Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Microsoft Concedes Vista Launch Problems

samzenpus posted more than 6 years ago | from the who's-to-blame dept.

Microsoft 594

notdagreatbrain writes "Maximum PC just posted a lengthy feature looking back at the myriad problems that went into Microsoft's 6 billion dollar failure of the Vista launch. Aside from running benchmarks comparing Vista at launch how its performing now, they also found a Microsoft exec who was willing to speak frankly about Vista. The Microsoft source blamed bad drivers from GPU companies and printer companies for the majority of Vista's early stability problems and described User Account Control as poorly implemented but defended it as necessary for the continued health of the Windows platform. He assailed OEM system builders for including bad, buggy, or just plain useless apps on their machines in exchange for a few bucks on the back end. Finally he conceded that Apple appeals to more and more consumers because the hardware is slick, the price is OK, and Apple doesn't annoy its customers (or allow third parties to)."

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

First Godwin! (0, Troll)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 6 years ago | (#24956015)

Finally he conceded that Apple appeals to more and more consumers because the hardware is slick, the price is OK, and Apple doesn't annoy its customers (or allow third parties to).

Yeah, and the Nazis were pretty popular too!

Re:First Godwin! (4, Funny)

meta-monkey (321000) | more than 6 years ago | (#24956223)

The Nazis were pretty sharp dressers. I mean, if WWII had been decided on fashion sense alone, we'd all be speaking german right now.

Re:First Godwin! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24956341)

This is arguably the least relevant /. post ever, and I've floated a few doozies in my time.
May you someday fully realize the inanity of considering fashion in the face of genocide.

Re:First Godwin! (0, Offtopic)

meta-monkey (321000) | more than 6 years ago | (#24956663)

Do I win a prize? A stuffed Cowboy Neal doll, maybe?

Re:First Godwin! (-1, Offtopic)

Gruff1002 (717818) | more than 6 years ago | (#24956347)

Off topic

Re:First Godwin! (5, Informative)

m0rph3us0 (549631) | more than 6 years ago | (#24956429)

It's not well known, but the officers uniforms were actually designed by Hugo Boss, that's why they look sharp.

Re:First Godwin! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24956465)

Hitler's wife was quite the MILF must admit.

Re:First Godwin! (2, Interesting)

ya really (1257084) | more than 6 years ago | (#24956483)

The Nazis were pretty sharp dressers. I mean, if WWII had been decided on fashion sense alone, we'd all be speaking german right now.

Nazis were pretty sharp dressers, but the Italians gave them a good run [diggerhistory.info]

Mac os x is so much better that hack it to run on (-1, Redundant)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 6 years ago | (#24956277)

Mac os x is so much better that hack it to run on there systems.

Re:Mac os x is so much better that hack it to run (0, Offtopic)

JebusIsLord (566856) | more than 6 years ago | (#24956461)

wtf

Re:Mac os x is so much better that hack it to run (0, Offtopic)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 6 years ago | (#24956479)

Your grammar is terrible. Are you German?

Re:Mac os x is so much better that hack it to run (5, Funny)

Nefarious Wheel (628136) | more than 6 years ago | (#24956517)

He couldn't be German. His sentence at the end does not his verbs have.

Re:First Godwin! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24956307)

Yeah, and the Nazis were pretty popular too!

Oops pow surprise! [ytmnd.com]

So...... (5, Insightful)

Anachragnome (1008495) | more than 6 years ago | (#24956033)

He blamed everyone but Microsoft?

Why does that not surprise me?

Re:So...... (5, Insightful)

jacksinn (1136829) | more than 6 years ago | (#24956083)

Oh its totally not Microsoft's fault! I mean, doesn't everyone have access to the source so we can learn from it and create better software and drivers?

Re:So...... (5, Interesting)

BronsCon (927697) | more than 6 years ago | (#24956183)

No, he admitted that UAC was poorly implemented.

Microsoft has no control over the shit quality of drivers released by hardware manufacturers.

They have no control over the shit quality of apps loaded by OEMs.

I can personally attest that everything he said is true. I own an Acer laptop, which ran like bloody hell with the OEM shartware installed. I also own an HP laptop, which ran like bloody hell with the OEM shartware installed. Upon formatting both drives, partitioning them more sanely and reinstalling Vista (Home Premium) on both, using the included Anytime Upgrade (or Reinstall) DVD, Vista ran wonderfully.

I still installed Kubuntu on both. Windows is nice to have around if you ever need it (BIOS updates on the HP, or calling for tech support on either machine, for example) but really not right for daily use for me.

The Acer has Intel graphics. All is good and will with Vista there.

I've had the HP (ok, it was originally a Compaq, which they warranty-replaced with a better HP model when it completely failed -- though both have the same video hardware) for a year and a half, now. For the first 9 months, the nVidia drivers were crashing the damn thing fairly regularly. It wasn't until 9 months ago that they released a driver that didn't crash this laptop.

I also run a desktop, which I use for music production, running Windows-only software (it runs in winE, but not as a fully functional application). I run Vista Ultimate (free from MS for participating in a "spyware" program, which I installed on a laptop which was used only for YouTube and other cutesy flash crap) on this machine. I've had both ATI and nVidia cards in this machine. The ATI still doesn't have a workable driver. The nVidia, same as with the HP laptop, no good driver until 9mo ago.

I purchased an HP printer for that desktop system. It literally took me a week to get the damned thing to install.

Other than that, I actually like Vista Ultimate. Now that I have stable video drivers and the printer actually works, neither of which were Microsoft's fault, it's wonderful. Being a retail install, it never had any OEM shartware installed on it.

Runs smooth and quick.

And yes, UAC is poorly implemented. That's Microsoft's fault, all the freaking way.

