back to article Counterfeit Vista rate half that of XP

The piracy rate for Windows Vista is less than half that of Windows XP, according to Microsoft. The vendor made the claim as it revealed plans to further curtail piracy when it launches the first service pack for Vista. Redmond attributes tougher anti-piracy measures in Vista, which it intends to further improve, for its …


This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    To modify a common joke...

    Why do seagulls fly upside down over boxes of MS Vista? Answer, nothing worth shitting on. I suspect that is the real reason why the counterfeit rate is lower.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    Nobody wants to pirate it, obviously!

    Why bother running counterfeit Vista when counterfeit XP works better on your machine?

  3. Anigel

    vista piracy lower?

    This could have something to do with no one wanting vista due to it being less use than a chocolate teapot

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns


    "Customers want to know the status of their systems, and how to take action if it turns out they were victimized,""

    I'd submit that given that MS are apparently incapable of keeping their spyware in functional condition ( , ), then I'd suggest that the most likely "victimization" is of legitimate customers, who'll end up with nagware demanding that they repurchase software they've already bought...

  5. Jeremy Wickins

    Isn't a likely reason for this ...

    ... that most people don't want Vista enough to bother using hookey copies?

  6. Andy Taylor

    Worse than a car stuck in first gear

    Ignoring the obvious comment that normal functionality mode can be like driving a car stick in first, Reduced Functionality Mode is worse as about the only thing you can do in this mode is to go through the activation process. At least a car stuck in first will get you there eventually...

  7. Gary Owen

    Who is the great pretender?

    Would I be wrong in thinking that the real reason Vista piracy rate is lower than XP is because it's a pile of shite?

  8. Adnan Rana


    I think the reason for this is the fact that not many people want Windows Vista, or their PCs are not capable of running it. In order to install Vista you need a very high spec PC, and if you can afford a high spec PC then you can afford a copy of Vista as well.

    I think we will see a lot more counterfeit copies of Vista when compatible PC prices drop.

    I purchased a copy of Vista, but then just removed it and am currently happily using XP.


  9. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    This is silly.

    "The changes Microsoft has introduced with Vista SP1 are designed to go after pirates and counterfeit software in a way that minimises any disruption to our genuine customers, according to Sievert."

    Why should there be any "disruption" to genuine customers at all? This isn't something that should be "minimised", it simply shouldn't happen at all. Wankers.

  10. buddypepper

    Ok, enough...

    Enough with the Vista bashing. I've had it. I hate M$ as much as the next guy, but Vista does have it's uses. If you've got lots of ram, then you've got to have it. If you want to run Windoze apps and you want to use your fancy 64bit cpu to the fullest, then you've got to have it. Let's all be honest about it.....

    I still use 2000 a fair bit, and XP a bit too. I've also used Vista enough to see that if you've got the hardware for it, it's really fast - even with Aero on. Put that hardware in XP or 2000, and you won't see that sort of speed.

    Ok - flame on.

  11. matt
    Thumb Down

    Wait for Vista SP1

    I imagine like XP SP1 they'll beef up the copy protection stuff when they release Vista SP1. So that all the pre cracked torrents your seeing now will fail to install and already installed ones will complain.

    Then I think Vista and XP will probably be equal.

  12. Chad H.

    I didnt realise you could do that....

    I mean, did they just go into a pub and say "Anyone who pirated, raise your hand" now did they? Its a meaningless statistic build on meaningless absurd assumptions.

    But yeah, could also be noone wants it, even at "£0" too.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    XP piracy goes up as people format their machines of vistaids and put an operating system that works back on their computer.

  14. Sampler
    Gates Horns

    Can't even give the shit away?


  15. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Who needs it?

    I wouldn't install Vista on my Home PC if it was given free by M$. So why would anyone in their right mind pirate it? Most of the converts to Vista are people who buy a new PC and it comes with Vista installed.

    Why is M$ so desperate to get every last sale of Windows when they already have more money than they know what to do with?

    One of the main reasons I don't want Vista is because of all the Activation and WGA crap. If I have one PC and one Windows licence, why should I have a hassle if I want to upgrade some of the hardware components to make it run faster? Why does Windows have to be in your face all the time?

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Could it be...

    ...that the reason such an unusually high percentage of Vista machines are passing validation (if one chooses to believe Redmond PR) might, possibly, owe something to the fact that the worlds no. 1 selling Vista crack (the OEM BIOS certificate trick) fools Micro$oft so completely that "pirate" installations pass "validation" just like purchased copies? Perhaps?

    Just a thought ;-)

  17. Paul

    But how do we know?

    "Windows Vista goes into reduced functionality mode that leaves systems flagged as counterfeit about as friendly to drive as a car stuck in first gear."

    Vista is like that anyway...

