The Microsoft Windows Vista Rant Continues

Recently, I posted a video about Windows and Microsoft, specifically Vista. My main point is that Microsoft needs to really listen to the Community, and pay attention to our wants and needs. I’ve received many comments, both in favor and against what I said that night. This one is so well thought out, I had to post it to share. Some excellent points here, so please read.

I have also used Windows since 3.1, and even now use Vista. The RTM of Vista was a joke… but now a year later I think its o.k. Not amazing… but o.k.

Microsoft needs to listen to the community for sure, but they also need to take a little bit more control. They should have taken Longhorn by the horns so to speak. My example will be 64bit. It is widely known that Vista x64 or even XP x64 leaves A LOT to be desired. I have a 64bit machine. Surprisingly, driver support was there but software is still lacking. Microsoft needs to be firmer in the push to this new platform, they need to tell developers, hardware vendors, and OEM’s that in order for Windows to continue to grow, 32bit is going to be left behind. I was impressed with 64bits compatibility with 32bit programs.

There wouldn’t be an issue if software and hardware developers started moving to 64bit NOW, instead of later. Windows Vista was going to be only x64 but that changed. They then said Windows 7 would be only x64, but now I learn that Windows 7 will STILL have a 32bit version. I don’t know if its for legacy or if they still aren’t ready to switch, but it should have happened in the XP days. Vendors are holding them back I think… whether it be laziness or some unknown complication they are NOT pushing x64 Hardware and Software like they should be.

A simple pricing scheme and two versions would also be nice. What was wrong with XP home and XP Pro? Why couldn’t there have been a Vista Home and a Vista Professional? Scrap Tablet edition, Media Center Edition, just make Home and Pro BOTH come with those features. Make the differences more obvious and make it more obvious that only PROFESSIONALS would need the Pro version. Vista’s ultimate add-on’s are a joke. As a Vista Ultimate user I am EXTREMELY disappointed. I expected some really cool things to be released. Instead, I’m playing my expensive game of Texas Hold’ Em. Do I dare say they need to stop copying Apple? They are not being innovative at all. While I appreciate the search box in the start menu and the instant searching… couldn’t they have done something more with it? For example, someone inside Microsoft wrote a PowerToy that I’m testing. Its in Alpha stage and sometimes buggy. Iwouldn’t recommend it for everyone right now. It further enhances the start menu in Vista which should have been done to begin with. How it works is lets say I want to Google something. I can type Google or just g and follow it with lets say your name it shows your blog and I click the link it opens in a browser. Little things like that to make things convenient for the user and community would be nice. That tool also implements definitions through google, Wikipedia, and you can type play followed by a song name and it pops up in your default media browser. While not amazing… I think it’s nice. Flip3D is… well it shouldn’t have been made as anything more then maybe a technology demo to show that the desktop is now rendered in 3D. Its pretty much useless when you have 10+ windows open, and Alt+Tab is the winner. Alt+Tab is not getting replaced by Flip3D anytime soon. Microsoft, if you’re going to introduce new features that exist in other Operating Systems, make sure they work at least as good… if not better… then what is already out there.

OEM’s have been dropping the ball for years and years, even before Vista was in the picture. The fact that I can’t go into a store and buy a PC without crappy software on it disappoints me. My non-geeky friends often bring me with them to pick out a good machine. I pick out the hardware, they buy it and then they give it to me to freshly install. I have not found one OEM that does not load up so much garbage that the system is unusable. I picked out a nice little laptop for a friend going to college. It had plenty of power for what she needed to do and most importantly it had 2GB of RAM. She however insisted I don’t mess with it and she took it home. The next day, she calls me frustrated that she hasn’t gotten it to even turn on. I looked at it and it consistently blue screened after login. She blamed Windows Vist,a which I’m sure a lot of people who buy PC’s off the shelf do. Upon a fresh installation, I gave it back to her. she was mad that I put Vista on it and insisted Windows XP. I told her I would hunt down drivers and to just test it out again because it worked much faster. I got the drivers and talked to her again and she said “No now that I’m used to it I don’t want to use XP”. OEM’s are another one of Microsoft’s enemies, perhaps one of the largest ones they have.

