back to article Reg readers split on Vista readiness

The first of our three polls on desktop operating systems is now complete. The poll looked at Reg reader opinions on the readiness of Windows Vista for business use. We’ll be putting together a complete analysis once the other two polls - on desktop Linux and OS X - are done. In the meantime, here are some headline findings from …


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  1. Joe K

    Umm, no.

    The problem with Vista isn't technical, its the muppets who have to use it.

    The training requirements are *HUGE*. The admins and tech guys can handle the change.

    The users, who panic at the sight of a new wallpaper, cannot. Neither can the service desk people who are the first port of call for the slightest issue.

    At least not without massive amounts of money spent of training, and a lot of hands-on experience.

    This is why we're not ready for Vista, not when XP works so well and is so embedded in our enterprises.

  2. Steven Hewittt

    Well done El Reg...

    ... a well written summary:

    "There are enough success stories out there now, however, to suggest that Vista can actually deliver benefits, particularly in the areas of security and operational efficiency - but it needs to be implemented responsibly, and that is not a trivial exercise."

    So Vista IS fit for business, but only if people know what they are doing and deploy it properly.

    E.G. Not putting it on 6 year old hardware (or 4 year old cheap budget crap) and if your apps aren't already Certified for Windows 2000 or XP then TEST them first on Vista to ensure that the new security doesn't break it.

    Other than that, make sure that the rest of your infrastructure is working OK (AD, WDS, DNS etc.) and it should be a damn sight easier to roll it out that any previous Windows OS, and should increase security, lower administration overhead and users even get a pretty new UI to boot. :-)

    Considoring the traditional bias of El Reg toward open source (um, open season anyone...?!) then as someone who has been standing up for the unloved operating system since it's release I take it as something of compliment that the feedback isn't a resounding "it's crap". (Which is what I'm expect to see in this comments section)

    Thanks El Reg for what maybe the first unbias Vista article i've seen on the site....! ;-)

  3. Jamie

    Ease of Use

    The whole MS thought with Vista and Office 2007 is ease of use. We have designed everything to help speed up users and give them a better experience.

    This is a shot in the foot as the main reason companies use MS and Office is the users do not have to learn anything new when they upgrade, that was until now.

    End users do not like change and most are in a rut where they click on this to do that, no idea what they do it is just routine. With Vista and Office 2K7 all that changed and will severly piss off a lot of users.

    XP was a big enough change but with Vista they tried to revamp everything.

    For business looking at its employees using it I give it a 2 out of 10, and for most home users I would give it less.

  4. Steven

    Here Here

    I run Vista SP1 at home, it runs beautifully and would love to deploy it at work. As long as its deployed right and properly (on hardware capable of running it), I really cant see any major problems.

    Just deployed AutoCAD 2009 with its new Vista 'look' and instantly people started complaining... yet a day or two later after they bothered to actually try it, we've had a lot of positive feedback and changed opinions. I think people are just scared of change sometimes.

  5. Mike

    Change for Change's Sake

    Its clear that Vista can be a usable desktop operating system...


    1) you put it on new hardware

    2) you plan extensively for the upgrade

    3) you devote lots of time and money to it

    And so, either you replace a bunch of stuff that works acceptably under XP, or you end up with a heterogeneous environment (Vista and XP).

    Either way, it seems like you're wasting something by actively moving toward Vista.

    The question remains: Why?

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    What's with the Fistya love-in....

    Its a nasty OS.

  7. Hate2Register

    it's a cop out

    Tell me something I don't already know.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Halo

    Leopard is everything Vista wants to be.

    I've skipped the upgrade cycle to Vista completely, deciding instead to go down the osx86 route. I'm now a convert - Leopard is everything Vista wants to be.

    I think there's a large group of computer literate users who will opt to skip Vista entirely and either stick to XP till the next iteration of windows, get a Mac, go with Linux - or use all three.

    For my part, I use a mixture of XP, Debian and MacOsX - all at the same time, while drinking coffee and fondling my nuts.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    @ Joe K

    "The problem with Vista isn't technical, its the muppets who have to use it."

    Ha! You are well named 'JoKe'. If users can't use it, then the problem is the design .... or maybe you think MS should design Vista so only IT geekoids can use it. Yeah that would make a lot of sense.

  10. Frank
    Gates Halo

    The so called Vista critics...

