Around two weeks ago, Microsoft’s CEO Steve Ballmer announced that the software giant will stop selling and supporting Windows XP by June 30th. Microsoft’s intentions have caused quite a stir in the PC industry. Consumers and businesses alike have pleaded with Microsoft to continue supporting XP, prompting online petitions and lawsuits.
What’s bizarre about this frenzy to “save XP” is the fact that XP is Microsoft’s “old” operating system. Their “new” operating system, Windows Vista, has been on sale for fifteen months. Vista, six years and a couple of billion dollars in the making, has, for all the hoopla surrounding its release, been pretty much a flop. High system hardware requirements (resulting in poor performance on not-so-old systems), restrictive licensing terms, instability, incessant intervention to combat “social engineering” security problems, and lack of compatibility with certain pre-Vista hardware and software, have all contributed to hesitance and trepidation on the part of potential upgraders.
So much so that computer maker Lenovo is using a loophole in Microsoft’s “downgrade” rights to allow them to continue selling Windows XP “recovery” disks alongside PCs with Vista installed. Lenovo joins Dell, who previously announced they will sell PCs with XP installed and include Vista disks “on the side”.
Sure says a lot about Vista when PC users are clamoring not to “upgrade” to it. In true Microsoft form, company spokesmen are already touting the proposed features in the next version of Windows, called “Windows Seven”, which is rumored to ship in 2010. Right.
Enough depressing Windoze news. On a brighter note, last week Apple watchers unearthed job listings on Apple’s web site (and other job listing sites like Monster.com) for an Apple Retail Store in Portland, Maine.
Hallelujah! It’s always seemed to this reporter that a state that puts an Apple notebook in the hands of every student in every public middle school would be a priority location for an Apple Retail Store. Guess Apple finally figured it out as well.
No time frame for the store’s opening has been released, nor the store’s exact location, although the Maine Mall would be a logical choice.
Until the store opens, you can get your hands on a Mac without driving all the way to New Hampshire. Best Buy in the Maine Mall has recently added Apple computers and accessories to their inventory, along with (I’m told) a couple of Apple-savvy salespeople.
|© 2008 Peter F. Zimowski|