Windows

Stop unfairly comparing Vista to its predecessor and its successor

Microsoft Windows Vista is the current operating system everyone loves to hate. The argument against Vista is that Windows XP is better or that Windows 7 will be better. Greg Shultz recalls hearing similar arguments in the past and wonders if history is repeating itself.

It seems like everywhere you turn on the Web these days, there's another article bad-mouthing Microsoft Windows Vista and telling you to stay with Windows XP -- arguing that XP is the greatest Microsoft OS ever. It also seems like there are just as many articles praising Windows 7 as our OS savior -- and it's barely even a twinkle in Bill Gate's eye at this point. While reading these types of articles recently, I began to recall other points in the history of Microsoft operating systems and to draw parallels with what happened then with what is happening today with Vista. In this edition of the Windows Vista Report, I'll explore some of these parallels.

This blog post is also available in PDF format in a TechRepublic download.

Windows Vista vs. Windows XP

As you know, Windows XP has been around quite a long time now. In fact, if you calculate the duration between the official release date and the date on which Microsoft officially stopped general licensing to OEMs and terminated retail sales of the operating system, you get six years, eight months, and six days. These dates and the other milestones in between are shown in the timeline in Figure A.

Figure A

The Windows XP timeline

While this timeline looks rather short, a lot can happen in six years, eight months, and six days. If you can remember that far back, you know that in between the original release date and the SP1 release date, Microsoft caught a lot of flak for Windows XP's flakiness. When Microsoft released SP1 and touted it as a vast improvement, many users reported major problems with the update. (Don't remember? Just Google "XP SP1 Problems.")

In between SP1 and SP2, malware popped up everywhere, and Microsoft caught a lot more flak for Windows XP's inadequate security mechanisms. When Microsoft released SP2 and touted its enhanced security features, such as the Windows Firewall, which was enabled by default, there was a major uproar as the firewall seemed to "break" a ton of applications. (Don't remember? Just Google "XP SP2 Problems.")

In between SP2 and SP3, the majority of the problems with SP2 were worked out and other improvements were added to the OS as patches and fixes delivered by Windows Update. In that time, Windows XP became the great OS that it is today -- the OS that many people swear by. It didn't happen overnight; in fact, it took a little over four years.

The point that I'm trying to make is that I think that it is unfair to compare Vista at this early point in its lifecycle to XP, which at this point in its lifecycle is an extremely mature OS. All the kinks have been worked out, and it is able to hum along perfectly. If you really want to compare today's Vista to XP, then compare it to XP SP1. When you do, you'll see that Vista has gone through the same type of growing pains that XP went through and that Vista's growing pains at this stage really aren't as major as XP's were.

Furthermore, if you take a look at Vista's timeline and calculate the duration between Vista's official release date and the proposed SP2 release date of April 2009, you get about two years, three months -- shooting at April 30 as a potential release date (Figure B).

Figure B

Windows Vista timeline

If you compare this Vista timeline to the calculated duration between XP's release date and the SP2 release date, you get two years, nine months, twelve days. That puts Vista about six months ahead of XP at this stage of the game. And if the relatively mild disruptions caused by SP1 are any indication of how well SP2 will go, then Windows Vista will eventually become a great OS too. It won't happen overnight, but it will be closer to three years as opposed to the four or so years that it took XP.

Windows Vista vs. Windows 7

When it comes to Windows 7, I'm reminded of the story of Microsoft's first attempt at a GUI windowing system, called Interface Manager. In their 1992 book titled Hard Drive: Bill Gates and the Making of the Microsoft Empire about Bill Gates and the making of Microsoft, James Wallace and Jim Erikson describe that in 1981 Microsoft first began working on Interface Manager. After about a year and a half into the development of Interface Manager, Gates realized that other software companies were developing similar GUI programs for the IBM PC. One such product was called VisiOn from VisiCorp.

Not wanting to lose out to VisiOn, in January of 1983, Gates let it be known to the computer press that Microsoft would ship its product before VisiCorp could ship VisiOn. However, the back story was that Gates had made this promise weeks before a prototype of Interface Manager had even run on an IBM PC. Even so, the story goes that Gates spent months selling computer manufacturers and software developers on his vision of the GUI. Somewhere along the line Interface Manager became known as Windows.

