journal: win

What’s wrong with Windows Vista?

Uploaded Image

That is the question I am posing to you. What is so wrong with Windows Vista that it is considered by CNet UK to be one of the worst tech products ever? If you’ve only used Vista for five minutes at your local Best Buy or something, I don’t think you’re exactly qualified to answer this question. If you have an agenda, you aren’t qualified to answer this question.

I don’t think Vista sucks. I think it is a solid improvement over Windows XP. If I had to buy a PC or use Windows on a regular basis, I would pick Vista over XP in a heartbeat. Does that mean it is flawless? No. Does that mean that there haven’t been issues? Nope; there are issues with every major OS revamp. And there are some rough edges that need a little bit of polish. But it doesn’t suck, and it certainly is not one of the worst tech products in history. You want a miserable failure and a product that is worthy of a worst-product-ever list? Look no further than Microsoft Bob.

And before people start pegging me as a Microsoft apologist, consider this: I am a Mac user. I like my Mac, and I have no plans to switch.

Falling short

Why is Vista perceived to be such a failure? Here are some possibilities:

XP is good enough

Many simply see XP as being “good enough,” and it’s true to a point. I mean, Tiger was good enough for me at the time. So was Leopard. So was System 7 back in the day. Whatever works, I guess. But with each OS update, I find features—both big and small—that get engrained in my workflow and make it hard to go back to an earlier version. Maybe Vista doesn’t have enough of this sort of feature.

Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt

If you think about it, Vista was the target of FUD. Much of it may have been inadvertent, but it was there for quite a while before Vista made its debut earlier this year. Remember when Paul Thurrott said it “had all the makings of a train wreck” back in 2005? How about earlier this year when Chris Pirillo broke up with Windows Vista? These are but a couple writers dissatisfied with Vista, and there are many more. This doesn’t mean everyone is dissatisfied with Vista, mind you. But it does mean that enough people were unhappy with it to get it planted in some people’s minds that Vista is a failure.

shareswitch
Sure, they look happy here. In reality, Apple’s ads may be giving
Vista a black eye. (Image from Share Switch Widget)

The “Get a Mac” ads

Apple, of course, took advantage of Vista’s flaws, and used them as fodder in their very successful Get a Mac ad campaign. Admit it, PC users, even you laugh at some of these. raspberry The campaign has been a hit (just look at Apple’s sales figures since the ads started airing), and I think Apple’s more recent Vista-targeted ads have pushed the “Vista sucks” idea outside of the geek realm and into the minds of average users.

It’s just not big enough

Vista was a substantial upgrade, but wasn’t quite the massive overhaul many users expected. When Microsoft first announced their plans for Vista back in 2003 or so, they set the expectation of something big, with WinFS as one of the cornerstones. The idea behind WinFS is that metadata would eventually be the primary method of organizing files, and not the actual location of the file on the disk (Windows Vista and Mac OS X do this to a limited extent with smart folders/saved searches). This was the biggest feature removed, but there were others (PC Magazine notes a few). This seems to be where the notion some hold that Vista is not a major upgrade comes from.

Version confusion

Windows Vista has way too many editions. I griped about this before. The problem is not as bad as some think it is, as there are only four editions that most consumers will ever see: Home Basic, Home Premium, Business and Ultimate. I think it’s possible to streamline the editions that consumers will see, but it’s not as confusing as people like to make it out to be. Still, the idea is there.

I need more power!

Yup, Windows Vista’s system requirements are a good deal higher than XP’s were. It’s probably safe to say that Vista’s larger appetite for system resources is another big reason why Vista hasn’t quite caught on. But if you’re going to criticize Vista, you may as well criticize Mac OS X Leopard as well, whose system requirements are also a good deal higher than those if its predecessors. Alas, the march of progress. Companies will take advantage of newer technologies at the expense of older machines; that’s just the way it is in the tech world.

Par for the course

Some of these reasons are legitimate reasons to not upgrade to Vista, of course. Nothing that people are complaining about are unique to Vista, though. Let’s take a quick look at Mac OS X. Tiger is enough for a lot of people. Some have criticized Leopard for not being a major update (though I feel differently). Mac OS X doesn’t have version confusion issues, but it has taken some criticism for its increased system requirements. Many operating systems have taken similar criticism. And yet Vista is seen as one of the worst tech products ever by our friends at CNet UK?

