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592 comments

Ok, start the flames (2, Interesting)

OptimusPaul (940627) | more than 6 years ago | (#20965949)

What is so bad about Vista? I have not used it yet. I've seen it, and I know some people that are using it and they don't complain about it. What's the deal? Is it just that it's new?

It depends upon the system. (5, Informative)

khasim (1285) | more than 6 years ago | (#20965991)

WinVista lacks a LOT of drivers (for fairly common hardware, too). If you have hardware that WinVista doesn't support, you're unhappy (see years of previous complaints about Linux).

WinVista also has lots of eye-candy which eats up processor time. So it looks pretty, but runs slower. The eye-candy can be turned off, but then it looks a lot like WinXP.

WinVista has a different security model than WinXP and it takes people some effort to learn and in the meantime, they're unhappy with it (again, see years of previous complaints about Linux).

Not all of your apps will run with WinVista, unless you use "compatibility mode" or do some extra steps.

Which is why Microsoft extended WinXP for OEM's.

Re:It depends upon the system. (3, Interesting)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 6 years ago | (#20966079)

WinVista also has lots of eye-candy which eats up processor time.

It's not the eye-candy which eats processor cycles, RAM and network bandwidth. It's the DRM.

Vista was made for record companies and movie studios, not computer users.

Re:It depends upon the system. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20966279)

And thus the slashdot groupthink votes this up.

Once again, until you play DRM content there's no DRM cycles used. Guttman's infamous whitepaper was written without actually installing Vista anywhere, yet somehow it's hailed as fact. If some random blogger put out a whitepaper about Linux saying how much it sucked without ever having installed it we'd be all over him, but Guttman seems to get a free ride. Twofaced aren't we?

Re:It depends upon the system. (3, Informative)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 6 years ago | (#20966493)

Twofaced aren't we?

From the VistaBlog interview with Dave Marsh, Lead Program Manager responsible for Windows' handling of video;

Will Windows Vista content protection features increase CPU resource consumption?

Yes. However, the use of additional CPU cycles is inevitable, as the PC provides consumers with additional functionality. Windows Vista's content protection features were developed to carefully balance the need to provide robust protection from commercial content while still enabling great new experiences such as HD-DVD or Blu-Ray playback.

You can keep the second face. You seem to be getting plenty of use from it.

Mod Parent Up (1)

TechForensics (944258) | more than 6 years ago | (#20966495)

Hits the nail right on the head.

Re:It depends upon the system. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20966087)

So it's just like when XP came out? From what I recall everyone thought it was terrible and wanted to use Windows 2000 instead.

Re:It depends upon the system. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20966181)

I still use Windows 2000. Why should I switch to XP? It doesn't offer anything that Windows 2000 can't do, and that includes games - it's trivially easy to get "WinXP only" games to run on Win2000 most of the time. In those very few cases where it isn't trivially easy, there's usually a hack someone else has cobbled together out on the internet.

Re:It depends upon the system. (5, Insightful)

pherthyl (445706) | more than 6 years ago | (#20966471)

Not quite. When XP came out, all the geeks thought it was terrible and wanted to use Windows 2000 instead, because chances are they were already using it. The people that didn't care about computers loved Windows XP, because they were coming from Windows 98/ME. Now people are coming from XP, which is decent, and even the average consumer doesn't like Vista, not just the geeks.

Re:It depends upon the system. (1, Flamebait)

bealzabobs_youruncle (971430) | more than 6 years ago | (#20966091)

Since the eye candy is off-loaded to the GPU it doesn't take CPU time, so it is officially safe to ignore the rest of your post as ill-informed.

Re:It depends upon the system. (4, Informative)

kryptkpr (180196) | more than 6 years ago | (#20966213)

There is overhead involved, even with the off-loading.

Looking at my Ubuntu system, the #1 process for using up cpu is compiz (1h40m of CPU time during 7d uptime), in spite of off-loading the actual rendering to my nVidia card. I don't really notice as I have a Quad-core CPU, but it would hurt quite a bit more with only 1 or even with 2 cores.

Re:It depends upon the system. (-1, Troll)

weicco (645927) | more than 6 years ago | (#20966421)

And since other things than just pure eye candy is offloaded to GPU to save CPU time I see your post only as more disinformation. And what comes to your Ubuntu... I couldn't fricking care less. We are talking about Windows here in case you missed it.

Re:It depends upon the system. (1)

Tripkipke (840128) | more than 6 years ago | (#20966511)

Well I'm running ubuntu/compiz on my IBM T43/intel gpu and it doesn't hurt one bit. The little bugger runs flawlessly. Maybe some your cores are tired :P Compiz takes about 0:1.35 cpu time, in contrast, gkrellmd take 0:17, Xorg takes 0:4.40

Re:It depends upon the system. (5, Insightful)

Waffle Iron (339739) | more than 6 years ago | (#20966261)

Since the eye candy is off-loaded to the GPU it doesn't take CPU time

CPU time is not the problem. Raw CPU speed * core count has been increasing as fast as ever lately, but GUI responsiveness has remained almost stagnant. That's because caching and buffering aren't perfect, and ultimately some things are dependent on disk seek time, which has hardly improved at all in the past few years.

Now throw a bunch of eye candy on top of the situation, which is very data intensive and therefore just going to put that much more pressure onto buffer usage, disk drive seeking and bottlenecked I/O buses. That's a recipie for sluggishness.

PCs are already like 60s muscle cars: a huge engine bolted into a crappy budget family sedan with bias-ply tires and drum brakes. A GPU is like bolting in another engine. It's not going to solve fundamental problems with the system that inhibit good all-around performance.

Re:It depends upon the system. (1)

Entropius (188861) | more than 6 years ago | (#20966359)

There's also the fact that the power consumption of my GPU goes up a lot when it's having to do processing -- Nvidia's got a PowerNow!-type frequency scaling thing that they use.

Do I want my computer chewing up battery when rendering shiny stuff? Not really.

Re:It depends upon the system. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20966381)

Fuck you. Vista sucks it's a CPU hog. It's main purpose in life is to fuck you over. It's to trick people into upgrading there computers. There is nothing that can't be done on XP better then the way it is done in windows. Yes, you may need third party apps to do it but it can be done. Microsoft had three goals when it made vista. One blame users for how insecure the OS is, keep asking him question until he hires someone to turn off the quistion asking. Two create a DRM based platform so that Microsoft could make money selling Hollywood's shit. Three Answer the System Builders requests for a New OS that needed modern and higher end hard to run well. Which is funny because the system builders mainly buy the shittiest hardware for there consumer products which does not acc8 vista graphics which suck anyway. Oh, where the fuck is the consumer in all of this mess anyway. Somewhere between 75 degrees and 90 degrees.

