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Information Technology Pros Debate Windows Vista

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the six-of-one-half-dozen-of-the-other dept.

Microsoft 377

An anonymous reader writes "As a follow-on to John Welch's widely read review arguing that Mac OS X is superior to Vista, Information Week is running the first in a weeklong series of roundtables where a programmer, networking consultant, and 3 IT managers have a serious technical debate on the pros and cons of Vista. What's been your experience with Vista? More importantly, do you think it will ever gain traction among corporate users, or is its glitzy Aero interface destined to make it mainly a consumer OS?"

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First (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18200892)


Apparently (0)

SpaceLifeForm (228190) | more than 7 years ago | (#18200902)

No one here has tried it.

It's hard posting to Slashdot from Vista... (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18201092)

You are trying to post the same damn Vista joke for the 10,000 time.
[ Allow ] [ Cancel ]

Unfortunately (4, Informative)

Greyfox (87712) | more than 7 years ago | (#18201168)

I'm frequently subjected to Windows at work. I'm under the impression that it kind of sucks for automated building. Various debugging and other popups frequently hang our build system. If we could just rip the goddamn UI out of that thing and run it text mode only it might actually almost not suck for our needs.

That's not the entire story though. You see, I used to do OS/2 tech support back in the days. I got pretty familiar with the guts of OS/2 and Windows and OS/2 share a lot of early design. And early design flaws. In my opinion the most frustrating one of these is the fact that the application itself handles window frame messages. That means if the application is poorly written and stops handling frame window commands at any point you can't even minimize the window until it gets done processing. Minimize, kill and move should pretty much never stop working for any given window, even if the application is displaying a goddamn modal dialog box (Another pet peeve of mine and Microsoft seems to encourage programming by modal dialog.)

Meanwhile OSX and E17 demonstrate that you can put a glitzy interface on an OS that's quite suitable for server purposes. I'm pretty sure the only way that Microsoft could design an OS that didn't suck would be to tear the whole thing down and start from scratch, though.

Re:Unfortunately (2, Informative)

cnettel (836611) | more than 7 years ago | (#18201476)

On the other hand, even back to Windows 2000, there has been a "faked" Windows proc that kicks in if the window fails to answer non-client messages for a while. (So, you can minimize an unresponsive Window in any Windows release currently supported.) Yep, you're right that it's a bit of a hack, but it works, unless the owner has gone to great lengths to stop this from happening, before going unresponsive.

Re:Unfortunately (-1, Flamebait)

drsmithy (35869) | more than 7 years ago | (#18201538)

You see, I used to do OS/2 tech support back in the days. I got pretty familiar with the guts of OS/2 and Windows and OS/2 share a lot of early design.

No, they don't.

I'm pretty sure the only way that Microsoft could design an OS that didn't suck would be to tear the whole thing down and start from scratch, though.

Indeed. They could call it "Windows - New Technology" !

Re:Unfortunately (5, Insightful)

NatteringNabob (829042) | more than 7 years ago | (#18201560)

[I'm under the impression that it kind of sucks ...]

You could have stopped there. Windows is just a bad implementation of VMS + Unix + DOS that, due to Microsoft's successful violation of anti-trust law, is pretty much the only operating system you can buy pre-installed on commodity hardware. Because of that successful illegal behaviour, all the corporate apps (and games) run on Windows, hence all the corporate users are on Windows, adn all the gamers are on Windows. Vista offers exactly nothing to those users. But if you buy a new computer, Vista is what you are going to get because Microsoft wants it that way. It isn't exactly a surprise that nobody is buying Vista 'upgrades'.

Re:Unfortunately (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18201654)

No one in the know is using Vista. Maybe a few business gimps without a clue are.

Too buggy, too many security holes, too fat, too slow, no "need to have" new features.

Not even sure I will even use it after a couple rounds of service packs and bug patches. What is there to gain? Nothing.

Fixed (3, Informative)

gcnaddict (841664) | more than 7 years ago | (#18201656)

That was fixed in Vista (for Minimize and move, anyway), but only while running Glass. It's because the actual application is no more than a texture thrown onto a frame (the glass). Killing an app is also a tad easier than before: if an app isn't responding and you try to kill it, Windows asks you if you'd like to wait for it to come back to the light or if you'd like to hack it to bits. I haven't had an issue with it so far.

My Experience (0, Redundant)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 7 years ago | (#18200930)

I have a free Business Edition copy, and a machine powerful enough to run it, however, I rather not thank you.

Hopefully (1)

Telastyn (206146) | more than 7 years ago | (#18200932)

Hopefully the debate will be more involved than the poster's insinuation that all the OS adds is a pretty UI...

Re:Hopefully (1)

Checkmait (1062974) | more than 7 years ago | (#18201074)

Seriously. Since when have businesses gone out for a "glitzy" UI? Of course, some people would use any excuse to "upgrade" ....

As an IT manager (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18200946)

As an IT manager, I can plainly see Vista offers no benefits to my company. The only feature that piqued my interest was the Bitlocker technology but we use PGP's Whole Disk Encryption product already and that works fine.

