back to article Microsoft re-assures partners on Vista compatibility

Microsoft has used its annual Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC) to stress that it's working to solve stubborn compatibility problems between Windows Vista and partner products. Chief operating officer Kevin Turner told 8,000 WPC delegates that management had "rallied the team" and worked "very hard" after partners and …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    May be, but ........

    While hardware/software drivers are needed to make Vista run (or walk) better, how they can solve the problem of speed is something I would love to know, as this can only overcome by a major hardware upgrade, more like a brand new PC just for the sake of Vista/Office2007, one customer whom just purchased a dual-core with 2GB laptop tells me after only a week that it runs slower than his 4 year old Dimension P4 with 512MB, enough said ....

    Personally I think come Jan2008, Microsoft will have a make or break situation when they stop all OEM XP, it will then be a case of use our terrible software, or dont use it and look elsewhere.

  2. Andrew McLachlan

    Oh that did make me laugh!!!

    I can't find one person in my office that does not want to, or has not already removed Vista from either their home machine or their corporate laptop/desktop.

    It really is a terrible, resource hungry load of crap.

    Oh and before the flaming starts for my previous statement, we just finished the power requirements budget for our office, which if we run Vista on the same laptops/desktops that we had XP on, just went up 14% in cost. Yes it really does cost more to run the damn thing, as well as buy it.

    And yes, I looked at Vista for ages, tested it, beta'd it etc, and most of the devices including one of my Windows Smartphones from last year is still not supported.

    Funny thing is, they all work, even the Smartphone, on my Mac - lol

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Interoperability isn't just a buzzword

    It's good to see that Microsoft are learning the hard lessons of interoperability, first-hand. All the rhetoric in the world won't replace compliance with open standards.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What about oplocks

    Vista runs SMB2 and you can't turn off the opportunistic locking which has the potential to "break" database applications both old and new. It is even causing MicroSoft problems with their own Access database

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    My lab uses vista more...

    I dual boot vista and xp pro; and yes, most of my stuff is not compatible with vista yet. yes, I work for MS.

    At first, very little of our tools worked with vista. Really, we avoided it.

    Now, we still depend on XP a bit (copying some files over serial), but vista for everything else.

    This is a HUGE improvement, in only 9 months...

    I guess most people wont care, but there's a huge load of work getting done.

    I am saying this out of my own opinion and I'm not being paid....

  6. Chris Ovenden

    "8,000 WPC delegates"

    Surely the conference doesn't need that large a police presence - and why all female?

  7. Ed Ebert Jr.

    Vista Sucks

    I have five systems on Win2K-SR4 ... speedy and clean. A new notebook came with Vista Home Basic. What a difficult environment (for no good reason ... DRM?) to maneuver around in, especially with UAC ... even when "turned off". Separately, many of the "traditional" Windows tools are now "hidden" in the most inane places. Primary tool functionality hasn't changed too much, but finding them is absolute "change for change's sake only" BS!

    Now the killer ... Vista is a total PIG regarding memory requirements AND disk I/O. I have 2GB RAM and Vista is still a SLUG. Aaarrrgghh! Although Sisoft BM numbers are consistent with the CPU under other OS's, the system response times are excruciatingly long, thus illuminating the crudy OS coding. I'd honestly have to recommend a first time PC buyer to get an Apple system.

  8. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    Is this Turner guy a psychotic ?

    PR officials are kind of like diplomats for a dictatorship - they have to spin whatever crazy ideas the madman is having at the moment while just learning about the issue in the papers.

    But here we have major cognitive dissonance, and I fear for Turners' sanity. From "it's fine out of the gate", "coverage nearly completed" and "had the best application compatibility when we launched" to "well there might be a problem","4000 drivers are incompatible" and "we're just getting started", there is a very wide range of difference here.

    Personally, if one tenth of what I hear the problems are on Vista are true, then Vista is certainly not the product with the best application compatibility that Microsoft has put on the market.

    Currently I have XP, and in my eyes, this OS is by far the best OS Microsoft has ever made. I can install almost all the applications I used under 98, and even some I used under 95. In short, XP allows me to do what I want.

    Vista is not there, not by a long shot. Microsoft is indeed "just getting started".

    SP1 is more necessary than ever, apparently.

    But someone should call the medics - Turner is in danger of losing his grip on reality.

  9. Tom

    An OS too far..

    The MS business model is, I think, ultimately doomed. This is an OS that nobody needed or wanted. All it brings to the table is a little eye candy (and clearly a lot of compatibility problems)

    They should concentrate on fixing one OS before bringing out another( XP is actually pretty good, IMHO).

    Of course there is no revenue in fixing existing OS problems, they have to keep bringing out "new" OSs in an attempt to keep milking the cash cow. Sooner or later people will wise up.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I thought...

    ...people bought Vista to bug test it for Microsoft and the final product will not be released until Service Pack 2. :)

  11. Charles King-Holford

    re 'my lab uses vista more'

    If the chap here who works for an MS lab is indicative of the average Microserf, then we should be worried. This guy (I'm presuming) can't string a sentence together and I struggle to see how writing code is any easier. Let's face it, we learn to write from four or five and I don't think dyslexia is much of an excuse. Or perhaps it's dispraxia that brings so much joy to MS developers' lives?