In October of 1983, VisiCorp announced that it planned to start shipping VisiOn, and at around the same time Quarterdeck announced that it was building a GUI called DESQ. To steal some of the thunder back, Gates immediately orchestrated the formal announcement of Windows -- even though that actual product was not really ready. Apparently Gates had learned from IBM that one way to prevent potential customers from moving to a competitor's product was to announce that your company was working on something even better. Soon afterward, the term "vaporware" was coined by the folks at InfoWorld to describe this marketing technique of announcing a product before it actually exists.

Now, we've all read stories about the promise of Windows 7 and we've seen some very nice screen shots; but is Windows 7 real? Sure, Microsoft is working on Vista's successor, but is it just vaporware at this point it time? Is the Windows 7 announcement just designed to prevent us from defecting to Apple and to keep us hanging on to Windows while Microsoft fixes up Vista SP2? Based on the story about Interface Manager, it is a very real possibility.

What's your take?

Regardless of whether Windows 7 is vaporware, Vista is real and I believe that based on the level of improvements that we've seen so far, Vista is going to get better and better, and before we know it, Vista will be a great operating system. And when Windows 7 does come out, chances are good that we'll start this whole process over again -- there will be lots of articles bad-mouthing Windows 7 and telling you to stay with Vista. Then, we'll start hearing about Windows 8.

What's your take on the notion of Vista vs. XP and Vista vs. 7? Do you think that Vista SP1 is better than XP SP1? Are you waiting for Vista SP2? Do you think that Vista SP2 will be better than XP SP2?

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About

Greg Shultz is a freelance Technical Writer. Previously, he has worked as Documentation Specialist in the software industry, a Technical Support Specialist in educational industry, and a Technical Journalist in the computer publishing industry.

439 comments
hachur
hachur

Windows XP is a stable product that serves its purpose the same as Windows 98 or Windows 2000 before it...Vista does not serve its purpose as it is not user-friendly...since the unveiling of Windows 7, Vista has been forgotten and theres no denying it. Vista will be obliterated from our minds and our computers, and the pundits who commended it should be ashamed of themselves and publicly rectify their opinion.

rwrnr57
rwrnr57

I have used microsoft OS'es since 3.0. Most of the previous OS'es leading up to XP had various flaws that would rear it's ugly head at some point. A missing feature, a glitch that would appeaar after a set numbeer of events, countless networking headaches and so forth. But things like the BSOD have almost disappeared, and each successive version adds a better "experience" to my everyday computing. The only negative is Microsoft should have a better price for upgrades. When ME was introduced, they did just that, but 98SE at the time seemed to be a better OS. In 18 to 24 months will this be the case with Vista? Most likely it seems to me. and then XP will become the new ME, 98SE, 95B, and so forth. I have used the 7RC for about two months, and I have enjoyed it. But I like new things, because the tried and true becomes old and stale after awhile. My major complaint with Vista is that it's a massive resource hog. I don't think many would disagree with me. But like 7RC, I have enjoyed it too.

piratesmvp04
piratesmvp04

Absolutely right. I'm tired of ignorant, so-called computer experts bad-mouthing Vista when they really don't understand it. I personally use Vista and have had no problems whatsoever. And, I'm not even using the latest hardware. Apple is flat out lying in their commercials when they talk about Vista problems. They mostly just cite Windows 98 problems and act as if Vista has those issues as well. I wish people would make more educated thinking...

waltrutka
waltrutka

look i don't know but i couldn't get away with writing code that crashes like microsoft voice at random, sounds pretty unstable being at random! w.rutka remember tiger woods golf has anything ever worked?

john3347
john3347

To you who speak of Vista's user friendliness; my wife is calling me at this moment to come help her find a certain picture on her Vista machine. She knows where they are on her XP computer (all in one place). Her new laptop came with Vista pre-installed and has 4 "Documents" folders. It seems that the computer just places saved files in random "document" folders. This insane file system didn't exist with XP and is only one of many, many difficulties that untrained users encounter when trying to migrate from XP to Vista. YES, this is a fair comparison between the old and new (XP vs Vista). And this same comparison will be valid between the current and the future (Vista vs 7). Later Folks! Gotta run and find pictures.

dan.gobah
dan.gobah

I think it is wrong to compare Vista with XP as xp was deployed, As a great software company Microsoft should base Vista on the achievements of XP, i mean, why do we have to wait for them to fix things already fixed on xp?

