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Windows Operating Systems Software Upgrades

Windows Vista - Still Fresh After 19 Months? 334

Posted by Zonk
from the long-term-houseguest dept.
MyStuff writes "ZDNet blog Hardware 2.0 looks at the effect of having used Windows Vista for over 18 months. It Windows Vista the indispensable upgrade that Microsoft wants you to think it is? Writer Kingsley-Hughes says 'Having been using Vista for over 18 months I believe that it's a huge improvement over XP and even though I still use XP I find that I miss many of the features that Vista offers.' Just the same, he goes on, 'I wouldn't call any of the changes earth-shattering. When I'm using XP systems I miss some of the features but not so much that they push me to upgrade any faster.' He then goes on to give a feature-by-feature breakdown of all of the improvements Vista has over XP, and what long-term use of these features can net." A possibly useful guide for gamers or administrators thinking about upgrading sometime soon.
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Windows Vista - Still Fresh After 19 Months?

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  • 19 Months? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by orkysoft (93727) <orkysoft@nosPAM.myrealbox.com> on Friday February 23, 2007 @05:22PM (#18128802) Journal
    So, has he actually been able to run Windows for 19 months without reinstalling? That's amazing!
    • Re:19 Months? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by HermMunster (972336) on Friday February 23, 2007 @06:53PM (#18129880)
      He's a paid blogger. His list of features are less than stellar and hardly warrant the bluster he gives them.

      It isn't uncommon to have someone gain familiarity with something, and then when switching feel a loss for some things or feel that the old way was better. Humans shun change.

      I am entitled to 10 licenses of XP Pro, 10 XP Pro 64 bit and 10 Vista Business and I use Ubuntu on my main box with XP Pro on all the others. This isn't because of not wanting to change, it's because Vista sucks that bad. He doesn't even honestly talk about the draconian nightmarish DRM infections in Vista. No way am I going to relinquish my computer rights to Microsoft and the pathetic content providers. I want less of Microsoft entwined in my system; not more.

      BTW, FYI, the WGA Notification program (remake, take-two) has been released and you all should be careful about going to Microsoft's site and accidentally installing it. It does prompt you to install, but it still is malware in the keenest form. The installer uses very deceptive and manipulative language by offering enhanced security when WGA Notification has nothing, absolutely nothing, to do with security of any kind.
      • Re:19 Months? (Score:5, Informative)

        by Planesdragon (210349) <slashdot@@@castlesteelstone...us> on Friday February 23, 2007 @07:17PM (#18130106) Homepage Journal
        No way am I going to relinquish my computer rights to Microsoft and the pathetic content providers.

        Psst. You don't have to. The "DRM" in Vista is hardly more than what's in XP or OSX; it's just that the on-disk versions of MS-apps support it, rather than the on-update versions for XP.
      • by westlake (615356)
        He doesn't even honestly talk about the draconian nightmarish DRM infections in Vista. No way am I going to relinquish my computer rights to Microsoft and the pathetic content providers. I want less of Microsoft entwined in my system; not more.

        maybe he doesn't talk about it because he can't hear you over the music or the movie he's playing.

        maybe he doesn't talk about it because to him a computer as a source of popular entertainment is nothing more than a household appliance. like a console video game. t

      • Re:19 Months? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by drsmithy (35869) <drsmithy@gmailSLACKWARE.com minus distro> on Friday February 23, 2007 @09:29PM (#18130996)

        He doesn't even honestly talk about the draconian nightmarish DRM infections in Vista.

        Probably because, like 99% of people, he'll never, ever have to worry about them.

        No way am I going to relinquish my computer rights to Microsoft and the pathetic content providers.

        Then don't use DRM encumbered media. Whether or not you are using Vista is irrelevant.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by TeraCo (410407)
        This isn't because of not wanting to change, it's because Vista sucks that bad.

        If it was because vista sucked, you'd be using XP instead. It's really because you're a linux advocate. Which is cool, I know kids today like to use linux on the desktop, but please be honest.

  • by Svartalf (2997) on Friday February 23, 2007 @05:22PM (#18128804) Homepage
    The BOFH has it right...

    "You should go to Vista."

    "So you like Vista?"

    "Not really, no. I run a Vista simulator."

