back to article Microsoft shouts 'Long Live XP'

Microsoft’s dream of a Vista only world moved farther out on the horizon yesterday as the software firm admitted it would extend sales of Windows XP by another five months. XP was supposed to be off the vendor’s price list by the end of January 2008. Now it will stick around until the end of the second quarter. The cut down …

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  1. Keith Turner

    egg on faces

    "UK retail chain PC World blamed the non-take off of Vista for an over-stock problem in its most recent results, with CEO John Clare saying “gross margins have been materially impacted as a result of increased promotional activity to reduce one-off hardware stock levels that resulted from lower than expected demand for Vista products.” "

    Oh yeah?

    How about "We never really ask our customers what they want, we only buy stuff on the recommendation of sales promoters from our major suppliers."

    Or " We really screwed up on this one, never saw it coming."

    While I'm waiting for a Linux distro for oldish laptops with wireless and on-board graphics chips, I'm relieved to know that I will be able to rebuild a machine that would struggle to run Vista but is happy with XP.

    (or we told 'em so)

  2. Phill

    Vista isn't an option

    The specs are too high for medium / large businesses to run on their existing kit. Most companies prefer to avoid a mixed environment as well so until there down to their last 50 vista incompatible machines you just won't see the potential benefits to move up a platform.

    Anyway what does he mean "more people are buying vista with new machines than ever before"? Does he mean the software forced onto people who buy new machines is doing well because overall sales of PCs are up (of course not influenced by MS) or because OEMS are pressured into saying "up to date" with newest hardware and software regardless of if it is better or not?.

  3. Simon

    Doh!

    Looks like a shot to the foot.

  4. Simon Martin

    Just how bad can the Vista experience be?

    I am forced to use XP for some things at work I really struggle to come to terms with the concept of preferring XP over another OS.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Yay for XP

    Sure, its not perfect, but it beats the arse off the all flash/no pants Vista.

    Plus you don't have to retrain your entire bloody business as your users have been using it at home for years.

    XP Service Pack 3 is coming soon kids, no reason to switch for a long time.

  6. Mark

    I'm planning to avoid Vista

    My PC isn't well at the moment so it could be time to buy another. It's the first time I've seriously considered switching to a Mac - anything to avoid the unfinished Vista.

    Apple must be loving all this...

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Five months...

    "extend sales of Windows XP by another five months..."

    Will that be long enough?

  8. Matt Dodds

    Downgrade rights?

    I'm wondering if anyone can confirm whether, once Vista is all you can buy, you'll still be able to exercise "downgrade rights"? That's normally a get-out so although you have to buy Vista, you can then immediately wipe that OS and install XP instead.

  9. Stu

    Cool!

    Its about goddamn time! Here's hoping MS are forced into extending it beyond even the next 5 months.

    Wouldn't it be great for XP to actually be kept alive and current enough to mature (via patching & service packs) into something resembling a decent OS before the 'bigger and better' (lol) OS stomps on it?

    ...Would make a change.

  10. Robert McCracken

    Well..

    HAHAHAHAH!!!! GOOD!

  11. Ferry Boat

    A long time ago...

    The best OS they ever had was DOS 3.3 nothing better since. Although DOS 5 was pretty good too. Oh, and Windows for Playgroups with that multiuser hearts game.

    I worked for MS during the Win95 launch in Australia. Best comment ever from a Joe Public user on the phone support desk. "I've bought this Windows 95 thing and until it's fixed I won't install it".

  12. Stuart Harrison

    Vista = The new Windows ME?

    It certainly seems that way. Thank God I've got a Mac.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Microsoft full of bull as usual

    they fail to state that the reason people are opting for vista on new PCs is they are not offered an alternative. Most suppliers are telling customers that PC's and Laptops with XP are no longer available, forcing people to by this new pile of garbage known as vista

  14. Vince

    Vista Licenses and Downgrade Rights

    --------

    I'm wondering if anyone can confirm whether, once Vista is all you can buy, you'll still be able to exercise "downgrade rights"? That's normally a get-out so although you have to buy Vista, you can then immediately wipe that OS and install XP instead.

    --------

    This only applies to Volume Licensing and yes, still applies in the same way it did before.

  15. Robert Lee

    Simply buying time

    I suspect that MS is buying time for the launch of SP1 which most claimed to solve most of the major problems of Vista, so when SP1 is launched, the punters wont have any excuse of not using Vista anymore.

  16. steve

    I remember when.......

    Xp first came out and i said to myself "I'm touching that, it's way too unstable". Then microsoft launched Vista and now i'm thinking "Thank God for xp, i don't have to put that half finished pile of C*ap Vista on my pc".

    We tried to install it on a PC at my work place, but after 3 hours we just reformatted the box and put xp on it. Vista just isn't worth the trouble.

  17. JeffyPooh Silver badge

    I like Vista...

    I like Vista... it'll be nice when they finish writing it.

    My laptop happens to have 2GB of ram. When I turn it on (and wait several minutes for it finish calculating another thousand digits of Pi, or whatever the heck it's doing during boot-up), the memory meter gadget typically reports that it is using 48%. In other words, about a gig of ram just for Vista to get out of bed in the morning.

    I tried the ReadyBoost feature with a nice 4GB USB stick. It really does make the system fly (after a ten-minute background copying session). But when the laptop goes to sleep with a ReadyBoost stick stuck in its ear, it wakes up stupid. That's seems to be one of the areas (ReadyBoost + Sleep mode) where the Vista code plus BIOS interface isn't quite done.

    One thing I'm not doing is trying to load on all my old software. I just downloaded Open Office and started fresh. I suspect that makes a huge difference.

  18. Allan Rutland

    Re: Downgrade rights?

    As far as I understand it, just like with XP Pro, if you have Vista Business or Ultimate you can downgrade to anything before it...XP, 2k, whatever.

    HP and a few others are using this on certain machines by throwing in a old XP restore disk with the Vista one also since the license supports it.

    Then again, in a business environment, XP is still working well. Will be quiet interesting to see how MS does Vista embedded...but currently can't see anything happening at all in that line. But there are so many things which XP is used with, which currently, there just isn't anything else.

  19. Nick Ryan Silver badge

    Best bit of MS news I've heard for ages...

    ...now if they can just permanently "disappear" sharepoint as well and the world will be a better place. For now anyway.

  20. adnim Silver badge

    between the lines

    "Nash also said, “We’re also seeing more retail customers purchasing their new Windows operating system when they get a new PC than we ever have before, rather than purchasing it standalone.”"

    From this I read... No one is purchasing vi$ta off the shelf. vi$ta is being foisted on users who buy a new system because they have little choice unless they request XP. All new PC sales will be regarded by m$ as a vi$ta sale even if the user chooses to upgrade to XP. Yes I said upgrade from vi$ta to XP. In my opinion the worse thing one can do to a fast and efficient PC is to cripple it by installing vi$ta.

    For all Joe Sixpacks and Radio One listeners everywhere, before you accept vi$ta think on this: All that glistens is not gold. And you can't polish a turd, even though m$ managed to put a party frock on one and call it vi$ta.

  21. Andy Turner

    They created their own problem..

    .. it's because these days, XP is so solid and functional that no-one sees any need to change to anything else. Vista has a lot of advances for developers, but it'll take time before those new Vista-only developments become killer applications.

  22. Kevin Eastman

    Offices still going XP

    My office will be replacing about 11 computers and getting a couple of new lap tops in the next couple of months. I found out today, they they will all be coming with, you guessed it, XP. Most everyone in the company knows it and the bugs are all mostly worked out. We don't need dual core 64 bit systems to use Microsoft Office (I did say this was the office, I use Open Office at home) as well as other customer relations related software. So for us, XP is the perfect operating system. So why would we want to dish out for the extra hardware to get an operating system, like Vista, which we don't need, and will require everyone having to learn?

  23. Geoff Webber

    Win 2k !

    many of our customers (the small ones) are still using Win2k quite happily and see no reason to change. It costs then too much in outsourced IT to upgrade.

    The big ones install from an image and are more than happy to continue with XP which is robust and has little or no compatibilty issues with legacy systems.

  24. John Angelico

    @Downgrade rights?

    But in that scenario, the monopolist still gets your hard-earned bread.

    I prefer to look elsewhere - eCS 2.0 is almost ready, I hear about a thing called Ubuntu and others have mentioned an Apple a day to keep the Ballmer away.

    John A

    OS/2er from Down Under

  25. Brian Miller

    XP is EOL, Vista is beginning of hell

    At work I've been given a monster laptop with Vista Home Premium. Yes, a work machine with Home. Core 2 Duo with 2Gb RAM, and its not a fun experience. The first order of business was removing all of the garbage-ware from the system, and then trying to make Vista behave in a more reasonable manner.

    It is not simply a matter of a few quirks in a new OS. The OS has been ridiculously divided into half a dozen different marketing schemes. This fragmentation is entirely unnecessary. The different schemes range from horribly crippled to slightly useable.

    The laptop was a "factory refurbished" unit. Vista claimed that the key was inappropriate, and wanted another key. So I put in the key from the sticker on the bottom of the machine. Vista still didn't like that key. Finally I had to activate the machine over the phone. Once activation was completed, Vista claimed that it was non-genuine. A quick trip over to the MS Genuine page solved that.

    I don't appreciate my experience with Vista. It used to be that all you had to contend with was loading drivers. I wish that I could run a different OS. Unfortunately, no. Its the only Vista machine at work, and its needed for development and testing. *sigh*

  26. Chris Adams

    Aero UI

    The main problem with the Vista launch as I see it, is much was made of the Aero UI as the defining feature of the OS. The problems being that a) You needed a PC upgrade that most modern games wouldn't require, in order to run it or else b) you had to "upgrade" to a copy of Vista without the "Wow is Now" Aero factor and it just wasn't worth it.

    Now, if I'm buying a new PC *anyway*, then, sure, I can be sure the spec will be sufficient and I'll go away happy and get my whole Vista experience.

    Then I will remember it's just an OS and I'll need to install all my old programs I used to run on XP anyway.

    The best reason I've heard to upgrade to Vista so far? "Eve Online is releasing DirectX10 graphics so I need Vista and an nVidia 8 series." There is no compelling reason for anyone else to splash the cash just so they can ooh and ahh at Aero.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Vista Retail Price

    The retail price of Window here in the UK is anything from £160 to £369.99 (PC World's web price for Ultimate on 28 Sep 07). How Microsoft is surprised at the slow uptake is beyond me.

    The license conditions on the OEM version are almost so restricting it wont be long before removing the PC's lid will invalidate the guarantee and require you to to buy a new copy of vista.

    Honesty how can any one be surprised Vista's uptake is slow. Its *Too* expensive to buy retail.

