Fustercluck: A group activity that results in pure stupidity. A whole bunch of people hoping on the good foot and doing the bad thing…

A nice term to describe a lot of what we do at work… (Murugan – for you)

For eg. Windows Vista is a Fustercluck…that Microsoft (or Micro$oft as their haters say) wants to set right (read, erase) with the next new release in 2009 – Windows 7 (which of course is not the real name…but might as well be…after all 7 is a lucky number!). Now MS is not talking much about Windows 7 – and apparently launched a limited release to selected external parties. Nothing surprising about that…except the fact that There is already a release of the next version of Windows!

Now imagine, at Microsoft there are engineers working on Windows XP SP3 (a hugely relevant release that will result in some Vista business cannibalisation), Windows Vista SP1 (hopefully will not be a fustercluck again…) and now Windows 7! Can Microsoft ignore any of the three? Nope. Consider this:

1) There are still many hundreds of millions of users still on XP – because they didn’t upgrade their computer, they couldn’t afford the retail price of Vista or their organization decided to stay away from Vista because migration is such a pain. (like the organization I work in)

2) There are more than a 100 million users of Vista who have invested hundreds of dollars on the promise of a better computer experience. Only to receive not much more than a pretty looking interface. And I think, no one realizes this more than Microsoft. (This reminds me of when I paid Rs.100 to rent “Sex, Lies and Videotape” – and realized I only got the Videotape. )

3) Windows 7 will be what Vista could not…like XP was what Windows 2000 (anyone remember that aberration?) could not become. Each significant release from Microsoft has been preceded by a dud. (Namely Windows ME, Windows 2000 and Windows Vista) So Windows 7 should be an important redesign (in fact there is talk about doing away with the registry in 7!!).

It just makes me wonder how MS handles this kind of R&D intensity…and still be effective. The other way of looking at it is that maybe this is why MS is not that effective…and constantly suffers from bad publicity about weak products being pushed into our monopolized lives. I think being a monopoly is overrated. It’s not easy…especially if you have a conscience. There is a very nice blog I found, allegedly writen by someone working on the Windows 7 team. Geeky…but nicely written and downright funny at times. Check it out: http://shippingseven.blogspot.com/ (Of course MS denies anything to have with it!! ;))

Meanwhile, let me figure out why the hell my network settings dialog in XP is showing up in Arabic…wtf!!