$0.02 from a full-time Linux user and fanboi. Vista has its place, even in my home. My HTPC runs Linux, though; the DRM in Vista still scares me.

Re:So...... (5, Insightful)

causality (777677) | more than 6 years ago | (#24956351)

Microsoft has no control over the shit quality of drivers released by hardware manufacturers.

I'm not sure I would go so far as to say they have zero control over that situation. Apple would not be a fair comparison since they control both the hardware and the software. So, I have to compare the Windows approach to the Linux approach since I am most familiar with it.

With the one exception of the nVidia proprietary driver (which I use over the open-source driver for performance reasons, not stability reasons), every last driver on my machine came with the kernel. I don't need to trust the quality of anything produced by any hardware manufacturer. I can use drivers that I know will work and that I know will be extremely stable. I'm sure someone out there is using some strange hardware combination and this is his cue to pipe up that this was not his experience, but I believe the vast majority of desktop Linux users can say the same thing. The Windows approach is demonstrably inferior in this case, and I just don't believe that Microsoft is the pitiful helpless victim that's powerless to change this.

They have no control over the shit quality of apps loaded by OEMs.

That certainly is true, but then, why should so many user applications have the ability to affect the rest of the operating system? Either they don't and whether they are shit quality is moot, or they do and this is rightfully considered a shortcoming in the overall design of Windows. I don't see any third options here.

Re:So...... (5, Insightful)

ShadowRangerRIT (1301549) | more than 6 years ago | (#24956457)

That certainly is true, but then, why should so many user applications have the ability to affect the rest of the operating system? Either they don't and whether they are shit quality is moot, or they do and this is rightfully considered a shortcoming in the overall design of Windows. I don't see any third options here.

I call trolling. If I install an app on any OS which integrates itself into the browser, runs as a background task consuming enormous amounts of RAM and network bandwidth and otherwise misbehaves, it's going to make the experience shitty. And no, this isn't a "shortcoming in the overall design." Any app needs to be allowed to do everything I just described (for RAM and CPU, see Photoshop, for network usage, see BitTorrent, etc.). Blaming MS for vendors loading shitty software onto a machine and claiming its a design flaw is bullshit.

Re:So...... (4, Insightful)

bberens (965711) | more than 6 years ago | (#24956487)

You had me right up until that last paragraph, then I realized you're just a shill. I mean seriously, I could write some REALLY shitty software for linux that eats up all your resources unnecessarily and bogs down the system. How is that Canonical's or Redhat's fault? Similarly, the reason your linux drivers work so well is that linux hasn't had the ginormous revamp that the win32 kernel just underwent. Hardware vendors needed to make significant changes to their drivers and thought they'd get by with shoddy (probably outsourced) effort.

Re:So...... (4, Insightful)

juventasone (517959) | more than 6 years ago | (#24956595)

That certainly is true, but then, why should so many user applications have the ability to affect the rest of the operating system? Either they don't and whether they are shit quality is moot, or they do and this is rightfully considered a shortcoming in the overall design of Windows. I don't see any third options here.

Any operating system can run resource-intensive or dysfunctional applications!

Most of this third party software is installed because the OEM gets a small kickback. If the user purchases an activation/subscription/upgrade, the OEM gets a larger kickback. The only thing to blame is falling margins, the dominance of Windows on the desktop, and lack of consumer interest.

Re:So...... (3, Funny)

Junior J. Junior III (192702) | more than 6 years ago | (#24956453)

Vista has its place, even in my home.

You must live at the bottom of the ocean, or inside the heart of an active volcano!

Re:So...... (5, Informative)

JebusIsLord (566856) | more than 6 years ago | (#24956489)

I'm gonna agree, with the additional statement that Vista is wonderful AFTER I upgrade my RAM from 2GB to 4GB. Vista Ultimate (x64) is a pretty decent upgrade from XP, and I wouldn't consider going back.

(disclaimer: I also have a macbook and a linux server. All have their drawbacks, all have their strengths. I'm just comparing Vista to XP here.)

MS did contribute to shit drivers (5, Insightful)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 6 years ago | (#24956599)

MS should have set up a far better defined driver architecture than they did. Even better they should have provided a backward compatibility mode for existing drivers. If ndiswrapper can support (some) Windows drivers under Linux, then it should have been a simple matter to support XP drivers under Vista.

No, instead MS adopted their normal "fuck you all" attitude and forced a new, ill conceived driver model onto the IHVs.

Sure, XP driver support would probably not been a good long term solution, but it would have been a good idea for a year or two: enough time to make the transition slicker.

Re:MS did contribute to shit drivers (1)

Wizarth (785742) | more than 6 years ago | (#24956683)

I'd just like to say, that ndiswrapper does what it does so (reasonably) well because NDIS [wikipedia.org] specifies a basic set of functionality. They can't wrap any driver, just ones that stick to NDIS, versus ones that use the whole Win32 driver interface. AFAIK, I Am Not A Driver Developer, etc.

Re:So...... (5, Insightful)

Belial6 (794905) | more than 6 years ago | (#24956615)

They have no control over the shit quality of apps loaded by OEMs.

I disagree. The hardware vendors are allowed to sell modified "OEM" Windows disks because MS chooses to let them. While technically, they might not be able to stop the loading of other software, they certainly could require that a pristine off the shelf copy of windows be included with the system, and all other software come on a different disk instead of encouraging vendors to ship heavily modified versions of their software so that the end consumer has no way of doing a clean install.

Re:So...... (1)

juventasone (517959) | more than 6 years ago | (#24956635)

Mod parent up. This article was the first Vista article on slashdot (and there's been many) that painted an honest picture of the situation.

