back to article Texas senator wants to ban Vista purchases

Windows Vista gets a lot of grief both in tech circles and the general public — but one Texas lawmaker wants to make it a matter of public policy. Democrat Texas state Senator Juan Hinojosa recently added a rider to Texas' $182bn budget plan that would ban the state's agencies from purchasing Vista (and all Vista-related …

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Gates Horns

Fun story

Vista sucks big time.

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Paris Hilton

Nonsense

Whilst Vista isn't the speed demon it was originally touted to be, it's certainly not the perf whore many are claiming it to be.

If you're seeing major perf issues with Vista, you should:

1) Remove unnecessary start-up apps from your startup group and using MSCONFIG.

2) Update! Make sure you're fully patched via Windows Update. You ARE running SP1, right?

3) Check your HDD's - major sudden perf degradation often indicates a dying HDD.

4) Check your 3rd party drivers - graphics drivers in particular have improved enormously over the last 2 years.

However, you'll probably enjoy life more if you move to Win7 - it is Windows Redefined.

Paris because she too enjoys a dubious reputation.

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Happy

It should be " texas state Senator"

That being said. If he proposed it based on feedback from state workers I would say ok. But if that is the case this should have happened a long time ago.

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Linux

@ Rich Turner

I smell the blood of an MS troll !!!

It's shit and you know it is.

Wake up and smell the Penguin shit, you tosser!

FFS. Why do they let them loose around here?

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A Special Visit

I'm sure Steve Balmer will be making special visits in Texas.

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Unhappy

@ Codge

so somebody likes something you dislike, therefore they must be a tosser.

what great arguement, you sound like the tosser to me.

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Flame

We don't need no steeeenking Vista!

God uses XP!

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So what if he "read a lot about it"?

Politicians rarely have first hand experience of the things they are legislating about or running. At least this guy seems to have understood what he read which is more than you can say about most politicians when they talk about technology. Compare and contrast:

"We have a lot of problems with the Vista program. It had a lot of bugs. It takes up a lot of memory. It's not compatible with other equipment, and it's supposed to be an upgrade from the XP program that is being used by state agencies, and it's not."

"The National Identity Register will be unhackable because it won't be connected to teh intawebs!"

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Anonymous Coward

Woah

There is intelligent life in Texas after all.. totally ruins the image I got after visiting there last year...

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Anonymous Coward

@Rich

Your comments apply to any OS... don't run too much unnecessary stuff, keep up to date with patches and drivers and watch for faulty hardware.

If you're suggesting Vista is particularly prone to any of these issues than you're making the Senators point for him.

Oh, and just wait for the next version of MS Whatever - it's so much better than the version you've got now... just give us your credit card details/billing address.

I've got clients on 3yr old hardware using XP & Office 2000. It works. I've used Vista on recent hardware (it works well but what's there to get excited about?) and older machines (it's a dog). I struggle to any truly compelling reasons to recommend any of my clients upgrade and many reasons to recommend they don't (h/w upgrades, retraining, general disruption, cost...)

The Senators POV strikes me as eminently sensible... now I have to go lie down, the strain of agreeing with a politician is just too much for me.

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Gates Horns

Job for the Boy$

I can $ee all the Micro$oft lawyer$ waking up and checking airline $chedule$ for flight$ to Texa$.

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Wonder if this isn't just a ploy to get a discount

...Like Newham Council managed (I speculate) a few years ago

http://news.zdnet.co.uk/software/0,1000000121,39163383,00.htm

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Unhappy

It's not rocket science to see why companies/orgs won't adopt Vista.

They have XP and it works.

Most corporate desktops would run like a dog with Vista. Hell, most of them run XP with only the bare minimum hardware - after all, why give your users 1GB of memory when you can get away with 500MB? To move to Vista will require a huge outlay, not least on the hardware upgrades. Nobody wants to spend that kind of money for something they don't actually need.

The only reason they'll move off XP is because of Microsoft blackmailing them by threatening to withdraw support and they don't want to be exposed to the risk (which is small) that that will produce.

