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Microsoft Had Doubts About the 'Vista Capable' Label

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the marketing-will-make-it-all-better dept.

Microsoft 484

dionysus writes "Last April, Microsoft was sued over its 'Vista Capable' labeling, and in hearing last week, attorneys for the plaintiffs presented evidence that Microsoft employees were skeptical about the 'Vista Capable' marketing. Some of the most damning evidence comes from Microsoft executives: 'Mike Nash, currently a corporate vice president for Windows product management, wrote in an e-mail, "I PERSONALLY got burnt ... Are we seeing this from a lot of customers? ... I now have a $2,100 e-mail machine." Jim Allchin, then the co-president of Microsoft's Platforms and Services Division, wrote in another e-mail, "We really botched this ... You guys have to do a better job with our customers."' The judge in the case is currently considering the plaintiffs' request to make it a class-action lawsuit."

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484 comments

What happens... (4, Insightful)

gravesb (967413) | more than 6 years ago | (#22394242)

when marketing gets primacy over engineers....

Re:What happens... (3, Interesting)

macmaniac (734596) | more than 6 years ago | (#22394306)

Shoot, the Compaq I have which _shipped_ with Vista Home Premium is barely "Vista Capable" in any real sense... what on earth would possess them BESIDES marketing logic over engineers to claim anything less to be "Vista Capable"?

Re:What happens... (3, Informative)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 6 years ago | (#22394424)

Indeed, I just got a replacement HP laptop for one that died. The old one had Windows XP and 1gb and ran like a charm, the new one is actually a faster machine, but with Vista and just 1gb is a horrible sloth. I'm bumping the RAM up naturally, though I'd much prefer to downgrade to XP since I don't like feeding the memory-hungry monster that Vista is, but apparently downgrading this model to XP is fraught with troubles.

I'd go to Ubuntu, but I can't get it up and running either.

Re:What happens... (2, Insightful)

omeomi (675045) | more than 6 years ago | (#22394510)

I'd go to Ubuntu, but I can't get it up and running either.

Really? Ubuntu is usually a breeze to install. What doesn't work?

Re:What happens... (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 6 years ago | (#22394536)

It doesn't want to touch the NVidia video card. I haven't tried it in safe graphics mode yet, mind you, but it does get basic graphics up to the video confirmation screen, but if I just press "Continue" it cuts out on me.

Re:What happens... (2, Informative)

B3ryllium (571199) | more than 6 years ago | (#22394630)

I would keep trying; I use XP at home, but I used Ubuntu at work for six months. My only Vista experience has been when I borrow my GF's laptop, but that's been enough to make me think that I'd rather use Ubuntu than Vista. :)

Re:What happens... (2, Informative)

aaronl (43811) | more than 6 years ago | (#22394756)

I had the same trouble with my Thinkpad T61p. Get the alternate install disc and use that to install. Then you have to get the latest beta driver off the NVIDIA site, and install it by hand. Text mode will be your friend for this. I found the easiest way was to get sshd up and running and do it remotely. Hope this helps!

Re:What happens... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22394628)

Laptops are known for giving Linux headaches, especially fancy new ones with bells and whistles.

Re:What happens... (2, Interesting)

SQLGuru (980662) | more than 6 years ago | (#22394934)

PXE boot install to a Dell Latitude D400 with no optical drive.....worked like magic, no tweaks needed (which is good because that really isn't my cup of tea)....the PXE boot worked based on steps straight off of some guys blog (http://hugi.to/blog/archive/2006/12/23/ubuntu-pxe-install-via-windows [hugi.to]). Not bad for a free laptop that's several years old and won't install XP even though that was what was on there (no optical drive, won't install from the floppies). The laptop was free because the previous owner couldn't get XP back on....lucky me.

Layne

Re:What happens... (1)

Iridium_Hack (931607) | more than 6 years ago | (#22394840)

Mine has similar issues. It's an HP Pavilion 9000 that won't install Ubuntu. I suspect there's a bad driver or something so I'm having to wait. I've put the errors up on some of the Ubuntu message boards but nothing has worked thus far.

I'm not trying to be a troll, either. I've bought books and would like to try out Ubuntu and see how it works.

Re:What happens... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22394890)

I'd go to Ubuntu, but I can't get it up and running either.

Really? Ubuntu is usually a breeze to install. What doesn't work?
Lies. Try installing it on anything with an ATI video card. You boot off the CD, get a flashing Num/Capslock light combo, and nothing happens.

Re:What happens... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22394944)

Just google for HP Laptop and Ubuntu, and you'll see they don't play well. I'm hoping Hardy changes this.

