Vista - Microsoft's Prescott?

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SUMMARY: Vista – a 50/50 proposition.

Many readers remember when Prescott came out – basically Intel hit the wall with Prescott, with cooling issues severe enough to render this CPU as a problem. Fast forward and now we see CPUs where raw speed is not the paramount issue and cooling is not as severe a challenge as with Preshott – a decided marketing shift from the horsepower race.

I think it’s fair to ask if Microsoft has in fact hit the wall with Vista – an operating system that has garnered decidedly mixed reviews with users. There are a number of factors cited:

  • The need for LOTS of RAM
  • UAC (User Account Control)
  • Lack of driver support (improving over time)
  • Problems with legacy devices
  • Cost of hardware upgrades to make Vista run well
  • Minimal performance difference between Vista and XP

I read through all the emails and tallied the following results:

Vista Worth It?

47% Yes

44% No

9% Maybe

Not what I would call an overwhelming endorsement! And maybe not unexpected – I remember resistance to XP when it first came out. Overall consumers get used to their OS and changing it it not all that pleasant, and more so when the perceived benefits are not apparent.

Andrew, a computer tech at a software company, wrote:

“The biggest problem I find is that common users HATE Vista. 80% of the people I talk to wish they had never gotten it or had a choice between XP and Vista. They cannot get the things they want done and knew how to do with XP.”

Areas that received a number of mentions as negatives were the lack of driver support for legacy devices, the need for LOTS of memory to make it truly functional and UAC (User Account Control) as the single most annoying aspect of using Vista. As James wrote:

“Vista has the impression of being a much cleaner OS, once the horrible User Account Control (UAC) is turned off. UAC requires a confirmation literally every time you click something. Even with it turned off, there are a lot of confirmation windows in Vista.”

And as Ed wrote:

“Another thing I find annoying is the pop-up warnings you get whenever a program tries to run. MS needs to update the OS so you can give a program permission to run without the warning, similar to popular Zone Alarm firewall.”

Many user’s reacted to UAC with this fix – turn it off, which defeats its purpose. While I’m all for security of this kind, in my book it also speaks to the vulnerability of Windows OS’s.

Ed Bott’s article “What triggers User Account Control prompts?” lists actions that lead to this prompt:

“The types of actions that require elevation to administrator status (and therefore display a UAC elevation prompt) include those that make changes to system-wide settings or to files in %SystemRoot% or %ProgramFiles%. Among the actions that require elevation:

  • Installing and uninstalling applications
  • Installing device drivers
  • Installing ActiveX controls
  • Installing Windows Updates
  • Changing settings for Windows Firewall
  • Changing UAC settings
  • Configuring Windows Update
  • Adding or removing user accounts
  • Changing a user’s account type
  • Configuring Parental Controls
  • Running Task Scheduler
  • Restoring backed-up system files
  • Viewing or changing another user’s folders and files”

There are a number of interesting reader comments with this article that are worth reading on this issue.

A number of other areas were cited are problem areas – Henning’s list is representative:

  1. “There is still serious performance issues re. file handling, anyone can try this for themselves
  2. Very poor Internet browsing performance
  3. Driver issues – yes, it has improved quite a bit during the past 7 months, but not enough
  4. Huge network configuration challenges, AND some serious compatibility issues
  5. Unworkable user experience (UAC) – causing serious loss of productivity
  6. Very high computer hardware requirements, while STILL losing performance”

Chris added this note:

“Oh yeah, do not under ANY circumstances attempt to use a Logitech webcam with Vista. Their drivers will destroy Vista if you are user switching often like my wife and I do.”

Charles’ experience:

“Vista didn’t truly shine until I got my new work laptop. Vista runs much better with a true dual-core system and a lot of memory. This system has also been pretty stable except for a few bugs here and there (conflicts with Microsoft Groove and Dreamweaver CS2).

But all in all, Vista has performed better on my work laptop than Windows XP ever did.”

Eric summed up the hardware issue:

“I must say that you need a pretty powerful computer to have the best experience possible because an ultra low-end PC will make Vista buggy and slow as hell.”

Now having listed all of these concerns, don’t forget that about half the respondents were happy with Vista – some even ecstatic! On the positive side, users who installed Vista did find it easy and faster than XP.

