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Windows Vista - not so clear after all

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An irritating interface could be just one of the factors that hurts uptake of Windows Vista in the enterprise, challenging Microsoft's ambitious rollout goals.

Yankee Group has said "quite a bit of work" remains to be done to the Windows Vista interface, judging by the currently available beta, and advised customers to wait for up to year after the operating system ships before using Windows Vista.

Challenges in Vista usability led Yankee to predict Microsoft would miss its goal for 400m desktops running Windows Vista 24 months after launch - a date outlined in March before news broke Windows Vista would miss its fourth-quarter 2005 launch. Yankee joins Gartner in becoming the latest big-name analyst house to pour cold water on Windows Vista. Gartner has also advised users to delay upgading until Microsoft has worked out the kinks.

Ironically, the thing hurting the Windows Vista interface is a by-product of Microsoft's greater push on security. A mass of dialogue windows that ask users whether they are sure they want to take certain actions, or to re-enter passwords, are part of an attempt to remove default administrator privileges from end-users. Unfortunately, this stringent application of security seems to apply to actions like altering the systems control panel and making changes to the clock, Yankee said.

The cluttering of the interface would be something of an own goal, given Microsoft's marketing team settled on the "Vista" name specifically to convey the "clarity" the operating system is bringing to customers. ®

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