back to article Five misunderstood Vista features

Microsoft has posted a nine-page document on Five Misunderstood Features in Windows Vista [unavailable for download since Tim wrote this, but touched on in the Windows Vista team blog here - Reg Dev ed]. Apparently these "cause confusion and slow Windows Vista adoption for many folks." Here they are: User Account Control Image …

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Silver badge

Credit to WhereEver Credit is due.

Having to Route all Shared Free Thought through an Intelligence Filter for Attention is bound to make the OSSlow with IT Flow.

And "Windows Search is an interesting one. I think it is misunderstood, but not in the way explained by this new paper. People have questions like: "Why does it not index all my files?"" .... suggests that they are subjectively denied viewing, which would be Countering Intelligence rather than Giving IT to Everyone.

"This statement caused me to pause:

Enterprises should not run as default in Protected Admin mode, because there are really no benefits - only the pain of prompts. Instead, strive to move users to a Standard User profile." .... That sounds like Microsoft advising that Vista is AI Beta Driver for Virtual Machines Running Quantum Core CodeXXXX in Cracked Open and Virtually Free Operating Systems.... which would be Real SMART and QuITe a Cause for Celebration.

Bravo .... Well Played, Sir.

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Windows Search and "unnecessary" services

Windows Search is just one of the services that is largely unnecessary for a vast number of users. I can't be the only user who always knows where a document is - it's in "Documents"! My music is in "Music" and so on.

But the Windows Search service isn't the only one that most users should disable. Superfetch is a terrible hard disk thrasher, making your PC less responsive after any change. ReadyBoost is a waste of time, and I could go on.

Vista *AND XP* should have a configuration wizard that asks you a series of questions about the use of the PC, and disables services appropriately.

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Unhappy

Microsoft should send thier engineers on an OR course.

The sadly forgotten disipline of OR would immediatly identify the basic problem.

Adding a feature which slows down something I do fifty times a day (like saving a file) in order to speed up something I do once every two days ( like searching for a file ) is not a good tradeoff.

Or maybe a basic software science course which would teach tham that it is possible to do thier indexing in a low priority background thread without affecting the users response time?

Sorry my coat hasnt been hung up yet - the cloakroom attendent is still indexing the contents of my pockets.

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I'm still on XP, but.....

I have a Limited Account, Games Account and an Admin Login for my XP machine, I'm the only person I know who does this, even the IT Dept at work all have their default login as admin at home and at work! and any time I mention running as a Limited User they look at me like I'm mad.

Am I the only who makes use of User Accounts in XP? I've not seen much of Vista but my sister has it on her laptop and her boyfriend, also in IT set it up and there is no User Login screen so I guess this also has admin as default. I should think Microsoft have their work cutout trying to convince people to use Limited User Accounts, the only program I use regularly that requires a Admin account is my tv guide and that I have configured so it asks for the Admin password to run, everything else seems okay to me.

Anyway just wanted to get that off my chest, I've been wondering for al ong time if anyone else uses Limited Accounts.

Thanks

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E

"indexing for near instantaneous search results"

Odd, then, that a Macbook Pro I've been using can search apparently everything, but is very responsive even compared to XP (running on the same machine).

Either Vista is not working very smart, or MS is offering stuff that a lot of people don't want.

Personally, I do not want my OS to index the 10-odd gigs of HTML, PDF and CHM documentation I keep in ~/doc (maybe 30K files). I know what's there, I will go look at it if I need to, thank you very much. Certainly I do not see an index function as a reason to buy an OS upgrade.

I gotta add that Beagle (ships in SuSE 10.3, maybe other Linux distros) is in the same category. As is Mac OS 10 spotlight.

Searching years of email is pretty useful, but not the entire disk plus every web page I've ever visited.

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Gold badge

Only five?

6) Catastrophically f***ed-up sound system making it a useless pile of shite for apps using the older sound APIs. I, for one, will *not* be dumping the XP I am happy with until this one's fixed.

And who can forget the "long goodbye"? I'd put this in at 1) meself.

Seven and counting, anyone else?

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Anonymous Coward

Ahh, so I misunderstood

I've struggled with my "misunderstandings" for a year now, and they ain't gettin' any better. I have turned off all the cr*p I "misunderstood" and then I was left with a slow, resource hungery, crippled copy of XP.

Format C:, install Linux and run a VMware XP instance. Vista misunderstanding? Not anymore

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Happy

vista is an OS too

got to love

>First, we need to avoid comparing apples to oranges

Both XP and Vista are Operating Systems so a direct comparison is fair, and really, required seeing as new PC owners are forced to use Vista. For Microsoft to suggest you can't compare the two, must be because they think Vista will suffer by the comparison.

