back to article Microsoft finds good facts to sell Windows Vista

Microsoft has launched a "get the facts" style campaign, only this time to push sales of Windows Vista. The company has reportedly opened a website targeting OEMs and customers to counter reports circulating about missing driver support and a lack of third-party hardware and software working with Windows Vista. According to …


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  1. Morely Dotes

    You're out of touch, Mike!

    "Mike Nash, Windows product management corporate vice president, conceded a problem existed while also trying to downplay the issue. He attributed 80 per cent of user complaints to 4,000 drivers."

    No, Mike, drivers are not the biggest issue. You've released *yet another* version of Windows that:

    (1) Hides controls that the users are accustomed to in new and frequently obscure places;

    (2) Has yet another annoying user interface that's different to the one that all Windows users have chosen (when they could) since 1995;

    (3) Runs like a 1-legged dog on any machine that isn't top-of-the-line and outrageously expensive;

    (4) Is touted as "secure" and yet still suffers from many of the same old vulnerabilities in the tacked-on-and-nailed-in applications like Internet Explorer;

    (5) And is priced like gold, but made of manure.

    People aren't buying Vista because it's not good enough for business, and too sloppy and resource-hungry for gamers. Duh!

    Buy a clue, Mike. Surely Microsoft can afford one or two small clues. After all, you've got that war chest that you set aside to prosecute the Linux developers that are "infringing" on 235 patents which you refuse to name (probably because they either don't exist, or won't stand up to scrutiny in court).

  2. Sam

    Vista drivers and general compatibility

    I have had Vista since April and it has required 2 base reinstalls since then. So bad was it that every time I requested a shutdown I got a BSOD.

    However in respect of compatibility. Not only are drivers causing problems but the fact that I am precluded from using certain functionality. For example, Sky Anytime DOES NOT work with Vista so if you're a Sky subscriber you can forget trying using Anytime.

    Pretty much the same with most TV on demand providers (to a certain extent). Joost that said my PC didn't meet the system criteria although it exceeded it and basically said - well it 'may' work so give it a go (hardly scientific). I can't tell you how the Performance and Information Tools Graph just degrades totally from the day from which you first switch on - it only goes DOWN and DOWN and DOWN. Problems were never this bad with XP and since I was prevented from selecting XP for installation as an option when I bought my Dell machine 2 months ago, I am stuck with an operating system that should not have seen the light of day yet and I didn't want.

    Also a 'silent background virus scan' by Sophos triggers the User Account Manager Security for approval. Yet another reason why people will disable it since it's hardly silent is it?

    A thorough mess of an operating system and I now wish that I'd bought another Mac for my collection. Vista is too big, too different and TOTAL bloatware.

  3. James McGregor

    Not just lack of driver support

    Lack of driver support, incompatible software and hardware aren't the only things that are wrong with Vista. Don't forget the pitiful performance, the frequent and eternally annoying UAC dialog boxes, the dramatic slowdown in file copying and moving (due mostly to checking for DRM bits), the gigantic hardware footprint (needs at LEAST a P4 and 1GB of memory to be even borderline useable), the intensely irritating network management interface that requires more clicks than ever before it actually does anything useful, deliberately removed features that were present in XP like telnet, a decent disk defragmenter (now crippled) and thumbnail view in Explorer ... I could go on but frankly I just can't be bothered.

    Microsoft has obviously released some half-baked operating system that the customer will be forced to use as manufacturers such as Dell and HP won't ship their new PCs with anything else (Dell currently permit customers to choose XP instead of Vista on some PCs but that option is steadily disappearing). So in short, get ready for a rough ride as Microsoft beta tests its premature baby on consumers and hope that Vista SP1 (or Vista's successor) finally fixes things enough to make your PC useable again.

  4. Robert Lee

    We have the facts, right here...

    Do we really need Microsoft to give us the facts ? When we have them right in front of our eyes ? kinda like telling us a hamburger is not really meat when its beef ?

    I had a lot of customers whom got tired of trying to get Vista to work for them, and after a few weeks, rather spent money buying XP and then pay someone to 'downgrade' from Vista for them.

    Some fine examples :

    One who purchased a Vista laptop with Dual core and 2GB of memory find it run much slower (or feels slower than his old PC with P4/512MB), then his blackberry didnt install, wiped out all info on it during the process, his high-end digital camera has no Vista drivers, his 6 months old printer didnt have Vista drivers, his new digital microphone didnt have Vista drivers, little wonder why he went backward.

    One who purchased a Dell printer 6 months prior to Vista while running 98, Dell told him it wont work with 98, so I adviced him to upgrade to XP, due to heavy work, he waited until Jan, and new PC came with Vista, surprise surprise, now his 'old' printer wont work because Vista doesnt have any drivers.

    Its not totally Microsoft's fault that there are no drivers, but as the OS maker, they sure have the responsbility to ensure manufactures comes up with the goods, unless I am mistaken that hardware manufactures must all think this is a great time to sell more kits by not making Vista drivers for old hardware, forcing users to buy new kits, hence more income for them.