The one big piece of the puzzle is how Leopard has been received by the media and by users. By and large, the response to Leopard has been overwhelmingly positive, and I agree that it is a great release by an large. Why the different tone? I’ll leave that to the reader to come up with their own conclusions. I do suspect that the feature cuts and delays wore on people. My guess is that many feel that for all the delays Vista experienced, it should have been drop-dead amazing. Instead, what users got was an upgrade that’s pretty damn good, but doesn’t necessarily drop many jaws.

Vista: it doesn’t suck. It may not knock you over with amazingness, and it has its shortcomings, but it doesn’t suck. Not by a long shot.


« Previous · win journal · Next »

thinkback

1.

Because people like to bitch and it is cool to hate Microsoft.

2.

I’ve just had so many problems with it.  Used it for 2 straight months, then decided to switch back to XP.  And with SP3 coming out, it’ll be a while before I upgrade again.

I don’t think Vista sucks.  I just think it needs more work before I make my switch to it.

3.

@Ryan:
Good point.

4.

Give up on Vista. I switched to Mac and there is no way I’d ever go back.

-Denise

5.

This piece is an attempt to not be targeted by that wacko Windows hacker, isn’t it? wink

People are switching back to XP because Vista doesn’t suck and XP is all that. Cough.

6.

This piece is an attempt to not be targeted by that wacko Windows hacker, isn’t it? wink

The wacko Windows hacker turned out to be a hoax. wink Besides, aside from RickTempest, I don’t think anyone has ever really seen us as a fanboi site.

People are switching back to XP because Vista doesn’t suck and XP is all that. Cough.

There are also people switching back to Tiger from Leopard. In either case, however, nobody knows how widespread or isolated these “switchbacks” are.

7.

Besides, aside from RickTempest, I don’t think anyone has ever really seen us as a fanboi site.

Well, this site is quick to publish criticisms of Apple by anyone (including me and several from UnDunn) but is also quick to say, “Yeah, but...” when someone wants to criticize Microsoft or Windows. This article is a great example of it.

So I don’t have a clue how anyone would think this is an Apple fan boy site.

There are also people switching back to Tiger from Leopard

Who? Christopher Breen? Mac versions of Pirillo, Dvorak, Louderback?

Ten months after its release?

Nick, it’s very nice of you to use the equivalency argument - neither of them is better, yada yada yada. You guys really should have learned from the latest owners of xvsxp and realize that the fastest way to kill off your traffic is to say “They are both equal.” Meanwhile, you have an article about malware sites rigging Google so you can’t even use Google now if you don’t want to get infected by clicking on a URL.

OK, fine. Tell us why you use Leopard instead of a Vista PC and make sure you sprinkle it with a lot of “in my opinion” and “this is my preference, but maybe not someone else’s” so you don’t offend any Windows users. wink

8.

Nick, it’s very nice of you to use the equivalency argument - neither of them is better, yada yada yada. You guys really should have learned from the latest owners of xvsxp and realize that the fastest way to kill off your traffic is to say “They are both equal.”

You are mistaken. Without external sites linking to us, we have no traffic to begin with.

Well, this site is quick to publish criticisms of Apple by anyone (including me and several from UnDunn) but is also quick to say, “Yeah, but...” when someone wants to criticize Microsoft or Windows. This article is a great example of it.

Read through the archives. You’ll find plenty of MS criticism. And lots of Apple love to go along with the Apple criticism.

9.

I believe you mean “Wacko Mac hacker.”

Ten months after its release?

Leopard to Tiger, not Vista to XP.  One month.

10.

Leopard to Tiger, not Vista to XP.  One month.

You? OK.

You guys can play the equivalency argument on the switching back to the previous OS when the editor of MacWorld switches back to Tiger...or Linux...ten months after Leopard shipped.

I’ll say this, both Apple and Microsoft are equivalent in regards to shipping beta software and having us be the guinea pigs. Apple’s software quality has gone down hill. While I personally have no problems with 10.5.1 and find many of the new features to be features I can’t live without, FCS 2 has given me fits and it’s a shame.

But we already have the 10.5.1 update that fixed a slew of bugs. Let’s see where we are ten months from when Leopard shipped.

11.

