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PC Makers Offering a Bridge Back To XP

kdawson posted about 7 years ago | from the bridge-too-far dept.

Windows 523

The Telegraph is reporting on efforts by PC manufacturers to give customers buying systems pre-installed with Windows Vista a much-sought way to downgrade to Windows XP. ( A few months back we discussed Microsoft's similar concession for corporate customers.) "It took took five years and $6 billion to develop, but Microsoft's Vista operating system, which was launched early this year, has been shunned by consumers — with computer manufacturers taking the bizarre step of offering downgrades to the old XP version of Windows."

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typo in summary (5, Funny)

Spy der Mann (805235) | about 7 years ago | (#20738579)

"It took took five years and $6 billion to develop"

Who's took? He must've been a genius to develop Vista with only $6 billion! :P

Re:typo in summary (4, Funny)

setagllib (753300) | about 7 years ago | (#20738609)

I'm pretty sure just the marketing budget was more than 6 billion. The real price for Windows Vista is human progress.

Re:typo in summary (1)

rtb61 (674572) | about 7 years ago | (#20738643)

The real price for Ballmer's first (P)OS is yet to be applied. Will he be trusted to produce another OS or application, as the latest version of M$ Office ain't fairing much better.

Re:typo in summary (3, Funny)

wanderingknight (1103573) | about 7 years ago | (#20738759)

What about the chairs? I'm sure so many expenses in furniture must be taking their toll in MS' account balance.

Why hang on to the old? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20738665)

Everyone should be running the newest of Windows, which is Windows Vista! People who still get by with XP are uncool and stick-in-the-muds. Windows Vista on a Wacom-enabled Tablet PC is the way to go! And Windows Vista to me seems much faster with the new wallpapers! I love Microsoft and everything they do. Products like Vista and Office 2007 are brilliant. I really have a mancrush on Steve Ballmer, too.

Anonymous Coward Sig 2.0:
I love Microsoft! I want a job at Microsoft!

Wow (0, Troll)

FunkyRider (1128099) | about 7 years ago | (#20738607)

WOW! Old news is so exciting!

how about a downgrade to ME (0, Troll)

bvheide (1161515) | about 7 years ago | (#20738613)

Man, forget this "downgrade to XP" crap, let's really go for the gold and demand a downgrade all the way back to the Millennium Edition. Ah, the halcyon days of youth.

Re:how about a downgrade to ME (1)

Psychor (603391) | about 7 years ago | (#20738641)

*shudders* I still have nightmares about the dreaded Mistake Edition.

Re:how about a downgrade to ME (0, Troll)

renegadesx (977007) | about 7 years ago | (#20739143)

I truly think the jury is out on which is worse

Re:how about a downgrade to ME (1)

pembo13 (770295) | about 7 years ago | (#20738827)

I wouldn't mind. I maybe would downgrade to ME if all the software I need works on it. ME to me is as good as WindowsXP, as in I do not prefer one over the other.

Re:how about a downgrade to ME (4, Funny)

plover (150551) | about 7 years ago | (#20739003)

Not too long ago I heard Windows Vista referred to as "XP, Millennium Edition." Pretty much summed it up right there.

Bizzare? (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20738621)

More like needed. Microsoft is trying to force it to be bundled with everything, even hardware that has no business trying to run that resource hog of an OS. I recently got a cheap laptop to take notes with and do basic lab work at school. It came with Vista, and it took 6 minutes to boot. I couldnt put XP on it fast enough. Too bad my school uses a few programs that wont run under linux at all.

Re:Bizzare? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20738671)

Have you tried Wine lately? The most recent versions have really amazed me at how close they (finally) are to having something genuinely functional.

Re:Bizzare? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20738871)

Wine is a waste of time. It's really only an option if you enjoy tweaking settings endlessly and still never having anything work quite right. In addition to that, if you (or your distro) updates it, expect to have to do more tweaking to get it working again.

Try CrossOver Office. If it doesn't work with that, then use VirtualBox+WinXP+SeamlessMode.

Re:Bizzare? (2, Informative)

Stormwatch (703920) | about 7 years ago | (#20739189)

How about VirtualBox + ReactOS ?

Re:Bizzare? (4, Interesting)

sqrt(2) (786011) | about 7 years ago | (#20738677)

To be fair, that's probably the fault of the OEM you bought from loading tons of crap and free offers on top of the system. A clean install of Vista Ultimate on an Aspire 5100 [] (1GB RAM) works just fine for me performance wise and I like it. I'm seriously doubting your claim of a 6 minute boot time too. Something is definitely wrong if you weren't exaggerating, and it's not with Vista.

Re:Bizzare? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20738765)

Driver issues, probably. I have seen 10+ minute boots several times with a few laptops upgraded from XP to Vista Ultimate (though not with the fresh install).

Then if you check the logs, it will tell you that some DLL hung for 612 seconds or whatever. (I also saw that 612 several times so perhaps it is a magic driver timeout number for Vista?)

Re:Bizzare? (4, Funny)

EvanED (569694) | about 7 years ago | (#20738991)

(I also saw that 612 several times so perhaps it is a magic driver timeout number for Vista?)

Of course. 612 seconds ought to be enough for anyone.

Re:Bizzare? (4, Insightful)

pembo13 (770295) | about 7 years ago | (#20738913)

I don't know about you guys, but when multiple pieces of software run slow on Linux, I blame Linux. Maybe that is because there is no OEM in the mix, but it seems fair to blame the operating system for not doing the necessary management to run my apps at a comfortable pace.

Re:Bizzare? (2, Insightful)

datapharmer (1099455) | about 7 years ago | (#20739199)

I agree 100%. Programs can be badly written, but a good OS should be able to deal with the problem using process management. BeOS was great at this in its day, as is OSX is too in general (with the exception of Java being almost completely broken on OSX). Java programs grind the entire OS to a screeching halt on OSX. I blame Apple for this - it is their implementation and handling of java that is messed up since the same programs work fine on similar systems with another OS.

