Windows

Incompatibility sidelines service packs as Microsoft tries to find a Vista strategy

An incompatibility with Microsoft Dynamics Retail Management System (MDRMS) has sidelined the upcoming service pack 3 (SP3) for Windows XP and the same compatibility issue exists in the first Vista service pack. Microsoft is creating a filter for their Windows Update site that will check to see whether customers have MDRMS installed before applying the service pack for either operating system. In the meantime, Microsoft is advising their customers running MDRMS to avoid installing the service packs for either OS until they can come up with a patch.

An incompatibility with Microsoft Dynamics Retail Management System (MDRMS) has sidelined the upcoming service pack 3 (SP3) for Windows XP and the same compatibility issue exists in the first Vista service pack.  Microsoft is creating a filter for their Windows Update site that will check to see whether customers have MDRMS installed before applying the service pack for either operating system.  In the meantime, Microsoft is advising their customers running MDRMS to avoid installing the service packs for either OS until they can come up with a patch.

Windows XP service pack bugs out (New Zealand Herald)

The newest Microsoft bug comes at a time when the Redmond based software giant is trying to find some way to get Vista sales out of the basement.  Paul Mah wrote in his blog post Monday that Dell would "downgrade" new PCs to XP even after Microsoft's June 30 cutoff date.  This announcement comes on the heels of research showing just how sluggish sales of Vista have been.

Last week, Forrester Research noted that Vista has been pretty much universally dissed by corporate America. Some 89.5% of corporate Windows users ran Windows XP on Jan. 1, 2007, as Vista started to be seriously pushed by Microsoft. But a year later, XP use actually increased, to 89.8%.

One of the features that Vista users don't like is User Account Control (UAC), a service that Microsoft admits was designed to "annoy users" to the point that they will complain to software vendors about the programs that Microsoft says are "written badly."  There are some steps you can take to reduce the annoying features of UAC without actually removing the protection altogether, but it seems unlikely that Vista will suddenly take off, particularly if customers continue to have the choice to downgrade to XP.

Dell: We'll install XP for you, even after the deadline (News.com)

Dell joins Lenovo in allowing customers to 'downgrade' to Windows XP (Freep)

Fixing Windows Vista, Part 2: Taming UAC (ZDNet)

I haven't been a huge fan of Vista even after trying it for nearly a year on a tablet that I used for nearly a year.  I am getting ready to purchase a bunch of computers over the course of the next couple of months and will certainly choose XP as I am confident that it is a solid operating system without the slow response of Vista.  Is there anything that Microsoft could do to get you to want Vista on your machine?

25 comments
kicadminsupport
kicadminsupport

In our research we found Vista 64BIT Ultimate Program just what we needed to perform the multi-tasking desired in our offices. We installed Dell workstations with dual monitor 256 video memory, 3.40 Quad processors, and 4 & 8 gig ram in the machines. The program works very well indeed. To use Vista's Potentials properly, serously upgrade your machines and enjoy the experience. The 64 Bit version is required to see the extra ram beyond 3 gigs.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

Man, that's a heck of a lot of iron just to run the OS. What applications are you running, AutoCAD Xtreme Aerospace Edition? National Hurricane Center for Dummies? Got a subcontract from Industrial Light and Magic? Those are darn near gamer specifications. Seriously, what benefits did you get from this hardware investment other than the ability to run Vista? Specifically, what apps are you running that you couldn't have run under XP and saved money on the hardware and the 64-git version?

mickeypf
mickeypf

The arrogance with which Microsoft have tried to foist this OS on everyone is what annoys me, especially when MS know that it suits a lot of their customers to get their new laptop / desktop with XP. It strikes me that MS have become a bit like the IBM of the 1980's. I was just starting work then, and I can remember the faces of IBM sales staff when they realised that their customers had worked out that they could do their payrolls etc on 10 new PCs instead of paying a million for the latest IBM mainframe. In 2008, corporates are realising that in some situations they can save themselves time trouble and money by using Apple or Ubuntu.

pjcasey75
pjcasey75

I agree. The arrogance of Microsoft is nothing new, either for them or, as you noted, for other companies which at some time hold or held a virtual technological monopoly over their market (like IBM did in the 80's). It's just the first time Microsoft has suffered a financial setback of this calibre due to the market's exercising a new found independence to employ another solution (namely, staying with XP) rather than paying money and spending time to implement an inferior Microsoft technology. I don't think it's Apple or Ubuntu that represent the alternatives though. It's XP. And the fact that hardware makers are participating in the "revolt" is a sign of just how different the market has become for Microsoft. Remember how successfully they held Compaq's feet to the fire about installing Office (at that time a product which could barely compete head on with it's rivals 123, Wordperfect, Dbase, etc.) on all their machines - else they couldn't have the OS? And then again with Explorer (versus Netscape)? But now it's Dell saying they'll actually buck the Microsoft policy! It happens to every company sooner or later. Whether or not Microsoft will thrive or even survive depends on how they adapt to their own arrogance. I've read more than once that the average life span of a Fortune 100 company is now 25 years. I don't honestly expect the demise of Microsoft any time soon, but they shouldn't continue to think they're invincible. Vista proves they're not. I hope it makes them a better company.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

