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Revisiting the Original Reviews of Windows Vista

CmdrTaco posted about 5 years ago | from the take-with-a-grain-of-salt dept.

Microsoft 414

harrymcc writes 'We now know that a remarkable percentage of consumers and businesses decided to spurn Windows Vista and stay with XP. But did the reviews of Vista serve as an early warning that it had major problems? I looked back at the evaluations in nine major publications and found that they expressed some caution--but on the whole, they were far from scathing. Some were downright enthusiastic.'

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Vista (5, Interesting)

sopssa (1498795) | about 5 years ago | (#29719209)

I dont think Vista was that bad OS after a little bit more powerful hardware came out and after you got used to it. It feels a bit more sluggish than XP but that's what Win7 improves with their move responsive UI (which is really important thing that always seems to be forgotten - just compare Opera to Firefox)

Everyone who have started using Win7 already are saying it's great. Even those who skipped Vista completely. Personally I will probably move from Vista once I get a new computer - I dont want to do an update nor move all the files and settings in place and install new programs right now (and more so because I will probably get a new computer soon anyway)

One of the failure points for Vista was that all the drivers had to be redone and released for it. Even if it's a better thing now that it happened, it was bad to be in the first ones. But this time they all work in Win7 too, so that's not an issue.

What comes to UAC, it's the correct direction, but lots of Windows userbase is general audience which would get annoyed with such in Linux and other OS too. Atleast it's there now, and those who dont like it can disable it.

Most of the problems with Vista was actually that it was taking Windows OS into new direction and probably needed that one OS release in between to get there and so that users get familiar and used with it.

Re:Vista (5, Insightful)

underqualified (1318035) | about 5 years ago | (#29719365)

i agree. aside from needing a lot more memory than what was considered "standard" at the time of its release, vista wasn't bad at all. i think everyone was just riding on the stay-away-from-vista band wagon. it's just sad that the general public believe the opinions of 12-yr-old geek wannabes or 40-yr-old bloggers who don't even know the difference between java and javascript.

Re:Vista (5, Insightful)

Hijacked Public (999535) | about 5 years ago | (#29719713)

And needing more graphics power than was considered normal in order to display a modern UI.

And UAC being maybe the most annoying thing ever added to any piece of software ever.

And inexpicably long file transfer times.

And backward compatibility.

I used the Vista RCs extensively and couldn't stand them, even on excellent hardware. This past weekend I spent an hour or so helping a friend set up his new Vista laptop and network and was reminded of why I can't stand Vista even on hot off the presses high end laptop hardware. The UI lags no matter how much computing power you throw its way. UAC still requires multiple approvals before executing one task. Even with an SSD traversing directories is still too slow.

I've been running the Win 7 RC and have to say that it appears to fix most all of Vista's problems apart from UAC. It is probably good enough to get me to take advantage of bootcamp, which Vista certainly was not.

Re:Vista (5, Informative)

dave420 (699308) | about 5 years ago | (#29719867)

I don't know what hardware your friend has, or how you set it up, but Vista flies on my machines. The file transfer issue you talk about was fixed years ago - it can easily max out our gigabit ethernet at work. Backwards compatibility was indeed broken for drivers, as it uses a new driver model to increase stability. I've used vista for years, without re-installing it, and it's fine.

Re:Vista (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29719881)

FUD and bullshit. I've used vista since day 1 and NEVER had any slight delay ever in transferring files.
Just more linux fanboy bullshit

Re:Vista (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29719943)

Ya know, when you throw lies in the face of known and fixed bugs you lose all credibility.

Re:Vista (3, Insightful)

sopssa (1498795) | about 5 years ago | (#29719923)

You complain about both backward compatibility and UAC. Most problems with UAC came from exactly that - the old software wasn't made to support it. New software is. Nevertheless, UAC is the correct direction for securing Windows as OS. People have been complaining that Windows is insecure, and now that MS takes the correct way people complain that it's a nuisance? You can't have it both ways (and you can disable UAC if you're not happy with it).

UAC nuisance goes away when you replace older software with newer one that supports it. But to support it MS had to just throw it in.

Re:Vista (4, Insightful)

pete6677 (681676) | about 5 years ago | (#29719903)

The main reason most businesses stayed away from Vista was because there was no business justification for it. If the only thing Vista can do that XP can't is to run slower and look prettier, why would you want to install it? Remember, a business software upgrade is never free even if there is no additional licensing cost. The IT staff time required to upgrade the PCs and networks along with any user downtime or learning curve is not worthwhile just to install a slower and buggier OS that offers no real improvement over XP.

Re:Vista (5, Interesting)

causality (777677) | about 5 years ago | (#29719951)

i agree. aside from needing a lot more memory than what was considered "standard" at the time of its release, vista wasn't bad at all. i think everyone was just riding on the stay-away-from-vista band wagon.

The real issue with Vista was that it didn't offer a good reason to upgrade for the many people who were satisfied enough with XP. It wasn't the staggering improvement over XP that XP was over Win98 and WinME. That's why the average person wasn't eager to install it and perhaps more importantly, neither were many corporations. Many who are more technically inclined felt that its improvements were not innovative but were instead evidence that Microsoft took some ten years to finally address some of the core flaws in XP. I personally think that stance is justifiable.

