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Is HP Wanting to Improve the Vista Experience, or Completely Avoid It?

By - Source: Tom's Hardware | B 24 comments

The Vista experience – what exactly is it? Microsoft continuously strives to improve the experience users of its operating systems are subjected to.

This is one of Microsoft’s biggest concerns when developing their computing platforms. Microsoft wants the average consumer to be more productive via a user friendly and intuitive interface - the Vista experience.

However it appears that consumers abroad and some of the industries largest players think otherwise. In a recent move by the currently No. 1 PC maker giant – Hewlett-Packard, the user experience is being viewed from a different angle. HP has put together a team of engineers that are focused on developing software that will essentially by-pass certain elements of Windows Vista.

HP has acknowledged this effort as the ‘customer experience’ group which was put together nine months ago under the watch of Susie Wee – a former director within HP’s research labs. This ‘customer experience’ team is developing on touch-screen technologies and other software that will allow consumers to perform functions such as watching movies, view digital photos and manage other media and content much easier.

Quoting HP’s chief technology officer, Phil McKinney “Our customers are looking for insanely simple technology where they don’t have to fight with the technology to get the task done.”

Upon launch Windows Vista drew a lot of criticism from its target audience with claims that it “slows computers down” and “does not work smoothly for certain tasks.”

Employees involved with an internal project at HP are looking at possibilities of replacing Windows with a customized HP-assembled operating system. McKinney claims any discussions about building a customized operating system to rival Windows are happening below senior-management levels at this time. There was no denial that some employees may have had such conversations, but HP is not devoting substantial resources into such projects.

Still however, sources claim that employees within HP’s PC division are exploring possibilities of building a mass-market, customized operating system based on Linux. The goal would be to make an operating system that is actually easy to use for mainstream users. According to sources this goal would strengthen HP against Apple and make them much less dependent on the Windows platform. For the record, Apple has been increasing in Market share with its easy to use computers using its own customized operating system. Food for thought?

Several of Microsoft’s partners are stepping up support for Windows alternatives as well. Intel is now promoting Linux for a new class of mini-laptops that use its Atom processor. Dell has also introduced a mini-laptop that can run Linux as well – they also may be using the operating system for digital media players according to someone that is familiar with the company’s plans. “It is an endrun around Windows,” says Rob Enderle, president of tech consultant Enderle Group.

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  • 1 Hide
    frozenlead , September 12, 2008 10:21 PM
    For the record, I found mac OSX pretty hard to figure out. A little harder than when I first started windows.

    But anyway, windows vista is a near flawless operating system, once you get rid of the bloatware that vendors put on them.
  • 1 Hide
    jaragon13 , September 12, 2008 10:25 PM
    Uhh,because the users are completely retarded? 'LET'S USE OUR FINGERS!!!!' *insert retarded looking face here*
  • 2 Hide
    SirCrono , September 12, 2008 11:16 PM
    Microsoft should ban the install of any third party bloatware, that way they'll take the grief for windows problems and not for vendor pre-loaded software. I bet half or more of vista (or any other OS) problems came from third party vendors.
  • Display all 24 comments.
  • 6 Hide
    nekatreven , September 13, 2008 1:16 AM
    I love how HP is trying to save us all from ourselves when they are one of the worst when it comes to infesting new computers with their bloatware.

    Wild Tangent Games, Quicken/Money, Norton, Easy Internet Sign-up, HP Update, HP Wireless Assistant, HP Pre-loaded photosmart/office jet drivers, HP Imagezone, HP/Compaq Connect toolbar, HP advisor.

    ...and that list is just from memory, there are many more. Not to mention all of the HPs that shipped with some version of PHP (or was it python) installed to run more of their crap.

    Lame bastards...it was your damn fault so many Vista PCs sucked in the first place.
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , September 13, 2008 1:32 AM
    I still regret buying a Vista OEM DVD about a year and a half ago, just because I thought it looked cool.
    I had it on my notebook for 6 hours, when I started noticing it's nearly harddisk destructive backgroundtasks in idle mode. I spend about 2 days tinkering the system,disabling services,learning the difference.

    By then I figured out my batterylife went from 6 hours on XP, to a little over 4 hours on Vista. Not only that, but I had these enormous amounts of continuous annoying popups...
    Despite it's good looks, Vista comes second last, on the same level as MacOS.

