Windows Vista - Not Just a New Operating System

November 28, 2006

In development for over five years, Microsoft has finally completed its latest chapter in the Windows saga by giving the thumbs up to release Windows Vista to hardware vendors and software partners. As one of the longest software development cycles in the 20+ year history of Windows, Vista is one of the best products Microsoft ever released from its Redmond conveyor belt.



The Experience
It is estimated that by the end of 2007, 100 million users will run or rather, will "experience" Windows Vista. This is where the story really starts for me. The long list of new bells and whistles are a great push forward in software technology, but the fundamental feature of Windows Vista is the ease with which an average user will be able to "experience" it. In the 90ís a product was worth its money if it shipped with a 250 page manual. Today, if a new software product required a 250 page manual to start up, it would scare new customers away faster than a little puppy from a thunderstorm. Like the web, software needs to be simple, intuitive and intelligent. Operating systems, desktop applications, and web sites need to be able to think for the user when necessary, specifically to prevent black hole scenarios where users are left with bewildering questions or nonsense error messages. In other words, I should be able to add a new printer without scratching my head and hoping that Google will find me some geek blog explaining how to add the new printer. After all, we have almost reached the year 2007 and these days people expect more intelligence from computer products and brands than they did ten to twelve years ago. Microsoft gets it! User oriented interface design mixed with smart software technology is the right recipe for an intuitive computer experience. Microsoft is applying this ìsimple, but intelligent" theme to all of its new products, starting with Windows Vista, Live.com, and Office 2007. I know what you are thinking Mac fans and Yes, you are right! Apple has been an experience brand for a long time. Remember, it was Apple that brought us the first GUI to our desktops and the famous easy to use MacOS mentallity. I am ok with borrowing ideas from MacOS, but only as long as it is the good ideas!
 

Microsoft Windows Vista

The Logo
People around the world start their workday by booting up their computers and looking at the Windows logo (perhaps while also enjoying a cup of coffee and a pastryóI canít be certain). The Microsoft Windows logo is one of the most well known logos around the world. Like the OS, the logo has evolved over time as well. Let's take a look:

Microsoft Windows Logos

-> The latest Windows logo looks modern, simple and clean. Interesting enough, it does not feature the Microsoft signature! Mmh?

Conclusion
As a man known to operate five different operating systems at once, I welcome number six. Windows Vista gives usóthe brand experience buildersóa firm platform on which we can design rich web portals, intranets and brand centers. Additionally, Windows Vista has a few tricks up its sleeve that will not only intimidate other software companies fighting for the lead in web technology, but also has the potential to change how we currently experience the web. For the geeks out there, I am referring to WPFóWindows Presentation Foundation. Please send me an email for an offline discussion...

Links
Microsoft Windows Vista
Microsoft Experience Design Team Site
The History of Windows (wiki)

Jurgen Altziebler  --  jalt@corebrand.com



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