Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 2nd Jun 2006 19:51 UTC, submitted by Tyr.
Windows Computerworld's Scot Finnie details 20 things you won't like in Windows Vista, with a visual tour to prove it. He says that MS has favored security over end-user productivity, making the user feel like a rat caught in a maze with all the protect-you-from-yourself password-entry and 'Continue' boxes required by the User Account Controls feature. "Business and home users will be nonplussed by the blizzard of protect-you-from-yourself password-entry and 'Continue' boxes required by the User Account Controls feature, for example." Update: Apparantly, Vista Beta 2 sucks up battery juice much faster than XP does.
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Qualms with the article
by Tom K on Fri 2nd Jun 2006 21:05 UTC
Tom K
Member since:
2005-07-06

The author comes off as whiney. I'm not particularly excited (or even 100% optimistic) about Vista, but come on ...

20. Minimum video system requirements are more like maximum -- Next-gen features (Aero) require next-gen hardware. He's complaining that his laptop with a 64 MB X300 isn't enough to run Aero at its highest eye-candy levels ... well boo-hoo.

19. Aero stratification will cause businesses woe -- This is up to the businesses and their IT departments to decide, and not a fault of Vista. If your IT department is bent on letting workers have all the eye candy ... get a new IT department -- preferrably one that has its priorities straight.

Oh, and OS X 10.4 on a Mac Mini doesn't even come close to the technological level of Aero+DX9 video. I say that as an Apple fan.

18. User Account Controls $#^%!~!!! -- 80% of this is praise for the features. The other 20% is complaining about Vista being overly cautious and asking you things every step of the way. With the quick-to-dismiss-dialog-boxes nature of the typical Windows user, this is what it has to come down to to keep Windows users safe from themselves.

17. Two words: Secure Desktop -- See above. Making the dialog modal is pretty much the only way to guarantee that a click-happy Windows user will give it some attention.

16. No way to access the Administrator account in Vista Beta 2 -- Two words: Beta 2. A few more words, from the author himself: "Presumably because Microsoft wants to force the issue and require beta testers to work within the constraints of User Access Controls."

15. Some first-blush networking peeves -- The first part is valid. I like shortcuts. Don't take them away. The second part, about network stacks, and "layering" ... author, please stick to what you know. How is this even a complaint? They have some extra networking technologies in Vista, and those technologies are available as removable components for each individual adapter. I see no problem.

14. Windows peer networking is still balky -- Again, stick to what you know. The "View workgroup computers" option never gave anything a "swift kick". The author should research SMB and how it works ... especially the concept of SMB masters and announcements. On a properly-configured network, it should never take "hours" for a Windows machine to show up in My Network Places.

IPv6 also has nothing to do with the SMB protocol and how machines announce themselves.

13. and 12. are valid complaints, as I've noticed a lot of this in Vista myself. There is too much clicking to get anywhere useful.

11. Display settings have changed for no apparently good reason -- This new layout is more logical. "Display" settings refer to settings of the display device. Window shade colours don't belong under "display" settings. That belongs under "Visual Appearance". I like this configuration -- it makes sense: the settings that a home user is most likely to change (screen saver, background, colours, sounds, mouse pointer, themes, etc.) are all located in one big root panel.

10. Where are the file menus? -- This is really a matter of defaults. Some people like file menus, some prefer to use the alternative interfaces. Personally, I *never* use the file menus in Explorer, so this sort of makes sense. The Office complaint is invalid, as the key change in Office is one of workflow pattern. The menus clobber that. I'm looking forward to Office 2007, actually.

9. Windows Defender Beta 2 is buggy -- This would be a valid complaint had this article been about "20 Things You Won't Like About Vista Beta 2". Such an obvious and simple bug will undoubtedly be fixed by the time RTM rolls around, making this an dubious point about the final version of Vista.

8. Problems without solutions -- Once again, Beta 2. The screenshot of the utility more depicts a program whose purpose is to show friendlier versions of system logs. And what's this complaint about IBM's ThinkPad software? Hello? Complain to IBM about their program putting itself in Add/Remove even though the installation wasn't successful.

7. Lack of Windows Sidebar Gadgets -- No sh*t, Sherlock. Vista is still 9 months away from shipping (maybe more). He's comparing OS X Tiger's widget count to Vista's. Well gee, I now am going to complain about the relative lack of KDE 4 widgets vs. KDE 3 "widgets". Valid? Not a chance.