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@Codge

TBH, I'm gettin to the point where I'd rather have someone extoll the virtues of the market's dominant-by-a-huge-margin OS rather than the people who insist that Linux is some Godlike, consumer-market-ready force for all that's good and right and just about at the point where it'll take the market completely next week. Ubuntu's almost close to being useable for most people but not many other other distros I've tried can be said to be anywhere close- so people stick with Windows. Yes, it'd be great if my company ran Linux- my PC would probably run a bit better and it'd save money in these crunchy times. However, it'd also mean retraining the IT staff- and probably a lot of work telling people not to panic- and relying on the likes of WINE to run the software I want (AutoCAD, etc).

As people stick with Windows, it can be useful for people to be told about ways of speeding up the version of Windows on their computer- especially in the case of anyone running Vista as, well, it's bloody slow compared to earlier versions of windows.

Back on topic, it's good to see that the senator is proposing banning them from using stuff with such a bad rep; okay, he's not too technically minded. But his heart seems in the right place and that's the important thing. Get rid of the crap, or stop shovelling it on top of the systems you put in place, and you're left with an improved system compared to how it could have been.

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Is it just me...?

I seriously don't get it. I got a Dell with Vista Home Basic pre-installed in September 2007 and I can honestly say I haven't had ANY problems with it so far... the only program that didn't work was DaemonTools and PowerISO replaced that... and a slight issue with my Epson MFD and a driver upgrade fixed it. Smooth sailing ever since, on a Core Duo 1.8 GHz with 1 GB RAM.

I do take security very seriously though... haven't had a virus since I got this laptop, and have never had to reformat the drive and reinstall the OS.

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Paris Hilton

Don't use MSCONFIG, FFS

DAMMIT! I am absolutely fed up with people touting MSCONFIG as a phuqn cure-all for PC problems. It is a troubleshooting tool only, and should NOT be used for regular operations. Use a real program to remove the offending start-ups properly.

If you do not like using REGEDIT or SERVICES.MSC, then use something like Windows Defender, AVG's System Tools module, or any other number of programs which give you an easy-to-use interface to actually remove the entries and not kludge the system into running.

Other than that, I agree fully with Rich Turner -- well, except that I still do not like the "phone tree" approach introduced by Vista and still present in 7. I am very impressed with the performance in 7 given that I have only used it in a VirtualPC environment.

And I apologize if that sounded like a lash-out at Rich as it certainly was not.

Paris, a troubleshooting tool, and should not be used for regular operations.

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Gates Horns

A Lone Star

For once, Texas gets it right!

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Ash
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Splitting hairs here...

... but anybody who calls an Operating System a "program" doesn't get to make decisions like this.

THAT should be public policy.

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Perfectly reasonable

Having gimps and wannabe-techheads choose to install Vista willy-nilly can add massive costs, both in support and apps that don't work.

I see nothing wrong with someone having the balls to say "hey, lets keep it all standard for christ sake, Vista will be obsolete by the end of the year anyway!"

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exercising caution is fine

but making a blanket policy like this is idiotic, and it's only going to cause more problems than it solves.

I love it when senior management start sticking their nose in and making sweeping generalisations.

I have actually seen a fair amount of software that runs faster and more smoothly on vista than xp.

as for the resource overheads...

We all baulked at XP when it first came out. OK, Vista was WAY over the top on first release, but windows 7 is pretty reasonable now. Especially considering its functionality.

@MacRat

Yeah, I can definately envisage a little trip coming up for Stevie B in the imminant future

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Flame

wtf

Hinojosa admits he has no personal experience with the operating system

So basically he is jumping on a bandwagon on which he hasnt a f'ing clue and is stupid enough to admit it.

Has he even spoken to IT?

this person needs a good smash in the face along with most politicians.

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Paris Hilton

I'm no fan of Vista

. . . but if you're not a technical person stay out of IT policy. Hire intelligent qualified people and let them run IT while you focus on getting re-elected and scamming the public.

Paris, because she'd know better.

