Wed Jan 31st, 2007 at 04:42:00 PM EST
Microsoft Vista has been released and a check of the usability of some of my photo-related peripherals reveals that the makers have no intention of providing new drivers to support the older equipment.
I posted this to several photography blogs and got interesting replies.
My point was that I felt makers have a moral obligation to support products that they sell for a reasonable period of time. This includes providing spare parts, consumables (like unique batteries or ink cartridges) and upgrades.
Many people felt that rendering equipment that is less than five years old useless is entirely natural and that one is under no obligation to buy the new software from Microsoft. They missed the point that one may be forced to buy the new software when one's existing computer fails and needs to be replaced. Why should one then have to replace everything else associated with the CPU unit?
Seeing so many people take the position of the makers was just a surprise to me. The concept that a firm owes something to people who have purchased their product seems not to exist anymore.
Others, however, got the point as this press release from the UK Green Party indicates:
Green Party asks: who has the key to your Vista PC?
"There will be thousands of tonnes of dumped monitors, video cards and whole computers that are perfectly capable of running Vista - except for the fact they lack the paranoid lock down mechanisms Vista forces you to use. That's an offensive cost to the environment.
"Future archaeologists will be able to identify a 'Vista Upgrade Layer' when they go through our landfill sites."
I have camera equipment which is 50 years old and works fine. Apparently younger people see nothing wrong with being forced to junk operational equipment in under five years.
No wonder the ideas of conservation are getting so little traction. Maybe attitudes in Europe are more enlightened?