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Vista Worse For User Efficiency Than XP 546

Posted by kdawson
from the two-steps-back dept.
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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Vista Worse For User Efficiency Than XP

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 27, 2007 @02:30PM (#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
    • by StressGuy (472374) on Tuesday February 27, 2007 @02:43PM (#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: (Score:3, Informative)

      This is why I use CMD for some operations.

      For example Sometimes I do a search and XP can't find the file. and it took forever to tell me.
      I know the file is there but its file type is not "registered" (tm) with Windows.
      Solution: open CMD and type Dir /s myfile*
      Results: I get my answer in fraction of the time and subsequent searches are *Quicker*!

      I'm sure you can get the same benefits using CMD for large jobs.
      • by newt0311 (973957) on Tuesday February 27, 2007 @04:04PM (#18171136)
        now if only CMD was as good as bash and you could use it exclusively (like me). Somebody needs to do a comparison of efficiency when using a GUI (any GUI) and the terminal and see how that pans out.
        • by Vancorps (746090) on Tuesday February 27, 2007 @06:58PM (#18174280)

          How the hell did that get mod'ed interesting in a day and age when you have powershell on both XP and Vista available for use which is just as robust as bash. Furthermore, there is nothing in Vista you can't script with hooks provided. The only tool you need is powershell. The comment makes no sense whatsoever.

          I use powershell to script changes to my Exchange server and I could use it exclusively if I were so inclined but I don't need to do anything to my servers often enough where it would matter.

          You're right about one thing though, someone should do a comparison of efficiency in administration using a GUI vs a CLI and compare it across platforms. This is the single biggest leap in Vista that would make it attractive to corporate America. Now everything can be scripted and a group policy can govern anything the machine does. That level of control in quite difficult to attain with OS X as I don't see too many management tools for Apple products. Unix, Linux, and Windows all have very powerful native management tools, hell, the BSDs do too, I can't imagine it would be too difficult to extend them to control the GUI interface on OS X.

  • Aero != productivity (Score:5, Interesting)

    by TinBromide (921574) on Tuesday February 27, 2007 @02:31PM (#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.
    • by neuro.slug (628600) <neuro__@hotmaUUUil.com minus threevowels> on Tuesday February 27, 2007 @02:34PM (#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?
      • by timeOday (582209) on Tuesday February 27, 2007 @02:45PM (#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: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by lp-habu (734825)

          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

          • by ZorbaTHut (126196)
            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: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by ColdWetDog (752185)

            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

            Like posting to Slashdot?

        • by jimstapleton (999106) on Tuesday February 27, 2007 @02:59PM (#18169956) Journal
          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: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by jswigart (1004637)
            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 i
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by PopeRatzo (965947) *

            I guess what I'm getting at is I'd really rather see the methods of the experiment rather than just the conclusions.


            There so much insight in that statement that you deserve more than mod points. If I was nearby, I'd give you a shiny 5 dollar bill.
        • by djupedal (584558) on Tuesday February 27, 2007 @04:34PM (#18171632)
          Apparently it's focused on mouse accuracy and menu clicking latency.

          Sorry, no.
          br> Mechanical aspects are just that - strictly mechanical. An 800dpi mouse with a crummy interface is better than a 300dpi mouse and a good interface and has nothing to do with strict user ability. This testing wasn't about ease of targeting based on mouse mechanics - it was about humans and how they make decisions. What is meant is how long you hunt around with the mouse trying to determine the next event that will serve your interests as defined by the current state of the OS, assuming the OS has accurately understood and reacted to you.

          As you work with a new OS, you begin to establish a defined set of basic expectations. These are simultaneously calibrated against how reliable they appear to be to you, the wet ware. At some point, you have been trained by the system enough to move from experimentation and doubt as to what will or won't happen next, to Pavlovian reactions which are subsequently modified only as needed.
          The original Mac OS was determined, by the US Govt., to take an average of 17 hours of initial use by an operator before they could be labeled trained and basically productive. In contrast, the Windows OS of that time required no less than 7 days before a hapless user was considered an asset.

          Want to test yourself and your present OS? Close your eyes, or change the menus to another language and see if you can still hit the right button with the mouse as you operate the system, opening and saving files, etc. Nothing about shear mechanical accuracy or latency involved. It is just you and how well you know and trust the OS, reflecting how well the system was able to train you back when the two of you first met.
    • by MightyYar (622222) on Tuesday February 27, 2007 @02:34PM (#18169562)
      Personally I like the slower response - it makes me feel like a fast typist when I can beat the computer.
    • 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.
      • by dberstein (648161) <daniel@basegGINSBERGeo.com minus poet> on Tuesday February 27, 2007 @03:54PM (#18170934) Homepage Journal
        I'm a developer, a web developer. Within my daily tasks besides coding is ssh'ing to several machines, do some cvs|svn dancing, etc.

