Microsoft's Vista Certified lawsuit is just the tip of the iceberg of unrest about Vista. The drumbeat of dissatisfied users who've tried and given up on Vista is building fast. And it continues to reflect in poor sales numbers for Vista. Microsoft has been forced to extend sales of Windows XP from January to June of 2008. Performance testing comparing Vista and Windows XP show XP with the beta SP3 has twice the performance of Vista.
We've grown to expect a shakeout period when Microsoft releases a major new version of the Windows operating system. The experience with Vista has been more different than previous generations of OS releases. Vista is an OS rewrite from the ground up and while the OS may have better security, the user experience is where many of Vista's problems emanate.
Here are my user driven reasons why Vista is suffering the shame of bad software in users' eyes.
1. Vista lacks user centered innovation that benefits users directly
Vista lacks innovation that benefits users directly. Aero was touted as the new innovation for users. While it provides eye candy like a new glassy look, see through window edges, the true benefit to end users is lacking. We are bombarded with more and more documents, email and web pages and applications to manage. While the Windows Explorer has improved organization and search, very little is done to help end users make their computer experience better or more productive. Users are forced to hunt for common everyday tasks like adding a printer or connecting to a wireless access point. These should be easy. Managing multiple windows and documents on the desktop haven't been solved by Vista.
2. Vista and Office 2007 impose a big productivity loss
Relearning and unlearning familiar tasks in Vista and Office 2007 is frustrating and infuriating end users. More casual users are likely to give up upon being frustrated or place a call into the IT help desk. Microsoft has suffered a big setback in understanding how to help end users increase productivity and instead has worsened the problem. Users are more likely to downgrade to Windows XP unless there is some external incentive to go through the learning curve of Vista and Office.
3. Vista performance is poor
Boot times to come up to a fully functional desktop are still long. Basic file copy operations that takes seconds on XP can take minutes or tens of minutes on Vista. Applications like Outlook freeze and going into "Not Responding" mode with a mouse click performing a basic task. While hardware and software in the industry continues to work faster, Vista steps backwards and is slower.
4. Vista has a high user annoyance factor
Message balloons from past Windows operating systems are still annoying users in Vista. In many cases, cryptic messages tell users that a "host process has stopped working". What's a user to do? User Account Control is the equivalent of putting an automatic look on every door inside your house, so you must use a key to enter the kitchen, study, bedrooms or closets.