First, the Gartner report says that many businesses are considering skipping Vista and waiting until Windows 7. Windows 7 has been reported to be a modular system, so that it can be built more for specific purpose, and not on a one-size-fits-all basis like Vista. Despite 6 “versions” (read – software with different feature limitations), Vista has not been a stellar performer, since the system requirements are really set too high for current hardware.
Next, news comes out that the User Access Control, or UAC, was made for the purpose of being “annoying” in order to protect users not smart enough to figure out how to get around it. With their logic, users who are not smart enough to get around UAC probably are not capable of understanding when their computer is being invaded.
Now, for my (un)exciting commentary:
Modular Windows 1) Windows is indeed monolithic, it has a large memory footprint that requires good hardware to work properly. Unfortunately for users, Vista was built so that a computer with “preferred hardware” would be available — in a year or two after the release. That essentially makes no sense. It’s like saying, “Oh, look how advanced Vista is. It requires hardware that doesn’t exist yet.” That’s great for users!
As the report from Gartner suggests, it’s time for a major change in direction for Windows. In my opinion, Windows needs to become lighter-weight for today’s hardware (not tomorrow’s!), it needs to be more secure, it needs to be cheaper, and it needs to be released a bit more frequently like it used to be, end of story. Otherwise, Microsoft will be faced with the continual rise in Apple’s, and even Linux’s market share, taking chunks of users out of Microsoft’s hands.
In order to stay relevent, they need to make the company look like a solution, not a problem. When users look at Windows, they should say “Wow” and not say “How many viruses did you have today?”
UAC 2) UAC, the annoying little feature of Windows Vista, apparently is to protect users too computer-ignorant to see when something is happening on their computer that leads to a blue screen with an ominous message.
I agree somewhat with their point about protecting users that do not know when something bad is happening by giving them an annoying message – But! – When these messages come up, their is an “OK” button, which can be pressed, and the message goes away. This, is not good. I even caught myself clicking through the message box without looking at the message. True, I knew what I was doing, but really, any user could get used to the messages and just click “OK” without thinking. It’s not really a good control process. For example, with Ubuntu, you get a box to enter a password (yup, a password) and THEN click “OK.” Outside of being more secure, it’s far less annoying, as it only appears when making an administrative action, which is not very often for most folks.
Of course, I could just be some system-elitist with a biased view for Ubuntu and Linux. I could be an anti-Microsoft activist… but I’m not. I want to see computing get better all the time, and I want to see users happy with what they are using. If Microsoft wants to make things better for customers, not to mention KEEP customers, they need to up their game with future Windows releases. Otherwise, both Apple and Linux will prosper in Microsoft’s despair, and in many ways they already are.
Alright, so I’m guilty of helping with Ubuntu’s “world domination,” and I have no regrets, but seriously, I want computing better for everyone!