Windows Vista Complaints Department

At the risk of sounding even more negative about the entire Windows Vista situation, I have a steady stream of disgruntled users venting in my inbox. Michelle Rampelt, for instance:

I just experienced the ultimate irony. As I selected your “Mail Me” Icon, the wretched “Allow” Window popped up. I am an exceptionally happy person, although Windows Vista is making me absolutely miserable and frustrated. I can’t run the software programs I need, write or respond to e-mails in Outlook Exchange – I have spent HOURS AND HOURS attempting to troubleshoot what would have been simple in Windows XP world. I am just a real estate broker. And clearly, not very bright. I have been unable to find ANY help via the Microsoft web sites (which they charge for amusingly enough.) Do you have any advice? I would rather poke myself in the eye with a knitting needle than arrive at another Vista roadblock.

It never seems to end, but I suppose you could say that about any widely-used product anymore? I’m not claiming that Vista has cornered the market on operating system frustration, but I believe the average user’s expectations for Vista have yet to be met. Cathy McLaren, for instance:

I’d bought a brand new Vista-ready media centre computer and was sooooo looking forward to all those bells and whistles. But, I still had work I needed to do. Sharing between pc’s on my network was nearly impossible. No, it WAS impossible. 90% of my mp3’s wouldn’t play – denied. Loading games that previously played on XP was a real challenge. After the first month I found I’d had enough and wanted to wipe it out completely and reload XP… I had an image so that wasn’t a problem. The problem was Vista had taken my 2nd hard drive and denied me all admin rights to it!! I’m an admin!!! That 2nd drive was storage and backup. The only thing I could do was find other places to dump all that storage and backup, delete the partition, reformat. Sheesh!

I’m back on XP Media Centre and loving it. Wishing I could get some of those neat upgrades like the better media centre software, and that wonderful intuitiveness when saving or searching for files, but hey. if I want cute things on my desktop, there’s Yahoo Widgets. I also took an image of the Vista install just in case some day I forget why I was so unhappy and feel the need again. That day will be a long time coming.

Honestly? I just installed a review copy of Vmware Fusion on my 17″ MacBook Pro (the unit was notably sponsored by Blue Sky Factory for Gnomedex events). While I’m quite fond of Parallels for what it does, I fear that its buzz is about to be overshadowed by Vmware’s product. Why bother to bring up the Apple threat now? Because Windows XP is running beautifully, seamlessly, quickly on my Mac right now – which might appeal to users who don’t really like where Windows “is” today.

More to the point, this is the future of your desktop experience – in a platform-neutral environment. All I need now is a pre-built, fully-stocked Linux VM (with Compiz Fusion)…