For example, UAC was the result of rampant malware infecting XP, yet a good designer could have told you before XP's release that most users running as "root" all of the time was asking for trouble. That's because other systems learned the importance of privilege separation and viewed it as a general design principle a very long time ago, before there was such a thing as Windows at all (think Multics, VAX, Unix). So now we have UAC so that the use of superuser capabilities can be limited, and if you listened to their marketing at the time, we were supposed to believe that this was innovation.

Having personally witnessed the various versions of Windows (since 3.1) slowly acquire user accounts, something like a distinction between superuser and normal user, network stacks, mount points, something like 'su' (RunAs), something like Sudo (UAC), I am reminded of that saying that "those who fail to understand Unix are doomed to reimplement it." Sometimes the word "poorly" is added to that sentence. The design principles we have seen and tested after decades of computing are sound, or they're not, yet much of the improvements I have seen in Windows were not due to robust basic design. Instead, they were reactions to the failures of earlier versions, which is not terribly innovative or interesting. I do see a lot of real innovation when it comes to OS-level support for DRM, but this doesn't make me want to run Vista either.

it's just sad that the general public believe the opinions of 12-yr-old geek wannabes or 40-yr-old bloggers who don't even know the difference between java and javascript.

It's sad that there are legitimate reasons to dislike something and that those good reasons often get drowned out by a bunch of demagoguery. You'd think the demagoguery would only be necessary in the absence of legitimate reasons, but some really seem to enjoy it. Others seem to have an axe to grind.

Call it a little devil's advocate, but I'd speculate as well that the abusive or at least "questionable" business practices of Microsoft (such as the ones for which they were convicted in multiple countries) and their willingness to use underhanded tactics like vendorlock haven't earned them many friends. While the average person just wants to browse the Web or run their office apps and really doesn't care, that only seems to make the minority who do care all the more vocal. Still, you can't worry too much about them if you trust in your own ability to know a reasonable argument when you see one.

Re:Vista (4, Insightful)

dave420 (699308) | about 5 years ago | (#29719417)

For me it didn't even take getting new hardware to get better performance under Vista. MS released some patches soon after launch that addressed the main performance issues people were having, and it's been great ever since. I'm still using it, after 2 years of no re-installs or cleaning up of my computer, and it's flying. The major problems people had, which were not addressed by Microsoft, were due to the new driver model, which made drivers less able to crash windows and generally mess up your computer (a Good Thing). Pre-Vista drivers weren't compatible, but now nearly everything has a Vista driver, so it's not a problem. The same thing happened when people moved from 98SE to XP - everyone decried XP's 'Fisher Price' interface and screwy drivers, but it was the exact same thing. Now folks are pining for XP, when in a few years Windows 7 will be the new XP. Vista was, in my opinion, rather unfairly tarnished by people spewing utter bullshit about it (which still goes on today on /.), and it'll never get over that. For those who have used it, the majority are still using it, and didn't go back to XP.

Re:Vista (3, Insightful)

commodore64_love (1445365) | about 5 years ago | (#29719519)

I never had any problems moving from 98 to XP.

In fact since XP is actually Windows NT 5.1, it was a hell of a lot more stable than the old 95/98/me MS-DOS overlaid-with-a-desktop model which kept crashing or freezing. I'm glad Microsoft discontinued that line.

Re:Vista (0, Troll)

wisdom_brewing (557753) | about 5 years ago | (#29719585)

Moving from 98 to XP wasnt a big issue...

Moving from 2000 to XP was...

Re:Vista (1)

Rob the Bold (788862) | about 5 years ago | (#29719633)

I never had any problems moving from 98 to XP.

Me neither, I skipped both for NT 4 and Win 2000!

Re:Vista (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29719637)

migration to XP was mostly helped by Windows 2000 which provided most of drivers and applications for XP. 98 to 2000 is much harder (and not actually intended as it's not for home user)

Re:Vista (2, Interesting)

Chyeld (713439) | about 5 years ago | (#29719613)

My primary and lasting complaint vs Vista was the decision (which admittedly was foreshadowed in XP) to create multiple versions of the OS, where the only difference for the price was what features were enabled in the kernel. Especially when the 'top tier' version boiled down to "we might someday decide to give you some free crap, but not really".

Well that and the fact that they played that "Vista Ready" game despite the fact that their own people were complaining that "Vista Ready" computers were barely able to boot, much less do something useful while Vista was installed.

Re:Vista (1)

Blakey Rat (99501) | about 5 years ago | (#29719941)

Especially when the 'top tier' version boiled down to "we might someday decide to give you some free crap, but not really".

Yah, ditto that. The "Ultimate Extras" were a cruel joke.

I still think Microsoft should do something to make up for it... grab some of the Microsoft-published older video games that you thhey make money off of anymore, and release them as Ultimate Extras for free-- games like Shadowrun, Halo 2 PC maybe, the latest Flight Simulator. That might make the whole thing worthwhile. Probably not going to happen though, sigh.

Re:Vista (1)

sopssa (1498795) | about 5 years ago | (#29719627)

after 2 years of no re-installs or cleaning up of my computer, and it's flying.

Yes, this is another thing that was greatly improved in Vista. I have it on my laptop and desktop pc and I've never needed to do a reinstall, which was quite common thing with XP (you just had to do it atleast once a year). At some point everything became so much slower and cluttered that you just had to do it - in Vista everything still works fast, as will probably in Win7 too.

