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Author Topic: Windows VISTA review by Scot Finnie  (Read 6209 times)

Carol Haynes

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Windows VISTA review by Scot Finnie
« on: June 07, 2006, 03:59:37 PM »
Interesting review from Scot Finnie.

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Visual Tour: 20 Things You Won't Like About Windows Vista
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June 01, 2006 (Computerworld) -- The same thing happened with Windows XP. When Beta 2 arrived, I found myself torn between what was new and good about the operating system, and what was new and bad.

Significant negatives back in 2001 included product activation (which doesn't affect Microsoft volume licensing customers), changes to the network-configuration user interface and the way XP interacted with other versions of Windows on small networks. Was Windows XP truly better than Windows 2000? It was a toss-up in many ways. In the end, I went with the improved app compatibility and user interface improvements of XP. But it wasn't by much.

Well, Microsoft just upped the ante on internal conflict with the release of Vista Beta 2. It boils down to this: The software giant is favoring security and IT controls over end-user productivity. Don't get me wrong, security and IT manageability are very good things. But some of the people actually using the Beta 2 Vista software describe their experience as akin to that of a rat caught in a maze.

Business and home users will be nonplussed by the blizzard of protect-you-from-yourself password-entry and "Continue" boxes required by the User Account Controls feature, for example. Networking functions and settings are scattered all over the place. The same is true of what Windows XP calls Display Properties. By default, the main menus (you know, File, Edit, View, etc.) are turned off on Windows Vista folders, Internet Explorer 7 and several other programs and utilities that come with Vista. Listing 20 things you won't like about Windows Vista was unfortunately all too easy. The question is: Why couldn't Microsoft see this coming?

Read the whole thing (all 13+ pages) at http://www.computerw...mp;articleId=9000829

JavaJones

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Re: Windows VISTA review by Scot Finnie
« Reply #1 on: June 09, 2006, 07:53:58 PM »
*sigh* I used to be excited about this OS. Is it really *that* hard to do things well? In some aspects OS X suggests not. I get the distinct feeling that if Apple weren't up their own backside about how fantastic they are, and so concerned with making sure not to go back on previous "Apple Wisdom" (like 1 button mice are better), they'd actually have a really obviously superior OS. As it is I think it trades blows with XP. It comes out ahead in a lot of areas, but also behind in many, and those latter areas are the ones I often care about. :p But again, if Apple just opened their minds a little more I think OS X could really shine. I can sort of say the same about MS, except that MS doesn't seem to have the raw ability (or a good core to work on?) to do it. Apple has continued to innovate and dramatically improve OS X since its introduction with regular updates. MS meanwhile have really only focused in *fixing* XP since launch. The major substance of the service packs were security updates. Beyond that we have not seen cool functionality like Spotlight, Dashboard, etc. come along. Sure MS has created these things separately, and I agree they shouldn't be *mandatory*, but sometimes you have something that should just be *a part of the OS*. Apple seems to have a pretty good clue about what that stuff is, MS not so much.

Ah well, here's hoping Windows ReallyLonghorn will be better. :D

- Oshyan

Carol Haynes

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Re: Windows VISTA review by Scot Finnie
« Reply #2 on: June 10, 2006, 06:33:30 AM »
If Apple had any sense at all they would produce a generic version for all current Intel boxes out there and do what MS did in their IBM heyday.

Could you imagine the take up of MacOSX if it were made available for every Windows box at 50% of the price of Windows. I think the market would flip - certainly now that Windows Vista is about to be released in a bewildering range of flavours. The big advantage over Linux would be that so many premium software packages work as well or better on MacOS.

Hey ho - Apple haven't got the sense/imagination to understand that that is why MS have the big bucks and 92% market share - they never did and they never will.

