Im So Excited by Microsoft Vista. Not.

Opinion: With tongue planted firmly in cheek, Linux devotee Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols declares his enthusiasm for Microsoft's self-serving and unremarkable new features.

Click here to view a slideshow of Windows Vista Beta 1.

Like, wow, Microsofts Vista, the former Longhorn, is now only more than a year away.

With this latest beta, were finally going to see lots of really new, cool features.

For example, its going to have speech recognition! How cool is that!?

Since IBMs OS/2 Warp introduced that feature to operating systems in 1996, we havent had more than half-a-dozen new operating systems with voice recognition built in.

Better still, its going to include a new DRM (digital rights management system) —Microsofts RMS (Rights Management Services) client. That way I know when I buy music or videos off the Web, I know Microsoft will make sure that I cant illegally back it up or put it on an iPod or anything else like that. Its so nice of them to make sure I can only use the files that I bought on real Vista systems.

Theres also this spiffy driver protection plan. With it, I know that any equipment I buy has to come from a vendor who has made a deal with Microsoft. I certainly wouldnt want to buy a network or graphics card from someone who doesnt have a contract with Microsoft.

/zimages/7/28571.gifTo David Coursey, Vista looks good at first glance. Click here to read more.

Vistas also going to have lightning fast search. Boy, I cant wait for that. Just think in just more than a year, or maybe two, I can have that instead of having to use Mac OS Tigers Spotlight or SUSE Linuxs Beagle or Google Desktop Search on Windows. It will be worth the wait!

Its also going to have this spiffy new file system called WinFS (Windows File System)… oh wait, that was canned last year. At least Linux doesnt have a new file system either. Well, except for Reiser4, and so what if it may be the fastest desktop file system ever.

I mean if youre talking Linux, youre also talking command lines and shell programming and with Monad, its new object-oriented shell programming, Microsoft shows that it can do a command line even better than… oh wait. That was cancelled too, wasnt it?

Well, at least Vista is based on the newest and greatest application development platform ever! .Net Framework! What? Oh, its not?

OK… well it is still going to have IPv6 networking support. Of course, Mac OS X has had that since Panther a couple of years ago. And Linux has had it since 1996, but we know Microsoft will do an even better job of implanting it right? Right!

/zimages/7/28571.gifFirst beta of Vista goes to 20,000 testers. Click here to read more.

Vista is also going to be the fastest Windows ever. Of course, youll need a really fast—say 3GHz or better—processor, 512MBs of RAM, and a high-end graphics processor, but hey, youll only need to upgrade, say, 90 percent of your companys computers. You can afford that?

I mean you wouldnt want to upgrade to say SUSE Linux Professional 9.3, Red Hats Fedora Core 4 or Debian 3.1, which can already do everything Vista will do tomorrow on less expensive hardware for less money today would you?

Of course not! Senior Editor Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols has been using and writing about operating systems since the late 80s and thinks he may just have learned something about them along the way. He can be reached at

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