    The price, and the number of problems manufacturer's seem to have producing reliable graphics and sound drivers for their high end cards. Nvidia and Creative still haven't got it right 8 months after the launch. Even the native sound driver for my Intel motherboard splutters and crackles now and then.

    I'm using vista. An OEM copy that came with my PC, but for ages I kept my old PC, running XP, to play the games that Vista wouldn't even start. I might have been better staying with XP. When I raised a couple of game related problems, earlier in the year, in the Microsoft support groups. I was told by a MVP "What do you expect when you buy a bleeding edge OS". I'm sure that wasn't the response Microsoft would have liked.

    Then again the number of customers buying Vista isn't what Microsoft would have liked either. I've been a fan of Microsoft since the 80's. They started an unstoppable move to personal computing and for that I salute them. Their operating systems got better and better and more reliable, starting with NT

    Vista is questionable. Is it really a step forward? Well not if you play games. Yes, its supposed to be be more secure, but is a pain in the backside for the ordinary user. Its so complicated, few know what to do when it breaks. If I was still working in PC support, my future would be even more secure than Microsoft's. I'm retired I play lots of games :)

    Oh and my old PC? Its running Ubuntu and I'm extremely impressed. Be very afraid Microsoft the penguin is coming.

    Steve B

  28. Ian North

    RE: Downgrade Rights

    Matt,

    As long as you buy the PC with Vista Business or Ultimate or have an SA agreement to get Enterprise, you do have downgrade rights. However you don't with the Home editions.

  29. John

    Has M$ had their peak??

    The poor vista sales are due to the fact that vista is a pig, difficult to use and doesn't play well with others. Despite it vast flaws, XP is good enough for most people and most people see no reason to switch.

    The M$ golden age has been and gone, it's all downhill from here on in. XP will be the best product they ever produce. How long until the next OS? 10 years? Bet it will be even more of a pig than vista. I give M$ another 20 years before they fold.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Microsoft should rise XP prices and take Vista back to programers

    I think they just not understand the oportunity to earn from XP with dubling the price - because XP is "old and borring".

    Personaly - I would triplle XP price if being Microsoft !!! - and so have another 30,000,000,000 to invest in Vista...

    - They are just too good to people who buy trheir products...

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What was the point...

    ..Of making a new O/S XP seemed usable enough, no need to spend stupid amounts of money on new hardware, the games could cope. but then you get the numpty music/movie industry whining about copy protection which microsoft blindly tried to get involved and made a complete hash of it. Whats the saying if it's not broke don't bloody fix it.

    And whats will all the widget crap eating all your memory and locking you out of your HDD. I have been informed that Vista is actually useful to criminals as forensics have problems getting through some of the locks and encryptions.

    i see a new market... Vista for Terrorists.

  32. Daniel

    Nostalia ain't what it used to be

    About the time it first came out, I recall non-Windows team members at Microsoft would often refer to XP as 'the Vomit-colored abomination' (I kid you not), citing unnecessarily high hardware specs for what was, essentially, a Windows 2000 kernel wrapped in slippery green graphics. Now we have another NT 5 kernel wrapped in even more vomit-coloured graphics, and people are yearning for a down grade to XP.

    Talk about a dog returning to his vomit....

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    time to stock up on a couple of XP licences ...

    Vista is total and utter junk. A lot of software / hardware has problems with Vista.

    Let alone the constant nagging 'this software has not been signed blabla' if you run 2 or 3 year old programs.

    What do they want ? us to upgrade all our software ? that would mean i'd have to shell out wel over 20 grand per pc ... (CAD software) forget it. I'll stick to XP

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Downgrade rights

    Vista Business and Ultimate have downgrade rights and you can later upgrade again to Vista.

    Confirmed by MS as of last week.

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    More verified 64-bit drivers...

    ...for older hardware before quite a few people will upgrade. In this person's particular instance, Adaptec & M-Audio need the small & gentle word. I have the problem of Adaptec's AVA-2904 & M-Audio's Midisport 8x8/s not being supported with 64-bit drivers, at present. Why should a person have to dump good peripheral hardware (as well as everything that depends on it!), if it can be made to work? Obviously, MS wants the world to go 64-bit, like Apple, Intel, AMD, etc., yet the peripheral hardware manufacturers aren't all pulling their collective finger out. The case will remain with the next Microsoft OS, & the one after that, if nothing can be done about this. Is Microsoft actually less than capable, when it comes to negotiating with smaller hardware manufacturers for support?

    In the meantime, if anything breaks (hard drives & motherboards etc.), then it'll get fixed to something resembling it's former condition with XP, rather than upgrade to Vista64. The least expensive option & the difference in price, for the questionable improvement at present, doesn't make it truly worthwhile. Vista32 is a non-starter, as there is no substantial improvement over XP. The drivers & memory limits are similar, the OS costs more, has to be re-learned, & would generally be more sluggish; with all of the candyfloss switched on & no significant basic hardware upgrade. As it stands, DX10 is unnecessary for non-gamers. Occasional gamers can get by happily with just DX9c, as well.

  36. Guy

    But it's Sparkly!

    I'm using Ultimate as I wanted to use the Media Center software.

    So far I really like Vista, except maybe the speed which isn't there, and having to use so many beta drivers to get my hardware working.

    The file copying issue was amusing as well.

    Having said all that though, going back to my XP partition does FEEL like a step backwards, I think I may be part jackdaw, I'm captivated by the sparklyness that is Aero. Sure I can work faster, and all my kit works, but it just doesn't feel as good.

    Plus I only had XP Pro before, so no media center software (other than 3rd party which worked, kinda) and I really like media center, even if you do have to click like 15 buttons to get anywhere.

    So yeah, leave Vista alone, it's pretty and I like it, I know I shouldn't I'm a professinal geek damnit, I should be swayed by functionality over everything, I have Linux boxes all over the place, as firewalls / routers, LAMP servers etc. yet I can't find it in me to dislike Vista. Heres looking forward to Vista SP1, 2 & 3!

  37. b166er

    NT 4

    I wish MS would release the source code under an open license. Then someone could code some proper USB/DX9 support, tidy up the file system a bit. I quite liked NT 4

  38. alistair millington

    Makes me smile.

    "As it stands, DX10 is unnecessary for non-gamers. Occasional gamers can get by happily with just DX9c, as well."

    Never mind occasional gamers, hard core gamers won't use Vista regardless of DX10. Dx9c is fine thankyou very much. Better to have a working DX9c than a broken Vista with Nvidia driver running DX10 and constant crashes.

    I have OEM Vista Ultimate, Last MS product I will be buying. Such a high price, no wonder people are hacking it or turning away.

    Come on the penguins...

  39. laird cummings

    @Win 2k !

    Hell, it ain't even small business still plumping for Win2K. I work for a pretty damn big Pharma, 50k+ employees, and we're still deploying new boxes loaded with Win2K. It's solid, it's fully patched, it doesn't fall over easily, nor does it gobble more than a moderate mount of resources (relatively speaking). Result is an operating platform that our internal software developers can trust, that runs all our applications reliably, and that our users are happy with. Winners all around.

    XP can wait, and Vista can go wait in a dark hole.

  40. John Dallman

    Oh, the irony

    I was going to buy a new machine shortly, to get oner with XP rather than Vista. Now, I can wait a bit longer. Probably not what the hardware vendors wanted to hear...

  41. Corrine

    @Guy

    You know the media software comes with Premium right?

    Here's to spending 250 more than you had too. (Or did you get bilked because you needed the networking features?)

  42. regadpellagru

    Ah ah, good one Kro

    “While we’ve been pleased with the positive response we’ve seen and heard from customers using Windows Vista, there are some customers who need a little more time to make the switch to Windows Vista.”

    LOL, what a pleasant way to say punters are waiting for next gen. CPUs and more than that, a config with 2GB of RAM for an affordable price, in order to at least be able to run any app whatsoever like they could on XP with 1GB or even less.

    Surely, this time, Microsoft won't have to support any old driver since the OS ressource consumption will have killed all config older than 1 year.

  43. O

    I second 'Vista is not an option'

    There's simply no way that I'll ever willingly use this prime example of DRM infected bloatware, cum O/S. I intend to buy a new laptop with XP some time in the New Year. Then in a couple of years - when Linux has matured and eaten more Micro$oft market share - I'll move to which ever flavour of Linux seems most attractive.

  44. Morely Dotes

    re: Just how bad can the Vista experience be?

    "I am forced to use XP for some things at work I really struggle to come to terms with the concept of preferring XP over another OS."

    Well, if by "another OS" you mean Mac OSX, or Linux, I'd have to agree. Right now I have a Vista machine, an XP machine, and a Kubuntu Linux laptop on my desk. The Vista machine has roughly 4 times the hardware horsepower of the XP machine, and equal performance. The laptop has one-quarter the hardware horsepower of the PX machine (or less - it's only 128M RAM vs. 2 gigs on the XP box) and nearly-equal performance.

    So, yes, people who actually want the PC to do some *work* (as opposed to running pretty screensavers, and having a user interface designed by some horrible gene-spliced combination of Fisher-Price and the Marquis de Sade), most people prefer "another OS" over Vista.

  45. A. Merkin

    @Phiill

    "Anyway what does he mean "more people are buying vista with new machines than ever before"? "

    He means: "Fewer people are buying standalone OS upgrades than ever before!"

    -or-

    "The only people buying Vista are those that get it bundled with a new machine."

  46. Scott Silver badge

    I haven't decided yet

    if my next PC be a Mac or Linux only right from the start.

    When people want to play games, then Microsoft can get some money for xBox games. There is no reason to run Windows on a PC by anything except by emulation.

  47. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Linux - here I come

    The only thing standing between me and Linux after I have will be forced to abandon XP is Visio... Can anyone suggest a good solution?

  48. Ed

    I'm switching

    I've always followed Apple and encouraged friends and family to get Macs (because I don't have to support them!), and I'm finally about to switch myself. There's no reason not to now - you can run Windows and Linux on Macs anyway...

  49. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hee Hee

    "gene-spliced combination of Fisher-Price and the Marquis de Sade"... that cracked me up. The person that decided Windows "balloon tips" was a great idea should have a special place in hell...

    I was running Vista RC1 at home, as well as XP and Ubuntu. I noticed that Vista was using 680MB! of RAM just idling, while Linux was using around 90MB. Also worth noting is that almost every app I run (including games) run faster on XP Pro 32-bit vs. XP Pro 64-bit edition. And if you think finding drivers that work is bad with Vista, just try finding them for XP 64-bit! (though still somewhat easier than certain drivers for Ubuntu) My favorite error from Vista--using a FAT32 drive for my media--Windows reports that I need permission from Everyone to access my files. To anyone that likes Vista's Aero interface... Seen Beryl? Makes Aero look like Windows for Workgroups by comparison.