    I have found they usually have no clue what they are talking about and they only talk based on what they have heard.

    Yes, I took part in this survey and yes i have successfully deployed a Vista network in a small company without issues.

    It is by far the easiest installation i have ever done in my life, worked straight away with the 2003 server and has not given me a single support incident since i installed it (5 months now).

    I just want to point out a couple of things here. First of all, the hardware that doesnt work with vista is usually ancient. Only one printer did not work with vista after the deployment and that was a A3 printer from the 90's.

    The second thing that did not work was an ancient HR management software again from the 90's. Even DOS applications worked just fine.

    The users found it very easy to work and also think they are more efficient than before due to the easy search facility. They also find their applications to launch much faster (gotta love SuperFetch). They dont care if RAM is 60% full all the time, and honestly the idiots who complain about RAM use in vista are not even aware what superfetch is and what it does.

    I think Vista is a good operating system that has been underestimated by the press very early and the negative sentiments have now spread to the point people hate it without even knowing why or without having tried the system. Just goes to show that the press can pass whatever cr*p they want and people will eat it.

  11. Ron Loftin

    Hazardous material here

    By that, I mean that the material in this article may be considered hazardous to the revenue stream of good ol' M$ -- especially the subheading "Think for yourself".

    After all, that's EXACTLY what the Billy and Steve show does NOT want their customers to do.

  12. Steven Hewittt

    @Mike and @Jamie


    Security, lower administration overheads, ease of use, desktop search, less 3rd party applications required, better power management, raft of out-the-box drivers, new collaboration tools, much better mobility.....

    And it doesn't have to be new hardware, it just can't be 8 years old. Runs fine on my 4 year old PC at home. 1.5Gb RAM, P4 2.8Ghz and some old IDE HD's....

    The planning part is no different than industry best practice regarding upgrading any OS. I wouldn't just shove on the latest version of Mac OS X or Ubuntu without reading, planning and testing first..... would you?!


    The changes in Vista in terms of how to use it are minimal for the average business user. Sysadmin wise there's a few more. The Windows Vista start menu is laid out the same as XP's default (so no change), there is still a desktop, still a taskbar and whilst the explorer has a number of changes that help with efficency - there isn't fundementally much difference between XP.

    The two explorers are here, side-by-side:

    I agree with Office 2007 though. The ribbon interface is a hell of a lot different and I've heard a couple of users who loathe it. The majoriy, as mentioned above, after a week or two of using it end up telling me how much more efficient it is. Not all - a couple of die-hards still hate it, but generally most people think it's OK, and some tell me how much they love it and can't go back to Office XP....

    Office 2k7 is a shock, and it's pissed a lot of people off. But after a while they get used to it and generally find it more intuitive. As I said though, a few die-hards still hate it, but the majority adapted within a couple of weeks. I can't see where your coming from though regarding Vista - the UI hasn't changed that much....!

  13. Trevor Pott Gold badge
    Gates Horns

    a Vistaids is fine too.

    Vista is a fine operating system, and Office 2007 a great office package, as long as you bear in mind the caveat that they should both be run on brand new hardware, preferably by someone who has never used either windows and office before.

    If I was going to introduce someone to the windows world, who had never used it before, Office 2007 running on Vista would be the way to go. They are far easier to use, have more in-built security, and generally are better for "noobs".

    That said, they are VASTLY different from existing deployments, and, frankly, for people who've used windows and office for ages, are irritating as all get out. While we all have pet items in Vista or Office 2K7 that tick us off, and I am sure the haters among us have spent time LOOKING for more...the truth is a lot of it boils down to they moved/removed/change the look of MY BUTTON.

    The Vista Question (at least for SMEs,) isn't so much one of "do you upgrade existing machines to it" anymore so much as "do you spend the hours upon hours on the phoen with some yutz in India who is being PAID to make downgrading difficult trying to convince them to let you downgrade your copy of Vista Business to XP Pro." There has to be a business case for either making the jump, or staying the course.

    That said, BECAUSE they moved my buttons, (up one level, kthxbai,) I'll migrate to Vista and Office 2007 when they pry XP from my fried, dead motherboard. I'd rather run a 5 year old computer with XP, in an environment I am familiar and happy with, and manage the various Servers and Desktops form there, than re-learn everything I spent a lifetime learning. If' I'm going to make the jump from one way of doing things, (XP, office 2003, and thier predecessors,) then why consider Vista as the only alternative? If I am going to have to re-learn everything, Linux, (which I am at least partly familiar with,) seems a mroe logical choice. Apps that REQUIRE windows, well, that's what VMs are for. It's not the best solution. it has it's holes, it's problems, and certainly there are other, just as acceptible ways of doing it...but right now...that's true of Vista, too.

