Today I learned that it is not a good idea to install a beta operating system while dealing with PMS. I was very grouchy to begin with today, and spending several hours fighting with Windows Vista RC1 made me down right angry! One one hand, it is extremely user-friendly–so much so, as a “power user” I was frustrated by the way it kept trying to protect me from myself. (In that way, it is very similar to a program I use at work, which I tell my husband I hate at least once a day, without fail.) On the other hand, it is so darn hard to do anything, from change user settings to find your program, that it is all but unusable without some sort of documentation to let you know just what the heck the programmers were thinking.
I was an early adopter of Windows 95, Windows 98/ME, and Windows XP, and none of those gave me anywhere near the amount of hair-pulling opportunities that Windows Vista has. Yes, Windows XP can be a little too user-friendly directly after installation, but after tinkering with it for about 5 minutes, it becomes perfectly usable. In Vista, though, the options I change in XP either don’t exist or are very deeply buried in order to protect a novice user from accidentally turning them off.
Vista is pretty though, and it looks like it does have potential. I really like the way the user directory is handled now, with everything nicely separated. I also almost like the gadgets, but I think they would be annoying if you didn’t have a wide-screen monitor like I have on my notebook computer.
If you are interested in trying out Vista for yourself (and don’t say I didn’t warn you), you can download it here: Try Windows Vista