Windows Vista doesn’t rock my world

Windows Vista is now finally released, and Microsoft are banging on their marketing drum, blowing their PR horn. I had the chance to try out a release candidate of it and have also seen some of the final version. I have to be honest and say that I haven’t tested it too much, so my view probably isn’t as balanced as it should be (therefore I won’t cover deeper functionality).

But from what I’ve seen, frankly, I’m not impressed.

Some things do look nice in Vista, while others feel totally over the top; some are outright tacky. Maybe an evil comparison, but Vista, overall, give me an impression of a slightly too old woman who has put on a lot of make-up to cover up the flaws. But, sooner or later, they will shine through all the layers of mascara…

A picture of Vista

A lot of features are similar to those that can be found in Mac OS X, but with changed names, as this video points out. In all fairness, it’s impossible to tell what feature was ripped off (sorry, “inspired”) by the other company, but suffice to say, Apple got them released first. When I look at stuff like Instant Search in Vista, I can’t help but think of Spotlight in Mac OS X that has been around forever.

A picture of Instant Search in Vista

Same goes for a lot of other features: what took them so long? Sure, they have a much wider user-base, hardware setups to cater to etc. but still! There are a number of years since we saw them in OS X, so why should we wait for Microsoft to release it way later? Another thing that I find entertaining is the horde of Microsoft fans who start to drool about things like transparency, 3-dimensional window flip etc. I’m convinced that a majority of Windows users haven’t ever seen Mac OS X; otherwise, they wouldn’t be so vocal about it, but instead just be somewhat content and try to comfort themselves that Windows is at least getting better.

For instance, when it comes to productivity, compare Windows Flip 3D to Exposé in Mac OS X, and then you tell me which gives you the best overview; I know which solution I’d put my money on. Sure, Vista’s solution is eye-pleasing at a first glance, but after the initial take, what’s actually useful?

Windows Flip 3D in Vista

A picture of Vista

Exposé in Mac OS X

A picture of Vista

It’s behind, just as the web browser

Writing this, and looking at Vista, I can’t help but make the reflection that Windows Vista is just about as behind its competitors as Internet Explorer is behind all other web browsers. So, at least we have to give Microsoft that; they’re consistent. :-)

As the Microsoft Vista slogan goes:

The “Wow” starts now.

I beg to differ.


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