The same should be applied to Vista. If Vista responsiveness slows because you are running poorly written programs the responsibility is ultimately that of Microsoft.

A slow program is the programmer's fault but it shouldn't make the whole system unusable.

Re:Bizzare? (1)

whoever57 (658626) | about 7 years ago | (#20739051)

To be fair, that's probably the fault of the OEM you bought from loading tons of crap and free offers on top of the system.
That is not fair. Most people could not do a clean install of Vista on their PCs, so they have no alternative except to buy a PC with all the craplets pre-loaded.

Re:Bizzare? (0)

sqrt(2) (786011) | about 7 years ago | (#20739107)

Buy from a different OEM? Demand proper installation media? Hell, just download the ISO and use your CD key to install that version. Most of these are above or beyond the abilities or even imagination of most people so yeah I do understand where you're coming from. I'm just not going to blame MS for the bad business practices of other companies (they have plenty of their own bad business practices I can blame them for!).

Re:Bizzare? (1)

whoever57 (658626) | about 7 years ago | (#20739159)

Buy from a different OEM?
Except that all the majors put the craplets on

Demand proper installation media?
Answer from the OEM: unless you are a corporate customer: No!

Hell, just download the ISO and use your CD key to install that version.
Now you are in fantasy land. What ISO? Even if you can find an ISO, your key won't work for that version.

What you are ignoring is that MS has created the financial ecosystem under which these craplets are delivered, thus MS is responsible for them.

I've been out of it but... (3, Informative)

victorvodka (597971) | about 7 years ago | (#20738647)

I'm a computer-using professional, (a web developer, actually) and I haven't bought a computer in years (who needs to? a five year old Pentium IV does everything anyone needs a computer to do!). So I was amazed back in July when a friend and I went to a Circuit City and then Best Buy on a "cheapest laptop we can walk out with" quest. XP was already gone and the pimply-faced Nerd Patrol/Geek Squad/FireDog/CatFucker people all told us that installing XP on these computers was impossible. They said they'd tried and it couldn't be done. I remember wondering if perhaps this was the end of the Microsoft Universe, since there was no way we'd be getting a Vista computer. The only use for multiple cores and 4 gigs of RAM is if 80% of your CPU cycles are given over to DRM and Norton 360.

Re:I've been out of it but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20738747)

how vm's, multithreaded apps, hardware programming (quartus II is a hog when compiling), etc.

Re:I've been out of it but... (2, Insightful)

JanneM (7445) | about 7 years ago | (#20738769)

The only use for multiple cores and 4 gigs of RAM is if 80% of your CPU cycles are given over to DRM and Norton 360.
Postprocess a 10mp RAW file and you easily use upwards of half a gig and one core (the other core making sure your other apps don't stutter while you're running some heavy processing script). Do a panorama from 22 of those images and a couple of gigabytes (and a good deal of patience) comes in handy. []

Re:I've been out of it but... (1, Insightful)

AuMatar (183847) | about 7 years ago | (#20738917)

And less than .5% of users do either of those things. Less than that do any for of photo editing at all. For the vast, vast majority of users, a pentium 300 or so is more than enough.

Re:I've been out of it but... (1)

Machtyn (759119) | about 7 years ago | (#20738773)

being a computer-using professional (web-devver) you should know the multi-cores can be useful. Have all background tasks (such as AVG and ZoneAlarm) run on one core, your video editing run on two other cores, and any other programs run on the fourth. Or have your development studio/compiler run on one core and the website/testsite run on another core, have your test SQL server run on another... but, yea, you probably knew that. (Of course, don't forget to run your music player on one of those cores.)

I completely agree, for the average professional, one core, P-IV, at 1.5GHz with 512MB RAM is enough for anyone.

Re:I've been out of it but... (4, Informative)

sqrt(2) (786011) | about 7 years ago | (#20738861)

That all sounds good, but right now our hardware is way ahead of the software. The programs and operating systems aren't smart enough to make full use of the extra cores in the way you describe to get the real performance boosts that are possible. I'm sure that will change as dual and quad core processors become more and more common and eventually standard.

Re:I've been out of it but... (5, Informative)

Machtyn (759119) | about 7 years ago | (#20738993)

Again, I completely agree. The hardware is way ahead of the software. Fortunately, the video editing software I use does make use of the multi-cores (and it's a joy to watch the CPU performance meter peg at 80% on each 2.2GHz core). And Windows XP does have the ability to tie certain processes to a certain core (right click on a process in Task Manager, make the process Affinity choose a specific core).

I'm sure there are some kernel stuff that should go into Windows and Linux to optimize core usage better than it is now.

Re:I've been out of it but... (4, Insightful)

UncleTogie (1004853) | about 7 years ago | (#20738785)

XP was already gone and the pimply-faced Nerd Patrol/Geek Squad/FireDog/CatFucker people all told us that installing XP on these computers was impossible.

Vic, those overglorified PC monkeys are yanking your chain. You have a number of OS choices. Fraggin' suits and their "unofficial" quotas...

As for XP being a "downgrade" from Vista, let's consider Merriam-Webster's definition of UPgrade:

: to improve or replace especially software or a device for increased usefulness.

Note the "for increased usefulness" part. Until Vista somehow offers a marked usefulness over XP, it's not going to be able to justify the price tags...ESPECIALLY Ultimate...

They are lying. (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | about 7 years ago | (#20738855)

Either they are outright lying, or they suck.

That, or they are selling some VERY unique laptops.

Re:They are lying. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20739085)

Not true.

There are laptops out there that will not run XP properly.

Usually it is a driver issue, such as a soundcard or whatever not working. It will work with Linux... you can go out and find other laptops with that exact same device/chipset and install the driver but it just won't work. It is almost like the device specifically detects the XP driver and refuses to work.

Re:I've been out of it but... (1)

djupedal (584558) | about 7 years ago | (#20738901)

Not the cheapest, but XP can be run on a MacBook, ya' know...

