I'm no Microsoft basher, but I've never hidden my personal loathing for Vista. Yet even I was surprised to learn this week just how cynical Microsoft appears to be regarding Vista.
It started the other day when a Steve Ballmer speech to the Microsoft MVPs leaked out. According to several news sources including this one from ArsTechnica, Ballmer called Vista "a work in progress" at a Microsoft MVP meeting. Well, I could have told you that. It's slow, annoying and smacks of a less than stellar effort by the Microsoft development team, but people have paid big money for this OS and they have a right to a product that's not in progress, but one that's ready to go from Day 1.
To be fair, according to Char James-Tanny, a Microsoft Help MVP who was there, most folks, in her view, weren't buzzing about this comment after the speech. In fact, she says she was impressed with Ballmer's energy and after seeing Vista in use all week, saw Ballmer's comment in a more positive light, that there would be more changes and improvements on the way.
Maybe so, but it certainly didn't help the cause when an internal Vista sales motivational video leaked the other day and was posted on YouTube. The video, which is supposed to be a spoof on Bruce Springsteen's 1984 Dancing in the Dark video makes fun of Microsoft Sales messages. Not only is it cheesy, and it spoofs a video that's 25 years old, it shows that Microsoft knows its own sales messages are bull, something we all knew all along, but we don't expect to hear, you know, from the vendor.
All of this comes on the heels of Google announcing its partnership with Salesforce.com, an announcement that stole the thunder of the MVP conference. Then Microsoft shoots itself in the foot with these leaks. You would think corporations would have learned by now, that all this stuff gets out eventually and when it does, it doesn't look very good. In this case, it proves what I've always suspected, that Microsoft knew Vista was a dog from Day 1, but with so many years invested, they had little choice but to put on a happy face and release it. It's only now that we see that even they didn't believe their own hype.