Reader Potpourri: Google, Salesforce.com and Vista
Today just seems like the kind of day made for reader feedback in RCPU, so
Our e-mail of the week comes from Jim, a previous contributor whose area code
correlates to good ol' Fort Worth, Texas, home of your editor's alma mater.
Jim weighs in -- thoughtfully, we find -- on the Google-Salesforce.com
hookup and the impact it might have on Microsoft:
"About your article, 'Microsoft
and Google: Another Patriots' Day?', and online applications, my thought
on it has always been that Microsoft has a non-breakable advantage because
of the macros (VBA) in Office. Businesses of all sizes around the world have
proprietary Office-based applications they either developed themselves or
had developed, giving them an edge on competition that they do not wish to
give up or redevelop. My evaluations after using OpenOffice and Google Apps
is that I find them lacking since they cannot make use of existing Office
macros (OpenOffice can work with very simple macros). When you include regular
add-ins like XLAs and DOTs, plus COM add-ins and managed code add-ins, Google
apps, OpenOffice and others just can't compete in the business world with
"Also to be considered in the online application war is what effect
application virtualization will have. I have been investigating a number of
those and am impressed. With VMware
buying Thinstall, Microsoft purchasing SoftGrid and Calista,
Citirx XenApp, Endeavor's JukeBox and various others, plus continued increases
in bandwidth, application virtualization will be major technology. One can
have rich applications acquired via the Web -- which run just as well as if
installed -- cached for offline use and potentially brought up as one needs
them or for a longer period. These just may make Google Apps and others moot."
Wise words, we'd say, Jim, and we're not just showing Fort Worth-bias here
(although we do have a pretty strong one). The app-virtualization angle is especially
interesting, as that technology could potentially negate or at least diminish
some of the advantages of hosted applications. As for those macros in Office,
we're right there with you -- a product as familiar and universal as Office
isn't going to go away any time soon. We have a feeling that both Google-Salesforce.com
and Dynamics CRM Online-Office will find plenty of success in a growing market
While we're doing this, what would a reader mailbag be without a couple of
comments on (you guessed it) Vista? We've had more e-mails about the beleaguered
OS than we can run here, so here's a sampling of some of what you've sent. Bob
starts us off with a bit of domestic trouble caused by Vista. Is there any problem
this OS can't cause?
"Before I will consider buying new hardware, I will replace failed
processors, motherboards, etc. before I ever go with Vista. For my personal
PC, one of the better Linux versions is a real possibility. For my old HP
laptop, I am guessing I can get by for years on XP. For my wife's system,
failure means rebuild the hardware before I replace XP. She hates changes,
and Vista's continued security prompts and incompatibilities are impossible.
I got in enough trouble when I updated her anti-virus software (free version)
with Kaspersky 7.1 and too many prompts really ticked her off. I would bet
that XP and Kaspersky are much more secure than Vista, too."
Hey, Bob, we hear you. You've got to keep everybody happy at home. Just call
XP the Dr. Joyce
Brothers of operating systems. (Is that reference too old? Should we have
gone with Dr. Phil?)
Nick sounds pretty frustrated, too:
"I'm running a dual-boot with XP and Vista. If Microsoft doesn't
pick up the speed getting Vista to rock, I'll most likely go with a Mac. I'm
tired of purchasing Microsoft's 'in-betweeny' software like Me and now Vista.
Perhaps I'll go with an ESX Server and run Mac Leopard or that dreadful penguin
junk. No more for me..."
But enough of the personal stuff. Tom's got real problems with Vista:
"My biggest client's wife bought a laptop with Vista installed. She
had a really great home network with a couple of wireless print servers, a
Small Business Server 2003 in the basement (for her photos and music), a Media
Center PC and high-speed Internet (FiOS). Guess what? The wireless print server
wanted to install drivers, but they weren't Vista-compatible. The laptop couldn't
see the server, so she couldn't get e-mail through the Exchange Server. The
Vista unit could see the Media Center PC but spontaneously rebooted during
the first file transfer between the two. I ended up calling Microsoft again.
I ended up quitting in vain, again. I ended up with egg on my face, again.
So, yeah...keep XP! I can't afford Vista. I can't afford to lose any more
Yeesh, now that does sound like a nightmare. Wayne, however, is stepping in
as the voice of calm, telling us not to worry; Microsoft will extend XP's life,
"I've said all along that XP is the best OS that Microsoft has had
on the market, and now they want people to switch from a fast and stable OS
to a slow and unstable one. It's really pretty much of a no-brainer as far
as I'm concerned, and I'm not surprised that there's a
petition. Anyone that thinks that corporate clients are going to sink
a lot of money into a new OS in this current economic climate is crazy, and
Microsoft knows it. They will extend XP's life the same way that they honored
individuals with NT4 MCSE certifications after first saying that they would
have to recertify on 2000 or lose it."
We'll see, Wayne. At this point, though, we know that you're not alone in wanting
to see XP live a little -- or maybe a lot -- longer.
Have anything to contribute about any topic? Contribute at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Posted by Lee Pender on April 24, 2008 at 11:54 AM