6. Media Center isn't all there and falls flat -- File a bug report with ATI, and make sure you leave a note of the fact that you're using a BETA video driver. Someone tell me again why this is something I will not like about Vista final?

5. Faulty assumption on the Start Menu -- Not a faulty assumption at all. The faulty assumption is on the part of the author, when he assumes that most people will want to completely shut down their machine, as opposed to putting it in a low-power state. Apple calls it "Sleep", and I dare say that it's a hugely popular feature on their machines. Who wants to boot up their computer every single morning, when they can just wait the 3 seconds it takes to bring Vista out of a sleep state?

4. Installation takes forever -- Installation of the betas does indeed take a long time. Part of that reason is all the extra beta/debug-related stuff that is installed. The other reason is that this is a next-gen OS. How long does Fedora Core 5 take to install vs. Redhat 7? Windows XP vs. Windows 95?

3. Version control -- There are indeed two more versions than there need to be, but as long as you remember that Microsoft is distinguishing between consumers, professionals, and "enthusiasts", then the versioning becomes much clearer. Most Vista users will never be exposed to this anyway, as they will simply get a pre-installed copy with their next computer.

2. Price -- Sorry, but where were the concrete facts in this blurb? The author makes some guesstimates about prices ... and this is Reason #2 why I won't like Vista? This is where this article jumps over its 10th shark.

1. Little originality, sometimes with a loss of elegance -- This article isn't a comparison of OS X vs. Vista, it's reasons why I won't like Vista. I don't see any XP users being offered new features that were not present in XP saying "I don't like this, OS X is more elegant". Those users are already OS X users.

This article is a complete waste of time, and the author makes a total of about 4 valid to semi-valid points. The rest is pure and unadulterated whining. I think we should pool together some money and send this guy a technical dictionary. The term "beta" has a certain meaning when it comes to computer software -- he seems to stray from that understanding at times.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Qualms with the article
by AdamW on Fri 2nd Jun 2006 22:01 in reply to "Qualms with the article"
AdamW Member since:
2005-07-06

"18. User Account Controls $#^%!~!!! -- 80% of this is praise for the features. The other 20% is complaining about Vista being overly cautious and asking you things every step of the way. With the quick-to-dismiss-dialog-boxes nature of the typical Windows user, this is what it has to come down to to keep Windows users safe from themselves."

No, it's shooting your own feature in the foot.

If you see one security-related dialog box a day, you'll read it carefully and make an appropriate choice.

If you see a hundred security-related dialog boxes a day, you will immediately click OK without even reading the contents, and get very frustrated in the process.

Excess caution results in no security and peed off users: not a good result.

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE[2]: Qualms with the article
by CPUGuy on Fri 2nd Jun 2006 22:22 in reply to "RE: Qualms with the article"
CPUGuy Member since:
2005-07-06

Honestly, you don't see it much once you get your system setup with the apps you want and such.

Though there are still some bugs with how it actually works.... again, beta 2.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: Qualms with the article
by Tom K on Fri 2nd Jun 2006 22:51 in reply to "RE: Qualms with the article"
Tom K Member since:
2005-07-06

Indeed ... you have a point. The person who replied to you also has a point, though.

In any case, it beats having NO dialog at tall.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: Qualms with the article
by n4cer on Fri 2nd Jun 2006 22:30 in reply to "Qualms with the article"
n4cer Member since:
2005-07-06

18. User Account Controls $#^%!~!!! -- 80% of this is praise for the features. The other 20% is complaining about Vista being overly cautious and asking you things every step of the way. With the quick-to-dismiss-dialog-boxes nature of the typical Windows user, this is what it has to come down to to keep Windows users safe from themselves.

MS is still working on reducing the number instances in which a prompt is required. As said by the OP, for someone who has tested for so long, you'd think they would know better than to make claims about beta software as if they will remain the same in the final product. For more info on UAC changes planned for Vista RC1, check this post:
http://blogs.msdn.com/uac/archive/2006/06/01/613098.aspx

17. Two words: Secure Desktop -- See above. Making the dialog modal is pretty much the only way to guarantee that a click-happy Windows user will give it some attention.

