I bought a new laptop for my dad a little while ago. Works okay. Like many laptops, it came standard configuration with 1 GB. I decided to order 2 GB, for the heck of it. Besides, it came with Vista. Now, I’ve heard the stories that Vista was a resource hog, and I’ve refused to install it because XP works fine for me, thank you very much. All of the cool features that Vista boasted, I couldn’t see myself needing any of them. And who wants an operating system that’s a big resource hog?
So boot up my dad’s computer, and behold, a check in the system resources shows that Vista is using 750 MB of RAM. You gotta be kidding me. Almost every laptop configuration I see on the market is standard 1 GB and comes with Vista. So basically, the standard laptop has only 250 MB to run whatever applications you want to run. That’s sad. It’s a step back after laptops have come so far in becoming desktop replacements for many people.
Well, customers of course hate that. We want our computers to run as efficiently as possible, since a slow computer is a bane to use. Word’s getting out there that Microsoft allows for people to downgrade pre-loaded Vista installations to XP. Customers have been calling for it.
Microsoft basically took the PS3 approach with Vista. Cram in as many features as possible, make the graphics as pretty as possible, and people will run to it like they run to Santa Claus. Not away from it, like they would from Jabba the Hutt. Of course, we know where that strategy left Sony. Microsoft will hopefully learn the lesson too. What makes an operating system great is efficient usability. If your computer’s UI is really pretty, but you can’t really run anything on it, what’s the point? Cut out the bloat, give us the basic functionality, and let us figure out what we want to do with it.
Of course, it usually takes Microsoft several years and millions of dollars of development to get it right, if you look at their track record with any of their products (don’t even get me started on Zune, let alone Windows 95). Here’s hoping.