Thursday, February 05, 2009

Six of 7, 3 on one mother

While Telecom used confusion as a marketing tool, it looks like Microsoft has adopted confusion as corporate strategy. Windows has learned next to nothing from the Ferrit of operating systems, Vista.

Not that you could tell from this gushing advertorial for Windows 7 in today's Herald. No, consumer testing has shown that the many many faults in Vista have been tidied up. There's a new task bar, "jump lists", "Aero Peek" and "BranchCache." While Seinfeld may no longer be fronting the ads, it sounds like he's working in the branding department.
Ben Green, Microsoft New Zealand's Windows client business group manager, said as well as improving the user experience for Windows users, 7's features should offer local businesses ways to improve productivity, cut costs, and reduce the time workers spend performing some PC tasks.
Indeed. With Windows 7 shipping in six flavours, I'm sure there's a bleeding nostril licence scheme to suit any level of business. But pity the poor bloody consumers. Nowhere in the article is mentioned the entry level 7, Windows 7 Starter.

7 Starter won't be sold separately, but as OEM systems for new computers. From Computerworld:
The Windows 7 version of Starter will retain the restrictions of the Vista edition with the name, including a limit of three applications, or windows, active or open at the same time; no local network connectivity, although the operating system can connect to the Internet; and a limit on screen resolution.
A maximum of three applications, no networking, limited screen resolution. Web browsing, music player, email client, Minesweeper. Choose 3. Friends round and keen for a networked game? Tough.

As foobar at Geekzone points out, this is an example of anti-feature:
Somewhere in the core of their OS there must be some lines, similar to this:

bool allow_new_app() {
if (edition == "STARTER" && num_apps == 3) {
return FAILURE;
else {
return SUCCESS;

Specific code, just introduced to cripple the capabilities.
This is code not through necessity, but through malice. Microsoft seem to be saying to the masses, upgrade or fuck off to Linux. Pardon me while I bathe in the warm glow of Schadenfreude.