I see nothing that will make our employees more productive or save us money on IT. We'll be sticking with XP.

Re:As an IT manager (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 7 years ago | (#18200976)

We'll be sticking with XP.

Me too. For as long as we can. Eventually, it's going to be a forced putt ... Gates, Hell & Co. won't leave us any choice. But maybe by then it will have matured into something useful.

As an IT guy also (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18201150)

Agreed, same thing happend when '98 moved to XP. Adoption takes time. I wouldn't say it's done just yet though. It will have some staying power as more and more new computers get shipped w/ it.

I am finding though that a few people are opting for Linux Dells and then installing their prior version of XP to it. I have to say, that's a brilliant Idea!

Re:As an IT guy also (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18201290)

The difference between 98 and XP was huge in comparison though. The whole architecture was different - and thus XP (and indeed its predecessors 2000 and NT4) is a lot more secure than 98.

Real features like NTFS filesystem, properly done process separation, a more robust TCP/IP stack, better support for windows domain features etc made it worth upgrading 98 to XP.

I can't think of any such compelling features for business IT in moving to Vista from XP.

Re:As an IT manager (2, Informative)

jawtheshark (198669) | more than 7 years ago | (#18201176)

You could also use truecrypt [truecrypt.org] . I like that one... The corporation I work for shelled out quite some money to get their laptops encrypted.... *sigh*

Re:As an IT manager (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18201198)

We evaluated Truecrypt and it was nice, but the problem was that we couldn't use it to encrypt the boot partition.

Re:As an IT manager (1)

jawtheshark (198669) | more than 7 years ago | (#18201272)

True, but it is trivial to keep the boot partion unencrypted when you put the ACLs right for the system.

Re:As an IT manager (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18201500)

I see what you're saying, but I'd rather encrypt the whole drive to be on the safe side. And it's quicker/easier to just buy a product that does what I need than try to shoehorn Truecrypt into a not-quite-there solution.

Re:As an IT manager (1)

automattic (623690) | more than 7 years ago | (#18201310)

I agree. Most of us that are prepping and maintaining desktops for a corporate environment are already using applications or that pretty much sum up a lot of the "new" features of Vista. Minus the Aeroglass junk, and it's mostly just XP with some new add-ons. I say it's a consumer OS entirely.

Re:As an IT manager (3, Informative)

v1 (525388) | more than 7 years ago | (#18201446)

From what I've read so far though, microsoft maintains a master key that can open any bitlocker-locked home. Any truth to this? On OS X for example, they have had filevault for what, two years now. When you make a vault, you have to set up a master password, and with that you can get in and reset a password, but if you lose the master password or it is deleted from the computer, and you lose your password, not even Steve himself can get your data back.

I don't see how people can settle for "it's totally secure. unless WE want in".

More Security / IT management features (1)

Dan_Bercell (826965) | more than 7 years ago | (#18201780)

IPV6, Security, new deployment features and new GPOs don't save you money. It's a no brainer that Vista will be better then XP (once softwanre packages / hardware vendors fully support it).

sounds like a good discussion (-1, Troll)

User 956 (568564) | more than 7 years ago | (#18200948)

Information Week is running the first in a weeklong series of roundtables where a programmer, networking consultant, and 3 IT managers have a serious technical debate on the pros and cons of Vista.

Anyone with a job title like that is sure to be a Master Debater.

Re:sounds like a good discussion (4, Funny)

Tackhead (54550) | more than 7 years ago | (#18201048)

> > Information Week is running the first in a weeklong series of roundtables where a programmer, networking consultant, and 3 IT managers have a serious technical debate on the pros and cons of Vista.
> Anyone with a job title like that is sure to be a Master Debater.

...for values of "have a serious technical debate" approaching "walk into a bar".

Me (4, Insightful)

skinfitz (564041) | more than 7 years ago | (#18200974)

Having used Vista, realised the issues, then gone back to XP, my perception of Vista now is that it is basically the new Windows Millennium Edition.

Staying with XPSP2 strongly advised.

Roll on 2009 and the next version, however in the meantime if you are going to have the hassle of nothing working anyway, you may as well take a look at switching to OSX or Linux.

Re:Me (1, Troll)

encoderer (1060616) | more than 7 years ago | (#18201192)

What a hyperbole. I've used Vista and I've used ME. ME was, literally, an afterthought. Some middle manager thought it would be too long before XP is released and decided to give the Win9x tree another go.

Sell your +5 Insightful FUD elsewhere, please.

Re:Me (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18201432)

you may as well take a look at switching to OSX or Linux
No, I'll stick with a real OS. I'm not a fag.

Re:Me (1)

DogDude (805747) | more than 7 years ago | (#18201750)

What didn't work for you on Vista? I'm curious. I've tried games, and business apps, and everything I've tried has worked just fine.

