Windows

My main gripe with Vista is...(pick one)


This is a multiple choice article.

A. Microsoft grossly understated their recommended hardware requirements. Over the years, we've all learned to look beyond the minimum system requirements to effectively run our software, and consider instead the recommended system requirements. For Pete's sake, Microsoft. You had to know that a recommended system with a 1 GHz processor, 1 GB RAM, and a 128 MB video card is nowhere near the realistic system minimums. I have a number of high-end P4s running between 2.4 and 3.0 GHZ, all with 4 GB RAM and 128 MB (or more) of video RAM, whose performance pales in comparison to our Core 2 Duo processor machines with 256 MB video. Vista runs sluggish on the published recommended system, and it sends users (and support personnel) on a digital scavenger hunt to find ways to boost system performance. Microsoft should have just recommended the Core 2 Duo processor; it would have saved us all a lot of aggravation. I suppose, however, that by doing so, it wouldn't have suited the company's marketing objectives. B. Vista just doesn't like to play nice with a desktop computer functioning as a print server. Using an obsolete, low-end desktop computer to function as a print server is a great way to save a few dollars, avoiding having to buy dedicated print servers, jet direct, or some other piece of hardware necessary to share printers. However, Vista just doesn't like to play nice with such shared devices, so it just arbitrarily drops them off its network radar screen, especially ones running an operating system other than Vista. (These computers couldn't run Vista anyway, since they don't meet Vista's minimum requirements.) More hoops to jump through and more unintended consequences to deal with. C. Hardware changes. Should we really have to go through all that trouble when simply changing a hard drive? Doesn't Microsoft have anything better to do with its resources than provide the staff for what has to be a huge department that does nothing but assign 48 digit numbers (eight groups of six digits each) to people who want to reactivate their product? Gee, how do you think people will answer when asked if the software is installed on more than one computer? I think this one falls under the Duh! category. Microsoft should assume we might want to change hardware without having to be granted permission to do so. D. Applications that don't work with Vista. I'm not talking about primary applications, ones that would be verified beforehand, but rather those smaller and lesser used programs and utilities. Buying an upgrade for WinZip, for example (because Vista's compression function just doesn't cut it), was another unintended expense; or the PDF creation program we used to use to create PDFs from drawing files; or any number of programs we use, such as ones provided by vendors for equipment selection and such. E. Peripherals that aren't fully compatible. Hewlett Packard lists any number of printers for which no Vista support (or driver) will be provided. Can a printer be fooled into working with some other driver? That's a hit-and-miss proposition, but it makes one wonder when that multi-page Word document doesn't print correctly. And I have a Xerox wide-format printer/scanner that will function just fine as a printer, but the scanning interface with the Vista desktops isn't compatible. Will Xerox eventually issue an upgrade? I already asked that question, but the answer is inconclusive. (This machine was a $25,000 investment, by the way.) In the meantime, I'll keep another one of those lower-end computers running Windows 2000 just so we can access that scanner interface. F. Vista disk defrag program. This is SO SLOW, and I want to see the visual indication showing the extent of fragmentation and a progress bar. I've heard rumors that this will be fixed with SP1, but have a feeling I'll be searching for a good third-party disk defrag program nonetheless. G. (Something) not eesponding. First of all, whatever is being listed as Not Responding, probably IS responding, but it's just responding slowly - very slowly. (One of our users has coined the term, Wheel of Death.) In previous versions of Windows, we might occasionally see this prompt, but we would know that something was really locked up. Not with Vista. In this case, it's just being slow as molasses - slower even. So this is really a two point gripe: the message is not correct AND Vista is often slow to respond. (Which leads right into the next point.) H. Being unable to cancel an action. There are occasions (such as the previous point) in which I want to stop what I was doing, or back-up, or switch gears. Big mistake. Just try to close a window that is Not Responding and you'll set-off a flurry of unintended actions. Not only does it become SLOWER in its response time, but it then wants to try to troubleshoot the problem, send a report to Microsoft, and who knows what else. Geesh, already. Just stop and let me change my mind. I might also add that this is an equal opportunity glitch, one that occurs with programs, documents, Web pages, or any other action a user might take. Disclaimer: It happens less often, however, on a computer with hardware up to the standards of what should have been the REALISTIC recommended system requirements (see Point A). At this point, I'm asking myself if I could use up all the letters in the alphabet listing some gripe about a glitch we've encountered along the Vista digital highway. I'll bet I could find eighteen more (I through Z) if I thought about it long enough. Nonetheless, if I had to pick just one of these as my main gripe, considering all those dreaded unintended consequences, I'm not sure I could. Perhaps I should have included one last selection: I. All of the above.
22 comments
magic8ball
magic8ball

