Another Inconvenient Truth?

The headline for this post was not written by me, but Scott Graham:

Windows Vista? What more can I say, I personally have had (in the past) a few speed-bumps along the way but not much to “rant” about. Friends and family on the other hand, not so good. Blue screen of death, “do you want to open this, do you want to do that?” it feels like Vista is a letdown and them problems seem to be dominating the consumer’s choice over whether or not to purchase the OS. Only a week before the release of Leopard (OS X) did I receive an email regarding a move from a Window’s power-user to Mac simply because of Windows Vista. Now of course with the release of Leopard I now couldn’t recommend a Mac more but should Windows power-users consider a move to Mac before looking at Windows alternatives?

Should they? Hell yes. Do they? Hell no.

This morning, I finally had a reason to use the Windows DVD Maker for a project (Spike TV wants to use some of my wacky YouTube videos for one of their shows). The experience with this particular Vista program was impressively simple – up until the point where I went to burn the DVD. 4.8% into the process, I received a generic dialog claiming that “An error occurred when burning the DVD.” No word on what caused this error, or how to fix it.

The process in iDVD was a bit more involved, but at least it worked for me in the end (and let it be known that iDVD is slightly more complicated, but not overwhelming). I could’ve downloaded DVD Styler, as recommended to me by someone in the chat room, but I’m guessing that most users would stick with what ships on their computer OOTB.

It would seem whilst some stick with Vista despite the bumpy ride, some have been polluted with the thought that Windows is a Vista territory – end of. This is simply not true, even with the pending removal on XP sales at the end of this year in my opinion people should think before they take that leap to another platform – after all isn’t a £30 OEM copy of XP more suitable than a £1200 Mac, after all most of the people who have came to me with this problem do little more than basic web-surfing and the occasional game or photo sharing etc.

Depends on how tired you are of waiting for Godot.

I want all of you Vista users to do this for me: fire up Windows Media Player 11 right now. For some of us, the URGE graphic looks wonky. URGE is no longer URGE, but Rhapsody – and the Windows Media Player team hasn’t bothered to update the client since this service change, and (consequently) the title bar of the Windows Media Player looks like ass for some of us. No word on when this is going to be updated. No word on why Windows Media Player 11 still launches on some Windows XP computers with white pixels in the upper corners, either. Feedback I submitted through the official channels as a WMP beta tester (and former Microsoft MVP) was routinely dismissed. Feh.

In my opinion people should instead of simply being told “what is wrong” with Vista should be told what the alternatives are (e.g. XP) before they jump in the deep end. What do you think to what I believe is an ever-growing “myth” that Windows is becoming completely Vista territory and should as a result users having issues (whilst Leopard remains a superb OS) should take this giant leap to an entirely new environment over a few driver problems that may well be a thing of the past after the pending release of SP1?

Rinse and repeat. In the time that it’s taken Microsoft to get from XP to Vista, Apple has released 10.0, 10.1, 10.2, 10.3, 10.4, and now 10.5. With each release, the OS X core gets a little bit better. Knowing that all software has bugs, Apple has also released incremental patches with frequency – rather than scheduling massive update roll-ups (“Service Packs”) to their customer base. Windows users are typically made to hunt down patches from an unweildy Knowkeldge Base (and in some cases, request the patch from Microsoft before they can download it).

“What is wrong” is less about Vista itself, and more about the corporate decisions that gave you Vista – and will potentially give you “Windows 7” in 2009. It’s coming from the same company, folks. And if you’re ready to call me a Micorosft basher, take a step back. I like many things that Microsoft produces.

Xbox 360 is pure awesomeness at its core – and if it didn’t have the Microsoft brand stamped upon it, I’d have no idea it came from the same company. Maybe the Windows, Office, Mobile, and Zune divisions need to take a page from the Xbox book? Scratch that. They need to take the Xbox book, period.

P.S:.May I also just say another big thank you for your videos regarding Macs and in particular OS X, it has really inspired had me to go out and get the MacBook Pro which should be here anytime soon (I hope).

Be prepared to get attacked for that decision, as well as to face a completely different set of problems.

13 thoughts on “Another Inconvenient Truth?”

  1. Hey Chris. I fired up Media Player 11… it doesn’t say Urge anymore. Instead it shows a Windows Flag and says Media Guide. Just thought I’d let you know they did change it.. not to Rhapsody but Windows Media Guide. It appears to be some sort of music marketplace. Could this be Windows’s iTunes store?
    Also upon installing Windows fresh it downloads 40* updates for Vista or 114 for XP. It would seem they obviously do incremental updating to, not just service packs. The difference of XP to Vista is a huge one.. Upon reading multiple reviews it would seem that all the OS X versions 10.0-10.5 for the most part have been minor fixes and “new” features. XP to Vista is more then new features, its a new driver model, a new kernel structure, … I mean.. I think its unfair to say MS isn’t trying. Vista has had a bumpy road no doubt. There are many bugs that aren’t fixed and maybe even wont be fixed.

    Service Pack 1 last time I heard anything about it is supposed to be released this month or next. It kind of seems like they are gearing up for it to. A few days ago Windows Vista BSOD’d when trying to go to sleep. I was angry but felt better when Windows started back up it checked the internet and said Sidebar.exe prevented the computer from properly entering sleep. blah blah blah This problem was reported to Microsoft and has already been resolved and will be fixed in a future release.
    …it said something to that effect. I thought that was cool and am looking forward to SP1. Hopefully it fixes some of lingering bugs in the software.

