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back to article Ugly view mars Windows Vista birthday

Like the queen, Windows Vista gets to celebrate two birthdays in close succession. November 30 marks the first, with the "business" launch a year ago at venues across the planet. Next January will mark the second birthday date. While the past 12 months have been dominated by headlines over sales and uptake - or lack thereof - …

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Stop

SP1

You wrote: "...traditionally, the first Windows service pack is regarded as a first step by those in business IT to installing the latest version of Windows."

You seem to have confused the word 'traditionally' with the word 'recently'.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go and get some kids off my lawn...

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Anonymous Coward

Source?

"Users - even Microsoft's own executives - complained Windows Vista was unable to work with their systems or crashed. "

Citation? Specifically for the MS's own executives part.

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Acer Pot calls Microsoft Kettle Black

"Acer's chief executive slammed Windows Vista for being a huge disappointment to the whole industry, picking on stability and lack of sales as problems."

Acer's chief executive should look in his own company for stability problems. His notebook PC division couldn't produce a secure (or secureable) PC if their fiscal lives depended on it.

Their own "eManagement" tools don't work with XP's built-in safeties, let alone Vista UAC. For instance, eRecovery Management fails if the hard drive uses NTFS -- Acer ships their notebooks installed with FAT32 as a consequence.

Installing XP Pro, on an Acer Aspire with AMD processor, with a volume license media CD fails with INACCESSIBLE_BOOT_DEVICE. I have to use Acer's exclusive recovery CDs, and then I was stuck with Media Center Edition and plucking out all the preinstalled stuff that doesn't work. I thought Sony was bad in this respect with the Vaio PCs, but Acer?

Talk about insecure by design. That, me hearties, isn't Microsoft's fault.

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Gates Halo

Happy to report

I haven't had a single problem with Vista

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Happy

@happy to report

I haven't had a single problem with Vista either, I use XP and Mandriva.

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Happy

RE: Happy to report

Nor have I... I use Fedora.

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Count me amongst the unsatisfied

Well, I've got a Vista Media Centre (you can stick your American spelling) PC, and the GF has a recently purchased Vaio laptop with Vista.

I've pretty much given up on the MCE PC, and am beginning to wonder how much I'll get for it on eBay. The thing just doesn't work well enough. It constantly crashes or does weird things. I'm seriously considering getting an Apple TV and hacking it. I don't want to record stuff, just use the music and photo features, with occasional downloaded video. Shouldn't be too tricky, but the MCE struggles...

The Vaio is more perplexing. It started out okay, but seems to e getting steadily flakier. There's nothing odd running on it (a few standard apps, and Office 2003). It's already had one complete re-install (due to some iffy Bluetooth drivers), but is seriously slowing down again. Even the missus is complaining, and she never notices these things. I'm beginning to wonder it it's worth down/upgrading (delete as applicable) it to XP. Let's see if Sony make all those weird and wonderful drivers available for XP first...

So, Vista. The best thing that could have happened for XP, Linux, and Apple!

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Gates Horns

Not happy to report

I have had nothing but problems with Vista. I tried it for two months to develop an honest opinion. Its takes double the time to boot. I had 1 gig of ram and even though I run my machines lean and mean it progressively slowed down over the two months for no reason even taking into account Superfetch. The constant disk chatter is ridiculous. Readyboost just slows the machine down more. UAC is setup for features it shouldn't be eg wallpaper settings. A number of customers I know from farmers to accountants couldnt use their software which cost inbetween 500 and 1000 euro. Almost all my vista customers had to replace their printers. Win XP backwards compatibility mode for programs does nothing. Lastly file copying times are insanely inaccurate(windows time) and the transfers take far longer than any other system I use.

I have had to resort to Win Xp and I am giving Ubuntu a go because I will eventually need to replace Xp but Vistas not gracing my machines again until these problems are fixed. Considering the cost of it to I simply cannot justify using it and I am warning everyone to avoid it if possible for at least another year and a half. Although they have had a year to fix these issues and not one of these major problems have been fixed or seemingly touched upon. Hate to sound like a Linux fanboy but it is getting even more attractive and a couple of customers have started to ask questions (Bear in mind these people know little or nothing about computers in general). MS needs get their finger out and get to work cause I believe people are slowly waking up and smelling the coffee.