Re:So...... (2, Funny)

spir0 (319821) | more than 6 years ago | (#24956681)

I actually like Vista Ultimate.

$0.02 from a full-time Linux user and fanboi.

fulltime means, y'know... *all* of the time. If you've taken the time to use Vista, then at best you're really only a mosttime linux fanboi.

Re:So...... (1)

zobier (585066) | more than 6 years ago | (#24956185)

I'm curious about the circuisware comment.
Apparent software quality does make Apple's PCs look better than a lot of brand-name Windows PCs.
Are manufacturers offering Linux PCs installing circuisware on them?

They're playing the vista commerical now.. (3, Insightful)

Firethorn (177587) | more than 6 years ago | (#24956045)

Where they invite users to 'try' the newest Microsoft OS, before revealing it's Vista.

Sure, have users play around a bit with a top of the line machine with a Slim Vista install, it's great.

Go to try to configure stuff, install 3rd party programs, run actual benchmarks, it's not so nice.

Re:They're playing the vista commerical now.. (3, Insightful)

Just Some Guy (3352) | more than 6 years ago | (#24956231)

Where they invite users to 'try' the newest Microsoft OS, before revealing it's Vista.

I don't get those ads. I could see if the "before" shots were of people saying they'd heard bad things about Vista but had never tried it. However, they went all-out about how Vista is awful and how bad it's reputation is. The very first think you hear is confirmation of the current beliefs.

I mean, I've never heard a McDonald's ad begin with a crowd talking about how much they hate McDonald's. Is this what passes for clever advertising now?

Mojave was a controlled test and the user did not (0, Redundant)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 6 years ago | (#24956387)

Mojave was a controlled test and the user did not get to fully use the systems.

Re:Mojave was a controlled test and the user did n (3, Interesting)

Just Some Guy (3352) | more than 6 years ago | (#24956435)

But why not pick at least a few users that didn't like to talk about how much Vista sucked? The "after" part made sense: the previous haters were now lovers. Still, if you leave after the first part of the commercial ("Bathroom break!"), all you'd have heard was how bad Vista is.

Re:They're playing the vista commerical now.. (4, Funny)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 6 years ago | (#24956393)

At least you can tell they're talking about Vista and not shoes.

Re:They're playing the vista commerical now.. (4, Insightful)

bondsbw (888959) | more than 6 years ago | (#24956241)

Indeed. OS, hardware, software... they all have a significant impact in user experience.

They should do this study with computers coming straight off the shelves of Circuit City, Best Buy, and from online stores like Dell. Install "Mojave". Give these computers to the average user for a year.

Now, ask those people about their experiences. I doubt their answers would be anywhere close. The average response would probably be something like this: "I like how it looks better than XP, but I don't think it's any better really... I still can't find what I need, it's slow, and I think I need more memory or something. Fix that stuff, and some of the annoying boxes that pop up, and I'd probably like it better."

Top of the line? (3, Informative)

Ralish (775196) | more than 6 years ago | (#24956249)

The systems they used in the Mojave advertisements were HP Pavilion DV 2000 machines with 2GB of RAM.

http://arstechnica.com/journals/microsoft.ars/2008/07/31/windows-mojave-advertisements-start-to-appear-in-the-wild [arstechnica.com]

Not really top of the line...

Re:Top of the line? (5, Informative)

AndyCR (1091663) | more than 6 years ago | (#24956325)

Perhaps not "top of the line", but they are certainly more powerful than the average $500 laptop sold at CompUSA - and let's face it, when faced with a $500 laptop and a $1000 laptop people will buy the $500 one. If it says it runs Vista, it should run it well - it may not be an excellent machine, but an operating system shouldn't be the most demanding thing people use. Said $500 laptop probably contains 1GB of ram if you're lucky.

I speak from experience, as someone who owns a DV9000. I ordered it with 1GB of ram to max out the CPU specs, knowing I would upgrade the ram later. Vista ran very very slowly. I upped it to 1.5GB and it runs just fine. Ram makes all the difference with Vista, even though it shouldn't. Say all you want about all the ram usage being pre-caching - if it were just pre-caching, it wouldn't have been slow with twice the ram it "needs", and it wouldn't have sped up dramatically just by adding half a gig more space used only for precaching. If that's their idea of speeding up applicaiton loading with pre-caching, I'd rather go back to the XP way of things.

The "Mojave Experiment" method is simple: get a person who says Vista is slow (because it is, on their machine), sit them in front of a computer with twice the ram theirs has, and get them to do a recorded double-take at how fast said machine is running Vista. Then they go home filled with excitement ready to prove themselves wrong on how slow Vista is and realize their copy of Vista isn't as fast as the Vista they used and wonder what the heck the testers did (remember, these are the kinds of people who read "Word for Dummies" - any person with a clue about technology would be filtered out in a screening process or have his response never aired).

I say all this as someone who uses Windows for daily development without much issue. I don't hate Windows. I do, however, hate dishonesty, whether express or implied, as the lawyers would say.

Re:Top of the line? (3, Interesting)

Ralish (775196) | more than 6 years ago | (#24956485)

I entirely agree with you that Vista requires far more system resources than it ought to, and as usual, Microsoft has understated in the official requirements the amount of computing power you really need to run Vista smoothly. This isn't new for Microsoft either, they have a long history of grossly understating minimum requirements, presumably to maximise potential upgrades. I remember the Windows 95 requirements stating that 4MB (8MB? This is a long time ago) was enough to run a fully functional Windows 95 system. Well, yes, it was, until you actually tried to load an application inside the operating system, at which point everything would grind to a halt.