The fact that Vista does things differently is expected, if its not "better" in some way than XP, then what is the point of it? An OS is the simply the visual front end for the control of your hardware - Vista does it in a fancier way and uses more resources as a result - there's really no need to be shy about it if it is "worse" in someways but "better" overall.

The big issue of course is choice - why can't people still buy ,use and obtain support for XP if they consider it "better for them" ?

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Paris Hilton

So what?

Vista is a POS. Period. Anyone using it is either a Microsoft person (Including all you Gold Partners and so on who are just about the only people praising Vista) or idiots (including every single person that has bought a Vista machine at PC World).

Paris - because I'm an unimaginative and unoriginal moron and feel obliged to add a sad and tired footnote to my post.

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Paris Hilton

B - Bursting Balloons

"Virtually on parity" is a good one. I'll have to file that away somewhere. Why this emphasis on search, though? I don't mind Windows taking a short while to find things, but I do mind it being sluggish all the time.

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Alert

poorly researched

The author claims "First, search can be a big drain on performance" and as proof offers a link to one of ...his own blog entries. Which turns out to be nothing more than a guess "In my case I think it is related to Outlook 2007".

So Tim has a performance problem -- doesn't quite know what it is, but surely the OS is to blame, so lets bash some statements from MS... No research necessary, just point the blame gun.

I am not sure if I should even comment one of Tim's first statements vis-a-vis UAC. I too fail to see which benefits running in "Protected Admin mode" for regular users provide over using a standard user profile. AFAIK the only difference is that elevating to local admin is a click vs typing the admin password. I would think most network admins would prefer the extra hoop for their users. The ad-hoc attack on MS seem ridiculous. If Tim doesn't understand their statement, perhaps he should ask someone rather than point fingers?

I too have disabled Windows Search. In fact, I went one step further: Windows Defender, UAC, SuperFetch and automatic defrag -- all gone.

I remember reading once that MS doesn't intend for users to power off their computers. With Vista such an action seem ill-advised. My computer with 4GB memory sees a lot of SuperFetch action after logging on. On one side it makes sense -- apps do open faster when all their data files are cached, but my machine is a laptop and I am in the habit of powering it off, so SuperFetch is a nuiscance to me. I haven't researched that feature fully yet, maybe ReadyBoost could help it by keeping the cache off the hard drive in non-volatile storage, but I have no idea if they've had the chance to combine the two.

But Tim: I do not blame MS for adding features. They can be switched off. In your case, I would look into the high CPU usage. For all you know, maybe you've inadvertently disabled fast DMA for your IDE drives? (hopefully you have SATA where this isn't an issue) In short: Instead of blogging about MS having a problem, seek out a newsgroup and ask someone who can help you solve your problem. You don't seem very experienced, yet blog as if you are a computer expert. (maybe you are on some level -- but you certainly are no Mark Russinovich!)

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Disable the Windows Search Service?

I've disabled the Windows Search service on my desktop, which made quite a difference to general perforamance and if I'm searchign for a file I'm not fussed about spending a little extra time, if it means I can work faster the rest of the time (because I work so hard. Always.)

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UAC

MS are correct that there is no benefit to an enterprise of using UAC. Any properly written software can be run without Administrator priviliges (indeed, I have yet to come across badly written software that can't be made to run without Admin access, after suitable tinkering) Enterprise customers users shouldn't be installing their own software, so they are correct, there is no benefit of UAC in a properly configured/administered business environment.

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Bronze badge

Vista.

If you disable all of the services running in Vista that are not absolutely required for windows to function (including search!) it still runs slower than XP.

@ Roger Barrett

Your not the only person to run with a least user approach. I don't do at home simply because I run a number of apps at home that need local admin to work properly and its not worth the grief for me to keep switching from a user account to an admin account.

However I will just note that malicious programs such as viruses simply bypass the restrictions of a normal user, so in my opinion its only really useful to stop users from messing up their machine themselves.

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RE: So what?

What a great reasoned argument you mong. I work with Microsoft technology and in order to keep up to date I use Vista - plenty of things won't run on XP. Some things with Vista are better although there is too much bloat - the aero effects don't even come close to Compiz and require new hardware.

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Thumb Up

nice

This article rocks.

Five miunderstandings I am having at Vista. That is like you go to a car dealer and spend fifty grand on a car, find out the fifth gear doesn't work, the engine revs permanently at 2000 revs (because it is doing things to help you in the background) and it's sat nav tells you directions ten minutes after you needed them. But when you go back to complain you are told don't compare the Porsche to a BMW and you are misunderstanding the car.

Whoever wrote that for M$ is a tool.

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Necessary vs Unecessary

More often than not, for any given period spent in front of a computer, I find myself performing any one of a variety of tasks.

