Tortoise and the Hare - Vista … or so that seems to be the general consensus among many of the reviewers out there. The latest buzz is in regards to CNet UK’s Top Ten Terrible Tech Products, where they place Windows Vista at number 10. Is it deserving of such a pitiful ranking?

Personally, I don’t think it is. My experience with Vista has been rather good, but I strongly believe that every operating system has its own benefits:

  • Windows XP – It’s small in size and requires little in terms of system requirements. It’s also been out for over six years and has two Service Packs under its belt, which attributes to the wide compatibility and stability it has to offer.
  • Windows Vista – Whether you want to believe it or not, Vista utilizes system resources better than any other version of Windows. If you constantly monitor the memory usage in Vista you’ll quickly see that it eats up a lot of your RAM, but that’s because it wants to use it! It’s not that it requires 2GB of RAM to run, but it will use as much as it can to increase the performance of the system. One of the ways it uses your memory is to preload the most used applications so that they launch almost instantaneously. If another application needs the memory, however, Vista will release what it can to meet the needs of the application.
  • OS X Leopard – I’ve never had much hands-on experience with Mac’s, but I know one of the reasons that people love them is that they work without needing a lot of configuration. A large reason why things just work is that the selection of hardware is limited in comparison to what’s available for PC’s. The near idiot-proof technology does come at the expense of your pocketbook though.

And guess what, Vista’s reception is no different than XP! Six months after XP was released here’s what CNet had to say in 2002:

Microsoft’s latest operating system just turned six months old, and most would say that it’s neither a failure nor a raging success. While XP promised the latest and greatest multimedia, security, and ease-of-use features available, many users have not yet upgraded, fearing the hefty system requirements and potential compatibility disasters inherent in a major OS upgrade.

If you replace the instance of “XP” in that article with “Vista” you would essentially sum up what people are saying about Vista right now. Kinda funny, huh?

There are over 88 million people already running Vista (as of October 2007), which is double what XP had in the same time frame. Microsoft has also said that there are tens of millions of corporate volume licenses out there that have not been included in the 88 million users mentioned above. It’s estimated that 13% of businesses have already adopted Vista, which is quite good considering many enterprises will wait until Vista SP1 is released next year.

I think it’s safe to say that people are getting sick of all the Vista-bashing that is going on. I know Ed Bott is, and many of the readers over at Neowin are as well, so I think it’s time to bring an end to it.

There Are 37 Comments

  1. I’m surprised you have never even tried OSX, especially with so many computers at ISU running it, as well as a few of our friends. Weak Ryan. ;)

  2. I agree with you completely Ryan. I’ve been using Vista as my main OS since beta 1 and have gotten a lot more out of it than I ever did with XP. Whenever I read the bad press on Vista I feel like a bit of a fool for missing something. I just cannot figure out what is so bad about it. What I do know is that I will find it really hard to return to XP and losing some of Vista’s functionality in the process.

  3. My Vista bashing will end when my customers don’t always call me when their wireless connection drops out for no apparent reason. Until the drivers are stable, and the softwares are stable (antivirus, firewall, etc) I will continue to bash Vista.

    I will happily admit I felt the same about XP when it first came out, too. I’m not saying that Vista will always be crappy… just that RIGHT NOW is most certainly is. I have seen absolutely no tangible benefit from Vista over XP.

    Lastly, the other reason I will continue to bash Vista – because MS forced it down our throats. Sure, NOW you can get systems with XP instead of Vista, but you still can’t do this easily in a store, and when people need a machine quickly, they are screwed into getting Vista. When XP was released, Win98 and Win2k were still viable options for quite some time… why did MS force Vista upon us?

  4. Although I am an Ubuntu user, I am sick and tired of hearing bashing everytime Microsoft releases an OS as with time, that OS will become the most beloved one (like XP now).

    Give these companies a break. Whether they make expensive universal OS (like Microsoft), make free community supported OS (like Ubuntu), or make an OS that can only be sold as pre-installed on certain hardware (OSX), all these companies are providing VARIETY (something we will never value until we miss it).

    Therefore, please let each excel in their own way and let the consumer choose what suites them best. I can compile a huge list of Ubuntu and OSX benefits, and I bet I can compile an even bigger list of Vista’s benefits (yes, I am an Ubuntu user and I am proud of it).