WoW > Work
WoW > Work

10 If OS = XP, then Goto 40 20 If PC = Dead, then Goto 30 30 Buy PC with Vista, Goto 40 40 Be happy, Goto 50 50 End Note: it's been awhile since I programmed, and I know the text isn't right, it's just a point I am trying to make. So, in conclusion: If you have XP, just stick with it and love it. If you need a new PC, just go with Vista, try it and you'll love it. Sure, it's not the greatest OS ever made, (and it certainly isn't ME or BOB.) The best OS? That's DOS...and you all know it!

jansley
jansley

Vista probably would have been ok had they not changed the wording of every action you take and added extra steps in booting a program. Also everyone is not into "Media". Jim

john
john

I like windows XP. Pretty. Its fast. XP 64 gets past the 4gb limit. I like Windows 2000. Really fast. But it is ugly and has bad USB support. I like Vista. Safer then the above but slower then mud sometimes and always seems to be doing something disk I/O intensive. The safety thing is a good selling point. Better have a fast machine.

fraserg
fraserg

If vista handled pda sync conflicts properly and the importation of just a few photos from a digital camera rather than importing all at once I would switch to it. But until Microsoft fix these glaring errors I will not be using it as my main os.

dadzboss
dadzboss

I'm not an IT pro. In fact, to quote a DI I once had, I know enough to be dangerous. With that said, I remember having many more issues with XP than I've had with Vista. I use XP on my PC and Vista on my laptop and I've found Vista to be fun, but not as user friendly as XP. This will more than likely change in the near future, but Microsoft's divorce from XP and alienate countless XP fans may show a major lack of intelligence on their part. It could be the jump start for Apple and Linux to topple a giant. Could be something that opens alot of door's for us users down the road.

sean
sean

I recall the first laptop I got with Vista, running a 32bit OS and 2 GB or RAM, honestly this was slow and very annoying. I now have pretty much the same laptop, with a 64bit OS and 4 GB of RAM, and have never been happier. Vista is not a problem, its the peoples expectations, they want everything to work and never be a problem, I wonder how many have built a house, or bought a car, or anything like that, and never had a problem? As far as I am concerned Vista is a stable OS that is just going to get better as the service packs come out. Well thats my 2 cents worth, like it or not, we are going to have to go forward, staying in the past means you are going to become obselete.

computerman
computerman

Why wait for Windows 7? Vista is by far the best OS Microsoft has fielded to date. I have been using it since beta form and I love it. The only caveat is to be sure you have enough horsepower. I am running a workstation with dual Xeon Harpertown 2.33's, 32 GB Kingston FBDIMM RAM with 2 Seagate SAS RAID 0 drives plus dual ATI Radeon 4870's. It does not even hiccup with this kind of horsepower. I often lose count of the number of windows I have open. In addition I run multiple OS's using VMWare's Workstation 6.5 and Vista just keeps on chugging. Oh, did I mention the Remote Desktop sessions I am running on my network at the same time along with servicing my clients utilizng Radmin Viewer as well? I have other machines that are not so heavily endowed, but they have at least a quad processor and 8 GB of RAM and they have not had any issues either. I have had my finger on the pulse of the Vista debate since it's inception. My opinion is that the combination of Apple's negative campaign, coupled with failed Vista upgrades (what respectable geek would install an upgrade?) and low hardware resources, started the "it's buggy, quircky, etc." rumours. Yes rumours. My experience has shown that Vista has been rock solid since day one. Of course there is always room for improvement with any OS. What about living in the now and working with the tools at hand? I think that this kind of attitude would prosper more favorable comments, rather than working with "wishware". "I wish Vista did this better...I wish Vista did that better...I wish Vista..blah blah blah." c'mon folks. Wake up and smell the roses. Vista is a flower of an operating system and deserves more respect. The Computer Man

197fake
197fake

Stop unfairly comparing Vista? There is no unfair comparison here. I have two computers, a 3 year old one running XP and a 1 year old one running Vista. From the moment I turned on the one with Vista, I could tell it was slower. I click on internet explorer or e-mail on the Vista one and wait and wait and wait. It's ridiculous! Give me XP anyday of the week over Vista. And if Windows 7 is anywhere near as troublesome as Vista has been for me, I'll become a Mac owner real quick.