The dialog is modal because it appears on a totally seperate desktop than the one you were working on. The background shown is just a static screenshot of the normal work desktop. This is a security enhancement as other applications can't access this desktop and can't access the UAC prompt to programmatically confirm the prompt.

16. No way to access the Administrator account in Vista Beta 2 -- Two words: Beta 2. A few more words, from the author himself: "Presumably because Microsoft wants to force the issue and require beta testers to work within the constraints of User Access Controls."

The author needs to test more and jump to false conclusions less. The administrator account is accessible in Vista Beta 2 (just as in previous builds). Your default account has administrator rights, but Vista runs most apps as standard user even in this case for greater security. There are several ways to run apps with full admin rights. You can right-click on most items and choose Run as administrator. You can mark executables to run as admin via the compatibility tab in the exe's properties. You can start cmd or PowerShell as admin using the above method and anything run from that prompt will run as admin. You can also login with the default Administrator account by going to Safe Mode or possibly just entering the credentials for it in normal mode. There are likely other ways as well, however you shouldn't need to run as admin in most cases.

Edited 2006-06-02 22:31

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[2]: Qualms with the article
by Tom K on Fri 2nd Jun 2006 22:52 in reply to "RE: Qualms with the article"
Tom K Member since:
2005-07-06

Thanks! That's some really useful information.

That's actually quite creative how that dialog is on its own desktop.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE: Qualms with the article
by atsureki on Fri 2nd Jun 2006 22:39 in reply to "Qualms with the article"
atsureki Member since:
2006-03-12

Oh, and OS X 10.4 on a Mac Mini doesn't even come close to the technological level of Aero+DX9 video. I say that as an Apple fan.

He didn't say technological level. If I remember correctly, the word was features. What use does Aero Glass provide that Quartz doesn't already do on a Rage 128? I've got bilinear scaling, anti-aliasing, transparency, and Exposť with 16MB of video RAM. The rest is just special effects.

With the quick-to-dismiss-dialog-boxes nature of the typical Windows user, this is what it has to come down to to keep Windows users safe from themselves.

Users are quick to dismiss because Windows is quick to provide. This will only train people to take even less notice of what the dialogs are saying, if that's possible. When the dialogs come so frequently that most of them aren't worth reading, there becomes no visual difference between "I'm going to do what you just explicitly told me to do." and "A hacker is using your computer to trade illegal files and steal your credit card." Not to mention that Microsoft has a history of using messages that fall on the extremes, either so technical that only the programmer would get it or so oversimplified it's not even true.

17. Two words: Secure Desktop -- See above. Making the dialog modal is pretty much the only way to guarantee that a click-happy Windows user will give it some attention.

And what right does Microsoft have to force the user to do something? When I turn the computer on, I generally have some vague notion of what it is I want to do, and I can honestly say answering needless dialogs has never been it. A good operating system gets out of the way, but it appears Vista is specifically designed to get in the way.

10. Where are the file menus?

I'd like to say something about menus in general. I really hate that Microsoft has been deprecating them, first with "personalized" and now with off by default. The advantage of a menu system isn't that it's snappy. Buttons and context menus should be aiding in that area. Their use is in that they're a complete list of what the program can do. Apple Human Interface Guidelines tell programmers that all functions should be accessible through the menu bar. It works. Things are easy to find in OS X. With "personalized" menus, they're no longer complete, and digging just takes much longer, and off by default just creates an even more powerful block, potentially insurmountable for less experienced users. If there's no button to do it, it essentially can't be done.

Not a faulty assumption at all. The faulty assumption is on the part of the author, when he assumes that most people will want to completely shut down their machine, as opposed to putting it in a low-power state.

People who want startup to be instant will take the initiative to find the feature. Everyone else wants to keep any electricity from being spent on an appliance that's not doing anything. I don't keep my toaster preheated all day, and most people wouldn't want their computer at the ready 24/7, no matter how low a non-zero number the wattage is. But that's not my problem with it. Labelling a sleep button with the traditional 1/0 symbol is mislabelling the button. It's lying to the user. When I hit a power toggle, I want power off, because I'm probably going to go in and do something with hardware or leave the room for an indefinite period of time.

