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Vista Worse For User Efficiency Than XP

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the two-steps-back dept.

GUI 546

erikvlie writes "Pfeiffer Consulting released a report on User Interface Friction, comparing Windows Vista/Aero with Windows XP and Mac OS X. The report concludes that Vista/Aero is worse in terms of desktop operations, menu latency, and mouse precision than XP — which was and still is said to be a lot worse on those measures than Mac OS X. The report was independently financed. The IT-Enquirer editor has read the report and summarized the most important findings."

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Just in from bash.org (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18169506)

i asked Vista to delete 36 000 files from a directory, and i ve already waited for 15 minutes and nothing resultes...
  it is preparing 36 000 "are you sure?" windows

Well, like the song goes.... (5, Funny)

StressGuy (472374) | more than 7 years ago | (#18169682)

36,000 files on the disk...36,000 files!

Deleting this file, Cancel or Allow?

35,999 files on the disk

35,999 files on the disk....35,999 files!

Delete this file, Cancel or Allow?

35,998 files on the disk

etc.....

Re:Well, like the song goes.... (5, Funny)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 7 years ago | (#18170016)

.....
Delete this file, Cancel or Allow?

Cannot delete file 'File 47'
It is being used by another person or program. Close any programs that might be using the file and try again.

Undoing modifications, 35952 files restored.

Re:Just in from bash.org (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18169960)

i asked Vista to delete 36 000 files from a directory

Whoops.....slightly more than 32767....

Hmm... (2, Funny)

creimer (824291) | more than 7 years ago | (#18169512)

User Interface Fiction... That would explain why so much of it is so terrible.

Aero != productivity (5, Interesting)

TinBromide (921574) | more than 7 years ago | (#18169518)

Aero was an overhaul of the interface designed to sell copies due to the "wow" factor. I don't think that pretty widgets were meant to be a productivity booster, and any article that says that you can be productive on a mac for more than the generic things and like 2-3 specialized apps has a built in bias.

I'm still of the opinion that vista is a productivity booster only for the RIAA/MPAA and microsoft's stock.

Re:Aero != productivity (3, Interesting)

neuro.slug (628600) | more than 7 years ago | (#18169558)

The best part is that it appears that the study didn't even factor in the UAC popups.

You are pointing out Vista's flaws. (C)ancel or (A)llow?

Re:Aero != productivity (0, Redundant)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 7 years ago | (#18169582)

The website you are visiting slashdot will list the faults of vista and you will come to a sad realization. Allow or cancel?

Re:Aero != productivity (4, Insightful)

timeOday (582209) | more than 7 years ago | (#18169722)

I think what to include or not include in a study like this is the key. Apparently it's focused on mouse accuracy and menu clicking latency. If I had my druthers on how to improve my chosen OS (Linux), it would be nothing like that. Rather, it would focus on the number of minutes or hours (not milliseconds) required to perform tasks that still fill me with dread, such as network printing, or power management, or burning a video file to a DVD that a standalone player can read. Granted it's much harder to make meaningful measurements of such things, but I still think they're more important that mousing.

Re:Aero != productivity (3, Insightful)

lp-habu (734825) | more than 7 years ago | (#18169936)

The long-running operations may seem to annoy you more, but they are unlikely to affect your personal productivity. You can do something else while you're waiting for them to finish.

The little things that occur while you are actively trying to get things done through the interface can distract you from what you are really doing. If you are concentrating on getting a piece of code just right, or shading that graphic just so a tiny delay in the user interface can take you right out of the zone. And that very definitely affects your productivity.

Re:Aero != productivity (1)

ZorbaTHut (126196) | more than 7 years ago | (#18170032)

Considering that "power management" is in there, I suspect he means "how much I have to fight with the interface and configuration to make this stuff work", not "how long does it take to run in the background".

Re:Aero != productivity (1)

lp-habu (734825) | more than 7 years ago | (#18170058)

Could be. Never had to fight the interface or the configuration over any of it, so didn't think about it.

Re:Aero != productivity (5, Insightful)

jimstapleton (999106) | more than 7 years ago | (#18169956)

That, and also, what kind of options did they have turned on?

I turned of menu fade in any system I'm on, be it Windows XP, BSD -w- KDE, whatever.

All of them display menus virtually instantly like that. Depending on which (KDE, Gnome, Windows), you start to notice slowdowns at various cuttoffs, KDE and Windows tend to slow down faster with decreased memory than CPU, Gnome with decreased CPU more than memory.

That being said, if Windows has a menu fading effect turned on and OS X does not, then there is a lot of bias right there. Also, if XP's fade is set to a shorter time, that's bias too.

Also, there's system information:
Did they compare systems with identical or close to identical hardware?
Did they compare systems with identical costs?
Ex:
  Both systems had e6600 Core 2 Duo CPUs with 2GB of DDR2 800 and a 200GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0GB/s drive,
or
  Both systems were $1800 from the leading manufacturer (say Apple and Dell for OS X and Vista/XP respectively)

I guess what I'm getting at is I'd really rather see the methods of the experiment rather than just the conclusions. It's not that I find it all that hard to believe (well, the mouse precision seems a little odd, I've never had an issue with the mouse selecting any pixel except that which I told it to click, even on precision stuff where actual pixel mattered - I can believe the menu performance potentially).

I didn't see an actual link to the report in the article, is it pay to read, or did I just miss it?

Re:Aero != productivity (3, Insightful)

jswigart (1004637) | more than 7 years ago | (#18170110)

It's a suitable comparison to compare the default options for menu fading and all that other eye candy. Micro tweaking each OS to disable or match up whatever timing options are available through hacks or tweakui or whatever wouldn't be representative of how most people run the OS, even if it potentially significantly improves the response times for the tested tasks. It would be useful if they made mention of such options in the comparison as a means to improve over the default, but comparing the defaults is a pretty standard practice.

Re:Aero != productivity (5, Funny)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 7 years ago | (#18169562)

Personally I like the slower response - it makes me feel like a fast typist when I can beat the computer.

Re:Aero != productivity (2, Funny)

dave562 (969951) | more than 7 years ago | (#18170022)

I have an ultra uber 1200 baud modem with your name on it!

