Thursday, January 18, 2007
Get Yer Microsoft Vista™ Model-Train Enthusiast Edition Today!
Vista is much prettier than previous versions of Windows. Its icons look better, windows have translucent borders, and items in the taskbar and in folders can display little previews of what they contain. Security is supposedly vastly better; there are some new free, included programs; and fast, universal search is now built in. There are hundreds of other, smaller, improvements and additions throughout the system, including parental controls and even a slicker version of Solitaire.
—Walter Mossberg, Wall Street Journal
So reads the second paragraph of computer-usability-guru Walter Mossberg’s review of Microsoft’s newest version of Windows in today's Wall Street Journal.
For those of you who can’t wait to get their hands on “a slicker version of Solitaire,” now’s your chance. Only it will not, according to Mossberg, come cheaply:
To get the full benefits of Vista, especially the new look and user interface, which is called Aero, you will need a hefty new computer, or a hefty one that you purchased fairly recently. The vast majority of existing Windows PCs won't be able to use all of Vista's features without major hardware upgrades. They will be able to run only a stripped-down version, and even then may run very slowly.
In fact, in my tests, some elements of Vista could be maddeningly slow even on new, well-configured computers.
Furthermore, seems Microsoft still hasn’t solved the security problems that drive users batty trying to keep track of which version of Norton or McAfee they bought to protect their Microsoft computer and why that version of Norton or McAfee no longer protects this particular computer from whatever security problem they thought it was aimed to stop when they bought the software, which turns out to be six years ago, forcing them to buy yet another version of Norton or McAfee...
According to today's review:
Also, despite Vista's claimed security improvements, you will still have to run, and keep updating, security programs, which can be annoying and burdensome.
Summing up Mossberg’s conclusions—although I heartily recommend reading the real thing, for it is an excellent and eye-opening piece—is this priceless sentence:
Nearly all of the major, visible new features in Vista are already available in Apple's operating system, called Mac OS X, which came out in 2001
There you have it: five years in the making, at a cost of who knows how many billions of dollars, and we have a newer, less secure version of what you can already buy with a Mac.
But the best part of all? In keeping with Microsoft’s past tendencies to flood the market with all kinds of confusing product upgrades and special editions, Vista comes in six—six, count ‘em—versions, including “Home Premium” and “Home Basic.”
My suggestion? Wait for Microsoft to introduce the version that fits your own special needs—the Microsoft Vista ™ Model-Train Enthusiasts’ Edition, for example.
Meanwhile, stick with your Mac.
I Am Not Making This Up
© 2007 Jeff Matthews
The content contained in this blog represents the opinions of Mr. Matthews. Mr. Matthews also acts as an advisor and clients advised by Mr. Matthews may hold either long or short positions in securities of various companies discussed in the blog based upon Mr. Matthews' recommendations. This commentary in no way constitutes a solicitation of business or investment advice. It is intended solely for the entertainment of the reader, and the author.
Posted by Jeff Matthews at 8:16 AM