back to article Microsoft slams 'sensationalist' Vista analysis

Microsoft has dismissed analyst house Forrester Research's report on slow corporate adoption of Windows Vista as sensationalist and schizophrenic. The reluctance of many enterprise-sized companies to upgrade their systems to Microsoft’s current OS was highlighted by Forrester analyst Thomas Mendel in his 23 July report. …

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  1. Alan W. Rateliff, II
    Paris Hilton

    Customers paying to revert to XP

    I guess that explains why I have so many customers willing to pay me to revert their machines to Windows XP. I would like to see a total of how many XP downgrades have been performed.

    So my local vendor tells me that Microsoft has instructed them to just us any available XP key when performing a Vista to XP downgrade. If online activation fails then they are to call in and state that they are exercising downgrade rights. I consider this vendor a reliable source.

    Paris, a reliable source paying for reversions.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Gentlemen, start your flaming!

    in the blue corner: Microsoft fanbois

    in the red corner: Microsfort hatorz

    in the dressing room still trying to get their trunks on: Linux fanbois

    FIGHT!!!

  3. Eponymous Cowherd
    Thumb Down

    I've got one of those

    ***"Redmond claimed to have sold 180 million Vista licenses to PC vendors and individuals so far."***

    I have a Windows Vista Business licence for my shiny new Dell D830 laptop. There is a nice Vista licence sticker on the underside and a Windows Vista sticker on the keyboard (right next to the Core 2 Duo sticker) and, no doubt, MS claim this as one of those 180 million licences sold.

    The computer is actually running XP Pro as a 'downgrade', however.....

  4. Beelzeebub
    Flame

    Hell freezes

    At least it will do before I downgrade our excellent XP infrastructure to fistula.

    Generally, I support our partners on earth, so I'm not going to go linux on the desktop either.

    Coat today? You must be joking.

  5. Tom Turck
    Jobs Horns

    Microsoft out of touch

    Microsoft is out of touch. Vista is a huge flop and all Microsoft is doing is spin. I hope they get it together before everyone switches to Linux.

    I wish they would stop screwing with the administration interfaces so much. Changing the names on everything, putting it in different places...Its just annoying and lends the impression there is nothing new in the OS just a re-organization and re-naming of the same functions and features.

    Don't even get me started on the "security" features.....

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    now that's funny...

    "Redmond claimed to have sold 180 million Vista licenses to PC vendors and individuals so far."

    First, forcing PC vendors to sell only Vista (though there is a loophole), then completely stop selling XP (though you can still validate your copy). I wonder how long they'll keep on using sales figures as an excuse/dellusion/substitute to LSD? Until someone slaps them (and the rest) w/ reality? Ofcourse you'll get a large sales figure if you almost completely removed other alternatives (MS OS only, please).

    Don't get me wrong. I'm using Vista (64bit) and am quite loving it. But my specs? Oh my. Your average user will bleed money to get what I have. Ofcourse Vista will still run ok on "average" hardware (hhmmm.. "average", more like "above average" in reality when you consider what the rest of the world have), but don't expect it'll perform just as well as XP when it's bloated and also carries legacy apps. Customizability? Sure, only it fits with what Microsoft have in mind (Home, Business, Ultimate), and not what people actually need (1GB memory? Some services and functionality can be sacrified before installation begins, you OK w/ that? OK then, here you go).

    Ok, enough w/ that. It's subjective. All I'm saying is that you can't handout B.S. like that if you don't provide a levelled playing field

  7. Dave

    Licences != use

    We just acquired a PC for use in the lab at work. It came supplied with Vista, and so will be recorded as a Vista licence sale, but before it gets put into use, it'll be re-imaged with XP courtesy of the company site licence. None of the programmers and other gadgets we want to use in the lab work properly on Vista anyway.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Crude data

    "Redmond claimed to have sold 180 million Vista licenses to PC vendors and individuals so far."

    Does it say how many customers opted to "downgrade" to XP or Linux after being forced to purchase Vista. Or how many of the licences have been registered [mine was not and I still haven't got my refund GRRRRR].

    Paris: because even she has more angles

  9. Mike Crawshaw
    Go

    Oo! oo!

    MS are making the doc available despite clear instructions not to? Come on Forrester, sue them for making illegal copies available for download!!

  10. Mark

    RE: Gentlemen, start your flaming!

    And being a twat "in the middle": Anonymous Coward!

    Ding ding!

  11. N Silver badge

    how many Vista uninstalls?

    So of the 180M vista licenses how many have been chucked out?

    I guess so many that MS only need an old 486 running red hat as the verification server.

  12. Daniel
    Flame

    Re: Microsoft Slams Report

    People are probably waking up to the Fact that Linux is far more rock solid and they should really give that careful consideration before falling into the trap of Updates and Upgraded versions.

    Last time I checked Windows Vista cost more when it came out than Windows XP Professional did when it first came out and as far as I know updates for Linux have always been and always will be free.

    V.I.S.T.A - Viruses, Intruders, Spyware, Trojans and Ad-ware! No Thanks!!

    I've still got my perfectly working legit copy of Windows 98 SE and I havent used it since 1999, the copy of XP home that came with my Laptop went straight in the rubbish bin in favor of Debian.

  13. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Gates Horns

    "sensationalist and schizophrenic"

    Because Microsoft is always extremely sober and straightforward in its product announcements, roll-out declarations, licensing reshuffles and in-court mumblings.

  14. Simon
    Paris Hilton

    I bet if...

    M$ contact those 180 million users a large chuck would be on XP.

    I wasted £460 on Vista only to upgrade back to XP a month later. More than a year on I still have no desire to have Vista back on.

    Paris because I'd much rather turn her on than Vista.

  15. Sampler

    Well..

    having worked at a large enterprise customer who were just rolling XP out after Vista was released I can see the point of not pointing out how few enterprise customers have Vista yet.

    Not quite sure why Kirk whould need all these copies of windows anyway...

  16. Flocke Kroes Silver badge
    Go

    Why are MS highlighting the lack of usage of Vista?

    "How is this useful guidance to customers?"

    Enterprise customers are not a bunch of sheep looking to see which way they other sheep jump. They have the resources to test Vista and decide for themselves if it suites them. The report would be useful guidance to Microsoft: Many enterprise customers are not making an effort to switch to Vista. As Windows 7 is planned to be more of the same, it seems reasonable that enterprise customers will put just as little effort into that.

    Redmond claimed to have sold 180 million Vista licenses to PC vendors and individuals so far.

    About 6 billion people are licensed to use GPL software.

    Both statements are equally useless. How many machines actually run Vista? Even if all those Vista licenses were actually used, Vista would still account for less than 13% of internet usage.

    http://www.internetworldstats.com/stats.htm

  17. Ferry Boat

    Hardware

    Maybe one reason is that people don't want to spend money on upgrading hardware too. It's not like the average corporate user is going to be able to use any of the new features. All they need to do is run email and office apps.

  18. aL

    re: danial and general vista fud..

    i dont understand why people keep insisting that vista is insecure and an easy target for viruses and trojans..

    vista has some issues but security is not oneof them. in fact vista is far more secure than xp ever was or ever will be. (check secunia if you dont belive me)

    Yes it requres better hardware but so does every new operating system.