  12. Charles King-Holford

    MS vs Mac

    It's early days, I know, but perhaps the battle has been long joined, if only in the preparation. I cannot see how a company like Microsoft, so big and inflexible, can survive the Vist-aster. PC development is at such a level these days that truly clever businessmen accept that there's not a great deal more to be achieved in this field than make what works now, work better.

    I think that's Job's outlook and OS X Leopard would seem to bear that out. At least I hope so, because there's never been a better time in the last twenty years for Apple to really make a difference in the PC market. Because don't forget, I turn on my (admittedly lower-end) MacBook and, hey presto, ten seconds later I'm ready to start work. Ten seconds: amazing.

    Thank you, Intel...

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    To the Anonymous MS 'employee' who posted above

    With regards to work currently being done on Vista you stated 'This is a HUGE improvement, in only 9 months...' because in that period you are finding more and more of your required programs/functionality to be working. Well, that is an absolute disgrace. For the people who have paid for the computer loaded with Vista or even just Vista itself the product should work out of the box.

    I myself run Fedora 7. Apart from Wireless which took 3 hours to configure everything else just works. I have no problems with it. The speed improvement since the last version (FC6) is fantastic. At work I use XP and I am frustrated daily left, right and center for some of the most basic things. This is not because of a poor setup or anything, but because of a generally poor product.

    People who say that XP is the best OS Microsoft have made are maybe right but if they think it is a decent product you are deluding yourselves. The users I support at work cannot understand my frustrations and just seem to accept the most annoying aspects of XP, thinking that is is normal.

  14. Steve ten Have


    @ the guy who works for MS - why is it ok to release an OS and still not have it operating properly 9 months down the line. The simple answer is that it is NOT. Microsoft have shifted the bar, as low as they possibly could, and handed the product over to the spin doctors.

    The ONLY reason my company is going to start using Vista is because our suppliers stop distributing OEM XP. In my opinion this is an abuse of customers by Microsoft and the beginning of the end of their OS monopoly.

    We are a company of over 10,000 workstations and we are already trialling alternative operating systems over needing to port to Vista. The simple fact is that we're going to have to retrain our users anyway so it presents the perfect opportunity to implement something along the lines of SUSE Linux and Open Office.

    Microsoft can kiss goodbye to millions of pound in licensing - why? Because they treat their customers like idiots.

  15. Dr. Mouse


    I am going to voice a commonly held perception here: Microsoft release Beta-quality products, then expect people to pay to test them. They can then eliminate the bugs as they go, but are being paid already.

    This is why I say IT pros should not to touch a new MS product for at least 6 months after release, other than to beta test it, and then only as a second OS. Everyone else should not even consider it for at least a year, probably 18 months. I have stuck to this rule since I upgraded from 6.22/3.11 to 95 and it broke almost everything I was running at the time.

    I personaly havent done anything with Vista other than set up a dual boot to evaluate it. It is a PIG, devouring every resource on the machine, making it run slower than anything I have evr seen before (except maybe when I managed to install Win2k on a 486DX25 with 16Mb RAM, just for fun, but it's a close call). MS need to do something about this, as anyone running less than a 2GHz CPU, or less than 1Gb RAM, is not going to be able to work, or play, productively on Vista.

    I am personaly performing a major hardware upgrade (partly) to evaluate Vista. £300 ish for a dual 3GHz AMD CPU, 4GB RAM, and Vista might be usable. Then I can test if any of my apps or peripherals work. But as to using it as my main OS, I would estimate not for at least another 9 months.

  16. Andrew Baines Silver badge

    Tried for 6 months, then gave up

    I gave Vista 6 months on my main PC. Gave up a couple of weeks back - not due to incompatibility, purely down to performance. 4GB RAM and a decent processor, so no problems there. Just so slow to do file management. Every time I accessed a large file, the whole thing froze up.

    I'd turned all the pretty stuff off, especially the sidebar. but still slow.

    I liked the new 'People near me' for sharing desktop easily, The calendar popup on the clock is nice too. Not really compelling applications though!

  17. Robert Hirst

    Maybe it's getting better...

    ...but Vista already made me switch to Linux for my main workstation.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    MS will turn this around...

    When Windows XP had endless security problems the same horrible clichés were being trotted out, this was their worst OS, ever, the business model was fucked, milking a cash cow, yada, yada, yada. Then SP2 came out and the naysayers were looking pretty stupid. They said the same when Microsoft was accused of missing the Internet curve. The same will happen with Vista, the problems will be fixed and I know the secret reason why: few things motivate any company better than money. After all most companies have no other reason to exist.

    The same criticisms of Microsoft can be applied to almost anything. As far as cash cows are concerned, Microsoft hardly rates when compared to mobile phones. People are upgrading about ever 12 months for a handful of very slightly improved features. Just look at Apple: people pee in their pants because they made a black iPod instead of a white one. That's an improvement?

