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Working Around Vista Apps' Incompatibilities

kdawson posted about 7 years ago | from the thousands-and-thousands dept.

Windows 349

An anonymous reader writes "Microsoft says there are over 1,000 applications you can run on Windows Vista with few, if any, issues. However, Windows apps number in the tens of thousands. Add to that the facts that x64 Vista versions don't support legacy 16-bit code, and that the Windows Resource Protection in Vista breaks some apps, and you've got a big issue. InformationWeek lists a host of workarounds in How To Manage Windows Vista Application Compatibility. Among the tips discussed are Vista's compatibility mode, its Program Compatibility Assistant wizard, and a little-known form of file and registry virtualization that's built into the OS. What problems have you encountered with incompatible apps, and are any issues you've encountered deal-breakers that could further roil the already muddied adoption picture for Vista?"

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349 comments

The most promising workaround (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18742285)

Port WINE to Vista.

Re:The most promising workaround (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18742561)

Run WINE under Linux under WMWare.

Re:The most promising workaround (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18742705)

Or just run Linux with WINE. It seems like WINE is more compatible with Windows than Vista.......

Re:The most promising workaround (4, Informative)

ZakuSage (874456) | about 7 years ago | (#18743107)

In all seriousness, WINE is really gotten a lot better over the past little while. It's actually making gaming on Linux a viable option for me. Today, with only minimal extra effort, I was able to get Command and Conquer 3 working perfectly in WINE on my Ubuntu 7.04 box, something I thought would've been impossible just a few months ago.

Re:The most promising workaround (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18742689)

Yes, port wine does come from places with nice views...

Re:The most promising workaround (5, Interesting)

pizzach (1011925) | about 7 years ago | (#18742853)

Yes, this is the perfect chance for wine to become mainstream [humorix.org] and pick up loads of developers to hack those rare apps into working.

Re:The most promising workaround (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18743131)

Doesn't wine work in vista? I know there is a windows version

Simple solution (3, Insightful)

Colin Smith (2679) | about 7 years ago | (#18742311)

Don't bother with Vista at the moment. Let some other muppet sort out the pain.

 

Re:Simple solution (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | about 7 years ago | (#18742349)

Damn, beaten to it... :-)

Seriously, why would any organisation upgrade to Windows Vista if it wasn't pretty sure all of its key software would work? It's amazing how many people seem to think there's some sort of obligation on people to upgrade. In fact, if you look at recent history, the big corporations are usually the last people to move on major upgrades like XP->Vista, often taking several years to do it. This is why.

Re:Simple solution (1)

porkThreeWays (895269) | about 7 years ago | (#18742449)

From a business prospective there is zero reason to plan any moves to Vista in the near future. What gains will they get? NONE. What problems will they have? They can start with hardware and software incompatibilities and go from there. Vista offers nothing compelling and could be considered a minor upgrade with major problems. Home users could make a case I suppose, but businesses have none right now.

Home users / DirectX 10 (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | about 7 years ago | (#18742529)

The irony is that I'm not even sure why home users would move.

I've been following Vista developments for years, since back when there were going to be three big pillars underlying it. As far as I can see, from a technical perspective, the only remaining major functional improvement over XP is that Vista supports DirectX 10, and Microsoft are pretty much guaranteed to restrict that artificially to Vista-only.

Of course, going by the history, that won't even start to affect any games except Microsoft's own for at least a couple of years, since most games software isn't using everything DX9 offers yet. Similarly, DX10-supporting hardware won't be even close to mainstream for at least a year or two. Given that PC games now represent only a quarter or so of the market (the consoles are well and truly in charge today) and the majority of home users still aren't going to have Vista for a while, games companies may be hesitant to tread those waters even as they reach the point where the extra goodies in DX10 may be genuinely useful.

Apart from that, what possible reason is there for a home user to upgrade? There's been a lot of negative press for Vista, not just about DRM but also all the hardware and software compatibility problems. The UI is different, which for many users means "bad" by default, even if with time they might come to prefer it. If home users were really serious about security, the world wouldn't be full of botnets. And the list goes on...

I can understand businesses with professional IT people placing some value on improved security or networking features, so if and when the compatibility is sorted out and the trust issues with phoning home and being activated/disabled/whatever remotely are irrevocably fixed, businesses might move. But home users? Not for years, except for the people who just get it with new PCs. (And even the rate of buying those isn't what it used to be.)

Re:Home users / DirectX 10 (0, Redundant)

melekzek (760668) | about 7 years ago | (#18742833)

The irony is that I'm not even sure why home users would move.
When they buy a new computer, they will get Vista, duh.

Re:Home users / DirectX 10 (3, Insightful)

ScrewMaster (602015) | about 7 years ago | (#18743067)

I think he meant, "why home users would choose to move." The fact that it's all they can get on a new computer doesn't qualify as a "choice" anywhere but in Microsoft's marketing dreamscape. heck, I know people that are holding off buying a new computer for that reason: they have something that works, all they hear about is that Vista doesn't work, and have decided to wait for a while. And that, frankly, is about the wisest decision they could make, short of possibly getting away from Windows altogether.

Oh sure, Windows users will eventually all be using Vista (or whatever it mutates into ... hopefully something useful. I'll give it a couple of years) but for now it's hard to make a case for someone to switch. I had the same problem with Windows XP, that is, I knew a lot of people that were using Windows 2000 and were happy with 2K's improved stability compared to 9x. I couldn't, in all honesty, recommend that they rush out and buy XP, whereas there definitely was a reason to switch to 2000 from Windows 95/98 (or, God forbid, Windows ME.) Unless you have someone that can help you iron out all the problems the current incarnation of Vista will undoubtedly cause you (like a competent corporate IT person), assuming they are ironable, upgrading doesn't make sense.

But like you said, Vista is about all you can buy nowadays. I guess we should just hunker down and get ready for the storm. It's on the horizon already.

Re:Home users / DirectX 10 (1)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | about 7 years ago | (#18743119)

Hint for future credibility on Slashdot: you will be more popular (and look less stupid) if you bother to read to the end of messages before posting sarcastic replies.

