Tuesday, December 5, 2006

Not the dawn of a new age, but something better

The wait is over!

From the initial Windows Code Name Longhorn to Windows Vista Beta 1 and 2 to Windows Vista RCs (release candidates) to the latest (and mostly final) Windows Vista RTM (release to manufacturing), I’m sincerely impressed by the result of years of effort, time, research and feedback on user experience.

I truly want to commend Microsoft for finally getting their operating system business headed in the right direction, no matter how late that change is. Because I am proud to say, now, that Windows Vista is clearly the most advanced Windows ever released, it is the best, the most revolutionary, the most impeccable, the most stunning and the most elaborate of any release.

I am really amazed by what Microsoft has managed to pull off, and Vista really ROCKS!!!! And I will definitely, definitely purchase Vista once it is available off the shelves from 30 Jan 2007. (As for Leopard, I will think twice. )

To some extent, Vista is BETTER THAN THE MACINTOSH.

Well, truthfully, I must admit that Vista is not the dawn of a new age, for a good lot of the features are not new to the IT industry. Things like Movie Maker HD, DVD Maker, Photo Gallery, widgets, sidebar, Windows Calendar, tab browsing, transparent glass-like interface and security were all there in Mac OS X (under a different name) for quite some time.

But I’m impressed by the way Vista has used these technologies and improved and upgraded them dramatically to really shock everyone.

In this day and age, the talk is no longer on which system gets the job done. Say you want to upload pictures from your camera, edit them, make a slideshow and burn them onto a DVD to share.

Both Mac and Windows WILL get that task done. The issue here is about how easy it is to get it done, how available is the software (do you need to download extra stuff?), how good is the UI (user interface), how intuitive is the program and how costly it is (must you pay or is it free?). That is what we are concerned about today.

And in the case of Vista, it has tried to follow the Apple iLife style, and because of this addition, the majority of PC users can now enjoy the benefits of trustworthy software developed by Microsoft Corporation which comes bundled together with this great OS that one buys.

Safely, I can assert that Vista is everything Mac, and MORE. Right from the first boot up, when the desktop loads and the Welcome Centre opens, you will be truly stunned at the GUI and at the way Windows has evolved from something so simple (and for me, hated) in XP to the complicated Vista with powerful search tools (a copy of Spotlight) and better information organization than the Mac.

Yet again, to say that Vista is a direct copy of the Mac interface is quite immature a remark and can only be the result of a lack of first-hand interaction with Windows Aero (a copy of Aqua). Because as much as it looks like the Mac with the transparencies and all, it has nevertheless managed to carve out a unique personality, touch and feel which is rather alienated from OS X.

Although Vista makes the user thoroughly aware that it is not XP, it does retain some design elements that belong originally to XP, so that new users won’t feel that Windows is suddenly totally and radically different such that one is at a lost.

Also, Vista leaves the user with an emotional connection that is akin to the pride when you use a Mac in front of XP users and scorn at them. Finally, we could see more hardcore Windows fan groups spouting up, advertising the new Vista. Apple had Mac fans long time ago, with people like me.

But this is fast changing, as I now support Windows Vista as the perfect computer for the home user. Apple better be worried that Vista is great and OS X does not look as fresh and tempting now. Furthermore, it will not help that 9 in 10 people use Windows.

Apple’s operating system business might just fold and die away, because Vista is here to take the world by storm, and it is truly

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