Windows Fiji: a world class failure

Summary:Before I get blasted by the uber-nerds, I'll tell you now. I've been playing with Windows 7 (6519) for a while, and Fiji, the new Windows Media Center TV Pack supposedly for Windows 7 for Windows Vista (ta, MJ) for a good few days.

Before I get blasted by the uber-nerds, I'll tell you now. I've been playing with Windows 7 (6519) for a while, and Fiji, the new Windows Media Center TV Pack supposedly for Windows 7 for Windows Vista (ta, MJ) for a good few days.


For the life of me, I can't see any differences in 'Fiji' anywhere. I'm not a big MCE user; I don't have any need for it, my computer slows down to that of a dead tortoise when using it, and there are other programs out there I use instead. Why people are getting excited about something that's been developed and tested in the darkest of shadows, I can't understand - as far as I've seen through my own research, nobody knows outside Microsoft what the new features are.

Until now. And there aren't any. OK maybe there are a few, but be my guest - take a look at the 'Fiji' screenshot gallery because I can't see a difference between Vista RTM MCE, Vista SP1 MCE, Windows 7 6519 MCE and Vista SP1 "Fiji" MCE. The reason I installed it on my Vista SP1 machine is because the *.msu file used to install the patch (yes, a patch, and only 43mb too) doesn't seem to work on Windows 7. For me, that was one of the many ironies I found with Fiji.

'Fiji', the codename of the new TV pack, derives from the name of the country. After some research, I've come up with this. Back end of 2006, a coup took over the government and was announced on national television that a new leader was out there. This is the only technological link - a new "leader" (of the marketplace?) and broadcast television. That's it. Even on that account they'll be very much mistaken. Engadget have a gallery showing the TV guide and the new features; a must see for "geeks of the green button".

Students are world renown for lazing around, doing bugger all, drinking and pondering about life. What you don't know, is we spend that time doing all and everything mentioned, whilst watching television. Most students don't have a TV so are forced to use their laptops and computers.

Considering this update seems to have nothing new, why would something like this interest students? Most of the time we watch telly off YouTube or TV-Links, that is before it died a painful and excruciating death. If this is how Microsoft continues - not keeping the testers informed, not updating the beta software and providing little-to-no information on the product itself, it's no wonder why Vista failed, and probably more than likely the likely demise of Microsoft's next incubation - Windows 7.

The Fiji update comes as a 43mb MSU file, and has recently been displayed has having problems already in the Microsoft Knowledge Base. With the controversy that it'll be an OEM release only, to those getting new computers, how difficult would it really be to pop it on the Windows Update servers? The MSU filetype is designed to be a hotfix, which is what Fiji is, if I'm honest. Microsoft aren't just shooting themselves in both feet, it seems they're doing the full Mozambique drill on themselves.

For media loving students, I'm afraid this could be one of your darkest hours. Just when my Microsoft-serotonin levels were raising after a long winter of discontent, they've just plunged me into a deep despair of depressing anxiety, with what I can only describe as "utter crap".

[Update] for sake of ease, I've uploaded the Media Center Map - the menu layout for the Fiji pack. If there's any difference or something new you see, leave a TalkBack and let me know. If there is something new in there worth looking at, I'll do my best.

Topics: Enterprise Software, Hardware, Microsoft, Mobility, Windows


Zack Whittaker is a writer-editor for ZDNet, and sister sites CNET and CBS News. He is based in the New York newsroom. His PGP key is: EB6CEEA5.

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