  50. Jacob Reid

    @mark

    Build your own. Stock built pcs = fail.

  51. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    You pay for what you get

    People carp on about OSX, its expensive blah de blah de blah

    But, it works, you don't spend all your life trying to keep it going, you don't spend half an hour while it downloads all its prescriptions to stay alive.

    So stop winging, bite the bullet and cross over.

    Keep one old XP system for the essentials in life, games, don't connect it to the internet, don't apply any patches, and in the winter use it as a noisy fan heater.

    Running for cover now, incoming flack!!!

  52. !!11oneeleven

    echo j | format c: /u

    DOS for teh win!!111oneoneeleven

  53. Craig Ringer

    Definitive downgrade rights reference

    Here's the PDF from Microsoft that (astoundingly clearly, especially for a license-related document) explains the details about downgrade rights - including the procedure for installing XP on a Vista box.

    http://download.microsoft.com/download/5/f/4/5f4c83d3-833e-4f11-8cbd-699b0c164182/royaltyoemreferencesheet.pdf

  54. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Title

    My 5-year old PC is on its last legs. Literally.

    Do I stay with "old-but-known" XP on a new machine; Vista (the great unknown) on a new machine, or............

    A new iMac + Leopard in a couple of weeks?

    It's a no-brainer. If my hardware drivers won't work under Vista, then I might just as well switch to Apple-compatible hardware.

    Bye-bye Ballmer, hello Job's Mob

  55. This post has been deleted by its author

  56. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    re: Just how bad can the Vista experience be?

    Almost as bad as you can imagine, worse than ME. My family has 4 desktops and 2 lappies between us. The old lappie is 4 years old and wipes the floor with the spanking new, better specced, new vista encrippled one. I insisted that the 2 very new desktops were supplied with XP. I'm dreading the day when XP becomes obsolete as that is when I will have had to have learned how to use a different OS. It might be Linux or something else - it certainly won't be vista.

  57. Andy S

    the problem i see

    is that xp was too successful for vistas own good.

    Before xp, the idea of a pc in every home was a long way off, pc's were expensive, 98/me were unstable and a pain, and 2000 was pretty much business only.

    whereas when xp was launched it was stable and useable, coupled with the drop in hardware prices, the idea of getting a fast, stable pc for £350, prompted almost everyone to actually go out and buy one.

    now vista has been launched, the market is saturated, everyone has a pc already running xp, unless there is a good reason for buying a new one, the average man in the street won't. if you already have an xp pc that does everything you want, why upgrade? the majority of people who are getting it are buying a,new, second pc for their kids, replacing a pc that has died/not up to scratch for some modern software they've just bought, or buying a laptop.

  58. Walter Brown

    Proof of concept please?

    All i ever hear is people bitching, constantly about windows Vista, it sucks this, and it sucks that...

    I've been using it since early beta, and yes i will admit, on old hardware it sucks, but so did 2000/XP trying to run it on win98 hardware. mostly what i see is people bitching to be part of the crowd, hang with the cools kids, fighting change and so on. show me some proof concept of why vista sucks?

    I just bought a HP DV9500z laptop, 2.3ghz AMD Turion64 x2, 2gb ddr2-667, 7200rpm 120gb drive. once i formatted the drive to remove home premium and all of the HP super crapware, and installed a clean Vista Ultimate install, this thing is a screamin demon! it installed Vista, boot to desktop in 24 minutes... its extremely fast, completely stable, and all of my software runs on it. and did i mention its really fast...

    So lets see some proof of concept, put your money where your mouth is or stay on the porch...

    Long live XP, my ass, windows XP old tired and ready for bed, its becoming so bloated that hardware the was once designed on the high end to run it falls on its face anymore, you damn near need as much ram in it as you do vista, 512mb of ram is hardly functional anymore...

    Long live XP... NO! put it to rest...

  59. David Wilkinson

    People should wait for Vista SP1 or SP2

    Vista has a lot of potential, but 3rd party driver and software support just isn't where it needs to be, and at the moment it is less stable than XP.

    It takes me 5-10 minutes every time I want to switch my video card from 2 monitors to 1 monitor + HDTV. My Creative X-Fi card on Vista and my chipset drivers won't let me hotswap my external eSATA hard drives. Plus there are about a dozen programs which I regularly used under XP that don't work with Vista.

    The only reason I run it is so that I won't look like an idiot when called upon to build/repair a computer running Vitsa.

    That said the tide is turning. The last computer I built had a motherboard designed primarily with Vista in mind and the XP drivers were the ones with limited functionality.

    .

  60. Andrew Tyler

    Vista...

    Back when I originally learned Apple was switching to x86, I was pretty excited. With Vista turning out the way it did, they had a golden opportunity to become a major player for home operating systems. If they had released OSX for generic hardware, I think they really could have taken a big bite. It was an amazing convergence of Apple's newfound popularity, Microsoft fumbling, and the potential for everyone to just buy OSX instead of Vista without having to buy a new computer.

    Of course it's never so simple, and forced to suddenly support generic hardware, OSX probably would have turned out as bad as Vista. With a lot of effort though, I think Apple could have probably pulled it off reasonably well. To be honest, I'm a little disappointed in them. Real competition would have been great. My only serious objection to Macs is the hardware restriction. Despite the strengths to that approach, I would hate to find myself subject to a monopoly on operating systems AND hardware should Apple find themselves in a Microsoft-like position where they don't even really have to try.

    I'm pretty happy with XP. It's not great, but it works. The future seems uncertain as of now. Unfortunately, I highly doubt any good will come of it.

  61. Leo Maxwell

    64 bit OS?

    I use a 64 bit version of Suse Linux- everything works, all of my hardware, including a couple of browser plugins that insist on a 32bit emulation layer, and a 6 year old webcam.

    64 bit Ubuntu is the same.

    As for the old "my peripheral doesn't work with Linux" complaint-I think that you will find that, at present, 64 bit Linux has better hardware support than 32 bit Vista.

    Oh, and my Shiny new gigabit network card is still ignored by XP, despite the latest drivers-it works fine with Suse and Ubuntu, without needing a driver to be installed.

    Microsoft are stuck with having to change the GUI every new release, to make it obvious that it is a new OS, and to create business for their training, publishing and support depts.

    Unfortunately, customers are starting to ask why they have to retrain their staff every new release, when there is no perceptible advantage to doing so.

    Even my most computer illiterate customers are making jokes about Vista- and that's what it is - not even a good joke.

    The Vista ROI is a negative figure at the moment.

  62. elder norm

    Sorry

    Sorry but it was NEVER that easy with Microsoft and so its hard to reproach Apple for not solving all the worlds problems (including yours).

    Dissapointed with Apple?? Did they mess up your systems? I don't think so. Apple presents an option to change and live life easier. Do it, or do not? There is no Whine. :-)

    en

  63. PunkTiger

    Devil's Advocate

    This is all sounding very similar to the Windows 98se to Windows XP migration a number of years ago.

    -- 98 is fast and stable, I wouldn't put that POS XP on my machine!

    -- Bloat, bloat, bloat! XP is nothing but bloated crapware!

    -- Driver support for XP? Don't make me laugh.

    -- Windows XP <- The smiley says it all.

    Sound familiar?

    So what happened to XP? MicroSoft put out some service packs and updates that shored up its shortcomings, peripheral and device manufacturers started releasing more and more drivers that supported XP (once MS started spreading the specifics around, that is) and soon, people were happily migrating to XP. So, why can't the same be done with Vista?

    Now, mind you, this is coming form a Linux user (yay Debian). Personally, I refuse to install Vista on any machine I own (laptop or otherwise) for a number of reasons, but the biggest reason is that DRM (in whatever pretty, sugar-coated form it would take) should NEVER, EVER, be part of a base OS. Period. Full Stop. End of file. But, if you don't mind having it, good for you.

  64. marc

    It's not Microsoft's fault

    Blame hardware manufactures. Quite reasonably, they ain't gonna put shed loads of ££ into developing Vista drivers for 4 year old products - not gonna sell much kit that way are they?

    As for the average consumer. Just because their "tech friend" couldn't get on with Vista, it means it must be rubbish. The simple fact is, if you turn off User Accounts Controls most software will work quite fine.

  65. Thomas Martin

    Who needs Vista?

    Who would need an OS that won't run many of your proprietary programs or programs you use for work or even you favorite programs? They are forcing you to line the pockets of the software developers because your current software will not run or runs begrudgingly and you have to buy the Vista version.

    I bought a new laptop with Vista and it stayed locked up more than I used it. I removed Vista and reloaded my XP disk.

    Micro$oft can keep Vista.

    tm

  66. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Vista Sales Figures

    Because we've been finding it harder and harder to pick up kit for our clients without it being pre-installed with Vista for a while now. We've been using the downgrade rights on the PCs/laptops that comes in.

    As of today, every client that didn't listen to our warning and brought a Vista machine has now returned it to us to be downgraded as businesses are just having too many problems using it.

    I'm sure we're not the only suppliers to be doing this. I just wonder; of the reported numbers of Vista sales, how many are still running Vista?

  67. Sabahattin Gucukoglu

    Vista

    People who observe RAM usage: this is normal and it's due to M$'s new and improved memory manager. (Improved is, of course, an entirely subjective term, and this opinion is that of Microsoft.)

    You can summarise Vista thusly: XP with new flash to make you feel good about buying it but for no other reason, and some (though not nearly as many as their should be) low-level improvements. If you turn the flash off, you're left with XP that has some features it should/could've had five years ago, or perhaps even 2000 should've had. You notice how every future version of Windows now has GUI elements for configuring new features added in the last? At last, Vista allows you tune (reasonably) the TCP/IP stack. Likewise, XP let you configure the time service added in 2000. Linux, on the other hand, is all low-level and no GUI (okay, yeah, but let's be fair to the great unwashed here). Linux has had stuff Vista is only just developing ages ago, with all that wonderful reliability to boot (accellerated networking, better threads/scheduling, IPv6, etc).

    You can't downgrade without an existing license to XP - you have to install XP with a key you already own and then activate over the phone. Laborious and just the thing to guarantee you don't bother.

    As for hardware prices going down because of Vista - well, that's just great! More for Linux, and to be used wisely!

    Cheers,

    Sabahattin

  68. Adrian Esdaile

    Lusers!

    "Plus you don't have to retrain your entire bloody business"

    If you have to retrain people to use Vista, you have one of two problems:

    1. IT staff not smart enough to realise you can make Vista's interface look and behave exactly like XP. In which case, get better staff.

    or

    2. Staff too stupid to understand a minor change in interface style, in which case they also have to be retrained when you repaint the office doors, or when daylight savings kicks in. In which case, er, run like hell!