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Anonymous Coward

Vista is nasty

And we all know it,.

Even with SP1 and fully updated drivers for products on thw HCL , it still runs like a dead dog.

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Reminded me of those silly "Don't Mess With Texas" road signs

I've been a windows vista users since day one release and i haven't had a single issue with it to be honest. If Windows 7 requires the same modern day hardware that ticked off XP users then their will be more crying once it's release as well. I'll be uprading to Windows 7 as soon as its released because i enjoy the new experience even if i have to learn a little more.

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Anonymous Coward

Sen. Hinojosa is obviously an IT expert

as denoted by his use of the phrase "the Vista prgram"

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@Codge

I smell the blood of a linux troll...

The onely people who say Vista is shot these days are those that have either never used it, or used it on old crappy machines...

Been using it since it was released and a) it was never as bad other made it out and b) has improved a lot with the service packs.

Prat.

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Sheesh

Whether or not you like Vista is beside the point.

I rather suspect that it's illegal to legislate that a given supplier's product cannot be used (unless it's non-'merkin, in which case the UN might find it illegal, but 'merkins don't care).

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Gates Horns

@Codge

Have you not seen the MS ads around here! The Reg are amongst the biggest shills!!! Time and time again we are told how 'easy' Windows is to use out-of the-box, then we get;

"Remove unnecessary start-up apps from your startup group and using MSCONFIG."

I can tell you for free - Mr Joe Q Average would know to look for 'MSCONFIG', not to mention how to use it!

Well Done Texas, this nearly atones for giving us George W Bush...

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Alert

@codge

why is someone who likes vista a troll all of a sudden.

i have just "tried" moving to linux 64 bit (ubuntu) and if i am honest it is a pile of shite!

even things like the built in app getter for wine to allow some of my needed Windows apps such as spotify and usenet readers wouldnt work unless extra libraries were compiled. At this time the wine.budgetdedicated.com was down so I couldnt get an updated wine to work with 64 bit.

a lot of people would like to have a machine where things are packaged for them in terms of a simple exe or msi and are prepared to take the performance hit to allow ease of use.

I use vista and admit it has got better over time with SP1 and the RC of SP2 - will i ever leave vista and go fully to the handicapped (IMO) penguin. Probably never, doesnt mean I am a troll or fanboi just realistic enough to realise that when I am on my home PC i want things to just work!

and in response to your FFS - could we not say the same about you trying to be a linux fanboi when the story was about MS Vista?

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Yeah - right!

Sad thing about this - its not funny anymore - April Fools or not - its just too true! Working in IT/MIS - Vista is a bad investment no matter how you look at it. True or not - he has my vote!

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Gates Horns

Smart Man - Now Ban Windows 7

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Juan_Hinojosa

Then get a green card! And learn to speak English! -- Just kidding!

So... I know - lets build a fancy bridge at the Redmond Micro$oft campus with taxpayer money.

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Linux

Who said Texans are all idiots?

"And just judging by the rider's title, "Limitation on Purchase of Microsoft Vista Information Technology," it's safe to assume this man isn't the technical wiz to be dictating what software a government agency can use."

On the contrary, it shows exactly the opposite.

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Heart

What do you expect from Texas?

Remember, this is the State that gave us Dubya...

'nuff said

Are you from Texas too, Codge?

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Anonymous Coward

FWIW...

...I just put vista on a wretched old box to see what would happen - an Athlon 3400 with 1.5gb and 128mb shared onboard card. Awful all-around, and I fully expected it to be total shit.

Shocka - it's actually totally usable. Yeah, there's barely any free RAM - 300mb or so, whereas XP would have 800ish - but nobody ever said the thing was going to have less of a mem footprint than XP. And aside from that, it's been solid, done its job, and is as snappy as you'd expect doing heavy lifting like starting Firefox. :P

Oddly, it runs fine even with multiple FF windows open, and a few other things, despite the horrible RAM shortage. You can hear it thrashing away at the disk, but if the HD was silent it wouldn't be too obvious (ie, no "watch the screen redraw scanline-by-scanline when we exit this app").

