Where Windows Pundits Went Wrong

I’m really starting to get pissed off with the distributed lynch mob that’s forming around my recent decision to drop VIsta for XP. Now, the saddest part of this is – I’m not pissed off at the people telling me to switch to OS X, I’m really pissed off at the people who are blaming me for Vista’s shortcomings. Witness Ed Bott’s jabs:

It’s vintage agitprop from Chris…

Hey, Ed? How much money did you make from your book, “Windows Vista Inside Out?” No, seriously – let’s talk about full disclosure here. If you honestly believe that I’m the only Windows enthusiast who thinks the way I do, think again. Moreover, since going public with my decision and reasoning, I’ve received at least THREE separate emails from WIndows community leaders who have also decided to work regularly inside XP (in some capacity) rather than stick it out with Vista.

Despite the glitches (and yes, I’ve had a few), my productivity is up, way up, thanks to Vista and Office 2007. On balance, I prefer Vista over XP. I do, however, have an XP system running in one corner of my office because the drivers and supporting software for my Fujitsu ScanSnap scanner won’t be ready until April.

Good for you, Ed. I’m happy you’re content with running A SECOND SYSTEM IN ANOTHER AREA OF YOUR OFFICE TO DO WHAT YOU SHOULD BE ABLE TO DO ON YOUR PRIMARY SYSTEM!!! You’ve proven my point, Ed – “agitprop” or not. Let’s turn our attention now to Dwight’s perspective:

If he were to take a moment and look back, chances are he’d find he was jumping through the same hoops 5 years ago, when he was working with the initial release of Windows XP.

Bullsh*t. If XP had acted this way in the beginning, I would have moved back to 2000 in a heartbeat. That didn’t happen, however – as I was able to get all of my hardware and software to work well inside of XP. I’ve already come out and said that I was “forced” to upgrade from Outlook 2000 to Outlook 2007 since Vista didn’t support the older version at all, but that hasn’t been without its own share of frustrations. You weren’t there with me when I made that move, and you’re not here with me when I have to make these decisions. What’s more, I’m still willing to stick with the Windows brand altogether – much to the dismay of my colleagues.

Chris says he’ll be back to Vista when Service Pack 1 releases, a familiar refrain for those who are holding off upgrading. But you’d think that, as long as he’s been involved in technology, he’d learn that it just goes with the territory.

Again, you’re missing my point – I’m telling you, I simply can’t deal with this right now. I need my operating system to do the things I need it to do TODAY – not six months from now. I’m fully willing to concede that my problems are partially tied to hardware choices, but that still doesn’t make your argument to “stick it out with Vista” any stronger (in fact, it further serves to support my decision). Don’t apologize for anybody but yourself. Adrian takes a similar stance, but redeems himself with a counterpoint:

If you ask me, all Chris is doing by avoiding Vista now is being a weasel to his future self. The problems he’s having now are likely to be there 12 months from now, and 24 months from now. There might be less driver and software hassles but different hassles will replace them. Fact.

Weasel? Tell ya what: I’d rather run Vista in a virtual machine on an XP desktop than vice versa. I realize there are always going to be hassles, but when those hassles cause me to pause my own workflow… they become more than hassles, they become obstacles. I have to start thinking around my operating sysetm instead of my operating system doing the thinking for me. If you want a REAL, TANGIBLE fact… I rely less and less on desktop-based software and more and more on Web-based apps. Hey! Watch replaced a thousand media problems in one fell swoop.

Ed, Dwight, Adrian… I respect each one of you, but you’re not giving me salient arguments for why I, or anybody else, should stick with Windows Vista if we’re running into problems with it on a regular basis. You act as if I’m totally alone here, an exception to the rule… and that’s wrong. I did my best not to make knee-jerk, blanket statements like Jason did this morning, although I understand and share his frustration.

Believe me, nobody feels worse about this decision than I do. I’ll still be running Vista on my laptop (despite recently having to reinstall the OS after something went awry with a Windows Update procedure), but my primary desktop will soon be XP again. Oh, and let’s just pound one more nail into your argument’s coffin: French researcher says Vista’s user interface suffers from more ‘friction’ than XP. Booya!

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  17. NO BODY CARES. Stop your bitching and go use XP. I don’t know who you think you are that the world has to stop because you don’t think Vista is ready. Grow the F up. Go use XP or a Mac.

    You’re complaining about an OS that is less than 1 month old and has to be able to support an infinite # of hardware configurations. OSX has a standard hardware config controlled by Apple so you don’t have these issues, Linux doesn’t which is why most Linux distros are JUST catching up to even come close to Windows in terms of hardware support.

    You can’t get all your hardware/peripherals working because of lack of driver support…shocker.

    What I don’t get is why you have to make this such a big deal and get all worked up over it. It’s just an operating system, if XP is better suited for your daily tasks so be it…you’re not betraying your parents or comitting a crime.

    I just installed Home Premium on a separate partition a few weeks ago and have had little to no problems. It’s definitely not perfect but I UNDERSTAND AND ACCEPT IT’S NEW and it will improve over time LIKE ANY NEW TECH…


  18. As far as I’m concerned, you are 100% right in your decision. If you have requirements of your system, and Vista is unable to meet those requirements, there’s no reason to stay. Myself, I am sticking with it because it is able to meet my requirements, and I enjoy the challenge. Not being able to do your job, however, is a bit more challenge than a person should have to put up with.

  19. Your decision makes sense to me.

    If something isn’t working for you then why stick with it? I run Vista on my laptop which works perfectly yet I just couldn’t deal with the slow nVidia drivers under Vista on my work PC (granted it is a 3 year-old machine). I also installed Vista on my MCE machine then reverted that once I realized Remote Desktop doesn’t come with Home Premium.

    Now, about the amount of flack you get, that’s to be understood. You’re a popular blogger which always invites the nuts, plus you yourself are known to get rather passionate at times which in turn will incite others to do the same.

    The only issue I really have with your latest post is the reference to the French article. While it’s an interesting read it takes away from what I considered to be a main point of yours; that regardless of how well Vista is supposed to work, or how well it could work or even how well it works for others, unless it works for *you* on a consistent basis then it’s the tool for you. By folding in the French article you invite the discussion to open right back up in a very general Vista vs. The World conversation instead of the more personal and interesting, Chris vs. Vista.

    Ed and others can’t fault you for having your opinions, it’s like being upset at someone for not liking ice cream but once you bring in more general reports it becomes a statistical slapfight with no clear winner.

  20. Aside from all this Vista stuff, thanks for turning me on to HeyWatch! This will come in VERY useful and not a million miles away from part of a system I just built 😉

    Re: Vista – I won’t say switch to OSX – stick to XP for now. But seriously, if you don’t have one, get an Intel Mac. It runs everything.

    I ran Vista for all of a few hours before I realised I didn’t have the immediate time to fiddle with everything and rolled back to XP.

  21. I planned to wait at least 6 months before getting vista, but I think I’ll wait at least a year.. I think they should give a beta rebate 🙂

  22. Everybody’s so gaga over Vista, and I guess all the new computers are coming out with it already installed, so some folks are “stuck” with it. I dont know about some of those guys, but I want my apps to WORK! Plain and simple. I dont know why that’s such an odd thing to want. lol! And I’m hearing how it’s messing up some programs, itunes, etc.. the imcompatibility, ….. on and on.

    No way. I stick by my original decision to wait a YEAR at least. I’m fine with XP. Very happy in fact. Why fix what ain’t broke. Eye-candy wears off quickly. And Vista does look VERY cool, but “cool” doesnt make apps work well. I want a stable environment.