    "Virtual Server?" the Boss asks.

    "Nah, I just turned on all the flashy crap in XP, changed the background image, took some memory out of my box and clocked down the CPU. Then broke Media player. Works like a charm."
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by WillAffleckUW (858324)
      "Nah, I just turned on all the flashy crap in XP, changed the background image, took some memory out of my box and clocked down the CPU. Then broke Media player. Works like a charm."

      True. When my WinXP laptop stops being able to use software, the only upgrade I'll be doing is finally switching to either Linux, BSD, or a Mac at that point.
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by supaneko (1019638)
        Thank you. I will second you on this. I almost fell for the Vista upgrade "experience" but after hearing of the dreadful "security enhancements" added to Vista, I'll stick to XP.

        I just hope that Apple doesn't go the way of Microsoft and implement DRM in their OS. Rumors lately seem to point to Apple wanting to that, despite Steve Jobs saying he's against DRM.
  • by MMaestro (585010) on Friday February 23, 2007 @05:23PM (#18128816)
    Not counting the "beta" versions given to special corporations and colleges, I don't think its fair to judge Vista just yet. Asking if Windows Vista is still "fresh" after 19 months is like asking if the PS3 is still "fresh" after 12 months.
    • I have been using it now on a laptop for more than 18 months. Granted I am an employee of a very large corporation, but that is indeed the point.

      I would also agree with the article. I miss some of the features in Vista when I'm in XP, but I also miss some of the XP features when I'm in Vista. The software was -kinda- (not exactly) like upgrading from Windows 98SE to Windows 2000. An improvement, but not all that visible until everyone else had upgraded and software was written to take advantage of all t
  • by wombatmobile (623057) on Friday February 23, 2007 @05:26PM (#18128850)

    This from a professional reviewer after 19 months on the job:

    "Is Vista more stable that XP? Hard to tell as I don't have a lot of problems with XP but I do feel that Vista is on the whole more robust."

    On the whole, ZDNET adheres presents a robust standard of informative journalism. But there are exceptions.

    • by Livius (318358) on Friday February 23, 2007 @06:26PM (#18129540)
      I would go farther and say that if this article is really the result of 19 months of research, then the reviewer is hiding something.

      Every point made is vague and subjective, and completely meaningless. If Kingsley-Hughes thinks that the 'Start Menu' is an indicator of performance, I have to wonder if he even knows what an operating system is.

      Windows Vista: It's still not a Mac.
    • Yep, I being to understand now why people no longer bother to RTFA so often on Slashdot. I thought this was the best line:

      What Aero does is for the first time give you a truly 2.5D desktop in Windows.

      Speaking as someone who writes computational geometry software for a living, I'm pretty sure that statement is just a load of words strung together to sound cool, while having absolutely no real meaning whatsoever.

      • by Sj0 (472011)
        What he MEANT is that you're going to want Vista to run all those really cool games from 1996 based on the BUILD engine. Duke Nukem 3d rocks!
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by jez9999 (618189)

        What Aero does is for the first time give you a truly 2.5D desktop in Windows.

        Speaking as someone who writes computational geometry software for a living, I'm pretty sure that statement is just a load of words strung together to sound cool, while having absolutely no real meaning whatsoever.

        What it means is that all the windows as still 2d, but when you press alt-tab, you get rotated 3d windows passing by instead of inferior icons.

        I mean, I know Bethesda Softworks and Valve and people have been making advanced 3d engines for a while now, but Microsoft managed to rotate windows in Vista. I don't know about you but I think that's pretty damn amazing.

  • by ThePyro (645161) on Friday February 23, 2007 @05:39PM (#18128972)

    From the article:

    From an efficiency point of view, Vista beats XP hands down...It's the small things that make the difference - the improved Start Menu...

    Maybe it's just me, but I hardly use the Start Menu. I assign keyboard shortcuts to all my commonly used applications. I might go digging around in the Start Menu a couple times a week, but's hardly a reason to change operating systems.

    ...improved search...

    Is that really a huge efficiency boost? I use Windows Search even less than I use the Start Menu. It's very rare that I don't know where to find something on my own machine. Does anyone else use the Search function that often? For what are you typically searching?

    the larger, more detailed icons (which are a real eye saver if you run at screen resolutions of 1280 x 1024 and above)

    Yikes! Large icons are the first thing I usually turn off. What a waste of screen space. Once again, is this really a huge efficiency boost?

