Windows Vista Thumbs Up or Thumbs Down?

When I was writing Deconstructing Golden Tee LIVE, I interviewed several game designers who all told me the same thing – users go through a period during which they resist change before they embrace it. I’m wondering whether the same thing is occurring with Windows Vista.

Many die hard Windows XP users I’ve talked with insist that they’re going to stick with XP at least until Microsoft “works out all the bugs in Vista.” Many of these users haven’t even tried Vista. They simply have a knee-jerk reaction against it.

Apparently, Microsoft is well aware that this is going on. Relatively recently, the company did a little experiment called The Mojave Experiment. They wanted to know what people would think of Vista if they didn’t know it was Vista: Would they still hate it?

Overwhelmingly, the answer was No. People who used Windows Vista not knowing they were using Vista reported that they loved the operating system.

Admittedly, I was a little hesitant to use Vista at first, and I really didn’t like it. I didn’t like having to learn a new way of doing things. I knew where everything I needed was located in XP and didn’t want to have to go hunting for all that stuff again.

Over time, however, I’ve become a fan of Windows Vista. Here are some of the things I like about it:

  • 3D desktop: When you have multiple application windows open in Vista, you can flip through the stack in 3D.
  • Start menu search: All I have to do is click the Start button and start typing some text in the Search box to find what I’m looking for.
  • Beefed up media features: I especially like the new Windows Movie Maker, which now allows me to burn my video to a recordable DVD to play on my TV’s DVD player.
  • New sidebar and gadgets: The new sidebar in Windows Vista provides quick access to customizable mini-applications (called gadgets), which include weather updates, news headlines, late-breaking sports scores, your personal calendar, a calculator, and other often-used features and tools.
  • New backup utility: Everyone tells you to back up the files on your computer, but Windows XP offers a shoddy backup utility. Vista improves the backup capabilities of Windows, enabling you to back up your files to recordable CDs or DVDs, external hard drives, and other backup media.
  • Speech recognition: If you’d rather bark out commands than point and click with a mouse, Windows Vista can accommodate your preference. Equip your computer with a microphone, train Vista to tune its ear to your voice, and you’re ready to enter commands and type without touching your keyboard or mouse. The more you use the feature, the better it works!
  • Windows SideShow: Designed for notebook computers, Windows SideShow enables you to display critical information on a secondary or auxiliary screen whether the notebook is on, off, or in sleep mode. In other words, you don’t have to power up your computer to view meeting schedules, phone numbers, addresses, and recent e-mail messages. This saves you gobs of time and conserves battery power at the same time. Of course, your notebook computer must be equipped with a secondary or auxiliary screen.

If you’ve tried Windows Vista, I’d like to know what you think of it. Do you give it a thumbs up or a thumbs down? Why?

Meet the Author

Joe Kraynak
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Author of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Computer Basics.

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