updated 03:55 pm EST, Thu December 14, 2006
Pogue on Windows Vista
Microsoft's upcoming Windows Vista is an advance for Windows that also contains even subtle Mac influences as well as curious regressions beyond Windows XP, according to an early review of the final version by New York Times tech columnist David Pogue. While major features such as system-wide instant searching and the Gadget bar are immediately useful enhancements over Windows XP that show at least partial inspiration from Mac OS X Tiger, there are also subtler similarities -- such as the drag-and-drop Explorer sidebar and 3D chess software -- that draw a clear connection, Pogue writes.
"You get the feeling that Microsoft's managers put Mac OS X on an easel and told the programmers, 'Copy that,'" he says.
The new Microsoft OS is also plagued by features that have been ignored or consciously removed: numerous control panels and windows feature inconsistent interfaces, while programs such as NetMeeting and WordPad have had what were previously core features stripped. The removal of support for Word files in WordPad is a "ham-handed attempt to force you into buying Microsoft Office," Pogue notes.
The author is quick to defend Vista as a valuable upgrade for most Windows XP users thanks to its much more modern and secure foundation, but notes that the OS isn't likely to convince or dissuade prospective buyers, whose upgrades will largely be dictated by necessity than by choice.