    Yes its not exactly the same as xp and there are some new things you must learn, but again, this is true of any new os.

    on vista level hardware vista is about the same if not slightly faster than xp performance wise, even though it contains alot more stuff.

    its funny so see how everyone suddenly loves the crap out of win xp while just over a year ago they where bashing it to hellfor being so old, insecure and out dated.

    vistas main problem is the marketing. thats the problem with microsoft in general imo.. their marketing sucks. simple as that. that said, there are other issues with vista as well, i can to this day not understand how it can take up 10gb of space. i just dont get it.

    people looove to hate microsoft, and ive lost all hope that el, reg will ever publish an unbiast microsoft article, making things up that you know is not true is just FUD

    yes, the very thing microsoft is always beeing accused of doing. (btw the "mojave" proect thing was really telling.. people only seem to hate vista if they actually know its vista)

    why cant people simple express why they really think is bad about vista instead of making things up. thats just stupid childish fanboism..

  19. Daniel
    Go

    NetScape

    I still remember how they pushed Netscape out of business claiming theirs was the only suitable browser to be used with Windows.

    Then they got sued for trying to corner the browser market. Bit like when British Telecom claimed they owned the rights to hyper links and the Judge threw the case right out the door and as far down the road as possible.

    Their new CEO Steve Ballmer was until recently selling his 12.5 Million Super Boat complete with golf course and helicopter pad claiming it was too small for his needs, is that why we're all being made to pay more for Windows upgrades? Are we buying him his new boat??

    Now Steve be realistic as a boat owner myself, I can say that is a completely pointless exercise, a boat that size, your never allowed to pilot it yourself, so where's the fun in that?

  20. James Anderson Silver badge
    Happy

    Was it just me.

    I quickly scanned the article and read it as "only 11 machines installed" rather than the 1 in 11.

    Strange thing is 11 was a much more believable figure than 9.8%.

  21. Neil Greatorex
    Gates Horns

    @ I bet if...

    "I wasted £460 on Vista only to upgrade back to XP a month later."

    Simon, why didn't you ask for your money back? "Merchantable Quality" anyone?

  22. Daniel
    Dead Vulture

    re: danial and general vista fud..

    Al, you cant tell me vista dosnt have security problems, I work as a free lance pentester, VISTA has a lot more security bugs and problems than Microsoft would like to admit. If it didn't Steve Ballmer wouldn't be shouting that he wished security researchers would "Just shut up"

    Have you not seen and heard about this recently highlighted bug which to date has still not been fixed and effects VISTA, XP etc etc

    First, you create an image. If you have Photoshop which is the quickest way, you can set a watermark inside the image as meta data. Go to File > File info and Inside the copyright notice field you can enter whatever you like. HTML, Javascripts, Iframes that fetch Trojans. To Firefox and Opera users, the image will render normally without any notice. But in Internet Explorer, the image content overrules the image header between content-negotiation. The code inside it's source will be rendered as HTML because HTML is present in it.

    Another reason to go with Firef0x and throw IE (internet exploder) in the Bin. .

  23. This post has been deleted by its author

  24. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

    What I want to know...

    ... is how many of the machines that were surveyed are older than 18 months.

    Most businesses will not upgrade the OS on an existing PC. It makes no sense for two reasons, one being that the system is already partway through it's lifetime (and asset depreciation), so why spend new money to replace the OS when the existing OS still works, and the other being that the machine will probably be less productive with Vista than it is currently with XP. Add to this the fact that buying a new system means it comes automatically with Vista, and may well be cheaper in real terms than the system it replaces, and you will realise that very few businesses will do anything other than moving to Vista when they replace the PC.

    So the real question should be how many of the business systems deployed since Vista hit the market are still running XP. Anybody any idea?

  25. Mike Fleischmann

    If M$ really wanted to see what the market had to say.

    They would allow the vendors to offer both Vista and XP on every machine. If Vista is so wonderful all the users would ask for it surely? If not then they would no be forcing it on everyone and would have a true market response to their new product. As it is when you are only allowed one choice that does not indicate customer satisfaction.

  26. Jeff

    @ Tom Turck

    Please tell me about the Vista "security" features? I just want to know what you mean by this.

  27. Joshua Goodall

    Apple.

    OS X "Snow Leopard" Server goes right for the mid-sized enterprise market.

    I predict a further rise in Apple on the enterprise desktop.

  28. Gary F

    Shouldn't have bought Vista

    A non-technical friend on a tight budget asked me if he should get a Vista laptop. I said no, get one with XP installed. He instead bought one with Vista installed and asked me to show him how to do X, Y, Z because "it doesn't work the same as XP". Yeah, I know, that's one reason why I recommended XP.

    Then he asked how he can make it go faster because it seems quite slow. I told him to upgrade to XP. Yes, I said "upgrade". If you see an improvement in performance or ease of use then it's definately an upgrade. And if you buy a cheap laptop you definately need to run it with XP.

    Or if you *have* to use Vista then disable SuperFetch. General use becomes snapier IMO.

  29. NHS IT guy
    Paris Hilton

    Why would I though?

    I work for the NHS, and am directly responsible for a small network of approx 200 desktop systems and 6 servers (2 sql, 2 citrix, 2 file), in a independantly funded (not tax payers money) department.

    We have machines ranging from brand new to 3 years old, all running XP Pro SP2. Everything runs sweet as a nut, the machines have a light, compact custom build, it looks good, it's familar, responsive and pretty secure.

    I currently see no reason at all to move over to Vista. If I were to migrate I'd reimage every machine identically (it makes support a breeze), and to be frank some of our older machines wouldn't cut it, and some of our new machines would probably be a little sluggish.

    Vista's party-piece for want of a better phrase is media, and that's simply not a part of office life.

    Expensive license + time to reimage + cost of new hardware + sluggish performance = FAIL

    Paris, because she understands the true joy of a responsive OS.

  30. The Other Steve
    Coat

    The “new Coke” ?

    What like, you pay a shed load of money it, for a while it makes everything look great, but everyone else thinks you're being a wanker and the come down is a total bitch ?

  31. Gareth Gouldstone
    Gates Horns

    Enterprise-level Support

    Most businesses will prefer to support a single platform at a time. Rolling out a new OS to thousands of machines is time-consuming but at least every machine is pretty standard (at least to begin with), and easier to support.

    MS have never seemed to grasp that businesses will not buy individual new machines with a new OS, and just plonk that on someone's desk. Nor do they seem to realise that most businesses just want a stable OS, and for it to remain stable and supported for many years (Unix?).

    Why would you buy faster hardware to run a new OS that ran your new version of Office at the same speed as your old stuff?

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Vespa is the "New Coke" eh?

    Actually - you've got a point there; after recently installing "Whole Bottle of Coke" I am left feeling incredibly lathargic, heavy, uncomfortably swollen and quite reluctant to do anything productive at all.

