back to article Windows 7 early promise: Passes the Vista test

Windows Vista is better than its reputation, but its reputation is pretty bad. During the press briefing for Windows 7 at Microsoft's Professional Developers Conference (PDC), corporate vice president for Windows product management Mike Nash insisted Microsoft had learned from the Vista experience. Judging by early Windows 7 …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Halo

    Polixh, scmolish

    Can it copy files at a reasonable speed?

    Does it lock out legitimate users?

    Does it spend so much resource on DRM that it can't spare any for running apps?

  2. James Dunmore
    Linux

    Looks just like KDE4

    Really, it does - the chunky icons on the taskbar, etc. (I know KDE is probably a rip off of windows/mac in the first place, but still), for once, microsoft, do something innovative.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Libraries

    so that would be... a bigger folder? A folder full of shortcuts?

    Anyway, sounds like MS have got their act more together with Windows 7. The big question is: Is it worth upgrading from XP for?

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    'ribbon' interface again - WTF?

    I hate that crap, it is the reason I recently bought office 2003 over 2007.

    If M$ want people to use windows 7 apps, they will have to provide a user interface not designed for the lowest intelligence of user.

    UAC made less nagging and dramatic = good, although I will still probably disable it TBFH.

    New taskbar = hideous, it has even less options than vista's

    Time to buy another copy of WinXP for future systems I think.

    Ah well, maybe it is time to see if I can finally go 100% Linux.

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  8. Richard
    Unhappy

    I'll believe it when I see it.

    "Making Windows quieter and less annoying"?

    If they even come _close_ to delivering on that promise, I may actually be impressed.

    I'm not holding my breath though.

    Still, it's all looking a lot more OSX to me, which can only be a good thing.

  9. Eugene Goodrich
    Unhappy

    Why not buy a Mac? :(

    I look forward to understanding why the previous taskbar was insufficient and the "new" steak-chunks taskbar (which looks just like something on a Mac I'm not very familiar with because I'm a Windows guy) is better.

  10. tim

    stick with xp

    i can't really see anything that would make me upgrade from XP.

    also: the writer says performance feels good, but his laptop isn't exactly low spec, is it?

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Gadgets on the desktop?

    Wasn't that called ActiveDesktop in IE4?

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Linux

    U can polish a turd

    But its still a DRM laden turd.

    Ballmer take note - its my computer and my software and I'll do with it as I please !

    Long Live Richard Stallman

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    Zzzzzz.....

    Wake me up when it's been released - wait, better make that after SP1 has been released.

  14. kevin biswas

    will it matter ?

    Vista might have killed off M$ as a serious contender before 7 hits the market........

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  17. Richard
    Paris Hilton

    Cleartype

    Please please please, tell me you can disable this properly and universally and also get rid of all those retrofitted clear type fonts.

    I for one cannot use any of them for the constant eyestrain they cause.

    Paris, coz she is easy on the eye.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Shudder

    "Unfortunately many of the new features in Windows 7 are absent from the build given to the press, presumably because they are not yet stable"

    ... or horribly broken.

    Who do they get to write these reviews anyway?

    They spend a nano second looking at the eye-candy and then feel qualified to big it up? It's cobblers if you ask me.

    W7 is almost certainly better than Vista (not difficult) but as other comments point out it a pile of DRM encumbered crap that nobody in their right mind should use.

    Repeat: don't use Windows. It's shit.

    Here endeth the lesson.

  19. Neil

    I like Vista

    Am I the only one that actually likes Vista? I installed it recently on a new (admittedly quite powerful) machine. It absolutely flies. Obviously XP would have, too, but I was half expecting it to drag a bit after the bad press.

    It's been rock-solid and I love the Aero interface. All my hardware worked except my Webcam, but that's Logitech's fault for not providing a driver. Even better was my USB TV tuner... under XP it was a pig to install the drivers and the supplied software was crap. With Vista I plugged it in, Vista went off to the internet and found some drivers, installed them and it all just worked with zero effort from me. And the Media Centre stuff is way better than the bundled stuff I had to use on XP.

    Seems to me that people bash Vista just to join in - I think it's pretty good.

  20. Jason Togneri
    Stop

    @ James Dunmore

    "for once, microsoft, do something innovative"

    What, you mean like the whole Start button paradigm which defined a whole generation of operating systems (including most GUI/WIMP applications on Linux)? Maybe you're just so used to it now you've forgotten whose it was. No, I'm not pro-Microsoft, but I am anti-moron.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Linux

    So theres........

    ..... nothing new then?

    I've had all of that functionality for about a year now with Kubuntu

    The biggest laugh of all is that its all running quiet happily on a 1.7 GHz single core with 1G of RAM.

  22. blackworx

    @ Brent

    My sentiments exactly. Thank you for saving me the typing.

    And again: "...whereas Vista was two steps forward and one step back from Windows XP, there should be no downside to Windows 7 over Windows Vista."

    In what way did you think you'd not get roasted for that Tim? "Vista was two steps forward and one step back"?! Sounds like someone's bought the pamphletspeak. "...there /should/ be no downside"? Blech!

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Joke

    (untitled)

    >it's more polished than Vista

    So what method did they use? I reckon you need to either dehydrate, laminate or, more likely, freeze a turd before you can polish it, but I'm not sure how that applies in software terms.

    Then again, if they took *all* the shit out of Vista, we'd be left with, CP/M <cough, sorry> ^H^H^H^H DOS.

    Oh well, we all knew Vista was little more than a stop-gap release of a fundamentally buggy product designed to do nothing more than get the MS marketing drones off the hook foe promising an OS 3 years before it was ready. Let's hope MS have learnt from that debacle and coded this one better (i.e. without DRM, Copying bugs, User access designed by failblog etc).

    Cue comments about waiting for service pack 3 as usual ;-)

  24. Columbus
    Jobs Halo

    insanely ungreat

    I will stick with my Mac & Win XP thanks, How about Microsoft actually inventing a GUI which is innovative and actually works? It would be nice if Apple could have a little competition, MacOS 10.5 is becoming a little un - intuitive in places now.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    misc.

    "they should put a real engineering team in charge, the way they did on Windows NT" You mean the team that decided that USB support shouldn't be included, even though it was even available in Win 95B?

    Other than that, it looks like what others have said:

    -anything ought to run pretty good on the hardware it was tested on, if the specs are accurate.

    -ripoff of some of the features that have been available on the Linux desktop for some time.

    -the jump lists are only going to be as good as the coders' efforts (like any software is)

    -If it's DRM'd to death, what rational person would want it?

    -It better be backward-compatible with more than just Vista.

    -Hopefully the ability to revert to a "classic" Windows taskbar and/or look is included.

  26. jim

    they'll never get it

    So it's right on schedule to become the big bomb that everyone is predicting.

    "Chunky icons".

    UAC and those endless 'notifications' need to GO AWAY, not be 'configurable' i.e. even more complicated than it is now. People who can't cope with that cr@p today won't be figuring out how to "change their notification settings".

    MS absolutely cannot grasp that the market wants less OS, not more.

  27. Jay
    Coat

    Vista bashing...

    seems to be the "in" sport in IT at the minute. Wonder if any of the partakers have actually tried to use the OS instead of just reading what everybody else has whinged about. I'm no fanboi but I've used Vista at work since release, yes it was terrible to start with but now is a usable OS. Wouldn't want to upgrade all my work machines yet (really don't want to start babysitting idiot users for 6 months who can't figure out the "My" has been removed from My Computer) but for me at work and home Vista is more than usuable on hardware thats not really that current. I use ubuntu too for the things I want to use it for but for playing games, administring my AD domain and server 2008 infrastructure i'm a happy bunny.

    Ah well mines the flameproof number with the RAM in the pocket.....

