Vista: A Dud or Just a Slow Achiever?

We've had a lot of fun with Vista -- not using it, but writing snide, occasionally witty comments about it. (For so many of us commentators, snideness is meant to be funny and imply authority, but admittedly it's often just cutting.)

In the case of Vista, our criticisms are warranted, as they come directly from you, the loyal Redmond Report reader. With nearly all Microsoft tools, as badly as they begin, they almost always end up smelling like roses. And Vista -- as folks get used to it and Microsoft adds some fixes -- will start to smell better soon.

Our latest report indicates that Vista opinions are very much a mixed bag. There are plenty of pundits that don't like it one bit. Research, however, shows that enterprises are slowly getting into swing. SP1 is coming, high-powered hardware is getting cheaper every day, and many users are learning about Vista through their new systems. And most everyone agrees that when it comes to security, Vista is clearly better.

The real answer comes from college students, the future of our country and the ones that will ultimately decide Redmond's fate. My daughter Lauren, an XP user, says that many of her college classmates use Vista because it came with the computers their parents just bought them. They don't all like it, and struggle sometimes to figure it out, but the darn thing does seem to work.

Windows CE Tweaked
The theme in the last item was that Microsoft sticks with technology 'til it gets it right. That's very true with Windows CE, which is now in its sixth version (with a new R2 release).

In days gone by, I've tried to use a CE-based sub-notebook and a CE handheld. Both made me want to throw the device at the clown who came up with CE in the first place!

Now, CE is more of an embedded OS than it is a driver of handhelds and smartphones (that may be a good thing). Small consumer devices are now the purview of Windows Mobile.

The new release of CE, used for medical equipment and other dedicated apps, can handle video telephony and better supports Web services.

Microsoft Polishes High-Performance Computing Tool
I've recently knocked Microsoft for not doing enough to exploit graphics processors and multi-core processors with its client software. I am, however, way impressed with the pure research Microsoft is doing in HPC, mostly as it relates to clusters.

Microsoft is moving away from the cluster-centric perception by renaming Computer Cluster Server to HPC Server 2008, which is now in beta test. The upcoming tool encompasses SOA and high-speed networking.

Look for this new tool, er, I guess some time in 2008.

About the Author

Doug Barney is editor in chief of Redmond magazine and the VP, editorial director of Redmond Media Group.

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