A cautionary Vista story - steep curves ahead

Summary:Chris Shipley, the executive director of and impresario behind the DEMO Conferences is hardly a technology lightweight. Every year, she and her team evaluate hundreds of emerging technology companies and products and cherry pick the best and brightest to appear under the DEMO microscope for their legendary six minutes of scrutiny. So when I read something like this, I know there's trouble in Vista-land...

Chris Shipley, the executive director of and impresario behind the DEMO Conferences is hardly a technology lightweight. Every year, she and her team evaluate hundreds of emerging technology companies and products and cherry pick the best and brightest to appear under the DEMO microscope for their legendary six minutes of scrutiny. So when I read something like this, I know there's trouble in Vista-land:

I'm exhausted! I've been running hard up the Vista/Office 2007 learning curve for the last two weeks, and I'm just plain worn out. Productivity is in the basement. Frustration has reached all-time highs. And all I'm trying to do is write a column, synchronize my e-mail, launch a presentation and review a financial spreadsheet. It's the stuff I've been doing for years.

Uh oh. I felt the same pain often enough while climbing the same curve to be completely sympathetic. Of course, I have a huge head start on Chris and others who are just climbing onto the Vista and Office 2007 train now. But I completely understand her frustration, particularly with some of the seemingly arbitrary, change-for-change's-sake differences in Vista.

The best example, as Chris points out in her lament, is how much harder it is to establish and save a wireless connection in Vista. The process doesn't make sense, requires more steps than in XP, and has a bad case of amnesia even though I have dutifully identified and named my common connections every way I think I'm supposed to. I'm hoping the whole user experience in this aspect of the Vista experience is seriously reworked in Service Pack 1. It's a failed exercise in interaction design IMO.

I appreciate the attention Microsoft engineers paid to security, but I have come to believe that the plan was to make certain connectivity features so difficult to configure that you would choose to avoid connecting through public networks at all. What could be safer?

Heh. Right on. Hang in there Chris. You're not alone.

Topics: Windows, Microsoft

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