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ZDNet blogger gets it horribly wrong (Updated)

ZDNet blogger Adrian Kingsley-Hughes tries to draw a perilous and, as it turns out, demonstrably false comparison between that system and Windows Vista.

In a post about Apple's new OS X release, Leopard, succumbing to a mind-numbing number of complaints (a topic about which, by the way, I have absolutely no opinion whatsoever; Leopard has worked just fine on my MacBook, thank you very much), ZDNet blogger Adrian Kingsley-Hughes tries to draw a perilous and, as it turns out, demonstrably false comparison between that system and Windows Vista:

A little more than a week since Apple released Leopard and that low hum of discontent has already been amplified to the point where it’s starting to hurt my ears ... I’m guessing that the root cause for these problems echoes Vista too - a rush to get the OS out of the door.

I'm sorry. But that is the most ignorant thing I've read in a long time. (Mostly because I don't read Mac fanatic blogs anymore.)  And as noted above, it's demonstrably false. Microsoft repeatedly delayed Vista in order to ensure that it was as good as possible. Repeatedly. And these delays were widely denounced in the press, and of course in the blogosphere. How anyone could claim that Vista was "rushed out the door" after five years of near-constant delays is beyond me. It's absolutely untrue.

That there have been lots of complaints about Vista, of course, is also obvious. But then most of the people complaining make a living complaining, so it's kind of hard to draw any conclusions about that, given that Vista is the most compatible and successful release in the history of Windows. I suspect most Leopard complaints are similar, though I honestly couldn't care less: Apple's user base tends to be more technical, so of course the blogosphere is alive with silly complaints. There are real problems with Leopard, yes, as I note in my review. But then Apple always rushes releases out too soon, as I also note in my review. Saying that Microsoft did the same thing with Vista shows an ignorance of both history and simple truth. And it suggests this guy knows as much about Windows as he does about the Mac, sorry.

UPDATE: In a coincidentally similar post, Steve Bink rips into a PC Magazine writer for the same kind of silliness: Claiming that Vista has no no changes to major core underpinnings of the OS" is as clueless as it comes. That's what Vista is: A complete re-architecture of the Windows OS with a new componentized design. Does anyone out there actually know what they're talking about anymore?

UPDATE 2: Kingsley-Hughes isn't very happy with me. Understandable. I did write that he was ignorant, which I feel weird about. But I'd like to address two issues he raises in an update to his original post:

The fact that a product takes five years to develop doesn’t mean that it can’t be rushed out of the door at the end of the cycle...

This is a wonderful theoretical statement. However, in the specific case of Windows Vista, to which I was quite close during the development process, there was no sense of rushing at all. Not ever. In fact, you know that's true because they shipped it to consumers in January 2007, not in October/November of the previous year, thus missing untold sales during the crucial holiday selling season. Why not just delay it until March, or whatever, if that's what was needed? Because that wasn't needed. Vista was not rushed to market. Obviously. Anyone on the beta can tell you that. (Conversely, those on the Leopard beta, to which I also had access, will tell a different story, not to get this conversation back to the topic of his actual post.)

I’m not sure what circles Thurrott revolves in, but in the circles in which I work, most of the people I’ve come across who are complaining about Vista are people trying to get some work done using it and not being able to because something gets in their way.

Not sure about "circles," but I wrote about the success of Windows Vista, at length, in May 2007 in Hot or Not? Measuring the Success of Vista's First 100 Days. As I noted above, Vista is the most compatible and successful version of Windows Microsoft has ever released:

And what about those high profile problems that the bloggers are grousing about? According to Wascha, those issues have never even shown up in Vista's instrumentation. That's right: These bloggers actually opted out of the program that Microsoft set up so that customers can help Microsoft solve problems and thus help other customers. And when the drivers do become available, you never see follow-up posts crediting Microsoft for fixing the problems. "We sit here and wrack our brains," Wascha said. "The drivers are out there."Meanwhile, there are other pesky facts, which just don't correlate with widespread opinion pieces on the Web...

And so on. As any customer service rep will tell you, complaints outweigh positive feedback by a wide margin. That doesn't mean there are huge problems. That's true of Vista, and it could very well be true of Leopard, data loss stories notwithstanding. I honestly don't know, in Leopard's case. But I do know in Vista's. Thus my post here. 

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