    All companies need a steady stream of income in order to survive in a capitalist system. It just astounds me how the intellectual immaturity of some people think this is unique to Microsoft.

  19. Nick Palmer

    Vista being removed here as well

    We have one - count it twice, one - laptop here that's got Vista Business actually running. The rest, we buy with Vista Business licenses and use the downgrade option, purely because of compatibility issues. I'm currently in the process of de-Vista-ing my machine at home (and have shelled out for a new hard drive to do it), due to compatibility and performance issues. I'm sure that there IS a lot of work being done to improve Vista, but there's only a certain extent to which lipstick can compensate for a pig being a pig.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    hasta la vista

    My gaffer spends ages mucking about with the latest MS BS ("it's better to do it to yourself than have them do it to you") but Vista has been binned.


    All of a sudden I find myself playing with an ubuntu box. We even sold one the other day.

  21. Eric Van Haesendonck

    In answer to "My lab uses vista more..."

    If you read your own post you will see what the problem is: now after 9 months of improvement you can afford to use XP only a bit, but before you had to use it a lot because your tools were incompatible. That in itself is not admissible.

    The typical user who bought a new computer a few month ago and recieved it shipped with Vista doesn't have the option to dual boot: he/she has to perform all his/her work within Vista. How do you expect people to be able to do that if even people working close to microsoft can't!

    What I would have liked to see from microsoft is removing XP and installing Vista on all their computers (whitout possibility to dual boot in XP), fix all the compatibility issues and THEN realease the OS to the public.

    If you still need to dual boot into XP to perform some of your work, then other microsoft customers will need too! If that's the case microsoft should provide an XP environment with every shipped copy of Vista. If they don't then they need to ensure that their customers can at least do with Vista all the task they were able to do in XP (that is what I would call "being ready for release" in an OS).

    There is no point in upgrading to an OS that doesn't support your application and hardware yet. Obviously Vista wasn't ready when it was released.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: MS will turn this around...

    You sound like the typical Microsft apologist. People raised the point above that people pay for a product which is advertised as delivering something, but it fails to deliver this, and one could easily claim this as amounting to false advertising.

    It's pretty damn funny the way Turner contradicts himself in this article, but i'm guessing you would choose to overlook, much in the way you would ignore the legitimate criticisms being raised.

    Sure SP2 made XP a good product, but how is that much different than saying something like 'Yeah Adobe sold me Photoshop 1.0, but damn, by the time I waited for Photoshop CS3 to come out, boy was it great!".

    Also when have Apple ever made any kind of significant announcement regarding a new iPod purely because a change of colour? They haven't. So try actually coming up with something comparable to a real life example than just formulating theoreticals based on the tainted disdain you hold for Apple.

    I do not question that down the track Vista will eventually become usable, but given the momentum of the rest of the market and the way technoligcal convergence is finally starting to take shape in a very real way (rather than purely being the subject of technology disucssions) it will mean Microsoft will be left even further behind, and in the process will alienate more customers, driving them to FOSS as well as MacOS X computers.

  23. Charlie Phillips

    Dropped it

    We run a tiny internet cafe and have been trialing Vista for roll out. Of the half dozen initial machines only one is left, which will probably be rolled back very soon - or converted to Ubuntu.

    Issues that have plagued us:

    High hardware bar (2Gb minimum to make it work)

    Unreliability (reboots randomly across a variety of machines)

    Incompatible with existing domain structure (How can MS release an OS that is incompatible with Small Business Server???)

    Scripting - all the boot scripts have to be re-written

    Group policies different

    Security stops many bank sites from working

    Network performance stageringly slow

    Printing? forget it... Vista printer drivers are a nightmare... Which default printer do you want today?

    and most importantly - Customers don't understand it with all the changes

    Unbelievably 3 machines were destroyed oy the OS! mostly it appears to be heat issues, popping motherboards, power supplies and graphics cards but Vista appears to thrash and trash hard disks. we found once a PC started rebooting itself regularly you could chkdsk it and it would be fine for a couple of weeks then start rebooting again. you could go around the cycle a few times then the hard disk was trashed. New hard disk... ring MS to allow you to reinstall the OS and off you go again. After 3 hard disks on one PC we gave up and went to ubuntu... it's been fine since! but the others we gave up on the 2nd hdd and reverted to XP.

    So we have had lots of problems. I am in business, I have to make money from these PC's and I don't really have the time to mess with somebody elses half finished experiment - which is the excuse I have been using for years about Linux, but now I am applying that argument to Vista. We have now largely gone back to XP which works predictably and is easy to manage in a group manner and interacts well with the servers.

    If we go to Vista we will have to upgrade or replace the client PC's and more importantly upgrade or replace the servers, then spend half our time explaing to customers where everything is...

    Interestingly enough we now have a few Ubuntu machines. Visually the OS is gorgeous - actually better than Vista, it's come on a long way in the last couple of years and I didn't really realise how far it had come on and what I was missing. It seems to have much better security and I can tie it down more easily. It's also easier to rebuild (no license keys means I can just dupe the disk and boot!) What do the customers think? well, those that notice mostly have issues with firefox (bank and complex sites - or Active X) the rest are amazed it's free! Oh and the office apps all look like office 2000 (How often do I hear where is the print button on office 2007?) If only I can work out something like group policies and user management like Windows domains!


