 3 OSes could go down well if done properly. I want to attempt a screen cast soon of openSUSE 10.3 + KDE 4.1 ( with desktop effects ), and see how people respond. When I get some time, you will see the post :) All I'm saying is that in 10 minutes, you can't expect people to get a feel for an OS. It normally takes weeks before you discover all its nuances and get used to the way in which it operates. Although Microsoft will start shouting about this marketing trickery of theirs, its not really worth listening too.

In the end, my opinion is fixed on seeing no need to run a Microsoft OS, unless you're a heavy gamer, in which case you won't be using the resource hog that is Vista. Even then I find that if a game doesn't run under wine on Linux it probably isn't worth running or there is a clone out there somewhere. Of course game companies are slowly moving to prefer the consoles and there are even some games that have native Linux clients, like Eve Online ( sort of native, but ported with Cedega ), UT 2004, Enemy Territory:Quake Wars, etc. But thats just me, I'm a minority in this anyway. Either way, some Vista publicity stunt won't convince me or any serious gamers either. Maybe if Windows 7 allowed me to replace the display manager with XGL and run KDE4.1 natively, I'd consider it, otherwise, no thanks.

1 comment:

  1. Ultimately, a ten minute test is ideal for Vista - just enough time for a quick tour of all the pointless bling, not enough time to trip over UAC while installing, or to see the usability farce that Office and IE have become.