    Either way, its not good, if Vista really have something special to show for it, great, but deep down, for the average Joe, they simply want to be able to turn on PC, surf the web, type some letter, calculate a few spreadsheets, listen to MP3, and XP does the job beautifully, Vista do have the additional security features (with additional annoying security popups), better networking, question is, how many average Joe really sees and feels and needs that difference ? Not to mention the 'over doing it' interface, its like looking at a badly designed Mac screen, and the other and most annoying bit for me is what they have to change the names of icons ?

    'Add or Remove Software' , the name to me is right to the point, guess what they renamed it to now ? This is really a pointless exercise.

    Oh, have I missed the drop dead slow file copying ?

    Give huge credit to Dell UK, they allow us and our customers to specify XP when ordering new PC, this is a relief...until Jan 2008.

    Bottom line is :

    Microsoft is forcing us to 'upgrade' from something that works really well to a new system (to grab more cash I guess), during this exercise, also try to force us to re-learn what we have been using for over 10 years, moving icons to new position, give them different names etc. What users really wanted is simple, something that will work, works fast, and stable, with good hardware support, if they only spent that $5-6b on making XP more secure and more stable than what is a good product already, we will all be happy.

  5. Mark McGuire

    Dual Boot!!

    When I am absolutely forced to get Vista for some utterly necessary piece of software or feature I'll get it until then XP is my main boot and I have a Linux drive I use somewhat, but not enough because lack of wireless driver support (ndiswrapper likes crashing when installed). I am planning that Vista would be a secondary install to be used only when necessary since it would slow my computer down so much. For everything else it'll be on the Linux drive, but that won't happen until I get 50ft of cat 5e cable or a wireless card that works with Linux, until then XP is my choice.

    I wish M$ would add a deletion of Internet Explorer, though they never will. It seems to be the biggest hole for viruses and spyware and will never be secured and while it's there on my drive it's a liability. Sigh... can't wait until the M$ monopoly is destroyed with the main weapons of our fight: piracy, viruses, and Microsoft constantly screwing the consumer.

  6. Hate2Register

    Vista is poo.. *yawn*

    Everyone down at the local community center says that vista is a no-good piece of donkey-poo.

    We're all waiting for something better to come out...

  7. Jeremy Cordes

    The history of the world

    1. Bill, in his infinite wisdom, positions himself to take over the world by offering businesses a discounted copy of windows with every P.C. purchase.

    2. If you want a job, you have to learn it.

    3. Everyone hates it, and is extremely frustrated, but what are they going to do about it?

    4. Later, there are plenty of new O.S.'s being developed, but it's too late. Business is already fully enveloped in windows, and people are not willing to learn a new operating system because of their very frustrating experience learning windows (not realizing that they don't have to actually learn new O.S's, because they are much better at their architecture by now).

    5. LINUX and OSX comes along. Vastly superior, but not as "cheap" as windows (not in the monetary sense).

    6. Some become very good at programming windows, and consider themselves "expert programmers", unfortunately; windows is all they know, and the world goes to shit.

  8. Alan Donaly

    remember you were told

    I seem to remember some people not likeing

    the fact you had to register your OS with MS when

    xp came out now you see the results of this allowing them

    to tell you what to do, and by being stupid about Linux

    and how quickly MS has abused it's facts for hire

    program into the ground "get the lies" advertising

    is just a useless PR widget now if they had even come close

    to delivering the goods they could still use it. I won't

    lie I hate Microsoft even if I had to use the equivalent

    of OS2 on this computer I wouldn't go to one of their

    operating systems. HATE HATE HATE KILL KILL KILL MS!

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I work with several companies in the area and many have gotten new computers with the "latest and greatest" -- Microsoft Vista on them. Many of the users who get their computers "upgraded" call and ask if I can "take this damn thing off" for them.

    Drivers are just one small piece of their complaints. Many programs don't work or put things in obscure places and the program fails. Most go back to Windows XP, but more are just getting fed up with Microsoft and are going with Linux or Macs.

    Just my two cents from out in the field.

  10. Fluffykins Silver badge

    .....and again

    My company (small - only 10,000 staff) has run an internal memo that Vista is a no-no.

  11. amanfromMars Silver badge

    A Spade is a spade is a matter what you call it.

    MicroSoft or any Master of the Universe types are not interested in you exercising Controls in Operating Systems, they are only hell bent on their Controls exercising your ideas to the Benefit of their Operations. Windows allows them to see all that you Think. It is accurately named.

    And as for Vista, well, that is an arrogance to think to present a Operating System with Independent Drivers to paint their own Global Picture rather than just accepting Federated Bill's......... Ve haf vays off brainwashing you into doing as ve vish.

    And if Microsoft deny "Windows allows them to see all that you Think. It is accurately named." and it is true, then they are not as SMART with Windows as they should have been. But, that would be just too much imagination to compute to be true, methinks.

    Microsoft thinks to be ubiquitous which defaults it to the Status Quo dinosaur position of "We know best what is good for you because it is good for us" but there are always beta services 42 Offer Better and getting even Better Services/Applications.