That said, I have XP set to interpret the (physical) power button as a command to hibernate (zero power), and my Mac takes it to go into sleep mode (in part because it doesn't do hibernate, in part because I use it so much). Programmability is a good thing, but clear labelling and defaults are even better.

The other reason is that this is a next-gen OS. How long does Fedora Core 5 take to install vs. Redhat 7? Windows XP vs. Windows 95?

Next gen doesn't have to mean bloat. In the time I've been editing this message, I installed and tested Arch Gimmick and Ubuntu Dapper Drake on the machine sitting right next to me. If Vista or any other Windows allowed you not to install things you don't want or need, this wouldn't be a problem.

2. Price

Windows 98 SE OEM was $100 in its day. Let's consider that a baseline. With the investment costs of Vista, we can be assured it will be expensive -- expensive enough that the same amount of cash could buy something that didn't warrant so much "whining." And the point is on the step-up versions, which is absolutely correct. The difference between Home and Professional is $100 for IIS and some basic security. I don't like where that's heading with their new versioning scheme.

I don't see any XP users being offered new features that were not present in XP saying "I don't like this, OS X is more elegant". Those users are already OS X users.

Exactly. I'm an OS X user (+Linux, Solaris, BeOS, QNX, BSD, Plan9, everything I can get my hands on), and I have to use Windows to get anything out of my considerable investment in games. It's hard to use it without noticing areas that are much less tedious and annoying on the computer in the next room. A lot more people are being exposed to the competition these days, and they're not going to like the shortcomings of what they bought. So the loss of elegance, in authentication, for instance, is definitely going to be something I'm not going to like about Vista. Probably #1.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Qualms with the article
by Tom K on Fri 2nd Jun 2006 23:08 in reply to "RE: Qualms with the article"
Tom K Member since:
2005-07-06

You have some good points.

He didn't say technological level. If I remember correctly, the word was features. What use does Aero Glass provide that Quartz doesn't already do on a Rage 128? I've got bilinear scaling, anti-aliasing, transparency, and Exposť with 16MB of video RAM. The rest is just special effects.

Do yourself the justice of actually going out and research Aero. This topic has been covered more than once on OSNews alone.

And trust me ... there's relatively nothing special that Quartz does on a Rage 128. :-) Where's my mouse pointer shadow, for one?

Users are quick to dismiss because Windows is quick to provide. This will only train people to take even less notice of what the dialogs are saying, if that's possible. When the dialogs come so frequently that most of them aren't worth reading, there becomes no visual difference between "I'm going to do what you just explicitly told me to do." and "A hacker is using your computer to trade illegal files and steal your credit card." Not to mention that Microsoft has a history of using messages that fall on the extremes, either so technical that only the programmer would get it or so oversimplified it's not even true.

The user is prompted for the first time only when running a certain application. However, I'd like to hear your thoughts on how to properly implement this so as to keep users safe from themselves ...

And what right does Microsoft have to force the user to do something? When I turn the computer on, I generally have some vague notion of what it is I want to do, and I can honestly say answering needless dialogs has never been it. A good operating system gets out of the way, but it appears Vista is specifically designed to get in the way.

I would hope that most users would be thankful for Microsoft forcing a choice on them if the operation about to happen could be potentially dangerous not only to the system but to the user's data. When you get that dialog, you know something is up, and you better damned well know what the implications are if you brush it off.

Most virus/spyware infections are the fault of the user alone. Microsoft knows this.

People who want startup to be instant will take the initiative to find the feature.

Are you serious? You can't be serious.

Most users don't even know about all of the built-in features of their hardware, let alone having the initiative to hunt around in system control panels looking for a low-power sleep option.

Everyone else wants to keep any electricity from being spent on an appliance that's not doing anything. I don't keep my toaster preheated all day, and most people wouldn't want their computer at the ready 24/7, no matter how low a non-zero number the wattage is.

And yet VCRs, DVD players, stereos, and a whole ton of other things are constantly in a state of "preparedness". Most people I know leave their computers on for most of the day, so clearly power concerns aren't that great (though they should be). Any modern PC that supports S3 will probably draw no more than 10-15W when in standby, and that number will only go down as the industry continues to place more weight on power consumption.

