Every once in a while I get a reminder of why Apple is able to make 10 times as much money per computer than everyone else. The end user experience is incomparable. From the moment you walk into an Apple store, through to the point where you use the device, someone has thought about your experience.
I just had the opportunity to setup a brand new (entry level) Gateway netbook. There’s nothing special about it. It has an Atom processor and Windows 7 Starter edition. After opening the box, plugging it in, and following the on screen prompts, things seemed pretty good. Then, it required a reboot to finalize the settings.
It took literally 30 minutes from reboot until I was able to login. Literally. It felt like 10 times that long. I wasn’t really watching what it was trying to do, but whatever it is, it is embarrassingly long. There aren’t any install options, this netbook is exactly the same as the rest in the pile, so virtually all of this time should have been done before it left the factory.
So, that’s my first impression of that computer, and Gateway. Sitting around and waiting. And no, this didn’t include the Windows updates that I did later in the evening. Actually, this reminds me of the time I setup a Gateway laptop for a client – that was a disaster also, IIRC, I had to drive around the neighbourhood trying to find blank CDRs in order to get past the required initial backup – they had included some low end blank CD’s, one or two of them were bad!
First impressions count.