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@Anonymous Coward

Nor me, Vista does seem to work on my sisters laptop.

Though the fact remains it is infuriatingly slow in my experience. On a brand new laptop. I'd rather use my Athlon XP based WinXP machine. Or ideally my iBook with Leopard.

No I'm not a "fanboy" before I get flamed. I like my Mac, that's what I use. I do consider OS X to be better, but that's through experience not worshipping Steve Jobs.

Hence I still have my XP box for gaming and photo storage. :)

I digress.

Vista seems to work, I agree. It's slow and irritating, but I think fixable to a certain acceptable point. I still prefer XP though.

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Jobs Halo

Very Happy to report

I too have had no problems with Wista (wista I'd never tried it :) ) That is because I now use Leopard.....

Flame on......

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Business Barriers

The biggest business barrier is that unless you're running the bleeding edge revision of your main MIS systems, most companies have found that the applications don't run reliably on Vista as most corporates who have more than a couple of hundred PC's wouldn't upgrade from XP to Vista in one go and most Vista versions of MIS systems won't run on XP.

I have been running Vista as a demo on my laptop at work (I work in IT) and have found it to be mostly stable until I start using legacy applications where it becomes unstable, unreliable and very tetchy, to the point where I don't trust it. And if I have that experience as an IT Pro, I'm unlikely to roll it out to my customers and have them have the same experience and have to support that bad experience. All of us want our customers to have a good user experience and unfortunately at the moment Vista runs contrary to that - not only in reliability but the training required to get the average user up to speed with the major changes in the GUI (even I go 'WTF is that now...' even after using it for a couple of months), and most businesses won't lash out that kind of cash on training at the moment with us on the edge of a recession.

Don't forget - as a business IT person we're looking at making sure even the lowest common denominator is covered, otherwise it ends up with a complete world of pain!

So, is it that the transition to Vista is too much of a jump? Apropos of the same jump it would take to move a company to Mac OS for example (and I don't see many companies doing that either, even though I would love to see it!).

For the smart-arses with the 'but you can change the GUI to look like the old one' - it's much further reaching than that. Just look at Control Panel. Where's Add/Remove Programs? Oh yes, it's not there any more (well, it's not called Add/Remove Programs)....

Just my 2p worth.

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joe
Flame

It Sucks

Buy a Mac.

I did after trying to run vista for 3 months

I'm happy now, runs FAST.... STABLE......Did i mention FAST!!!!

Play games --> buy a console

Nuff Said

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Flame

He's a Mac; He's a PC. I'm disgusted.

"Twelve months after Microsoft missed the 2006 Holiday shopping season, which traditionally boosts retail sales, Windows Vista is finally in a position to make inroads into the consumer market as it rides into peoples' homes on the backs of new PCs."

If Microsoft wants to permanently turn people away from Vista, then shipping out a bunch of OEM-installed Vista Home PCs will do the job.

Frankly, if an auto maker advertised all the features that Microsoft has for Vista, and then shipped cars that were crippled as badly as Vista Home is, that auto maker would be bankrupted by fraud lawsuits. Of course, that would be *after* the Federal court oders to fix the missing/broken features.

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Unhappy to report

I've suffered major software problems with Vista

Not my option to purchase the bloody thing

ended up buying more XP licenses to get things working again

Stuff Vista for a very long time!

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Buying more XP licenses

MicroSoft must be rolling in it with so many people buying XP licenses on top of their pre-installed vista machines.

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Heart

Vista is perfect

I for one raise a glass of (non-alcoholic) champagne in a toast to the greatest operating system the world has ever seen.

Happy birthday to you Vista!

You installed perfectly on my 800 MHz processor and 512 MB of system memory 20 GB hard drive with at least 15 GB of available space Super VGA graphics computer.

All my software runs perfectly. All my devices work perfectly. You're fast, you never crash, and best of all, your so cool.

You are so easy to use my grandmother installed her own life support system software and so secure my uncle in the Taliban uses you.

You're such great value I bought two of you in case my disk crashes or something.