But a significant portion of the blame lies with the OEM's as well, the people who choose to sell 'x' system with Vista pre-installed aren't complete idiots, as much as we'd like to think they are. They in all likeliness know that performance will be anything from sub-optimal to atrocious, but they sell it anyway, because it will ultimately net them a profit, even if it comes at the cost of the customers enjoyment.

I think you're simplifying the objective of "The Mojave Experiment", while speed is definitely one of the largest complaints against Vista (and one of the most valid), it's certainly not the only one. Other prominent ones, for example, include the perceived application compatibility and the UAC stigma (Opening Notepad will result in a UAC confirmation dialogue). I'm not entirely familiar with Mojave mind-you, I'm not really the target audience ;) But I'd be very surprised if performance was the only criticism they are trying to address through it.

As for the Vista pre-cache, honestly, I'm not personally a big fan of it. I understand why it exists and I think much of the reasoning behind it is sound, but it's not ideal for many computer usage scenarios. I frequently dabble in virtualisation and have found that the SuperFetch functionality has an effect on VM performance, ranging from minor to severe, depending of course on what exactly the VM is doing. Thus, I tend to disable the SuperFetch service.

Re:Top of the line? (2, Informative)

fatwilbur (1098563) | more than 6 years ago | (#24956631)

Yawn. It costs $30 or less for 2 GB of RAM now. Why should applications - especially an operating system designed for home users - not maximize this?

Re:They're playing the vista commerical now.. (3, Informative)

Firehed (942385) | more than 6 years ago | (#24956605)

As someone who primarily works off of a Mac Pro with 10GB of RAM, I'll call BS on that one. With the exception of the completely broken nVidia drivers, Vista runs fine performance-wise on my old faithful desktop with about a fifth of the specs (now those drivers forced the system in question to go back to XP, but they were causing crashes, not slowdowns).

I'll agree that the ads suck (and I can't imagine why Hulu thinks that I'd switch from OS X to Windows... it just doesn't happen), but not because they're giving the people an unfair representation of Vista.

The UAC needs improvement; other than that and the above-mentioned driver issue, I'd run it on all of my vaguely-current non-Apple hardware.

Step one: (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24956053)

Well, the first step to fixing a problem is admitting you have one. Good for them, I guess.

Re:Step one: (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24956141)

Well, the first step to fixing a problem is admitting you have one. Good for them, I guess.

Second step is to apologize to all the people you have wronged.

Re:Step one: (2, Interesting)

DarthJohn (1160097) | more than 6 years ago | (#24956471)

Grant me the strength to fix the bugs I can,
the serenity to accept the bugs I can't,
and the wisdom to know the difference.

WTF?? (4, Funny)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 6 years ago | (#24956059)

...and described User Account Control as poorly implemented but defended it as necessary for the continued health of the Windows platform.

Continued? What? Continued?? Health? What? Health??

I'm not sure those words mean what you think you mean.

Re:WTF?? (4, Insightful)

The Ancients (626689) | more than 6 years ago | (#24956099)

...and described User Account Control as poorly implemented but defended it as necessary for the continued health of the Windows platform.

Continued? What? Continued?? Health? What? Health?? I'm not sure those words mean what you think you mean.

Did he explicitly state good health?

Re:WTF?? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24956123)

How else are you going to convince armies of third rate developers that they need to quit spewing crap all over the C: drive? You can't. You have to strongarm them because the developers that create these sorts of issues are exactly the ones that will not fix things unless they absolutely have to.

UAC is still a piss-poor implementation, but MS has said before its real purpose was to force vendors to shape up. Too bad the users have to pay, MS gambled that recurring UAC dialogs would make the users blame the vendors, not the OS, and they were wrong.

Don't you dare blame the GPU/Printer companies! (3, Insightful)

gblackwo (1087063) | more than 6 years ago | (#24956077)

They had to scramble to get drivers out the door because microsoft hardly gave them any time to work with the last revisions of Vista.

Re:Don't you dare blame the GPU/Printer companies! (1)

Tmack (593755) | more than 6 years ago | (#24956139)

They had to scramble to get drivers out the door because microsoft hardly gave them any time to work with the last revisions of Vista.

No, its obviously their fault! I mean, when the OS is written to look so sleek, they should realize that it wasnt written to prevent a printer driver from crashing the whole thing.

tm

Re:Don't you dare blame the GPU/Printer companies! (5, Insightful)

Idiomatick (976696) | more than 6 years ago | (#24956181)

Yes blame printer drivers. Crappiest bloated pieces of shit ever to be coded. Print drivers on modern printers should be under 5MB MAXIMUM. Often print drivers on modern 5in1 w/es are in excess of 200MB! holy god, even taking the bullshit ap and ui they needlessly tacked on how could it have gotten that bloated. Even trying to make the program needlessly huge the compiler would probably compress it to less than anything i could code.

Re:Don't you dare blame the GPU/Printer companies! (1)

CSMatt (1175471) | more than 6 years ago | (#24956529)

Agreed. Why is it so important for every printer manufacturer to have its own custom set of drivers? Why is it so necessary for them to have all of this extra, mostly unnecessary software just to make the thing usable? It takes a minimum of 10 minutes these days to install drivers on Windows and Mac, since the printer apparently refuses to work with any built-in drivers. Meanwhile printers install in Ubuntu in about 5 seconds. Granted, this only works with HP and a few other printers, but it's more than enough to prove that there is absolutely no need for all of this extra crap. Besides, wasn't one of the main advantages of USB that we wouldn't have to deal with driver installations anymore?

Re:Don't you dare blame the GPU/Printer companies! (3, Interesting)

Forkenhoppen (16574) | more than 6 years ago | (#24956659)

Printer drivers are bloated in part because of the OCR code and reference images that they're forced to include. Seriously; try scanning and printing an American dollar bill, and see what happens.