Re:Simple solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18743035)

There is a simple way for Microsoft to make sure that people change over. And they have chosen this way. They will stop to sell Windows XP and therefor there won't be a choice for people moving over (unless they have already a legally licensed version of Windows for their computer)

They plan to take Windows XP off the market is in the news everywhere.

"pretty sure"? (0, Troll)

nurb432 (527695) | about 7 years ago | (#18742709)

No, id say they wont 'downgrade' to vista unless they *know* their critical apps work.

Re:Simple solution (4, Interesting)

JebusIsLord (566856) | about 7 years ago | (#18742399)

You mean like the muppet who wrote this article?

I picked up Vista because i'm an upgrade whore, and after running it for a month or so, I'm generally disappointed. I gained some flashy visual effects (my Macbook is still prettier) but I'm really sick of all the incompatibilities. I'd tend to blame the 3rd parties, but hell; even Visual Studio 2005 had issues that were only recently fixed. I'm still waiting for my logitech keyboard app to stop tanking on bootup (new drivers due end of April? WTF?).

Basically I'm using it now as a media center host for my 360... which media center 2005 was doing just fine. I think this whole experience is just pushing me farther towards dumping windows altogether when I'm at home.

Re:Simple solution (4, Insightful)

omeomi (675045) | about 7 years ago | (#18742775)

Don't bother with Vista at the moment. Let some other muppet sort out the pain.

One problem is for software developers, even hobbyest software developers. Without Vista, it's difficult to make sure an application works properly on Vista...so we're eventually forced to upgrade to Vista because users will have Vista, and as the number of Vista users grows, that will become more and more of a problem...

Re: Your quite right, buy a Mac instead! (2, Insightful)

uomolinux (838417) | about 7 years ago | (#18742855)

With all the problems VISTA seems to have, and expensive upgrade needed, better buy a mac. VISTA seems to be as bad as Windows Millennium was.

Here's an idea... (3, Insightful)

bwd234 (806660) | about 7 years ago | (#18742355)

Don't get Vista!

I have been using Windows 2000 for years now and have found it to be the best and most stable Windows OS so far. 95 and 98 were a constant headache with the BSOD and XP is just 2000 with a ton of useless eye candy, not to mention the PITA of product activation everytime you want to change the hardware.

Vista has proven itself to be as big a mistake as Windows ME. Nothing works with it, it is full of DRM crap that keeps you from doing anything and there is really no reason to "upgrade" to it anyway.

Sales are far below what MS thought they would be because no one really wants it anyway, witennesed by many government and corporate organizations even refusing to allow their systems to be switched over to it.

In a word, it's a disaster!

Exactly (2, Interesting)

HalAtWork (926717) | about 7 years ago | (#18742413)

Exactly, don't buy Vista at all, and maybe it'll send the message to Microsoft that this is not what people want in an operating system. Maybe now they're trying to force people off Windows 2000 and XP, but they may have to provide longer support if enough people send the message that they're not going to buy the new product. Will MS really only support 10-25% of their customers and leave the rest in the cold if it came to that?

Exactly (1)

rolfwind (528248) | about 7 years ago | (#18742497)

If I wanted to mess around with getting Windows apps working, I would be installing them on Linux with WINE or running them on Windows in virtualization (Virtualbox).

Oh wait, I do that already:) Should I have some schadenfreude that Window users get to join the fun or be more sympathetic? In any case, I suppose this won't prompt any developers of normal apps to develop them in a way to become platform independent (Firefox seem to do just fine as a large project...)

What? (5, Insightful)

gcnaddict (841664) | about 7 years ago | (#18742539)

"Vista has proven itself to be as big a mistake as Windows ME. Nothing works with it, it is full of DRM crap that keeps you from doing anything and there is really no reason to "upgrade" to it anyway."

1) How did it prove itself to be as big a mistake as Windows ME? No one knew how bad ME was until a year after it when Microsoft was already almost done with XP. ME was an intermediate OS, which was why it sucked. Vista is far more stable than XP or even 2000 on a machine meeting its recommended specs with hardware on the HCL. 3 machines in my house run Vista without a problem, and two of them have the dreaded "Vista Capable" logo.
2) DRM crap? I bet you don't even have a bluray or HDDVD drive in the first place. Hell, I bet you torrent all of your movies, so you shouldn't be complaining. Vista doesn't DRM everything. You can still watch your torrented movies (it's the only way to get decent HD rips anyhow)
3) no real reason to upgrade. Right, well I found BitLocker to be a perfect reason. To each his own; I can see where you're coming from but there are people that disagree with you.

Re:What? (3, Insightful)

Wordsmith (183749) | about 7 years ago | (#18742675)

AS far as number 2 - Vista sure makes it a lot harder to do those HD rips in the first place. So yes, he could still illegally get things over torrents. But Vista makes it harder for a person with legitimate access to the HD content to back it up or shift it to another form of media. Not sure that's a step forward for anyone.

Re:What? (1)

bwd234 (806660) | about 7 years ago | (#18742801)

"But Vista makes it harder for a person with legitimate access to the HD content to back it up or shift it to another form of media. Not sure that's a step forward for anyone."

That's exactly what I was referring to. Users with a legimate need to back up their legally bought content will have a very difficult time doing so. The DRM they put in Vista won't stop pirates/hackers, but it will make life more difficult for everyone else.

BTW, I don't "torrent" all my movies...I use Netflix!

Re:What? (1, Insightful)

segedunum (883035) | about 7 years ago | (#18743095)

Vista is far more stable than XP or even 2000 on a machine meeting its recommended specs with hardware on the HCL.
Right. Whatever.

Right, well I found BitLocker to be a perfect reason.
I, and many others, are not getting the top end version of Vista just to encrypt some contents on a hard drive.

Re:What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18743167)

Wow! Have some anger management problems?!?

BWD is pretty much dead on. Did you help code part of this trainwreck known as Vista?

Stop the DRM rubbish (-1, Flamebait)

a16 (783096) | about 7 years ago | (#18742621)

it is full of DRM crap that keeps you from doing anything
No, it isn't. The "DRM crap" only affects content which chooses to use these DRM 'features', it doesn't stop you doing anything else, or playing any other content.

