Robert McLaws on WindowsNow posted a response to an AP story about Vista users still being dissatisfied after six months.
In a nutshell, he says that Vista doesn’t suck.
As you read it, you see that it isn’t really much of an endorsement. Especially not for the casual computer user (or even the enthusiast). Below are quotes from the post along with what they appear to really mean.
The lack of enthusiasm starts right in the title of the post:
“Windows Vista: Six Months In, Your Mileage May Vary”
It isn’t just that he doesn’t say something like ‘Windows Vista great after six months’, it’s that he provides no judgment in the title at all. Instead, we get the generic phrase ‘your mileage may vary’, which means “You’ve seen all those reviews about Vista being disappointing, slow, no drivers, not much better than XP, etc., well, they’re pretty much true.”
Honestly, if you were scanning headlines to pick out a good Vista endorsement would you have even considered his?
Much of the post is a case study in weasel words:
“…while my beta testing problems were well documented, I haven’t had too many issues since RTM.”
This means “It sucked during beta, but they fixed some of the bugs.” And one has to wonder just what threshold Robert considers ‘too many’.
“I’m running with UAC on, and I don’t run into UAC prompts all that often.”
In other words, “I get UAC prompts and have a rather loose definition of ‘all that often.’ I’m also comfortable with how to reply to them. Normal users wouldn’t be, but that’s their problem; I said ‘your mileage may vary’ didn’t I?”
“I’ve rarely had driver issues (except for the first few weeks when Acer didn’t update their US support site), and all three machines in my house are running it.”
This is my favorite. That’s one heck of a parenthetical expression there, Robert. Run this through the geek filter and it comes out thus: “I had weeks of driver issues, but I’m blaming them on Acer so they don’t count. Since I’m a geek I didn’t mind, though no normal user should have to go through this crap.”
“Overall, I love Windows Vista, and I can’t stand touching Windows XP. Heck, my mom and kid sister use it every day too, and they’ve hardly ever called me about tech-support issues.”
Ah yes, at least it’s better than XP. Basically, “Windows XP is five years old, so Vista is at least better in that sense. My mom and sister have to call me with tech-support issues, and don’t ask me what ‘hardly ever’ means.”
It appears that not everything is good, though. Robert seems a bit surprised by this:
“In fact, my only real beefs with Vista are centered around Media Center. The first is that my CableCARD Digital Cable Tuners encrypt all of my TV shows, regardless of whether or not the “protected” bit is set, so I can’t excercise my “fair use” to edit out commercials or stream the TV using WebGuide to my other Vista PCs or my cell phone.”
Robert, Vista was built to all but destroy any notion of fair use in a complete kowtowing to the content providers. Perhaps concerns that even ‘legitimate’ content would get trampled are valid? This is one reason why my XP machines at home will not be running Vista.
What’s strange is that so far Robert hasn’t told us what he likes about Vista. When is he gonna tell us why we should upgrade? Let the geek stuff go for a minute and tell us about productivity, stability, speed, photos, movies, anything other than drivers, UACs, and bugs.
But, no, the post is only about bad stuff that either he doesn’t blame on Microsoft or doesn’t trip one of his frequency filters (‘too many’, ‘all that often’, or ‘hardly ever’). I don’t see how most people could be feeling particularly good about Vista at this point in his post.
Unfortunately, his closing won’t make you feel any better:
“…I think the best way to explain the public’s experiences with Vista is “Your Mileage May Vary”.
In geek speak: “The best way to explain Vista is that if you don’t mind the beta bugs they didn’t fix, already ‘know’ which UAC warnings are valid and which are not, don’t mind chasing driver issues for weeks (no matter who you blame), are too ‘cool’ to run a five-year old OS, and have no problem getting support calls from family and friends, then this just might be your OS.”
That was one seriously weak refutation of an article against Vista. You’ll have to forgive me if I’m nonplussed by this kind of “endorsement.” From all I’ve seen, though, it’s about as good as it gets in the Vista world.
——- P.S. ——-
In the act of finishing my article I noticed Robert updated his post. He published Reliability Index numbers and then closes with this beauty (emphasis mine):
“All in all, I’m very happy with my overall Vista experience, even if IE7 keeps crashing all the time. With IE7pro, it’s become far less aggravating than it used to be.”
No translation necessary.
Robert, if you really want people to use Vista, post about Macs.