"not all it's cracked up to be. ugly and hard to use."2.5 starson by psychoxl99
Pros: Isolating the kernel will be good for security. A lot of minor improvements over XP.
Cons: Removed the "All Programs" part of the Start Menu, UAC is a nightmare, very ugly colors you wouldn't want to spend all day looking at.
Summary: After toying around with Vista Business for about 4 hours, I got frustrated enough that I ended up wiping my hard disk and reverting back to XP. I had made an image of the hard drive before upgrading with Norton Ghost so it was easy. I'm back on XP and frankly have no intention of upgrading in the near future, if even the distant future.
The appearance features weren't all that did me in, but they were the most disappointing because it had been hyped up so much as such a supposedly beautiful operating system. On appearance, XP's solid blues and greens are so much better than Vista's 10,000 shades of teal, plus the grey/black for maximum nausea. If they wanted it to look good, the least they could have done was package some themes rather than telling users to download nonexistant themes if they didn't like the layout.
The "Flip 3D" feature of "Aero" is killed by the fact that you have to find a little button on the taskbar to use it - or do an awkward 3 key combo - so it's not convenient the way it should be.
Other disappointments included the fact that the "All Programs" menu in the start menu doesn't expand the way it does in XP and previous versions. If you want that, you have to revert to a "classic" theme for the start menu and taskbar, which is basically straight out of Windows 2000, so it clashes with the rest of the desktop (and it is not as convenient as XP's start menu because it only has a single column).
Instead, the start menu in Vista just has a scrolling list of expandable folders, which is about as easy to use as if I were trying to use Windows on my Blackberry. You have to scroll up and down to find anything.
The User Access Control is one thing I thought wouldn't bother me, but it does. Unless you turn it off, it will warn you whenever you run a program it doesn't recognize, which included something as benign as WinRAR. And there is no way I could find to flag a program as "Acceptable." It warned me about WinRAR several times in a row.
Certain folders now take forever to load, for example the Control Panel, which even on my very fast computer takes about 5 seconds to load. On XP it loads right away.
There are now 2 startup pages instead of one. The second is an animation with a nice sound, but before you get there you get a black screen with "(c) Microsoft Windows" at the bottom and an ugly, puke-green progress bar where the bars aren't even evenly spaced. You'd think they would have at least tried to create a good presentation for the opening screen.
Some of those things I could get used to, but the desktop appearance and ease of using the start menu are things that I consider nonnegotiable.
It seems like they made changes to the user interface because they felt like they ought to be making changes, not because they had any compelling reason to do so. This is the same feeling I got when I upgraded to IE7, and which is why I started using Firefox a few months ago after being a longtime IE enthusiast through IE 6. If Vista doesn't crash and burn and force Microsoft to change direction, I think XP will be the last Windows I buy (I got this Vista upgrade for free with my new Dell laptop). I love XP, I just hate Vista. I'll go for a Mac or maybe Linux, if they make Linux easier to use (i.e. multimedia-wise... this would probably require widespread adoption of non-proprietary formats, so it's probably too far in the future).
Now that I think about it, the "commoditization" of operating systems that Microsoft fears seems like it would be pretty good from a consumer perspective... we need more competition in this market, especially if it can be commensurate with standarization. The compatibility issue is the only reason having Windows as a monopoly has been good for consumers thus far, and this can be solved with standardization.
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