3.25.2007

Guest Blogger: A Mac Guy Reviews Microsoft Vista

My friend Nathan is a serious Apple guy. He told me recently that he purchased a new Dell to do some testing on the PC experience for his website development work. The new computer came with the Microsoft Vista operating system and he said it was pretty interesting to see what Microsoft is doing. I'd heard that many Mac enthusiasts were actually quite complimentary of Vista (which is about as common as Halley's Comet if you didn't know) so being the hard core Mac fan that he is I thought it would be fun to get his take on Vista. I asked Nathan to be a guest blogger on MicroExplosion to review his experience. He came through like a champ. Here's Nathan's take on Vista:


I have been an Apple guy for several years and was intrigued with what Microsoft had up its sleeve, especially after hearing other Apple fans praise Vista. Here's what I discovered:

First Impressions

First impressions are everything. Like you may suspect, my first impression of Vista was that it feels a lot like Apple’s OS X. The “aero” interface is strikingly similar to “aqua” among other things. The interface is clean for the most part, not cluttered like previous versions of Windows. Vista even sports an Expose-esque feature allowing a user to visually shuffle through open windows. Even though most of the visuals look like they came from Apple’s labs, I must say… it is pretty slick. And slick appeals to the Apple fanatics.

Lasting Impressions
Now, Vista still has that “Windows” feel that I have never been keen to, but I have to give Microsoft credit. They have created an operating system that attempts to give the user a great experience. Sure, pump enough eye-candy into anything and it will look great with the first presentation, but Vista feels solid as well. For example, errors and alerts are handled more gracefully, and logging in literally feels like a dream. Microsoft has definitely taken a page from Apple’s book, and I must say, “Well done.” Vista will not become my primary operating system by any means, but it will not be as reluctant to use it as I have with previous versions of Windows.

Conclusion
Microsoft is starting to get it: experience is what yields passion for products. Experience is the key to emotional interaction with a product. Microsoft’s new Vista operating system is an effort to create an experience for the user rather than frustration. Though I believe Apple is the one indirectly teaching Microsoft the art of “the experience,” Microsoft is starting to understand. I doubt Microsoft will ever become a company respected for experience and user interface development, but at least they are attempting to develop products that acknowledge the user experience.

I will be very interested to see what Apple presents in its next operating system, Leopard, due out this spring. Steve Jobs has said it will sport several top-secret new features, and I can’t help to think that Apple kept these secret so they would not find a way into Microsoft’s Vista. But anything that Apple creates will probably be answered (or replicated) in Microsoft’s next big project. I guess flattery is the highest compliment.

1 comment:

Jim Walton said...

Thanks for the review! I just installed Vista last night but have not had a chance to really get in there and poke around. At first glance, I thought it had the look and feel of a mac.

Interesting to hear a Mac users perspective.