    I could stay with XP for at least 2 - 3 more years before I have to decide, but I could upgrade all the PC's (or buy new) and install Vista, re-learn all the management, applications and PC build methods and put in a new server... or ... I can keep all the PC's as is and install Ubuntu once I have learn't how to group manage them... Hmm, I get to dump all the MS licensing costs as well... Oh and all the office applications look the same so my time spent supporting users would be less...

    I could write an article on this... ah, I nearly have!

  24. Tom

    LOL @ Anonymous..

    "All companies need a steady stream of income in order to survive in a capitalist system. It just astounds me how the intellectual immaturity of some people think this is unique to Microsoft."

    Of course they do, it does not take a genius to figure that one out. What they also need is a product that people either want or need. Vista hardly falls into this category.

  25. Dave Morfee

    Must be a lucky one

    I guess I must be one of the lucky ones. I have been using Vista since last November first on my 3.2Ghz EE with 1Gb ram then on my new Core 2 box and I have never had any problems at all.

    All my games, programmes work fine, I have no issues to speak off other than I so much prefer it to XP.

    Vista does work with SBS you just need to make some changes on it, much like you do to a 2000 DC when joining a 2k3 server. So that is a bit of lame excuse.

    Of the Vista that has been deployed never known it to randomly reboot. If it is using the hdd a lot turn off VSS and Indexing services this will cut the drive usage to a minimum.

    "Unbelievably 3 machines were destroyed oy the OS! mostly it appears to be heat issues, popping motherboards, power supplies and graphics cards but Vista appears to thrash and trash hard disks."

    If that did happen then you should look at the cooling on those PCs, I find it almost impossible an os can do that.

    Dave M

    I also fail to belive Vista caused your PCs to fail.

  26. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

    Frustrations are normal

    "The users I support at work cannot understand my frustrations and just seem to accept the most annoying aspects of XP, thinking that is is normal."

    I think that summarises the whole business concept of Microsoft and the industry around them.

    Ever since DOS and Win3.0 I was amazed how dumbed down each and every MS tool and system features were. Take - the command line editor was designed to work with TTY console even though the PC was from the start supposed to work with TV monitors. Then the file manager (Explorer) - it still can't sort, can't remember settings, shows files in a linear list instead of a normal table and Norton Commander 15 years ago was miles ahead of what the Explorer is now.

    I came to conclusion long ago that MS was doing it on purpose - so that Joe Punter could be convinced that computers are dumb, illogical and difficult to work with and he would never think of getting under the bonnet himself and try to fix something. Then he can be sold "solutions" to problems that shouldn't have existed and made to rever the Church of MS Professionals (prophets?).

  27. Karl Lattimer

    Compare this with the GNOME project

    In 2002 GNOME released GNOME 2.0 since it has grown to GNOME 2.18 and soon GNOME 2.20, between the release of GNOME 1.4 and GNOME 2.0 many important changes were made that built GNOME into a brand spanking new platform. There were severe API breakages and ABI compatibility was completely out of the window.

    During the changeover period for GNOME 1.4 - 2.0 applications were being ported. It took around a year _BEFORE_ the release of GNOME 2.0 to get most of the important apps running on the new platform, within the first 6 months of release of GNOME 2.0 almost everything was ported. From my reckoning we're almost 6 months into vista, and a large quantity of their partner products are still broken.

    GNOME is just a desktop and developer platform though, it doesn't get heavily involved in the underlying operating system stuff that much, sure HAL and DBUS exist but they're not just GNOME things. So lets compare the open source conversion from say, the Vanilla Linux 2.2 - 2.4 which was a big change for kernel hackers. This update was done pretty much within 6 months and didn't break any interfacing with software.

    Microsoft really dropped the ball, not because their new API's suck, they're actually pretty good from what I've heard (sharing many similarities with GTK and GLADE) the problem with the changes they made were that they changed kernel level, user space and developer space at the same time. The API/ABI compatibility is about as good as Wine now but there are loads of new API's to play with, and big changes to the underlying libraries on the system. When Microsoft make these kinds of sweeping changes all at once, everyone suffers, the users suffer because they can't get their sound card to work for instance, the driver developers suffer because they have to find kludges to get around Microsofts new security systems like patchguard, the application developers suffer because they have to rethink large portions of their software all at once.

    Its not merely refactoring some code, essentially its rewriting everything, while your users complain your software/drivers suck.

    Too many changes make developers angry, and what you don't want is a bunch of angry developers. Of course its OK for the microsoft suits, they can assure each other that things are going to get better whilst patting each other on the back for a job well done, but the developers on the floor have a different opinion. One which scarcely ever makes it into the mind of a middle management drone.

  28. OpenSauce

    Deja vu

    It's easy to forget when XP was released, it needed a much beefier PC than for 9x/Me or even 2K. Similar to Vista vs XP hardware now.

