harbar.net component based software & platform hygiene

Windows Vista: The good, the bad, and the downright lame #3

Print | posted on Tuesday, January 16, 2007 9:40 PM

The good: Hardware readiness.
No doubt Microsoft has the inside skinny for drivers and such like, but the excellent new devices shipped to co-inside with the launch of Vista all work, and work very nicely. The new functions work as expected and is the new keyboard simply awesome for typing. This is the best keyboard since that on the Sony VAIO SZ1. Magnify on the mouse now works (it didn't in beta drivers) and I've previously mentioned the task switch button. Also working fine is the fingerprint reader, although on a domain joined machine, this is of little practical use. I am waiting on the LifeCam bits, but one should assume they will be ready by the 30th.

The bad: Media Center Extender and Windows Live OneCare.
Not only is the name somewhat dubious, this stuff (anti virus and wot not) absolutely has to be part of the base package your mum buys. No argument here, it's just as it should be. Trouble is you want that stuff on your Media Center also. OneCare, IE7 and Media Center Extender conspire to trouble your life with annoying messages.

Media Center extenders (e.g. XBOX 360) use a local account created when you run the extender setup. On a default install, this bad boy is named Mcx1. Internet Explorer likes all users to have the phishing filter switched on, otherwise it bitches to OneCare.

The annoyance occurs every time you use the extender, as Windows doesn't remember the setting and you get all yellow. Not good. Turn it on here, it'll do you no good. It'll be waiting for you again the next time you use your extender. What makes it worse - to make it green you gotta elevate privileges - so two clicks to 'correct' it and make it go away! These products should talk together better to create a seamless experience for users.