    It leaves you with that bloated feeling; not particularly nasty per se but hardly an efficient way to wet the palet... What other analogous offerings do we have? It's heavily overpriced for what the customer actually wants (effective thirst quenching can be obtained from free council juice but you need to BUY THIS!!! because it tastes good-er); there are numerous completely unnecessary add-ins that take up extra room in your stomach; it's so full of gas a completely new form of virus could live off it indefinately; it expands exponentially upon installation such that there is no space left for anything of substance; it's been hypersweetened to the point where it makes your eyelids curl (and what better way is there to describe 'aero' but as useless eyecandy); and of course it is available in three distinctly unappealing flavours (decaffeinated, de-sugared and good old de-cocaine'd). It is, in effect, completely without substance and totally unnecessary, hardly the choice of a new generation. Yup - Nail -> Head.

  33. Neil Kay
    Paris Hilton

    I'm not rushing

    I would imagine that, like myself, quite a few IT professionals first got their hands on Vista not because they consciously bought a copy, but because a laptop or desktop PC came with the damn OS pre-loaded - and then the IT department had to 'upgrade' a PC in order to support their Vista Users.

    Sadly, I upgraded my 2 year-old Acer laptop in response to the trickle of Vista-based laptops arriving in our organisation - and it's been grief ever since. First of all the RAM had to go up from 768MB to 1.5GB to get any decent performance (Processor is a 1.5GHz Celeron M), then I had to debug why remote desktop kept stopping working for a few Managers. 50% of the time my display won' t wake up again after screen-saving and then I have to push the power button to go in, then out, of suspend to carry on working.

    Heaven help me if Vista downloads an update and wants a reboot because the cycle of: 'out-of-hibernate' -> reboot -> install updates -> maybe reboot again can take the best part of 20 minutes.

    I am often left wondering why a simple task, such as checking or changing network configuration, takes twice as many keypresses under Vista (with default configuration) as with XP. My default printer keeps randomly changing and if I lose my wifi connection it can sometimes take a reboot to get it back..I could go on but you get the picture.

    I look after around 200 PCs and it'll be a cold day in hell before I take any direct action to upgrade any of them to Vista - and before you wonder what happens when I have 'no choice' because Vista's the only pre-loaded option well - I am looking at a new core app for our business needs (veterinary clinics) that is wholly java-based and will run on a Linux desktop - even on our ageing PII's currently running good-ol' NT4.

    --Paris because she probably knows what it's like to have something unwanted thrust upon her.

  34. Steve

    Nearly half of businesses have Vista deployment plans....

    "It’s not a huge surprise that just over half the enterprises we surveyed don’t yet have Windows Vista deployment plans...."

    So nearly half do?

    Seriously guys... wake up and smell the roses. Vista is being deployed. My last place deployed it after trialing it on a few sales PC's and the success resulted in every new PC using it. Some marketing droids are rabbiting about doing a new website and mentioned Vista at the "15-20% mark"... that's a damn sight better than Mac OS X or Linux - and they've had a bit longer to get the sales going. (Jesus - Linux is free and Vista is still kicking it's ass!)

    At my current place they don't use a new OS until SP1, and as I've only been here 4 months I haven't got around to it.

    Yet we've been buying Vista licences for the last year or so.

    Guess what.... we're using XP on them.

    But guess what else.... we're going to put them onto Vista in the next month or so as we've test it and it works pretty well. Better security model that XP, easier to administer and will please the sales team as it looks all shiny. (e.g. it was this or a mac! :-)

    Businesses haven't got time to dick about with a new OS. They just want it to work. It's normally a good 18 months to 2 years before companies even LOOK at upgrading their platform.

    Once again the linux lovers (read microsoft haters) moan and bitch about the latest product from the worlds most popular desktop OS vendor AGAIN - whilst praising the previous version AGAIN. Same bitching, same timescale, just the latest release.

    And again, out of all of these comments from "IT Professionals", nobody has actually stated any reasons as to why it's oh so crap. Just the usual "i keep telling my mates how shite it is", "i downgraded 40,000,000 machines can it's so poor" and the ever original "apple/linux is better".

    Guys - get a fucking life. It's an OS. It works. There are lots of drivers. Hardware for it is so cheap the homeless can get it and other than some wanky in-house VB app done on the cheap - what doesn't run on it? What the fuck is the problem?!

    BTW Daniel: XP Pro is more expensive than Vista Bus. Quite a bit if you include inflation as well.

    Oh - nice and original "V.I.S.T.A" there. Love it - Although I suspect your one of the many "professionals" unable to grasp the concept of UAC... Twat

  35. Shane McCarrick
    IT Angle

    Whats with the Linux bashing?

    I seriously don't get the Linux bashing going on here the whole I time. I dual boot Ubuntu 8.04 with XP SP3- and have configured around 30 computers in a similar fashion. Most people use XP- some use Ubuntu- some of those who haven't got a vague foggy notion what they're looking at actually prefer Ubuntu. So what? I still shelled out for XP licences- and indeed have a small stock of them in reserve. I don't hate Microsoft, I don't love Linux. I love hardware that just works, is easy to install and maintain, and does not have to be needlessly upgraded just to suit someone else's deployment cycle. I'm a big fan of making life as easy as possible- but I'm also a big fan of secure computing........

    Some things do bug me- like having to configure multiple partitions in FAT32 to support some of the hardware- but so what. Thats life.

    Ps- yes, I'm also the sort of guy who uses bootcamp on Powerbooks to dual boot with XP. So what.......

  36. RW
    Dead Vulture

    The Microsoft business model is "old and busted"

    It was never a very sophisticated model anyway. Establish a monopoly position and then use it to force customers to swallow whatever you shoved down their throats. But, aha! (and ha ha ha!) Vista is in the anomalous position of competing with its predecessor XP, and guess what? Customers much prefer XP to Vista. Moreover over there in the bushes, Linux and Mac OS are making rather attractive cooing noises and luring the adventurous in that direction. (For some values of "attractive". Does the Mac OS wear leopard-skin bikini underwear? Does Linux favor black leather bustiers?)

    As far as I can tell, Microsoft is so used to ignoring what the customers want and *truly* need that finally they've produced a system so contrary to those wants and needs that the market is rejecting it.

    Three things strike me about Vista: first, it's another example of pointless change in details. The way you do something in one version of Windows has often been different from the previous version, even though the previous version worked just fine. Vista merely carries on this tradition, but in spades. The administrators are justifiably annoyed.

    Second, in spite of the amazing increase in processing power, PC's have slowed down; the increase in hardware speed has been stolen and handed over to the functions the users neither want nor need, for example end-to-end encryption of HD signals. See

    http://www.cs.auckland.ac.nz/~pgut001/pubs/vista_cost.html#cpu

    for some of the gory details.

    Third, Vista, much more frequently than previous versions of Windows starting with Win95, gives rise to the cry "hey, whose computer is this anyway? Mine or Microsoft's?" When the OS starts to actively interfere with the use of your machine, as Vista evidently does, it demonstrates some kind of fundamental ethical blindspot on the part of the OS developer.