Most often I am entertaining myself with games and since stable drivers for vista do not yet seem to have been considered and the bulk of games programmers arer still sticking (sensibly) to directX9.0c, the very thought of installing Vista is one that I associate with banging my noggin off a concrete block.

I am often on email and have in the previous 6 months searched manually for an email containing a specific joke - I search MANUALLY because a brief look at the header will usually suffice and it really doesn't take long since invariably I am talking about forwarding a joke that was received in the previous 7 days.

Next in importance (to my shallow world) is also self indulgent entertainment - the viewing of movies or listening to music. Here there is the odd occasion when I decide that I MUST listen to "whatever X.mp3" next and for this task (perhaps once in a fortnight but also then perhaps 12 times in a row) I will run a search through the specific folder for a file that contains the word "ever". The search takes a few moments and then it is done and this is sugfficiently fast for me to key up perhaps half a dozen songs in my playlist BEFORE the current one has completed. I think that is fast enough.

And then there is work, the editing of the same blasted spreadsheet or the writing of a brand new word document. Very rarely I am asked to return to a previous document... so I devised the following nomenclature: date-keyword.extension eg 20080519 vistabollox.doc and then store it in a folder called "work" or "play". Finding an earlier document merely requires knowing what it was about or when, roughly, it was typed. Finding it takes seconds.

So when was the last time Microsoft actually asked people what they wanted from their computer? All I want is a filing system and the means to then install specific programmes to perform specific tasks. I hate mediaplayer, I don't need wordpad. My DVD software is an addon, my mp3 player software is an addon, my office software is an addon, my browser - okay I use IE6, IE7 and firefox depending on which machine is being used... they all work, each has its flaws.

So no - I'm not rushing off to install Vista. The disk is safely in my desk at home waiting for Vista SP2 or 3 and some decent support elsewhere.

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Linux

@Roger Barrett

I have a couple of XP systems that have games installed and run by the kids.

There is a significant problem with the security model, particularly with XP Home running on NTFS, where you need admin rights to install DLLs and other config files on the system, and the permissions are set so that you then need admin to read/change the files, and save any save files. It does not affect Fat32, because there are not the extended access control on the filesystem to give you the security (and problems) that running as a non-administrative user provides.

The additional problem with XP Home is that you do not have the extended policy editors for users and groups, or to manipulate the file attributes on NTFS. I suspect that even if XP Pro was being used by the majority of users, they would not want to get involved with this type of administration anyway.

It is possible to do some of the work with cacl from a command prompt, but it is very hard work. I have not found any way with XP Home (without installing additional software) that allows you to manipulate the user and group policies at all.

My current solution is to create an additional admin user, and then hide it from the login screen (with a registry key change). The kids can then do a right-click, and then a "run as" to this user for the games.

This is still insecure for a number of reasons. They already know that they can use this account to run any command with "run as", and the system is still as vulnerable to security flaws within a game, but it is a half-way house.

Unfortunatly, it does not appear to work 100% of the time. I tried using it to install "Blockland", which is a game that allows you to create a first-person role playing game in a world built out of something similar to Lego, and it would appear that there is a access-rights inheritance feature (read problem) that I don't know enough about to fix. It installed OK when run directly from a admin login, so I did not persue it.

I must admit that this type of problem scares me, especially if similar issues exist in SELinux (I normally have SE disabled), but I guess that I am just resisting change to a system I understand well. Role based authorisation is definitly the way forward, but it is just so difficult to accept this type of change.

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apples and oranges...

For normal users (non tech types) UAC is just like zone alarm and other introusive protection, a box pops up and the user instictively presses OK, without a second thought... :)

And instant search? well, my 2gb, 2.1ghz Vista machine spends its whole life indexing, while my 2gb, 1.67ghz PPC OSX machine manages faster, more accurate searching with none of these issues... dont blame the scernario, indexing every thing is just as hard with each OS :)

the thing is, you cant disable windows search as M$ have deemed it necessary to fill the default start menu with just over 1 million shortcuts... none of them useful!

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Doing more. Delivering less

"Windows Vista is doing a lot more than Windows XP, and it requires resources to conduct these tasks"

...and therein lies the problem. Every incarnation of Windows does more and more "stuff", but doesn't actually provide any benefit to the user.

I want my OS to do less, NOT more! An OS should take up as little resource as possible. It's sole task in life should be to run applications. Yes, obviously this incurs some overhead, but I don't run an OS just to run an OS; it is not a goal in itself. As a user, I am not interested in the OS - it's not important to me. Why on earth would I want the OS the chew up 70% of the available resources? It makes no sense at all. Microsoft clearly seem to take a completely opposing view.