Re:Vista (1)

Vlad_the_Inhaler (32958) | about 5 years ago | (#29719925)

My PC at work has been running XP for around three years without reinstalling. Booting takes a while but after that performance is reasonable for a netburst P4 with 2 gig. Until McAfee starts updating, then it is time for a coffee.

No re-installs on my 1GB Core Duo after 3-4 years either, but that is probably because I'm mostly running it under Linux anyway.

So no to you just had to do it (reinstall XP) atleast once a year. I do that with Linux when a new release comes out ;-)

Re:Vista (1)

Nerdfest (867930) | about 5 years ago | (#29719419)

What eventually made me dump Vista was not the performance, or UAC, but the behaviour of parts of the OS, especially SearchFilterHost. SearchFilterHost's behaviour looked (and probably still looks) like malware. I assumed for a long time the system was infected, but no virus or malware detection ever turned up anything.

Re:Vista (0, Troll)

commodore64_love (1445365) | about 5 years ago | (#29719433)

My brother bought a brand-new machine with 1/2 gig of RAM. It was slower than a snail through molasses. After he upgraded to 1.5 gig it did work a bit faster, but then he started having problems with Vista accusing him of using an unauthorized copy & refusing to startup. After he removed the RAM the problem went away, but it was again slow as a snail, and MS calls this "usable". Hardly.

Vista is the worst OS I've used since the Windows 3. Perhaps even worse than that. It's a pile of shit with whipped cream on top, and I'm glad it's been replaced with Windows 7.

Re:Vista (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29719503)

If your brother bought a brand new machine that came with Vista, he got ripped off. Most machines of the day came with at least a gig. And it would have had to have a gig to be certified for Vista.

Re:Vista (1)

Rob the Bold (788862) | about 5 years ago | (#29719565)

Vista is the worst OS I've used since the Windows 3. Perhaps even worse than that. It's a pile of shit with whipped cream on top, and I'm glad it's been replaced with Windows 7.

To be fair to Win 3.0, you weren't really supposed to use it: it was the demo for 3.1 and win for workgroups. You were expected to just give up and revert back to DOS (without going through any "downgrade" process) while waiting for 3.11, which was mostly usable.

Re:Vista (0, Troll)

poetmatt (793785) | about 5 years ago | (#29719757)

most machines with 1.5GB run linux decently well.

Vista is "okay", after having to do 8 million steps to make it manageable.

Re:Vista (4, Insightful)

Rob the Bold (788862) | about 5 years ago | (#29719463)

I dont think Vista was that bad OS after a little bit more powerful hardware came out and after you got used to it. It feels a bit more sluggish than XP but that's what Win7 improves with their move responsive UI (which is really important thing that always seems to be forgotten - just compare Opera to Firefox)

So Vista isn't so bad one you get a more powerful computer, get used to the slowness and upgrade to Windows 7? Was this supposed to be tongue-in-cheek?

Re:Vista (1)

sopssa (1498795) | about 5 years ago | (#29719771)

You might want to note the word *was*, in 2006. Back then my current, a little bit oldish computer didn't run it good but when I bought a new one, it was great. Most of that cause was probably RAM. Obviously current OS's aren't going to work with decades old hardware. It's not really slower to XP, and Win7 will improve that UI responsiveness even more (XP didn't have the same kind of just-show-ui-quickly-while-its-loading thing either)

Re:Vista (1)

jitterman (987991) | about 5 years ago | (#29719797)

I've moved from 32-bit XP to 64-bit Win7, never having used Vista at all (literally never, not even on someone else's machine). I've been running it for three weeks, and I don't have complaints other than minor driver problems for admittedly outdated hardware (old game pad controller). Obviously there are new (to XP users) interface changes to get used to, but I've found them to be for the better on the whole; as for speed and responsiveness, I have no issues thus far.

I'm running a quad-core chip, about 8 months old, with 4Gb RAM. Games are fine, apps are fine, boot time is very good. So far, think I'll stick with it. The point is, I didn't "get used to slowness" - this compares favorably with XP on the same machine.

Re:Vista (0, Troll)

poetmatt (793785) | about 5 years ago | (#29719817)

no, vista is what you get if you want to use DX10 (likewise DX11 with windows 7) - it's being crammed down throats until wine or other equivalents can find a better way to get around it.

Re:Vista (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29719847)

So Vista isn't so bad one you get a more powerful computer, get used to the slowness and upgrade to Windows 7?

Learn to read dipshit. That's not what he said. It appears that quoting it didn't help your reading comprehension at all. I hate Microsoft but I hate bullshit even more (one of the reasons I hate Microsoft).

Re:Vista (3, Insightful)

Random2 (1412773) | about 5 years ago | (#29719555)

Another note to add is that Vista was the first OS Microsoft created that wasn't designed to have Windows Explorer and Internet Explorer linked, which was likely a cause for several backwards-compatibility issues.

Re:Vista (2, Insightful)

kybred (795293) | about 5 years ago | (#29719619)

I dont want to do an update nor move all the files and settings in place and install new programs right now (and more so because I will probably get a new computer soon anyway)

This is one of the biggest PITA with Windows; migrating to a new machine or fresh install. With my home computer (MacBook) I just ran the Migration Assistant and it moved my settings, users, apps and files from my old iMac without any hassles. With Windows you're hunting for the install discs and looking at a day of installs and trying to remember where you downloaded some things from.