WTF? (2, Insightful)

RzUpAnmsCwrds (262647) | more than 7 years ago | (#18200980)

More importantly, do you think it will ever gain traction among corporate users, or is its glitzy Aero interface destined to make it mainly a consumer OS?"

What the hell does Aero have to do with business use? You can disable it if you don't want to use it in a business environment, which I'm sure that many businesses will do for hardare reasons anyway (Intel's Extreme Graphics / GMA900 can't run it anyway).

Would you claim that Mac OS X's "glitzy" UI makes it inappropriate for business use? Or that Beryl makes Linux inappropriate for business use?

Re:WTF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18201182)

As a point of contrast, to windows classic UI, since a ready contrast is available and practical, aero is inappropriate for business use.

Re:WTF? (1)

jawtheshark (198669) | more than 7 years ago | (#18201230)

I don't think you really understand. Indeed, businesses won't use it, but both Linux and Mac OX use the same hardware to have the same effects... where Vista requires a dedicated graphics card. Think about it... Even if businesses would adopt Vista, the corporate IT people would lock it down *and* disable the glitz. How many corporate desktops do you know that run Luna? I don't know many, it harms productivity. For business, I don't see a damned thing that makes Vista better than XP. The new filesystem might have done it, but it isn't there.

Re:WTF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18201708)

>>> How many corporate desktops do you know that run Luna? I don't know many, it harms productivity.

Really never laughed more.
Never seen a corporate XP desktop withOUT it anyway.
Beside, a good way to harm productivity is disable ways of customizing desktop and colors.

Re:WTF? (2, Insightful)

ADRA (37398) | more than 7 years ago | (#18201428)

I spend a few hours a month fool around with the AIGLX window manager of choice to see the cool prettiness of it all. When I want to do my real work again, back to metacity I go.

1. Too slow
2. Distracting visuals
3. Limited screen limits (2 monitors limits me to 1024x768)
4. Less stable - I've seen creeping little things that just aren't right

Basically I like to poke around with it and eventually a 'plain' version of them may win me over, but as it stands today, I won't use any of them for when I code.

Re:WTF? (1)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 7 years ago | (#18201814)

I would. Or at least I would say they aren't for business depending on what the business does. But as far as i know about mac's UI, I don't see too much of an issue there.

The problems I see are were your fixing complaints about tranparent wording in Icons (win98 alot). Or have certain Spyware or regular software install hooks into explorer making it's performance seriously hinder productivity in XP with all the UI effects. It is really one more layer to making a job more dificult. Usualy, I get rid of view as a webpage (98 and up) and I get rid of all the XP wizbang. Then things tend to be important when you have to fix something. On a home OS situation, A good majority of complaints happen to be about things like this. If areo is simularly prone to nusance problem then yep, keep it out of business. Unless that business doesn't have a problem with loosing money needlesly. And yes the user is respncible for it but you take the feature away, and you take the users ability to bork that feature.

How refreshingly original! (0, Troll)

SEMW (967629) | more than 7 years ago | (#18200986)

Excellent! I don't think I've seen any discussions about Vista on Slashdot before! It's always nice to see some original topics; it can get so boring when, say, a news article that was posted three weeks ago is reposted with the meagre justification of additional multiply regurgitated opinions that add little to nothing in actual substance. Isn't it lucky that, with our excellent and discriminating Editorial team, such a thing happens so little now?

Been using it for 3 days now (5, Interesting)

Monkeys!!! (831558) | more than 7 years ago | (#18201032)

I've been running Vista Ultimate for 3 days now.

So far, my experience with Vista has been mostly positive. The intergrated search is quite useful and the re working of the explorer shell is a noticeable improvement.

On thing I have noticed is that Vista has re-done the menu layout and prompts and it now closely resembles KDE, imo. Not a complaint or a compliment though I do imagine the layout change is going to confuse a lot of people. I can see why it was re-done though and I imagine once I've gotten used to it I will find it an improvement over XP.

Really I can't say much else as I've only just scratched the surface of what Vista can do. Is it better then XP? So far yes. Is it worth years of delayed devlopment and several hundred dollars? That remains to be seen.

Been searching 3 days now (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18201322)

"So far, my experience with Vista has been mostly positive. The intergrated search is quite useful and the re working of the explorer shell is a noticeable improvement."

Better than copernic desktop search [copernic.com] ?

Re:Been using it for 3 days now (1)

Cstryon (793006) | more than 7 years ago | (#18201596)

I too just picked up vista, and I like it. Though it drags once in a while, and has some problems with my nvidia 6200, it works fine others. I like it. The dragging might just be my box it's self. Kind of an old computer.

Dupe! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18201038)

Geez, aren't there any tech stories out there besides the ones about how Vista sucks? How about more coverage of say... spam. We haven't heard anything about how spam is bad lately.

Oh well, -1 Offtopic. Goodbye Karma!

Of course OSX is not superior to Vista (1, Insightful)

Budenny (888916) | more than 7 years ago | (#18201040)

Or Vista for that matter. Its crippled by its limited hardware support. It simply will not run on 95% of the computers manufactured today. Whatever its merits in terms of user features and security, this puts it out of contention for most people in most applications.