But that's not my problem with it. Labelling a sleep button with the traditional 1/0 symbol is mislabelling the button. It's lying to the user. When I hit a power toggle, I want power off, because I'm probably going to go in and do something with hardware or leave the room for an indefinite period of time.

Indeed. I'm in favour of changing the icon to reflect the function in a truer sense.

Next gen doesn't have to mean bloat.

I didn't say it did. Next-gen generally means more features/more complex systems, though. If you can figure out how to turn GDI+ into Aero WITHOUT increasing the total size of the binary code, I'll give you a MacBook Pro. :-P

In the time I've been editing this message, I installed and tested Arch Gimmick and Ubuntu Dapper Drake on the machine sitting right next to me. If Vista or any other Windows allowed you not to install things you don't want or need, this wouldn't be a problem.

You complain about bloat, and then you mention Ubuntu ... tsk tsk.

Windows 98 SE OEM was $100 in its day. Let's consider that a baseline. With the investment costs of Vista, we can be assured it will be expensive -- expensive enough that the same amount of cash could buy something that didn't warrant so much "whining." And the point is on the step-up versions, which is absolutely correct. The difference between Home and Professional is $100 for IIS and some basic security. I don't like where that's heading with their new versioning scheme.

No one can say anything about Vista pricing just yet. The most basic version could be sold for $79.99, or $129.99. We don't know. Wait and see.

Exactly. I'm an OS X user (+Linux, Solaris, BeOS, QNX, BSD, Plan9, everything I can get my hands on), and I have to use Windows to get anything out of my considerable investment in games. It's hard to use it without noticing areas that are much less tedious and annoying on the computer in the next room. A lot more people are being exposed to the competition these days, and they're not going to like the shortcomings of what they bought. So the loss of elegance, in authentication, for instance, is definitely going to be something I'm not going to like about Vista. Probably #1.

You're missing the point ... most users upgrading to Vista will be coming from 2K/XP. Any way you look at it, Vista is a huge improvement over these previous two OSes. Obviously OS X users like you and I are not going to "upgrade" to Vista.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Qualms with the article
by n4cer on Sat 3rd Jun 2006 00:30 in reply to "RE: Qualms with the article"
n4cer Member since:
2005-07-06

Windows 98 SE OEM was $100 in its day. Let's consider that a baseline. With the investment costs of Vista, we can be assured it will be expensive -- expensive enough that the same amount of cash could buy something that didn't warrant so much "whining." And the point is on the step-up versions, which is absolutely correct. The difference between Home and Professional is $100 for IIS and some basic security. I don't like where that's heading with their new versioning scheme.

XP Home is $90 OEM and includes more functionality than 98SE. XP Pro also includes domain/group policy support, Remote Desktop server support, and more. Until MS announces pricing, you have no idea what Vista will cost. Also, IIS is included in the Home SKUs in Vista.

Edited 2006-06-03 00:34

Reply Parent Score: 1

Compatible?
by KenJackson on Sat 3rd Jun 2006 13:13 in reply to "RE: Qualms with the article"
KenJackson Member since:
2005-07-18

I have to use Windows to get anything out of my considerable investment in games.

Sorry for going a little OT, but how many of your games still don't work correctly under Wine?

My concern with Vista is seeing if the API changes in a way that make new apps not work under Wine. So the author's comment about no new features beyond XP sounds good to me.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE: Qualms with the article
by junior on Sat 3rd Jun 2006 12:43 in reply to "Qualms with the article"
junior Member since:
2005-07-07

"Next-gen features (Aero) require next-gen hardware. He's complaining that his laptop with a 64 MB X300 isn't enough to run Aero at its highest eye-candy levels ... well boo-hoo."

Since a 64 MB X300 runs demanding 3D games with ease, but isn't adequate in running Aero to the fullest, we can safely assume that Aero is an inefficient hog. But hey, don't let that get in the way of trivializing complaints about Aero.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Qualms with the article
by Tom K on Tue 6th Jun 2006 03:57 in reply to "RE: Qualms with the article"
Tom K Member since:
2005-07-06

Indeed. 10 FPS on a typical DX9 benchmark at 10x7, and 6 FPS in Doom 3 at 10x7 really does qualify as "with ease".

Aero = heavy DX9 shader usage.

Don't bring your ignorance into the debate. X300s are weaksauce.

Reply Parent Score: 1