Is there anything close to that for Windows (that actually works)? I use Windows at work, and when I get a new machine it is a royal pain to move everything over.

Windows Easy Transfer (1)

xswl0931 (562013) | about 5 years ago | (#29719919)

Re:Windows Easy Transfer (2, Informative)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 5 years ago | (#29719947)

The program does not support transferring entire applications themselves and system files such as fonts and drivers

Close, no cigar.

Re:Vista (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29719641)

I don't think Vista was that bad either. I only run XP on my desktop because of a hardware combination it doesn't get along with and I didn't want to take the time to figure it out.

It seems like the biggest problem with Vista was that what it added to XP (little to nothing for me) was not worth the upgrade cost. The only reason I have Vista now for my laptop is because I purchased it to upgrade to Windows 7 (mistake? We'll see...)

Re:Vista (1)

ukyoCE (106879) | about 5 years ago | (#29719643)

I agree UAC is the correct direction, but the problem isn't the users. It's the legacy of poorly coded apps that "violate" UAC, because Windows is just now using UAC to enforce security measures that are common practice for apps on Unix OSes.

Hopefully once Vista and Windows7 have "fixed" all those bad habits and bad programs, UAC prompts will start to appear with a MUCH lower frequency, more comparable to how often you get SUDO prompts on the Mac or Linux.

UAC is a good effort, but still was probably not the best way to move to a new application security structure.

Re:Vista (1)

I(rispee_I(reme (310391) | about 5 years ago | (#29719649)

How is it that every version of Windows is "the fastest Windows ever", yet each version boasts higher minimum system requirements, suggesting that each version runs (if it runs at all), more slowly on the same hardware?

*adjusts monocle.

Re:Vista (1)

Random2 (1412773) | about 5 years ago | (#29719801)

Gives the hardware industry more reason to create new things, no? Perhaps the new requirements are simply businesses forcing you to buy their new products. ;^)

Re:Vista (1)

sopssa (1498795) | about 5 years ago | (#29719855)

Because you need a current hardware to enjoy current OS and technology. Ubuntu and other commonplace Linux distros dont run on a 100MHz+16MB RAM computer either (yeah maybe you find some specialized ones that do, but thats not the point and dont support everyday people)

Re:Vista (1)

QuoteMstr (55051) | about 5 years ago | (#29719727)

What comes to UAC, it's the correct direction

Agreed, given Microsoft's backwards compatibility constraints. However, Microsoft made a terrible error: Microsoft opened a gaping hole [gizmodo.com] in the UAC security model by --- wait for it --- not protecting the UAC-enabled switch with UAC.

Re:Vista - OT should not compare Opera to Firefox (1)

Locutus (9039) | about 5 years ago | (#29719865)

"just compare Opera to Firefox"

people often don't realize the difference between Opera and Firefox. While they both are browsers, Firefox is also an application foundation. The XUL engine in Firefox allows for a very rich application foundation based on web interfaces and standards. And it allows alot of additional features to be added to Firefox but like everything, these things use CPU cycles and memory.

Opera and Firefox are very different forms of browsers. So maybe it would be better to compare Gecko-only based browsers to Opera - something like Skipstone( http://www.muhri.net/skipstone/ )

Here's where you can get an overview of what XUL is and does and how it's an application base and how Firefox could be considered a XUL application:

https://developer.mozilla.org/en/XUL_tutorial

LoB

Original slashdot readers review (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29719217)

It's sucks, it's terrible, I've never used it...

OS Change (4, Funny)

Nerdfest (867930) | about 5 years ago | (#29719245)

Vista pushed me to Linux, so it's not all bad.

Re:OS Change (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29719337)

Vista pushed me to Linux, so it's not all bad.

But did it push you mama?
It pushed my mama.

Re:OS Change (1)

Feminist-Mom (816033) | about 5 years ago | (#29719397)

What are you trying to say, that mothers are less technically competent?

Re:OS Change (2, Funny)

piripiri (1476949) | about 5 years ago | (#29719545)

What are you trying to say, that mothers are less technically competent?

Oblig. xkcd: http://xkcd.com/341/ [xkcd.com]

Re:OS Change (1, Funny)

insertwackynamehere (891357) | about 5 years ago | (#29719607)

no, just women in general

Re:OS Change (1)

2.7182 (819680) | about 5 years ago | (#29719755)

This attitude may explain your lack of success with women. Don't hide behind the geek excuse. You'll never get a date with a woman in you IT dept.

Re:OS Change (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29719897)

maybe he is the woman in the IT dept.

Re:OS Change (1)

O('_')O_Bush (1162487) | about 5 years ago | (#29719353)

Same here. I didn't start using Ubuntu as my main OS until my Win XP install on my tablet got utterly destroyed by a virus and my only other MS options were to re-install XP, risk the same vulnerability or move to Vista.

I chose neither.

Re:OS Change (5, Insightful)

Malc (1751) | about 5 years ago | (#29719377)

Vista ain't bad, and really Win7 isn't as different as Vista was to XP. I tried very hard for 10 years to use Linux. Not any more; it's too much work. When I'm using my computer, I don't want to spend time fiddling with the OS and desktop environment. So I'm happy using Windows at work, and Mac OS X at home. Each to their own though.