Re:Of course OSX is not superior to Vista (1)

LinuxIsRetarded (995083) | more than 7 years ago | (#18201306)

It simply will not run on 95% of the computers manufactured today.
Do you care to cite your claim that 95% of computers manufactured since March 1, 2007 will not run any form of Vista?

Re:Of course OSX is not superior to Vista (2, Insightful)

segafreak (721003) | more than 7 years ago | (#18201362)

This seems like a pretty interesting definition of "superior" you're using. The fact that Mac OS X will not run on most pc hardware does not make it a worse OS than Windows. Thats about as logical as claiming that Linux is an inferior OS to Windows because less people use it! While I agree with you that OS X is lacking in hardware support, that doesn't make it inferior in terms of a side by side comparison of the actual OS, just inferior in terms of its availability...

Re:Of course OSX is not superior to Vista (1)

Tancred (3904) | more than 7 years ago | (#18201518)

Your use of the word crippled is odd. I'd just say specialized. Most people don't switch operating systems on their computer, unless you count upgrades. So OSX is an option, until they make a decision that precludes it, like buying a generic PC. Same goes for those newfangled PCI-E video cards. I bought a PC with no PCI-E slots, so it's not an option for me (in that system). I don't consider them crippled, just specialized.

Vista (3, Insightful)

Nex6 (471172) | more than 7 years ago | (#18201050)

its all about the apps, most windows shops have heavy investments in windows based infrastructure. that includes exchange, .NET apps, and all sorts of someware and middleware.

replacing it all is not easy, and many shops dont have the stomach for it, or the talent. and in some cases the shops have windows apps that can only run in windows. that all said:
when you really look at Vista objectiveily its a huge improvement over xp and 2k.

but sure it does have some things that are odd and different that annoy you, but in some and most cases that can be changed.

and some of the postive stuff like low rights framework that IE uses is exposed so other apps can use it. and .NET is a good thing.


Re:Vista (1)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | more than 7 years ago | (#18201490)

Vista has built-in DRM.

My current OS does not.

Therefore, my current OS is superior to Vista, because I can safely rely on it.

Nothing trumps that.

I wouldn't install it if it was free.

Huh? (4, Insightful)

DogDude (805747) | more than 7 years ago | (#18201078)

Huh? Of course it'll be widespread. It works fine. It's got all of the features of XP, and then some. MS is gonna stop selling XP eventually. What else are people going to use OSX? Linux? Turn off Aero, and it looks and acts like Windows XP 95% of the time. It's run every Windows XP app that I've tried to use on it. It's really not a big deal from a user point of view.

I'll wait... (2, Insightful)

apdyck (1010443) | more than 7 years ago | (#18201086)

Given Microsoft's history of releasing operating systems at least six months before they are ready for market, I think I'm going to wait for now. I'll stick with XP/FreeBSD any day of the week over a new MS offering.

Sounds like (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18201090)

Vista is just not ready for the desktop

What is missing here? (5, Funny)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 7 years ago | (#18201128)

a programmer, networking consultant, and 3 IT managers have a serious technical debate on the pros and cons of Vista.

I can't tell if that is the setup or the punchline.

Re:What is missing here? (1)

Linker3000 (626634) | more than 7 years ago | (#18201806)

..the programmer enthuses that from a technical point of view, the elegance of the user interface and well structured internal architecture makes it an exciting development platform.

The networking consultant explains that a switch to Vista will improve network performance and data security.

The IT Managers wonder if there is a Vista Conference they can attend - somewhere abroad with decent nightlife - and they start to debate who has the highest limit on their corporate credit cards.

Vista is just fine for the masses (3, Interesting)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 7 years ago | (#18201130)

As for corporate computing, nothing wrong with it, so if it comes preloaded figure business will eventually use it. Hell it took my company until a little over a year ago to deploy large number of XP machines. All under the guise of thorough testing but the real truth is, the PC group is slower than molasses in winter, lazier than the people in a welfare line, and more interested in new gadgets than running an OS through the testing requirements we have.

For the masses its just fine, my parents recently bought a new laptop which has Vista. Other than finding a few items moved or renamed they just use it. The key is, its just a damn operating system. It doesn't mean DIDDLY to them. they don't care. they saw a laptop with features they wanted at a price they wanted to pay. OS be damned, it didn't matter. All they wanted was to get mail while on the road, connect to wireless, and use WORD.

As for AERO, fwiw, if you have a video card with 32mb of memory you might just see a performance boost with it turned on, especially with low system ram installations.

Re:Vista is just fine for the masses (1)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 7 years ago | (#18201546)

As for corporate computing, nothing wrong with it, so if it comes preloaded figure business will eventually use it.

With many (most?) Enterprise computing environments, they have a volume corporate license and a "standard image" that they load on every machine regardless of what it comes with preloaded. It's a support issue, really.

