Let’s make it clear, this isn’t a personal rant – although I am finding the lack of Vista drivers for devices that happily attached to my XP laptop a bit frustrating – it’s a look at recent news stories and their significance.
Firstly then, there’s Adobe, who have announced that Vista-compatible drivers for Postscript-enabled printers will be available in July. Hang on, didn’t Vista appear in the shops in February! Why has Adobe waited six months? Well, of course, the answer is that Adobe hates Microsoft. (For legal reasons I need to point out the use of hyperbole is solely to make this blog more interesting and is not taken from opinions stated by representatives of any company mention herein – phew!) Users of Adobe’s DreamWeaver, InDesign, and Photoshop products will be aware that there isn’t (or last time I looked anyway) a Vista version of the products. Also, in Europe, Adobe and Microsoft have taken up the cudgels. Adobe claims that Microsoft has violated EU trade laws by bundling Vista and the XML Paper Specification – you know, the thing that’s more than a bit like Acrobat. Plus, of course, not only is Microsoft trying to eat Adobe’s PDF lunch, it’s also set its sights on Flash. Microsoft now has the Silverlight multimedia authoring tool. But Microsoft is also a little vexed by the fact that Adobe will soon have an equivalent to Media Player. The beta of Adobe Media Player should be out later this year.
Then there’s the Open Source community. Microsoft really hates them. Microsoft is now claiming that the Linux kernel violates 42 of its patents. And that’s not all – other Open Source programs (and I’ve heard Open Office is included in the list) apparently infringe 193 patents.
Who else? Well, let’s not forget that Microsoft hates Google. Google is king of the Internet and is offering all those Office-like applications over the Web. They have a PowerPoint equivalent coming soon. Plus Google has its own desktop gadgets much like the ones found in Vista – only more of them. Plus, Google has outbid Microsoft for advertising company DoubleClick. And talking of Office-like applications, have you looked at www.zoho.com yet? They’re definitely going to appear on Microsoft’s hate list!
And now Dell has been added to the hate list. Dell has been supplying computers for years with Windows as the operating system. Now, it is saying that customers are asking for XP rather than Vista as the operating system and it is supplying them with it. But that isn’t its cardinal sin – no Dell is now supplying new computers with Ubuntu installed. Another victory for Linux.
Microsoft is apparently going to upset the phone and network companies with its unified communications device (to be announced).
Does Microsoft like anyone? Well yes, they are good friends with flash card manufacturer SanDisk. Together they plan to put application programs on memory cards. As a user, you plug your memory card into any computer and you can access personalised e-mail programs, Web browsers, productivity tools, multimedia applications, and, so they say, more. What a stupid idea! What happens when you forget your memory stick or you are trying to use two computers? Haven’t they heard of the Internet?
In addition to its unified communications announcement, Microsoft is also showing off its online storage facility. So it has a lot going for it at the moment. It just seems that in order to stay at the top it is upsetting other companies rather than trying to work with them. We don’t all hate you Microsoft, you just seem to have a habit of putting people in a difficult position.
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