This is exactly why my 3GHz machine of today runs no faster (in practical terms) than my 200MHz machine of years ago running Windows 98! The only thing eating up all that extra power is the OS - it's a pointless exercise.

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Anonymous Coward

Why Vista's not an upgrade

I'd call myself an advanced computer user, but in general I use my computer like anyone else - browsing the Internet, writing documents, watching Divx/listening to mp3s, and the odd software like FInal Draft, Dreamweaver etc.

I bought a mid/high-range laptop three months ago, replacing a five-year-old model.

And here's the kicker: Because 'Vista is doing so much', my battery life has halved. Before I could expect a good 2/3 hours of laptop use. Nov on Vista, I'm down to 1 hour or 1 and a half hours (and this seems similar for others I spoke to).

And apart from the flashy graphics, Vista - on the surface - appears to do NOTHING different to XP. The new Search Index is probably the height of it.

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Spotlight

So why is it then that my mac runs perfectly happy with Spotlight running in the background and is not slowed down by this? Why is it that Spotlight does not hog petabytes of RAM to do this? Why? Shoddy coding on Microshaft's part is why.

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No problems with search...

I really like the search. It's great for finding phrases in documents and emails that I need. OK, I don't use it all the time, but when I do need it, it's really useful. I've never noticed it take any particular resources when it initially indexed the file; when I save a file it seems to be happy enough postponing the indexing until the machine's not doing much.

Excellent product this OSX Spotlight. It doesn't index in my XP or Vista virtual machines, but then again it doesn't need to as there's no emails, documents, and the like as the VMs are only configured for specific tasks such as web development and testing.

Given that MS have been doing indexing for years (NT 3.51?), I just can't see how they've cocked it up so badly in Vista. Unless all the DRM crap is getting in the way.

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Bronze badge
Stop

Has anyone actually used it?

I have never had any real problems with Vista. Yes, it was slow in network copies, but that was patched months ago. SP1 dealt with the few other annoyances. It boots up, logs in to usable desktop, and shuts down than it does running XP.

According to extremetech, Vista equals and often outperforms XP SP2 and XP SP3 in PCMark05, 3DMark06, World in Conflict, Supreme Commander, and Crysis.

And anyone who has actually used Vista will know that UAC doesn't really show itself any more often than sudo would be required.

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Flame

Pah @ it all

I've disabled Spotlight on my MBP. Like some other peeps here, I know where my stuff is. (I'm also one of those freaks who insists on having no desktop icons.) I also disabled the dashboard, but then found I missed it, so switched it back on, despite the widely-reported memory leaking "widgets."

I've only a smidgen of hands-on experience with Vista, but hearing all these uber-cool names for system services and processes such as "SuperFetch" and "PowerBoost" or whatnot, merely indicates to me that MS did a shit job in programming Vista in the first place, and had to come up with these "optimisations" to try and recover a bit of performance. (Which apparently they did a similarly shit job of.)

I agree entirely with Rich - my OS should just sit there and wait for me to tell it to do something - I shouldn't need an advanced computing degree just to get it to function in a somewhat usable manner - and thankfully that's exactly what my current OS does.

I was amused at the irony of the "Apples vs Oranges" quote - perhaps Orange will be the next branding exercise?

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Silver badge

Why bother upgrading?

Not just MS stuff anything. Barring the usual bug fixes and LTS arguments, is upgrading most software simply falling into the ad guy's clutches?

"You have to have this!"

"Why?"

"'Cos you do! It's better and more shiny!"

"No real benefit though?"

"Hmmm....well not really"

This got me though:

"We've heard some of you say that Windows Vista runs slower than Windows XP on a given PC. So what's really happening here? First, we need to avoid comparing apples to oranges - Windows Vista is doing a lot more than Windows XP, and it requires resources to conduct these tasks."

Sorry, but I live in the real world, where I and others have to use a system to get things done, we don't have vast sums of money to buy the latest super-hot PC just to hold up the O/S, let alone any apps to run on it. There are magnitudes more average punters now Bill, and a vast number do not want to spend any time learning how to disable services and tune the system, they just want to get on with stuff, please think about this when you launch the next one, eh?

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Anonymous Coward

"Unless all the DRM crap is getting in the way"

Give the gentleman a gold star!

Incidentally, the originally referenced MS article was published in PDF format... anyone know why?

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Gates Horns

re: So what? by AC - 19th May 2008 08:31 GMT

I take it you are using Vista then and not a MS person :p

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@ Fraser

"I have yet to come across badly written software that can't be made to run without Admin access, after suitable tinkering"

Surely the fact you have to tinker shows you its badly written.

I dont think you should have to run regmon & filemon to see exactly what files / keys need to have permissions lowered on for it run.