    I regret buying the Vista OEM DVD, and wished i could ship it back to MS, and get a refund.

    Everywhere I use XP, which I still think is the best OS out there.
    Linux goes second place, and against all others, I find Mac OS Dead last (next to vista).
    The 1 mousebutton in MacOS is such a turnoff, as well as their high priced notebooks, and slower system components then similar same day released pc hardware. I find Mac OS just so unpleasant to work with... Different, non professional.. seems like been made by artists who wanted to funkefize Win.3.11.

    The right mousebutton is worth Gold to me,no way I'd want to exchange that!

    Linux (Mainly Ubuntu) is on second place, because video and game acceleration is still slower then XP, and because the OS has a similar feel as Win98;doesn't seem to like respond instantly.
  • 1 Hide
    rocky1234 , September 13, 2008 2:04 AM
    Maybe HP should stop blaming Vista & Microsoft & look at all that Bloatware they install on their below Average machines lacking ram to run not only Vista but their bloatware as well.Also whats with this touch everything crap if I wanted finger prints all over my monitor I would have put them their already bad idea yet again. If they think making an OS is that easy go for it & then fail fail fail. Makes my job easier to sell our properly built PC's without all the bloatware that these big companies like to ad to your Windows experience.
  • 1 Hide
    megamanx00 , September 13, 2008 3:54 AM
    They get money for that bloatware and hence that's how they can sell those low end systems so darn cheap. That would be cool if HP did a custom version of Linux for certain computers. I think it's funny that they are trying to make vista better. Putting a cherry on a turn isn't going to make it any better, and well that's how a lot of people view vista, a redmond turd. Yeah MS is still making a boatload of money, but HP doesn't want to stand buy and loose market share to Apple

    So, anyone think this could be the year of the Linux Desktop? Well I take it HP will take a little longer than a few months to develop their own "user friendly" Linux based OS. I guess we'll see if anything comes of it.
  • -1 Hide
    V3NOM , September 13, 2008 4:04 AM
    HP and Dell = scammers. I can build a computer faster than a $2000 Dell for $1300 not including the postage of the parts... piss off out of the desktop scene and make better laptops dell and hp
  • 1 Hide
    ThePatriot , September 13, 2008 8:07 AM
    The amount of hardware resources required just to make Vista run is simply too big. That's why most companies are up/down grading, depending on your perspective, to XP. Vista is everything but an insanely simple user experience. For some obscure reason, MS engineers don't grasp the concept of a simple system.
  • 1 Hide
    MrRogers07 , September 13, 2008 8:09 AM
    I use OS X and am always using the right mouse button. I have been a beta tester for Windows since Win95 and am very versed in there products. I am also a IT system engineer in the US Navy. I purchased a Mac 3 years ago to help in learning Unix. Have not looked back, had a 2 week learning curve until I was as productive with OS X as WinXP. I enjoy that when I am home I do not have to spend my time administering my computer and I can just use it. I also don't have to spend time removing crapware when I purchase a new system, nor need to buy a lot of software just to be productive. Its a personal choice but if your going to knock it falsely then I will call you on it. Don't say that you have to buy another mouse to make the right button work because any PC I have ever purchased I always needed to replace the crap mouse they sent me.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , September 13, 2008 6:03 PM
    macs have two button mice, they just dont look like they do, its seamless for design aesthetics, get a clue before you say things like "duh macs only have one button" they have had two for years now
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , September 13, 2008 8:11 PM
    You cant compare "Linux" with any other OS, is like comparing Ford and a Honda Civic. Its stupid. If you do this you NEVER used or learned to use some Linux distribution. There are thousands of Linux distributions out there completely different.
    (in response to ProDigit80)
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , September 13, 2008 9:28 PM
    I guess next PC won't be an HP.
  • 0 Hide
    Zorg , September 14, 2008 2:11 AM
    You just figured that out?
  • -1 Hide
    Milleman , September 14, 2008 4:01 AM
    I don't understand why some saying: -I'll wait for Windows 7!

    Windows 7 will be a new version of Vista. Microsoft won't redesign the whole O/S just to release an uphotted version of the previous one. Windows 7 will be as much resource hog as Vista, if not more. But by then, Microsoft calculates that the users hardware will carry more RAM and faster CPUs. MS have already claimed that by the release of Windows 7, the "standard" size of RAM in an average desktop computer will to 4 GB. So don't expect Win 7 to be a less black hole than Vista.