    XP did not have good hardware support for many 9x/Me devices & if you chased h/w manufacturers, they often had no plans to update drivers. Shareholder value has seen to that - only enough resources for new products, not enough to support older - also forces you to upgrade your h/w, which is in their interest.

    Building an XP PC recently, one install splash screen stating it is the most secure Windows yet made me chuckle - look how many security patches there have been - SP2 was when the product was nearer to what it should have been at release. Vista is in the same position.

    Microsoft have made Vista support more difficult by releasing 32bit as well as 64bit versions. They should've just released a 64bit version only (which is what they'll do with the next o/s apparently). Then Microsoft and all hardware manufacturers would have their development/testing/support cut in half and not be in the situation of 64bit taking a back seat.

    I use (64bit) Vista for gaming only (AMD64 X2 4600+, 2Gb RAM). runs fast and stable for me & most games work (Unreal 2 fails due to audio).

    As my work o/s I now use Linux almost exclusively (, Thunderbird, Firefox etc.). Stable and secure and no Genuine Validation nags. Try Ubuntu/kubuntu first (live CD version to evaluate) and you might be pleasantly surprised!

  29. Leo Davidson

    It's not all MS's fault.

    How many of the problems are in the programs, not the OS? So many programs break rules in ways which happen to work now, or work if you're admin, but won't work in the future. MS have to bend over backwards to deal with such crap and don't get the credit for it; in fact people then complain about the complexity added by all the workarounds and special cases.

    For example, there's code in windows which changes the memory allocator for specific executables, because MS know that if you change OS and your program stops working (because it was doing something illegal but getting away with it) then you blame the new OS even when it's the program that is at fault.

    I'm not saying that Vista is entirely innocent -- I'm sure it has loads of bugs etc. -- but I think it is wrong to not point the finger at both sides of the application/OS combination.

    I've been running Vista since January and have not felt the need to go back to XP. I have a problem with one game (HL2:E1 used to crash when it saved, which is fixed now after game + video driver updates, but it now crashes instead when it loads a saved game; I don't know whether it is Valve's fault or NVidia's or Microsoft's but the other games I've tried all work fine) and another more serious problem where my PC tends to bluescreen if I plug in a USB storage device (which I am starting to think is down to my NVidia motherboard's BIOS -- it used to happen occasionally and now happens every time after a BIOS update that was intended to fix USB issues). That last problem is annoying but it's not like it couldn't happen with any other OS.

    Vista seems slightly better than XP to me and I don't know WTF so many people slag it off. While I don't see any reason for people to rush to upgrade to it (unless you use Media Center which is considerably improved in Vista compared to XP) I also don't see any reason to avoid it if you're getting a new machine anyway. It's mostly FUD, at least based on my experience and those of my friends. Of course, this is assuming there is driver support for your hardware (but that's an issue with all new operating systems, and some old ones).

    Personally, I wanted a new PC and installed Vista on it in order to test that my own software, and that of some friends, worked correctly on it. I was also slightly curious but the main reason was to ensure my stuff worked properly with the new OS. Having found it worked well, and seen how much better Media Center was, I then installed Vista on my HTPC as well, where it has been working great for months.

  30. Chris Burns

    re: MS will turn this around...

    I can remember well when XP was on the horizon - compared to 98, 98SE, and particularly ME (mong edition?), you could SEE that XP was (kind of) more secure, more stable, etc etc. Ok, so some hardware needed new drivers - though most of the time, Win2K drivers would do an adequate job - but there was the sense of a natural transition to a more grown-up OS, though naturally - this being Microsoft, one with teething troubles - has MS *ever* released a product into the wild that didn't feel like a beta version until a couple of upgrades / service packs down the line? Anyway, back to my main thread - you could *see* the value of XP over the Win9x line.

    Using vista, you just can't see this. It is an absolute retrograde step, with MS "partners" bottom lines as the main objective, not the poor user who has to jump through hoops to get the simplest task done. At home, for the first time, I'm now considering replacing machines as they die with macs (a mac mini will satisfy my needs for less than half of the price of a slower performing vista box).

    If Microsoft were in charge of ferrari, you would see all the power of the engine used to power a glitterball hanging directly over the steering wheel, thus making it the only thing the driver could see, with only a small amount of power being directed to the process of pushing the car forward... (which would then pause for a minute each time you turned the wheel, but I think I've stretched this analogy far enough, probably too far)

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The problem with Microsoft

    The problem are the consumers. Microsoft throughout their history they have constantly defied or bastardised conventions / common standards and defied accountability for any faults within their products, and people have not only tolerated it but continued to support it.

    Some of the same consumers who bought their product also voted for the Republicans in the US, an administration which helped to disempower the anti-trust court cases against them. G-W Bush and Gates are family friends, and Bush personally appointed someone for the DOJ who could effectively help neutralise much of the impact of these court proceedings, and once again minimize any accountability Microsoft would have to be answerable to.

  32. John Stag

    The really scary part is....

    The really scary part is than Microsoft has the power to "switch off" Windows XP on a whim - just to boost sales of Vista.

    I was looking on eBay the other day for some OEM copies of Windows XP. It seems the price is going UP lately, not down. Go figure.

