Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Not much of a (Windows) Vista

I have to say that I think Microsoft have lost the plot with Windows Vista. I can see where they're coming from, in that they've got all these programmers hanging around and they're trying to make money etc., but honestly, isn't Windows XP complex enough? Isn't XP good enough? In many ways, Windows 98 and ME was quite sufficient for hosting the work of 99.9% of computer users. XP added benefit in that it rolled in the guts of Windows NT, with enterprise-quality innards, but surely there comes a point when enough is enough. I'd much rather Microsoft directed its programmers to squashing the remaining bugs in XP (as opposed to disclosing and fixing them in a drawn-out series of updates) than invested millions of man hours in yet another new operating system.

Will Vista be better than XP? Probably. Will it need new hardware to run properly? Definitely. Does Vista offer any concrete benefits over XP? Not really. There is absolutely no way that most people/businesses will pay lots of money to upgrade their hardware and software just to be able to coo over extra transparency effects or desktop 'gadgets'. No doubt Vista will become commonplace 3 or 4 years from now, if only because replacement PCs will come with it pre-installed, but Microsoft shouldn't be under any illusion that professionals like me will give Vista the time of day as a considered upgrade.


graham said...

Much of what you say is true, but there's a couple of considerations that might change your mind in the long run.

First, like any major Windows release, there's a whole host of little incremental improvements rolled up into Vista, my favourite is the ability to say 'Yes' to multiple items in explorer dialog boxes - nothing to rave about but one of a whole bunch of small changes that add up to something significant.

The other is the real improvement in the video, I don't mean the 'glass', which is a trivial gimmick, but the better fonts, better handling of the video card, and better presentation at higher screen resolutions. You'll particularly appreciate this if your monitor is greater than 1024 x 768 - the improvement over XP is noticeable.

And there's Media Centre. That's worth downloading the beta for.

Having said all of that, there's an awful lot wrong with Vista right now and it is touch and go as to whether it will be a success. Interesting to think that Ray Ozzie has a very brief window in which he could postpone or cancel it, a window that's closing fast. We'll see.

Anonymous said...

Businesses -will- pay to upgrade.
Not necessarily because they want to, but because they have to.
The moment M$ withdraws support for a product (which seems to get earlier & earlier) is the moment the managers panic and draw up an upgrade path.