Deconstructing Windows Vista, Part 2
... continued from Part 1 (of 3).
Recently, I laid out some of the reasons why Microsoft's marketing offensive for Windows Vista has overextended the supply lines of reality. Although it looks great and might have potential, there are only a handful of reasons to upgrade now.
So, what are those flashy features being pushed by Microsoft? Let's take a look at some of the new tools that the company believes make purchasing Vista worthwhile.
BitLocker is a security enhancement and works by encrypting the data on your hard drive using a hardware key and pass phrase -- but is only available on Windows Vista Ultimate and Enterprise. That being said, there are all kinds of third party encryption programs that work just as well on Windows XP.
The Aero interface is nice to look at, although it really serves no practical purpose at all and it eats up most of your CPU cycles. On top of that it requires a special graphics card to run it, and it's similar to the interface that's been on Apple's computers for years. It's not innovative at all.
The cost of Windows Vista passed ridiculous and went straight to assinine. You're paying a small fortune to license, not own the product and you have absolutely no control over it. Microsoft has free reign to do as they please when they please. The EULA (End User License Agreement) (PDF) alone is enough to prevent many people from buying (or should I say leasing) it, including myself.
Driver support is still severely lacking in numerous areas. In a lot of cases, even upgrading the hardware is expensive and there is a good chance that it will not be supported properly by Windows Vista. There are a multitude of applications that I use on a daily or weekly basis that won't work with Vista.
The DRM (Digital Rights Management) built into Windows Vista is definitely not consumer friendly. If anything, it'll cause more headaches than anything else.
According to Microsoft, the million plus people who tested the beta versions of Vista requested UAC (User Account Control) as a feature. It was introduced to Vista as a "security enhancement". "The main goal of User Account Control is to reduce the exposure and attack surface of the operating system by requiring that all users run in standard user mode".
You can turn this "enhancement" off if you like, but good luck trying to run certain programs. Turning this feature off reduces the functionality of a Vista PC even more. No one I have spoken to requested or wants this feature. On top of that, no one is going to tell me that I have to run my computer in standard user mode. If I want administrative access to my computer, that should be and is my prerogative.
Now the Kernel in Windows Vista will be rewritten to make it easier to include third party programs such as Google desktop search into it. (Source: yahoo.com)
Somehow I get the feeling that Vista will be rewritten several times before they're finished.
In my final segment in Deconstructing Windows Vista, I'll take one last look at the marketing of the product, and whether Microsoft hits its big red target: YOU.
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