Saturday, September 02, 2006

I Like Vista - Not Love - Like

Blasphemy you say? No. I'll say it now, Vista (even Vista Ultimate) will never be OS X Tiger - never mind Leopard. But, having said that, I will say that I do, indeed, like Vista.

Maybe it's because I've been forced to use XP on a daily basis over the past 3-4 weeks, but I really noticed that Vista is a significant upgrade (at least if you've got a 2ghz machine with 2 gig of ram and a sick resolution - like the Dell laptop I get from work does) in elegance from XP. And, even if you don't have a great honking machine, the usability is still an improvement. Of course, you can credit that usability benefit directly to the fact that Vista liberally "borrows" from the Mac for it's interface. Even in elegance, Vista does borrow from OS X, specifically the effect it has when opening and closing windows. But, that isn't all the Vista has going for it.

First, Vista does carry several things that I've always liked about Windows and ALWAYS wished that the Mac had, into this century. Simple things like one click navigation or launching as an option. Honestly, it is the singular biggest thing I miss for the Mac and I've been hoping desperately for 4 years that someone would create a hack for me!!! That and the faithful Alt+Tab is still around - but now provides you with thumbnail images instead of just the logos of the app. Heck, that's better than OSX. And, as someone who is older, stares at a screen all day and wears glasses - I LIKE that feature. In fact, even with an Expose' like feature provided in the OS (and software that does it for me in XP) I think that if Alt+Tab worked like it does in Vista on a Mac - I wouldn't use Expose. So, what do you think of those Apples?

I know, I know. You all think I've taken leave of my senses. Don't worry, I'm only talking about a couple of features here! Regardless of how much I like the new look of Vista (and - I DO - including how customizeable it is PLEASE TAKE NOTE SOMEONE AT APPLE), I still far prefer OS X and Apple hardware.

Props out to where it is due though - Vista takes big steps in making the experience better. It's good at recognizing the hardware (at least on this box) and it works nicely, while also providing a nicer environment - including getting rid of that hideous Start button!

So, after all that, why still on my Mac? Start with the hardware. Gosh, my PowerBook is so much nicer to use. Better track pad, better keyboard, better touch. Screens are now a wash though because this Dell I'm using actually has at least as good a display as my PowerBook (but not as good as a MacBook). Then, procede to the OS. Even with being gussied up and made a bit more friendly, Windows is still Windows. I was trying to fix a partition (which I blew up while trying to adjust it so I could install Vista - that's a 3 day oddesy for you), and I HAD to go out to the command line to do it. I'm still working on that. It's also still Windows when it comes to how and where things work.

Lastly, and importantly, I'm also NOT planning on dropping $400 to get Windows Vista Ultimate. Oh, sure. By the time I get done upgrading to Leopard I will have spent that on Mac OS X - but if I had skipped all the other releases (which many folks do), the upgrade would still be $129 NOT $400. And, if you don't get Ultimate - or close too it - you loose some of the cooler features and connectivity of Vista. That SUCKS doesn't it? And that is why Windows is still Windows, Microsoft is still Microsoft and why I'm going to happily upgrade to Leopard and put it on my MacBook Pro :-) (when I get it that is) Then I'll install my copy of XP to run the one or two apps I need in Windows until all the pricing comes down!

So, there you have it. I like Vista, but I don't love it. It's good, and if you're stuck in a Windows world it at least gets you closer to the Mac. But as for me an my house? We'll take the Mac thanks!

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