Windows Vista: ultimate confusing mess edition? has explored Vista's dependence on user-specified metadata and concluded that once you delete Microsoft's perfectly tagged set of sample document files from the Vista beta, things start falling to pieces.

The problems aren't related to bugs in the beta: the dependence on metadata is a design failure that's going to haunt users who upgrade. Vista provides options like "Sort by unspecified" for files that don't have tags applied.

Meanwhile, startups like Riya are out-innovating Microsoft with useful file search technologies like facial recognition on photos that allow useful searching of images without copious user tagging.

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