    I’m sure in about 6 months to a year (probably closer to a year), it will be much more stable.

    ps: I hope you don’t mind a semi “non geek” weighing in on your posts. 😉

  23. What’s wrong Chris? Didn’t like the comment from WhoCares so you decided to delete it? What a fucking loser. You can dish it out but you can’t take it. Whatever little respect I had for you just went down the toilet.

    You feel you have to resort to censorship to get your lame ass point across. Go ahead and delete this comment too…I know it’ll make you feel like a big boy.

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  25. Hey WhoCares/WhatsWrong:

    1. You don’t like it, don’t read it. Simple as that.

    2. This is not a publicly owned space where anyone can do whatever they want – if Chris doesn’t want your comments here, no law says he has to leave them up. Quit pulling the censorship card. You wanna rant back with no fear of deletion? Do it on your own blog.

    Have a nice day, Mr Anonymous.

  26. I am with you Chris. I will wait until Vista is fixed. I cannot see spending more money to downgrade my productivity. Computers are supposed to be a tool. I would not purchase a table-saw and wait for the manufacturer to come out with a saw blade that would fit the saw. So that is why I will continue to wait until MS comes out with an actual “Upgrade” to XP.

  27. I’m very happy with XP and Office 2003 myself. I feel no need to switch to Vista just because it’s out there. When and if my hardware and software requirements change enough to go for Vista, then I will. I guess it’s because I’m not a geek that I don’t need every new toy that comes to market. And since it’s Chris Pirillo’s blog, so he can say anything he wants to about Vista or anything else that strikes his fancy.

  28. I’ve straddled the fence in both Windows environments and Macs for 3 decades and life is too short to be screwing around with either Linux or Windows OSeS and being a computer shadetree mechanic WHEN REAL WORK NEEDS TO GET DONE.

    I “slide over to the Mac back in 1993 when I needed to get project management activities completed “yesterday” for the government after 13 years of being a techy replacing parts and pieces in PCs. I left a lot of blood on the ground with those boxes (card swapping, hard drive replacements, motherboard upgrades, etc.) while supporting 18,000 of them. As a Mac tech, my time was freed up.

    Free up your time Chris and just get a Mac and stop wasting your time. It is just not worth it any more. We sell Macs on our site. They are that good.

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  30. Hi, Chris.

    Impressive rant! You should do it for a living.

    Oh. Wait. You do!

    Anyway, I just wanna clarify something… I never said you should stick it out with Vista. What I said was, in essence: “Hey, what do you expect? It’s a brand new OS! Stuff like this happens with a brand new OS.”

    I don’t care what OS you use, personally. If you wanna go back to Windows 1.0 (I hear Ballmer says it has Solitaire!), that’s OK by me. But if you do, a word of advice . . . wait for the service pack!


  31. It didn’t surprise me at all that you had to backrev to XP. I thought your post explaining your reasons was reasonable and well thought out. It’s not like you decided to do it after using Vista for only a day. You have to do whatever allows you to be most productive. It’s not your problem if someone doesn’t understand that. (Although I understand you having to defend your position.)

  32. If it were not for Microsoft, I wouldn’t have been an IT Professional for nearly the past 10 years. Back when the MCSE (now NT track) meant something (big $$$$), I hopped on the bandwaggon and earned my MCSE (no exam crams existed then). The raises were great. I really enjoyed the product that Microsoft put out and had worked with Microsoft products since DOS 3.x and Windows 2.0.

    Times have changed and Microsoft has too. So much focus on attempting to model the hardware market into their vision. Too much attention into antipiracy technology. I have read somewhere recently, that Linux OS ranges in the 10 million lines of code, Mac OSX 5 million lines, where Microsoft Vista in the 35 million lines range. I don’t know if that is actually true, but in the size of the media (CD vs DVD), seems fairly accurate.

    Linux, OSX, Windows all have one thing in common – they are only an operating system. That’s all. If I can get all of my hardware to work in Windows XP, what can possibly change so much in an “operating system” to essentially render my system useless in Vista.

    Now for the Vista versions. I feel that Microsoft has really lost touch with what the business user, home user, media user, student, and enthusists really want. As for a business user, I want complete compatibility with all my office apps and my clients office apps. As a media user, MP3 is supported by Microsoft, however Microsoft will not allow WMA format to exist with Linux users. Hasn’t the PDF made an impact in our lives? Microsoft doesn’t think that is good enough with the introduction of their own proprietary portable format. The media center has introduced new words “composing artists”, “album artists”, “contributing artists” to circumvent the original artist. How many times do we have to edit tags? Once loaded, the 1000s of MP3s and 1000s more artists can hardly be handled by the Media Player 11. The system generally hangs, it’s thinking.

    I can go on and on. I have grown to like Windows XP and there are plenty of modified themes and skins that can make any Windows XP look and feel like a Vista box. Why by Vista Ultimate for $399+. When all that you have grown to know in an XP OS already exists in the OS or via freeware to cheap software. Microsoft broke up an existing OS and diveded components over various flavors of Vista. Stick with XP. I am. I am also learning to like Linux and am introducing myself to Mac OSX.

    Microsoft is pushing it’s once loyal fanbase away.

  33. I have to agree with Chris. Vista takes an entire day to tweak all the crud out of it, and there’s just too many things to hate about it — from the control panel to the start menu to Vista Explorer to the UI to the color scheme to its various bugs.

    Computing should always get faster and better. Vista did neither. Five years to create that mess: Microsoft SHOULD be ashamed!

  34. Total agreement with you Chris. This is a big disappointment and frankly installing Vista was a big waste of my time. The one feature I thought was really going to make my life easier, WINFS which could have at least helped organize my files, didn’t make it in.

    I’m left scratching my head and wondering…what did I miss? Aside from the installation which was easy and fast, getting things done is just slower and more frustrating without any tangible benefit other than some whiz bang graphics. I’ve read through the feature lists and really none of them are compelling to me.

    I’m back on XP and dual booting with Ubuntu which increasingly can do most of what I need. Perhaps a Macbook is in the cards, I haven’t been an Apple user since 1989 but I’m willing to take another look.

  35. I have beta tested Longhorn and then Vista for years.I expected a real product in the end.But what I got was something that would not even do what it claimed to require.A K9A board and 4gb of ram and X1950 Pro Crossfire and RaptorX Raid and Antec Trio 650 that Vista Ultimate won’t run a install on but XP will, even though XP wont address all the ram.I agree,it went to RTM,that should mean something.Why not send Beta1 to RTM?It’s not done if it’s not ready for the user.I have been Microsoft died in the wool for years but this is embarrassing.Bill is way to far up to see anymore, and the face people are spitting out what they are being given.In the real world it is an incompatable replacement for everyone to adapt to.After all this time I expected more and would rather have waited than meet a deadline.It’s pretty,but it won’t do what I,what I want.

  36. Hey Chris, I think you’re 100% right. Hey I freakin’ bought 64 bit Vista for Business and couldn’t get it to work well. Audio terrible. Drivers baulking. I was able to get a Vista For Business 32 bit and it has been great. Yep, I did the XP dual boot for a while. Just swtiched to full on Vista because I filled up my Vista partition.

    The thing is that Vista and Office 2007 aren’t getting in my way so I’m sticking with it. But if I hadn’t been able to get a 32 bit version, I’d be on XP until SP1 for sure.

    The bottom line is that computers are tools. If the tool isn’t working, you change it. Simple as that. Computer OSes aren’t religion, they are just part of the tool.

  37. I think Chris should ignore the Microsoft shills. They are paid by them, directly or not, therefore their voice does not mean much.

  38. Have you tried doing any FTPing from the Vista Explorer? If you try to overwrite an existing file — maybe because you edited it, for example — Vista will give you the regular confirmation dialog for overwriting the file, but it will also spawn a useless dialog box in front of it which prevents you from actually confirming.

