Friday, January 26, 2007

Microsoft Vista? Not Yet...

Here is an article in ComputerWorld indicating why people should hold off on Windows Vista. Vista is the latest version of Windows, set to replace Windows XP.

From my perspective, Windows Vista is so unimportant, that I haven't even looked at it. So, why am I going along with the "wait, wait" crowd when I haven't even seen it?

I have been thinking that before I write about Vista, I ought to at least look at it. The problem is, I have zero desire to do so. To investigate it would take days and days, absorb my machine, requires a "fall-back" plan in case it all goes to pot, and I just can't gird myself to do it.

Which, I think, is interesting in itself.

Here is the latest version of Windows, the software that runs 95%+ of all personal computers there are, the software that started out as "Longhorn" and was marketed as being the first computer operating system that can read your mind (well, almost), the software that you will be running if you by a new computer any time soon, and... I don't care about it.

Why? Because:

1. Like all Microsoft products, it is big and piggy (or, should I say, "bigger and piggier"). Every reference to Vista has the addage "need to upgrade your PC." (They leave out "in order to run this pig!"). I am tired of big and piggy software. I run a very fast machine at work, and it yet I have to wait, wait, wait while running Windows XP. Why would I want slower?

2. The operating system is mattering less and less in the new Internet World. Almost all the time I am doing something using a Web browser, on the Web, i.e. Internet. Online Banking, Email, News reading, "googling" (which now includes using Google products, such as Google Calendar, Google Desktop, and other products), blogging, and research. What do I need an operating system for? I use Excel, MindMapper (the subject of another posting), Word, iTunes, and some sundry utility programs. I can do the bulk of my work on Linux or an Apple, now. I don't because I have some tools I need to get to on Windows.

3. The advertised features of Vista... well, what are they but more of the same? More XP than XP. Generally, when people use Vista for a while, they like it. Walter Mossberg liked it, but was generally underwhelmed. So, it is not a "gotta have," at least in my book.

4. The licensing issue. Vista "phones home" and forces you to re-activate the software if you change your computer's configuration, and there are a number of other limitations. I do not have full details, but gone are the days when you could just be on your honor and not have to worry about calling Microsoft to start your machine up. This also means that to use Vista, you will need a network connection of some kind.

5. It costs money. Google, iTunes (the client), most web content, Skype, Yahoo Messenger, are free. Microsoft wants money?

So, I add these up, and I am unenthused. I know that, if I stay on the Windows platform, I will be forced to move to Vista at some point. I see no need to hurry. I certainly don't want to spend money on it!

So, wait it out.