Vista OrbIn the past week I have received more than 10 emails directing me to articles that all had bad things to say about Windows Vista, and while I think that Vista is far from perfect it surely doesn’t deserve only negative attention. Before I go ahead and get started going through some of the things that I have found I want to first say that I am far from a Microsoft fanboy. If Microsoft does something right I will applaud them for it, and likewise I will talk about problems I run into or things they could do better.

For starters I decided to search for “Vista Sucks” on Google which pulled up a whopping 67,500 articles. I wasn’t completely surprised at the number of results, but it was slightly alarming. In the past 8–months I’ve been using Vista for about 7 of those months and feel that I am quite familiar with it. For the one month that I had switched back to Windows XP I have to say that I felt at times, lost without some of Vista’s features…primarily the integrated search that Microsoft did an amazing job with.

There are four articles that I want to briefly discuss all of which discuss the shortcomings of Vista. The first article that was sent to me was from PCPitStop regarding whether users should buy new computers with Vista on them. The author discusses fragmentation issues that occur with System Restore Points on Vista (and XP), but basically says that Vista is much worse. He has a lot of valuable information that he says contributes to the slow down of your computer system, but in my experience Vista runs faster than XP ever did. I’m not quite sure why, but when I switched back to using Windows XP for a month I was shocked at how slow it ran compared to Vista. I have no hard evidence of the speed difference, but I could definitely tell by how fast some of my applications opened up.

Another article by Mary Jo Foley talked about how Vista’s UAC (User Account Control) needed to be revamped to work a little better. I agree with that because I’m not a huge fan of the UAC prompt myself, but I know several “casual” users who now use Vista for their primary operating system. The result has been quite staggering because they never see the UAC prompt. Why? In most of the cases I setup their computers for them and installed all of the applications that they needed. Then all they really use it for is some word processing and browsing the Internet a little bit so they never did anything to instigate a UAC prompt. The only people who will probably get annoyed by prompts are power users who are constantly installing software. Most people however, are not power users. I do like a quote that Mary pulled in from a StarDock discussion for UAC:

Imagine the UAC remembering what users had given it permission to previously? Right now, every time I open up Stardock Central, I’m prompted by UAC. Very annoying. What if after I selected ‘continue,’ it saved Stardock Central and its checksum such that it wouldn’t come up again for that program as long as it was unchanged?

Vista Ultimate CDNow on to Chris Pirillo’s article regarding his upgrade experience to Windows Vista. He has apparently chosen to stick with XP for right now because of the many problems he has regarding his hardware. Luckily I’ve never had this problem which is something I feel fortunate about. However, complete hardware and software compatibility is really hard to come by when using a new operating system. A user would expect these things to work flawlessly, but that’s not at all realistic. When Windows XP hit the release candidate stage back in 2001 I was on the bandwagon, and after it was released, the same compatibility issues existed. If compatibility issues worry you then hold off for a little bit until both software and hardware manufacturers work out the kinks.

PC World didn’t want to be left out so they also created a post about the annoying things in Vista. Their article is pretty amusing and they also tell you how to fix some of the things they found annoying. One thing that they did mention was regarding “moving things around,” which makes it hard to find the stuff that you’re used to. I think that is something to be expected with both a new operating system and applications. In my opinion, the way they have repositioned things is a lot better, and if they thought Vista had moved things around maybe they should look at Office 2007. Despite Office’s radical redesign I find that it is way more intuitive and easier to find the things that I’m looking for, and Vista’s new layout is the same way.

There are many articles criticisizing the current state of Vista, but the incompatibility with hardware and software is something that I had expected. Sure it isn’t ideal for newcomers but it will undoubtedly get better as time goes on. There are so many great things about Vista that people don’t take the time to point out. After all, I can remember the day that people were saying “why should I upgrade from Windows 98?”