  18. Malcolm Hall
    Jobs Halo

    Another nail in the coffin

    Even the market stalls can't shift it

  19. The Other Steve

    Before even reading the article

    I thought to myself "Yeah, I bet the XP counterfeit rate is twice what Vista is doing, because who the hell wants Vista?"

  20. Giles Jones Gold badge


    It all goes to show that Microsoft has reached saturation point, it can only grow the Windows and Office market by forcing people to buy it and not copy it.

    This is also why Vista and Office keep rising in price, they need to increase profits. It also allows Microsoft to be totally incompetent and write the next OS about 5 times before getting it right (even then they don't).

    Microsoft's growth is reliant on China and other markets. But they simply can't afford the sort of prices Microsoft charges EU customers, therefore piracy is rife.

    If they don't do something about Vista ASAP then they'll start to lose market share. I'd be glad to see a leaner meaner less bully boy Microsoft. If they halved in size and stopped ripping off the consumer it would be a good thing. Apple charges arounf £80-90 for an OS upgrade. Not the ludicrous £200+ Microsoft wants for Vista.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    There's lies, damn lies and M$'s statistics

    After having to support it professionally I can honestly say that I wouldn't want a copy even for free.

    Using Windows isn't the goal. It is a means to accomplish something else. Unfortunately it now takes longer to do the "something else."

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    "Customers want to know the status of their systems, and how to take action if it turns out they were victimized"

    Wait, why would they care if Microsoft receives revenue from the copy of Vista they are running? It's like when they said 'DRM protected your digital rights'. It's to attempt to mislead with doubletalk.

    If the *Customer* wanted to know if their system was considered by Microsoft to be pirated, then you wouldn't need to force WGA on them, they would run it themselves voluntarily.

    They *don't* care if Microsoft gets revenue or not, they *do* care that WGA phones home regularly with god knows what info. They *do* care that at any particular fault or upgrade WGA may decide the copy is pirated and shut it down. Even the change to nagware is bad enough.

    It's the usual misleading gibberish coming out of a Microsoft VPs mouth.

  23. Chika

    Could it be...

    ...that making note of it might actually encourage somebody to do it?

    Nahhh... that's crazy talk! Probably the anasthetic talking!

  24. Mage Silver badge
    Gates Horns

    It's cheaper to pirate

    You can pay a few hundred Euro for XP pro. If you pirate it and try to validate it, MS offer to make you legal for €80

    Of course you get this "Buy It Now" online option often with a re-install of a perfectly legitimate XP pro.

    Actually MS has no real way of knowing how many of either are pirated and less methods to estimate lost revenue.

    Maybe Windows piracy huts Linux & Mac more than MS.

  25. John Fielder

    XP vs Vista

    I notice the comments all knock Vista (again)

    Is it only me that remembers the comments about XP when it first came out. Incredibly high hardware requirments, nothing ran on it, no device drivers, etc, etc. Sound familiar?

    It all settled down when the software/hardware manufacturers caught up and now everyone loves XP.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    as above...

    as above....

    I've heard DodgyXP runs faster than DodgyVista!

  27. Anonymous Coward

    Oh Joy !!

    ”One trick Microsoft aims to stem involves modifying system files and the BIOS of the motherboard to mimic a type of product activation performed on copies of Windows that are pre-installed by OEMs.”

    Can I please please be amongst the first to experience the joy of Microsoft software modifying my BIOS? I’m sure NOTHING can go wrong there!

    “As long as Vista remains slow at performing basic functions like file copying, users and pirates alike will view it with something approaching disdain.”

    Vista slow? I wonder what Microsoft is doing to tune the performance…

    “All copies of Windows Vista still require activation and the system will continue to validate from time to time to verify that systems are activated properly.”

    So basically a service running at all times, checking my installation, contacting MS servers to verify that it is STILL a valid installation, and probably slowing my system while waiting for the check to complete, or even freezing my system if Microsoft servers are slow to respond (or my laptop is offline), etc.

    Yeah, that will make me switch from XP!

    “Customers want to know the status of their systems, and how to take action if it turns out they were victimized," explains Microsoft VP Mike Sievert.

    How does he know?

    I assume “customers” here refers to someone who’ve bought and paid for a supposedly legit copy of Windows Vista from a store somewhere.

    So, was there a questionnaire or something like?

    Q1: If it turns out, the copy of Vista you bought is not a legit copy, what would you like to happen?

    A1: Crash my machine

    A2: Format my harddrive

    A3: Lose access to functionality or features.

    A4: Present me with clear and recurring notices about the status of my system and how to get genuine systems.

    Maybe a 5th answer was missing?