  5. Latest test XP still outperforms Vista. I know you like Vista but I still have not seen any reason to change, I have installed systems for other people, and was not impressed with features or speed of Vista.
    See link below;

    [informationweek.com]

  6. Anonymous wrote:
    Latest test XP still outperforms Vista. I know you like Vista but I still have not seen any reason to change, I have installed systems for other people, and was not impressed with features or speed of Vista.
    See link below;

    [informationweek.com]…..=204203975

    of course, u dont have to like Vista nor use it.
    But, in 2010 when Windows 7 is release, u will be here defending Vista ;)
    (ironic isnt it? same cycle again and again)

  7. I agree completely that the bashing needs to stop. Just last night I ran Vista as host OS, XP as a guest OS in a VM, winamp (using the tv plugin to use my external usb tv tuner), Firefox in the host, IE in the guest, an external hard drive that I kept switching between host and guest, AIM in the host, and a few other programs, including 2 firewalls (both Comodo and Vista’s built in one) and 2 anti-viruses (Symantec Corporate and Antivir). All of this done on just about 2 gigs of RAM with almost no lagging, and with no BSODs or other errors. I could not do that using XP alone (although I still love XP, but not moreso than Vista). And yes, Aero was running, so there is another so called memory hog.

    As for the WiFi knocking out, my Vista has never done that, and you can not attribute customer complaints to Vista’s overall problems. It could simply be that they did not set up WiFi correctly (which is common for most common consumers), or that their internet went out for a little bit. So many things can affect WiFi, especially on the version they are using. Maybe, just maybe, they went out of range of their antenna (it’s possible).

    Finally, the whole forcing Vista down our throats thing is complete nonsense. Mac does it all the time and no one complains. I would much rather start out on Vista and decide for myself whether or not I like it before having to shell out a couple hundred later to get it when it is isn’t “crap.” It is cheaper to buy a copy of XP and downgrade, even if it may take a few more steps.

    Vista really is not all that bad. The only problems I have with it are when I do something I am not supposed to do with the registry or something that an average consumer should barely even know about. I am not calling anyone an idiot here, but face the fact: you can talk to someone of high intelligence about changing a registry value to allow *insert change here* and they can look at you like you are speaking a foreign language. Not everyone is a geek (a name I proudly give myself, lol). :mrgreen:

  8. I don’t like Vista mainly because of incompabilities and the fact it was forced upon us. If we had a choice between XP and Vista (and it was easy to switch in a store) I would have zero problems.

  9. Lol nice picture.

    I’m going to switch over to Vista just as soon as it comes down in price and SP1 is released. All software starts off with problems, as there’s no way they can test it on such a large scale without trial and error.

    The reason why OSX always works is because it’s built for the hardware. Windows has to support thousands of varieties of hardware which takes time.

  10. Whiny bloggers complaining isn’t really an indicator of anything except blogging in general being worthless drivel 99.9% of the time.

    The reality is that Vista works just fine most of the time. Every single problem I’ve ever come across is from lousy software or drivers, and almost every speed problem I’ve seen is because of crapware or running 5 different antivirus softwares at the same time.

    The other thing is that Vista is built for the multi-core processor future. If you try running it on an old single core machine, you aren’t gonna have very good performance at all. It’s really not meant for older computers.

  11. Vista is the new Windows ME. I have never had a chance to actually give it a fair try but judging from everything I’ve seen/heard/read about Vista so far, it *does* suck.

  12. I bought a new computer in the spring after a lot of hesitation between XP and Vista. My experience with Vista has been very pleasant, it’s very easy to use and I really like the Aero interface.

    My main reasons to get Vista were probably the Photo gallery and integrated search. I have a lot of photos and other files on my computer and it’s very easy to organize them without having to install a lot of programs as I had to in XP.

    There have been some minor problems, and UAC can be a little annoying sometimes but no crashes or stability problems. Maybe I have been just lucky or I just use my computer differently as the critics but I would definitely recommend Vista to home users buying new computers.

  13. Pieter wrote:
    Vista is the new Windows ME. I have never had a chance to actually give it a fair try but judging from everything I’ve seen/heard/read about Vista so far, it *does* suck.

    well, I believe that is the idea behind this article: people should stop bashing a product out of ignorance. It is not like Leopard is not having any issues. and It was forced on MAC users as well.

  14. M.E. wrote:
    It is not like Leopard is not having any issues.

    I know, I heard a story about some guy having troubles with Leopard on CNET’s Buzz Out Loud podcast. But all the hassle that people are having with Vista just seems worse. I should also mention that I completely detest Vista’s interface. I like shiny stuff but once it gets too shiny I simply don’t want to use it anymore.

    Oh, and about the yeah-but-Linux-geeks-hate-Windows-anyway thing: I’m posting this using Windows XP. Yes, I still use Windows from time to time. Just so you know. :)

  15. Usually, the complaints come in 3 forms:
    1 – Those who upgraded to Vista on a PC that had been running XP, and then they ran into unsupported hw/sw issues.
    2 – Those who are Mac freaks and/or trend whores.
    3 – People who will always find something to complain about.

