Who needs Windows XP? I do.

I was reading a Computerworld blog today that commented on Microsoft’s current stance on the impending end of the line for Windows XP this June. I found the comments somewhat interesting and varied, but as I continued to read, the frustration began to simmer and then I read a reply by someone named Bob Bain.

Mr. Bain apparently felt that the XP supporters were just Vista haters who, as he put it, fell into three groups: those who did not have the resources to support Vista, those who simply bought into the negative hype and those who just resisted change. He asked, “Who needs XP? Not me”, and proceeded to sing the praises of the OS and chide those who refuse to keep up with the changing technology.

This really irritated me. Is he saying he believes everyone should be forced to upgrade simply because the technology exists, and everyone who doesn’t or can’t do so when Microsoft decrees it should be cut off?

Who does he think he is?

There are many reasons for people not to upgrade to Vista. Just because Microsoft says I should do so doesn’t mean it is right for me or that I should. This is my PC, not Ballmer’s. I built it, I paid for it, I operate it and I decide when, how and if I upgrade, not the CEO of the company who sold the software to me. If I don’t want Vista, it is my right. If I want to buy XP, any company who aims to please their customers and sell more software would be stupid not to sell it to me. I am the consumer. I am the customer. The company should sell the customer what the customer wants, not try to force the customer to buy something the customer does not want.

What other business that wants to stay in business and keep its customers does that?

Do I hate Vista? No. I simply don’t want it. I have very good reasons not to want Vista on my systems.

Aside from my business as a reseller and system builder I do audio production. I do not use or recommend Vista for AV production at this time because of driver issues and, particularly, DRM. It causes too many problems in my environment and I neither have the time nor the resources to deal with it.

Why should I plunk down all that money for overpriced licenses and then deal with the costs and headache (time=money as well, you know) of trying to get it to play nice in my studio just to fatten Ballmer’s bottom (line) when I could just install Windows XP and go about my business? Why would I want to do that? Why should I? Because Microsoft said so? Because I will be branded as a Vista hater if I don’t? It’s my money. It’s my PC. It should be my decision. Where are my rights as a consumer here?

To all those who look down in disdain on those who haven’t adopted Vista – and contrary to a previous post, we are NOT in the minority – may I remind you that as consumers of software, whether home users, SMBs or enterprise – that we are the customer, we have a right to complain when we are paying through the nose for “the use” of this software and Microsoft, as a vendor and provider of such software ABSOLUTELY has an obligation to LISTEN and give the customer what the customer wants.

If not, they will lose that customer, no matter how tight a grip they have on the market.

That’s business. That is how the market is supposed to work.

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