    So in conclusion, "beats XP hands down" translates to two features I'd never use, and larger icons that I'll want to turn off. Think I'll wait a bit...

    • by Eideewt (603267)
      You might use the search more if it were useful. I'm running Linux (so I don't use Windows search much either), but I use the "slocate" command to search a database for file names all the time. When I want to know if I even have the file I'm looking for it's much easier to to an instant search than it would be to look in all the likely places.
    • by 99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) on Friday February 23, 2007 @05:52PM (#18129114)

      I assign keyboard shortcuts to all my commonly used applications. I might go digging around in the Start Menu a couple times a week, but's hardly a reason to change operating systems.... Is that really a huge efficiency boost? I use Windows Search even less than I use the Start Menu. It's very rare that I don't know where to find something on my own machine. Does anyone else use the Search function that often? For what are you typically searching?

      This was almost exactly my attitude when I started using Mac OS X 10.4. Spotlight indexed searching, well okay, but I don't really do that. I now use spotlight every day for both finding some document and quickly starting applications. In less than a second, using only the keyboard, I can do a search for some string and open that PDF file I was reading about the MPLS adoption in Europe. I don't need to know if it was in my e-mail attachment inbox, saved to the desktop, or if I was a good boy and actually filed it with my research materials. In less time than that I can search for and open some program I rarely use but recall the name of. Imagine if your search was globally accessible from the keyboard and faster than going to the start menu and selecting something for items you haven't made shortcuts for. For those items you did make shortcuts for, there is no need. Photoshop is "cmd-space+p+h+enter" and it is open.

      Now my experiences with Vista RC1 were somewhat less encouraging, but I'd have a hard time giving up my indexed search at this point and I imagine in a year or two when MS has ironed most of the bugs out, you may find yourself feeling the same way. I would seriously try using these features for a while and see what your opinion is then, rather than pre-judging them.

    • by Rycross (836649)
      The start menu is a mixed bag. The start menu itself has an improved layout, but the new programs submenu really blows. It took me a while to get used to it. Basically, instead of expanding menus like the XP Programs menu, think a compact tree view shoved into the area of the existing start menu. Its a lot harder to navigate.

      Luckily, I don't use the programs menu that much. Most of my programs are accessed through the top-level start menu shortcuts.

      I will add that I disagree with the article that Vista
    • The indexed search kicks ass. No one ever used search in XP because it was useless, but in Vista it's easier and faster to just hit Windows and then type the approximate file name than the actually open explorer, click through to the folder, etc. etc. On the other hand, I used to do the same thing with Google Desktop search in XP, so it's not a huge reason to upgrade.
      • by Blakey Rat (99501)
        It's great for people who can't run Google Desktop Search because of corporate policy. (Why Google had to get a perfectly useful tool, then start mining data from it... ugh!)
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by archen (447353)

      > the larger, more detailed icons (which are a real eye saver if you run at screen resolutions of 1280 x 1024 and above)

      Yikes! Large icons are the first thing I usually turn off. What a waste of screen space. Once again, is this really a huge efficiency boost?

      Actually I find the icons are making vista harder to use. If you look at the control panel in "classic mode", it looks like a jumbled together collage of shiny garbage. Many of the system program icons should utilize either extremely simple repres

      • by Rycross (836649)
        I agree with the control panel assessment. I can't point out what exactly it is with the new icons, but I always seem to get this reaction where I have trouble finding the right icon. Part of it is that they made more settings immediately accessable from the control panel, without having to dig through sub menus.
    • by aslate (675607)
      Actually, the search is really useful, especially the start-menu builtin search.

      I always used Winkey-R and typed in the location of my program, damned fast and really simple, although regular users wouldn't do that. Now i hit winkey, type in the program name (firefox) and up comes a search list, at the top Firefox is there, below it will be any files with the word firefox in the name from my profile and then the file-text search.

      I agree the actual menu sucks compared to the old one in many ways, but i've al
    • by Roadkills-R-Us (122219) on Friday February 23, 2007 @06:44PM (#18129748) Homepage
      You left out nicer fonts!