Let’s see where we are ten months from when Leopard shipped.

Fair enough.

Hey, Mac Fan, if you’re up to it and if you have the time, feel free to write a rebuttal and I’ll post it.

12.

OK, I’ll have a review of Vista with screenshots in a couple of weeks.

13.

You guys can play the equivalency argument on the switching back to the previous OS when the editor of MacWorld switches back to Tiger...or Linux...ten months after Leopard shipped

You don’t get the same points for coolness for dissing Leopard that you get for dissing Microsoft. 
Lets see how well Leopard runs on Louderback’s machine vs Vista.

----

I agree with the article but somethings are a little off:

1. The notion that XP is “good enough” stems from the massive amount of free to low-cost additions to XP that have been developing since 2001.  You can mirror or suppass many of Vista’s OOB features (and those of the Mac too) by simply downloading Google Pack, Windows Live software, some Stardock stuff, and a few other MS sponsored downloads like VPC.  On top of that Microsoft has backported a ton of stuff too.

There’s not much that Leopard or Vista can do that XP can’t do with some free or almost-free additions.  Microsoft did a fantastic job of fostering this huge market for this kind of software and it prevented people from moving to Linux and the Mac in large numbers.  Unfortunately for MS it also prevented driver manufacters and some users from wanting to jump to the new platform blindly.

2a. “It’s not big enough” is just a crock.  95% of the people bitching about the loss of WinFS can’t even tell you what it actually was/is.  For instance, the file browsing method you mention is a function of the file browser not the underlying storage system.  Case in point, that browsing method existed in Longhorn/Vista beta 1, long after WinFS was gone, but was pushed to the background (not removed though) because it was too much of a departure for most users.

Shell Blog: Query Composition: Building a search upon another search

2b.  The PC Mag piece shows exactly why that mag is such a horrible POS.  The second feature on the list is PowerShell which actually shipped BEFORE Vista and works also Windows XP and Windows Sever 2003.  The third feature is Palladium, which they absolutely hated.  They created numerous articles about how it was going to cut into “Fair Use” rights, be integrated into all future BIOS so one can’t boot Linux, restrict you to MS-approved software and media, and all sorts of other crap.  Seriously Google “PC Magazine” or any other publication (Slashdot is always fun) and “Palladium”.
If they hated it so much then why are they bitching about it not being there?  The fourth feature is boolean searches which is ridulous to say were cut since it never was.

3.  The first link to the UK version of Cnet is garbage too.  There may be some legitamate complaints against Vista but that article doesn’t have any.  First, every version of Windows, since at least Windows 98, has shipped with downgrade rights.  That includes Windows 2000, XP, and Windows Server 2003.  Even Microsoft Office shipps with downgrade rights.  Kinda ridiculous to try to paint that as proof of Vista’s poor quality.
Second, the Dell thing about them reintroducing XP is stupid.  They sold Windows 2000 until the day they lost their license to do so at the end of 2003.  They sold Windows 98SE machines until shortly before that.  They still sell Red Hat 4 and will probably do so for quite some time.  That’s not any kind of indication of Vista’s quality.

Dell never stopped offering XP.  The point about pre-loading Linux being the most reqested feature (10x more votes than for bringing back XP) should tell you something about the types of users that post to the Dell IdeaStorm.

Third, the idea of using Vista’ minimum requirements as “hardware incompatibilites” is laughable.  The min specs are 800mhz and 1ghz processors shipped from AMD 7.5 years ago. The average PC purchase moved up to 512mb’s of ram back in 2002 and to 1GB in 2004.
Quad Core PC’s go for around $700 now.  Even when Vista shipped last year dual core machines were available under $1000.  A gig of ram goes for $40 now.

Fourth, the “abusive use of hated DRM,” links to a weak MJF article primarily about the Zune not working with non-Zune music stores (it actually does but that’s only apparent to people who’ve actually used the device) and working with Vista on November 15 when the business release of Vista wasn’t until Novemeber 30th and the consumer release wasn’t until Jan 30th.
We’re talking about stuff from at least a year before the article was written.  That’s weak reporting at best.

14.

OK, I’ll have a review of Vista with screenshots in a couple of weeks.

Why the review now?  It’s been out for a year.

15.

By and large, the response to Leopard has been overwhelmingly positive, and I agree that it is a great release by an large.