    TL;DR: Microsoft, you dropped the ball on this. Your new interface is fantastic for those who've never touched a comptuer before. I respect and admire the work that has gone into adding features to both vista, and office, and wish many of those features were available on XP. The truth, however, is that they both take way more to run than That Which Came Before...and the highest crime of won't let us apply an interface we are comfortable and familiar with. YOU MOVED MY BUTTON. As punishment, I'm looking at linux.

  14. Richard
    Gates Horns

    General MS OS Stability

    My recent observations:

    Had a laptop running XP and bought it purely because I could order it with XP - Office 2007 Powerpoint constantly crashed on exit.I never ended up with a fix for that.

    I have an HP HX2490b running Windows Mobile 5.0 - that died last night - It won't charge or do anything. The OS for the device has gone Pete Tong totally and have taken the main battery out to allow the secondary battery to die and hopefully revert the PDA back to factory default and hopefully it will reboot...One day.

    Having swapped my Windows MobileTreo 500v twice, it crashes if the keyboard lock is enabled and a meeting reminder comes up, often fails to send text messages that are longer than about 3x160 chars and I will sometimes pick it up and its crapped itself with no activity and I have to take the battery out to restart it.

    I am really losing all faith in Microsoft products. The change in user interface when Office 2007 was relased caused me so much confusion in trying to do such simple tasks as print or import an Office 2003 presentation. I ended up behind on a schedule and had to revert to a machine that was running Office 2003 so that I could get my work done.

    I understand that OS' have become more complex, but I am seriously questioning Microsoft products as viable and dependable business tools.

  15. Steven Hewittt

    Windows XP SP3 Vs Windows Vista SP1 Feature Comparision

    Hopefully people will read this before spouting there is no reason to upgrade to Vista.

  16. Frank
    Dead Vulture

    Dinosaurs should die

    What i dont understand about some people is how they can be so negative about something they have not tried or given it a fair shot.

    first of all lets all face one simple fact, not liking vista does not warrant a move to linux. if you think vista has issues with hardware and software compatibility i would love to see you deploy linux or OSX in a business.

    second of all, if you dont like the new vista insterface explain to me how linux is going to give you the familiar XP look? its bloody ridiculous that people can even think for a second that Linux will be more familiar to users than vista.

    I had idiots in the company that complained about Vista. most of them were people who were still running on win 2k with office 2k after creating a huge fuss over upgrades in the past. this time i told them to go get stuffed and replaced every single workstation with a new machine running vista. what really pissed me off in the end is when they come back and say how much they like vista now. i really feel like knocking a few teeth out of them and collecting my P45.

    i hate dinosaurs like them. because of them the entire industry is held back for no reason what so ever.

    @ Richard,

    you think MS cannot make viable solutions anymore? lets see your try OSX in a business environment. Good luck with your backup procedures not to mention countless security issues that go unfixed (mac boys are too idiotic to even be aware of them so why fix them?). Furthermore, good luck with accounting packages and engineering software and of course various random software you might want to use. Oh and lets not even discuss what will happen when your users will see OSX as opposed to a more familiar Vista interface. In the mean time however try convincing your boss to pay almost twice the price as opposed to a Dell with no upgrade options what so ever save for RAM.

    I know Vista has issues, I know Vista crashes, can you point me to one system that is perfect and has no such issues? Was XP perfect at launch? Do you really expect a modern operating system to be perfect at launch? It simply isnt possible. They are far too complex to be tested 100% for every possible flaw even if you dedicate 30 years in development and test. Most of the time it is impossible to replicate a bug in the lab with the same hardware and software.

    As for office 2007, i find it great. Finally some idiots will have to learn how to use the right mouse button as opposed to using the edit/cut, edit/paste drill. They sure dont like it at first but once they get used to it I dare anyone come and say that they are not more efficient and faster.