Im sorry.... (1, Interesting)

T-Bucket (823202) | more than 7 years ago | (#18201136)

But I recently bought a brand new laptop. Dual core, 1GB of ram, etc etc... The thing came with Vista Home Premium installed... I figured I'd give it a shot. Straight out of the box, with a clean system the freaking thing used 679MB of RAM at IDLE!!!!! Thank you, I'll stick with XP.

Re:Im sorry.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18201248)

As has been noted previously, Vista's more aggressive use of RAM is within reason to most programmers. Examine how memory hogs like X under linux use memory, and you'll find Vista's usage isn't all that huge. What's the use of all that RAM if you don't USE IT most of the time? Vista is simply caching more aggressively and paging less when it can avoid it, nothing more.

It'll still give any program you run enough space to run in when the time comes, don't sweat it. The lack of really advantageous changes are really Vista's weakness. It's not that it's a bad OS from all I've heard from others and seen with my own eyes. It's just not a really worthwhile upgrade.

Re:Im sorry.... (1)

ADRA (37398) | more than 7 years ago | (#18201606)

You're ignorant or manipulative if you try to make that parallel. X uses a lot of memory because the count includes the the video card's framebuffer. Look into the /proc entry for the process and you'll see plenty of interesting information. ('maps' for memory maps)

If (as the grandparent) you have to spend 75% of your ram to just start with OS without anything productive running, there's something seriously wrong with your setup. In this case, it'd be because the OS is way too wasteful.

Re:Im sorry.... (4, Informative)

Toreo asesino (951231) | more than 7 years ago | (#18201270)

one word:


Vista will pre-load stuff it thinks you might need next. It's using your RAM to speed up your computer, which shockingly, is the idea of RAM.

Genius idea if you ask me; and I believe UNIX has been doing it for a while too - or at least something similar?

Re:Im sorry.... (2)

glitch23 (557124) | more than 7 years ago | (#18201684)

Linux will preallocate the RAM but not actually use it until it needs it. Running 'top' will report all your RAM is used but that doesn't mean it is full. I don't consider my PC to be out of RAM until swap gets hit. Windows on the other hand (at least XP) will swap applications to the HDD when I have plenty of RAM free but the RAM it is using is really what it is using unlike Linux. There is no reason to cache 700 MB of OS data. A person can't possibly need all that (when it's all from the OS installation) to warrant it being cached. Although they are using RAM for what it is supposed to be used for, the sheer amount of cache required should raise a warning flag.

Re:Im sorry.... (4, Informative)

MeanMF (631837) | more than 7 years ago | (#18201274)

It's called SuperFetch [codinghorror.com] and it puts your RAM to good use when it's not needed for anything else. You can disable it if you'd like.

Re:Im sorry.... (2, Informative)

Stevecrox (962208) | more than 7 years ago | (#18201390)

try playing a game, or doing something else, I have a system with 2gb of ram, running nothing but Windows Messenger I use 1.02GB of ram at idle. The weird thing is if I open HL2 I'm only using 1.14gb of ram, right now I have a ton of applications open and am only using 1.09gb. Vista's memory allocation is quite a bit superior to XP's I think in part its because so much is loaded into memory that most applications don't need to load much and so load much faster. Oh and some other ancedotal evidence

Until Uru (predessor to Myst Online: Uru Live) could use upto 1.5gb of memory before refusing to load anything else. On this system with XP That meant I was using 1.83gb of Ram, running it on Vista first I was only using 1.89gb of ram. Its something that has been annoying me for sometime just how does an OS with a much larger memory requirement not use that much more memory for gaming than Xp?

Re:Im sorry.... (1)

v1 (525388) | more than 7 years ago | (#18201506)

I don't know what "679mb used" means in real terms, but here on OS X with a loaded system I am taking up a bit more than that.

215mb "wired"
275mb "active"
365mb "inactive"
855mb "used"

But then I have 2gb so I'm only using a bit over 1/3 of my memory, the rest is just green. Heh, funny tho, the VM swap is 11gb right now. Glad I have a good size HD. But it runs nice and snappy. Though I have noticed it takes less time to launch an app that I have already opened once this session, so I assume some things are hanging around in cache somewhere when apps are quit. That being said, I never run out of physical memory. (never seen usage go over 90%)

Turn off StupidFetch (1)

dbIII (701233) | more than 7 years ago | (#18201836)

It's the pre-load feature and moves this out of memory when you need it. It wouldn't be so bad if it would just discard the unused pre-loaded stuff instead of the utterly stupid move of swapping it out to disk or USB storage! On a laptop you do not want two long sessions of disk access to a slow disk to load and swap out stuff you are not going to use that day. If I was using Vista I would turn this off - this feature will save time opening MS Office and various other bits but would slow down any machine that isn't dedicated to just running a small number of programs frequently.

better than linux (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18201244)

at least if you're heterosexual.

Media Center (1, Interesting)

romland (192158) | more than 7 years ago | (#18201262)

In all honesty I do not use Windows Vista on my desktop. That said, I absolutely love Windows Vista (not astroturfing). Why? Because of the new iteration of the Media Center. Granted, I never even see the desktop of the bloody OS, but hooked up to my TV it's great. In fact, if you don't think Vista Media Center looks and feels great I wonder if you've ever seen it.