  69. heystoopid

    Thus

    Thus allowing Moores Law to catch up and overtake this bloat ware OS !

  70. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I like problems

    If software, computers and everything else IT worked without problems I would be unemployed!

    Re, downgrade rights: Last week I had to downgrade a laptop that clearly did not have the power to handle Vista Business (Acer Travelmate 5310). In order to do this you will need a Windows XP CD and a valid product key. Once installed you then call Microsoft to activate by phone. The amusing part is that they did not ask me any details about the Vista licence, so how do they know the machine I just installed XP on did indeed have a valid Vista licence?

    So anyone want to test this? Borrow an old machine, and use a mates XP key and say you are downgrading from Vista :-)

  71. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Peripherals

    "Quite reasonably, they ain't gonna put shed loads of ££ into developing Vista drivers for 4 year old products - not gonna sell much kit that way are they?"

    Indeed. However, Microsoft wants to shift it's new OS, so Redmond's going to have to twist some minion's arm - quite reasonably. Else they aren't going to sell their kit, either. Microsoft vs. the peripheral manufacturer vs. the consumer? Pick a winner.

    "think that you will find that, at present, 64 bit Linux has better hardware support than 32 bit Vista."

    Still, neither is as comprehensively supported as XP32. Cost aside, 64-bit OSX beats 64-bit Linux, as peripheral support is to a known standard.

  72. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Vista is great

    I've never read such a load of utter rubbish. XP was a good business platform, and yes, if you really want to go on using it you can, BUT it is time to embrace the new world. Vista REALLY is very good, and EASY to use. You only need to remember one thing - Start Search. If your Company has refreshed equipment in the last 18 months your hardware is ably compatible, and if you haven't then you have got 18 months to plan a move (3 year cycle). Persevere, Vista is very good. (and no, I don't work for Microsoft)

  73. fon

    great news!!

    me and a mate are looking for a new laptop, gonna just put win2000 on it... now might even put on XP... if the shop can now get this put on, would be good...

    I have never properly used XP, due to stories about activation probs, but that seems better, reading the above, and you dont change that much on a laptop!! Any opinions about this??

    yes, XP got a lot of flak when it came out, but the 'MS-fanboy' mags etc still said 'it will get better', no real moaning... about 6 months later, a lot of how-to's on removing unnecessary services, and speedups...

    when vista came out, it was a different story... Even the 'MS-fanboys' were saying something was wrong... this is further complicated by the variuos versions out, some of which work ok on particular types... but outweighed by the many that are a real PITA....

    The more positive views on this, is that the new 'high security model' in vista is what is causing problems...

    but of course, the fact that the price of vista in UK, for 'basically no improvement' is actually higher than US, did not help....

    and yes, Apple are having fun... big new adverts on TV..... very suble, unlike the 'MS Vista' ones a few months ago....

  74. Steven Hewittt

    Whats the problem?

    Lots of people are saying they would rather die than upgrade to Vista, but there's not much substance in these comments.

    As Sebastian pointed out - RAM usage is a myth when it comes to viewing system performance. Vista will try and use the vast majority of the RAM. E.G. nearly everything is in RAM, regardless of how much of the OS you have open. Think of it as pre-caching.

    My Media Centre PC is an old Athlon at about 1.8Ghz and just 512Mb or RAM. System shows it's using about 380Mb after logon..!

    I can sort of appreciate businesses saying they can't run it as they don't have the hardware, but every IT dept that I've ran has always had a 3 year hardware cycle policy. And a standard 2-3 year old desktop will run Vista fine. (Unless you're very tight and brought a Celeron 1Ghz with 256Mb of RAM for £200)

    The same issues regarding changes were raised in 2002 with XP. It looks like it's designed for children, but it's still Win2k underneath it all. E.G. Where's the changes compared to Win2k?

    For home users, the only major new things are DX10, Instant Search, Aero and the new UI within in explorer (which ISN'T Aero - the new UI is across all of Vista regardless of graphics performance).

    For business users there's a whole host of new things. The new TCP/IP stack is a joy to use compared to XP/2k, group policies are how they should have been using real XML and amazing levels of control, NAP, Support and Diagnostic tools have been redone, UAC (so ANYTHING can be ran as an admin with the right credentials regardless who is logged on) and security out of the box confroms to best practice such as being invisible to other devices until you actually enable it within the network settings. From a IT Deparments point of view, Vista makes the world so much better - and that's a first hand account after a roll out to all of our desktops.

    Developers have a raft of new toys too. Windows Workflow Foundation, .Net 3.5, DX10 and various other stuff that I don't actually understand!

    From what I've looked into, Vista has more new changes compared to XP, than XP had to Win2k and hardware spec doesn't seem too high compared to what the market has been offering for the last few years.

  75. AJH

    Long live XP

    We certainly won't be deploying Vista if we can help it. We've had nothing but trouble with the few Vista machines we have trialled.

    We'll be doing everything we can to keep using XP on all of our machines for as long as possible.

    XP offered clear advantages over 98/ME. Vista offers nothing on top of XP other than decreased responsiveness, incompatibility and headaches.

  76. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ People should wait for Vista SP1 or SP2

    Jesus Christ... we had to wait 6+ years for Vista! Why should we HAVE to wait another one for SP1 or another two for SP2? Vista should have been ready years ago and it absolutely should have been damned near perfect on release. MS fucked up big time here, no two ways about it.

  77. amanfromMars Silver badge

    Windows CodeXXXX Cracked and Secured in Non-Secret Encryption?

    "Personally, I refuse to install Vista on any machine I own (laptop or otherwise) for a number of reasons, but the biggest reason is that DRM (in whatever pretty, sugar-coated form it would take) should NEVER, EVER, be part of a base OS. Period. Full Stop. End of file. But, if you don't mind having it, good for you."

    Punk Tiger,

    But that is the Back Door Rear Entrance into their Kernel..... the Fire Escape.

  78. David Glasgow

    Time to desktop.....

    " and installed a clean Vista Ultimate install, this thing is a screamin demon! it installed Vista, boot to desktop in 24 minutes... "

    My Win 98, XP and Mac boxes are all sub 30 secs. Except for the Win 98 and XP boxes.

    Hmmmmm. Even taking into account that the VISTA 'desktop' appearing is just to give you some hope, rather than being an immediately useable tool, 24 minutes is a loooooong time ;-))

  79. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Vista doesn't seem that bad..

    I got a new PC this week and couldn't find any of my three XP CDs, so I made the trip into town to see if I could pick up a new copy, however all I could find was Vista, and not wanting to wait till my holiday is over to try my new PC out I bought that and installed it. It works fine, I haven't had a single problem with drivers, and the only thing I've had to do to fix a problem was to make a program run as administrator. Other than that I've had no problems whatsoever. It does hog resources quite a lot, but I can still do everything I want. Occasionally BS2142 craps out from running out of memory, but I'm sticking in another gig in the next week or so, and it runs absolutely fine on full detail, so I really can't complain.

    When 95 came out the majority response was "I'm not going to upgrade just to use an OS", well look where that got us. MS probably don't care too much because they know that in a few years time, DX10 will be standard and so gamers will have to buy Vista machines, and that eventually it will be standard for other machines as well.

  80. Richard Cartledge

    Leopard

    If I was going to spend £369 on Vista, I'd have a sanity check and then I'd spend it on a Mac Mini Core2Duo and next month OSX 10.5 Leopard is released, which will take Mac OS from being years ahead to light years ahead. I have tried Vista and after a few months it claimed it wasn't some sort of genuine advantage and stopped logging in, so I trashed it for my old copy of XP and was astounded how much better it seemed after using Vista for some time.

  81. Tim Butterworth

    Death of a sales model

    2007 will be seen as a landmark year in the computer industry for several reasons. Firstly, it is the year in which the SATA hard drive and dual core processor became the standard in cheap PCs. Computer users can now recode DVDs and download iTunes and still surf the web all at the same time. No longer must the computer user abandon their PC whenever they do anything resource-intensive. Hence, unless you are a gamer, a bottom end PC will now do everything you want and a good every-day computer now costs less than a good TV, washing machine or fridge-freezer. When was the last time you asked what type of decoder chips were inside a new radio or DVD player? Soon PCs will be the same and only specialist use will require cutting edge technology. Reliability and value are already replacing speed as the main consumer decider.

    Secondly, it is the first time that a major new OS is noticeably inferior to the version it is replacing. Microsoft XP does everything the average computer user needs, and does it pretty well. Forcing consumers to use Vista instead of XP on the basis that XP will no longer receive security updates looks a lot like a giant protection racket. You may not want Vista, you may not need Vista, but if you don’t buy it soon you wont be able safely use the internet anymore. Oh, and you’ll have to buy a new graphics card, wireless card, printer and you’ll need more RAM as well – in fact, you should probably just buy a whole new computer.

    Thirdly, and most significantly, is the shift in the way legislators view the IT industry. Up until now, Microsoft has had the same kind of protection that the British Empire once gave companies like the Honourable East India Company. By allowing Microsoft to behave in hugely anti-competitive ways, Western nations have seen massive growth in the IT sector. Windows XP benefited everyone – Microsoft, consumers and governments alike. However, now that IT has become established, Microsoft is far less important than it was just five years ago. Western governments don’t need Microsoft anymore, and so they are starting to undermine the company. ‘Perhaps’, think tanks and legislators in Europe are now saying, ‘the computer industry would be better off without the Microsoft monopoly’.

    Basically, these three landmarks mean that Microsoft simply can’t carry on the way it is. The continual re-inventing of the OS wheel is expensive, inefficient and unfair to consumers. Both the consumers and the governments of the West are fed up with the way Microsoft does things, and whilst a company can survive the disapproval of one if it has the support of the other, no organisation, no matter how big, can survive sustained attacks from both. It is now a matter of ‘how’ and not ‘if’ Microsoft will change the way it does things.

  82. Alan Mascall

    Mac convert

    I brought a new Fujitsu laptop last year, very hi-spec, very expensive - however it's i-spec not enough for Vista - (only a 1gb of ram and 256mb video card amongst other things!) I then splashed out a whole £50 on a 7 year old PowerMac G4, installed OS X 10.4.10 and it runs like a dream - next month it will be running the latest Mac OS 10.5.0 without any hardware upgrades. Later this year I'll be buying a new iMac - I don't intend to buy another Windows only PC again, as I am that sick and tired of having to upgrade/replace my hardware every time Redmond decide to upgrade their OS.

  83. Sean Nevin

    re: Just how bad can the Vista experience be?

    the "Vista _encrippled_ laptop" had me howling! What a perfect word it!

  84. Jan Marten

    Jan Marten

    Well, I've got a 5 year old box on my desk for development. It got 1GB of memory and a 1.6GHz P4 and a graphics card with whopping 16MB graphics card. If I need to run Weblogic 10 or WebSphere on it, it will crawl.