  28. Andy Nugent

    RE: I like Vista

    Neil, I sort of agree with you, in that Windows Vista on my my HTPC works fine. It plays videos, it records TV, etc.

    On the other hand, I tried using it as a development machine, and after you've had to wait several hours to delete an old checkout from source control, you're soon reaching for the XP installation CDs.

  29. Mad Hacker
    Dead Vulture

    Want to be invited to future events eh?

    Wow, pretty flattering article. Did we regret pissing off Steve Jobs so much http://www.reghardware.co.uk/2007/09/13/rh_edblog_2/ that now we will tow the line with vendors?

    Seriously, ok, on that hardware Vista would shine too. Maybe it's time Windows dropped all backward compatibility and just came out with something that worked? It really seems their hands are tied trying to make sure Lotus 123 (circa 2002) still runs under Windows.

    Anyway, I do find it interesting that the 2009 release of OS X will mostly be an internal/speed improvement releases as will the 2009-2010 release of Windows.

  30. Nick Woodson
    Thumb Down

    Be Serious

    Jesus, Allah and Moses.....a Dell XPS? I have a fleet of barely year-old GX745s in my hospital that won't run Vista......you have gotta be kidding with that test.

    What I get from this is that it's great for a consumer looking for a Linux-like or Mac-like user experience that is still Microsoft. For those of us in enterprise-land.....where's the benefit? Reduced TCO? Improved reliability? How about the ability to NOT have to have most of our apps rewritten.....at our expense? Even if the OS is ACTUALLY improved...someone explain what's in it for me?

    It looks like we're either going to have to scare up the cash for a lot of new software or stick to the Win2k (God help me)/WinXP mixed environment we have and finish the move (yes....we're behind the times as it is) to XP desktops. Civil service bites......tax increases anyone? Gotta pay Billy G.

  31. Pink Duck
    IT Angle

    Notepad flicker?

    Does notepad still flicker its background when its resized?

  32. KB
    Happy

    Vista is okay

    I'm another Vista fan. Well, not exactly "fan", but it's a perfectly good operating system to use.

    I suspect part of my acceptance is just that I bought a new PC with Vista pre-installed, so everything just worked out of the box. I've had no driver problems to speak of - my existing printer and scanner worked fine - and since SP1 cleared up the file copying problem, everything has functioned as it should.

    The sole exception to my appreciation of Vista is UAC - it really shouldn't be necessary to nag the user quite so often in the course of "normal" use of the PC. Fine, if I'm installing new hardware or updating drivers but I don't need my operating system to check with me repeatedly whether I really, really meant to do something every time I install or run a new program as administrator.

  33. Peter Kay

    4.6GHz? give me a break...

    I have Vista x64, and shock - I actually *like* it. It's faster and less crufty than XP on the same hardware, once you get used to its different way of doing things (and the slow boot times..).

    However, that's on a 1.8GHz Core2Duo with 4GB RAM. x64 Vista needs a bare minimum of 2GB, and preferably 3-4 to run well. 32 bit needs about 500MB less, AIUI.

    So, no bloody surprise that on a system over twice as fast as mine Windows 7 is quite speedy. Make it faster than XP on a 2GHz pentium 4 with half a gig of memory and I'll be vaguely impressed. I'd also like it if the event log didn't fill up with events telling me that two 7600GTs aren't fast enough to handle 30MB of display RAM and whatever transparency they have on top.

    So far, I'm underwhelmed. Vista can already stick gadgets on the desktop; it's merely convenient to dock them to the sidebar sometimes.

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Halo

    So the real question is...

    Will MS give Vista users a free upgrade to Win7 or not?

  35. Eduard Coli
    Gates Horns

    Uh huh

    We've heard the more polished bit before.

    The Longhorn demo was nice too, then was dropped in favor of what was later called Vista.

    So unless they are going to give away an upgrade for free does M$ really expect wonks to pay twice for what is a M$ mistake?

    It doesn't matter as even Win-zealots are starting to look at Ubuntu and even OSX.

  36. Albert Hall

    What the man said...

    According to the sales guy who runs that outfit this is Vista too.

    There you have it then... Windos 7 (NT6.5?) = Vista Too

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Vista is quite all right

    If you're looking to use your computer rather than get religious about it, Vista works just fine. My ThinkPad X61 with 3GB runs it very well, and I don't think I have ever had an OS crash in the year and a half I have run Vista. And all my hardware and software works, apart slight flakiness in Acrobat 7 (yeah, time to upgrade that one). I wouldn't go back to XP ...

  38. Matthew
    Coat

    I like vista too.

    Nothing too wrong with it. I did wait until I bought a quad core to run it on though :) But it runs on a lower spec'd laptop just fine too.

    Don't have a problem with the UAC either. It pops up once in a while when installing stuff, or tweaking some settings, but that's about it.

    On linux you have to sudo, su, use yast, or similar ALL require passwords...

    On my mac you have to type the password in when installing stuff tweaking hardware...

    So pretty much the same on all platforms.

    The other thing people berate MS for is the big patches stroke service packs... Well the first thing my shiny new mac did when I switched on was download 480MB of patches, and something similar has happened with all the linux machines I've run in vmware... suse, ubuntu, mandrake.

    Oh, and software compatibility.... Some ancient language learning software I had win 95 era... ran fine on Vista... tried the mac version on my mac..... no such luck... That's what happens when you change APIs and platforms all the time.

    Oh and lastly... hardware support... My Uber multifunction printer works fine with Vista, sort of works with MAC but their configuration GUI is pants... and linux..... well you can forget using the very useful multi-sheet double sided auto scanner.

    I'll fetch my coat.

  39. Steve

    Interesting....

    Agree with Neil in that there's not actual anything wrong with Vista.

    The problems that "plaged" it at launch were drivers and application compatibiltiy. I hasten to add that the apps that didn't work on Vista were normally internally developed apps that don't adhere to any type of development standard - or more commonly the apps that "had" to run with administrator rights as they wrote to the root of C: or something equally retarded.

    Mid to late 2007 the driver problems were generally resolved with 3rd parties and manufactures finally pulling their fingers out.

    Windows 7 will be Vista R2. Same security, same permissions, very similar GUI, same development guidelines.

    The difference will be that new drivers won't be required and people are used to UAC!

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A few questions.

    Will I be able to open in a new window where it's not over the current one?

    Will closing windows force the close for the next window to be somewhere else?

    Will we have those stupid menus that don't give you all the options?

    Will it look like a standard windows 2000 install, or will it treat me like I'm some kind of modern art museum fetishist?

    Will it hang?

    Will it index everything, and combine some stupid search that means I don't know where I'm looking for what. Will I be able to switch all this off, before it installs itself.

    Will it have a find in files that works like the visual studio one? I.e. It starts at a root folder, and actually looks in only the files you tell it to, for the stuff you want, and only when you want.

    Will it be faster than XP by miles?

    Will I be able to switch off all the stupid shit that "Business development consultants" think I want?

    Will it be my machine, rather than theirs to tell it what to run, and when?

    Or will it just be more of the stupid, arthouse gimmicky crap that Microsoft have given us for the last three years?

    No?

    So I'd like...

    Firewall,

    Web Browser,

    Email Client, Server, and Web Server.

    And to be able to buy a laptop without Vista pre-installed, but with XP.

  41. John PM Chappell
    Gates Horns

    Yes, Neil, you probably are.

    Rock soild? Doing what exactly? Try something challenging. Also, it's not Logitech's fault at all; if the hardware predates Vista (likely) it really ought to have drivers provided by MS already, since they are the one who changed the underpinning of the "Windows" spec. I'm pretty sure it has XP drivers, aye? Media Centre goes right back to XP (and I hate it for the most part but horses for courses) and I've never had any trouble installing drivers for USB devices, in fact I have a USB TV Tuner of my own, it worked when I plugged it in and the supplied software was ~okay~ but I all I really want is for it to work, not eye-candy.