Happy birthday Vista, may you never grow old.

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Joke

Five Vista storys

I have three friends or relatives that are serious PC-IT types,one that's a normal user, and myself (a developer on-and-off since the Microsoft OS/2 SDK days) that have "sampled" Vista. Here's the report:

BOX SCORE

Complete success: 1

Mostly failure: 2

Partial success: 1

Mac OS-X on Intel: 1

CASE DETAIL

One person has had complete success with Vista Ultimate: clean install on a Gateway convertible tablet that's about 2 years old and a fire-breathing quad-core custom gaming machine. He's a top-dog Windows data center Architect, fully cert'd at all levels. His recommendation: clean install, use only Microsoft FULLY certified drivers and applications. Apply ALL patches. Read up on the MS KB articles daily and make recommended tweaks. No problems at all with his install.

Two people (me and my wife, also an IT pro) tried Vista Ultimate at release time on Twinhead Durabook laptops. Most features worked out of the box - so long as the features were IN the Vista box. Critical 3rd party applications (like CA ErWin) would not operate in ANY mode. Worse, sync of our Moto Q phones was not possible. Without key business tool support, she went back to XP and I went back to SuSE 10.2. Six months later I returned to Vista again. Most of the initial problems were resolved (ErWin sort of worked now), and driver support was improved significantly. However, in order to get the same level of software I had with Linux I would need to spend another US$1000 for third-party applications that were Vista certified. Cost prohibitive - back to Linux. ErWin runs under CrossOver Office well enough for my use.

My kid sister, a "normal" user replaced her damaged Toshiba Satellite with a new equivalent Satellite that came with Vista Home Premium. The installation actually completes when you start the machine up, including the option to purchase an upgrade to Ultimate. Unfortunately for my sister, that's all the further she got: the network drivers steadfastly refused to set up with either her Linksys 802.11g network (simple WEP key only - could not get it to recognize either a pass phrase or the hex key) or talk to an ethernet cable (would not get a DHCP address). She has given up for a week or so, using her damaged Satellite (with XP) and an external monitor (broken screen - cheaper to buy a new laptop) until she decides to take the computer back to the Geek Squad for setup or return it and buy a Mac.

And ONE family member simply bought a new-old Mac (the early version of the MacBook Pro bought after newer models became available) and installed Parallels with XP. Everything works without problems, including the same critical 3rd. party applications that I had trouble with. The Parallels installation had no glitches what so ever, and did not even require opening the manual.

CONCLUSION

If you're a Windows expert, or have a true Windows expert as a friend that will help you through the initial installation and/or setup on a new machine, Vista will likely work fine for you. You may still have problems with specialized software that is NOT from Microsoft - typically the big-ticket business or technical packages (ErWin: US$3000+ per license, SAS: $2000+ per license, etc.) but SHOULD be able to get support - if your support contract is up to date. However, the package MAY NOT SUPPORT Vista yet, so check first before upgrading.

If you don't have a Windows expert at hand, have the support staff at the store you buy the PC from install and verify Vista AND any additional software you need. Yes, buy Office, Outlook, Visio, etc. NEW and have it installed WITH THE PC PURCHASE. This should insure that the new machine has a good chance of working, and, if there is a problem, it's the seller's problem, not yours. Just don't add any uncertified software without having a complete backup that can be used to restore to the pre-installation state if something fails.

If you're an average home user, spend the extra US$300-400 and get a Mac. It doesn't do more than Vista - in fact, it will do less - but it is pretty much hassle-free. And THAT'S worth a hundred quid, isn't it? If you need Windows, Parallels or one of the other VM implementations will let you add XP easily.

FInally, if you really, REALLY want to get a Windows PC, get one with XP rather than Vista. Unless you get the store to do the complete install for you, there's too much risk of a problem during the customer completion of the Vista install. You might come out just fine, but just one mistake and you're back to starting from the restore disks - which may or may not work.