Re:What happens... (1)

multisync (218450) | more than 6 years ago | (#22394964)

I'd much prefer to downgrade to XP


I no longer use the words "upgrade" and "downgrade" when discussing software. These are marketing euphemisms, used to convince the customer that the newer version of a piece of software is better by default. While that may be the case in most instances, I reserve the right to judge whether migrating to a different version is an "upgrade" or not.

Re:What happens... (1)

InsaneProcessor (869563) | more than 6 years ago | (#22394984)

I will not buy a computer with Vista on it. You either offer me XP or nothing. If you can't do that, I don't buy yours.

Or maybe.. (2, Funny)

mpapet (761907) | more than 6 years ago | (#22394320)

When management is completely disconnected from how their company creates value.

Hopefully nothing changes though. That would be the best case scenario for the entire industry.

Re:Or maybe.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22394806)

Microsoft has created value?

Re:Or maybe.. (2, Insightful)

SQLGuru (980662) | more than 6 years ago | (#22395018)

Certainly. Yahoo was valued at $20 something by the market. Then MS made a bid for them for $30 per share. The market seized the opportunity and the stock went up to the bid. That, my friend, is true value to all of those who sold their stock @ the bid price.

Layne

Re:What happens... (1)

tomblag (1060876) | more than 6 years ago | (#22394562)

You have it backwards, the marketers got shoveled vista. How are you supposed to market an os that recommends a dual core and 2gb of mem to check email?

Re:What happens... (0, Troll)

plague3106 (71849) | more than 6 years ago | (#22394714)

I guess they should have targeted the 100mhz pentium computers to make you happy? Seriously, I don't want features missing from an OS because you feel you should be able to run it on 1996 hardware.

FWIW, my 3800+ x2 1gb pc3200 nvidia 5700 fx with 120 gb ide drive runs vista just fine.

Re:What happens... (4, Insightful)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 6 years ago | (#22394734)

Without some level of marketing, Engineers build products that people simply don't want and/or won't sell.

I like Microsoft direction. (-1, Troll)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 6 years ago | (#22394264)

They were one feared as a force that cannot be stopped. To now a huge company that bumbles at every attempt to modernize without any concern on what their costumers want.

Re:I like Microsoft direction. (4, Insightful)

plague3106 (71849) | more than 6 years ago | (#22394354)

Did you even read the summary? The MS exec's first thought was of the customers. Good grief.

Re:I like Microsoft direction. (4, Insightful)

Penguinisto (415985) | more than 6 years ago | (#22394492)

Did you even read the summary? The MS exec's first thought was of the customers. Good grief.

Actually, it was their first thought after they got bitten personally by the botch-up, but IMHO not during design or at any stage before release.

If the end-using customer is their first thought, then please explain DRM.

/P

Re:I like Microsoft direction. (0, Flamebait)

plague3106 (71849) | more than 6 years ago | (#22394774)

Actually, it was their first thought after they got bitten personally by the botch-up, but IMHO not during design or at any stage before release.

Oh right, because you're inside their mind. Perhaps the exec thought that the dev team would ensure it wouldn't be an issue? Seems much more likely to me.

If the end-using customer is their first thought, then please explain DRM.

I'd rather buy an OS that can play movies out of the box than hack support in after digging through sites and vague instructions, while moving to gray legal areas. Any other stupidity you'd like to spew?

Re:I like Microsoft direction. (2, Funny)

liquidf (1146307) | more than 6 years ago | (#22394560)

They were one feared as a force that cannot be stopped. To now a huge company that bumbles at every attempt to modernize without any concern on what their costumers want.

Did you even read the summary? The MS exec's first thought was of the customers. Good grief.
no, parent is right. nobody ever thinks of the costumers. all they ever ask for is a little respect, and maybe a sequin top or masque every once in a while, but that's it!

Re:I like Microsoft direction. (5, Funny)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 6 years ago | (#22394598)

#
Did you even read the summary? The MS exec's first thought was of the customers. Good grief.
Yeah, in the same sense as when some hysterical woman shouts "Won't someone think of the children!" and Michael Jackson raises his hand to say "I am!"

Re:I like Microsoft direction. (2, Interesting)

Toonol (1057698) | more than 6 years ago | (#22394668)

Exactly. What the exec said in his email was what an exec should be saying. "This didn't work for me... is this impacting our customers?"

No doubt corporate leadership caused the problem in the first place... but people pointing out the issues internally are what are needed to fix it. (Well, it can't be fixed, now. Maybe it can be avoided in the future.)