Allan noted this positive aspect:

“I also have really liked the performance enhancement “Superfetch” provides. I first noticed it playing STALKER, because I started playing on XP, later I switched to Vista. After playing most every day for about a week, my load times dropped dramatically. Instead of waiting 3-4 minutes for the game to load, it went down to about 30 seconds.

Superfetch really spreads its wings with 4 GB too! Most reviews I’ve read say that 2 GB is the sweat spot, but I’ve found 4 GB is much better if you use lots of different applications all the time, because it can load so much more in advance. I’d really like to upgrade to 8 GB, but I’ve seen loads of posts describing disappointment over an 8 GB upgrade.”

Brandon’s take:

“The biggest improvement of Vista over XP though in my opinion is stability. So I’m a little confused when I see people talking about not wanting to upgrade because they’re worried about stability, or not wanting to upgraded until SP1 comes out to fix everything. Let me just say, using the Hibernation mode at night, I have had Vista running for weeks at a time without rebooting. In my experience, I have never been able to say that about XP. The only time I’ve had to reboot is for the automatic updates to install, or when some application requires it.

I have not once had Vista itself crash, or experience a “Blue Screen of Death” or Black screen or whatever; except when I was trying to do some major overclocking and the memory dumped or something. Of course I’ve had program crashes, but not nearly as often as I would in XP. Primarily just game crashes. And from what I can tell, it seems those were only due to slight overclocking as well.

I honestly think the only stability problems I’ve had are due to the processor. The awesome thing, is that when a program does freeze up, Windows itself keeps steaming ahead. You can easily get back to the desktop, or close the program without Windows itself locking up. I have not once had to do a hard shut-down of the computer.

As you can tell, I absolutely love Vista. Like I said, it takes some time to discover all the ins and outs of it. But there are just tons of little things about it that are too numerous to mention that really make it a much smoother and enjoyable experience than I’ve ever had on a computer.”

And as Ed wrote:

“While I considered XP Pro to be a solid, reliable OS, Vista Ultimate 64-bit has it beat hands down. The Vista OS has not crashed once…not once in the two weeks I had it. I am sure my hardware has a lot to do with it, but Vista is fast. REALLY fast. I am very much looking forward to tweaking this beast, but purely for the educational experience, not because I have to.

One of the advantages of Vista 64-bit is that I understand all drivers must be digitally signed by Microsoft before they will work. Hehe. No more lousy, half-baked software folks! Drivers will work on this OS. Of course the down side is if you do not have signed 64-bit drivers, you will not run in 64-bit mode. But I expect it is coming. I cannot believe I am the only person out here that appreciates this fine OS (did I just say that? Yikes! I sound like an MS homer).”

As to the “look and feel”, James wrote:

“The Aero GUI is impressive and futuristic. With Aero windows are semi-transparent, the taskbar shows previews for windows, and you can get a 3D view of windows when switching tasks.”

And as Lee noted:

“I’m not sure that Vista is a better operating system than the setup I had with Windows 2000 Pro, but it is stunning visually. Of course, those stunning visual effects come at the price of increased memory requirements.”

Whether this is just eye-candy or a significant GUI improvement is something each will determine.

Paul’s summary is notable for its balanced Vista view:

“I recently built a Q6600 quad-core machine with 2 x 1 GB of DDR2-1066 memory and a passively-cooled (DX10) 8600GT. Because I had received a free copy of Vista Ultimate as part of the Windows Feedback Panel, I installed it and gave it a go. My primary uses for this machine include writing, compiling, and running C++ code for cancer simulations, writing research papers and grant proposals, and occasional gaming. Here are my general impressions:

1) Aero and Look/Feel: The look and feel is very pleasant. Aero isn’t by any means necessary, but then again, I suppose nothing above fvwm2 is really necessary in terms of gui. Overall, though, it’s quite pleasant, and the color scheme is generally classier than WinXP.

1a) Windows sidebar: The sidebar has great potential, but there aren’t a lot of great add-ons yet. However, the built-in RSS feed is kind of nice (but not very configurable), and there is a great add-on you can find that lets you view the utilization of all 4 cores (besides using taskmgr).