From what I’ve seen, the majority of the “overwhelmingly positve” reviews were from people who had barely used it and were simply describing its feature set. The “day-to-day use” reviews don’t typically read like Apple marketing materials and tend to mention many more issues and problems.  In fact, a lot of them are just as negative as the “day-to-day” Vista reviews from notable sources.

16.

You don’t get the same points for coolness for dissing Leopard that you get for dissing Microsoft.

Why?

Why the review now?  It’s been out for a year.

So?

17.

Okay, I’m going to stop you guys right there.  Kuaidang, Mac Fan, if you two want to have a pissing contest, take it into the forums, go to another website, do it by email, whatever… just do it SOMEWHERE ELSE.  I don’t want to see yet another comment thread on this site devolve into you two bragging about whose penis is bigger, and any comments along these lines from either of you after this post WILL be deleted.

18.

[Enough.  Take it to the forums. -Ed]

19.

[Enough.  Take it to the forums. -Ed]

20.

It seems that some people has missed the point about Vista. 

XP wasn’t an easy transition from Windows 2000 for the same reasons, the hardware at the time just barely ran it (500mhz CPU etc), hard disks were too minimal (10GB-30GB).
But the strategy paid off, CPUs became faster, HDs bigger and XP served its purpose for the next 6-7 years.  That’s remarkable for an operating system unlike OSX and other linux distributions that required several versions (forgivable in Linux case).

Vista is simply using the same strategy.  It works perfectly on a 2.0GHz system with 2GB of RAM, in a years time systems would have gotten faster and bigger.  Vista, like XP would simply become the platform to develop life on.  That’s exactly all I want from an OS of which I only want to pay once and continue using some of my older software.

Personally, I’ve installed Vista on serveral computers including my own 1.4Ghz notebook and it runs fairly well.  It is far easier to use for new users and more powerful for regular users.  It also looks better.  The story has been the same for 2000->XP.

Vista is a worthwhile upgrade for anyone buying new systems in the next 3-4 years as it was designed for.

21.

XP wasn’t an easy transition from Windows 2000 for the same reasons, the hardware at the time just barely ran it (500mhz CPU etc), hard disks were too minimal (10GB-30GB).

AMD hit 1ghz in Feb/March of 2000.  By October 25th of 2001 (XP’s launch) that was about standard in all new PC’s.  According to the Cnet on the wayback machine, $1000 bought you a nice Athlon 1.2Ghz machine with monitor.  P4’s were also up to 2ghz too.

XP also takes up very little space on the hard drive (comparably) so it runs on a 20GB HD no prob.  It is a massive ram hog compared to Windows 98 and anything less than 512mb’s is not my personal recommendation.  Other than the ram issue it ran fine on PC’s of the time.

Vista is simply using the same strategy.  It works perfectly on a 2.0GHz system with 2GB of RAM, in a years time systems would have gotten faster and bigger

Vista even more so was built for the future.  It shipped with DX10 which didn’t work with any card at the time.  Superfetch LOVES RAM and works better the more you have.  IMO it doesn’t even really begin to fly until you get 2GB’s or more.  Once you do everything launches with ridiculous speed (moreso than any other OS I’ve seen).
At my job we have a test computer with a readydrive-enabled HD and it boots in about 15 seconds if not less.

22.

I know what you’re saying but when XP came out 500mhz was probably the fastest computer we had at the time. I got it working on 333Mhz computers no problem but yeah how times has changed.

One thing I can’t understand about dtgeeks and xvsxp is why are there no real reviews of Vista and why are there so many complaints about it?

Some tech forums are on new stuff months before we consumers get to play with them.

23.

One thing I can’t understand about dtgeeks and xvsxp is why are there no real reviews of Vista and why are there so many complaints about it?

Because it’s popular to complain about it.  This is also a site mostly focused on Mac-based computing and therefore no real reviews of Vista.  Would you really want to read a Vista review from one of the Mac guys here anyway?

24.

Tracked: barkerphoto.com/dragoncityhack.html

Deep Thought: Whats wrong with Windows Vista?

Tracked on: barkerphoto.com/dragoncityhack.html at 17-Jan-14 19:30 PM

Page 1 of 1 pages

respond

Have an account? Log in to leave your comments!

Commenting is not available in this weblog entry.