First post of the month, as usual, I’ve been incredibly busy with work. Plus some burglars broke into my flat and took a bunch of DVDs and my digital camera, which I promptly replaced with a new Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ50 (you’ll see photos appear on flickr ASAP).
Now, finally, I took care of everything and I have time to post another article.
This post has been ready as a draft in my blog for a while.
Some time ago I decided to test Windows VISTA, it looked pretty good and the review were mildly positive.
I bought a new pc. Not an incredible machine but good enough to do everything I need to, namely try videogames and surf the net.
Below the specs (Assembled myself)
AMD Athlon64 4200+ AM2
ASUS M2NPV-MX DDR2, PCI-E, SATA2
1024MB Corsair DDR2 4200
ASUS GeForce 7900GTS 256MB
2x Maxtor 160GB SATA2 HD 8MB Cache
550W ATX PSU
NEC DVDRW DUAL LAYER
As I said, not an Alienware machine but a decent one nonetheless.
So, I subscribed to the Microsoft customer preview thingy and downloaded the ISO image of windows VISTA Ultimate 64Bit edition.
Burned the DVD, rebooted, and the installation started. Everything ran as smoothly as it gets, apart for a few hiccups during the very first phase.
The setup procedure finished without a problem and the OS booted up for the first time. It’s gorgeous, no doubt about it.
However I’m not impressed. Two main factors, UI/Usability and security.
Let me come clean first, I’m a Mac OSX fan-boy, can’t help it. But I had great expectations for VISTA after all the re-engineering and development time.
As I said earlier the system looks gorgeous, incredibly beautiful, but not clean, it has pop but lacks the slickness of Mac OSX.
VISTA is full of surprises, messages pop out every minute. I was reading an article on an American newspaper and I can’t find a better way of putting this. Mac OSX assumes that everything’s working fine, no reasons to bother the user with confirmations and messages, the user will interact with the OS if it needs to. VISTA, on the other hand, acts like a drunk super excited boy-scout, feels compelled to tell you everything, every single little thing that’s happening. You connect a mouse and a message will appear telling you: Hey, you’ve connected a mouse, it’s working, how cool is that!
It’s nice to be informed of what’s happening but enough already! There’s a point where you have to draw the line.
My second observation is that although beautiful, the UI is still a bit confusing. The UI is not consistent between the various windows. Some windows has transparencies some others don’t. On some windows when they’re not on the forefront the control buttons (close/maximize/minimize) are deactivated, in other cases they remain active. Small things but they can still confuse an unexperienced user… and me.
Another example is the functionality to see all the windows aligned in 3D on the screen, incredibly cool, very much like Mac OSX expose. But as for all the rest it’s a bit confusing. When you have lots of windows open you can’t really see what’s in each window once they’re aligned on the screen with the really cool 3D effect. In Mac OSX there’s a practical rollover on every window telling you what exactly the window is.
Third and last observation. Security. Folks at Microsoft seem to have confused authentication with authorization, I’ve been saying this for a while and I’ve finally found somebody who agrees with me.
My problem here is that when you try to install an application which needs to modify some OS-related files the system should ask you for an administrator password, and not just stop you from doing what you’re doing and asking you if you’re sure. Of course I’m sure. There goes you whole clean installation.
To complete my story, after a week Sun suggested that me to install an update to the JDK, so I did, restarted the computer and VISTA started crashing every five minutes after the boot. 4 hours in this new kind of hell I un-installed VISTA and went back to good ol’ Linux.
I’m sure this whole problem I had with java has been solved in the final release, but still can’t get over the annoying messages and confirmation requests.
A definite improvement over XP but still not up to scratch. And I’ll not say anything about the whole widgets/gadgets and IE RSS thing, not worth my while.
Take it easy,
P.S. sorry if my written english is not at its top but it’s late and I’m old and retarted!