1b) Missing the WinXP powertoys: I miss the WinXP powertoys, particularly the right-click->open command prompt here toy. However, it turns out that it’s hidden in Vista: hold down , then right-click a folder, and the option is there. The slideshow powertoy is pretty much built-in to the image previewer. It’s too bad that these things are hidden away.

1c) Start menu: The start menu takes some getting used to, but its organization is greatly improved. In particular, no more situations where there are 3 columns of programs. (It scrolls instead.) It’s also nice that you can right-click the recent items folder to empty it.

1d) Grouping in the task bar: Not as good as WinXP. In WinXP, if you opn up many instances of mspaint, for instance, it groups them in a single tab / button on the task bar. Some programs don’t seem to fit that mold in Vista.

2) Memory: I first tried 32-bit Vista in a virtual machine in WinXP. With 512 MB of (virtual) memory, it was sluggish. With 1 GB, it worked pretty well so long as Aero was turned off (again, in the virutal machine, which emulates a very low-end graphics card). On my actual build, 2 GB is generally more than adequate. I only experience problems if I’m running WinXP, 32-bit Vista Ultimate, and Ubuntu Linux in 3 simultaneous virtual machines. On a nice, modern machine, it’s very responsive, although I find myself wondering how much more impressive my machine would be if running 64-bit WinXP Pro or just Ubuntu.

3) UAC: The user account control is irritating, but not as much so as it’s made out to be. Generally, I think it’s a good thing for the general user base that they are prompted when software or drivers are being installed. However, I find one feature to be glaringly missing: whitelisting. For example, my Gigabyte motherboard has an overclocking / fan control utility that starts with Windows. However, UAC doesn’t have a classification for it, so it prompts at every boot; there’s no way to manually whitelist it for all future boots.

4) Software compatibility (part 1): Compatibility so far has been pretty good for me. MS Office 2003, my compiler (mingw), my LaTeX distro (MikTeX), my favorite text editor (notepad++), and Matlab all work just fine. I have had some video codec issues, however. For instance, the old Indeo 3.2 codecs are no longer included in Windows by default, which can lead to issues when reading old AVI files (particularly some of those compressed with Matlab). Also, the 64-bit version of VirtualDub doesn’t seem to find all the codecs on my system, particularly xvid. There seem to be differences between 32-bit and 64-bit codecs, and not all software can use both?

5) Software compatibility (part 2): Some poorly-written software that depends too heavily upon ActiveX and other MS components no longer work. For instance, the University of Texas Health Science Center’s VPN software relies upon a horrible ActiveX plugin for Internet Explorer, and it isn’t compatible with Vista. Fortunately, MS VirtualPC 2007 (a free download) works quite well, and I can access the VPN through WinXP Pro SP2 on a virtual machine. Copying and Pasting is pretty much seamless, so no big deal. In a sense, it’s a good idea, anyway: then, only research traffic goes through the VPN, and my personal traffic goes through my regular connection.

6) Hardware compatibility: I did see some motherboard (GA P35-DS3R)-related quirks, particularly with my Samsung IDE DVD writer. Until I tweaked my CMOS settings, Gigabyte’s RAID software made Windows think my drive was a SCSI, read-only DVD drive, rather than a writer. Another hardware oddity is that the Print Server utility that ships with the Linksys WPS54G print server doesn’t run correctly; to access the network printer, you instead need to manually add a TCP/IP port. I’m not looking forward to manually changing the port if my router’s DHCP server changes the print server’s IP address.

Overall, Vista is a pretty good piece of software with a nice look/feel, and has good functionality.

Is it worth an upgrade? I’m not really sure.

On my old WinXP box, hibernate never worked for me when I had >1 GB of memory. At least Vista handles that well. On the other hand, it doesn’t feel like a large enough improvement over XP to justify spending very much on it. I’d recommend going about it the way most people probably are:

Keep using WinXP until you buy a new computer, which will probably have Vista. If you get a choice between Vista and 64-bit XP, I’m not so sure. I suppose going with XP is a safer bet in this case, although freely-available virtual machine software helps to mitigate any software compatibility-associated risks.”

Allen’s eloquent take reflects a bit on what seems to be the Jekyl and Hyde nature of Vista experiences:

I bought a new machine, a machine which would most astutely be compared
to wild horses crossed with rabid pit-bulls and fancy blue lights. And
seeing as this machine simply destroyed the recommended specs for Vista,
I thought “What the hell”.

