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Mailbag: Thoughts on 'Vista Capable,' Yahoo, OneCare, More

There's just no shortage of opinions when it comes to the "Vista Capable" sticker lawsuit. Today, it's the Microsoft defenders' turn:

OK...just a sanity check here. All of you whining about this, please look carefully at the your computer and see if you can figure out who manufactured it. Those whose computers were manufactured by Microsoft, keep complaining about MS. The rest of you, aim your complaints at the computer manufacturer! So much whine, bring on the cheese!

I think MS should win the case. It's fun to knock the "Big Dawg" which is why people tend to root for underdogs. I believe Microsoft didn't even have to put that label on the hardware. Let's not blame it for the ignorance of others.

In my opinion, Vista is not just Vista Ultimate. I believe (correct me if I am wrong) there are other editions including Home Basic, Home Premium, Business, etc. If a machine can run Vista Basic (without the razzmatazz of Vista Ultimate), then the machine is "Vista Capable." If the sticker said "Aero Capable," then we have a different game entirely. I use an HP dv2910us with 3GB RAM, and it's very capable of running Aero, but I use the Windows Classic theme. Just because Aero is turned off, doesn't mean I am not running Vista.

Microsoft should pay, but not through its nose.

I think everyone is missing the point about the "Vista Capable" stickers. Yes, Microsoft goofed when it allowed manufacturers to use them. However, Microsoft did not manufacture any of those low-end computers or place the stickers on the computers. Most of the blame should go to the manufacturers who wanted to mislead consumers about low-end computers.

Another important question is: Why does Vista have so many flavors? Could Microsoft be making these stripped-down products in response to manufacturers' needs? Could it be making them to make more affordable products? After all, it doesn't cost Microsoft any more money to ship Ultimate than it does to ship Home Basic. Unlike Apple, Microsoft does not control the entire manufacturing practice for its computers. If it did and forced manufacturers to make high-end computers, it would deny access to a large segment of the populace.

As they try to hang MS, how many of those same folks are trying to fry the auto companies for the mileage ratings posted on the windows of new cars? I know the auto companies all say, "Well, those are the numbers from the government testing," but I don't hear any of them saying, "Here's what you should really expect to get."

After news broke that Jerry Yang was leaving Yahoo, Doug wrote that he'd be happy with just 1 percent of Yang's success. He's not alone:

I totally agree with you on your statement. Look at the high-tech industry as a whole and the persons who started to develop companies. How many have created something major and then let go from the company? If I am not mistaken, this happened recently at VMware.

Bill doesn't think OneCare deserves the bad rap it's been getting:

One of my pet peeves with the nightly "news" programs has been the way they casually plant uncorroborated, inaccurate statements in the programs and repeat them frequently. One of your recent Redmond Reports contains such a statement: "problem-plagued Live OneCare." I have this product installed on many systems with many happy VSB users. Version 2, the current one, has worked well. It's easy to administer and has been successful in protecting the computers. I have not had to repair or clean viruses from any of these systems. It is less intrusive than any of the other anti-virus programs that are on other computers I administer.

I am happy with OneCare and hate to see it go. But then I am a user, not a journalist.

And finally, Fred needs some Wi-Fi security answers. Can some knowledgeable reader help him out?

After my initial consternation upon reading your report on the latest Wi-Fi hack, I began to wonder. As a Wi-Fi user in my home, a single-family house in a neighborhood of single-family houses, on a short street that dead-ends between two minor cross streets, how concerned should I be about the insecurity of my simple WEP Wi-Fi connection at home?

Agreed: In a hotel or at a public hot spot, I'm at serious risk. But how about at home, under the circumstances described above?

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Posted by Doug Barney on December 02, 2008 at 11:53 AM