Windows Vista Impressions

Windows Vista became available to the general public on 30th of January, 2007. For most people, it is no secret the 5 years between the release of Windows XP and the release of Vista. The development of Vista is a story of epic proportions as the vision for the product changed overtime and at one point development had to start from scratch. While the rest of the world had to endure more than 5 years of Microsoft’s delays around Vista, the story is likely to be significantly different for Microsoft insiders who are closely acquainted with the events surround Vista development.

The Pain of UAC

There has been a lot of complains about Windows Vista, User Account Control (UAC) though the idea and intend behind UAC has been long in coming, it is currently implementation simply sucks (for a luck of a more polite way of putting it). This is version 1.0 at its core; the core functions of the module are working to their specification but the amount of annoyance these core functions, in their current implementation, provide is just way too much of an aggravation to warrant continued usage of UAC. The main problem I have with UAC at the moment is that the OS has no way of giving administrative rights for a period of time which would mean that all events that require administrative rights do not have to pop a dialog box, each and every time. It is actually becoming scary canceling a process that involves quite a number of administrative tasks.

Vista Usability

It is a general agreement that the largest and possibly credible threat to the adoption of Windows Vista is Windows XP (especially with SP2). Besides, the obvious device drivers and hardware compatibility that Windows XP has over Vista, I have come to realize that Windows XP was much more user friendly in comparison to Windows Vista. The aforementioned UAC pain comes to mind when talking about usability in Windows Vista but I think it goes beyond a new approach to security in Windows. For example in Windows XP, unplugging a USB device would pop a message from the system tray when the removal was successfully; the same task in Windows Vista will pop a dialog box that has an OK button to be pressed. In the particular instances of unplugging a USB device, the machine (OS) just needs to notify the user of the successful completion of the task requested and this does not qualify as a need to have the user actively involved in this process communication.

Many people have already dealt with the annoyance that result from the user of UAC. Even non-computer geek notice the annoyance that the UAC so generously hands it users.

Compatibility

This goes without saying that not many software and/or drivers have been ported to Windows and this leaves alone all the other applications in the Windows eco-system which needs to take advantage of the new plumbing that is part of Windows Vista. The graphics on Windows Vista are truly nice and the amount of strain they exert on the computer’s CPU are minimal or at the very least do not interfere with the running and/or execution of other processes.

Most of the software I have installed on Windows Vista so far have been versions that target Windows XP. The heightened security controls in Windows also means that many people will be trapped in this digital nightmare. At the moment, getting the popular Apache HTTP server is quite a feat though that is one that has been successfully completed. The next tricky thing is how to edit and work with files that are stored in the web server’s home directory.

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