I hated to write this up - I really wanted Vista to work for me. I have a large investment in Windows software, much of which doesn't work in CrossOver, and the Linux equivalents are OK but still not as mature as Windows applications. I have to do a LOT of extra work to get things working in Linux - but, once done, I've not had to mess with them again - even across several version upgrades. And even my Windows expert friend had to go through three install cycles with Vista to get it set up right - although that's considered par for ANY new OS while you're learning about it. Excepting the Mac, there's nothing out there today that will NOT require some time for installation and learning, and even the Mac has some issues (see all the problems with Leopard).

So take this review on Vista's birthday with a grain of salt, but hopefully it will give some confidence in making an OS decision - or at least which cliff seems to be the shortest when you decide to jump.

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Anonymous Coward

Vista64 vs XP64

I built exact machines for my brother and myself. He wanted Vista. Don't get me wrong, that Aero interface is very nice, but the boot time is excessive. XP64 would be instant-on compared to Vista. I hate the UAC feature, and if it were my machine, I'd have dis-abled it. I'll let my brother use it for a while before dis-abling it :) . It does work fine with the software I installed, but stuff does take noticeably longer. I still haven't figured out why the menu system won't retain my preferences, considering it's about the same setup as XP. That brings up a first gripe. Moving app.s around or renaming them from one version to another. What was the point? Driver support (not all M$'s fault) was lacking, so my brother only gets an audigy sound card.

My problem with XP64, is that it won't run Civilization 2 anymore (like I need to waste anymore time than I have with that game).

Both installed easily, with Vista taking a lot longer. Still was easy to set up, but I'll have to wait until my brother starts loading his software on it to see whether I'm going to get a call or not.

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Dead Vulture

Maybe....

...Vista seems terrible because XP works so well? :D

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Re: Five Vista Stories

Nice review of fun and frolics with Vista, Brett. El Reg, offer this man the occasional freelance job forthwith.

However, there's one point I'd take issue with. "three install cycles with Vista to get it set up right - although that's considered par for ANY new OS". It might be considered par for you, but not in any IT job I've ever worked in. Before giving up on the IT industry as the overweeningly ambitious, snake-oil-selling world of lies and infamy that it has largely become, I worked in various corporate IT development and support roles for 15 years or more. In that time, the par for ANY new OS that I installed was 1 (one, single) install, plus some time spent configuring the system. That applies to Mac OS, Linux (various builds), SunOS/Solaris, Win2K, WinXP, AIX and other weird and wonderful stuff that I can't even remember.

I've worked to the "not before SP1" rule with Windows since the days of Win2K and, up to and including WinXP, I've never had to install an OS more than once before it was working right. I might have had to do some reinstalls later when machines were getting old or upgraded or whatever. But I've never had to run an install more than once just to get the damned thing working!

So, if Vista has needed three goes around the house by an experienced Windows person just to get it working, I think I might upgrade my "SP1" rule to "not before SP2" in Vista's case!

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Gates Horns

..the 2007 Holiday shopping season....

Presumably you mean Christmas 2007 - unless of course you are writing the article from Iraq or Afghanistan where calling Christmas "Christmas" will get you beheaded. I don't think El Reg being all PC is quite in keeping with its origins. So lets stick with the original names for things, ok? And screw the sensitivities of the weaker minded who can't cope with the name Christmas.

Back on topic - Windows Vista is a dog, and one with only three legs at that. I have lost count of the number of call-outs I have had to sort that beast out. Even brand new factory-fitted 1GB laptops have had to be upped to 2GB just to run Vista Home in anything approaching a satisfactory manner. The memory management is atrocious and a complete hog. Run on 512MB? Thats a laugh, the OS may well make it but you won't be running any apps with any degree of success.

I've been fairly busy this year downgrading (sic) systems from Vista to XP SP2. I seem not to be alone. I can't see MS complaining though - what a deal, getting sales of its current and previous OS. As Del-boy might say "Luvly jubbly"

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Ash

@Vista64 vs XP64

There is only one reason to run 64bit OS's: Addressing more than 4GB of RAM.

There is no other reason for it.

If you're playing Civ2 on a PC with more tahn 4GB of RAM, you could have saved yourself, and your brother, a considerable amount of cash buying a low spec unit and running Civ2 from within Wine / Cedega.

$5 a month subscription? You get 6 and a half years for the price of Vista Home Premium in the UK.

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as with Linux

The irony in all this story is that you have to check for compatibility hardware as with a Linux distro.