    @ the anonymous coward a few posts above,

    if you cannot deal with change go live in a cave. If idiot users cannot use it then it is not a design flaw. Quite frankly you gotta have an IQ of 50 if you cannot find your way around vista. It isnt a design flaw that idiots cannot recognise a button because the colour has changed. Thats like saying that all cars should have exactly the same clutch and any car that has a differnt clutch feel is designed badly. Furthermore, all cars should have all the buttons on the dash at exactly the same spot otherwise they are flawed. Scrape the cheese off your brain so that it may breethe and start evolving.

    Dead bird because thats whats in store for the dinosaurs.

  17. janimal


    I'll get my rain coat

  18. Anonymous Coward

    I suppose another question would be...

    Why deploy Vista when XP will run faster on the same equipment, is likely more stable, and the myriad legacy apps and oddball equipment that your organization has to still keep running is almost always going to work better (or at least work) on XP?

    I do LAN support for a company that has all kinds of ancient equipment that has to connect to parallel, serial, and sometimes custom interface cards. None of this stands much of a chance with Vista. For that matter, we have Access DBs that can only be used with Office 97!

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Vista isn’t *that* different to XP

    Vista isn’t that different to XP in terms of how it’s looks. In fact with about 3 clicks you can make it look like Windows 2000 if you really want. Turn off UAC (wack the res down to 800*600 if you really want that old-school feel)

    Office 2007 is really much better than 2003. The Index and Reference features in word have been made it a lot easier. How many users manually type “Turn to page 55” and then change it manually every time they insert a page? Yes the new interface takes some getting used to. Also much better at scrolling large documents. Smaller file sizes. The list goes on. Microsoft have some really good Flash apps on their support site that show you the Office 2003 interface, you choose a command and it tells you how to do it in Office 2007. Great, but it’s so hidden. This should have been linked to from the Office Help menu.

    As for Vista, an uptime of about 1 month on a laptop . Seamless sleeping and hibernation (can’t say that about Linux). People who moan about the battery life on Vista have obviously never seen the “Battery Saver” power profile that turns off transparency and indexing, puts your CPU down to 50% (I changed it to be 10% - fine for web browsing and email) and now I get 4 hours from a 17inch screen laptop.

    Vista has come a long way to make the PC more like an appliance, you can just press “on” and it’s there. However old hardware and bad drivers have ruined that experience for many. I blame NVidia and OEMs for putting Vista on low spec machines.

  20. Wayland Sothcott Bronze badge

    computers are rubbish anyway

    They only have to work well enough to be useful. They don't have to work properly. A plane that crashes as much as a computer is no use. However a landmine that works this well is pretty useful. Once the sucker has bought it and put their stuff on it then they are a cash cow.

    I had one yesterday that was easily fixed. The HP came with a partition that wiped vista and re-installed the OS. Customer was OK with that fix. I think it was press F12 and say yes to wipe everything.

    Sorry to be cynical but I believe it's true.

  21. Anonymous Coward

    Paid opinions, what a surprise

    A lot of MS-paid opinion pieces here, no wonder. (They were caught for doing that previously and not got punished, so why should they stop?)

    "Security": Show me one vulnerability XP has but Vista doesn't have?

    Security patches aren't news so much nowadays as they are patched just once a month (and to be frank, most holes are found at the day after previous round of patches, leaving them open fo 28 days.)

    Large botnets run on Vista as well as on XP, no difference there either.

    So excatly where is so-touted "security?"

    "Usability": When you, once again, change UI just to be different, not better or clearer, it's obvious you are lost and don't know what to do. Basically Vista is DRM-ridden service pack to XP with new colours and different skin. That DRM is taking a lot of clock cycles, no way around that.

    RIAA-version of XP, if you want to call it names.

    Also more glitter isn't advancing, it's straight from '70s, when glam rock was on top.

    Survey conductor obviously didn't like the results s/he got, so s/he decided to dump "wrong opinions" and leave only pro-MS pieces. Nice work.

    Everything you need to _know_ about Vista can be found with Google in 20 seconds and then a day to read all that. Most of that are facts MS won't tell you:

    "user experience" at it's best.

    Most people can learn from the mistakes of the other people, they don't have to personally waddle in the same heap of s**t those pioneers have done.

    Your poll keeper seems to fail to see that. Maybe s/he can't, who knows.

  22. Jon Styer

    Vista not bad, but worth the effort?