    Check out this video I made: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0CXs96pHqUg

    Try it yourself. Things like that make Vista a pain in the butt to work with day in and day out. I’ve been talking about going back to XP for well over two weeks, I just haven’t found the time.

  39. Hello Chris. Once again I want to apologize for the multiple posts on the keyboard cleaning article, seems firefox was having a problem with the site for some reason. As for your decision to stick with XP for the time being. I can’t blame you. like any product when it first comes out, is bound to have bugs, and it would make sense to wait. I myself had a less than stellar impression of vista, From the UAC, to not being able to play dvd’s in media player (I got “not enough memory” messages despite having 512mb ram, and all of the eye candy turned off.) Iike anyone else I would rather go with what works, and for now that is XP. If I had any hope of running vista reliably, I guess I would have to perform an extensive upgrade of my system, which I can’t afford right now.
    I cannot blame your friends for wanting you to switch to a mac either. ( I used OS X for the first time a few years ago and was hooked.) But I realize that Microsoft would have to really screw up to accomplish that. though I’m sure you remember Windows ME. 😉 I’m sure vista will improve over time. The big question will be how long people are willing to wait. Time will tell…

  40. oops forgot to say it was vista RC2, the UAC dialog, and the requirements even for that version were still enough to give me a less than stellar impression.

  41. Wow, I’ve never seen such self-important ranting in my life. Really, nobody cares what OS you run, and why you made the decisions you have. I chose Vista, works great for me.
    This reminds me of why I de-subbed from your newsletter…even though you still send it to me….is that Vista’s problem too?

  42. I’m with you Chris, some of these morons talk like the OS -you- use is somehow going to make -their- life better.

    The OS that is best for you is the OS that works best for you. That’s what I always say.

    I’ve got them all on over a dozen machines, including Mac. I’m a developer for Windows apps, I’m sticking with XP on my primary machine for quite a while longer – because it simply works best for my needs.

  43. I have to agree as I have also moved my primary machine back to XP from Vista.

    My primary use is documents/presentations/surfing and gaming, however the game support for Vista is average at best – all my drivers are working but trying to get a decent framerate is almost impossible. Combined with the fact that Vista wants to wait long periods of time checking programs I want to install (why is this?) that Vista has reduced my productivity.

    I like the look and feel of Vista but at moment it is worse then XP for my needs.

    XP is reinstalled and patched with IE7 and Office2007. If I want to make it look nice like Vista I will load on WindowBlinds.

    As Chris says, perhaps when 3rd parties and SP1 turn up I will try it again.


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  47. Chris, I don’t blame you. I didn’t switch from Windows 2000 to XP on my primary system at all – Mostly because I couldn’t stand the cute and almost Prozac-soaked interface that everyone was exposed to. However, after having to work with Vista (pre-release AND release), I feel that XP is probably vastly superior where the UI is concerned. If XP was Prozac, Vista is an overload on saccharine. It is just… *UGH*

    When my primary is next up for a clean-up and re-install, 2K goes and XP SP2 gets installed. I just hope that Microsoft in its wisdom will at least provide us with SP3 before shutting down XP support.

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  49. I think you’re right to make the decision you’ve made. Issues are relative. In this case, relative to you as the person just trying to get through the working day and trying to complete common tasks without the undue headache.

    If the tools you are using to do that hinder you more than they help you, then it’s time to change the tools. Bizarrely, there aren’t many other areas of life where this simple equation wouldn’t make perfect sense to everyone.

  50. Don’t know why are you bashing Vista when the manufacturers have plenty of time to make the drivers ready, but they don’t do it.

    Even Vista was in gold two or three month before the official launch.

  51. Finally! A voice of reason. I was one of the early adopters of Vista when it first became available to MSDN subscribers as a Beta and then a release candidate. It worked reasonably well and I thought that it was coming along well (albeit with the usual glitches). Imagine my surprise and horror when the gold version shipped and it didn’t support a significant portion (>40%) of my hardware. Most of the hardware wasn’t more than 12-18 months old. Yikes. Worked great in XP and didn’t in Vista. I couldn’t even move the XP drivers over to Vista without the dreaded dialog boxes popping up everywhere. No joy.

    Like Chris I am back to using XP. Works great, and seems faster too. Vista can keep the eye candy and I’ll get back to doing real work in XP. Especially video and audio playback. Vista = Not Yet Ready for Primetime.

  52. At last.. Chris you took too long to reach this conclusion.. I was testing vista from its longhorn days… and I knew how bad it was…

    You are too polite with MS saying that its mostly a driver problem…
    but the reality is that Vista and all vista era products have bad design,
    that cannot be fixed by any service pack…

    GEEKS at LAST UNITE and stand up to the CRAP!!!

    BRAVO CHRIS! Been with you since the early lockergnome days

  53. Some of these Vista arguments are ridiculous. I can certainly support the idea of staying or moving back to XP if Vista somehow doesn’t appeal or creates more problems. From reading through all of this it seems that most of the problems that were listed are software or driver issues. I don’t quite understand why people criticize someone not wanting to stay with Vista because of this if XP works.

    That being said I can easily side with anyone who wants to state that Vista is still very much a beta quality product. I work at a community college where I and 1 part time person support about 300 systems. We were originally under pressure to roll out Vista this fall but due to MS’s ineptitude to releasing Vista, we are now waiting until fall ’08. The school orders books in the spring so the decision has to be made now.

    For the MS/Windows apologists consider the fact that MS released both Vista and Office 2k7(yes, problems there too) back in November. MS has done a very poor job of providing any documentation with some still reflecting the beta versions and some simply not available. We are almost into March. There’s no excuse for someone of MS’s clout to treat their customers especially volume license customers like this.

    The same can be said of their Vista deployment tools. Some have been released very late and then pulled back in due to bugs. A recent bug did something silly where you had their image burned to a dvd and upon running it, it asks for a cd. That’s some quality control there I tell you. «sigh».

    As for Vista itself, yes, it is full of bugs. A release like this was acceptable by most people years ago but the market is changing. Some of these bugs are driver issues but where do you think the finger gets pointed when the drivers are coming from MS or the Vista distribution. One example is upon installing Vista my Kensington trackball suddenly wouldn’t move the curser. Rebooting the system in the middle of the install was necessary to get it working again.

    During multiple installs Vista completely freaks out with my ATI Firegl card with two monitors attached. It gets the monitors backwards and screws up the frequency settings on one of them. The funny thing is I’ve reproduced this so that the fix is simply to keep turning on and off the extend desktop feature. Once or twice doesn’t seem to do it.

    MS at the end of January released some new drivers via their updates. In it I received a new monitor driver for my Samsung lcd. A few days later while viewing our secretary’s pics from Mexico I was stuck wondering what kinda cheap camera she used. I was using MS’s included viewer. On a hunch I expanded it to full screen and found the pics looked fine. If I viewed them in a window, it looked totally horrible again. If I moved the window to my other monitor(Dell lcd), they looked fine in that monitor. Obviously a bad driver. I did a rollback on the driver and used pnp again and the pics all view properly on my Samgsung monitor like they should.

    Remote desktop in Vista has proven to be buggy. Logging into the same Win2k3 server throughout the day proves to be an experience where I never know what the experience will be. I’ve also seen where in the box where it prompts for credentials that it lists a different server than the one I’m logging into. I’ll get to the server I want to but like I said it lists a different one.