I have so say, I like Vista, it’s shiny and
smooth like a really high end skipping stone, it flows, it’s as close to
OS as I have ever seen from Microsoft and it genuinely impressed me
right from the get go.

That said, machine A is a race car on the
freeway, a lesser machine I own “machine B”, which is more of a pick up
truck than a race car, is just being killed by Vista, absolutely killed.
Basic tasks can seem like an exercise in futility, waiting what feels
like days for simple tasks to take place! Seeing a machine crippled in
ways that I once thought was only possible with Norton Anti Virus was
upsetting. So that machine is back to XP, yet there is another catch,
Machine A is my backup machine for processing my photography, when the
Mac is busy with a heavy print job or my wife (apparently this hierarchy
was established in my absence or while I slept, unaware), I quite like
doing the work in Vista, again: it flows, it’s comfortable.

Then you try to print…

What was a wondrous experience quickly becomes a foray into the very
bowels of hell, the hell of ergonomic and systemic failure, the sort of
wretched hell reserved for the guy who invented the flying mouse and his
shameful cohorts.

Borderless printing on a new damned HP is simply non-functional and the alchemical processes and incantations required to
make such a monstrous thing as a borderless print happen are akin to the
summoning of demons. With the minions of hell that would boil from your
printer replaced by foul, ill-fit, off center and oddly angled prints
with poor colour gamut and saturation.

There are seals at Marineland
that have jumped through fewer hoops in their lives than Vista’s print
architecture can make a grown man jump through in a two hour span. This
one flaw forced me to partition machine A and install XP on part of the
hard disk. I loath XP – it’s ugly and clunky; functionally I imagine it
as being similar to operating a Wheat Thresher, it will do the job and
do it well, what with it’s thousands of gears and levers, but eventually
it will cost you limbs and precious child labourers should it ever need
cleaning; and cleaning it shall need!

If you intend to purchase Vista, be very sure that your system is of the
top tier of computing, a nerd cannot be forced to settle for this
“waiting” for things to happen, and if you are into the graphic arts…

Buy a Mac”

Ethan’s summary is somewhat typical of the positive comments:

“Yes, it was worth it. It works better/faster than XP and it is more stable.”

Conclusions

Chris summarized things neatly:

“Basically to me it shakes out like this:

  • If you are in the situation of purchasing an OS or new computer, there is no reason to buy XP

  • If you are already on XP and don’t need a new computer, there is no reason to buy Vista”

Based on readers’ Vista experiences, that sounds like good advice. As always, caveat emptor.


And the prize winner is… Brandon, chosen at random among those submitted. Brandon will receive Kingwin’s Z1-35EU-BK SATA HD Enclosure. Thanks to all who took the time to respond!

Email Joe

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Discussion
  1. I would like to mention that it shouldn't take a major hardware upgrade to make an OS run good. Since fully switching to Linux in 2002 (I think it was a late 2.2 or early 2.4 Kernel) on the same hardware I was using up until this year, I went from distro to distro and upgraded immediately to the 2.6 Kernel, I saw little difference in the speed of the computer, maybe a bit faster but nothing big. Then I bought my new computer his year and was expecting some great speed boost, but frankly I didn't see much other than Beryl/Compiz-Fusion run faster, and I'm betting it was from my GPU upgrade (and an ever evolving Nvidia driver). I'm not saying I think my computer runs slow, I'm saying for day to day tasks my OS runs as fast as it did on my old hardware, which wasn't very slow at all. Obviously games, F@H, encoding Oggs, etc run much faster, but that is where you should see speed improvements. Only software that needs the power should get it, the OS should only manage the power not use it up.

    I'm not saying Linux is perfect, but what the hell is Microsoft doing with their OS? Why is it in the state it is right now? Linux has parts that get bloated, and parts that get leaner, but it has kept a pretty consistent foot print.
    UnrealAlex
    The inevitable...

    "But Vista has DX10!"


    I was waiting for someone to say that. :D

    I installed crysis on Vistax64 and my XP home x86 OS's (dual booted). I played both on Very high (in XP by using a modded cfg file), and XP ran a LOT smoother and look just as good (well better actually because it was smoother). Thank god i didn't pay for vista (and no i didn't steal it either, trial install), otherwise i would have been very annoyed.