    I help to administer an AD network of about 15 servers (Win 2k, 2k3, UNIX, and RHLinux) and about 500 Windows workstations all running 2k SP4 or XP with either SP2 or SP3 depending on the machine. We have not deployed any Vista machines and I seriously recommended to the IT director that we try and skip Vista and wait for the release of Windows 7 to do any major workstation rollouts if possible. Because I hate using Vista? Not quite...

    I have Vista Ultimate three machines at home (in an eternal 30 day trial - lol) just to play around with. I've been using these machines to run Vista throughout the beta process and ever since. I don't have any issues with the OS itself except that it doesn't run as fast as I would like (my hardware isn't TOO old, but it's no longer cutting edge). And SP1 crashed two of the machines when I tried to install it - one recovered on reboot and finished successfully, the other one I had to uninstall and haven't tried again. Otherwise, I think it's ok. I also set up a test machine at work and tried setting it up with Vista business and the normal apps we use in our organization and DID run into some problems there. I would estimate that at least 25% of the apps we use will not run, or will not run correctly under Vista - and no, they are not from the 90's. We also have a lot of older pc's out at our sites that can barely run Win2k - they do ok for what they are used for (mostly terminal emulation) but Vista would be out of the question on about 1/2 of our workstations.

    But seeing as the wait for Windows 7 isn't supposed to be that long, and there isn't any pressing need for us to switch... I don't think it's worth it.

    As far as open source... I love playing around with different flavors of linux, but I am one of those people that believe that the ease of use (for end users and administrators) and compatibility just aren't quite there yet. Close maybe - but not yet.

  23. philip jeffery


    Everyone seems to be mentioning Office and Vista, and how they compare against other products in the business environment. But no one has mentioned Sharepoint, I had a meeting with Microsoft earlier this week where they demonstrated Sharepoint and I have to say I was very impressed, it is an excellent tool for collaborating with colleagues.

    The one issue with Sharepoint could be that it is too difficult to use, for some people, online training can make this less of a problem but it just isn't possible to train everyone

  24. Trevor Pott Gold badge
    Dead Vulture

    Same old feel?

    A lot of "well, if you don't like the new feel of vista, get over yourself and just deal with it." The point here is that at least some people don't want to. If Vista offered a really compelling reason to change, maybe learning a new interface would be worth it. Sure, you can change some aspect of vista to work like previous versions, but not all. There are now more button-clicks and layers of "user friendly interface" between functions that I use every day in favor of functions I may use once every month or so. A great example is the properties or status (including IP/Mac address etc) of a network connection. Or the Display Settings.

    Us "dinosaurs" take umbrage at someone telling us that our preferred interface has been discarded in favor of something we don't want, (because someone somewhere thinks it's "better",) and then demanding we pay for the privilege.

    Can we re-learn everything, and figure out this new interface? Certainly. The question is WHY WOULD WE. Where is the incentive? Microsoft tells us to? Vista is the newest? A review site said we should? DirectX 10?

    Personally, I loved XP and I loved 2000. Where I have the chance, and the MS sticker on the PC, I use them as my desktop interface. For business purposes, however, we've begun the shift to virtualized XP desktops running off our servers, that contain all our business apps, with Linux on the desktop, and RDesktop to get the window to those, now, legacy windows applications.

    Vista has it's uses, and I *did* take the time to use it. My work desktop is vista, and has been for a year, because offering support to clients and customers who have chosen to install it is necessary. When we were faced with the choice though, of retrain staff for Vista, or retrain for Linux...

    ...well, Linux made more sense. At least to us "dinosaurs," that worry about things like licensing footprints and familiarity with interfaces. If you have to re-train, where's the business case in choosing to re-train for another 10 years of vendor lock-in? Leave windows where it belongs: in a VM on a dark server somewhere running legacy apps that won't run anywhere else.

    Dead vulture because choice and virtualisation finally killed that old lock-in bird.

  25. LaeMi Qian Silver badge

    Vista can be very stable

    I work at a quite large Australian organisation in the IT dept. and my senior manager went to some big-wig state-wide managers' meeting to discuss things like Vista. I don't think MS was involved in the meeting.

    What she bought back was the feeling that Vista is excellent if you are running Office 2007 and other software written with Vista in mind (and actually following MS's formal APIs). Anything that doesn't fit this category (and there is a hell of a lot of poorly written code out there, even from major vendors) will quickly drop you into hell.

