back to article Employees sue for unpaid Windows Vista overtime

Windows Vista is in more legal hot water and this time the ones getting wet are the companies who've rolled out the operating system, not Microsoft. A series of lawsuits have been brought against major US companies by staff claiming unpaid overtime based on the time it takes Windows Vista to start up and shut down. Mark …

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Anonymous Coward

15 minutes to boot?

Are these companies running PCs with 640 KB of memory or something? And if the PCs need to be powered off, why not just hibernate at the end of the day ...

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Coat

Progress - dontcha love it?

Quote: "...until the user logs in, which is taking up to 15 minutes after the machine running Windows Vista has been turned on turned on thanks to the long boot cycle"

Eh? Shome mishtake, shurely? 15 minutes to boot an OS and log in as a user is bloody ridiculous! Even a fully-laden XP install shouldn't take more than 90 seconds from cold and a lean one a minute at most. W2K was a bit quicker.

For added productivity, let's all go back to DOS - about 10 seconds from pushing the power button to the command prompt as far as I remember with another 10 seconds for Locoscript to load.

Mine's the one with the 5¼-inch floppies in the pocket.

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15 mins?

Now i'm not a vista lover - i uninstalled it from my laptop but even so, Vista business never took longer than 5 mins to load - and that was on my sony t-250 which has only 1ghz ULV processor and crappy low power disc and 533mhz RAM. To get a 15 mins they must be trying to run it on some old P3's or someting

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Linux

Leave it on all week.....

Lashings of overtime $$$$

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Paris Hilton

re: 15 minutes to boot?

Well, is it booted when the OS allows you to type or when you can actually start work? Because this is about the latter. The PC has a logging application that they have to start to be considered "working".

And if these machines are all under AD control and there's a fair chance they are, then the AD has to finish copying the profile to the machine.

That can take 15 minutes easy.

Now, would you like to try THINKING and do that again?

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Pirate

Just plain horrible

Imagine working as a wage-slave in the good old free-market USA.

Free and easy here, totally voluntary sign-on and off system.

PS: Win-XP takes about 60-90 seconds to boot at our place.

Pirate, because the US is so cut-throat.

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OFI

15 Minutes

15 Minute boot time? have a laugh. Must be some pretty old tech for it to possibly take that long.

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Gates Horns

Damages

I've long thought that MS will be doomed once someone successfully sues them for consequential losses and/or lost productivity through security, crashes and reboots. Looks like we're one step towards it, at least...

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do what everyone else in the world does

Be in work 15 minutes before your supposed to be.

Walking in at 9am when you start at 9am is lame anyway.

And what it he talking about lost time at the end of the day? Does he sit and watch the PC to make sure its logs out?

If the company knew that part of the time they were paying him for was to "watch the computer shut down" then the would get rid of him fast.

Press shut down, go home. Thats not hard.

Anyway VISTA logs in faster than XP on my machine, its still shit, but thats a different story.

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15 minutes?

My 2-year-old-computer takes 2 minutes + login typing time to finish booting, and I've got 2 large apps and many smaller ones on auto-start. If the pay is tied to logging in, then only the time before logging in counts. My PC was bought before Vista was released. So you'd expect any computer with vista on it to be newer, and hence faster, than mine.

There's some serious fail going on somewhere.

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Stop

Shut down

And why are they hanging around for it to be shut down. Click shut down & F**k off home....

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We're talking REAL WORLD folks

Actual OS boot time is not necessarily the issue - we are talking about the time elapsed before being fully authenticated into some clocking-on system after they press power-on. In large enterprises this can be considerable if their PC is configured to run half a dozen scripts at startup etc.

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Gates Horns

Not really unrealistic

A lot of Vista boxes take two or three minutes to boot.

Now take an underspeced ("Vista capabable") machine with 512MB Ram swapping already during startup. Put the home directory on a SMB share. Have, say, a couple hundred people switch on their boxes pretty simultanously. Network lag, server lagging, probably misconfigured anway.

I would expect something more like 5-10 minutes, but i guess the 15 minutes are pretty much the maximum time it ever took.

