Friday, September 01, 2006

Toying with Vista

I installed Windows Vista on my home PC the other day.  (I've always loved playing with the latest and greatest toys, so it is surely a sign of my age that it has taken me this long.)  I've only just played with it a bit, but enough to form some definite opinions.

  • I'm not a huge 'Aero' fan.  It feels gratuitous without really providing much useful improvement.  I'm not against updating the UI, but the goal should be improved clarity and usability.  New eye-candy should surve a purpose.  As an Apple PowerBook owner, I definitely agree that XP's UI needs an update when compared against OS X's Aqua UI, but I'm not sure that Aero really hits the sweet spot.
  • The new Start menu with it's built in search is excellent.  I'm not sure it will convince me to abandon my little 'Runner' app, but if it were there in XP I doubt I would have been motivated to sit down and write Runner.
  • Yet another Control Panel reorg... sigh... I feel like every major Microsoft OS release includes some significant changes to the Control Panel.  I haven't used Vista enough to know if it finally brings things up to OS X levels of simplicity and usability, but I doubt it... so why change so much?

As that machine is really just a file store and iTunes server, I don't have much use for improved search, or many of the other changes.  I'll write up further opinions when I get time to try out Vista some more.


When Vista ships, I'm not likely to be in any rush to upgrade.  If I buy a Windows laptop when I get around to my next laptop upgrade cycle, I'll probably be forced to buy Vista, and that certainly won't kill me, but I doubt I'll be clamoring for any of its new features.  I still think I prefer OS X's simplicity and consistency (and useful eye-candy, such as Exposé) on one end and Linux's extreme flexibility at the other end.  Microsoft is stuck in the middle, by the nature of business/enterprise market pressures.


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