    Bash Vista to join in? No... we just have experience stripping it from machines beacuse relatively old, well supported, best-selling hardware is not supported on Vista and short of writing our own drivers, won't be, probably. When you cannot use a 'rock solid' printer/scanner combo because Vista doesn't know what to do with it, the eye-candy starts to look... well, tacky and the crap functionality comes to the fore.

  42. Kevin Crisp
    Thumb Down

    @Neil

    Yep.

  43. frymaster

    Re: I like vista

    Agreed. The "one step back" comment is presumably because it apparently needs a higher minimum amount of RAM to work well. I say apparently because my computer is almost 2 years old, and so already has 2 gigs of RAM.

    I used XP(because that's what I had a licence for) until about 6 months ago. On my hardware it is a helluva lot more stable, and at leat as fast, as XP, and because of the improvements it is for all intents and purposes faster, as things are easier to do.

    re: DRM. Yes, microsoft could take out DRM components. There's 2 main things - the stuff for ensuring your copy of vista is legit(which I've only had trouble with on XP, ironically, and not for about 2 and a half years) which is hardly a major problem*, and the stuff for playing protected content. So if you take it out, you can't _play_ said content. I refer moaners to Linus Torvalds' infamous comments on this subject, and what a dumb idea restricting the ability to play such content is.

    *assuming your copy is, of course, legit. Anyone with a cracked copy who moans about anti-cracking measures warrants nothing but derision

  44. Jon Brindley

    WinFS

    Will WinFS be in this one, or did they just scrap it altogether when it went belly-up during the Vista re-writes?

    ... Which icon shows my feelings of "meh"?

  45. Sean Gray
    Stop

    @I like Vista

    I completely agree. I've used Vista for a while now, and it did have some issues initially (though to be fair, these were mostly due to lazy manufacturers not producing drivers), it's much more stable now than XP ever was for me and runs nice and fast (my machine isn't all that great, either).

    I think that most people just complain about Vista because it's fashionable, much as it's fashionable to bash Microsoft for whatever they do. (Example: Linux requests that you enter a root password whenever you want to make changes to the system and everybody hails it as a brilliant security feature. Vista adds the exact same feature and everybody shouts that it's a horrible waste of time and Microsoft are stupid for doing it).

    It'd just be nice if people were slightly more informed about it so that their complaints didn't sound so stupid.

  46. scotchbonnet
    Happy

    Re: I Like Vista

    Neil, my experience with Vista has been similar to yours. I built a nice machine a while back - 3GHz Core2Duo, 4Gb fast RAM, twin Nvidia Geoforce 8800 GTS video in SLI config, 1Tb drive space. I loaded Vista Business on it as well as Linux and I've been very happy with how the whole setup operates.

    I had some stability problems at first - the machine kept crashing. I thought that it might be Vista. Through a little detective work, however, I traced the problem back to some unset memory array settings on the mobo setup panel. I chased down the appropriate settings from the memory manufacturer and entered them into the mobo setup programme and haven't had a single crash since - and that's been over a year. I'd never seen these settings before and when I installed the memory during construction I only entered the three settings that I was used to having control over.

    There are some things about Vista that I don't like, just as there are some things about OSX, and Linux that I don't like. But overall, it's been very stable and very useful for me. After sorting out the memory settings (which had nothing to do with Vista) I've no real substantive complaints.

  47. Stu
    Paris Hilton

    Jeez.

    Do you think any of the M$ employees would have made it out of the PDC alive if W7 was demoed slower than Vista!? Its still in waaay back b3ta, and as a result, is far off the true representation of the final OS.

    It wouldn't surprise me one bit if the system were built with bits and pieces switched off, and carefuly set up, a mock up if you will.

    I fail to see how any of the statements made in this article relate in ANY way to what W7 will eventually become. Remember, they're still talking about building in Aero, and each and every one of those bloatware features that are in Vista, PLUS multitouch and lots of other bits and pieces, and this sh*t don't come fer free.

    The only changes worthy of note in this article should have been made about kernel level changes really responsible for the supposed speed-up. But of course this wouldn't have made for a particularly interesting read, the release is more about the pretty visuals of course than real substance, and is clearly too much for your average consumer anyway.

    Back in IT Forum '07, a chap called Mark Russinovich did a seminar on the Vista changes which supposedly improved on CPU process management, memory/cache allocation techniques, and a whole lot more kernel level changes, all of which seem to have simply been overcome by Microsoft's art department, or just didn't help at all.

    Windows is like Paris hilton, pretty on the outside (just), vain, shallow, money (read CPU power or memory) hungry on the inside.

  48. Neil Cooper
    Unhappy

    Expert mode

    They need to have a user-selectable "expert" mode so that users who say they are experts don't get all the crap that vista introduced like extra warnings for the simp[lest of operations like the multiple braindead dialogs you have to OK multiple times when you copy/merge folders.

    ...and whats up with Vista leaving an empty version of the folder behind when you move a folder somewhere else that has a folder with the same name already? Thats just f****'d up.

  49. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge
    Flame

    WOW

    "Dell XPS M1339, Core 2 Duo 2.3Ghz, with 3GB RAM"

    So with that and Windows 7 they've got back to where they were with Windows 95 on a 486 top-ender - Tell me; how am I meant to be impressed ?

    Well not quite back to Win95; there will still be tons of "my first computer" eye-candy shite that won't go away when "Classic Theme" is selected.

  50. Peyton

    Fool me once...

    shame on you. Fool me twice - erm, three times - no wait, hmmm... well anyway, fool me more than once, shame on me 8)

    I've heard this story too many times, so I think I'll sit this one out - call me when Windows 8 is released, but only if 7 manages to be a success.

  51. Terry
    Gates Horns

    Re: Brent Gardner

    Damn man, I was going to take apart this disgusting piece of tripe passing itself off as a review, but you already did it. Probably better than I could have done.

    REG: Next time send Brent! Your guy is a complete wanker.

    One bit you can't say enough: Windows 7 will be at best an incremental improvement on the "polished turd" of vista because it's the SAME CODE BASE!!! Really people, if you take crap code that was architected by imbeciles to be used by fools.... what do you expect? M$ blamed the device manufacturers. Sorry boys, it's your API. You decided to not support the XP drivers. Just admit it, catastrophic incompetence (and of course DRM) killed vista. It will kill windows 7 too. Of course that's a good thing and a wonderful monument to the free market vs corporate hubris.

  52. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @AC

    If M$ want people to use windows 7 apps, they will have to provide a user interface not designed for the lowest intelligence of user..

    Are you serious ?? If the didnt do that that they would wipe outatleast %25 of thier base

    Does it spend so much resource on DRM that it can't spare any for running apps?

    Have you used VIsta ?? 2.5 gigs of ram and an athlon 4400 runs fine. Only App I have issues with is outlook. But out look runs like crap on xp too

  53. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The question that always confuses me...

    ...is why people love XP so much. I thought it was so good, it persuaded me to switch to OSX!

  54. Terry
    Alert

    Start Button

    James, I could be wrong, but I believe the Start button first shipped on OS/2.

    It seems universally accepted that DOS was .... ah.... "acquired" NT (generally considered a high point for microsoft) was significantly a rip off of OS/2 So much so that OS/2 programs would run on NT. Although the multiple command stack on NT was a HUGE improvement over OS/2.

    Strangely enough Vista may be the first ORIGINAL OS code base Microsoft has EVER created.

    Ah, little known trivia......

  55. Chika
    Coat

    @James Dunmore

    Looks like KDE4? I've used KDE4 (and immediately moved back to KDE3.5, I might add). Actually, the screenshot looked a lot more like RISC OS!

  56. Lee
    IT Angle

    XPS 1339?

    Bummer, I've only got the 1330 .... ;-)

    Vista is great. Really. But that's on a PC with drivers and it's not an upgrade - and I think that's key.

