Monday, July 28, 2008

Vista Not "New Coke"

Okay, I've been on Vista on and off since the start of the year, and as a regular user of more than three applications, I feel qualified to comment about the comparison Forrester is making between Vista and New Coke.

My two cents: New Coke sucked. Vista is just fine.

I actually have bigger problems with the Office redesign than I do with Vista - and suspect that Vista issues may not be the only reason behind the fact that 87% of corporate PCs (and I presume laptops) are still running XP (Forrester).

Whoever redesigned Office did so with little thought to the fact that the majority of new computer users would be buying laptops with wide-screen formats. And with less thought to the fact that the canvas is the most important part of the interface.

It isn't so much a CPU hog as it is a real estate hog. The design shows the designers were a lot more enamored with the application than they were with any ideas about what magic might be done with it, in the form of documents, presentations or spreadsheets.

But Vista is a different story. After several months of using it, I would not go willingly back to XP. I like it.

Stylistically, I like the way the windows open and close. I like the Aero interface. And yes, I've even gotten used to the redesigned treeviews - to the point where the internal window "jog" has actually started to feel intuitive.

In terms of performance, on my machine - a Sony Vaio with crapware removed - Vista runs really fast, and starts up faster than any of my previous machines running XP. All my plug and play game and music stuff seems to work fine. No networking issues.

What's not to like?

As it turns out, plenty. But some of that hatred is misplaced. According to the results of the Microsoft "Mohave" experiment announced last week (in which XP users were shown a new test "post Vista" operating system and proclaimed it to be great), users may tend to react more to "fuzz and buzz" than to actual experience.

Maybe the Vista team should take the Mohave experiment on the road...

Note: Full results of the Mohave experiment are due to be posted tomorrow here. Kudos to Microsoft PR folks - great job in thinking up this idea in the first place, and getting the word out there.

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