vucliriel
vucliriel

I have not read any other entry so here goes and sorry for the repetitions if any. The problem with vista is not its youth, its lacklustre performance and its huge demands on hardware. Although those are serious and legitimate concerns, we've unfortunately grown accustomed to accecpting bloatware and inefficientware from todays major software vendors. As you well know, this is all orchestrated in the name of convenience and marketing. The more requirements from a system, the more system you are going to sell. Like selling gas guzzlers to users making the oil barons rich. That by itself should be enough to refuse this OS, but there does not lie its most pernicious evil: the fact that this OS treats users condescendingly and insists on making it as difficult as possible to control one's personal computing. If you are old enough to remember, the PC (remember waht it stands for? PERSONAL computer!) revolution was based on freedom of information exchange and openness. Bill Gates strenuously fought this concept from the start with his "open letter to hobbyists" back in 1976 when he stated at the end of his whine about not getting enough money for his altair basic, "Nothing would please me more than being able to hire ten programmers and deluge the hobby market with good software"... And today, 32 years later, Microsoft and Bill gates controls 90% of the world's computers! This situation, inherently dangerous by itself because of the risks of monoculture (viruses, trojans and other malware), has become one step closer to control the world's users in how they should THINK and how they should BEHAVE! And you believe we are simply bitching because it's slow and buggy? It IS slow and buggy, NOt because it's unpolished and poorly written, but because it is DELIBERATELY designed to prevent users from using their computer the way they see fit, in the name of sacrosanct security. The problem is, which security do YOU believe it is: yours, or Microsoft's? And to make the users swallow the pill, they coat it with a pretty interface and "fun" novelties with the deliberate intention to hide its real agenda, whcih is to basically TAKE OVER ALL YOUR COMPUTING NEEDS. Heck, soon, computers won't evan have hard drives and will have to be connected to the internet to even operate! Vista, an improvement over XP? You must be delusional!

richard_stevenson
richard_stevenson

On it's own merits I really like Vista but there are always going to be comparisons to older software, future software, and different OS platforms. We all want what works best for us. The bottom line is what is most productive, easiest to deploy, and easiest to maintain. We use what works. Let the operating system rise or fall based on how well it works for our applications. Will there be comparisons, yes because different operating systems all support different features. It's how we can best use these features that will determine if we need to take a second look. When they address the features we need there is no need to look farther. MY biggest gripe with Vista is the lack of older software drivers to support some of the older equipment we still use. It'd be nice to have everything all shiny and new in our offices but the reality is we have to use what still works for as long as we can. That's why we use Windows XP for our needs right now. It works well and it supports what we use. That's the bottom line! So we will continue to compare and seek out the best solutions for the work we do. What makes us more productive makes our customers happier and makes us more profitable. Simply put use what works best for you!

jamey5278
jamey5278

I have a thought, if XP's bugs have been worked out and people think that we should be paient with Vista due to its "growing pains" why make a OS that has problems when you could build upon a OS that is proven more stable than Vista. Yes in the begging XP had problems but we learned from those and moved passed them. why make a new flawed system and stop selling the system that you know works. Thats all that I am saying. We know now that XP is working good why not build upon that and make it better?

birdmaniw
birdmaniw

I use Vista and like it, though I do feel it is another Windows ME because MS didn't wait to include all the items they were suggesting. As they are now talking up Windows 7, it makes Vista feel even more like a stopgap.

djmentat
djmentat

The comparision is both fair and unfair in different aspects. It's unfair in that Vista is not XP. It was built from the ground up and not an upgrade to XP. Even though Vista works much the same on the surface it's different under the hood and you have to approach it as a different OS. It's in it's infincy and continues to get better and better and will surely become a great OS (at least I think so). Besides, any admin and most users know that with Microsoft products you need to wait until at least SP1 is released b/f you consider implementing it. Is this right? Not really, Microsoft should slow down a bit and further "User" test their products b/f releasing them instead of trying to rush the release and make sure it's ready. I read an article a couple of weeks ago where a Microsoft representative stated that they extensively "Developer" tested Vista, but didn't spend too much time "User" testing. This brings me to where the comparison is fair. You'd think that when a major Co. releases a new product and trys to force you to upgrade to it by stopping sales to the predecessor and a lot of new hardware not having XP drivers; the new product, Vista, should be ready and hold up to being stable and ready to go. This is where I think Microsoft screwed up. They released it too soon and tried to force everyone to move to the new platform, when they should have waited a bit longer to release it and let the change over be gradual. From my own experiences, when Vista was first released, the only issues I had to deal with was Video card driver crashes. Since SP1 I have no issues. I'm no developer running dozens of apps. for weeks at a time w/o rebooting, but as an Admin. and a daily user of XP and Vista I have to say I like Vista. I have no problems with it and I enjoy the new Admin features such as the Reliability Monitor, Memory Diagnostic Tool, and being able to create network images w/o the need of Ghosting software. Disable the UAC, get rid of the Sidebar if you don't like it, customize your tool bars, and it'll run just like XP. The price sucks and you need more hardware but if you can get passed that then you just need to actually learn the new OS and how to configure it. After SP2 is released I'll probably push for a Co. wide upgrade (probably).