Re:Aero != productivity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18169584)

...and any article that says that you can be productive on a mac for more than the generic things and like 2-3 specialized apps has a built in bias.

But there's clearly no bias in your comment. *rolls eyes*

Re:Aero != productivity (1)

644bd346996 (1012333) | more than 7 years ago | (#18169702)

You seem to have the opinion that OS X is not widely usable as a productive environment. What specific tasks have you found to be significantly more difficult on a Mac? I would bet that if the task is not very simple, then your difficulties stem entirely from a lack of experience and knowledge of the platform.

Re:Aero != productivity (1)

no reason to be here (218628) | more than 7 years ago | (#18169786)

With a CLI, nice scripting and automation functions, and generally well laid-out and well-followed interface guidelines (w/ the major exception of iTunes*), I'd argue it's entirely possible to be very functional on a Mac. Some might say you have the built-in bias against Macs.

A lot of this is just opinion and what one is used to. I find the dock to be much more efficient and intuitive than the windows way of doing things; however, I do miss alt-tab cycling through every open window, as opposed to cycling through every open application. i know, i know, that's what expose is for, but it's something that i've grown accustomed to in all those years when I was using windows. and, in my opinion it is faster to switch between two (for example) open documents in word using alt-tab than it is switching between two open documents in pages using F10+click. This all goes to show, nothing is perfect.

But, the article is right. Vista/Aero does suck donkey balls. :P Seriously, the interface was changed in a lot of ways that seemed to be about being pretty, not being better, and a lot of those changes did make things worse.

*off topic: iTunes devations from the norm, I feel, are forgivable, as we all have an expectation of how a music playback interface should look and behave from physical counterparts in the real world, and part (most?) of iTunes deviations are in favor of lining up with those real world expectations.

Re:Aero != productivity (2, Informative)

644bd346996 (1012333) | more than 7 years ago | (#18169866)

If you have a desktop, getting a Mighty Mouse is worth every penny. I like it more than my Logitech cordless MX mouse. Expose with a mouse button is the best way of switching between windows that I have come across. It is almost as efficient as tabbed browsing.

Re:Aero != productivity (3, Informative)

EggyToast (858951) | more than 7 years ago | (#18169868)

Next time you have two Word documents open, try hitting apple+` (the key above tab). You may be pleasantly surprised, and it does conform to the OS X methodology of separating windows from applications quite nicely. I agree that Expose is overkill for such purposes.

Re:Aero != productivity (1)

644bd346996 (1012333) | more than 7 years ago | (#18169918)

And that is why OS X is so cool most of the time. Just when you think you've found something it can't do, you accidentally discover that they added that feature in the most natural and logical way. It reminds me of the good old days of HP calculators with perfect keyboard layouts for the job.

Re:Aero != productivity (1)

ffsnjb (238634) | more than 7 years ago | (#18169908)

I was annoyed with that too, until I found the solution: cmd-tab to the app, then cmd-tilde within windows of that app. I actually like it better this way, I can cycle through all of my terminal sessions much faster than having to also move within all of the other windows of the other apps I have running.

Re:Aero != productivity (1)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 7 years ago | (#18169920)

You know about command-back-quote in Mac OS X, right? It switches through open windows in the current app. Not every window on the system, mind you, but it serves a similar purpose.

Re:Aero != productivity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18170010)

iTunes devations from the norm, I feel, are forgivable, as we all have an expectation of how a music playback interface should look and behave from physical counterparts in the real world, and part (most?) of iTunes deviations are in favor of lining up with those real world expectations.
Right... because all our real-world media players have no stop button, right?

You're a typical Apple apologist - you feel the need to justify every failing and pretend that the whole thing is perfect. Relax. It's OK for Apple to get things wrong. They can produce UI abortions like iTunes and the Dock and still be better than Microsoft. (Incidentally, that was a great joke where you described the Dock as "efficient and intuitive". Who says Mac fans have no sense of humor?)

Re:Aero != productivity (1)

nostriluu (138310) | more than 7 years ago | (#18170100)

. i know, i know, that's what expose is for, but it's something that i've grown accustomed to in all those years when I was using windows. and, in my opinion it is faster to switch between two (for example) open documents in word using alt-tab than it is switching between two open documents in pages using F10+click

You know about alt-backtick, right?

I dislike exposé too (along with a lot of other things Mac), but alt tab + alt-backtick is a nice combination.

Re:Aero != productivity (1)

Trojan35 (910785) | more than 7 years ago | (#18169816)

"and any article that says that you can be productive on a mac for more than the generic things and like 2-3 specialized apps has a built in bias"

Yes, that sounds very objective.

Re:Aero != productivity (3, Interesting)

jo42 (227475) | more than 7 years ago | (#18169818)

The problem with the Vista UI is that it is an inconsistent mish mash of ancient, old and new ways of doing things. Sometimes it's a dialog, sometimes it's a window, sometimes its web browser like and nary a single lick of consistency anywhere twixt anything. Drives me up the wall. Someone need bitch slap silly the idiot designers at Microsoft for this pile of poop.

You know what else has a "wow" factor? (5, Funny)

spun (1352) | more than 7 years ago | (#18169832)

Having your foot pulverized by an asteroid. Finding a baby mouse in a bottle of beer. Having a circus midget shits on your lawn.

Microsoft should really try for the good wow, not the bad wow.

Re:You know what else has a "wow" factor? (2, Funny)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 7 years ago | (#18170068)

Finding a baby mouse in a bottle of beer.

I saw a Canadian documentary about that once.

I keep my XP UI looking like Win2K (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18169540)

Why? Because it's faster and familiarity reduces costs.

Re:I keep my XP UI looking like Win2K (4, Interesting)

EnderGT (916132) | more than 7 years ago | (#18169734)

Your post is a bit offtopic, but it leads to an interesting point. FYI, I also set my XP interface to Classic Windows.

I recently downloaded Media Player 11, which shows off a bit of the Vista/Aero interface. Specifically, the minimize/maximize/close buttons in the upper left corner are done Vista-style. What I've noticed through use is that even though these buttons are physically bigger, they very frequently don't recognize my clicks, requiring me to go back and click it again, sometimes 3 or more times. Also, when I hit Alt, F, X (the sequence to exit using the menus in Media Player 10) about 4 times out of 5 the menu refuses to respond to my keystrokes, requiring me to stop, find the mouse, and click the appropriate action.