Re:Don't you dare blame the GPU/Printer companies! (1)

sbillard (568017) | more than 6 years ago | (#24956661)

holy god, even taking the bullshit ap and ui they needlessly tacked on how could it have gotten that bloated

Dated expiration of ink cartridges perhaps? In addition to the bloatware you mentioned.

Re:Don't you dare blame the GPU/Printer companies! (4, Informative)

figleaf (672550) | more than 6 years ago | (#24956293)

hardly gave them any time

Manufacturers had more than full year before the release date.
But some manufacturers (Creative [gizmodo.com] comes to mind) didn't ship proper Vista drivers for an additional eight months after Vista Business Final was released.
 

Re:Don't you dare blame the GPU/Printer companies! (2, Insightful)

MostAwesomeDude (980382) | more than 6 years ago | (#24956513)

HW design counts too. ATI, particularly, had lots of issues with HDCP and DRM management, and they were one of the big opponents of the PMP during design, but ultimately had no choice because they don't control enough of the market.

YES!!! I knew Vista sucked ass!! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24956101)

This article is lame in the extreme, but that's ok because slashdotters will use it as whacking material. I can already imagine thousands of slashdotters cleaning cum off the monitor upon reading this.

Oh, and let's point out that, according to web usage stats, Vista has 3 times the share of Mac and orders of magnitude more users than Linux.
http://marketshare.hitslink.com/report.aspx?qprid=10 [hitslink.com]

Re:YES!!! I knew Vista sucked ass!! (1)

Cecil (37810) | more than 6 years ago | (#24956259)

That's obviously from all those people doing web searches trying desperately how to turn off all the annoying "features" of Vista.

The RAM error (5, Informative)

yelvington (8169) | more than 6 years ago | (#24956103)

TFA misses a major misstep. Microsoft allowed Vista to be shipped on hardware that just wasn't up to the task. Vista is unusable with less than a gig of memory, but chain stores were flooded with laptops equipped with "only" 512MB. This gave new users a terrible experience. "First boot" of a new laptop took half an hour. No application, not even Solitaire, would run without freezing.

Two of my family members had Vista laptops ... for a few hours, anyway, until I installed Ubuntu. Performance problems all went away after that.

Re:The RAM error (4, Interesting)

religious freak (1005821) | more than 6 years ago | (#24956187)

2GB isn't even enough. I bought a Lenovo laptop where 2GB was "suggested". Ran like crap until I updated to 4GB... which is the max the motherboard can handle.

So much for my theory that paying more will lead to a longer lifespan for my laptop. Vista smells like WinME - maybe it's getting to be like Star Trek movies, you should avoid every other (or in this case every third) release...

Re:The RAM error (1)

Coneasfast (690509) | more than 6 years ago | (#24956335)

Usually laptop hard drives are relatively slow. Quite often even if you have plenty of ram it will still run slow because of a slow hard drive.

Nevertheless, I would recommend 4GB for Vista.

Re:The RAM error (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 6 years ago | (#24956473)

Ran like crap until I updated to 4GB... which is the max the motherboard can handle.

Yup, 4GB is really needed to make it feel like XP with 1GB. I know that the 4GB limit is due to running a 32bit OS, but i'm not sure 4GB is also a physical limit for your laptop as well. In any case, if your going to run Windows Vista, I suggest only going with the Vista Ultimate 64bit edition. Not only does it run very snappy with 8GB of memory, but it provides room to grow with your other applications as well. Most of the 64bit hardware support is semi-mature with multi-function printers still lagging a bit behind (but getting better each day).

Re:The RAM error (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24956641)

2GB isn't even enough. I bought a Lenovo laptop where 2GB was "suggested". Ran like crap until I updated to 4GB... which is the max the motherboard can handle.

So much for my theory that paying more will lead to a longer lifespan for my laptop. Vista smells like WinME - maybe it's getting to be like Star Trek movies, you should avoid every other (or in this case every third) release...

That's complete nonsense. Vista runs just fine on 2GB of RAM, upping it to 4GB doesn't make much of a difference. It will definitely be a bit sluggish with 1GB however. This is based on my experience with dozens of PCs. RAM is so dirt cheap now, I can't believe anyone actually bothers to try and argue about any issues with RAM.

Re:The RAM error (1)

aspx (808539) | more than 6 years ago | (#24956191)

You are mistaken. Vista runs in 640k. That's enough for anybody.

Re:The RAM error (1)

deft (253558) | more than 6 years ago | (#24956195)

Don;t take this the wrong way, this is a legit question asking for an update.

Can these 2 users that know so little about laptops and OS's to get vista on a 512 box really manage a linux setup or is linux hiding the backend enough that they cant screw it up? Or are you sort of default tech support now for them.

(I know I am default tech for... my whole family. Ugh.)

Re:The RAM error (3, Interesting)

techno-vampire (666512) | more than 6 years ago | (#24956541)

Can these 2 users that know so little about laptops and OS's to get vista on a 512 box really manage a linux setup or is linux hiding the backend enough that they cant screw it up?

*Shrug!* I'm not the OP, but I know what I'd do: set them up with Ubuntu or Kubuntu (your choice) and let them go after setting up their connection and email. Odds are that after a week or two they won't have any more questions for you unless something goes wrong, and that will be rare. I know; my sister's a Windows refugee on Ubuntu, I'm her tech support, and she needs less help now than she did on Win2k because with Linux, It Just Works.