Re:I've been out of it but... (2, Interesting)

MadUndergrad (950779) | about 7 years ago | (#20738971)

Here's what you do: make a bet with the guy. If you can get a copy of Windows XP installed on the computer, he'll sell it to you half off. If you can't (in, say, a day) then you'll buy it full price. Since it can't be done he should have no qualms about accepting, right?

Re:I've been out of it but... (4, Funny)

Christopher_Edwardz (1036954) | about 7 years ago | (#20739035)

It makes good business sense for the PC manufacturers.

If they're seeing squawking clients in the valuable before-christmas season, they should do something. And if a downgrade to XP is what it takes... then so be it.

The manufacturers might be partners with miker$of when it is convenient, but a friend-coerced is a pretty fair-weather friend. I imagine that business arrangement works both ways and miker$of is under some pressure from stockholders to sell their product.

For the record to someone that mentioned a PC on which XP wouldn't run... I recently had to reload a spanky-new gateway *shudder* PC at the office. It had linux on it (which ran like a champ as a SERVER for HUNDREDS OF USERS (database, app server, web server, samba, DNS, and so on) and we were reloading it for a developer to use as as desktop. I know it will barely run Vista and make his life miserable.

XP won't run on it because Intel doesn't make (a working set of)drivers for the board's SATA controller. Not for XP. I tried Professional, Home, and even Server 2003 to make sure. Won't run. Bluescreens before you see the GUI. Tried both pre and post DRM versions (Original, SP1, and SP2 ++DRM). No XP "love". Looked on their website and they sorta support XP, but couldn't find a way to order one with that OS. (I was going to order one, clone the HD's magic partition, and take it back.)

The company didn't want to buy a PATA drive to put on a single chain with the UDMA66 DVD-ROM. I don't blame them.

I poked around both intel's and gutway's sites (which is kind of like sticking your hand in a public toilet by the way...) for an hour or two to no avail. Google-is-evil-ified the motherboard and SATA controller to see if anyone had other ideas. Lots of problems and no solutions later I ditched this idea.

Intel provides Linux support, why not XP? They have an XP driver listed, and I tried all 3 choices (which loads the same driver *sigh*), but still I get the friendly BSOD I know so well.

I won't rule out the idea that I might've missed something, but the probability is sliding fast towards nil.

I didn't have a copy of vista, and won't be having one. A glance at the side of the PC says that it is for Home Premium Two-Steps Left or some such version. Gutway doesn't do recovery CDs, putting the image on a recovery partition at the front of the disk for the client to burn. It evidently got erased before I received the PC.

as an annoying sidenote, the thing doesn't have a floppy drive, so I had to open the side of the case and connect a floppy before I could mash F6 to load a driver from floppy.

Anyway, I won't give the developer vista as he's already had the black feather pointed at him (the only one in the shop, because some of our clients downgraded to vista). He just looks pitiful when someone suggests he might be getting vista again. Everyone in the office has stopped teasing him about it because... well... it is meaner than tasering a mental patient in a wheelchair.


Well, yes and no (4, Insightful)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | about 7 years ago | (#20739071)

I recently upgraded my computers, my windows xp game machine from a P4HT and my linux dual P3 machine both to Core 2 Duos and 2gigs of ram. The windows machine used to have 1 gig of ddr and the P3 had 512mb of that ram that failed.

Both were okay machines in their own right, I am currently playing a lot of LOTRO and the frame rates weren't too bad with pretty decent settings. The problem was lack of memory, ddr is expensive compared to ddr2 and I had all full slots.

So, with two new machines, am I experiencing what you claim? HELL NO. For one thing, bios boot time (before the OS starts loading) have dropped to mere seconds, often so fast I can't even hit del fast enough. While the machines themselves idle most of the time, they respond a lot faster when I actually want them to work.


If you drive you car one hour a day at 240 miles per hour (lets keep the math simple) then you claim that a car with a top speed over 10 miles per hour is wastefull since obviously on average your car only drives 10 miles per hour in a day period.

Computer speed is not just about total capacity, it is about how fast it can do the tasks you ask it to do. If I boot my computer, I wanted to work on it NOW, every milisecond it is not ready is wasted time. If I open a document I want to work on it. Don't matter that a 10 second load time ain't that long, it is time I spend waiting.

That is the secret of why powerfull computers make for better productivity, NOT because we need them to constantly be performing heavy workloads, but because we want them to do what we want them to do quickly so we can do our work in the flow we want it too.

I remember the days when if you wanted to print a document you went and got a cup of coffee while the computer got ready, and then you went an hour later to the printer room to get your document from the pile. It worked, but your workflow was being dictated by the hardware/software. Not a good thing.


Old diesels had to warmup before they could be driven. Not too much of a problem, just make it part of your getting ready routine to go outside and start the car before you actually leave. But god, those petrol cars with their instant usuable engines were handy, and we curse when we have to scape the windows when there is frost. We want the car to be ready when we want it to be ready, not when its hardware is ready.

I agree that getting a new powerfull computer and then wasting all its cycles on crap is not progress, but just because a new powerfull computer spends most of its time idling does NOT mean it is useless. Same as your car that spends most of its times doing 0 miles per hour is NOT wasting all that horse power.

Expensive to develop, and worthless - Nice combo (2, Funny)

CPNABEND (742114) | about 7 years ago | (#20738649)

"It took took five years and $6 billion to develop" Yep, and it took me FIVE DAYS to decide to dump it off of my machine, and go back to XP Pro.

FIVE DAYS? (3, Funny)

SpaceLifeForm (228190) | about 7 years ago | (#20738997)

Man, that is one slow machine.

Re:Expensive to develop, and worthless - Nice comb (3, Funny)

Lehk228 (705449) | about 7 years ago | (#20739215)

did you go on vacation after installing?

Downgrade? (5, Insightful)

TW Atwater (1145245) | about 7 years ago | (#20738655)

I wouldn't consider Vista to XP a downgrade. You end up with a faster box, better selection of drivers and less DRM. How is that a downgrade?

