I’ve been taking a lot of heat for my recent remarks on Windows Vista. As you very well know, I’ve been a “Windows Fanatic” from darn near the very beginning. Times have changed, and I’m now finding myself disillusioned by the lack of attention Microsoft is paying to user interfaces. I could excuse the shortcomings of Windows XP – but I’m not even close to forgiving the development team for slapping together such a hapless, schizophrenic experience in Windows Vista. It’s lipstick on a pig. Vista is nothing new, Vista is nothing revolutionary – it’s full of shims and hacks, and you need to understand that before swallowing the marketing hype. With his permission, I’m going to share with you an email I received from an old friend tonight:

In all fairness / honesty I have not tried Vista RC1 at this point, but I did try out beta 2 which wasn’t that long ago. I was mostly not impressed. I just expected it to be better after all the years MS has had to create and refine it… I don’t consider myself a Microsoft hater or fanboy per say either… if the product is good I say so, if I think it sucks, I say so. But I’m honest. MS could have done a better job. Sure, Vista is a HUGE undertaking, but when you have that many employees (that many programmers too) and such deep financial reserves, to turn out a somewhat lacking or mediocre product is unacceptable. I’m not saying all of Vista is bad… but again it could have been a lot better. Even Paul T. (who wrote the article) basically said so, in so many words. And he is a pretty big Windows / Microsoft fan.

I primarily use OS X (Tiger 10.4.7 on Intel) nowadays but in the past I used DOS 2.x and up through Windows Server 2003 (including 95, 98, ME, 2000, XP, and even Windows CE at times). I embraced MS and their technology for years but with experience you learn that the company just isn’t good at certain things and I guess Vista was one of them in many ways. I must say, I have had far fewer problems on OS X than I ever did on Windows.

And I still run XP Pro at work and on my Mac (dual boot with OS X). My install of XP is pretty solid as far as Windows goes – I don’t really get any crashes but its always a welcome relief to do things under OS X instead. And I’m not saying OS X is flawless either, it certainly isn’t, but in many ways I find it an upgrade from Windows (even Vista).

I’m telling you, with Leopard (the next version of Apple’s OS X) being unleashed around the same time as Windows Vista, geeks are going to be facing a difficult decision. Why stick with a plain ol’ PC when you can have the best of both worlds? Then again, you may not have a choice. Ponzi’s already ready to make the switch – which may very well happen in 2007 with both of us.

[tags]windows,vista,microsoft,os,gui,microsoft windows,ui,user interface,ux,operating system,windows vista,user experience,classic mode,translucent,windows environment[/tags]