      But almost everything he said could have as easily been done in XP- better fonts, faster startup, improved search... all this could have just as easily been in SP2, or at least SP3, if MS hadn't been expending all that money and energy on Vista.

      Here's my favorite quote: ``Some programs still have problems with Vista but the blame for this really falls on the vendor and not Microsoft.''

      I wonder how he arrives at that? If the program already existed, and Vista didn't, and MS wrote Vista with backward compatibility in mind (did they?) it's hardly the app vendor's fault. But even if MS didn't care about backward compatibility, that's not the app vendor's fault. They can't write programs to an OS that hasn't been written! So this was just a goofy statement.

      On the flip side, an employee here just bought a laptop with Vista on it. Another admin has spent at least a day working on the stupid thing over the past week or so, just trying to get it to work properly on a network that has been supporting several versions of Windows as well as OSX, Linux and Solaris for years. Granted, he hasn't used Vista before, but he knows Microsoft OSes prior to Vista just fine. (One of the things that pisses me off about MS is that with every release you have to learn where things are all over again.)

      And there is NO excuse for scrolling something like a start menu using standard sized fonts. None. Ever. Morons.
    • by misleb (129952)

      Is that really a huge efficiency boost? I use Windows Search even less than I use the Start Menu. It's very rare that I don't know where to find something on my own machine. Does anyone else use the Search function that often? For what are you typically searching?

      Not Windows, but rather OS X... I use the search a lot. Mostly because it also searches my email and contents of documents (quickly)). I probably wouldn't use it much if it only searched file names.

      -matthew

    • by Sj0 (472011)
      It's pitiful, but dir /s /b is so much faster than windows search in XP, that I'd expect that it wouldn't be hard to fix.
  • by codepunk (167897) on Friday February 23, 2007 @05:40PM (#18128984)
    I read that article and no where in it did I see any evidence of what is so earth shattering about it. He did mention stability but only a gut feel that even that may be better than xp.

    So what was MS working on all those years?
    • by rizzo420 (136707)
      i take it you didn't RTFA. in the article he says there's nothing earth shattering, but on a whole, it's better than XP.
      • by codepunk (167897)
        Better than XP how, he did not say a darn thing about what where or why it is a improvement to xp.
        • by rizzo420 (136707)
          did you even read the article? he made a few comments as to what he found better than XP... the start menu, the search, the icons, the robustness, the fact that you can get a resource boost by using a USB drive as extra system memory...

          maybe those aren't better to you, but to him they are. better is completely subjective and will mean different things to different people. he outright said he missed certain features of vista when he went back to XP. that alone says that something is right.
    • by twiddlingbits (707452) on Friday February 23, 2007 @06:07PM (#18129292)
      I agree. Nothing there to make me run out and buy Vista. The things he mentioned as "improvements" are not things that bother me, I rarely use the Start Menu at all, I don't use sounds as I find them annoying, and the XP fonts look fine to me, I don't do graphics work and my speed is just fine! So, with nothing really cool added and with all the bugs, the embedded DRM crap, the 9 levels of OK boxes to click to change settings and strange quirkly things that software packages that run fine on XP do on Vista, I'll stay away. Plus I don't feel like springing for new hardware.
      • This is a serious question... when I Google "Vista DRM" I see a lot of stuff on HD-DVD and BlueRay, broadcast flag bits, etc.

        None of that will affect my un-encumbered media files, right?

        Seems to me the Vista DRM "support", is only for files that, um, use DRM.

        Am I missing something?

    • As TFA and the even the /. summary note, there isn't anything Earth-shattering about it. It's an overall improvement, but not a very big one.

      Most of the stuff MS worked on for the last 10 years didn't make it into the final release. They spent the better part of the decade hyping the innovation that'd be coming anyday and then realised all the innovative stuff wouldn't work, so they took all that out and spent the last two years making UAC dialog boxes.
    • by slughead (592713)
      So what was MS working on all those years?

      Dead ends and evasion of blind corners.

      They took out everything that was going to be revolutionary (or at least interesting) about Longhorn and were afraid to try anything new for fear it would push back the already embarrassing release date or further alienating developers.
    • by SeaFox (739806) on Friday February 23, 2007 @09:32PM (#18131016)

      So what was MS working on all those years?