    At work, I've recommended not updating to Vista yet because I don't see any true benefits.

    Windows 7 - I think take it or leave it; we had the naysayers about XP many years ago - so what's new?

  57. sam

    rip off linux features? yes please

    Microsoft make polished products compared to the opensource comunity. Its invevitable.

    Coders dont like polishing a product. Its much more fun to break new ground, or add features that make a big difference, than perfecting the features you aready have.

    So if microsoft want to take ideas someone else has done but not copyrighted, I for one will buy thier product.

    *Multiple desktops (linux for years)

    *Access to the shell, with a real scripting parser for power users

    *configuration in text files as well as GUIs so you can see the settings all in one place

    *real virtual file systems

    *publisise internal interfaces so that developers can use them. wine will just reverse engineer them anyway, but think what friendly developers could do

    *real user level security with forced user level access and sudo

    I think we can all list some stuff. Microsoft could easily put it in the next windows.

    But would any of you guys object?

  58. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

    @AC re. NT and USB

    I think that you will find that NT predates Win95 by some years (even NT4 was about the same time as Win95, so predates OSR2).

    Do you remember USB on Win95OSR2? Yes USB was in the OS, but you had to load 'drivers' for each device (it did not understand device families, so needed the USB ID for the device to be added), so plugging in a new memory stick or printer required you to put the driver disk in before you could use it.

    I added USB support using vendor supplied OS extensions to NT4 on both Compaq and Dell PCs. Was not complex, and worked at least as well as in Win95OSR2.

  59. John

    I like vista too

    It has provided me with no end of amusement over the last few years. All the comment's on el reg et el. slating it and bashing it have made me laugh. I've been Linux since '99 so I pretty much missed out on XP as well. Back then everyone was bitching about XP and now they sing it's praises, which makes me laugh as well. XP is still up there in the "most insecure OS of all time" league.

    Seriously though, can MS do anything without getting a good bashing nowadays? I kinda feel that they're damned if they do, damned if they don't. I also feel that the user is screwed regardless but hey, Win7 could be really really good, we may all fall in love with their azure cloud thingy and drop flash for silverlight.......maybe.

    Ho hum, ubuntu 8.10 out on Thursday :)

  60. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    A title is required

    "No, I'm not pro-Microsoft, but I am anti-moron."

    You sir, win the interwebs.

  61. CTG
    Pirate

    @Terry

    No, NT was not a rip-off of OS/2, it was a rip-off of VMS. Windows NT (WNT) = VMS in the way that HAL = IBM. It was quite a while before they came up with New Technology as the expansion of NT.

    And what's with all these people saying they love Vista? It is horrible. XP wasn't quite bad enough to make me switch to linux, but after 2 months of using Vista I had had enough and installed Ubuntu. Never going back now.

  62. Peter Gathercole Silver badge
    Linux

    With regard to Vista

    OK, we all know that Vista Premium or above works OK when installed from scratch on a contemporary PC. I would hope that if a hardware vendor expecting to sell a system with Vista would spec. the hardware out properly to give a good user experience.

    Where I have a problem is them trying very hard to quash support for the perfectly usable 3-4 year old systems that still run XP very well, but do not have the oomph for Vista. Are Microsoft in league with the hardware manufacturers?

    I tend to not dump systems that still work, so have three systems running XP on AMD and Intel processors between 1 and 2 GHz and using 256-512MB of memory and modest AGP graphics cards. The kids use them for their homework. So, I buy a new HP printer, and find that I cannot load the drivers on an XP system anymore, even though the printer used to have an XP driver disk (I actually have two of the same printer). The reason? Microsoft have forced other vendors to withdraw drivers that were designed for XP using clauses in their Windows licensing agreement. HP even said as much. They do not carry the drivers on their support website, and provided a helpful sheet of paper with the printer saying that I should keep the XP driver disk safe (the one with my earlier purchase) as HP would not be able to provide the driver after a certain date.

    Not sure how the climbdown over XP sales for UMPCs have affected this.

    Also, how long are other software vendors going to be able to produce AV, firewall, and other required pieces of software that rely on XP libraries and DLLs. I'm sure that when Microsoft actually decide to kill off XP for good, they will attempt to make all necessary utility software writers to dump XP as well using similar clauses.

    I understand that Microsoft may not want to offer full support for older OS releases, as they have a business to run, and providing support forever is just not profitable (but I bet the US military get 10 years support from product withdrawal). But to try to get other businesses to drop support just to make users replace usable computers is just wrong.

    Generally, my kids want Windows (one of my sons was very upset the other week because I do not have MS Office to allow him to continue some school work at home), even though I am a committed Linux advocate. Microsoft are just using their dominant position unfairly where ever they can. I know I can get a student edition of Office, but that is still £85 or so. Open Office is free, so why don't schools use it? Because Schools can buy one copy of Office, and then use it on as many systems as they want (and teacher's own PCs as well) without extra payment, effectively free. What chance have other software vendors got?

    Anyway, rant off.

  63. Mark Silver badge

    Too little, too late

    UI looks gash as well.

  64. Anonymous Coward
    Happy

    so where is the computer

    Seems to me that all we do is to look at the tits and the colour of the arse.

    The desktops are getting more and more alike, and we tend to forget there is more to it.

    Where is the scripting, where is the ability to fight and prevent viruses.

    Where did aspects of running programms disappear.

    It is like we, - "you" started to look at cars compleatly ignoring the fact that they are supposed to be cars.

    Do you like your new car,- yes, certaily it has the superb finnish, and with service pack five I can add wheels.

    Perhaps we should accept the fact that computing and the commodity stuff are more and more wildly different things.

    There are those who like to say that cellphones are more and more like computers.

    Perhaps "computers" are in fact more and more like "cellphones" without the ability to be cellphones.

    So where did the computer dissapear.

    Perhaps among the 90% in the top500 supercomputers running Linux.

    Perhaps where the size of tits and the colour of the arse does not matter.

  65. tardigrade

    Man that looks a LOT like KDE!

    I don't think that's going to work. They could at least have copied Gnome instead,

  66. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Someone tell Microsoft DRM is dead

    How about letting the O/S be neutral and leave DRM out of the equation. It's already cost them zillions in sales and manhours!

  67. Benjamin Ford

    Well I doubt I'll be using it

    3Gb of RAM?

    I work in a school, and to be honest, it will be about 3 years before I get rid of all the 2Ghz, 512Mb machines.

    XP will be around here for a long time!

  68. Evil Graham
    Happy

    @Jason Togneri - Start Button

    You, sir, have just written the most humorous thing I have ever read on the interweb:

    "the whole Start button paradigm which defined a whole generation of operating systems"

    Yep, I reckon that puts Bill Gates right up there with Doug Engelbart. A true visionary.

    Sarcasm aside, you've obviously never enjoyed the delicious irony of the bit where you're hand-holding a raw computer newbie through their first steps of computer use and they ask you how to switch it off.

    "Er ... you press the Start button and then ..."

    "The Start button? Really?"

    "Yes, really"

  69. Rolf Howarth
    Thumb Down

    Device Stage

    "device vendors can customize what happens on connection... links can be advertising for add-ons and supplies...populated via a Windows metadata service, which means it can be updated at any time"

    Oh joy. I can no longer decide I want to open up a folder on my camera's memory stick and copy the images off myself, but will be forced to use the camera vendor's crappy software. And they can update it at any time, whether I want them to or not, with even more crappy later versions. I can't wait.

  70. John
    Stop

    is this really a good idea?

    "device vendors can customize what happens on connection"

    would you like to borrow my usb stick......

  71. Joe Harrison
    Black Helicopters

    Search

    I Swear that those images are just some modded vista install, and also, it has GOT TO be vista, as i can't remember the last time i had to "Search Control Panel"... They're right, i can't read 30-ish icons without getting lost, oh, wait... that's the "Classic View"

    I think it's time for Microsoft to splice apart the computing world: there's your school-age chav, and then there's the kid with the thick glasses...

