Vol. 6, Issue 9, September 30, 2008
Errors Prompt Sarah Palin Downgrade from Vista to XP
Sources in the GOP have confirmed that, following a series of increasingly disastrous interviews, they are uninstalling Vista from vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin and 'upgrading' to Windows XP.
"Palin is a next-generation model," said Brad Forman, associate editor at CNET.com. "She represented a novel platform for most Republicans, with all the bells and whistles they could load into her hard drive. However, the system just isn't stable enough for everyday campaigning."
The move is seen as a blow for Microsoft, which has had trouble convincing customers to upgrade from the widespread and relatively stable Windows XP. Palin ran afoul of compatability problems almost from day one of her candidacy.
"They were able to run 'Spunky Frontier Maverick 1.8' pretty well at the convention, but that's basically a simple text editor, the one they use for Tele-Prompters and whatnot," said Forman. "The Republicans ran into trouble when they tried to upload Economic Terminology 2.0. They were able to patch that by disconnecting her from most external media, but the recent economic crisis required Economic Terminology 3.1 at the very least. And they just couldn't get Foreign Policy 8.0 to work at all. It gave them nothing but 'Blue Screens of Death' over and over. You just can't function like that in a working environment."
The move to XP is seen as a sensible one, but significantly overdue.
"The damage is done," said Washington Post analyst Thomas Greene. "That system error in the Katie Couric interview last week was inexcusable. If they had properly vetted Palin before selection, they would have had time to debug her before rolling her out. I don't even think they ran Family Tree 1.2 on Palin at all until the week of the convention. I'm almost afraid to ask what else they didn't check."
Analysts expect the system downgrade to take the better part of a week, during which time the Obama/Biden campaign will likely take advantage of Palin's technical problems with a new advertising campaign.
"There is a chance that Sarah Palin running on XP will not be as exciting," said Democratic strategic Marlie Henshaw. "We're hoping that voters get a chance to see behind the glitz and the advertising to the real software running underneath. I think they'll find Palin XP is less of a step forward than Vista Palin, and her novelty has been one of her selling points. So that might help us a bit."
The move comes at a critical time as Palin prepares to square off against the Democratic VP candidate Joe Biden in their first televised debate this week.
"Now, Biden's had plenty of technical issues himself," said Forman. "He's running on Windows 98, which really can't run all the programs that the Obama campaign would like; but that was never really feasible, as Obama's running on a Mac. However, technicians have had a really hard time trying to uninstall GaffeMaker from Biden. It's freeware he downloaded from his AOL account a long time ago, and it's incredibly stubborn."
Despite Biden's problems, observers suspect that Palin will still be at a disadvantage despite reconfiguring her software.
"Windows XP is solid, but not that inspiring," said Greene. "It's a safe choice. But what Palin brought to the ticket was an air of fresh promise and independence, an exciting connection to the future. If she loses the futuristic aura that Vista gave her, what do they have left?"
"I'm not even sure McCain is plugged in," added Forman.