        I've switched to Mac almost a month ago. I would never, ever, return to Windows. I don't care about the UI (though it's elegant and efficient). The selling point to me is having a nice bash prompt right in front of me, and having good hardware support (I don't care it's "closed" hardware).

        I turn on my Macbook and voila! Skype is ready for me. I can video chat with my collegues while at the same enjoying the bsd heritage.

        To me Mac OS X is like Windows XP with cygwin tighly integrated minus DLL hell, registry hell and all that crap.

        Intel Macs are the best thing ever invented!
    • 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
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by 644bd346996 (1012333)
        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.
      • by EggyToast (858951) on Tuesday February 27, 2007 @02:53PM (#18169868) Homepage
        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.
        • 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.
      • by ffsnjb (238634)
        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.
      • by dgatwood (11270)

        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: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by jo42 (227475)
      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.
    • by spun (1352) <loverevolutionary @ y a hoo.com> on Tuesday February 27, 2007 @02:51PM (#18169832) Journal
      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.
    • by Bastian (66383) on Tuesday February 27, 2007 @03:18PM (#18170254)
      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.

      No offense, but I see a lot more built-in bias in automatically discounting any article that says you can be productive on a Mac.

      Anybody worth their salt will agree that the pretty widgets, animations, etc. on OS X are nothing but eye candy. But there are plenty of solid arguments for why OS X's interface still does a better job of facilitating productivity. Here are a few that come to mind. (Note that all of these points are orthogonal to cosmetic issues such as the particular bitmap that is used to draw a button.)

      The standard Mac OS widgets offer a wider range of functionality than most equivalent Windows widgets. I find that I'm much more likely to feel the need to develop custom interface elements on Windows in order to get the behavior I need for exactly this reason. This leads to less consistency among applications, since different people tend to come up with different solutions to the same problem. Cocoa has done a much better job of cutting this off at the pass. A strong example is tables and tree views on Mac OS versus Windows.

      OS X's interface doesn't condescend to the user as much or demand as much attention. There's also a much stronger culture of consistency for dialog messages. When using Windows, I spend a lot more time dismissing unnecessary dialogs and trying to figure out whether to click "yes" or "no" on a confusingly-worded confirmation dialog. (Like I said, this is largely cultural, but I put a lot of blame on Microsoft for this since they set an exceedingly bad example in their own OS - it's not uncommon for me to have to read a warning from the OS itself two or three times to figure out exactly what Windows is trying to say.)

      OS X's interface is much more stable. For example, the sidebar in the Finder is static. The sidebar in the Explorer is constantly rearranging itself, adding and deleting items, etc. based on what folder or whatever-the-hell it is (control panel, network places) I'm looking at. It even changes when I select items. This leads to a lot of time spent scratching one's head trying to figure out, say, where the "Create New Folder" sidebar item went, or wondering why the Desktop link went away.

  • by Petersko (564140) on Tuesday February 27, 2007 @02:33PM (#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.
    • 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.
    • by Arker (91948)

      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?

      • by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Tuesday February 27, 2007 @02:48PM (#18169770) Homepage Journal

        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.

        • 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 se
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Stormwatch (703920)

          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.

          Isn't the Core Duo a whole generation ahead of the G5?

          About the consistency issues, you're right; rumor is that Apple is trying new things to find what people like the best, and once they find, they will use that style consistently in the next OSX.

        • by Blakey Rat (99501) on Tuesday February 27, 2007 @03:21PM (#18170316)
          Finder locks up, because it's a giant ball of shit, but other OS X applications shouldn't lock up enough to force a reboot. Are you 100% sure it's not a bad stick of RAM causing your problems?

          Almost always, when people complain about bluescreens in Windows or lockups in OS X, it's bad hardware from my experience. Nearly 100% of the time.
        • by dal20402 (895630) * <dal20402&mac,com> on Tuesday February 27, 2007 @03:39PM (#18170670) Journal

          If you truly believe that OSX will make you more productive, then you are simply a fool

          Fool here.