    In a way, Vista is an interesting example of evolution in action. If you (hypothetically) build The Perfect OS, then any change whatsoever is a step down. I suspect that XP is reasonably close to The Perfect OS, at least as far as PC users are concerned, so Vista can only be a backward step.

    The situation has its amusing elements. As others have pointed out, Microsoft's response to the Vista fuckup is spin, spin, and more spin, but we've got so used to lies, distortions, smokescreens, fairy tales, and myths that spin doesn't do much anymore except transfer dollars from Microsoft's pockets into the pockets of the spinmeisters.

  37. Chad H.
    Thumb Down

    @ steve

    The reason why they don't state their reasons is for the same reason we don't question gravity when things fall. There's plenty of proof of performance dips and the long goodbye, but we've accepted them as facts and see no reason to troop them out again since we already know about them.

  38. Fred Warren

    re: danial and general vista fud..

    Hey aL

    As far as every new OS needing more stuff. Not true with Linux. I support hardware that is from 4 years old to purchased last week. My low end systems have 512 megs of RAM.

    All of them support any version of Linux I toss at them. Be it Ubuntu Dapper Drake (2 years old) to Ubuntu Hardy Heron (2 months old). KDE3 .5 or KDE 4. No problem. I expect that even my old systems will have no problem with the next version (or two) of Ubuntu.

    For the most part, Linux has their act together. There has not been a need of getting hardware any better than an "average" system that was sold in 2004.

    Microsoft overshot the mark. We are only now getting to the point were low end systems run Vista well. And that is because we now define low end as a system with 2 gigs of ram!

  39. Dave Bennett
    Thumb Up

    @Steve, @Chad H

    Steve, your post was superb and as far as I'm concerned spot on. The majority of posts here are bashing something that 99% of the users don't give a fuck about. They just want it to work, if anything they want the newer shinier version because that's simply how our society works.

    The obvious and clear reason that very few non-enthusiasts use Linux et al, is because it's shit. Vista has things in different places from XP, which is just dumb, but it's still a damn sight easier to grasp than Linux. Most businesses couldn't give a toss if Linux will run on hardware they cobble together out of toys, it needs to be easy for the USERS to USE.

    Don't blame Microsoft for trying to make more money, they are simply doing the same as everyone else and were lucky to have the right product at the right time.

    Oh and Chad, you can't claim that the understanding of a universal force that has been around since the dawn of fucking time, is anywhere near comparable as an argument to this situation. Plus, you don't understand gravity properly anyway. Things don't fall down, the Earth rushes up to meet them. ;)

    D

  40. Martin Owens
    Flame

    The Linux Users...

    I see there were some comments about linux users bashing Vista and hailing XP as the best thing since sliced bread. As a Linux user and programmer I can refute that, I've never had the inclination to use either XP or Vista and won't bother commenting on the tech.

    No I'll just point out that Vista is not being bought by people who receive fresh new blank machines. It's being forced on people in a quite immoral and market distorting way. Thus windows users are not in control of their own computers and I would always recommend that such users regain control with the use of linux, regardless of how great windows actually is.

  41. Sceptical Bastard
    Paris Hilton

    Who are you going to believe...

    .... Microsoft (who promote and sell the product) or Forrester (one of the most experienced and respected IT business research outfits)?

    BTW, I thought the Terminal 5 analogy was nifty - although, presumably, T5 will eventually work as intended.

    @Dave Bennet, who writes: "The obvious and clear reason that very few non-enthusiasts use Linux et al, is because it's shit."

    Thank you for that well-reasoned and insightful analysis. It saved me reading the rest because unthinking knee-jerk vituperation like that invalidates anything else you might have to say (and I'd feel the same if you wrote that you didn't like Windows "because it's shit"). Idiot.

    Paris because even she probably thinks for a moment before shooting her mouth off.

  42. Herby Silver badge

    It is all Intel's fault anyway

    They didn't make a "bigger faster cheaper" processor that was only Vista compatible. Yup, no big processor upgrade, so no compelling reason to upgrade the software.

    In fact, there are smaller machines (slower) that are getting market share (EEE PC is but one I suspect). All the "Vista ready" (or whatever hype exists) requires lots of $$$ and (more importantly) more POWER from the wall socket/battery.

    NOT a good trend!

  43. Ishkandar

    Vista's problem

    M$ forgot the first rule of computing - if it ain't broke, don't fix it !!

    No amount of spin will cover up their fuckup in that direction !! 'nouf said !!

  44. Fred Warren
    Thumb Up

    @Dave

    The obvious reason why very few non-enthusiasts use linux is that Microsoft has abused their monopoly powers since the late 80s. Try to find a vendor who will sell you a dual boot system? You cant find one.

    Until recently you could not get a Dell or HP with linux preinstalled. And even now you have to know what you are looking for to find the option.

    If a PC arrived with a Vista CD an Ubuntu CD and a checkofflist.

    Vista - Install, install drivers, reboot, sytem update, reboot, install antivirus, install anti-spyware, install office software.

    Ubuntu -install, update wireless/video drivers, system update and reboot.

    On that playing field, Linux would hold more than 2% of the desktop market.

    Everyone knows someone who knows enough about windows to get going with it. If the same was true for Linux. Microsoft would be in trouble.

    The only problem business would really have, is if their applications would run in a linux environment. Believe me, I would rather train an XP user with Office 2003 experience to use Ubuntu with Openoffice before I would want to train them on using Vista with Office 2007. Vista with Office is just to different from what they are used to.

  45. Giles Jones Gold badge

    Snow leopard

    I find it crazy that Microsoft's OSes tend to get slower and slower, do things less efficiently.

    At least Apple are actually realising that they need to optimise their OS and cut the bloat (it does run pretty nicely anyway compared to Vista). They're even working on making multicore appear fairly transparent to the programmer.

    Microsoft made too many dramatic changes, they should have improved things under the hood dramatically but present a fairly familiar face to the end user. Maybe giving them the option to switch on new power features. Instead they added way too much clutter and redesigned things for the sake of it.

  46. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    £13,000 of workstations all downgraded

    My company has recently bought a load of Dell workstations to the tune of £13,000, all have been 'downgraded' to XP.

  47. bruceld
    Stop

    My peni*..er...OS is bigger than yours

    This whole anti-vista business has gotten quite tiresome by now. I wondered if the Applites and Linites might have tired of it by now, but apparently not.

    I do not agree with MS's numbers. They are going on licenses, and still consider those who've downgraded to XP to be Vista customers. They also don't include the linux geeks who would never use Windows even if it were a stable, reliable and fully secure system. Naturally, all of this is absolute rubbish.

    I personally do not have any real issues with Vista. My only real bitch about it is; what's with all the DRM? Apparently the almighty and powerful MS caved in to pressures from the RIAA and MPAA, and are now snuggly in bed together taking turns on eachothers butt holes.

    As for those who are waiting for everyone to switch over to linux; if you're so eagre and truly wish it upon everyone, why not put your money where you mouth is so every boy, girl, mom, pop, grandma and grandpa (in other words everyone) can get the new OS to recognize and function with their scanners, printers, card readers, digital cameras, video cards, video capture cards, HD video capture cards and TV tuners, and so on? I mean not everyone understands geek speek, not everyone can understand all the cryptic linux user support groups and other types of "holier than thou" computer users around the world.

