Now that my laptop’s no longer brand new, I suppose I can talk a little about my experiences with Windows Vista. Vista is a hot topic on many geek boards.
The laptop itself is a joy to use. I know Dell is no longer the darling it once was, but this laptop performs just as well as I’d anticipated. With 2Gb RAM, a reasonably large hard drive and very high resolution screen¹ it’s sweet.
Vista is not as nice!
Maybe it’s growing pains. Maybe it’s just no one likes change. Maybe things weren’t well thought out. Whatever the reason, Vista is nowhere near as easily operated as Windows XP was.
I know of at least three programs I want to run but can’t, because they’re not Vista compatible. I sense it’s not just these individual pieces of software, but whole classes of programs which have to deal with Vista’s architecture.
Kaspersky virus software (I have used the freeware AOL version) won’t load. Neither will Nero, the disk writing software. I used to use Nero a lot.
I bought a wireless remote control to allow me to control PowerPoint presentations from afar. They say there will be Vista software – just not now. The remote’s currently a paperweight.
My poker software from FullTilt is also Vista challenged. The sound and video are no longer in sync. Cards will come to me, I’ll make a bet and then the signal “ding” will sound telling me it’s my time to act… though I already have.
Just as troubling is Vista’s ‘improved’ security. As far as I can tell, all that means is asking me incessantly if I approve of what’s going. Usually, I know the correct answer. I assume less sophisticated users will not and just say “Yes.”
Microsoft has been advertising Vista as having a WOW factor, based on its Aero interface. I certainly don’t think there’s any functional difference with Aero. And, some programs have problems properly displaying in this Aero configuration. I have never seen a reason to use the 3D floating windows feature that Aero is known for.
There are more troubles when it comes to files. I still haven’t figured out how to allow my networked computers to write files to and from the Vista machine. One program I use, which tries to write data into it’s own directory, is thwarted by Vista’s security ‘features.’
Even worse, Windows Explorer has devolved to be less friendly and less usable.
Like I said, I like the laptop a lot. Using a free program from a Scandanavian developer, I now do most of my DVR watching on this machine. I’ve also used it with Photoshop and Picasa to manipulate photos with no regrets.
But Vista – it’s just not ready yet.
¹ – I have one of those newer glossy screens. It is more prone to glare than the original matte LCDs.