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A view on Vista

Thursday, January 25, 2007
So it's no big secret that - computer guy though I am - I'm a big Mac user (and Apple fan in general.) So I found quite interesting an article titled "10 reasons not to get Vista". For those a little out of the loop, Vista is Microsoft's new operating system, the replacement for Windows XP.

Of course, anyone can read that article and it's got - in my extremely humble opinion - a lot of good points. I was also interested in a counterpoint article on the same site called "10 reasons you should get Vista" and it is to that counterpoint that I'm going to offer commentary. I suggest reading both articles, though, before continuing.

Reason #1: UI built for the era of video and digital photography

Interesting. However, I find that when Microsoft designs something like this it tends to concentrate on the "feature" of having the interface for video and digital photography and not the user action of working with videos and digital photographs. Having had this work well on my Mac for years, I'm not impressed.

Reason #2: Image-based install

Another interesting but generally useless feature. Great, I can reinstall my OS quickly. How often does this actually have to happen? In a corporate environment it happens more frequently than a consumer environment, but plenty of tools already existed to do this.

Reason #3: Up-to-date driver base and better driver handling on installation

This is something that gets touted every time a new version of Windows is released. I don't seem to have a lot of driver issues on my Mac, that's for sure.

Reason #4: Desktop search and search folders built in

Great. Redmond's photocopiers found Spotlight. A couple years late, but cute nonetheless.

Reason #5: Sleep mode that actually works.

The theme I'm sensing here is "Things Vista does better than XP", which somewhat ignores the competition. I mean, my Macbook Pro goes to sleep in a heartbeat and wakes up in under 5 seconds.... my Powerbook did the same thing 5 years ago. Microsoft is just getting this working?

Reason #6: Rock-solid laptop encryption

Wow. Microsoft made a copy of FileVault. Another "revolution" in the computer world.

Reason #7: Better file navigation

If you read the article, you'll find the author touting features in the Vista interface that Mac OS X has had since I was in college the first time. Really, this isn't original.

Reason #8: Inbuilt undelete

Now this one's actually interesting; it's keeping a copy of old files so you can revert to an older copy. (This is different from the Trash Can/Recycle Bin inasmuch as the type of recovery allowed.) Apple's including something called "Time Machine" which is very similar in the upcoming version of Mac OS X.

Reason #9: DirectX10

I guess Microsoft has announced that its new graphics platform for games is only going to be available in Vista, so if you're currently using Windows XP you're SOL. This is what happens when you have a near-monopoly on desktop software: you can print your own money.

Reason #10: Face it, you have no choice

This is the one that really irks me. I do have a choice. I can do 98% of whatever I need to do on my Mac. And for those esoteric little programs that prevail in academia I can use Parallels and run Windows XP in a window. Do you think all those little programs are going to be updated for Vista? This is the kind of "let's surrender quickly and get this over with" thinking that I find so loathsome in the world today.

Anyway, that's my nerdy post for the month. I'm a Mac user and quite happy with it.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Burton! Thanks for your review! I have to comment as I too am a Mac user as you already know, but I do use a PC also.

I just built my new PC with 2GB Ram, Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 processor (2.4GHz, 4MB, 1066MHz FSB, LGA 775), great video and sound cards, and then I installed Vista....Crap....what happened to my computer?

First off, Vista rates my PC at 4.8 which is pretty damn decent according to Vista standards. I tested out the sleep feature...after waiting 5, 10, 20, 30, 40 minutes for it to wake up I was feed up and pulled the plug. I can not get this system to wake up out of sleep mode.

Second, I tried out Vista's built in DVD burning software, normally it would take up to a half hour at most with my Nero product, but Vista's was taking over 2+ hours to burn 2Gb of data. Side note: my version of Nero 6 ultra or 6.31.23 OEM versions do not work on Vista...I'll have to wait for updates.

I only installed Vista to see what all of MS's hype was about, but I feel this is a worthless operating system, especially for the price.

All Vista is, is Windows XP SP3 with a new interface, and some so-called security enhancements. BTW, Vista comes with Windows Defender, Symantec AntiVirus has to disable Defender for SAV to work. And as Symantec confirms; "It is important to remember that Windows Vista is not a security solution, it’s an operating system." Microsoft even confirms that user's should run a third party AntiVirus program to protect their Vista systems.

I'll stick with my Mac and Windows XP build, as I have found absolutely no reason to go to Vista.

Tony Weissman

10:15 AM, January 28, 2007  
Blogger Jake said...

Yeah, I won't be moving to Vista either for a variety of reasons (DRM being one of them), for the foreseeable future, but just to encourage debate (because I'm that way), some responses (now understand, I like Macs, too, just wanted to throw this out there):

"Reason #3: Up-to-date driver base and better driver handling on installation

This is something that gets touted every time a new version of Windows is released. I don't seem to have a lot of driver issues on my Mac, that's for sure."


Last I checked, the amount of available hardware for the PC is quite a bit higher than the Mac, so while I agree that driver handling in windows sucks compared to Macs, I'm sure if Microsoft made the base system it's OS ran on (like Apple does) there'd be far fewer issues.

"Reason #5: Sleep mode that actually works.

The theme I'm sensing here is "Things Vista does better than XP", which somewhat ignores the competition. I mean, my Macbook Pro goes to sleep in a heartbeat and wakes up in under 5 seconds.... my Powerbook did the same thing 5 years ago. Microsoft is just getting this working?


Same problem as above, and also because of hardware manfacturers not creating their add-in cards right. 99.9% of sleep-related issues in XP or any version of windows for that matter is because of Window's inability to shut down power to an add-in card. This is especially a problem with older cards.

That being said, my newer laptop, and my two old hand-built desktops all sleep fine, so I don't know how this is a selling point, either.

As for the rest of your points, I can get all those (and have almost all those) in XP via add on programs (posted a list of handy freeware here the other day), so I don't see what the fuss is, either, and even with any new system I'm building for folks I'm not putting Vista on there until the kinks are worked out.

10:28 AM, January 28, 2007  

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