    After upgrading last year from NT to W2k , the option was to upgrade to XP or Vista and OBVIOUSLY I enrolled for Vista. And OBVIOUSLY the box will just grind to a hold. Which might get me some memory / graphics card upgrades in a vain attempt to fix things before getting the box downgraded back to W2k.

  85. Paul Taylor

    Not making the move !

    As the IT Manager of a medium size company i am putting the brakes on moving to Vista as long as possible.

    Most of our typical machines are P4 2.2ghz with 512mb running XP Pro and well under the requirements for Vista.

    It would require spending HUGE amounts of money on new PC's and Laptops throught the organisation. And thats not going to happen.

    We use all Compaq / HP, and have just found out that HP are stopping XP installs in 2 months time. So we will be buying as many XP OEM's as we can and my IT dept will pre-build all new equipment.

    What MS and the IT suppiers are doing is very wrong. There is nothing wrong with XP as a business platform.

  86. JC

    Re: Proof Of Concept Please?

    "All i ever hear is people bitching, constantly about windows Vista, it sucks this, and it sucks that..."

    If that's all you ever hear, your entire post was already disproven.

    So you feel you alone have an understanding, this based on ONE WHOLE SYSTEM(!) that can discount every single valid point made? Incredible.

    "I've been using it since early beta, and yes i will admit, on old hardware it sucks, but so did 2000/XP trying to run it on win98 hardware."

    That's ridiculously wrong. So called Win98 hardware was later Pentium 2 era or newer. That spec runs 2K or XP on millions of business systems and home systems. Such systems supported at least 768MB memory, plenty for caching the OS, Office, an email client and browser. The GUI was fast enough, the hardware limitations were in application performance.

    "mostly what i see is people bitching to be part of the crowd, hang with the cools kids, fighting change and so on. show me some proof concept of why vista sucks?"

    So you're counter-bitching and asking people to state the same things they've been saying all along, as if suddenly their valid complaints disappeared if they don't make a special effort to prove to you what everyone with any sense already saw for themselves. Head in the sand?

    "I just bought a HP DV9500z laptop, 2.3ghz AMD Turion64 x2, 2gb ddr2-667, 7200rpm 120gb drive. once i formatted the drive to remove home premium and all of the HP super crapware, and installed a clean Vista Ultimate install, this thing is a screamin demon!"

    You mean it's fast enough for your needs. Not everyone has your low expectations, would rather it ran even faster by using XP instead, and did without the annoyances of Vista. We could as easily demand you show proof of concept that you have any need for Vista. Millions upon millions of XP users don't, and pretending you have an advanced insight to their needs is subjective enough to be pointless.

    "it installed Vista, boot to desktop in 24 minutes... its extremely fast, completely stable, and all of my software runs on it. and did i mention its really fast..."

    Who really cares how long it took to install the OS? XP takes minimal hands-on time to install, and it's a one-time effort. You are pimping something that in actual use, is already equalled in practical terms with XP, and exceeded.

    "So lets see some proof of concept, put your money where your mouth is or stay on the porch..."

    All you have to do to see the proof is reread everything you were too obtuse to accept.

    "Long live XP, my ass, windows XP old tired and ready for bed, its becoming so bloated that hardware the was once designed on the high end to run it falls on its face anymore, you damn near need as much ram in it as you do vista, 512mb of ram is hardly functional anymore..."

    With all due respect, that's the most moronic comment so far. To suggest Vista because XP had become bloated is a sign of your horrible confusion. If you install a lot of crap on your Vista system it becomes even more bloated. 512MB memory can run a small number of common tasks very well on XP, while that brings Vista to a crawl. Put enough memory in to run Vista acceptibly, and you have enough reserve on XP to do enough filecaching to no longer have the hard drive be a substantial bottleneck. Add 2GB of memory and you have less performance degradation with Vista, but website after website prove the Vista penalty still exists running applications (which BTW, is the whole point of an OS).

  87. Carl

    I like Vista!

    I've used DOS, Win3.1, Win95, Win98SE, WinME, WinXP, WinNT & Vista.

    The worst is ME, no doubt about it.

    At present though I have a laptop running XP Home and a desktop running Vista Home Premium.

    No problems at all with Vista, runs smoothly, is quick and the biggest hurdle was having to manually download drivers for the graphics card I had fitted. Hardly a chore.

    I brought a new PC from PC World (needed one quick or would've had one built at local PC shop) for £499.

    That's an Intel Celereon D 3.46Ghz with 120GB HDD & 1GB of RAM.

    Only mods I made was to go straight from PC World to local PC store and ask to them add another 1GB of RAM and add a 256MB graphics card.

    Cost me about £60.

    I'm currently running Vista, AVG, ZoneAlarm, iTunes, MSN Msngr, Vista SIdebar with 3 gadgets and the WIndows task maanger.

    Processes: 74

    CPU Usage: Jumping between 8% & 20%

    Physical Memory: 47%

    And iTunes is loading the music from an external HDD plugged into my router via Ethernet.

    Is Vista really that bad?

  88. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    try Linux 64bit, even when you are stuck with Visio......

    Seeing where M$ is going, I wasn't ready to follow.... DRM'ing your own home video's, for crying out loud.........

    I already had 64bit linux for professional reasons, and was switching back and forth between win2k and linux. bit annoying, but ok.......

    Vista made me try to try linux as my only work/fun space and seee if I could get rid of the windows OS.

    I use 64bit linux (suse 10.1) on a athlon with two cpu's

    my digital camera, sattellite tv card, network card, scanner etc just worked out of the box.

    a bit of tinkering, and i got 32bit flash and 32bit acrobat to work on 64bit firefox

    windows media plays fine in the browser and in all of the media players that linux has ( kaffeine is favourite, since it also plays music, dvd's and sattellite tv ( without bothering you with region-settings.......) )

    For ugly websites stuck on M$, there is Internet explorer 5, 5.5 or 6 available too....

    Visio was a problem. i got myself crossover, a commercial wine version.

    that solved it, visio 2003 is running just fine. All the other office stuff works fine in Open Office (ppt, xls, doc etc )

    counter strike source works just fine, as well, if you are into that...... ;)

    even my old redbaron 3d game ( 1998 ! ) runs fine 32bit on 64bit, including 3dfx emulation (windows DLL!)on top of X / nvidia card.

    I am on this kit now for more than a year, and liking it better every day.

    so, there is choice; linux is one of them. If you want a 64bit working desktop, linux can do it for you.

    rg

  89. Bill Buchan

    Vista. Euck.

    I've been an IT professional since 1985, and lived and breathed windows since it came out. But Vista, on a screaming Dell XPS Gen-2 laptop - even with a respectable speed score of 4.0 - sucked.

    I tried it for two whole painful months, on my main machine. Lived and breathed it - put up with the "are you sure", "are you really sure" "still not doing it..." prompts. And finally reverted back to XP. Thank god.

    Recently in the market for a new laptop- and I chose a MacBook Pro. XP lives (for those ever decreasing number of applications that require it) in a parallels window. Took a few hours, but it cleaned everything off the old machine. Nice. And XP in Parallels seems more reliable, responsive.

    Liked it so much I bought a further two macbooks for the wife and daughter.

    It was easier moving to the Mac than it was moving to Vista. Dont believe me ? Try it.

    (This from the guy with Solaris, AIX (x2), Linux (x2) and win2k3 in his test lab).

    And now, I feel like I own the laptop - it doesnt own me. Simple things - like hibernate - work perfectly. Speed isnt an issue, neither is spyware (MS and otherwise), virii, reliability is great.

    Things just work. Skype just picked up the built in webcam, and does proper microphone/speaker distinction. No more headsets. One in a long line of nice surprises.

    Vista ? Its an evolutionary DRM-ridden dead end. And the sooner that MS realise that they're lost influence in both OS and Office (Lotus Symphony/OpenOffice/NeoOffice anyone?) the better. They might realise that they're in an "IBM in the eighties" rut, and sack their current management.

    Me ? I'm doing everything I can to create an MS-free zone around me.

    I'm far happier.

    ---* Bill

    [LINK REMOVED BY MODERATOR]

  90. fon

    get yer OSes here.... (uk)

    http://www.overclockers.co.uk/productlist.php?groupid=33&catid=20

    and yes, that is XP plus SP2, at the bottom of the list...

    Dont try the shops, most are more concerned about commision, or making a big sale....

  91. Ishkandar

    Re. - re: Just how bad can the Vista experience be?

    We are still running NT4 SP3 for all work machines including an Oracle database and a very large in-house-built application. It ain't broke and we wouldn't fix it until twylight falls on those machines.

    I refused to use XP until it was stable. Had the same problems when NT first came out and waited until it (NT) was sort-of stable (SP2) before moving on to it.

    And I have used 64 bit machimes yonks ago; mostly in middle-weight iron that served as room-heaters in winter. And for those of you who believe in the Creation according Prophet Gates, try looking up PDP-8s !! I believe that was the era of Kernigan, Ritchie, Aho (?)*, Wienburg et al !!

    Once is happenstance; twice is coincidence; thrice is definitely extracting the Michael......

    *my memory ain't what it used to be. Too many black coffees have flowed under the U-tube !!

  92. Stan

    For what its worth

    Intersting comments, though most are saying the same thing (sticking with XP) and most are voicing an opinion (like myself) without ever having tried vista.

    One point I would like to make though, I'm 100% linux and my experiences with windows have been about equal between XP and 2000. In my opinion 2000 is by far the better windows OS. It runs much better on older hardware and seems far more finished than any up to date XP installs I have seen.

    I have very little experience with mac but the foundations for OSX are 100% rock solid and definitely a 'real' OS where stability and security are first and formost, and system resources are not wasted.

    As for vista, aside from all the 'my mate said...' and mac/linux fanboyism, the hard facts suggest MS don't expect anyone to take vista seriously and are going to milk it (and the boosted XP sales) for all they can get.

    The hardware makers are (kinda) happy, the music/video dinosaurs are happy but unless SP1 is the all singing, all dancing miracle fix everyone is hoping for then then they have collectively shot themselves in the feet as MS will be on a slippery slope. I seriously expect to see a new OS from MS within 3 years and vista to be written of as ME2.

    Also, did anyone else notice the well written posts praising vista all happend to arrive at the same time? ;)

    cheers

  93. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Equipment replacement

    "If your Company has refreshed equipment in the last 18 months your hardware is ably compatible [for Vista], and if you haven't then you have got 18 months to plan a move (3 year cycle)."