Obviously, because this is running on XP, I can't make claims as to the overall usability of Vista. However, if my experience is any indication of the way Vista behaves, I'm not suprised that such an article has been written, and I'd expect many more complaints as time goes on.

Re:I keep my XP UI looking like Win2K (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18170020)

Annoying technology is a way of life, I'm still putting up with the click snap in the middle of a song when my 8 track tape player changes to the next track. Minor annoyances build character and the art of throwing chairs.

Re:I keep my XP UI looking like Win2K (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18169932)

same here. our entire biz is standardized on XP w/classic UI. We started out using XP with the then new UI but it was just too confusing to new users. We are putting off the Vista upgrade as long as possible for obvious reasons.

On What Hardware? (4, Insightful)

Petersko (564140) | more than 7 years ago | (#18169554)

"The report concludes that Vista/Aero is worse in terms of desktop operations, menu latency, and mouse precision than XP -- which was and still is said to be a lot worse on those measures than Mac OS X."

All of the OSX machines I have access to seem more sluggish and less responsive than my 3 year old PC running XP.

Without more details, this "it-enquirer" is no better than the print Enquirer in the checkout line.

Re:On What Hardware? (1)

Zappa (26961) | more than 7 years ago | (#18169604)

Which hardware they use should not matter as they are talking about "lag increased +16%" (which makes me assume they are using the same hardware for all OS).
A worse mouse (in)precision is astounding, it semms things get worse instead of cleaner ..

Re:On What Hardware? (1)

ZachPruckowski (918562) | more than 7 years ago | (#18169616)

I've got a two-year old iBook, and I have few if any sluggishness issues. Sure, it doesn't run Core Image or Quartz Extreme, but it draws more stares visually than Vista or XP, and I have few responsiveness problems. Sure, if I open every application on my Dock, I've got problems, but 5-6 apps open at a time is easy.

Re:On What Hardware? (2, Informative)

brett880 (970445) | more than 7 years ago | (#18169638)

I would have to agree with you. The comparable XP machines in our organization are considerably more responsive with UI basics as well as program operation.

Re:On What Hardware? (1)

Arker (91948) | more than 7 years ago | (#18169642)

All of the OSX machines I have access to seem more sluggish and less responsive than my 3 year old PC running XP.

Let me guess, they're all 6 year old G3s?

Re:On What Hardware? (1)

brett880 (970445) | more than 7 years ago | (#18169746)

In my case the PCs are basic business class from a major manufacture and the OSX machines are of similar age/class...but were slightly more expensive.

Re:On What Hardware? (5, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#18169770)

Let me just jump in here. I'm using OSX 10.3 so it's not the most recent release, but I'm also running it on a Dual G5 2.0GHz with 2 GB RAM, which is a pretty fast machine by any standard. OSX is an absolute dog compared to XP on a Core Duo 2.16GHz with 2 GB RAM. Granted, that is a slightly faster machine for most operations, but they are definitely in the same ballpark.

In addition, the XP system (which I am using to write this comment) is way loaded up with crap. I have about 12 icons in my little system tray, for example. The OSX machine is running, well, OSX. I don't have any additional cheese running to keep it going. But then, I don't use it as my desktop system. It is on my desk solely as a graphic arts workstation. I would have THAT software on the PC as well, except the former graphic artist was Mac-only (too afraid of technology to learn Windows) so I have the mac.

The Macintosh has provided me with little but frustration. The system locks up due to application errors more than XP does. I'm running mostly Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign. Photoshop has been pretty reliable, but the other two applications both manage to lock the machine up to the point where a cold boot is necessary on a semi-regular basis based on how much I am using the system.

Besides the lack of stability, there are also issues with inconsistency. I won't belabor this too much because I've gone over it frequently in the past, but there are no less than three visual styles used (Mail, iTunes, and everything else) and even menus are inconsistent. In some cases if you click a submenu in a context menu, it opens the submenu. In some cases you must hover to open it, because clicking will actually close the menu. What gives?

If you truly believe that OSX will make you more productive, then you are simply a fool, with one exception; if you want to use Apple's bundled applications. Unfortunately they are unintuitive as all hell. Apple is the only company that makes it harder to burn a DVD that just jumps in and plays than to make a DVD with animated menus. But if they do what you want, and you take the time to learn their many idiosyncrasies, it is definitely the cheapest way to get a production studio in a box.

Re:On What Hardware? (1)

CrackedButter (646746) | more than 7 years ago | (#18170030)

The visual styles are hardly an issue, granted its noticeable (because somebody else made a big deal out of it and now I notice) but the traffic light set of icons for organising my windows are the same and to re-size the windows are the same as well. I'm looking at those 3 visual styles right now while typing this and its such a non issue. So what if the program functions are inside a different styled button? They're in the same place and do what you ask it to do with one click.

OMG, my pen and pencil set I got for xmas work differently but are stylised in the same way and all my paint brushes are a different size, how will I cope from a usability stand point!

Re:On What Hardware? (0, Troll)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#18170072)

The point is that Apple supposedly prides themselves on consistency and interface design. Unfortunately, they have no consistency, and their interface is crap. However you feel about the location of the menu bar (and we have been fighting that war since time immemorial) the Dock's behavior is JUST WRONG from a human interface standpoint, and the inconsistency of UI elements (which you glibly ignore) is unacceptable.

Re:On What Hardware? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18169912)

I use a responsive 6 year-old G3 you insensitive clod!

Seriously, I do, it just skips over certain effects. The only time it is sluggish is at boot.

Just to note, I try to keep my open apps under 4 (USB-wireless client, safari, terminal), but that is to be expected.

Re:On What Hardware? (1)

Stormwatch (703920) | more than 7 years ago | (#18170028)

Let me guess, they're all 6 year old G3s?
My computer is a G3/500 iMac, you insensitive clod! :(

Re:On What Hardware? (2, Informative)

King_TJ (85913) | more than 7 years ago | (#18169732)

To be perfectly honest, the one area I'd give Mac OS X a bit of a "thumbs down" is in the area of "mouse precision". No matter how fast the machine (and I own a new Mac Pro quad Xeon 2.66Ghz tower with ATI X1900XT video card), I've seen OS X exhibit what I can only describe as "touchiness/quirkiness" with selecting items or groups of items in the "Finder", and with its decision of whether you clicked or double-clicked on a particular icon.

