I don’t know that I’ve ever read such a devastating article on a piece of software as Paul Thurrot, a clueful PC guy, just wrote on Windows Vista, the next Windows operating system.
Thurrot writes about going to a conference in 2003, when Vista was still Longhorn, and how excited and passionate the Windows faithful were to hear Bill Gates intro the new operating system. Then he contrasts that feeling with today:
Two and a half years later, Microsoft has yet to ship Windows Vista, and it won’t actually ship this system in volume until 2007. Since the euphoria of PDC 2003, Microsoft’s handling of Windows Vista has been abysmal. Promises have been made and dismissed, again and again. Features have come and gone. Heck, the entire project was literally restarted from scratch after it became obvious that the initial code base was a teetering, technological house of cards. Windows Vista, in other words, has been an utter disaster. And it’s not even out yet. What the heck went wrong?
He doesn’t go overboard: what Microsoft ships late this year will at least be an improvement, he thinks over what’s out there now.
But meanwhile, Mac OS X and the various open source operating systems have continued to advance as well. And, of course, Apple is going to be releasing a new version of OS X later this year … and they’ve had years to study what Microsoft is doing and (you would imagine) try to one-up Gates & Co.
Ultimately, Thurrott fingers Bill Gates as the person responsible. He did, after all, retire from CEO to being “chief software architect.” He’s got to take responsibility for the “utter disaster” of the new Windows.
. . .
Update: The “mock Scoble” posted a fairly good response to this article … about the only one he could have. It basically boils down to: we’re learning from this feedback; thanks for being honest.
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The interesting thing about Windows Vista are these glass windows. Everyone is making such a big deal out of them, but Thurrot points out one of the big drawbacks.
The reason I think these glass windows are so funny is because I seem to remember Apple experimenting with something similar early on, and they opted against it for similar reasons. The big problem I remember is when you have multiple windows on top of one another, it’s very difficult to see which one is which because you can see all of the title bars through the other title bars (if that makes sense).
It seems to me that any interface concept that Apple has already tried and scrapped for really good reasons should be dismissed from Windows Vista.
Even David Pogue has commented on this:
“They’re cool, sure; but exactly how many times, in your work life, have you muttered, ‘Darn! If only I could see just the part of the background window that’s currently obscured by the 1/3-inch margin of the foreground window’?”
This is from his column at:
Anyway, to me it’s a “been there, done that” kind of feature, which a lot of people are getting too excited about.