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Vendor Promises and Senior Moments

Like most of us, I have a tendency to forget things every once in awhile. I call these lapses "senior moments." Unless they happen around something important, like a departure time for a flight, a speaking engagement, an article deadline, or my wedding anniversary, I can usually shake them off without a lot of trouble. Thats the way with senior moments.

Recently, after reading an article about Microsoft Vista (formerly Longhorn) that provided a detailed blow-by-blow recounting of the company’s statements about the product, its timelines, the deadlines that it met and failed to meet, and other errata, it occurred to me that the press has a long memory, devoid of senior moments, when it comes to Redmond. For better or worse, every step taken by the company is watched like a hawk--and dutifully stored by pundits possessed of a steel-trap memory once attributed to elephants.

I wondered why storage vendors aren’t subject to the same long term scrutiny. Why doesn’t anyone track what EMC, Network Appliance or any of the other mavens of storage promise to develop – you know, from first conceptualization to final product? Why can’t I find lengthy articles, complete with time lines, that identify what the vendors actually delivered to market and when, assessing whether they actually delivered on their promises?

It is easy for newshounds simply to fill their daily, weekly or monthly rags, blogs and websites with rewrites off the press wire. God knows, the storage industry kills entire rainforests annually with press releases about meaningless upgrades and product rehashes.

That’s the kind of low-grade "journalism" you assign to newbie writers. They labor day after day rewriting press releases into short articles, devoid of analysis or insight, so that we can all benefit from the broadest distribution of vendor marketecture . Not to be too critical, such drudgery may also have the side benefits of providing the writers with a bit of seasoning in the terminology of storage (savaged as it is by vendor marketing departments) and product names. It also keeps vendors happy enough to buy ads in the rag.

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