    Tied to a national Interest provides for a Bigotted Architecture Model and a stunted, runt of an OS.

  12. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    It's not just a driver issue

    I'll be frank : Vista could have all the drivers in the world and be as sleek and fast as a Ferrari, I still wouldn't want it because I cannot stand a machine that is watching over what I'm doing and is programmed to refuse if it thinks I'm not doing right.

    For me, it's the DRM that is the problem. I have stopped buying music CDs since 8 years ago because of DRM on CDs and broken CD formats, so I really have no problem in refusing one stupid OS.

    Oh, and for the record, I do not download music that I don't buy. Neither will I buy Vista-only programs or games, even if they are hacked to run on XP.

    Whatever issues one may try to level at XP, the fact is that it is today by far the best consumer OS that Microsoft has ever made. It's stability is a leap above 9x and almost as good as NT (remember, I'm talking about an OS for users that are not sysadmins). It's intrusiveness is minimal (I was very suspicious about the authentication, but after years of upgrading and reinstalling, it hasn't bothered me one bit), and it does what I want it to do when I say so and as fast as the hardware can comply.

    Vista will never do exactly what I want it to do in the same conditions. Vista has been designed with the possibility to revoke a DLL or even a piece of hardware I have attached to the machine it runs on. I BEG YOUR PARDON ?! What on Earth gives you the right to refuse to work with a device I PAID FOR (hardware is not duplicated by pirate DVD burners yet) ?!?

    Not to mention the appalling slowness and Big Brother verification of every byte I copy from one partition to another, or even from one directory to another.

    No. I bought XP and that is quite obviously the last OS I will ever buy from Microsoft. Given the direction Ballmer is pointing the behemoth to, I am no longer interested in continuing the relationship. By the time I will not be able to use XP any more, Apple or the Linux community will have come up with something I can use to play my games on, and Microsoft will fly out the window like the pile of dust I swept off the floor last week.

    The comments in this thread are the facts you need to get, Steve B. I believe you have finally managed to piss off the general public. Your clock is ticking, Stevie. I think you should sell your shares short while they're still worth something (okay, I know I'm dreaming here so let me dream on).

  13. Martin

    Vista Facts

    I tried to install vista (Luckily I had an MSDN version, and didn't pay for it).

    It installed beautifully, although I did have to get out my driver disks so that it would recognise my hard drives.

    I rebooted... and it blue screened. That's it. It installed, said it was happy and now it BSOD's everytime I try to boot.

    I got the facts all right. I reinstalled XP.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: .....and again

    "My company (small - only 10,000 staff) has run an internal memo that Vista is a no-no."

    We're currently evaluating it (meaning all of the IT team, except me who runs Linux, have it - everyone else gets XP) and whilst it looks very pretty, it runs like a dog on our new machines (dual core, 2Gb RAM - not what you'd call gutless) and this is *before* all the fun and games with hardware/software incompatibilities.

    I'd love to think that this whole thing will blow up in Microsoft's face, but the combination of gratuitious eye-candy, coercion from the box shifters (hats off to HP and Dell though, they gave us an 'XP downgrade option') and a PC-buying public who often appear to display the collective IQ of yeast mean that this is unlikely to happen.

    If I want eye-candy, I'll use a Mac - for everything else there's Linux (with XP in a virtual machine)

  15. Mark Land

    back to OSX

    I quite liked Windows XP, it generally worked, even if it had lots of security problems - well one main one IE. I have no experience of Vista, but have switched to an iMac based on what I have read. How can Apple produce an OS that you can install and work with in 20mins, runs faster than XP on the same hardware and is easier to use and more secure than Vista? I guess that's what comes of not being a monopoly. It is sad that the general public associate what is the Windows nightmare with computers in general when Mac gives such a different experience.Vista is sold to us as somehow "new" technology when it is not as good as OS X which is based on BSD Unix that has been around even before I used it at Uni in the early 1980s. Who needs a UAC? Cannot MS look at the Linux or BSD source code and work it out for themselves how to create a secure OS?

  16. Nick Palmer

    Concur with many of the above

    Driver unavailability or incompatibility, while annoying (HOW long did it take nVidia to produce a proper driver that supported SLI?) is not a killer for me. Rather the fact that it is HUGELY resource hungry, and its adoption would require the sh*tcanning of a huge quantity of our existing hardware. I've tried running Vista on business-oriented PCs with the previously adequate integrated graphics and it sucks like a Dyson. We buy machines with Vista Business licenses, sure, because we'd be dumb not to, but the first thing that happens to any of them is that Vista gets nuked and XP Pro goes on instead. Oh...and Office 2007? You're having a laugh, right?

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    You guys must be using a different Vista to me. It is not perfect by any stretch, but it makes it tolerable to run as a non-admin.

    No-one likes when [insert vendor] moves [insert feature] around. There was the same complaint with the XP start menu and control panel. The rearrangement of things may have bugged me, but search is so quick I hardly use menus anyway.