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Time to stop the 'new OS' madness

There's a simple reason for the poor uptake of Vista, XP works pretty well now and most people don't want to go through the trauma of an OS change for little obvious benefit.

At what point will Microsoft give up on the whole 'new product' cycle? It is just an excuse to squeeze the poor consumer for more money. A paid service pack would make more sense if there really are great new features that are worth money.

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Anonymous Coward

@Brett Brennan

You say that "you may still have problems with specialized software that is NOT from Microsoft" - let me say just "Navision". Version 3 apparently doesn't work on Vista at all (according to a client that uses it), and version 4 with the latest updates needs an additional patch to make it work on Vista. Only version 5 apparently works out-of-the-box (but it was in beta when we started switching to Navision, so we went with 4 - that was a bit over a year ago). So much for Microsoft's own software working with Vista.

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Not that bad

I am a linux guy through and through. My primary work and piddling the day away on the web boxes are linux (Mandriva, with an urge towards Kubuntu). I have Windows Vista Home installed on a dual-boot machine at home and I boot up Vista whenever I have the time and desire to play a big FPS. While that limits my experience with Vista (there is some web browsing and other incidentals done while I'm there sometimes) the experience I have so far is mostly positive. No speed or resource problems that I didn't notice with any previous versions of Windows (dual core AMD 64 dual-core - I was jumping the gun and expecting 64-bit to take off more than it has, which is practically not at all). Besides the really annoying "Allow or deny" questions that I am hit with repeatedly when I want to install software or flash updates, etc, the only issue I run into is an OCCASSIONAL problem with a game. Right now, the only game in my recent clutch that refuses to work is Bioshock. No other issues so far.

On another happy note, one of the reasons I went ahead and "upgraded" to Vista in the first place was the spyware, spybot, and virus plague my previous windows versions suffered...and I am not foolish enough to simply run anything off the web, nor did I EVER check email while running windows (that is a job best left to Linux with its virtual absolute safety from malware). It got so tiring and annoying to have to totally wipe my windows install and start over again to clean off the malware that I finally jumped to Vista. So far so good...but give it time and it will accrue a huge ecosystem of malware too.

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XP malware seems a stupid reason to use Vista

Praedor Atrebates:

Vista does not look much more secure than XP, I have read that it the security is a paper thin wrapper around recycled XP code, so more like smoke and mirrors than proper security.

Using Linux or OS-X is no longer a reliable protection from malware, there are now several exploits which can break security, even from non-admin user accounts, so you still need to be careful.

If you want to avoid malware, stop using Microsoft Internet software (e.g. Internet Explorer and Outlook Express) or software using Microsoft browser components. I use a NAT/firewall router (to block OS port attacks) and use Firefox with the NoScript (*1) and Adblock Plus (*2) extensions, this works well for me, in Windows XP and Linux.

* NoScript often fixes security issues before Mozilla and blocks some 'Web 2.0' exploits, which Mozilla ignores.

* Adblock Plus reduces the advert noise, but can also be used to block malware laden content or pages.

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Linux

Dum de dum.

So for the privilege of paying for Vista, you get the same kind of problems you can get with a freely downloaded linux distro, to be fair though in the last couple of years you are liekly to have less trouble with installing the linux distro :]

My machine for example, boot Ubuntu CD, click the Install icon on the desktop and it then took 9minutes to install the OS, Offcice Suite, Some games, Network all up and running, sound working, HD mounted and ready, no extra drivers for anything other than the nvidia card, which it actually asked me on reboot and choosing the 3d desktop from the preferences if I wanted to install, which it did without any hassle ;)

Seems to me as Linux get more like Windows, Microsoft are trying to emulate the 'old' linux ;)

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Gold badge

Microsoft are doomed?

They've been trying to grow their business and since they have a monopoly on the desktop there's nowhere for that to go. So they keep trying to move into other markets.

Problem is if your core products become rubbish and don't sell then you have no money to fund inroads into other markets.

Microsoft don't usually produce very convincing or reliable hardware products (Zune, XBox 360) and rely on selling them for a loss or very small profit. You simply can't fund such giveaways if you don't have lots of Windows monopoly money rolling in.