Re:The RAM error (1)

New_Age_Reform_Act (1256010) | more than 6 years ago | (#24956227)

512 MB are Vista "Capable". (Yes it does run) But does not mean it is acceptable.

Re:The RAM error (1)

lindoran (1190189) | more than 6 years ago | (#24956427)

512 MB Vista Capable certification was later whisked away without announcement soon after the launch... I Think this was more or less a result of somebody in marketing asking the right questions to the right engineers so they could say it was compatible without really running it by the core of engineers supporting the product. This happens allot in big company's it usually involves an advertising executive saying something like "so by saying it wont work with 512MB you mean that it might?" and then continuely asking that question until somebody says something like "yes" or "mabey".

Re:The RAM error (4, Interesting)

digitalhermit (113459) | more than 6 years ago | (#24956509)

It's more than just RAM problems. I'm typing this from a 4G XPS 1530. It's a great machine. Runs Ubunutu 8.04 and XP wonderfully, but the pre-installed Vista is a piece of crap. At this moment I'm connecting via the Gigabit wired connection because wireless is unstable. Wired is SO 2005!!!!!

Seriously though, the wireless connection drops every couple minutes. Googling informs that it could be a bunch of things and I've tried each one. These include switching to high performance mode (so the wireless card doesn't get turned off to conserve battery) to upgrading the access point so it understands some new power save feature, to disabling IPv6 settings. None work.

Even with 4G I get those freezes. Googling indicates it could be SuperFetch. It might be the virus scan. It might be my graphics card crashing and silently restarting. Doesn't matter what the culprit is, it's just freaking annoying to be typing something and have the machine pause for 10 to 20 seconds at a time.

I agree with you that Microsoft shouldn't have OKed 512M configurations, but I think that was probably the least of their problems. At least with a minimum RAM configuration you could upgrade.

No issues here (2, Informative)

p51d007 (656414) | more than 6 years ago | (#24956131)

I think Vista is getting a bad rap. I'm not a gammer, so I can't speak of it in that regard. I use my laptop, Dell E1505, dual core, 2 gig ram, ATI video card, sata drive, 6-10 times a day, it runs pretty much 12 hours a day, in and out of sleep mode, on wi-fi spots all the time. Photoshop, MS office, and a couple of custom built apps. No problems since March of 07. If you have the hardware, at least for me, it's been a pleasure.

Re:No issues here (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24956155)

I think Vista is getting a bad rap. I'm not a gammer, so I can't speak of it in that regard.

I fail to see why elderly ladies [bartleby.com] are qualified to speak for Vista.

My issue is that... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24956643)

...I just pulled a long, stringy, rubbery booger out of my right nostril.

Re:No issues here (1)

jt2377 (933506) | more than 6 years ago | (#24956213)

No problem with Vista64 business edition either. I have been using Vista since Microsoft release it under ActionPack. There are some application issue since some apps have problem running under 64bit. Other than that no hardware problem or BSOD.

Re:No issues here (4, Insightful)

Just Some Guy (3352) | more than 6 years ago | (#24956269)

You know, that would've been an extremely high-end workstation just a couple of years ago. Of course Vista should run like the wind on that hardware.

Never mind that I have a similar machine and Vista runs like frozen molasses, but can't upgrade to XP because NVidia hasn't released XP-compatible video drivers. I'd switch to Ubuntu in a heartbeat if it weren't for a few critical application I absolutely must have.

Re:No issues here (1)

Danzigism (881294) | more than 6 years ago | (#24956425)

hey there, just curious about a couple things. I know they're obvious, but are you running anything like Google Desktop, Antivirus Software/Firewall/Or Other Active protection? i've seen vista run decently on quite a few dual cores. much better than a celeron, but it definitely seemed very usuable to me. a lot of my customers who buy brand name machines complain about how slow their brand new Dell is, yet it's all because of the horrible shit they leave installed. Dell Support+Norton 360+Google Desktop=the shittiest computer you'll ever use. if you use AV software, trash it and see if you're any happier.. I'd also disable Windows Defender since it always runs by default.. I apologize if any of this is ridiculously obvious to you.

Re:No issues here (1)

Just Some Guy (3352) | more than 6 years ago | (#24956481)

No Google Desktop (and indexing turned off), AVG antivirus in "scan nightly" mode, and 2GB of RAM on a Core 2 Duo. The one bottleneck is that I've installed TrueCrypt 6.0a for whole-disk drive encryption (because it holds medical data and I don't ever want to be "that guy"), but even stuff that doesn't really touch the disk just feels sluggish.

I wouldn't make our enemies use Vista (1)

vistahator (1330955) | more than 6 years ago | (#24956151)

Although it would be an effective defense if they did!

Generalisation about Apple (4, Interesting)

caitsith01 (606117) | more than 6 years ago | (#24956177)

There's no question Apple is improving its brand.

However, the reason for Apple's popularity is a massive generalisation:

Apple appeals to more and more consumers because the hardware is slick, the price is OK, and Apple doesn't annoy its customers (or allow third parties to).

The hardware is slick, but it seems to be getting worse (or being exposed to more scrutiny) as it becomes more and more mainstream. The hardware also has little to do with MS and its products success or failure, in the sense that it is perfectly possible to spend Apple-type dollars on a Windows PC and get a very solid, high performance machine.

The price is ok - I won't restart that debate but it remains the case that Apple is typically somewhat pricier for the equivalent hardware.

But the last part really annoys me - I have been an Apple customer from time to time and they annoy the absolute crap out of me. They deny problems, use proprietary software, aggressively attack anyone who attempts to open up their hardware platforms, and generally act in a self-righteous manner.

What Microsoft needs to realise is not that Apple is gaining on it because it "just works", it is gaining because it works at all, unlike many aspects of Vista.* There are plenty of ways to attack Apple, but unless you have a product that is at least competently made there is no way you can do it.