And to top that off, the API's for coding extensions are just lovely as well.

As for the rest? Oh well...

Re:Media Center (4, Informative)

pavera (320634) | more than 7 years ago | (#18201668)

I've seen it. It looks OK, but here's my story.

I was over at my friends house, he's all excited "I just got this new Vista Ultimate! Check out the Media Center". He turns on his TV, grabs the remote and starts up media center... goes to his recorded TV shows, hits play on a show from a couple days ago... we watch it for a couple minutes, then he goes back hits play on another show and.... Crash "Do you want to send a message to Microsoft?", no, start media center back up, hit play again on a different show, plays for about 3 seconds, crash again.

Then he says "Yeah, I can't get it to play more than one show per reboot... I don't know why, once you hit play on a show you have to watch that show all the way through, if you stop it or try to play another show it crashes. Once that show is done, it crashes, and you have to reboot to get it to play again"

His is just set up on a whitebox that he built and I don't know the stats or hardware he's got in it... but seriously, after seeing that and my other friend had it on his laptop (uninstalled and went back to XP after 2 weeks, couldn't get his development environment working under vista, also HATED UAC) watched him work for about 30 minutes one day, he had to have 15-20 UAC warnings in those 30 minutes, all for very normal things to do (like joining a wifi network) I'm never installing Vista, I'm glad I've got a non-OEM copy of XP that I can install on new hardware.

One good thing (1)

Bryansix (761547) | more than 7 years ago | (#18201278)

The only good thing that Vista's release did was it forced PC manufacturers to finally ship computers with 1 Gig of RAM minimum and sometimes up to 2 Gigs. Take that ramped up comp and strip Vista from it and you have a pretty decent workstation for photo editing and movie editing.

Why do I need Vista? (1)

siDDis (961791) | more than 7 years ago | (#18201304)

When XP runs webbrowsing, email and office just fine and without any bluescreens I don't really see why... The reason XP became a success was because it was a lot more stable platform than Win98. Sure there was Windows 2000 however when XP shipped most drivers were already very mature and XP got a very good reputation from the start. However 2007 will be the year of Linux ;)

Idiots (4, Insightful)

realmolo (574068) | more than 7 years ago | (#18201334)

Am I the only one that thought all the interviewees were idiots?

There's a huge number of so-called "IT Professionals" that just don't have a clue. Lots of middle-aged guys who managed to get a job running the FAX machines at some corporation 20 years ago, and eventually ended up being the "IT guy". But they don't know ANYTHING. They buy whatever new hardware they think is neat, and that the salesmen from their vendors tell them they need. And then they pay for all-encompassing support contracts, so that they don't have to configure anything, or troubleshoot anything, because they don't actually know how to do that stuff.

I sometimes wonder if those guys are the majority of the IT employees in the United Stats. Guys that use the company's money to hire other people to do their jobs. The only reason they get away with it is because their boss is even MORE clueless about how IT should work.

Sorry, kind of off-topic, but I just can't stand the attitude of rags like "Information Week".

Re:Idiots (1)

moexu (555075) | more than 7 years ago | (#18201700)

I think Information Week is the worst magazine ever published. I used to get it sent to me at work but thankfully they stopped sending it so I don't have to spend 5 seconds every week throwing it in the trash.

Where I work, those "IT Professionals" are in upper management. They don't know the tech, buy whatever some sales guy can get them to agree to, and insist on worthless support contracts that are never used for everything. Meanwhile, the real IT people are hindered in being able to do their jobs by all of the cluelessness at the top.

I really, really hope that these guys are in the minority. I think that the reason they're in this article is that they are Information Week's target audience - the IT guys who have no idea how anything actually works but like all of their shiny toys.

Imagine... (1)

drsmithy (35869) | more than 7 years ago | (#18201364)

...What the comments here would be like if the criticism from the "Windows camp" about the latest release of Ubuntu or OS X was as shrill, biased and ill-informed as the daily "zOMG ! Vista is t3h suxx0rs, LOL !!11!"-style blog/article/review/journal making the front page of Slashdot.

Just Bought XP Laptop (2, Informative)

boogahboogah (310475) | more than 7 years ago | (#18201370)

After checking out Vista at the local Best Buy & Circuit City (for hours...), I decided that I didn't want M$'s latest & 'greatest'. If running Aero the machines all acted like XP with a 600Mhz Celery processor. Boy, only 20 days after Vista was released & all the retail stores are on the Vista bandwagon, no 'mo XP in sight. Wonder where all the old gear went ?

I wanted a hot laptop, AMD TL-56 64bit DP, 1GB memory, DVD+-, good screen, Nvidia graphic card, etc. Best Buy had one that was everything I wanted but it was Vista. Ugh ugh. So I started cruising the web & found the XP version of the same machine, $100 cheaper too ! At Best Buys web site. Quick, they only have a few left... And SuSE 10.2 installed just fine...

