Windows Vista: I’m Breaking up with You

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No, seriously. When I have the time, I’m “upgrading” from Windows Vista to Windows XP. My keyboard is completely ambiguous.

I stand by my original assertion that the shipping version of this OS is late beta, at best. I realize that other enthusiasts are leaving Windows altogether (and leaping instead to Apple’s OS X), but there’s not yet enough momentum behind my willingness to do that. I’ll leave the installs of Vista 32 and 64 on this PC, but I’ll spend most (if not all) of my time back in tried-and-true Windows XP.

I’ll give Vista a second chance when the first service pack is released later this year, but until then…

  1. My scanner doesn’t really work (Hewlett-Packard Laserjet 3052). HP hasn’t caught up with support yet, and software updates won’t be available until SP1 time-frame. The software works like a charm in XP – amazingly well, as a matter of fact.
  2. Windows Movie Maker crashes on a regular basis.
  3. My IPFax software doesn’t work (the driver will likely never be updated to be Vista-compliant). Never, EVER caused me a problem in XP. I need this software to work, and dual-booting to use this is not an option.
  4. I still can’t get my Lifecam to work, but wound up purchasing the vastly superior Logitech QuickCam Ultra Vision instead (which puts Microsoft’s new webcam software AND hardware series to shame).
  5. On the same machine (AMD Quad FX), XP trumps Vista in terms of performance. I don’t have specific benchmarks on hand, but I can tell you the difference is quite palpable. This is even with most of Vista’s eye candy tuned to a dull roar. We’ll see if it runs just as quickly when everything’s reinstalled there. I only discovered this after rebooting to try my scanner in XP – blazing differences, similar tasks.
  6. NVIDIA chipsets and video cards. Need I say more?
  7. I simply can’t get to my OS X machine from Vista (or mount a WebDAV server).
  8. Copernic Desktop Search, a far superior desktop search client to Microsoft’s, either doesn’t like Vista or Outlook 2007 – not sure which, yet. Either way, I can’t run it right now – and the Windows Desktop Search tool is still as lame as ever (sorry, Brandon). I’ll miss the new Start Menu, but I think there’s similar third-party software that’ll keep me happy in the meanwhile.
  9. Explorer keeps losing my view settings. THIS IS DRIVING ME UP THE FARKING WALL! Now, I realize that XP suffers from this problem as well, but it’s never been this bad. There are so many new options that it’s difficult to reset each window’s view every time – including column headers, which are now permanently stuck on “Tags” and “Date Taken” (even though I may not be in a folder with objects supportive of these fields). Yes, I realize this problem stretches back centuries – but it seems to have gotten worse, not better.
  10. My workaday software still seems to suffer from weird quirks now and again. I really don’t have the time or patience to wait for each developer to catch up just so I can go on living my life. All these little annoyances are starting to add up to one major headache. Instead of detailing each one separately (and extending this list exponentially), I’m just wrapping all of ‘em together into one point.

If you think I’ve missed something somewhere, think again.

Sorry, I… I gave Vista a real chance. I just can’t use it as my primary OS anymore. It’s NOT horrible at its core (by any stretch of the imagination). If all of your hardware and software are fully baked, you’re good to go – but that’s not the world I live in. I will continue to recommend Windows Vista for some users, mind you. I wish I could take the best parts of Vista and bring them back with me to XP. I’m still more than willing to help Microsoft improve Windows and get the message out to users, but I simply can’t sacrifice my own time and productivity without benefits in clear sight. I’m begging Microsoft and all of my hardware and software vendors to make Windows better for me. Until then…

The Whoa starts now (and is continued here).