Ignore the Windows Apologists

Yeah, I’m crazy for being annoyed by all the shims and hacks that Microsoft Windows software developers have tried to slip past our respective radars. I think we should excuse this multi-billion dollar company for not being able to standardize software across their future flagship OS. I think it’s perfectly normal for every other application to have a different toolbar settings and dimensions. I also think that menu option height discrepancies are sexy.

“Good enough” is a mantra that belongs in another era.

All you Windows apologists are further enabling this behavior – reinforcing the very shortcomings that will add up to an inferior user experience. It’s been so long since you’ve seen anything new that you’re happy to have SOMETHING different. And lest you think I’m the only “idiot” who isn’t excusing Microsoft, you need to read what Louderback scribbled:

The new version of OS X is also impressive. After a recent tour, I found myself constantly asking, “When will Vista do that?” Time Machine, which delivers constant backup and versioning of your software, seems to be a fail-safe way to preserve music, photos, and other important files at work and at home. The multi-desktop capability is nothing new, but seems particularly well integrated into the OS. I’m still not sold on OS X as an alternative to Vista, but others are less hesitant. In fact, Apple has a significant opportunity to trump Vista as the desktop OSâ€â€?if only it would stop insisting on being the sole hardware supplier for the operating system.

As a Windows evangelist, I’m rooting for Apple in this space (and you should be, too). Microsoft needs truly healthy desktop competition – and that’s only going to come if, as Jim puts it, Jobs can forego his ego. Windows apologists, however, are not to be trusted. If you don’t believe that UI matters, why not just slap yourself back into the days of the command line and be done with it?

Aero, on its own, is absolutely outstanding – but the half-assed platform implementation is what leaves such a sour taste in my mouth. Vista runs fast enough, so long as you have a high-speed memory stick acting as a ReadyBoost device. Is Vista better than XP? I guess that all depends on how you choose to define “better” at the end of the day.

16 thoughts on “Ignore the Windows Apologists”

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  3. Ah-frick’n-men. There are a great many wonderful things in Vista and in many areas it’s a huge leap forward but at the same time it *still* feels like an application created by engineers, people that lack either the UI ability or caring to tighten things up. The thing that suprises me is that a ton of these little things could be taken care of by an intern assigned to each department whose whole job is making sure the UI matches 100% throughout the entire OS.

    Vista RC1 still feels like a suit you’d buy from Target vs. going to a tailor. There is nothing really wrong with a $100 suit jacket but if you look at it you’ll find puckered seams, loose threads, fabric grain that doesn’t lay quite right and probably makes your ass look big. If you look at the $1000 suit jacket it is made of wonderful wool, every stitch is secure, it lays just right, will last you a lifetime and you will look amazing in it. Oh, did I mention it’s lightweight, unlike Vista? Vista just went from Target to Super Target, now with groceries!

  4. I really don’t care too much about “UI consistency”. For example, I’m *glad* that Office 2007 has a whole new UI that’s inconsistent with the HIG.

    But sure, for those hung up on this sort of thing, MS should use consistent UI across the bundles applets (but not go overboard if a certain app works better by being inconstent with the others).

  5. By the way, Chris, I think it’s in very bad form to resort to name calling. Just because someone disagrees with you doesn’t make them an “apologist”. Just like because you disagree with them doesn’t make you a “whiner” (which is what I saw many calling you in the “Vista is sith” thread).

  6. Regarding Louderback’s gushing over “Time Machine”, he obviously doesn’t pay attention the other stuff that appears on zd sites (I think that eweek is a zd site).

    Eweek.com has a screen shot of Vista’s “Previous Versions” dialog box with the caption, “The Time Machine feature set to ship with Mac OS X
    Tiger may have a prettier interface, but it looks as though Vista will
    manage to deliver this feature first–in the form of the Previous
    Versions dialog.”
    http://www.eweek.com/slideshow_viewer/0,1205,l=&s=27380&a=187225&po=18,00.asp

    Not that I have anything against Macs, I have one. But I laugh at the uncritical fawning over anything Apple, when I know they deserve much criticism, and am annoyed at the bashing of MS as if they deserver nothing but criticism.