On a fairly regular basis, I find, for example, that I wanted to drag a highlighted groups of files someplace, but OS X thinks I clicked in some manner to deselect the highlighted group as soon as I click and hold the mouse button to start the drag process.

I've also had the frustration of occasionally trying to double-click an icon to launch a program, but OS X decides I actually clicked, paused, and clicked again on it - giving me the blinking cursor on the name of the icon so I can rename it instead.

It would be easy to write this off as a cheap or defective mouse, except I've used many mice and many different OS X based Macs with similar behavior. I've got a Logitech MX Revolution laser mouse on my Mac Pro right now. (Arguably one of the most accurate mice out there), and it hasn't cured this behavior.

Playing around with the mouse settings in the preferences panel never cures it for me either. It almost seems like OS X just doesn't give quite high enough priority to polling the mouse activity, so the OS occasionally misses something you're trying to do with it? In XP, by contrast (even running on the same Mac Pro system!), I don't experience this.

Re:On What Hardware? (2, Insightful)

venicebeach (702856) | more than 7 years ago | (#18169736)

I was wondering the same thing.

I was able to find the full report as pdf linked from this page which also summarize the results:
http://pfeifferreport.com/trends/trend_vistauif.ht ml [pfeifferreport.com]

The document states that the tests were done on a Dual 2.8Ghz Dell Dimension workstation, and a 3.2GHz Dell XPS workstation, a dual 2Ghz iMac, and a GHz Mac Pro. No futher details on the hardware is given (RAM?), and while these four systems are listed the benchmarks provide only one set of numbers for each operating system.

Re:On What Hardware? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18169990)

XP & Vista on lastest PC hardware are still no where near as smooth as my iBook 600 MHz.

It may also have something to do with..... (5, Funny)

8127972 (73495) | more than 7 years ago | (#18169570)

....clicking Cancel or Allow so freaking often.

Re:It may also have something to do with..... (2, Informative)

MrFlibbs (945469) | more than 7 years ago | (#18169970)

I just got a new desktop system with Vista last week. To my surprise, the "Cancel or Allow" popup windows aren't nearly as annoying as I'd expected. You encounter them during every application install, but it's just one more click out of the many needed to install an application anyway. Not much of an issue, IMHO.

That's not to say there aren't other issues, though. Oblivion installed okay but wouldn't run until I tracked down a missing DLL to put into the windows/system folder. The Photoshop Elements 3.0 installer quit with an error message. Adobe says they're only supporting version 5.0 on Vista, but despite all this the application appears to work anyway (at least for now). Also, an auto-update from last night disabled my PCI-wireless card and I had to reinstall the drivers to get it working again. It's working, but at boot the Netgear app exits with a couple of error messages.

I can't comment on whether Vista is more or less productive since I try really hard not to be productive on my home system!

Original report unavailable (5, Interesting)

eviloverlordx (99809) | more than 7 years ago | (#18169576)

At least at the time I visited the Pfeiffer site. While I'm not inclined to deny their results, it would be nice to have a little more in-depth knowledge of their methods.

Re:Original report unavailable (3, Informative)

venicebeach (702856) | more than 7 years ago | (#18169804)

It is there [pfeifferreport.com] (pdf link).

Huh? (5, Interesting)

garcia (6573) | more than 7 years ago | (#18169580)

Guess what? Despite Microsoft's efforts to provide for a more fluid and agreeable interface with Vista's Aero, Pfeiffer Consulting found Vista to be even worse than Windows XP (SP2) --and of course Mac OS X. Their conclusion is backed with cold, hard research.

Where? I don't see the in the article. All I see is that Windows Vista (which I won't ever be using unless they make me at work) sucks compared to XP SP2 and OS X. I don't see why or how they came to those conclusions.

I've never realy understood this. (-1)

Kenja (541830) | more than 7 years ago | (#18169586)

I've never realy understood this. Do people realy "use" the oporating system? if so, for what? I for one use applications, once the app is launched I dont realy care whats its sitting on beyond things like standard file open/save dialogs.

Re:I've never realy understood this. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18169710)

Remember, Internet Explorer is part of the operating system, so plenty of people use the 'operating system' all the time.

Re:I've never realy understood this. (1)

starglider29a (719559) | more than 7 years ago | (#18169962)

"The OS" also provides the engine for the menus, dialogs. Think of it this way... look at Word for Windows and Word for Mac. They essentially "do" the same thing. But every way in which they "look" or "behave" differently is from the OS. The Application just calls it.

As both a Mac and a Windows user ("If there's a steady paycheck in it, I'll believe anything you say."), I am amused that OSX wins. I say this because MacOS 9 had features that makes OSX feel stodgy. I could open an item halfway down a submenu with a graceful -x^3 shaped swoop. I could drag a file off the desktop into "pop up tabbed window", have it pop up and drop the file into an icon. I could double click on the titlebar, and have the window "windowshade" into the title bar. WITHOUT MOVING MY MOUSE, I could repeat and get the window back. Spring Loaded Folders, where I drag a file onto a folder, wait, the folder opens, repeat, drop and they all close. I could drag a link off the page and get the SUBSTANCE of the link. If I drag a link to a JPG, I get teh actual JPG.

Windows Vista isn't 6 years behind the UI curve, it's about 10, counting what it STILL hasn't stolen from Copland/MacOS8.

=-=-=-=-=-
User interface is everything
RJ List, a windows developer who openly admitted he couldn't design the interface.

PS: Window's Maximize works better than that voodoo that Mac do on the green ball. I'll give them that.

Re:I've never realy understood this. (2, Insightful)

jfengel (409917) | more than 7 years ago | (#18169996)

On Windows (as well as MacOS) the operating system also includes a lot of the look-and-feel. It's not just dialogue boxes; it's the way you activate commands, whether menus morph in or just appear, whether certain dialogue boxes are modal or not, etc.