doramius
doramius

When XP came out, I didn't adopt right away. I went to Win2k with the revised NTFS. When service pack 1 came out, I decided to try it out. Yeah it had a few bugs, but it had a lot going for it. RAM usage, file size transfers, and hardware acceptance. My company decided to go to Vista. We had a lot of common hardware. Just could not get much of it to work. We talked days on end with programmers, manufacturers, and heaven knows who else. My company scrapped Vista except for a bunch of sales people using notebooks. Win7 seems promising, but I doubt I'll make a major switch in the first 6 months. We'll see how it goes. Vista is a great LOOKING OS, and it has excellent features. I just think it's pretty fat in size. I feel Win7 is chunky too, but I think its like Vista decided to work out and turn some of that fat to muscle. We'll see whether it has or not.

HAL 9000
HAL 9000

Reasonably well. It works even better when a new product is released as the New one makes the Old one look Brilliant. I can remember a few months before Longhorn went RTM just how many people where putting off buying new hardware because the problems that they experienced would be fixed with Longhorn. Now those same people are not complaining about XP or the problems that they where having with it as Vista is so much worse to them at least. Pity here is that M$ sell Beta Products to the Masses as RTM and then start to apply patches to make it work sort of right. If they actually released software that worked as they said it would things would be so much simpler. But as M$ uses the First Buyers of any new product as Beta Testers things just have to not work correctly. That is why so many people say wait till the First Service Pack comes out before deploying this or that. They seem to think that the first SP will be the point that things start to work correctly or at least to a high enough standard to be useful to them. Problem here is that this time M$ Cheated and released a bunch of Minor Updates and called it a Service Pack. We still have about another 12 months to go before M$ can honestly say that they have SP1 for Vista ready. :) Col

rick@Hogans-Systems.com
rick@Hogans-Systems.com

That is a strange problem. I only have one Documents folder under my user ID in Vista. I have never seen anything like what you describe on any Vista system I've worked with. I have to believe that what you are looking at is some kind of "user error" or configuration error of some sort, rather a real problem with Vista itself. Rick

Oz_Media
Oz_Media

XP and Vista are entirely different operating systems, Vista is not just XP with add-ons, like Win98 was ot Win95. If your company builds trucks and works out all the bugs over 10 years, when they build a car should they have all the bugs worked out? Nope.

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

The comparison was the sale point. Ms wanted us to compare Vista with XP, see how much better Vista was and then charge into our local retailers and buy it, after that they didn't give one. History is on their side, another bunch of lemmings are going to charge straight over the curb and buy W7. For many convincing them that that is better than Vista, is going to be a lot easier.

dlovep
dlovep

why bother about others comment, try it yourself. If you like it, you buy it, if not just refund. Compare those OS in a different time, just like bring an M1A1 into a Second World War, what is the point if you cant get back in time? We people are moving forward, there is no point to compare or argue, so shall I said everybody like Ferrari but who can afford to own it ? then it comes Lamborghini, should we compare it ? its just a CAR, yes like XP, Vista and Seven, make sure your OS don't breakdown that's all your concerns, and one last thing, can you afford it? Regards M$ or not, its really depends on how you settle your price against the market, if you think it worth nothing, just don't bother about it.

Oz_Media
Oz_Media

Never had that issue myself, I assume you've resinstalled and updated SyncCenter, it is obviously not an OS issue though but something to do with your build and drivers. Single File import? Just Browse the folder from the pop up menu when you attach a device instead of clicking the import shortcut. Then you just import what you want. So, you gonna run out and buy a new box now that MS has fixed your issues?

rogerbro
rogerbro

I have had no trouble importing individual photos or several fom my camera which has about 800 photos on it. Using Vista.

Oz_Media
Oz_Media

Ms has always offered the Classic Menu style to its GUI, you can switch them as needed. IN fact, when XP was released, it was such a change from the classic look that most people hated it until they learned to just change the interface appearance, as well as control panel and menu styles. I for one, hate the look of XP with its Fisher Price styled buttons and bloated GUI, using Vista in Classic Mode is like running Win2K, but with the enhanced security of Vista.

mailboweb
mailboweb

If you have no experience with computer, than all OS's are difficult and user unfriendly. Go Try Linux after you first learned basic windows.. Vista has some new conventions added, but they all seem to work logically.( whats logical...) Don't forget that not all people use there computer the same way. There are things I use and there are things I don't. How can you sell an user custom OS system? You need to know what you want, what you need, what you may need, what it can do.. That alone would make you an basic expert..