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IT Angle

A.....HAHAHAHAHAHAH

Company switches to Vista, employees sue company - Brilliant!

I can imagine the ill-informed decision makers when they decided to "upgrade" .

"Well it says here on the Vista website 'Work smarter, with a professional edge and get more done in the office', that's exactly what we are looking for."

"Minimum specs? To hell with that! We want to get more done in the office..."

Lol

IT? - Cause that's probably what the decision makers were thinking at the time.

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Stop

90 seconds?

Including logging into a network, applying the group policies and loading all the services including network security stuff and then finally the time keeping service? 15 minutes sounds quite possible for actually.

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<title>

1) No PC should take 15 minutes to boot & log-on, even with Vista, must be some shitty software loading on start up

2) Why hang around after you've logged off, just set the PC to shut down and piss off

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Linux

Why boot?

Why not just log out and set the machine to stand-by? Not as energy efficient, sure, but if Vista is so bad it takes 15 minutes to boot then it might be a valid option.

Or upgrade to XP.

Or really upgrade and use Linux with the software running under WINE (if it runs under WINE, of course).

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Linux

Has to be said ...

About time these call centres switched to solid-state Linux boxes - then they would probably be up in 15 seconds with a bit of optimisation.

Sorry, it had to be said.

PS. My XP work box takes more like 3 minutes and it's 3D CAD suited. The issue is probably network speed/availability, since our profiles are all on the server - and we all start at the same time!

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Stop

Hang on this is not beyond impossible

In enterprise computing there are a bunch of things that go on during the boot sequence of a PC for example,

Login scripts

AV signature updates

Machine policies

services ... such as time-writing software.

To blame Vista is not necessarily the reason for the slow boot time - for example if the IT architecture makes 500 users take their AV signatures all from the same source location at the same start of shift time in the morning then yes this will flatten performance.... and that is assuming the source location is on the LAN and not over the WAN.

If the AD localisation structures are not correct this can interfere with performance too. If there are too many policies to be applied tothe local machine, then again this can impact performance. Are applications pushed from policy? If so is it everytime at logon? Is it from a local DFs, or a global DFS...? the questions and problems are numerous... how about the IP windowing settings? Are you on full or half duplex?

At the heart of this entire topic is the ability of IT architects to optimise their environments. Running Vista on a local machine is not the issue here, infact to blame Vista is to miss the point entirely.

Linking timewriting to login processes is an act of insanity or a very clever way of getting free labour from a crap infrastructure design.

I don't use Vista personally, but I have seen desktop performance slaughtered by the most simpe of errors in the enterprise space.

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Coat

Has the credit crunch hit the lawyers?

They really are scraping the bottom of the barrel now.

15 mins is bull, I can get Vista Ultimate to boot and onto google through FF in 3 mins on an old P3 Thinkpad with 512mb ram.

I blame the shoddy techies not using their own images and sending kit out with supplier bloatware on there. Try it for yourself if you are unfortunate enough to get kit from Dell. 2 systems side by side, one clean install one Dell install. Boot and see how long it takes to get to google.

Mine the one with 'Clue' in the pocket

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Col

Piffle

Even on some of the dodge network setup (with network desktop and all that crap) it would never take that long.

This is total rubbish - it basically boils down to a failure in the way companies record working time, not the tools of the job used in that that working time. Get a hole card punch on the wall. Write it down on a piece of paper as the employee enters. Make a mental note. Whatever...

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Dan
Gates Horns

Funny if not true

I know Vista takes longer to boot than XP, but this sounds to me suspiciously aligned with the article from the other day about machines being labelled Vista-ready when really they were not capable of running the OS adequately. Cue many companies buying the cheapest machines available to run Vista, and mucho employee dissatisfaction. Looks like lawsuits may also head MS's way.

Devil Bill, obviously.

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Easy solutions:

To 1: hibernate or sleep the computers, or just sort them out a bit so they run better, or just use a faster booting OS.

To 2: Stop hanging around waiting for your comp to shut down when you aren't getting paid for it you numpties

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@Sceptical Bastard

"15 minutes to boot an OS and log in as a user is bloody ridiculous!"

