I just had the pleasure of going through the initial set up of Windows Vista on a brand new HP notebook. Here are some of my impressions:
- It's pretty, with translucent window title bars and colors. Somewhat mac-like, but really the Windows XP influence is just below the surface. Listening to Microsoft's stories, I guess I conclude that they spent lots and lots of time on the kernel and system services and maybe less on re-inventing the user experience.
- The out of the box experience is so - so. They have lots of OEM partners who have installed a whole bunch of stuff that jumps in your face asking to 'help you', register you, etc. And the problem is that they are not all that coordinated with each other, with different look and feels sometimes, and contradictory instructions. Perhaps it's unfair because Apple controls almost everything about the out of the box experience. In the case of this particular notebook, it's unclear whose cares more or less about the experience: Microsoft or Hewlett Packard.
- Fairly often your work is interrupted and you are asked such fun questions like: "Installation Service would like to access this directory, is that OK?" I suppose it's in the name of security, but I am not sure whether it is accomplishing what they intend.
- Take a look at this article about a A Cost Analysis of Windows Vista Content Protection. It's quite long and exhaustive but interesting.
- I guess if it wasn't for the fact that this product had such a tortured, long, and much promoted journey into the world I would give it a B+ but given the history and the promise I think that's being generous