Go to hell form a many using a cheap laptop that came with fucking Vista. Should have bought the Laptop with the lower specs, higher price and Windows XP. Wait instead of going to directly to hell go out a buy a sub 600 dollar vista laptop and use it until you die; hell will then seem quite user freindly.

Re:It depends upon the system. (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 6 years ago | (#20966401)

Since the eye candy is off-loaded to the GPU it doesn't take CPU time, so it is officially safe to ignore the rest of your post as ill-informed.

      Since the poster said "processor time" and not "CPU time", and since the GPU is also a processor, it's safe to ignore you as a nit-picker who has no clue about what he's talking about. If I tie up the GPU with eye candy and need the GPU for something else at the same time, my system will run slower.

Re:It depends upon the system. (3, Informative)

jgarra23 (1109651) | more than 6 years ago | (#20966469)

Don't forget that if you're a developer forced to work on a Vista box it's buggy as shit, there are a million and one patches you have to install and god forbid if you're asked to migrate any asp.net apps from iis6 to iis7... talk about undocumented manual conversion... ugh...

Re:Ok, start the flames (2, Insightful)

dave420 (699308) | more than 6 years ago | (#20966273)

I think it's great. All the eye-candy is performed on the GPU, and the talk about it being DRM-with-a-GUI is nonsense - it performs perfectly as a media player, with astounding video quality (thanks to everything being rendered through Direct3D, and real emphasis placed on media quality). I use Vista at work on my Dell. It only has an X1300 slim-line GPU, but that's good enough to run 2x22" screens at 1680x1050. It runs all the software I want (Adobe stuff, apache, mysql, games, iTunes, etc.), and is never slow. It does "use" a lot of resources, but it does so intelligently. If it wants to use up all my memory, it does so to improve performance, and if applications need it, it is relinquished. I can see how some folks would interpret that as it being full of bloat, but it's just intelligently using the system's available resources.

I don't know why people don't like it. I've got nothing but great things to say about it. Obviously it's not going to be popular with "people who are highly-appreciative of Linux on the desktop" (to choose my words carefully), or those who don't like Microsoft for any particular reason, or "people who are highly-appreciative of OSX on their Macs" (again, choosing words carefully). But, if you've been using Windows for years, and you get on with the differences in the ways Vista works to XP, Vista isn't scary or rubbish or hiding in your cupboard waiting to pounce, it works great.

But that's just my opinion, obviously. I'm sure someone will come along and tell me how I'm all kinds of wrong.

Re:Ok, start the flames (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20966441)

No, but you'll probably get called a shill. When you visit Slashdot, you're often arguing against people who have nothing in their lives except the OS they use, so you can't expect any kind of rational debate.

Vista is teh noob killer (2, Funny)

j-stroy (640921) | more than 6 years ago | (#20966477)

A new Toshiba A200 laptop a friend bought came with Vista. The excessive amount of system alerts which pop-up confused the hell out of him, leading him to click on the adware / spyware browser pop-up ads which also looked like systems alerts, so he installed 5 competing blackmailing "buy me now or you computer is toast" apps for his "protection". These stalled his machine FLAT.

He was ready to axemurder his new computer, and still is cheesed about his first big computer purchase leaving him with such a bad after taste. Luckily I could somewhat untangle the extensive damage.. although we almost did a full wipe and restore, but decided to save that for when we put XP onto it instead (provided we drivers are available!!)

That was before he started asking "what is all this crap on the desktop" re: the widgets, etc. I can't imagine anyone as a beginner getting through the installs, setups, intertangled "welcome" dialog boxes and learning curve without being fully baffled and damaging their system to boot. Obviously Vista is designed to sell more hardware, since noobs can brick their O/S so easily, they will just toss the whole computer as a PoS. Expect vendors to step up as Vista based returns increase!

Oh yeah, this doesn't even mention the amount of buy me and trialware and "marketplace" shortcuts on the desktop.. I'd LOL but I'm gagging.

Microsoft Vista: teh noobs kill YOU!

Yeah! (5, Funny)

eddy (18759) | more than 6 years ago | (#20965951)

Boycott Microsoft for... er... Microsoft. That'll show them!

Re:Yeah! (1)

peragrin (659227) | more than 6 years ago | (#20965983)

actually that's a really good idea. customers get what they want and MSFT gets burned by developing an OS that no one wants.

next up Universal will have a free subscription service that only works with universal branded mp3 players, that can only decode universal's mp3 drm.

oh wait.

Re:Yeah! (1)

Jarjarthejedi (996957) | more than 6 years ago | (#20966143)

"customers get what they want and MSFT gets burned by developing an OS that no one wants."

Or, customers get what they think they want, and Microsoft (why must people abbreviate it? It's not that long of a word) gets to keep it's market share relatively even while also having it's older OS (XP) look much better to many people (upgrade to linux? Nah, I'll just go back to XP. It was perfect as I remember).

Re:Yeah! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20966291)

...gets to keep it's market share relatively even while also having it's older OS
...gets to keep it is market share relatively even while also having it is older OS.

There, fixed that for you.

Re:Yeah! (1)

jkrise (535370) | more than 6 years ago | (#20966357)

"Boycott Microsoft for... er... Microsoft."

I think you got it wrong there... it's like boycotting Bullshit to slightly better smelling manure. People need time to get used to the multiple new flavours, of .. you know, like.. It's not fair for Microsoft to break the stenchometer and get away with it.

*barf* (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20965955)

"consumentenbond" are a bunch of old farts that need to get with the times. They've shown multiple times that they dont understand modern technology. Their main complaints are the fact that old hardware doesnt always work in Vista, whereas it did on XP. I mean come on people get a clue...

Re:*barf* (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20966013)

ahem...,

what's that clue that you're talking about. The claim is valid. My scanner worked before and now it does not. That's why I need to stick with XP. Vista reduces the functionality of my hardware.