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Anonymous Coward

Well

Another problem with Vista in a business is that most businesses buy the cheapest kit to do the job on a user front. Most of the machines for sales drones where I am are able to moderatly run a browser and a java app on XP and some phone software and that's it. I don't think most (about 80) could boot vista.

But much like with XP which was shit for many years and expensive to run. Vista wont be a real option until hardware that costs £2000 today costs £400. So say 3 years. Just like with XP when it came out. I remember the comparison with win 98 half a gig of ram a 800mhz processor and 32mb 3dfx card it was like shit off a shuvel. To get the same performance out of an XP machine ment spending a grand.

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Windows not really certified

Apparently all those boxes that say Vista Certified are not necessarily capable of running all versions of Vista -- only the weakest one. Microsoft is backpeddling yet again on those statements and I believe there is one suit pending. If Balmer had spent as much time listening to his customers as he did throwing chairs, we could have had a good product. Redmond is so out of touch today that its is like they are intentionally wearing blinders.

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Pirate

Vista is a Failure.

Those of you wanting sources can get most here:

http://slashdot.org/~twitter/journal/177855

SP1 did not make Vista better, so it's missing yet another Christmas.

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I must be doing something wrong...?

Jeez, I must be pretty clumsy. I've been using Vista Business since July this year and it's been solid, fast and totally responsive - and it looks/feels great.

Even though I use 'Business' version this is my home laptop and just came with it pre-installed. VAIO SZ-Series, 2.2.GHz Core2Duo, 2GB RAM, 160BG 5400rpm.

Flies like the proverbial off a shovel and behaves itself 100%.

I work in network security and of course realise that for networked business use for enterprise, gov't, health etc. there's still some work to do.

There are some software apps I'd like to use that don't run under Vista yet, but I can only hope these roll our pretty quick. I remember when Apple went from OS9 to OSX and while OSX was well received some apps didn't get ported for a couple of years. Some just disappeared.

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You'll buy it anyway

One of the joys of monopoly capitalism is that you can defy all the shortcomings of your product through hegemony. The more monolithic you become the more traction you have to force this rubbish down peoples' throats. Capitalism doesn't work, it certainly doesn't innovate other than to think of cleverer and better ways to sell this unfettered mediocrity. If capitalism and market forces worked no one would be buying Vista -- all power is drawn toward the centre to the extent you really don't have any choice but to buy it. No serious capitalist company actually believes in market forces because then you'd be forced to actually compete; far better to exterminate the competition and have a stranglehold over people that would have embarrassed Stalin. I use Microsoft products everyday and my gripe isn't really with them specifically, they're just a symptom of a much larger phenomenon.

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Stop

Why we eat this at all?

Why there is any need for new OS every .. year?

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Linux

Printers under Vista

My mum's printer keeps (re-)installing itself on her brand new vista laptop. It works fine under XP.

I was delighted when I plugged the printer into my Ubuntu laptop and it just found it, installed it and printed a test page in about 30 seconds - my dad now wants Ubuntu installed on his laptop. :o)

Linux == +1 FTW

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Anonymous Coward

XP64 v Vista64

Vista ultimate has the same problems XP64 had.

Not that I have had really any problems with it, but then I run a pretty clean system with nothing unusual running on it.

Gives the occasional BSOD but then it wouldn't be windows without it : )

I still have UAC enabled as I refuse to turn it off, thats supposed to be a damn improvement in security, but as its so horrendous I imagine most people give in.

It didn't support combined HDMI + VGA cable when it first came out, maybe it does now.

Most of the power down features now work. Previously they couldn't bring the monitor/mouse/keyboard out of hibernation.

Its getting better : )

As for buying a console for games ... I'd rather eat my own shit, or buy a Mac, same difference.

Saying that if the WoW port to the Xbox360 happens, I may change my mind.

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Older PC's

I was wondering how many people installed Vista on a totally formatted drive, or if they just install over a pre existing copy of XP.

The only problem I have with vista is with UAC itself, sometimes the insain amount of time it takes for the screen popup to come up asking if i want to allow a program to work. Can take anywhere up to 2 mins (with complete PC lock up until then).

