Windows Vista was launched with the phrase "The wow starts now". And Microsoft's wow started with a bang: 88 million copies were shipped in the first nine months, making it the fastest-selling operating system (OS) in history.
But after only a year from the release, is the wow already over? The truth is that Microsoft thinks you are dumb, and it's not afraid to show it. Any task you try to perform prompts Vista to ask for you're permission, as if clicking a button wasn't enough in the first place. It's one of those beautiful things that the Big M has created over the years to make your life a little more complicated, like the "do you want to save this document?" question.
"Oh don't worry Mr Gates, I've only spent the last five hours on the computer so you could delete all my work".
These are only a few of the annoying and time wasting features in the new OS: for example, even though there's only one account on the computer, the system will automatically separate you from the Administrator, which is you. Does it make sense? Sadly no, but that's Vista.
And guess what? That's only the tip of the iceberg because Vista poses a lot more problems. Backwards compatibility of hardware and software was just about inexistent for the first six months of the system. If you had been enough of a geek to scoop the latest laptop on the shelves, chances are you couldn't even install your broadband connection.
Since then things have slightly improved, but Monsieur Gates could not possibly miss another chance to reach for your wallet now, could he? Did you naively think you could install that Microsoft Office 2003 you shelled out £ 150 for back in 2006? Well I'm sorry to tell you that you were wrong, but don't worry; Vista will always provide you with the (un)easiest and (in)effective solution. Just pay another £ 100 so you can upgrade to Office 2007. See, and you were worried.
The speed in Vista is...well, there is no speed. Vista has got to be the slowest operating system since the infamous times of Windows ME. The Windows Media Player 11, that you were running oh so smoothly on your windows XP, takes ages to load, and don't you dare open more than one application at once, because you'll end up waiting for hours for frozen programs that are 'Not Responding'.
Why do you think that is? Well, very simple, Vista is fat. In fact, it is morbidly obese. The Windows Vista Home Premium version will take up to 1000 Mb while running, while XP Home Edition takes up an average of 250 Mb. That means any computer upgraded to Vista will run much slower than before. Uncanny.
Microsoft is aware of the huge crippling problems in Vista, which, in the techie-community, has been declared a rushed OS - despite it being the one Microsoft has worked on the longest - and the company is rumoured to be working frenetically to push the next OS Windows 7 out the door, with a release scheduled for 2009-2010.
Now what are you going to do then? Well, if you're loaded and can afford a supercomputer, you might even join the incredibly exclusive club of satisfied Vista users. Otherwise try to downgrade to XP, something you can do only if you have purchased a Vista Ultimate or Professional, the two most expensive versions.
Or abandon the ship altogether by joining the Apple front.