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One of the last times I posted something about Windows Vista my blog got lots and lots of hits. I also used the same animated graphic in that post. So… either Windows Vista is hot, or this picture is.
Anyway… I’m working on a Windows Vista presentation. I have one hour to convince folks not only that Vista has a lot of cool new functionality and features, but that Vista is a necessity in their businesses. Tough sell? Maybe… if you don’t know exactly what it can do to help your business.
“What do you want from me, Kevin?”
My question to you is: What would you want to know more about? Is there something you’ve heard of in Vista that you think a 60 minute talk should cover or “clarify” for you?
For example, the three main bullets on the Windows Vista intro web page currently hint at some really great stuff…
“Confidence”. “Lower IT Cost”. “Get more out of…”. “ways to organize”. “seamlessly connects”. “maximize”. “and”. “to”….
Anything else jump out at you? Please enter comments!
“Where are you going to be delivering this presentation?”
I’m glad you asked! I’ll be speaking at three events being put together by Angelbeat.com:
I’d love to see you there!
PS – Their website says that the “Microsoft Keynote” (that’s me) will be about “Windows Vista, Windows Mobile 5.0, and Collaboration Technology”. Either they’ll be updating their web site soon to just say “Windows Vista”, or I’ll be learning a whole lot about Windows Mobile 5.0 in the next couple of weeks.
"connects...people...information" is the same recycled marketing you pushed with Office 2003 launch so that might bring up a question of "how much more will you connect us with Vista that you can't connect with XP/2003?" Answering that question would be a good part.
Second, many people hold Microsoft at fault for the spread of viruses, worms, etc. What does Vista (hint, LUA) offer over XP that lets me work as a user and not an administrator every time I need to install a service pack.
I still haven't upgraded from Office 2002 to Office 2003 because it was such a lightweight. I'm doubting that Vista will be anything more now that all of the good features have been stripped; so I have absolutely no plans to move to Vista from XP. It's too light weight for a full version upgrade; it should be an "R2" release for XP. WinFS would have made it worth the upgrade if I could not get WinFS on XP and could on Vista. I'm telling you this so that you know what you're talking against.
As an IT Guy; upgrading operating systems is a massive task, and massive cost. I'm happy with XP. So Vista is going to need a LOT more than a cool UI (which it really isn't; I haven't seen an ounce of innovation in it yet, it's nothing more than a theme, not the Win31 to Win95 jump that blew us away).
I want to know how it's going to help ME as the guy that has to manage these things.
I want to hear about major things in Vista that I will never get in XP. Things that, now that I know about them, I will never be able to live without. Things that make me itch for an upgrade. A new theme on top of the old UI will NOT create this itch. WinFS DOES create the itch but you decided to release it on XP so I have no need to upgrade to Vista. A completely brand new user interface, like the Win3.1 to Win95 jump would make me want Vista; but you haven't accomplished that.
That "enables a new level of confidence" bullet needs to be pulled. Every new MS OS to date blows up until the first few service packs are released. Microsoft will never have my confidence in their new releases and my feelings are not unique; so you're just blowing b.s. marketing smoke at that point. (I'm not blaming MS by the way, it's just too big of a code base to truly nail on the .0 release. Linux has the same problems) Change the "new confidence" to words that tell me what changed that will give me more confidence. Let me decide what I want to place confidence in.
In short; show me why I should spend money on something that all of the "good" stuff has been stripped out of. Not just incremental good; mind blowingly, amazingly, I can't sleep without it, good.
Excellent stuff. Just excellent. Thank you. And your comments are not at all unexpected. Many of your points are huge problems in perceptions of Microsoft products based accurately on previous experience. No question.
I'm glad to know that there ARE new things that are still being included in Vista that have not been removed that do make the user interface more than "just a new theme"... ways to search, find, sort, organize, and share documents is a HUGE enabler, for one. And improvements in desktop rollouts, security (yeah, LUA is part of it), etc.
Again, thank you. It does get easy for those of us "on the inside" to assume that many of your areas of skepticism have already been addressed (because many of them have, but definitely not well enough) and that everyone already knows how hard we're working to address them.
Any Others? Speak up! Now's your chance to get Microsoft to go "beyond the fluff!" ;)
I think the first thing to clarify is: who is the audience this is aimed at?
For a home user, the new GUI and simplified home networking will be the most important issues.
For an IT professional in the small biz sector, ease of management and stability is most important.
For an IT professional in larger organisations; deployment, enterprise management and compatibility are important issues.
For everyone, the "new"-ness is a factor: yesterday I did something this way, why is it different today? Can I make Windows Vista behave like XP did?
I think an important point is that this is still Windows - just better. Explain why certain things were changed and how this makes Windows better.
To anonymous poster above:
I would agree with all your points if all I did was read the online press without actually doing any research. Sensationalist headlines draw page views, which sells ads. Truthful and well researched reporting does not. Draw your own conclusions.
Rather than looking at new whiz-bang features that you cannot live without, look at everything that has been going on underneath the GUI:
* Deployment (new image format)
* Security (LUA, etc)
* Code checks and reviews (http://blogs.msdn.com/larryosterman/archive/2005/08/23/455193.aspx)
* Cleaning up long-standing useability issues (look at file copying in beta 1)
* etc. etc. etc.
It's disappointing that some features have been pulled or postponed since PDC 2003, but rather that than even longer delays in releasing Vista.
Microsoft needs to get back into a more frequent release cycle and seems to be on the right track with R2 releases (minor functionality updates and fixes) that enterprises can choose to ignore, but will keep up with the latest innovations for those that want or need them.
Backporting key technologies is also the right thing to do for customers (even though not necessarily for Microsoft shareholders) and Microsoft should be congratulated and encouraged in doing this, not told this means there is no reason to upgrade to the latest releases.
Do you see Apple doing this for its customers? No. If you want new features, you can get on the upgrade treadmill and pay for them.
Hopefully, all backports will only be available for customers who have SA contracts. You don't get something for nothing :)
Saying all of that, hopefully Vista won't just be a better XP. We all need a bit of excitement in the Windows world - Linux and Apple users are getting way too much of the cool stuff already.