When XP came out I remember MS making a big deal of software which runs as non admins being properly 'Certified for XP'

To get this cert any software must only need write access to HKEY Current user & the users profile folder at run time. It makes sense. Why should I have to have write access to the windows folder just because some lazy developer decicdes thats the best place for an ini file?

They might have made a complete arse of Vista, but at least they tried with this when XP came out. Shame few developers thought it was a good idea and just carried on lazily writing software.

Dont get me wrong, im not an MS fanboi - infact I've come across plenty of MS apps which dont adhere to this rule, but the only TRUE way to not have shit like the UAC is for people to start coding properly.

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Gates Halo

Vista is a big improvement

Vista is a big improvement on XP. If you compare it's speed to Mac OS X (the fist version) or even the second and thrid versions (10.1, 10.2) I think you'll find it wasn't until 10.3 that Mac OS X became usable.

Microsoft should have done what Apple did and include XP with Vista, as a dual boot option. Let people move over when they're ready.

That way they could have made more even more radical changes necessary to make Windows more secure, and to finally end the need for antivirus/spyware software.

Vista runs fine for me. The Desktop Composition is really great, although older apps that have to go through an emulation layer are slightly slower (apparently, never noticed it myself). The sleep and hibernate is much more reliable than my Linux box, and unlike my Mac Book the Vista laptop doesn't sleep until the battery dies, it hibernates after 2 hours (and unlike my Mac I can set this!).

Overall I think Vista is great. TV Tuner + iPlayer and an XBox 360 connected to a TV means I have Sky Plus like setup too :)

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Linux

Oranges are not the only fruit

"we need to avoid comparing apples to oranges"

More likely that MS want to avoid the comparison between Apple and their Vista "lemon"?

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UAC and limited user rights

MS are actually correct in saying that UAC offers no benefits in the enterprise environment. Running with "restricted admin" = running with admin rights, which is a no no. It is beneficial in the home environment as it allows a "smooth" transition from crappy apps that require admin to more well thought out apps that don't. Had MS just said "right, we're breaking all those apps that need admin privs" I'm fairly sure there'd have been more complaints.

With regards to running games (or any other app) with limited user rights it's generally pretty simple. I used to run WoW (yeah, yeah) with limited user rights on my 2k box at home. Just had to change the ownership on a couple of files that WoW writes back to (mainly interface stuff in XML) and voila. Ran fine (until patch day, but really, having to restart the app with "Run as..." once every 4-6 weeks was hardly a pain)

The only exceptions are those where the app you are running is so poorly written it shouldn't even be run on your box full stop. When I was testing the Active Directory roll out here I discovered that one of our primary apps (the market leader in its field) was writing temp files to c:\. No amount of tinkering with the OS is going to fix that kind of incompetence. That;s a job for the people that pay (or don't ;o) the invoices. Alas home users don't have that kind of clout.

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And all this time I thought...

...the slow adoption of Vista was due to the fact that it was..er...slow.

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Gates Horns

Response

That MS apparently equates 'near instantaneous' search times with finding things 'within minutes' probably tells you all you need to know about their grasp on reality.

Funny how Google can locate even a single relevant web page from a pool of billions in a fraction of a second...

Oh, and howcome the MS document isn't available any more? Did they inadvertently release some facts?

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IT Angle

Same old story

"Vista can be dramatically slower than XP, often thanks to poor configuration by OEMs."

So, people selling computers cannot be bothered setting them up properly, and, as usual, Microsoft get the blame.

If you new car arrived, and the dealer had put the wrong fuel in it, would you complain about Ford or the dealer?

Microsoft has alot wrong with it, but most OEMs and software houses get away with murder because they know Microsoft will get the blame.

Be fair.

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Works for me... but 64-bit

I like the search - yes, ideally you need to tick a couple of boxes to make it index the remainder of the files, but then it works quite happily. Superfetch is a definite bonus, but I do wonder if the USB sticks could be used more intelligently (not clearing some of the contents on shutdown...). Unless I'm running apps which have heavy GDI usage, Vista seems to be faster.

On the other hand, there are some definite flaws :

First, services which definitely do not need to be running (tablet services on systems without a tablet) are run. There really is no excuse for this - at least search is important for most people.

Second, the display driver model is obviously slightly lacking. There was a claim that by basing all adapters on the same driver speed gains could be realised. I can't comment if this is true or not, but I note that allegedly a recent build of Windows 7 reintroduces heterogeneous adapter support - so are they slowing things down again, or were they bullshitting?

Third, some XP issues haven't been fixed. It *still* takes media player a couple of seconds to locate and load its codecs regardless of the machine. What the hell is it doing?