      DRM, and a new EULA.
  • The Bizaaro World (Score:4, Interesting)

    by rudy_wayne (414635) on Friday February 23, 2007 @05:42PM (#18128998)
    "even though I still use XP I find that I miss many of the features that Vista offers."

    I find this comment quite bizaare. After using Vista for nearly 2 months, my experience is exactly the opposite. I find Vista frustrating because many features from XP have been removed or changed in ways that make them less useful. There are no major problems with Vista, but dozens of minor annoyances. Each one by itself is no big deal, but together they add up to a major step backward.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by rizzo420 (136707)
      your 2 months pales compared to his 19 months. you have to let yourself become acquainted with the new locations for things. my guess is you didn't reach that point. i will say that the first time i saw vista to support someone's issue, i couldn't find where something as simple as add/remove programs was, but then i did. i'm making the switch next week and i'm sure it'll hurt my productivity a bit at first, but once i'm used to it, i'll be good.
  • by L. VeGas (580015) on Friday February 23, 2007 @05:49PM (#18129070) Homepage Journal
    I don't get it.

    Between work and home I have two Win2000 boxes and two XP boxes (and a Redhat as well). I remember still running NT when XP was introduced.

    Unless you have an application that can't be run on an older system, and by then you usually need a newer computer anyway, is upgrading really worth the hassle? A workstation for me becomes like an old pet. You're used to it. You know how what its quirks are.

    Personally, I've never felt a compelling reason to upgrade. I like shiny toys as well as the next person, but I have never upgraded a Windows OS in my life.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by mkoko (974106)
      Appearantly you've never had the misfortune of owning a Windows ME install. Lucky...
    • by drew (2081)
      I upgraded a '95 box to 2k back around 2001 or so. (The computer was actually only a year or so old, but I never ran '98, and I was a little slow to warm up to 2k) I'm sure I've 'upgraded' other times as well, although I've never really thought about it as such - I used to wipe and reload boxes pretty regularly, so there were probably times that the OS I reloaded was not the same as the one that I wiped. The '95 -> 2k was just the only time that I did it specifically for the reason of getting a new ve
    • by kabocox (199019)
      I don't get it.
      Between work and home I have two Win2000 boxes and two XP boxes (and a Redhat as well). I remember still running NT when XP was introduced.


      You know the silly feature in WinXP that made me want to upgrade my Win2000 box and some Win98 boxes to it? The built-in MS Picture and Fax viewer. Oh, sure I could download and install free ware image apps, and of course I have photoshop for evey image editing crap. But for those times just sitting down at some one else's PC and needing a builtin app. It
      • by Blakey Rat (99501)
        For me, it was that Windows XP Pro included Remote Desktop for free. That's a killer feature... for Linux and OS X you have to install VNC which doesn't work that well and isn't secure by default (and impossible to make secure easily.)

        That Microsoft released a Mac OS X client for Remote Desktop is just frosting on the cake.
        • Impossible to make secure easily?

          Just tell it to only accept connections from the local machine. That's all you have to do on server machine. usually from a GUI even.

          On the non-server machine, it's a bit more complicated, involving ssh tunneling.. which is still fairly easy to do if you happen to have a command line handy. Some of the VNC viewers will even do it automatically for you.

          In fact, that's the whole beauty of the "Unix way" you've got a small program like ssh that you can use to secure all kind
          • by Blakey Rat (99501)
            1) What the hell is the point of restriction connections to local machines only? You can remote in to your computer... but only from your computer! Moronic.

            2) In fact, that's the whole beauty of the "Unix way" you've got a small program like ssh that you can use to secure all kinds of less-secure remote processes, rather than having all the various programs reinvent the wheel every time.

            If you have enough free time to learn how. I looked up instructions for how to do this on Ubuntu, it was complete gibberi
  • by ADRA (37398) on Friday February 23, 2007 @05:52PM (#18129104)
    Looks like I'll stick it out with Win2k, nothing interesting here =)

    Reboots: I reboot my 2k media PC once a month maybe

    GUI: I still can't find a person that can point out why XP was so much better than 2000. If you can convince me, please do. There just aren't any productivity advances that I can see. The article author pointed out the vast productivity benefits from the start menu, but honestly, if you're spending more than 1% of your time in the start menu you're not being productive period.

