At the Mall with Apple and Microsoft

We’ve seen this before, but it seems worse now. On a winter’s Saturday, a trip to the Natick Mall showed two very different retail experiences.

The Apple Store is lively with people of all ages. The further into the store you go, the more customers will you see, excitedly playing with, learning about, and buying stuff.

The Microsoft Store employees outnumber the customers. The liveliest place is not in the store, but out front, where a two-year-old girl is dancing to the big XBox video.

It’s no wonder that Apple, with but a sliver of the desktop computing market share, is worth twice what Microsoft is worth.

The kind of support we’ve come to expect from Microsoft

So, as a part of an upcoming project, I go looking for information about supported version of Internet Explorer. I find the Microsoft Product Lifecycle Search page. Aside from a few products, mostly IE on the Mac, that have been discontinued, we are presented with this gem:

Releases known as Components follow the Support Lifecycle of their parent Major Product.

Much hunting later, I learn that IE8, although not the latest version, will be supported along with the rest of Windows 7, until 2020.
The same search tool shows that mainstream support for Vista and its components ended on two years ago (4/10/2012). Extended support will keep it around for another few years. This means no new features, but bug fixes will show up on patch Tuesdays for a while more.