Usability in a box

by Volker Weber

Joe Spolsky is not happy with Microsoft's new boxes. And he goes on to say:

I've been using Vista on my home laptop since it shipped, and can say with some conviction that nobody should be using it as their primary operating system -- it simply has no redeeming merits to overcome the compatibility headaches it causes. Whenever anyone asks, my advice is to stay with Windows XP (and to purchase new systems with XP preinstalled).

Joel is no Windows basher. If he says "stay away from Vista", you better stay away from Vista.

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Wow. :-)

Helmar Steinberg, 2007-08-20

Über-Wow. :-)

Jan-Piet Mens, 2007-08-20

Joel complains especially about the new Vista box design. He should know better: MS ist world-famous for product box design: iPod box by Microsoft(tm)

Hajo Schmitt, 2007-08-20

OMG....a big proponent of Microsoft diss's one their products.... find him and club him!

Bruce Elgort, 2007-08-20

Clubbing Joel seems a bit harsh and violent, doesn't it?

But further to his comments on Office 2007, I have just last week had several frantic calls from competent computer users, confused by the .docx files they are finding being emailed to them by publishers/ colleagues/ partner businesses, and alarmed to see the screeds of XML that face them if they try to open them in earlier versions of Word.

I guess this really has to do with poor training and communications at the originating companies, who don't perceive there may be a problem with incompatible versions. Yes, of course MS does provide import filters for download, but there is a lot of confusion out there just now.....

(sorry, you probably don't want to be going down this tired old MS-bashing route one more time)

Nick Daisley, 2007-08-20


Ummmm I was trying to be humorous.

Bruce Elgort, 2007-08-20

@ Bruce - that's what I had hoped....

Nick Daisley, 2007-08-20

Bruce was referring to something that happened to him just yesterday. Today he is in a much better mood.

Volker Weber, 2007-08-20

I actually like the new box interface in Office 2007, it gives me more the feeling that everything is at my fingertips. Looking for an advanced option can be a little hairy sometimes, though, since the well known menus from previous versions are missing.

Concerning Nich's story: I consider emailing office files one of the biggest problems of our times. People are often ignorantly thinking that everyone on this planet has exactly their office version and won't have a problem opening their file. Microsoft Office could be a worldwide standard if they didn't change it every couple years or make it more transparent. When it comes to transparency and openness OpenOffice is king in town, however. At home I am using NeoOffice and I try to educate the people around me by always emailing the openoffice and the MS office version of a file telling them "you can use the MS office filetype, but the original was made in OO and if you have any trouble you can freely download the program".

Philipp Sury, 2007-08-21

well the few apps i use all work with vista , but i can see the pain for people using alot of applications.

the OS is just the presentation of the applications layer most people dont care if their stuff works.

but personally bitlocker alone is enough reason for me never to go back to xp.

Flemming Riis, 2007-08-21

I can give some first hand horror stories with Vista. It simply is not baked yet, and Dell's overwhelming incompetence at supporting their products just compounds the frustration.

Many of the issues give me that feeling of deja vu because the problems are ones that industry solved years ago. Obviously, there is a huge misunderstanding of the meaning of the word "nostalgia" in the great northwest.

I have a Dell Latitude D620. (Core2Duo @ 2.0 GHz, 2 GB RAM, 160 GB HD, DVD Burner, WiFi, Bluetooth, high-res (1440x900) 14" widescreen. Preloaded with Windows Vista Business and Office 2007 SMB.

The problems I have with it:

(1) Sometimes it goes into a "deep sleep."
Meaning that I have to power down the unit (read: crash the system) to use it again.

(2) Said deep sleep makes Windows Vista completely forget about my video configuration. I run with dual displays. The built-in widescreen and an external Samsung 244T (24" 1920 x 1200) monitor. (I HIGHLY recommend the 244T.) I have it configured so that the Samsung is the primary monitor and the laptop's screen is secondary. Also, the laptop sits to the left of the Samsung. Both screens are set to maximum resolution.

So after resuming from the crash I have:
Rearrange the monitor configuration because out of the box with Windows, monitor "1" is on the left and "2" is on the right.

The resolutions are set to whatever it feels like that day.

(3) My networking issue, which is believed to be related to of all the things, the power saver settings. This one's incredible. The built-in NIC will just loose connectivity. But here's the rub: Windows thinks everything is just peachy. Run diagnostics and it tells you everything is fine. But I can surf, can't use Skype, etc. But Notes actually replicates. So it's doing something with the Windows firewall, which I don't even have turned on.

Vista is without a doubt best thing Apple could have ever hoped for. Actually, I doubt even they could imagine something that fundamentally flawed.

Henry Ferlauto, 2007-08-21

I'd say buy a PC with Vista and downgrade to XP pro (take care the license is providing it).

Then you can upgrade to Vista, when (or should i say if) its in a stable version. :-)

Jens Jeschke, 2007-08-21

Jens, the whole licence hassle is reason enough not to install a Microsoft OS. When I have a computer, I wanna use it and not waste my resources on satisfying some IT law department in an overly complicated process.

Philipp Sury, 2007-08-21

Philipp, its not only Microsoft, where you can write a scientific paper about the license structure. But sometimes you have to install a Microsoft OS, because the Software you use is only running on Windows.

Anyways, i wonder, if there is an ISO standardization for licensing software...

Jens Jeschke, 2007-08-21

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