  26. Willem Smythe

    Over a year into Vista deployment and only a few headaches

    Pardon me whilst I wax poetic over my experiences with regard to transitioning to Vista and Leopard in my small consultancy.

    I was one lucky chap when a little more than a year ago I was given the go-ahead to dump our 12 aging HPs -- as long as I could come up with a budget-friendly replacement plan. I chose s cheap Acer model outfitted with Vista Business and Office 2007. We also purchased new 24-inch iMacs for our Art Department to replace some rickety G4s. All machines were upgraded to 2GB.

    Our principal line-of-business application (ca. 1999) performed without a hitch in Vista and Leopard. No problems with our HP and Xerox printers, either.

    Really, the only hardware issue with the Vistas had to do with the bundled Acer 19-inch monitors: Vista simply refused to identify them as wide-screen, thus displaying an annoying "stretched" appearance. Never mind the fact the appropriate drivers were supposedly installed. It took several months for updated drivers to be downloaded from the Windows Update service.

    Each user was left to fend for themselves navigating their new OS and Office applications. Nobody ever made any complaints about Vista. However, they did complain about the difficulty transitioning to Word and PowerPoint 2007's ribbon-based menus. They LOVED Outlook 2007.

    On the Mac side, there were more program incompatibilities I had to deal with. But I was pleasantly surprised at how easy they were to integrate into my Windows 2003 Small Business Server domain (with the exception of Entourage and Exchange not getting along well.) Indeed, some of the issues with third party apps (like font managers) were eliminated because Leopard now handled those duties. Office 2008 for the Mac was met with raves by users - and Entourage connected with Exchange with ease. Mac users also dumped Safari for Firefox.

    Oddly, the only ones to complain about performance are the Mac users. I suspect they have loaded a bunch of free but unnecessary utilities that load on start up. I don't have the ability to control what Mac users install with the same granularity I have with Vista (or XP) users via Active Directly.

    On the home front, my spouse and "spawn" use Vista on cheap Gateway and Compaq notebooks. Vista does seem rather sluggish at times -- and I can't seem to isolate the reasons why. It might take 10 or 15 seconds to simply open a folder on the desktop. Clicking "save" in a simple document might result in a 10-second delay before I can continue. One notebook takes "forever" to connect to the wireless network, whereas the others swiftly connect. Go figure.

  27. Stu
    IT Angle

    the IT industry needs to get a grip

    I have 3 points to rebut most arguments

    1) "Vista needs new hardware": Of course when XP was released it ran on all hardware no matter how old it was - no wait, it couldn't come close to running on my PC from '98 (that was only 3 years before XP was released in 2001). Of course when Windows95 was released it ran on all hardware no matter how old it was - no wait, it didn't either! Does anyone notice what happens when a new OS is released???

    2) " Vista broke my software": actually, the APIs etc didn't change all that much from XP to Vista, there is just better enforcement of the rules that always existed to stop people doing bad/wrong/stupid things. In most cases if your software doesn't work its because it is trying to do something it shouldn't.

    This is a similar argument to the one everybody used when speed cameras were introduced - it was always illegal to speed, just 'cos they didn't give you a ticket didn't make it alright.

    3) The IT industry needs to get in touch with reality. Look at the Yahoo vs Icahn debacle. I'm going to guess that most people who don't like Vista side with Yahoo.

    There are only three ways this can end 1) Yang etc sell out there principles to stay in power and do a deal with MS 2) Icahn (or others) take over and do a deal with MS 3) Neither of the above happens, so all the business investors (who are in it for the money and don't care for your semi-religious fervour) leave and the stock plummets so someone (maybe MS) walks in a takes over anyway.

  28. Dave Letourrneau
    Dead Vulture

    Re: Dinosaurs should die

    Hey Frank. Think you have some incompatible sentences in your comment :

    "What i dont understand about some people is how they can be so negative about something they have not tried or given it a fair shot."


    "[...] explain to me how linux is going to give you the familiar XP look? its bloody ridiculous that people can even think for a second that Linux will be more familiar to users than vista."

    Have you ever tried any recent Linux distro? Gnome is intuitive, flexible and uncrufted. It's *kind of* a a crossing between XP and OSX and can be customized (easily) to look and feel as either of them... or better : like Vista. And the result is very surprising.

    So come on, don't hit on those who are "so negative about something they have not tried or given it a fair shot".

