From the ever so aptly titled page, "Windows Vista Help: 8 great ways to share your videos with friends, family, and the world" at

If your computer is running Windows Vista Home Premium or Windows Vista Ultimate, you can use Windows DVD Maker to burn your videos to a DVD-Video disc.

Nice. I've got Windows Vista Basic, and as I've complained before, out of the box it doesn't even play DVDs. Brilliant. Adding the ability to watch DVDs on Vista Basic was, iirc, only a $15-20 expense if you went through Microsoft's approved channels -- and free if you download VLC -- but the lack of the ability to burn DVDs for use on DVD players is starting to irk me, coming from a long-time Mac user.

Seriously, what is Microsoft thinking? Windows Movie Maker 2.6 is a crappy enough iMovie replacement that there's plenty of ill will to go around already. If you've used iMovie, trying to coerce Movie Maker into doing something useful is as fun as having someone pulling your teeth. I take that back -- having had one pulled a few years ago, it's more aggravating to use Movie Maker, just a bit less retch-inducing. That Microsoft choses to split their Vista base into such clear haves and have-nots can't help but irk folk like me and those gullible enough to pay $15 to watch DVDs that much more.

Your competition has a smooth, free alternative to this crappy Windows Movie Maker and Windows DVD Player, Microsoft. Apple puts that hugely superior software suite in every freakin' box. If you stop users from doing things they like to do and would naturally want to do with their computers, they're going to drop by an Apple store, try out iMovie, iDVD, and Switch on the spot. Mac Mini's are only $600 and iBooks $1100, Ballmer. Luckily I've already got older versions of both, or the Vista daily use experiment might have been dumped already.

Let me PS the rant by saying there's no excuse for Microsoft's own freakin' software to be so poor. This is not a case of the OS being solid and the 3rd party solution looking less than professional. That the two apps exist shows Microsoft understands making movies and burning DVDs is part of the Personal Computer experience now, and their in-house effort feels like a hack. The continued limitations of Vista Basic show me that the hacks are backed by poor commercial decisions as well. Being able to burn DVDs I couldn't watch [without VLC] after hours of painful editing would be humorous. Not being able to burn at all is beyond annoying.

Jobs + Gladwell + 2010 == What's in the rearview?