    Microsoft needs to add an option for two different styles of chrome...

    -The dumbed down version, for people who wonder what C:\Users could be

    -An NT-like version, where everything is just in a Hierarchy, and we can find it, on our own, and install things without being asked if we would like a cookie... but with the art museum stuff

  72. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Are you on acid?

    In what unreality was Vista anything but a step or five BACK from XP?

  73. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Odd

    Let me get this straight. You ran a crapware free, customised build of windows 7 on a high specification machine, handed to you by MS, and the experience was good?

    I think under those circumstances, even Windows ME would look good.

    Call me when something even close to the experience end users will have is available.

  74. Ian

    I'll stick with Vista thanks.

    No sidebar? Annoyingly big taskbar icons? Stuff that, sounds awful.

  75. Craig Wallace

    no downside to Windows 7 over Windows Vista

    fair enough, but seeing as most people never bothered with vista, wouldn't a comparison of Windows 7 and XP make more sense? If Windows 7 is just as annoying to use as Vista, compared to XP, then people still won't move from XP. Especially as they will have had 3 or 4 service packs by then, and by nice and stable.

  76. Richard

    @evil Graham

    <Quote>

    "Er ... you press the Start button and then ..."

    "The Start button? Really?"

    "Yes, really

    </Quote>

    I remember having the same conversation with an ipod user when i asked them how to turn it off. "... you press the play button??!?!?!?!" :)

  77. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    Bashing vista because it's fashionable?

    Sorry but that's bollocks!

    I bash vista because I am constantly reminded of it's usefulness by having 4 machines at home, one of which is encumbered by vista, I also have an XP Pro machine, an xp 64 machine and a madriva 2008 machine.

    and at work I am a Software Engineer (not the mad eup kind but one with an accredited Engineering degree) and am responsible for design and implementation of ridiculously expensive industry software.

    I notice that most (yes I am sure there are exceptions) of the vista lovers seem to be home users with a few network admins thrown in.

    Well I am happy for you that your experience has been pleasant, but for me Vista and no doubt Win7, just continue MS journey away from the OS as a platform to run useful applications upon, towards a mobile phone interface with the applications included.

    Someone asked why ppl love XP so much? Because finally with modern hardware it actually performs at a speed I want it to. It is only just achieving the sort of response times I am looking for in an OS on a quad core machine.

    Vista IS slow, just as with XP, it by default has too many processes running in the background. I personally don't want to upgrade my hardware and software to achieve the same or less performance than I had previously - with the added overhead of a completely re-arranged gui to learn.

    I personally find the interface is candy for candy's sake rather than adding much that's actually useful. Unlike say the linux desktop which without compiz is useful and with compiz looks beautiful but is STILL useful - much more useful than Aero

    But the thing that really sticks in my throat with MS is their marketing strategy. With the NT4 to win2k switch and the 2k to XP switch they were smart enough to expect a good deal of inertia from the business community (who were by far their biggest customers).

    But now there are millions more home users. Then the development of Vista took a lot longer than they expected. Suddenly MS need to accelerate the expected ROI.

    MS have been trying to bully us all into the Vista experience through marketing and support (or lack of) strategies.

    Businesses aren't particularly keen on having their investments in technology wiped out on the whim of MS. Just because they have a new OS, doesn't mean we should all have to instantly upgrade all our hardware, then re-acquire new versions of all the apps and utilities we use to get work done.

    So since we are reluctant to spend literally millions to support MS' new OS we aren't particularly keen on spending money and effort writing software for an OS that we can't afford to switch to, and might not be able to sell due to most of our clients also not having the money or inclination to 'upgrade' all their systems to Vista.

    In addition the total lies coming out of the MS marketing machine make me sick "Vista is a a success!" "Millions upgrade to Vista". We all know why they don't publish statistics for how many of those vista licenses have excersised the downgrade to XP option. Or all the pre-installed licenses where home users have wiped the install and popped in their XP disk.

    The end result is that any business has to ask itself if it can afford to spend mega bucks on software from a company which completely disregards the capex and opex investments of its customers.

    All of this is ignoring Microsofts weasely habit of ignoring all standards and are constantly trying to push proprietary extensions to languages and protocols to ensure a lack of interoperability and vendor lock-in.

    MS are the worst kind of business scum and if you can find an alternative you should.

    While it is tedious to learn a new gui and find apps and utilities to replace the current set you use (and in turn to learn how to use them). XP users are going to have to do that sooner or later.

    Why not spend that time and effort learning something other than microsoft's evilware?

  78. Glyn
    Stop

    @ Sean Gray

    "It'd just be nice if people were slightly more informed about it so that their complaints didn't sound so stupid."

    Informed in what way?

    Using Vista at work everyday has me cursing everyday. As I've said before, it's the UI that I hate in both it's Aero and Classic incarnations.

  79. Vincent
    Paris Hilton

    Not a fan of the GUI

    I use Vista and i'm starting to dislike the Aero interface. Also, i'm not a big fan of the whole Ribbon thing either. I've used Office 07 to get used to it, but I don't know if i'd be willing to put up with it in most applications.

    Personally, i'd like to see the return of the Media Centre theme that came with Windows XP: Media Centre Edition. I believe it was called Energy Blue or something?

    Paris because she's also easy to use.

  80. Mike Crawshaw

    No downside over Vista?

    Yeah, but, for anything more than surfing the interwebs & looking at pretty shinies, I've found that an abacus, pen & notepad has no downside over Vista.

    Vista bears almost no relation to the original promos, so when Windows 7 comes out, I'll have play on someone else's system - trying the things I care about - before I even think about it. And as for the Ribbon... well, I can get Office 2k7 for free, but paid for 2k3 instead, I dislike the UI that much.

  81. slack

    Meh

    Yeah, Vista was the reason that my wife decided to buy a MacBook, even though she is computer phobic.

    A year down the road I do most of my stuff on a Mac instead of my beloved Slackware Thinkpad and we are budgeting to move all of our small business to Apple next financial year. The Mrs has upgraded to a MacBook Pro and I'm pretty sure she'd kill me if I tried to give her a Windows powered machine again.

    MS blew it with Vista, and I cannot see W7 providing any reason to reconsider our decisions. The office server runs off a Slackware laptop with very low specs, but it chugs along and does the job. For free.

    /Paris coz she makes my no-no parts go ooooh.

  82. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    @Richard

    "I remember having the same conversation with an ipod user when i asked them how to turn it off. "... you press the play button??!?!?!?!" :)"

    Erm, there are only five physical buttons on a classic iPod. Which one would you suggest Apple used?

    By contrast it would have been dead easy for M$ to put a shutdown icon next to the start button. :-P

  83. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why bother?

    There's no point in this really, it offers nothing over XP.

    I'll eventually be forced into upgrading (as to XP from 98) when a game comes out only on 7.

    It's sickening, I'd use Linux if it weren't for gaming.

    Hmm.. perhaps a mac... no... no.. that way madness lies....

  84. Colin Wilson
    Linux

    Windows 7 short review (and comment)

    F*ck me it's ugly, and just like Vista, *I* won't be moving to it.

    Lets see a review based on an install as-it-is-now on typical user / business hardware - you could start by using a machine of similar spec to the most common hardware reported by Steam (which in itself is probably skewed towards a higher spec than normal).

    Mine's the one with the latest Ubuntu beta in the pocket.

  85. Anonymous Coward
    Coat

    passes vista test

    if its better than vista, that cant be saying much then.

  86. Hywel Thomas

    @Richard

    You don't press the 'play' button to switch off an iPod. You press the 'Play/Pause' button to pause the song and the iPod switches itself off. Th button has both symbols on it.