Re:I like Microsoft direction. (1)

xant (99438) | more than 6 years ago | (#22395008)

Sure, the customers, yeah. But not the costumers. Those people won't settle for shoddy second-rate machines; designing costumes takes some flashy-ass graphics and alpha effects.

Microsoft is gonna have some pretty serious egg on their faces the next time an academy award for best costume design is awarded, and the winner thanks Apple because MS executives didn't have their priorities straight.

Re:I like Microsoft direction. (1)

Abreu (173023) | more than 6 years ago | (#22394526)

Indeed it is funny to watch the huge dinosaur stampede and run around like a headless chicken... however I am afraid of what could get squished on its path.

Re:I like Microsoft direction. (2, Insightful)

macdaddy357 (582412) | more than 6 years ago | (#22394674)

"Microsoft argued that it provided detailed information on the sticker program and that it was the customers' fault for not educating themselves before purchasing their new computers."... Microsoft should know that 98% of the computer-owning public knows nothing about computers except that they need one for work, and the kids need one for school. Instead, they have proven that they are out of touch. Every version since Windows 95 has forgotten the user at every turn. Taking people's icons away and forcing them to use the start menu confuses users. Changing the names and locations of things with every new version so people have to learn all over again is an ordeal. It's not only windows. Internet Explorer 7 took away "History" unless you want to clutter up your screen with an explorer bar. Where did the history pull-down go. Parents want to check up on where their kids have been surfing. Why the hell would they take a feature away? It boggles the mind! Microsoft has made computing more complicated and confusing for the average user at every turn when they need to make it simpler. It is a shame they are still in business.

Re:I like Microsoft direction. (2, Interesting)

plague3106 (71849) | more than 6 years ago | (#22394834)

Taking people's icons away and forcing them to use the start menu confuses users.

I don't like many icons on the desktop. Even still, its easy to turn them back on.

Changing the names and locations of things with every new version so people have to learn all over again is an ordeal.

My Documents has been "My Documents" from Win95 until Vista. Now its simply called Documents. Ya, big stretch.

Internet Explorer 7 took away "History" unless you want to clutter up your screen with an explorer bar. Where did the history pull-down go.

Click the star icon. The explorer bar opens temporarly. Click History. Ya, difficult.

Parents want to check up on where their kids have been surfing. Why the hell would they take a feature away?

What feature was taken away? Nevermind that Vista includes Parental Controls.

It boggles the mind! Microsoft has made computing more complicated and confusing for the average user at every turn when they need to make it simpler. It is a shame they are still in business.

I've found it much easier. What's your answer? Linux I suppose? Or Apple, which is the lock-in leader in the computing industry?

Re:I like Microsoft direction. (2, Funny)

Yetihehe (971185) | more than 6 years ago | (#22394754)

They were one feared as a force that cannot be stopped.
They are still unstoppable force. But now they are heading toward a cliff.

A $2100 email machine? (3, Insightful)

RetroRichie (259581) | more than 6 years ago | (#22394286)

Uh, no. What you've got is a $2100 PC that runs just dandy with Windows XP. You know, what you were using before Vista slowed it to a crawl. These guys are buffoons.

Re:A $2100 email machine? (5, Insightful)

CFTM (513264) | more than 6 years ago | (#22394444)

And that's the sound of the point that the VP was attempting to make flying over your head.

Re:A $2100 email machine? (1)

RetroRichie (259581) | more than 6 years ago | (#22394594)

I'd bet it's more of the sound of the echo in his head because he doesn't understand he can revert to XP. You give these guys too much credit.

Re:A $2100 email machine? (1)

CFTM (513264) | more than 6 years ago | (#22394986)

Yeah, I understand...I just had my knee-jerk slashdot reaction :)
Kinda asshat on my part...

Re:A $2100 email machine? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22394886)

Maybe he was just trying to make another point, namely that Windows Vista is not much of an improvement anyway, which is a whole other story, but still another problem that Microsoft needs to adress. Instead of just focusing on improving marketing, they should be concentrating on *gasp* delivering a better product!

Isn't it ridiculous that a corporate executive is complaining that he wouldn't have bought this machine if he had known it wasn't capable of running Vista, -despite- the fact that is probably a top-of-the-line PC, costing him well over 2000 dollars, but not about the fact that Vista is so bloated and incompatible with hardware that it is incapable of running even on such an expensive machine? He is complaining about the effect on marketshare, liability, etc., NOT about the product they are shipping!

Re:A $2100 email machine? (1)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | more than 6 years ago | (#22394950)

I'm guessing it was probably one of those ultra portable laptops. The price premium, like the Mac Air, is for the small size, rather than the computational capability.

