Shawn Wildermuth's Rants and Raves

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Is Windows Vista the new Windows ME?
Is Windows Vista the new Windows ME?
September 21, 2007

This blog post may seem to be a clever way of increasing my web traffic but the fact is that I am growing frustrated with the adoption of Vista and Microsoft’s general under-delivering on Vista.

The big caveat is this: I use Vista and really like it.  I don’t have any real problems (no driver issues) and I find that gaming performance close enough to XP that I can’t tell the difference.  In addition, I like the new UX sheen of Vista…so why do I ask if its the new Windows ME?

Vista has a bad name in the community.  Some is perception (bad press==bad experience), some of it is real (driver issues for machines not pre-installed are bad…often really bad), and the 64-bit story is just painful. UAC is similar to how Ubuntu implemented root protection, but bothers people more than most Linux distributions (with my limited experience).

In addition, Microsoft seems to be ignoring much of the bad user experience.  Trying to pretend a SP1 wasn’t coming out just didn’t make any sense to me.  The “Vista Ultimate Extras” premium and non-delivery of anything interesting (bit-locker is of interest mostly to corporate environments but was touted as an “Ultimate”, and Dreamscene is a cool trick for demo’s but isn’t interesting for everyday use).  After being caught not delivering anything new in ‘Ultimate Extras’, Microsoft promised to deliver something by the end of summer (2 days and counting) and nothing is to be seen.

So while I think Vista is a good OS, it seems an abject failure from the perspective of users. Will it become the punch-line to jokes that Windows ME is?  I don’t know.  Maybe SP1 will do to Vista what SP2 did to XP (make it a grown-up OS), or will downgrades that Microsoft is supplying to people that buy machines with Vista be its death knell?

I don’t know, but I am watching closely to find out…

What do you think?