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With most new
software releases, there’s usually something missing or different from the
previous version that annoys at least one user. You can eliminate some annoyances
with a few simple changes. Others you have to live with.

During the past year of working with Windows Vista, I have run
into several features and changes that get on my nerves. Based on that
experience, I’ve come up with my list of top 10 annoyances in Windows Vista.

#1: No more Boot.ini

Customizing the boot
menu was much simpler in Windows XP. If you ran multiple operating systems, all
you had to do was open the Boot.ini and make your changes. For example, you might
change the names of the installed operating systems to make them more recognizable.

It’s much more
complicated in Windows Vista. You no longer edit the Boot.ini file. Instead,
you use a program called bcedit, which is not
user-friendly, even for experienced users. A quick glance at this program and
you will likely not want to see it again.

#2: Buried display settings

Why change
something for the sake of change? That was my thought when I went to modify my
display settings for the first time in Vista.
It used to be that changing display settings was as simple as a right-click on
the desktop.

There is now an
added level of complexity. You still right-click on the desktop, but when you
select Personalize, a new window appears with a slew of Appearance and
Personalization options. You have to scroll all the way to the bottom of the
window to find the Display Settings option.

As you start using Vista, you’ll see that this is not the only instance
where it seems there are unnecessary changes.

#3: Control Panel clutter

The Control Panel
in Windows Vista, shown in Figure A,
is cluttered and more difficult to maneuver. It seems to take more clicks to
reach your destination. Going back to Windows XP, I now appreciate the
simplicity of its Control Panel.

Figure A

It takes several clicks in the Control Panel to reach your destination in

You can eliminate
this annoyance by switching back to the old style Control Panel. When you open
the Control Panel, select the Classic View option.

#4: Shutdown options

Performing a shutdown
in Windows Vista is overly complicated. There are at least nine shutdown
choices on the Start Menu—from Switch User to Hibernate to Sleep. Power users
will have no problem choosing the appropriate option. However, try explaining
how to shut down a laptop or desktop to new users when they’re facing nine
choices. This is where the real annoyance comes into play.

#5: Application support (or lack thereof)

One of the biggest
mistakes you can make is assuming that the applications you run under Windows
XP will run under Windows Vista. In fact, there’s a good chance that they will
not. This is a big reason why I haven’t upgraded my working computer to Windows
Vista. I’ve had problems with Paint Shop Pro, McAfee Virus Scan, AutoCAD, and
Adobe applications. For testing purposes, I tried installing Office 2000, but
it didn’t work. And my line of business apps also won’t run properly.

Not being able to
perform necessary tasks because an application doesn’t run right under Vista is frustrating. In all fairness, it is the
responsibility of the software vendors to provide support for Vista—not vice
versa. However, it is still an annoyance.

#6: Aero hardware requirements

Windows Vista’s new
Aero user interface is absolutely beautiful—if you have the hardware to
support it. Aero Glass is the high-end interface that’s available only with the
right video card. To enable Aero Glass, your computer must be equipped with a
3D video card that supports DirectX 9 and has a Longhorn Display Driver Model
(LDDM) driver. If you don’t have that, you’re out of luck and must fork out
even more money to upgrade your hardware. Also, remember that this feature is
not available in the Home Basic edition.

#7: Too many flavors

Having too many options to choose from annoys and confuses many people.
Purchasing an operating system used to be simple because your choices were so
limited. You could choose between this or that. With Windows XP, we saw four
versions of the operating system. Now, with Windows Vista, things get even more
complicated. The latest release of the Microsoft Windows family comes in five versions:
Home Basic, Home Premium, Business, Enterprise, and Ultimate.

So which one do you
choose? It all depends on what you plan to use it for or what type of
environment you work in. You need to do some research and find out what Vista features you need (or want). This will definitely
help to narrow down your choices. Who knew choosing an operating system was so
much work?

#8: UAC prompts

The new Vista
feature that people are grumbling about the most is User Account Control, or
UAC. Each time you attempt to perform a task that requires administrative
rights, a window appears prompting you for permission (Figure B). In other words, you tell Vista
you want to perform a task, but it needs to ask for your permission before
doing so. Although the intention is good (it prevents unauthorized changes to
your computer), the window that continuously pops up is annoying.

Figure B

Windows Vista constantly prompts for permission to perform tasks.

If you can live
with the constant prompting for permission, hats off to you. Otherwise, you can
eliminate this annoyance by disabling UAC through User Accounts And Family
Safety within the Control Panel.

#9: Budget breaker

If you don’t like
rising prices, you will certainly be annoyed when you go to purchase Windows
Vista. Although you can buy Vista for as low
as $100, all you’re getting for this price is Windows Vista Home Basic. This
version is so basic that most people will not want it. It does not even support
the Aero interface (see annoyance #5: Aero hardware requirements). As a result,
most people will move to at least Windows Vista Home Premium, which costs $239
retail for the full package. The price only goes up—topping off at a whopping
$399 for the full package of Windows Vista Ultimate.

#10: Usability issues

Finally, this one
relates back to some of the previous annoyances I have discussed. Windows Vista
has managed to make what used to be simple tasks too complex. Tasks that should
take one-step now take four or five steps. I am a fan of simplicity and this is
something Windows Vista lacks.