    In scenario 1, to think you could take a PC built for a 5 year-old OS & throw in a brand new OS, and everything would be fine, you’re either naive about technology, or you’re just plain foolish. These are the same people who are going to be absolutely *shocked* when their old analog TVs stop working next year…

    Mac freaks will never appreciate anything made by Microsoft, no matter how good it may be, how well it may sell, or how advanced it is. No matter what, they will always believe that if it’s not wrapped in white plastic & named “i-Something,” it’s no good. And as long as Apple is considered “new & trendy,” the trend whores will continue to worship it.

    The rest of the people who complain about Vista complain about non-issues, or silly little problems. For example: dropping the wireless connection. Yes, it happens to me, too, once a week or so… But until it’s patched, it’s a simple fix (“repair network connection” always fixes it for me, and it never takes more than 30 seconds). They also complain that it was “forced” on them. That’s an amazingly stupid statement that really requires no rebuttal… Some people complain about Vista because their favorite software isn’t supported. Another dumb one – blame Microsoft because Company-X hasn’t updated their own product?!

    I’ve been a computer tech for some time, owning PCs running every Windows OS since 3.1 (except ME), and every time there’s a major upgrade, people start bitching about the same dumb things. The only difference this time is that there are more Mac freaks, and their shrill cries are more audible than the quiet satisfaction voiced by the other 92% of us.

  16. Forgot to comment on Pieter’s ridiculous post: “I have never had a chance to actually give it a fair try but judging from everything I’ve seen/heard/read about Vista so far, it *does* suck.”

    Wow… Let me get this straight: you don’t own Vista, but 40 million Vista other people do. Of those 40 million people, you seen/heard/read the complaints of maybe .00001% of them, and from that, you are 100% certain that Vista sucks. Please tell me you’re 9 years old…

  17. FSJ won’t stop vista bashing. :)
    Can’t wait for Google’s OS though (you wait it’ll happen)

  18. Well, I’ve been using Vista on my new comp for about 2 weeks now, no problems here.

  19. I’ve been using Vista on a new laptop for 3 months now – really using it – and I’ve experienced very few minor problems. And no wi-fi problems. Runs fast and smooth. I’ve also installed it on other computers for clients, and it runs nicely. The only real problem I’ve found is incompatibility with ancient no-name hardware and incompatibility with ancient software (but any major os upgrade will have this problem). Yes, I bumped into the issue with a couple of bigger programs, but software companies have been coming out with compatibility patches, and I’ve found that the XP compatibility mode works great for most older software.

    My advice is
    - if you have a computer with XP on it, leave it – keep using XP
    - If you have old software and/or hardware that won’t run on Vista, and that old stuff is vital to your operations, and you need to get a new computer, get one with XP
    - otherwise, if you are getting a new computer, get it with Vista

    And
    if you get Vista, make sure to get the right one
    - If you are going to just get Vista home basic, skip it, you might as well just buy XP. At least get Vista Home Premium.
    - If you run a business, even a small home business, the Business version is probably better for you, especially if you want built in fax software.

    And
    if you are buying a new computer with Vista, make sure it has some decent hardware. If you want your computer to last and be able to handle software requirements of new releases a few years from now, always buy as high above the minimum you can afford. That way, your system will run smoothly from the start, AND in the future, and you won’t be stuck trying to find rare memory that costs a fortune because they don’t make it anymore.

  20. I love having Vista on my desktop. I find it to be stable and just as quick as XP.

    There are a few nice features in Vista, but they are mostly aesthetic. Wizards and config utilities make it easier to acheive a goal than they did in XP.

    There is no real reason to upgrade, but I have never regreted upgrading my system. What more could Microsoft have included to make it stand out? Vista includes all the features I would expect from a modern operating system.

  21. Thank you for putting reports into the proper perspective. I haven’t used Vista, all that much yet, but I like it. It has an excellent theme and cool graphical effects, plus what I think is the best implementation of widgets to date, a sidebar (the bar is good for keeping widgets out of the way, yet maintaining their value). Plus, there are great smaller features, like lightning file search, explorer file grouping, folders shortcuts in explorer, several programs went menubarless, plus the new start menu w/ search is genius! Turning idle resources into speed sounds like an excellent idea! Whenever I’ve used Vista, I run IE and it seems to pop open instantly. I bet that’s why.

  22. It would be remiss to say why another segment of users dislike Vista so much, and that is the DRM system which forced such a huge rearchitecting of the Windows internals. Lots of driver problems were attributed to this (loss of a unified driver model, 64bit driver signing). The foundation of the OS was built to protect Hollywood content, not ensure fast and solid functioning of the OS. Particularly read about tilt-bits:

    [cypherpunks.to]~peter/vista.pdf
    [cs.auckland.ac.nz]~pgut001/pubs/vista_cost.html

    The PDF is more recent; also linked is his response to George Ou and Ed Bott. I don’t want to imply everything Guttman says is true, but the overall picture, along with clear evidence of the security leaks and implications is thought provoking.