One of the things they mention in the article, for example, is "mouse precision". One of the nice things about MacOS is that the menu bar is always at the top of the screen, so you can be less precise about flinging your mouse up to the menu; you don't have to worry about overshooting. In Windows, even with a maximized app, you have the window title above the menus, so you have to be a bit more precise with your mouse movements. More precise mouse movements take more time, and that cuts into your productivity.

So even identical applications presented on the two different platforms can have different productivities.

From a Linux user's standpoint it's all the same; the OS is just the kernel and the rest of the user interface is up to the user's choice of window manager and the app designer's choice of widgets. There's upsides and downsides to that; more flexibility for the user vs. a common, uniform look that you only have to learn once.

Also remember that "productivity" depends on what you want to measure. I personally use mostly keyboard commands, and like the fact Windows menus can generally be operated without taking my hands off the keyboard, where MacOS is more secretive. There's also the fact that subjective effects can be more important than objective ones: if it feels faster to the user than that may be better for the overall experience, even if it is slower by a stopwatch. Good feedback, for example, can make slow operations seem faster; poor feedback can make an instantaneous one seem to take forever.

Re:I've never realy understood this. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18170056)

That is the magic of Macs (and for the most part, any well-setup unix machine), you launch an app, and don't care about anything else. If the user doesn't have to think about the operating system, they will percieve it as "easy to use" (as long as it does everything they want it to).

Windows on the other hand, has pop-up "helper" ballons, a tray full of things that want to tell you every little thing going on. And now with Vista, UAC.

For example, one of my favourite programs at the moment is conky [sourceforge.net] . But I would never bombard the standard user with that kind of information (they don't want it, and it'd probably scare the hell out of them).

All and all, I'd sum it up by saying that people don't want their computers to get in the way of their work.

Well (3, Funny)

theworldisflat (1033868) | more than 7 years ago | (#18169590)

An OS should be first and foremost both secure and fast. It should have a very small footprint and... You are attempting to bash Vista. Cancel or Allow. DAMNIT!

Re:Well (1)

mastershake_phd (1050150) | more than 7 years ago | (#18169652)

An OS should be first and foremost both secure and fast. It should have a very small footprint and...

It should but does one modern OS have this? Unfortunately Microsoft seems to think bigger, and slower is better. I used 98 for as long as I could. I think ill do the same with XP.

Re:Well (1)

theworldisflat (1033868) | more than 7 years ago | (#18169808)

Unless you build your own flavor of brand x (linux, etc) to your own needs... then no not really. That's the problem, an OS (in my mind) should simply function enough to run my applications as quickly as possible. But I think ya missed the humor attempt...which pretty much means I failed miserably at the post.

Re:Well (1)

mastershake_phd (1050150) | more than 7 years ago | (#18169940)

I got the humor, I just wanted to get my windows bashing in. (I have a love/hate relationship with windows)

Re:Well (4, Insightful)

grub (11606) | more than 7 years ago | (#18169826)


An OS should be first and foremost both secure and fast. It should have a very small footprint and...
[...]
It should but does one modern OS have this?


OpenBSD [openbsd.org]

Speaking as a certified Apple fanboy... (5, Insightful)

dpbsmith (263124) | more than 7 years ago | (#18169614)

(...bought my first Mac in February, 1984... with a teller's check... for $3000... and no way to print anythingbecause the ImageWriter because no cable was yet available...) ...the article [it-enquirer.com] sure reads like a Slashvertisement for "Pfeiffer's full report."

And, speaking as someone who personally perceives and is annoyed by logy, sticky, frictionlike behavior in Windows' UI... how the heck can you take an article seriously when it claims minuscule differences ("Windows XP scored 0.40 and Vista/Aero 0.52") in undefined metrics that are undoubtedly influenced by the hardware configuration?

Let's suppose, for the sake of argument, that Vista on a PC with 1 Gig of RAM and an ordinary video card has higher "friction" than Mac OS X... isn't it possible that it would outperform a Mac if you gave it the spiffiest video card and 4 gig? Let's suppose, for the sake of argument, that Vista "needs" more powerful hardware and that in a year or so, a cheap PC with Vista will have it and perform with less friction than a comparably cheap Mac? If this were true, one could justifiably criticize Microsoft for high cost of ownership, software bloat, and selling wine before its time... but it would only be a rather qualified knock on Vista.

Re:Speaking as a certified Apple fanboy... (1)

benzapp (464105) | more than 7 years ago | (#18169690)

It's not true though. Vista is much more responsive than XP - it's only downside as far as speed is running games.

I just got my girlfriend a cheapo laptop with 1 gig of ram and a ATI X1300 video card with 128 megs of ram - Aero is fast, so fast there is no lag I can detect.

My machine uses a Athlon64 X2 that retails for about $100 today, and I have an ATI X300 that retails for about $25. I have 2 gigs of ram - but still.

The thing is fine, and faster than XP was.

I really don't understand all the whining. If RAM prices hand't gone through the roof the past year, this would be a non-issue.

Unfortunately, the $100 processor and $25 video card pails in comparison to ram being $100-$200 a gig.

Re:Speaking as a certified Apple fanboy... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18169796)

The thing is fine, and faster than XP was.


How loaded with malware was the XP machine?

Vista-bashing is reaching ridiculous levels (5, Insightful)

rbonine (245645) | more than 7 years ago | (#18169644)

So this expert consulting firm is really recommending that users avoid Vista because of menu latency and mouse imprecision? Is this serious or some kind of joke?

I realize Slashdot will leave no stone unturned when it comes to slagging Windows, but isn't this getting just a bit carried away? There are plenty of things to criticize about Vista - substantial things - if one is so inclined. Look at the totally brain-dead backup and defrag utilities, for example; both are a major step back from their equivalents in XP. But if you really think it's a horrible OS for the reasons cited in this article, you're venturing into Ted Kaczynski-like levels of MS hatred.

Re:Vista-bashing is reaching ridiculous levels (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18169758)

Oh come on.

If this were a car review, and the reviewer said that its controls were sluggish and imprecise, you would not call that Chevy-bashing.

Think of how many copies of Windows are out there and how many people are clicking and typing.

Those milliseconds turn into lifetimes of lost productivity.

