“If Vista’s price, especially for Europeans, is its most eye-popping feature, its second most eye-popping feature is the Aqua Aero desktop interface. Windows now has translucent icons and translucent window borders. Taskbar tabs zoom, with graphical preview thumbnails showing the window’s contents, just as they do in Aqua,” Thomas C Greene reports for The Register.

Greene reports, “The directory and file organisation, and the overall look and feel, are strangely reminiscent of…oh…what’s the name of that OS I’m thinking of? But this is not to say that imitating Apple hasn’t made the Windows UI a lot better. It has. Search looks like a Spotlight clone, but it’s been improved from the bottom up, and it’s available in any window dealing with file management or system management, and from the start menu.”

“Microsoft’s next homage to Apple is the sidebar, a collection of little utilities and other single-use apps like clocks and timers and feeders bearing news headlines, stock reports, sports scores, etc. These are called Gadgets, to distinguish them from Apple’s Widgets. Thus, we can say that they’re not actually identical,” Greene reports. “You will also find a very iCal-looking Calendar, and a very iPhoto-looking Photo Gallery. Neither of which is bad. The look, feel and behaviour of both is quite similar to the Mac versions, which is all the better.”

“Dialog boxes are now cleaner, and wizards too. They look more Aqua-ish, and they function better, with far less mindless interrogation,” Greene reports. “Mercifully, Microsoft has dropped its condescending “My” obsession, and directories are now given grownup names like Computer, Documents, Pictures, and so on [just like Apple’s Mac]. And not a moment too soon.”

“Next, there’s the Flip-3D feature, which gives you a moving Rolodex view of your open windows. When the one you want comes into view, you stop flipping at that point and it opens for you. Unfortunately, there seems not to be a reverse feature on this little merry-go-round, so if you miss your stop, round you go again. I wonder when I might ever find it useful, as I rarely have enough windows open to make a challenge out of finding whatever I want in the taskbar. I rather think it’s there merely because it’s “cool”. And I’ll confess; I’ve played with it a few times. I’ve never used it, mind, but I have fiddled. And it is rather cool, actually. And pretty useless,” Greene reports.

MacDailyNews Note: Flip-3D is an inefficient piffle that was not given enough thought (or was too constrained by Apple patents.) In other words: typical Microsoft. Please see related article: Microsoft botches another copy job: Windows Vista Flip-3D vs. Apple Mac OS X Exposé – June 26, 2006

Greene continues, “Now for another little irritant: immortal craplets. There are two. One is the Vista Security Centre. I have disabled it. I have shut it off in Services. I have tried to shut it off in Msconfig. It won’t die. Every time I boot, the craplet pops up and demands to be enabled. But if it really is disabled, then why am I seeing the bloody thing? And there’s another immortal craplet: one that tells you that you’ve “disabled important startup programs”, like the Security Centre, for example. I’ve tried to kill this ridiculous thing too, with no joy.”

“So, one craplet pops up demanding to be enabled; you exit that, and a different one pops up telling you that you really ought not to have done that. Now, my definition of malware is pretty straightforward: malware is any code that causes my computer to behave in a way I don’t intend, or any code that prevents my computer from behaving in a way that I do intend. Thus the Vista Security Centre is, quite simply, malware,” Greene reports.

Greene reports, “So, there’s our first look at Vista. It does benefit from a lot of good ideas, many of them Apple’s, of course, but good nevertheless. It simply doesn’t work very well, unfortunately. There are serious problems with execution; it’s not polished; it’s not ready. It should not be on the market, and certainly not for the outrageous prices being charged. Don’t buy it, at least until after the first service pack is out. Don’t pay to be a beta tester.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: “Don’t buy it, at least until after the first service pack is out. Don’t pay to be a beta tester?” Here’s much better advice: use your head and Get a Mac – unless you enjoy helping to finance Microsoft’s eternal quest to make upside-down and backwards five-year-old poorly-simulated Macs that never work anywhere close to as well as Apple’s real thing.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers too numerous to mention and very persistent in their requests for posting particular article for the heads up.]

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