Maybe we need an awards ceremony

My Windows Vista Inside Out collaborator Carl Siechert passes along this contender for the Worst. Review. Ever. series. Now, those who have been following this saga might recognize the author of the review Carl is about to deconstruct, Robert Vamosi, as the guy whose by-line graced the original (and still, in some people’s minds, the champ) Worst. Review. Ever.

But I have to say, this one is a worthy contender. Last year, Stephen Colbert coined the word truthiness, which means “the quality by which a person claims to know something intuitively, instinctively, or ‘from the gut’ without regard to evidence, logic, intellectual examination, or actual facts.” This review seems to be full of it. Truthiness, that is.

Take it away, Carl:

CNET Reviews wrote last week about Windows Vista’s new file system. The title caught my attention because I’m supposed to be writing about NTFS, and I apparently hadn’t discovered this new file system. I didn’t have to read very far to learn that the reviewer apparently doesn’t know Vista from Shinola. For example:

(the new Win FS file system is expected to be a feature of the new Longhorn server release due by early 2008)

Microsoft announced in August 2004 that WinFS would not be included in the Longhorn client (Windows Vista) or Longhorn Server, saying at that time that it might be available as an add-on. In June 2006, the WinFS team dropped a bombshell and said that WinFS not only wouldn’t be part of Longhorn, but it wouldn’t be available as a separate delivery either. As for the release date, nobody really knows, of course, but two weeks ago, Microsoft claimed to be on target for delivery in the second half of 2007.

Does CNET not have any fact checkers, or anyone who pays attention to the news?

Gone from Windows Vista is the traditional file path of folders and files separated by slashes.

Sure, the address bar shows a trail of “breadcrumbs” separated by arrows. But all he’d have to do is click in the address bar to see those arrows turn to backslashes that–what do you know?–is “the traditional file path of folders and files separated by slashes.”

Do CNET reviewers not even try the programs they’re reviewing?

For starters, the Windows Explorer toolbar looks like Internet Explorer 7 for Vista (complete with a rather useless refresh button for the file path).

Uh, that refresh button, like the View, Refresh command in Windows XP, is for refreshing the window content, not for refreshing the file path, whatever that means. Windows Vista seems to be smarter about refreshing Explorer windows when folder contents are changed by another app, but I still find occasions to use this useless button.

The left navigation on Windows Explorers opens several context-sensitive mini explorers.

I wish that were true, as it is in Windows XP. Windows Vista displays the same Favorite Links list no matter what folder you’re looking at. (Say, what a minute! I thought we didn’t have folders any more!) 

His overall points–that improved indexing and search capabilities in Vista reduce the necessity to remember exactly which folder contains a particular document, and that there are some nice improvements in Windows Explorer–are valid. But did he have to ignore so many facts to make them?

6 thoughts on “Maybe we need an awards ceremony

  1. Just today, Thursday, from an article at via

    “At the Windows Vista business launch Thursday in New York, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer acknowledged that the Redmond, Wash., company bit off more than it could chew when it promised WinFS for Vista. And even though that was cut from Vista, Microsoft continues to work on the system for a future version of Windows, he said.”

    Why does anyone read CNet News anyway? Maybe they need editors, should we apply?

  2. That’s rather sloppy work from Cnet. USUALLY their articles are relatively decent. Their product reviews are never as in-depth as I would like them to be, but nevertheless the info is usually pertinent and accurate.

    This is just down-right sloppy journalism.

  3. Weren’t the C|Net/TechRepublic folks the ones that dragged a major portion of Ziff Davis down to dirt status?

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