    Oh, and whats with the horrendous feature-lockout pricing structure. It is amazing shadow copy is not available to home users. I wish we could just buy “Vista” as a unified OS.

  23. Andrew wrote:
    I’m surprised you have never even tried OSX, especially with so many computers at ISU running it, as well as a few of our friends. Weak Ryan. ;)

    I didn’t say that I hadn’t tried it, I just said that I haven’t used it much.

    hunashaman wrote:
    What I do know is that I will find it really hard to return to XP and losing some of Vista’s functionality in the process.

    That’s how I feel about Vista as well. Switching back to XP would definitely feel like a downgrade.

    Anonymous wrote:
    When XP was released, Win98 and Win2k were still viable options for quite some time… why did MS force Vista upon us?

    There are already so many different versions of Vista that throwing XP back into the mix would more than likely confuse the consumers. And does Apple offer older versions of OS X? Not that I’ve seen. It’s just an industry-standard thing to promote your newest operating system.

    M. E. wrote:
    Therefore, please let each excel in their own way and let the consumer choose what suites them best. I can compile a huge list of Ubuntu and OSX benefits, and I bet I can compile an even bigger list of Vista’s benefits (yes, I am an Ubuntu user and I am proud of it).

    I applaud you for not being a huge fanboy of any operating system! I don’t think I could have said that any better myself.

    Anonymous wrote:
    As for the WiFi knocking out, my Vista has never done that, and you can not attribute customer complaints to Vista’s overall problems. It could simply be that they did not set up WiFi correctly (which is common for most common consumers), or that their internet went out for a little bit. So many things can affect WiFi, especially on the version they are using. Maybe, just maybe, they went out of range of their antenna (it’s possible).

    I’ve never had problems with my wireless connection dropping either. I have an integrated Intel wireless card, and it seems like Intel has pretty good drivers available for Vista. It probably just depends on the quality of the wireless card and the signal strength of the router/access point your connecting to.

    Lewis wrote:
    Lol nice picture.

    I’m going to switch over to Vista just as soon as it comes down in price and SP1 is released. All software starts off with problems, as there’s no way they can test it on such a large scale without trial and error.

    Glad someone noticed the image. ;) For those people weary of Vista I don’t think waiting until SP1 is a bad idea. That is going to have a lot of performance and stability improvements from what I’ve read.

    The How-To Geek wrote:
    The other thing is that Vista is built for the multi-core processor future. If you try running it on an old single core machine, you aren’t gonna have very good performance at all. It’s really not meant for older computers.

    That is true. What I’m really waiting for is for the 64-bit apps and drivers to get pushed out. Microsoft has created the 64-bit OS, but I don’t want to move over to 64-bit since there are still many compatibility issues.

    Pieter wrote:
    Vista is the new Windows ME. I have never had a chance to actually give it a fair try but judging from everything I’ve seen/heard/read about Vista so far, it *does* suck.

    That is part of the problem is that the opinion of so many people regarding Vista is reliant on what they’ve heard. Having been a not-so-proud own of ME I would say that Vista is leaps and bounds better. I don’t think I went a day with ME not giving me a Blue Screen, whereas I’ve only gotten one BSoD on Vista in over the year that I’ve been using it, and it was from me trying to install an antivirus app that wasn’t compatible with Vista.

    Mris wrote:
    There have been some minor problems, and UAC can be a little annoying sometimes but no crashes or stability problems. Maybe I have been just lucky or I just use my computer differently as the critics but I would definitely recommend Vista to home users buying new computers.

    UAC definitely needs some tweaking, and a “Remember my selection” option on each UAC prompt would help tremendously.

    Pieter wrote:
    M.E. wrote:
    It is not like Leopard is not having any issues.

    I know, I heard a story about some guy having troubles with Leopard on CNET’s Buzz Out Loud podcast. But all the hassle that people are having with Vista just seems worse.

    I’m guessing that in reality Leopard is just as bad if look at the ratio of users. Vista has got to almost have 10x the number of OS X users, so it is understandable that more people are complaining about it.

    Scott wrote:
    Mac freaks will never appreciate anything made by Microsoft, no matter how good it may be, how well it may sell, or how advanced it is. No matter what, they will always believe that if it’s not wrapped in white plastic & named “i-Something,” it’s no good. And as long as Apple is considered “new & trendy,” the trend whores will continue to worship it.

    That is one of the funniest things that I’ve read in a long time. I agree with that to a point, but I believe all of the operating systems have their own fanboys. I just think that the Mac fanboys are among the most vocal. ;)

    netster007x wrote:
    Thank you for putting reports into the proper perspective. I haven’t used Vista, all that much yet, but I like it. It has an excellent theme and cool graphical effects, plus what I think is the best implementation of widgets to date, a sidebar (the bar is good for keeping widgets out of the way, yet maintaining their value).