Re:*barf* (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20966429)

The fact that your scanner doesn't work isn't Microsoft's fault - It's the company that made the scanner. Let's be honest, Vista was a long time coming and Microsoft spent a lot of time and money bringing developers up to speed on what they would need to do to create compatable software and hardware on the part of the hardware vendor. The fact your scanner doesnt't work is a simple case of economics or short sightedness. The scanner company likely didn't want to spend the resources or money to make that scanner compatable.

If Microsoft had sprung Vista's development requirements at the last minute, then you can blame them - but as it stands, your gripe isn't with Microsoft it's with your scanner company.

Parent Comment Brough To You By.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20966099)

Microsoft PR

In other news (1, Insightful)

the_skywise (189793) | more than 6 years ago | (#20965979)

The Dutch Consumers Union ordered Toyota to give '07 model owners the old '06 models due to rising dissatisfaction with the lower horsepower of the '07 models.

Not surprisingly, Toyota refused.

Re:In other news (5, Insightful)

Tim C (15259) | more than 6 years ago | (#20966023)

And once again we see how bad a car analogy can be - even if I've installed and used Vista, as long as any materials I received (eg disk, manual, etc) are in good condition MS loses nothing by swapping my Vista licence for an XP one and exchanging the disks.

Cars lose the value the moment they're driven out of the showroom.

Re:In other news (1)

v01d (122215) | more than 6 years ago | (#20966095)

as long as any materials I received (eg disk, manual, etc) are in good condition MS loses nothing by swapping my Vista licence for an XP one and exchanging the disks.

No, there's just about nothing MS can do you with your old copies. They can't be sold to consumers. I don't think MS even exchanges physically defective CDs directly.

I'll agree a car analogy is generally not the best way to go, but in this case car's lose 20% being driven off the lot; Windows CDs lose 100%.

Re:In other news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20966165)

%100 of zero Euros is still zero Euros and that is pretty much the value of the CD's. It's the sale of the licence that is of value to Microsoft.

Re:In other news (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20966175)

I'm not sure whether you're joking or pretending not to understand as a trolling technique or if you honestly don't get it. It costs Toyota real money to make or buy a car. They lose that money if they give that car to someone. They don't get as much back on selling a second hand car. It costs Microsoft nothing at all to issue an XP license. Whether they can resell the license they get back in return is irrelevant because they're not out of pocket at all. Even if they feel bound to give a full package with DVD and a box, we're still talking about pennies. This is nothing at all like a car.

Re:In other news (1)

Beer_Smurf (700116) | more than 6 years ago | (#20966593)

But it cost almost nothing for MS to give you a copy of XP.
So maybe they should let you downgrade for the cost of the discs plus postage?

Re:In other news (1)

the_skywise (189793) | more than 6 years ago | (#20966197)

No, it's the right analogy.

MS doesn't "lose nothing". There's a definite loss of value. At the very least having to produce "extra discs" and shipping or supplying the bandwidth for the downloads. (which isn't what the article said anyway. The union wants a downgrade optionOn the other side you have loss of sales of Vista while having to supply copies of XP which, business-wise, are DISTINCT PRODUCTS with DIFFERENT levels of accountable value at different points of depreciation.

Sure, it's an intangible asset. But that doesn't mean that swapping data file a with data file b is a zero-sum game with no loss to Microsoft. If you believe that, I'll happily trade you 50,000 gold from Ultima Online for 50,000 gold for WoW. I mean, gosh... it's just DATA...

Re:In other news (1)

Entropius (188861) | more than 6 years ago | (#20966385)

Then have the customers pay for the disks/shipping or the bandwidth.

I think I have that much change in my pockets right now.

Re:In other news (1)

the_skywise (189793) | more than 6 years ago | (#20966437)

Okay... 40 million copies at 10 cents each is...

Re:In other news (1)

hxnwix (652290) | more than 6 years ago | (#20966591)

In other news, cars are physical products whereas a software product is a pile of bits.

Not surprisingly, the_skywise's head explodes, but his lack of brain does not reduce his ability to contrive inane car analogies.

Hmm (1)

Drakin020 (980931) | more than 6 years ago | (#20965999)

Let me guess, these people probably thought they could get away purchasing a $300 computer and expect it to run Vista. Yeah it isnt the best OS in the world, but be smart before purchasing a new computer.

I can't stand it when people complain how slow their computer runs when they only threw down 300 bucks on a new PC. They expect it to be as fast as a Viper but it ain't happening.

Re:Hmm (1)

DeadChobi (740395) | more than 6 years ago | (#20966603)

More like they bought Vista expecting it to work on their $900 rig of two or three years ago, and expecting to have their peripherals actually be compatible.

Vista and XP (1)

canuck57 (662392) | more than 6 years ago | (#20966007)

My friend just bought a copy of XP Pro because he has so much problems with Vista.

No surprise here, M$ has found a way to make the manufactures pay and fatten up the profits. Bet Microsoft does not want to publish downgrade and after market sales replacing Vista. But making lots of money in the process.

Re:Vista and XP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20966199)

Ive already written it 2 or 3 times here on slashdot: Microsoft already offers free dowgrades from Vista ultimate or Business to XP pro, they just don't give you a CD for it, you have to install from some a legitimate CD you already have (or borrow, if you ask me). They will even give you a new registration key if you call. I never had to try that because I use pre-activated OEM install CDs for all my downgrade needs.

Re:Vista and XP (2, Interesting)

porkThreeWays (895269) | more than 6 years ago | (#20966211)

I recently bought a laptop with Vista on it from newegg. I knew I was going to have to try and get an XP disc from the OEM, but I didn't realize how easy it would be. I just called and asked and they are sending it for free. I guess there must be considerable demand if it was that easy. Two of my friends bought computers when Vista first came out and tried to get XP on them from the OEM. It was basically impossible and just ended up putting pirated copies of XP when the computers came. Funny how there's such a change of attitude from the OEM's when they start losing customers because they are selling something very few want.

Flamewar anybody? (4, Insightful)

Z00L00K (682162) | more than 6 years ago | (#20966011)

It may be time for PC manufacturers to also be able to listen to the consumers and actually ask them which OS they want (if any). This so that when a consumer buys a PC with expected performance he/she isn't forced to select a specific OS or version of OS.

It may be that when buying a PC it only comes bundled with XP Home, but the consumer needs XP Pro, in which case it's necessary to purchase the OS TWICE. Or if the consumer wants Linux it's not possible to get rid of the M$ Tax...