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    And who's using Vista?

    Not Intel, not Dell, not AMD, not HP. If they won't, why should we?

  34. Mike

    Stop Whining

    Vista is pretty, and is probably the closest to beryl that Microsoft could manage, this is perhaps the best bit of Vista.

    Vista is written for dual core/proc, performance is rubbish for a single proc as it's not optimised for it, the ram is a big issue too but at you can get it for less than £25 a gig, it's a no brainer, have at least 2Gb

    1. Why upgrade from XP?

    If there's really nothing you *need*, then don't move from an established stable system to one before it's first service pack.

    2. Why install Vista on a self build?

    Again, there's loads of OEM XP still available and unused, dead PCs with XP licences that could be transferred. You could install an already used copy then phone up Microsoft to change the key and buy an XP licence (legal?), Vista costs more anyway! (don't bet tempted to clean install an upgrade OEM Vista just because you can, yes it's cheaper, but it's illegal, and might end up de-activated in the future)

    Once it's built and installed, get al the latest patches for your apps and Vista, yes, bite the bullet and spend another couple of hours getting the latest iTunes (or whatever) and security updates.

    btw. If you supply Vista PCs for a living, then it might just be a good idea to check the kit you want to install it on is Vista certified...... Just and idea..... rather than going on and on about it afterwards..... might even be better for your customers.

    3. Why buy a new PC with Vista?

    Because it will probably work OK, and you have a support route, fundamental 'fit for purpose' rights still apply.

    I have two desktop machines running Vista, a Dual Xeon 2.4Ghz (HT) with 3Gb of ram, no problem with Vista (onboard Rage GFX is sloooooooow, no Aero) upgraded from XP Pro, had to upgrade from Nero 6 to Nero 7 (which is a bit poor). Second machine is an X2 3800+ 2Gb ram, GF7800, clean install no problems (it can dual boot to XP, but I haven't had to so far).

    Mind you.......

    Why doesn't the Business edition have BitLocker? I mean... really? surely business people need it?

    btw, all my big servers are Sun and Linux, I wouldn't let Microsoft near any proper computers :-)

    ps. would the poster who used the term 'mong' please remember that this is an offensive term refering to Downs victims and should refrain from using it in this manner.

  35. Chris Burns

    re: Mong

    The word is australian slang for "mongrel". This was the context I was aware of, and the context in which it was used. Please do not assume that, because you have heard a word used in such a way, that we all have the same experience. Thanks.

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Buy more Think Later

    The mentality of forcing people to upgrade PCs just due to new revisions of the OS is one long tied to Microsoft, as people keep mentioning, their actions are done to suit their partners, which include hardware vendors. But it still does not make it justifiable, as it's an action which clearly is to the benefit of the businesses not of the consumers.

    And no matter how fast the PC is, it won't change the usability issues of Vista's re-design.

    What I find interesting is that in any other industry if you sold a product, and it did not deliver what it was supposed to, the maker would be liable and likely to be sued.

    Imagine selling a car which you claimed as 'mostly working', but then found out you couldn't drive it on most roads, or in the wet, and only if you paid a whole lot more would you get more out of it than the car you already owned, which incidently goes anywhere.

    Or imagine selling medical equipment, under the premise it was mostly fine, and then having patients go into critical condition or die due to equipment not delivering what it's supposed to.

    Then remember that businesses which put into place Vista on the presumption it does what Microsoft advertise it does (yes, i'm aware these things should first be field tested before implementing, but it does not mean everyone does so), and then in running applications or devices like medical equipment have failures specific to Vista.

    Fact is, in most other industries the kind of practices Microsoft has made 'acceptable' in the IT world would just not be accepted.

  37. Saul Dobney

    Microsoft is in the doldrums

    Seems like Microsoft is really stuck in the doldrums. While you can't total bet against a company of their size and market power, it seems to be open warfare on all fronts and MS is currently getting beaten everywhere - even if the skirmishes are small at the moment. I guess some heads and headcount corrective actions will be seen in the next few months.

    Examples: Vista seems to be a rerun of the WindowsME screw up. They've either got to create a Vista-lite or extend the life of XP otherwise the serious corporate customers will walk.

    Xbox has warranty issues (which cost $95 per box sold) and market share issues against PSP3 and Wii.

    Online MSN just hasn't got close to Google and is probably behind Yahoo. Microsoft Live isn't currently competing with the range of Web2.0 sites like Facebook.

    Office seems secure(ish), but no-one wants to upgrade since the old one is perfectly fine and no-one wants the cost of retraining sizeable numbers of staff for a new interface. Open office is OK but not quite as slick and productive - it still feels a bit like Lotus Smartsuite.

    On browsers, IE is losing share to Firefox (currently around one third of the market).

    On portables, the PDA market still hasn't emerged, neither has the tablet market particularly. MS is just another battler on mobile phones and it's been roundly squashed in the MP3 market.

    On servers, Linux and open source DBs are eating into their share and providing exposure to Linux for corporate IT buyers diminishing FUD about open source on the desktop.