Darwin

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Re: Windows VISTA review by Scot Finnie
« Reply #3 on: June 10, 2006, 08:57:05 AM »
I agree with you, Carol. I cannot for the life of me understand why Apple are not releasing OS-X into the wild for all to install. It just seems like the common sense "business" step to take. Who knows, though, perhaps it is in the cards and they are just waiting for the right time - perhaps when Vista is closer to release?
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin
« Last Edit: June 10, 2006, 09:01:23 AM by Darwin »

Carol Haynes

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Re: Windows VISTA review by Scot Finnie
« Reply #4 on: June 10, 2006, 10:41:51 AM »
No it will never be in the cards - Apple have always seen selling their own hardware as their key market. To be fair one of the reasons they have the reputation of a stable OS is the restrictive nature of their hardware. I also think they are too short sighted to release MacOS into the world - I'd guess they are worried about piracy, but fail to see MS has built its reputation on volume sales including piracy which has forced their market growth more than they will admit.

JavaJones

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Re: Windows VISTA review by Scot Finnie
« Reply #5 on: June 10, 2006, 03:30:27 PM »
Frankly I just don't think they want the mass market. They *like* being a "premium" hardware and software provider. They've built the majority of their marketing around it and it allows them to charge very tasty prices. It'd be like Porsche manufacturing a mass-market car for the $15,000 price range. It's just not what they do nor what they want to do. It would dilute their brand. And yes Porsche, like Apple (remember the clones?), have tried that before and it didn't work out too well. So neither company is about to try to tackle the respective mass-market leaders of their product niches.

The Apple situation reminds me of Nintendo a lot actually. Ever since the Nintendo 64, and now more than ever, I have been of the opinion that they should just go 3rd party and not make hardware anymore; at least not home consoles - they still do very well with hand-helds. The reasoning for this is that almost everyone thinks of Nintendo consoles now as a 2nd console, something *additional* that they have to buy. As a result a lot of people simply don't bother. Sure there are exclusive games for Nintendo consoles (mostly Nintendo games), but are they worth buying a whole 'nother console? How much more likely would people be to purchase a Nintendo game if they could play it on their own console of choice? Now Nintendo would argue that if they went 3rd party they wouldn't have control over the hardware and wouldn't be able to customize it to their needs. However both the XBox 360 and PS3 are by Nintendo's own admission going to be more powerful than the "Wii"/Revolution, so clearly going 3rd party would only increase their capabilities. Now they would say the ease of development is not there with either platform. Fair enough, make a custom development environment at far less cost than creating your own entire custom console, and make it super easy to develop with. It'll probably be slower than the native IDE for a given console but Nintendo is already clearly willing to accept less performance for ease of use and development. What about their innovative remote control pointer for the Wii? There is absolutely no reason that could not be done as an addon peripheral for any other console. They do get 100% of sales on their own titles now, which would be less if they went 3rd party because they'd have to pay the console manufacturer a percentage, but on the other hand being Nintendo I'm quite sure they could negotiate a very sweet deal with whichever manufacturer they chose to support. I think if you totalled up the cost of designing, developing, producing and marketing hardware and the slightly lower per-game profits due to royalty percentages and then measured it against the increased profit on peripheral sales (the Wii controller could fetch a handsome price on its own, and it can't be that expensive to make) and the increased market share due to lower barrier of entry in not having to buy a whole different system, you'd see Nintendo gome out ahead in the end, possibly by a lot. All this makes it quite clear to me that Nintendo *and its fans* would be better off if they went 3rd party. And yet they don't...

Anyway it's also very, very true that Apple has enjoyed a lot of its higher reliability reputation (which has been decreasingly so ever since Win2k was released) due to their relatively small level of hardware diversity as compared to x86 PC's. People complain about issues with Windows, about one or another unusual or obscure device not working, but we can't forget that it's really something of a triumph that Windows works so *well* on such an enormous variety of hardware. There are 2 completely different CPU manufacturers, something like 5-7 motherboard chipset manufacturers, with about 30-50 different motherboard manufacturers, many of whom create their own BIOS's and custom drivers for their hardware. Then there's 4 or 5 major graphics chip manufacturers, each of which sell to a hundred or so resellers who create their own designs and often their own driver variants. There are 5 or so audio card manufacturers, not to mention onboard. There are 20 or 30 network product manufacturers, etc, etc. On the Apple side there's AirPort, now 2 CPU manufacturers (IBM and Intel), a single manufacturer for all/most motherboards and a single provider for BIOS and drivers (Apple), and then a very small range of approved/workable hardware upgrades like graphics cards. It would really be pretty shameful if they weren't able to get more stability than Windows. Given that XP is in my experience about as stable as OS X, I'd say MS is doing pretty darn good. :D

Ultimately I think if anything Apple will simply pursue better virtualization and/or dual-boot technology and eventually buying Apple hardware will be a no-risk proposition because you'll be able to run Windows on it completely seamlessly. People will be able to make the transition to OS X less painfully by not having to leave behind everything they already use, and that will actually increase Apple sales and OS X uptake. It reduces the barriet to entry, just like if Nintendo went 3rd party. And *that* makes good business sense.