          First of all, if Illustrator and InDesign are taking down your whole system, something is wrong with your configuration, your OS installation, or your hardware (RAM?). Illustrator is not the most stable app (although it's not that stable on Windows either) and I expect it to crash regularly, and once in a while InDesign freaks out, but I don't think either one has ever taken down my whole OS. One place to start: if you have the misfortune of having Adobe Version Cue installed, delete everything associated with it.

          While PowerPC OS X is somewhat laggier than Intel OS X (which compares favorably to XP on similar hardware), I don't find the difference dramatic, and I don't see any usability problem on my PowerPC system. It's a 1.8GHz dual G5 (3GB RAM), so my experience should be nearly identical to yours, although Tiger is more responsive than Panther in most situations.

          With that out of the way, I'll tell you exactly why OS X makes me more productive (and why this summer I'll pay through the nose for a Mac Pro, whose 4 cores and ECC RAM I really don't need, rather than buying a cheaper Conroe-based commodity tower). This is personal to me. YMMV. But judge for yourself whether I'm really a "fool."

          1. Terminal. OS X is the only OS that can run Adobe CS, Microsoft Office, and a full bash implementation natively and side-by-side. This is a godsend for those of us who really need to straddle both the business-computing and UNIX worlds.

          2. Integrated color management. The OS's color management, while not perfect, is good enough to ensure relatively close color matching between different systems and between screen and print output, no matter what app I'm using. XP and all Linux distros I've used are a disaster in this regard. I don't know yet about WCM (the system in Vista).

          3. Expose. I'm a very visual user and text-based taskbar buttons don't communicate the nature of open windows to me nearly as well as graphical previews.

          4. Mail. I've never gotten along with with Outlook or any of its numerous commercial and OSS copycats because, dammit, I really want to have all messages in my 4 IMAP inboxes displayed in the same list. Mail is the *only* mail client I've ever used that will do this. (And, no, I don't want to forward all the messages to one inbox. There's a reason I have 4 of them.)

          5. Logic Pro. This won't apply to you if you're not a musician. But if you are, it's a fearsomely kick-ass mega-tool (sequencer + synthesizer + lots more) and only available for OS X.

          6. OS X software development culture. OSS users are always amazed that they have to pay for so many Mac apps. But the shareware culture promotes developer accountability. Independent OS X software, by and large, is an order of magnitude more professional and useful than such software on either Windows or Linux. OS X's unique development frameworks also help with this by allowing developers to concentrate on usability and features rather than basic nuts and bolts.

          7. Easily comprehensible directory structure. A non-n00b Windows or Linux user could start playing with the Finder and locate *anything* important to operation of the graphical side of an OS X system within a few minutes. This makes troubleshooting a simpler and faster process, especially when compared to Windows, where neither file nor folder names are remotely comprehensible.

          8. Security (yes, this is a productivity booster). No UAC; the machine rarely asks for admin rights, and when it does, you need to give a password. No time fighting malware of any sort. No instability or slowdowns from malware.

          9. OS X text rendering. Compared with other OS's, it's magic. Preserves both character shapes and legibility without any visible compromise. Not only does the increased legibility improve productivity, but it also is a big part of the reason people find OS X systems so visually striking.

          If I thought about it longer I could probably figure out a few more -- but I've got work to do... productively.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by misleb (129952)

          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)

          I admit that iTunes stands out like a sore thumb, but otherwise there is Chrome and then regular Cocoa. That's it. I don't see what you're talking about. It is Windows that is full of every conceivable visual style known to man. I can't tell you how many Windows apps I'v

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by illumin8 (148082)

          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.

          This sounds an awful lot like a copy-paste Windows fanboi troll.

          The Macintosh has provided me with little but frustration. The system locks

      • Let me guess, they're all 6 year old G3s?
        My computer is a G3/500 iMac, you insensitive clod! :(
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by King_TJ (85913)
      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 dra
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by venicebeach (702856)
      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.h t 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 sy
  • by 8127972 (73495) on Tuesday February 27, 2007 @02:35PM (#18169570)
    ....clicking Cancel or Allow so freaking often.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by MrFlibbs (945469)
      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
  • by eviloverlordx (99809) on Tuesday February 27, 2007 @02:35PM (#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.
  • Huh? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by garcia (6573) on Tuesday February 27, 2007 @02:35PM (#18169580) Homepage
    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.
  • Well (Score:3, Funny)

    by theworldisflat (1033868) on Tuesday February 27, 2007 @02:35PM (#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!
  • by dpbsmith (263124) on Tuesday February 27, 2007 @02:37PM (#18169614) Homepage
    (...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.
    • by benzapp (464105)
      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. I
  • by rbonine (245645) on Tuesday February 27, 2007 @02:40PM (#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: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Afecks (899057)
      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
    • 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?