    What was the most accomplished competitve business outfit ever where it would always be out manoeuvring the competition with its "embrace and extend" philosophy so the customer almost couldn't go anywhere else, seems to be turning into an old dinosaur. (You may dislike the software, but as a business it's remarkable. It crushed a serious number of market leaders who should have unassailable positions including DR Digital, IBM, Lotus, Wordperfect, Borland, Netscape, DBase, Novell).

    Can Apple take advantage? No. Apple's always been a consumer electronics company that happens to know about computers - it's taken them ages to realise Sony should be their number one competitor. Mac may be nice, but it's F expensive and I don't believe they've got the bottle (or support resource) to sell the OS without the hardware. Google fronting up Linux might. But Linux still has to get way less geeky - even stupidly simple things like removing the in-jokes when naming applications, and naming them according to what they do.

  38. Mike

    re: Mong [fao Chris Burns]

    I'm sure the word means lots of things in lots of different countries, you caused offense by using it on a UK based website perhaps because you did not understand the usage in the UK (please check UK dictionaries further for information). The intention of my ps. was to prevent further offense, which you may cause again if you use the term within a UK forum, and so, I will repeat, with a touch of your own advice.

    would the poster who used the term 'mong' please remember that "in the UK" this is an offensive term referring to Downs victims and should refrain from using it in this manner.

  39. Phil

    Vistas been fine for me

    I'm running 64bit Vista Premium and it runs superbly, all my hardware works and I have no probs saving/deleting files etc.

    There's no real point in upgrading XP to Vista unless DX10 games come out and you must have them. But if you buy a new PC, there's no point not getting Vista.

    Vista handles memory completely differently to other versions of windows. People need to get away from looking at how much available RAM there is before they run programs as Vista is designed to make use of as much available RAM as it can, and then release it as programs need it.

    With regards to UAC, I've left it enabled and true every time I boot, I have one program that asks for permission, but that's it. I get asked if I want to move around things in the program files folder and I get asked before running some system commands, but so far I've not been hassled by it hardly at all (I found it to be a complete pain under RC1 but it's now a lot better). I did a lot of research before I installed it and took the advice to create a c:/games directory as by putting things like Oblivion in here with loads of user mods, I don't get hassled by UAC at all.

    I have fully working drivers for everything I have,

    My Trust 1200 Graphics tab

    Aver Media TV Card

    Zboard gaming keyboard

    Auzen X-Meridian sound card

    Saitek X52 Pro joystick and rudder pedals

    Saitek X45 Joystick

    CH Products Pro pedals

    HP Photosmart 3110 printer (printers on sons XP machine, Vista finds it and connects/prints 100% fine)

    Dell 2407WFP monitor

    New MB with full support for everything (sata, ethernet, fan control, temperature sensoring), my old Asus K8V MB had fully working ethernet drivers, sata drivers etc.

    Vista's biggest downfall at present is Creatives driver and software support but there's still zero support for Creatives X-FI cards under Linux and this is going to remain so for some time.

    PS, I'm no MS fan (or hater, I love my 360), I'm a keen Linux fan and have run either slackware, gentoo or mandriva for many years. While I'm currently running Vista on a high spec PC, I was also running it on my old PC and I simply haven't experienced the problems others seem to be having.

    I'm hearing far far too many people slagging off Vista based on what their mate told them down the pub rather than based on fact.

  40. Chris Burns

    Re: Ming (better?)

    I am fully aware from your posting how you feel about the word I used in a posting. I live in the UK, and have never heard "that" word used in a derogatory sense about disabled people. The point of my secondary posting was that I wasn't aware that we had some self-styled censor on the comments board, who deems what is and isn't correct, based on his own usage and prejudices.

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    SP1? or "n - 1"?

    I'm surprised at the number of professionals discussing Vista as an option after Service Pack 1. In the Enterprise Managed Desktop environment, we work to (contract to) an "n - 1" policy which means that now Vista is being beta tested by 40million users, our enterprise customers will get Windows XP Service Pack 2 (plus about 80-90 patches).

    Of all the Vista work that has been done here, including the TAP project and the deployment project that followed it (for about 1,000 internal desktops), as well as people racing about to get their home PC's upgraded - the first person to reinstall XP was the Vista deployment project manager. Four months later - I only know of two people still running Vista from all of that work; one office PC where the user has gone on a 6 week vacation, and one home PC by one of our SOE professionals. The SOE specialist is considering his options - he's not sure whether he wants to go back to XP (which works for him) or to run SuSe at home (which he want's to learn more about), or if he should run Ubuntu (which is what some of the others have done for their home machines, as they are now bragging to him about their successes).

    The most entertaining "regression" story I've heard from this group was one MCP who's wife demanded that their Dual Core 2G RAM home machine be converted back to XP, after she found the performance frustratingly unusable. He bought a new hard drive and went back to XP two weekends ago.

