IntelliAdmin put up a pretty good review of 5 things that are maddening about Vista and why it still sucks and I agree with every single one of them.
I’ve ran Vista since Beta 2, and RC2 and now RTM and I will sum up the entire Vista experience for you in a nutshell:
Vista is Windows XP, with incessant security-dialogs for every action you take, with a nice Theme, some UI effects and searching
That’s it… in a nutshell. There are some nitty gritty details and APIs that are different, but for 80-90% of folks that just want to “use” their computers to get work done, that is exactly what Vista is going to feel like. The first thing you will notice is that it looks very nice, they did a good job there. Then the second thing you will immediately notice is how many times a popup jumps infront of what you are doing to ask you to OK the action that is about to take place. If you are installing software, drivers or just copying files to certain locations you will likely be inundated with dialog boxes asking you to OK your action.
In addition to that, core design principles that made you crazy in Windows XP are still there in Vista. For example, if you upload files to a network share that is slow or goes offline, that will totally lock up the explorer process, which means all the other explorer (file browser) windows you have open will be locked up.
Additionally stupid defaults and even stupider behaviors run rampant just as they did in Windows XP (Constant notifications, focus-stealing notification popups and so on).
The icing on the cake of Vista is this dialog. This dialog completely sums up Vista, it’s design, it’s goals and who it’s catering to:
- What the hell is an “Indexed location”
- What are “non-indexed” files
- That the bar across the top is actually buttons
- That your menu bar is on the bottom-middle of the window
- That you have a search bar on your search results page… does that mean search within the results?
- What are tags? Who are authors?
- Why isn’t there a box to type some text into like Google?
- When I click E-mail to search, how come I don’t see my Gmail or Hotmail mail?
And the list goes on and on and on. This dialog really does a great job summing up Vista. It was developed by software engineers, for each other, in a furious rush as the project was stopped and restarted twice in a 6 year period and the end results? Well just look at the beginning of my post, it’s Windows XP again, with a nicer Theme, crazy security confirmation dialogs everywhere and all the same annoying design that made us confused and angry the first time through.
Update #1: Looks like Service Pack #1 for Vista is starting testing and will be due out Q2 of this year. There are rumors that SP1 won’t just be bug fixes but will include components that didn’t make it into the Vista RTM, like the PowerShell feature a lot of folks were waiting on.
Update #2: Looks like malware authors have ported their software (spyware, viruses, etc.) to Vista faster than security companies can port their cleaning applications. Joy.
Update #3: I’m not he only one that can’t get over the stupidity in Vista, Techgage’s Rob Williams did his top 8 annoyances in Vista and I agree with him.
Update #4: Scot Finnie sums up the core problem of Vista: it’s built to avoid complaints and to cater to enterprise customers. There is not much work in Vista that caters to user-based scenarios (please see the dialog I mentioned above), but there is a ton of work that (like UAC) that exists just so Microsoft can sit back and say “Hey, we made it secure, we can’t help it if you just click through all the dialogs). Really? Somehow Linux and Mac managed to not suck at this, but Microsoft takes a different tact and makes UAC the most obtrusive goddamn thing you’ve ever seen. How could you ever hand this off to your parents and say “Have fun with your new computer mom!”, she’d be calling you every other day asking what the dialog was about.
Update #5: Microsoft issues all invalid keys for the supposed “Ultimate Family Pack” deal they were running and there is no ETA for when new keys that work will be issued. So just incase you bought that pack, remember, go sit on a broom stick and wait for Microsoft to get back to you, but ultimately who cares? They have your money, sucker.
Update #6: PCWorld does a multi-page article on all the annoyances in Vista.
Update #7: Forbes did a piece on what a piece of crap Vista is. I have to say I agreed on every single point and ran across everything myself except for the CHKDSK after a bluescreen (I did run into bluescreens, just no CHKDSKs after)