So I disabled it... now i get an annoying popup everytime i bootup telling me "i'm vunerable" and the little red shield icon in the icon tray.

Also Teamspeak seems to have trouble with capturing PushToTalk until I select "setup my mic" in control panel (I dont even need to configure it, just go in to it, say something and exit).

I dont have that many problems with vista, but having a pretty new PC and having very little in the way of external hardare, helps.

But what people have to remember is that XP had a lot of problems when it was first brought out, and Vista will get better, and will become the new standard (once businesses adopt it more).

What did worry me is the fact MS has already unleashed details about their "next" OS, even before their "current" one has taken hold.

If XP has enough life in it to make it to the next incarnation, then how can MS justify the point of moving on to Vista.

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This was fairly predictable, really

I'm running Vista SP1 beta RC; the current beta is somewhat poor (the prior one was ok), but I'm (fairly) confident the actual release will be ok.

This was all predictable - more security, a new display driver model, new sound driver model, enforcing signed drivers (on 64 bit). Part of this is Microsoft's fault, and a lot of it is shitty drivers from various vendors.

I'd also note that 64 bit software can be somewhat faster on the x86 architecture, because it gains many more registers to use.

Yes, UAC is annoying and will remain so until it's tuned a bit, some of the interface changes are irritating and accelerated DirectSound no longer exists. It's definitely smoother than XP though (*if* you have 2GB RAM), multi monitor support is faster, the Unix subsystem in Ultimate is quite good (NFS just *works*).

A few more tweaks and some much better drivers, and things will be fine.

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Missing a trick

I think Microsoft are missing a trick by leaving Service Pack 1 so late. Even if it's not ready, they should get it out; because this will be like a starting gun to most companies to start adoption.

I'm not encouraging such practice, I'm just suggesting that if they need a sales boost, SP1 would do the trick.

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Pirate

XP64 vs Vista64

I recently built a brand new PC for myself and decided to put Vista Home Premium 64 on it. After three months I just couldn't live with it any longer and rebuilt the machine with XP64 instead. My main issues were insanely long file transfer/deletion times, incredibly slow bootup times and constant crashes of Vista's IE7. That's not even mentioning the fact that Vista didn't recognise all my RAM, the trouble I had getting several essential programs to run and the frequent 'fugue states' the machine would go into, just hanging for 5-10 seconds. With XP64, the machine boots incredibly quickly, runs smoothly, and doesn't prevent me from running the programs that I want to run. Vista (or Fista as a friend put it) is incredibly secure, because it won't let me do anything I want to! Until MS sort out the fundamental problems with Vista, I will be making it my job to tell everyone I meet not to 'upgrade'.

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Boffin

RE: A new OS every year

Actually, the suggested interval for a major revision (the X in X.Y.Z revision numbers) is 18 months. There is a very good business reason for this that I learned as an intern at IBM Boca Laboratories in 1976.

Customers will invariably explore the "edges" of any release, uncovering "undocumented features" or spec holes that they then use for their purposes. A classic case in point was IBM's 32 bit address space in OS: they actually only used 28 bits for address, leaving 4 bits "unassigned". Customers quickly realized that these 4 bits could be used as "flags" that would pass through as an address in any op, allowing you to use them as "globals" in an application.

IBM delayed the inevitable upgrade to use all 32 address bits for about 8 years. When the upgrade came, many major customers had to rewrite major applications - like banking account daily maintenance applications - to remove the "flag" usage.

Yes, this is certainly a (L)user error of the classic sort, but IBM did not actively discourage the practice until it was deeply embedded in business-critical applications.

The development line at IBM became do a major release every 18 months, with major feature updates as requested by their customer base. This prevented the customers from doing too much "feature creep" on their own, as the major releases would typically either fix (ie, block) or officially incorporate the "extensions" the user community discovered. The result was, believe it or not, greater user satisfaction, albeit some grumbling about new releases happening "too often".

Microsoft has had to re-learn this lesson the hard way with WIN98 and XP. Hopefully Vista will be getting a 12-18 month major update regularly, and hopefully MS learns, as IBM did, that the user community is not just a "cash cow" to be milked until dry.