  42. Rob Diamond

    I'm giving up too

    Like a lot of others here I'm giving up too. I bought a fast new laptop, but Vista on its own uses half the 1Gbyte of memory and sporadically most of the processor - hey Micro$oft it's *my* laptop. I loathe all the flashy graphics (e.g. hard to grab a window border because it's semi-transparent), and the way the location of all the utilities has changed so I can't find anything. The last straw was when I loaded my Nokia phone app, and the phone API crashed every time I started the app. Yes - I know, I can go online and search for help on getting it working - but time is money to me so just make it work or jam it up up your.. I'm going back to XP - it's not great but it's better than this half-cooked load of crap.

  43. Mike

    Let it go man....

    I think that you are missing the point of my posts, you offended someone and I suggested that you didn't use the word in that context again. I'm am sure that if you had close family affected by this condition you would be fully aware of the words use as a derogatory term and wouldn't have used it in that manner.

    I certainly have no wont of trying to censor what you say, what you say is your choice which only you can take responsibility for, I was just asking for sensitivity.

    Take my advice, or ignore my advice, either way, move on my friend, as made popular by Baz Lurhman "Be careful whose advice you buy, but, be patient with those who supply it."

  44. Jeffrey Saxton

    Vista issues

    My new HP laptop came loaded with Vista. First thing, it wouldn't interface with my trusty old office printer because Xerox hasn't (and isn't going to) write a Vista driver for the old printer.

    Next, I tried to sync my laptop with my office network via remote desktop. The office system is XP professional. No dice. A message appears that says the Vista remote desktop application isn't compatible with earlier versions of Windows!

    I'll be dual booting XP, I guess.. Reminds me of the days when you had to buy an operating system separately.

  45. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re. Mong (FAO Mike) ...oh yeah, and Vista 32bit versus 64bit

    Why don't we let Wikipedia do its worst? See what it knows on the subject...

    "Mong can be:

    * an alternate name for the Hmong people

    * an offensive term for the mentally handicapped, as a contraction of the now-dated term "Mongoloid", formerly used to describe Down syndrome sufferers"

    Anyone (...Chris?) want to update Wikipedia with the Australian slang inference?

    Ah! Mike! Can you see the word 'VICTIM' anywhere in those definitions?

    You, sensitive? Had you forgotten how hard the fight has been for people with various conditions to be respected and not condescended with terms like 'victim'?

    Let the individual be the judge of whether they are victims, and the lawyers if necessary, but then I am bald, they are tall and he is fat - are we victims too?

    Besides, a term mentioned just once in an unrelated forum where there is ambiguity over its intended meaning ... there is no need to say one word, not at first, and certainly not the last last last last last word. every time.

    What a royal bore. What is YOUR victim-syndrome, err, condition?

    Short? Fat? Pompous? A victim? I doubt it.

    But Chris, really! No single word is fit to describe WinME. Biologists swear to it that mongrels (let's be P.C. eh! "mixed-breeds" - very prim!) can actually benefit from "hybrid vigour", cf.

    So there. Surely this is closed now?


    Vista? So, 64bit works okay, maxing out hardware potential by design and in the process maximising energy consumption - environmental disaster, not very green, though it is alleged that it works. Did all the corporate testers, who have since reverted to XP/migrated to Linux, try the 32bit or the 64bit version?

    That 32/64bit information is often not reported.

    Revenue for Microsoft?

    Why don't they begin a(nother) new licensing model?

    Your license will last 4? 8? or 12? years before you need to renew by paying a new fee for continued updates/support. They could make licenses cheaper if they had firm control of the licensing! Registration could be compulsory.

    They have done that for Vista/2007 OEM products - they last the life of the computer, a topic much discussed on the Register. Horrid.

    My suggestion would allow those enjoying a product that has matured a little to continue enjoying it, whilst propping up the impoverished M$ Coffers.

    No need to do the GUI shuffle and disco lights 'innovation' (cough) trick, nor to withdraw a semi-mature product when it is coming towards its prime (when the majority have some comfortable familiarity with it that makes for efficient use and cuts wasted time).

    The Linux development comparison above would seem to show that competent programming teams, using good process for software engineering, and bug tracking and so on (beyond me and possibly beyond the imagination of the new OS release date setting marketers at M$) have a better idea and chance of success than the whole of Microsoft put together.

    It also must help that some of Linux has been programmed from the ground up within living memory, not cludged into, onto, over, and together with pre-existing poor programming the way MS code is described by those who have looked at the Win2000 code that saw the light a few years back.

    Release of Vista at this time for money in the retail environment ought to be met by many court cases - in the UK, consumer law has it that a product must be "fit for purpose", and an operating system that struggles with delete, copy, move file operations is scarce fit for alpha testing. But Microsoft is a little big to take to court - roll-on the day that Google has something more competitive to offer, where it will not be in their powerful interests to allow M$ any leeway on peddling unready products.

    Googlemail "Beta" - just how honest was that "Beta"? Entirely - there were bugs. Has it upset Google's money making? I doubt it. If anything it is disarmingly honest, which is cause for a different sceptical type of alarm!

    I doubt Microsoft will ever become that honest, and it is not to do with making money - not least it is arrogance and dishonesty that they suffer.

    They say that a fish rots from the head down, no matter what kind of rot it is.

    Back to learning more opensource / Linux skills - we will all be needing them soon.

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