The extra DRM abilities of Vista do not stop you doing *anything* in comparison to any other OS. It simply allows you to play back media which you won't be able to play back on any OS which doesn't have the exact same restrictions. Beyond this, if you don't use this DRM infested media, there is no difference between using Vista, Mac OSX or Linux.

Re:Stop the DRM rubbish (1)

bwd234 (806660) | about 7 years ago | (#18742841)

"The extra DRM abilities of Vista do not stop you doing *anything* in comparison to any other OS. It simply allows you to play back media which you won't be able to play back on any OS which doesn't have the exact same restrictions. Beyond this, if you don't use this DRM infested media, there is no difference between using Vista, Mac OSX or Linux."

Very soon the MPAA and the RIAA will make sure that all you have is "DRM infested media", and I'm sure that the game manufacturers will be doing something along the same lines as well.

It's not rubbish. (3, Informative)

Erris (531066) | about 7 years ago | (#18742927)

... if you don't use this DRM infested media, there is no difference between using Vista, Mac OSX or Linux.

Do digital restrictions in OSX or Linux:

I'll give you a quick hint: there are no digital restrictions in free software.

The consensus opinion is that Vista's digital restrictions set it up for failure [computerworld.com] . Really, it even annoys fanboys [slashdot.org] to the point where no one wants it [slashdot.org] . My opinion is that they just make obvious M$ intentions but don't represent any change of attitude.

DRM is snakeoil, much like Windows itself. All digital restriction schemes have the same attitude and end goal. The way M$ does it now represents the absurd lengths required make them even look like they could work. Big publishers want to control your digital media in a way that they could not with paper or even broadcast. It's not going to work but we need to fight it every step of the way. The easiest way to avoid it is to not buy things filled with such obvious contempt for the customer.

Re:Here's an idea... (2, Interesting)

TSDMK (979550) | about 7 years ago | (#18742639)

Vista has proven itself to be as big a mistake as Windows ME.
It's still early days for Vista - no need to jump to such conclusions yet. I remember looking at a computer running XP when it was first released and thinking "ugh, that's horrible". I eventually put it on a dual boot with Windows 2000 and slowly but surely XP improved (ignoring WGA for a minute) with better driver support, new software for XP and bugfixes. SP2 is stable and well supported now it's been around for a while. Something which is on the back of my mind though is that if MS do bring out Vienna quickly (2009?), then Vista might end up like ME - a transitional phase quickly abandonded with improvements being rolled into Vienna rather than Vista.

Re:Here's an idea... (1)

jb.hl.com (782137) | about 7 years ago | (#18742663)

XP is just 2000 with a ton of useless eye candy, not to mention the PITA of product activation everytime you want to change the hardware.

XP is about 20,000 times better with regard to wireless support, and I found it had better performance on the gaming side of things. That said, I preferred the look and feel of Windows 2000 (and thought XP's pale imitation of it looked terrible...but hey).

Re:Here's an idea... (1)

bradavon (1066358) | about 7 years ago | (#18742669)

Vista the next ME? WTF! It's only been out 2.5 months. That's hardly time to call it the next ME.

Of course businesses wouldn't want ME, they didn't want XP when it was first launched but for the home market it's the way to go. 99% of the troubles you hear about are people who upgrade.

Yes XP is very similar to 2000 but it's not entirely. Try running IE7, WMP11 and a host of other apps on 2000. XP is 2000 tweaked, and for the better. As for activation well you do it once and that's it.

Re:Here's an idea... (1)

bwd234 (806660) | about 7 years ago | (#18742895)

"Try running IE7, WMP11 and a host of other apps on 2000."

I would prefer not to run any version of IE on my computer, and there are much better "media players" out there than WMP... like VLC media player, which I find to be very good! As far as "a host of other apps", I have had no problems running 99%+ of the software I have on Win2k.

Re:Here's an idea... (1)

ZakuSage (874456) | about 7 years ago | (#18743081)

IE7 and WMP11 are only artificially locked out of working on Windows 2000. Besides, WMP11 is a huge resource hog and tends to run slow on any computer not built in the last 3 years.

Re:Here's an idea... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18742839)

"Nothing works with it, it is full of DRM crap that keeps you from doing anything and there is really no reason to "upgrade" to it anyway."

Every single piece of hardware I have and every single app I use works with it. And there is no DRM that prevents your from doing anything you want. It's FUD. You can do all your illegal torrent downloads, DVD copies, CD rips, etc. whatever the hell you want. It doesn't stop you from doing anything. And I speak from personal experience.

Re:Here's an idea... (1)

iminplaya (723125) | about 7 years ago | (#18742971)

...not to mention the PITA of product activation everytime you want to change the hardware.

Expect Microsoft to deactivate XP to force an upgrade. Or simply refuse to allow activation in a year or two. They're already pulling some other tricks, soon they will stop permitting vendors to sell XP machines. But when it comes to licensing, I fart in their general direction and will do things like virtualization and use vnc whether they like it or not. Funny thing about WinME, I maintain a few of them and they run pretty good and fast. You just gotta keep it clean. A bare install without the vendor junkware, and especially without Norton*, isn't so bad. It certainly can find drivers better than 98, but you can't boot to real DOS, which I need to run the Slax and other live CDs I copied to my hard drive and run with loadlin, so 98 remains on my primary partition.

*I make lots of money unistalling Norton products, and the client thinks I worked a miracle. The speed differences are very impressive.

Re:Here's an idea... (3, Insightful)

sponga (739683) | about 7 years ago | (#18742977)

what is up with your fear mongers and your constant DRM raving how it is limiting me so much in Windows; only DRM I come across are some porn .WMV files.

I can do everything that I did in Vista like I did with XP before; I can run Nero to convert all my movies or I can use the 'DVD authoring' tool provided by MS to create all my pirated movies to which it automatically adds chapters for me, just copied over my original MP3 collection from XP that I have had for the last 8 years and continue to game and play/edit media like I have been doing forever now. Still can communicate with all my friends like before, share my folders in Windows with other users, Remote Desktop still connects, Office 2007 work and I can still use my blueprint programs for construction like I did before. Boy this Windows thing from MS sure has been such a terrible experience the last 15+ years and obviously people are leaving in droves.

