It's not quite that simple
I'm not a fan of the Vista security model as it is implemented, but that whole story got blown out of proportion. The real problem was with how Symantec and McAfee chose to implement their AV products that was the root of the problem. Other, smaller, AV companies had no troubles at all getting their products working on Vista. Symantec and McAfee just wanted Microsoft to change to suit them, rather than the other way around.
I only defend MS on this one because the intent behind the changes is a good one. It was a change that is intended to make it much more difficult to get a rootkit onto a Vista system. Rootkits use the same "tricks" that AV programs use, so it's kind of a no win situation for Microsoft. If they close off access for rootkits, they invariably do the same for AV programs. There just aren't any ifs, ands, or buts about it.
Ultimately, I think Microsoft could have handled the situation far better than they did, but at the same time, was really only deserving of about 50-75% of the blame given to it.
And no matter what, Vista is ultimately a good thing in my mind. If it succeeds, then it must be good enough that switching to something better would be more trouble than it's worth in the long run. If it flops, which I think is far more likely, it does two things. It opens the door for Apple and Linux to gain an even stronger foothold in the market if they're able to capitalize on it, and it be like a good slap in the face to Microsoft. Telling them, if they listen, that their customers are unhappy with their current offering, and if they don't do better the next time around, they probably won't get another chance. So long as Gates, Ballmer, and Ozzie are still at the helm of Microsoft though, I don't know that the message would be heard. The three of them are too firmly rooted in the old Microsoft business model of the 1980s and 90s, before the Internet came along. They keep trying to jam that square peg into the new round hole, and refuse to face reality.
One of my other concerns, is whether or not Apple and/or Linux is equipped to fully exploit consumer and business outcry over Vista. Linux is far too fragmented, with a number of factions all doing their own thing, and Apple would never be able to meet production demands unless they reopened their clone licensing business. With the release of OpenSolaris, Sun has an interesting competitor for Linux, but still faces the same fragmentation at the GUI level... GNOME vs KDE, GTK vs Qt, etc. If Apple made a deal with the likes of Dell, HP, and Gateway, they could probably displace Microsoft in short order. But convincing those companies to do anything that would jeopardize their OEM agreement with Microsoft would be a very tough sell. You'd have to show convincing data that significant numbers of customers are ready to buy. Enough so that all the retooling required would be profitable.
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