    There are others but this post would get too long and people are probably dozing off already. I barely touched on Office. In my role to deploy Office 2k7, I can’t say enough how MS has p*ssed off a number of people as they are not recommending AD and GPO’s to be used for deployment any longer. It seems to be that MS is trying to force people now to purchase their SMS product for such deployments. Nothing like using their Office monopoly to force people to buy another product. Deployment via AD/GPO used to be very much point and click. Now they’ve taken a step backward in requiring that want to use GPO’s for deployment to edit an xml file with a text editor. Did I mention that MS has links to documentation on how to do this? No I didn’t until now because if you follow the link, the page has been down for quite some time that can be measured in months.

    Some of you probably think the monopoly statement might be rather strong. Of course when their webcast regarding support of Office 2k7 and other documentation they do have mentions GPO’s as no longer a recommended solution, they are quick to mention SMS now is. Do the math.

    All in all MS is back to their old selves and 90% of the market has to put up with it all.

  54. A lot of my stuff doesn’t work. I’m not particularly bothered who is to blame, whether it’s Microsoft breaking compatibility at the last minute or hardware manufacturers not adequately preparing. If my system wasn’t pre installed with Vista, and I had access to a licensed version of XP I would reinstall XP in a jot. Vista has a lot of good stuff, but so did OS/2.

    It’s a hog, the speed improvements are largely due to my hardware (saying the OS is the largest contributory factor is mostly false), and I’m lucky enough to have a reasonably fast hardware platform. I feel sorry for people that are running it on 1gb single-core systems. The gaming performance is significantly less, even with Vista friendly games.

  55. Another Vista Divorce:

    Yes, I agree with you Chris. I have free access to RTM versions of Vista, it pays to date a MS girl. I put Vista Enteprise on my laptop and as soon as it was available, Vista Ultimate on my desktop. I removed Vista Ultimate from my desktop for a myriad of reasons mostly related to annoying UAC messages and unavailable or poorly written drivers.

    The Enterprise laptop has been running just peachy, but I decided to dedicate it to podcast work and lo and behold my audio hardware isn’t supported and Audition runs poorly. I guess I will be bringing it back to XP Pro as well.

    It’s a shame, I really do like Vista. If I was starting from scratch with all new gear and not using much alternative software, I would probably be totally happy with it. Office 2003 is amazing as well. I think they have done a great job with Vista, I just think now is the time that they finally make a break from 100% compatibility, and don’t patch it to death to make older stuff work. Some times you just have to draw a line in the sand and say starting here folks. I know it sucks, but XP works fine if you don’t need Vista yet. If you are ready to move to Vista, I think you should be ready to make an investment towards it hardware wise and have an actual need for it.

    Until then, I will continue on with XP until I am ready to make a clean break for Vista.

  56. Hey, ignore those people who are giving you a hard time. I’m with you – I beta tested Vista, and sent in numerous reports about its’ interface (which bothers me a great deal, too)… Microsoft seems to be taking “it’s either our way or the highway” approach with Vista (claiming all good things about Vista, and neglecting to mention that Vista do have some issues…but they did that with XP, too), and people are doing the same.

    I can’t stand Vista (although I have to say the Photo Gallery seriously rocks – now if anyone can find a way to install that on XP, I’d be floored). I think XP works very well – it “just works” and with WDS, IE7, and Office 2007, XP just about works perfectly for me. (I don’t use Outlook ’07, so I haven’t had a chance to experience the problems everyone else did.)

    The attitude of people lately about Vista really, really bothers me. If you don’t like Vista, you’re a whiner, your opinions aren’t valid. That’s awful, and it smacks of Nazi Germany (if you don’t think like us, you’re going to be killed). Sorry if I sounded harsh, but this is America and we’re all entilied to our own opinion. If you LOVE Vista (I can’t see why you would, though, but that’s just me :-P), great. If you hate Vista, great. It’s up to you. But, the way people are… it just distrubs me. It’s like there’s something about Vista that makes people act like this. It’s hard to explain.

    People calling you a whiner, etc – just ignore them. They were never true supporters to begin with.

    Keep up that strong unique thinking and continue to think for yourself, despite those internet pundits who condemn anyone who dares to think differently about Vista.


    PS – if you want, you can email me… I’d really like to talk to you more about the attitudes people are spruting lately.

  57. What a tit the guy that writes this blog is. Please someone invent an ASBO (lookitup) to serve upon self diagnosed “experts” involved in publishing toilet paper disguished as authoritive blogs.

    Hands up if you’ve been in IT more than 10 years? You have? Ok what about 10 years and some familiarity with MS OS in that time? You have? OK that’s good. We’re on the same wavelength. In that case what do you think about Vista? Really! Me too.

    It’s all nonsense.

    Microsoft OS releases have always been thus. IT IS NO BAD THING.
    I’ve seen this situation before when people decried Windows NT 4.0 for not having the architectural stability of NT 3.51. Held discussions with intelligent IT’ers who’d would rather promote Windows 95 instead of the resource hog that was NT 4.0. When “everyone” would rather use Microsft *anything* instead of OS/2.

    Get a life. Now examine it.
    Just because you don’t like gravity doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.

    You want to spend money on a locked in system – buy a Mac. Does exactly what you want? Cool. So what it’s not an open platform but who cares? Evaluate your own needs for 3rd party hardware or software. Don’t be lazy and rely on woefully misleading blogs like this (of which there are many) it might be the correct choicefor your specific needs.

    Mac might be a better option for the masses. So what? The masses aren’t interested. What really burns me up are zealots posting “I bought a Mac and it’s really great” type material. It doesn’t impress me. In fact it turns me off. It turns lots of people off. I don’t quite know why so much hype about such a limited product gets a disproportionate amount of attention. Our company tried in an enterprise environment to make Apple work, no seriously we did. Fair enough it was small scale (60 out of 10000) but we had a good user base of IT tech and senior managers. Didn’t really work though, no matter how passionate some of the users were/ still are. Not in a normal company. Might have worked in a design/media/publishing company or so the stories go, but there again possibly not. I don’t work in that arena but frankly I doubt the infrastructure demands are anywhere near as complex as the Windows world. Still, not my fight. When someone turns up and says, come and look at our 10,000 clients running OSX and see how good it all is, I’ll be there. Hell I’ll go with even a thousand.

    But I digress.

    History. ‘Those who cannot remember the past, are condemned to repeat it’

    This blog author has either conveniently chosen to forget the past or wasn’t present during it. Either way he doesn’t deserve second mention. And day by day the Windows Vista market just keeps marching on, gathering pace until it becomes an unstoppable force. All because there is no credible alternative. Then one day our author will silently reposition his beliefs in line with the new reality.

    Same as it always was.

  58. This “French Researcher” who says that Windows “causes friction” claims that we all have to wait too long for menus to open in Vista and it’s almost as bad in XP.

    I’m sure you’ve all noticed. Aren’t you sick of waiting for menus?

    Me neither.

    And mouse placement under Windows isn’t accurate. I guess I should give up making selections in Photoshop.

    It has absolutely nothing to do with anything that this guy used to work for Apple France and now writes analyses of Apple products (about 50 percent of his work). It also hads nothing to do with anything that he’s discovered this “friction” when other reviewers haven’t noticed it.

    And if you can’t get drivers, whose fault is that? Microsoft’s?

  59. Chis, et. al. I think your main issues are with the app and hardware vendors, not the OS. App Vendors have known about the changes in Vista for some time. I’ve had access to Vista for over a year through my work and we’re having the same issue – App Vendors are slow and they are more than willing to hide and blame MS.

    Add to that, Hardware vendors have been just as lazy about drivers. NVIDIA’s woes are a good example of a vendor playing drag-ass with Vista support. Who’s fault is that? I know that Lenovo’s driver support has been slow (they have models of PC’s that have a TPM 2.1 chip that they won’t release a BIOS for – for BitLocker Encryption. When pressed about it, they say “we never planned on supporting that” – why did you put the hardware in and decide against supporting it?). It’s unacceptable that vendors have been so slow with driver support. I guess they can’t sell new PC’s if they keep supporting those old PC’s.