- Oshyan

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Re: Windows VISTA review by Scot Finnie
« Reply #6 on: June 10, 2006, 04:48:07 PM »
Thanks for your comments, Carol and Oshyan. I'm sure you're both right and OS X will remain a closed access OS (i.e. the price of admission is buying Apple branded hardware). C'est la vie... I've an iBook running OS X and three notebooks running XP Home, XP Pro and Win2k respectively and I have to agree with Oshyan: it's pretty amazing that Windows is as stable as it is. I also must confess to not having yet been won over by OS X. I guess I am too rooted in the Windows camp, which is funny as I started out on Macs and *hated* Windows when it first appeared. That changed for me with 3.11 for WorkGroups - I couldn't believe how much I could configure it and add to it! Anyway, I see strengths and weaknesses in both approaches.
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

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Re: Windows VISTA review by Scot Finnie
« Reply #7 on: June 10, 2006, 07:51:20 PM »
great points javajones -
wouldn't it be fascinating to listen in on some of the marketing debates about these issues at the high level of apple, nintendo, etc. really would be interesting to hear the different arguments and see the data they have for or against these decisions.

zridling

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Re: Windows VISTA review by Scot Finnie
« Reply #8 on: June 10, 2006, 11:31:05 PM »
The thing I don't like about Scot Finnie is that he's now a Mac-head and he finds fault with everything Windows, or namely, Microsoft. He spent years writing about Windows independently with little notice, and once he switched to Mac last year and started criticizing Microsoft nonstop, he's a hero on their side. I'm not buying his sincerity. When you review his past newsletters, you get an edgy and negative tone throughout toward anything Microsoft, and now PC.

That Scot Finnie can't understand how to use Vista's User Account Control dialog is suddenly everyone else's problem. Hey Scot guess what, it's more complicated than Apple's drag-n-drop installations. But remember, if we wanted an Apple, we'd shell out the high price for one. More than one tech writer has been exposed for publishing articles about Vista's "mistakes" when they weren't using something right (like resizing columns). And frankly, I don't want my computer dumbed-down too much, although Office 2007's interface has done that. It's elegant, but hard on power users to find where the old stuff is.

I think that between the User Account Control and Office 2007's Ribbon, Microsoft will need an SP1 to undo what consumers won't buy or tolerate, especially businesses. WinXP is pretty solid, well-tweaked, and fully supported, raising the bar high for broad Vista adoption before 2008, imo. (Either that, or there's a major business opportunity for the first company to devise software that simplifies and works around Vista's UAC.)
« Last Edit: June 10, 2006, 11:33:39 PM by zridling »

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Re: Windows VISTA review by Scot Finnie
« Reply #9 on: June 11, 2006, 12:39:48 AM »
Yes indeed mouser, I'd love to hear such discussions inside the company. However I do think it comes down to ego and "staying the course" probably more than we'd like to think. CEO's go on "gut feeling" an awful lot and they're just as susceptible to bias as anyone so there's nothing to say that "gut feeling" is right. If you think about it CEO's probably make about as many good decisions as the average person would if put in their place. Flipping a coin might even do about as good. :p

- Oshyan

Innuendo

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Re: Windows VISTA review by Scot Finnie
« Reply #10 on: June 13, 2006, 12:10:51 PM »
Lots and lots of good information and posts in this thread. I'll just throw out a few thoughts on some of the things said.

1. Anyone who reviews a beta operating system has no credibility with me. At best it should be called a preview. Reviews are only for final products.