As someone who likes to play games I can’t see myself switching Operating Systems any time soon. I do own a Mac Mini now, and after a few weeks with it find Leopard rather slick. It is WAY more polished then Windows Vista is, and it disappoints me that my Operating System of choice is NOT as good as an Operating System I don’t think I could live in full time. I don’t want new features. I want a fast, usable, Operating System that I know is going to work. If I had the choice between the new Aero visuals OR faster performance and stability improvements on the same old Windows XP desktop API… well I think it is obvious which one I would have chosen.

Microsoft should take some control, but at the same time listen to the community about what THEY want in the Operating System, and OEM’s should stop loading up all that junk-ware and start caring about the consumer NOT how much money they can make with trial-ware.

See ya in the chat room tonight.

TheDub

27 thoughts on “The Microsoft Windows Vista Rant Continues”

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  4. Microsoft tends not to listen to the community, and this is a very significant reason for my swap over to MacOS. With all the problems I’ve had in the past with Windows I wasn’t exactly hesitant to dish out the dough for a Mac Pro.

    Windows is more for the casual user, my granny still uses it and without it I’m sure she’d be calling me every ten seconds needing help. It’s easy to just pick up and use Windows but it does not fit MY intense needs.

    I’ve used Windows since I was maybe 4 and first got a hold of a Windows 3.1 machine which, for me, makes the transition to the Mac interface and operation seem like a long one yet worth it.

    In my opinion Windows is like a pair of training wheels, and they tend to lock up =|

  5. I couldn’t of said it any better. I have many problems with Vista. People just say you need a fast computer. A fast computer will not change the fact there is a mass lack of driver support. I went and got a Linksys Wireless Router partially due to the fact my USB Siemens Speed Stream internet connector did not have drivers for Vista yet (and from what I read they never will). We need the internet, do we not? Anyways I have many negative things to say about Vista. In the end it comes down to what you can do and what you cannot do. XP can do ANYTHING Vista can, only faster and more reliably. It may require a few addons, but it’s better than reformatting/repartitioning and installing Vista which takes up like 10GB of space and is a slower OS.

  6. TheDub is on point with much of his comments, I have a few things to add.

    Regarding 64bit, I don’t think its hardware vendors holding this up. We have had 64bit chips in mainstream desktops since 2003. I think microsoft is afraid to take a stance and force thier “legacy” to adapt. Ironically this is where apple is successful. I don’t know if their technology is just easier or what but the transition to intel then to leopard (which makes OSX fully 64bit now) was seemingly flawless looking back.

    Regarding the versions of Vista, Enough has been said about this but can I just say again the day we need seven different SKU’s of a particular operating system is the day I need a hole in my head. I remember Microsoft touting they made XP versions simple and they did for the most part with just Home and Pro, later to confuse it a bit with MCE and Tablet. However classic Microsoft is they overthink something and now as I said we have 7 SKU’s of vista, none of which is worth a damn IMO.

    Regarding OEM’s, I agree any “consumer” or big box store computer is gonna come loaded with crap. They make money off preinstalling apps. I can see things preinstalled but they are going overboard and sacraficing their brand reputation above all. I have learned if I want a PC and not building one myself, its best to buy from a companies “business line” as I have found they are usually a bit better built, usually have a better warranty and best of all, don’t have a ton of crap preinstalled. Don’t believe me, check out the Dell Vostro line for small business. In fact one of their selling points is that they don’t come preinstalled with crap.

  7. I never realized that MS and its OEMs bulk-up up the PC with software that the average user either does not want or that it slows down the speed at which the machine operates.

    The PC author’s ending commentary that admits to Apple’s user interface superiority which he attempts to avoid is amusing.