Finally, x64 support is lacklustre. Despite some anecdotal evidence that Vista x64 is faster and more stable than Vista 32bit, the driver support for x64 is considerably more limited. Additionally most software lacks a 64 bit equivalent and even large companies can't be arsed to sign their drivers (a necessity under Vista x64). As an example Intel does not support its own software running on its own motherboards under Vista x64 (the desktop control centre under the Badaxe2 is not x64 compatible) and many system monitoring apps don't work.

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@ Coward

"Anyone using it is either a Microsoft person (Including all you Gold Partners and so on who are just about the only people praising Vista"

As an MS Gold Partner I can honestly say we recommend "Vista Business"...so that you can express your downgrade right to XP Pro with SP3.

We are constantly evaluating alternatives such as Linux and OSX, and IMHO if MS don't get it right with the next OS the competitors will have native directory services (i.e. not NT4 emulation) and we will be the partner of whoever offers the best option for our customers.

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Paris Hilton

apple vs lemons LMAO and vs penguins

just an afterthought really...

How can anyone describe anything as "new" or "improved" without being able to show how the alternative was "old" and or "inferior"? Any reference to "downgrades to XP" is nothing short of unsubstantiated slander. XP WORKS. It was "arhem FAIRLY stable (prior to SP3 anyway)".

Okay - I like penguins too and increasingly more so for a working environment but this vEspa is "developing technology" and I am sick of paying good money to be a phorking "labrat".

Now then - the dear old car analogy... IF $hill Oil told you that this new and improved supadoopa fuel would run in your Ford car and make it faster, brighter, cleaner, safer... and then halfway through filling the tank the entire engine melted... would you complain to Ford - or would you be braying for Shill's blood?

Icon - just as fast, bright, clean and safe as Micro$hill.

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W
Flame

re: Pah @ it all

"Like some other peeps here, I know where my stuff is. (I'm also one of those freaks who insists on having no desktop icons."

Indeed. Here's my wishlist for a default windows (or other OS) installation (and thusly what gets set up before I can get anything done on a new machine):

*No desktop icons (and definitely no *files* saved to the desktop).

*No thumbnail slideshows of photos.

*No clock animation.

*Startup progs / System tray icons kept to a bare minimum (with no auto-hide - if something's running, I want to know about it).

*A short & fixed list of icons apart from the Progs, Printers & Control Panel folders in the Start Menu: File Browser, Internet App, Email App, Notepad, Calculator, Word Processor, Spreadsheet, Photo App, Media Player App. They satisfy 80% of the usage by 80% of peeps. Remember the ol' 80/20 rule...

*Rage when programs try to install a shortcut icon anywhere other than inside it's own folder in StartMenu>Programs.

*I *must* have the taskbar along the top of the screen. Not a mac thing, just logic. It's where a pulldown menu naturally belongs.

*A File Browser that isn't drowning in 'shortcuts', 'favourites', and 'recently visited' tat. Just let me drill down goddammit. I'm a responsible adult who can grasp the simple file tree arrangement. Because of this, using Windows Search is a last resort, and something I use once in a blue moon. It was never a real issue.

*And when I get to my folder, I want the option of a 'details' view, a 'thumbnail' view, and a 'filmstrip' view. Where is the filmstrip view in Vista, btw?

To be fair, Vista hasn't crashed on me once. Which is nice. But it's a sod for faltering whilst updating it's records of network folders.

But althought it's quite pretty, user friendliness in terms of getting stuff done quickly and simply is, in a very many ways, worse than Win95.

And the Windows startup/shutdown times for a modern computer "in this day and age" are a disgrace.

The eeePC is making all of the above abundantly clear and asking all the right questions as far as I'm concerned.

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Paris Hilton

Why I'll never use Vista.

First of all, I'm not totally anti Microsoft. At work I use Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 (and happily I might add). At home I use Windows XP Home Edition to play video games. So don't take this as an anti-Microsoft screed; it's just my opinion as a random IT nerd.

I will never -- NEVER -- use Windows Vista. Here are my well-considered reasons:

First of all, I think that Microsoft thought they could blow kisses at computer manufacturers by deliberately building in ridiculously resource-intensive services that are difficult for naive users to disable. There's absolutely NO NEED WHATSOEVER for a modern operating system to be this resource-hungry. The only motivation I can imagine for it is some kind of sweetheart deal with hardware manufacturers. They're obviously CAPABLE of writing a fast operating system; look at Windows Server 2008. They just chose NOT to. It was a business decision, and I loathe them for it.

On that basis alone, Vista is crap. But a second point can be made that it doesn't support many drivers, hardware, and software applications that users have paid good money for. Once you upgrade, you're hosed, and you have to re-purchase a lot of your software and peripherals. Again, I loathe them for this.

