Vista's big upgrade! (Not so big, and not worth the wait)

Is the desktop dead? Microsoft can't even make its updates sexy anymore.

Stephen Wildstrom over at Businessweek has news for Microsoft Vista hangers-on: it's not worth the wait.

Expectations for Vista SP1 may be unreasonably high because Windows XP had such a successful overhaul in a 2003 upgrade called XP Service Pack 2. In contrast, Vista SP1 is mostly a bundle of bug fixes and performance upgrades, many of which had been released previously. There's a lot of improvement under the hood in the form of better stability, security, and compatibility, but very little of it is in a form users will notice.

Microsoft is telling the world that Vista sales are roaring, but the truth is somewhat murkier . Vista isn't blowing the doors off, but the doors are also not falling off due to rust.

It's just a new product, and one that isn't nearly as innovative and intuitive as Microsoft may have hoped. But then, neither is Leopard , Apple's new operating system.

It seems to me that we've reached the end of the road of desktop innovation qua desktop innovation. Desktop innovation in the future will likely happen in the cloud (i.e., web-based applications/services).

In the meantime, if you have Vista Microsoft has an update for you. It won't be anything to write home about. But then, neither was the original product.

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.


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