You don’t see a lot of disagreement between the Team GBM members, but I have to respectfully disagree with both Warner and Dennis on this Vista / Movie Maker issue. Steve, from CarryPad.com, makes a compelling argument and, in my book, he is right on.
For quite some time, we’ve known that UMPCs running the Via processor and Tablet PCs / UMPCs that use the Intel 915 graphics controller would not get stamped Vista Premium Ready, thus not getting the Aero experience and some other features that go along with that designation. However, when a person chooses to “upgrade” to Vista Business, the OS that is on their upgrade path, they should not lose application functionality and that is what is happening here with owners of many UMPCs and older generation Tablet PCs. If I happened to purchase one of those devices last year and was faced with losing functionality, I’d be pretty upset, too. It would mean: upgrade the device or create that movie using another system that support Premium specs. It means I couldn’t just take my UMPC and webcam / camera to a convention, stream the content directly from my camera to the UMPC, and create my movie on the fly. If I can do it now, why should I not be able to do it with Vista. That is lost productivity in my book.
Take a look at this statement on the WindowsVista.com site as it talks about Movie Maker in Vista:
Windows Movie Maker efficiently uses the power of your PC’s graphics processor, it delivers the smoothest overall performance, providing the best-quality video based on your PC’s capabilities.
In the case of UMPCs and some not-so-old Tablet PCs, like Lenovo X41, that statement would be completely false. In fact, it should read: Windows Movie Maker efficiently uses the power of your approved PC’s graphics processor, it delivers the smoothest overall performance, providing the best-quality video if your PC graphics card is up to snuff. If it isn’t up to snuff, you will not be able to make movies like you used to be able to do in Windows XP.
UMPCs have been marketed and pushed as companion devices. There is no getting around that. However, they have also been marketed as an entertainment device. In my opinion, that includes being able to create a movie that you have recorded using the built-in web cam that came with your UMPC.
The bottomline, in my opinion: upgrading should not mean a loss of functionality. Microsoft needs to provide a seamless alternative when it comes to Windows Movie Maker in Vista, as well as clearly define what functionality will be lost when a person chooses to upgrade. This page and this page on WindowsVista.com does not cut it.