CNet To Microsoft: Please Dump Vista

Windows Vista.  Those two words either make users cringe in fear or perhaps evoke happy times with the new OS.  It doesn't seem like there's a lot of middle ground here.  Perhaps some of the more jaded simply gave Vista a try before there were proper drivers for their hardware, or perhaps before some patch on Microsoft's part that fixed some technical difficulty.

Either way, the bottom line is that many of the people who have a strong distaste for Vista were also amongst the people who tried it in it's formative days.  Enter Don Reisinger, CNet blogger, who thinks that Microsoft should just drop Vista and move on:

“With each passing day, it's becoming blatantly clear that Microsoft released Vista too early and the company's continual mistakes and promises that can't be kept are further annoying the Windows faithful.

Much talk has been given to Service Pack 1 and how this update should address many of the issues users have with Vista, but I simply don't agree. Will SP1 eliminate the ridiculous Microsoft licensing schemes? Will SP1 drop the price on the higher-end versions? Will SP1 eliminate the need for users to buy a new computer just to use the faulty OS?

SP1 will do nothing but fix the holes and issues we currently know about and create even more. As we all know from the days of Windows ME and even XP, Microsoft is not the best company at finding and addressing security issues, and chances are, Vista will be no different.”

While some of these complaints seem on the edge of reason, let's not forget a few facts here.  While it is easy to empathize with the blogger, there are a few key points that have been overlooked:

No OS is secure unless it's not plugged into a network and has no other method to create/change files on the computer.  The dream of a totally secure OS is like the dream of peace on Earth.  Hopefully it'll happen someday, but it doesn't seem likely to occur in our lifetime.  The issue here is that the people developing malware are NOT stupid just because they're criminals.  They're extremely intelligent and creative and it isn't reasonable to expect an OS vendor to outwit them at every turn.  Most holes are plugged after they either get hacked or a think tank hired by the OS developer informs them of a whole.  Keep in mind that we're talking a think tank here.  That's a lot of resources and brainpower and they don't always beat the hackers.

In this day and age many companies release software before its really ready for prime time.  While we can all agree that nobody wants to run mission critical software on such an OS, the fact is that it is done day in and day out and in every corner of the world.  We'd love to see this practice eliminated, but a software company isn't a charity and eventually has to answer to its trustees.  Perhaps if a few more corporations were willing to let 'old' heads roll over poor estimations of when a product could be made ready, then this wouldn't happen.  We'll keep our fingers crossed, and we'll also hope for peace in the Middle East.  We're not sure which will happen first.

That said, the idea that the blogger reaches, that the Redmond juggernaut should dump Vista, doesn't make any sense.  Microsoft is too heavily invested, things are certainly getting better, and the expectation of 100% security is not reasonable.