Re:A $2100 email machine? (4, Informative)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 6 years ago | (#22394914)

He was just trying to make a point. A MS VP bought a "Vista Capable" machine that was installed with XP. His understanding was that when Vista came out, he could upgrade to Vista Premium with no problems. Unfortunately in his case, even though he bought a fairly decent machine, it couldn't run Vista Premium reasonably. He gets none of the features of Vista Premium and his machine is slower than dirt. He can only really do email and maybe surf the web now and then for $2100. If he works for MS and got this experience, what are the experiences of normal customers?

He was speaking for the customers. Their understanding when they bought the machine was that it could be upgraded. They could have waited but they were reassured that buying then didn't matter as opposed to buying later. It did matter. Now, what are they supposed to do after an upgrade? If XP was already installed by the manufacturer, sometimes all they get is a Restore XP disc which formats the HD and erases all their files and settings. Very few may have actually bought the retail version of XP which gives more options.

Sweet, sweet justice (2, Interesting)

peipas (809350) | more than 6 years ago | (#22394290)

It makes me feel really good to hear about Microsoft getting pissed at Microsoft. I've always wondered about this and what a relief. The frustration I've run into over the years, especially regarding design decisions, finally feels worth something.

correction ;) (5, Funny)

Gorphrim (11654) | more than 6 years ago | (#22394292)

'Mike Nash, formerly a corporate vice president for Windows product management, wrote in an e-mail, "I PERSONALLY got burnt ... Are we seeing this from a lot of customers? ... I now have a $2,100 e-mail machine."

Vista = dogfooding? (5, Insightful)

WolfTheWerewolf (84066) | more than 6 years ago | (#22394334)

Perhaps they should have forced it upon employees for more "real-world" testing first?

Re:Vista = dogfooding? (1)

RetroRichie (259581) | more than 6 years ago | (#22394358)

Ha! Then it never would have made it to market. Can you imagine trying to develop a broken operating system on a broken operating system?

My head hurts.

Re:Vista = dogfooding? (1)

WolfTheWerewolf (84066) | more than 6 years ago | (#22394370)

Unfortunately that's how [most] things are done there.

Explains a lot, doesn't it?

Re:Vista = dogfooding? (1)

RetroRichie (259581) | more than 6 years ago | (#22394426)

I suppose so. I bet we can take this game further:

Developing a broken operating system on a broken operating system with broken developers operating in a broken company. I am too scared to go any deeper. :)

Re:Vista = dogfooding? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22394520)

What ought to be done, is to build an operating system on a cup of very hot tea...

Re:Vista = dogfooding? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22394416)

Ask the guy who compiled the first compiler.

Re:Vista = dogfooding? (1)

BlackSnake112 (912158) | more than 6 years ago | (#22394410)

That is exactly what microsoft does. They have already upgraded their servers to 2008 (or whatever it is called). They didn't upgrade the desktops? That would seem strange since they eat their own dog food for the server side.

How interesting.. (4, Insightful)

moogied (1175879) | more than 6 years ago | (#22394340)

Putting "Vista Capable" on a machine is much like saying E85 capable on GM trucks.. while it may indeed be able to use it, no one in there right mind ever should..

Re:How interesting.. (1)

clem (5683) | more than 6 years ago | (#22394858)

While I appreciate your use of a much needed car analogy to ground this discussion, I have no idea what "E85 capable" means.

Another class action (3, Insightful)

KlomDark (6370) | more than 6 years ago | (#22394344)

I'm curious how long until a class action suit fires up over all the companies out there selling 64bit machines with 32bit versions of Vista. That's complete shit. Why even sell a 64bit machine if they're going to hobble it to 32 bit operation?

Imagine buying a 12 cylinder Lamborghini, getting it home, and then realizing it's only firing on 6 cylinders.

Re:Another class action (1)

arizwebfoot (1228544) | more than 6 years ago | (#22394406)

Or getting it home and finding out it's really a 4 banger Honda engine!

Re:Another class action (4, Insightful)

postbigbang (761081) | more than 6 years ago | (#22394516)

The 4-banger Honda engine would last longer, cost less to repair if it did break, and get you better mileage, and get you up to speed in normal traffic situations most of the time.

The day of the upgrade is waning, and for good reason: no real value, just a bit of eye candy and some cheap thrills..

Re:Another class action (1)

powerlord (28156) | more than 6 years ago | (#22395034)

The day of the upgrade is waning, and for good reason: no real value, just a bit of eye candy and some cheap thrills..


Well ... the day of the FORCED upgrade is waning.

