Vista and Net governance discussion on the BBC

I took place in a discussion with various notables just before Xmas for an edition of the BBC’s Digital Planet radio programme and just remembered it has now come out and you can download and listen to it from its website (although I will also stick it below for ease).

The discussion was on two things: Vista, tying in “trusted computing”, and Internet governance – and on it were host Gareth Mitchell (a lovely bloke I met in Tunisia at the World Summit), woolly mammoth and terrific IT journo Bill Thompson, the unnervingly smart John Palfrey from Berkman/Harvard, and the Iranian blogger bloke who name I have forgotten and just looked up – Hossein Derekhshan – and, well, me.

To make matters worse, the producer Colin Grant, called me up and we were discussing what I thought about Vista and Net governance and I said I’d get hold of a copy of Vista before the programme. This I failed to do because Microsoft for some peculiar reason had refused to hand them out until – well, until about now, early Jan.

So I reviewed the presentations out there and read Guy Kewney’s bit about it (Guy always somehow gets there first) *but* I failed to tell Colin this, so once the programme started recording, Gareth kept leading me in with “well, Kieren McCarthy has been trying out Vista…”

I considered saying I hadn’t but then decided not to as I was sure the same points could be made, although I wish I had been able to give an image of the OS in people’s minds. Having listened to it, it doesn’t sound as vague as it felt at the time, although I do have to work on speaking more clearly and coherently. Bill Thompson, who has vastly more experience at radio and TV than I, has a much clearer, more distinct way of summarising.

Anyway, I think it’s quite a good programme. My parts are definitely the weakest, and unfortunately my comments on Net governance were cut out for time, and they left John Palfrey’s material in there – which was absolutely the right editing choice.

It was interesting to have the chat expecially since I was in Oxford, Gavin and Bill in London, John on the East coast of the US and Hossein in Madrid (although for complex reasons that I have forgotten we pretended he was in Canada). It’s a shame we weren’t all in one room, we’d probably come up with something really useful.

Anyway, here be the MP3.

  1. […] Kieren has a nice writeup of the whole thing, in which he describes me as woolly mammoth and terrific IT journo Bill Thompson […]

  2. Shome Mishtake Shurely – Microsoft gave me a beta of Vista as long ago as November, and I’m damned sure the editors of Vista magazine will have seen it ages ago or else how could they have geared up for their launch?

  3. Indeed, they were handing out betas but some MS bigwig with a marketing strategy appears to have decided to prevent any releases of the finished thing, no doubt in some kind of phoney attempt to build up expectation.

    What makes this all the most stupid is that it had already been released to business. Since OSes are not my usual line of business – there’s so many people covering any Windows launch that I find I can’t sell anything on it – I never bothered with the beta.

    Besides, when I did try to play with the Explorer beta, it completely screwed up my machine.

    I understand Microsoft is now handing Vista out. Presumably there will be some party in London when the consumer launch happens.


  4. Don’t bank on it Kieren. I’ve been trying to get Vista out of MS for months – and my beat on Techworld is, in fact, OSes. And I still have NO software…

  5. Next time, feel free to quote me! 😉

    the guy in charge of that session had his own agenda, which wasn’t ignorant, but it didn’t really give you much of an opening to get other ideas in. A pity.

    Vista is, I would say, the last time that there will be a chance for Microsoft to impose a new platform on the world. Next rev of Windows the world will have a real choice.

    And I absolutely buy the “suicide note” theory of Vista.

  6. Hey Guy.

    I think the whole Microsoft approach is pretty well thought out as it is: this is the last chance we get to have people stick with Windows no matter what, so let’s really tie the bastards in and make as much money as we can.

    Microsoft is going anti-open source in order to make open source look like a sloppy, cheaper alternative — it is the other side, rather than just software, rather than just lines of code.


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