Re:Flamewar anybody? (5, Interesting)

ais523 (1172701) | more than 6 years ago | (#20966073)

Actually, it is possible to get rid of the 'Windows Tax'; if you don't accept the licence agreement on Windows and then uninstall it, it's possible to get a refund (see this BBC News story [bbc.co.uk] ). Presumably this applies whether you want to install Linux, an older version of Windows, or even another OS.

Re:Flamewar anybody? (1)

dvice_null (981029) | more than 6 years ago | (#20966347)

That is not always true. Sometimes the seller has legal right to break the whole deal if customer doesn't accept one part of the deal.

But even if I wouldn't have a computer, I would really pay Windows tax, literally. I pay taxes and the goverment buys Windows licenses with that money.

Re:Flamewar anybody? (1)

aliquis (678370) | more than 6 years ago | (#20966433)

They also buy salt and asphalt for roads, plants for parks, machinery for hospitals, and so on, the horrors!!

Vista to XP?! (1)

morari (1080535) | more than 6 years ago | (#20966021)

I'm still wanting to go past that 120 day "trail period" for XP Pro 64bit Edition...

Re:Vista to XP?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20966501)

Protip: That doesn't actually expire. MS figured the terrible driver and software situation on 64-bit Windows would convince most people to switch back to 32-bit well before the 64-bit trial expired.

Slashot Reality Distortion Field (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20966025)

Dissatisfaction with Windows Vista seems to be swelling...

This seems to be the theme on slashdot so much that you would think it was true, except that out in the real world, I've seen and heard very little about Vista one way or the other. All in all, it seems to be a fairly ho-hum release that people don't care too much about.

But on slashdot, where the editors wage a continual jihad against Microsoft, you'd think people are burning Vista discs in a bonfire. For a supposedly Linux-centric site, they sure focus on Microsoft bad news more than anything else. This MS fud needs to stop. BSOD jokes need to end at some point.

Re:Slashot Reality Distortion Field (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 6 years ago | (#20966341)

For a supposedly Linux-centric site, they sure focus on Microsoft bad news more than anything else.

      No, we focus on Apple and Google too :P

should have happened long ago (2, Interesting)

nerdonamotorcycle (710980) | more than 6 years ago | (#20966029)

This is a piece of backlash that should have happened when XP replaced Win2K. Seriously, what did XP add that Win2K didn't have, other than the kiddie-toy "My First Computer" window-dressing and the "phone-home" validation behavior--both of which are non-features as far as I'm concerned?

Re:should have happened long ago (-1, Troll)

bealzabobs_youruncle (971430) | more than 6 years ago | (#20966055)

Seriously, you are a retard...

Re:should have happened long ago (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20966167)

The fact is that Windows XP is a huge improvement over 2000 from both the consumer and corporate vantage point.

XP is more compatible and stable than 2000 ever was. With an improved scheduler and a revamped memory allocation subsystem, XP gives substantial punch to the laggard known as 2000. You have to also remember that Windows Me - the Millennium Edition - was marketed in reference to 2000 - however, ME was designed exclusively for the home. The problem? It wouldn't play games.

XP is a gamers platform, and it's what the X in XBOX comes from. The XBOX-360 takes it full circle, and has delivered some of the advanced technology that is in Vista (but isn't being exercised by the weak 3rd party software vendors. Adobe! Wake up! I think it's dead, Jim.)

With other advanced such as Live and SS, it's pretty clear that XP has propelled the industry forward, and allowed for the Internet to reach where it is today. After all, today we see that most XP-home computers are really a part of a powerful distributed computing system. 2000? Not a chance.

So what did XP bring to the plate that 2000 didn't? Just about everything, including the rapid growth of McAfee, Norton, and other similar software giants.

Re:should have happened long ago (1)

Movi (1005625) | more than 6 years ago | (#20966609)

Just a reminder - the X in Xbox came from DirectX.

>So what did XP bring to the plate that 2000 didn't? Just about everything, including the rapid growth of McAfee, Norton, and other similar software giants.

So lacks in System Security spawning companies that specialize in making massive kernel-space addons, and slowing down the rest of the OS to a crawl instead of fixing the security model is a Good Thing[TM]?

Re:should have happened long ago (2, Insightful)

NetCow (117556) | more than 6 years ago | (#20966077)

Actually, it did add a few improvements - a better process scheduler and improved backwards compatibility with application not written for the NT product line come to mind. However, that's about it, and, seen as an immutable, an owner of a Windows 2000 license shouldn't have needed to bother upgrading unless specifically running into a problem that was only fixed in XP. Unfortunately, there's the question of product lifetime, and once Microsoft stopped supporting 2000 people were more or less forced to switch to XP if they wanted support. The same scenario is going to be played out sooner or later for Vista too - but by now more people have wisened up to the game and have at least opened their minds to the existence of alternative operating systems.

Re:should have happened long ago (1)

spleen_blender (949762) | more than 6 years ago | (#20966125)

Well if you're going to do a ground up redesign, do a ground up redesign. Not some half assed redevelopment of 2000 into XP. At least with Vista they started design at a much more primitive level instead of relying purely on previous work. I do agree with a poster up a little bit about ease of piracy being a reason Vista isn't doing too hot, but I think of the glass as half full. At least now people will be more likely to try free alternatives to Windows and Windows based software.

Re:should have happened long ago (1)

Saint Stephen (19450) | more than 6 years ago | (#20966427)

No, there were some pretty significant kernel-level changes in Whistler. Just read the MSDN library for features that require a specific SDK version to see what XP had that 2000 didn't.

Re:should have happened long ago (2, Insightful)

m.ducharme (1082683) | more than 6 years ago | (#20966113)

Because most home users weren't using Win2000 when XP came out, they were using WinME or Win98SE. XP was a significant upgrade from both of them, and well worth the money.

Re:should have happened long ago (4, Insightful)

RonnyJ (651856) | more than 6 years ago | (#20966139)

Unfortunately there wasn't a cheaper 'home' version of Windows 2000, and so Windows XP was a good upgrade path, being a huge improvement over Windows 9x.

As you say though, Windows XP offered little to people already using Windows 2000 (and still doesn't offer much extra now, besides the extra support time).

Re:should have happened long ago (1)

aliquis (678370) | more than 6 years ago | (#20966463)

People have already said a few things, much improved networking is another. (Same as win2k3 afaik.)