    I think everyone who upgrades and claims it substantially better are under self-hypnosis. The 'beautiful graphics' are deluding you into believing the OS is so much better. If Microsoft had updated their driver compatibility layer like they did in XP, I don't think there'd be a single justification to ever buy XP. But like I said, I dare the community to say differently. Give me a reason to enter graphics country!

    Price: How much for media center edition? Ouch.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by SEMW (967629)

      Price: How much for media center edition? Ouch.

      $119 [amazon.com]. Hardly "ouch".

      The article author pointed out the vast productivity benefits from the start menu, but honestly, if you're spending more than 1% of your time in the start menu you're not being productive period.

      I think the thing with Vista's start menu is that it has accessed to the full indexed search of your system, and so acts kindof like Spotlight on a Mac -- i.e. you can get to any application, control panel applet, email, document, file, folder, IE favourite/history, etc. by pressing the windows key and typing a few letters from it. I can see how that could be a productivity boost.

  • Some small features an incremental improvement over previous versions. Will MS ever stop innovating?
  • It sounds like this 'feature' just moves the page file to a flash device. Am I missing something? This guy makes it sounds like it's some kind of big deal.
    • by SEMW (967629)

      It sounds like this 'feature' just moves the page file to a flash device. Am I missing something?

      Yes. Moving the page file to a flash drive would be a really bad idea; for two reasons. One, a flash drive has pretty rubbish sustained read speads, because it's limited by the speed of the USB connection. A well performing swap file needs to have good sustained read speeds; that's something hard drives aren't bad for. Two, flash drives have a limited lifespan; lots of writes (which you would have with a page file), would wear it out pretty quickly. That's also something hard drives are pretty good at

  • ... Oh, you mean Windows Vista, not Vista [vista.com]?

    That must be why I was so confused about this new GUI stuff - our backend GUI hasn't changed in 4 years!

  • by Kuciwalker (891651) on Friday February 23, 2007 @06:19PM (#18129438)
    I've been running Vista for a few weeks now and, on the whole, it's similar to XP but noticeably better. Most of the enhancements I've noticed are little things, mostly interface improvements, that combined just make the system easier to use. A particular example: in XP if you select a file and then click again on the name (or hit F2) it selects the filename and lets you edit it. What's slightly irritating is that it selects the file name *and* extension. In Vista it only highlights the name, so when I'm renaming several .doc files it ends up saving a LOT of clicks or keystrokes. As the auther mentioned, the larger icons are nice for high-resolution screens. Meh. The power management center is a lot better and simpler to use - I unplug my laptop and in two clicks I'm in low power mode. The per-application audio mixer is handy. Indexed search is nice, but you can get the same thing in XP with Google Desktop. Lots and lots of little things that really improve the UI taken together.

    Complaints:

    For some reason they fucked up the defragmenter and now it's just a big "defrag my hard drive now!" button with no progress indicator or something to show how fragmented your disk is (this *really* pisses me off). Startup/shutdown time is better, but hibernate/sleep is a problem - when I come out of them it doesn't remember I have a second monitor, and I have to reboot to get it back. Thus, they're mostly pointless.

    Surprisingly it runs a little faster on my notebook than XP did, I assume because of the caching (2GB RAM) and Aero offloading stuff to the GPU.

    All in all, I wouldn't want to go back, but I don't know it's worth the hassle of upgrading for everyone. Especially since not all software works quite right yet. YMMV.

    • by W2k (540424)
      Use the command prompt defragger. The GUI one is just there for the n00bs who can't figure out cmd.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Nightspirit (846159)
      There is a command line for the full defragmenter, I don't recall it but a quick google should pull it up. Vista is much better than XP, however, I returned to XP due to the horrible driver support from creative and nvidia. I figure it will take them at least a year to get their act together, so I will upgrade then.