One that I have tried is Defraggler. It is made by Piriform, the same company that makes CCleaner. Best of all its free software.

wlportwashington
wlportwashington

It is slow, crashes at the drop of a hat, nothing works right with it, you need a monster machine just to get it to run half way decent and that is not cost efective when you have several hundred computers already deployed with XP Pro. Vista is the newest version of Windows ME. Will Bill Gates wake up and leave well enough alone? XP is great, keep it updated and it will last forever. Vista is not worth the time and money.

mrtreverj
mrtreverj

The fact of the frequent crashes of Windows Vista pertubs me, but the major angering factor for me is the way that they designed the different versions--creating Vista Ultimate and removing features from it to form Home Premium and other versions. This has lead to many problems including crashes. I am angry that on Vista Home Premium...the version my newest laptop came loaded with...that the Local Users and Groups Snap-In is unavailable:-(

harlan.harris
harlan.harris

I have a nice machine with a 3.8 Gig processor, 3.5 gig RAM, and I thought an adequate video card with 128MB of onboard RAM. After installing Vista, I needed to upgrade the video card. It is now 512MB. The system also has 2 SATA drives and 2 IDE drives for a total of approx 700GB. I have always kept My Documents folder on a separate drive from the OS drive. Now the problem: I discovered that Vista has a folder called My Downloads on the root drive. I tried to move a file from the My Downloads folder to a folder in My Documents on the other drive. The first time that I tried to move it, Windows locked up and required a reboot to get back up. The second time that I tried it, Windows also locked up and required a reboot, but when Windows came back up it must have assumed there was a problem with the drive and it locked it out. At the boot screen the computer knew that the drive was there, but when Vista loaded it would not even acknowlege that there was a drive, no errors, no drive, etc., even Disk Manager did not know it was there. There were other problems, but this was the worst. I took Vista off and reinstalled XP and the drive with MyDocuments was again available. Vista has way too many problems to use it for anything other than a test machine.

macsteed01
macsteed01

Using and expecting it to work like my old XP computer did ? When I did this the preformance degradation brought me down to the 1 out of 10 area of the Reliability and Performance test. The computer was responding very slowly and crashing a lot. With 3 reinstalls under my belt I am treating this baby like it needs. Do not use many other non Microsoft programs. Get it used walking on it's own. It might be good to let it run for longer periods of time than the enviromentalists would reccomend. Use a good degfragger like Vista approved version of Diskeeper 2007. The prognosis is good. Outlook is better with Vista SP1 on the horizon. For serious real world work use the latest XP. Let Vista run and slowly transfer to it if you have the time to wait.

eflowers3
eflowers3

I use PerfectDisk. Some highlights for me -- it is easily scheduled, consolidates free space, defragments system files, and requires as little as 5% free space to defrag. Might be an option. Erin

Joe_R
Joe_R

Perhaps you'll sent me one free copy in exchange for posting that free plug to my article! Send it to me, I'll evaluate it, and write an article about it.