Re:Vista-bashing is reaching ridiculous levels (2, Interesting)

Afecks (899057) | more than 7 years ago | (#18169922)

Also people should remember that when you compare OS X to Vista you are comparing a complete hardware and software platform to just a software platform running on commodity hardware. Of course OS X is going to run smooth on hardware it was specifically geared for. Expecting the same with some 3 year old PC that you upgraded to Vista probably won't cut it. Why would you want to anyways?

I built a PC from parts and I spent about the same price I would for a baseline Mac Pro. However, I have a QX6700 quad core with 4GB ram and 2 8800GTS in SLI. Let me tell you, nothing on this beast is sluggish.

Re:Vista-bashing is reaching ridiculous levels (3, Interesting)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#18169926)

But if you really think it's a horrible OS for the reasons cited in this article, you're venturing into Ted Kaczynski-like levels of MS hatred.

No, it's a horrible OS for the reasons you state. It fails to provide any advancement in this particular area. It's a debunking of Microsoft's lie that Vista is more responsive. Why are you opposed to that?

.08 vs .52 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18169684)

"Where Mac OS X scored 0.08, Windows XP scored 0.40 and Vista/Aero 0.52"

I knew the Mac was better than Windows but I didn't realize it
it was 4 times better. .52 units vs .08 units. That's unbelievable.

Menu Latency not necessarily harmful (1)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 7 years ago | (#18169696)

The fina article is pretty trim, I'd like to see a more complete analysis.
 
However, one quick note:
FTA:

However, other User Interface Friction has worsened by a substantial amount, even when compared to Windows XP. Pfeiffer's report also covers Menu Latency --the slight lag that Windows imposes when displaying menus and submenus. Here, the report concludes Vista/Aero has worsened by no less than 20% compared to Windows XP.

Menu latency is not always a bad thing -- it lets the user see what happened. As more of a "power user", I find latency annoying... but many of the people in my workplace benefit from menu latency, since they are pretty clueless. Latency allows them time for their brain to catch up to what's happening on their display.
 
Obviously, few of those who are clued in are upgrading to Vista until they will be buying better hardware anyway. I think MS is wisely targeting the "slow" demographic, since those are the people most likely to buy into their marketing hype anyway. Slower == better for them. Good move, MS.
 
(Only half-joking, folks).

This is quite measurable. (4, Insightful)

Paulrothrock (685079) | more than 7 years ago | (#18169698)

Take, for example, the way menus appear. This affects a lot more than just the OS, since many apps use the same interface widgets. If a menu takes 1/10th of a second to appear, then you could be wasting hours of time over the course of a week or month sitting there waiting for a window to load. Having them appear almost instantly would save that time.

The same goes for positioning the menu bars for an application at the top of the window rather than the top of the screen. On the Mac, the menu bar is essentially infinite in size. You don't have to worry about overshooting it vertically. On Windows, the menu bar is only about 50 pixels high, meaning that every time you overshoot it, it's another 1/10th of a second in lost productivity.

Re:This is quite measurable. (1)

fontkick (788075) | more than 7 years ago | (#18169856)

You could argue that because Windows has a smaller menu bar "strike zone", it forces you to aim better, and in the long run actually increases your efficiency.

I switched from a Mac to PC at home and I use both daily at work. Once you get used to a platform you'll be fast on it. I find OSX to be much more sluggish than my Windows 2000 and XP machines due to OSX's disk swapping (virtual memory usage).

Re:This is quite measurable. (1)

Paulrothrock (685079) | more than 7 years ago | (#18169980)

You could argue that because Windows has a smaller menu bar "strike zone", it forces you to aim better, and in the long run actually increases your efficiency.

Yes, but even the best pitchers don't hit the strike zone all the time. Having a bigger clickable area is always better in terms of interface design.

I switched from a Mac to PC at home and I use both daily at work. Once you get used to a platform you'll be fast on it. I find OSX to be much more sluggish than my Windows 2000 and XP machines due to OSX's disk swapping (virtual memory usage).

This isn't a user interface complaint, but it's very true that OS X will use all the RAM you can through at it. I don't recommend running it with less than 1GB, which is very cheap if you don't buy it through Apple. And as long as you don't buy a Mac Mini, you can do this without voiding your warranty.

If you're going to be buying running a lot of applications at once, it's important to have as much RAM as possible. But when you can get 2GB of RAM for under $150, there's really no reason not to.

Re:This is quite measurable. (3, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#18170018)

On the Mac, the menu bar is essentially infinite in size. You don't have to worry about overshooting it vertically. On Windows, the menu bar is only about 50 pixels high, meaning that every time you overshoot it, it's another 1/10th of a second in lost productivity.

On Windows, the menu is attached directly to the window for which it has meaning. On the mac, the menu bar is way away at the top of the display where I have to move the mouse further to get to it.

Most of the stylistic decisions between Windows and MacOS can trivially be argued either way.

I have some anti-mac ones for you though; unless you're using the classic theme, the lower-left (or upper-left, depending on taskbar position) corner is an active area of the start menu button. The upper-left corner of the menu bar is NOT an active location to click on the apple menu. The Start Menu's major components are always in the same locations; the recent programs list is always so many entries long, the list of programs to run is so many entries long, etc. The Dock resizes and warps around so that you cannot utilize muscle memory to click on dock items. Icons do not appear under anchored taskbars on Windows, but they DO appear beneath the dock. Windows will always leave my drive shortcuts in the same order on my desktop, and even in the same location if I don't use auto-arrange. On the mac, my "Macintosh HD" icon appears in a new location on my desktop on every boot.

Apple made many very poor interface decisions in OSX. OS9 was actually superior in most regards, but it wasn't as pretty. The Dock is gorgeous, so it is permitted to continue to suck.

Re:This is quite measurable. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18170082)

Absurd.

You spend more time switching songs in Winamp.

You spend more time scratching your head.

The menu doesn't change anything. Most of the time you'll access programs using your desktop or quicklaunch menu.

You just wasted 10 seconds.

Microsoft made the mouse less precise for the regular joe. Not because they couldn't code it right... or didn't know how to do it. Duh!

Mac fans are so quick to jump to one mouse button click conclusions!

