[H]omer wrote:

> Nine months since its release, lots of hardware and software products
> still don't work with Microsoft's operating system, including some that
> are certified as Vista compatible:
> .----
> | If you're running Vista and you need a multifunction printer,
> | Brother's MFC-5860CN might seem like a great choice. After all,
> | it's proudly sold as "Certified for Windows Vista."
> |
> | But don't plan on scanning any documents to turn them into digital
> | files. The 5860CN is capable of doing that, but the optical
> | character recognition software that comes bundled with the printer,
> | PaperPort 9 from Nuance, isn't Vista compatible. (Brother
> | recommends that Vista owners use Microsoft Office's Document
> | Imaging feature.) And the printer's Internet fax option? Forget
> | about that, too. It works with XP, but not Vista.
> |
> | This kind of Vista support, says Jim McGregor, research director at
> | market research firm In-Stat, is more like torture by small
> | incompatibilities. And nine months after Vista's commercial
> | release, it's not at all unusual. Major software publishers and
> | hardware manufacturers are dragging their feet when it comes to
> | supporting Vista, analysts say. While vendors have developed new
> | products for Vista, many are leaving customers who purchased
> | hardware and software before they upgraded to Vista with crippled
> | or inoperative gear, says Chris Swenson, analyst with the NPD Group.
> |
> | Photoshop Users Upset
> |
> | Consider the plight of Adobe Photoshop CS2 users who have upgraded
> | to Vista. That software still isn't fully compatible with the new
> | operating system. Adobe Photoshop CS2 customers have been asking
> | Adobe for a software compatibility upgrade without much luck,
> | Swenson says. "If you want Vista and you use Adobe CS, you are
> | going to have to buy the new CS3 version," Swenson says. Adobe CS3
> | ($649) is the only version fully compatible with Vista. Upgrading
> | from CS2 to CS3 costs $200.
> |
> | [...]
> |
> | At the release of the Windows XP operating system six years ago,
> | incompatibility issues affected consumers to a much smaller extent,
> | Swenson says.
> `----
> http://www.pcworld.com/article/id,13...1/article.html

Two things.

If I designed and sold washing machines that didn't wash, I suspect that
comsumer rights organisations would jump up and down on my head until I
either fixed them or stopped selling them. I can't help wondering why Vista
does not come under the banner of consumer organisations, who is jumping up
and down on Ballmer's head. How long could he get away with selling a
product that is faulty before some government organization decides that he
has ripped off the consumers for long enough and now his time is up.

The other part has to do with software development. If I write a nice Editor
or something on my openSuse and decide to distribute it, I can either put
out the source code or I can precompile it for the different platforms. The
only checks I need to make is that the libs I need are present.

If I write for Windows, only using the Windows API, then I should be able to
compile what I wrote on XP on the Vista and any missing libs should be
flagged for me. I am sure Adobe has not released software that gave masses
of warning in the compile stage, so their software must have compiled, the
API/libs must have not been flagged as any sort of problem, nothing
missing, all that is left is that the API calls are not behaving as
expected. Without bothering to alter the compiler to reflect any changes
any resulting code is going to die a horrible death.

I know what the MS folk are going to say to this. But it is absolutely true,

If I write for Windows XP, never leaving the API or the ActiveNNN, so that
Windows is my interface to all things, then my code should compile on a
Vista compiler without any trouble other than the potential loss of a lib,
Linux degrades libs too, nothing wrong with that. But the compiler must
know about it.