Do I run Vista on the machines I use to run motion systems? Nope - some of the drivers crash it hard. But is it the stinkiest stinky-poo that ever stank out of a stinky place, like a lot of people say? Not as far as I can tell.

A little balance would lend credibility. And - Codge? - a little less 'blatant asshole' would win more Linux converts. I stay away from Linux just to avoid associating myself with the users thanks to guys like you.

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Pirate

Well as a Texas State Worker

Where I am at they have tried to stop - or at least really slow down - the use of Vista. Too many issues.

Now having said that - we have a lot of boneheads in poly-ticks in TaxUs. They come from both sides of the isle. GW Busch be-in the best known example. I be suggest-in that we swabs be a mutinee(arrgh)ing. Oh what the hell do I care - I be r(arrgh)un-in OSX.

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Boffin

Can you blame him?

A several-billion budget deficit is expected in 2011, so not buying the licenses is one less area to worry about cutting next biennial.

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He's certainly not a wiz

Not even moderately tech-litterate I would say. BUT in tough times, an OS that:

-costs millions in license fees

-costs millions in harware upgrades

-costs millions in staff retraining

-doesn't do anything better than its cheaper -and already owned- predecessor running on cheaper -and already owned- hardware

should certainly not be bought without a very good and specific reason.

See it as a "if it ain't broken, don't spend millions to fix it" policy, if you wish. And if for once some sense comes from a bureaucrat, well, all the better. Not that I care much about how the yanks spend their taxdollars, after all, that or the Bridge To MicroSoft... I just hope that *my* gub'mint will stop thinking that the US are "too big to let fail" ;-)

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Anonymous Coward

Darth Ballmer ...

... will no doubt detect this stirring in the Force, and spur the evil Empire into action.

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@ Hud Dunlap

"If he proposed it based on feedback from state workers I would say ok. But if that is the case this should have happened a long time ago."

I guess that "feedback" implies a bit of time. Also, Vista's imminent obsolescence might have played a role (which actually makes the proposal a bit dull. "Vista" should probably read "any new expensive OS requiring hardware upgrade")

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Coat

Re: A Special Visit

He won't need to. The ICBC* system that Microsoft have been testing should sort it out sharpish.

*Inter-Continental Ballistic Chair

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J
Joke

@Nonsense

Hey, wasn't that Windows thing supposed to be easy to use and just work? So I've heard. But MSCONFIG, services, SP1, WTF, drivers? Where's the Start button. Oh, there it is, I feel much better now.

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Flame

A cure-all for Vista problems found!!!

It's called Ubuntu.

It's the Mouthwash for getting that Bitter Taste from Your Mouth, after Sucking Long and Hard on the Little Awful Dick called Microsoft Vista.

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Stop

@ Codge...

Just throwing seeds here man but I think you'll find that it's you that is the tosser. Although having the mental age of 5 I doubt you've worked out what it's for yet have you?

Anyhoo... well done Reg for not simply using this story as a tool to bash MS and at least having the integrity to balance the story with the fact that Senator Hinojosa probabaly has no experience of using the O/S.

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@Rich Turner

Sorry but I prefer Vista to the FOSS offerings I've tried. It isn't perfect but then neither are the FOSS offerings I've tried - pretty good but doesn't tick all the boxes for me.

The fact is that I have two machines running Vista and I haven't experienced any of the problems that frequently get reported around here. The main issue Vista had was drivers (or lack of) but then that also has affected FOSS, but both have improved.

Regarding the statement by the Senator there are probably good reasons not to upgrade to Vista on a mass scale. It does sound like he's calling Microsoft out though.

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@Codge

Rich is right, up to a point. Any poorly configured system will run like a dog, be it Windows or Linux. However he is a wrong about Win7. Anyone with a brain should stick to XP until it becomes totally non-viable.

As for smelling the "Penguin shit", no chance matey. Linux may be good on the server and for geeks, but for the average user it is still hostile and hard to use. It also does not support business applications such as MS Office and business languages like .Net.