  8. I have been using Vista home premium since christmas day. the only issue I have with it is the search function and not being able to delete certain folders, but otherwise, it works just fine. deleting the folders that will not delete, is due to the fact I created limited accounts and have a password protected admin login. antivirus is up to date, spyware is non existant, but what will vista SP1 bring to be fixed, time will tell. but will I update to SP1, will wait until the horror stories come out to tell the truth if it is worth the upgrade. I have used just like others, since windows 3.1, and all updates of it since then. (3.11, winNT 4, win 95, win 98 ((beta tested)) win 98 SE, win ME (yes it stunk, but…) win 2000, win XP ( installed no problem, thanks to, winME disk to help) and now VISTA. each version has improvents, but if everyone complains that windows stinks, then hey, just quit using it , go use LINUX, MAC OS, and any other non-windows OS out there, and just quit complaining. I tried beta testing VISTA, but had 2 issues, 1 system had the memory but not the proccessing, the other had the processing but not the memory, and then, even when it had the memory, it still could not install, the copy had EXPIRED. as far as I am concerened, buy a new system, using the installed OS, do not update with new windows off the shelf, it will not install.

  9. This is great. It was very interesting to read. I agree with all he has to say. We are the Customers, we should get to say something. If they listen to us Vista would be better. One of the main things that I agree with is that Windows needs to go x64 only. I think that the only thing holding Windows back from being x64 only are the Software & Hardware companies. The Software vendors need to make x64 compatible software so that Windows can be x64 only. The OEM’s need to stop including all that Usless trial software. I hate that. You buy a new system and its slooow because all of this usless software. The trial Antivirus is good so that you can have time to go out and buy yourself a good antivirus.
    Well overall this was a great Comment that he made and i agree.
    Eee ya later

  10. I have been watching Vista since the start, In the days when it was called Windows Longhorn. (guess not so many know about it)
    http://www.guidebookgallery.org/screenshots/longhorn4015

    I have been watching every step of the releases for now 4 YEARS NOW. I have been loning for the Vista release so bloody long. AND when it’s finally here It’s just a big dissapointment.

    I certantly do not complain about the functions I just wish that the functions which were there would actually work.

    Last time I tried to use Vista for good was 3 weeks ago. But All my networking stopped working after I had tried to bridge the connection betwen a wlan stick and my network card. The bridge was removed, DHCP client was running. No solutions on forums found.

    Then there are these driver problems. Webcam= no drivers, Realtek sound = crappy rear sound.

    BTW I agree with you Cris that the 3DFlip is just useless. I wish that they have done so that developers could make something own, similar to Beryl, or just copy macs way of switching programs, its brilliant. And its a good idea to leave the old framebuffer. The power of graphics cards is there to be used.

    And has anynoe tried to setup File sharing in Vista with write permision to a folder. Damn it took 20 min to figure that out.

    As I see in Vista the only thing that is interesting for me is DX10 and the new startmenu. For now on XP FTW, even though I get smal anoying bugs which makes me reinstall every 3 months. But that is not a problem since I have all my important files on a separate partition and I recomend every home userdoing so. Because next time Win crashes all files are still there.

    PS Never touch a running system

  11. I agree 100%. I have been a windows user for such a long time and I did not take to vista, just because if its high system requirements, its cramed full of features and junk im never going to use and it just feels to nanyish. I purchased a macbook a few months back and I have really taken to OSX. I hope microsoft sort things out and dont forget about the home personal users and not just the businesses, which is where most of the money for them would be.

  12. microsoft really does need to push their 64 bit processing and i wish there was just a vista home and pro- to many freakin vistas to choose which one is right for you. i also liked how you said this and i completely agree. we don’t need to constantly have a bunch of junk operating systems with “new features” we need an operating system that is fast and slick.

  13. Microsoft has a reason in keeping a 32bit version in Windows Seven. There will be people who only has a 32bit processor and want to use Windows Seven. I think that 32bit will only be available as an OEM rather than being sold in retail. As for retail PC, by that time, all will be in 64bit.

  14. I have had to downgrade 4 costumers computers back to windows XP because Vista just screwed up their machines. I am planning to moving ot Mac because if Vista is all that they have to offer then I need to look at moving to something better that actually works

  15. I read TheDub’s comments and while they are indeed well thought out, his assumption that ALL applications can switch to 64bit relatively easily; this is just not the case.