    On a side note, if it bugs them that menus get moved around, I don't think a migration to another OS will be fun for them.

    In terms of crashes, I have had no issues, and no application compatibility issues, and UAC is pretty quiet (just as quiet as sudo for me). The software we write required no specific modifications for Vista. Crappy software that presumes admin rights to run when it doesn't really need them may send UAC prompts when launched. Software that sucks will lose popularity.

    I have no associations with Microsoft except our company has a MSDN subscription.


  18. Daniel

    Compatibility VS control

    You would prefer MS goes the Apple way and FORCES hardware upon the USER?

    Sheesh, MS comes about and TRIES to make hardware compatible with almost anything, people moan.

    The recently released iPhone is a great example of apple belief: "You will only run on our hardware, our software". If their backend servers detect otherwise, enjoy your $600 paperweight.

    I'm not saying MS is perfect in all regards, but there's always going to be people on both sides of the fence. My laptop uses XP Pro, I love it. My core 2 duo desktop, 2GB ram, latest hardware, loves Vista. No slowdowns. Each system has its thing; I still remember buying a 4meg ram upgrade for $100 so I can run Windows 95, from Windows 3.11 for workgroups. What were my options? right, linux, $300+ for the "open" os.

  19. Dave McEneaney

    Sick of Microsoft bashing

    We have an MSDN subscription, so in the first week of December last year, a shiny pack of Vista disks plopped onto my desk. I took a quick backup of my system drive, bunged in the disk, formatted and installed. Driver support was nonexistent, however, I was able to happily use the old XP drivers, freely downloadable from my motherboard manufacturers site.

    Used it quite happily for a month, got a new machine, installed Vista. This time, it fired up for the first time, and told me that a bunch of 'updates' (5 or so) were available from windows update. These were security patches and so forth. Installed the drivers for my motherboard directly from the manufacturers website, no problem.

    Come May, new hardware, new machine, new reinstall. This time, upon getting to the desktop for the first time, Vista had gone off to windows update and got 20 new drivers, for ALL my hardware (including specific ones for my mouse + keyboard, printer, scanner, every tiny bit of my motherboard, wireless, phone). All installed flawlessly, no problem.

    So Microsoft ARE doing their bit - windows update under vista is a total joy. Even a brain-dead 'home' user is capable of clicking 'yeah, I'd like to install all these latest drivers please'. I wonder how many people complaining about a lack of driver support are people sticking in the CD that came in the box of the hardware and battling with some god-awful, custom autorun application, rather than going to the manufacturers website and getting a proper, clean .inf driver install pack - which is what any half-clued up person, or IT bod in a business would do anyways.

    Vista runs like a dream on both my home and work PCs - admittedly, they're fairly high spec (scoring 4.2 and 5.2 on the windows experience thing respectively), and I've not found ANY program that won't run on it - but maybe that's because I stick to decent applications and keep my kit free of desktop toolbars, search helpers, background virus scanners, anti-spyware programs, yahoo messenger clients, 3 or 4 different firewall products, adaware, popup blockers and all the other crap that I constantly find on the computers of people and businesses that we don’t support.

    But the renaming of Add / Remove Programs makes me gnash my teeth and have a hissy fit every time I go looking for it.

  20. Gabor Laszlo

    sounds like a great business opportunity

    Charge a hundred quid to downgrade any new laptop/PC to XP or Linux (or XP running VMware with a linux guest - no driver problems). Use disc images for common models (HP, Dell, whatever) to make it go REALLY fast, it's like printing money.

  21. Robert Jones

    Just Wondering

    I have not bought a new machine this year. Not had the need. I was just wondering does anyone actually like Vista ?

  22. Vince

    re: James' comments

    [the frequent and eternally annoying UAC dialog boxes]

    ..which I discovered also means a feature called "Virtual Store" exists redirecting write requests to "Program Files" - this in turn causes some well known apps to lose the plot and stop operating properly. To switch that off, you have to disable UAC - so that is gone and now I have nothing better than before to protect me.

    [the intensely irritating network management interface that requires more clicks than ever before it actually does anything useful]


    [deliberately removed features that were present in XP like telnet]'s still there, try adding it as a component - it's just not "there by default"

    [, a decent disk defragmenter (now crippled)]

    ...let's not forget the useless backup software replacement for the age old nt backup which has always worked and been more than a little useful.

  23. Eric Van Haesendonck

    They are already loosing market share...

    Last quarter the retail market share of Macs increased significantly. I think there is a link...

    The mere fact that they need to put so much effort in trying to convince OEMs, businesses and consumers to upgrade is definitelly a sign of something going wrong.

    the last time we had a major change of the drivers architecture was Windows 2000, but at that time there was a genuine need to upgrade for stability and security reasons, so users and businesses reluctently put up with it. This is definitely not the case with Vista...

  24. Matt

    I like vista......