      • by RzUpAnmsCwrds (262647) on Tuesday February 27, 2007 @03:27PM (#18170416)

        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?


        Vista's I/O subsystem can keep media streaming off the disk even while you are doing tasks like defragging. Vista's malloc is dramatically better (40%+ in my informal benchmarks). Vista's I/O operations can be canceled, so applications don't mysteriously become zombies because of I/O blocking. Vista's disk caching is significantly improved.

        You can't expect to run Vista on a 512MB system and get XP-like performance. But if you have 1GB or more, Vista is often actually much faster than XP.

        No, Vista can't make your virus scanner scan any faster. It's not going to make your XVID encoder encode faster. But, let's be honest - no OS can do that. It can, however, make launching applications, allocating memory, and disk I/O much more responsive. Which is exactly what it does.

        But, hey, you don't actually need to use Vista to decide that it's "terrible".
  • 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.

  • by Paulrothrock (685079) on Tuesday February 27, 2007 @02:44PM (#18169698) Homepage Journal

    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.

    • by fontkick (788075)
      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).
      • 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

    • by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Tuesday February 27, 2007 @03:04PM (#18170018) Homepage Journal

      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.

    • by NSIM (953498) on Tuesday February 27, 2007 @03:08PM (#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.
    • by ZorbaTHut (126196) on Tuesday February 27, 2007 @03:11PM (#18170136) Homepage
      I finally figured out the reason I never liked that argument.

      Yes, selecting the menu bar is easier on a Mac. That I can't argue at all. But selecting the individual menu items is still just as difficult, which you're doing at least once anyway - you gain, at most, 50% speed, assuming that selecting the menu bar is instant (which it isn't.) And if you're going through cascading menus, or searching menus for options, that gain decreases to zero very quickly.

      Personally I very rarely use menus for anything - ctrl-s to save, ctrl-f to find, and once in a while I go and choose the "replace" option. But on Windows, the menu is part of the window and is less visually distracting when I change windows (since all the redrawing is localized to one square chunk), whereas on OSX I feel like part of the system interface is changing whenever I swap applications. It's more context that I have to keep track of.

      Of course, some of that is doubtless just due to the fact that I'm used to Windows. But the whole "infinite size menu bar == good" thing seems like a bit of a red herring - how much does it honestly generally matter?

      Hell, I just noticed for the first time that I forgot to turn menu fading off when I installed this OS a year ago. You can see how often I use menus.
  • by bogie (31020) on Tuesday February 27, 2007 @02:44PM (#18169706) Journal
    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.
    • by vtcodger (957785) on Tuesday February 27, 2007 @05:10PM (#18172262)
      *** I really don't know how else to explain some of the boneheaded changes they have made. And they wonder why sales are off.***

      Well don't blame me. I went right out last week and bought a brand new AcerPower 1000 -- with XP. Figured it might be my last chance to avoid Vista. So there you have it. Solid evidence that Vista is GOOD for hardware and software sales.

  • by StressGuy (472374) on Tuesday February 27, 2007 @02:47PM (#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
    • 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!
    • by realmolo (574068)
      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.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    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 w
  • Exposé vs Flip 3D (Score:5, Insightful)

    by smenor (905244) on Tuesday February 27, 2007 @02:50PM (#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.

  • by diesel66 (254283) on Tuesday February 27, 2007 @02:51PM (#18169834)
    I started typing this sentence 3 hours ago.

    Now I've missed my chance at first post.
  • by Bullfish (858648) on Tuesday February 27, 2007 @02:52PM (#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.
  • by WillAffleckUW (858324) on Tuesday February 27, 2007 @02:52PM (#18169848) Homepage Journal
    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).
  • 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 s
  • 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

  • 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%
  • by Theovon (109752) on Tuesday February 27, 2007 @03:11PM (#18170132)
    I recently got a MacBook Pro, and while I really enjoy using it, and It's generally better than Windows, KDE, or GNOME, one thing I have noticed is that there is a tendency for it to lose keypresses and mouse clicks. This commonly occurs when switching back and forth between mouse and keyboard. For instance, if I use the mouse to click somewhere in this text I'm writing, there's a 50% chance that if I hit the Delete key, the keypress will be completely ignored. I have similar experiences with mouse clicks on window decorations or links in Safari being ignored. It's not a hardware problem, because use of the mouse alone is smooth, and continuous typing on the keyboard does not lose any keypresses. Moreover, people who have experienced this MacOS-knows-best loss of input events do not experience the same things when using the same hardware running Windows under bootcamp. There aren't very many frustrating things about MacOS (once you get used to it), but this problem is incredibly frustrating.
  • by LoudMusic (199347) on Tuesday February 27, 2007 @03:28PM (#18170442)
    "The only intuitive interface is the nipple. Everything else is learned."

