Does Microsoft have a Vista Plan B?

I must admit I haven’t yet upgraded my functioning versions of Windows XP to Vista, not at home nor at the office. However I’ve been helping out friends and colleagues trying desperately to get something done on a “Vista infected” PC. It appears that unless you have a state-of-the-art gaming machine you will most likely feel like you’ve been conned when upgrading from ANY previous versions of Windows.

On the positive side you might say that Vista is easy on the eyes. A nice GUI with nice fading transitions. They also store your personal files in a somewhat nice and intuitive way based on media type etc. in the Windows Explorer. BUT it takes a while to get used to the new set-up, and for the novice user this might even require a tiny course just to handle the basics. The new safety precautions (repeatedly mentioned) makes all admin tasks slower. I believe that when you’re logged on as admin you should be able to do most things without constantly verifying every little step. That’s way you can assign different user levels right…?

The main problem however is the speed, or rather lack of it (I think even my crappy old HUGE Tower from the nineties running Win98 reacts quicker). As a result you have a slow computer with a new, but fancy layout and a few renamed “used-by-everyone” applications (e.g. Outlook Express is now called Windows Mail etc.).

John C. Dvorak mentions three steps to improve Vista in his article “The Vista Death Watch” published in PC Magazine 31st October.

  1. It can give up on the stupid variations and lower the price on the one good Vista, Vista Ultimate. I’d say $99 would be a price everyone can live with.
  2. Microsoft can scuttle the entire product. Why not? Work on a whole new OS starting today with one team and work on SP3 for XP with another team to keep users on Windows.
  3. Roll out Vista 2.0. Figure out some way to add some nifty features, perhaps stolen from the next version of the Mac OS. Bring in some outside designers if you have to. Oh, and lower the price on this one, too.

We all know this is not going to happen, but there’s actually a few good points here if you read between the lines. I think the battle for world domination against Google has moved Microsoft’s focus away from what they did well towards a mediocre position among the developers of both OS and on-line services/ads. Fortunately both Mac and Linux are doing well and availability are getting better (Linux especially).

While a wait for XP SP3 I think I’ll use the time to also get more into Linux and find the distro that suits my needs the best. If it takes another 5-6 years to get to Vista 2.0 like XP to Vista I will most definitely not be around waiting…

If you happen to have a positive impression of Vista I would be very eager to hear about it. Please also specify your PC specifications and list a few reasons why. So far I’ve yet to hear anyone I know applaud it.

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