    DX9 all the way!
    petteyg359
    Haven't seen this refuted yet, so here I go. Unused RAM is wasted. If it's not used, then you don't need it. Vista has vastly IMPROVED RAM usage over XP. If you have 4GB RAM in Linux, you'll notice that it is filled within a short time of using your system. This is because Linux has an rather aggressive (which is good) prefetch system. If you load an app, it is likely already in RAM, and doesn't have to be copied from the disk as it was already copied earlier when you were doing something else. XP was never very good at this, Vista is far better, though still nowhere near as good as Linux :) Having your RAM full is a Good Thing. It means your OS has a good prefetch system. Unless of course you're crashing all the time in which case some app you're using has a serious leak (which is in my experience not the case with Vista). And I'm not saying this because I like Vista. I detest it, but it's the only 64-bit Windows that works well.


    The appearance of high RAM usage with most Linux kernels has little to do with "prefetching " and more to do with a misreading of the output of the "ps" command:

    http://virtualthreads.blogspot.com/2006/02/understanding-memory-usage-on-linux.html
    DocClock aka MadClocker
    but unless it starts crashing like winME does, I think it will be won over by the vast majority...and if Vista eventualy runs as stable and fast as w2k or XP, then I will also take the plunge, as I like both of the former OS'es.

    I actualy had ME running stable....till I tried to use it! :)


    My only personal experience among the many installs, maintaining, diagnosis (extends to about 50 different machines/builds during beta, RC and release) of Vista causing issues was me trying to install a soundcard driver twice, at the same time. Start plunging, most faults that I have experienced is bad programming/planning on the side of other software companies than Microsoft, simply awful drivers (I've re-written a few for Vista... nothing difficult though), people trying to run Vista on a 486DX or broken/breaking hardware. Actually, reading through that it's not most faults, it's nearly all faults!
    Someday I will probably upgrade to vista (when it matures)..sometimes computer slowdowns are due to spyware.. and the temp internet folder filling up.

    If you watch a lot of vids on the web, there are sure to be a java app or 2 hiding in the background refusing to close...I just built my new comp and I will be going to winxp, ONLY because I noticed that W2K only reckognises 2 cores (q6600) where even XP home ed shows all four cores in the systom info utility.

    I have run W2K since its inception, and except for a long waiting period for ATI to get some drivers out for my then top o' the line all in wonder card, it has been bullett proof.

    If I had a crash, I don't remember it..but I always made sure to have the latest service packs and hotfixes installed...and I always kept my antivirus and spyware software up to date, and clean the spyware daily.

    I have been running XP home and prof, and I have never seen a crash on them either, and I have to say that for all the improvements they have done over the years since "windows 286" I still like that the more it has changed (gui) the more it has stayed the same....some of the things introduced that you could do in windows 286 you can do in Vista

    Vista will have it's teething pains, but unless it starts crashing like winME does, I think it will be won over by the vast majority...and if Vista eventualy runs as stable and fast as w2k or XP, then I will also take the plunge, as I like both of the former OS'es.

    I actualy had ME running stable....till I tried to use it! :)
    I have Vista because I got it Vista Ultimate for $34 from School (See it pays to go back to school as an adult, ie >30yo). It's not installed. The wife is running W2K Professional. No need to update hers. I have Win XP (and like 5 more copies due to returning to school). I am running the 32bit XP but I am going to reformat and go to 64 bit version (have 3 copies) this weekend. I just need to move all my critical data to the file server. I will INSTALL Vista after SP1 is released and I have a machine with more than 4 GB of ram.
    petteyg359
    Haven't seen this refuted yet, so here I go. Unused RAM is wasted. If it's not used, then you don't need it. Vista has vastly IMPROVED RAM usage over XP. If you have 4GB RAM in Linux, you'll notice that it is filled within a short time of using your system. This is because Linux has an rather aggressive (which is good) prefetch system. If you load an app, it is likely already in RAM, and doesn't have to be copied from the disk as it was already copied earlier when you were doing something else. XP was never very good at this, Vista is far better, though still nowhere near as good as Linux :) Having your RAM full is a Good Thing. It means your OS has a good prefetch system. Unless of course you're crashing all the time in which case some app you're using has a serious leak (which is in my experience not the case with Vista). And I'm not saying this because I like Vista. I detest it, but it's the only 64-bit Windows that works well.


