Well as I write this it is a few days after Vista’s launch, and it has yet to set the software market alight. But this is nothing new, it happend with XP. How do you convince people the latest and greatest is worth the money? Microsoft is in a tough position due to stiff competition - old, working, fully-compatible windows machines don’t disappear into thin air. There has been a lot more FUD (Fear Uncertainty and Doubt)abput Vista already from the Free and Open Source camp. Some of the harsh critiscims will be justified, others probably not. Regardless this will not hurt Microsofts marketing whatsoever, the average user doesn’t share concerns over digital restriction/rights management - yet. Microsoft say it will be on 100m PC’s by years end. I don’t think it will be as fast as Microsoft would like, due to: 1) People wait for service packs. 2) People don’t upgrade PC’s as fast now. Most things people identify their computer with is increasingly online, a worrying trend if I were Microsoft, this creates platform independence for the average user, granted not the gamers, or other highly specialised software vendors.
Ubuntu/Debian are working on a Windows installer. This is great news which I welcome 100%. I think Ubuntu could eclipse Firefox as the Free/Open Source poster child if it plays it’s hand correctly. Top of the list would be the best migration of settings from Windows possible- Language, Keyboard, Preferences, Address Book etc. Make this as seamless and as thoughtless as changing from Internet Explorer to Firefox, and it is nothing surer to be a huge way of increasing Linux installs. Picture this: no CD-Recordables to be burnt, no settings to set, 10 minute .exe click install just like any Windows application and you will see what I mean. Add to that no partitioning (Ubuntu uses a disk image in Windows), no modification of Windows file and an Add/Remove option to get rid of it, and instantaneously you see the appeal, I cannot wait for this project to be mature, and heres hoping Ubuntu use it for mass distribution. It can instantly be that cure all for viruses, spyware etc. we have all come to accept on the windows platform, but why?