A case in point is the revised Zune - it looks like in many ways (other than MS's bullshit DRM/proprietary interface stuff) it is the equal of the equivalent ipod. If MS can do the same with its OS, then suddenly it has a product as good as Apple and 80%+ of the PC market already in its corner.

* and yes, I do know what I'm talking about, I have done several Vista uninstalls which have dramatically improved stability and performance of new laptops

Re:Generalisation about Apple (4, Insightful)

meta-monkey (321000) | more than 6 years ago | (#24956343)

If wishes were horses, beggars would eat, too.

Fact of the matter is, it's a pain in the ass to get a high-performance, non-bloatware infested Vista machine that doesn't suffer from driver-related crashes and all the rest of the mess they talk about in this article, much of which is STILL going on. And you're actually holding up the Zune, of all things, as a model of success to be emulated?!

I've bought seven Macs in the last 5 years (I run a small business...graphic design/marketing/photography) and I simply don't have time to deal with Microsoft. I actually just bought two new Mac Pros. It was really easy. I went to the Apple store, said, "I'd like two of those please," they loaded them up in my car, and I was up and running later that day. No bloatware, no weird driver problems, decently usable software already installed...no problems. Could I have gotten something "equivalent" by building it myself for less money? Only if my time is worthless.

Then again, I'm bothering to write a comment on Slashdot, so clearly my time is not worth that much...

Re:Generalisation about Apple (0)

djupedal (584558) | more than 6 years ago | (#24956413)

> "...and yes, I do know what I'm talking about..."

Thank you, Mr. Balmer. That will be all for now - You can step down...

Re:Generalisation about Apple (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 6 years ago | (#24956573)

I have been an Apple customer from time to time and they annoy the absolute crap out of me. They deny problems, use proprietary software

Don't blame Apple for using proprietary software [gnu.org] ; Windows is just as proprietary as Mac OS X. The only way I can see to get away completely from proprietary software is to use coreboot + gNewSense.

Delicious! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24956209)

*wiggles butt*

VISTA was lauched in BETA (4, Insightful)

Proudrooster (580120) | more than 6 years ago | (#24956215)

The problem with VISTA is that it was launched it BETA. Missing drivers, big footprint hardware requirements, and horrible power management (which drained many a laptop battery) caused the early demise of VISTA. I gave up on VISTA, but I understand that MS is slowly working out the problems. Legacy drivers will always be a problem for VISTA and the TPM/DRM features will continue to make smarter users shun VISTA.

I am back to the DUAL BOOT Linux/XP on my older hardware and performance is decent. Same hardware with VISTA... forget about it.

Re:VISTA was lauched in BETA (4, Insightful)

wild_quinine (998562) | more than 6 years ago | (#24956459)

The problem with VISTA is that it was launched it BETA.

This is an exaggeration!

Missing drivers, big footprint hardware requirements, and horrible power management (which drained many a laptop battery) caused the early demise of VISTA.

Hm. Alright. It's not much of an exaggeration.

I gave up on VISTA, but I understand that MS is slowly working out the problems.

This is true. What I really what to comment on here is the state of the FUD surrounding Vista. There were many negative reviews of Vista at time of release, which were deserved, if a little hyperbolic - I know, because I ran Vista and tested it.

When SP1 came out the reviews were similarly negative. I didn't test it for several months. Most broken things had not been fixed, the reviews said, and I did not go back for seconds.

Recently, I did test Vista with SP1. As it happens, I'm still running it. And whilst I'm not ready to recommend Vista yet, I'll say this gladly: most of the problems were fixed. And most of the articles bashing SP1 were just inaccurate FUD.

It really irritates me when things are reported innaccurately in this way. I don't mind if you have a negative opinion of something, even if it's something I really like. But I can't abhor being LIED to, simply because you're a zealot.

Well... (1)

DanWS6 (1248650) | more than 6 years ago | (#24956221)

"and Apple doesn't annoy its customers (or allow third parties to)"

They just annoy the rest of us who change the channel whenever one of their terrible commercials come on. At least they are even with Microsoft on this point. :D

Beta tester looking back (1)

mikenator.L (1360425) | more than 6 years ago | (#24956229)

I beta tested Microsoft Vista when RC1 came out, and it was a horrific buggy mess, it was dying and spurting. Thanks to many like me, we preached the bad rap about Vista. In retrospect, Vista won't be like XP, hopefully Windows 7 is better than this. But, all in all, if you use vista for a while with the new updates, its tolerable, not great, but it still chugs along. I'm just hoping that Win 7 will have a new kernel(hahaha like that will happen) to streamline the operating system.

Re:Beta tester looking back (3, Interesting)

cbrocious (764766) | more than 6 years ago | (#24956399)

Why would you want a new kernel in it? I do kernel development on a daily basis and the NT kernel is by far the best in popular use.

XNU is an ungodly slow mess of code with so many redundant APIs at every level that it's not even funny. Take a look at L4 to see microkernels done right -- hint, it was created to be a less retarded Mach.

Linux is poorly documented, has little to no code reuse, no real design (leading to modules being rewritten to fix bugs and design flaws while introducing even more), a ton of race conditions (causing stability and security issues), and scales very poorly in an SMP setting (the BKL is a joke).

Solaris is quite nice, but it's not used nearly enough. I've heard good things about the kernels in the BSDs, but I don't have enough experience to talk about them.

A lot of Windows is horrendous, but people talking about the kernel as this terrible thing need to learn what the NT kernel actually does and assign blame where blame it's deserved -- base services and shittacular drivers.

tags, please? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24956255)

Can we have TFA tagged as 'suddenoutbreakofcommonsense', or even 'haha', please?

