Microsoft

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.

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