    So, for each of you that are complaining about an App or a piece of hardware, have you contacted that vendor and asked them “Why haven’t you developed for Vista?” and when they say “it was just released” you can say “BS! MS made it available for well over a year to app and hardware developers.” I sat in a conference back in January 2006 where HP, Lenovo and a host of other hardware vendors promised they’d have drivers ready. It didn’t happen. Don’t go and drag the new OS through the dirt without calling your hardware and app vendors to account. This is twice as important for 64-bit systems where signed drivers are crucial to system stability.

    I’d say you should probably wait until your app vendors and hardware vendors are ready for Vista before you install the new OS. That’s good advice to anyone making a computing purchasing decision.

    In closing, go and call me a MS FanBoy. I also own a Mac and I use Linux quite a bit. I’ve even managed Solaris-based firewalls. I’m just not an OS zealot. I have no time to adopt an OS as a religious ideology. I’ll work with any OS they pay me to work with.

  60. i have to agree with chris i have to switch between my hard drives just to sync podcasts with my phone. If no one complains then how would it get better.

  61. Hey, after 10 years of Windows, I bought an iMac. It’s incredible. It’s like a calm, pleasant experience. Windows left me frustrated, as if there were always speedbumps, resistance in my path. But OSX – everything is quiet, powerful, consistent, not glitchy…

    I looked at your article and I remembered myself there. Now I’m just content to do my work uninterrupted.

  62. I don’t know what th ehell the big deal is over Vista, It was WAAAAY late, the technology that was to be in it, WINFS and what not aren’t there and so what if I don’t buy into Vista now? Hell in 2009, Vienna will release at the end of that year. So who gives a rats a*s about vista now?

  63. I’m going to agree with Chris. Vista is not ready for prime time. Sorry. It isn’t.

    In addition to the items Chris outlined, I haven’t been able to get Outlook 2007 Business Contact version to install. I haven’t been able to get Accounting 2007 Professional or Express to install. All of the above have issues because they are trying to use SQLServer 2005 Express, which is, oddly enough, a Microsoft product.

    Yes, I am aware that it has “known issues”, but the fact is that I can run Sony Vegas 7.0 which also uses SQLServer 2005 Express for it’s Media Manager feature, and it works just fine under Vista. Oops.

    My biggest complaint is that the install gives me no infomation that could point me to possible resolutions. And yes, I’ve actually read the error logs. I’ve seen more informative error logs in Linux installs (don’t flame me, I like Linux – I’m currently running Mint on another system) where they assume that you have knowledge of the code base. The error log for SQLServer 2005 Express had no useful information at all. Oops.

    Also, many current programs, including Adobe After Effects 7, switch off the Aero effects when they launch. This is certainly not a Microsoft problem, but it is irritating none the less.

    I also have intermittent issues where the signed nVidia driver just shuts down and restarts. What was the point of the WHQL certification again? My drivers are signed. They just stop and restart at random. And it’s not as if I’m using an old or even a brand new video card. It’s an nVidia GeForce Go 7950 GTX. It’s been around for a few months at least. Oops.

    I couldn’t agree more about the issues with Windows Explorer. It loses your folder settings randomly. It is slower than frozen sludge when copying or moving files from an external drive (I can provide timing info if anyone is interested). It has problems with many common applications and drivers. I understand that Microsoft can’t be blamed for 3rd party drivers and applications, as I’ve have written both, but the lack of compatibility IS an issue for Microsoft and it’s users.

    /End of Rant

    I agree with Chris. This is still a beta OS.


  64. chris… not all of us are going the mac way.
    I switched to linux… namely for the lack of support by intel for their 915 chipset. look it up. we even have a petition online.

  65. Ack!

    “as long as he’s been involved in technology, he’d learn that it just goes with the territory.”

    I’ve been ‘in the territory’ for quite a while. That IN NO WAY presumes that I’m happy with things just being the way they are. Aren’t we supposed to be improving things? Why should I settle for something because it “goes with the territory”? The territory changes constantly, as do the continued expectations of technical users. I’m more technical today than I was yesterday, and will be more technical in the future. But that does not forego the need to make things work, with as little effort as possible.

    The external pressures on most people mean that, increasingly, their time at the computer is limited. I don’t want to spend my day fighting an OS, I want to do my work, complete my project, whatever. I do not accept that basic problems are just something that “goes with the territory”. I understand that is the case, but I do not accept it. There is a difference..

  66. Chris has a point, but I think he is blaming the wrong people. Vista has been 5 years in development, plenty of time for software and harware developments to get their collective acts together. Did they think by ignoring the problem it would just disappear?

    I have two brand new computers, Vista runs flawlessly on both. The problem is not Microsoft. I would suggest to most people that are happy with their computer’s performance not to purchase Vista till they purchase a new computer. I purposly delayed mine for just that reason.

  67. Gates & co. have been monopolists and crooks for years, and even though found guilty of such by high courts have come out of the fray with relatively minor penalties and you are surprised about Vista? The A.-C. (I’ll let you figure out what those initials stand for…) Gates has set up Vista in such a way that will make every previous computer system obsolete. Seriously, Chris, how blind/naive could you be?

    Hopefully, this latest development (lack of, really) with MS will cause the backlash that should have been going on from the beginning; mega-corporations, universities, schools, and everyday users switching to Apple. I say that as a long-time PC user. I’ve learned my lessons the hard way.

    I have learned to say “WHOA, enough is enough” to MS, therefore no longer have to say, “WOE is me”.


  68. Hi Chris,

    Like you, I have been forced back to XP because of several incompatibilities with software and hardware I need to use, including a few surprises!

    As for all the idiots above in the “Who cares….” M$ bandwagon, the answer is simple. Everyone who comes to read this blog cares, including you idiots, or why bother coming here? (Except, of course, if you simply like to prove you are idiots). That’s like buying a newspaper and throwing it in the bin without bothering to read it.

    I come to blogs like this because I learn valuable information that usually saves me time learning the same lessons the hard way. Obviously, the idiots above are incapable of learning and/or understanding.

    As others have said, the computer is a tool. End. Of. Story. If the tool doesn’t do what it’s advertised to do, or what you need it to do, you get a different tool. Idiots that try to use a hammer to put the screws in their brand new 500GB hard drive are masochists that deserve the end result of their wasted labour.

    I use PC/XP for general business/work, Mac’s for serious multimedia production (with a G5 PowerMac + 6TB X-Serve/RAID combo), Linux for various security and network development projects. I use the best tools for the job. I really couldn’t care less what the hardware/OS is. I only care that they enable me to be as productive as possible and NOT get in my way. Time *IS* money! I am seriously considering ditching my 3 YO PC/XP system for an iMac with OS-X/XP/Linux combo.

    Thanks Chris for all the valuable insights I find here. 🙂

  69. Hi Chris,
    I’m with you and even though I didn’t even try to install Vista on my main box, I do have it set up on another and it seems to me, in a lot of ways, it’s reminiscent of upgrading from “98SE” to to “ME”! (Yes, I have a Nvidia card) One would think that Microsoft would be more vigilant, but quality (or security) doesn’t seem to their primary motivation. I also have a Mac but I’m eying Ubuntu as a possible candidate for my main box.

  70. Amazing what FUD the Vista zealots come up with.

    Considering the OS is the single most important piece of software needed to run your computer, yes, Chris’ complaints ARE important.