Is Ubuntu really useful in a corporate environment? Maybe I've got some misunderstandings about this distribution. I thought it was aimed at the home market, and that RH and Suse were better corporate choices. How easy is it to integrate a Ubuntu desktop into an existing Active Directory domain as compared to RH or Suse? Thanks.

mickeypf
mickeypf

It took a bit of fiddling with the samba config file - but we have a couple of desktops and a ubuntu server which have joined the Domain AD. We are using the server as a file server. Once it was done - the thing which strikes you as an IT admin is - Hey - we don't have to go and buy any CALs or licences for this. MS Licencing - especially since they started charging for Terminal Server access licences (ie you pay for XP on the client, CAL on the server AND a terminal services access licence !!!!) - constricts what you would otherwise normally do as best practice.

Gis Bun
Gis Bun

From what I heard, Microsoft will release SP3 as is and then release an update to correct the problem.

jparker
jparker

Yes, Microsoft could provide Vista running on a virtual machine on Linux!

ismael.suarez
ismael.suarez

And all of this is why I stay with Mac. Office and Active Directory compatible, and lots more. And Ready out of the box! Performance and looks are to awesome to compare! And for businesses, stay with XP!!!

BALTHOR
BALTHOR

Drivers and hard drives were an off and running solution to 'Dead in the Water' brand new computers.

Andy J. Moon
Andy J. Moon

I honestly can't think of a thing that Microsoft could do that is actually realistic. There is no way that Microsoft is going to upgrade the RAM in my machines to the point that they will run Vista well. I believe that Vista is the latest ME and that it will fall by the wayside as Microsoft accelerates its plans to release a new desktop OS as soon as possible. What, if anything, could they do to get you on the Vista bandwagon?

SKDTech
SKDTech

and have been for over a year now. In my experience it is a smoother OS and more secure in my opinion. I have both a desktop bought last Feb and a laptop purchased more recently and have been happy with both. Also in a test run I placed Ultimate on a Emachine M6811 laptop I had been using since Oct 2004 and found that Vista ran better than XP Pro SP2 on a platform whose only upgrade had been shift from 512MB to 1GB RAM. Yes Vista used more RAM but it also used it more efficiently in my experience. Would I recommend it for a business? Not unless it was a complete rollout as I have had some issues with mixed OS network environments. And I have yet to see an environment that needs the Aero Glass Desktop.

thomas
thomas

Make the OS support what the customer wants to do. My recommendations are... 1. Lean it down. Come on guys, a free os written largly by voulenteers runs tighter than your OS and is wildly customizable to boot. What its not is user friendly. Hum, maybe Apple is on to something. 2. Stop being the computer police. Do your customers really need UAC or DRM mucking up their style? Why is it Microsoft's Job to be the great enforcer of all things digital? 3. Play nice with others. Microsoft seems to think that its not important to support RFC's close enough not to break things. Windows ought to be able to work with other directories and services besides those offered my Microsoft. Knock off with the we are the OS, resistence is futile attitude. Vista represent a giant step into the pit of customer repression. Its no wonder why those who know better (IT professionals) shy away from it.

BlazNT2
BlazNT2

Let me start by saying that I have Vista 64 installed on my laptop. I had no real choice in the matter (except for 64bit because I purchased the upgrade from Home 32bit) because my old laptop took a dive thanks to my 95 lbs lab. I researched laptops till I found what I wanted only to find out they have not and will not make XP drivers for any of the new hardware. Next time I will make sure I look for XP drivers. It runs ok with 4GB of ram and everything turned off (took about 4 hours to set it up the way I needed it to be for access to all of my customers). Now with that said I need software compatibility to move to VISTA for my customers. All of my clients can not use IE7 and stiffer security. To run there software on a terminal server it has to be setup to relaxed security. It is required to connect to it with IE. I guess Microsoft forgot that Business have to deal with Venders that take a long time or large amount of money to change something. If I saw any real advantage to what has been done with VISTA that you can?t get from a free program or 2, Then it might be worth something.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