Limited Lifespan (5, Insightful)

Nymz (905908) | about 7 years ago | (#20738805)

How is that a downgrade?
Support for security patches and feature upgrades will end April 2009.

Artificially Limited Lifespan (4, Funny)

pembo13 (770295) | about 7 years ago | (#20738849)

corrected the subject for you.

Artificial How? (5, Insightful)

Nymz (905908) | about 7 years ago | (#20739007)

Artificially Limited Lifespan
How so? If someone contracted you to work for 90 days, paying you in advance, would you continue working past 90 days, for free? When those 90 days are up, it's not an artifical deadline, but a real one.

Non-MS Patches? (4, Interesting)

Frosty Piss (770223) | about 7 years ago | (#20738925)

Support for security patches and feature upgrades will end April 2009.

I know that it's a unacceptable solution for "enterprise" / "corporate" users to pick up random Windows patches from "non-trusted" sources, but I wonder if there would be a market for a "legitimate" company to start offering such support after Microsoft abandons XP users?

Re:Non-MS Patches? (1)

Zantetsuken (935350) | about 7 years ago | (#20739039)

So, where do they obtain the source code from? I sure as hell doubt MS is going to license every line of their code to some random company, much less that the goal of the company is to keep a product alive that MS wants to let die off so the successor can take the throne.
br And even if your hypothetical company managed to reverse engineer it themselves or obtain it from MS somehow, MS would instantly sue the living hell out of them - not so much for actually caring about their IP, but again, because it would keep Vista (or whatever comes after Vista) from being the dominant OS...

Good riddance (1)

Solder Fumes (797270) | about 7 years ago | (#20738661)

I'd actually welcome the opportunity to get some XP recovery disks for the laptop I purchased last month. It's my first experience with Windows Vista. Over the past month, I have seen that Vista has changed everything that was good about XP, and left all the bad parts untouched. Everything from network browsing to hibernation support has been subtly altered for maximum annoyance. Maybe Vista is a ruse to bump up sales of XP, because I've certainly been considering a self funded downgrade. And yes, Linux runs on it like a dream, but I'm still having trouble with the video and suspend to RAM functions.

Re:Good riddance (1)

hackshack (218460) | about 7 years ago | (#20738933)

Well, if you're having video and suspend issues, then it's not really running like a dream now, is it?

Give me a moment..... (1)

Conspiracy_Of_Doves (236787) | about 7 years ago | (#20738663)

Give me a moment while I do my happy dance of Microsoft humiliation.

Comment summary: (5, Funny)

Glowing Fish (155236) | about 7 years ago | (#20738669)

The following comments will be posted by various people to this article
  • Someone saying that this is the end of Microsoft's monopoly.
  • Someone saying that the exact same thing happened with XP, and people will have to change over the next Holiday season.
  • Someone complaining that their very common hardware doesn't work with Vista
  • Someone saying that they have managed to get all their equipment running right out of the box with Vista, including some obscure piece of hardware.
  • Someone complaining that even on a 2 GHz processor with 2 gigs of memory, Vista crawls
  • Someone saying that people should stop complaining about Vista performance, because they got it working on a P2-266 with 128 megs of RAM.
  • Someone saying that with Vista's failure, this is the year of Linux on the desktop.
  • And someone saying that until Grandma can write an e-Mail, Linux isn't ready for the desktop.

All of the parties will provide various slightly off-topic and apocryphal anecdotes and statistics to support their position.

Re:Comment summary: (4, Funny)

BlueParrot (965239) | about 7 years ago | (#20738721)

The following comments will be posted by various people to this article

You forgot one:

People who really shouldn't have bothered with the article, let alone the thread, will complain about what other people say about it. Personally I troll all those trolls who don't troll themselves...

Re:Comment summary: (4, Funny)

driftingwalrus (203255) | about 7 years ago | (#20738731)

I think your post can be applied to nearly all posts on slashdot, simply replacing Vista with X, where X = the subject of discussion.

Re:Comment summary: (1)

Lord Kano (13027) | about 7 years ago | (#20738753)

All of the parties will provide various slightly off-topic and apocryphal anecdotes and statistics to support their position.

And 80% of those statistics are made up on the spot.


Re:Comment summary: (1)

Glowing Fish (155236) | about 7 years ago | (#20738797)

Someone actually did use "80%" as a figure in a comment, although I imagine it was estimated, and not totally made up.

Re:Comment summary: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20738889)

Don't forget us Mac users. We need a chance to say something derogatory too!

I will say (1)

kurt555gs (309278) | about 7 years ago | (#20738903)

In the automotive world of the late 1950's Ford motor Company came out with their 'Vista'. Much ballyhoo'd and heavily promoted, it had all of the characteristics that Vista has. Ladies and Gentlemen, let history repeat itself and meet, The first Vista []

Re:Comment summary: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20739017)

You forgot to mention those who are happy they recently moved to OSX.

Yeah but (4, Funny)

farker haiku (883529) | about 7 years ago | (#20738685)

Is that 6 billion in excel dollars?

According to some excel functions, that's really only 3,932,100,000.

Sure, NOW they offer it. (1)

camperdave (969942) | about 7 years ago | (#20738689)

I wanted to upgrade from Vista to XP when I bought my laptop a few months ago. Where was this offer then?

About to "down grade" my laptop (5, Informative)

DigiShaman (671371) | about 7 years ago | (#20738717)

Ok, I've been using Vista Ultimate (Yes, I PAID for it. Shut up already) on my Acer Ferrari 3200 lappy. Why? Two reasons.

1. Acer abandoned XP driver support on my laptop shortly after launch. I've had to scour the net for updated Wifi drivers from HP and other places that supported my ATI mobile 9700. Windows Vista OTOH, supported all my hardware on the first install.

2. I support Windows servers and desktops. I figured now would be a good time to learn Vista including all of its quirkiness.