erikj
erikj

I think the biggiest problem is lack of knowledge of how to use / install the Vista and any New OS when its first introduced to the public. And the beta testing formula doesn't include the average user in their test to fully get the scope of those users problems. But with all new OSs its known that you put more than the recommended amount for great performance and use the recommened amount of hardware for average performance and mininum requirments for just to say it works but not very useful, which I don't recommend.

sancretor
sancretor

I agree, a graphical fragmentation level and defrag progress indicator is necessary. I also don't see why Vista's automatic defrag is so slow, when good third party automatic defragmenters do the same job in a fraction of the time. However, I agree with Microsoft's POV that manual and scheduled defrag is outdated, and an automatic approach to routine system maintenance is the right path for the future. There is no benefit to the user running these programs manually, when it ought to be the system monitoring and 'healing' itself as required, with continuous results. IT manpower and $$$ can be rerouted for tasks other than for defragging at late nights/weekends.

DanLM
DanLM

If the OS is going to automatically defrag your system, which I don't have an issue with. Wouldn't it be wise to perform regular cleanup's on tmp files and even possibly the cache of the browser? Hell, I even run a crontab on my nix box to delete tmp files over a certain age. It's just waisted space. I didn't know that Vista automatically did defrags. I like that. I have mine scheduled I think at 3am every day. I have never had a problem with hard drives and I have been doing this for years. And when I help people with their machines, one of the first things I suggest is a defrag. And usually, theirs takes hours. Because they just NEVER do it. I know my work desktop never gets defraged, and I remember my last job tried a bat file that ran every Wednesday for defrags. Sometimes it ran, sometimes it didn't. Thanks for the insite on the defrag and vista. Dan

Jaqui
Jaqui

I've been using linux for so long I forget, what is defrag? ]:)

JackOfAllTech
JackOfAllTech

I recently bought 3 laptops, one for me, one for my wife, and one for my oldest daughter. I used Vista for about a day before I wiped the drive and installed XP. My wife tried it for 2 days before asking me to install XP, and my daughter stuck with it for 4 days. It just doesn't work right! I must admit I didn't like XP when it first came out but, after SP2 and figuring out how to turn everything unnecessary off and tweaking it, it does what I want it to do. I'll never use Vista at home, I'm looking into *nix now and I agree, I'm terrified they'll force me to use Vista at work soon. Ralph

jhasprey
jhasprey

How in the world can you justify not using Vista after one day, 2 days or 4 days. It is obvious that none in your family are interested in even learning how to use it. I hated it at first but after just one week of learning I was addicted to the Vista Premium. It is the basic version that has everyone up in arms about. I skipped the version. Next comes the ultra. It is well worth it.

HAL 9000
HAL 9000

If it is unable to run Mission Critical Software or networked Photocopiers used for printing it's not suitable for use. I don't need to buy a $2,000.00 computer and OS to only find that I need to spend another $45,000.00 just so I can print to the Network Printer. If it can not run applications that I need to run and use the existing hardware in the form of Printers, scanners and the like that I have here the OS is no good to me or the Clients that I support. It's not Rocket Science to expect a new M$ offering to work with existing products that are no where near the end of their lives. It also makes no sense to replace perfectly good things just because you have a new computer/OS that will not work with them. I see absolutely no reason to expect a new computer to cost me the best part of $100,000.00 just so I can return to the position I was i before buying a new computer that is only a few K's value. Even then most of 2K is taken up with the cost of the M$ products. Just cost out the value or cost of Vista Business or Ultimate and the Full M$ Office. It will surprise you just how much they cost and I don't need to pay for a Vista License to replace a DOS installation when M$ where previously charging me $60.00 a Copy for DOS and now they want the cost of a Volume License Vista Ultimate to run a DOS OS in some machinery. Well my customers will not wear the costs and I'm not going to so M$ can argue that out in th Courts over just what is Original Hardware as a 45 foot bed Computer Controlled Lathe is the original Hardware and the repair that I do is just replacing the Computer Control Elements. When it cost $60.00 for a license it was no biggy but at $730.00 for nothing from M$ except a E-Mail that's not acceptable. With ME it took me less that 5 minutes to realize it was rubbish and not use it since. And that was while it was installing I stuck with it for another 10 minutes after it was installed just to confirm my first impressions. Col