    So when a newbie asks "how do I switch it off', the answer is "just pause the song and it'll switch itself off automatically after a minute".

    This is entirely different from shutting down by clicking on the start button. In fact, it's a good example of how well Apple thinks things through. There is no need for an on/off button, so there isn't one. Just as there isn't one on most tape players (note also that on many a ghetto blaster, 'off' is 'tape/off' : same thing)

  87. Inachu
    Flame

    Hmmm

    I hope it is backward compatible with DOS.

  88. Stuart Elliott
    Thumb Down

    There is no sign of Windows...

    ... becoming deeply ribbon-driven in this preview.

    Thank the gods for that, I bloody hate the damned ribbon, it's made using Office and AutoCAD harder, for existing users, I have more calls from my users about where something is on the ribbon, when it used to be on the Tools menu, for example, than I care for.

    The menus worked, give us the option to go back to them for crying out loud.

  89. Geoff May

    @Terry about Start Button in OS/2

    Dunno about pre-v2 versions but v2.0 to v2.2 and v3.0 didn't have a "Start Button".

    If I remember correctly, you could shut down from the command line or C-A-D and select shutdown. There might have been a shut down select off the right-click menu from the desk top but it was over 10 years ago since I used OS/2 that I cannot remember.

    <sigh> still miss that OpSys.

  90. David Wilkinson
    Thumb Down

    re liking vista

    I loved a lot of feature in Vista, but after struggling with it for 9 months I had to face the harsh reality that it just couldn't meet my needs. (sounds like a bad relationship heh)

    The basic stuff worked, beyond that everything was buggy.

    I routinely switch from a dual monitor display to one monitor and one HDTV, and 50% of the time attempting this would result in a loss of any usable display and require 30 min to recover.

    My eSata enclosure wouldn't hotswap, so I was forced to use USB 2.0.

    My sound card never worked 100%. The microphone would never mute, it would always be replayed over the speakers.

    Vista would crash whenever I tried to use 2 pass DivX Encoding ......

    File transfers would slow for no apparent reason ....

    And about a software I absolutely had to use, simply wouldn't run on Vista. I had to run Windows XP in a Virtual Machine ...

    The only reason I stuck with Vista for so long was I wanted to be familiar with it so I could repair vista machines. But the only repair people are requesting of me involves a Windows XP install disk.

  91. BioTube

    Can you make new panels?

    What about have separate virtual desktops? KDE 4 drove me away with even less crap than Vista(yes, I've used Vista - not all that bad, but still sucktastic). Here's an idea for Microsoft: instead of just ripping off Apple, try asking real users what they do and don't want. Don't push things - if users don't like it, remove it. If you want to add a new feature, put it out there in a format where early adopters can try it without affecting Joe Blow.

    Of course, that'll never happen.

  92. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    Symlinks

    I heard that the Windows 7 filesystem supports Unix-style symbolic links.

  93. Trix Bronze badge
    Gates Horns

    Killer app

    Hey, I've seen a major advantage this Windows version has over even XP. Is that a *real* image crop control in Paint? OMFG!

    Still, I think I'll stick with Paint.Net.

  94. Keith
    Thumb Down

    Ribbons

    Thank fekk it ain't all going ribbon-oriented. Those bloody ribbons are a nightmare - each time Microsoft do another of these so-called "improvements" it convinces me more and more to ditch windows completely.

    How many comments on here in favour of ribbons? How many against? Nuff said...

    <-- that, for the ribbons.

  95. Kenny Millar
    Flame

    They STILL don't get it....

    It's time for MS to draw a line under the client version of windows and start again.

    They need to do something revolutionary, not just evolutionary.

    What they are telling us we'll get in 2010, is something that's been available on other platforms for 3 to 5 years already. Come on. Stop the progression from one version of windows to another, bring a halt to windows development and start afresh on something brand new.

    Don't shout at me about all the legacy stuff that won't work if you do that - it doesn't matter - the developers will bring out new versions of everything for the new platform. The newest PS3s don't play PS2 or PSX games - that doesn't mean the PS3 won;t be a success.

    Apple did it with Mac OS X, ford did it when they killed of the Escort and replaced with the Focus.

    There comes a time when you just have to stop playing the generation games, and start playing the creation game. That time is now.

  96. netean
    Thumb Down

    better than vista... wow how hard can that be?

    As someone who bought a laptop with Vista over a year ago, I I hate it with such a passion - it's such a fecking struggle to use.

    File copying is a joke.. startup times a joke... UAC - gah turned that off immediately.

    Sidebar.. you're kidding, alkl that memory for...?

    I've had to reinstall it twice in 12 months... both times after Windowsupdate! -

    Windows 7 has to be better than this... and I'm sure it will be, if my next laptop is a quad core machine with 8Gb of ram and 2 graphics card.

    My next pc will run OSX, I'm done with windows!

  97. Anonymous Coward
    Happy

    @Evil Graham Re: Start buttons and Suchlike.

    I've heard the old joke about how stupid people arn't able to figure out that the start button also turns the computer off. I always take time out to help out stupid people :o)

    now, you might wonder why I think that these people are stupid. It's quite simple:

    The start button is the _only_ apparent way of controlling a win 98/98/200x/XP OS when you are a basic user. icons on the desktop look like files, there's a clock in the bottom right corner, and then there is a shiny button in the bottom left corner that seems to make the computer do stuff. make them guess which one turns the computer off (hint, it's not the clock).

    For further evidence that people having trouble grasping that one button can both 'start' and 'stop' things, I hereby submit to you a list of things that also use the same function/contraption/button to switch things on and off:

    Computers (that physical button on the front... this should be stupid people's first hint), hoovers (vaccumers if you wish to call them that), cars, mixmasters, tv's, tv remote controls, computer screens, cell phones/mobiles (yes, the same button actually turns them off and on.. stupid isn't it?)...

    From a design perspective, if a person who did not know that many if not most appliances on earth have the turn on/turn off function on the same button (children under the age of 4 and aliens spring to mind) then yes, they would struggle to turn said device off again after the initial glee of finding out how to turn it on. However, for most of us, the concept of using 1 button to do these 2 tasks are as ingrained into us as which side of the road to travel on (depending on the direction and the country that said travel takes place in obviously).

    Wow, look at the time, not even 2 o clock and I've made my first rant of the day :o)

  98. IGnatius T Foobar
    Thumb Down

    How much Windows Live integration?

    Any particular version of Windows is designed not according to what users are asking for, not according to what issues need to be corrected, but by who Microsoft is trying to kill off in the marketplace at the time. Right now Microsoft wants to kill Google. I expect Windows 7 to constantly get in the user's face and try to force-feed various Windows Live components. And for that reason alone, Microsoft deserves to die.

  99. Peter Kay

    @kenny millar

    Really you're the one who doesn't get it - people rarely want something revolutionary. Think about it - if they really wanted something revolutionary they'd look at other options like OS X and Unix.

    Some of the biggest complaints with Vista are because it doesn't support all the old apps and hardware people have. There's been a minor revolution in making Windows more secure and as usual it isn't appreciated.

    Microsoft want to make parts of Vista more revolutionary, but can only move the OS forward at the speed the userbase and developers will let them. There are new application APIs - developers aren't using them. There is a new driver model - it's taken ages to get manufacturers to write decent drivers.

    If the manufacturers and developers aren't supporting a modification of an existing OS, and the users aren't buying it, is the fix really to create a radically different OS?

    Still, I'm busy laughing at all the people who don't like the Vista interface and want to go back to Luna. They'll be exactly the same people who thought Luna was too teletubby and wanted to go back to Windows 2000/98..

  100. jim

    nail on head

    IGnatius T Foobar, that's it in a nutshell. MS has never felt that they need to produce a WIndows product that end users actually "like" or "want". It's always push rather than pull, based on their confidence in their big corporate and OEM license agreements.