Re:should have happened long ago (1)

dave420 (699308) | more than 6 years ago | (#20966489)

Improvements to the GUI, lots of new hardware support, fast user switching, remote assistance, built-in CD burning, ClearType, Remote Desktop, ACPI (with hibernation support, sleep modes), greatly-improved boot times, major kernel improvements. And that's just from a cursory glance at the Wikipedia article.

better USB support and power savings.. (1)

Werrismys (764601) | more than 6 years ago | (#20966625)

..and faster boot time to logon screen. The USB still sucks and the power savings are not optimal, but they usually work to at least some degree.

Vista isn't that bad (0, Troll)

Henry V .009 (518000) | more than 6 years ago | (#20966043)

Vista is a pretty good operating system. The worst things about it are that: 1) it's new. And that's it. (You have my permission to ignore anybody who talks about "the horrible DRM in Vista" as a raving loon.) Vista is nicer operating system than XP in lots of ways. Yes, it's new and breaks things, but that is the price of change for any OS. (Don't whine to me about how Linux never breaks, you haven't been using it as long as I have.)

However, I hope that the uproar against Vista will teach Microsoft something. "Same old" isn't good enough any more. There are too many alternatives now. People are not going to satisfied with minor improvements any more.

I personally wish that Vista had never happened. An OS is just something for controlling your hardware and running more than one program at the same time. Another service pack for XP would have been preferable to Vista. Vista is better than XP, but not nearly enough better.

The worst thing about Vista isn't a problem with Vista -- it's a problem with Microsoft: there are 6 editions. If Microsoft had released a single edition there would be a lot less to gripe about.

Re:Vista isn't that bad (3, Insightful)

Shados (741919) | more than 6 years ago | (#20966103)

Yup. The only issue with Vista is they took too long to get it out of the door. The amount of people I hear complaining about Vista is indeed great, and its NEVER about how bad this or that feature is. Its always about "I can't find Add/Remove programs anymore!!!!", or some such.

XP was sure as hell a MUCH bigger difference from Windows 98/ME of back then (assuming a lot of people didn't jump by NT and 2k), and people did complain, but not quite as much. Now that computers are much more mainstream (I don't know numbers, but I doubt even 50% of Windows users of today even KNOW of anything before the MacOSX and Windows XP era), XP is all they know, so you change that, and they're screwed. People who remember previous upgrades probably remember how they were a lot, lot worse. (Windows XP before SP1 was completly non-viable for me, I stayed with 2k until 2 months before SP2 if I remember well).

What amuse me though is people complaining about the price, when its no different at all than XP's, if you take out the Ultimate Edition (which is the equivalent of Media Center of XP, which was not available retail, only OEM). Home Premium has a lot more features than XP Home had, Business more features than XP pro, and its all the same price XP was 5 years ago (and thus, adjusting to inflation, is a lot cheaper).

Re:Vista isn't that bad (1)

pherthyl (445706) | more than 6 years ago | (#20966527)

The amount of people I hear complaining about Vista is indeed great, and its NEVER about how bad this or that feature is. Its always about "I can't find Add/Remove programs anymore!!!!", or some such.

That's an awful lot you're lumping in with "some such".

Re:Vista isn't that bad (5, Insightful)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 6 years ago | (#20966319)

Vista is nicer operating system

does not sit well with

Yes, it's new and breaks things

WHAT? Operating systems ARE NOT SUPPOSED TO BREAK THINGS no matter how "new" they are. Microsoft has had DECADES of experience writing operating systems, Microsoft has INTIMATE knowledge of computer components and how they work, directly from chip makers and motherboard manufacturers, in fact at times Microsoft even has the clout to DICTATE which direction technology will progress. And yet they still manage to "break things"?

      Give me a break (yes, it's redundant). For all you stick your tongue up Microsoft's corporate backside, you are not getting a free laptop. So please stop being a "gullible consumer" and stop accepting the "fact" that operating systems are supposed to break things when new. That's simply untrue, and Microsoft doesn't deserve to be "cut some slack".

Vista is part of the failure model... (5, Interesting)

argent (18001) | more than 6 years ago | (#20966333)

Vista is a pretty good operating system. The worst things about it are that: 1) it's new.

2) It provides little or no functionality that consumers actually want over XP.
3) It's more complex than XP, due to the "secure-path" code in the kernel.
4) It's less reliable than XP, due to the additional copy protection and secure-path code in the kernel.
5) It has higher kernel overhead than XP, due to the secure-path code in the kernel.

The reason that people go on about the "horrible DRM" is not because the DRM itself is the problem. It's because the changes that were made to support that DRM are most of the real kernel level differences between XP and Vista.

In addition, the new user-visible security features (UAC and the sandbox for IE) are bandaids. They have not made any attempt to address the real problems in the network services, Win32 APIs, and user-level applications that provide such a large surface area to attackers.

Microsoft's real problem is that they did too good a job, for the desktop at least, with Windows 2000. The only shortcomings to Windows 2000 are features that should have been shipped in feature packs... most of them were originally developed on 2000... and everything they've done since then have been attempts to artificially create the appearance of "newness". There were no fundamental changes in XP, and the only fundamental changes in Vista are things that provide no real benefit to the consumer (and actually hurt them).

They got a pass with XP because they presented it as the upgrade path from Windows 9x. They could have done that with Windows 2000... my "Wintendo" (my Windows gaming box) runs Windows 2000, and the first program I found that wouldn't run on 2000... that actually required XP... was a couple of months ago. Something like 8 years after release and 5 years after XP came out. I don't know why they bothered with Windows Me and didn't just push EVERYONE to Windows 2000 as the upgrade path, but I guess they wanted the income from another upgrade cycle. Anyway, XP gave people something new. Vista can't do that.

With Windows 2000 Microsoft has put themselves out of the "operating system company" job. They've reacted by trying to force people to upgrade, and people don't like that. Unbundling Windows and selling the bundled components as separate packages would get them out of this trap, but after fighting so hard to keep that from happening against their will I don't figure they'll do it.

In the meantime everyone who depends on a stable Windows ecosystem is the loser.

so we have your permission then eh ? (0, Flamebait)

unity100 (970058) | more than 6 years ago | (#20966353)

On "(You have my permission to ignore anybody who talks about "the horrible DRM in Vista" as a raving loon.)".

good golly ! thank you for giving that permission, as the regulatory board of "talking about ups and downs of software committee".

but you gotta maybe give a heads up to the informations branch of your committee, since apparently they have been rather lax in informing you that the "horrible DRM in Vista" has been proved to suck up shitload of computer resources, numerous times to boot.

i dont know whomever modded you insightful but s/he shouldnt get ahold of those points again.