    While I agree with most of this and that being said, Vista as an OS still has a much larger memory footprint than any other OS, not including what is cached. Even Win98 has a larger memory footprint than Linux with fluxbox.
    Just to chime in with an opinion here: None of us will have a choice other than to support Microsoft's every move in the OS market. Why? Because OEMs and businesses have knelt at the altar of the MS consumer OS monopoly for so long that they company has a stranglehold on IT departments and OEM decision makers.

    Two words: Planned obsolescence. When MS stops supporting XP, businesses will move, and with no viable desktop alternative, consumers will do the same.

    Unfortunately, success in the PC market is only very loosely tied, if at all, to the quality of a particular product.
    Bad Maniac
    Vista hogs RAM for no reason, and releaseing ram first THEN letting an app or game allocate it takes much longer than simply allocating free available RAM. Having free ram isn't a waste, it's a way to increas loading speeds and memory allocation speeds. The RAM hogging improving performance is quite obviously a PR stunt and a lie since Vista is slower than XP at virtually any task. Don't ask me to link you to every online review and magazine article on Vista performance to prove it, please.


    Haven't seen this refuted yet, so here I go. Unused RAM is wasted. If it's not used, then you don't need it. Vista has vastly IMPROVED RAM usage over XP. If you have 4GB RAM in Linux, you'll notice that it is filled within a short time of using your system. This is because Linux has an rather aggressive (which is good) prefetch system. If you load an app, it is likely already in RAM, and doesn't have to be copied from the disk as it was already copied earlier when you were doing something else. XP was never very good at this, Vista is far better, though still nowhere near as good as Linux :) Having your RAM full is a Good Thing. It means your OS has a good prefetch system. Unless of course you're crashing all the time in which case some app you're using has a serious leak (which is in my experience not the case with Vista). And I'm not saying this because I like Vista. I detest it, but it's the only 64-bit Windows that works well.
    Eh, ive had XP, ive had vista. Vista seems to run smoother. People complain about the memory usage in Vista, frankly, its actually using my memory to help it run smoother. I have had fewer problems with vista than XP, as well as my system seems to run much smoother.
    rainless
    ..But the bigger scope is that some of Vista's "improvements" don't actually work yet. (I detailed more of those problems in a second article that will, unfortunately, never see the light of day.)
    Unless you already wrote it on exclusive contract, why not post a succinct version here at OCForums or the overclockers.com articles page?
    petteyg359
    No, what the OS does is called memory management. The leaks are the application. And I have yet to see my XP ever not release resources from a terminated process.


    But unfortunately, Windows XP has an annoying bug, it sometimes won't release a file handle until you reboot!

    Windows XP sometimes prohibits you from deleting a non-system file until you reboot.
    Having no native drivers for my motherboard in Vista made me hold off for now. When I have a system that has native Vista drivers, then I might take the plunge. From what I have seen though, XP may indeed be better for most things since it has some "depreciated technologies" that some older programs and games use such as IPX support. In addition, it just runs faster on older hardware.

    What Vista brings to the table (that I saw during the Beta phases) is small improvements that are kinda nice for geeks but don't have much punch for normal folks. It was kinda nice seeing that I can change partition sizes inside Vista and do dual booting without much difficulties. However, while some things improved... other things got worse. I miss having a classic login interface (which is more secure since they need to know both a username and password to attempt logging in). Furthermore, the mixed up interface takes time to get used to and I'm not sure if the newer user interface was an improvement or a setback. Eitherways, folks are stuck with the new interface in Vista (referring to the placement of various items in Vista and how things work... not just Aero).

    Windows XP had to stand on its' own for so long and has received many updates to keep current and competitive. Vista is suffering from XP's success and from its' own immaturity. Vista will be successful because it will be the latest and only sold OS from Microsoft. Hopefully, it will also be successful because more wonderful things will come from the platform that Vista provides. It just takes time for anything to be built off of it.

    I'm not sure if Microsoft will "pull an ME" and quickly shove out another whole Windows edition that is "Vista Finished". I think that if Microsoft takes good care of Vista that we will eventually like the OS... once our hardware catches up.