    As an Engineer, I am forced to work in a MS-Windows environment because the tools I use are in many cases only available for that platform. I am also aware that many of these tools were developed under older versions of the OS and are the result of many [hundreds and thousands] hours of work. These tools often have a limited user base, so the cost to the user is very high. These would be driven even higher if the developers are forced to make unnecessary changes because their OS platform is no longer supported.

    The point is that there is a significant user base that relies on backwards compatibility for their “legacy” applications to run. I am one of them – I also develop embedded systems code for equipment that our customers expect to be supported for 5-10 years. That’s not easy if your platform isn’t stable.

    It’s not just about surfing the net and playing games – there are real people out there with real jobs that keep the industry of this country running.

  16. I totally agree with TheDub’s email. I remember using Windows 3.1 .. I never saw a BSOD.. I also remember using Windows x64 and nothing on my laptop would be supported by x64. If you checked the Driver Manager, everything was yellow. I told Chris about Microsoft making there own hardware and software just like Apple. I said this a long time ago when I first started coming to the chat.

  17. i have used vista for just over a year now , and the “wow” hasn’t started for me yet the amount of software restores i have done to my windows vista home premium pc is way past 10 performance is terrible i do not feel that the desktop is as user friendly as OS X. Also vista is no way reliable i have just installed sp1 performance is better and i think vista is starting to feel like a final version

  18. Vista will run fine IF and only IF you at least double the processor speed or go multiple core AND add 4 times the memory. With that, it will approach the performance of XP Pro.

    my new Toshiba came with a core 2 duo and 2 gigs of RAM with Vista Home Prem. It ran very doggy, much slower than my XP machine with AMD 3000+ and 1 gig of RAM. Upped the Toshiba to 4 gigs and now they run about the same.

  19. I agree I was so very disappointed in Vista and it trashed my data , had ridiculous almost comical errors/problems. I didn’t have an OEM PC but a top pf the line quad core , 8gig of ram BFG 680i and while it was not slow it was by all means slower that XP and once configured Ubuntu ran circles around it and productivity/work flow too (having multiple desktops) made it look like a joke.

    My biggest complaints ? The interfaces choice to add tons of PowerPoint presentation like Wizards and unintuitive relocation of settings (that used to be clear concise and within 3 clicks.

    The choice to out of the box sacrifice performance to try and “help” computer illiterate users automating everything. full text Indexing , shadow volume copy , windows defender on by default, so your disk is always grinding like your running a full virus scan while your working. I don’t loose/forget what I named my files , not do I delete them accidentally all that often , and I put my own AV and don’t need anti-spy ware and I I did I’d grab AD-aware. UAC broke several od my MS peripherals and even if it was annoying (If Mac OSX and Nix can understand user context and prompt once , not constantly why can’t Vista ?

    Disabling it’s annoyances and improving performance is not easy. Turning off shadow volume copy requires turning off system restore(a feature I liked). Turning off full text searches and indexing creates a permanent nag screen in explorer.

    Then you have all the issues , apps crashing or being whited out when they are busy , DVD/CD burning , reading , media playback bugs that stop productivity dead. Explore and it’s random amnesic musical folder views , the addition of 200 file sort categories like “shoe size” “MPH” and “number of kids” but “Date Created” is not a default. They removed the graphical defrag GUI for some reason.

    Complexity of the supposedly new few useful features. The new event viewer and task scheduler for all their new supposed new functionality are actually quite unreadable and useless and you’ll find like a hundred Microsoft OS functions implemented as tasks. There are more categories in these utilities now than I have file folders on my hard disk.

    The 40 GB install and 3 -5 GB registry (a register that is bigger than most operating systems) the 5gb free space for a service pack requirement.

    The biggest problem though by far was the decision to draw the line at the 64-bit OS as to requiring signed drivers. Not prompting , not warning requiring. I you tried to install VMware all seems well until you get a little popup from Vista saying your program may not work as it’s driver is not functioning. Then it goes on to inform you that the reason it’s not functioning is that Vista has disabled it and “you will not be able to use it”. Go search MS knowledge base and you will find the solution is “this behavior is by design , we recommend you use Microsoft’s Virtual PC 2007 instead”

    They had an “unsigned drivers” boot mode (along side safe mode) which was annoying to boot into and gave screen corners but when people started using this they patched it out as a security fix saying that mode was designed for use by Devs and OEM’s. You now have to install the full Windows SDK and attach a kernel debugger then reboot.

