CyberTech Rambler

September 3, 2007

Who is to blame?

Filed under: Uncategorized — ctrambler @ 2:33 pm

A small news story is gradually getting pick up by online media. It is about Vista Desktop in a small city not being able to connect to the internet because of a small bug in Microsoft Vista. The ISP claims that it is a bug in Microsoft Vista, not its Linux Infrastructure and refuses to fix it. While most stories I see stops there, the link I provide above is more balance because it reported the other side of the story, i.e.,  Microsoft claims that the ISP in question should be more forthcoming with information and the article blame both parties.

Its interesting, partly because of the Microsoft vs Linux debate, and the audacity of one ISP to challenge Microsoft, something one haven’t heard of for sometime. The ISP blamed Microsoft and say it is a bug on Microsoft Vista. I am not sure it made the accusation based on technical review of the problem or the fact that other OSes works with its system. It appears that, there are server configuration that the ISP can change to cope with this flaw, but it refuses to. Presumably this is on the ground of principle: Whoever breaks it, who fix it and the ISP decided that Vista broke it. I hope it is not on the religious ground. Presumably it is using some standard software to run its infrastructure, it can help Microsoft, if it choose to, by telling it what server configuration that is needed to change. Then it will be Microsoft’s job to come out with a fix, asking the software provider for help or, in the case of open source software, peeking into the source code of the software that is modified by the server configuration if need be.

The other interesting thing is we did not see a big uproar in the city. I am sure this was factored into the ISP’s decision. Surely if 90% of the users is using Vista, it would had opted for the configuration switch. Clearly, the number of Vista users in the city was small enough to permit the ISP to make this decision, but big enough  to annoy Vista users that Microsoft has to provide a fix. This, however, in my opinion, is not a barometer of Vista uptake rate. It is only less than a year old and its too soon to say that Vista fails to be adopted. I reckon Vista uptake will eventually be very high, but as part of standard computer replacement which means it will be gradual roll out. There is a small risk that other operating systems, including Linux and MacOSX will slow this adoption, but my money will not be on this.

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