Yes, I know there are F/OSS alternatives but they are:

1) Not compatible. You think an MS Office plug-in will run on OpenOffice? And what if that plug-in is part of your business process? Wake up and smell the compliance regulations.

2) Not full-featured. Mono cannot run anything more than basic "Hello world!" type stuff. I know as I have examined the Mono project in some detail and seen the amount of "stub" methods and "Not Implemented" exceptions they throw

3) Too expensive. You might save a cent or two on licensing, but you will spend way more on re-training and new administrators. Administrators who cost a lot more than MS admins. Remember - licenses only account for about 7% of TCO.

4) Are hard to manage for updates. F/OSS updates come thick, fast and without any warning. This is a serious issue when trying to run an enterprise (not that Linux will penetrate the desktop very far for the reasons I have given above).

5) Lacking decent support. The only support you get are a few crappy forums populated with elitist geeks whose only response is "Go read the manual. EDUCATE YOURSELF!" Very helpful to the new user without a degree in computer science and rather abusive (a bit like yourself).

Linux on the server? Yeah.

Linux on the cloud? Yeah.

Linux embedded? PVRs etc, yeah.

Linux on the desktop? Niche only.

Linux on the netbook/laptop? Pfft.

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Joke

MSCONFIG

I've tried to use MSCONJOB, sorry MSCONFIG, to improve the performance of Vista, but it won't let me remove Vista and install XP

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Boffin

Muppets

"Shocka - it's actually totally usable. Yeah, there's barely any free RAM - 300mb or so, whereas XP would have 800ish - but nobody ever said the thing was going to have less of a mem footprint than XP."

Why do you people constantly advocate Linux and then say idiotic things like this? Why is it so hard for people to understand memory management? Let's go through it one more time:

a) free RAM in XP is wasted RAM. It's not worth having, because it's not doing anything.

b) RAM is used in Vista in Superfetch (look it up), which uses it for actively precaching data from your most-used apps - but will give this RAM up when needed

c) Vista runs quite smoothly (with Aero skin off) on an old Presario 2500 laptop with 1GB of RAM and shared onboard graphics, because RAM use is scaleable due to b)

d) point b) is exactly what *nix has been doing for years. It's not new, and MS took ages to get round to doing it, and it's a more efficient use of resources (even though the "used RAM" bar is higher)

So: it uses RAM efficiently. It returns RAM when needed for an app. It manages RAM in the same efficient way as $linux_distro. It is a million times better than XP in that sense. And you complain because of it? Don't you people know anything about computers? Learn a little about the subject before you fire off your automated reactionary bandwagon nonsense.

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At the risk of seeming to be a nerd:

http://xkcd.com/528/

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Windows 7

Given that MS are telling us basically that Vista is a pile of shit and we should upgrade to Windows 7, which we will have to pay for, which of course is a nice earner for MS, it would seem sensible, financially, NOT to waste money on the Vista integration and save that money and time and wait until Windows 7 is out.

Who do you YOU think should be making decisions about who should be "dictating what software a government agency can use"? Right now in a lot of places that decision seems to be being taken by suits in Redmond by use of illegal monopolistic practices.

There are other ways of speeding up Vista's performance : if you have more than a GB or RAM is turn off their damned stupid pre-fetch which, if you've got 3GB of RAM kills your machine for minutes after start up as MS decides what applications to shove into all that nice free memory. Oh, and turn of the fucking stupid search indexer because that hammers things as well.

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Paris Hilton

@So what if he "read a lot about it"? By Steve

Yes i would only agree with you by 2%

This isnt poverty were talking about were not asking him to go live in a council estate

Were not asking him to live in the third world

It's OS on a computer

Im sure he could install it and look at before condeming it.

If i were to condemn Birmingham for being a shithole and needs walling up, Would i not need to go there or just listen to the cliche that birmingham is shite and pass a law it should be condemned

p.s. ive been to birmingham and reckon it should be walled up (actually just put that wall just south of the M25 and im happy)

paris cause this guy must be a natural blond

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