Last Thursday, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer created a virtual firestorm when he said the following about the much maligned Vista operating system:
Windows Vista: A work in progress. [Laughter, applause.] A very important piece of work, and I think we did a lot of things right, and I think we have a lot of things we need to learn from. Certainly, you never want to let five years go between releases. Can we just sort of kiss that stone and move on? – Todd Bishop’s Microsoft Blog, SeattlePI.com
While I’m glad to see Mr. Ballmer’s frankness regarding the ongoing issues with their most recent operating system offering, on the other hand I need to ask the simple question any and all individuals involved in supporting a church or charity’s IT operations needs to ask:
If my office, contact management, presentation, web administration, and other applications are all web-based, then what is the value proposition of sticking it out with Microsoft’s expensive work in progress, versus a more cost effective work in progress such as Ubuntu? – Dean Peters, Heal Your Church Website
In other words, did Steve Ballmer accidentally commit an act of software seppuku through this self-inflicted F.U.D.? Or is this a CEO’s way of cutting Vista losses so more development resources can be relegated to Microsoft’s Singularity efforts?
I can’t tell. Meaning, I am in no more of a position of visibility to clearly see if that’s what’s actually happening here than Microsoft Vice President Chris Capossela appears to have of Microsoft Work’s competition from Google Apps.
- Ubuntu, also a work in progress, offers a platform that won’t require expensive hardware and software upgrades in the short to mid-term;
- Online office suites such as Zoho and Google Apps allow me to work collaboratively and concurrently across diverse locations and computer platforms; and
- Microsoft continues to move the goal posts, perpetually engaging in long-standing practice to significantly change applications, operating systems and programming languages.
Such ‘fog of war‘ is never a good thing when making potentially expensive operational decisions. And if good stewardship means making decisions that won’t cost my church or charity in terms of money, man hours, and madness, then do heavy investments in client-based applications for either Ubuntu or Vista make sense?
All the more so when one considers that the majority of the work is occurring not just in a single office, but also in the homes and office desktops of the various laypersons and volunteers whom shoulder the brunt of the workload and expense?
What about you and your organization? Can you afford to feed dollars and hours into a work in progress that will likely require upgrading not only hardware, but a number of the residing desktop applications … or is it time to consider moving off the desktop and into the web space?
This one has been buggin’ me all weekend, so comments and opinions please …
… meanwhile, some additional links on the Ubuntu vs. Microsoft Vista topic:
- Vista versus The Gutsy Gibbon – Ubuntu 7.10 – ZDNet
- Information Week – Ubuntu Linux Vs. Windows Vista: The Battle For Your Desktop
- Ubuntu vs. Vista, Information Week vs. Ubuntu News – Ubuntu News
- DesktopLinux.com – A Vista vs. Linux Matchup
- Operating System Showdown Ubuntu Vs. Vista -Â BBSpot (let the reader understand:-)