Friday, May 04, 2007

Less than perfect OOTBE

Most computer manufacturers work hard to give you a good Out-Of-The-Box-Experience (or OOTBE), which is what happens when you turn on your brand new computer for the first time. A good OOTBE should see you having to take very few actions to get you to your operating system's desktop - perhaps accept a license agreement and input your name for your user account. Once at the desktop a good OOTBE continues with your computer behaving in a predictable fashion and it is in this regard that we were disappointed with a new Dell Inspiron Laptop that we set up for a customer during the week.

All went well until we got to the desktop and Vista's messaging announced that a problem had occurred with the sidebar which would now shut down. Hmmm, not what you expect when you turn on your PC for the first time and not a great OOTBE. Vista's messaging went on to inform us that the problem was caused by Google Desktop and that the vendor may have a more up-to-date version available on their website that might address this issue. And maybe they did, but we didn't wait to find out. Instead we uninstalled Google's application and the sidebar problem was resolved.

What we can't figure is why Dell bundles Google's Desktop application with their PCs when the version they bundle causes a feature of Vista to crash. You begin to wonder what level of testing Dell performs on the configurations they sell. Or, do they know about these issues before they ship them but leave it to their customers to resolve them. Take your pick.

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