Assignment Statements, Comparisons & Observations
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Windows Vista and Drupal

Saturday, February 03, 2007
VistaWindows Vista was finally released to the consumer-market a few days ago. And its all over the news that the Microsoft took almost 6 yrs with 8000 staff to come up with version of the operating system, costing about 6 billion dollars. For a billion a year, Vista better not be a hype :) Do good products normally fall behind schedule ? Irrespective of deadlines, how come it takes so much time to create the next major version of their product when the previous versions didn't take so drastically long to develop ? There have been a lot of criticisms on Microsoft's delay in Vista. The problem with a few organizations is that, when they try to go for a re-engineering of their product's next major version, they spend more time developing a new framework from ground up and not having parallelly developed and released minor upgrades to their lastest version. Microsoft took the former strategy and expected users to dive right into Vista after using the 5yr old XP. Old may not be gold in software, but when people have got so used to XP, migrating to Vista overnight is just not going to happen. Moerover, most of the PCs manufactured over the last 5 yrs are "made for" Windows XP. In 2005, bit-tech pinned down the hardware requirements of Vista in their article, Vista is a hardware beast, though Microsoft's Minimum Supported Requirements is pretty reasonable, except for minumum 15GB HDD space. On the Linux-Windows desktop battlefield, Windows is clearly winning, but its Windows XP thats ruling. Now, Vista has a competitor - Ubuntu. But Ubuntu needs far more memory than running a machine with RedHat/Fedora OS with all components installed including OpenOffice. Vista Business is still kept at WinXP Pro price, at about $300, while the Home Edition costs ~$240. So this is good news because after 6 yrs, the cost has gone down, though it could've killed piracy if it were for just $100 and Bill Gates would've made far more money out of customers from developing countries. If you can afford Vista, you'll need to afford to buy more hardware to "experience" Vista. Remember the etymology of XP ? eXPerience. It took some time for Microsoft to get this through its users but I believe it paid off after SP2. We will still be XPeriencing for a while or wait for the hardware price to drop. But getting accustomed to Vista when we've already spent so much time customizing our preferences to XP, a better result to switching will be switching to Ubuntu. Vista is the experience for 10th graders like it was for me for Windows 95. [Win 3.1 to Win 95, Win XP to Win Vista]. Coming to drupal. The reason for comparing drupal to vista is because of a similarly large time-gap to its latest version 5. Version 1, 2 and 3 were all released in the same year, 2001 ! Drupal 4.0 was out in mid 2002. 2 weeks ago, on Jan 15th, Drupal 5.0 was released - thats almost 5 yrs later ! But version 4 has a long list of update-versions over the last few years. So drupal users weren't left in the dark waiting for whats coming in version 5.0. Thats the best part about open source, the nightly releases are always there to know how the future would look like. Access to roadmap is very important for IT guys. Yes, Microsoft released many of its CTP and beta builds of Vista, Visual Studio and .NET SDK but the leap was still from one mountain peak to another. And couple of days ago, which is exactly 2 weeks after the release of Drupal 5.0, a update version 5.1 was already out ! Drupal Version History So should you go open-source ? From Drupal: When is the next release ? Per the Open Source tradition, when it's ready. Lol. This is something managers wouldn't want to hear ! Vanakkam !