Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Four Misnomers about Windows Vista

There's no denying that Windows Vista has a bad rap. When my old laptop died, I was kind of worried when I found that every new computer came pre-packaged with Vista. I ended up replacing it with a very suave HP Pavilion dv6815 Entertainment Notebook featuring Windows Vista, and I have to admit -- it's not bad.

The Expectations

Like most users of the Internet, I have heard the horrible things said about Windows Vista, and that is what I expected when I first booted up my new laptop. Throughout high school, I experimented with various Linux distributions and shell edits to the Windows platform -- I know my way around a good operating system. These are the things I've heard said about Vista:

1. It's slow
2. It isn't backwards-compatible
3. It's asks too many questions
4. It converts people to Mac computers

Strangely, I happen to disagree with all four of these concepts. Lets start at the top of the list...

1. It's slow

There's no denying that Vista tries really hard at being pretty, and unfortunately, this can take away from performance. What many people don't seem to realize is that these settings can all be turned off from the control panel.

Still, I will confess that Vista does use considerably more system resources than XP, but that is to be expected as we move toward newer technologies. Now-a-days you can't even buy the newest PC video games unless you also poses a brand-name , top-of-the-line, I-really-like-hyphens computer. Even then, the darn thing will be too slow for Crisis 2. While XP should definitely stick around, it won't be necessary for long as computers get more and more powerful. Computers from 1995 are now laughable by today's standards, so the resource issue is no issue at all -- Microsoft is just trying to step ahead of the market.

2. It isn't backwards-compatible

That's the silliest rubbish I've ever heard. When you launch a program, you can right click on the icon to launch it in "XP mode" or any other previous Windows operating system. In the months that I've owned Vista, the only program I couldn't get to work was Peer Guardian 2, and that's probably because I didn't try hard enough.

3. It asks too many questions

Sometimes it does seem a little excessive on security to ask before launching a program from my desktop that I clicked on, but honestly its not any different than the "sudo" admin method used in Ubuntu. The only difference is that in Vista you don't have to retype your password each time. Security is nice. Stop complaining.

4. It converts people to Mac computers

Don't you hate those commercials with the lame Windows guy in a suit and the "cool" Mac college kid making fun of the suit guy? Me too. Mac marketing people are smart. They know their audience, and they know what people have been saying about Windows. Their advertisements only perpetuate the misnomers about Windows.

Macintosh computers are built with one concept in mind -- ease of use. Everything about a Mac is designed to just work, and it does just that. Windows, on the other hand, has traditionally been designed to be flexible. The new Windows Vista seems to be Microsoft's attempt at a compromise between the two. I love some of the new features in Windows, even if they seem overly simplified, but it's no Mac.

Macintosh marketing is working to convert people to their brand by leaching on to Microsoft's scarred reputation and sucking on it like the media sucks on Obama's preacher.

In conclusion...

Vista isn't bad. While it's still stupid to upgrade from XP to Vista, it still doesn't deserve the bad rap that its been given. So come on, guys... Lets try to love, OK?