For starters, let's be clear, Microsoft Windows Vista works. I am not saying it works well, but it works.
There are the odd faults of course. Some have been fixed with a much expected Windows Vista Service Pack 1. Most are still related to device drivers (and almost 30% alone caused by NVIDIA software).
And of course the inevitable comparison with Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 2 - itself fast and quite solid.
But for consumers Windows Vista is just not there yet.
There are lots of things I don't like in the software. I won't list here everything - the fact it takes so long to start, why sleep won't simply work (device drivers again), or why does it need to keep the HDD activity constant even with the "search indexer" off (because really the search is not as good as promised and who but a geek goes to Microsoft's website looking for another indexer and search solution?).
There are three things that I think need quickly to be fixed: enterprise focus, device driver conflicts and multiple versions of the same OS.
Will Windows 7 fix these problems? From reading Paul Thurrottt's Windows 7 FAQ I doubt it:
Microsoft has publicly committed to only one feature for Windows 7--pervasive multi-touch and the company is currently still deciding what this next Windows release will look like. We do know a few other things about Windows 7, however: It will include a new version of Windows Explorer that is being built by the same team that designed the Ribbon user interface in Office 2007. It will likely include some form of the "Hypervisor" (Windows Virtualization) technologies that will ship shortly after Windows Server 2008. It will also likely include the WinFS (Windows Future Storage) technologies, though they won't be packaged or branded as WinFS. Microsoft says it might also make a subscription-based version of the OS available to consumers, but that's still in flux.
Multi-touch? Is that it? Seriously, after the Apple iPhone, everything must have multi-touch? Nothing better to do? Nothing actually original?
Microsoft Windows Vista must to go the way of the enterprise. Leave it for the corporate bodies.
Microsoft needs to work on a consumer operating system. One that doesn't join a domain. One that doesn't have IIS code in it. One that will actually do what consumers want.
"You can always use Windows Vista Home Basic" I hear you saying...
But I am looking for an operating system that is friendly and fool proof. Easy to use and feature rich. Not feature rich as in "this will let you run a FTP server" but as in "this is secure without having to run memory hungry slow third party security software".
Let's call it "Consumer OS".
"Consumer OS" should let users do what they want. Not what associations want. If you want to record a TV program to watch it later, so be it. If you want to share a user-generated file so be it. It should have solid synchronisation capabilities built-in. Something such as Live Mesh, but that works out of the box.
The "Consumer OS" is not the copyright police. It frees up people to use their content. Content want to be available. Make those codecs available - I am sick of waiting for Windows Vista Media Center to support the H.264 DVB-T broadcast (and the rumours are now that it won't, even though early betas seem to have it kind of working).
"Consumer OS" would run only on certain basic hardware - listed on a website. The basic hardware would be motherboard, video and networking devices. "Consumer OS" would have to make sure requests and responses to these devices would always be reliable, not cause exceptions - if any exception is caught them make sure things get into a defined range and a specific application stops, but never show a blue screen and crashes the entire system.
"Consumer OS" won't be a geeks paradise. It will be a family's paradise.
Is this too much to ask for?
Other related posts:
Windows 8 Mail app not hyperlinking emails
Are we seeing the death of Windows RT?
Windows 8 Consumer Preview
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