    In what other industry is it acceptable to release a flawed product, and 6 months later release a ‘patch’ to deal with all the flaws that have stopped your customers from actually using it productively? Imagine the car industry releasing a new model where the new improved gears constantly grind, no-one in the area supplies the new revolutionary fuel (sure, blame the petrol stations), every time you want to turn a corner the car stalls and asks you if you’re sure you want to do this potentially risky maneuver, etcetcetc.

    And how long do we need to hear the stupidity of Mac OS is ‘closed, Windows is ‘open’? How does that make sense when Apple adopts industry standards, while MS constantly re-invents the wheel (was pdf really broken?) to monopolise every corner of the digital world.

  71. Vista is a pain in the hoadie IMHO. I had no option when I bought a new Sony computer, so I’m stuck with it. But I have had many of the same problems mentioned in this original blog: printer/fax doesn’t work, various software I needed for web development no longer work, and I hate with a passion the “permissions” issue. Vista should ONLY be for networked computers where everyone wants their work private OR shared according to their personal preference, but it should never have been sold as an individual user OS.

    I’m sick to death of having to get permission (and from whom? — they never did answer that question — they just say — you don’t have permission to do that! — big help) to do the simplest of tasks: move a folder, move a file, delete a folder, delete a file, install software. The list is endless!

    Eventually I found a way to do some of the simpler tasks, but the permission issue is not 100% solved.

    I would NEVER recommend Vista to anyone who has a computer running on WinXP. Don’t upgrade!!! If you’re FORCED (because of the Microsoft monopoly — IMHO) to buy a new computer, then you’ll have to make do. But certainly I would not recommend going out of your way to purchase Vista and install on a perfectly fine running WinXP OS computer!


  72. I have two major problems with Vista.

    1. The overly aggressive Windows Firewall. In XP I could simply shut it off and run Kerio or Zone Alarm. Not so with Vista. Kerio and ZoneAlarm don’t work. Either use the Windows firewall or run naked.

    2. Sketchup doesn’t work either. This is only the best 3d prototyping tool ever released, and now it’s given away for free by Google. Big problems trying to run this with Vista, however …. even with XP compatibility mode you will get very nice BSD’s and system lockups.

    With a lead time of five or six years, and tons of alphas and betas and Rc’s released to all their “partners”, it is not an unreasonable point of view to suggest that the three programs mentioned, with user bases measured in the tens of millions, should have been of some concern to the Microsoft product development team.

    Vista has a lot of nice aesthetic improvements, but is barely past the beta stage when judged against even XP Home.

  73. I haven’t taken the plunge yet, but am planning on buying a new PC just to evaluate Vista in the next week or so. I never was planning to jump straight in and use it as my primary machine, though. You’ve reinforced that decision. I’ll be keeping an XP box running, and a linux box. I’ve got a Mac Mini too, but I only really use that for playing music.

    I can’t quite work out why anybody uses a dog of a program like Outlook at all. I’ve been using Thunderbird for years.

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  76. Chris, I have to completely disagree with you here. Vista is essentially getting a bad rap, from people running on older hardware, that was designed and intended to be used with XP. Go try Vista on a brand new system, and then see if you have reason to complain.

    Vista postively screams on a dual woodcrest based system, with 4GB RAM, and a pair of Quadro 4500s. Its about as decent as XP was on my old Thinkpad T41p single core laptop (2GB ram) (ATI). Not running 2GB ram? Don’t run Vista. RAM is cheap. For those who say this is far more hardware than the average user? This is next years $600 dell. Vista is designed and optimized for tommorows hardware. Period. It does a very adequate job on the 3 year old laptop though, with full AeroGlass. Just needed a $60 RAM upgrade.

    Its far more stable, has a beautiful UI, and runs 100% of all my software. Thats right. 100%. From my IBM Websphere VPN client, to Office 2007, even to Blotus Notes. Daemon tools, antivirus, my 4 year old Cannon inkjet printer..all (100%) of my games. All just work. Is it as fast in benchmarks? No..its about 5-10% slower. Thats OK though. Vista was designed and optimized for many-core systems..not the single core systems most whiners are trying to run it on.

    Are there bugs? Sure. There is one that slows down filecopy. (with a workaround released recently). There are I’m sure, many others, but far fewer than when XP released.

    I can only conclude that most people experiencing problems are running older hardware, or hardware released by vendors (*cough* HP *cough* Creative Labs *cough*) have decided NOT to release Vista drivers in a timely manner, or older software applications that were improperly written, and thus break Vista appcompat.

    Oh..and full disclosure? I work for one of Microsoft’s biggest competitiors.

  77. By that logic, Microsoft shouldn’t have released upgrade versions. I mean, seriously, ‘get better hardware’?

  78. Well I was beginning to think I was alone, I can’t get any of my external hardware or software from WindowsXP to run on Vista. I’ve tried everything, spent litterally days on the phone, tried to get help from microsoft, and still nothing does diddly on Vista. I’m strictly a home user, so I could care less what OS I use, and I’m an engineer (not electrical) so I should be able to figure out how to make my system work. But, alas, Vista has defeated me, so now I have to go out and purchase XP. I tried installing using a really old XP cd, but can’t find the product code, regardless, there were sparks of lightning coming off my new computer because it was running so much faster than using Vista! This will be the last time I ever consider microsoft as an OS. Next time I buy a computer it will use something else. I cannot and will not go thru this much suffering and pain over what should have been a “plug and play” system for non-computer geek people like me.

  79. Chris,

    I haven’t heard of you before, until today,
    when Gottabemobile had you on a post about switching back to XP.
    I watched your video on youtube, and have to say:


    I’m glad that you can voice your thoughts and opinions, and discuss the reasons why you are switching back, others are just hearing/seeing what you are saying, through their eyes, and not understanding your position about this. YOU NEED IT TO WORK IN YOUR LIFE. NOT THEIRS!!

    All these people, possibly, have some sort of vested interest in You, saying that they made the right decision themselves, and when you don’t do that for them, THEY ATTACK YOU!!

    Let them be.

    You speak your mind, hell or highwater. Keep that Integrity for yourself.
    Don’t sell out. and You, I know, will be sleeping well at night!!

  80. I believe that people are talking about windows in a hyperbole, you say we should get new hardware and we need to give it more time, and that is why Vista sucks for us, but then when we do get new hardware you say well just give it some more time and Microsoft will get some drivers that work for it.

    By the way I bought a computer that was specifically designed for vista, and guess what it still does not run my applications, yes I know the apps will work in 6 months, but i did not buy a new computer for it to sit on the shelf for 6 months, losing all its value. Microsoft I AM NOT YOUR BETA TESTER (Well actually I did for a while, but i thought you might have fixed some of the problems by release date).

    If you are going to eat at both sides of the apple, you are bound to end up with sticky fingers.

    Also, just got linux up on my laptop, i have free apps that replace the ones that work and wont work on vista. And all my hardware works fine :). And when I upgrade, my drivers will still work 🙂

  81. SuperDan….and others….
    Ok..so lets hear it…
    I hear this “my stuff doesn’t work on Vista” garbage all the time. So..lets get some specifics. What EXACTLY doesn’t work? So far, I haven’t found anything of significance. No…3 year old backlevel applications don’t count. Circa 2000 hardware doesn’t count. What reasonable modern applications and hardware do not work? Its amazing that nobody is every able to come up with specifics..just whining about how “my stuff doesn’t work”.

    So far Vista works flawlessly on my:
    5 year old Thinkpad
    3 year old Thinkpad
    6 year old dual Athlon box
    4 year old Dell
    Vaio media center PC..
    dual woodcrest workstation
    Ancient Lexmark laser printer
    Equally ancient Cannon inkjet
    All systems have at least 1GB Ram

  82. Chris, I doubt you will ever get to this comment with the thousands of responses already, but in case you do…

    I applaud your decision to return to XP. I am in the same boat. Although Toshiba provides Vista drivers for my nVidia GeForce Go 7900GS card on my laptop, they are not fully baked. nVidia’s web site does NOT list Vista drivers for the Go 7 Series. This has left my laptop unable to play the games I want to play. I have a few other glitches as well, and I am thinking of going back to XP on my laptop, which is my primary machine.

