The Problem of Eye

By David Morgenstern  |  Posted 2006-10-31 Print this article Print

Candy"> Dennis, the IT director at a civil engineering consulting company, said Vista does nothing that XP isnt already doing and "avoiding Vista is a way of avoiding headaches that I dont need involving hardware upgrades, software compatibility and user retraining." His testing of Vista hasnt persuaded him of the benefits to his clients.
"The new shiny Aero Glass interface that Vista sports is all looks and no substance, as far as Im concerned," Dennis said. "[Vista] has no Up button in Windows Explorer, for instance; instead were given Search and Breadcrumbs.
"Ive ranted at length (and to no good effect) on a Microsoft Website concerning the Windows User Experience. What Ive found there is an attitude that Microsoft knows best, and after you use Vista for a few months, youll get the hang of it and come around," he observed. According to Dennis, the only way Vista client and Longhorn server would make sense would be if his company was doing a "forklift upgrade" on its entire client-server infrastructure. "I dont think that scenario is going to happen at very many companies, however. It certainly isnt going to happen here," he concluded. Of course, that scenario—the wholesale upgrading of infrastructure—wont be repeated at most businesses here and abroad, despite the increasing din of happy talk from the Microsoft hype machine as January approaches. Redmond looks to be in a triple pickle with Vista upgrades: hardware and software hurdles for users to overcome; the difficulty of management to see ROI from the transition; and a seemingly fundamental psychological resistance to the new OS. While much of its user base sees little value in the upgrade, the folks who are onboard Vista still cant overcome the XP inertia. As a longtime Mac user, I find a great irony here. Windows users have long dissed the Mac platform with the label of "eye candy." This was true during the era of the Classic Mac OS and was doubly so when Apple unveiled its Aqua UI for OS X. The Windows installed base has lived with the current UI for a long time and while they dont love it, Windows fits like a prized old pair of jeans. And they appear have internalized the implicit message: an advanced GUI is "eye candy." Does Microsoft believe that its customers will buy the idea that the Mac stuff is eye candy, while the new Windows UI is "evolution." Hey, I know eye candy when I see it! So, how can anyone be shocked when Windows users feel they can do without Vista? Its like tossing out that old t-shirt. Dont get me wrong, I like Vistas UI. But, then, Im a Mac guy, who believes in eye candy. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news in desktop and notebook computing.

David Morgenstern is Executive Editor/Special Projects of eWEEK. Previously, he served as the news editor of Ziff Davis Internet and editor for Ziff Davis' Storage Supersite.

In 'the days,' he was an award-winning editor with the heralded MacWEEK newsweekly as well as eMediaweekly, a trade publication for managers of professional digital content creation.

David has also worked on the vendor side of the industry, including companies offering professional displays and color-calibration technology, and Internet video.

He can be reached here.


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