Vista could be cool. Or not. It could be on schedule. Or not. Is it worth your time now? Probably not.

Listen to the podcast: Why I’m Ignoring Vista.

Hi everyone, this is Leo Notenboom with news, commentary and answers to some of the many questions I get at askleo.info.

Microsoft Windows Vista is in the news on a fairly regular basis these days, and I’m even starting to see some questions relating to it trickle in to Ask Leo! Unfortunately for them, and fortunately for others, I’m not planning on dealing with Vista any time soon. Yes, I have the DVD of the latest Beta, but Vista will have to be much closer to an actual release before I take the plunge.

Why?

Well, several reasons really.

First, I mentioned “real users” on last week’s podcast, and that’s where my focus remains. The Beta version of Vista is not something real people should be playing with – it’s not meant for them, and will in all likelihood only cause confusion and frustration. Being a Beta product, it will break, and it will change before release. Leave the Beta to the geeks and pioneers with the interest, the time, and the resources to play with it.

Second, to be honest, Vista just doesn’t excite me all that much. While many of the features sound “nice,” there’s nothing that I personally find terribly compelling in Vista’s marketing materials. Yes, I know it’s the Windows of the Future, and I fully expect to switch to it once it’s released, but until then there’s nothing that’s really says “install this new coolness.” About the only item on the major feature list that sparked even mild interest is the new networking setup wizard and tools – and that’s primarily because, as one friend put it, the best way to screw up your network is to use Windows XP’s Network Setup Wizard. Vista’s replacement doesn’t have to be revolutionary – it just has to work. If it does, then that could be interesting.

Third, while I get that user interface improvements can be important, particularly to those “real users” that I’m trying to advocate for, so much of what changes seems to be change… well, for the sake of change. I don’t see the point. And, being in Beta, I don’t want to invest learning the “new” way of doing things, only to have that change again, or be removed, before the product finally ships.

Finally, I don’t believe the ship date. I keep hearing so many conflicting things that even – what is it now, 6 months before release? – I simply don’t have the confidence that Vista will, or maybe even should, ship on it’s current schedule. As I said earlier, it’ll make more sense to invest in Vista when it gets closer to shipping.

Or perhaps even only once it actually has shipped.

Until then, there are plenty of people with real issues around today’s software that still need help.

You’ll find me there.

I’d love to hear what you think. Visit ask leo dot info, and enter 10575 in the go to article number box. Leave me a comment, I love hearing from you.

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