On January 30, 2007, Microsoft released Vista to the general public, with the hopes that every computer on the market would run the “enhanced” OS. The one year anniversary has come and gone without much (positive) fanfare. Ironically, some of the features deemed enhancements are the very ones that seem to drum up the most criticism: Security, Graphical Display, Memory Usage.
Now, if you were to ask me, I’m lukewarm-leaning-toward-cold on Vista. About the only thing that’s “cool” to me anymore is the breadcrumb navigation in Windows Explorer. Yeah, I used the Sidebar for a while, with a “gadget” that showed how my system was performing. Yeah, I was all geeked out over “Windows Flip 3D” and all the other slick Aero features. But being a software developer who actually knows what he wants to install, modify, delete, I immediately turned off UAC! Sure, Vista warns me that it’s turned off every time Windows Explorer restarts (which reminds, me I’m about two warnings away from turning off warnings!!!!!!) but I’ve learned to live with it….sort of. I agree with what’s written in this article: http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2254104,00.asp
For the record I have a Dell Inspiron e1505, 2.0 Dual-Core processor, mid-range graphics card, 2gb RAM with Vista Ultimate –$949 in the Dell outlet early last year. My wife has a $300 Acer with a Celeron processor, 512MB RAM and Vista Basic. (Don’t judge me! We bought my wife’s laptop right before the parents sent their kids of to college. She only needs it for Napster and email….seriously!) Do I even have to describe the pain of using her laptop? Do I even have to say that every forum recommended “downgrading” her laptop to Windows XP? But think about it: of the people buying $300-500 laptops, how many of them are thinking about how well it will perform vs. XP? My wife’s a brilliant women in her own right, but she’d never think to search online in a forum for instructions on wiping out her laptop and resinstalling drivers, software, etc!
I’m sure most people are merely satisfied with whatever they are given. They probably have the “so-long-as-I-can-still-do-x” mentality. But people on the fringes — the tech savvy on one end and the tech newbies on the other — are going to be frustrated with the standard OS offering. So who is Micro$oft going to please: 80% of the users in the middle, or the 10% on either end? We’ll wait for the answer. Until then, (un)happy anniversary, MS Vista! Thanks for the memor…uhm…thanks for…nothing.