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February 06, 2007


alex Patsay

few typos:
"It takes takes hard" - too many "takes"
"how it compares Mac OS X." - how it compares _to_ mac OS X, I guess?

Joshua Ochs

To continue your point, your opinion will carry more weight if you've used it more than in a store.

Couple points:
1) Firefox will run the same on Vista as anywhere else. That's kind of the point.
2) Just wait until you either set up a Vista machine and meet "User Account Control". It's like the OS X "We need to do something with elevated permissions - please enter your password" dialog, except it does not require your password, and it comes up every few seconds.
3) The graphic design is top notch, but the OS still feels incomplete. Take a look through the beautiful new appearance control panels, then try to change resolutions.
4) And my favorite, note that most programs in Vista have no menu bars (at least by default) - that makes it really fun to find options not on the defaut toolbars.

Finally, it's still Windows. Same registry with a million hidden places for programs to hide information, same screwed up file system layout that forces you to use the Start Menu if you're to have any hope of using it. Almost the same start menu, similar obtuseness when things go wrong.


I haven't had the chance to use Vista yet, but one thing that comes to mind when you mention all this speedy/snappyness is look what the requirements for Vista is.

For the most part, unless you've upgraded your machine to the latest greatest you're not going to be able to run Vista in an enjoyable performance.

And most things run better when you put enough CPU and memory behind it.

I think a good test would be to run Vista on a MacBook Pro and see how it compares to OS X.

John Muir

I used Vista beta 2, RC1 and then RC2 on my (now retired) PC for over six months as the machine's solitary OS. Hey, it was free, and I could learn something before getting my first desktop Mac! (Main machine has been a PowerBook since 2003.)

Overall I have to agree with Joshua Ochs who is spot on. Vista is visually quite nice in a Puma or Jaguar kind of way, and being based firmly on Windows Server 2003 it is quite stable, but it's not the missing link for Microsoft to be able to regain its position before OS X came out.

Actual day to day use feels just the same as XP. Also, I found its indexing to be buggy with a large photo and music collection, though there is a chance that was fixed after RC2 for all I know. It was a problem which persisted between clean installs for me.

The Windows beta crowd made a lot of noise about the immensely lame security management dialogs which (believe it or not) were actually worse back in the earlier releases! I bid you welcome to that particular experience. It's something I do not miss at all in Tiger!

As for speed - you forget to compare like with like. Vista is slower than XP in a constantly noticeable fashion when run on the same hardware. That's irrespective of whether Aero Glass is on or off. The difference between Vista and XP in feel is actually very similar to that between XP and Windows 2000. Indeed I even tried 2000 on the machine just before I put it away and felt its retro speed-boost charm!

Also I think a vital issue for Vista will be its laptop integration. Sleep states, their real use responsiveness, brightness controls, intelligent wi-fi, basically the whole mobile experience. I couldn't explore that on the desktop. I know it to be one of the biggest gulfs between XP and OS X since all the way back to Jaguar when I first came over.

Anyway, Vista is a capable update and brings the NT series closer to OS X in some, mostly cosmetic, ways. But it is no revolution, and doesn't solve Microsoft's long term problem which is how to develop a new system without all the legacy cruft which has plagued Vista's overworked devs.


Actually Vista has been tried on a Mac Pro. The results were reported in this article.


"For the last couple of weeks, I’ve been running Vista on a quad-Xeon Mac Pro. ..."

"The Mac Pro is a very fast and capable OS X machine, but it’s an even faster Windows Vista machine."

"Vista really flies on this beast, and feels like it’s faster than OS X – it boots faster, folders burst open and apps launch instantly."

nikolaus heger


I have been trying to switch to Vista Ultimate on my laptop. Vista found all my hardware and ran in full-on shiny mode. Yes, it's very shiny. But this gets old in about 2 days of use.

I completely agree with Alex, above.

I got around the annoyance of User Account Control by disabling it - better give up security than to go insane. Trust me, neither your wife nor anyone else would "survive" UAC. The phrase "what were they thinking?" comes to mind.

In general, even with UAC turned off I found myself constantly having to answer questions from the OS. These come in form of the new Vista dialogs: They are large, and instead of OK and Cancel offer two or more full paragraphs of text.

For example, every wireless network I connect to in the Cafe or on the road, I have to decide whether it's private, public, or (I forgot the name of the third option, office?). In case you don't know what that means - no problem, there are several A4 pages full of text to explain.

I will pick this as arbitrary example on how Vista has made things worse from XP - let alone OS X.