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

has been rock solid since day one? My home set up, hasn't had a problem, I paid your sort of clever to choose the hardware and set it up for me. For those not in so fortunate a position, things have gone less smoothly. I didn't just believe all the crap people were spouting about Vista. That's the ones who say it's crap because it's MS, or MS and their flunkies, It's the best thing sliced bread merchants. Give us a break will you, save this sort of toss for an MS flier or a Gartner presentation. Vista is rock solid because I've had no problems. You can Bill chalking that up 1 down, several hundred million to go. Sheesh

dixon
dixon

Now, all I have to do is convince all of my cash-strapped clients to invest in rigs like yours.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

Agreed. The problem is Vista was marketed to the masses, not geeks.

rick@Hogans-Systems.com
rick@Hogans-Systems.com

Funny how clowns like you just come to these forums and spout off with any nonsense you feel like spouting off with. Vista WAS available for Beta testing for quite awhile before MS released it as RTM. Like many others, I have been using Vista for quite a long time, and I have only seen a small handful of relatively minor problems with it. Just because you don't know how to work a computer doesn't mean the computer is broken. Rick

john3347
john3347

"If your company builds trucks and works out all the bugs over 10 years, when they build a car should they have all the bugs worked out? Nope." Sorry OZ, ya gotta come up with something better than that. If a company builds trucks for 10 years, then begins building cars, this new product (cars) is designed for a totally different market/customer. This would be true whether they discontinued truck production or not. Microsoft supposedly designed Vista for the exact same customer that currently was using a previous version of the same company's product. It is as though the truck company built a new truck aimed at the same customer who currently owns a prior model of their truck and it is full of bugs and is extremely inefficient and difficult to drive compared to the prior model.

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

of common code between the two systems, the reused a lot of it, to make their self imposed sales deadline, well nearly. :p

jdclyde
jdclyde

how long were they programming XP before it's release, and how long were they programming Vista/Longhorn before it's release? My big question, how is it Vista is so dependent upon hardware that wasn't even invented for over half of it's development stage?

computerman
computerman

I guess you missed the part where I am running 64 bit Ultimate on a quad core with 8 GB RAM...A run of the mill rig with a lowley 9600 Phenom. I will add also that in the beginning I was running dual boot with XP x64. I tried to put together a 2 hour movie from a multitude of short avi clips using Movie Maker in XP. It puked every time. I even tried it on a 32 bit machine; all with plenty of memory. It also puked every time. Then I booted into Vista Ultimate x64, and guess what? It purred like a kitten. That was the original convincer. I did not look back after that.

codepoet8084
codepoet8084

Vista is not hard to "drive" It's easier in a ton of ways. Some of the responses in this thread are laughable. I see a bunch of people being steadfast to the familiar. It's understandable... resisting change is human nature. Seriously though, just an example: My favorite thing built straight into vista is the Search tool... It's FAST. And it's not some bloated addon like Google desktop. I use it like a command prompt too. One change in Vista has completely changed the way I do things on my computer and for the better - I have Vista 64-bit at home and I much prefer using it to my work PC with very similar specs, but XP SP3. -> Under XP I call up the Windows Explorer and start navigating (I like to use the Task Bar icons). -> Under Vista I hit the Window key on the keyboard and type in my path for the folder... and better yet it quickly lists all the recent folders... I start with the arrow keys in a second when my folder pops up. I never had to touch the mouse. I LOVE this. Another nice change is the Windows Explorer itself makes buttons out of the paths. This setup is hands down more user friendly. Don't like the side bar? turn it off... I keep mine on, but all I have on it is the analog clock because I like it. Heck even the power button is nice. But then I took the time to learn how to change its functionality to what I want (which is a full shutdown instead of Sleep or whatever it was before). I spent a long time learning in the ins-and-outs of XP. And I liked XP. The more I learn about Vista and the things that have been built into it, the more I really think they spent a good deal of time on usability testing. It's obvious too... the big addition to Vista was the UAC (which most power users despise... but it's wondrous in small business network computers). And not only that, thanks to the anti-Vista craze on the internet I get the cop out of saying "Meh, it's Microsoft's new UAC... sorry you have to deal with the new security procedures..." It's what SHOULD happen on small networks but doesn't. Once we get the licenses I am upgrading my work system. So anyway... complain about program compatibility... that's the only true gripe against Vista in my view. And that will get better with time. Usability is not one of Vista's problems.

art
art

$130 for 300 computers = $39,000. Now some of those computers use PC133. You know what 2 GB of that costs? Oh, and buy it and find out that the MB/BIOS doesn't support it, so I guess we have to replace those PCs as well. Come out of your fantasy world of unlimited hardware and financial resources.