    For me personally, I don't see any benefits on all the O/S hysteria lately. Vista / Win7 may be beneficial for gamers that will use all the fancy stuff on the latest graphic cards etc. But for me, all that is useless because I don't need it. My PC isn't a Gaming station nor a Game console. To me, it's just a machine for reading mail, surfing the net, download files and chat with my friends. I don't need a supercomputer just for doing that! My friend is using Linux in the same way I use Windows XP today. Looks interresting. His computer is even older than mine and still he can do all that I can do, at the same speed. Maybe I'll consider Linux later on. But for now, I stay with XP. Works great!

    And if like to watch movies? -I'll use my TIVO!
    If I like to listen to music? -I'll turn on my stereo!
    If feel like gaming? -I'll use a game console!
    (a game console is much cheaper and more powerful than my PC anyway)

    Right now my life is great and I don't care about the O/S hysteria.
    Motto: Sleep well, eat good and have sex! :) 
  • 0 Hide
    rocky1234 , September 14, 2008 4:40 AM
    Lets face it Companies like HP & Dell & many others feel the need to install all this crap on those under powered machines they call computers
    & it gives the whole PC industry a bad name. But does the everyday person blame HP or Dell for this no they blame Microslop for this. I for one would never own a big brand name system for a desktop because I find them slow compared to what I can build myself. As for MAC lol yeah right next.
    People say yeah you can do so much with them right out of the box because they come with everything you need. That's all fine & dandy but it seems MAC lives by a different set of rules than everyone else does because they seem to be able to do whatever they want & no one seems to complain about it. Now when Microslop tries to include more features in their OS everyone screams bloody murder & claims they are trying to be a monopoly because these added features may step on another companies toes. I say put in as many features as they can we as the consumers are the ones that win in the end. But I do think we should have the choice whether we want those features installed or not. I just laughed when the feature roll out for Vista was leaked & companies like Norton & McAfee were screaming bloody murder & others as well. These companies just need to make better products not waste mine & their time whining to a press about microslop. Norton 360 anyone what a joke that program is.I spend way to much time explaining to customers why their 3 or 4 year system are running so slow when they only have 256 or 512MB memory
    slow CPU & Norton 360 is using more memory than the OS is I almost always try to get them to go with a more system friendly antivirus.
  • 0 Hide
    Zorg , September 14, 2008 6:03 AM
    Some good and some bad in your post, I think in the balance bad.

    MS locked the kernel and wouldn't release it to the other companies trying to interface. I suspect it was a test to see how far they could go. You didn't understand this? Good rant though.
  • 0 Hide
    jkflipflop98 , September 14, 2008 1:42 PM
    Vista is a good OS. It's quick and stable for me. I have it on 2 desktops and my notebook and it's been all aces.
  • 0 Hide
    crosshares , September 14, 2008 11:42 PM
    I don't get some people, they associate OS X with stupid people.(Can anyone say elitism?) The same people who criticize Linux of being to difficult to use so they rip on OS X because its too simple to use?

    Vista is okayish, but HP should be thinking about getting rid of the crapware they keep putting on, that's about 80% of the problem there.
  • 0 Hide
    rocky1234 , September 15, 2008 6:21 AM
    MS had good reason to lock the kernel out to everyone. There is no need for the likes of Norton or McAfee to change the kernel code to their liking all this does is make the system more unstable. Microsoft never said they couldn't make their software they just didn't want them changing the way the kernel works & I agree with that. Look at how many times Norton screwed over Windows XP & it would stop booting or blue screen after a Norton update. This was because they were allowed to do what ever they wanted in the name of security but a lot of the time not always it ended up having system brought to me to fix for customers.

    It could be argued that Windows update screws system over to & yes sometimes it does but a lot of the time it is not the update but people not willing to wait the extra few minutes for windows to shut down when it is doing those updates so they hit the power button & force a shut down & then wonder why it no longer boots again these PC's come to me for fixing.

    I am not saying all problems are created by users themselves but a lot of these problems are or companies like Norton that think they should be able to get right to the core of the OS to have their bloatware run properly.

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