    Really folks...I mean...REALLY!

  48. Pierre Silver badge
    Gates Horns

    Hi fanbuoys! Stop spinning!

    "Yes it requres better hardware but so does every new operating system."

    Wrong. It's never been true except for MS OSes. New OSes *support* better hardware, they don't *require* it. (well, in a reasonable time frame, that is. I don't claim that my brand new shiny Linuxes and BSDs will support 20 -yo hardware, but they DO run on 10-yo hardware like a charm.)

    "Yes its not exactly the same as xp and there are some new things you must learn, but again, this is true of any new os."

    True and false, in this order. It is not exactly the same, it's the same stuff reorganized, so you're right. But "any new OS" requires you to re-learn how to do things? Really? This is not even "only true for MS", it's only true for Vista! (well, since 3.1 anyway)

    "on vista level hardware vista is about the same if not slightly faster than xp performance wise, even though it contains alot more stuff." False, false and false. From my experience, even on a 64-bit processor and with a metric ton of RAM, XP is faster when the load of the system increases (though you're right, the difference tends to decrease with the amount of RAM). Which is kinda ridiculous, ain't it? Given that Vista 64 is supposed to be able to make use of the 64-bit CPUs, and not XP...

    As for the "alot more stuff" part, I guess this is a lot more stirfoam and/or cotton clogging the datatubes inside the damn machine, because I don't really see what else you could be talking about... oh, you're not refering to this small added feature, the one that every other OS on earth already had, back from the sixties? The one MS dubbed UAC? Or are you?

    "Vista has things in different places from XP, which is just dumb, but it's still a damn sight easier to grasp than Linux."

    Easier to grasp? Where the heck did you read that? Because obviously, you didn't experience it yourself. Unless you jumped on Gentoo (or even Slackware) right away without reading any documentation. For the n00bs (by that I mean people with a point-and-click compulsion and an aversion for the RTFM approach), there is Ubuntu and the like (Mandriva is quite easy to use for unexperienced users, too). These distros are easier to use and more intuitive than Vista. Not only for me, but also for the XP-hugging non-IT people I know who happened to try. (my parents, my neighbour, and two lusers here at work spring to mind)

  49. Anonymous Coward
    Happy

    All I can say is...

    ...that in our shop we tried hard to go Vista, MS even came in to assist the migration, but our apps are so old and have so many silly dependencies that MS sort of gave up and advised that we should go from W2K to XP until all our apps are up to spec, then maybe they will come back have another go, that was 12 months ago.

  50. Andy Livingstone

    Slow Take-up

    Hardly surprising when many businesses are watching costs even more so than ever.

    The analysis of the first half of 2008 probably covered a period of considerable belt-tightening.

  51. JC

    Showing their hand.

    Every time you see MS releasing this drivel you can know one thing, that they feel the opposite is true and they are trying to counter that perception.

    If the things they were saying were quite so true there'd have been no need to say it at all, they'd be spinning on something else instead.

    I always love it when someone running Vista comes along and writes something like "but all you need is powerful enough hardware", as if this is a goal we want JUST so we can run an OS we don't want. Get that "powerful enough hardware" and it's all the better to run XP on if you must stay under the windows umbrella.

  52. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    And another thing...

    As well as not being able to find anything, buttons changing location depending on what you do, the lack of an up button, and hundreds of other things that irritate the shit out of me....

    I went to PC world, having discovered that my work laptop will run 1080p (ok not hdcp, but 1080x1920 plus sound,) to my two new tellies.

    Guess Vista what. I couldn't find which computer's cards will support that because in advanced settings list all modes, it wasn't listing all modes. It says it lists them, but it will only list those it thinks you can have.

    I was going to buy two new laptops, (though admittedly not from PC World, and not from dabs either after the last two orders,) but I couldn't.

    GODDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD!!!!!!!

  53. Alan W. Rateliff, II
    Paris Hilton

    @Steve

    You had me there until your rant degraded into swearing. Poor form for a well-formed argument like yours.

    The short of it from my perspective is simple customer response. The customers come to me asking me to remove Vista because they cannot quickly and easily do the tasks they've been doing second-nature for N years. Then there's the problem with every program showing "(Not responding)" for a minute or more when they do something simple... like close it. Or the poor performance overall that a dual core 2.5GHz machine with 4GB of RAM simply should not have.

    And these are generally on fresh loads, more generally OEM loads of Vista. Sure, tweak this, tweak that, but people don't want to pay me to tweak, they want me to make it work, and they know Windows XP works.

    Another comment I've gotten was that Vista made their time and money in Windows-based computer classes completely wasted. Now, that's obviously an exaggeration as concepts do translate to what is complete new UI. None the less, perception is a reality, and when a customer cannot find "Uninstall Program" in the Control Panel because you have to be in the Home Page view, the customer becomes agitated.

    My own experience with Vista has been abysmal. It's possible that the 64-bit version is better than the 32-bit version, but I am happily running Windows XP x64 Edition -- it works, it's fast, and several clients are using it because of the the age of their hardware and the lack of Vista support in their core software. I support what my clients use, and only one of them uses Vista, and it is cursed daily.

    Does that make me incompetent as IT support? Well, to support Vista is does somewhat because I don't get a chance to play with tweaks, and customers don't want to pay me to spend time playing with tweaks.

    Paris, she wants to pay me to "tweak."

  54. J
    Coat

    Sensationalist?

    Not, it's not sensationalist analisys. It is sensational!

  55. Wheeler macintyre

    why do we carry on

    Just change to f****** linux!! its miles ahead and you cna boot old kernels on demand.

    And why o why dont apple release a free OS on the PC?? That would really spook them in redmond!

  56. Fred
    Coat

    @Fred Warren ~ Ubuntu+wine = easy learning curve

    'The only problem business would really have, is if their applications would run in a linux environment. Believe me, I would rather train an XP user with Office 2003 experience to use Ubuntu with Openoffice before I would want to train them on using Vista with Office 2007.'

    I am new to linux Ubuntu, and i love XP. Stuff vista. unlike some here i have tried them all before i fire my 2 cents off!

    So when was the last time you visited the wine.org website? IT WORKS...

    'nuff said

    (mines the coat with lateral thinking in the inside pocket)

  57. Anonymous Coward
    Boffin

    Yawn

    You are all a bunch of *apologists* for your own little OS fiefdoms.

  58. Smokey Joe

    or le

    Strange how things work out in the end...

    Windows was sort of forced on me when the Amiga went down the tubes.

    Now Ubuntu has been sort of forced on me by Vista.

    Thank you Microsoft for leading me to the light :-)

  59. DS

    The security angle..

    Vista is a bit more secure than XP.

    At least thats the starting point. Vista is done right. No admin user at the start.

    XP was wrong. Everyone an admin..

    However, it gets amusing from then on in. You stop using admin on XP, and you can make it quite secure. Its not as bad as some claim, BUT, making it secure often creates Vista -a-like problems with applications and security.