Task: Connect to wireless network.

1 - Click on the wireless symbol, select the network you want. Done.

Win XP:
1 - Right click on the wireless symbol
2 - Select the network you want in the list. Done.

Win Vista:
1 - Left click on the wireless symbol, a little window opens (this is not a menu!)
2 - Find the small blue hyperlink-like text that says "new connection"
3 - In the window, select wireless networks (you don't want dial-up)
4 - Choose the network you want
5 - Decide whether you want to save it and automatically connect to it in the future (mandatory, you are not connected yet)
6 - Decide whether this network is public, private, or something else - I don't know why, I refused to read the explaining text at that point.

Windows XP did a perfectly fine job here, close enough to OS X which has the perfect solution. Vista is a huge step backwards.

Sometimes less is more and that's something Vista does not get - you can see it everywhere, the Wireless is just a good example.


"I guess that I've been waiting for over twenty years for all the stars to align for Apple to be a major player in the world operating systems. With Vista now here, I think Apple might have missed it's best chance. A few years ago the visual impression of OS X when compared to Windows XP left most people thinking OS X was a huge advance. I think that time is gone."

Oh, I'd wait 'til Leopard is revealed in full before making that statement. ; )

That said, I agree that Vista is indeed a big advance over XP and will undoubtedly be quite successful in the long run. I look forward to giving it some time to try it out.

I don't think Apple will ever beat MS for the desktop PC, by the way; Windows is too entrenched, and if there isn't an Apple Store in the near vicinity the case for the Mac is much harder to see.

Where Apple has a real chance is the new world of post-PC devices, which increasingly will be running full OSes, just like computers. And the battle here has only just begun.


"I guess that I've been waiting for over twenty years for all the stars to align for Apple to be a major player in the world operating systems. "

You are still stuck in the age when Apple was "Apple Computer"! Don't feel bad - most are! But Apple's name change is the big news - computers are finally moving away from a box that we conform with, to actually integrating seamlessly into our lives.

Vista is all about reacting to the past. Apple is all about transformations into the future. Vista will be seen in the same light as IBMs punch cards.


I have used both Vista and OS X on Core 2 Duo machines with the same clock speed. OS X is, to use your word, snappier.

I have used XP & OS X daily for years. XP sand boxed with Parallels on a Core 2 Duo MacBook Pro is only slightly annoying.

Vista on a HP Core 2 Duo is very annoying. I couldn't use it daily. Maybe after SP 1 when they have the permissions nonsense sorted out I will upgrade to Vista and sand box it with parallels on my Mac but that is a year or so away.


To respond to Nikolaus' comment about "less is more."

That is one of my worries about Vista. This comment in Information Week is one of my favorite descriptions of the differences between the two operating system philosophies.


"For Mac OS X, it's the classic English butler. This OS is designed to make the times you have to interact with it as quick and efficient as possible. It expects that things will work correctly and therefore sees no reason to bother you with correct operation confirmations..."

"Windows is ... well, Windows is very eager to tell you what's going on. Constantly. Plug something in and you get a message. Unplug something and you get a message. If you're on a network that's having problems staying up, you'll get tons of messages telling you this. It's rather like dealing with an overexcited Boy Scout ... who has a lifetime supply of chocolate-covered espresso beans..."

"To put it simply, you can work on a Mac for hours, days even, and only minimally need to directly use the OS. With Vista? The OS demands your attention, constantly."

Since I wrote the post, I have received an email alert from another Realtor® saying that the people who run the Multiple Listing Services are recommending Realtors® might want to wait a while before upgrading to Vista.

"Most Realtors may prefer to use what they currently have. If they don't plan to change machines, ....they're better off leaving Vista off for the time being..."

Of course I knew enough to not be in the line for the first machines. That recommendation probably works also for Leopard. There will be some sophisticated things out there that will take time to work well with new operating systems even when they are from Apple.

Ishan Bhattacharya

I've been using Vista and Microsoft Office 2007 on a MacPro 3.0 with 5 GB RAM and frankly, there's no comparison in terms of speed of applications opening, scrolling and all the little petty but annoying delays that are part of the computing experience: Vista wins hands down. I could use Vista on this machine, and use it with plesaure. That's hard for me to admit having been Mac only person for more than two decades. I hope the current developer release of Leopard is nothing like what the final product will be. If it's more or less the same, I think Mr. Jobs has lost the user experience battle. We'll just have to wait and see.


Good site
Good luck the web designer.

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