OK we get it that Vista sales are down and that somehow by your definition this is going to be the end of Windows and mass switch overs to Linux/OSX; could have swore I have seen this type of argument modded up the last 6 years intensively if not long before that. I wish I had a time machine or could take some money bets on line that we will be exactly where we are with Vista as we are with Windows yet more stable with better drivers; yet the same arguments will be put up again. Hell we don't even need a time machine and all you gotta do is read all the articles from 5 years ago to see some of the nonsense that was modded up and where the computer industry is now. Come on get out of that little bubble you live in and get out in the real world to get your priorities straight.

Vista is very stable from all the gaming, multimedia editing, sharing, networking and just communicating like before but with a couple of additional things that are useful.

The 'March 2007 Windows Vista Application Compatibility Update' provided many compatibility updates for a huge list of applications including games also; there are many more of these to follow and the April compatibility should be released soon.
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/932246 [microsoft.com]
Plus I get updates smoothly from Windows Update for my graphics card and just recently got the second update for my old network card which they still support; oh and that DRM WGA does not get in my way at all unlike when I used to pirate XP I would constantly run across it but now I have a legal copy I can access all the spots on the MS site easily with no inconvenience.

Re:Here's an idea... (1)

zakezuke (229119) | about 7 years ago | (#18743129)


I have been using Windows 2000 for years now and have found it to be the best and most stable Windows OS so far.

I too was happy with XP, until such time as there came alone one adobe application which "needed" xp. The next version resolved this resultion by requiring an intel processor.

I must admit I liked the game support in XP. I could actually run redneck rampage somewhat, a game when released was too much for my lame machine.

The problem is joe user, who firmly believes vista is the way things are going, and don't feel they are savvy enough to fall back to xp and upgrade if need be.

Well, at least for now... (3, Funny)

Penguinisto (415985) | about 7 years ago | (#18742357)

...one big fat Microsoft Fanboy/Salesman argument isn't true for Vista: "Windows has more applications..."

*snicker*

/P

That one has been over for years. (0, Troll)

twitter (104583) | about 7 years ago | (#18743003)

one big fat Microsoft Fanboy/Salesman argument isn't true for Vista: "Windows has more applications..."

That lie has been dead for a long time. Debian has 18,733 packages now [debian.org] . I doubt they will ever be obsoleted the way non free software is and Debian, while huge, is only a part of the free software world. You have to go back 20 year to be in a world where non free software outnumbers free. Today, you can easily run systems that are completely free.

The M$ fanboys will say silly things now about how those 1,000 Vista ready applications you don't have to fiddle with too much are the ones that matter and are better in some way than others. That too is a lie and the difference is only going to become more obvious.

Developers left the non free world long ago when it was clear that only M$ and friends got anything out of it. The non free software world collapsed more than ten years ago as M$ crushed rivals like Netscape, OS/2, Word Perfect and others. Everything since then has been a desperate struggle by M$ to stop or steal free software.

Broken Apps (4, Informative)

memojuez (910304) | about 7 years ago | (#18742371)

Vista won't even recognize older Microsoft Apps, like Office 2000, as a legitimate application. After finally getting installed, after a hundred Cancel or Allow pop-up boxes, Outlook was still broken. The fix offered at the MSDN Tech board [microsoft.com] didn't work, Vista wouldn't allow me to do it.


Even if it did, every time Outlook was started, it wanted to do its final install and first run configuration. Same with the other Office Apps as well.


Vista = Forced Obsolescence.

Re:Broken Apps (5, Funny)

dexomn (147950) | about 7 years ago | (#18742603)

The list of 'Over 1000 Applications...' begins like this:

1.) Notepad.exe
2.) Sol.exe
3.) Winmine.exe
4.) Pbrush.exe
5.) Write.exe

And so on...

Re:Broken Apps (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18742721)

Maybe it has more to do with complicated installers that barely passed QA on the OS versions that were available at the time. This is simply not a forward-compatible design.

OS-specific installers = Forced Obsolescence.

Vista & Older Windows Apps == DLL Hell of 2007 (1)

RotateLeftByte (797477) | about 7 years ago | (#18742377)

From my albeit limited experience with Vista my opinion is that many of the standard set of application that I ALWAYS INSTALL (you know the sort of thing, the sort of app that you take with you everywhere) is going to be a replication of the old problems we had with DLL Hell back in the old days.
This sort of problem even exhibits itself on Server 2003 SBS. For example, it regards Hypersnap 6 as a threat to OS security. I have to specifivally allow it to run. Duh, I'm installing the frigging thing so naturally, I want it to run. Note, that Plain Server 2003 does not regard this application as a threat.
The ability of this sort of application to run on the various versions of Vista is going to be a royal pain in the arse of many small application vendors. Microsoft has (IMHO) deliberately made their life hell and actually (Again IMHO) threatens their existance. And its all in the name of security.
This all reminds me of the late, great Kenny Everett (From the UK) and his catchphrase "In the Best Possible Taste"
I am sure there are many small application makers out there who are really struggling to get the mess of Vista Security sorted out. I guess these guys are too small to even register on M$ radar but I try to support them when they have the sort of app I use regularly.

Re:Vista & Older Windows Apps == DLL Hell of 2 (1)

cliffski (65094) | about 7 years ago | (#18742673)

"have to specifivally allow it to run. Duh, I'm installing the frigging thing so naturally, I want it to run"

if microsoft did take that attitude to security, they would be hassled constantly by people on here about writing an insecure O/S. People are tricked every day into installing spyware and trojans. I'm glad about any additional protection that stops people installing that stuff, even if the side effect is a slight PITA when installing legit software.