    The higher-level general/home user doesn't want or need this hassle, though. As a whole, everything was just about acceptable until Vista was introduced! As Alan (Mac Convert) points out; the upgrade cycle, for Mac hardware, is more than seven years. A Mac Mini is looking like good enough value, for the near future. I was surprised that one could be so inexpensive, relatively speaking - with OSX included/sensibly priced, as well. Though, I wouldn't want a forced or fast move to a Linux-based OS11, either. Potentially, the same driver problems, once more.

    So... if I'm forced to change, to choose something other than an eventually unactivateable XP OEM, then the choice goes to OSX. This is before either (another MS eventual-crippleware OS) Vista or a version of Linux; both of which, for different reasons, may or may not completely function the way an end-user wants them to.

    A rat jumping from a sinking ship? Nope. I was never on the ship in the first place; just another non-owner getting towed along in a (rather large) dinghy. Windows Product Activation was never intended to allow anyone full & permanent boarding rights, remember. If Vole was to FOSS (or at least free) their legacy OSes for all eternity, then this might restore much confidence, for early adoption of a new OS, though.

  94. Hedley Phillips

    Hang my head in shame

    We had to buy 1 new PC to run Vista and office as a test machine and I am so sorry.

    Apart from this one machine, I will continue to purchase XP for as long as I can because:

    1) Vista is rubbish (and will continue to be until at least SP3

    2) We are a small company that can't afford 30 top of the range high spec machines just to run the damn O.S.

  95. John Stag

    Vista minimum specs...

    According to Microsoft Vista runs fine on an 800Mhz CPU.

    http://www.microsoft.com/windows/products/windowsvista/buyorupgrade/capable.mspx

    Still, I'm buying up all the XP OEM licenses I can get. They'll be worth a fortune by the middle of next year.

    PS: "All Windows Vista Capable PCs will be able to run at least the core experiences of Windows Vista. Windows Vista Premium Ready PCs can deliver even better Windows Vista experiences, including the new Windows Aero user experience."

    Who writes this garbage....?

  96. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    EVE Online?

    Those talking about the brief dalliance that CCP had with the idea of making Eve DX10 only would probably be interested in the recent call for testers of the new linux client that CCP put out recently on their forums.

    Reading between the lines, CCP tried to go DX10 only, users said "Oy! CCP! NOOO!!!" and CCP got the message and went the other way.

  97. Mike Lovell

    Talk about rash

    I think the 'problem' with Vista is that it's quite a bit different. Everything has been renamed and moved about a bit. XP was like your old comfortable slippers, and you don't like breaking in your new shoes.

    It does take a little time to get used to, but I don't think I'd like to go back now.

    What it sounds like has happened is people will install it, use it for 20 minutes, then go “I don’t like it, I want my Mummy (Sorry I mean my XP installation)”.

    Runs fine on my laptop, I actually get better battery usage as it seems to rope in my speedstep a bit better when I tell it to change power mode. If your computer doesn’t run it – Get a job you hippy! Get yourself a real mans PC!

    Only thing I don't like is that it takes so many clicks to actually get to your network adaptors to disable/enable them.

    Office 2007 totally kicks **** also! Go MS! I love you! I am your biggest fanboy! Give me more copes of Vista to do thy bidding!

  98. The Aussie Paradox

    Marketing 101

    “While we’ve been pleased with the positive response we’ve seen and heard from customers using Windows Vista, there are some customers who need a little more time to make the switch to Windows Vista.”

    I never took Marketing as a subject at University, but I am fairly sure blaming the customer is not in the course.

  99. Nigel

    MS Left It Too Late

    The error that MS made is to leave the release of their next OS for 6 ruddy years. People got used to XP to such an extent that they dont want to change. Additionally, those 6 years allowed MS to change the OS just a little too much, and in the process introduce too many new bugs.

    A release every 2 years would have been a better bet

    I think that the market is actually right for Jobs to release OS X for PC hardware. Of course, if OS X had to run on such disparate hardware as windows does then it would probably fall over all the time, and offer plenty of quirks too.

    My main issue with Vista is the dual screen and media centre functionality. I want to use a single pc as both desktop and media centre at the same time. XP has its oddities here (like locking the cursor to the media centre window!!!), but vista cant even remember which freeking screen to start media centre up on and the video experience is far worse than XP - jerky playback due to immature video drivers!

    I run vista on my laptop cause it has some nice mobility features, but I have XP on my desktop/media centre box.

    I will likely try again in 1 year to see if the annoying bugs have ben fixed.

    Nigel

  100. This post has been deleted by its author

  101. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ever increasing environmental costs of Microsofts OS

    I think the thing that is most telling is that the Computer resellers are blaming shortfalls in projected earnings on failure to sell millions of £ worth of upgrades to people whose PCs cannot run Bloaterware (sorry Vista).

    Planned obsolesance has never been so apparent since they designed Alpha Romeos to dissolve in the rain.

    Slight rant: what other industry is allowed to produce this amount of waste. I drop stuff of at the dump (now the council have stopped picking up recycling in my area) the number of old PCs is staggering.....

    Most of us are getting sick of this constant cycle of forced upgrades/ new PC purchases. No wonder people are moving to Linux to extend the life of their kit.

    I have desperately been trying to keep a 4 yr old and a 3yr old quality spec' machine running XP as each successive patch (let's not call them upgrades, sticking plaster is more appropriate term) drains the life out of what were once really spritely bits of kit. New boards, more memory, upgraded PSU etc etc....

    I'm running an old mac and it runs the new OS perfectly with no upgrade required and I am also running a 13yr SUN Sparc Station which has been up constantly for over 2 yrs.

    At the end of this financial year I'll retire the PCs to playing games and I'll migrate my finanicial system to Mac, removing Microsoft from my business life for the first time since DOS2.x on Dual 4" floppies.

  102. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Business Hardware replacement cycle

    of 3 years is no longer necessary - BUSINESS apps (ie MS Office, ie what most people actually use to get their jobs done) have not increased their hardware requirements for some years and many businesses haven't even bothered upgrading from Office 97 or 2000. I'm using a 4 year old XP laptop at home and it's fine - it runs email, web and office apps as quickly as it did when i bought it so why replace.

    Any business looking at its bottom line should be sweating their IT for longer and if it's being sweated for longer it will be longer until they move to Vista.

  103. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Next Ubuntu release 7.10 Gutsy Gibbon - 18th October 2007

    Next Ubuntu release 7.10 Gutsy Gibbon - 18th October 2007

  104. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Did he really say that?

    “While we’ve been pleased with the positive response we’ve seen..."

    That's it? One positive response? Hardly something to crow about, is it?

    Heh.

    </tonguecheek>

  105. Phil_B

    Can I....

    My 3 year old PC is chuntering along quite happily and I probably won't want to replace it for at least a year or so. When I do replace it I am almost certain that I will not want it with Vista, thank you very much.

    Would it make sense to buy a copy of XP now and have it installed on my new machine in a couple of years, long after XP is no longer available in the shops?

    Phil

  106. Lozzyho

    Fanboys-r-us

    Jesus H Christ, the MS-haters and fanboys are out in force today!

    Scott,

    > When people want to play games, then Microsoft can get some money for

    > xBox games. There is no reason to run Windows on a PC by anything except

    > by emulation.

    Any PC gamer would tell you they would NEVER ditch a PC for an Xbox or PS/2. The type and variety of games is far better on PC, and the PC is where all the innovation is happening (Wii excepted). Until someone can come up with a better platform to develop games on, people will need Windows PCs. Apple? Don't make me laugh. It needs to be an open hardware platform for a start, and Satan will be ice-skating to work by the time Apple can be trusted with a monopoly.

    A few people have written of the Vista memory requirements. There WAS an issue with games memory usage under Vista because of the way Vista virtualises video memory, but this has been fixed. Vista reports higher "base" memory usage because of far more caching and indexing. This memory is readily released if applications need it.

    I've been running Vista for 4 months with no problems whatsoever, on a self-built PC, even with the very latest games. Sure, some people have driver problems, but can anyone honestly say Linux and OSX have good driver support for that shiny new graphics card, or that ancient faxmodem?

    Fact is, many people WANT Vista to fail.

    Oh, and DOS 6.21 was by far the best OS ever.

  107. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Balls

    "Get yourself a real mans PC!"

    I have... [since you're expecting to know, it has at least eighteen processing cores (I've stopped counting already), enough interface to keep ten people occupied, fills up entire walls & consumes an efficient <2kW all-on]

    "If your computer doesn’t run it"

    ...& Vista is still too unready to run it. Though, as XP, Win98 would still be capable of doing a sterling overall job. Diddums, you can keep just your laptop. Some of us have bigger, harder & more dynamic monsters to master. Hell, NASA could've landed on the moon with a lesser combined multiple-standard network. I want it artery-gushing edge AND legacy bulletproof! :-Q

  108. Karl Lattimer

    @Linux - here I come & @Aero UI

    For Linux - here I come, try Dia, it can read/write visio files now. Also you may want to keep an eye on http://www.wine-doors.org (not that I'm plugging crapware or anything but I hope to have visio in the repos soon).

    For Aero UI - try compiz fusion, runs on an old i810 graphics chip, and even does cover flow for your windows :) Oh did I mention, compositing by default in the upcoming gutsy gibbon.

  109. Simon Foxwell

    @Jan Marten

    "Well, I've got a 5 year old box on my desk for development. It got 1GB of memory and a 1.6GHz P4 and a graphics card with whopping 16MB graphics card. If I need to run Weblogic 10 or WebSphere on it, it will crawl.

    After upgrading last year from NT to W2k , the option was to upgrade to XP or Vista and OBVIOUSLY I enrolled for Vista. And OBVIOUSLY the box will just grind to a hold. "

    Erm...The MINIMUM spec for Vista needs 32Mb graphics, and thats for the Home Basic edition. I dont think your being very fair to your "development" if your using the spec above to test Vista. Vista calls for higher spec hardware just the same as 95, 98, ME (POS), 2K and XP did.

    To all the MS haters, try using Vista or, if you did already, then try using it for longer than 1 month. Irrational hatred of a product your slating is just blindly following the herd.

    Using it for a day and then running back to XP is just lacking balls and brains to make it better for yourself. I'm assuming the people reading El Reg are fairly accomplished IT Folk who generally like to muck around with hardware/software and customise it for their own use.

    Is this not possible with Vista?

    Didnt you like the annoying UAC pop up asking permission before you did anything? Did you find out how to switch that off before you reformated and reinstalled XP?

    Dont like the flashy Aero interface? Switch it off then.

    My point is that XP came with annoying faults that I'm sure many of us tweaked and customised for speed or looks. I hated those bloody balloon tips in XP but I found a way to turn them off. These OS's from MS are primarily designed for a typical end user and I'm afraid a typical end user needs A LOT of help when it comes to PC's. IF MS can make it look pretty, easy to use and warn them when the're about to f**k it up then thats fine with me.