Serious technical debate? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18201374)

I could not find the "serious technical debate" in the article. It was more anecdotal, missing comprehensive, systematic evaluation.
It's also annoying that most of these professionals seem to hve close ties to Microsoft, which makes it difficult to view their words as an independent, bias-free opinion.

Vista feels very familiar (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18201382)

Windows Vista is the new Windows ME

it's not as bad as I thought (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18201392)

We're being forced to deploy it by MANAGEMENT for some unknown reason. It's not as bad as I expected but we don't have it in the wild yet so who knows how that will go. It was supposed to have built in tools to make mass deployments easier but that seems to have been a bunch of hype, that's the biggest disappointment so far.

My complaints besides the deployment issue:

1) It's a complete resource hog.

2) UI isn't better than XP, just different.

Who what how spectacles pampers? (1)

Butisol (994224) | more than 7 years ago | (#18201396)

We've all heard from dozens -- actually hundreds -- of analysts, journalists, pundits, bloggers, and other opinionated writers about Vista. I know I'm in for a good read when an article starts off with a gem like that.

Sounds like a joke to me (5, Funny)

drsmithy (35869) | more than 7 years ago | (#18201400)

Information Week is running the first in a weeklong series of roundtables where a programmer, networking consultant, and 3 IT managers have a serious technical debate on the pros and cons of Vista.

The Aristocrats !

What does Vista really do that XP doesn't? (1)

segafreak (721003) | more than 7 years ago | (#18201430)

I've not actually installed Vista on my own machine, but I have used it on a friend's new laptop. It looks quite nice, and some of the menu's have been changed around, but I didn't object to the XP interface tbh so this is so much window dressing. Asides from the UI, I noticed (like many others I'm sure) that Vista is pretty resource hungry. It eats RAM for breakfast, and the install size is monstrous - a Home premium install is over 7 gigs, while the Ultimate Install is heading on towards 20Gb! This might be justifiable if a) It did something major that XP doesn't or b) XP was really in need of an update. Now I'm not gonna argue that XP is a perfect OS, but it works just fine for what I use it for (mainly just games and a spot of web browsing, do everything else on my macbook pro or my linux boot). Overall my first impressions are that Vista in no way justifies the amount of resources it munches.

Re:What does Vista really do that XP doesn't? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18201714)

What a load of cock. I have a fresh install of Vista Ultimate installed on this machine with all the toys and it's used ~10Gb of disk. Check yer facts sonny.

My Vista pros/cons (5, Informative)

daybot (911557) | more than 7 years ago | (#18201444)


  • Scheduled defrags without third party software
  • Aero interface looks less dated
  • Regardless of memory usage, it's slower than XP. Games are slower (see Tom's Hardware), CAD/CAM apps are slower (same again)...
  • A great deal of Windows software doesn't work on it yet. PGP has just reached beta, iTunes is having trouble, I can't get Cygwin to work properly, VMWare server doesn't have a released version that allows it to work as a host OS. That's most of the programs I run!
  • UAC is broken. It slows down your system, bothers you far too often. If you've seen the Mac advert slagging off Vista security - well, it really is that bad.
  • Games are slower
  • It's DRM crippled to the extreme
  • Aero doesn't run smoothly on mid-range Quadro cards...
  • That stupid Windows-Tab animation keeps getting shown in the media when they talk about Vista's innovative new features - sorry, it's a very slow tool to use; press F9 on OSX to see how it should work (someone's done a hack to make this work in Vista, but it's bloody slow on Quadro).

Re:My Vista pros/cons (2, Informative)

spyder913 (448266) | more than 7 years ago | (#18201626)

UAC is broken. It slows down your system, bothers you far too often. If you've seen the Mac advert slagging off Vista security - well, it really is that bad.

I keep seeing this complaint but the problem is not UAC itself, it's that by default they STILL make you the admin when you set up the computer. If you run as a regular user and have a seperate admin account that you don't log into -- it only prompts you when you try to change global settings or run software that needs to write to program files or something similar. When I first installed Vista, it was annoying until I switched over to using a regular user. I don't see UAC at all anymore, unless I'm expecting it from one of the above activities.

Vista Ultimate vs Fedora 6 on Dell Inspiron 8500 (1)

bagboy (630125) | more than 7 years ago | (#18201478)

Windows Experience rating was a 1.00 - I could not even run Aero on this laptop. 2.4ghz Pentium4M, 2 Gig Ram, 100gb Internal 2.5- 5400RPM HD, Nvidia 4200Go... Vista worked okay for most business apps (MS Office 2003, Lotus Notes, Etc...). Sucked up a lot in resources and annoying to have UAC pop up (until I shut it off).
With FC6, I have NVidia's Linux Drivers loaded on gnome with Beryl as a desktop. I have a full rotating cube desktop w/transparency through the cube to the other side while rotating. Nice performance on the UI vs none on Vista. Score a plus one for the Eye Candy on linux. I have VMware Workstation (5) Loaded with WinXP SP2 running and 768MB of RAM carved for it. A base OS (Linux) rotating cube w/transparency and WinXP in Virtual Machine (which I can also make transparent on the desktop). All of this on a 4-year old laptop. And other than a base install of FC6 all I added was the Livna repository.
Linux/Gnome/Beryl wins this one hands down.