    I will say this though... due to the activation concerns (introduced and strengthened in XP), hardware concerns, program support concerns, and other growing pains... Vista has been a rather hard OS for people to upgrade to. I admit I don't have an encyclopedic knowledge, but people were less resistant to upgrade to another OS and more likely to "test the waters" than they are with Vista. Due to all of the before mentioned concerns, folks want to stay with XP because it works and because upgrading has so many unknowns anymore.

    For me, I would upgrade to Vista to "try it out" however I am worried that the activation monsters will get angry when I decide to buy new hardware to support Vista. I'm not certain if an academic upgrade copy will allow me to get another motherboard. I'm not sure if the Microsoft technical support folks will interrogate me for several hours about why I decided to upgrade. I'm not sure I even want to mess with it... I will just wait until I have my ultimate dream machine for Vista... which means that I will most likely have an XP box and a Vista box. Where I was a person to just get the next OS, upgrade and darn the consequences... I now worry about my copy not working well thus requiring an upgrade and then being made worthless by activation concerns. Things were just much easier in the past I suppose...

    At least XP works pretty darn fine as is. When I have all my ducks in order perhaps I will be in the Vista world too...
    I wrote an article about Vista for Tom's Hardware (http://www.smallnetbuilder.com/content/view/30163/89/)

    I don't really have a problem with it in terms of stability or anything like that. (Runs smoothly and has yet to crash on me.) And it's not really fair to make assumptions on the final product based on the beta. A lot of those things were fixed. (Compact TCP, which was giving your average user some problems copying files and connecting to the Internet, was eventually disabled by default in Vista.)

    But the bigger scope is that some of Vista's "improvements" don't actually work yet. (I detailed more of those problems in a second article that will, unfortunately, never see the light of day.)

    Networking between a Vista and XP machine is weird to say the least. But things like vista prompting you to approve everything can simply be turned off.
    Neur0mancer
    There are about 100 beneficial improvements to Vista over Xp...


    Such as lol? Apart from DX10? Just give me 5 reasons why I should switch from XP to Vista, excluding DX10.

    It's not about being a Vista hater; It's about being convinced to switch. Everything leading up to this point has made me anything but convinced to switch.

    I tried Vista on a friend's laptop, and I found it to be cumbersome, cluttered, unecessary. Sure it looks cooler and has that cool alt tabbing feature, but I don't use my computer to marvel at the OS.
    Neur0mancer
    Not reading the thread.. im sure its a lot of Vista haters... for some reason... geeks by and large are luddites... I do not know why... the resisted windows 98... 2k and xp each preaching the benefits of sticking with the older operating system at the time.
    I never resisted Win98, or SE, or XP, I switched as soon as I could. XP improved miles over 98SE, even if the initial release was less than great.

    I switched to Vista too, if you had READ the actual thread you're replying to, you'd have known that. Vista however improves nothing over XP, yet it takes four times as much space, and performs much worse overall. So I got rid of it, and went back to XP.

    Yet the first few months after Vista's release our almost exclusive task at work was to remove Vista and install XP for people because they couldn't do anything they wanted and nothing worked. Packard Bell UK even sold package PC's with printers that didn't have Vista drivers...

    Yet all personal users with 1GB ram I came to know through woprk wanted rid of Vista and go back to XP?

    Vista hogs RAM for no reason, and releaseing ram first THEN letting an app or game allocate it takes much longer than simply allocating free available RAM. Having free ram isn't a waste, it's a way to increas loading speeds and memory allocation speeds. The RAM hogging improving performance is quite obviously a PR stunt and a lie since Vista is slower than XP at virtually any task. Don't ask me to link you to every online review and magazine article on Vista performance to prove it, please.

    If you want to reply to a thread try reading it first before spreading fanboi bull on the boards please.

    I'm sure Vista works for some people, and that some people actually find Aero great, but the majority seem to disagree.
    bing
    What a nice "tone" you got there !


    Yah sometimes I get a little uptight I suppose..

    I apologize.. I pmed you BTW...

    I just wanted to knowwhether as per your oringal post on the subject.. its kaspersky issue or purely a MS issue. If the latter... its still not a reason not to get Vista, as you pointed out.. they already have a patch for it :)