    However, us knowledgeable computer people can switch off the crap and use it for its best features. We can get the most from it and leave the end user to coo over the glass like appearance.

    Everyone slagged of XP when it came out, even I did but I had never really tried it. Once I did I never went back.

    I've now had Vista running for over 5 months and was just itching to find something I hated and I did. But I stopped the bloody UAC because I know what I'm doing and I dont need a prompt or admin permisssion. After that, apart from installing newer drivers I had no problems.

    I've since installed 7 other PC's with Vista with different hardware variations but still havent had a problem. If your driver isnt out yet then I wouldnt buy hardware from any manufacturer that hasnt managed to get their act together and release them. As for old hardware? Tough sh*t! I'm not gonna wait for you to upgrade before a new OS is released. Its simple, stay with the OS that works.

    This is the reason new OS's get released, because hardware improves, specs go up and an OS needs to be developed to use it to its full advantage. Why dont you install Win98 and see if can take use your 500Gb SATA HDD, 2Gb of memory, PCI-E graphics card, etc, etc.

    If your happy with XP then stay with it, if you buy a new PC with Vista on it then give it a fair amount of time and tweak it before you slag it off. If you want to upgrade then make sure your hardware is capable of the upgrade before you spend the money.

  110. Ryan

    I'm sure I'm not alone here...

    Aside from all the quite legit reasons not to get Vista,...

    I'm just waiting for Vista's first SP before even thinking about taking the plunge. I'm positive I'm not alone in feeling this way.

    Release a decent SP1 for Vista Microsoft.

    I'm sure that'll pick up sales of Vista.

  111. Mike Lovell

    No balls!

    "it has at least eighteen processing cores (I've stopped counting already), enough interface to keep ten people occupied, fills up entire walls & consumes an efficient <2kW all-on"

    If I wanted a troll to respond, I'd have printed it out and stuck it up under a bridge.

    "...& Vista is still too unready to run it. Though, as XP, Win98 would still be capable of doing a sterling overall job"

    Hey, don't blame me if you can't get it working mate. Call in an IT professional to help! ;o) ... Have you tried plugging it in? Then stuff should come up on that big TV above the typewriter. I advise caution though, when you turn it on sometimes the coffee cup holder will shut and spill your beverage everywhere.

    ". Diddums, you can keep just your laptop. Some of us have bigger, harder & more dynamic monsters to master"

    So have I, stashed down my slacks! If you consider fixing your Mums PC that hard, maybe you should just pack it all in.

  112. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Mike

    "So have I, stashed down my slacks!"

    Well, it'll reach one of your orifices, then. ;-)

    "If you consider fixing your Mums PC that hard"

    Now, come on. There's a big difference between inflicting dinner requirements on the dear & inflicting Vista upon her. Struth... average senior mother - and father, for that matter - had a difficult enough time getting up to speed with XP. Fixing ('improving') a computer, isn't even part of this equation. They just want it to run smoothly, every time; as XP just, JUST about manages. All that needs 'fixing' is their understanding of HOW to use it, not WHAT to use.

    "Hey, don't blame me if you can't get it working mate."

    You stuck your er... head up, for IT. :-D

    Take care!

  113. Mike Lovell

    Pathentic

    Anonymous Vulture, that was without doubt the worst attempt at a comeback I've ever seen! Combined with the fact it's pretty obvious you didn't understand my post at all (most likely lack of capacity), it truly did waste time that I can never get back.

    Take care!

  114. Bryan Baca

    As someone who'd rather not be on Windows...

    ...but likes PC games too much to dump it, I'm not really having any issues with Vista. I've never seen the "long goodbye" file copy issues. All the programs I use work just fine under Vista. I can't imagine using it in an office enviroment, too much fluff. For a home user mainly interested in games it's serviceable.

    My wife's new Dell, however, came with Vista pre-installed, and it's not behaving nearly as well as mine. The whole system seems sluggish and came with several programs that have automatic updaters that need to run as admin EVERYTIME THEY CHECK FOR AN UPDATE OH GOD. That's pretty annoying. Good going with that, Dell. I'll be sure to make wiping the HD the first order of business next time (if there is a next time) I buy your wares.

    If DX10 was available for XP, I wouldn't have "upgraded". I would have had no reason to.

  115. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Vista Support - From a Developer's Perspective

    First, I'm a developer, not an IT guy. I'm tech lead on a commercial enterprise system. I don't normally post anonymously but I don't want anyone to trace me back to who I work for because what I'm about to write could get me in trouble - they're touchy about revealing stuff like cost of doing business. Suffice it to say we are the 800 lb gorilla in one of the largest sectors in the US economy with well over 50% of that market.

    Our products won't support Vista for at least another 2-3 years.

    Why? Cost.

    As it stands, it takes 7000 FTE hrs to fully regress our largest application suite against the existing assortment of DBMSs and OSs. Throw in our other app suites and you're looking at 20k FTE hrs: almost 10 QA years! To add Vista to the equation is just out of the question right now.

    And it's not just QA. It's the pure development side of things, and the attendent unit, integration and acceptance testing as well. All the interfaces will have to be touched - which is non-trivial when you consider that Vista is effectively adding 2 window managers depending on version, on top of still supporting the old styles. Our documentation system will have to be completely rewritten (Vista doesn't support our .hlp engines, apparently, if my docs ppl are to be believed). Any extern C/WinAPI calls you kiss goodbye. We still don't know how Vista will effect our C2 login and auditing compliance routines. And the idea of testing our software against a multi-OS environment? No thanks.

    What Vista features do we lose by not rewriting our stuff? None. We can't include anything Vista-only as long as we have to be backward compatible with XP, which we will be for years and years to come. As for the Vista-optional stuff... um, we write enterprise software. OLTP/OLAP. No one buys it for looks...

    How have our clients reacted to this news? They're cool with it. None of them has any plans to upgrade to Vista any time soon. None.

    Are we scared of losing market share by not supporting Vista sooner? Not at all. Our competition is in the exact same boat we are. And if you think changing OSs is tough, try changing the enterprise information managment software you run your company on... and then try justifying the ROI of doing so with "Cause this other software is so sparkly and smooth!"...

    Bottom line: will we support Vista? Yes, eventually. But not now. Not for a very, very long time. And until we do, neither will our clients.

    Just my $.02.

  116. krek

    Service packs

    I learned some time ago that you simply do not install a MS operation system until SP1 is out. It is never worth the hassle to install prior to this event.

    Now MS is using a releasing their SP's as betas... this does not bode well. I think I will be waiting until SP2 this time around.

  117. Matthew

    Service Packs 2

    Mega$haft know that a lot of people wait for SP1 until taking the plunge. That's why they started developing it before Vista was released. SP2 will, therefore, be the "real" SP1.

  118. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Gimmie a...

    Win CE

    Win ME

    Win NT

    What does it spell? Cement!

  119. Joe Cincotta

    FOR SALE: One set of testicles. No longer required, Good condition. Make an offer...

    Obviously you missed this ad from the product development guys at Microsoft. It didn't raise more than a couple of bucks as the shrivelled raisins had not been of much use prior to the Vista launch - but Mickey-soft got a a square kegging whence they chose to make an operating system with more permutations than Paris Hilton bedfellows. 32-bit-home-premium to 64-bit-ultimate and everything in between (over 46 versions if you include upgrades, OEMs and 'Media Player legally compliant' versions).

    All said and done they should probably have left XP for the 32's and just focussed on Vista for the 64's and made a firm line in the sand with hardware and software - driving better code and a desire for new generation hardware. Of course that would require a fresh new set of pants-potatoes which they clearly were unable to muster within the product development group or in marketing for that matter. Imagine how much progress would have been made if Mickey had only concentrated on X64 for Vista and just done a couple more SP's for XP. Clearly a lot less egg on faces all 'round I would expect.

  120. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re:Vista Support - From a Developer's Perspective

    Me too.

    I work for a tiny developer outfit in the UK. Getting our software to work on Vista has been, and continues to be, an utter pain in the ass.

    Not least amongst our problems is the fact that Vista doesn't support MSDE, which most of our apps use as a desktop database. Sure, it supports SQL Server Express, but, that ALSO requires .NET 2.0. So a re-write of all our installers.

    Then you come up against Vista's convoluted and anally retentive security :-(

    You think you have it cracked, you have tested on 2K, XP AND Vista Business, then someone calls to say it won't install on Vista with Windows Wanker (OneCare) installed :-(

    I seem to have spent an inordinate amount of time wandering around the office muttering 'fucking Vista' to myself since the Vista launch.

  121. Lawrence

    Vista is XP

    Forgive my ignorant comments, but having just bought a laptop with Vista Home Basic on it I fail to see how Vista is anything other than a hazzed version up XP.

    I was expecting substantial differences but they are only subtle and / or aesthetic.

  122. Luke Wells

    Win2k is still viable

    Thank god I don't have to worry about XP or Vista. My home computer, all the servers and workstations here in the office are all windows 2000 (and according to our website logging, we are not alone!)

    I don't see any reason to use anything else.

    What can I do on XP/Vista that I cant do on 2k? Nothing worthwhile that I have seen

    What can't I run on Windows 2000? Nothing I have come across EVER

    Why use 2000? Because its stable and efficient. The servers here, and my computer at home almost never need rebooting (only for software updates really)

    Win2k runs faster. It is less demanding on processor and memory. Most of our PC's here would be perfectly capable of running Vista, but why go from something that runs well, to something that runs slowly, just to install the very latest bloatware full of "features" that almost no one needs.

    Some of our laptops came with vista pre-installed. We downgraded after the users complained that their old laptops were quicker.

    Yes you could argue that win95 would run even quicker (and my god have you seen the bootup time of win95 on a modern PC (if you can get it to work with the hardware) - probably measured in miliseconds) but of course win95/98 are not in the same league as win2k and above, most modern software wont run on 95/98, but as I say. Name some software thats worth having that will only work on Vista?

  123. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Worst MS OS transition to date?

    Is this MS's worst OS transition to date? It would seem so.

    I think quite a few people who have the choice are going to follow Bill Buchan's example noted earlier and simply leave the MS world behind. Bill chose to move to Macworld, others will choose a Linux.

    But in the bigger MS picture the choices that individual consumers make don't hugely affect the MS bottom line. What matters is the choices of businesses and corporates, and the people who supply and influence them, and they are currently the ones with least motivation to move to Vista: they need to maximise return on their existing desktop hardware, they need to minimise desktop people costs, they need to minimise desktop application costs.

    The application bit is particularly important. You've heard from a couple of developers here about why Vista is irrelevant to them for a good while, and if they've any sense they'll treat Vista as an opportunity to re-evaluate platforms in general; even if they choose to go with Vista it would be a fine time to re-design the OS interface to be ready for the next OS change, which sometimes may not be Windows.

