Vista. It’s Better Than You Think

Whoa! The guy who is writing this is Novell Canada’s CTO! He’s an evangelist for the power of Linux and Open Source! Everyone knows that he’s a complete Machead too! How can he, of all people, defend Vista?

Well I hope that serves for introduction and initiation. Let me get to the point. I think the slamming of Vista comes from a certain perspective. Mine is different. First and foremost, I am not a daily Windows user. I use Linux everyday in business and OS X at home. I don’t have a preferred frame of reference for Windows. Recently I built a Windows boot drive for a machine, because a) my company makes software that helps makes the Windows experience better and b) I couldn’t believe that Vista was that bad.

When I step back and look at quality of user experience for the new user with the new computer, I’m actually very impressed. Vista comes up with reasonable speed. I sign in, get a nice Windows like experience, there’s a logo instead of “START” but I can cope with that. I have a usable folder layout, downloads go to the download folder, pictures are in pictures, it’s pretty easy. There’s a decent enough browser, and all the software that I would use on Windows if I were a daily user works fine. I’m a big fan of It runs fine on Vista. GroupWise works. iTunes works.

It may be true that large corporations have not embraced Vista. Yet. The challenge there is the same challenge every OS change incurs. It’s not about the software. It’s about the rollout plan, the investment protection and about the users. I’ve spoken with execs across the Americas and these are the concerns, not about whether the offering is good or not. By delivering Vista on PCs that are going into the home, Microsoft is creating individual user acceptance in advance of corporate acceptance. This is both intelligent and pragmatic.

Vista is sometimes positioned as a transition OS. In my opinion, it isn’t. It will likely be (my opinion – I don’t know this to be a fact) the last of the fully backward compatible versions. I expect, and am speculating, that Windows 7 or whatever Microsoft chooses to call the product will be that transition OS, where the newest functionality is delivered effectively without the baggage of having to be backward compatible. This is hard work and incurs significant resistance even inside the issuing company. I know, because I’ve been there.

In the interim, step back and look at Vista as if you are a new Windows user. You may be pleasantly surprised. And, if not, ping me, I have this really cool Linux alternative… 😀

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