Re:tags, please? (1)

russlar (1122455) | more than 6 years ago | (#24956273)

Even better, can we tag it "noshitsherlock"

I speak for many with older hardware (-1, Troll)

zymano (581466) | more than 6 years ago | (#24956263)

Vista sucks. It's a very poor ripoff of MAC OS.

Older hardware drivers don't work anymore. Real nice.

Schizophrenic article or schizophrenic corporation (3, Interesting)

earlymon (1116185) | more than 6 years ago | (#24956275)

An interesting read, but this telling comment was on the last page:

Yes, the June conversation was dazzlingly candid, and we were looking forward to an equally blunt follow-up meeting--a scheduled late-July on-the-record interview with Erik Lustig, a senior product manager responsible for Windows Fundamentals. But then the universe as we know it returned to normal, and Microsoft became Microsoft again. Our interview with Lustig was overseen by a PR representative and was filled with the type of carefully measured language that we've come to expect from Microsoft when discussing "challenges." A "challenge" is Microsoftese for anything that isn't going according to the company's carefully choreographed plans. In the text that follows, we've combined the information conveyed during the mid-June background conversation with decoded translations of the "on the record" conversation we had in July. The contrast between the two interviews is stunning.

The part where Microsoft was open to admit mistakes - even if done with back-handed compliments to Apple and slaps to other developers - began to sound like a breath of fresh air.

But the article itself is highly qualitative and lacks coherence, as if we're missing the director's cut. (Yes, I am comparing a bad movie as superior to this written word - knowingly.)

Nothing to see here, move along.

drivers (3, Insightful)

Edward Kmett (123105) | more than 6 years ago | (#24956279)

So lets see, the drivers sucked.. maybe thats because, in order to get the WHQL/"Designed for Windows"/Windows Logo Program/whatever-the- marketing-team-decided-to-stick-into-the-name-today stamp of approval needed to be able to be able to supply a signed driver for 64 bit vista they had to run through a 6 month release gauntlet?

Any software release cycle that gets stuck delaying that long between finding a bug and issuing a fix is going to suck

Appe Doesn't Annoy Its Customers? (5, Informative)

Unoti (731964) | more than 6 years ago | (#24956291)

Apple doesn't annoy its customers (or allow third parties to)

AT&T. Locked iPhones. Can't do anything not officially blessed with your iPhone unless you unlock it. Can't register your iPhone with anyone other than AT&T. iTunes is loaded with DRM, and QuickTime is pretty annoying... I do love Apple, but seriously, they constantly flirt with annoying their customers far more than most companies.

Vista 64 is better then xp 64 (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 6 years ago | (#24956317)

As there is more drivers for it.

I only ever had 2 problems with it, but might be (2, Interesting)

LM741N (258038) | more than 6 years ago | (#24956329)

major ones in some peoples' eyes. First the business version came on my laptop, but since I had plenty of money at the time, I got the Ultimate upgrade. Well thats been a disappointment as my Sony VAIO laptop has two graphics chips in it. A high end NVidia one which makes the graphics scream, but makes the computer hotter than hell, and a then a slow Intel i810. So I always keep it on i810, esp since I'm running FreeBSD which doesn't have very much control over the ACPI, ie it gets hot anyway.

The second problem was the price for something that wasn't much of a difference from XP as far as I can see, but perhaps I just don't care about the advanced features. The Ultimate updates have really never come, so that upgrade was worthless.

But as far as the OS itself, I think they did a good job on it. I only ever had a couple blue screens which were caused by the USB subsystem and were patched quickly. I also found that the only programs that don't work on it (that don't need special drivers) are DOS programs that require full screen display. And finally now I even have a driver for my 10 year old printer. So in the end it hasn't worked out so bad.

But perhaps thats more a reflection on Sony providing all of the needed drivers, updating them, etc, and making a really good laptop. I try to use FreeBSD when ever possible, but I have a couple Windows-only engineering programs so I need the dual boot.

TFA (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | more than 6 years ago | (#24956373)

We would expect a new version of Windows to be slower than the previous one, given immature drivers and new features that drain CPU cycles and absorb memory.

Why? Why would we expect this?
Given a stable and feature complete XP, give some rationale for users to eat a steaming pile of regression.

Thank you captain obvious... (1)

lindoran (1190189) | more than 6 years ago | (#24956377)

need i say more?

Bad drivers? (5, Insightful)

stm2 (141831) | more than 6 years ago | (#24956397)

So why their certified those faulty drivers?
Most drivers carry the log "Made for Vista" with digital signature provided by MS. That is supposed to have some QA, isn't it?

What they really spent the money on (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24956527)

The six billion wasn't spent on programmers it was spent on a time machine so Gates could send a copy of Windows 2015 back in time and get a jump on the competition. Unfortunately today's machines and drivers won't run it. Just wait until 2015, it'll be a smoking lean OS by then.

MS is blaming video hw/driver companies? (4, Insightful)

Alien Being (18488) | more than 6 years ago | (#24956579)

WTF? Operating systems are supposed to have two interfaces - an API and a DDI. MS fails at both.

Their technical problems are directly related to their legal problems. They can't be a neutral vendor of systems code while they're competing in the apps market.

Sure, Linux can be a pain in the ass to support, but usually it's a relatively simple build issue. And part of the pain is overly tight control of source code. With MS, there's simply no insurance that your technology will work with theirs.

For anyone who hasn't been paying attention for the last two decades, MS IS ROTTEN TO THE CORE.

Bullshit. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24956585)

Finally he conceded [...] Apple doesn't annoy its customers (or allow third parties to).

Clearly, this "Microsoft exec" isn't informed enough to know that Microsoft Office runs on the Mac.

uhoh .. google news strikes again. (1)

spir0 (319821) | more than 6 years ago | (#24956611)

I think this should have been dated feb 2007.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?