Over the last week I have been on a whirlwind trip around Europe - roughly seven countries in seven days. There has been a lack of updates lately as a result.
So the big news, at least according to some, is that Michael Dell took the helm again at Dell. This certainly didn't come as a surprise to me, as I'm sure many others expected it. Though Dell himself stated Kevin Rollins was doing a great job, I think the article I wrote prior to the HP Voodoo acquisition has an interesting perspective. It seems to me that this announcement was a reactionary announcement rather than a proactive move, which could have happened much sooner. Either way I wish him well in his "new" job, better late than never I suppose.
That leads me to the next story which I wrote for CPU Magazine. It’s about Microsoft – a company that I love and appreciate. Love them or hate them, almost everyone uses them.
I believe when a company gets too large they tend to forget what got them there in the first place. I think Microsoft would benefit immensly if they took the time to stop and go back to their core DNA - what made them successful to begin with. Once they find out what it was, they should expound on it to meet today's market needs.
I wrote this article because I care about the company, and nothing more. There are so many new dynamics in this industry. If companies like Microsoft do not arm themselves accordingly it could have profound long term effects on the rest of the industry.
Here is the article;
Over the last few years, gamers have been waiting patiently for Microsoft to launch Windows Vista. Like many of you I have tested various versions along the way, each time reinstalling Windows XP shortly after for one reason or another.
Delay after delay, I had always come to the defense of Microsoft when people challenged the future of Vista because I believed that it would be the ultimate entertainment OS.
Months later and still a big believer, I figured that Microsoft delayed the launch in order to launch a solid product with few bugs. Vista is late—very late—but perhaps it’s better late than never. By the time you read this, you may very well be running Vista yourself, but at press time the big day has not yet arrived.
I recently attended the big Microsoft Vista pre-launch gala at Caesars Palace, though you’d never know it was a Vista party because there wasn’t much in the way of a business message. In fact, I thought the organizers were more interested in packing people in the club rather than driving Microsoft’s business; the event ended up being overcrowded to the point where any chance of effective messaging was lost.
In any case, I have been using one of the later versions of Windows Vista on my home PC and I can honestly say that I am having trouble getting past certain issues. Though I love and appreciate the entertainment and gaming potential, there are other issues that I have run across which probably shouldn’t be overlooked. I understand that there is a weaning period for any new operating system and I’m certainly willing to give it a chance.
If I were a betting man (and you know I am), I would venture a guess that many of you will go insane trying to set up something as simple as a home network. I brought this and other issues up with some good people at Microsoft in a recent meeting at CES. They assured me that my troubles were due to the fact that I’m running a pre-release build, so I’m hoping the later drops are significantly better.
That said, there are also DRM, driver, and security confusion to contend with. The price of Vista Ultimate is so high that I wonder if Apple will consider licensing its OS to combat the giant.
Don't get me wrong, I like Vista very much, and I think it's the best operating system Microsoft has ever put out - but damn, it took too long to come out. Now people are making fun of the fact that they have so many different versions it's confusing -- you think?
I have to admit that I’m a bit concerned for Microsoft; I have a personal allegiance with them. In fact, I cannot currently bring myself to purchase an Apple product. I once won an iPod, which I promptly gave away, and now I proudly carry a Zune (by the way, this device is tight!).
Why the allegiance you ask? I really identify with Bill Gates’ philanthropic mission, and I respect him immensely for proving to the world that he’s more than a “monopolist.” Bill and Melinda Gates are the most generous people on earth, and it’s odd to think that they, being the richest people in the world, are also among the most deserving. Not only this, but I also believe Microsoft has great products, and their success is key to keeping this industry moving forward.
All said, they have been very accommodating. The company asked me to fly to Redmond and work through my issues, which my contacts truly believe are minor and fixable in fairly short order. I sure hope so, and I have every faith in their sincerity. I have every intention of taking them up on their offer as soon as possible, perhaps prior to launch.
All companies go through similar challenges at one point or another; I have cited many of them in previous articles. I am a big believer that there is one sure way to fix any such problems. It requires going back to basics, going back to what made the company successful in the first place. Microsoft may need to go back to the fundamentals and get rid of the excess fat in certain areas. I believe that deep within Microsoft is the ultimate fighter just waiting to kick butt again.
So yes, I am slightly worried about a thing or two that I have seen in Vista, but I’m not quite in panic mode just yet. I sure hope Bill goes back to Microsoft though, because no one knows Microsoft better than Bill.
If you haven't yet subscribed to CPU Magazine, do it! It's a great publication.