This is great news though. Without the forced upgrade, it should be easier for other options like OS X and Linux (as well as BSD, and things like Haiku) to take hold in peoples minds as viable alternatives.
Especially if upgrading means buying new hardware, versus getting "a few more years" out of what they have ... perhaps a $500-$2000 savings, depending on the hardware. That alone might get people to give it a try if the alternatives are close enough.

Re:Another class action (1)

s4ck (895807) | more than 6 years ago | (#22394614)

you're joking right?

cause where have you been over the last ten years? the general consensus in the car industry, and your local trusted mechanic will be able to tell you this, is that GM is using 10 years old technology built with 30 years old method. while honda/toyota/mazda has latest technology into their engines built with the highest quality control of the industry.
4 banger honda engine? all the way! just look where the ford/chrysler/GM lot are today. what was in the news just a couple of hours ago? yeah, record losses from GM...

Vista Capable label (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22394356)

The first thing I did on receipt of my XP notebook with the Windows Vista Capable sticker was to remove it and put it in its correct place: on my bin.

Re:Vista Capable label (2, Funny)

Kjella (173770) | more than 6 years ago | (#22394712)

The first thing I did on receipt of my XP notebook with the Windows Vista Capable sticker was to remove it and put it in its correct place: on my bin.
Are you sure it won't need an upgrade? I heard Vista was huge.

Re:Vista Capable label (1, Funny)

writermike (57327) | more than 6 years ago | (#22394778)

The first thing I did on receipt of my XP notebook with the Windows Vista Capable sticker was to remove it and put it in its correct place: on my bin.
Sorry, dude (dudette?), but your statement reminded me of a Stewie quote.

Olivia: You are the weakest link, goodbye. (laughter)
Stewie: Ha ha ha! Oh gosh that's funny! That's really funny! Do you write your own material? Do you? Because that is so fresh. You are the weakest link goodbye. You know, I've, I've never heard anyone make that joke before. Hmm. You're the first. I've never heard anyone reference, reference that outside the program before. Because that's what she says on the show right? Isn't it? You are the weakest link goodbye. And, and yet you've taken that and used it out of context to insult me in this everyday situation. God what a clever, smart girl you must be, to come up with a joke like that all by yourself. That's so fresh too. Any, any Titanic jokes you want to throw at me too as long as we're hitting these phenomena at the height of their popularity. God you're so funny!


Re:Vista Capable label (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22395026)

I bought a monitor with such sticker, and I put it on a bin too

Shhh . . . (1)

arizwebfoot (1228544) | more than 6 years ago | (#22394360)

You can't mean that Micro$haft made an error in judgment? In Marketing?

Say it ain't so!! Micro$haft made a mistake?

Is it wrong that... (2, Informative)

log0n (18224) | more than 6 years ago | (#22394374)

I'm starting to like Vista?

Like may be too strong. Rather, it's not bugging me or keeping me from working - and it's even growing on me. My work bought me a new Dell 530 desktop with Vista Business, seems to work fine (I actually kind of like Office 2007 too - Visual Studio 2008 Express is pretty cool as well). Probably just due to being forced to use it regularly.

Re:Is it wrong that... (2, Informative)

everphilski (877346) | more than 6 years ago | (#22394512)

Yeah, I bought a $300 laptop with Vista Home on it, just to dink around on (we have one home computer and my wife's been getting into video games) for dissertation research, and it's been great. Actually the first thing I did was dual boot XP, but after running a few comparisons side by side over the first month I shredded the XP partition, it wasn't much if any faster than Vista for what I did (programming/writing/simulating).

The only "trick" to vista is RAM. If you have less than a gig, stick another gig at least in there. RAM is so dirt cheap anyways...

Re:Is it wrong that... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22394646)

Yeah. I bought my 2 gigs of RAM for, you know, actually simulating things as opposed to ... whatever vista does. Yes, I could buy more memory, though I'd have to up it all to 2gb sticks, but in that case I'd rather use my FOUR gigs of ram for simulating. ;-) I don't see the plus side to vista here.

I'll stick with ubuntu or when I need it for some invariably stupid reason, Windows XP.

Identity crisis (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22394378)

I am black ... ... does that make me a nigger?

$2100 = email machine? (1)

eebra82 (907996) | more than 6 years ago | (#22394388)

I don't understand how he could buy a computer for $2100 even a year ago and call it an e-mail machine while running Vista. I bought my computer in February 2007 for $2085.42 (just checked the receipt) and it works well on Vista and gaming. Either he was scammed, or just speaking REALLY metaphorically.

Having said that, XP owns Vista.

