Norman A.  

August 10, 2007

 

Ms. Julie Larsen-Green

Vice President, Program Management

Vista Customer Experience

Microsoft Corporation

One Microsoft Way

Redmond, WA 98052-6399

 

Dear Julie,

 

I ran across your Video on Channel #9.

 

I’ve had Vista installed for about four months, and am pleasantly surprised. Vista is much more robust than is reported in the press, and has a number of features that make upgrading an obvious choice.

 

As a member of your customer feedback program, I wanted to share my experiences directly with your team. Taking time to provide feedback is something I enjoy doing. In the future, it would be terrific if you knew that the feedback was making its way back to the right people.

 

Sounds like you have a fun job. Best of luck,

 

Norman A.  

Vista Benefits over Windows/XP

 

1.            Faster Boot/Shutdown - the system boots and shuts down in ½ the time required by Windows/XP.

2.            Support of Digital Devices - I have now purchased an XBOX/360 and I am integrating the digital experience to my television(s), and sound device(s). Also love my Sansa MP3 player.

3.            Performance Analysis Tools - the performance monitor  easily locates application bottlenecks.

4.            System Is More Responsive - the system appears more responsive, and handles multiple tasks in a much more reliably.

5.            Stability - the system (with the exception of the video driver) is actually more stable. Failures are self-reporting with automatic feedback from the Microsoft website.

6.            Ready Boost - has improved system performance  at    very    little additional cost.

7.            Utilities - many of the utilities I had to purchase separately are now included in the Operating System (e.g. 'Snip It', managing CD/DVD)

8.            System update - I no longer worry about it, it just completes.  There is no longer the need to understand failed updates.

9.            Search - saves lots of time, once you become familiar with it.

10.          Visual affects - do not know how I spent all of that time in front of a screen without a "Vista" to enjoy. I have found several more Vista's from Hamad Dawish, the graduate student who you hired to produce the Vista desktop backgrounds.


Vista , Areas For Short Term Improvement

 

 

In terms of what Microsoft can do, A couple of things:

 

1.            Get Vista stable - There are a few nagging instances of applications still failing. For me, Outlook fails when a particular plugin (readnotify) is installed. There can be a BSOD related to the connecting/disconnecting USB devices. One of the Microsoft applications, Moviemaker failed, so I simply removed it. In the windows errors section, there are errors that never seem to get resolved, but don't warrant my time either. Two examples: The process suservices keeps failing. I don't want to spend the time to find out why. Internet Explorer is generating hangs and application terminations.

 

2.            Remove the major irritants - for me, it is UAC. UAC needs a 'terse' mode and a 'verbose' mode. I understand what it is doing, and I understand why. I would like an option to create a few "levels" of trust, not unlike the "junk e-mail filter" in Outlook. Secondly, UAC is still causing some critical applications (for me it is RealNetworks's Rhapsody) to fail, things that worked under Windows/XP.  Again, in the short term, perhaps there is a UAC compatibility default, which I can set to be Windows/XP compliant, at least before UAC terminates the application.

3.            Support - this has become a large issue in two ways. I have understood that Microsoft would like support to be customer paid. First, I would like to see some other consumer options. Maybe the right to extend the warrantee for 3, 6 or 12 months. Three months of the ability to submit bugs at no charge was a good idea. In addition, an option to bundle incidents, with a discount. I do not think that option exists for a consumer. BUT MOST IMPORTANTLY, when an application or the system generates an error log, I would like a standard way to submit that to Microsoft. The majority of Microsoft's products require a credit card, before you can even submit the dump.  In some cases, (eg. A BSOD) the dump will not be automatically submitted if I don't manually submit it. There are products (One Care) where bugs are accepted.  If the bug isn't Microsoft's problem, maybe on the "free" submission that don't have to respond, but I would like to have the ability to tell them about the problem. Almost a software vendors all that basic level of support without imposing a incident based fee.

 

4.            Clearer Upgrade Path - after a lot of effort. I learned that a clean install was really the only viable upgrade option. In my situation, a clean upgrade freed up 15gig in old Windows/XP files and applications alone. A "best practices" upgrade blog somewhere would help.  In addition a few of the tools would have made my upgrade easier. Adding a capability to 'Easy Transfer++' (which also transfers applications) allowing interim backup to an external drive so that a second PC is not required for the upgrade, would have helped a lot.  Create a tutorial that very quickly explains the upgrade options, and walks the users through the steps. Possibly provide an 'express mode' and a detailed mode. The fewer interactions in express mode, the better.

 

In summary, Vista is going to be installed, and installed on a very large number of desktops and servers.

 

I have no doubt that the issues I have listed will be resolved in three years. It would be nice if that became six months.

 

Finally, there is a customer improvement program in many of the Microsoft products. It never really asks for my opinions. Given that I have taken the time to document my experience, I would like to believe that someone in Microsoft would take the time to read it, and at least pass on the worthwhile ideas.

 

Microsoft has become a very large company. For those of us who are willing to put forward the effort, there at least needs to be a "portal" to accept our ideas.

 

In summary, believe it or not, my little PC, which is now over three years old (Thinkpad X31, Pentium. 1.6ghrtz, 1meg memory, 60gig hard drive) is running much better than it did under Windows/XP. Much shorter boot/shutdown, quicker application load, better broadband performance, etc.

 

I did not expect that. That wasn't my perception.

 

Thanks. Vista makes my life easier, and I appreciate that.

 

Vty,

 

nar