Where Windows Pundits Went Wrong

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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!