Re:OS Change (1, Troll)

John Hasler (414242) | about 5 years ago | (#29719409)

> When I'm using my computer, I don't want to spend time fiddling with the OS
> and desktop environment.

Neither do I. That's one of the reasons I use Linux. It just works.

Re:OS Change (5, Funny)

Nerdfest (867930) | about 5 years ago | (#29719475)

Talking with some friends the other day, after trying to resolve some very annoying Windows configuration issues, we came to the realization that Windows is just not ready for the desktop.

Re:OS Change (5, Funny)

2.7182 (819680) | about 5 years ago | (#29719557)

Dude, go easy on Malc. Did you see his user ID? He must be like 60 years old. Don't forget, he probably finds computers confusing, and has his some explain email to him. And he thinks that the "internet" is inside his computer. So be nice to the old folks. Seriously though, I think you missed his point, namely the line "to each his own."

Re:OS Change (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29719683)

It just works.

[Insert Distro Name Here] support forums would suggest otherwise.

Re:OS Change (3, Informative)

commodore64_love (1445365) | about 5 years ago | (#29719775)

>>>>> When I'm using my computer, I don't want to spend time fiddling with the OS
>>
>>That's one of the reasons I use Linux. It just works.

Challenge - Connect to this ISP (with webaccelerator) on a Linux machine. I tried and tried and tried and could not get it to work on my Ubuntu Linux laptop, and it's kinda crucial since many places I travel have no other internet access - http://www.getnetscape.com/getnetscape/ [getnetscape.com] ?

I also had problems getting my Atari Stella and NESticle emulators to work properly (they ran but only played 1/3 of the games). Plus when I tried to use VLC Media Player to open some songs, rather than play one song at a time as you'd logically expect, Ubuntu tried to open 100 copes of VLC at the same time. My ancient Amiga OS 1.0 had the same stupid flaw. What is this? 1985?

I was forced to yank the battery of my laptop to rescue it. Linux doesn't "just work".

Re:OS Change (2, Informative)

Rob the Bold (788862) | about 5 years ago | (#29719717)

Vista ain't bad, and really Win7 isn't as different as Vista was to XP. I tried very hard for 10 years to use Linux. Not any more; it's too much work. When I'm using my computer, I don't want to spend time fiddling with the OS and desktop environment.

Neither do I, it takes enough time to be constantly fixing friends' neighbors' and family's copies of XP & Vista.

Re:OS Change (1, Interesting)

vertinox (846076) | about 5 years ago | (#29719957)

When I'm using my computer, I don't want to spend time fiddling with the OS and desktop environment. So I'm happy using Windows at work, and Mac OS X at home.

I don't know about you, but I often have to fiddle with both WinXP and Vista to get things to work.

I mean its not something a 30 second Google query couldn't fix, but issues with both the UAC and the auto rebooting on updates without asking or warning when running a full screen game basically made me go "UNGGGGGH!"

As far as fiddling with OS X... Not so much. I fiddled with the X11 to get it working the way I wanted out of the box.

Re:OS Change (4, Funny)

UberLaff (730967) | about 5 years ago | (#29719533)

XP pushed me to Linux. Strangely, Vista brought me back. I think I'm the only person on the Internet who made that switch...

Re:OS Change (3, Interesting)

Bigjeff5 (1143585) | about 5 years ago | (#29719587)

Same here, I got fed up with Vista pretty quickly (it came with a new computer - and blue screened at first boot) and switched to Linux - Ubuntu specifically.

Unfortunately Linux eventually pushed me back to Vista. It took about a year and a half, and by then SP2 was out all the issues I'd had with Vista before had been delt with. It it has all been gravy since then.

I'm telling you, if you aren't fond of the effort Linux takes you might want to give Vista another shot, it has improved a lot.

Re:OS Change (2, Insightful)

commodore64_love (1445365) | about 5 years ago | (#29719623)

>>>Vista pushed me to Linux, so it's not all bad.

Me too!!!

Then I realized Linux is programmer-friendly but not user-friendly*, so I decided to try Mac OS X. Then I realized I'm not rich enough to keep the Mac constantly upgraded, so I eventually found myself back at seven-year-old XP PC (NT 5) right where I began.

*
* Change Ubuntu Linux's resolution to 640x480.
Now change it back without using secret,
hidden key commands. It can't be done.
That's a non-user-friendly design.

Re:OS Change (1)

characterZer0 (138196) | about 5 years ago | (#29719723)

Please explain how you have to spend money to keep a Mac constantly upgraded, but you can use a PC for seven years without upgrading.

Re:OS Change (1)

ub3r n3u7r4l1st (1388939) | about 5 years ago | (#29719631)

You are bound to miss the benefit and superiority that Windows 7 has to offer.

Follow The Money (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29719289)

I looked back at the evaluations in nine major publications and found that they expressed some caution--but on the whole, they were far from scathing. Some were downright enthusiastic.

Yeah I occasionally read magazines like PC Magazine (the dead-tree version). Their review was far from scathing as well. Then I notice all of the Microsoft ads and the "Designed for Windows X" labels prominently displayed on any advertisements for desktops and laptops and I think "hmm.... coincidence?"