    I actually think that the widget implementation is missing some nice features, such as the auto-hiding of the sidebar and a nice way to show/hide the widgets. The Windows Key + Spacebar will bring the widgets to the front, but pressing it again won’t hide them.

    Ian wrote:
    Oh, and whats with the horrendous feature-lockout pricing structure. It is amazing shadow copy is not available to home users. I wish we could just buy “Vista” as a unified OS.

    That is one thing that I hope Microsoft will take out of the creation and marketing of Vista … that having multiple versions is more confusing than what it’s worth.

  24. Scott wrote:
    Usually, the complaints come in 3 forms:
    1 – Those who upgraded to Vista on a PC that had been running XP, and then they ran into unsupported hw/sw issues.
    2 – Those who are Mac freaks and/or trend whores.
    3 – People who will always find something to complain about.

    Do you have data and stats to back that up?

    I’ve been in the IT support/analyst game for over 12 years. You name it, I’ve used it. My experience with Vista? They delivered a half-baked product. Most IT analysts know this.

  25. Anonymous wrote:
    My Vista bashing will end when my customers don’t always call me when their wireless connection drops out for no apparent reason. Until the drivers are stable, and the softwares are stable (antivirus, firewall, etc) I will continue to bash Vista.
    comment]

    How about bashing those driver&software developer not doing their job and not putting enough money for development?

    [theinquirer.net]

    This is another post of that test talked above. Did you notice that test was run with 1gb of ram and with a laptop? Vista’s default power settings can be bad and are trying to save power -> performance decreases. Also 1gb of ram in vista -> performance hugely decreases. Try with 2 or 4gb again with desktop pc and let’s see how the numbers will change? Where is that test script that i can try it? I think it’s nowhere. Any test must be able to be done again by onyone if you want it to be useful and true scienfical knowledge that has any value.

  26. I think a lot of Vista bashing comes from people who’ve installed it on top of XP rather than done a clean install. MS OSs historically do a pathetic job of this and in Vista’s case I can confirm this.

  27. Storytellerofsci-fi

    Well I’m going to add my dimes worth on this issue. But first a joke I read some place else.

    VISTA = (Virus Inside Switch to Apple) ha ha ha.(Come on folks it’s just a joke, they would have to give me a Mac Book Pro way before I would ever or even buy one)

    No I am definitely not an Apple fan-boy, (Can’t stand Apple anything) but I am a Microsoft fan-boy though sometimes it’s very disappointing these days. (Oh well)

    In the end Microsoft will ‘win with Vista’ (Somewhat) in some form because ‘time’ is on their side; however I’m willing to bet that most will jump from their Windows XP Pro editions to the anticipated coming Windows Version 7 not even considering the move to Vista. (I’ll be one, who ‘stands’ with me?)

    If Vista is functioning great for you wonderful. I knew when I was allowed to ‘beta test’ it there were some serious issues that needed addressing.

    But really this message is to address the comment added here:

    [theinquirer.net]

    This is another post of that test talked above. Did you notice that test was run with 1gb of ram and with a laptop? Vista’s default power settings can be bad and are trying to save power -> performance decreases. Also 1gb of ram in vista -> performance hugely decreases. Try with 2 or 4gb again with desktop pc and let’s see how the numbers will change? Where is that test script that i can try it? I think it’s nowhere. Any test must be able to be done again by onyone if you want it to be useful and true scienfical knowledge that has any value.

    Take a look at this article here:

    [winbeta.org]

    That should settle this discussion as it only produced a 4% overall increase in access speed overall. I think the performance will increase as the processor’s overall speeds increase again (Intel is going to start chasing GHZ again, Yeah!)

    You read it here ‘second’ I read it somewhere else ‘first’ (ha ha ha) Enough of this just adding ‘cores’ nonsense. (Model)

    Oh and 32 bit operating systems will only run 2.75 GBs of ram (ignoring the rest) I don’t care if you install 4 GBs of memory, you would have to go to 64 bit OS to utilize the ‘additional ram’ thats how it’s setup folks. (Oh well looking forward to the next incarnation of Windows) and a great Front Side Bus speed.

    Come on people everyone’s true issue here is we just want something that ‘works and works well’ that’s all we really are asking for, right?

    Bye.