    It takes time. And like other people have stated, I don't know that efficiency was necessarily the goal anyway.

    Apple claims that OS X / Aqua is super easy to use, but I think more important to them and their users is that it looks pretty. People probably aren't going to take the time to learn an interface if they don't enjoy looking at it in the first place.
  • by Assmasher (456699) on Tuesday February 27, 2007 @04:23PM (#18171454) Journal
    They are measure hardware accuracy and blaming the OS? Why?

    If I use my precision gaming mouse I get much higher precision than with a standard old ball mouse, so how can I blame the OS?

    The fundamental reasoning behind such a test suggests a desire to paint Windows in a bad light (like you need to go to such lenghts to begin with, lol), I mean, what kind of crap passes as a study today?

    If I write a driver that interacts with my hardware and I get quality input from the hardware, I'll get quality results mapped to the screen. It's that simple.
  • by TheNetAvenger (624455) on Tuesday February 27, 2007 @04:43PM (#18171802)
    A very subjective review with no hard facts about Vista... And featured on SlashDot, how could this be?

    #1) What drivers were used? The optimized ones from NVidia or ATI? Vista has a new Video subsystem with a new driver model, and NVidia and ATI have had to write their drivers from scratch, something that maturity of the XP and other OS drivers just don't have.

    #2) Was Aero left on to get the speed improvements? Turning off Aero reduces Vista video performance to XP levels, and turns off many of the accelerated features.

    #3) Usability is addressed, but based on what grounds? MS spends millions on usability testing, are we all to be so stupid to conclude that their research in this area is not somewhat valid? Are they taking new users, old file manager type users, Mac users, or what? Facts please.

    #4) File copy performance? Again based on what circumstances? Our internal tests show Vista can shove mass amounts of files in many settings several times faster than XP, also without exhausting the system RAM or cache as XP and prior NT bases would. I would like to see how these numbers were obtained.

    #5) Menu lag? Again, was Aero turned off, how could they be showing numbers that are in direct contrast to our testing? If Aero is enabled, the UI is not only more responsive, but things like Menus and Windows opening are significantly faster than XP and especially OSX.

    #6) Mouse precision? This has to be a joke right? The Windows Input model allows for extremely high resolution devices, and is SOLELY based on the input device used. If you pick up a high resolution mouse that obtains 10x the precision that a low end mouse provides in Vista it is very measurable and based upon the device. If you select another input device like a Wacom Tablet, your input resolution can be adjusted based on the device to scale in factors to several 1000 times the variances they use as examples in the article.

    This can easily be demonstrated by a simple example, Ink Input in Vista is extremely high resolution, and captures at an extremely high rate.

    Are they using a generic mouse and just hooking it up to the systems to get these numbers?

    The mouse precision is the biggest joke of the article...

    • by LionMage (318500) on Tuesday February 27, 2007 @09:29PM (#18176070) Homepage

      MS spends millions on usability testing, are we all to be so stupid to conclude that their research in this area is not somewhat valid?
      In a word, yes. Although I don't think keeping a healthy amount of skepticism regarding Microsoft's human interface research is "stupid."

      Bruce Tognazzini [asktog.com] has long taken Microsoft to task for their methodology. Tog, who used to work for Apple, believed in using real, objective metrics -- video of users, using stopwatches to measure time intervals, etc. Microsoft relies more heavily on questionnaires and other subjective criteria. In other words, to contrast the two approaches, Apple's approach is that the stopwatch never lies; Microsoft's approach emphasizes what users think makes them fast or more productive, rather than what actually makes the users faster or more productive.

      But really, this all boils down to the logical fallacy of assuming that just because a corporation spends a lot of money on something, they spent their money well (instead of, say, spending the money as a smoke-screen to appear that they've done their homework).

      The points about menu speed and mouse precision are actually valid ones, though the article probably doesn't explain these issues as well as it should. The mouse precision issue isn't so much a product of the mouse's resolution, but rather, the way in which Microsoft handles things like cascading/hierarchical menus, icon hit zones, and the like. Tog wrote an excellent article about Fitts' Law [asktog.com] which gets mentioned every so often, and it's still a good article which really reams Microsoft on a number of points. Pay attention to Question 6 and its answer, for example; this directly bears on menu performance and indirectly on how the mouse is used by typical users.