Re:$2100 = email machine? (1)

ckaminski (82854) | more than 6 years ago | (#22394574)

Welcome to corporate procurement, where box of 10 reams of paper costs the company $100 of which $26 goes to the vendor, and $74 gets split amongst the collection of individuals who brought the vendor in as kickbacks.

Where a $1500 computer we could purchase from newegg is $3000 from lenovo simply because it has a three year warranty.

Re:$2100 = email machine? (1)

liquidf (1146307) | more than 6 years ago | (#22394700)

hell i've got you beat. i built my machine, oh, 3 1/2 years ago, and running vista biz64 just fine. building it cost me $1100 tops, and i've put maybe $300 in a new amd dual-core, power supply, add'l 2GB memory and video card. i can play games decent enough on it (mainly rts), but there have been very, very few things i haven't been able to do on it.

They're individuals (1)

jasonmicron (807603) | more than 6 years ago | (#22394390)

They're just individuals with their own opinions. Personally they can think one thing but as a company they can think another.

This really isn't much of a story; more like looking for a story.

Crappy to release that type branding with their own beliefs in doubt? Sure, but don't hold it against the entire company. That's just what I think but then again I'm just some random guy on the internet.

"Are we seeing this from a lot of customers?" (1)

Threni (635302) | more than 6 years ago | (#22394462)

No, mate, they're running Linux in virtual machines and discovering that they like it.

Let this be a lesson for beta testers (5, Informative)

Toreo asesino (951231) | more than 6 years ago | (#22394496)

...otherwise known as early adopters.

To be fair Vista introduced to an unsuspecting IT world the shocking concept that's been around in *nix that "You don't have root level access as a norm!" (Gasp!). This alone caused issues for the majority of Windows software, and is probably the cause of the majority UAC complaints too. Remember too that, this type of security really isn't appreciated by your average Joe, who honestly couldn't give two shits if someone has rooted his box. He'll care when he can't write documents, send emails and check the football results on-line (even if it does require closing various popups)...but a Windows SUDO was long overdue.

Also, Vista is the first iteration of Windows that's seriously supported 64 bit...XP does I know, but it's something of a stop-gap in my opinion, and very rare to see. The 64-bit shift was too, on it's own, bound to cause upgrade havoc, much like the "good old days" of Win95 not running legacy 16bit apps too well.

Finally, Vista does overhaul other areas of Windows that has been for the better in the long-run, but a world of hurts in the short-run. Check out the propaganda here - http://www.microsoft.com/whdc/system/vista/kernel-en.mspx [microsoft.com]

There's a tonne of reasons why Vista has been a painful upgrade, but these reasons above I feel are the most prominent, and not so much fault of Microsoft either in my opinion. Yeah, security should've "not sucked", the tech is still very new (many will say 'too' new), and the 64-bit switch-over is unavoidable at some point, but frankly Vista's getting better every day (for instance, just today this was released - http://support.microsoft.com/?scid=kb%3Ben-us%3B943899&x=14&y=11 [microsoft.com]) but much of Vista's problems have been blown up bigger than they are by people that quite frankly, just want to see Microsoft fail, die, whatever...and are willing to "stretch the truth" if it helps that happen....

Hang on; I've just realised where I'm posting.

Re:Let this be a lesson for beta testers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22394910)

but a Windows SUDO was long overdue.
Which is probably why they added it in Windows 2000. The only problem was that people weren't using it.

UAC, on the other hand, IS NOT sudo . It's a crazy sort of GUI hook in front of anything that requires Administrator privileges. (Assuming, of course, that Microsoft caught them all: with their track record, not a safe bet.)

When running with UAC enabled, the user is still running as Administrator. The difference is that whenever an Administrator privilege is required, a UI appears asking the user if they want to grant access. Of course, in most cases, the user has no clue and just blindly hits "yes". This isn't helped because the message is so vague that even I have no clue what, exactly, is being asked.

It's sort of like a random stranger showing up at your door and being asked to come inside. You have no idea if he's going to come in and tidy up your drapes or take a dump on your couch - but you have to decide, right now, before you can do anything else. (Yay for system modal dialogs.)

If you want to use UAC as if it were actually sudo, you have to create an Administrator account and then create a non-privileges account and use the non-privileged account. This then asks for a password and actually runs as a different account like sudo does. However this isn't the default, and what home user would think that they should do that to offer real security?

Even then, it wouldn't solve the problem, because they're still left not knowing if the program is good or bad when they're forced to answer the question. (And, remember, system modal dialog: you can't go look up the answer.)

