Major admission made by me last week — that while I work for a frigging PC company I had yet to experience (for any extended period of time) Microsoft Vista. Having spent the early part of my geek career as a reporter covering Microsoft, I used to get semi-aroused by new operating systems, and indeed still own a copy of the first version of Windows as well as IBM’s failed bid for GUI dominance, TopView. However, given my decline into the ranks of management in the mid-90s, the last significant OS I cared about was Windows 95 (Rolling Stones, Start Me Up).
Vista just never made it on the radar. I never felt compelled to upgrade the home machines with it, and the company hasn’t made the switch. So I did. Last week, when I took delivery of this new X200, it configured with Vista Business. “I’m screwed,” I thought. “Must send this back to IT and get downgraded to XP.”
Ah, but what a shame to take the best piece of hardware I have used and stick ancient software on it. So I resolved to figure out how to get the three essentials of life at Lenovo installed and running — SameTime — our Lotus/IBM instant message client, the Cisco Web VPN for getting into the internal systems securely, and Lotus Notes, the productivity equivalent of the heartbreak of seborrhea and psorasis.
Well, one week later and Notes stirred itself, found its server, and replicated, making me and my X200 members of the corporate network via Vista.
Yes, imagine that. Instead of being a bad man and hacking Ubuntu or OS/X onto the hardware and then onto the network, I took our default OS that we ship to customers and got it to work ….. (end of irony).
First impressions of Vista:
1. It is paranoid. Anytime I do anything it wants permission. Not once. Not twice. But three times.
2. It is pretty. Aero is good eye candy. I like the animated windows, the transparency of the menu bars, the bling bling is good.
3. It is pretty stable. Not a lot of lockups to report.
4. It is incremental to XP — sure the kernel may be all new, who cares?, magic smoke as far as I am concerned — but the U/I is an improvement. (The window switcher-thingy is most cool). Vista may not tie my shoes and walk the dog, but I like it and I am not going back.