    Vista... well, how long do you think it is before users switch off the 'features'. UAC gets killed quickly and its suddenly not greatly better off than XP.

    Most of the problems in Windows go way back, and reside around developers being dumb asses and creating a situation where users NEED to run as damn admin to use an app/game/whatever.

    The antics surrounding the hilarious 'piss off the users to make the devs change their wicked way' via UAC is just one more really stupid MS thing of late. The regression testing right now sucks harder than it has for a long time, and the 28 different flavours of Vista just make supporting it all a pathetic affair. Should have remained as 'Home' and 'Pro'.

    As for Windows devs, never has such a bunch of braindead idiots ever existed. Still - even today, more apps arrive and the devs don't see to even comprehend how to build apps right, or how to do so without forcing LAME security.

    "It won't run... are you logged in as admin? Cos you need to be running as admin to run our superduper new cool tool."

    People need to start being fired for writing junk like that, and the sooner it starts to happen the better.

  60. Thomas Hedberg
    Thumb Down

    180 million.. Get real.

    I have given Vista a chance each time I purchased a new machine - after a week I have always upgraded to the faster Windows XP variant.

    With my new ThinkPad T61p I even had the pay for the priviledge of getting the XP Restore CD from Lenovo, but it was well worth it.

  61. Pierre Silver badge
    Coat

    @ Fred

    "So when was the last time you visited the wine.org website? IT WORKS...

    (mines the coat with lateral thinking in the inside pocket)"

    Let me think... sounds pretty near to"It just works",and "think different"... you're an apple fanboi in denial, aren't you?

    Pass me my five pounds... and yes, the mac too, it's raining.

  62. CK Lee

    Would prefer XP Pro Lite rather than Vista

    I am using Vista Business in my office and I am the only one. After my experience with Vista, all other new machines have been XP Pro. The problem with Vista is that some of critical apps don't work or work well on Vista as compare to XP. I think too many things were changed between XP Pro and Vista and I can't be buying new versions for every single app the office uses (esp Microsoft's own Office. Outlook 2000 don't work). But the most critical issue is that each generation of machines I purchase which is suppose to be faster, better and can do more, ends up running slower with Vista. In the end, all we wanted was to be able to run faster (hence the newer machines) but with the same apps and features. Perhaps Microsoft could issue a XP Pro lite and we will have upgraded ALL our machines to it.

  63. Glen Turner
    Thumb Down

    Number of device drivers is too huge

    "Microsoft’s release of service pack one for Vista, which came loaded with 77,000 drivers"

    Do you write these numbers without thinking? 77,000 device drivers -- how likely is that? I count about 1,500 device drivers in Linux (find /lib/modules/* -name '*.ko' -print | wc -l). Windows would be comparable within an order of magnitude.

    Maybe those drivers are expected to work with 77,000 retail packagings of the hardware supported by the O(3) number of device drivers?

  64. Stan Smith
    Thumb Down

    No, Vista really does suck.

    I keep trying it (I have Vista 64 installed on a second partition), and I just keep having to go back to XP. Here is my list of issues, in no particular order.

    Network compatibility sucks. It constantly disconnects mapped drives. And copying files (even on different drives on the same machine!) is dog slow and occasionally errors out. And this is WITH SP1 installed.

    MS, in their infinite wisdom, decided that there couldn't POSSIBLY be a reason for people to want a generic Postscript printer driver. Even though that's often the best/easiest way to share a printer between machines and platforms. Since they had perfectly valid drivers in both XP 32 and 64, I don't buy the incompatible line.

    Slow. Not a huge amount, but enough that it's irritating. This is on a quad-core machine with 8GB of RAM.

    OpenGL support is barely there, and in emulated form only. This matters more for 3D professionals than gamers. Just like the lack of hardware accelerated audio, though that's more of a gamer issue.

    UAC is a nearly completely useless feature (more irritating than anything else, and the way it's implemented will just encourage people to click through the warnings, whether they be benign or malignant). And you can't turn it off if you use some VPN's, since the OS is then deemed to be completely insecure.

    Windows Explorer widgets were made smaller for no good reason, making them occasionally hard to click. And many of the once unique icons were made so similar it can be hard to distinguish them at first glance.

    I want to like it; I really do. I do keep trying. I just have to go back to XP 64 to get things done.

  65. Jeffrey Nonken Silver badge
    Flame

    @aL

    "Yes it requres better hardware but so does every new operating system."

    Yeah. Like my Celeron 400 laptop with 192 meg of RAM, which is running the latest version of Ubuntu Linux.

    OK, it's a little slow. But you know what? It runs. I can use it. And it's a modern operating system.

    I don't know if XP will run on it. Vista certainly won't. 2000 does OK. It came with 98.

    Time to upgrade? Sure, I have a MacBook, it runs Vista OK under Parallels. XP runs better. Ubuntu kicks ass.

    See this? This is me not wanting to spend money to upgrade just to run Vista. If I upgrade it's because I want more performance. I'll run my games under XP, thanks. Because if I run Vista, I'll lose the performance gain I get from upgrading the hardware.

    SO not interested.

  66. Richard L
    IT Angle

    What is the Business Benefit?

    Having worked in a major UK bank when they replaced NT4 on the desktop with XP only about 3 years ago, the key question is what is the business benefit for corporates to move to Vista?

    You are talking about

    - licence costs

    - hardware costs

    - testing of existing core applications

    - rework/replacement of those apps that don't work

    - revision of support

    - project management to upgrade/replace 10,000s of desktops and 1,000 of laptops on hundreds of sites

    - business disruption

    And you end up not being able to do anything (and arguably less) than you could before.

    Why spend the money? Especially when MSFT will continue to support old OS for years after they are withdrawn from the market (we had NT4 support out to 2008 at least, for a suitable consideration).

  67. Charles Manning

    @Peter Gathercole

    How many PCs are newer than Vista?

    Quite a few actually. Many people held off buying XP machines so that they could buy the most flashy Vista machines. Many of them got burnt and grumble or switched to XP.

  68. Maty
    Thumb Down

    yup, crappy OS

    Here's why

    Lousy networking. Can't keep a network connection up (old rule of security - make it too hard to get in, and you can't get out). Network printers need to be found and reinstalled on a regular basis.

    I don't mind it being slow - my hardware is over 18 months old after all, but when I want to do something, and the OS is too busy with housekeeping to pay attention, that's annoying.

    Boot-up time. OMG (Even with caching disabled)

    DRM. When I've paid for a DVD in a high street shop and have the box sitting on its wrapping paper beside me, I'm less than impressed by Vista telling me that its not kosher.

    Good things - I like the interface. It's more intuitive.

    It's more stable. Far fewer BSODs

    Better security - I run in non-admin mode and can do sudo equivalent.

    Overall - I'd be running ubuntu like a shot if my games and some specialist functions were supported.

  69. Andy Worth

    Vista = Fail

    The only reason why they have sold so many licences is because of both downgrade options and companies buying PC's pre-equipped with Vista and then reimaging them. For example, all of the machines we now buy are Vista with XP downgrade and I think a lot of other companies do the same. I am sure though that they count this in their "180 Million" licences sold, which is purely because people cannot buy just XP any longer.