    Im not sure what the whinging is all about... ive vista on a T7200 with 2gb of ram it works ok...

    true there are niggles...

    the thing takes longer to resume from standby than my G4 powerbook

    search takes longer than my G4 powerbook

    the aero app switcher lacks many features that i love on OSX

    but my main complaint... apart from the occasional bsod is the (my) documents folder and start menu

    in XP there was a My documents folder... in there it was easy to fing your documents... in vista there are about a dozen useless random folders filling up the space... the same for the start menu.... an insane number of shortcuts sprayed randomly about!

    but it is pretty... almost as nice as aqua on my 4yearold G4 powerbook, which is ironically the machine i choose to use on a day to day basis!!!

  25. Dax Farrer

    Vista 64 bit

    Im using it at the moment on a new box.

    UAC can be turned off

    File copying is slow

    Problem with running my monitor with a combined DVI VGA connector, BSOD every time it started, got round that but getting a DVI to VGA adapter, then sticking a VGA to DVI adaptor on the end, then plugging it in. Works ok.

    If the PC goes into sleep then it cant bring the monitor or mouse back out of sleep.

    Cant seem to copy files to another vista computer across the network (no matter how I fiddle with the perms), but its fine copying files to an XP box

    Loads of services keep stopping, but Im not sure why, or sometimes even what the service is for that has stopped, doesnt seem to effect anything.

    Something wrong with font scaling, or something, it looks fine after you restart the app, but after a resolution change everything looks a bit dodge.

    Overall though I have to say I had worse with 98 1st edition and ME.

    It depends what you want from your computer experience I think. If you want to hack, then you know this is not for you. If you want to play DX10 games, then you really don't get much choice, do you ?

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Personally prefer Vista to XP

    We just bought 3 new laptops for work. Came with Vista Business (no choice). We're downgrading them to XP Pro (we occasionally use some old development tools and dongles designed for NT and just about work in XP, so for this reason stick with XP for now). The process of doing this has not been easy.

    Firstly, XP installer didn't recognise the SATA controller (didn't say this, just said 'Error in CDROM.sys'). After working out the problem, found a driver disk and loaded at start of installer. Reformat drive, installer asks to insert driver disk. But it is! After more searching, discover that the floppy drive (XP requires controller drivers to be on a floppy) isn't 100% supported in XP so stops working halfway through.

    In the end had to disable SATA Native mode in the BIOS before running the installer again.

    Then trying to activate XP with downgrade rights from Vista... don't get me started on that! Needless to say we had to re-install again using Volume License media to get round the problems.

    Contrast this to Vista, it worked straight out the box with all the hardware.

    Personally I use Vista on an old Athlon XP 3000+, 1GB RAM and an old Radeon 9700 Pro card (£40 from eBay 2 years ago). Full AERO effects, no problems, and plays Half-Life 2 great. I've not noticed any noticeable performance difference between XP and Vista on this machine. Not had a single blue screen on it (unlike XP on the same machine).

    Just a single person's opinion, but I've been pleased with it.

  27. Mark

    Re ....The history of the world (There is an Answer!)

    I really agree with your comments. Well actually Linux can be free and there is an answer for Vista........Ubuntu! It's Free (they even send out a limitless copies and stickers), reliable and you only need 256mb memory and 4GB Hdd.

    I find Ubuntu easier to use than any WIndows OS and there is thousands of people to help you with any problem you can think about. PLUS You, thats right! You control your OS, set colours, themes, software and if you are good at programming, it is easy to redesign programs and pass them on to the rest of the world. It is really reliable and I have not seen it crash yet.

    It has MSN Messenger, Internet, Office, Email, Games, Finance Utils, Network Mangement Tools etc etc.

    Good bye Microsoft you are no longer needed. Nor is Mac worth using (hypocrites) They have been slagging MS off for the ages yet, They (MAC) ripped features off Linux, Charge both arms and legs for there laptops/imacs which can't be upgraded and generally have smug feel that simply isn't attractive.

    No OS is perfect but there is a fine line to where you abuse the customer, and yes VISTA does abuse everyones intelligence.

  28. Matthew

    How about a different angle?

    I've also given up on Vista after a brief trial - when (guess what?) my wireless network driver refused to work with it... But the hardware I had to upgrade has done wonders for XP's performance!

    But surely, with all of El Reg's vast readership and an ever-increasing base of users running Vista, there must be someone somewhere who likes it.

    So I lay down the gauntlet to those people: speak up and tell us! Or is it (as I suspect) that there isn't actually anyone who has a good word for Vista?

  29. Mike Mike

    XP Activation

    Microsoft better figure a way out for this one. They are going to have an end of lofe cycle for XP and it is just around the corner.

    Unlike 98 or 2000 Pro, XP has this built in activation scheem in the name of PIRACY (yea right) and has now positioned itself to flip the switch and everyone will have no choice but to use Vista - Oh Boy!!!

    OEM licenses cannot be transfered and they are going to stop selling new XP Licenses for new systems and then what.

    I remember this same issue with ME and the masses just stayed with 98 until something better like XP came along.

    Mike ...

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    BSOD ?

    BSOD !