2. As a beta tester of many Microsoft operating systems I can tell you that until RC1 hits any feature can change, be removed or have its implementation changed at a moment's notice. Writing this kind of article about what consumers won't like about the upcoming OS is pointless at this point in the game. When the next build rolls out to testers, things could be radically different in any aspect.

3. As shocking as it may sound to some there are actually some people who are not fans of the Apple Way of doing things. Some people think stainless steel skins with pinstriped backgrounds are not the pinnacle of UI design but look rather tacky & gaudy.

4. There's no way on God's green Earth Apple is ever going to sell OS X as a version that can run on any PC. What profit they'd make in extra copies sold would be more than eaten up by the losses they'd take by the amount of money they'd lose in hardware sales. If you see two computers side by side both capable of running OS X equally well, but one costs $2,000 and the other costs $1,000. Which one are you going to buy? Hint: You're going to buy the one that does not have the Apple logo on the case. If you also factor in the time, money, and research Apple would have to put into writing drivers for every conceivable piece of hardware available for the PC world & the testing of OS X to be able to work on those countless myriad configurations, you can see why Apple's in favored of their closed black box, errr...white box system.

5. Don't believe the OS X propaganda. Find an honest Mac user and you'll discover that OS X is slow...even a lumbering ox under some situations & under some circumstances crash just as often as Windows XP. I have never had a bit of trouble with my XP installation with blue screens & what-not, but there are some XP users that have nothing but trouble. Guess what? The Mac world is full of both kinds of people as well, those that never have crashes & those that have nothing but crashes.

6. Not mentioned anywhere in the thread, but on a related note, Apple is running a huge advertising campaign in the U.S. right now on television about how Macs never crash, they're superior, etc. Walk into nearly any store that sells computer software & you can see right away why Macs don't crash. A computer can't crash when it has no software available to run on it.  ;D  Seriously, though, in every store I venture into I see row upon row & aisle upon aisle of software for PC compatibles & never a single software package for the Mac. Unless one is a masochist, why lock one's self out of what 98% of the world uses & prevent yourself from using 98% of the software that's avaiable?

Bottom line is I don't see what is special about this Scott Finnie character. He's just a muppet with a web site...something anybody can accomplish with a few dollars a month.

mrainey

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Re: Windows VISTA review by Scot Finnie
« Reply #11 on: June 13, 2006, 12:19:24 PM »
Quote
He's just a muppet with a web site...something anybody can accomplish with a few dollars a month.

His forum is one of my personal favorites.



From his website:

"I've been a journalist for over 20 years. I've worked on staff at several computer magazines or online publications, including PC/Computing, FamilyPC, ZDNet, and Windows Magazine. I've also written articles for CNET, PC Magazine, PC World, MacWeek, Byte, ComputerWorld, PC Today, Personal Computing, Computer Life, Popular Science, and Popular Mechanics. Feel free to review my online resume for details.

I'm not one of those ivory-tower computer magazine editors; I like to get my hands dirty with hardware and code—to actually test stuff. That “stuff” includes Windows and other desktop operating systems, broadband Internet services, networking hardware and software, security products, and a long list of applications, utilities, and devices. I've written on these topics in magazines and books for years. I also write about those topics regularly in my newsletter."
Software For Metalworking
http://closetolerancesoftware.com

Lashiec

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Re: Windows VISTA review by Scot Finnie
« Reply #12 on: June 15, 2006, 06:17:23 AM »
Hummm, the review of Windows Vista is nice, although I don't share the OS classification by quality that Scot uses (Windows Vista better than XP? Seems the other way around judging his review). The worst thing about this is memory requirements. If Vista needs 1 GB for normal operation of the SO, and disabling services doesn't help to lower this, I'll go the Mac way. I'm going to buy a new computer this summer to replace my six-year old machine, but if with the release of Vista, the computer gets automatically outdated, it'll be wasted money. I really hope that Microsoft improves all this before the final version (Scot says that Vista operates better using Aero than the legacy look of WinXP, that's something crazy) because Microsoft doesn't improve anything after that (only bugfixes), and it seems that the whole thing needs some optimization (I hope that Linux XGL won't need that much computer). The only thing keeping me tied to Windows is games (I have lots of them), but with Boot Camp, and a separate partition with Ubuntu and Wine, maybe I can do the change.