    Microsoft did with Vista what Hollywood do to Japanese horror films. They threw a lot of money at it, some fancy special effects but at the end of the day, deviated too far from the winning formula that they had to start with. Like many recent Hollywood "remakes" (The Eye, The Grudge, The Ring to name but a few) Vista just doesn't work as well as what they started with. If you don't understand what I mean, try watching one of the original Japanese versions of the aforementioned films.

  70. Mike Le Gray
    Jobs Halo

    Downgrade from Vista to XP?

    I ended up selling my Vista Ultimate-loaded Dell and bought a MacBook Pro instead. I've just got totally fed-up with crashes, lock-ups and speed issues. Best decision I ever made...

  71. Anonymous Coward
    Happy

    PC-BSD, Ubuntu, DesktopBSD...

    are all viable alternatives to XP/Vista. A for profit company is even developing a gaming method for the BSD systems. Which I know is of the utmost importance!!!!

    I've installed PC-BSD on one computer and this one is running DesktopBSD. The installation experience is heavenly, about 30 minutes. Vista on the the other hand, while I've never timed it is in the 2 to 3 hour range.

  72. Nano nano
    Gates Horns

    MS - Blind to disability ?

    "Microsoft has dismissed analyst house Forrester Research's report on slow corporate adoption of Windows Vista as sensationalist and schizophrenic."

    Not many Guardian readers at Microsoft then:

    "schizophrenic - use only in a medical context, never to mean "in two minds", contradictory, or erratic, which is wrong, as well as offensive to people diagnosed with this illness;" [Guardian Style guide - http://www.guardian.co.uk/styleguide]

  73. Ascylto

    @ bruceld

    "This whole anti-vista business has gotten quite tiresome by now. I wondered if the Applites and Linites might have tired of it by now, but apparently not."

    Sorry to disabuse you, bruceld, but the vast majority of posters seem to be of the Microsoft persuasion!

  74. James Anderson Silver badge
    Happy

    MS must know the number of active installs.

    The wife's vista box is forever interupting all the obviously unimportant user stuff to phone home and dowload the latest fix, patch, bodge, DRM kludge etc from Redmond.

    Microsoft must actually know how many unique versions of the OS contact the mothership for instructions on a regular basis.

    The suppliers of widely deployed apps like Adobe and FireFox must also have a pretty good idea of how many Vista boxes are out there.

    Of course this only applies to home users as no systems admin in thier right mind would let Microsoft Update loose on thier network.

  75. sally marshall

    Don't make the accountants laugh

    Switching to Vista would force us to replace or upgrade around 500 perfectly good desktop machines, many old but still serviceable printers and other ancillary equipment, and to re-write some of our legacy software for absolutely no benefit whatsoever. We are currently looking into migrating to Linux.

  76. Nano nano
    Linux

    Single point of failure

    @James Anderson

    "Microsoft must actually know how many unique versions of the OS contact the mothership for instructions on a regular basis."

    So all of us who bemoaned the flaw in Independence Day, Star Wars 1 etc. saying that there's no way you could [or should be able to] take down an entire invasion fleet by taking out a 'master node' should take note - if the advanced civilization needs to keep its war-bots patched & updated we just need to poison the [MS] update server.

  77. Chika
    Alert

    OK, I'll bite

    1. It isn't normally the way that a particular company will work that it goes out and buys a complete new set of PCs for its userbase in one go. It's a gradual process.

    2. It isn't usual for a PC in situ to be reinstalled with a new OS every time a new OS comes out. The only time this tends to happen is when said PC is either being installed or is being repaired following a catastrophic failure.

    3. The above is open to exceptions, of course.

    4. If I could get the last couple of bits of software to run outside Windows in some way, I'd kill off the last version of WXP I still have running at home and sling the whole lot to Linux/RISC OS.

    To be honest, I use the systems I use because they work. If, and when, they cease to work, *THEN* I'll consider a change. Not before. And I don't care how much spin Microsoft or anyone else puts out about Vista.

  78. Sillyfellow
    Thumb Down

    vista is rubbish

    i have been using/testing Vista for like 12 months or so on my primary laptop (with decent specs/resources), and i absolutely HATE it.

    moreover, i will not advocate or support it's use in our corporate environment

    (just mine has been headache enough thanks!)

    like most comments here regarding Vista mine are all negative.

    besides being terribly slow (in comparison to XP), having many networking related issues, and dodgy drivers and much less compatable software (that actually works correctly on Vista)..

    what's up with the HUGE DELAYS in vista when doing many things like 'new email in outlook' or clicking on the drop-down on the IE address bar, or copying any file, or copy/paste plain unformatted text??

    it's as if the stupid thing won't let me do what i need until it has covertly been able to connect to MS servers to tell them about these actions first...

    ..click on usual button/function, see the 'wait' cursor.. go off to put kettle on..

    this is the usual MO with using Vista. it is totally slow, untrustworthy and unreliable and MS should discontinue it altogether. what would we do then.?. simple keep using XP which works well.

    paranoid? maybe.

    i am very used to various OS behaviours and Vista's is very very suspicious as well as just plain painful.

    i usually have to revert to using my much older XP machine to get things done efficiently and without running into holdups or issues.

  79. Paul Blonde

    Vista licenses and free AOL CDs

    I wonder which of these two things have the highest count of 'things you use as coasters, to make decorations/clocks out of or just throw away'.

  80. GX5000
    Linux

    This is a Surprise ?

    This is a Surprise ?

    They lie about Money..they lie about war...they lie about Politicians..

    Everything is a lie c'ept Death and taxes...

    So M$ is calling anyone who nay says them with bad names ?

    This is news ?

    Technical types running XP/Linux clones know why Vista is the pits.

    Hope the next release isn't just Vista II.

  81. MikeWW

    Home yes, work no

    I have only been using Vista for a month or so and so far I like it on the whole. Having to delete a registry key to get my DVD drives to work again was extremely annoying but other than that I haven't had any real problems as yet. However, I only use Vista as a home user who doesn't play games (Command & Conquer is the only exception to this rule) and I paid for Ultimate not Home plus bought the highest spec possible for the memory, graphics card, etc. as my computers are replaced every 6 years on average!

    At work we have machines so old that even Win2K SP4 struggles but they are adequate for the level of user that needs them. New machines are only purchased for new starters (i.e. not replacing someone) or if absolutely critical to the business, CAD machines being the only possible ones to fit this criteria at the moment. All new machines purchased are Dell with a Vista restore disc, licence and sticker pack but XP factory installed. We know that we will have to seriously consider Vista at some stage but we are postponing that day as much as possible whilst ensuring we have the hardware and licences required.

    One of the major factors in this decision is staff training and support - we simply don't have the time to help with basic computer literacy as we do now and retrain everyone else on how to use Vista as well. Allied to that are some temperamental apps that we know how to install and configure on XP quickly now after a lot of hard-won experience and some legacy apps that my or not run on Vista but definitely do on XP.

    I sincerely hope that I get to use Vista in an enterprise environment soon so that I can form my own opinion on its actual worth but unless I change company that is highly unlikely.