    In fact, I jut backed up all the data and loaded the Recovery CD I created when the laptop was new. Unfortunately I must not have done it right, because the CD does not recover the laptop to a factory load of XP. So now I have to decide if it is worth all the trouble to find all the XP drivers for my laptop so I can load XP from scratch.

    One other thing… I cought a blurb of yours saying Outlook 2000 does not work on Vista. I have gotten it running. You can read that here:



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  84. Chris,
    Its not going be any good even when SP1 is released for Vista. MS is rushing that out trying to get more sales, especialy the corporate ones. Vista just has too many problems, I know I am not recommending it. I for one believe that all the built in DRM and extra WGA controls are part of the problem with the slowness of Vista. Despite what the MS shills would have us believe.

    But, if you just have patence, and are willing to wait a little longer, than all the problems will be fixed in the next windows. Where have I heard that promise before. Hehe, Vienna 2009.

  85. Thats right Chris, Blame Vista for the manufacturers that you depend on, not jumping on the train to make compadable shit :).

    i havent come across anything wrong with it, sure a bump here and there, its a new OS what do you expect. but to blame MS for the lack of compitence in the manufacturers is hilarious :).

  86. One thing I noticed about Microsoft’s most recent service packs is that they seem to “revert” performance-dampening settings I’ve turned off, at least on the server side. I wouldn’t be surprised if you had to retune your PC after installing the next SP so you may want to save your notes.

    I agree with you Chris, and it appears at least hundreds of other people as well, that the tradeoff to switch from XP to Vista is not worth it. I have not seen anything that would indicate any real performance or stability benefits. New fast hardware runs well, but would probably run faster with XP. I think XP has reached it’s apex of stability, and that to go to Vista with no functional benefits whatsover, giving MS more legal control over your PC, and paying money for it makes no sense.
    I think MS just got caught up in a money cycle, so they developed a product consumers do not need or want, prettied it up a bit (with a performance cost), and made a bunch of new friends/contracts in the mass-media business at the same time with their new DMR “innovations”. Now windows needs to be able approve to itself your hardware is “incapable of piracy” or MS has every legal right to cripple your playback.

    I saw the benefits of upgrading to XP, although I was a little apprehensiveness of the activation feature and driver issues at the time, but I see no clear benefit to this new system. It seems like MS is trying to force people into a new computing environment where they have more control over the computer and its content after you “buy” it.

    PC makers should invest in OS alternatives if they want to save their consumer base from marching headlong into signing away their computing rights and losing old software/hardware investments with no real tradeoffs in benefits. According to the new license, it’s actually illegal to try to work around the limitations of Vista, so all us geeks here could be in violation if we tried to overcome its shortcomings. This also gives MS the right to “cripple” the OS remotely. Too bad Linux lacks the ease of use and Mac lacks the cost practicality for the masses. I think MS has passed the point of PC innovations to where their monopoloy is stifling innovation. If anybody has a good alternative for the masses, now’s the time.

  87. Chris —- I LOVE IT!!

    so true — I myself found only minor issues on my 4.0 speaker system — 5.1speakers for front channel and 2.1 speakers for rear channel — it sounded killer in XP. (cheap redneck solution for surround sound)

    now i am left with a delima, do i dual boot and watch my movies with my sound setup…… or do i just twiddle my thumbs untill new drivers come out for the NEW VISTA sound that dont support the directX functions?

    I have been thinking of getting the X-FI soundcard…… but even then— well microsoft does good job…… love the vista except the sound card issues from every maker (cant wait till new sound cards come out— hope they aint too expensive)

    I dunno……. its not entirely Microsofts fault — Vista has been in beta for years now — i blame allot on the hardware makers too

    I dunno……. running SRS audio SANDBOX now — sorta helps my sound issues on my realtek board ……. but still ……. its may now……… still no good or perm drivers for sound cards

  88. I kinda relate to your issues. I am big Microsoft fan, i have both Windows Vista Home Premium and Business editions. I have a dell XPS system which is has enough fire power to handle windows vista, BUT… vista has just too many issues. I see the blue screen of death more often than not. It has hardware conflcts with my Nvidia card and just concks up, even after i have upgrades the drivers from the website. The window defender windows upgrade fails. I have done a clean install so many times that i am now sick of it. as you put it in one of your blogs… vista is no better than a late beta of the product. I am a microsoft fan but the craziness of vista is driving me to the limit, and making me wonder if i should defect to the the product that i have hated for lon… Mac!!!!

  89. I was considering buying a new comp, but after seeing the many con’s in this blog about Vista, and after talking with my brother about the many problems he has had with Vista, I too have decided to wait a year to see if the din dies down. After all, like Chris has said XP works fine for me. Instead of buying an upgraded comp with Vista installed I’m just going to upgrade the one I have. Better an older upgraded model with XP than buying all the problems that Vista brings with it on a new comp.

  90. I see alot of pros and cons. i also am a microsoft partner. So I think that entitles me to make this statement. Would you buy a car with no motor knowing you have to be at work at 5 in the morning and have no backup? Nothing else left to say about something that only work part of the way. Sell me what works when the product work for anyone who purchases it.

  91. I totally agree with you. First let me say that I just despise Apple, and those that stress ad nauseum its superiority, which is historical only. I think it’s amazing they’ve stayed in business with their poor marketing–love their commercials, but it doesn’t lead to more market share. That being said, my next computer will be a Mac. Mac mini, Powerbook, I don’t care. Anything but another Windows machine. I have gone head to head with Macheads MANY times, as recent as a few months ago, but lately it is not Apple luring me toward the light, it is Microsoft pushing me away from the dark. They have segmented their OS so much my head spins, they’re shoving out so many confusing versions of Sharepoint-related technology I’m about ready to puke, they start selling a TRUE beta version of their OS to an unsuspecting public, and then they just throw away all their focus on “consistent look and feel” and ease of use with the interfaces and functionality of IE7, Vista, and now Office 2007. When in HELL did the return/newline key become the “new paragraph” key in Word? Is it the same way in Outlook? Who died and made them boss of my keyboard? Have they never heard “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it?!?” Holy smokes. The only reason anyone should buy a PC at this point is if they can’t afford a Mac. If they can alienate me, and push me away (as someone who has laughed at and derided Mac for years), then they can and will push anyone away. This is how Microsoft repays us for constant upgrades we’ve hardly needed, that have allowed them to pocket and bank HUNDREDS OF BILLIONS of dollars? No thank you. I’m not leaving because Microsoft OS is fatware, less secure, too expensive, or because I like to bash MS. I’m leaving because I just can’t in good conscience REWARD Microsoft for not being able to keep a pulse on their consumer base, and for not only making decisions on our behalf, but making the WRONG DECISIONS. I don’t know if they’re listening to marketing, sales, a talking frog, or a magic ball, but I’m sick of it. If I have to learn a whole new interface and paradigm of computing, why on EARTH would I not just do it on a Mac? They tried for a revolution, instead of an evolution, and they’ll get EXACTLY that. I’m revolting, and I recommend everyone else do the same. The biggest hindrance to Mac ownership before was the limited number of IT people who know how to support them. That will no longer be the case when IT folks like me switch en masse, and I can’t believe they won’t. It’s not like I don’t know Linux (and have heard good things about Ubuntu) or that I’m too stupid to learn Mac–I’ve just never had a reason too, or enough motivation to do so in the past. Thanks, Microsoft, for pushing me right over that edge. I am gone. I don’t know if I will ever come back. Actually, I started out on an Apple IIe, so I guess I actuall AM coming back… Back to Apple. It was a nice ride. I will begrudgingly continue to support Microsoft in my professional capacity, but never again at a personal level. And I will do everything I can do pull as many people as possible with me. Mac minis just aren’t that expensive. And when my friends and family know I can help them out with problems, and I laugh and jeer at them for using Vista, I’m sure they will start rethinking their misguided values.