  29. D
    Gates Horns

    After reading this and other articles

    and installing vista on a couple of machines I am still completely clueless about what the advantages of Vista are. The disadvantages as compared to XP are not difficult to see ranging from software and hardware not working to poor performance.

    There may be some advantages to users in large businesses, although I've not seen anything to really indicate this. I really don't understand why anyone wants to upgrade when XP sp3 works just fine?

  30. D
    Paris Hilton


    " " Vista broke my software": .......there is just better enforcement of the rules that always existed to stop people doing bad/wrong/stupid things. In most cases if your software doesn't work its because it is trying to do something it shouldn't.

    This is a similar argument to the one everybody used when speed cameras were introduced - it was always illegal to speed, just 'cos they didn't give you a ticket didn't make it alright."

    If I'm happy with my software and it does what I want it to do, why should I give a stuff whether it breaks the arbitrary rules set by Microsoft? Like most people I just want a machine that works. Speed cameras are a different matter because if I drive at 60mph in a 30mph zone I am likely to kill people. If my software works but not in the way that microsoft want it to, nothing really happens as long as I don't install Vista.

    Paris, because even she could see the difference between complying with MS standards and dangerous driving.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ Steven Hewitt

    And I trust you've read

  32. John Angelico

    Vista on older kit?

    Well, shut my mouth! "Don't expect Vista to work as well on older kit." - to paraphrase a little.

    That makes the concept of "backward compatibility", for hardware at least, a little hollow. The point is that other OSs DO manage to install quite well on older rigs, and this phenomenon of hardware upgrades before end of useful life is largely confined to the MS-Windows eco-system.

    Sadly this perpetual bloat cycle has all the appearance of a scheme to ensure that new software almost enforces a requirement to buy new and more hardware. No wonder MSs customers are not the end users, but the hardware manufacturers and software developers who have climbed onto the longest gravy train known to modern (wo)man.

  33. phat shantz
    Paris Hilton

    I responded and apparently wasn't representative of the Vista Lovers

    I responded. I guess I wasn't the fanboy ElReg was looking for. Vista stinks. And it's stink is durable and extensible enough for the enterprise.

    I've been involved in a major effort (or two) to roll-out Vista. One failed. The other is a partial success because we dropped another $1,000 per machine, added memory, and incorporated VMWare so we can run XP on the same machines. XP saves the day. It runs faster inside Vista than Vista runs by itself. 'Splain that, Paris.

    What does this tell me? It tells me that we spent extra money, extra time, added complexity, and had to buy enterprise licenses of VMWare so we could stay where we were with our XP installations.

    And this is progress?

    Paris is to Katherine Hepburn what Vista is to XP.

  34. Michael Greenhill

    UI Confusion

    "Have you ever tried any recent Linux distro? Gnome is intuitive, flexible and uncrufted. It's *kind of* a a crossing between XP and OSX and can be customized (easily) to look and feel as either of them... or better : like Vista. And the result is very surprising."

    Yes, maybe it's intuitive for people with quick brains. But for the average Joe Luser , Gnome would scare the pants off them. "Where's the Start menu gone?!" is just the first question I can think of.

    If somebody is unable to cope with the UI changes between XP and Vista, how are they going to handle a new UI with completely different usability concepts?

  35. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    @people hate it without even knowing why

    I know why. DRM and unacceptable resource hogging are my two gripes.

    Frankly, we are in the 3rd millennium now. Why does a new OS version have the right to use up even more resources than its predecessor ? If anything, it should use less, be more optimized and have a smaller footprint.

    Of course, that would mean that MS stop throwing everything and the kitchen sink in the same package, and call it an "operating system". Windows has never been an Operating System, it's been an Encapsulated User Experience.

    The second point that really gets my blood pressure rising is the embedded DRM. I simply cannot accept that an OS be rigged to decide what I can and cannot do with my hardware and software. An OS is supposed to do exactly what I want it to do, no questions and no fuss. I've been working with PCs long enough to not need a nanny behind the keyboard, thank you.

    And please do not come beating the "better architecture" drum. Vista is based on x86 errors and as long as the kernel (the actual OS) is not entirely and 100% protected from tampering like in Linux, no amount of tinkering and backyard shortcuts will ever surmount the basic security issues that come with this historical cock-up of an architecture.

    So Vista is and always will be out of the question for me.