  • by edwardpickman (965122) on Friday February 23, 2007 @06:19PM (#18129450)
    The more I read about Vista the happier I am with Win 2000. It has a handful of features that were somewhat improved but at a cost of it being slower than XP and a security system that depends on you manually authorizing things that you shouldn't have to. I have a couple of PCs and one Mac and the only time the mac bugs me is when I'm installing something or doing a monthly update. Try rebooting a windows machine and you are prompted to update something every time. Yes a lot of things can be turned off if you go digging but with my XP machine when I turned off some of the annoying stuff I got even more prompts. The biggest hesitation I have with Vista is the Microsoft fanatics aren't finding a lot of good to say about it. Leopard got a lot of flack from the PC community but personally I can't wait. I'll give it a month to make sure the upgrades are going smoothly but I can't wait to upgrade. That's a massive difference between the two systems. Most people in the PC community look at upgrading to Vista like they were looking at a snake and they aren't sure if it's poisonous or not. The Mac community can't wait for Leopard. Like I say the best sales promotion Mac Leopard has ever gotten was Vista. The difference between the two is fighting with the OS in Vista and not noticing the OS in Leopard. I use computers for the software not to get my rocks off configuring OSs. The more Microsoft "fixes" Windows the more interested in Mac I get. Funny how Mac is never trying to fix their security. I leave a Mac logged onto the net for days or weeks at a time without one problem. No need for firewalls and antivirus software. Macs aren't completely virus free but they tend to be more like urban legends. I've heard of them but I've never seen one.
  • by Bellum Aeternus (891584) on Friday February 23, 2007 @06:20PM (#18129460)

    One often over looked "benefit" of Vista is that it's Control Panel is completely redesigned and made much more confusing. So confusing in fact that my mother (after having upgraded and I don't know why) is unable to break her PC anymore by messing with the Control Panel. Under XP she knew where things were and would adjust them. Now she can't find anything, so I get fewer calls.

    On the flip side of the coin, the poor guys in my IT department are also lost as to where the hell the controls they need have gone in the new Control Panel.

  • As is typical for tech related queries Wikipedia is chock full of information on what changed with Windows Vista. I recommend people take a look at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Features_new_to_Windo ws_Vista [wikipedia.org] if you're interested.
  • After all the media that has been published on Vista and comparing it to XP - this article seems to offer very little. For someone who has used this 19 months,I was unimpressed with the writing and the lack of detail. Very little true insight was offered. Also, quotes like, 'Some programs still have problems with Vista but the blame for this really falls on the vendor and not Microsoft' really, really turned me off. It's nonsense. Who says it's not Microsoft's fault? Some of the largest software vendors in
  • thinks they can have a blog and thinks their opinion is worthwhile or insightful.

    This has to be one of the worst reviews I've ever seen. Can anyone enlighten me to this guy's credentials and why he's an authority on the subject? This sentence I loved: "What I can say quite honestly is that there seem to be far fewer bugs in Vista then there were in XP when it was released". This is not a review, this is a poorly worded opinion. No facts, no bug reports, not even specific personal experiences, just like
    • by SEMW (967629)

      It adds Windows Key + Tab 3d window switching. Let me tell you why this is horrible compared to OS X's expose or Linux' similar features

      Maybe, but at least it means that the core functionality (i.e. the new Desktop Window Manager) is there for anyone to build on. For instance, if you prefer expose, someone's already made an expose clone [labo-dotnet.com] for Vista's DWM, and in the next few months I imagine we'll be seeing a lot more.

      Security. Every time you want to do something that takes administrative access Vista throws two popup boxes in your face. [...] Disable the popups and you lose the whole "security"

      You can customize how Vista handles this. Instructions (nicked off lockergnome):
      Type gpedit.msc and click OK. Browse to Computer Configuration | Windows Settings | Security Settings | Local Policies | Security Options. Cu

      • well, for one, that's not fair since graphical sudo remembers your password for a configurable amount of time. Therefore it doesn't bother you for every action, just once for the likely duration of your administrative tasks. One of the ideas of interface design is to save your users as many clicks as possible. Sudo accomplishes that and gpedit will only downgrade security not alleviate clicks.

        "can't say that makes much difference to me; I'm admin of my own computer"

        Being an admin of the computer and bein
        • by SEMW (967629)

          "can't say that makes much difference to me; I'm admin of my own computer" Being an admin of the computer and being logged in is considered bad by any security specialist. That's the whole reason you get popups in vista, so that you're not always an admin, that's the whole point of the "security".