Joe_R
Joe_R

Other than those sluggish P4 machines I have it running on (well, "sluggish" compared to the Core 2 Duo), I have pretty much all of the bugs worked out. I don't hate it, but I don't love it either. It was just necessary.

royhayward
royhayward

have had me wishing I had it. Well, I guess windows 1.0 was an exception, but I liked 3.11. I excitedly upgraded to 95 and was happy with the new features. and with 98 as it brought additional functionality. I never really got into NT 4 but then I was still young at the time. but when Windows 2000 came out I was on the band wagon playing the drum. Next, Windows Me was a dog, and I am glad that I have never installed the free copy that brother Bill gave me. XP has its frustrations at times, but all in all is ok. I wasn't on the bandwagon for this one, as I was still happy with Win2K. Vista has failed to impress me. (in a positive way anyhow) I have been called over to help my friends and family as they have purchased new systems that came with Vista installed. Instead of drooling and wishing that I had one, I am terrified that this will be forced on me eventually at work. Vista doesn't seem to want me to be able to make it work. Eventually it does, but mostly long after a reasonable person had given up. And even then, don't ask me what I did, by this point I have had to re-set all of the setting that Vista keeps changing back for me, that I can't really tell. I am still using window, but at home and at work we are weaning ourselves off of Windows. Our products will still work on Windows, even Vista, so we have a few test machines. but the plan is to get to where all the servers and workstations are Linux. We just don't want to spend the time and money to make Vista work.

Joe_R
Joe_R

Windows 2000 Professional was a great operating system. In fact, I still use it at home.

royhayward
royhayward

I still have it at home, it is on the only machine still running a Windows OS in my house.

DanLM
DanLM

Those are the cures for Windows Vista. Ok, disclaimer here. I have never used vista. I'm holding off on buying a lap top untill the first service patch comes out. I'm just not fighting these wars, let someone else do that. Dan

collinsb
collinsb

It is difficult for me to understand how a company that screwed-up so badly with Windows ME could turn around and make the same type of mistake with Vista. There are plenty of reasons why Vista is disliked - I've listed a few of the many in the title but my biggest concern is that a company the size of MS would make the same stupid mistake with Vista they did with Windows ME. That is, rush it to market before it is really ready and let the user community pay the debugging price. Realease it too soon and not give the various OEM's the code in time to have drivers ready for the production release. I replaced more copies of Windows ME with a re-install of Windows 98 than I care to remember and now it's like an instant replay replacing Vista with XP. One more time MS forces the customer to take it in the ear. No wonder I'm installing Linux on as many PC's as I am (by customer request). I am beginning to wonder if MS is hiring the bottom 3% of every graduating class!

rbosgood
rbosgood

I have been using Vista for about 6 months now and I have found it to be a little more stable then XP. I admit, it took some getting used to, but no more then any other OS. I am also successfully running quite a few 3rd party Aps with it, such as Roxio, Skype, Gimp2, Nvu, VMware workstation, and vlc media player. this is all done on a Dell GX620 with 2 gigs of ram and a p4 3.0 gig processor. I am also running office 2007, I dont know if that helps it get along with the OS better, but I also like that upgrade.

Joe_R
Joe_R

I have it up and running at my organization, but I did have those proverbial hoops to jump through. The points were actually more of a word of caution for those planning to upgrade, things they should address or think about beforehand. I thought about doing my next article: The reasons I like Vista A through Z. On second thought, I might have a hard time getting past A -- It supports the application we needed to use, whereas our old OS did not. Other than that..... It would be interesting to explore, however, throw the question out there to see what comes back.