Third, alternative operating systems exist that achieve most or all of Vista's goals without being resource-hungry. Linux, for example, will even run on old 586'es with 128MB of ram. I've gotten Slackware 9 to run on a 386 with 16mb of ram and a monochrome LCD (although forget about running KDE -- maybe FluxBox)! My cute little Asus EEE PC, with 512 MB ram and only a couple gig of disk, runs Linux like a champ. There's a model that runs XP just fine, too. So, what exactly is Microsoft's excuse for screwing up Vista so badly? On this basis, I'd avoid it just because it's so EMBARRASSING.

Honestly, I don't know what they were thinking. Perhaps they assumed people would just have to swallow their bitter pill?

Paris because... Well... Who needs a reason? What a fox.

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I couldn't agree more about OEMs

An aquantance bought a cheap desktop (can't remember the brand) from PC World. It had 1GB of RAM and Vista installed. It was configured to allocate 256MB of this precious RAM to the graphics chipset, leaving just 0.75GB for Vista (complete with Norton and other bundleware). A totally inappropriate setting for a system with only 1GB of RAM in the first place! Ok, if you're a gamer you might want 256MB (or more) of RAM on your graphics card, but a gamer is hardly likely to be using the graphics chipset built onto a cheapo mobo are they?

Come on OEMs, you can do better.

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Silver badge
Pirate

Popular Political Gardening

""vista is an OS too" ... By dreadful scathe Posted Monday 19th May 2008 08:29 GMT

dreadful scathe,

XP is a noble Driver Test Bed for Vista Content Virtualisation .... with a TelePortation of Binary CodeXXXX/New Information with Advanced IntelAIgents to Be Rendered by Media as the New Big Picture for All to Help Build and Sustain into the Future .... with the Picture being for our Childrens Children and their Children rather than there being any Component Rooted and Routed for Present Self. Build the Future rather than Maintain the Present can Only Produce Imagination come Alive.

"Format C:, install Linux and run a VMware XP instance." ... By Anonymous Coward Posted Monday 19th May 2008 08:18 GMT ..... aka Suite Apple .... the MetaMorphosis of the Garden of Eden Temptress into the Binary Field of Work, Rest and Play.

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Unhappy

Apples and oranges

All right, suppose XP and Vista do completely different things...

Then why is it that Microsoft wants us to replace one with the other? Wouldn't it be logical to let us choose between those completely different things?

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@Roger Barrett

Honestly, I tried running XP as a limited user, but as a developer/gamer/relatively "hardcore" user, I was constantly switching accounts to do every last little thing. On my Linux box I run as a limited user, obviously, but when I want to do something as root I can do it instantly, without the unnecessary switching/logging out+in that XP demands. It seemed to me that half the stuff I wanted to do in XP required the Administrator account, so in the end I sacked the limited accounts and went with that. I keep the machine patched and firewalled, and I haven't had any problems thus far. Sure, I'd prefer the Linux user architecture, but I don't have it, so I can't use it.

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Coat

there's an easy fix

MS just need to do the following for windows 7 (in no particular order):

(1) built-in recovery and backup

(2) drop nagware and registration

(3) drop DRM

(4) force applications back to their own files and NEVER let them touch windows base files and the idiotic registry..make them put all their stuff in their own file and have just a shortcut to start

(5) no apps should be able to force a reboot for install

(6) windows updates should not require a reboot for install

(7) all windows updates should automatically created rollback & recovery files

(8) windows 7 should be rock solid and secure

(9) there should be proper device driver interfaces so that hardware makers don't have to ever guess if their stuff will work or not

(10) secure signon should only be necessary under rare circumstances and never for applications/games/hardware driver updates

(11) only possible exception night be security/AV/firewall

feel free to add to my list or send it to bill & ballmer

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@there's an easy fix

Add to that: ban apps from registering as startup. There's no need for Adobe to be in the background all day. Make it so we don't need Antivirus software, like Macs. Antivirus./Antispyware/ how many CPU cycles are wasted???

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RW
Flame

@ E and Phlip Perry

E: "Either Vista is not working very smart, or MS is offering stuff that a lot of people don't want."

Of course they're offering stuff people don't want. A long time ago I had a conversation with a guy who did contract programming for MS. He used a word to describe MS that explains a great deal: "arrogant."

Microsoft is arrogant in thinking they know what the user wants and/or needs better than the user does, so they foist all these kewl bright ideas on the suffering world. Unfortunately, they are dead wrong about a lot of the things they are so sure about.

Every office at MS needs a framed copy of Crowell's famous plea: “I beseech you, in the bowels of Christ, think it possible you may be mistaken.”