      For those too lazy to follow the link...

      When I specified the Mac hierarchical menu algorthm, I called for a V-shaped buffer zone, so that users could make an increasingly-greater error as they neared the hierarchical without fear of jumping to an unwanted menu. As long as they are moving a few pixels over for every one down, on average, the menu stays open. Apple hierarchicals are still far less efficient than single level menus, but at least they are less challenging than the average video game.

      The Windows folks instead leave the hierarchical open for around a half-second before jumping down. Thus, as in so many of the other areas of their OS, they mimic the Mac without getting it right. They have decoupled cause and effect by 1/2 second, a long, long time in human-computer interaction. If you happen to get to the hierarchical within that half-second, the Windows behavior is indistinguishable from the Mac. If you don't, the behavior is just weird and few users can figure the rule out.


      To be fair, Tog also takes Apple to task, especially since Apple broke some of its own UI guidelines in OS X.

      All that said, my personal experience with Windows 2000, Windows XP, and the Vista previews I've seen seems to indicate a general negative trend with UI responsiveness. Menu rendering lag is especially bad in XP, though I will concede that some of the problem may be due to the insane system load imposed by my (corporate mandated) anti-virus software.

      Of course, since you're a MS partisan, you'll deny everything I've just said, but I figured I'd inject something here just to try and add a little balance.

      Closing note: Since TFA is lean on details, I actually followed the link in TFA to the source material [pfeifferreport.com] only to find out that it's strictly for-pay. (You can download a PDF of the table of contents for free, but that's not very useful.) So I can understand why you'd find the article to be "a very subjective review with no hard facts." It's not even that -- it's an executive summary of someone else's work. I'm simply not willing to fork over the money to read someone else's analysis.
  • Irony (Score:4, Insightful)

    by dcam (615646) <david AT uberconcept DOT com> on Tuesday February 27, 2007 @05:27PM (#18172630) Homepage
    The irony of this is that one of my whinges about Windows is that menus and filesystem operations are slow when they shouldn't be. Expanding the control panel from the start menu. Put a CD into the computer and open windows explorer. It won't display because it is loading the CD, which blocks me from working with stuff on local drives. If you have a windows explorer window open to a networked drive that becomes unavailable (eg VPN closed), the window locks up for some time. Why mingle the processes to mount volumes with the processes to display them?

    One would hope things like this would get better with time not worse. Obviously a vain hope.
  • by swilver (617741) on Tuesday February 27, 2007 @07:28PM (#18174756)
    I never understood the why behind fading menus, sliding windows, rotating cubes with images, or anything else that could be done instant but is artifically slowed down -- other than for marketing purpose (or eye-candy).

    Why don't I like it when a menu "slides" open? It's because I often already know what I want from the menu, and I will subconsciously start to move the mouse roughly in the direction where the item I want will be, while my eyes gather more information to position the mouse exactly over the correct item. If a menu "slides in" or "fades in" or whatever, the feedback I get to position the mouse correctly is delayed (fade in), or even wrong (when sliding in as the item is still moving).

    Position is often the thing people remember the best. I don't need to know what most application icons look like, but I do know that a specific program or file icon is somewhere on the top left, or somewhere left halfway down the screen. Windows on my taskbar are exactly the same, I know roughtly where I left the window -- that's why I completely hate stacking of similar windows. I often have multiple browser windows open (even when using Firefox) and I know the "slashdot" window is somewhere on the left or whatever... stacking 5 other windows on that button and then forcing me to read the title to get the correct window is ludicrous -- especially because if I click wrong, I need to repeat the process again (and if I'm lucky the "stacked" order hasn't changed). If I click wrong with all the tasks simply unstacked, I go back with the mouse to the same area, click the wrong one again (so it minimizes) then shift slightly and click the right one. Stacking of similar items makes all of that harder... the sole benefit it has is that I can read (a very small part of) the title on the button (something I never do since I locate the window by knowing where I left it) yet obscures many other titles because they're stacked.

    Not all effects are necessarily bad from a usability standpoint. Showing where a minimized window is going might actually be good (if subtle and fast enough). I usually find however that just turning off all animations/slides/fades/transparancy/you-name-it is a far saner default to start from. I even turn off gif animations in my browser... once you get used to the nice static pages without anything flashing or animating 50 times per second you'll really wonder how you could stand all that crap on web pages before...

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