Oh, sure, they could give it away free or pay me to use it, or include 2 tickets to Las Vegas Motor Speedway. But if they haven't offered any solid business reason to bother with it by now, I don't think they're going to suddenly find new justification. I think it's time to stop comparing Vista to Me and instead start comparing it to Bob. EDITED - I did think of two things. First, require application developers to require Admin privs to install all apps, and no higher than Power User to run any app. Deny use of the Windows logo and the term 'Windows Compatible' to any and all app that requires Admin privs to run. Second, if MS is going to market 'Pro', 'Business', or 'Enterprise' versions, they need to remove the home consumer and gamer stuff. Organizations with a support staff don't need an OS with UAC. Get rid of Outlook Express, Moviemaker, Messenger, the games, the sound schemes, the cursors, the themes, the Oreo GUI, and the other cheesy consumer-oriented bloatware that businesses don't need. At least make it so they can be completely 100% removed and don't reinstall themselves automatically. Stop automatically recreating "My Music / eBooks / Pictures / Movies" folders; their presence encourages users to store this sort of unneeded material on a corporate resource. In short, make a version that's a true business OS, not just the home version with domain connectivity.

enduroktm300
enduroktm300

We have a winner...this would do it for me too...but the problem still remains. Why leave XP? I do REALLY like the way that you can see networking stats, cpu/memory usage etc.. but not enough to move from XP. The remote desktop gadget is pretty cool too.

JohnMcGrew
JohnMcGrew

Every time I turn around, Windows sees fit to create another "my this" or "my that" folder, resisting all my efforts at maintaining a orderly user filespace universe. Enough with it!

TNT
TNT

I'm running Vista Business x64 on my home machine, and have been for about 7 months, and I really like it. It's faster than XP Pro x32 on the same hardware (which, admittedly is beefy: dual core 3.4GHz processor with 4Gig RAM), it's remarkably stable (I can go a whole month before I need to reboot), and all my devices worked the first time without the need to locate special drivers online. In this regard Vista is a home run. However, on machines not capable of running the 64-bit version and with less than 4Gig RAM Vista is admittedly the slowest dog in the race. Also, its hardware support for anything other than the main stream is lacking (all my equipment is HP and works fine, but off-brands are problematic). If Microsoft would make Vista scalable on less-capable hardware, would have better support for cheap peripherals and streamline the 32-bit OS to have lower RAM requirements I think they would gain support from the IT community.

bruce.dimon
bruce.dimon

I think Vista is overpriced. I like the protected mode for IE7 and would buy it for that reason. The problem is that $120 for the upgrade to Home Premium is too much.

cory.schultze
cory.schultze

Yup, I won't use Vista until it's fully compatible with all hardware (especially graphics), doesn't use so much RAM, restructures it's whole Control Panel layout to a more familiar setting, removes the restrictions for "Backing-up" CDs and DVDs. That, or pay me. A lot.

billmez
billmez

I am running Vista on a one year old laptop and really have no complaints. While I did not appreciate having to upgrade to Office 2007 from 2000 which served my purposes quite well, along with upgrading MSDE 2000 to SQL server 2005 developer edition, I have not had many compatibility issues. SP1 installed without a hitch (after making sure all drivers were the latest version), and even though the graphic score of 3.0 is not great for Aero, with 2GB of memory, I can't really complain about performance. I am one who never moves to a new OS until after release of SP1, but Vista came preloaded and the electronics retailers did not stock anything downgraded to XP. To be able to make this statement, I have disabled window transparency, set explorer to display icons rather than thumbnails, disabled UAC, and a few other tweaks to make Vista closer to XP. I also still run XP and 2000 on other machines and do remember issues upgrading to both although they turned out to be excellent operating systems in the long run. I was also one of the loudest windows 95 bashers in its early days for reasons like bad drivers, memory requirements, etc. I do not believe MS will ever get the OS upgrade on existing hardware they would like due to requirements of Vista. I do believe they need to make it easier for the average user to tweak Vista to an XP like state, and even install a slimmed down version as an upgrade to end the Vista bashing. They might even consider shipping Vista to install in the scaled down/lower resource configuration and then allowing the user to enable the extra features rather than the other way around.

pepoluan
pepoluan

There are only two thins Microsoft can do to convince me to jump onto the Vista bandwagon.   1. Pare down Vista until it's as light as XP, or   2. Buy me a high-end graphics card.   But since paring down Vista means it has no advantage over XP, and I don't think Microsoft will buy me a spankin' new super-duper-hyper-accelerated graphics card, I'll go Straight-to-Seven, thank you.    

jrosewicz
jrosewicz

I don't know if they can save Vista, but the next OS should be focused on "Performance". That would get me to upgrade my OS. Lots of features, gadgets, and a pretty UI is nice, but not at the cost of performance. Coming from a gamer background I see the people will pay big money for the latest graphics card to increase their games frame rate by only a few fps, but they wouldn't pay anything for a card that was slower than what they have now but with a pretty design on the GPU cooler.

WTRTHS
WTRTHS

Wait a year or three, so hardware can play the catch-up game, and get out SP2 with huge improvements. Seemed to work for XP, which suffered from the same problems in the beginning. Every child needs to mature. If they start bringing out a new OS, they're probably back with on the same level with their new toys as they are now with Vista.

Magic Alex
Magic Alex

If after a fresh format/install, i turn on my pc to find that my ram usage is not a gig or close to it used up on just the operating system :(