Re:Vista isn't that bad (1)

klubar (591384) | more than 6 years ago | (#20966413)

Actually, I'm pretty pleased with Vista--especially on new hardware. If someone has XP and buys Vista as an upgrade, that's just stupid. Pre-installed on new hardware it should work with all the drivers on the machine. The only thing it might not work with is some old printer or maybe some VPN software. It sounds like the ./ crowd is just being anti-new. What was wrong with DOS and the command line anyway.

On a new machine--for consumer and business--I'd go with vista. The DRM seems to be a non-issue for me. WMP plays my CD's and legally ripped music just fine. I haven't noticed any DRM overhead.

Vote me yes on Vista.

Re:Vista isn't that bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20966673)

When my 350mhz dell laptop with XP was stolen, I replaced it with a 2ghz dell laptop with Vista pre-installed. I decided to give Vista a chance, wondering how much anti-vista commentary was real and how much was FUD. After only three days I decided it was all real. Vista was crap. File transfer was excruciatingly slower. Pretty much everything was slower. Video quality was worse. Apps and games were twitchy. Countless dialog boxes popped up to tell me things I already knew.

When I say slower, I want you to understand that I mean slower than on my old 350mhz machine

Switching to XP was like getting super powers. The machine is now screaming fast, with beautiful video, and all my apps work fine.

So much for the new hardware argument.

Re:Vista isn't that bad (1)

hyades1 (1149581) | more than 6 years ago | (#20966533)

The worst thing about Vista (ignoring, for the moment, well-documented driver problems, the fact that it spends a significant amount of CPU time working for MSoft and its media buddies instead of you and the fact that I personally don't give a crap about eye candy) is that I'd have to buy a whole new computer to run it.

Fuck that.

And by the way, I moved from Millennium to XP Pro seamlessly. Two printers, a scanner, network card and TV card all worked flawlessly from the moment I installed it.

A buddy of mine who owns a successful computer company went back to the 64-bit version XP Pro after encountering many problems with Vista. He values his clients, and doesn't put it on their machines, either.

If the best you can say about an expensive new OS is that it's "not that bad", I wish you much joy of it. I'll stay with one that works.

"breaks things" is unacceptable. (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 6 years ago | (#20966611)

Especially when Microsoft won't even admit what they broke.

Go back and read about the network bullshit -- about how playing any sound at all will throttle your network activity to one tenth of what it's supposed to be.

And about how Microsoft still hasn't admitted it's a problem.

Or has that finally been fixed? If so, it's hardly the only problem -- I could point you to one of Microsoft's own products that we kind of depend on which hasn't been ported to Vista, and is the reason I must run XP at work.

MS might just have made it a big mistake (5, Interesting)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 6 years ago | (#20966047)

The consumentenbond is very powerfull, IF a company has its product rated as best it WILL use that in all its ads, it is marketing gold. Being labelled as bad is the exact opposite, MS just got itself a whole shitload of bad advertising and not by some computer mag or newspaper but by an organisation most dutch people believe.

To give you an idea off how powerfull consumer organisations are in holland, this is the only country in the world were Sony will freely and without question exchange PSP's with ANY defective sub-pixel. The ONLY country in the world. Not after you threaten a lawsuit, not after hours on the phone, turn it into a store, if they make trouble refer them to a letter Sony send to kassa and get your new PSP (did it twice until it went past even dutch warranty). Some stores (not sony itself) still try to make trouble, go ahead ask for the manager and tell them to call Sony, Sony will chew them out for you, Sony doesn't want more trouble.

In fact if you are in the netherlands you don't have to accept dead subpixels on anything. I exchanged my iPod video after 6 months, an mp3 player is a device that should last longer, and Apple just had to replace mine or face a court case it was going to loose by default.

This is the country MS refused to simply give XP (costs them NOTHING) to legit buyers of Vista?

Seriously, MS really needs to hire a better public relations officer. They might be lucky that this is the weekend and as such the free working week newspapers won't carry the story but this is just asking for a whole lot of bad press.

On a side not, might Vista's uptake lack because it is harder to pirate? The only people I know who use Vista are those who got it with their new computer for "free". I build my own (and run linux anyway for desktop) so for me Vista would cost a shitload of money. Piracy seems out, wich makes me not use it and therefore I get no experience with it, except for when my friends ask me for advice and I can't give it because I don't know Vista. This actually matters to some as I have helped two people reformat and install XP to get rid of Vista.

I wish just once there was a story from MS that doesn't make it sound like it got some kind of horrible fascination with shooting itself in the foot.

Re:MS might just have made it a big mistake (1)

jkrise (535370) | more than 6 years ago | (#20966263)

I don't think it is a big mistake at all. It would've been a big mistake if Microsoft gave away a free upgrade to XP for buyers of Vista. I think we will see a pricing announcement for this XP upgrade shortly.

Re:MS might just have made it a big mistake (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20966391)

This is the country MS refused to simply give XP (costs them NOTHING) to legit buyers of Vista?
It will cost MS plenty.
Unfortunately, this is not like the embarassment of Windows ME. That was the "end of the road for that particular "consumer" line. They pulled Windows ME and pushed Windows 98SE in its place. Not a big deal when their new business+consumer flagship Windows XP was just around the corner.
Now Windows Vista is their flagship product, and its not doing well.
MS is in a tight spot - if they allow these Vista users to easily/cheaply change to XP, they are almost admitting Vista is a failure. Other people will then either not "upgrade" to Vista or buy new computers with only with XP, which equates to lost Vista sales.
MS is trying to stay the course and promote Vista; it's attempt at damage control is obviously not doing too well.
Having personally seen the bloat of Vista, no amount of words can make it run faster.

BigFig

Re:MS might just have made it a big mistake (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 6 years ago | (#20966479)

Nonsense. It's better to lose the Netherlands as a market than to start a policy, anywhere in the world, of upgrading Vista to XP for free.

Re:MS might just have made it a big mistake (2, Interesting)

houghi (78078) | more than 6 years ago | (#20966597)

If Sony gets bad press, people will buy something else. If Apple gets bad press, people will buy some other brand.

But seriously, what alternatives do people have instead of Vista for a pre-installed system. Seriously?

