The Microsoft Windows Vista Rant Continues

Recently, I posted a video about Windows and Microsoft, specifically Vista. My main point is that Microsoft needs to really listen to the Community, and pay attention to our wants and needs. I’ve received many comments, both in favor and against what I said that night. This one is so well thought out, I had to post it to share. Some excellent points here, so please read.

I have also used Windows since 3.1, and even now use Vista. The RTM of Vista was a joke… but now a year later I think its o.k. Not amazing… but o.k.

Microsoft needs to listen to the community for sure, but they also need to take a little bit more control. They should have taken Longhorn by the horns so to speak. My example will be 64bit. It is widely known that Vista x64 or even XP x64 leaves A LOT to be desired. I have a 64bit machine. Surprisingly, driver support was there but software is still lacking. Microsoft needs to be firmer in the push to this new platform, they need to tell developers, hardware vendors, and OEM’s that in order for Windows to continue to grow, 32bit is going to be left behind. I was impressed with 64bits compatibility with 32bit programs.

There wouldn’t be an issue if software and hardware developers started moving to 64bit NOW, instead of later. Windows Vista was going to be only x64 but that changed. They then said Windows 7 would be only x64, but now I learn that Windows 7 will STILL have a 32bit version. I don’t know if its for legacy or if they still aren’t ready to switch, but it should have happened in the XP days. Vendors are holding them back I think… whether it be laziness or some unknown complication they are NOT pushing x64 Hardware and Software like they should be.

A simple pricing scheme and two versions would also be nice. What was wrong with XP home and XP Pro? Why couldn’t there have been a Vista Home and a Vista Professional? Scrap Tablet edition, Media Center Edition, just make Home and Pro BOTH come with those features. Make the differences more obvious and make it more obvious that only PROFESSIONALS would need the Pro version. Vista’s ultimate add-on’s are a joke. As a Vista Ultimate user I am EXTREMELY disappointed. I expected some really cool things to be released. Instead, I’m playing my expensive game of Texas Hold’ Em. Do I dare say they need to stop copying Apple? They are not being innovative at all. While I appreciate the search box in the start menu and the instant searching… couldn’t they have done something more with it? For example, someone inside Microsoft wrote a PowerToy that I’m testing. Its in Alpha stage and sometimes buggy. Iwouldn’t recommend it for everyone right now. It further enhances the start menu in Vista which should have been done to begin with. How it works is lets say I want to Google something. I can type Google or just g and follow it with lets say your name it shows your blog and I click the link it opens in a browser. Little things like that to make things convenient for the user and community would be nice. That tool also implements definitions through google, Wikipedia, and you can type play followed by a song name and it pops up in your default media browser. While not amazing… I think it’s nice. Flip3D is… well it shouldn’t have been made as anything more then maybe a technology demo to show that the desktop is now rendered in 3D. Its pretty much useless when you have 10+ windows open, and Alt+Tab is the winner. Alt+Tab is not getting replaced by Flip3D anytime soon. Microsoft, if you’re going to introduce new features that exist in other Operating Systems, make sure they work at least as good… if not better… then what is already out there.

OEM’s have been dropping the ball for years and years, even before Vista was in the picture. The fact that I can’t go into a store and buy a PC without crappy software on it disappoints me. My non-geeky friends often bring me with them to pick out a good machine. I pick out the hardware, they buy it and then they give it to me to freshly install. I have not found one OEM that does not load up so much garbage that the system is unusable. I picked out a nice little laptop for a friend going to college. It had plenty of power for what she needed to do and most importantly it had 2GB of RAM. She however insisted I don’t mess with it and she took it home. The next day, she calls me frustrated that she hasn’t gotten it to even turn on. I looked at it and it consistently blue screened after login. She blamed Windows Vist,a which I’m sure a lot of people who buy PC’s off the shelf do. Upon a fresh installation, I gave it back to her. she was mad that I put Vista on it and insisted Windows XP. I told her I would hunt down drivers and to just test it out again because it worked much faster. I got the drivers and talked to her again and she said “No now that I’m used to it I don’t want to use XP”. OEM’s are another one of Microsoft’s enemies, perhaps one of the largest ones they have.

As someone who likes to play games I can’t see myself switching Operating Systems any time soon. I do own a Mac Mini now, and after a few weeks with it find Leopard rather slick. It is WAY more polished then Windows Vista is, and it disappoints me that my Operating System of choice is NOT as good as an Operating System I don’t think I could live in full time. I don’t want new features. I want a fast, usable, Operating System that I know is going to work. If I had the choice between the new Aero visuals OR faster performance and stability improvements on the same old Windows XP desktop API… well I think it is obvious which one I would have chosen.

Microsoft should take some control, but at the same time listen to the community about what THEY want in the Operating System, and OEM’s should stop loading up all that junk-ware and start caring about the consumer NOT how much money they can make with trial-ware.

See ya in the chat room tonight.

TheDub