A Longtime Mac User Reviews Vista

Vista, while still Windows through and through, improves on XP and makes PCs more fun and productive, according to Andrew Fishkin at Low End Mac on Friday. Mr. Fishkin is a longtime Mac user whois been using Vista for eight months.

Mr. Fishkin has been evaluating Vista Business on an experimental basis on his IBM ThinkPad T60 since Beta 2 came out in January. Like any new OS transition, it has been a slow, steady process of testing. Along the way, the author addressed many of the issues that come up in the discussion of Vista, such as OS patches, software compatibility, and security.

What was notable about the review was the careful, even-handed, methodical approach combined with some historical insight.

"The fact that Vista required many patches right off the bat does not necessarily imply that Vista is a bad or buggy system, just that, like any OS, far more hidden problems will come out of the woodwork when it hits mainstream users than can possibly be found in the lab. Appleis Jaguar, Panther, and Tiger all benefited from a few quick point increases and numerous smaller patches almost immediately after their release, just as Vista has, and I consider that more a sign of corporate responsibility than lack of prerelease research," The author wrote regarding the infamous OS patches.

Mr. Fishkin noted that he had just as many apps fail in their migration to Vista as he did when moving from Panther to Tiger.

Discussing security, Mr. Fishkin wrote, "Vista is more secure than XP. Windows fans talk about User Account Control (UAC) and how it makes Vista secure, but thatis just the beginning. Vista, by default, has its ports closed and is generally very malware resistant.... Vista includes one of the best anti-spyware packages out there, a very good firewall (on by default), and you can easily get good, fast, and free antivirus software."

He also noted that while Vista requires better graphics hardware, so do Appleis Quartz Extreme, Core Image and Core Video.

Perhaps most compelling was the discussion on the market success and pace of adoption of Vista due to Mr. Fishkinis experience in the federal government. "Back in 1999 you could still buy PCs with Windows NT 4 instead of Windows 2000, which many articles complained was incompatible with some older applications and peripherals. In 2001 you could still buy PCs with Windows 2000 for the exact same reason that you can still buy a PC with Windows XP today.... When I left the Federal government in 2005, we were barely switching from Windows 95 to Windows 2000."

Working daily with Vista for eight months as a longtime Mac user provided a unique perspective. Having had experience in the Federal government and seen the various migrations of Windows for a decade makes the authoris review all the more balanced and compelling.