  101. Jodo Kast
    Coat

    Microsoft hates Microsoft fan boys

    I was a Microsoft fan boy. Love my XP Media Center 2005 PC. Then it came out that people who upgraded to Vista could not tape certain shows on the MCE DVR that comes with Vista Ultimate.

    Then it becomes clear that if you want Vista, you will experience a big performance hit (especially people like me, who watch AVI movies on monitor 2, while playing 3D games on monitor 1).

    Then Microsoft ditches the sale of Windows XP all together. Apparently they are too stupid to release that if someone likes your stuff, they might not like ALL of it. In this case, Vista is no good... we need XP. Something with performance that doesn't waste electricity rendering ugly new GUI features. UAC? A non-feature, since it doesn't do what it was intended.

    In the end, a lot of fans of Microsoft (like myself) are no longer interested... until the day Microsoft shows us that they care about what we are looking for. Right now, they say "TALK TO THE HAND". That's rude. Guess what, they don't care.

    It's a shame they turned on their own fans! Now I recommend anything BUT Microsoft... exception: Visual Studio.

  102. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Halo

    I like Vista

    Plenty of comments about how crap Vista was crap , but its much better now.

    Reminded about the guy who had a leg amputated - took a while but he got used to getting around on one leg.

  103. Steven Knox
    IT Angle

    Point Missed

    Vista failed for two major reasons:

    1. Microsoft allowed users and OEMs to install it on machines that were vastly underspecced for it (or to take another view, MS included so much bloat in Vista that it failed to perform well even on machines on which MS said it would.)

    2. A good deal of existing hardware that was supported by XP could not be used in Vista. I remember that happing in 3.x -> 95 and 9x -> 2000 as well, but back then, the upgrade cycle was much faster (I would have replaced every component in my machine within a year back then. Now, I've been on the same hardware for over 2 years -- and I still don't feel a compelling reason to upgrade.)

    There were other problems, but those two took the wind out of Vista's sails very early on, and were the major cause of the perceived performance problems. So a "Vista Test" should check an OS against marginal hardware and to pass, the OS would have to perform well. But you played with it a little bit on a laptop "loaned for the purpose". FAIL

  104. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Halo

    I like Vista too

    I never had issues with Vista, pre-Sp1 or with Sp1. Sure it dragged a bit on my 1.7 Celeron laptop, but it was low spec anyway. On my new Core2 it flies, Aero and all that jazz. XP is beginning to look old and cartoony like 98SE did when XP came out.

    99% of the people dissing Vista have never even used it, amazing how easily people parrot the same uninformed pants. I don't even like MS that much, but I installed SUSE recently and it was crap. I'll take Vista, it recognises my hardware, unlike Linux that pretends to but then you have to arse about with configs all day. Oh but someone on the net said Vista was rubbish, and using Linux makes me look so very clever...so I'll just blindly accept that...not.

  105. Shakje

    What I don't understand...

    Is people complaining about the cost of hardware you need to run MS operating systems, then saying they'll switch to OSX, at which point you're paying for the same hardware, except more. Memory isn't exactly expensive, and a PC with a decent CPU isn't that expensive either. Are people so stupid that they can't see the hypocrisy in what they're saying here?

  106. Euan Johnstone

    No way back

    I switched to a Macbook from an HP laptop a few months back. I did so not because I was immensely unhappy with Vista but because I wanted to upgrade to a more powerful machine but wanted more fo a guarantee of stability. Since then an older colleague of mine has done the same and despite a bit of a learning curve neither of us have looked back. OS X IS a more stable environment. And I'm saying that with experience of Vista on a number of different machines. My point is though that although I'm intrigued by this release I would be very wary about switching back. I don't get the sense that this will represent any increase in my productivity. Still it's very early days and I would have to try it out. Problem is will MS's pricing strategy make it very costly for me to legitimately try out the full feature set. My suspicion is probably yes. Looking fwd to Apple's meaner, leaner Snow Leopard...

  107. David Kelly

    @Shakje

    The big difference, of course, is that once you've bought an Apple machine your hardware lasts longer. My missus' 1.6ghz G5 runs Leopard (10.5) comfortably, and it originally came with Panther (10.3). In fact some things are actually faster in Leopard on that machine than they were with Panther, thanks to Apple refining and improving their code over the years. How many 1.6ghz PCs would run Vista nicely?

    Consider too that Snow Leopard (10.6) will run faster on a machine you buy now than it does with the current version of the OS.

    One big plus too, is that OS X tends to run at the same speed after a couple of years of use as it did at first install. There's a big advantage to not having a growing registry, file fragmentation etc. I used to reinstall my Windows machines every six months to avoid too much slowdown. Since moving to Mac I've never needed to do that.

  108. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    @Vista Supporters

    "I think that most people just complain about Vista because it's fashionable"

    A lot of the people saying they actually *like* Vista tend to be those running multi-Ghz, multi-core machines with a pile of RAM.

    Unfortunately there are also a lot of people out there who have been sold machines - particularly laptops - preloaded with Vista - which simply are not useable.

    I've seen it, tried it, tried to fix it without spending extra money we can't afford on ram upgrades the machine doesn't really need. Its a scam, so f*ck Microsoft and f*ck their 'channel partners' who participated in this scam.

  109. Brett Weaver

    Well.. to all those mictosoft PR agents out there

    This is being written on a quad core AMD Compaq with 3GB ram and 256MB video card running Vista Home Premium - Basically Ultimate without bitlocker, whatever the hell that is...

    I run a development environment and .. It hesitates the mouse while I'm doing stuff.. It keeps interrupting me while I'm working with "helpful" bloody popups or vista nonsense.

    I want my machine cycles back! Microsoft are stealing my machines power to do stuff that has nothing to do with what I use the machine for. Network and copying speed are abysmal. I have the latest updates. Only scumbags must work at Mictosoft.

  110. Steve

    WTF is this bashing about?

    I've never got why there is so much hate for Vista. The only real issues have been OEM's throwing bloat on it, 3 year old PC's didn't have the guts to run it at launch and driver issues.

    I just purchased a £500 machine from Dell - quad core with 3Gig of RAM. Runs like lightning. Before that machine I ended up using a P4 3Ghz (NOT dual or quad core!) with 1.5 gig of RAM. It's now hitting it's 5th birthday and it's getting a bit flakey on the hardware, hence the new machine.

    A single core P4 3Ghz with a gig of RAM is fine for office users. Letters, web browsing, listening to music etc. That's a 5 year old machine guys.... and it cost £600 when brought.

    Vista doesn't need some quad core behemoth with 32Gig of RAM. It runs fine on any mid-range machine built in the last 4 years or so if your a standard home user. Just don't install OEM guff...

    And the driver problems were gone mid-2007.

    I honestly can't see what other issues people are going on about - it works fine on mid-range hardware that's under 5 years old as long as there's no OEM guff pre-installed and the drivers have been about for a good year or so too....

  111. Doug Glass
    Stop

    Balance

    I actually installed, finally, Vista Home Premium on my "junk" box. It has an AMD Athlon XP 3000+/333, 1.5GB RAM, 7200 PRM Seagate 80GB HDD and a 64MB AGP video card. It actually ran very well. No Aero effects but that was fine. But holee sheet ... Vista takes up more than 14GB of disk space. Not exactly lean and performance oriented in my opinion.

    After I turned off all the nuisance stuff (UAC et. al.) and stopped all the visual fade and slide options, it ran very well indeed. But not well enough to keep and learn (relearn?) as much about it as I do XP ... or Ubuntu for that matter.

    If it comes pre-installed turn off all the crap and keep it. But as an upgrade to XP it simply isn't worth it. It ran all the programs I like the most with the exception of Nero 6, but CDBurnerXP worked just fine.

  112. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How Fast?