Re:Follow The Money (1)

tverbeek (457094) | about 5 years ago | (#29719383)

Microsoft is the 800-ton godzilla of the technology industry, with a lot of advertising dollars and other forms of influence to throw around. Of course reviewers are going to pull their punches. There's also the problem that most reviewers are not typical users; they're technology fans, who will be more impressed by teh shiney than Joe Secretary, Suzie Manager, or Pat Homemaker - who mostly just want to do stuff with their computers - would be.

Re:Follow The Money (0, Troll)

gbjbaanb (229885) | about 5 years ago | (#29719431)

and then there are the reviewers who are, lets face it, happy to receive free software, hardware and other forms of brib^H^H^H^Hinducement from Microsoft and are only going to tell the company line regardless of what they really think.

Re:Follow The Money (from TFA) (5, Interesting)

uassholes (1179143) | about 5 years ago | (#29719579)

PC World (lots of MS ads):

The bottom line? "All in all, Windows Vista is a great leap forward for the operating system, with a much-improved, far more useful (and pleasurable) interface; faster, better search; beefed-up security that's a big improvement over Windows XP with SP2; and far, far better networking.

Forbes:

The bottom line? "Vista is at best mildly annoying and at worst makes you want to rush to Redmond, Wash. and rip somebody's liver out...

Slashdot is gay for Vista (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29719303)

And MS in general.

Re:Slashdot is gay for Vista (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29719453)

Noone's gay for Vista.

Re:Slashdot is gay for Vista (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29719583)

I'm a homosexual masochist you insensitive clod!!

Re:Slashdot is gay for Vista (1)

Rob the Bold (788862) | about 5 years ago | (#29719589)

But Midnighte's gay for Noone!

Re:Slashdot is gay for Vista (2, Funny)

NoYob (1630681) | about 5 years ago | (#29719513)

Gay? No. I don't think we were happy about it, either. For one thing, when trying to connect to a wireless network via the wireless controls, the "Connect" button stays grayed out. WTF?!?! You have to connect via the regular networking software to get it to connect. There are some good things here and there but not gay about it.

Re:Slashdot is gay for Vista (1)

roywfall (622207) | about 5 years ago | (#29719605)

And MS in general.

Interestingly - I tend to assign gender, mentally, to almost everything I deal with on a regular basis and in my mind, /. is very male (as is WinXP), while Vista is female. But then, maybe she (he) is a cross-dresser. Or, by gay, did you just mean happy?

No thanks, MS (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29719343)

I'm still using XP. Vista has nothing to offer me, neither has W7.

Next, I'll be using Ubuntu.

Re:No thanks, MS (1)

agnosticanarch (105861) | about 5 years ago | (#29719677)

I already switched to Ubuntu... and I keep my lil' XP going in a Sun VirtualBox, just in case I ever need it. I was using it for iTunes and SyncToy, but I haven't even done that in weeks.

That being said, I'll be getting a new system after 7 comes out just so I can learn it. My company has already said we're skipping Vista, so it's just a matter of time before I have to upgrade all the systems here from XP to 7... and I'll need to be able to support it! Yay.

Wish I could talk management into Ubuntu, but we have too many M$ developers that (say they) can't switch.

~AA

"Some were downright enthusiastic." (5, Insightful)

John Hasler (414242) | about 5 years ago | (#29719367)

Advertisements usually are.

Main Problem With Vista Was It Instantly Annoyed (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29719373)

The legacy of Vista is the importance of first impressions.

for the majority of users, their first Vista experience was impeded by a slew of "you just clicked an icon! this is a security risk! are you sure??" messages, and "in order to run this program, you must have administrator privileges. do you want to run this as administrator now?" popup messages. it was very annoying, and blunted what could have been a fine experience with a shiny new OS.

This was by no means the most serious problem with Vista, but it had tremendous impact on its reception.

Re:Main Problem With Vista Was It Instantly Annoye (1)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | about 5 years ago | (#29719563)

Vista (and Windows 7) are still plagued with problems. Some are "We made a wrong design decision" (Like the search functionality). Some are "We made a wrong design decision and it causes what appear to be bugs, but are a side effect of said decision" (Maximize a window on your primary monitor will halt the animated background on your second monitor). Then there is the "This is absolutely broken, but we'll probably never fix it" (An application calling LockWindowUpdate constantly [however inappropriate] causes all windows on the screen to flicker when it is called).

I gave one example for each category, but there are multitudes more. They tried to change too much, with a very poor deliverable on the improvements those changes were supposed to bring.

Re:Main Problem With Vista Was It Instantly Annoye (1)

Dude McDude (938516) | about 5 years ago | (#29719737)

Vista (and Windows 7) are still plagued with problems. Some are "We made a wrong design decision" (Like the search functionality)

What's the "wrong design decision" in this instance?

Re:Main Problem With Vista Was It Instantly Annoye (1)

lymond01 (314120) | about 5 years ago | (#29719705)

The security pop-ups were certainly (sorry...ARE certainly annoying) when running in non-admin mode. But I'd almost say they were a necessary evil. Most users, even after you explain it to them a hundred times or have to reformat their computer because of a virus, still don't get the idea that running with full admin privileges is a bad idea. These annoying pop-ups may or may not have helped them figure that out, but it went a long way to keeping computers clean of viruses.

All reviews are, of course, useful and impartial (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29719395)

Most reviews apparently aren't that thorough. They do what the salesweasels do: Install the thing on fancy new hardware, possibly well out of budget for joe average for the next half decade, click around a bit. That's all on a "clean" system, where windows has a well-known tendency to degrade over time, especially in the face of repeated de/installs, like, oh, with games. And that, a mere industry standard review doesn't catch.