How did it go? Well...Vista is a POS to be blunt. It's slow to boot up, next to impossible to access work group resources, application compatibility issues, and next to no 3rd party VPN app support. It's a good thing I kept my collection of XP drivers for this laptop, cause I'll be nuking the drive and loading an XP SP2 build within a month.

Re:About to "down grade" my laptop (1)

Freaky Spook (811861) | about 7 years ago | (#20738799)

I have had the same problem with Asus not providing XP drivers for the new F3 series notebooks on the Santa Rosa platform.

There are no XP drivers for it, and one of my clients was given 3 of them as part of a grant.
Unfortunatley the applications that need to run on them don't work in Vista so they are sitting there gathering dust till either

A) Asus release drivers


B) the developer supports Vista, which they have said they are not doing till SP1

Re:About to "down grade" my laptop (1)

CodeBuster (516420) | about 7 years ago | (#20738863)

sounds like your friend will be a skeleton sitting there next to those laptops collecting dust himself before they offer driver support for Windows XP. Is it possible to run the applications that he needs with Wine [] ? If so then Ubuntu [] awaits, either that or he can eBay the vista laptops and bid on a used XP laptop (or at least one that has hardware with XP drivers available). Heck, the Vista debacle may even increase the value of good used XP laptops...hehe he better bid soon if that is what he decides to do.

Re:About to "down grade" my laptop (1)

DAldredge (2353) | about 7 years ago | (#20738833)

It takes less than 45 seconds for my system to boot into Vista Ultimate from a cold start. Specs 2 GB RAM, Pentium Dual Core @ 1.6 GHZ, 300 GB HD, Intel Built in graphics and sound. What apps did you have trouble with?

Re:About to "down grade" my laptop (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | about 7 years ago | (#20738973)

Laptop specs are as follows:

AMD Mobile Athlon 64 2800 (1.6 GHz), 1GB PC2700 DDR, 80GB 5400RPM drive (upgrade), and an ATI Mobility Radeon 9700 with 128MB of dedicated video memory (AGP 8x).

From cold boot to a quite/stable desktop enviroment takes about 3 to 4 minutes. The only items I have set in the system tray is AVG anti-virus. I've turned off pre-boot caching features normally enabled by Quicktime, Adobe Acrobat Reader, and Java Runtime. I suspect it's the Windows Defender wanting to do "quick" scan of the drive. It happens 50% of the time I boot up.

As for the apps. My SonicWall VPN is in beta for vista support. I had to ask a support rep for these. Normally, only XP drivers are available. If you try and install the application, I get a message from Vista saying there is a known compatibility issue and I'm not allowed to install. I can't even over-ride it. With Winzip 11, it's painfully slow at decompressing files. No problem when I use 7Zip however. Quicktime 7 seems to be flakey. Data transfers are slow as shit over CAT5. Also, if my laptop goes into stand-by, pressing a button on the keypad *might* reboot the computer and POST again. Power management is like Russian Roulette. Etc...

Re:About to "down grade" my laptop (1)

MadUndergrad (950779) | about 7 years ago | (#20739013)

Jesus, 45 seconds? My 2yo (2GB ram, single core athlon) box boots XP in under 30. I'd call 45 slow.

Re:About to "down grade" my laptop (1)

Technician (215283) | about 7 years ago | (#20738851)

next to impossible to access work group resources

It works if you change a 1 digit key which doesn't take long. What took me so long was the 3 hours on Google to find what key to change. After that, it connects to password protected workgroup SMB shares just fine.

The two tasks were simple for my Wife's new school laptop.

1 Copy the backup documents folder off a SMB share to the new Vista machine. Time to connect and transfer >3 hours.
2 Connect to an IPP printer on my LAN. Again a big Google search required. Time to connect first printer was about 2 hours. The second printer took just a couple minutes.

Both tasks were much easer to figure out for a noob in Ubuntu with a total learning curve and completed tasks of under 1 hour.

Re:About to "down grade" my laptop (1)

pembo13 (770295) | about 7 years ago | (#20738891)

Therein why Microsoft is rich. They long ago found out that people are more than happy to pay for a product, regardless of if they themselves think the product is a POS.

Re:About to "down grade" my laptop (3, Interesting)

DigiShaman (671371) | about 7 years ago | (#20739021)

No, they're rich because of an industry established OS momentum in place. I pay for their products so I can support them for other's who paid for them. As for the corporate user, they hate change and don't like the idea of an entire IT overhaul be it going Apple or Linux platform.

I knew Vista was going to be problematic. You know, typical Microsoft OS growing pains. I did *not* know how much of a PITA this Vista Experience was going to be. I gave it a chance above and beyond what feel is to be expected. But I'm sorry, I'm dropping Vista like a bad habit. It'll be better for my health too.

Re:About to "down grade" my laptop (1)

king-manic (409855) | about 7 years ago | (#20739093)

It's a good thing I kept my collection of XP drivers for this laptop .. I misread that as "good thing I kept my collection of porn".. Freudian slip I suppose.

"down grade" your laptop? DO IT! (4, Informative)

plierhead (570797) | about 7 years ago | (#20739213)

My own little experience with Vista...

I was happy enough with XP.

Then some mofo lowlife stole my laptop so have just been forced to get a new one. The shop said they "can't" provide machines with XP, so I was forced to use Vista (with hindsight I should have shelled out for a copy of XP and downgraded the machine).

The weird thing is, you can sense the stirrings of some actual respect for decent security underneath the glittering, laquer-coated turd that is Vista. But sadly, the actual implementation is just as bad as I feared.

My first 2 hours were lost just trying to get an ssh shell working again.

- cygwin doesn't run (easily) - file permission problems. Need to become Administrator to fix them.

- turns out that under Vista, just because your account is an "Administrator account", does not mean you are an Administrator. No, there is an actual Administrator (root) user, which has been thoughfully disabled.

- you can google plenty of instructions for turning on the Administrator account - but because I have the artifically crippled "Home Premium" edition, those menu options are simply not there. I eventually work out that I need to go to the dos box and type "net use blah blah". Finally I can log in as Administrator and change file permissions.