    'A single core P4 3Ghz with a gig of RAM is fine for office users.'

    ROTFLMOA!

    Earth to Steve, come in Steve.

    I dream of a 3 GHz machine!

  113. Kanhef

    @David Kelly

    That's nothing. I have a six year old 800MHz G4 that came with an OS 9 disc. With the Spotlight indexing service turned off, it runs 10.4 quite nicely. Can't upgrade further only because of the Intel switch. I don't plan to replace it until I actually need software that has no PowerPC version. Yes, the initial cost is high, but when I don't need to pay for another for 8-10 years, the annual cost of ownership is similar to that of a good-quality PC.

  114. Steve

    @AC / "How Fast?"

    Um, the the first P4 3Ghz chips with HT (the one I have in my "old" box) were launched by Intel in the summer of 2002....

    So your telling me that you expect an Operating System launched in 2007 to run fine on chips older than 6 years prior to it's release...?

    Earth to Coward, come in Coward...

    Welcome to the 21st Century - a 6 year old CPU with a gig or RAM runs Vista fine, and on a £500 box today it flies like you wouldn't believe.

  115. Jim
    Dead Vulture

    If you Love Vista, You will Love Windows 7 However if you hate Vista you will hate Windows 7

    I have the Pre-Beta make no doubt about it is Vista. In my opinion it is what service pack 2 should bring to Vista. For those of you who don't like Vista's UI, you will not like Windows 7 UI. To put it in the vernacular of American Presidential candidates, You can put lipstick on a pig, but it's still a pig....

    Now for the many people who say, "Why all this Vista bashing? For me it's because every major problem in Vista was brought out in the Betas of Vista yet Microsoft chose to ignore them. Microsoft has said on numerous occasion that they have learned from their mistakes with Vista. Now I will admit Microsoft won't be doing this in the upcoming Betas of windows 7. here is a quote from Mike Nash Corporate Vice President, Windows Product Management, Microsoft Corp;

    "The next phase for the development team is getting to beta. For Windows 7 this will be a feature complete beta and we expect that to be available to customers in early 2009. Feature complete means that we will not be adding any new features once we get to beta (since they are all there) but will instead focus on fixing bugs that we find in our testing and in feedback that customers give us"

    As you can see Microsoft has eliminated the problem of Beta testers complaining about what they don't like in the up coming Windows 7 Betas, the betas are now only for bugs. So if you don't like something it's go away or we don't want to hear that. I hope I'm wrong with this only time will tell....

  116. Jim
    Dead Vulture

    Why the Vista Bashing and soon to be Windows 7 bashing

    I have the Pre-Beta make no doubt about it is Vista. In my opinion it is what service pack 2 should bring to Vista. For those of you who don't like Vista's UI, you will not like Windows 7 UI. To put it in the vernacular of American Presidential candidates, You can put lipstick on a pig, but it's still a pig....

    Now for the many people who say, "Why all this Vista bashing? For me it's because every major problem in Vista was brought out in the Betas of Vista yet Microsoft chose to ignore them. Microsoft has said on numerous occasion that they have learned from their mistakes with Vista. Now I will admit Microsoft won't be doing this in the upcoming Betas of windows 7. here is a quote from Mike Nash Corporate Vice President, Windows Product Management, Microsoft Corp;

    "The next phase for the development team is getting to beta. For Windows 7 this will be a feature complete beta and we expect that to be available to customers in early 2009. Feature complete means that we will not be adding any new features once we get to beta (since they are all there) but will instead focus on fixing bugs that we find in our testing and in feedback that customers give us"

    http://windowsteamblog.com/blogs/windows7/default.aspx

    As you can see Microsoft has eliminated the problem of Beta testers complaining about what they don't like in the up coming Windows 7 Betas, the betas are now only for bugs. So if you don't like something it's go away or we don't want to hear that

  117. This post has been deleted by its author

  118. Andus McCoatover
    Gates Horns

    Demo?

    Obvious old joke, but relevant to the subject...

    <<Bill Gates dies in a car crash and ends up in front in front of StPeter@heaven.com.

    St. Peter says I don't know what to do with you. You've created many jobs and helped a lot of people in the new electronic age, but you've also been a royal pain to some of our big contributers. I'll tell you what, I'll let you have a look at heaven and hell and choose for yourself.

    So St. Peter shows Bill heaven, with the clouds and Angels and harps, and Bill thinks to himself: "OK, as far as it goes."

    Then St. Peter shows Bill hell, with scantily clad bathing beauties on a tropical beach with palm trees and Bill thinks to himself: "This is a no-brainer!"

    So Bill says to St. Peter: "I'll take hell!"

    Two weeks later St. Peter thinks to himself: "I wonder how Bill is doing?"

    So he drops by hell and finds Bill chained to a wall, consumed by flames and screaming in agony.

    "Where are the bathing beauties, where's the beach?" Cried Bill. "This isn't what you showed me!"

    "That", said St. Pete, "was a demo." >>

    (Icon, natch).

  119. Jason DePriest
    Thumb Up

    Ribbon is pretty good

    I find Ribbon extremely intuitive. If I were sat in front of a computer for the first time, Ribbon would be easier to use than File, Edit, etc menus.

    I was afraid I would hate it when I was upgraded to Office 2007 at work, but I find I like it very much.

    I wonder when OpenOffice.org will have a Ribbon-like interface to compete.

  120. Jim

    double post

    Sorry for the double post, I'm an idiot :)

  121. This post has been deleted by its author

  122. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So is it better than XP

    "there should be no downside to Windows 7 over Windows Vista"

    but is it better than XP? Windows couldn't get much more downside than Vista.

    I read a list of what OS users really want and it is quite right when it states in some place or other "We want an OS that is just that - simple straightforward no frills" or something like that. Dont suppose Windows 7 is anything like that is it?

    zzdave

  123. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I've just spent hours in PC world, and other places.

    Have you tried to buy a pc without Vista? They won't sell you one, unless you open a business account.

    I've just been told "You invalid your warranty on the PC if you install XP on it." by some oddbod in one of their stores.

    Consequently, no pc. This is a pity, because I was going to buy four, as I'm doing a house refresh. No XP, no PC.

    This is abuse of market position, surely.

    It's also a real pity, because there's some total monsters out there these days.

    Vista needs a switch to remove UAC, all the stuff that hangs, indexing, search, all those pictures. As was put very well recently, I want a computer that I chose to run media player on, while I'm writing emails, building databases, surfing the web, and writing code. I do not want some kind of funky telephone interface that allows me to do a few thinks like those, badly.

    It's a computer first, experimental arty modern communications device second, not the other way around.

  124. K
    Linux

    phrase defined?

    What does cloud efforts mean?

    "..approach makes it seem uninteresting compared to Microsoft's new cloud efforts. ®"

  125. Peter Garlick

    Oh dear,

    My wife has Vista installed on her new Dell machine, and she hates it with a passion normally reserved only for people who abuse cats. (Yes, I know, it is sad).

    As I don't have to use Vista, I think that it looks quite pretty. However, I must admit I cannot see any advantage in zapping my XP installation and replacing it with Vista.

    My wife's experience with Vista has only served to consolidate that opinion.

    It has however made me decide to buy one of those silly netbook thingies that "do" web, words, and spreadsheets with a Linux opsys. If I am going to let something alienate me, it might as well be a cheap alienation! :))

  126. N Silver badge

    Vista test, the new gold standard for crapware?

    If Vista is the standard, the bar must be fairly low to pass...

    Runs for more than 5 minutes without nagging

    Takes less than 131 years to copy some files - "48167 Days and 23 hours remaining," as quoted by El Reg

    Crashes less than once a day

    Tries to impersonate a Mac, note 'tries'

  127. Turgut Kalfaoglu

    Why Buy?

    Why buy things that are inferior in quality to those you can download for free, such as Fedora?

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