Sunday, April 17, 2005

Longhorn end-user features.

Even Joe Wilcox is saying we'd better start talking about features and
less about the geeky improvements in Longhorn: href="">"Been
There, Done That" Isn't Good Enough. Specifically, Mr. Wilcox is
evaluating Jim Allchin's initial Longhorn buzz-tour and what Allchin is
talking about. Snippet:

Jim is telling a well-read story and one emphasizing too many
negatives, what I see as code words for fixing what's wrong or what people
believe is wrong with Windows: perceived security problems, protected files
if notebook lost, troublesome patching processes or painfully difficult
networking. I can't see how going on the road to tout perceived problems
with Windows is the best way to promote Longhorn. What about the positive
user benefits? Surely Microsoft has something to say about Longhorn's
positive user benefits.

The more I talk to people when I'm out and about outside the Geekosphere,
the more I do hear that they are incredibly happy with Windows XP. It's not
just good-enough, it's super-incredibly good-enough.

When Longhorn comes out and if the economy is anything like it is today,
folks are not going to be plunking down $100 for that upgrade. They'd rather
refuel their car a few times, most likely. And if Allchin's message is
forming the foundation for Longhorn's goodness, you damn well better believe
they aren't buying a slice of that cheese.

If we as Microsofties (and those vested in the success of the
Microsoft platform
) want to ensure Longhorn's success we're going to
have to take it on ourselves to build the viral buzz of
ooh-I-gotta-have-me-some-of-that. To hell with the money drain of folks that
can produce commercials of people flying around to Madonna's music. We have
to pull Longhorn by the bit-straps now and conjure up the compelling
end-user features and energize our customers from the ground up.

Oh sure, I get the giggles when I realize an XML tag can in fact
instantiate a .NET class or that I have some super cool vector rendering
going on. I'm still a geek at heart and stuff like that makes my heart go
pidder-dang-padder. But so what? So what to the folks who have
reached a critical mass with iPod deployments such that it is now an
entrenched market point, let alone having a halo effect around MacOS
deployments? You can poo-poo Apple all day long, but they have a working
long-term strategy and seemingly a great ability to ship OS.

Tiger OS vs. Windows XP vs. Longhorn. Who wins?

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