Windows Vista launches to the sound of one hand clapping

Microsoft‘s long awaited operating system, Windows Vista, launched yesterday to a lukewarm reception. Vista’s slogan is "The ‘Wow’ starts now" and yet it failed to thrill consumers. Niall Kennedy remarked that there were no queues of people waiting to be the first to buy Vista when it launched in San Francisco. Vista comes in five/six/eight (it is a little confusing) editions which include:

There is a handy comparison chart here to help you decide which one may be the right one for you. Once you have decided you can head out to your favourite software dealer and buy it or you can buy it online and download it. I am not sure which downloads are available here in South Africa but this is a pretty nifty feature.

Vista has come under a little criticism for being a rip off of Apple’s Mac OS X (Apple delayed the launch of its new operating system, Leopard, until after Vista launched just in case Microsoft made a few quick changes to copy what may be more advanced features in Leopard – we’ll reserve judgment on that one till Leopard appears). Here is a pretty entertaining comparison of some of the features in Vista and existing features in Mac OS X:

One of the big criticisms that had been made about Windows operating systems is that they are insecure and expose users to constant attack. This is due, in part, to the prevalence of Windows and also due to the way Windows has been built in the past. I understand (and I am sure many of you know the details) that Vista is more secure because its file system has some sort of shifting capability. The references to key files and settings changes from installation to installation and this makes it difficult for attackers to lock on to key aspects of the operating system.

One disadvantage with Vista is that you may need a more powerful computer to run Vista, let alone its more advanced features. There is a tool that you can use to check whether your PC will support the version of Vista you want. You will probably need to be running Internet Explorer 7 when you run the tool though.

For my part I don’t know if I am going to upgrade my PC to Vista. I don’t think the 3 year old machine will handle it. My personal machine is my Apple PowerBook and I may look at installing Vista when I finally upgrade to an Intel-based Mac to run some of the few Windows applications I still have.

Have you bought Vista? What do you think of it compared to Windows XP or even Mac OS X?

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