Some Points about Windows Vista

I regularly get asked about what I think about Windows Vista, I run it on my laptop (a Toshiba R400 Tablet) and this far I’m very happy with it. It definitely isn’t a massive step up from XP (Service Pack 2) it is a major improvement and in my opinion in the right direction. I love the search functionality in the start bar, and being able to click the program you want in the Alt+Tab menu is awesome. I’ve also installed Switcher but I can’t quite get used to using it, so Alt+Tab it is.

Anyway, the point of this post is to highlight 2 things, one I’m very happy with, and another I can’t understand why it is like it is. Firstly, my computer has been blue screening since I got it when it came out of hibernation. Now as a mobile computer I’m forever taking it out of and putting it in my bag, so this was extremely annoying. But, in the hope that it actually worked, I would always click “Report this crash to Microsoft”. Well, lo and behold just the other day I got a notification box telling me that KB94100(?) contained an update and it would fix my problem. Which it did. Woo!

Secondly, I’ve been playing with the power settings on my machine, trying to eek a few more minutes out of it’s already good (not excellent) battery life when I came across this delightful piece of UI.

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Now, why on earth would I want less than 100% maximum processor state when plugged in? This is definitely a situation where the engineers designing the product should have said, we know better than the user and removed any choice. If anyone can give me a good reason as to why this option is there, I would love to know.

Gmail and Docs & Spreadsheets Integration

A few days ago there was an article over at Read/Write Web regarding Google’s Gmail/Docs and Spreadsheets integration which pointed out an apparent flaw in their strategy. It was suggested that because of Gmail’s low number of subscribers it may not be as effective at attacking Microsoft’s Office monopoly. It’s true that even if this small number of people all ditched Microsoft Office right now Redmond would not even notice a bump in it’s bottom line, but I think the strategy is far more deeply seated.

My belief is that often Gmail is to some extent a testing ground for Google’s Business and Enterprise products and that in the next 6-12 months, we will see Google ramping up the featureset and integration of Google Apps for your Domain and pushing it as a product to customers. This will be done through Adsense referrals and possibly a more indepth affiliate program like that of Analytics. It is hard to say how many companies are using Google Apps, but it wouldn’t surprise me if there are quite a few. I know that PodTech does (link) there are a number of Universities who also use it.

It has been well documented that people are unsure about having their data hosted remotely, especially with the recent experience of data-loss at Google. It seems certain, that as the full integration of Google Talk, Gmail and Docs & Spreadsheets is complete, there will be a rack-mountable server that enables it on a local lan and integrates with their existing search appliances.

Windows Messenger Flaw

I (and the network I administer) use Windows Messenger for Instant Messaging, I actually quite like the software, it’s one of the few examples of Microsoft doing something simple and right, this coupled with the fact it seems to be one of the few programs that will integrate with Live Communication Server make it the only real choice. I’ve really only just realised that you can’t attach a message saying, “Hey it’s Gally.” when you are adding a contact to your list. Maybe it doesn’t really matter, cause I’ve been using it for a good 4 years and only just noticed.

Microsoft Channel 9 Transcripts

I really like what Scoble and co have done with Channel 9. However the videos really break my workflow. I want to be able to read all my information, it takes alot shorter time to digest alot more information.

What I would like to see is transcripts of the videos, I understand that would create more work for someone and it is kind of against the idea of Channel 9, but I’m sure I’m not the only one that dislikes having to spend 30 minutes getting the same information I could read in 5.