Re:This is quite measurable. (3, Funny)

NSIM (953498) | more than 7 years ago | (#18170098)

If a menu takes 1/10th of a second to appear, then you could be wasting hours of time over the course of a week or month
If I've told you once, I've told you a million times, don't exaggerate! In oder for a 1/10th second menu appearance to waste even one hour of my time I'd have to access 36,000 menus! I don't know about you, but that would take me a hell of a long time.

I'll tell you one way its worse (4, Insightful)

bogie (31020) | more than 7 years ago | (#18169706)

I've been teaching people for 5 years to use XP's "File and Folder Tasks" pane in Explorer. It was a very easy way to show people how to Copy, Move, or Email files and folders. It works great why change it? Apparently Microsoft now thinks everyone is a home user who wants nothing more than to assign star ratings to their picture and mp3 files. Thanks for removing the UP button too, you've made my life all the more easier. I keep harping on this but I swear to God the mantra during Vista's redesign had to have been "change for the sake of change!". I really don't know how else to explain some of the boneheaded changes they have made. And they wonder why sales are off.

Article Link (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18169744)

The article is unavailable for free. http://pfeifferreport.com/store/product_info.php?p roducts_id=42 [pfeifferreport.com] to buy it, for only 499 euro. Anyone have some cash to burn? Steve Jobs? Karma whores?

Speaking of "Eye Candy" GUIs (3, Insightful)

StressGuy (472374) | more than 7 years ago | (#18169760)

Just upgraded from Ubuntu Breezy to Kubuntu Edgy....after having decided that, while I liked Ubuntu better than SuSE, I also prefered KDE to Gnome. I like to run a "clean" desktop but I did break down and add the SuperKaramba package "Liquid Weather"....

It's a very slick looking desktop...won't be upgrading to Vista here

Re:Speaking of "Eye Candy" GUIs (1)

Doctor Crumb (737936) | more than 7 years ago | (#18169994)

And if you're lucky enough to be using a recent nvidia card, you can turn on the jaw-dropping 3d effects, as the underlying 3d extension is enabled by default in k/ubuntu. Put your apps on the side of a spinning cube, and it'll still run faster than vista!

Re:Speaking of "Eye Candy" GUIs (1)

realmolo (574068) | more than 7 years ago | (#18170050)

Just wait until you encounter one of the MANY bugs with Kubuntu. I don't know what the Kubuntu guys are doing to KDE, but they managed to break it in quite a few ways.

Article sounds like FUD (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18169764)

What is Mouse Precision supposed to mean? Clicking the mouse in Vista works exactly the same as it has in every version of windows. Exactly where I move the mouse is exactly where gets clicked. Can someone else explain what this is supposed to mean?

They claim a 16% reduction of speed in opening folders. I open folders in under a second on Vista. Why do I care if it now takes 1/8 seconds to open a folder instead of 1/7 seconds. Does this have anything to do with Vista installed on low end hardware? Also why didn't they talk about the parts of Vista that are noticably faster than XP: e.g. opening applications.

"Slow menus" in Vista are actually a feature. Menu's fade in an out in Aero. You can turn this behavior off if it bothers you. Most people don't care! I like it!

Exposé vs Flip 3D (5, Insightful)

smenor (905244) | more than 7 years ago | (#18169814)

I can't speak about the entire UI, but there has been one big disappointment in my limited experience with Vista.

Ever since Apple added Exposé to OS X, I've been dependent on it. It's amazing how useful it is and how much I rely on it every time I use a computer.

Every time I have to use an XP machine, I find myself trying to go to the corner to show all windows for an application, or for all applications, or to show the desktop.

For that reason, I was very excited when I first heard about Flip 3D - and I thought the 3D effect was a cool addition to already impressive feature.

Unfortunately, Flip 3D almost completely missed the point.

With Exposé, you can see every non-hidden open window at once. Even though they may be thumbnail sized, I can go through more than a hundred windows at a time at a glance. If I need more detail, I can just look at all of the windows for a specific application.

It's not perfect. There are a few small things I'd like to see fixed about it (like clustering related windows together and doing a better job at keeping a given window in the same region in the Exposé view). Still, it almost completely eliminates the need for multiple desktops and vastly improves my ability to find a specific window.

Flip 3D looks cool. It shrinks all the windows to a reasonable size and layers them in a stack. Unfortunately, layering them in a stack means that you can't see everything in a given window at a glance without bring the focus to it. As far as I know, you also can't look at all of the windows for a given application, rather than all of the windows.

It's just sad.

Somehow, Microsoft managed to copy and improve upon the least useful bits of Exposé while losing almost everything that actually makes Exposé useful.

Given that one gaffe, I wouldn't be surprised to learn that the same philosophy permeates Aero through and through.

Vista *is* slow! (5, Funny)

diesel66 (254283) | more than 7 years ago | (#18169834)

I started typing this sentence 3 hours ago.

Now I've missed my chance at first post.

Windows 95 = Mac 88 (3, Insightful)

Bullfish (858648) | more than 7 years ago | (#18169838)

Well, we know how that chant turned out. Seriously, XP sucked brand new out of the box too, and it has matured into a solid OS. So will Vista. Anyone who follows this kind of thing knows to wait a year. Kind of like not buying the first model year of a car. I'll pay more attention to this kind of thing in about a year when I look at rebuilding my box and putting in a new OS.

Re:Windows 95 = Mac 88 (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 7 years ago | (#18169888)

So will Vista. Anyone who follows this kind of thing knows to wait a year. Kind of like not buying the first model year of a car.

Except when you buy a first-year model car, it doesn't ignite and explode while you're driving it on the highway, and the steering wheel doesn't suddenly decide not to turn, and the fuel tank doesn't suddenly spring a leak so you're trailing fire.

It's the lack of drivers ... ;-) ... right now adoption rate of Win Vista is very very sub-par in business, and home purchases are even lower.

Reminds me of a very "snarky" Mac Ad (3, Interesting)

StressGuy (472374) | more than 7 years ago | (#18169950)

It was a full page magazine add that simply read:

C:\ONGRATS.W95!

Poking fun at the fact the W95 can now support long file names.

WinVista is like MacOS on un-steroids (4, Insightful)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 7 years ago | (#18169848)

Two years behind, uses way more memory to get the same job done but with not quite as good results, and if you actually like to be like my son on his Mac Mini - playing games while playing music and having chat and keeping open all your schoolwork as well ... then you will need 4 GB of RAM to stop it from swapping.