What struck me about this crop of "reviews" was that most compared windows seven with windows vista, where most people were shunning the latter because it was so bad. I haven't seen a single in-depth review even so much as mention the thing "everyone" was actually using, windows XP. Curious, that.

Re:All reviews are, of course, useful and impartia (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29719451)

you're not looking very hard then

who got it right? (1)

Dan667 (564390) | about 5 years ago | (#29719413)

More interesting would be who got it right with windows xp and windows vista reviews.

Well color me savvy! (3, Insightful)

erroneus (253617) | about 5 years ago | (#29719439)

Hey, Harry, you were writing and editing stories about Vista back when it came out, right? What did you say? Um, thanks for reminding me. I wrote quite a bit about Vista in my Techlog blog for PC World, and was smart enough to express caution about its significance and raise questions about compatibility issues, but not savvy enough to guess it would become a legendary flop. (Here's a post from March 2006 in which I'm fairly skeptical, but say "It...seems unlikely that it'll be a Windows Me-style fiasco." Wrong!)

I recall that I had plenty to say about the last quarter, last month, last day, last hour, last minute removal of features that made Vista interesting. What was left was a Windows OS with a lot of hinderances and no benefits over the previous version of Windows. It was one huge empty promise. And I did, in fact say this was the new WindowsME. And quite predictably, I was marked "troll" and "overrated" and heard no end of how wrong I was. What I heard was that Vista was elegant and refined and that if the PC was too slow to handle it, it wasn't Vista's fault.

No one succeeded in changing my mind on the topic and it seems the masses, for once, agreed with me. (How rare!)

Re:Well color me savvy! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29719789)

Well, your name might have something to do with it...

Re:Well color me savvy! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29719891)

That's awesome! Good for you!

independent or advocates? (1)

petes_PoV (912422) | about 5 years ago | (#29719461)

Most reviewers get their "stuff" from the suppliers. They have a vested interest in being nice to the suppliers - to get more stuff, freebies, invitations, early access, privileged information and maybe even paid work. There is no way the public should expect more from them than glowing promotion of the good and no mention of the bad. Sadly, ther reviews don't tell people this.

When I see a website that accepts no advertising, buys all it's products for cash, anonymously from retail stores and has a test suite that reflects what actual users actually do, then their reviews will have merit (although I can't see anyone anywhere paying the hue cover price for such a publication) Until then, print and online sources are far too cosy with the suppliers to get anything objective from them. It would be too much to ask for them to criticise their advertisers - the sucking sound you'd hear would be next month's full-page spreads being pulled.

never liked vistaids (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29719471)

When I first installed Vista on my MS box it didn't last more than a few hours before I reformatted my new drive along with some colourful language and went back to XP. I've never touched it since and find it infuriating to use. I think the coined phrase "vista aids" very appropriate as it seems like an OS destined to die a painful death along with its users. I'm about to try windows 7 so we will see what happens then.

Vista: A shiny, new XP Service Pack (1)

Greg_J7 (1590811) | about 5 years ago | (#29719507)

Neither Microsoft or reviewers made a credible case to me that it was worth paying money for. Windows XP was working just fine for me. The media buzz made me feel like I was having to pay for a shiny, new XP service pack, not an OS that was going to enable me to do things *I wanted to do*, but couldn't do with XP. The scary thing is that Windows XP is STILL working just fine for me!

Win7 has runs better and has better drivers (1)

griffinme (930053) | about 5 years ago | (#29719531)

I tried Vista but it was slow and half my hardware didn't work. The same computer runs Win7 without a problem with fewer driver issues. I have it running on 2 of three desktops at home. The wife gives me a funny look when ever I mention upgrading her computer or it would be three for three. This might have something to do with it. http://xkcd.com/349/ [xkcd.com]

Its like win2k and xp. XP was really win2k done right. Win7 is vista done right.

2K done right (1)

sconeu (64226) | about 5 years ago | (#29719645)

XP was really win2k done right.

What, pray tell, was wrong with 2K? I'm still running 2K on my home box, and you'll have to pry it off of my cold, dead, harddrive.

Windows 7 reviews are no different.... (4, Insightful)

jkrise (535370) | about 5 years ago | (#29719535)

But my feeling is: Windows 7 will suffer the same fate that Vista did. It will be still XP in all major Corporates; where they will erase the pre-installed Windows7 and install XP using the Corporate licenses. Software developers will continue to support XP atleast for the next 4 years.

By which time, the OS on the desktop will be irrelevant siince Netbooks will completely change the dynamics of the OS market. It will not be a stretch to predict that Linux will establish itself within the next 4 years in all Corporates where people exect their devices to boot instantly and work reliably consuming less resources like mobile phones.

Re:Windows 7 reviews are no different.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29719655)

Netbooks are a dead end. They make no money. Only kids like you think they mean anything. Corporate users don't want Netbooks. Linux is very unlikely to replace Windows on desktops in corporations and it has nothing to do with Linux being good or bad..

Re:Windows 7 reviews are no different.... (4, Interesting)

majortom1981 (949402) | about 5 years ago | (#29719753)

Well on my network we just got all new z600 workstations with xp .As soon as our windows 7 licenses come in we will be putting windows 7 on the machines. N oreason not to with xp mode if we need xp we just run the program virtually in xp mode.