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

If you are talking Ma and Pa browser, what do they need it for, except Vista? If you are talking Big Corp, multiply that 'trivial' cost by a few thousand, + licenses + disruption + roll out. You might know a deal about computers, you know absolute naff all about this planet though. I suggest you extend your stay and get out a bit more, before you start with the foolish earthlings crack again.

HAL 9000
HAL 9000

Mainly because their Mission Critical Software will not be rewritten for Vista and doesn't run on Vista. One application wasn't even rewritten for XP and I still support new boxes with NT4 loaded. This one application can save hundreds of thousands of $ in fuel costs on a 5 million $ job so there is no way in hell that those who use this application are going to stop using it. Add to that the 150K in hardware bolted to the Plant and you have a lot of money tied up to save a lot more that runs on systems that are not expected to last longer than 6 months due to dust penetration. Even when you use Fanless cases the cost of these isn't thought of for a second and because they live far longer they are now a requirement that wasn't available when this package was new. NT4 just works without a second thought in situations like this. Or maybe tell a client to trash all their CAM Equipment stop all production off the shop floor for the 8 months required to refit the factory and then not be able to use that 20 Million + of new Equipment because there is no software to run it now. Na not going to happen in my lifetime and I don't expect many would believe that it should either. Funny thing is that M$ quite happily still sell Licenses for DOS for this equipment though the last time I bought several DOS Licenses they where talking about them requiring to buy a Vista Business License and use the Backward compatibility License. I just laughed at them and suggested that a $60.00 DOS license would continue to sell without a problem and that if they where silly enough to want $232.00 AU for the same thing many business would simply refuse to buy the Licenses. I should see if I'm installing Calera DOS within the next few weeks when they are closed for the Christmas/New Year Break and I'm servicing their equipment or the M$ version of the same thing. :D Col

computerman
computerman

The cost of the system I mentioned using the best components including a respectable video card, is less than a G note by today's prices and hardware prices are falling every day. 2 GB of RAM can be had for 20 bucks wuth a 9600 Phenom as little as $130.00. Do the math. This is not an expensive rig. The hardware demands of Vista has driven prices down. That is a plus for most people. Come out of the dark of XP and into the light of Vista. It ain't goin' to bite you, and you might fall in love....garsh :-)

computerman
computerman

When I mentioned the 8 GB quad machines, my point was that you do not have to pitch a "God box" to your clients. A much less endowed machine does the trick nicely. It does, however, need to meet certain hardware specs which I agree are much higher than Microsoft would have us believe. With the cost of memory and everything else for that matter, declining it should not be too expensive for your clients to change. I do it all the time; and I might add with complete success.

