Keeping Up With Microsoft - Newer Does not Always Mean Better

By: Tom Ace

After months and months of seeing commercials on television, Internet popups and water cooler chats we bite the bullet and rush out to grab our shiny new copy of the latest Microsoft Opertaing System or Microsoft Office. We get that warm and fuzzy feeling washing over us CONVINCED that all of our prayers have been answered and that our problems will just melt away. Do they really? Anyone who works with Microsoft products on a daily basis suc as myself knows full well that there is a lot more to it than meets the eye.


Let us just say that you support a company of 100 users / computers and all of a sudden you get a call from the CEO and says that he had seen a comercial about Microsoft Vista and he feels it should be rolled out to everyone. For starters....the CEO doesn't realize that probably the vast majority of the PC's in the office are notup to snuff in terms of hardware to even load the Operating System let alone use it on a daily basis. So....it might be the case where you have to replace at least 50% of your machines before you can even do anything. There is also a chance that the even the ones that are compatible will end up having several of their hardware components not working like the video card for instance.


Ok, well after all of the time convincing the CEO that he needs to spend a ot more money it's rolout time. It seems lke no matter how much you do your homework on finding out whether or not the companies main applications will work on Vista there always seems to be a list of problms that crop up. Now you're runing your butt off trying to figure out why, hounding the software vendor, implementing workarounds and fielding hundreds of helpdesk calls. Wait a minute, wasn't life suposed to be easier with a new and improved version of Windows? Do you think any of this was conveyed in that flashy comercial the CEO watched with all of the dancing girls and catchy music? Exactly.


To add to the glory, you have been put in charge of having to train all 100 emplyees on how to use the new system. Knowing what most I.T professionals know about the "end user" you can just imagine the nightmares involved with that. Lots and lots of hours spent showing users how to do what used to be a simple task in Windows XP which is now an annoyance in Vista. Can you see how costly this is getting up to this point? I my experience so far with Vista all it has done is slowdown the user's machine and generate double the helpdesk calls. Now imagine what happens when we throw on Office 2007? You end up getting calls from a user who now all of a sudden can't figure out how to change a Font or insert a bullet list. Users just LOVE change don't they? hahaha


I can see it making sense to upgrade if there are specific reasons in terms of security or stability...something concrete. However, to jump at each and every new version (and sometimes even a Service Pack) just because it's "New" will just cost you more money and time dealing with all of the issues. I have a simple little website http://techhelp4free.googlepages.com that I use to offer free support to people via email and I get LOTS of questions on Vista and Office 2007. I really don't see any end to it really...but hey....keeps us I.T. folks employed now doesn't it?


I myself had Vista and Office 2007 installed on my work machine for a whopping 1 day!!! Yeah, first thing the next morning I was wiping it clean and installing my good buddy Windows XP. It's faster, it works great and I don't need to pour through books and newsgroups to find out how to do something. Now imagine how the non-technical folk feel when they first login and sit there with that glazed over look on their faces. I do have a second machine running Vista and Office 2007 but onl because I have to support it...believe me...I don't use it because I like it. Did I mention how slow it is? I find that both Vista and Office 2007 have so many new bells and whistles, services, icons, color schemes and useless applets that it ust chugs and chugs and chugs. Oh well, all we need to do is throw another 2 GB of RAM at it right?


Until next time, haved you hugged your XP machine today?? For more of my articles you can also check http://techhelp4free.googlepages.com/myarticles as I post new ones on a regular basis.



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