    All you people out there seem to have some strange idea this refers to a 'Blue Screen' of something or other.

    I will now give you the real FACTS which Microsoft doesn't ever publish - it actually means :-


    There, now you all know!

  31. Mr_Flibble

    Pay for this ???

    Last time I was tied down treated unfairly and charged for it I was in Amsterdam.

    Really who would want to pay for it ?

    Half of our network services won't run on it.

    We have already stopped buying Sony viao laptops because it has it on.

    Thanks but no thanks I have enough problems.

    That and now even games designed for it can be cracked I have even less reason to use it.

  32. Steve

    XP my arse

    I'm still on Win 2K Pro, and I'm not giving it up for anyone, this is the most solid and reliable windows box I have ever owned, and at 3GHz and 1GB of RAM it does everything I need it to do with good grace.

    Just yesterday I was running IIS services, a SQL Server instance, a MySQL instance with two DBs, working on a website in Macromedia, dissasembling some DLLs with IDA, editing a word document, running ethereal, viewing and editing several text documents, running a hex editor and prototyping an application in VS 2k3, and another in VB6 all at the same time, with no problems.

    All with Outlook and firefox up at all times, both used frequently.

    (And yes, I get through a lot of energy drinks '-)

    Vista won't even show me it's pretty face on this kit, since I'm sharing 64MB of that RAM with my on board video. That's frankly obscene bloat, even by MS standards.

    MS is about to be a victim of it's own success, or perhaps, a victim of the fact that hardware manufacturers managed to catch up with MS Bloat just in time to make XP or 2K really useable on kit everyone owns.

    PS. amanfrommars : I know who you are, you old usenet surrealist.

    PPS. linux fanboys : KDE2 runs quickly enough to be useable on my Pentium 90 laptop (although I replaced it with fluxbox last year for that non standard geek chic), KDE >=2 runs like a fuc***g dog on the 3GHz box, so you can all STFU about how Windows is bloat and *nix isn't. Oh yeah, and the 2.6 Kernel ? Only dropped support for my legacy hardware didn't it ?

    So I call PKB at you lot, before you even get started, pillocks.

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How could this happen again

    This make Windows ME look good

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    xp has its own problems

    This is funny, back when XP started being intrusive (with the online authentication) there was similar moans about MS. Some of us made the switch to 100% linux back then... (instead of dual booting as with 98).

    Later with the Windows Genuine Advantage, MS put their cards on the table and told everyone that they don't trust you, don't care about your time or your work and its only your money they are after...

    Well despite XP being fairly stable (at least when you look at VIsta!) you all brought this on yourselves by sticking with the same company that shafted you before.

    If you think Vista would be anything other than a waste of your time for the at least the first two years (and many service packs) then you are muppets they advertise at...

    Bill himself even said that Vista would boost the hardware market as it needed higher specs... you haven't been conned you walked into this with you eyes wide open...

    ha ha ha!!!

  35. conan

    No need to complain

    If you don't like Microsoft's products, don't buy them. Don't use them. There's a great deal of free software out there which can do a great deal of stuff very well. The problems that Microsoft causes are down to us, the user base, choosing to use Microsoft. If they're that bad, switch, don't just complain and live with it. I expect that pretty much everyone who reads The Register knows what to expect from Microsoft, so there can't be many claims of ignorance.

    I'm a gamer, so I use Windows. I think Windows is great, because it has games available for it that I want to play. Microsoft write things like Directx, which may not be the best API for graphics, but it's unified development in the games industry which allows a lot of low-margin games companies to exist. If I didn't like the games Windows runs, I'd buy a games console. If I don't want to use it for email, word processing, web browsing et cetera then I won't. I'll use Linux, or if I really don't want to have a dual-boot system then I'll buy VMWare and run Linux in Windows.

  36. James McGregor

    Re: conan (No need to complain)

    "If you don't like Microsoft's products, don't buy them."

    Yes, that's all very well (since no-one in their right mind would upgrade their existing PC to Vista themselves) but bear in mind that Dell and HP won't ship their PCs or laptops with anything *but* Vista. So you have to buy a licence bundled with your new computer whether you like it or not. Of course you can install whatever you like when you actually get your PC but that's not the point. What *is* the point is that Dell and HP are forced by Microsoft to ship an operating system that frankly is half-baked and not up to the job. So as a result of corporate arm-twisting the OEMs have to support an operating system that isn't even finished yet and is causing their customers a lot more grief than XP.

    Luckily, you can currently specify XP instead of Vista on Dell's website (because customers asked specifically for it) but for how long will that last? My guess is until Vista SP1. I sincerely hope that Microsoft's Vista guys are working round the clock to fix their operating system and that they have a reasonably flexible delivery date for SP1 so that it's only released when it's ready - unlike Vista!

  37. Martin Owens

    No mogadonic snails here

    >> KDE >=2 runs like a fuc***g dog on the 3GHz box, so you can all STFU about

    >> how Windows is bloat and *nix isn't. Oh yeah, and the 2.6 Kernel ? Only

    >> dropped support for my legacy hardware didn't it ?

