The Windows Vista Monster Review

Windows Vista’s Media Center in Review

Windows Media Center is one of the biggest improvements and most significant new features in Windows Vista. The new interface (which we cannot take screencaptures of – read on) is really nice, and far surpasses the rest of Windows Vista in terms of true style and nice effects, not overdone, but great looking nonetheless. It appears that in between build 5472 and RC1 somewhere along the way Microsoft decided to switch from the native Windows forms API to a DirectX-powered rendering engine (which cannot be captured with Print Screen).

The interface hasn’t changed much (at all) since 5456 however, so these old captures show how it really is. The only reason Microsoft would switch to a different rendering engine is in an attempt to improve Media Center performance, which has thus far been absoloutely dismal. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem to have been of any use. Media Center still bogs down even our powerful test machine (Core 2 Duo Inspiron), takes forever to load, and is laggy at the best of times.

Windows Media Center is now a complete OS Shell in its own right: without leaving it you can connect to wireless networks, search the web for music and videos to watch, configure your display, resolution, and audio (independantly of the rest of the OS), as well as tune in to your cable or sattellite TV channels. In a word, it’s complete. But it’s terrible.

There may still be hope for it, after RC1, technically speaking, all a company should do is optimize, and optimize some more. But at the same time, RC1 is full of optimizations for other parts of the OS, and nothing hasn’t been optimized.. except for Windows Media Center. It’s a real shame because it’s far better than it’s predecessor, Windows Media Center Edition, and all it needs is a bit of effort to make it great..

59 thoughts on “The Windows Vista Monster Review

  1. Every other operating system, than Windows Vista is crap!

    I like it as clear and simple as Vista is!

    Oh and 99% of software is only Windows capable, so why should i use some linux/unix/apple/mac anyways???

  2. Linux is alot easier to use than you may think. I would let my grandma use the latest distros (and thats saying ALOT). Still not perfect (a command prompt is useful to get things done quickly and efficiently. This may be intimidating to some.) Vista, when you get down to it, is still windows. It uses alot of the same code as XP but with more “features” tacked on top. This new code is untested and, I am sure, full of back doors. The only reason MS is still in business is because of a few slip-ups by other companies (most notably Apple for losing that case way back when and IBM for not buying MS) OSX is very easy to use and I would say its the perfect blend of simplicity, power, security and stability. I have used all three products extensively (though currently use linux because i love programming). If MS produces a good product, I will shut up but until then, seriously, they need to get on the ball and innovate a little.

  3. Robig, you see the problem, don’t you?

    Since the world uses MS, you have to too. At least if you want to make a living.
    If you plan on working for a desktop software developer, 99 times out of a 100, you’re going to be required to work on Windows, because that’s what your audience is.

    The reason MS and Windows are still on the top is because they won the game quickly and from the very beginning. For every OS X application you can find, there are 2000 Windows programs.

    In computing, where it’s all about standards, the one that can take over fastest wins.

  4. I just installed Vista for an old lady across the street from me, got her computer set up, and installed a printer and some other hardware.  This was the first time I’ve touched Vista.  I have to say…it’s slow, bloated, doesn’t seem to add much new from XP, and the hardware support absolutely sucks.  That’s right, I spent way more time than I needed to over there struggling to get the damn printer installed.  It should have been easy.  It is on XP.  I won’t even go into the problems I had with installing the wireless card or the terrible network center interface.

    I hated it.

  5. I have to agree Jacob, those are the same weak points I experienced in Windows Vista myself.

    But I think the rest is good though, no?

  6. Wtf are you idiots bagging vista for? It uses less cpu power thanks to the new gui which can be turned off, but why the hell would you? Most *nix OS’s have around 30 accounts, why are people saying it has 1000? Vista has around 20 itself. People who are unwilling to test it but will bag it out by comparing it to something stupid that doesn’t exist anyway are moronic.

    Hilarious quote from comment #1: the colors should not make eyes to ake

    He evidently can’t spell “colour”; and he doesn’t realise the colours are easily changeable – something you notice when you test the OS.

  7. You seem not to know your language very well, otherwise you could tell some common differences between British English and American English, one of them says “color”, the other one “colour”…

    Anyway, do you also have something valuable to tell?

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