  92. Oh, by the way, the point in time when I really started wondering about switching to a Mac? 2/14/07, as I was reading a KB article that was talking about a hotfix to a previous hotfix.

    The date and time I actually vowed to make my next computer a Mac? 10:45 AM 06/27/07, after having to turn off security features of 2003 server just so I could simply unzip a compressed application and install it.

    The date and time I actually vowed to never spend another penny of my own on Microsoft software or systems? 1:16 PM 07/10/07, after trying to get a MS product to work after attempts to activate it manually, online, and via phone, then talking to people in the incorrect support departments of Microsoft (the last of which told me to go to read the product page at their website and then call back), before finally hanging up on them and calling through Technet to get someone to actually resolve the problem.

    Notice that NONE of these decisions had anything to do with Apple’s marketing or product. All they had to do to win me over as a potential customer was sit around and do nothing, and let Microsoft shove me adrift looking for absolutely ANYTHING less annoying.

  93. Absolutely spot on, but Chris doesn’t go far enough in his criticisms of Vista. As someone supporting SME/Business customers and also someone with a huge interest in technology, I was torn between my decision to revert ALL my workstations back to XP.

    I haven’t looked back since.

    Add to your list :

    – Networking issues, many many many network performance issues, as well as intermittent drop outs. Yes we’ve all had the “Calculating time remaining” when copying/moving a file, and even some of us have installed the so called ‘patch’ – yet the problems still persist. This is #1 on my list, totally unusable with a SBS 2003 server in a business environment. I have several cases open with Microsoft who admit problems under certain circumstances and problems can be reproduced on demand. Its not uncommon for a Vista PC in a domain to be unable to access ANY network resource until it is rebooted.

    – Convoluted Tasks – when trying to change the background, join a domain, create a VPN connection or connect to a remote terminal server or RDP connection, you can pretty much double the amount of mouse clicks (and time) required to do the same task under XP. I tried this for a typical VPN connection I setup under XP takes 15 clicks (much less if I use the enter/arrow keys)… in Vista, 26! Not to mention the delays in opening the “Connect To” screen when you have more than 5 networks defined, or the lack of ability to use the keyboard to move between fields / screens. This behaviour is exhibited throughout Vista and really pisses me off. Going back to XP I feel like I am at one with the machine, where as with Vista I feel like I’m constantly fighting it. Its more than a familiarity thing. This NEEDS to be fixed.

    – There is no working VNC server application that will function as a service based system that I know of as it functions on any other OS (ie, without having to run in User Mode)

    – UAC – need I say more

    – Security & Services, File Sharing and Network Discovery – all disabled or highly secured out of the box. Yes a good thing, but I find I am having to spend half an hour (remembering) to open the services I need. There must be a quicker better way.

    – TELNET client not installed by default – AAAAAAARGH!! Does Microsoft not realise Telnet is nearly as important as PING as a diagnostic tool that almost all techs need on a daily basis? When moving around from machine to machine this is insanely annoying and installing the 76kb file (once you work out how to do it) seems to take a good 5 minutes while it churns away!

    – Windows Server Admin Pack does not work with Vista, nor is there any information as to when this might be the case. (As of about a month ago when I gave up waiting)

    – Picking and choosing pictures when importing from a camera is all or nothing

    – Windows Scan and Fax – someone try and tell me how I can join two scanned pages together, or failing that, tell me how I can actually scan several documents or pages into one file!? It cant be done!!

    – Convoluted Shutdown menu – try explaining all 10+options to an end user.

    – Default install on Desktop places PC into sleep mode. Forget to change this on a machine that you will be working on remotely and it goes to sleep – oops. And half the time it wont wake up properly with all devices functioning properly (WiFi and Bluetooth in particular)

    – Horrendous Explorer Shell, File Common Dialog Boxes etc, awful layout, illogical, and inefficient… yes my opinion but its god awful. Why do I care about Album when there is 1 song in a folder, and why can’t I get the file size of a MP3 in my Music folder without agonisingly customizing the status bar (for EACH folder and subfolder!)… urgh…

    I could go on but Im boring myself, fact is XP had most of it right, a highly matured and refined product that everyone is familiar with. After a year of beta use and 10 months of RTM use, I have given up in disgust. The only Vista I run now is inside Virtual PC and there it shall stay.

    Chris you’re right on the money.

  94. OK – but for those of us who hate Vista and can’t work properly -how do you go about changing back??? I have my old XP installation disk, but I don’t really know what I need to do…

  95. I was very optimistic about Vista but alas, I hate it. It’s cool to look at and all, and believe me I was very patient, but there are way too many glitches. I am running very few older software programs and/or devices. I wasn’t in denial regarding software and and device support for a brand new operating system. I am running the latest versions of 90% of my software and have 2 new printers. And yet, I can’t shut down IE with multiple tabs open without it telling me that there was an error and it’s going to restart. HUH? I shut it down myself. Pretty much any program I run will degrade slowly until menu items just stop functioning all together and I have to reboot. This includes IE and Windows Mail, which came with Vista. Some programs just crash and burn for no reason – just out of the blue – shut down by themselves. I’ve lost more productivity from this operating system and if I didn’t have so much time invested in the setup, I’d go back to XP in a second, but the thought of starting over makes me want to cry. Some of the functions of my web host don’t work properly with IE7, either, which means I have to manually do functions that used to be automatic. And Office 2007 is an entirely separately set of headaches as other programs have required upgrading just to be compatible with it. Not to mention nobody can open the files unless I manually save into a different format. I warned my inlaws not to go to Vista but she said she couldn’t get any other operating system with her new computer. HUH? Way to go Microsoft – thanks for the headaches, wasted time, and frustration. My poor inlaws have no clue how to make their system work properly as almost none of their peripherals or software works with Vista.

    I installed XP not too long after it first came out and never had these issues. Hardward drivers were the biggest problems but once everything was set up, it worked perfectly and I never regretted the decision. Vista has been a nightmare. I can see why people are going to Mac and I NEVER thought I’d ever say that.




  97. hai ! i totally agree with u chris. i am writing my masters theses comparing windows vista and xp …. if possible can u give me some benchmarks how to prove xp is better than vista thanks..

  98. Hurray, you were able to find a bunch of people on the internet who were unhappy with something, a Microsoft operating system no less! This truly is a feat to announce.

  99. It’s not bugs, it’s bad design. Everything in Vista and Windows 7 is bloated and non intuitive; simple things are missing. Menus are crazy. Upgrade to 7 and you get NO email client. That is BAD design. Losing windows views every time is a huge pain as I do a lot of photo work. I needed a new computer to play the new games. They played great after tweaking several awful bugs. But I hate the interface of 7 which I upgraded to when Vista crashed because of its own bad design. So many reviews said 7 solved the Vista bugs. Maybe so but it is even MORE annoying to use. Everything you listed, and it’s not worth suffering all the bad design just to play some games. I am going to just use my mac for games, though the idea of installing a windows partition on it makes me sick, and will be giving the new pc to someone or taking it back and will go back to my old pc with xp, so I can at least use it for simple tasks like uploading photos. Life is too short and there are real life things I want to do, not spend 18 hours a day trying to get the new computer to work properly.