Vista getting better

I don't usually blog on non-Java topics here, but I thought I'd make a mention of how Windows Vista is improving.

Now I am not a big fan of Windows. I think it sucks. But I think Mac OS X suck. And every Linux distro I've ever used. I hate all desktop computers; not because they are horrible but because I know how much better they could be. I've grown used to the flaws in all desktop OSes but every time I try to walk my Dad through how to connect to a network drive (as I tried and failed to do last night) I realize how far we have left to go.

So anyway, back to Vista. I've been testing with it for a while to make sure Java 6 will look good on it. (and Igor has done some great work getting many of the new native animations to work). As I've been using it I have to say I'm impressed. I think they are finally doing some things right.

First of all, they have finally added two things that every desktop computer needs: a system wide address book and calendar program. Most importantly these are not named things like Microsoft Access Express for Addresses or some such horrible thing, but instead simply Windows Contacts and Windows Calendar. They have even renamed Outlook Express to Windows Mail. Oh happy day. Finally something sensible!

A few other improvements of note. As Ars Technica recently reported Vista will let you turn off the startup chime in response to user complaints. This is most notable because the development team is actually listening to users and posting about it on their blog. Transparency is good!

Microsoft has published new User Interface Guidelines including a new list of Top Rules for the Windows Vista User Experience. The new focus on usability is a very positive development

As far as speed goes I don't think it's as fast as XP on the same hardware, but each release has been getting better. In any case, Java 6 will run great on Vista and we hope to get it out to as many OEMs as possible so that most new Vista computers will ship with Java already installed! It's a good time to be a desktop Java developer.

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Posted September 25th, 2006