  28. Ryan wrote:
    That is part of the problem is that the opinion of so many people regarding Vista is reliant on what they’ve heard. Having been a not-so-proud own of ME I would say that Vista is leaps and bounds better. I don’t think I went a day with ME not giving me a Blue Screen, whereas I’ve only gotten one BSoD on Vista in over the year that I’ve been using it, and it was from me trying to install an antivirus app that wasn’t compatible with Vista.
    I’m guessing that in reality Leopard is just as bad if look at the ratio of users. Vista has got to almost have 10x the number of OS X users, so it is understandable that more people are complaining about it.

    That puts everything into perspective. Thanks! :)

    >> Please tell me you’re 9 years old…
    Look. I know I went along with the “Vista-is-crappy” crowd, but not having used Vista myself yet these pieces of information were all I could use to form an opinion about Microsoft’s new OS. So please give me some credit, would ya?

  29. Just to preface – I don’t mean to bash this user specifically, but he/she simply provided all the replies to my comment in one post, so it made it the most convenient way to reference his/her comments when making mine.

    Anonymous wrote:
    I agree completely that the bashing needs to stop. Just last night I ran Vista as host OS, XP as a guest OS in a VM, winamp (using the tv plugin to use my external usb tv tuner), Firefox in the host, IE in the guest, an external hard drive that I kept switching between host and guest, AIM in the host, and a few other programs, including 2 firewalls (both Comodo and Vista’s built in one) and 2 anti-viruses (Symantec Corporate and Antivir). All of this done on just about 2 gigs of RAM with almost no lagging, and with no BSODs or other errors. I could not do that using XP alone (although I still love XP, but not moreso than Vista). And yes, Aero was running, so there is another so called memory hog.

    2 Gigs of RAM. Silly to start with, but let’s look a little more closely. You’re running Vista host with Firefox, AIM and “a few other programs” including 2 firewalls and 2 AVs – which probably means you are running one in the host and one in the guest. And then you run IE in the guest. Whoopty do. You’re not even using the computer and you have no problems. That tells me nothing, other than the fact that Vista can run under 1Gig, and so can XP (assuming you ran a 50/50 split on the VM). We already knew that.

    If you want to talk about totally unrelated things, I can tell you that my MythTV box is viewing, recording, and serving music, TV, and videos throughout my house on a Athlon XP 1800 CPU with 384MB RAM. My other laptop is running a dual-boot Ubuntu, giving me all the features of Vista (inlcuding the “Aero” interface) on 512MB. While this is not relevant to my original point, it addresses your implication that Vista is a memory hog pretty well, I think. But let’s get back to the point…

    For example, let me explain a wonderful feature I am running into with Vista. When you install MS Office 2003, Outlook is simply not registered as the default mail program… it’s not even available in the list. I haven’t looked too hard yet, but I can’t seem to find a quick way to get Outlook 2003 to be “registered” as the default email client in Vista. Why is this a problem? Well, when you run Adobe Photoshop Elements in Vista, it allows you to email the picture through your default email program. However, IT can “see” Outlook, and tries to send it there, but then provides an error for some reason. You have to then select Windows Mail (Vista’s built in emailer) to get it to sent it through that, at least. So, now, the customer has to use Windows mail for outgoing pictures, and Outlook for everything else… on the same email account. Remember, Outlook is an MS program… you’d think they could get it to register on Vista without much issue… but it seems this is not the case. And why does this happen? Because Vista is better.

    As for the WiFi knocking out, my Vista has never done that, and you can not attribute customer complaints to Vista’s overall problems. It could simply be that they did not set up WiFi correctly (which is common for most common consumers), or that their internet went out for a little bit. So many things can affect WiFi, especially on the version they are using. Maybe, just maybe, they went out of range of their antenna (it’s possible).

    One customer’s system would simply refuse to connect while sitting NEXT TO his wireless router. The router is fine, as it works with his other laptop. I used it on my router (which also works fine with my other laptop) and it would only connect when there was >4 bars of connectivity. It would repeatedly and unexpectedly drop connections for no reason (I wasn’t moving around). Turns out, the Windows Update for new drivers, as well as the new drivers from the manufacturer (Realtek) and the ones from Gateway ALL would refuse to work properly. However, with the original drivers that shipped with the laptop, the machine seemed to work acceptably. So, it took all that troubleshooting just to get the damn thing to work properly… because of a friggen Windows update. Nice.

    Another user simply loses her connection with her brand new Dell for no reason. We still don’t really know why, but we do know her ancient XP laptop with an external Dynex Wifi card works just fine all the time. WTF?

    Finally, the whole forcing Vista down our throats thing is complete nonsense. Mac does it all the time and no one complains. I would much rather start out on Vista and decide for myself whether or not I like it before having to shell out a couple hundred later to get it when it is isn’t “crap.” It is cheaper to buy a copy of XP and downgrade, even if it may take a few more steps.

