Thurrott says Vista a failure

— 9:36 AM on April 21, 2006

This article was posted at the SuperSite for Windows a couple of days ago, but I missed it until last night. It's too good not to mention. Paul Thurrott, who runs the Windows fan site and has cataloged Microsoft's OS moves faithfully and enthusiastically over the years, has written up his thoughts on Vista, the upcoming refresh of the Windows operating system. He is not pleased with the latest build of the OS, and he's deeply disappointed with the way Vista has become less ambitious and more derivative over time. Thurrott writes:

Promises were made. Excitement was generated. None of it, as it turns out, was worth a damn. From a technical standpoint, the version of Windows Vista we will receive is a sad shell of its former self, a shadow. One might still call it a major Windows release. I will, for various reasons. The kernel was rewritten. The graphics subsystem is substantially improved, if a little obviously modeled after that in Mac OS X. Heck, half of the features of Windows Vista seem to have been lifted from Apple's marketing materials.

Shame on you, Microsoft. Shame on you, but not just for not doing better. We expect you to copy Apple, just as Apple (and Linux) in its turn copies you. But we do not and should not expect to be promised the world, only to be given a warmed over copy of Mac OS X Tiger in return. Windows Vista is a disappointment. There is no way to sugarcoat that very real truth.

Surprisingly, Thurrott lays much of the blame for Vista's failure at the feet of Bill Gates himself, who stepped back into the role of directing Windows development for this project.

For an elegant and hilarious illustration of how derivative Vista's interface changes really are, let me recommend watching this video of Mac OS X in action, set to audio of a Vista public demo. After the laughter dies down, the underlying point of the video really is rather sad. I had somehow expected Microsoft to have grown out of the mimicry by now. (Both the Thurrott link and the video come from this thread in our Mac forum, by the way, to give credit where it's due—unlike Gates and co.)

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