Bought New Computer wiht XP (1)

smist08 (1059006) | more than 7 years ago | (#18201488)

We've got Vista running on computers around work, but generally there are just too many little gotcha's from programs that need updating to suddenly discovering wierd features like volumne shadowing that just mess you up. So when I just bought a new computer for home, which is plenty powerful enough to run Vista (even has a nVidia 8800 based graphics card), I chose XP for it. Was cheaper and I know how to work it and I know all my software will work on it. Just don't have time for the hassles of Vista, perhaps in a couple of years if the situation improves. Sounds like the Info Week people have the same experience.

My Experience with Vista has been great! (4, Funny)

Hawthorne01 (575586) | more than 7 years ago | (#18201578)

It looks just *awesome* on the shelf in the local computer store.

I'm sure if I actually bought and installed it, though, I'd have a different opinion...

OS X (1)

PhotoGuy (189467) | more than 7 years ago | (#18201672)

Bought an MacBook just before Vista Came out. I really love studying the various aspects of UI's that make my life easier or harder; and OS X generally does nothing but make my life easier. I'm also a Unix/Linux developer, and OS X is perfect for me; develop in my console, with a great UI kicking around for the Web browsing and other GUI stuff. I tried out Vista (ever so briefly), and my impression was that it was big, cute, a bit confusing, and didn't really seem to offer me anything that XP did. (I keep a licensed copy of XP in a Paralllels virtual window, for compatability testing, and in case I need to run a Windows-specific app [hasn't happened yet].)

If you're teetering on the edge, check out the Mac's. Just do it. If you don't like OS X, you can still run XP/Vista on them. That's one of the justifications I used to convinced myself to jump. But believe me, the number of people who *will* primarily run XP/Vista on Mac hardware can probably be counted on one hand (even though apple hardware has been found to be the fastest Windows platform). OS X really *is* just that much better.

And this is with the "previous" (well, current) release of OS X; Leopard will only make that moreso.

Summary (1)

twitter (104583) | more than 7 years ago | (#18201692)

A brief summary by users. There's nothing really new here, except the depressing insistence that they have no choice.

  1. Describes serious driver and power management issues that make Vista unusable. Thinks he's going to get it because he does not have a choice. Hates Vista DRM even though he believes in DRM. Thinks new interface will cost retraining dollars. Likes root better than uac. Likes drive encryption.
  2. Loves it so much he describes himself as a "Microsoft Vista evangelist", but is unable to name a feature other than better looks and "security" as reasons. He also does not tell us if any of his broken software ever came back to life.
  3. Serious driver issues with pre-release code and released code does not have all the drivers he needs. No sound, welcome back to the early 90s. Slower than XP. Likes KDE and Gnome, but says his civil engineering business can't switch to gnu/Linux because there are no legal DVD players available. Vista won't work for him either because AutoCAD won't work.
  4. Hates elimination of old shortcuts. Vowed to steer clear of Vista because it does not work with M$ SQL and other services. Is disappointed by drive encryption and predicts many more showstoppers.

The printable version of this article [informationweek.com] still displays. Pages 2 and 3 of the article did not display when I looked at it. The opinions of Bill Flanagan and David Gray were lost to formatting errors and merged with the others.


Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18201754)

That's not a valid summary of TFA. Nice troll though.

Windows problem (1)

whtmarker (1060730) | more than 7 years ago | (#18201730)

The latest software hasn't been pushing the limits of hardware like it used to, so Microsoft decided to do that with Vista by requiring a minimum 512 MB of RAM, among other things. Vista arbitrarily caching pieces of your hard drive to ram, only makes things faster if you have expensive hardware. In general, default background processes in Vista actually decrease the performance of your user processes by allocating system resources for background processes (especially on older hardware).

But this is nothing new. When I first saw XP it would boot really fast in 20-30 seconds, but after a few years of installing updates (which add and modify background processes and services) the boot process now takes a minute or two even with a fast processor. This is due to XP's long list of unnecessary background processes it has to initialize. Some sites have come out on how to optimize XP and they generally point to disabling unnecessary background processes, like this site [overclockersclub.com] does.

A consumer OS? (1)

Cat Panic (1001091) | more than 7 years ago | (#18201758)

So what's this talk of Vista being a "Consumer OS"? Are we now consigned to an era where a populist OS is categorised as "Consumer". An alternative might be "Alternative" and for the minority "OSX"? (only kidding). Actually, come to think of it, maybe we already are with Microsoft's "Home", "Home Premium" "Home Professional", "Professional Professional" etc etc... In the future I will use a "Connoisseur OS", whilst my lesser peers will use a "Consumer OS"
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