PC manufacturers seek shelter from Vista's drizzle

PC manufacturers are trying to turn Vista into something more than Microsoft, but they're failing, and would find more success with Linux.

If you needed any further testament to the colossal failure that is Microsoft Windows Vista, just read this Wall Street Journal article detailing PC manufacturers attempts to design around Vista's shortcomings, shortcomings that no amount of marketing are going to fix.

...[S]ome PC makers are trying to improve that [Vista] experience by adding their own proprietary software to their machines. In some cases, they're creating new user interfaces intended to make Vista faster and easier to use. In other cases they're replacing applications from other software companies with their own....

Today, Microsoft encourages PC makers to build software "on top of Windows Vista that enhances the customer experience," according to an email from Lauren Moynihan, a senior product manager at Microsoft.

This is the problem: they can't. At least, not as much as they'd like. PC manufacturers are trying to stand out, but given that they've ceded so much power and control over the computing experience to Microsoft, the best they can provide is "Windows dressing."

For Sony, HP, or other PC manufacturers hoping to create an Apple-esque experience, forget it. Your best chance of doing so is with Linux. When you pre-install Windows, you pre-install Microsoft's view of the world, with all the bad (and good) that comes with that view. Dell can replace Skype with its own VoIP software, but it can't replace the look, feel, and experience of an increasingly all-consuming Windows experience.

Perhaps Dell, Sony, etc. should band together with Adobe, Google, and others to create Linux-based computing experiences for consumers and/or enterprises . Each of these companies arguably has the brand awareness to take the Linux out of the Linux desktop, and re-brand it as their own. Windows will never give them this opportunity, no matter how hard they try.

Tags:
Tech Culture
About the author

    Matt Asay is chief operating officer at Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu Linux operating system. Prior to Canonical, Matt was general manager of the Americas division and vice president of business development at Alfresco, an open-source applications company. Matt brings a decade of in-the-trenches open-source business and legal experience to The Open Road, with an emphasis on emerging open-source business strategies and opportunities. He is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not an employee of CNET. You can follow Matt on Twitter @mjasay.

     

    Join the discussion

    Conversation powered by Livefyre

    Don't Miss
    Hot Products
    Trending on CNET

    HOT ON CNET

    Delete your photos by mistake?

    Whether you've deleted everything on your memory card or there's been a data corruption, here's a way to recover those photos.