Annals of Usability: Windows Vista
Disclaimer: I haven't used Windows Vista for even five minutes, so my opinions on it are just that valuable.
Windows Vista is the new version of Windows Microsoft plans to ship in 2004*. It features many groundbreaking new features, such as a search field on its file browser, a 3D chess game, and pixel-shader-powered rectangular window frames.
Ed Bott has posted thirty screen shots highlighting features of Windows Vista which he thinks particularly noteworthy, and it's certainly interesting.
Ed Bott's Blog Entry and Screen Shots.
Until I looked at this I really couldn't think of any reason one might want to use Vista (aside from the distant prospect of Microsoft dropping support for XP), but these two links show that the jump from XP to Vista looks at least as compelling as that from Win2k to XP... i.e. not very compelling, but a lot better than say the jump from Windows 98SE to Windows ME.
Of course, screenshots don't crash or take four days to install.
The biggest benefit for me: Microsoft is so busy imitating the Mac GUI in Vista that all the folks who claim they prefer the Windows UI are going to be explaining why Vista is better to themselves and their fanboi friends. This was fun back when they were claiming command line UIs were better than graphical UIs, and that mice were toys. It's still fun now.
That said, it's pretty hilarious that the performance rating system rates his Dual 3GHz PC with 3GB RAM etc. as "3/5".
* Based on the assumption that Jesus Christ was actually born in 5AD.