I was reading an article on Slashdot (here
) about a piece of software that creates a customized Windows Vista installation. Nothing new there, Windows has had functionality to create custom unattended installations for a long time. This particular package, however, is built to make Vista smaller.
I've never actually installed Vista. I read reviews, talked to people and decided it wasn't ready for me. Normally I'd try it out and see for myself, but none of the reviews I read suggested that it was worth the fairly substantial investment required. So I didn't realize that the installation requires 15GB of disk space until I read the article.
Gigabytes. 15 of them.
The mind reels.
All I want from windows is an operating system. That means, to me, device drivers, a reasonable interface that can be used to access those device drivers (i.e. DirectX), a shell to manage which programs I start and stop, and a web browser I can get patches with. The ability to run Terminal Server client is a plus, but for work I have a real computer, with a supported terminal server client.
15gb. What is it doing with 15gb.
Windows Media Player. Why? Don't use, do not want. VLC is the way to go by the way. Free, reads everything, and if you find something it doesn't read it uses plugins so it will probably read it soon anyway. It's a very small download.
Internet Explorer. So, did they integrate IE into Windows to (a) tick off anti-trust regulators, (b) escalate all browser vulnerabilities to OS vulnerabilities, (c) artificially increase their installed base marketshare, or (d) all of the above?
MSN. Um. OK. Anybody really think this should be part of the base operating system installation?
What else is in there that can possibly take up that much space? I don't think there are that many device drivers on the entire planet, and the tales of devices without Vista support are all over the place.
I think their concept of a "MinWin" is a good one. I'd love to see Windows sold as a base operating system with a stripped-down browser that I can completely disable with a password after I get a real browser installed (but don't remove it in case I need to install a different browser, disable it to keep it "pure"). It would reduce the number of "required" updates since the operating system is a very small subset of PC functionality.
Reduced complexity is a good quality for critical components. Operating systems are critical components. Windows is evolving in the wrong direction, becoming more complex and ornate instead of more simple and complete.