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windows vista launched

Written: 14:34 on January 30, 2007  |  By: jon  |  MORE…
Windows Vista Logo
So, Microsoft finally get around to releasing their new operating system Windows Vista. I read a quick clip-out from the Metro on the train about the first guy to pick up a new laptop with a pre-installed copy of Windows Vista on it. "I really like the GUI" he remarks regarding Vista's new Aero interface, and obviously satisfied with himself that he managed to slip an acronym in. "Apple OS-X has had a nice GUI for ages, it's about time Windows followed suit". There was a small picture of him holding a generic looking laptop with a big, knowing grin on his face. Very. Irritating.

The problem for me with Vista, as a gamer, is the way Microsoft have gone about this release. People like myself that play the latest games on high-spec machines rely on new graphics cards and driver releases in order to keep our systems graphical capabilities up to speed. Traditionally there are two ways in which 3D graphics are rendered on computers. These are OpenGL, controlled by Silicon Graphics or DirectX, controlled by Microsoft (although they both do more than just 3D). Now, certain games run on both, but the majority will only run on DirectX (that's an oversight by game programmers in my opinion). The issue here is, Microsoft have turned around with this release of Windows Vista and said that DirectX 10 is only available for Vista, and not for Windows XP. This basically boils down to "if you want to play the latest games, you're forced to get a copy of Windows Vista". It'll be interesting to see how this pans out for Microsoft. In a way it's clever… but I hate being backed into making a decision I don't want to have to make.

On top of the whole DirectX issue, and we've known about this for a long, long time, Windows Vista no longer comes with WinFS. WinFS (Windows Filing System) was supposed to replace the ageing NTFS (the current standard within Windows XP) but was scrapped back when Windows Vista was still being referred to as Longhorn. I really, really liked the idea of WinFS, mainly because it was based on the idea of a huge relational database for storing files. Everybody who has worked with databases knows how quick they are… and can see the benefits. Abstraction, Polymorphism, Inheritance…it's like a Computer Scientists wet dream. With some good forethought and forward planning by Microsoft's GUI team, they could have made an absolutely revolutionary piece of software. I'm almost convinced that they've decided to exclude it so they can work on things like the Aero glass interface because of stupid bellends like the guy mentioned earlier, smiling away with his shitty Packard Bell laptop playing the new look Solitaire. As long as it "looks nice" most people don't give a shit how it works. There is something so frustrating about that.

So, yeah. Not too fussed about Vista at the moment — but if I want to play the new Halo (well, I know I'll want to play) or even stuff as forthcoming as the new Unreal Tournament (damn you, Epic) then I'm going to be forced into "finding" a copy. Otherwise, I'll be doing my best waiting for Windows "Vienna"
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