    I’m not saying Mac is any better. I never brought that up at all. However, if this happened on that side, I would complain there too. My issue is that this time, for purely money reasons, MS decided to force us into Vista. They didn’t do this before (that’s called precedent) so we EXPECTED not to have to be forced into it… yet, here we are. Mac, in this case, has no such precedent. Without precedent, of course no one would complain about the “other” way of doing things. That’s a silly argument.

    Vista really is not all that bad. The only problems I have with it are when I do something I am not supposed to do with the registry or something that an average consumer should barely even know about. I am not calling anyone an idiot here, but face the fact: you can talk to someone of high intelligence about changing a registry value to allow *insert change here* and they can look at you like you are speaking a foreign language. Not everyone is a geek (a name I proudly give myself, lol). :mrgreen:

    Yes, Vista is fine for basic web browsing and such simple tasks. The minute you do something harder, it seems to have issues (games are slower, the whole OS is simply not as snappy, etc). My parents, who just use email and IM, are fine with Vista. But any of my other customers who do marginally more than them run into problems left and right.

    As for being a geek, no offense, but just because you can change a reg-key doesn’t make you a geek, or an expert user. You are certainly more competent than any average user… but unless the threshold for geekdom is what the Geek Squad is capable of (which is not much, but that’s another story) let’s not pump ourselves up too much.

    The real question is, what does Vista really give you? As far as I can see – nothing. My XP install at home runs circles around Vista with all the many programs I am constantly running – on only 1GB of RAM. It doesn’t bluescreen on me, nor does it crash or give me any other issues. Again, this is a credit to many years of improvements. But what BENEFIT does Vista give me? Faster? No. Easier? No. So why should I say it doesn’t suck?

    Again, to reiterate, eventually, this will all change, and Vista will be much better. But to simply say “we need to stop bashing it” is total crap. If it sucks today, then it sucks today… period. There’s no reason we should stop bashing it for it’s faults. In fact, because it’s forced upon is, we should continue bashing it more than XP, since we at least had a choice back then… and today we don’t. Maybe next time MS will learn from this idocy and not force Windows 7 (or whatever they call it) down our throats.

    I’ve been in the IT support/analyst game for over 12 years. You name it, I’ve used it. My experience with Vista? They delivered a half-baked product. Most IT analysts know this.

    Nuff’ said. The REAL experts know the deal… and Vista DOES suck for anything more than email and web browsing.

  30. Any word about the DRMs Vista is crippled with ? They’re the main reason I really don’t want to go that way…

  31. A big reason everything works on XP is because everyone uses it. It is important that people start using Vista, so it becomes the standard and compatibility problems can slowly disappear.

    A public of mixed OS’s is a problem, just like a nation of mixed languages.

  32. Nosh wrote:
    I think a lot of Vista bashing comes from people who’ve installed it on top of XP rather than done a clean install. MS OSs historically do a pathetic job of this and in Vista’s case I can confirm this.

    Ooooo, that’s a good one. I’ve never done a major upgrade in that fashion so I can’t comment on how smooth it would go. I like having the fresh start.

    Storytellerofsci-fi wrote:
    Come on people everyone’s true issue here is we just want something that ‘works and works well’ that’s all we really are asking for, right?

    That is the bottom line, but many times people complain about Vista without providing constructive criticism. Microsoft needs to know what they can improve on to make it the operating system everyone expected. Responses like “it sucks” or “it’s slow” generally doesn’t help them much. You need to tell them what’s slow, such as the file transfer speed. When articles start going that route then they won’t be bashing Vista, they will be suggesting improvements.

    Anonymous wrote:
    Again, to reiterate, eventually, this will all change, and Vista will be much better. But to simply say “we need to stop bashing it” is total crap. If it sucks today, then it sucks today… period. There’s no reason we should stop bashing it for it’s faults. In fact, because it’s forced upon is, we should continue bashing it more than XP, since we at least had a choice back then… and today we don’t. Maybe next time MS will learn from this idocy and not force Windows 7 (or whatever they call it) down our throats.

    Well, I pretty much covered that in my response immediately above this one, but the way most users are “bashing” the operating system doesn’t provide Microsoft with the information they need to correct the issues. Take CNet’s article for example, they say it is one of the worse tech products but provide very little to back it up. Whatever happened to constructive criticism? If you don’t like something say how you would make it better.

    s427 wrote:
    Any word about the DRMs Vista is crippled with ? They’re the main reason I really don’t want to go that way…

    I have yet to run into any DRM troubles with Vista, but then again I try to stay away from the DRM plagued media.

    netster007x wrote:
    A big reason everything works on XP is because everyone uses it. It is important that people start using Vista, so it becomes the standard and compatibility problems can slowly disappear.

    A public of mixed OS’s is a problem, just like a nation of mixed languages.