- despite all this, I still find I need to disable UAC to do things from time to time - and of course, reboot whenever I change it. But at least finally cygwin works.

Despite all of these new annoyances, MS has thoughtfully retained some of the quite annoying features of XP (and probably of the devil's spawns that preceded it). eg if you leave a network drive connected, then go to another network, then doing "file open" in an app such as Word freezes for a few minutes.

I think MS has had little choice in releasing Vista. Their bad designed decisions in the past - always favouring absurd "one click and its running" ease of use over normal security procedures - have come home to roost, forcing them to paint themselves into the corner they're in now.

Dell OEM (1)

jflo (1151079) | about 7 years ago | (#20738761)

I love Dell for this but if you know someone w/ any Dell OEM OS cd, then you can install it on almost any other Dell system without a key needed, and although Dell Phone Support may not be willing to help you with this, on the Dell support site, you can download both XP and Vista drivers for most of their systems. Just a thought.....

Re:Dell OEM (1)

Zymergy (803632) | about 7 years ago | (#20738947)

ABSOLUTELY! I formatted Vista from my newish Dell Inspiron 6400 Notebook and promptly installed one of these babies from Ebay: [] HINT: Just get any Dell 25-Digit COA key (for your particular Dell XP OEM version) from another Dell PC COA sticker, ...Uh, I Mean, Ahem.... ""which YOU DO OWN and are not using while running *nix"". It also works nicely when you can find Dell bulk motherboards to build Frankenstein boxes out of as the Dell XP OEM reinstallation disks only work with Dell BIOS motherboards. (Uh, Yah... Using COA Stickers form other Boxes which you ALSO OWN...) As if Microsoft Genuine Advantage would make Dell OEM COA Keys invalid!

Wheels coming off? (2, Insightful)

lawpoop (604919) | about 7 years ago | (#20738779)

Are we finally seeing the wheels coming off of this tired old monopoly? This sounds like the Soviet Union in the 60s and 70s, where nobody cared about the revolution anymore, nobody pitched their 'fair share' any longer, and the whole economy is collapsing.

MS seems to have been able to push crap out in the past. The only way they got away with it was monopoly position, user lock-in, favors of the press, and the ignorance of the general public about what computers were actually capable of, at the time when MS was releasing its features.

Seven years, how many thousands of programmers, evil genius and chair-throwing asshole at the top, and it's still not ready? Perhaps modern OS development is a task so complex that traditional human organizations -- the hierarchical corporation being the most powerful to date -- can no longer tackle it. Is open-source collaboration the next big thing in societal evolution?

Re:Wheels coming off? (1)

BlueParrot (965239) | about 7 years ago | (#20738867)

Seven years, how many thousands of programmers, evil genius and chair-throwing asshole at the top, and it's still not ready? Perhaps modern OS development is a task so complex that traditional human organizations -- the hierarchical corporation being the most powerful to date -- can no longer tackle it. Is open-source collaboration the next big thing in societal evolution?
I doubt being unable to implement the IEEE standards for multiplication is too complex for traditional human organizations... A far more simple explanation is that the bean counters made a series of bad decisions based on profit margins, this delayed the whole project and then they rushed it to release. Usually the difference between a disaster which didn't happen and one which did is down to the measures which were supposed to prevent it having been dropped or degraded to save money.

Re:Wheels coming off? (1)

godless dave (844089) | about 7 years ago | (#20739023)

Good question, but I don't think so. I suspect a traditional corporation could develop a modern OS, it's just that Microsoft isn't that corporation. There is a corporate culture in the US that values ass-kissing and personal loyalty over competence, nowhere moreso than at Microsoft.

Shocker? (5, Interesting)

thatskinnyguy (1129515) | about 7 years ago | (#20738781)

The only difference between Vista now and in the beta stages, besides stability, is the system requirements for a well-running system. I was in no way surprised when businesses balked at the minimum system requirement. I can't tell you how many IT departments I've seen out there that have machines that run XP but only barely. Now, a machine that is a year old can't run the latest OS. Hmmm. If the average company would want to upgrade to Vista, they would have to make some massive capital investment to replace things that haven't completely depreciated in order to have IT just for the sake of IT.

XP is a good operating system. And after SP2 came out, it got even better. My place of employment plans to keep using Windows XP for the next few years. It's not that we don't want to upgrade to Vista. It's that we would have to change the whole computer system for each of our 200 seats in order to run it. If the transition was as painless as the jump from Windows 2000 to XP, I don't doubt that we would be in the middle of implementing it right now.

Re:Shocker? (1)

Osty (16825) | about 7 years ago | (#20738951)

Now, a machine that is a year old can't run the latest OS. Hmmm.

I'd just like to say that my 2+ year old laptop runs Vista perfectly fine. I upgraded it from 1GB to 2GB of RAM (very cheap and easy to do, and I had done that well before Vista shipped), and I've seen no performance degradation between Vista and XP. Even better, XP had problems with sleeping on my laptop (had to resort to hibernating all the time), but Vista solved that problem such that I no longer have problems putting the laptop to sleep or waking it.

Perhaps I'm unusual, but so far my experiences with Vista have been neutral-to-positive. I still have one machine hanging around running XP for testing purposes (and it's also still running IE6!), but I've upgraded everything else to Vista and haven't looked back.

Re:Shocker? (1)

thatskinnyguy (1129515) | about 7 years ago | (#20739115)

Vista working acceptably on a laptop? Congratulations! I've heard that Vista has issues with Hibernation and Sleep mode with some laptops. Mine in particular had this issue. (Back to XP for this and other performance reasons. [I'm cheap])

Don't feel bad about IE6. We still have some apps where I work that require IE6 to run. Triggering WebDAV folders to open via javascript hasn't played well with IE7 and we haven't re-thought the process yet. That's kinda low on the priority list.