Also, Vista is the first iteration of Windows that's seriously supported 64 bit
You admit XP did, but so did 2003. It's possible to support 64-bit without requiring 2GB of RAM to run programs.

Re:Let this be a lesson for beta testers (1)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 6 years ago | (#22394916)

What bothers me the most is that when Vista came out, there were still tons of applications that required Admin access for no good reason. Those applications are broken on Vista due to UAC, but the amazing and shocking thing is that these applications were also broken on XP and 2000:

1) Anybody who logged in as a non-admin wouldn't be able to run your program for no good reason
2) Your program would break miserably on a computer with Fast User Switching enabled
3) It would also break in many corporate environments with finer-grained permissions than "Admin" or "User"

In short, the application was already broken and has been for a decade! Vista just made the breakage more obvious.

When users who actually care about security have to (and had to in XP) elevate permissions to run a video game, you're talking about crap developers. I don't blame Microsoft for the problems people are having on Vista, I blame the crap developers who have no concept of permissions, or no desire to ever fix their Windows 98 program to work in an NT environment. These guys need to go back to CS101 and figure their goddamned job out. My current annoyance is Notepad++ which tries to do something when it runs, and fails-- but the error also doesn't tell me what it was trying to do, so I have no way of figuring out which feature to disable. Boo!

(It's not just small developers or one-off projects like games, either... IBM Lotus Notes spent years just plain broken on XP, I think it was finally fixed for version 6.5 IIRC.)

Too many editions! (5, Insightful)

Midnight Thunder (17205) | more than 6 years ago | (#22394506)

How many versions of the same system do you really need? Having created over six versions of the same operating system, Microsoft should have been aware that there would be confusion. Are people in the company so oblivious to the "Keep it Simple" approach? Generally a desktop and a server edition should suffice, and anything being marked a 'ready' should be indicating the expected experience and not the rationed experience.

A computer allowing me to experience 10% of what the new OS can provide me, is not ready in any shape or form. Games labelling gets this right, why shouldn't hardware? Are we dealing with crooks or incompetence?

You're dealing with incompetent crooks. (4, Insightful)

Lilith's Heart-shape (1224784) | more than 6 years ago | (#22394580)

Are we dealing with crooks or incompetence?
I'd say it's a little bit of the former, and a metric shitload of the latter. Factor in the SNAFU Principle [catb.org], and you've got a recipe for instant epic failure. Chances are that the people who actually work for a living told management that "Vista Capable" was bullshit, but management didn't believe it until they saw for themselves. By then, of course, it was too late.

Microsoft Lawsuit Discussion -- hahahah! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22394546)

Jim Allchin, then the co-president of Microsoft's Platforms and Services Division, wrote in another e-mail, "We really botched this ... You guys have to do a better job with our customers."' The judge in the case is currently considering the plaintiffs' request to make it a class-action lawsuit."

I love it. Here's an article with discussion about the IMPENDING class action LAWSUIT against micro$oft. cgi-bin.law.com/jsp?id=1090180336325 [xrl.us]

Reports that itemize Microsoft's records of the relevant products purchased by claimants who participated in Microsoft's volume license programs (known as Enterprise, Select or Open licenses) have been mailed and are being processed.

Re:Microsoft Lawsuit Discussion -- hahahah! (0, Troll)

wampus (1932) | more than 6 years ago | (#22394946)

Micro$oft? Did you come up with that on your own? Hilarious! I'll have to remember it.

endemic (5, Interesting)

mugnyte (203225) | more than 6 years ago | (#22394648)

Anyone inside the project teams on the vista push knew many of the work patterns were B-A-D. teams had a top-down requirement change almost daily. they fought for changes via up-one-flagpole-down-another. The schedule cut all kinds of scope while the new features were "must haves". the security initiative, the team patterns, the scope dictation and the requirements "volleyball" were terrible at ever "finishing" a concept. Each team with any kind of pull would demand all others conform to the request they wanted, and the winning concept were decided in the mgmt level, not knowing the real impact of their decisions until afterwards.

  Add in ideas that nobody had really tackled before, like the secure channel for content, driver signing, legacy app security rights vs. UAC, etc and you're bound to have a lot of latent problems that demand a longer period of testing. But this was after the 1st "scrap" so there really wasn't time to push the market off any longer, MS's ability to deliver was already in question.

it had many flavors of dysfunctional. but they've changed a lot and are starting differently with the next gen OS.

Re:endemic (1)

Radical Moderate (563286) | more than 6 years ago | (#22394970)

" but they've changed a lot and are starting differently with the next gen OS."

