“The moving train wreck that is Windows Vista finally began to approach its destination last week with the release of another major test version: beta 2. This should mean it is ‘feature complete,’ with only bug fixes, performance tuning and a final polish before it reaches businesses at the end of this year, and consumers at the start of next year,” The Mail & Guardian reports. “For those of us who have been following this particular development from the storage principles that appeared in the 1990s (Cairo) through to the Longhorn ideas that Microsoft showed even before the release of Windows XP, Vista looks a bit of a disaster. If Microsoft had delivered what it promised in, say, 2004, it would have led the market. Instead, it’s offering much less, and delivering it much later — probably after three or even more versions of, say, Mac OS X.”

“But, of course, we’re an insignificant number of people with little money and even less influence. Vista is probably going to ship about 500-million copies in 2007/08, with more than 10 000 PC manufacturers pre-installing it on almost every machine they make, across the four corners of the earth. And paying Microsoft about $25-billion in cash,” The Mail & Guardian reports. ” I suspect most of these naive users will find a lot to like in Vista. They will like the clean interface and the speed of Windows Media Player 11, the extra security and enhanced features of Internet Explorer 7+ (quick tabs, RSS feed detection, page zooming, print-to-fit), and the vastly improved Start menu. They will love the way little screen images pop up from the taskbar, and the way they can mouse-wheel rapidly through screens in Flip 3D mode — with videos still running. Some less jaded users will enjoy the gadgets — clock, slide show, weather information etc — that show in the Vista Sidebar, as per Konfabulator, or on accessory screens.”

Full article here.

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