Re:Vista & Older Windows Apps == DLL Hell of 2 (1)

RotateLeftByte (797477) | about 7 years ago | (#18742991)

Yeah,
  And it all goes back to M$ wanting to control exactly what I can or can't run on my PC.
All it needs is for Microsoft to let the small app vendors register their apps and then Windows can chack to see it the app you are trying to install is listed and has something like an MD5SUM on the main executable that matches that held in the M$ Database.
OR
Let me set myself up as the Ugber Geek/SuperUser/Smart Alec who knows all and then as long as I am installing from this account then it bypasses these checks. This 'special' account would not be available on most home user versions of Vista but O/S's like Server 2003 Small Business Server? How many non uber geek types will be installing this on their desktop systems?

Their comes a point when the sort of so called security enhancememnts that get put into an O/S are self defeating. People will switch them off just to be able to use the syatem in a realistic way. This does not enhance the overall security of the system.

I agree that M$ does need to improce the OOTB security of the basic/agerage person that installs/uses Vists but there are times when this is just to intrusive into the use of a system such as a server.
Let me install stuff and then let me run some scans/checks on the stuff I have installed. If this detects some trojan/visrus/whatever then isolate the offending stuff. Then I can make an informed decision about the stuff it has QT'd. Please M$ let me decide what I want to run or not especially when it comes to installing stuff on Server O/S's

Ease of Use != Poor Security. DRM sucks. (1)

twitter (104583) | about 7 years ago | (#18743097)

People are tricked every day into installing spyware and trojans. I'm glad about any additional protection that stops people installing that stuff, even if the side effect is a slight PITA when installing legit software.

Proper user permissions makes it both easy to install software and stop trojans. People complain because M$ has yet to implement the simple read write execute and user flags common and effective in Unix since the 1970s. Instead they use annoying warnings that cry wolf and make the user think it's their fault when they turn those off.

Vista proves that compatibility with previous applications is not the reason they have not adopted a sane user model. Vista is all driven by digital restrictions for media companies. Where those restrictions break applications they were only too happy to do it.

Vista = Linux ?? (1, Insightful)

HW_Hack (1031622) | about 7 years ago | (#18742381)

Boy sounds like moving to Vista (and wanting to run Windows apps) requires as much work as moving to Linux. All the work but no reward of getting a more advanced OS like Linux - sounds like a loose-loose situation. Looks like its time for more OT in the marketing Dept.

In general (4, Insightful)

The Cisco Kid (31490) | about 7 years ago | (#18742415)

I dont touch MS software with a ten foot pole, but for Vista I've ordered a 100 foot pole.

Even the MS fanb^H^H^H^Hapol^H^H^H^Hafficionados are saying to stay away from it, it must be bad.

Of course, one of the problems of using MS is that eventually, MS is going to force you to, either directly or indirectly. For the gamers, eventually new games wont run on anything but Vista, and for business folk, once a few businesses are conned into upgrading to it (and of course new versions of Word/etc, which will of course not open in earlier versions, that any business that interacts with them (that is stupid enough to consider MS-Word a good format to exchange data in) will have to ugprade too, and so on. And they call GPL software viral.

And of course, with Vista's build in 'calling home', when and if MS wants you to move to something else, they will just slowly tell every Vista that 'calls home' thats its obsolete, and it will slowly begin to lose functionaility, and eventually you'll be forced to upgrade again.

Just like the drug pusher, MS cannot make money unless you keep buying more. To borrow a phrase from another war: 'Just say No' to MS. Now is the time to get off their drugs.

Re:In general (1)

maxume (22995) | about 7 years ago | (#18742587)

I'm a big fan of open formats and storing data in the simplest format possible, but the strongest complaint that can be made against Microsoft in terms of their format support is that they engender apathy. The copy of Word 2000 I have installed here will save documents in about 20 different formats, going all the way back to Word 2.x and including rtf. They absolutely don't go to any effort to encourage using older, more compatible formats, but there isn't really anything standing in the way either.

Vista has plenty of issues, but there really isn't anybody out there producing perfect point zero releases(probably because going from 5% of a user base to 50% just tends to exercise more code). They are trapped in a binary compatibility culture of their own making; the fact that they chose to prioritize security is a good thing, and I think much of the 'backlash' is simply people who don't see why it has to be a compromise(whereas I would say a reasonable point of view realizes that balancing 'no thought required' and security is a bit of a pickle).

Very Zen of you (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18742791)

Does "not touching something with a N-foot pole" use a pole?

The one and only reasonable fix ... (-1, Troll)

The Terminator (300566) | about 7 years ago | (#18742421)

would be to abandon Windows at all and switch to any other OS. Remember: The requirements said Windows 2000 or better, so I installed Linux

This is one aspect in which I agree with Microsoft (5, Insightful)

erroneus (253617) | about 7 years ago | (#18742463)

The application should strive to achieve compatibility with the OS, not the other way around. Microsoft has been wasting boatloads of resources on just maintaining backward compatibility with bugs and misbehaving applications (or so sayeth the leaked commented Windows OS code). This is the shortest possible explanation for how the Windows OS family has become the mess that it is today.

If they feel they need to expend the resources to get compatibility in order, here's what I think Microsoft should do:

PATCH THE APPS. Distribute or make downloadable the patches and upgrades necessary to make it happen. Hell, it could be a quality way for Microsoft to improve their relationship with vendors of all types. They'll spend the money anyway.

MOD PARENT UP (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18742551)

Who do you blame for iTunes not working on Vista? Apple or Microsoft?

I vote for Apple: they had the specs, and they were unwilling or unable to make their app meet those specs. If Microsoft stops making allowances for misbehaving apps, the whole system will be a lot more stable in the future: short-term pain for long-term gain.

I disagree (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18742563)

You can go ahead and say that, but the end result is that if Microsoft chose to apply that logic wholesale, they would get trashed big time. They spent a shitload of effort trying their best to be compatible with older software, and they did far from a perfect job. And look at the reception that Windows Vista got on Slashdot - that reaction should be regarded as proof that any version of Windows without virtually perfect compatibility will get trashed big time, and that people don't seem to care that its because program XYZ sent the wrong parameter to Win32 API DoSomething(). You should read the The Old New Thing [msdn.com] , a blog by one of the main people at Microsoft that work on backwards compatibility. Specifically read these entries:

The purist in me would love to take the Linux route and force anybody doing weird stuff to fix their software, but in the long run, Microsoft is a business and their customers want compatibility with shitty software. Reading Raymond Chen's stuff changed my views on Windows backwards compatibility 100%.