How bad is Vista? (4, Funny)

Hadlock (143607) | about 7 years ago | (#20738783)

Shopping with my mother for a new display to replace the broken one on Sunday, my mom pointed to a "Works with Vista!" sign attached to a LCD monitor and said "I heard that's (Vista) not very good". I was quite proud, and a little shocked, that quite possibly the most technophobe and technologically backwards person I know (my mother) was even aware of how bad Vista was, even if only through the grapevine.
That said, even with that kind of bad PR, Vista will no doubt make headay in to the market in 1-2 years time. It took at least that long for XP to really have good market penetration.... and by that time, computers should be able to run Vista reasonably.

Oh Lord! (4, Funny)

Torodung (31985) | about 7 years ago | (#20738919)

Oh-oh. It's not good when a desktop OS's rep gets to the "mom can't e-mail" stage. That argument is usually employed against Linux distros (and rightly so, IMHO).

There's even a potential bumper sticker/T-Shirt market: "Even your mom knows Vista sucks."

Man alive, if that anecdote's even remotely true, it flat-out trumps the more technically oriented reports in indicating that Redmond is in serious trouble.


Re:How bad is Vista? (2, Interesting)

MattyCobb (695086) | about 7 years ago | (#20739175)

Vista really isn't that bad. People can keep saying it is, but... well... it isn't. I keep building systems for people and they keep wanting Vista because it is "pretty" and it keeps running fine for them. I still have 2 rigs on XP (and I plan to keep it that way as they are slightly older hardware) but my main is on Vista.

What the hell is so wrong with it? I keep reading about how bad my performance should be and how nothing should work and it keeps all working. I guess I am magic. I like to think of it that way :P

On a side note, for speaking about Vista in a positive way I will report to the Slashdot gallows in the morning.

The Time Has Come (4, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 7 years ago | (#20738789)

At some point even Microsoft's best-paid shills are going to have to admit that there's a serious problem, that Vista is not what Microsoft has come to expect from their business plan of periodic forced upgrades. I don't expect Microsoft to admit it, because it's marketing department is filled with well-paid liars, but somewhere in that behemoth in Redmond there must be some folks getting nervous.

I was assured by my Dell rep last week that XP will be available well into next year. I think Microsoft has a serious problem, and is finding that, at the end of the day, it is the one at the whim of the manufacturers and consumers, not the other way around.

Re:The Time Has Come (1)

2ms (232331) | about 7 years ago | (#20739073)

Gates been nervous for years and that's why he distanced himself from company and transfered his name and ego to The Gates Foundation stuff. That's my personal opinion.

Microsoft doesn't care enough to improve (4, Insightful)

shanen (462549) | about 7 years ago | (#20738793)

Unlike the Linux competition between distros, there is no real competition driving innovation within Microsoft Windows. They sort of notice it, but why bother? They'll continue squeezing blood out of the turnips forever even if they fire *ALL* of their development programmers and just retain a skeleton staff of maintenance programmers. Actually from what I've seen of Vista, maybe that's what they did. In terms of real innovations Vista looks and feels like it could have been done by a couple of guys in their spare time. Less innovation than between the three Linux shells I've tried.

Most of my experience has been with Ubuntu. Functionally, it does most of what I need right after installation. (I'm including the basically simple Flash, Java, and codec installations that really should be included in the baseline installation.) Most users want email, Web surfing, and basic document editing, and Ubuntu delivers all of that. On its own merits, it should have roughly half the market, except that it's cheaper, too, so it should have more than that.

What's wrong with this picture? The problem is that most Linux people have a cooks-first mentality, and when a regular diner comes along with a question or any comment except for extreme praise, the standard answer translates into "Why haven't you read the cookbook yet? The answer is right there." Well, the reason they didn't read the cookbook is because they just want to eat a tasty Linux sandwich, not to become a master chef.

There's nothing wrong with the open kitchen concept--but the Linux people keep trying to force people into the kitchen. Sorry, but my time is limited, and even though I made my living as a programmer for some years, I've had enough of it--and most 'diners' want even less than that. They just want it to work and help them get their computer-related tasks done.

Of course Microsoft's cooking model is a closed and locked kitchen, with no health inspectors and a complete waiver of liability printed on the back of your receipt--and you accepted all of the terms and conditions when you sat down at the table. However at least Microsoft is interested in the diners' money, even if they don't care about poison software.

Anyway, I'd love to see Vista flop in the dirt. I want some real choices, and most of the time I'm at work I'm forced to use Windows. Freedom is about real choice, and Microsoft is dedicated to eliminating freedom, no matter what their ads say.

new laptop (1)

theheadlessrabbit (1022587) | about 7 years ago | (#20738809)

i just bought a new laptop in seoul, south korea, and every single computer i found came with vista pre-installed, but shop keepers were more than willing to format your computer and install XP for 40,000 won ($40) but being the cheep bastard that I am, I said no to XP, went home, and downloaded Ubuntu.

Well... (1)

renegadesx (977007) | about 7 years ago | (#20738813)

Dell and HP finally getting around to pre-installing Linux could not have come at a better time.

I have to this day spent less than 30 minutes with Vista and that was nearly 30 minutes too long. Hardware doesnt work, it reminds me of XP on a 400Mhz PII/256Mb RAM as far as how clunky it is, you cant maintain a decent network connection. I dont mean to be a troll but Vista is an absolute joke.

From now own I take my business to places that will pre-install Ubuntu

What's the root cause of this? (1)

shbazjinkens (776313) | about 7 years ago | (#20738817)

As I understand it, XP is the last of a series of upgrades dating back to DOS.

I suppose it is mostly based in code that was designed to maximize performance since early systems didn't have the resources to waste with modern day code.

Does this mean Vista was written with no care whatsoever to memory management and CPU time?

Good thing (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20738819)

It's a good thing I decided not to pirate Windows Vista. That would have been embarrassing.

My one experience with Vista (5, Interesting)

Entropius (188861) | about 7 years ago | (#20738835)

So, I am a grad student, TA'ing a class in computational physics.