Can you back that up? I'm not disagreeing, it's just the first time I've heard that. As for the rest of your post, I think you nailed it.

Editions (5, Interesting)

Phroggy (441) | more than 6 years ago | (#22394746)

One thing is certain: the choice to have many editions of Vista differentiated sometimes by key features is causing Microsoft quite a bit of trouble. Had Microsoft enabled or disabled features like Aero Glass based on a machine's capabilities rather than the version of the OS in use, this suit would have likely been avoided.
Interesting. To be sure, Microsoft has faced criticism for its confusing number of editions [microsoft.com]. Here's a quick rundown:

  • Home Basic - cannot join a domain and does not include Media Center; equivalent to XP Home Edition
  • Home Premium - cannot join a domain but does include Media Center; equivalent to XP Media Center Edition
  • Business - can join a domain but does not include Media Center; equivalent to XP Professional Edition
  • Ultimate - can join a domain and includes Media Center; no XP equivalent exists

Home Basic also does not include the Aero Glass UI, tablet PC support, Mobility Center, Meeting Space, SideShow, or Scheduled Backup. In addition to the ability to join a domain, Business and Ultimate include Complete PC Backup and Restore, Fax and Scan, Remote Desktop, and the ability to save your password when connecting to an SMB share. That's right, in Home Basic/Premium, the "save password" checkbox on the authentication dialog is missing (and command-line alternatives are broken). Finally, only Ultimate Edition includes BitLocker drive encryption.

I can understand why they might want to have two editions of the OS: Home and Professional, like they had originally with XP. The networking capabilities of Business/Ultimate really are integrated into the OS and can't be added on by a separate package. Plenty of small business users need these features, but they order new PCs for their employees without realizing which flavor of Windows is included, so they wind up buying an extra copy at retail, which makes Microsoft more money. It's evil, but from a business perspective it makes sense.

However, apart from Media Center, the features of Home Premium over Home Basic are things nobody would ever pay extra for. It makes absolutely no sense to me that Media Center should require its own OS version. Media Center should be a separate product, just as Microsoft Office is a separate product. Advertise PCs that bundle it as having "Windows Vista Home Edition with Media Center" instead of "Windows Vista Home Premium Edition". Let customers who bought PCs without Media Center go buy it, just like customers who bought PCs without Office can go buy it. Media Center is something that a lot of people do see value in and are willing to pay for. Let them do that.

Under promise over deliver. (2, Interesting)

headkase (533448) | more than 6 years ago | (#22394786)

Heres [arstechnica.com] and interesting quote over at Ars Technica:

One thing is certain: the choice to have many editions of Vista differentiated sometimes by key features is causing Microsoft quite a bit of trouble. Had Microsoft enabled or disabled features like Aero Glass based on a machine's capabilities rather than the version of the OS in use, this suit would have likely been avoided.

So basically if they had based a machines capabilities at run-time based on it's hardware they wouldn't have been culpable but because it was done through marketing they may have mislead consumers.

Yes, captain obvious. (1)

headkase (533448) | more than 6 years ago | (#22394824)

Dammit I hate it when I google something I read over the last few days from memory and then see the link in the summary.

"I now have a $2,100 e-mail machine." (1)

blind biker (1066130) | more than 6 years ago | (#22394794)

I love it! I'll present that quote to whoever says "I don't understand all the furore around Vista: I installed it and it runs quite fine". Haha.

oftopic, but...Google down? (-1, Offtopic)

Ralph Spoilsport (673134) | more than 6 years ago | (#22394800)

I'm in Toronto, and Google isn't coming up - anyone else notice that?

RS

Re:oftopic, but...Google down? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22395024)

Not down here. But then I can throw a stone out my window and hit their HQ.

Management Mantra of Marketing Mangled? (1)

Jaazaniah (894694) | more than 6 years ago | (#22394936)

So some product is coming down the pipe. Create the hype, send marketing a check, send the sticker through management commitee, order distributors to slap it on any new machine now carrying Vista while pulling XP, and many complaints later...

What do you mean it takes 10 minutes to open my email?

Seriously, this is a technical industry. MS botched the match up with what technology could do, and sold the equivolent CPU demand of 2 full-render instances of 3D Studio Max on machines barely able to handle 3D flash rendering to people who just want to do email and Yahoo games? Yeah, glad I wasn't the technical advisor on that project.

Hardware (0)

kellyb9 (954229) | more than 6 years ago | (#22394948)

Last time I check, Microsoft doesn't really make hardware. Saying a machine is "Vista Capable" is like saying "Hey, it should run on that hardware". So why aren't there lawsuits against companies like Dell and HP?
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