So Ballmer was joking about Vista and while I wholeheartedly wish the details of that discussion were kept private, in the real world it is a joke that is not very funny to any of us that make a living supporting/managing Vista solutions. I think the OS is great, I bought a new system when I rolled it out at home, with the exception of one device that needed an x64 driver (my fault and vendors fault, not Microsoft’s) it has been very good.
Where the Vista (and Mobility) and Microsoft tend to fall apart is consistency. The products do not consistently perform in a way that one would expect them, here is my own XPerience over the weekend:
Got home after being out for a week. Windows had applied the newest security patches and shut my system off (instead of reboot). Upon powering on Vista my network card was dead, apparently whichever driver Windows installed disconnected my system from the Internet. OK, reinstall drivers. Upon reboot, I found out that my Outlook OST was corrupted (how did that happen?) and instead of repairing, it told me to run scanpst which is not in the run path but under 3 layers of user-unfriendly Microsoft-centric hiarchies (\Program Files (x86)\Common Files\System\MSMAPI\1033) and oh, it just might run for a few hours.
That is not the kind of an experience you want to give your user base in 2008.
For their share, both Mac OS X systems in the office (secretary’s and my desk) were up and running, smugly.