  7. “Tiger may have a prettier interface, but it looks as though Vista will manage to deliver this feature first–in the form of the Previous Versions dialog.â€Â?

    In the form of the Previous Versions dialog. Right there you have the difference between the way Apple and Microsoft do things. How lame and boring is it to have the Previous Versions Dialog?! Have you seen Time Machine in action? It’s much more impressive when you see it working. It’s not an extra tab on a file’s properties. Time Machine looks like each app going back in time! Only Apple could do backup like this.

    As for Vista having it first. You’re assuming Vista’s release date is still as last updated. 🙂

    As Chris has been saying, the Vista UI is all over the place. Like someone stuffed their mouth full of M&Ms and threw up on your monitor.

  8. Cathy;

    If you laugh over the “uncritical fawning” over anything Apple, try looking at the forums at MacNN or the Mac Observer sometime. ThinkSecret is another one where mac users wade in on Apple at the slightest issue where we think Apple has gone wrong.

    Want to know some of the issues? Try quality/repair issues, or the consistant interface issue. A lot of us think Apple charges too much for their RAM and don’t put enough in the stock Macs sold. A lot of ire is spent on applications and things we’d like to see Apple correct or add.

    Unfortunately, the “uncritical fawning” you hear is when we get on PC sites. There is a hard core of Mac fanatics (face it, we use that term too) that act just like you say and won’t hear anybody critical of Apple say anything they don’t like.

    Most of us aren’t like that. What most of us really don’t like (and earns us the same fanatic label) is listening to Windows apologists slam Apple without really knowing or understanding what they’re talking about. If you make a reasoned argument from a position of knowledge, there are plenty of us who like Macs (and also use Windows) that will be glad to engage in a reasoned discussion of the issue with you. It’s when people make crazy statements without any attempt to understand the issues involved that we get irate.

    Yeah, we bash Microsoft. It’ cause many of us have used (or do use) Windows and other MS products and know and understand what crap it mostly is, and also understand that the reason it is is because of the monopoly status MS has that allows them to produce it and still maintain a monopoly market share.

    Face it, MS is a monopoly, and it will attract its share of attacks based upon that status and how that status allows it to act. Monopolies rarely respond adequately to their markets; they don’t have to. By definition, a monopoly is the only place a customer has to go to buy what they want and need, so customer service is not a mark of your typical monopoly. So a lot of people react negatively to them because of that status. And because Microsoft acts like the typical monopoly, they attract their share of detractors, especially now that Apple is increasingly viewed as a viable alternative to the Microsoft monopoly.

    I don’t like the idiotic comments made in forums such as this by the fanatics on either side, but at least I try to understand them.

  9. Cathy: “I really don’t care too much about “UI consistencyâ€Â?. For example, I’m *glad* that Office 2007 has a whole new UI that’s inconsistent with the HIG.”

    I take it that you won’t be using Outlook in Office 2007 then?

  10. When it comes down to the issues that are facing windows in this “Next Gen” of operating system, the question really is what MS has done to promote third partys such as HP,Logitec,(dare I say it?) Lexmark, what has MS done to give these manufacturers to name a few, the tools to adapt to the new system, and in turn what has MS done to back up there play?

    Seeing others use Vista, and having no crash issues at all, other then problems with there third party software, it leaves me to believe that at its core the OS is just fine. Apologizing? I think not.

    Apple right now is the lead contender in the rush of “new gen” to coin the phrase. If they continue to play there cards right, Vista might become the minority in homes, instead of the common place. Already I have seen countless new Mac Pro’s at the cafe’s around town, where once I would have seen HP notebooks, and dells. I think its a clear sign the tide is turning, and Microsoft needs a kick in the rear.

    Now im not implying that Apple is the only choice, im just stating that for the average user who does not want to contend with alot of head aches, OSX seems to be there best course of action.

  11. I updated Windows XP SP2 to SP3 – who needs VISTA when XP3 is faster, troublefree and I have no trouble with hardware
    interfacing – someting VISTA is still having problems with.

    Now rumors say that Microsoft itself has given up on VISTA, much like Windows ME of the past. They plan on giving us a new OS years earlier then planned – to replace VISTA.

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