At twice the price.

Look, I've owned every Microsoft OS since DOS (think it was 1.x, it was back when I used CP/M and dBase in the Army), but my WinXP laptop is the last "upgrade" I'm ever getting from them. It's either Linux/BSD or MacOS after this, most likely a nice Ubuntu Linux burn from the UW servers and I'll run Open Office (which is what I have on my WinXP laptop).

Maybe it needs some time. (1)

Butisol (994224) | more than 7 years ago | (#18169914)

I have no plans to downgrade to Vista this year. I'm going to wait for the service packs, updates, cool little registry tweaks that come out in PC magazines and whatever that will make it useable. It's only the DRM clusterfuck that really gets my goat. The cosmetic stuff will be sorted by the time I go to Vista sometime in '08 for sure.

FUD (1)

Nightspirit (846159) | more than 7 years ago | (#18169938)

First, I'll admit that I'm currently using XP and not vista, due to horrible driver support from nvidia and creative. However, Vista is far superior for usability. You don't even need the start menu, for most things you either hit the quicklaunch icon or hit the windows key, type the first few letters of the program, then hit enter. I think OSX has a similar program called quicksilver. If someone knows a similar program for XP I would be grateful. Last, although vista suffers from "different names for the same thing" problem, for non power users it appears that things are more intuitive and easier to find (based on my limited anecdotal evidence from family members).

Say huh?? (1)

dave562 (969951) | more than 7 years ago | (#18169948)

I'm not even sure what the article is trying to say. Are they trying to say that the mouse isn't as precise? Did they try to turn down the speed? Did they bother to plug in an optical mouse? I've used both Macs and PCs and it always seems to me like the Mac mice require so much more effort to move around the desktop because they move so slowly. The exact same "precision" can be achieved on a PC by slowing the mouse down.

As for their whole "friction", what a load of crap. I could see how there might be some growing pains if you have to switch from XP to Vista, or from Office 2003 to 2007, but come on. I personally remember switching from 2000 to XP and at the time, I thought that it was absolutely stupid that the My Computer icon was moved to the Start Menu. Now I think it's extremely convenient to have just about everything I use on a regular basis just one (Windows) keystroke away.

As much as people like to knock the MS UI, I think they do a good job of making it easy to use for your average "Dumb user". As much as I dislike the new Office 2007 interface, I have a lot of clients with dumb users who think it's the greatest thing since sliced bread. I can't understand it personally, but they seem to like it.

And just to throw a shot across the bow of the Mac fanboys, how come I can't select file on OSX and use the "delete" key to delete it? What moron UI designer overlooked that simple shortcut? But, lemme guess... I can press OpenApple+Ctrl+Delete (or something similiar) to delete it without dragging it to the trashcan?

Here's the ACTUAL report (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18169968)

Straight from the horse's mouth [pfeifferreport.com] , without the childish Mac fanboy commentary given by "IT-Enquirer".

That said, I'd call the validity of the report itself is in question, given that they're not comparing apples to apples, but instead are running the tests on different machines. Perhaps even more importantly, they've failed to state the memory of the machines used, failed to take the opportunity to remove variables such as hard drive speed, etc. Their report attempts to sidestep these numerous issues by claiming that the tests aren't hardware dependent - but given that every single one of their tests gives a result based on length of time to complete tasks, it should be staggeringly obvious to anybody that a higher-specced machine will fare better.

I'd like to see a comparison between machines of the same cost, or machines specced to use identical (or near-identical) hardware. As is, this report is utterly useless.

Friction Setting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18169998)

Beryl has a setting for UI friction. I can turn it up or down making my windows more or less wobbly.

Rediculous article (1)

brett880 (970445) | more than 7 years ago | (#18170004)

First of all if you are gonna start the first sentence of an article by ripping a company or product, give all the facts to make it fair and to give yourself at least a shred of legitimacy. While these next items I mention may actually be in the full report, there is of course no mention in the pathetic VERY BIASED article. Comparing the accuracy of the mouse precision based solely on the operating system without mention of the hardward especially and specifically the mouse...is just rediculous and a waste of time. As far as the menus...same again goes...what video card did they use...what machine specs? The desktop and laptop I am currently running Vista on both have pretty much zero latency on menu/window operation...basically instantaneous. I also beta tested Vista on a laptop that didnt even meet the "minimum video card requirements" and it still loaded Aero and ran it at full speed. Im all for good studies and comparisions...but wow some of the groups and people are doing whatever they can to dig at MS and Vista. At least make your studies look legitimate with the basics I mentioned above!

Well, (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18170064)

Vista makes for a nice toilet wipe!

Ha ha bitches!

Linux rules!

5 years ago (1)

ElephanTS (624421) | more than 7 years ago | (#18170066)

I can remember when OSX had some pretty bad latency problems with menus too. One of the best parts of the 10.2 (think that was it) update was optimisation to reduce this to near OS9 levels. Given the major bloat of Vista I should imagine some major improvements could be had for the price of some intelligent analysis and coding.

I do agree with the mouse accuracy stuff though - I've always found Windows to be difficult on that point compared to whichever macintosh system. Possibly it's because I've spent 90% of my time in Mac systems I'm used to that, I don't know.

I call BS on this entire "Report" (1)

Ryan274 (1067758) | more than 7 years ago | (#18170096)

Pfeiffer's report also covers Menu Latency --the slight lag that Windows imposes when displaying menus and submenus. Here, the report concludes Vista/Aero has worsened by no less than 20% compared to Windows XP

They compared a SETTING and conclude that the lag is worse by 20%. BS!

http://www.tweakxp.com/article37024.aspx [tweakxp.com] shows how to change the setting, so if you set it to 10'000 (in XP) and compared that to Vista (with the default setting) and you would see a >99% DECREASE in lag for vista opening a menu. I'm not saying this is useful at all, but the report could just as easily been done this way and come to the conclusion that
"Here, the report concludes Vista/Aero has improved by no less than 99% compared to Windows XP"

For the record, I've never used vista and am definately not trying to defend it. I would have thought that they could have at least compared things that were programmed in by MS, not configurable by ME.
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