gmgDesign has an unusually weak post that criticizes technology users for disliking Microsoft Vista. Garrott mentions two valid complaints as valid — Vista’s poor performance and user-hostile interface — before dismissing them, and then says the real reason “geeks hate Vista” is
Because they’re supposed to. Because other Slashdot users loathe it. Because it’s Microsoft, and Microsoft is eeevil.
While “If everyone is doing something else, do the other” is valid in many parts of life, when applied to Vsita apologetics, it’s just embarrasing.
Here’s just five of the problems I’ve had with Vista:
1. The intergration of IE with Vista makes it impossible to downgrade the included Microsoft browser when it breaks
2. Many commonly-used elements, such as Add / Remove Programs and “Display Properties,” require the users to navigate different paths than in previous versions of Vista. This is worse than just throwing away years of experience: familiarity with Windows leads to negative transfer in Vista.
3. Vista’s display model breaks all previous VNC servers. If you don’t know what this is, or how it effectively forces the user to use a properitar, security-risky alternative like Mesh, you have no business defending Vista.
4. Vista’s multilanguage support is incoherently bad.
5. On my wife’s laptop, which came with Vista pre-installed, loading Control Panel is a task so processor intensive that it crashes before it renders.
It’s too clever by half to say that people dislike Vista because they dislike Microsoft. People dislike Vista because Vista is awful.
Further, I’ve been impressed after a watching a friend effortlessly install Windows 7 on a netbook, and the general excitement around Windows 7 shows a desire for a new, modern, and functional Operating System from Microsoft. Indeed, Windows XP and Windows 95 were welcomed by the community for just this reason.
But the ability to maek a good operating system (95, XP, etc) does not predict Microsoft from occasionally making clunkers (Me, Vista, etc.) Defending Vista shows not just an ignorance of operating system and user experience fundementals: it tricks both fellow users and even Microsoft employees into spending time and resources in wasteful and potentionally harmful ways, intsead of concentrating on how to use and build the Windows features that we all need.