    That said, I can believe that Vista is quite an acceptable platform for companies that have the resources to splurge on it. It must surely be better from an admin standpoint (what with all the Big Brother attitude floating around these days, I'm sure its been extensively programmed for compliance), and I can accept that it is more secure (even though it strangely seems to have the same issues as XP does, although it was supposedly developed from scratch - cough).

    Then again, companies most often have a competent IT department (more so than home users), with security products in place and monitored. Firewalls, network-monitoring AV packages, email malware-sniffers and so on. So I can't help thinking that anything Vista can bring is redundant, security-wise.

    In that case, what's the use ? From a ROI point of view, I'm not convinced that companies are getting a good deal out of upgrading their hardware, fussing with software compliance and installing Vista. And I doubt that any company with Vista installed is going to retire the AV monitors, malware sniffers and other firewalls that are already in place.

    So Vista is still a turkey, even in the enterprise environment.

    But hey, we've got a three decade tradition of Microsoft research funded by companies, why stop now ?

  36. Andrew Abdul-Malek

    it was prophesied

    i wrote in my blog a while back that if Microsoft can convince the world that Vista is here to stay, it will be the biggest coverup and face-slap since 911.

    its terrible,

    i purchased a brand new dell xps desktop with 4GB ram and God knows what else, with vista business PREINSTALLED, and it took 10 times as long to do anything. forget about microsoft's domain admin tools (gpmc) , they dont seem to work.

    i also just purchased an imac top of the range, it was so smooth compared to vista, with around half the resources.

  37. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: it was prophesied

    >>i wrote in my blog a while back that if Microsoft can convince the world that Vista is here to stay, it will be the biggest coverup and face-slap since 911.

    Well, it's good to know people have a reasonable sense of perspective on this.

  38. Bob ter

    @ Steve Hewitt


    Hopefully people will read this before spouting there is no reason to upgrade to Vista.


    I had a look at that, and it actually made my opinion worse!!! Theres nothing there that any normal user needs. If yer a security freak then, yes, vista will probably float your boat but for the average office and home user there is absolutely nothing in Vista thats going to help them out day to day.

    Dont fret though, someone else will innovate properly and MS will buy them out.

  39. James Anderson Silver badge


    The reason professionals are so reluctant to deploy Vista are not because it doesn't work, or it isn't good enough. Its that it doesn't work that much better than XP to be worth the expense of upgrading.

    Clearly even the richest large organization cannot go for a "Big Bang" approach and deploy several thousand new desktop systems in a single day, so we are stuck with the phased roll-out deploying Vista on new systems and leaving XP running on the older systems. This will double the support effort during the "cohabitation" period.

    So most sensible organizations will wait until a substantial number of there desktop systems are due for replacement then bite the bullet.

  40. Steven Freeman

    Vista sux boz: its official

    Im sorry lads, but Vista is a fricken nightmare to people that have seen a windows computer in the past 10 years.

    Ive used all major home and business OS types out there and Vista is the most difficult to work.

    An example image shown somewhere above shows explorer in xp and the same in Vista... where the bloody hell have they hidden my file menu... every OS has this and it was MS damned vision that brought the File / Edit / Help menu (across the top) to the user and now they've decided 'bugger it, well do something else now', im sorry, but no thanks.

    And where the hell is add/remove programs when you click on use the old interface for control panel? Its now only available in the new look vista control panel. If I have to stare at a screen for more than 30 seconds to find something I could have found, modified and applied in the same time, whats the bloody use.

    And dont get me started with 'double click on app ... are you sure you want to run this app? microsoft isnt quite sure if you meant to click on it.... 'Im Sure', no, but really, are you definately sure you want this app to run? its called microsoft office, and we're simply not sure....' if microsoft isnt sure about skipping the are you sure for its own applications why the hell should the user be sure?

    Look, heres the skinny.... never used a pc before, use vista, its a piece of piss if you havent used a GUI before.

    If you've grown up on GUI ignore vista until MS brings out a patch where it works like XP... damned MS

    End of Rant

  41. Rob

    Yay Frank

    Finally someone who appears to be more of a realistic computer user.

    I too have had many similiar experiences with Vista, although not actually done a live roll-out but tested a few Vista roll-outs and stability is definately a word that springs to mind.

    Anyone hear echoes of the past when XP came out :)

    Let's face windows will always be windows and the other OS's will be for geeks or designer label whores, tis the way of the world.

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