Every now and again one reads about scalability issues with authentication in large enterprises, where the Active Directory mammoth has to be woken from its slumber in order to recognise employee #28763 in his/her quest to log in, and this has been known (for whatever reason) to take a long time. Whether it's Vista or how the mammoth was set up is an open question, of course.

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Unhappy

Erm No!

I am no fan of Microsoft or Vista, but come on, this is a joke surely?

It is the company that use these systems which are at fault, not Microsoft.

Too many idiots, too few air tight Tape Safes!

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Credible

These will probably be machines which were at the bottom end of vista compatible, bought in bulk from the company who tried it and announced "Oh no they aren't"

Add in some overwhelming third party utilities and this was bound to happen. Now when I was at a call centre and we were logged by when we logged into the phone, I'd log into the phone and set my status to dealing with PC problems. Management didn't like me for it but I didn't really want them to.

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Happy

Bleedin' obvious?

Employers have brought this on themselves by using a stupid system to measure when people start and stop work.

If your time doesn't start until _after_ you log in, then logically it _can't_ be your job to turn the PC on, because a prerequisite for you to start work is a log-in screen.

By the same argument, if your time stops as soon as you hit the "Shut down" button, then it's logically not your job to sit there and wait for the machine to finish shutting down.

Sure, it may be cheaper and more efficient to measure log-in / log-out times than, say, clocking in and out in the conventional manner, but the primary requirement here is not efficiency but accuracy.

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Wake on Lan?

Surely the solution is just to implement wake on lan, so the computers boot up in time for the employees to arrive - equally you could implement network shutdown, so the employee just logs off when they're done and the system will worry about shutting down later...

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@ Progress - dontcha love it?

Not but the time the corporate IT luvvies have got their hads on it, and it's had a year's worth of general use. My company supplied laptop takes around 10 minutes to boot! Time for a cuppa tea and a read of the news paper before I start work.

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Gates Horns

Fifteen minutes isn't so unreasonable

Fifteen minutes from power on to starting work can easily happen if you have a large user profile that needs to be downloaded across a congested network from an underpowered server. Just the sort of thing that would happen when a whole load of people come on-shift at the same time.

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Gates Halo

What an utter bull...

If thats really the case they should have a serious talk to their IT dept. (or rather more probable: Consider to get rid of the ton of unnecessary progs, games, images on the desktop etc. etc. Joe Officedrone tends to clutter his or her Comp with).

And besides... do people really sit around and give their PCs morale support while it shuts down? Or do they rather start the shutdown and hurry out of the office as soon as the logoff screen appears?

Thought so.

Billy the Saint, cause even M$ is vastly preferable to greedy two bit lawyers on the lookout for a crapload of easy class action bucks.

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Bronze badge

Group policy

My guess is that it takes about 30 seconds to boot, then 14.5 minutes to apply group policy objects. My new-ish four-core work machine (with XP) originally went from black screen to login prompt in mere seconds. Then it was assimilated into Active Directory, and now I try to avoid switching it off.

-A.

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Anonymous Coward

How is this a Vista issue?

I don't understand how this is a VISTA issue?

Surely this is just standard cheapskate company purchasing decisions. Buying underpowered PCs with too little memory. Purchases made by beancounters instead of BOFHs

The only time I saw Vista take anything like that long to start was on an Intel Celeron Laptop with 256MB RAM. Yeah - seriously. A laptop had been sold with a spec which could barely run XP, but they had piled Vista onto it (which at least needs 2GB to settle, if not 4GB).

So this is a stupid purchasing decision - and it can be solved by a discussion between the BOFH, the Beancounter and a cattle prod.

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Stop

April Fool?

Little early for April Fool's isn't it?

Surely the solution is the sack the IT Manager who can't get a PC to boot in under 15 minutes - even Vista shouldn't take that long.

Or just leave them switched on between log-ons...

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Can I Sue?

For all the time I've spent supporting friends, neighbours and family who are running Vista despite my advice?

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Coat

@Sceptical B

Hah! Dos, loading off a floppy in 10s - you're dreaming... got those rose tinted specs on have you??

