Windows Vista

Dan Gillmor notes that Windows Vista “has officially shipped, very very late and with less excitement than any Microsoft operating system in a long time.”

Indeed, this was a far cry from paying a ridiculous sum for rights to a Rolling Stones tune for a massive media blitz. I wonder if personal computing hasn’t simply reached appliance level vice being a neat gadget? In my own case, it has certainly been quite some time since I cared about tweaking the system, installing new utilities, and otherwise thinking about the computer at all. And I’m someone who spends hours a day on his computer and gets antsy if he’s without Internet/email access for a couple hours.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Dave Schuler says:

    And with significantly less functionality than was originally promised. Right now the main reason to get Vista is the improved security. Care to start a pool on when it will be hacked?

    One of the reasons there’s a lot less excitement is that the computer industry as a whole has become disconnected from new releases of Windows. When 3.1 (really the first usable Windows version), 95, and 98 were released, there were large surges of new computer purchases each of which gave a boost to the industry as a whole. That surge didn’t happen with the release of XP. There were lots of reasons that was true including that many companies had over-invested in computer technology in anticipation of Y2K. The industry has never really recovered.

  2. Perhaps less the appliance issue than simply the fact that OS’s seem to have plateaued in terms of offering really nifty stuff. 3.1 did a lot of stuff one couldn’t do with DOS and 95 was truly a whole new world, with 98 being a significant improvement on that new world. ME was worthless, however. XP was nice and I far prefer it to 98, but it was hardly the radical change in daily computing that DOS to 3.1 or 3.1 to 95 represented.

    To be honest, I have no inkling as to what Vista is supposed to do for me, and I share your basic computer habits and needs, as you well know.

  3. Buddy says:

    When it will be hacked? Too late, for that, thats
    already happened

  4. shipmate says:

    “Right now the main reason to get Vista is the improved security.” You’re joking, right? There have already been security issues with Vista. About 10,000 of the 114,000 windows viri affect Vista, as well as adware and spyware. MS didn’t start with fresh new code. In order to be backwards compatible they still used a lot of old code, instead of making a clean break to an entirely different OS like Apple did when going from OS9 to the UNIX-based OSX.