    I'm not sure what version of KDE you tried but I'm running 3 (Kubuntu 7.04) on a 1.7Ghz/512MB box and I see no slow down. have a look at KDE 4, aparently they sped a few things up and you always have the choice of using other DEs.

    As for your kernel problem, well it's VERY rare for hardware to be dropped completely from the kernel; this is a kernel with drivers for the bt878 still there working. did you ask the devs for the driver to fix any problems? normally you have to pay or work at moving linux forwards.

  38. Claire Robinson

    It's getting quicker

    One of the reasons for the slow uptake of Vista has been concern about its compatibility with existing applications. In the six months since Vista’s launch, Camwood has profiled more than 5,000 applications; the company discovered that only around 20% show issues which make them incompatible with the new platform. But, for many organisations, the difficult and time consuming process is finding out which applications are included in this 20% and why.

    At Camwood we estimate it takes between 8 and 16 hours to manually test an application for its functional compatibility with Vista. As a result we have just launched, appTitude - our assessment and reporting software which can dramatically cut the time and cost of moving to Microsoft’s Vista platform. Using appTitude, this process is cut to between 5 and 10 minutes.

    After running appTitude, companies can see immediately which applications are and which are not Vista compatible. Each application is tested against specific criteria and the results are shown in a detailed report. Its key findings are highlighted as red, amber or green: red requires the most attention and green shows there are no apparent issues.

  39. Don Mitchell

    Whence the next OS?

    I'm not thrilled about Vista, Microsoft had time to do something better. They know that, and heads have rolled in Redmond because of these failures (Mike Nash, Jim Alchin are gone now). But where will the a more advanced operating system come from?

    The Linux fanboys push their 20-year-old UNIX technology on us, like Jehova Witnesses trying to get us to read The Watchtower. Windows NT was way beyond UNIX when it came out (kernel threads, async I/O, completion ports, events, critical sections), and this at a time when UNIX was just beginning to support semaphores. Linux has assimilated a lot of those NT features, but Windows is still well beyond it in kernel technology, extensible GUI programming, and the Common Language Runtime. But Windows is bloated as everyone is saying.

    Maybe Apple will do something interesting, but they've never really had a great operating system. Good UI design, but not a great underlying platform, nobody likes programming Macs.

  40. Peter Mc Aulay

    Death first

    I wouldn't install Windows "Fisher Price" XP way back when and I certainly won't install Vista now. My desktop runs Win2K. I might install XP when games no longer support 2K (which will be a while yet, I think). I dread the day an employer forces me to use Vista; *that* day will surely come even though I'm a Unix admin by trade...

  41. Tom

    Stop whinging

    Vista works fine as long as you have decent hardware. If anything, it'll just end bringing lots of fast but cheap hardware which you can use for Linux.

    I installed Vista early December on an old PC, it detected all my drivers and worked fine, got a new PC, transferred the disk from old PC to new and it still works fine! Never had it crash, although initially confusing, it is far superior to XP.

    The only problem is file transfers have slowed down... hopefully MS will fix this in SP1.

    I currently dual-boot Ubuntu and Vista but have to say that I think Vista is slightly better.

  42. Chris Sharp

    Re: Does anyone actually like Vista?

    To the people asking if anyone likes Vista and the one person asking if anyone is brave enough to say they like Vista: so far I've read two comments in this thread from people saying that they like Vista and it runs really well, there's a lot of comments so you may have missed them but they are there, really they are

  43. Dillon Pyron

    Many not installing Vista

    I know of many companies not installing Vista, including several computer makers. It's just not gaining enterprise acceptance. Consumers have no choice in the matter.

  44. Matt

    I want to thank Microsoft for Vista

    I want to thank Microsoft.


    I'm serious.

    They have done more for Apple and OSS by releasing Vista than ever before. It is making more and more people realise that there ARE alternatives, and globaly widening the whole OS platform and therefore the take-up of Linux and OSX. The very best OS that MS ever produced was 2000 Professional. I still use it at work and at home and (yup - really) LIKE it, but I also dual-boot Linux, as I have since the mid-90's. My wife prefers Linux, my kids prefer Linux, I prefer Linux. I'd love to look at OSX but sadly have never used a Mac, but my brother is a graphic designer and will not use anything else.

    Luv ya Redmond. Keep up the fantasic work!!

  45. Demon

    After 5 plus years Vista should be a wet dream

    You would think that after 5 years of development MS Vista would be the best version of Windows ever. Yet the opposite is true. There is some good starting points in Vista but, in the effort to make Vista the flashy modern OS. They chocked and cocked it up, They should have just shelved Vista on the release date and dusted off the XP code banged out a nice secure version of XP in 12 to 24 months released it as XP 2008 and then went back to working on Vista. Who knows given another 5 years they might have gotten it right or UNIX and Linux might have eroded enough of the MS market-share that it might not matter.

