PCMag has an article today on Microsoft’s new philosophies that take effect from Windows Vista and beyond. Please note, these philosophies are NOT retroactive! Primarily, it appears Microsoft has finally learned what Apple and Linux have been showing for years: people want flexibility and don’t want to be bullied.
The philosophies can be seen in more detail here, but I’ll give you a basic summary.
- Microsoft will design Windows allowing easy non-Microsoft features
- Computer manufacturers can add icons, shortcuts, and more to the OS prior to shipping
- Manufacturers will be able to set non-Microsoft programs to be the default; for instance, Firefox by default out of the box
- Exclusive promotion of non-Microsoft programs and services…meaning a manufacturer can make Google the default search engine out of the box
- Microsoft will not retaliate against manufacturers supporting non-Microsoft software
- Microsoft will provide developers with a broad range of APIs for application development
- Microsoft will provide an internet service product called Windows Live (like .Mac for Apple enthusiasts) but it will be completely optional.
- Windows will be designed to never block access to lawful web sites or fees for reaching non-Microsoft sites and services.
- Microsoft will not require third parties to promote Windows or Microsoft software on an exclusive basis.
- Microsoft will make its communications protocols available for commercial release
- Microsoft will license patents on its operating system inventions
- Microsoft is committed to supporting industry standards
Congratulations Microsoft! I think you have finally learned to play nice in the sandbox. Hopefully Vista sticks to these standards. As an OSX user, I truly wonder just how easy and user friendly Vista will be. Will windows users trade ease of use for performance? Get a Mac, where you can have both, AND Windows!