    That is a really good analogy. And yet by the time things are done we’ll probably have more operating systems than languages. ;)

  33. I could not disagree more strongly with the premise of this article. Vista-bashing SHOULD continue. We are far too conditioned to accept what corporations hand us. We need to get angrier when we are handed a bad deal, not more complacent.

    1. In the case of Vista, we have a product that’s literally a DOWNgrade in many ways, compared to XP. The user interface is LESS convenient (especially the idiotic new file “Explorers”), performance is generally REDUCED (in most benchmarks, by 5-10%), and we’re now paying for massive DRM even though it’s not there to benefit us at all, and probably won’t work anyway. Even the much ballyhooed DirectX 10 comes off as a big snooze. (I’ve played Crysis both ways, and the difference is just NOT worth the Vista upgrade.) And games are inexplicably stuffed into a “Games Explorer” that creates a whole needless new UI paradigm. (Check the forums: one of the biggest questions lately is “where did my game go after I installed it???”)

    2. New features? You must be joking. A photo browser that’s not as good as ones you can download for free?? A “Sidebar” thingy that lets you further clutter up your desktop, and adds no real functionality? IE7, that looks like a joke next to the free, well-behaved, rapidly-updated and infinitely-expandable Firefox?

    3. At the same time, Vista fixes NONE of the well-known problems of Windows XP. Some examples: Explorer windows STILL tend to forget their settings on a FIFO basis. (This would be so trivial to fix, it’s almost embarrassing to talk about.) Newly added network devices STILL don’t show up. Configuration is confusingly different, yet no better in any way. For security, there’s insanely-annoying UAC, but only yet another joke firewall. The list goes on and on. Vista SHOULD have been XP taken to the next level; but it’s NOT. Ask yourself: how many of the fixer-upper utilities that we all use in XP have been rendered unnecessary in Vista? For me, the answer is a negative number: I need MORE little helpers to make Vista as usable as XP.

    Meanwhile, the price has gone up dramatically.

    As consumers, we MUST continue to “bash” products like this. And far from becoming apologists for inferior design, sites like this one have a duty to NOT to accept a dribble of novelty as “good enough”… but instead to continue to hammer away tirelessly at products that quite obviously should be much better.

  34. In related news: I heard that Windows Vista is like three times as slow as Windows XP. Is this true?

  35. fung0 wrote:
    Ask yourself: how many of the fixer-upper utilities that we all use in XP have been rendered unnecessary in Vista? For me, the answer is a negative number: I need MORE little helpers to make Vista as usable as XP.

    I have asked myself that, and for me there’s a lot of them I wouldn’t need (I don’t have Vista yet). I wouldn’t need Launchy because of built in search in start menu, w/ slick autofocus on winkey hotkey. I wouldn’t need Copernic desktop search because of Vista’s built in. I wouldn’t need Y!Widgets because of Vista’s sidebar. I wouldn’t need skinning app because of excellent visuals built in. And there’s probably more I can’t think of right now.

  36. Ryan wrote:
    That is a really good analogy. And yet by the time things are done we’ll probably have more operating systems than languages. ;)

    Good luck with that, we only have two of ‘em so far: Windows and *nix ([en.wikipedia.org]*nix). :P

  37. netster007x wrote:
    fung0 wrote:
    Ask yourself: how many of the fixer-upper utilities that we all use in XP have been rendered unnecessary in Vista? For me, the answer is a negative number: I need MORE little helpers to make Vista as usable as XP.

    I have asked myself that, and for me there’s a lot of them I wouldn’t need (I don’t have Vista yet). I wouldn’t need Launchy because of built in search in start menu, w/ slick autofocus on winkey hotkey. I wouldn’t need Copernic desktop search because of Vista’s built in. I wouldn’t need Y!Widgets because of Vista’s sidebar. I wouldn’t need skinning app because of excellent visuals built in. And there’s probably more I can’t think of right now.

    I’ve actually become addicted to the Vista gadgets, but Yahoo! Widgets still seems to have a better selection available. So I’m sure you’ll find yourself missing some of your favorite Yahoo! Widgets.

    Pieter wrote:
    In related news: I heard that Windows Vista is like three times as slow as Windows XP. Is this true?

    In some recent benchmark tests they have shown that Vista is slower (I don’t think it was 3x slower though), but from my own use I would say that it is faster because of its advanced prefetching. Of course the more RAM you have the more it can prefetch, so that is what really determines the results.

    Pieter wrote:
    Ryan wrote:
    That is a really good analogy. And yet by the time things are done we’ll probably have more operating systems than languages. ;)

    Good luck with that, we only have two of ‘em so far: Windows and *nix ([en.wikipedia.org]*nix). :P

    I was considering each Linux distribution to be its own operating system, but that is wrong. I think that Mac, Windows, Unix, Linux, and BSD are all considered separate though.

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