Vista: Clear, Connected, Clumsy

I’ve bitten the bullet and installed Windows Vista. I wasn’t expecting much, after the fiasco of its lengthy development cycle, but I’ve been pleasantly surprised, amongst the irritations.

It feels much more responsive than XP; although User Account Control goes some way to offsetting this with its constant requests for permission. I’m hoping UAC will be less necessary once I’ve got everything setup.

The startup time of Vista is quicker on my machine than XP; applications start faster, and redraw quicker. The 3D-hardware-accelerated compositing engine appears to be working well. I’m not yet convinced about the Sidebar but I suppose it just needs its killer app.

I like that the self-obsessed plethora of “My …” has been removed, and rationalised into a much nicer directory structure of “Pictures”, “Music”, “Documents”, etc. However, I’ve unsuccessfully tried to access the “SendTo” folder under my user profile, because I like to add a shortcut to Notepad in there; this kind of thing reminds me that Vista is, in fact, a genuinely new version of Windows.

I’ve also installed Office 2007 and as you’d expect this works smoothly with Vista. For some odd reason it doesn’t use the Vista theme though! Then again, Microsoft rarely follow their own UI guidelines.

I find Vista slightly clumsy and unpolished, which I would say is unusual for a Microsoft product. I can’t put my finger on any one feature that I don’t like, but as a whole it seems like it may have been rushed out a little too soon. Maybe it’s just the little things like icon heights and padding in Windows Explorer.

Or maybe I’m just a dork.