Thursday, February 08, 2007

Vista Gotchas

I've been running the beta for Windows Vista as a dual-boot on my work machine -- it's a lovely operating system, seems to have been pretty stable, and adds in a lot of functionality. Like other recent versions, though, it tends to "dumb down" some of the security and network stuff. For the most part, this is good, I guess; but annoying the user to manage security because Windows has such a horrible history of dealing with it is perhaps not the best solution. I don't want it making decisions -- MS has proven in the past that it can't make good ones.

I will probably move to Vista permanently on my work machine, but only after the first service patch is released (I really don't want to be one of the first adopters on this one). But I read something recently hat made me rethink my possible change to my home machine and laptop:

From the BBC -- the fine print in the new version of Windows grants Microsoft the right to delete whatever it wants to from your computer, and there's nothing you can do about it:

Vista's legal fine print includes extensive provisions granting Microsoft the right to regularly check the legitimacy of the software and holds the prospect of deleting certain programs without the user's knowledge...Vista also incorporates Windows Defender, a security program that actively scans computers for "spyware, adware, and other potentially unwanted software". The agreement does not define any of these terms, leaving it to Microsoft to determine what constitutes unwanted software... even though that may result in other software ceasing to work or mistakenly result in the removal of software that is not unwanted...

For those users frustrated by the software's limitations, Microsoft cautions that "you may not work around any technical limitations in the software"...

Well, yes, Microsoft, I can work around the technical limitation and monumental invasion of privacy that your license suggests: I can not upgrade, or I can swap out to another operating system, such as Linux or move to a Mac. Perhaps Microsoft might want to think about that before deciding to "manage" my computer for me.

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