Yet Another Vista Discount

I wasn’t even going to comment on this article, because whatever I have to say has undoubtedly been said already.

But this comment really made me laugh:

It’s too bad Microsoft limited the number of editions for Vista. I was hoping for a 6-dimensional product grid with cross-grade discounts available to those who bought both the home-office version and the mobile/military discount with the floating smart-phone/vacation-home bundle. As it is now my choices are severely limited when it comes time to upgrading the PC in the garden shed…

Excited About Vista?

The other night my mother was asking me if I was excited about Vista coming out. She wanted to know if I planned on upgrading soon. When she asked what I thought about it, the first thought that came to mind was, “Who cares?”

The reality is Vista doesn’t bring anything to the table that I haven’t already been using for quite some time. Even though I don’t own one, I spend most of my time on a Mac. I manage an all Mac computer lab for work, we don’t even get to touch PCs. I keep a PC at home for two reasons: to play games and to keep my PC skills up to snuff. Tiger has all of the features that Vista is bringing, and more. This article from Mac User does a good job of highlighting that:

The idea of upgrading a Windows machine gives me a case of cold sweats. It’s just no fun. And in Vistas case, everything I’ve read so far points to the fact that users should be prepared for having to do a lot of tinkering. Most drivers are not yet released, and many that are are still in beta. Apple just announced that iTunes users should wait to upgrade until the next major iTunes update.

I’m not excited about the user interface changes in Vista. To give credit where due, I’ve heard a lot of good things about the changes (I have yet to touch Vista). The problem is, I don’t want to have to “learn” another OS. I’ve spent enough time with Internet Explorer 7 to decide that I hate the new no tool bar. It didn’t bother me so much until I installed a developer extension (made by Microsoft) and then spent about 15 minutes figuring out how to display the thing.

The other breaking point for me is the cost. Vista is really expensive. I know that Apple seems to update their OS just about every year, but at least the $129 price tag is reasonable and they give you features to be excited about. I don’t think that any of the lower end versions of Vista are going to be what I’ll want, so I’ll probably end up with something more expensive. Right now my employer offers $5 copies of Windows XP Pro for ‘working at home.’ I hope they’ll work a similar deal for Vista eventually.

The way that I see it, the only thing that Vista really offers is Direct X 10. Unfortunately, much of the hardware doesn’t support it yet. More importantly, we’re at least year away from seeing some games that make decent use of it.

Don’t mistake me, I will upgrade to Vista eventually. My career in computer support requires it. And, as soon the Direct X 10 games start coming out, I won’t have a choice. But right now, I’m staying put with XP. It’s proven to be ‘okay.’ At least we know it’s demons well and how to fight them.

Windows Vista Design

Okay, so I couldn’t find any screenshots on the Windows site (easily), so I got one courtesy of Paul Thurrott’s SuperSite for Windows.

All I have to say is that it just plain looks bad. It looks like a very amateurish version of a Photoshop mockup. Everything is clunky. The type is too big. The icons look silly. Not necessarily the icons themselves, but the way that they are placed. Note the player controls on the bottom right. Some of them look like they are type dingbats others look like icons. Then there is the random giant green play button. I know it’s supposed to stand out…but seriously, isn’t this a little overboard? And Why is the Windows logo in the top left just a little bit bigger than the back button. It just looks bad.

Windows Vista Site

So I was going to post about Vista and how I think the design really stinks. I decided that instead of stealing someone else’s screenshot, I should go straight to the source. So, I ended up at Microsoft’s Vista site. Oh my god, I’ve never seen a site break so bad in my entire life. I’m using Safari 2.0.3 (my cynical side thinks this might not entirely be an accident, but seriously…)

UPDATE: The site appears to be cleaned up a little and is now at least useable in Safari. The navigation is still horrendous though, but that’s another issue. (2.10.07)