Re:I disagree (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18742637)

And look at the reception that Windows Vista got on Slashdot
Are you actually going to pretend that it's a non-biased viewpoint?

Wow.

Upgrading in Linux world vs. Windows world (1)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | about 7 years ago | (#18743089)

The purist in me would love to take the Linux route and force anybody doing weird stuff to fix their software, but in the long run, Microsoft is a business and their customers want compatibility with shitty software.

The thing is, the changes required in Linux world to be compatible with new versions of key libraries are generally minor, well-documented, reasonable, and relatively quick to implement.

In Windows world, that isn't the case, because Windows development is a mess. That is mostly Microsoft's fault. There isn't any good way out of this situation for them now, but they could have seen this coming a decade ago, and they chose to ignore it in the interests of making more profits earlier. Now, having made their bed, they are forced to lie in it.

Re:This is one aspect in which I agree with Micros (1)

memojuez (910304) | about 7 years ago | (#18742595)

PATCH THE APPS. Distribute or make downloadable the patches and upgrades necessary to make it happen. Hell, it could be a quality way for Microsoft to improve their relationship with vendors of all types. They'll spend the money anyway.

That makes way too much sense, so it's highly unlikely that Microsoft will do that.

Re:This is one aspect in which I agree with Micros (1)

vertinox (846076) | about 7 years ago | (#18742867)

The application should strive to achieve compatibility with the OS, not the other way around.

When I worked support for a Softwre developer, I would get into arguments over this with them. They wrote an app that basically would try to force its own DLL's into the System directory and require a reboot.

I explain, that if you have to reboot and put things into the Windows\system directory then it is going to give us nightmares on the support end.

Low and behold we actually had someone with a WinNT server install our software and it blew the server up. So much can go wrong when you start forcing the OS to comply with the software.

That said... Why should someone who will never run the older software be forced to carry all this baggage. From a support and consumer standpoint the apps should be modified and not the OS.

Re:This is one aspect in which I agree with Micros (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18742875)

Point number one: It hardly matters whether the changes done to achieve compatibility are done in the OS or in the application, when both pieces of code originate from the same corporation. Many of these non-Vista-compatible applications are Microsoft products.

Point number two: Microsoft has "boatloads of resources" to "waste" on backwards compatibility, largely because they drove the independent application developers out of business or into narrow margin survival mode. When you buy up every independent source of revenue in the consumer software business, so that every dime of software money on the average desktop goes to you, you ought to have enough money sloshing around that you can afford to fix a few bugs.

Every desktop computer you see, a majority of the software money goes to Microsoft. Microsoft makes more money than Apple on every Mac sold. Microsoft gets $30 to $90 on every Dell sold, and Dell often gets less than that in margin. In the businesses I support, the only non-Microsoft money I see on any desktop machines is the occasional Adobe product and the even less frequent occasional licensed copy of WinZip or Eudora.

When you write every single piece of software on the harddisk, there is no one else to blame when some of them are incompatible with each other.

Re:This is one aspect in which I agree with Micros (1)

ratboy666 (104074) | about 7 years ago | (#18743029)

But the thing that we are striving to be compatible with is CLOSED.

Which means?

That once an application works, it IS compatible. There is no other reference implementation to try it against.

If there are multiple implementations (in Windows case, 98, 2000, XP, Vista), once it works on the platforms that are feature compatible, the application works, and again it IS compatible. There is no reference authority OTHER THAN THE IMPLEMENTATION. (and look at the Microsoft Word submissions for additional hedges).

Because of this, it becomes Microsofts issue -- to either properly document the API, -or- to provide OS patches to keep applications operational. If the API were properly documented, clean-room implementations would be possible (more specifically, WINE would be done). So it is not in Microsofts platform interest to do this.

Which leaves OS patches to keep applications running. Which, in turn, further complicates the API description (hypothetical example: APIduJour(HANDLE aHandle,...) description: does this function. If called from an application named "FOOBAR" does this secondary processing as well. If called from "XYZZY" can fail with this result, else this other result.).

There is a direct benefit to Microsoft -- if a clean room implementation is attempted, either the OS needs reverse engineering (limited by the license) or a VAST number of test cases need to be run. Either is very difficult (and witness that WINE is NOT done yet).

At some point it becomes a nightmare to maintain for Microsoft, but my bet is that there will be upgrades supplied to Vista in increase its back-compatibility.

Just sayin'

Not Really as Bad as the Naysayers Think (2, Insightful)

rawn53 (1037326) | about 7 years ago | (#18742505)

I've been running the Business version of Vista 32-bit since January and I've only had a couple apps not work properly. All the games I've tried have worked (some with a crash here and there, but that's nothing out of the ordinary), most of the productivity software I've used is just fine, and the random other stuff hasn't been a problem.

All the people that keep saying "wait 6 months for it to be fixed" forget something: 5 years after the release of XP, they were still fixing it. If you're not going to adopt until the OS is "fixed", then you've got a long wait ahead.

WIndows x64 (3, Insightful)

TheThiefMaster (992038) | about 7 years ago | (#18742533)

There's only two things I can think of that don't work in Windows XP x64 that weren't bad practice in Windows XP x86 or even Windows 2000:
1: Device Drivers
2: Kernel hooks (e.g. Anti-virus software)

Any software that doesn't use either of these, doesn't work on Windows x64 edition, and is less than 5 years old, was obviously not very well written.

Would you trust a program to be secure and bug-free if it doesn't even adhere to the OS's guidelines?

Re:WIndows x64 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18743057)

Anything that's a DLL rather than an executable causes problem.

E.g., shell extensions - I use TortoiseCVS, 7-Zip extensively. A 64-bit version of 7-zip is available for a long time now, but 64-bit tortoise is still beta and has its bugs.
COM objects pose their own set of problems.

All in all, x64 is livable, but isn't a smooth upgrade for a power user.