    The new "improved" (incompatible) Office app set is going to be another thorn in MS's side soon. Folks may be willing to pay money to *reduce* hassle, but the new Office doesn't seem to work out that way. Office has been a huge revenue stream for MS, but over the next couple of years I'm expecting a huge increase in interest in OpenOffice, the corporates aren't all that happy with Bill.

    Oh, for the chap with Compaq/HP PCs who says HP are stopping doing XP soon: so what? Surely any competent HP reseller will build you an XP image and install it for you? If they won't, there's always Dell and their no-longer-secret channel strategy (or, as you've noticed, DIY).

    Interesting times.

  124. Dam

    This is simply awful, I can't believe what you're all saying !

    Vista can't be that bad.

    It's worse.

    I should know, I've used it for ~3 months before getting so fed up with it that I upgraded to XP...

    I'm completely at a loss for words at the "positive customer response" bit from MS, El Reg, you shouldn't quote such things.

    Did you know that repeating a lie is also lying ?

    Just like forgetting to mention all the DRM crap in Vista is lying by omission, from MS.

    To all the MS fanbois commenting like "If you didn't like vista, you didn't try it long enough", I suggest you shut the hell up.

    People have a right to despise an OS for what it is, bloated, slow, resources hungry, and unfit for business (or even gaming, tbh) purposes.

  125. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    XP / Vista

    When will MS realise that most people want a stable OS not some bleeding edge stuff. Why should the corporates have to buy new h/w every 3 years due to MS bloatware. XP SP2 is good enough ( by that I mean it's stable and doesn't need rebooting every 10 seconds to obey a mouse click ). I work in IT for an investment bank and the ideal architecture is an XP front end with a middle-tier on Linux/Unix running from a db on Linux/Unix.

    MS are going down the well trod route of IBM - vastly over-engineered rubbish with no sense of what the market needs/wants.

  126. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Vista is great

    and my mother's my sister.

  127. Matthew

    if you're looking for an upgrade

    openSUSE 10.3 is released on Thursday the 4th.

    www.opensuse.org

    If you look how much money you have to fork out on hardware and software for the Vista experience for it to do half what Linux does for free it's criminal that so many people are blindly walking into PCWorld with their hard earned cash for this!

    I've run Linux on my desktop for 8 years, the only thing I've found that it can't do that Windows is good at is catch viruses & spyware!

  128. Frank Rysanek

    PCIe MSI: a performance-based reason to buy Vista?

    XP can't do Message Signaled Interrupts. XP runs in legacy IO-APIC mode. That's why you can't get rid of the insane level of IRQ sharing on modern PCIe hardware under XP or W2k/W2K3 or older Linux.

    Vista is reportedly MSI-capable "by heart". Can't say if cooperation is required on part of the HW-specific device drivers (the way it is in Linux), or if MSI is somehow enforced, technically or by WHQL approval.

    Linux 2.6 core IRQ routing functionality has been MSI-capable for years, AFAIK, though traditionally the individual device drivers have been lagging behind with taking use of those new capabilities. Each HW driver has to explicitly ask for MSI delivery style for its IRQ, upon the driver's initialization. The situation has improved a lot in the latest 2.6-series kernels, as the most important drivers are getting updated.

    Modern PC hardware is stuffed with PCI Express busses. PCI Express relies on the purely "message-signaled" interrupt delivery for optimum performance. In "legacy-compatible IO-APIC mode", all PCIe-based devices in the system share only 4 IRQ numbers, and the IRQ delivery performance is further impaired by the multi-hop routing style, where specifically devices connected to the north-bridge get their interrupts delivered to the CPU via the south bridge's IO(x)APIC and back through north bridge.

    Note: IO-APIC's have become a legacy affair :-)

    IRQ sharing means that the interrupt service routines for the various hardware devices have to be called in vain. Each ISR has to run a couple of random IO transactions across the system busses, to read its device's status registers, only to find out that this ISR invocation has been a "false alert", caused by the IRQ sharing. The bus transactions take time, the CPU is idle until the bus-borne read is accomplished. This latency gets worse if the brief random IO's compete for bus bandwidth with bulkier DMA transfers of payload data (disk IO, networking, graphics). This mode of operation is massively inefficient and painful to CPU load, especially with multi-GHz CPU's. Thanks god in only stalls the respective CPU core, in today's multi-core systems.

    Before the IRQ even reaches the CPU (before it gets a chance to launch its set of ISR's), its transaction may have to travel back'n'forth across the link between the north bridge and south bridge, again competing for bus bandwidth with DMA. This impairs interrupt latency.

    Now imagine that all of this takes place especially on high-performance devices such as PCIe x16 graphics boards or modern RAID adapters, with some USB UHCI's and per-port PCIe hot-swap IRQ lines thrown in as ballast... Actually if you happen to have some classic PCI-X based (parallel PCI) adapters in your PCIe system, attached via some PXH bridges to the PCIe-only chipset, it's them PCI-X devices who have a chance of getting a dedicated IO(x)APIC input pin, and a dedicated IRQ number on the CPU :-)

  129. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    PCIe MSI ?

    Surely all that is a big "so what" in Vista terms (though it may be important for other reasons)?

    Most of the world's PCs have managed perfectly OK without specific PCIe support for a good while now, and most of them could continue to do perfectly OK with an OS that doesn't make use of PCIe-specific features.

    The people who care about ultrafast graphics are either gamers (do any significant number of important games need Vista?) or graphics-intensive industry pros (do any significant number of their apps need Vista?).

    The people who care about high performance RAID are surely mostly server people, do any significant proportion of them care about Vista?

    The people who care about PCI(e) hot plug have had support from their server vendors for a good while now, who cares whether the base OS supports it?

  130. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Dam

    What sort of system did you run it on?

    As for the person above who mentioned that they will stay with XP on their 3-4 year old system and just play games, anyone who wants to play the latest games would not have a 3-4 year old PC. I recently upgraded my 2 year old PC and I am now running Vista, I spent about 450 quid on a quad core, 2gig, 8500GT with 500gig HD (not a particularly fast one mind). 200 quid on Vista (I posted above, I am the person who could not find my XP CDs), and using all the peripherals from my old machine. Can I really afford this? Not particularly, usually, but I got a tax rebate. If you are someone who spent more on a PC than that, for lower specs, then think twice before you post, if you are quite happy to take packaged PCs from retailers like Dell and HP then you're going to be overcharged, and probably screwed.

    I'm a developer, and I'm planning on installing Orcas tonight (if the beta is still downloadable), I've been too busy at work to want to code on it yet. If it runs fine, great, if it doesn't then I'll use my old machine which I have setup specifically for work use in another room. Having looked at .NET 3.0 and its backwards compatibility with XP etc. I'm very impressed, and don't understand why anyone would have a problem doing interface design unless you're writing in Win32. Whilst my job entails that I do some of this, it's just plain naive to waste production time on Win32 and MFC when languages like C# take less time to build programs with, and run at roughly the same speed as any native code (with the possibility of being faster). If your company does it without your say-so, it's naive of them, but it's not Microsoft's fault.

    Vista is actually, strangely enough, good for programming. Microsoft has for a long time been pushing specific coding standards for Windows, eg using the user folders for storing files, and telling developers to adhere to them. The fact that many companies have not adhered to them is one of the reasons that Microsoft made many of the standards compulsory for working with Vista. It leads to safer and far better organised code. Of course, if you're doing things right already, and you've moved out of the Dark Ages of Win32 you shouldn't really have any problem upgrading to Vista, and complaining about the installers is a joke, if you're a developer your release team should be worrying about that, not you.

  131. Mark Wills

    VMS

    Use VMS. You know it makes sense :-)

  132. Paul

    Vista, toilet, flush

    C#, a microsoft attempt at creating a programming langauge. C# creates code bloated programs fom microsoft bloated operating systems. .Net hell is another fine example of microsoft code bloat, even Charles Petzold has comented that .net is just too big and cumbersum. If you cant do it in Win32 then your not a programmer.

    As for Vista, I've been using the rubbish since its release, Ulimate addition. Its slow, my sound card don't work, its forever losing saved links, copying large files is one hell of a task, if it copies at all, burning dvd's can be just as bad. The system is DRM infested, hence the slowness. Icons in cartain folders have a strange habbit of going very large.. Vista is for ever asking "Are yuo sure" not once not twice but sometimes three times. Even before I start any programs Vista consumes around 600 MB of ram, even after some tweeking, I spent £150 on a graphics card but Vista isn't at all happy with it.

    Good thing I have XP Pro to fall back on to get things done.

    Vista is toiletware

  133. Gordon

    Why don't they just admit...

    They screwed up and produced, by committee, an operating system that does nothing that XP doesn't, doesn't do most of what it DOES do half as well and provides no real incentive to upgrade, beyond that you are buying a new machine and it will come with Vista.

    Almost ALL the extra functionality in Vista is of no net benefit to the user, and just gets in the way. And those bits that are worthwhile are usually implimentable in XP. DirectX 10 isn't an "extra", other than in the sense that it's been designed not to work with XP in order to try to push Vista on people.

    I'd have more respect for MS if they just admitted they screwed up and euthanised Vista, rather than trying to find ways to force it down people's throats. It's another "bob", guys. Sorry. But it sux.

    Personally Windows 2000 Pro is my Favorite OS. Shame it's getting so long-in-the-tooth these days.

  134. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    2k, XP and Vista

    Having had XP Pro foisted on my for a good few years now can anyone tell me how XP is in any way an advance on 2k? Apart for some extremely irritating "helper" wizards, a quicker boot time (a major factor on a MS OS's usability) ever nastier GUI and wireless support (to be fair it is better than 2k) I can't see the difference.

    I'm typing this on a AMD 2500+ (old) with 256mb of ram (small amount) and a Geforce4 Ti (very old), windows XP Pro (needed for some bespoke training software) runs like a dog, looks like a dog and is just nasty (imho). Linux on the other hand runs fine on the machine and will, if required, run all the flashy gui stuff without a problem.

    I also have an old PowerMac G4 which must be at least 5 or 6 years old (second hand) and as much computing power as a pocket calculator and yet it runs OSX Tiger without any problems.

    Now I'm probably going to have to upgrade my PC system and buy Vista Ultimate as I have to be familiar with all "consumer" MS products for my business.

    So can anyone explain to me why I have to spend £100s if not £1000s on new computer kit when I can get all the flashyness, security (if you believe MS Vista is secure) from a 5 year old Apple Mac or a knackered old PC which I put together on a budget about 4 years ago using an OS that fully or in part was knocked up by some spotty hacker in his parent's basement?

    As for the cost of Vista Ultimate - If I didn't have to buy it I'd be better buying a new Mac Mini, for about the same cost you are effectively getting a free computer.

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