    A5: Let me report it to Microsoft, and let their legal department deal with the store I bought it from. Until I’m proven guilty of buying software I had a chance of knowing was not legit, I don’t think Microsoft has a right to modify anything on my system.

  28. Dann
    Gates Horns

    I agree...

    Yep - Vista is not even worth pirating (Is that a word?)

    @Anigel - I would consider a chocolate teapot a lot more useful.

    You could eat it (Cant eat Vista), make a nice hot chocolate drink (Cant do that with Vista either), it would look nice (Vista is ugly) ,etc.

  29. Wade Burchette
    Jobs Horns

    It seems ...

    It seems that everyone EXCEPT Microsoft gets it, that Vista is a piece of junk. Microsoft sent me a survey asking would I recommend Vista to my customers. I told them no because Vista was annoying and inefficient. Pirates are capitalists too. They only bother with what is in demand.

  30. Andy Worth


    I don't know many people who have obtained Vista (outside of a company) and use it, unless it came pre-installed on a new PC. Even then a fair few people switch back to XP, which probably explains why the piracy rate is so low.

  31. Anonymous Coward

    I've seen pirates advertising "We will help you to get rid of preinstalled Vista"...

    "...and will help to install XP on your notebook"


  32. Simon Rockman

    Sorry I like Vista

    I use Vista on my home machine and XP on my work issued one. And I rather like Vista, it looks good, handles multiple applications well, and terminates misbehaving applications smoothly.


  33. Robert Lee

    Their priority is where ?

    Should they not spent all their resources on how to make a better OS ? rather than think of every trick under the sun to steal user info in secret/WGA/ Locking out genuine users by accident ?

    Like the rest said, the uptake of pirated Vista is low, as normally pirates will be the first to use it, now the pirates worked out its better to stick to XP, hence the low figures.

    I think Vista is doom to failed, I am suspecting Microsoft is actually working on a new version based on XP but still call it Vista .

  34. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    plans to further curtail piracy

    Um, that has to mean "even more restrictive DRM", which will inevitably lead us to "more false-positives in WGA" and hilarity ensues as the DHS is reported as being locked out of its own computers.

    Meanwhile, normal users will continue to use XP SP2 for the foreseeable future, and they will be vindicated when Microsoft finally ports DX10 to XP.

    Yes, I am convinced it will happen.

  35. Ash

    Finally got my Wireless working!

    Install Ubuntu (Over a "trial" vista busniess install, none the less!) and plugged in the ethernet cable temporarily, hit the chat room on freenone IRC, and within 15 minutes I was up and running on wireless. Graphics card was next, which took about 2 minutes to download and install the suitable driver package (Brand new 8800gtx, by the way; not something old and likely to be supported), and that was it! nForce 650 SLI chipset, Realtek Hi-Def audio (7.1 channel), and USB hard disk all supported "out of the box".

    Wine runs my games suitably well, which is all I had windows for anyway.

    I have no reason to use Microsoft any more, especially as DX10 is being ported by the Cedega project as we speak.

    I encourage anyone else with even little knowledge of computers to try Linux. It my not be the most simple, but it's certainly more stable, more secure, and many orders of magnitude less succeptable to malware.

    Anyway, end of (new) fanboy rant. GO LINUX!

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    There is nothing wrong with vista

    Personally I think this is an improvement, i do believe any anti-piracy methods in the most part only cause issues for those that buy the product... OS's, Apps, Games all suffer the same problem due to poor thought and implementation of anti-piracy methods, and in some cases drives people towards priacy to avoid the extra hoops legit versions make you continuously through.

    Regarding those saying vista is a pile of shite... XP is a great os and so is Vista... yes theres a few quirks that need sorting, and performance hicups too...but no more than xp or any other OS microsoft or otherwise hasnt needed after first release... so anyone who says its shite I assume has not even used it, or at least properly.

  37. Test Man

    Re: XP vs Vista

    Exactly mate. It's the same old rubbishness. All. Over. Again. Give it another few years and everyone will be praising Vista while slagging off WIndows "7".

  38. Anonymous Coward


    I suspect that even if MS adopted the Radiohead business model, once users found out how user unfriendly Vista is, they'd demand a refund...

  39. alistair millington

    @john fielder

    You are correct, people did gripe at Xp, but XP worked out the box.

    Back then Xp did have higher Pc needs but older pc's could run it, It didn't need a dedicated graphics card, or 1 GB ram to run and most of the older Pc's just needed more RAM. Xp when it came out wasn't triple the price for the top version.

    Old software would work if you told it to run in a compatible mode which actually meant something back then as well.

    And Pc's didn't need silly stickers to say "XP ready" because it had such a finite list of compatible requirements in hardware.