Can't See Much From This Vista, Can You? (2, Interesting)

NeverVotedBush (1041088) | about 7 years ago | (#18742569)

Gag. I have two boxes I run XP on (dual boot with Linux) and that's as far as it is ever going to get. I'm off the Microsoft treadmill and doubt I will ever get back on. I can do everything I need to do under XP or Linux - with more and more that I can do under Linux all the time. I don't think I've booted into Windows in a couple of months now - literally.

Adios, Microsoft.

Switched to Vista (5, Interesting)

anss123 (985305) | about 7 years ago | (#18742571)

I installed Vista alongside XP thinking I'd stay with XP a while yet, but I have not booted XP once since bringing up Vista. Vista application compability wasn't as bad as I'd been lead to believe. Sure I had to scratch my head a bit to get Pixel Shaders working in Media Player Classic (I used them to correct some corrupt videos I have), and some games needed a few XP files from the System32 directory, but the only piece of software I've yet to get running is 3D Mark 99 Max.

This reminds me a little about the Windows 2000 switchover. There was a lot of talk about compatibility issues with various games and apps, but the only thing that affected me was the wonky Sound Blaster Live drivers. Come to think of it, Vista actually supports all my hardware, although I had to slack my memory timings bellow specs. Tip, if you get a BSOD with Win32.sys as the culprit then run memtest86, hell run memtest86 anyway.

biggest mistake was file protection (1)

SuperDre (982372) | about 7 years ago | (#18742573)

The biggest mistake and headache for developers is the file protection,what morron at MS did come up with the foolish idea to redirect files written to ?:\program files\... to a user version.. A lot of applications depend on it being really in the necessary folder when more users are on the same desktop.. And the fact that just putting the program in any other folder without having this problem makes me really wonder what they where thinking.. but I'm glad that is works, as we now install our program in another folder when it's installing on Vista... The registry for us isn't a real problem yet since we already wrote automatically to the user part.. But the main problem also was that they hadn't warned developers about this.. When I was a a MS techmeeting 1 month before official release of Vista these changes came as a surprise to about 80% of the developers who where present. So you can imagine what a 'panic' started, and even the presenter was shocked at how many developers didn't know about this.. BAD MS..

Here's an Idea (0, Troll)

JamesP (688957) | about 7 years ago | (#18742581)

Don't use crap programmed in the last century. "Windows 64 Can't run 16 bit apps" is that supposed to be a problem? For me it is a true blessing.

Seriously people, even though the entire industry touts the "backward compatibility" mantra, in fact it doesn't work like that.

Upgrading the software usually improves functioning in a lot of ways. Memory usage, processor functions, SECURITY, etc

(And the next guy who asks me why their COBOL/CLIPPER/etc application from 20 yrs ago run like crap on their state of the art compter gets bitchslapped!)

Vista isn't an OS (1)

Mac_8100_g3 (662248) | about 7 years ago | (#18742655)

It's a steaming turd with a windows logo on it. I've been testing Vista in a corporate software development environment since the beginning of last year and the fact that a user has to jump through so many hoops just to get a farking program to run properly should be a clear and obvious warning to those of us who still value our sanity that we need to simply steer clear of this steaming pile called Vista.

16bit installers on x64 (1)

SteveAyre (209812) | about 7 years ago | (#18742657)

16bit installers don't all work on the x64 version of XP (and I'm assuming Vista). XP doesn't 'convert' the 16bit installer to 32bit as the article says... it actually has 32bit versions of several common installers with it. When you try running the 16bit one it recognises it and runs the 32bit replacement instead.

Of course that means only the recognised ones work. There are plenty of installers I've come across which won't work (mostly for games... Dungeon Keeper & Dune 2000 come to mind).

My 'solution' was to run a 32bit version of Windows XP inside a virtual machine and install the programs there. More annoying because I have to run the virtual machine to use them, but at least I can still run them.

Windows redesign needed (1)

Crizp (216129) | about 7 years ago | (#18742699)

Microsoft seriously need to start work on a "Windows Neo" or something that is redesigned from the core and will break compatibility with _everything_ unless they can create some "Classic" thing like Apple did for OSX.

I see this as the only way to "fix" the Windows codebase which must look like a complete, utter mess after a decade of hacks.

Re:Windows redesign needed (1)

laffer1 (701823) | about 7 years ago | (#18742761)

Ok. What OSes are up for sale then? Apple bought NeXT to make OS X. They spent most of the time modernizing it, slapping on a "Mac" gui, and adding classic support.

Re:Windows redesign needed (1)

no reason to be here (218628) | about 7 years ago | (#18742909)

they could just use one of the BSDs, and use WINE to get their "Classic" mode.

or they could buy the BeOS code base (i think i just threw up in my mouth a little).

Re:Windows redesign needed (1)

maharg (182366) | about 7 years ago | (#18742939)

Why limit it to OSes that are for sale ?

With linux getting better and better with hardware support (Ubuntu Dapper fixed even some paperweight webcams and printers gifted by well meaning relatives..), could we eventually see a MS gui/userland running on top of linux ? Will MS *ever* opensource their stuff ? Windows Neo... 5-10 years out maybe ??

Let's have a sweepstake on when that might happen, just for the kudos, you understand. I'll kick off with 2013 - lucky for some !

Actually it would be *very* cool to have a fully functioning MS/GNU/Linux, cos Mac OSX/Parallels certainly has the edge there today. Except that the MS parts would probably still be broken in some way ;o) lol....

The bell tolls for you XP ... (1)

HW_Hack (1031622) | about 7 years ago | (#18742725)

Last week MS announced that OEMs would not be able to sell systems with XP by the end of the year (and I'm sure that MS is really pressuring OEMs to offer special deals on Vista systems). I'm sure this is part of a MS plan to "get Vista out there in numbers" - thus forcing software companies to port/patch products for Vista.

Of course that begs the question will MS patch Office 2004 etc. - the answer there is hell no. Which is understandable - I mean once you start patching a MS product where / when do you stop. The symbol for infinity is not part of any project planner I've used.

fagmorz (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18742753)

Came "as a complete I've never s3en FreeBSD had long Goals. It's when decentralized There's no

come on (1)

drfrog (145882) | about 7 years ago | (#18742785)

i mean
mech warrior 3 wont run on xp either

look at me cry

Re:come on (1)

Paradigm_Complex (968558) | about 7 years ago | (#18742935)

I have no problems running MW3 on XP. Or Linux with WINE. Sometimes people get a nagging for nostalgia to play old games; I've been known to go back through the Decent series time and time again.