I like Linux and I am convinced that it is ready for the desktop right now. However there is no serious choice of pre-installed Linux PCs. And that is what people want: A pre-installed system

So due to their monopoly position, MS does not have to care what anybody tells them, advices them or advices their customers. Everybody already knows that Vista is not good, but why would MS care? Again, people want pre-installed systems. They want to run the software that they already know, preinstalled.

They are not able or do not care to find out what a distro is, what distro they should download, or how to boot that distro after burning it.
People generaly do not care to learn what program replaces their own program, let alone learn how to install things, no matter how much easier it is in the end.

People are lazy and will look at the short term gains. So offer an alternative. Sell pre-installed systems. That way you will learn FAST wether people are seriously interested in an alternative or not.

One biased title, please! (0, Redundant)

Klaidas (981300) | more than 6 years ago | (#20966083)

Uhhh, vista *victims*? Ok, I do understand that most readers like to see anti-microsoft FUD, but this is ridiculous. How are you a "victim" if you're unsatisfied with your operating system or any other piece of software or hardware? It's like someone died because of vista.

Re:One biased title, please! (1)

TBerben (1061176) | more than 6 years ago | (#20966275)

In a sense you are indeed a victim. Most OEMs do not give you any choice on the OS side of a computer story. It's either Vista, or erhm... Vista. And because you do not have a choice you are a victim, of marketing... A friend of mine bought a computer - Pentium 4, 2GB DDR2 - so not even a slow computer, with Vista Home Basic (basically, XP with a different look). It can't load a darn dvd without freezing and forcing me to cut the power. To illustrate Vista's amazing capabilities... I agree with the Dutch Consumer's Alliance, people who were 'forced' to buy Vista should be granted a free downgrade to XP and OEMs should be allowed to sell XP with computers instead of Vista

Re:One biased title, please! (1)

Main Gauche (881147) | more than 6 years ago | (#20966405)

Come on over and join us in the States for awhile. Didn't you know? Everyone's a victim! That is, except on the days when everyone's a hero.

Vista issues? HA! (4, Interesting)

crowbarsarefornerdyg (1021537) | more than 6 years ago | (#20966257)

I applaud their efforts to get M$ to let the consumer trade in Vista for XP, especially after my experience with my wife's computer. We bought her a Compaq SR2010, which came with a "free upgrade" (LOL!) to Vista Home somethingoranother. Anyway, when we got it, I went ahead and installed it, because she wanted to try it. She'd already experienced it on my new computer. The damn thing even had the little "Vista Capable" sticker on the front. Cool, it's worth a shot.

I installed Vista, used the HP Driver Disc that came with Vista to upgrade all my drivers, and waited. After everything was done, I checked the system, and two or three devices weren't working. I went to HP's website, and there were no new drivers for them. To make a long story short, we reformatted her computer, and I wiped the drive on mine and we both went back to XP.

Re:Vista issues? HA! (1)

dave420 (699308) | more than 6 years ago | (#20966519)

I installed Vista on my PC, and it detected everything first time. Yay for anecdotal evidence! We just cancelled each other out!

first 4osT (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20966331)

Of the founders oXf it will be among These early consider worthwhile study. [rice.edu] Has steadily propaganda and You join today!

Go ahead and mod me a troll (2, Informative)

dotancohen (1015143) | more than 6 years ago | (#20966395)

Go ahead and mod me as a troll. The unhappy Vista users should give a serious look at Ubuntu [ubuntu.com] . I've been using it for over a year on a Dell laptop, and I've installed it (and previously Fedora) for about 10 or 15 friends. With the exception of specific Windows apps (such as Solidworks), Ubuntu apps do everything that Windows XP (the usual old OS) applications do. Email, web browsing, office apps (OOo 2.3 is remarkable), and more. I could go on but I'm (seriously) not a zealot and I'll get a bad enough trolling mod as it is already.

They aren't kidding (4, Interesting)

Heliode (856187) | more than 6 years ago | (#20966415)

The Consumentenbond is taken very seriously here. Today I found an ad folder in the mail from the Mediamarkt (big computer/electronics store here in Holland) with a large ad in it advertising new computers with XP. "We have them again!". I can't find anything about it on their website. I scanned the ad, and I would upload it if I had some place that could handle the load. I'm open for suggestions!

Re:They aren't kidding (3, Informative)

Heliode (856187) | more than 6 years ago | (#20966621)

Hate to reply to my own post, but the scanned ad can be found here [imageshack.us]

As an anecdote; recently, the person with the least technical skill and knowledge I know (and that says quite a lot), told me she bought a new computer with XP on it because she heard Vista "has to many flaws". I'm pretty sure that if even she knows, everyone in the country knows. I'm pretty sure we didn't have this when XP came out.

Vista's Nighmarish File Move/Replace Operations (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20966425)

I use Vista and have since its release. The only thing that I really hate about it is how slow it is at moving/copying/replacing files. Whether you're moving files from a flash drive to your hard disk, or from your hard disk to a folder on the LAN, or from one external drive to another, it's dog slow. I routinely have to upload about 40MB of files to a network folder several times throughout the day. This takes approximately 30 minutes from either of my two Vista machines, and approximately 2 minutes from my XP laptop. So no surprise, whenever I have to move files around, I fire up XP.

This is apparently a very well-known problem that everyone using Vista experiences, Microsoft knows about it, and yet it's something Microsoft has been unwilling or unable to fix in the last year that Vista has been on sale. That's just disgusting and inexcusable to me.

There's speculation that the reason file operations are so slow is because Vista has to check each file for DRM before it will copy it to a different drive or network location. I don't know if that's the true reason, but if it is, this should be reason enough for anyone to steer clear of Vista.

I thought this was news for nerds? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20966451)

Seriously, having read the comments on this article, I would have thought I was reading a Microsoft forum. Isn't this slashdot? Where are all the M$ haters?

Well, I'm personally not an MS hater per se, and am very happy with working in C# and Visual Studio over using Java and Eclipse. However, when I tried Windows Vista, it lasted all of one month on my computer before I went back to XP. I did really like some of the interface improvements. The Aero interface does look nice, and I liked the screen preview feature of the taskbar. But that was about all I liked.

Why did I switch back to XP?