Said class is taught in the only lab in the building with Windows machines; everything else is Linux. The old Athlon XP boxes do just fine; I've got Monte Carlo running on some of them right now.

These computers are state-of-the-art: dual-core Pentiums, 2GB RAM, and ... Vista Business.

1. Half the time you can't log in because "An error occurred contacting the User Profile Service."
2. Sometimes you can't log in because of some other error I forget.
3. The things take forever to boot.
4. The first thing the students do when they get into Vista is ... ssh to a linux machine, so they can do their work. The *same* Linux machine, able to handle a dozen students numerically integrating shit without a problem.
5. We use some shitty software called Excursion that lets you get X graphics back through a Windows ssh session. Trouble is, it sucks and crashes all the damn time.

So we're using ~$2k of Windows licenses and a bunch of spiffy hardware to ... run ssh badly. Lovely. And then the students submit their writeups as .docx's, and I have to fuss at them and ask for something I can read.

Re:My one experience with Vista (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20739057)

So, I am a grad student, TA'ing
I'm sorry, your English is way too god for you to be a TA, please turn in your faculty/staff ID and pass on the access key to the new TA who will be arriving in this country in 3...2....1....

Re:My one experience with Vista (1)

Entropius (188861) | about 7 years ago | (#20739167)

So, we've got some foreign TA's in my department.

One South African (native language: Afrikaans), two Germans, a Brazilian (I think), a Frenchwoman, an Indian, a Southerner (native language: drawl), a string theorist (native language: group theory) and a bunch of Chinese.

With the exception of the Chinese and maybe the string theorist, all of the TA's have better English skills than most of the (native English-speaking) American undergrads, who can't write a coherent lab report to save their lives.

Re:My one experience with Vista (2, Informative)

Zantetsuken (935350) | about 7 years ago | (#20739145)

You guys might wanna check out Xming [] . It's a standalone X server compiled for Windows, so you'll still need to use something like PuTTY. I haven't tried it on Vista, but it hasn't crashed once on me in XP - it does at least claim Vista support, but again, I can't say about that. One of the good things I like about it is it doesn't have any Cygwin dependencies. The other thing I like about Xming is that unlike some of the commercial X servers for Win32 I looked through (Hummingbird Exceed, etc) is that this is free (as in beer, and AFAIK, speech)...

Wish Sony would get their crap together (1)

GoldTeamRules (639624) | about 7 years ago | (#20738839)

I've got a new Sony sz670 and they have yet to release the XP downgrade drivers. I've got basics working (video, chipset, network, audio with bugs..) but I wish they would hurry and make these available.

Vista is a joke. XP is much faster, more stable, and works fine for me. MS really screwed up on this one.

To the indignantly offended (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20738847)

My laptop takes just under a minute to boot, and about 5 to clear all the security checks.

Confuscius say:
If you're too dumb to know it's spyware the first time you click "download", you likely won'y grow enough brain to matter by the second or third "Security Alert".

Support Darwinism: let the idiots fry out their hard drives so we don't have to listen to them support Vista on forums for smart people.

Vista is (2, Funny)

pair-a-noyd (594371) | about 7 years ago | (#20738907)

the new Edsel.

Windows ME again? (4, Insightful)

Mike610544 (578872) | about 7 years ago | (#20738975)

I've heard some people say: "Everyone said the same thing when XP came out." That's bullshit. When XP was released, everyone here on Slashdot was saying: "Wow, this is actually pretty good; I haven't had a single crash; They finally delivered on their promise to release a consumer OS with the NT core."

Maybe in a few months Vista will be a good upgrade, who knows, but right now I can't see one feature that I want.

history (3, Insightful)

bzipitidoo (647217) | about 7 years ago | (#20738989)

In the early 90's, MS nearly blew it. MS was pooh-poohing the Internet. Windows 95 was going to ignore the Internet-- the Internet wasn't important. However, Bill Gates realized the importance of the Internet, and singlehandedly turned the company attitude around. He "got it".

This time, with Vista, MS has blown it. They've been pushing DRM. They didn't learn the right lessons from the WGA fiasco. If all that Vista's DRM did was stop a few DVDs from being viewed or CDs being ripped for the 10 seconds needed to circumvent the protection, the DRM wouldn't be a big deal. But no, DRM is so deeply embedded in Vista that it casts its shadow on everything Vista does. Vista runs slower. Vista breaks more often. Hardware capable of supporting Vista's DRM schemes is more expensive. Security concerns have been deliberately conflated, with security for users from viruses being handled with less concern than security for MS and the MAFIAA from the users. And MS insults users' intelligence with lies about _all_ the security being for their own good. It's not possible to just turn off some sort of "DRM service" and have Vista just work, because Vista really is defective by design. In exchange for putting up with all those inconveniences, people receive in return less than nothing.

This time around, MS doesn't have Bill Gates in there, getting it right. He's busy trying to save the world from diseases. Laudable, and I wish him the best. But I wish he'd put some of these charitable impulses towards making MS kinder and gentler. I don't know whether Gates would get it this time, as he did in the early 90's. But no one else of consequence at MS is getting it right, and that's scary that a behemoth like MS can make such a blindingly obvious idiotic blunder. Perhaps corporations are inherently flawed systems in this way, susceptible to bad groupthink. They may wake up before they bleed too much. Sic transit gloria MS.

If the king is ill, the land is ill (1)

Torodung (31985) | about 7 years ago | (#20739123)

I think you're exactly right, and what we are seeing is one of the critical flaws in an autocratic hierarchy, which is how most American business is run. If you get the wrong person at the top, eventually his or her poor judgment travels all the way down and throughout the hierarchy.


Buys Linux time (3, Insightful)

Zombie Ryushu (803103) | about 7 years ago | (#20739165)

The longer XP stays in circulation, the more time Wine, Samba, Kerberos, OpenLDAP, Fedora DS, and a myriad of Linux producers have to target Windows. If Vista really has mass rejection by consumers and businesses, it buys Linux oh so precious weeks, Days, and hours, to try and overtake Active Directory.
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