What you need is an old Acorn machine, BASIC interpriter up and running in the time it takes to say "Boooo-bip!". (Or if you had loads of extra hardware, like a Watford 256K expansion board and ADFS... "Booooooooooooooo-bip!"

Mine's the one with the wordwise EPROM in the pocket.

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Paris Hilton

very common

This is very common, PC's in offices are very often low spec, loaded with vista by standard and then have all the office software and other useless stuff piled on top. Add to that the anti-virus and the standard poor maintenance (ie no regular defrag etc) you get a slow machine.

I had a similar thing with my work (though its not a clocking system). Work wanted to know why I leave the PC powered on when I leave work. I explained that it takes upto 20 - 30 mins every day to start up from a cold start. Get logged in, get all the applications I need for my job loaded and logged in ready to work. Now doing this every day means id be having to get to work at least 30 mins earlier (I already get to work early anyway to give me time to get settled and have a brew).

Adding this up we are talking 10 hours unpaid overtime a month just because statup times. Now some people will say the office should buy better pc's, other people say is vista and its massive bloat. Personally I think is a middle ground, though vista in the office environment is a bad idea as it doesn't give me anything extra to do my job (I still could use all the same applications on XP).

Ether way im happy because my box has been upgraded and its back on XP and I find it faster doing my day to do work. Thank god for working for a reasonable company :)

Paris well because I wanna :)

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Rob

vista?

I wouldn't say it's neccessarily vista, it took me ten minutes to log on to my work pc this morning, sometimes it's quicker, sometimes it's not, depends on the network I suppose, the real issue here is the companies policy, I clock in with a card when I arrive, so my pc can take all day to boot up as far as I care

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Alert

Actually, they're not far off

My laptop came with Vista, just as it was released. I thought, why not give it a go?

My normal routine now is :

Turn it on, have a shower, get dressed, have breakfast, clean my teeth, sit down at my desk - and if I'm lucky - I can start to do some work.

With 3Gb of Ram but a smallish HD crammed to the gills, Hibernation isn't a great option - I also find that the system gets extra specially flakey after 5 or 6 Hibernates.

I've now reverted to putting it to Sleep for as long as I can before that also causes problems... but I don't like having the thing on consuming electricity the whole time , no matter how little that may be.

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Jobs Horns

It is normal

@AC: some companies have policy to force you turn off PCs when you leave. It will save the company power bill.

@AC & sceptical bastard: they are not talking about stand alone home PC. There are gozzilion of things running on company network, the normal waiting time is very long. It has less to do with the operating system however. The status of network, how the network was setup, servers and how many programs at auto start/run are the major issues. However, how OS handles those tasks does has impact. If the time tracking system only starts when user login certain specified software, you will have to understand the waiting time will have to include PC start time + network login time + all background programs startup time + time to start the "production" software.

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@ the previous pepol

@ those pepol who are saying that 15mins is slow

you have obviously not worked in a office even with xp windows slows down noticibley after a user has used it for 6mounths usuley starting to take 5-10 mins to login to windows and be able to work and the only way I have found to restore it's speed is reformat it. I have no exprance with vista in my office but form my home experience I can easley see it take 15mins to boot

and beofre pepol flame me I welcome any suggestions on how to speed up boot times but before you sugest it I have spend hours on google looking and as yet have found nothing that works

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Anonymous Coward

Ah, people who don't know

just how badly corporate IT departments can b*gg*r the configuration of an OS. They've probably got a couple of million lines of batch files that they run on start up, plus servers located in some remote data centre over an inadequate WAN link.

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XP also...

under some conditions. You have to remember that these time keeping apps are probably either set as startup, or even as the user fires up the helpdesk software. I have a decent machine at work (nothing fancy mind you) running XP, and boot doesnt take long at all.

However, after logging in all my apps that i need start to fire up (Trillian, Skype, ZoIPer), then i need to launch outlook (yawn), and maybe some other apps as well. After hitting enter to login i can go for a cigarette and be back before the hard disk stops thrashing.

