Walt Mossberg reviews Windows Vista for the Wall Street Journal:
Nearly all of the major, visible new features in Vista are already available in Apple’s operating system, called Mac OS X, which came out in 2001 and received its last major upgrade in 2005. And Apple is about to leap ahead again with a new version of OS X, called Leopard, due this spring.
There are some big downsides to this new version of Windows. To get the full benefits of Vista, especially the new look and user interface, which is called Aero, you will need a hefty new computer, or a hefty one that you purchased fairly recently. The vast majority of existing Windows PCs won’t be able to use all of Vista’s features without major hardware upgrades. They will be able to run only a stripped-down version, and even then may run very slowly.
In fact, in my tests, some elements of Vista could be maddeningly slow even on new, well-configured computers.
Something tells me that the only Vista-running PC we’ll see in our home will either be my wife’s company-provided laptop, when their IT department decides the latest version of Windows is “safe” enough with which to conduct business, or if I decide to throw Vista on my Intel-powered iMac. The latter would, at most, be for web site testing, and pure kicks.
I’m pretty much done with Windows PCs at this point. The Mac does everything I want, does it better, does it more intuitively and elegantly, and the Mac is safer. Sure, you can argue this locks me in to a single company, Apple, but then Windows users are pretty much locked in to a single company, too, aren’t they? Oh, you can buy your PC from Dell, HP, Sony, Toshiba, or build it yourself, but you still have to go to Microsoft for the operating system.
(Linux zealots are not invited to this discussion, so pipe down already. Besides, most of you are fawning over Ubuntu nowadays, which still locks you in to a single distribution/company for that particular flavor of the OS. Or you like SUSE, or Debian, or Red Hat, for whatever your reasons may be. And most people don’t feel like hunting down drivers for their Sony notebook just so it can properly display all available resolutions or connect wirelessly to the Internet, things you still have to do with Linux variants.)
For the record, in his review, Mossberg does acknowledge that as far as Windows itself goes, Vista is the best version yet. Which isn’t surprising, since each version since the original has been successively better, with the exception of Windows ME (what a disaster that beast was).
When the desktop PC I built my wife two years ago outlives its usefulness, it will get replaced with either a hand-me-down iMac, or a Mac mini. It’s one thing to do Windows tech support for a living, but when it comes to home computing, that’s something I’d rather not have to worry about.