Photoshop CS2 workaround (2, Informative)

careysb (566113) | about 7 years ago | (#18742865)

Things have mostly worked on my brand new Vista box (old box died). One annoyance that I encountered is that Photoshop CS2 would nag me to register each time I launched it, even though I had "successfully" (?) registered a couple of times. Adobe's response was that it was "a known issue". I then reset the compatibility mode so that it would run as administrator. That brought even more complaints from Vista and CS2. However, when I reset CS2 to run as a normal user the problem mysteriously went away. Hope this may help someone else. --Carey

Raising the standards of Windows software (a bit) (3, Insightful)

TSDMK (979550) | about 7 years ago | (#18742897)

My experience of Vista is limited, but from what I can tell a lot of the incompatibilities come from developers getting used to the slack security and expecting things like Administrator priviledges, write access in to \Windows, acccess to HK_Local_Machine etc. There was some breakage going from Windows XP SP1 to SP2 as well, and since I use a User account on XP, it's sometimes been a struggle to get some apps (and some parts of XP itself) to work right. While I suppose MS could have made compatability better by having real virtualization of an older Windows or what have you, if this makes apps behave better overall then maybe it's for the best.

Games.... (2, Interesting)

Maquis196 (535256) | about 7 years ago | (#18742915)

I tried Vista so I could get my own opinion of it (as a Linux and xp fan). Tbh, I found it cumbersome even with aero off although I am pointing my fingers at the nvidia drivers, I like to play football manager in a window and that was slower then under wine! but wait for it... it does allow me to play Dungeon Keeper II!! I have not been able to play that since I switched from 2000 years ago. I have tried under everything including vmware to no avail, for this reason alone vista will stay on my hard drive. I don't think vista is as uncompatible as people think, hell once I have the time I plan on trying some of my old games and see what works! Maquis196

Ironically, I've had *FEWER* problems than XP... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Freak (16973) | about 7 years ago | (#18742953)

My son's computer was set so that his login was a "Limited" user. Lots of pre-2002 (i.e. written for Win9x, therefore pre user account level and permissions,) games had major issues. They insisted on running as an Administrator. Which meant either changing his login to Administrator (not likely,) or me coming in and typing in my password every time he wanted to run Microsoft's own "Midtown Madness".

Vista, on the other hand, appears to let old games work just fine on a Limited account. Obviously, REALLY old games don't work at all, but Win98-era games work just fine again.

Solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18742967)

1. Download Debian 4.0 [http/ftp [debian.org] ][torrent [debian.org] ]
2. Install
3. Don't give a shit about Microsoft or Windows anymore.

I went Debian (sid at the time) five years ago when XP started edging out Win2k installations. Now that Etch is out I've moved back the stable branch. It just works, it comes with everything I need, and I don't have to spend all of my time babysitting all of the add-on crap and drivers that inevitably comes with owning a Windows PC.

Final Thoughts (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18742981)

FTA
"In the end, though, you should seriously consider moving to software virtualization during your Vista migration. Software virtualization allows you to package applications once and only once to deploy them to your PCs. Virtualized applications do not touch the operating system so your systems stay pristine at all times."

If the problems that Vista faces; I am not sure why they didn't take a play from Apples book (no pun intended). They should have:
1) Designed the OS from scratch.
2) Provided a virtualized version of an older system like XP. Something that Apple did when OS X was released. I believe that the virtual environment was running something like version 9.

They wouldn't have these compatibility issues and would have potentially built a more robust / secure OS. Also, it would have given all the application programmers the ability to port over their programs in the interim. It would have been a win win situation. Apps would be available for the new OS; and you would have a new "potentially" feature rich OS ready for deployment.

Personally, I would have liked to see their prototype OS "Singular" come to fruition.

The problem with Vista is Windows and Microsoft (4, Insightful)

mlwmohawk (801821) | about 7 years ago | (#18743007)

I don't mean this as a flame, but I'm sure it will be mod'ed as such, but this needs to be said.

I used to really worry about trusting business, especially MY business, on Linux. "Who" would support me? What about my data? What if it breaks, etc.

After spending more than a decade using Linux as my OS of choice, my worries about Linux are almost gone, but I have realized that there are bigger worries that people don't even realize they have to deal with with Windows.

Microsoft is a single company, and if not an out right monopoly, certainly a virtual one. They are in the position to make autocratic decisions regardless of customer demands. DRM? Discontinuing Windows XP? If my company had a product that people wanted, I wouldn't be able to, responsibly, stop shipping it.

The average office is held hostage to Microsoft's whims. Vista is a perfect example. It breaks existing applications, it needs far more resources to run. It has a much more draconian set of licensing restrictions and obligations. Yet, Microsoft can STILL stop Windows XP regardless of the customer need.

Linux is better. If the company you have decides to change and break your applications, you don't have to upgrade. You can, more or less, add the "cool" new features of the new release without breaking your system.

The average home user goes it alone, they either do it themselves, have a nerd-buddy, or use something like geek squad. Medium to large size offices typically have IT management services, and the Linux model is typically better for them, if it were not for vendor.

If ODF takes off enough to the point where "Microsoft Office" is optional, you'll see a lot of companies switching users to Linux just for the TCO. (M$ TCO FUD not withstanding)

Generic Complaint (1, Redundant)

AndrewNeo (979708) | about 7 years ago | (#18743011)

Pre-XP to XP: Whine, whine, gripe, complain, make funny Linux reference, gripe XP to Vista: Whine, whine, gripe, complain, make funny Linux reference, gripe

No Brainer (1)

humankind (704050) | about 7 years ago | (#18743159)

This is really simple... don't use Vista. I didn't switch from Win98 to XP until years after the fact. And I still am sorry I installed XP64 - it's not ready for prime time either. I'm not going to be one of Microsoft's monkeys. They can iron out the kinks using someone else's gray hairs.

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