    Must be nice to able to hold your competitors application functionality for ransom with your driver certification.

    With their no non Microsoft licensed drivers on a major desktop release and their resource gobbling DRM and Driver delaying tilt bits requirement for certification, a cert that once we all have at least 4 GB of RAM and need 64-bit will be LAW.

    I think Microsoft has taken control unfortunately it’s over their paying customers computing. They want that DRM platform so badly to attack apples media delivery market share by getting exclusives and monopolizing a DRM standard. Apple struck a good balance between content creator and consumer rights and MS plans to be more attractive to the content providers with their higher market share and DRM that puts the content creator first and for which the consumer foots all the inconvenience, and cost. They want those drivers 100% compliant with their rules that will allow them to manage your OS functionality as protected content as well. Why ? That have patented and Gates has been talking about their subscription biased software model. They rent OS modules to you via subscription. Hey gamers only $7 a month for the Direct x 11 games for windows service that lets you use your own graphics card.

    Sure no more 7 launch versions of Windows as you buy the modules you need but for those who enjoy the flexibility of PC’s being multi-purpose your going to be paying more. Oh and like all protected content that will be able to revoke your license when ever they like and for most your apps maybe the software creators have a pretty good Idea and a lot of control over how and when you use any of their software.

    All the big software companies (adobe, Autodesk, now MS possibly) have started to realize that it’s hard to generate a new revenue stream every year by adding a few new features and updates or bundling their apps into suites. A word processor for example only can be developed and sold at full price again with new and improved features for so many years before they are just adding fluff and new menus. Once they get a good product out their it’s hard to make it compelling to buy it all over again on a regular basis as sometimes their is only so much that is compelling to update, change or add to it especially when it’s ungodly expensive. What can they do lower the price (that’s just crazy talk) no enter the subscription biased pricing model.

    For a lot of People this model doesn’t make sense and they don’t upgrade all the time. Well in Microsoft Ideal vision of computing the consumer finally will realize that they never actually buy software they rent it like an apartment and they pay what ever can be charged that year. The PC is something you buy to enjoy paid services and we see many technologies MS has invested in to the dismay of consumers which is solely designed further their corporate agendas and give the end user less control over their PC, software and digital media. I think to them the acceptance of a EULA is pretty much just the honor system and they aim to fix that once and for all. They didn’t focus on the end user as I think this is merely a means to an end for them now days. They are throwing their weight around (market share) around and it just goes to show their hubris.

  20. BTW Vista did one great thing for me. It helped introduce me to Ubuntu which is finally a good, easy to use, mainstream Linux Desktop. It still has a slight learning curve but it’s totally viable for most non geek end users and compared to windows in many respects is simply refreshing and a joy to use. If you can’t afford the Mac hardware markup or like the freedom and flexibility of a PC Ubuntu has finally made Linux a viable option for many of us. There are free answers to most software needs sometimes even better applications, only the high end industry standard pro 3D applications and the adobe suite and games tie you to windows but market share and development are a chicken and the egg scenario and if you wish is escape Windows someones got to take to lead and it won’t be the commercial application developers. Maybe Vista will help move this along. I see more and more people dual booting , running the Live CDs , or opting for windows in a VM (if the don’t need windows to have hardware 3d acceleration) So who knows maybe one day MS will cross the line and Microsoft’s combative stance towards consumers with finally be their down fall. Maybe Vista will be a wake up call for them to renew focus and strike a balance on the consumers needs and desires. Guess we will see.

  21. I think that Vista is an ok operating system but I think it is the pits every time they put out a new operating system they make sure that no software that you had with the last systems works so you get stuck with out of date software until they upgrade… why can’t Microsoft upgrade their operating system instead of coming out with a whole new thing that does not work… with all your stuff it is like you have to get a whole new computer and all the software just to stay ahead of the game… I am still down with xp and will stay there on one of my computers cause it still runs alot of my software and peripherals, I believe Microsoft is getting kick backs from some of the software companies for doing that to us too…

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