As an IT professional about 80% of my work is based on Windows and software that runs on Windows – this means I’m constantly striving to keep up-to-date with the latest software that the big vendors ship out.
There was a time early in my career when things seemed simple : a client said “I need a server” ahhh I’d say “you need Windows NT Server!”
If they said they wanted to buy desktops for business – I’d say “you need windows NT Wokstation” and if they were buying a PC for home – well they got Windows 9x. A mail server = exchange, proxy server = Proxy Server 2. You get the idea?
Was is just me? or were things just simpler back then?
Along came Windows 2000 – Undoubtably a much better product that arrived in a few more flavours:
“A new operating system sir?, Certainly – would you like professional, server, advanced or datacentre?”
The thing is – for me; I knew my client base so i could concentrate on the products that were relevant for me. For example datacentre was out of my sphere so I never bothered myself with it.
However around the time XP came out – Microsoft start spewing out different flavours of gosh darn everything. XP pro, Xp Home, Small Business server Standard, Small Business Server Premium, Office SBE, Office Basic, Office Professional, Outlook Standard, Outlook with BCM, Windows 2003 Server, Window 2003 Advanced Server, Windows Xp Media Centre, blah….blah…..blah. It felt like every week there was another packge from Redmond with yet more disks for me to look at and more products to get familiar with. The thing is I can only be an expert in so many things (yes I know that’s hard to believe 😉 ). But, really, it takes time to learn a new product, time to become familiar with it’s particular quirks.
So what did I do? I started ignoring all the hype and stuck to the products I knew well and the ones that got the job done.
I’m not saying they didn’t release decent products, just that to me and the vast majority of my customers – most were irrelevant. SUS sounded like a great idea but with fast broadband these days do we really need it? In my experience it takes up vast amounts of disk space, unnecessary admin and regularly screws up! ISA, far too complicated – there are much easier ways to achieve the same results and, to me, the whole idea (a firewall on a server that also runs your operating system?!? That’s a bad idea to start with).
And now we have the rumors about Windows 7 – How many versions are they planning?
Looks like I’ve got a lot of work ahead of me!
If only things could be like they were in the ‘old’ days!
The Summer holidays were always sunny, I could go to the cinema, buy a bag of popcorn and get a taxi home for $1 (and still have change) and nobody locked their front doors!