In June 2007, we started a series of interviews titled ‘Getting to know the Microsoft enthusiasts’. We wanted to introduce to our readers some of the people behind the sites that form the Microsoft Windows online community. Unfortunately we have stopped after our 3rd interview. However, we do think this was one a great idea and we would like to resume the series. Our first guest in 2008 is Anand Khanse, a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional from India who is also the owner of winvistaclub.com, one of the best online communities dedicated to Windows Vista. If you want to know more about him, his life story and his site, don’t hesitate to read this interview.
What is your life story in a few sentences?
Having graduated in Physics, I moved on to complete my MBA in Finance. For no particular reason I decided to study Law and graduated in it too, while working. I worked in the Corporate Sector for a couple of years, in Systems Consultancy & Merchant Banking, before deciding to set-up my own business.
What do you do for a living?
I am now engaged in the business of Outdoor Advertising. My firm offers multi-city out-of-home advertising solutions.
How does your advertising business fit with technology, Windows Vista and WinVistaClub?
It doesn’t, thankfully! Otherwise it would have been just an extension of my work. But because it is so different, I find myself enjoying and relaxing, while at it. And because it is my passion, I end up wanting to learn more and to share more.
Which was the first version of Windows you worked with? What was your first impression?
As late as Windows XP actually! It used to always be my office staff who I used to see working on a 98 or an XP machine. It was only after an XP problem has foxed my staff and some support engineers too, that I decided to put my head in it. That’s when I first touched an XP machine and that’s when I made my first forum post, in March 2005, asking for help at a Tech Forum! So, from learning about this interesting OS in the initial stages, I realized that I had soon begun to helps others!
Was I surprised when I first came to know that Microsoft was considering giving me the Most Valuable Professional Award. ‘Are you sure?’, I had asked them. ‘I am no techie actually, at best an ‘end-user Windows enthusiast!’. And yes, they were sure they said that, and recognized me as an MVP, first in October 2006.
What about Windows Vista? Do you like it or do you consider it to be something like Windows ME v2.0?
No question there! I like and enjoy Windows Vista. While WDDM and Aero may be some of the primary features in Vista, Vista is great on Security, File-handing, Stability & Ease of Networking fronts! The new bells and whistles (the sidebar and gadgets, integration of RSS, and built-in productivity applications like Calendar and Contacts for example) are very nice too.
What is your favorite feature in Windows Vista?
If I have to name one, I’d say Vista’s Explorer. Microsoft has completely overhauled the Windows Explorer in Vista. Not only its look has changed, but the way you manage your files too! I like the new BreadCrumb Bar, the Preview Pane, the Live Icons, and so on. Basically I find file handling to be much easier then in Windows XP. If you allow me another one, I’d say the Sleep feature.
What’s your best tip for a new Windows Vista user?
If I had to give just one tip to any new Vista user, I’d say uninstall your unwanted programs and trial-ware and remove all or most of your start-ups. So strongly do I feel about this issue that I have even written a how to exorcise a new Windows Vista computer.
Lately, lots of people are speaking about Windows 7. What feature would you like to see being implemented in the next Microsoft Windows operating system?
While we know that Devices & Application Compatibility will improve, I would like to see a ‘Remember my Action’ kind of option in the UAC. On my wish list I have also: a Gaming mode, a tabbed or a dual-pane explorer, ability to shuffle taskbar buttons or system tray icons, an option to replace the sidebar with an in-built Dock, a ‘minimize to tray’ option in all windows, etc.
When did you launch winvistaclub.com and why?
WinVistaClub.com was launched on 27th May 2007. I already had plenty of forum postings to my credit and I thought, hey, why not put them all together under one roof. Although, I wasn’t expecting the site to grow so fast, it did! The tempo just caught on! And it is now a Microsoft Featured Website. This one fact gives me an immense sense of satisfaction.
Which were your biggest challenges?
Time is the challenge. Managing a family, running my business & off-line social commitments apart, I have to make sure that I am able to allocate time for WinVistaClub. Thankfully I am able to do so!
What do you think it separates your site from the rest?
I think WinVistaClub is probably the only site which exclusively focuses on anything that may interest a Windows Vista user. From that point of view, it even covers competitor products & news to the extent that it would interest a Vista user. Not only does it have a vast collection of Tips and How-To’s, it also has sections which cover Features, Security, Downloads, News & more. Its new but growing forum has members from all over, and I am aiming to try and make it a great place to share Vista experiences.
Any interesting plans for the near future?
Well I am in the process of holding a one-of-its-first-kind of initiatives, The Best Windows Vista Website 2008 Contest. I have something up my sleeve after that, but let’s see how it works out. If it does, it should fructify in a month’s time.
What do you like & hate most about our site – Windows Vista for Beginners?
The simplicity and the ease in understanding the tutorials is what would draw anyone to your website. Nothing that I dislike, honestly … but … hmmm … maybe I would like to see it updated even more often.
Getting to know the Microsoft enthusiasts: the How-To Geek
Getting to know the Microsoft enthusiasts: James M. Fisher from Windows Talk
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