They're also arrogant in depending on their monopoly for force their latest bright idea down everyone's throats. This is not news, of course. Too bad the governments of the world (possibly excepting the EU) roll over and play dead at MS's command.

But besides being arrogant, they seem to use an extremely pernicious form of group think internally, where no one is able and willing to stand up and say "the emperor has no clothes" when the group hive mind veers off in yet another wrong direction,

Philip Perry: "...Microsoft thought they could blow kisses at computer manufacturers by deliberately building in ridiculously resource-intensive services that are difficult for naive users to disable. There's absolutely NO NEED WHATSOEVER for a modern operating system to be this resource-hungry. The only motivation I can imagine for it is some kind of sweetheart deal with hardware manufacturers."

I wouldn't doubt for a second tha MS got in bed with hardware manufacturers, writing an OS that simply cannot run on older hardware in order to force sales of new. (Why has no one pointed the Green Finger at Microsoft for causing premature obsolescence of perfectly functional machines? What is the environmental cost of all that hardware discarded well before the end of its service life?)

But it's the movie & music companies they *really* got into bed with, if the descriptions I've read of Vista DRM are at all accurate. This just exemplifies MS's arrogance again: their customers do not want DRM, but MS doesn't hesitate to force it down their throats. Worse, it's an over-engineered version cooked up by paranoiacs at the MPAA that eats resources like a cop eating donuts. MS should have told the MPAA to shove it up their nether orifices.

(Microsoft-watching is just about as much fun as China-watching in the good old days of seriously Red China, where every word emanating form Peking was analyzed to death for clues. In MS's cases, it's really a matter of trying to diagnose organizational pathologies rather than political winds, but plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose.)

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Anonymous Coward

My view on Vista.

The rot set in about 5 years ago. Microsoft landed a load of "business analysts" who think they know about IT.

These may have been fixed, but I was so infuriated by them I rolled back.

So, from the top.

1. Internet explorer is mostly used for porn. Porn is mostly viewed one handed. Most porn sites have thumbnails you can barely see, so you open ten of them in a different part of the screen to save time. IE6 could do this, if the right hand side of the IE6 window was exactly on the right hand edge of the screen. But some business analyst, being gay, or female, didn't realise this use, and so window.open now opens right over the top of the window you clicked on, thus preventing you opening multiple windows and finding quickly the photo of the horse, er girl you prefer. This cheers me right up being only able to open one window at a time.

2. Visual Studio used to have the close button exactly in the same place for every window, but now, you have two different types of window open, and you have to keep looking vaguely to the upper right somewhere to close a window whose title is somewhere else. This means you can't rapidly close the five windows you've just trawled (but didn't really need) to find the bug. When you close the window, it doesn't go to the next one you wish to close. Also, the "X"it box for the frame, moves with every closing frame, as the number of frames decreases. Simply Magic.! I love this one, it really helps my productivity.

3. Explorer. There's a breadcrumb. There's no up. Some business analyst who takes a week to perform their task, and never changes directory, doesn't even notice that you go, "click bin click debug ctrl a ctrl c click up click up click up click dir etc. ctrl V", in two seconds because you do it a hundred times a day, and they think you want to sit around looking around the screen for some random piece of text, whose location varies depending on where the window is!!!! Brilliant. Genius.

4. IE7. You can't view the invalid certificate of a site, when it's wrong, without actually going there. This kind of destroys the point. Some business analyst thought no-one would ever need to do it.

Marvellous.

5. Windows search. Where do I begin? I want the ability to search code files for code strings (which you could do in XP. With a registry hack.) and for documents and text files for text, and for files by a certain name. That's it. I do it five times a week, at most, and it might take ten seconds, because I already know more or less where it's at. What's all this files/music/internet shit?

6. Virus checkers. Why do they all hang?

7. Finding and changing IP addresses? Or indeed finding out, and manually controlling ANY FUCKING HARDWARE.

I can't talk about VIsta anymore, it's less use that a British Gas engineer. I'm now just so angry about Vista, I've got to stop talking about it.

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Gates Horns

Xp doesnt do search indexing? Really?

Did Microsoft forget they put Microsoft Desktop Search out as a mandatory update last year? And desktop search 3.0 was rolled out to XP machines but autoupdate. I've had to go through and manually remove the Desktop Search from every XP machine infected with it because it slowed them to a crawl.

I like how Microsoft whitewashes over a "feature" that they also provided in updates for XP but claim XP doesnt have...

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Heart

UAC

UAC is the most marvelous feature on Windows Vista.

I LOVE User Account Control!

I have made more money turning it off for customers who can not get their apps to load or run than any other software feature has ever earned me before! Good old Microsoft! Cheers everyone, mines a beer!

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