In his blog, The Intuitive Life Business Blog, Dave Taylor writes that the ethical non-issue over the Microsoft laptop giveaway is a red herring. By giving away laptops with Vista pre-installed, they do an end-run around two major issues:
- Installation problems
- Hardware requirements problems
“That's the only conclusion I can draw,” he writes, “because if it were a breeze to upgrade from WinXP to Windows Vista, with all your apps backwards compatible, all your data intact, and all your files untouched, you'd be happy to install Vista on your existing PC and enjoy the new OS.”
In fact, I had exactly those problems with Release Candidate 1: it took three separate attempts to upgrade my office desktop from XP to Vista, and my upgrade became a full install (complete with the loss of the data on my XP system) since the installer crashed in mid-process. As for performance issues, I've decided to take that desktop back to XP because it feels rather sluggish under Vista. I don't think that the desktop's processor is an issue — it's a 3.2 GHz P4 — but rather than RAM, which is at a half-gig versus the full gig in the Ferrari laptop they sent me.
I think Dave's hit the nail right on the head with his observations.