Re:Windows 7 reviews are no different.... (1)

backwardMechanic (959818) | about 5 years ago | (#29719803)

I didn't realise the depth of Microsoft's problems until I found out that my university has a license to give away Windows 7 installs to all staff and students for home use for free. Oh, and we have officially skipped Vista across campus - no word on Win7 yet.

Re:Windows 7 reviews are no different.... (1)

ACMENEWSLLC (940904) | about 5 years ago | (#29719843)

I disagree. We are on XP now, however we plan to move to Windows 7 EE as we roll out new machines.

With the EA including App-V in the MDOP, most anything which will not run in Windows 7 should run through App-V. We are finding that more of our applications work under Windows 7 without modification than did under Vista. Windows 7's system requirements are less than that of Vista. Add a 2008 R2 server and you get branch cache. There are no compelling reasons to stay with XP on a new PC now, however there features in Windows 7 which would be quite beneficial.

http://www.microsoft.com/windows/enterprise/products/mdop/default.aspx [microsoft.com]
http://www.microsoft.com/windows/enterprise/products/windows-7/features.aspx#branchcache [microsoft.com]

Why upgrade from 2000? (4, Interesting)

glrotate (300695) | about 5 years ago | (#29719621)

I really haven't encountered a compelling feature exclusive to XP, Vista or 7 to upgrade beyond 2000.

2000 has a clean efficient interface and is unencumbered by all of the bloat and runs 32 bit apps.

Except for Cleartype, what real improvements do any of the above offer?

Re:Why upgrade from 2000? (1)

uassholes (1179143) | about 5 years ago | (#29719873)

Parent is someone with something insightful to say, and is stuck in the bad karma hole. Some non-MS Fanboy should spread some mod points around.

Message control, message control, message control (5, Insightful)

QuoteMstr (55051) | about 5 years ago | (#29719691)

Vista sucking has a lot more to do with sociology than technology. The problem was that marketdroids severely understated Vista's hardware requirements, tried to segment the market too finely with too many editions, and outright lied about the user experience at some levels of hardware capability. What's what marketdroids do: they lie for profit.

But marketdroid lies notwithstanding, the underlying technology behind Vista wasn't bad: far from it, actually. For the first time, there's a half-decent security model for the average user. (I don't buy that UAC sucks.) There are a ton of kernel and API improvements behind the scenes. We have symlinks, even!

Sure, there were a couple release-day bugs, but every OS has those. XP had a similar number of pre-SP1 issues. And hell, it had fewer than the first version of RHEL5 (that OS paused for a full five minutes on every boot, polling SATA drives that never came, until a patch fixed the issue.)

The "Vista sucks" meme, however, spread virally because 1) we all love to hate Microsoft, and 2) most users really can't tell the difference between good technology and bad, but they can certainly parrot what their friends say. It doesn't help that Vista really did suck for some users who were running on underpowered hardware. (If you want to argue that Vista's hardware requirements are too high, we can do that, but Vista doesn't suck on the hardware for which it was designed.)

Really, Microsoft could just rebrand Vista as Windows 7 and release it today to great acclaim: in fact, that's precisely what they did. Since Vista's release, even low-end hardware has caught up to Vista's original requirements, so despite the inevitable lies from marketing, Vista^H^H^H^H^HWindows 7 will now run fine for a lot more people. The new name kills the old meme, and forces people to reconsider whether Vista sucks.

tl;dr: Vista doesn't suck on the hardware for which it was designed. In fact, it's a vast improvement. Marketing sucks for lying about what hardware you need for Vista, however, which put a bad taste in people's mouths.

Vista was fine, I blame Apple (1)

WebmasterNeal (1163683) | about 5 years ago | (#29719715)

I have Vista, and have been using it for a year or two now. I had issues early on, but discovered that it wasn't Vista but a bad RAM stick that was giving me grief. I really have no qualms about the operating system. Personally I think Apple is the one to blame about the public perception of Vista. Microsoft's marketing has focused on their own product and tried to keep the mud slinging to a minimum while Apple decide to directly speak to Microsoft and bash them during their marketing campaign. I guess we can see what the public responds to better. No wonder politicians campaign the way they do.

I hate to knock on wood but I have to wonder if Apple will stick the course with Windows 7 as well.

The question... (1)

taskiss (94652) | about 5 years ago | (#29719969)

The question isn't "Is Windows 7 better than Vista"?, it is "Is Windows 7 better than XP"?

When first starting to build a new PC, I used to install my Windows NT 4.0 license (purchased in '97 or so) on it, and wiped and installed Linux on the old hardware. In '02 I purchased a license for XP and continued doing the same thing. I'll buy the next MS operating system when a better one comes out.

Painful decision (2, Informative)

MpVpRb (1423381) | about 5 years ago | (#29719973)

AFIK, most of Vista's problems came from a decision Microsoft made.

For the entire history of Windows, backward compatibility was king. They even emulated old bugs in newer versions.

In Vista, they decided to eliminate the absolute requirement for backward compatibility. Yes...Apple had done this several times already, but for Microsoft, it was a MAJOR philosophy change.

Because of the lack of backward compatibility, users who needed to run old programs stayed away.

Windows 7 is also not backward compatible, but more time has passed, so presumably, less users care about running their aging software.

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