A colleague of mine from Readify posted a link to this article article on ComputerWorld and asked if we had any thoughts. The article itself is entitled “20 Things You Won’t Like About Vista” and seeks to highlight supposed problem areas within the next Windows operating system based on the Beta 2 version that was released recently.
I think it’s safe to say that I apparently did, based on my reply, so I thought I’d post it here so you can see for yourselves what I think about articles like this:
One common problem with these kinds of articles is that they mix “truth” and “lies” and “opinions” together, much like Dan Brown and his fiction-de-force The Da Vinci Code. Because you know X is true, you start wondering if Y and Z are too. I found this to be the case in this piece.
I find it ironic that the article starts out by saying it’s going to talk about the bad stuff, NOT the good stuff and then uses the remainder of the first page to highlight some of the more powerful “good stuff” features of Vista that are particularly relevant to most of our customers such as better security. And I still can’t understand the point in comparing it to OS X - they’re based on different hardware, and how many corporates use Macs besides publishing houses?
So, that said… here are my initial thoughts…
20. Is stating 128Mb video memory as a minimum requirement really that bad in today’s hardware terms? Sure, two or three years ago maybe, but now? The author then discusses ways of getting around it, including the fact that his own (admittedly subjective) testing using a 64Mb video card in a laptop didn’t slow him down any, which basically is implying that Microsoft is just being cautious with their minimum spec.
19. Aero-differences. We’ve gone through this pain before with XP styles. Even looking around here at
18. I think we’ve discussed UAC enough amongst ourselves to know that we do/don’t like it. I think the tell in this section wasn’t his whinging about the feature but the sidenote that said his kids would definitely be set up as standard users under Vista - it’s an implicit acceptance that he will indeed be running Vista at home and that he appreciates the very feature that he is supposed to be knobbing!
17. bah… not worth its own number - should have been part of 18.
16. Is this true or could he just not find it? I actually don’t know the answer, so feel free to give me one.
15. This could be a fair comment that we need to communicate with our clients and colleagues - but it could also be a complete non-event.
14. Hopefully this will continue to improve until RTM. I don’t really have anything to add here.
13/12. No comments
11. I agree - this is something I feel frustrated about myself.
10. I agree, sort of. I agree in the sense that changing fundamental UI designs that will affect millions of uses is stupid, but I also suspect that in twelve months time after Vista is being used in anger (perhaps literally) all over the place, the new way of doing things may well turn out better. Why? Because I think that usability-wise, if you look at Vista in this area without the baggage of previous versions of Windows, it’s actually quite nice.
9. Windows Defender Beta 2 is buggy. That’s the heading text, and to me, is self-explanatory with the word “BETA”.
8. Non-issue at this time - if it persists on final release, come back and talk to me then.
7. If you don’t think there are enough gadgets, go write some! As I’m sure a number of other people are, and I suspect the number of gadgets will severely increase.
6. Can’t comment.
5. Pure subjective opinion. I actually agree with Microsoft’s goal and if it takes me an extra click to shutdown as opposed to put the PC to sleep, fine. Does that make my “opinion” any less valid than his? No, but neither does it make it more valid.
4. Aww, complain about how long it takes to install a beta version of an operating system? Sheesh… stretching for complaints now, aren’t you? But wait - most of your comments actually talk about how good the driver support is and how you’ve installed it numerous times.
3. Whatever… am over this guy well and truly by now. If I walk into OfficeWorks, I can see half a dozen different SKUs of QuickBooks, but you know what? I’m a big boy and I can read the back of the box for a feature comparison. And lo and behold I bought the right version. Vista won’t be any different.
2 & 1. ? I have absolutely no idea. This is when computerworld.com decided to stop working for me. Now, if they had published this thing over a few pages instead of THIRTEEN, I may have actually had the opportunity to review those last problems. As it is, I’ll just give up.
— UPDATE —
OK, I regained some modicum of patience and went back to the final page of the article. Here’s what I think about the last two of the top 20 so called “things you won’t like”.
2. Pricing. Ah… an arcane art normally reserved for professional analysts who do nothing but, the author has gone to some effort to think up some pricing levels that “might” have some accuracy, some day, at some point. But who knows? That said, is there a problem with consumer OEM PC makers getting “serious” about equipping new PCs with the low end of Vista? Particularly with the Anytime Upgrade option being a more palatable solution to getting higher end versions than the current pain of upgrading XP Home to XP Pro.
1. And the number one thing that you most definitely, without a doubt, no questions asked, will not like about Vista? The user interface has parts that are (apparently) copied from OS X. Hmm… you mean, that OS that the author keeps praising about just how good it is? Why on earth is this a problem? Let me see… if I was building an application and there was a similar app already on the market that was being awarded left, right and centre for its design, I would seriously consider incorporating components of that design in my own solution. If I didn’t I would actually be making a bad business decision, ignoring the potential customer base I am supposed to be building this for.
This kind of argument smacks of the purity wars that go on from time to time - where techos implement a feature “just because” or refuse to use a particular technology because it doesn’t fit with their own personal sense of pride.