Now consider in a helpdesk area where the PCs are probably quite cheap and low spec (management decision... what do they need computers for... they work on the phone... oh yes, the CRM software... about $100 per PC should do it). So after logging in, the software that logs the time could take several minutes before it fires up (and maybe second login prompt for the CRM or other software - more time gone).

I understand them very well. I used to run a call center and the users did not have great machines. Staff used to come into work 15 minutes early just to get logged in and be ready. The call center software logged their time and they generally launched this manually (although i did have it set to use AD authentication so there was no password prompt). Minimum 5 minutes from switching their PCs on and longer on the older machines.

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Liar

I think someone is lying here, because Windows Vista is quicker to boot up than XP, that's for sure. It certainitely doesn't take 15 mins to boot up and shut down. Maybe 2 mins at the longest. Typical lawyers.

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What hardware

What hardware are they running Vista on? I tested Vista when it first came out but decided that the drivers were in no fit state so didn't deploy it at the time. I expected this though as it has always been the case with any new major MS OS release.

However, I recently bought a new laptop with Vista installed and decided to give it the benefit of the doubt before chucking XP on it. Now that the drivers have matured it runs fine as long as it is on appropriate hardware. I am used to it now and actually quite like it. The laptop isn't massively high spec although it does have 2GB of RAM. I havn't actually timed it, but it definately takes no more than a minute from startup from cold to being logged in, including the hardware boot sequence. Probably more like 40 seconds in fact.

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I call shenanengans!

There is no way that it's taking 15 minutes for these machines to start up.

I used to support a call centre environment, where the users were similarly monitored for timekeeping and penalised if they weren't taking calls when they should be. But they were let off if there was a technology fault (they had to back this up with an incident reference).

These people would deliberately lock their accounts out and raise a call for it, thereby buying themselves a few extra minutes first thing in the morning, or when they came back off break.

To resolve the password lockouts, we installed fingerprint readers. This worked for a few weeks, until the users realised that if you smear a little coffee or hand cream on the reader, it stops working. So they would log a call and sit back until and engineer came along with a cloth.

So forgive me if I am a little cynical about this lawsuit - it doesn't add up. And my experience of the users brings Hanlon's Razor swinging into action...

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Linux

hmmm

not much you can do about boot up time (other than not switching off the pc at all or hibernate as suggested already), but i fail to understand why, once people have "clocked out" in their app and started shutdown, they need to WAIT for the PC to shutdown? Why? Just go home! Weirdos.

Tux because...isnt it obvious :)

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Coat

I think I can explain 15 minutes

The staff get into the office at 9am, and push the "ON" button. Time to go for a smoke while the computer is booting. Down to the ground floor, outside the door, smoke a cigarette, back inside, up to the floor they work on, login. That's 15 minutes wasted, not waiting for the computer, but on a smoke break.

Same at the end of the shift. Not allowed to go home until the computer has switched off, so at 4.45pm, set the computer to shut down, and go out for a smoke. Back up to the office to make sure the computer is actually off, then leave the office at 5pm. That's another 15 minutes wasted, isn't it?

Mines the one with the fags in the pocket.

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Bronze badge

boot up time in XP ... 25 minutes

I work on a laptop, and so I close and shut it down every night, as it runs so hot I fear leaving it on would burn down the building. So I come in about 15 minutes early and boot up. 25 minutes later everything is ready to use.

Shutting down only takes about 5 minutes. Total time simply waiting for a machine: 30 minutes.

I am a contractor. If I wasn't a nice person, I'd come in exactly on the dot of my hours and daydream the full 25 minutes every morning. Ka-ching for me. But as it is, they still lose about £15 every morning for those ten minutes on their clock.

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Unhappy

Crappy machines and network booting

The main problem is not really windows vista...though the stupid amount of rubbish it loads is just adding to the problems. Many of the machines network boot or re-ghost themselves on boot, hibernating is not an option as many of these places 'hot desk'. Under XP this was not such a problem as it had nothing like the ridiculous footprint of vista, but I can well believe this.

Heck I wouldn't be surprised if some of these places did it over a wan from HQ to save staff (connectivity of course would come out of a different budget) .

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