HAL 9000
HAL 9000

That just depends on where you have to support it I suppose. At home it's dead easy to support just replace all of the Hardware and it works a treat though the Owner may complain about the costs involved in replacing all of their other Hardware when they buy a New Computer. In an office with lots of nice Air Conditioning it's at worst a Bit of a Nuisance but as Business tends not to deploy without testing it's about the same as a Domestic Installation but only more expensive and lots more time consuming locking down. In Field Service it can be down right painful particularly when you tell a User like a Earthmover that they don't know what they are doing and they need to do it a different way when they have been doing it for ever in the way that they are trying to do it now. Call them a Bloody Idiot and you will most likely get a broken Jaw and a Demand for a Refund for your Time that you have yet to bill for. It's even worse if you supplied the Computer yourself as they will beat the daylights out of you and while you are lying broken & Bleeding on the ground demand a Refund. When you don't give it to them immediately they will kick the Crap out of you for wasting their time. Kind of reminds me of a guy who brought in a dead Original IBM PC he wanted it replaced Under Guarantee because it didn't work properly. Well when it arrived the guy who ran the PC side of the Business ran away and hid because this was a Problem Customer who had been given the run around for 6 months. In the end he shot the unit with both Barrels of a 12 Gage and then wanted it replaced UG. When things do not work in a manner that is understandable people get upset. Not everyone who uses a computer sees it as something special or even wants to understand just how it works. They see these things as a Tool to do their job in as fast as possible manner. Once you start to mess them around for whatever reason they get peeved off. Just like a guy who brought a new car and the motor died before he even got it home because some one forgot to fill the oil up after the Pre Delivery Service. Instead of replacing the car or even the motor for what was a Dealer Mistake they repaired the motor and forced him to drive it around. Didn't matter that the new owner of a New car was less than impressed and was constantly finding faults which resulted in the car being in the shop more that it was on the road. They saved money by refusing to replace the motor. So after 6 months of badgering the Dealer and Maker the owner removed the Motor from the car load it in the back of a Ute and delivered it to the dealer for proper repairs. He delivered it before the place opened by undoing all the hold down opening the back of the Ute and backing up as fast as the Ute would go before jamming on the brakes and he watched the motor go straight through the Window into the New Car showroom hitting and bouncing off several new cars on the way. He then threw a note through the remains of the window asking for the motor to be replaced. That was really a Dealer Fault and he was quite within his rights except for the final act but that was brought about be Complete Desperation and unhappiness. Of another guy who picked up a new car took it to work in the country and hit a Large Bird which went straight through the windscreen. he returned to the Dealer where the Company he worked for bought the car and got them to replace the windscreen. This was a car under 2 hours old. Next morning he got into the car and promptly threw up as the stink was unbearable apparently the Car Dealer had not cleaned out the remains of the dead bird completely so he had it towed to the dealer to be fixed properly this time. Unfortunately by now it was too late and the smell was a permanent fixture to the car and he was literally told to live with it. As he considered it underivable he just parked it outside the Showroom and invited any prospective new buyers to sit in and smell what a new car smelt like. Within 20 minutes he had a new car and that one was crushed after all external bits that could be salvage where removed. All the internal bits stank so much that they where unusable. Now that wasn't a Real Warranty Claim but it certainly was far cheaper to do than to put up with an Unhappy Customer who was costing both that Dealer and that Maker New Sales. Things like this happen but for some reason when it comes to computers it is not expected to happen, people are expected to be all nice and accepting of what they are told. Well they are not and you do get problems that can only be fixed by stepping outside the Box. Human Nature is what we are dealing with here not bits of Silicon & Plastic. Peeved off the Customer at your Peril. M$ really needs to learn this lesson that every other company didn't even need to go through to get the idea that the [b]Customer Is Always Right.[/b] Col

dixon
dixon

...and, for the benefit of those who view some of us of being incapable of change, I also remember being dazzled by 16k of ram, 5.25" floppies, and the excitement when everyone thought that DOS was about as cool as an OS could possibly get. I also remember thoroughly beating my brains out to learn it, just like with every major development since. As changes go, Vista's a teeny little blip.

HAL 9000
HAL 9000

I remember when you paid 10K for a 386 so isn't it acceptable to pay that for a new computer? You would even get a printer with a new one and maybe a scanner as well unlike the 386 that maybe had a Keyboard, Mouse and Monitor. :D But out of interest he said he was running a Dual CPU setup so I'm assuming that is 2 X Quad Core Xeon's. I have one of em here but with only 16 GIG of RAM for a customer running Business 64 version of Vista and it's brilliant. Granted the user does CAD work and lots of it and I have it here because Vista Puked it's guts up and died. Not hardware related either as it's been running for 6 days now without an issue after a reload. Still even with that amount of Hardware it's still useless for any CG work with Windows anything installed and even a Single Core will beat it with the right OS loaded to do that type of work. Perhaps I should suggest Upping the RAM to 50% of this M'Board capacity to make it better. Lots more money for me there. :^0 Currently he's talking about a New Tri Chanel M'Board to get even better performance out of it. Though I have not seen any of those Multi CPU Server Boards made available yet. Col

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

"64 bit Ultimate on a quad core with 8 GB RAM...A run of the mill rig with a lowley 9600 Phenom." Unless you're hanging out full-time with hardcore games, that rig is hardly run of the mill. Few people, home or office, need a box capable of editing a two hour movie, and aren't going to pay for that kind of hardware in order to do so. I'd venture that most shops don't have servers with those hardware specs.

dixon
dixon

...but there's nothing 'run of the mill' about that machine when it comes to pitching a client to replace 200 perfectly functional machines, just so they can successfully deploy Vista. They ain't biting.

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