    Interesting that the good comments on Vista above read like MS marketing and press hype, makes one wonder. Has I don't know anyone in the IT industry or outside the IT industry for that matter that has not had issues with Vista working right even when the install was an OEM install on a new out of the box kit. So, the comment that Vista is lamer then ME about sums it up. No wet dream but, a dry nightmare.

    After several meetings and some long discussion our company is dumping Windows and moving to Open Solaris. All Desktop OS installs are now frozen at XP as the servers will be migrated to Open Solaris first Annual MS server contracts are due why pay when you're ditching it. Then later this year all desktops will be migrated. Key staff members already have Open Solaris and Open Office running on a second system so they can train and update staff member who will need a bit of coaching to get up to speed. Don't even ask about MS Office 2007. The only groups that will not be migrated to Open Solaris is out Marketing and graphics groups that use Mac OS X systems. They are more excited about the change then most of the other staffers.

  46. Phil

    If only they haden't messed up the sound

    I played around with various Vista releases and had a lot of problems with them.

    Since before Vista's official release, I've been installing Vista then reverting back to XP on a monthly basis, trying out the latest Vista drivers, finding them useless, reverting back to XP for another few weeks then giving it another go. Each time the Vista install has got better and better driver support until it's got to the point when it's only the sound that lets me down.

    The biggest let down is Creative with their almost "couldn't give a dam about the user" attitude towards their customers. Yes they finally have drivers that give some sort of sound, but their software support is awful. If you have the latest X-FI, then no worries you still get surround sound with your games such as WOW (but still don't get a full software package), but if you foolishly brought an Audigy 4 a few months ago then you are stuck. No surround sound yet. Yes I know MS altered the way sound was done, but Creative now want to charge Audigy owners for their "Alchemy" software when it's finally released.

    I brought (built) a new PC a couple of weeks ago along with a non Creative "Auzen X-Meridian" sound card and also purchased Windows Vista Premium 64bit.

    Every bit of hardware I have works 100% fine on it. Full support for my sound card, my Saitek X-45 Joystick, my Zboard gaming keyboard, my CH Products pedals etc, even my Trust Graphics tablet has 64bit (working) beta drivers out for it.

    Compared to a couple of months ago I would say driver problems have improved greatly.

    UAC hasn't been a big problem for me and I haven't turned it off. My Zboard, sound card, anti virus (avast) etc all start up at boot time without any problems. I have one program (Everest Ultimate) that I have to click on "Windows needs your permission to continue" a couple of times during login and that's it. If I run certain system commands, say "Start, Administrative tools, services" then I have to click on an "OK" button but it's no real hassle at all. The one thing I did do was create a separate C:/Games directory so that I can play around with my flight sim and Oblivion mods to my hearts content without UAC hassling me.

    The biggest complaint I see is with people saying that Vista is a resource hog. People cant seem to grasp that Vista is designed differently from previous windows versions. With XP, you wanted as much available memory to run your programs as possible. With Vista, it PURPOSELY uses as much available memory as it can, and then releases it if it's needed to run a game or whatever.

    I do like Vista, it works superbly for me. If I had a different selection of hardware and there weren't drivers available then that wouldn't be the case, but as said, all works fine for me.

    Would I recommend anyone upgrade to it? Unless they need to play Halo 2 (or other DX10 games when they become available) then absolutely not. Why not? Well there's no real point. On my old PC I ran XP, it ran well. I ran Vista, it also ran well. But both ran my programs (except for the lack of surround sound in Vista) perfectly and in my honest opinion there's absolutely no point in ditching XP and forking out the money for Vista.

    I also would not recommend upgrading XP to Vista, if you do want to move to Vista, reformat.

    That said, if your buying a new PC, would I recommend you buying Vista, Absolutely. No reason I can see for sticking with XP.

    So to sum up, I'm happy with Vista 64 Premium. I think there's a lot of "Lets have a go at MS for the sake of it" and "Vista's crap, a mate down the pub said so" attitude around. I think the driver support from 3rd party vendors has come on in leaps and bounds. I wish MS hadn't got rid of the Directsound 3D hardware acceleration support, but hopefully newer games should get round that problem.

    I would like to add that I'm no MS liker or hater. I have for many years (and continue to do so) dual booted running various versions of Linux such as Gentoo or Slackware .

    PS, Just in case you didn't get it, I think Creative Labs customer support is crap.

  47. gaz


    I got a new desktop with Vista Prem. First thing I did was switch UAC off, just need to edit the registry to stop the annoying pop up balloon moaning about it.

    Everything that I did on XP box works fine Vista. Networking was simpler than XP. The windows sidebar is a nice idea, yes it is looking more like a Mac now.

    When it goes it sleep mode I press the windows key and it starts straight. Booting is a lot quicker than my xp box but that could probably do with decluttering.

    My camera registers fine and have had no problems.

    The search function is annoying as it's seems to default to search things that are indexed, which I have switched off because I don't do that much searching.

    Flash player likes to crash internet explorer

    All the arguments I hear are the same I heard when we went from 98 to xp, and the same old linux/mac/microsoft remarks

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