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Paris Hilton

@Infernoz

"Using Linux or OS-X is no longer a reliable protection from malware, there are now several exploits which can break security, even from non-admin user accounts, so you still need to be careful."

Citation? I can't think of one myself. The only recent Mac OS X scare was for a trojan that required the admin password to be entered. And as for Linux... ????

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Happy

is it because I is mac ??

I is buying me a powerbook for christmas, and i can't wait. My XP/VmWARE thing is OK, but getting kind of slow. I'm gonna go mac, and I doubt I'll go back ...

Vista? you'd have to be bonkers to even countenance it. I mean, if you like pain and suffering, isn't Madame Desire down the Kings Road quicker, cheaper, and more fun?

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Silver badge

Re: Vista64 vs XP64

Civ2? Awesome and all-consuming as it was in my own childhood, why not just get Civ3 or Civ4? Same game, really. Call to Power, even, is excellent. And works fine under XP64 IIRC.

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Silver badge

XP64

I hated XP when it first came out. After SP1a, I thought it was actually pretty decent once you got it stripped down a bit. I'm now running XP64 SP1 and, to be honest, it's pretty damn good!

(Not as good as the Linux partition it dual boots with, but c'mon, I'm a gamer.)

I might be running God's Desktop, but my stripped down copy of XP 64 is fast, stable and nice to use. And after nLiting every machine I have, I've got to say, it's the way to go. Get a Windows CD, rip all the crap you don't want out of it, and start again. When you're running a stupidly fast installation, from a CD that's smaller than the original even AFTER patching it, that doesn't have all the Fisher Price crap that made XP so annoying, it's a refreshing change. All the nice bits of XP, none of the crap.

And now there's vLite, so you can do the same with Vista. Not that I will be doing for a long time yet. Oh no.

Having said all of that, it should be noted that I'm currently swearing constantly at Microsoft for XP64 SP2. It didn't install on my setup, then after a recent re-install (to fix a few small problems) it wouldn't install on a virgin Windows setup. So I slipstreamed it onto an installation CD, and that CD won't even install! Now that, that right there? That's bloody atrocious.

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Re: "Vista is incredibly secure ..."

"... because it won't let me do anything I want to." Half right... but funny as quotes like this are, it's still not incredibly secure :)

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nlite

nice tip. Didn't know that one. Thanks!

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Pirate

RE@Infernoz

'Citation? I can't think of one myself. The only recent Mac OS X scare was for a trojan that required the admin password to be entered'

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/11/29/new_quicktime_exploit/

Didn't require an admin password for this, did it. Yes it's not directly OSX, it's quicktime but it affects leopard and try installing leopard without it. Also quicktime is written exclusively by Apple, just like OSX and has had so many holes and vulnerabilities in the past 6 months I won't play anything in an apple format. If quicktime is that bad, what makes you think OSX is any better? It's just means the exploits haven't been found yet.

As for linux, if you check the security sites regularly, you will see exploits for linux come up all the time - they just don't make the headlines like when it's a MS or Apple product. Just one example is this

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/08/16/ubuntu_pulls_compromised_servers/

The problem with posters like you is you make comments without knowing what you are talking about. You probably run a linux distro and think because you do, you're an expert. Always the first to pull up MS when they do something wrong, but never willing to give praise where it is due when they do something right - and yes sometimes they do.

Personally, I run XP, Vista, OSX and Mandriva. My preferred OS is XP, but I have had a painless experience with Vista. It's not perfect, but no OS is. The only difference between them tends to be those who prefer OSX and Linux shout the loudest, ignore any problems with their choice of OS and think anyone who actually prefers a MS OS is an idiot. Those who use MS on the other hand, tend to be quite happy to criticize when MS does something wrong and not shout that their personal preference is the best in the world because unlike the OSX and Linux fanatics, they haven't had their vision distorted by a reality distortion field.

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Alternate versions of windows good ones

Windows 3 was great, the follow on 3.11 better, but not a lot

Windows 98 great, the follow on ME, better, but not a lot

XP great, but the follow on Vista ?

Ok, selective choice here, but is this a trend ?

If it's a law ( like Moores law ) I claim it as andrews law.

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