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Mon, 2007-May-28

Vista Embarrassment

I recently purchased a Toshiba Satellite laptop, model A200/L01. A few days ago my spouse downloaded a number of AVIs, which she and I wanted to burn to DVD so that we could watch them on the big screen. I spend most of my time in Ubuntu Feisty, so almost by instinct booted to Windows Vista to get this multimedia-related task done.

Shame, Microsoft. I can't believe your latest and best operating system lacks the codecs to play a random file from the internet. If there is one thing I was sure a Microsoft system could do better than a Linux one it is handling videos. While the sound worked in Vista, the video did not.

Booting back to Ubuntu, the video played. After a prolonged but finite period I was able to successfully produce a transcoded and burned DVD.

Everyone involved in the Vista project should cringe. I'm a bit of a Linux weenie, but Microsoft has always earned its props in a few definite areas. Now it looks like one of those areas has been lost. What is left? Microsoft's office suite is still a definite forerunner, despite the launches of and other assaults against it. Microsoft still has some friendly programming environments, though that is under pressure from web-based software delivery models.

Beryl is much nicer than Vista's new window manager. The Ubuntu start-up sound is much nicer than the dodgy new Vista startup sound. In all, I much prefer the Ubuntu environment. Props to the Debian underpinnings for this well-packaged distribution. Props to the gnome desktop that makes the production of a real friendly desktop environment possible. Props to everyone involved supporting hardware, from the kernel upwards. Feisty is an excellent distribution. Windows has been absolutely incapable of keeping up on these basics.