  82. The Other Steve
    Flame

    @dick

    "Just change to f****** linux!! its miles ahead"

    Yeah, right, that's why it took me almost half a day to get wireless networking set up on one laptop, and about the same time to get the sound to work properly on another. Despite the fact that I'm a fucking genius and have been a nix user on and off for nearly fifteen years.

    Miles ahead, yeah. Fuck-wit.

  83. Nigel
    Thumb Down

    It isn't just techies who hate it

    About the least technical PC user I know decided to buy a new laptop. He didn't even know in advance that XP and Vista were different! He forked out well over a grand for a near state-of-the-art Toshiba with a fast Core-2, 2Gb RAM, and Vista.

    He shows up in my office, very unhappy, and asks why it is that his old laptop is faster than the new one? Faster to boot, faster to browse, faster to open Office docs, MUCH faster to copy gigabyte folders across the net (that's when it didn't just crap out. He's a keen photographer hence the big files).

    I "downgraded" it to XP and now he's a very happy bunny. I expect his next new laptop will be a Mac, unless Microsoft very publicly admit that Vista is ME2 and either release XP SP4 along with a fullsome grovelling apology, or actually come up with something better than both XP and Mac. Every pissed-off ripped-off customer is ultimately another ten-plus converts to Mac or Linux, yet Microsoft chalk it up as another sale and carry on taking the happy pills.

  84. zcat
    Boffin

    two versions of XP?

    This has always made me laugh. Back when MSFT were claiming they couldn't possibly have more than one flavour of XP, they were already selling at least five.. XP Home OEM, XP Home Retail, XP Pro OEM, XP Pro Retail and XP Pro VLK. I know this because whenever I have to reinstall someone's machine and they've lost the disks, I invariably find after getting two thirds through the install of XP Home OEM that the licence key they have on the box only works for XP Home Retail. Or vice-versa. And I haven't even had any experience with all the 64-bit versions yet.

  85. Tony Paulazzo
    Happy

    Don't need to downgrade, just tweak for speed...

    >why cant people simple express why they really think is bad about vista instead of making things up. thats just stupid childish fanboism..<

    Like XP before it also didn't do, a series of questions at installation on what the PC is to be used for and only the appropriate services run, with maybe a dual boot option for playing games running on minimum memory use - you know games, those applications that you don't really get on Macs or linux.

    OK, XP was more bloated than Win98, but there was more of a jump from DOS to windows than Vista is to XP. MS should have spent more time making it leaner and faster, utilising memory much more economically and while the transparent ui is nice was it written in Java or assembler? File copying should not have been released in the broken state it was and UAC should have been implemented better, more intelligently. Oh, and fix the damn search indexer.

    Services I disabled (from memory): Error reporting, UAC, secondary logon, remote access, smart card reader, firewall & Defender (use Bitdefenders), readyboost, remote registry (is this one even for real?), new hard drive install checker, the widgets side bar, search indexer (I know where my files are thanks), backup&restore - those were just the obvious ones. On my games desktop, not connected to the 'net it's even leaner.

    Comment: I've got Vista on my laptop and desktop gaming rig, and don't mind it personally - need to learn the ins & outs for my customer base anyway. When people ask me which is better I always tell them XP is faster and better for games, mostly, Vista is prettier, fine for office apps and more idiot proof. Mind you, for what most of my customers use their PC for (email, surfing and office), they could get away with a much older system running Win98SE.

    >I ended up selling my Vista Ultimate-loaded Dell and bought a MacBook Pro instead. I've just got totally fed-up with crashes, lock-ups and speed issues. Best decision I ever made...<

    Dell must be selling some substandard boxes then, my home made desktop and HP preinstalled laptop never (well, Mass Effect has argued with Vista DEP utility a couple of times), suffer from those problems. XP crashed a lot more on me than Vista does.

    >The wife's vista box is forever interupting all the obviously unimportant user stuff to phone home and dowload the latest fix, patch, bodge, DRM kludge etc from Redmond.<

    You can specify what time of day MS applies these things, and it's default setup is 3am in the morning - just once a day.

  86. Nigel
    Flame

    Linux on Laptops

    If you try to install Linux on a random laptop, it may well be a pain. The reason is nothing to do with Linux. It's that the laptop is constructed with components which in the worst case are not publicly documented at the hardware level necessary to write drivers, and which are available with Windows drivers only. A less bad case is that the information is available but not in advance, so that Linux drivers are forced to be a year or more behind the Windows ones written by the manufacturer during the chip's development.

    The main honorable exception is Intel. If you don't want to do loads of research before buying a laptop to run Linux, choose one with all-Intel chips (graphics, networking, audio), install an up-to-date Linux distribution such as Ubuntu or Fedora containing the latest Intel drivers, and it'll probably be painless.

    For Linux-bashers, this is not anything you can blame on Linux. It is purely the result of monopolistic practices by Microsoft and the chip manufacturers. In a perfect world they'd be slung in jail, and no PC-component chip would be permitted to be sold that had not made its programming information available to all interested parties in a free and open manner (such as publishing it on the net - hardly expensive to comply!)

    incidentally if Microsoft continue to push Vista, expect soon to see Vista-only hardware in laptops and some desktops to prevent "downgrading" to XP, and share the pain of the Linux community. I rather hope that chip manufacturers will be the next to be investigated and fined by the EC for witholding interface documentation!

  87. Nano nano
    Gates Halo

    Last but one ...

    @Tony Paulazzo:

    So you /could/ have Vista Penultimate©, ≡ XP !!

  88. Tom
    Stop

    Vista

    So all this buzz enticed me to install Vista Biz on my Windows Machine. I'm content to say it turned it into a giant box of total shit. I did a reformat/clear install to make sure none of those pesky upgrade issues happened like with Windows 95-present.

    Sure it started out fine, until the first alteration I did. I extended my desktop to my second monitor. The second monitor worked fine but my primary monitor pixelated as if a bad driver was installed, or it was showing a resolution the monitor couldn't handle. This all worked fine in XP. This is using the much hyped "50 bazillion drivers included in SP1." I use a pretty standard nVidia card as well. Rebooting didn't solve the issue per Microsoft's typical $200 an incident resolution, so now I can't see a damned thing. (I didn't actually call Microsoft).

    So now that my computer is a big useless shit box after about 15 minutes from the start of the install, I get to reinstall XP all over again for the second time then reinstall all my apps.

    Sure, I could go through the hassle of booting in safe mode, or whatever they call it these days, but I did that shit for 10 years. I'm a programmer and I just want my shit to work. Why do I never learn.

    I don't know if this is the cause, but Microsoft needs to get their coding back to the States and out of wherever the cheapest coders in the world reside. It's starting to show.

    I *am* enjoying my new iMac though. I'm running XP/Visual studio via VMWare and couldn't be happier. I turned into a convert about a month ago. For me, the transition was Trash-80 (1983) -> Commodore Vic 20 -> C64 -> Amiga -> MSDos 3.3 (1990) -> Windows -> OS X (2008). I'm not quite to the point where my vehicle is donning an Apple sticker, but I'm getting there.

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