I did it, I went Vista.
I ordered a new HP machine with Vista Home Premium and spent the afternoon getting familiar. From a consumer experience, it was unimpressive. There may be a hundred awesome features in Vista for me to use, but in no way do they show you where they are.
Let’s take Aero for example. This is the “feature” where you can tab through your windows in 3D. I knew of its existence from the grey 80’s clipart ads, so I figured I would give it a try… However, I literally had to dig through help files on A) how to turn it on (you have to do three things) and B) how to use it (Window icon and tab). Repeat that experience for all new features.
One of the most obvious issues with Vista is that you feel like you are having a conversation with numerous folks, there is no common voice to guide you through the set up or new features. At first you talk with HP, but they throw you out of the car pretty quickly. Then you talk with “Vista” for a bit, unsure what “Vista” is, and start to eye your XP Install disk on the shelf. After that confusing experience, you can then setup Windows Media Center and install Office 2007. It’s a continuation of a disjointed conversations, making your confidence drop and memories of Mac TV ads surface.
My tips: Microsoft should focus on building a common voice of all its applications to the consumer, and stop building islands. For now – fix Outlook’s HTML reader, get rid of Works, have the address book sync with outlook… Oh and work with your Partners, so at least one of my plug-ins works properly with Outlook 2007 (Skype, or Plaxo, or LinkedIn, or SalesForce …..)