In the last couple of months, I’ve read many stories about Windows Vista and comments from people complaining about it. I shared some of their frustrations while testing Vista Beta 1&2 myself but until now, I kept using the “hey, it’s a beta, stop complaining and wait” argument. I said “until now” because Windows Vista’s first release candidate version is expected to be out soon. What more can I say than “it’s not ready”? In the past 10 years I spent as a software developer, I’ve always been eager to test new operating systems and update my products accordingly, always been a supporter of Microsoft in one way or the other. I really believed that Windows Vista would be an exceptional piece of work and this trust started to erode when they announced the list of features that they were pulling out from the final release (that many people tend to have forgotten now). Now, they are talking about a release candidate built from a beta version that’s nowhere near what a public product should be and this really concerns me a lot.
Recently, I tried working on Vista Beta 2 to make Messenger Plus! “Windows Vista Ready” and I couldn’t do a satisfying job, for two simple but important reasons: lack of new api/behaviour documentation and constant battles against Vista to make it do what I want it to do (nothing pleases more than getting 3 confirmations to copy/replace a file to finally realise 10 minutes later that the file never got replaced as it should have). If I’m getting so many problems while having the will and interest to work on Vista, with a project of the size of Messenger Plus!, imagine how bigger companies must be feeling right now. Chances are they’re more actively working on PR sheets telling people that their new line of Vista products will be released in late 2007 rather than working on the products themselves and if that’s true, what good will Vista be without good third party software and drivers?
I know some of you may say that we still have to wait for the next testers’ release but I don’t think that’s true, you cannot expect to create a good release candidate from such an unstable beta version. My concerns have now surpassed my original beliefs and seeing that I’m not the only one thinking this way, I though some of you may be interested in reading about it. For that reason, I invite you to check out the recent news post from my friends at Neowin
as well as the blogs linked in the article. I still trust Microsoft for doing the right thing and I don’t think there should be such a difference between “shareholder’s interests” and “public interests”. If you don’t get the second, how can you expect to maintain the first?