The Windows Mojave Experiment
Microsoft has recently conducted an experiment, called Mojave, in an attempt to quantify the users' true perception of Windows Vista. The results are shedding some light on people's biases and misconceptions related to Vista.
120 people, Mac, Linux and non-Vista Windows users, were invited to an interview to talk about their perception of Vista and rate the operating system on a scale from 1 to 10 with 10 being the best. Most people gave a very low rating to Vista, with an average of 4.4.
Some of the people impressions about Vista were:
"I wouldn't touch that thing."
"It's horrible, you have so many problems."
"I heard nothing but bad things about Vista, really."
"So, you gave Windows Vista a zero" says the interviewer after the interviewee drew a big zero as his rating for Vista.
The experiment continued by showing people the "next generation" Windows, called Mojave. After watching the presentation of Mojave, they gave much better ratings for the new OS, with an average of 8.5. Then came the disclosure: Mojave is actually Vista. People had all sorts of reactions:
"This is a good eye opener as far as perception vs. reality."
"Why is it faster?"
The Mojave Experiment reveals how biased people can be towards things they have just heard about, but haven't used or seen.
OTOH, presentations ("Mojave Experiment" or else) are mostly flashy and made to foster good "perception". They are for the most part an idealized view that can be at odds with reality.
Even if those reported issues were exaggerated, Vista has been overhyped by MS, and is anything but revolutionary. Not even remotely innovative. Unless you consider visual differences (mostly) as true innovation in computing.
Perception vs reality? Right. But apparently not the one you're describing.
Other things related to search (like search bar in system explorer, tagging and such) are good too. It is one of the many improvements in Vista I like.
Of course, there is nothing "innovative", "revolutionary" or "world shaking". But it is usefull. New user interface in Office 2007 is likewise usefull and ergonomic, and it is far from being revolutionary also.
But these are good points of system, even if they don't change the world.
And, of course there are bad points. Unfortunately, they ARE usually world-shaking. Stability for example. Speed also. Could any Vista - lover from M$ explain me why the same "gem install" operation on the same machine in linux gets about 30s, in Xp slightly more (about 40 - 50) and in Vista it slows down to about 1,5 minute?
Other analyse of the result
it shows the difference between a real working OS and some product vaporware that has been marketed to you. Vista is indeed a total failure in the real world and people know it very well. But by just marketing a virtual product and highlighting non essential features you can make believe a lot of people the product is good... until they test it for real and make their mind in a more rational way...
With enough memory...
I couldn't find any specs for the hardware they've used in the experiment. I don't think Vista is bad 'per se' (I don't really know, because I'm a happy Ubuntu user), but its requirements are much, much higher than XP (the OS it is replacing).
For example, XP required 64Mb of RAM, and Vista requires 512Mb (8x higher). While 512Mb is below today's average (I'd say 1Gb here in Brazil), this is the *minimum* required, which means that the requirements for the system to run smoothly are way higher (say, 2Gb of RAM, and a good video card, which non-gamers may don't have).
Most critics on Vista were about how it was sluggish when people upgraded their systems. It doesn't count if you show it to them in a shiny new high-end machine. :)
Watch it choke on printer drivers and listen to the hard drive thrash.
Ponder its unending appetite for memory. Then make you decision.
Vista isn't as bad as the rumors imply, but it sure as hell isn't as good as Microsoft claims. Vista is like a "fat girl with a pretty face".