    TheDub

  2. Is anyone else tired of all the Vista bashing? If you don’t like it, DON’T USE IT!

    I’m very happy with my install of Vista, its going fine and hasn’t blue screened once

  3. >Be prepared to get attacked for that decision, as well as to face a >completely different set of problems.

    That is exactly right. OS X is not perfect and indeed has its own set of problems, but the overall experience is considerably good: consistent, well-thought out GUI, rock solid unix, great applications included with the OS, and a great mix of commercial and shareware software, to name a few.

    I switched from XP about three years ago and still use XP with my Macbook Pro. No need for dealing with Vista hell.

  4. Chris,
    I always wondered about those white pixels. I’ve had WMP 11 since it was offered as beta and I’ve always had those pixels. I just end up doing a full screen and then restore to regular size.

    Whatever!

  5. Never had a blue screen on vista. Have Leopard now on the Mac, few flaws, but not bad. Im lucky enough to use both systems all the time and keep my mind open. The hype about Vista being so bad is nonsense, I had more problems with XP than I have had with Vista and my Vista machine has been up and running for a month now steady only to reboot for system updates. It looks now like the hackers are going after the Macs. With all the negative advertising Apple does about Windows, its a bit of Karma. That being said, I do like Leopard, and am not strictly a Mac basher.

    http://www.pcworld.com/article/id,139186-c,trojanhorses/article.html

  6. Xbox 360 is awesom ? Chris, I think X360 is okay, but considering the overheating problems, etc, it is far from a perfect system. I have had 3 of them brick on me, I finally got a private repair done to the cooling system and it works fine now.

    I really believe you are biased about Vista. Sounds like Im picking a fight, but I have had it on 2 laptops now without a single problem. Its stable, easy to use, cheap hardware, convenient considering the world uses Windows by a massive majority.

    Leopard is good, freezing on some people going in and the same newbie bumps any system has. I use Windows movie maker quite often and never have a problem. All in all, a bias shows

  7. IMHO Microsoft Windows XP Pro will be on my computer until I am drug into the street and forced to upgrade to Vista. I do not try to migrate to a new OS (especia;;y from Microsoft) until it has been out for 3 plus years.

  8. I guess the other inconvient truth mentioned in this post is that you’re becoming so biased, you don’t even notice it.

    Apple has also released incremental patches with frequency – rather than scheduling massive update roll-ups (”Service Packs”) to their customer base. Windows users are typically made to hunt down patches from an unweildy Knowkeldge Base (and in some cases, request the patch from Microsoft before they can download it).

    This isn’t nowhere near true. Microsoft releases updates and patches rather frequently. Apple has a notorious reputation of not updating its software for known flaws for months or beyond. Rixstep, no fan of Microsoft at all, has terrible things to say about Apple’s security response (and Rixstep will argue that even with that backdrop, people would be safer on OS X than Windows).

    And the complaint about an icon that no longer exists, and using that as reason to declare that Microsoft and Windows is beyond salvation is close to pathetic.

  9. —-
    I want all of you Vista users to do this for me: fire up Windows Media Player 11 right now. For some of us, the URGE graphic looks wonky. URGE is no longer URGE, but Rhapsody – and the Windows Media Player team hasn’t bothered to update the client since this service change, and (consequently) the title bar of the Windows Media Player looks like ass for some of us. No word on when this is going to be updated.
    —–

    Ok, you do realize that Urge is a 3rd party ‘store’, that is installed WMP11, and just like all other stores, it can be shown, shown as the default, etc.

    Just click on the downarrow and select Browser Other Online Stores, and if you don’t see something you want to replace Urge with, turn it off so it doesn’t show up as the default store.

    Why should MS issue a patch because you don’t realize that Urge and WMP11 are NOT THE SAME THING?

    I find this lack of understand and insight more than a bit scary, and no wonder the WMP team told you to run along, I would of had a hard time not laughing at you.

  10. May I. We take Apple to task for letting people down. For starting with something light years ahead of anything Redmond would let out the door and then just applying their recognisable twist to it. They truly don’t understand what they have. They’re still in the clouds wondering what happened to their precious MacOS and asking themselves ‘OS X – that’s a MacOS innit?’ There’s no way this can be a good thing.

    But let’s then put this in perspective with Microsoft as a yardstick.

    1. Apple had the Opener hole for years. We were in direct contact with the author who started years earlier by trying to get Apple to fix it. Guesses vary but this was open for at least six years and it’s not a hole – it’s a CRATER said the author. And we agree: it’s the biggest and dumbest security hole in the history of the ‘secure’ PC. But it’s fixed now.

    2. Apple had the Oompa Loompa hole open for years. We and Kevin Finisterre kept up a campaign for years to get it plugged. Especially Kevin really worked hard on it.

    Of course there are tonnes of small cosmetic glitches that are unforgivable. And Leopard sure as shite ain’t ready for prime time. But now let’s look at Windows.

    1. Endemically insecure model. Needs to be gutted completely. Microsoft Linux wouldn’t be bad at all.

    2. Bill Gates has been apologising for his crappy system since at least 2002 and all he’s done throughout his career is promise fixes.

    Compare two holes in OS X that never got hammered that hard with a hopeless architecture on Windows that’s been part of Microsoft hype for six years. You can’t compare. You simply can’t.

    Microsoft’s updates? To what? Update what? Update something that’s NEVER going to work properly anyway?

    What difference does it matter?

    Are Apple the gentlemen of the computer business? No. To a great extent they’re clowns. And frankly Microsoft treat their indies a LOT better. But bang for buck is higher with Apple’s OS X no matter the frequency of updates because – put bluntly – Apple haven’t succeeded in reducing Unix to Windows. Although admittedly they’re trying real hard with the iPhone.

    Thank you.

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