Joel is wrong about Windows Vista's off switch

Post ImageNormally I agree with what Joel Spolsky has to say, but not today. His latest article, Choices = Headaches, smells like a lame attempt to bash Windows Vista just for the sake of it. He takes issue with the “fifteen” ways you can shutdown Windows Vista, though only nine of those apply to non-laptops. Here’s what he says:

I’m sure there’s a whole team of UI designers, programmers, and testers who worked very hard on the OFF button in Windows Vista, but seriously, is this the best you could come up with?

Joel apparently doesn’t think you can just press the power button – yet that’s exactly what I’d bet most people will end up doing. You can read all about the power button in this CNET News.com article which, by the way, was published over a year ago. Here’s a choice quote:

And with Vista, Microsoft plans to make it so that a PC seems more like all the other consumer electronics out there. Pressing the power button will give users the feeling they are either turning the machine on or turning it off.

So it really is as easy as Joel would like. And for crazy people out there like myself who want all the shutdown options, they are still there, tucked away neatly in a little menu.

I guess Joel’s main problem is having too much choice. Personally, I’m a fan of choice. The research I have come across is pretty divided on whether choice does more good or more harm. That said, Chris Anderson’s The Long Tail certainly makes more choice seem like the way to go. His newest catchphrase – the economics of abundance – conveys this idea really well too.

Note: I haven’t tried Windows Vista since the early betas, so I don’t know if the power button functionality has changed or not, but I haven’t come across anything to suggest that it has. Joel doesn’t say anything about it in his post either.

You can read more about this story here and here.

Read: Joel on Software

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