          I actually meant it in the more literal way -- i.e. that it's my personal computer, so I am my own 'sysadmin' whatever kind of account I happen to be logged in as, and whatever OS I happen to be using. As you say, in Vista even an 'admin' account only has standard user priveleges except when elevated (if UAC is turned on), and in Ubuntu there isn't even a root account set up be default, so I'm not sure which OS you're accusing me of being logged in as root on...

          The expose clone is pretty cool, does it run fast?

          No idea, never used it. The comments sugge

      • I don't really get people who say that this approach is "not security" and then advocate Linux instead: I have Ubuntu Dapper, and it's 'graphical sudo' approach is almost identical to Vista's

        That's an authentication dialog. It's making sure you're you and not someone who has walked up to your keyboard while you're getting a cup of coffee.

        It's the approval dialogs in Windows that are insane.
        • by SEMW (967629)

          That's an authentication dialog. It's making sure you're you and not someone who has walked up to your keyboard while you're getting a cup of coffee.

          It's the approval dialogs in Windows that are insane.

          WTF are you on about?

          Ubuntu authentication prompt when running as a standard user [wordpress.com]

          Vista authentication prompt when running as a standard user [flickr.com]

          The only difference between them is that Vista tells you which program it is that wants privelage elevation. In all other respects, they're functionally identical. Hell, they even both darken your screen in the same way!

          And no, permissions were not invented purely as a method to, err, protect against "someone who has walked up to your keyboard while you'

  • This guy (or his company) are sponsored by MS. So he comes out and says nothing too bad about Vista.

    I have an MSDN Universal account and have had access to Vista for a long time. It has been a beast. I need to run VS 2003 and VS 2005, both suck on Vista. I need to run a local copy of SQL Server 2000, it sucks on Vista. I need to run a local copy of MySQL, it sucks on Vista. etc. There is a lot to not like about "Vista". MS shills don't need to reply.
  • "In a few weeks I hope that all the main rigs here at the PC Doc HQ will be running Vista and that XP (along with Windows 2000 will be relegated to test machines and VMware installs)."

    If this person can't even keep his sentence context straight, why the hell would I take anything he has to say about high technology seriously?
  • I couldn't tell you if Vista is anything better using it day to day over XP, since I've only been using it only for the last few hours, but when you compare it for ease of install between the two, Vista smokes XP like a cheap cigar.

    This has to have been the easiest MS install, even with all the "Are you sure" and "Are you really, really sure" boxes (they vanished with a few checkboxes) I've ever had to deal with. It installed the OS, connected itself to the LAN and internet, and managed to install or go o

  • I've been using Vista since November and although there are things about it that I'm not so fond of there is one particular feature that is indispensable and you really miss it when working on XP: the integrated search.

    While I still use Google Desktop Search on occasion because it is faster, it is no match for the full OS integration of the Vista search. Also it allows full boolean expressions making queries like "(Profit OR Overlord) OR (soviet AND russia) AND NOT Beowulf" possible. You navigate the file s

  • http://www.softpedia.com/get/System/OS-Enhancemen t s/Vista-Transformation-Pack.shtml [softpedia.com]

    Vista Transformation Pack will give to your Windows XP system the new and cool look of Microsoft's future operating system: Windows Vista. The pack changes most of the system icons, skins and toolbars and also adds new enhancements to your desktop such as a dock bar or a different system tray clock

    If you just like the look, then get this... it has some vista features too.
  • by flyingfsck (986395) on Friday February 23, 2007 @09:51PM (#18131130)
    NFS Client.
    New TCP/IP stack that won't overrun or lock up for interminable periods anymore.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 23, 2007 @09:54PM (#18131156)
    In Vista:
    If you Pull up the Start Menu, All Programs, right click on Computer, Select Properties, Then Advanced Features, then Performance, Selecting Optimize for Best Performance, and Hit Apply:

    All the 'Vista' stuff gets turned off,
    You get normal square windows aka - Windows 3.1 type windows.
    All Vista & Windows XP eye candy is turned off.

    So, You too, in order to get maximum performance,
    can buy a new Windows Vista computer,
    and optimize it for a personal Windows 3.1 experience!

    This Baffles Retail Store PC people,
    they think you reinstalled a different Windows.

I have never seen anything fill up a vacuum so fast and still suck. -- Rob Pike, on X.

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