1. Half of my games wouldn't run in Vista.
2. I quickly got sick of having to click "OK" on 3 different security validation popups every time I'd want to run a program.
3. I got sick of having to acknowledge that I'd turned off security every time I booted up (see number 2).
4. I got tired of having to install half of everyting I bought twice, because it would fail the first time due to the Vista "protect the user from himself" theology. Even though my logon acct was Administrator, it wouldn't install apps as administrator mode until it failed the first time. What the?
5. Of the half of the games that did run, graphics performance was about 15% worse than on Vista. Even when I upgraded to a dual-core and was running two ATI cards in Crossfire mode.

I'm not able to give you a lot of technical "this process was x because they did y in Vista" but the above were my experiences with what was bad about Vista versus XP. Personally, I consider Vista to be on par (as far as MS OS's go) with Windows 98 First Edition. I liked 2000 because it stopped me from getting he "buffer underrun" error every time I'd burn a CD. I liked XP because it gave me a lot more "home" and gaming functionality. Vista is a downgrade from both.

Just wonder (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20966467)

The meeting was initiated by the union after it did a five weeks investigation, where it received some 5,000 consumer complaints about Windows Vista. Most of the complaints revolved around application and peripheral hardware compatibility issues.

I don't even want to imagine Linux being in that position. How many complaints "application and peripheral hardware compatibility issues" would there be? Surely, many many many many more than with Vista.

bleat bleat (flame bait - sorry) (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20966509)

This happens every time MS release an OS that changes something. When the "Joe" public went from 9x/me to XP they bleated stuff didn't work. Some guy actually asked me how to downgrade from XP to ME (and that says something about it).

MS write the OS and the MANUFACTURER of the hardware writes the drivers to interact with the OS - it's not MS's fault if HP or any other manufacturer can't be bothered to write drivers - because let's face it, they've known about Vista for long enough, MS have taken a while to get it out and there was a fully public beta trial. None of the mainstream hardware manufacturers have any excuse not to release compatible hardware drivers (unless they choose not to which is just tough luck to anyone with old hardware).

Incidentally, Vista shipped with way more drivers than any previous release of windows.

Right about now you're probably thinking ooh my new doesn't work and it should - well no, actually that's up to the MANUFACTURER of your device you've just purchased to develop and supply that, and if they don't well that's just hard luck really.

There are very few things in this world that are the same but are not. A PC can have so many different bits of hardware in and attached to it that nothing else really compares to it. So it can't be expected that everything works, and that anything that worked before still works - because it's never that straight forward.

And finally, Vista for our machines has been pretty good in picking up hardware and peripherals.

And finally, finally - it took sometime for Vista to be driver friendly and accepted by the "Joe" public, so I reckon by this time next year everything will be right with the world again - provided Google don't break anything with Vista SP1 (yes I said Google XD !!)

Logical question: (1)

r_jensen11 (598210) | more than 6 years ago | (#20966517)

Okay, let's assume that Vista doesn't get that much better when SP1 ships out. Can we reasonably expect to see a larger market share of Apples? How about demand for and supply of Linux installed computers?

Canonical should step in (1)

FudRucker (866063) | more than 6 years ago | (#20966541)

and offer them free copies of *ubuntu, i am sure that will make microsoft happy...

I thought they already did this? (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 6 years ago | (#20966641)

They won't give you a free copy of XP, but they will let you trade your Vista license for an XP license?

Or am I thinking of something else?

Stop stalling (4, Insightful)

jlarocco (851450) | more than 6 years ago | (#20966645)

Will you Windows people stop whining? In the next few years you're going to use Vista, because that's Microsoft's new thing. People whined about XP, and look where we are now. So get on with it. Stop whining and take the plunge. We all know how it's going to turn out, and the rest of us are tired of your bitching.

Alternatively, try switching to a different operating system. For years the most common reasons for not switching to Linux or Mac have been that those operating systems don't support necessary hardware or software and are significantly different than people are used to. Now that Microsoft's own "new thing" is significantly different and doesn't support much hardware or software, it's the perfect time to put your money where your mouth is. Switch to something else, or shut up and take it.

I HATE VISTA (1)

AmigaMMC (1103025) | more than 6 years ago | (#20966657)

I just bought a tablet PC and unfortunately I couldn't get it with XP Tablet Edition, instead it came with Vista Home Premium and after one week I already hate it (Actually I hated it after one day). It's random behavior, it's intrusiveness and it's theft of resources are just a few of the things that are driving me crazy.

Microsoft Is Only Half The Problem (3, Insightful)

A_Mythago (204246) | more than 6 years ago | (#20966671)

Having Microsoft provide copies of Windows XP to customers will only fix half of the problems on many new PCs as several of the newest laptops and desktops have limited support from the manufacturers for Windows XP (read: non-existent in most cases). In many cases I get a customer who "downgraded" their system only to find that several components are unsupported in XP or have proprietary settings that prevent the generic drivers from working. I hold the Toshiba A215-S7447 laptop up as a good example of this. Although the cynical part of me praises the industry for this revenue stream, it shows that just giving the OS would cause more problems and frustrations for customers in the long run as the software and features pre-installed by the manufacturer that the customer has come to expect are missing from a "vanilla" install of XP.

Most of the complaints I get regarding Windows Vista are of the "I cannot find this feature" or "my 5+ year old piece of software will not work". In nearly all cases like this the problem can be fixed by a little advise on the help system and showing the customer how to use compatibility mode. Hardware is the biggest complaint but again it is almost always for 5+ year old equipment (many of which are no longer supported by the manufacturer) and these are incidentally the same type of customers who complain their sub $500 computer does not have a parallel port.

The majority of the customers that come to me and say "Vista sucks!" are the ones who bought a sub $500 desktop or laptop running Windows Vista Basic meeting the absolute lowest requirements. When you add shared video memory overhead to an already low installed RAM it is no wonder the system bogs down when attempting to do more than one task at a time. Microsoft's biggest mistake was to make this version as in my experience the person who wants to pay the least for a product is the one who tends to be the most vocal about any perceived problems.

One more thing that comes to mind is "who pays"? Microsoft can not be required to pay companies to develop and support their operating system or provide OEM copies of additional value-added software such as DVD decoding or advanced burning capability. The manufacturers of the hardware and especially the large system builders are just as guilty of making the transition as painful as it is.

Vista is not perfect, in fact it reminds me a great deal of Windows XP pre-SP1 and there are a lot of problems that are being ironed out over time. The fact of the matter is unless the hardware manufacturers are willing to incur the additional expense of continuing to develop and support Windows XP drivers, a move to "force" Microsoft to provide "downgrade" disks would be useless to the average customer.
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