Crossing To The Dark Side.

I am writing this blog entry on a Windows computer this afternoon. That’s right, I said Windows computer. And said computer is in my house. It’s running one of the latest builds of Windows Vista Ultimate, pre-Release Candidate 1.

As a computer support tech, one of my responsibilities is to know what’s going on in the world of computers. That makes sense, right? Well, since Microsoft Windows is the operating system on most of the computers across this great land, then I need to be familiar with the ins and outs of the operating system. So I figured I’d jump ahead and start seeing what this Windows Vista thing is all about.

I’ve been messing with it for the past two hours and I do have a few comments.

  1. It sure is pretty. I really like the aesthetics of using it. It looks good.
  2. I’m still trying to figure out why things have been moved where they’ve been moved to. For example, to change your background picture, in Windows XP, you right click on the desktop and click “Desktop Properties” and go from there. In Windows Vista, you right click on the desktop and click “Personalize” then jump around in some dialog windows before getting to the familiar Windows XP screens. It’s a few extra clicks and may seem intuitive to a newbie, but I’m hoping Microsoft builds an “Express” option into the final product that lets power users click around like they’re used to doing in Windows XP.
  3. For a pre-release candidate version of software, it’s pretty stable and responsive. I wasn’t expecting that.
  4. It’s still Windows.

I’ve also installed the Office 12 Beta, as I’ve heard wonderful things about the latest incarnation of Office. For those that have grown up with Office in the corporate environment, when you first fire this baby up you’re going to have a few moments of panic as EVERYTHING looks different. But once you start jumping around a little bit and start figuring out where everything is, it isn’t as bad as it first appears. Just for fun I’m typing this blog entry in Microsoft Word and then I’m going to cut and paste it into my blog entry screen. Let’s see if I can successfully do that before switching back to Ubuntu Linux.

This all being said, I must say that Microsoft is making great strides in the world of Windows. Windows Vista is going to take some hefty horsepower to run with all the bells and whistles (my test computer barely makes the grade with a 2.0mhz Processor, 768MB RAM and a Radeon GeForce 7600 GS video card), but there are quite a few improvements in the system that should make surfing a more pleasant experience for Joe User.

However, I’m still very much in love with our Mac hardware and offer you a toast of Apple Kool-Aid.