Vista new user experience not for the faint of heart

Microsoft Vista new user experience I just turned on a new laptop I bought for my father in law - amazingly a 1 Gig Mem, 1.7MHz, 90Mb computer for around $700. Nice.

But one thing: HP just doesn't seem to care about the user experience. Or is it Microsoft for allowing it? Or is it ourselves for forcing Microsoft to make Vista so open that their OEMs are practically forced to go nuts?

I've written in the past that I thought at 60,000 feet, Microsoft Windows and Apple OS X are more or less the same in terms of ease of use. The one huge (and probably crucial) exception to this is the initial user experience. I can only imagine what my 80 year old father in law would do if he saw the screen as it looks 'from the factory.'

Take a gander at what the screen looks like after turning the thing on. Look at all the mysterious icons from third party OEMs:

  • Get Vonage?

  • Ebay?

  • Photosmart Essential?

  • Aol Sign up, but also High Speed Services, and also Easy Internet Services

  • Oh lets not foget MSN

And then look at those two huge windows:

  • HP Total Care advisor, which should be called HP Total Confusion

  • Symantec with lots of inscrutable options

And what about that weird sidebar? Yeah the clock is kind of cool and understandable but what the heck is that box with "view headlines" and that funny orange icon? Are you kidding me?

Just study the screen shot and imagine yourself an 80 year old, world war 2, ex-merchant marine who is trying to check his email. Yikes!
Posted on April 21, 2008 and filed under Life, Technology.