“This is not the target market” -Mitch Hedberg

This morning I noticed a message entitled “Happy birthday Windows Vista” in my inbox. The message was in French but the subject line was still in English, which kinda hints at the idea that Microsoft “doesn’t get” Canada’s bilingualism, but that’s nit-picky of me… the message offers me a 2-for-1 on Vista Ultimate upgrades. If I buy one, I get a second one free.

I’ve written here a few times about Windows Vista, I think it’s pretty damn terrible. I really haven’t had *anything* positive to say about it. It offers nothing substantial over XP but needs twice the system resources, and really serves no need except Microsoft’s (namely, to increase OS revenue and let Bill get that additional ivory backscratcher he’s been eyeing). So clearly, I’d have to have withstood some form of brain damage to then go and spend more money on what is essentially more Vista. Something that offers little additional functionality, and probably requires even more resources.

And then I get this bit of good news in my inbox. If I decide to go with the slower, more DRM-shackled computing experience I can have that wonderful experience on not one but TWO PCs! What a dream. So I asked myself, do I have TWO PCs that I want to run slower and with poorer hardware support?

Well, as a matter of fact no… I think my computing experience is fine with XP and Ubuntu, really. I have Vista installed on one of my PCs — but I’m really not using it; it was something I got for free because of an upgrade program and I’ve really only made use of it when Halo 2 came out for the PC (and a tepid-tastic experience that was, really). I guess Redmond really doesn’t get the fact you’re really not going to make anyone optimistic about Vista, unless you pay them to sell it of course.

This wonderful offer did make me smirk a little, I have to admit. With all these “special offers” it’s becoming pretty clear that Vista retail is a flop and that Microsoft isn’t too far from the point where it’s going to consider giving it away, or even maybe paying people to use it — I have heard from trusted sources that Microsoft has some pretty hefty rewards for high-profile bloggers who move on from Windows to open-source solutions. Maybe the same phenomenon is about to hit the retail channels. That might have the distinct advantage of making Vista actually worth using. In any case it seems that bribing your user base must be more expensive than actually listening to what customers want, at least for the Redmond giant.

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