    No one wants to spend time to hack into vista as pirating sh1t is a waste of anyones time. There are pirated versions out there and they work fine, however people very quickly remove them for Xp again as they realise what a turkey it is. That would account for the lack of piracy, people by word of mouth know it is a pile of bloatware.

  40. Joerg

    Cut the price to fight piracy, don't add DRM stuff !

    If Microsoft wasn't the far from legal monopoly that is now and if there was some real competition on the market, they would never ever started using DRM tactics to force customers to buy their inflated product prices.

    Politicians and judges all prefer Microsoft "gifts" to citizens and the law, so we got the biggest and worst monopoly ever appeared in history. The only way to change the current status quo would be to split Microsoft in 4-5 parts and force Bill Gates to sell all excluding one to the market so that that competition could exist once again in the industry.

    The new locks on Vista are only going to raise adoption of XP even more. And if XP SP3 is going to use the same DRM tactics to spy on users, then even those who bought their legit copies won't upgrade. Anyone that is installing many machines each day and knows how to optimize a system should be using the famous WGA "cracks" found on the 'net to avoid troubles to their own customers. Just like killing all the useless services that slow XP and Vista systems down a lot. Disabling the useless Microsoft spy-on-customers stuff helps a lot.

    The right price for Vista and Vista SP1 should be $99 for the Ultimate version and $39, $49, $59 for the other versions. Instead Microsoft is pricing its own products so high that it's just quite obvious that average people need to use a pirated copy.

  41. Wolf

    To Adnan Rana

    "In order to install Vista you need a very high spec PC, and if you can afford a high spec PC then you can afford a copy of Vista as well."

    Um, no.

    I've been buying Vista systems since they came out. My favorite is the Powerspec B600 series. I just bought two for $350 (closeout price). That's a Vista Business computer that runs Aero just fine, thank you very much.

    I'm currently running 9 of these systems and they co-exist quite happily in an Active Directory network with a dozen or so XP machines, a Win98SE machine, Win2k, 2k3, and 2k3 64 bit servers.

    At this time we're running exactly one vertical market application (with its own special hardware card) that Vista won't run (no driver for the card). Other than that, everything runs, the systems are stable, and I haven't had a bit of trouble from the Vista machines.

    Mind you, the *most expensive* one is mine, it cost a cool $500--with 2GB of RAM.

    Dunno where this "high end hardware" BS is coming from--unless most Reg readers are still hanging on to their Pentium II's?

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Everybody now loves XP?

    No we don't.

    The only reason I have it is because I've bought PCs that have it pre-loaded. And they are ...errr ...more legal than my old [home] copy of 2K.

    Windows 2000 was as OK as Windows gets, and I'd have stopped there, but XP could be made to look almost like it and it wasn't *so* dreadful.

    I have no wish to ever spend any more money on MS Office upgrades. Office 2000 is fine for me. Probably is more than most people need.

    In fact, I have no wish to spend any more money on MS software. Might have done if it was good --- but I've lived with somebody else's for a couple of weeks, and I'll abandon MS altogether (never was too keen anyway; just lazy) rather than give houseroom to that heap of dung

  43. uvme
    Thumb Down


    "Customers want to know the status of their systems, and how to take action if it turns out they were victimized,"

    My last latop came preinstalled with vista and I feel Victimised. what actions do I take !?

  44. Ash

    @Ash (Myself)

    Good lord, who disabled the inline spell checking?



    For those of you saying Vista is pretty, So is Compiz / Beryl. Check out the videos on youtube; a visual experience comprable to the most recent Mac GUIs. The only thing Vista has going for it now is game support through DX10 (Which I covered above). Graphics, video and audio editing is Mac realm, and affordable, usable software is where Open Source fits in.

  45. Nick

    Wonder how much XP Piracy has gone up since Vista?

    Since Microsoft is trying very hard to kill off XP, legit copies of XP are very hard to come by. I can't tell you how many of my friends have bought new computers in the last 10 months that ship with Vista pre-installed, only to find out it sucks and start looking for "extra legal" copies of XP, since legal copies have evaporated from store shelves.

    I have a prediction to make. (takes cover) I think XP will sit side by side with Vista for several more years. Microsoft is going to be forced to support and upgrade it. There are already very high level discussions about rolling out the DirectX10 upgrade to XP (that was originally promised), as there is already external development going on in that field. Microsoft simly can't afford to let someone else to bring something like that to the market. Furthermore, all the eyecandy in Vista is available through products like Windowblinds and others.

    Personally, the most onerous thing to me is the DRM. I'll be damned if I want every video I watch, every song I listen to to be reported back on. What I listen to is my business.... don't like it, get a search warrant. Microsoft is yet to be challenged on the fact that no agreement to a EULA can abdicate a constitutional right. I also don't like "renting" a piece of software. Don't know what I'm talking about? Go read the Vista EULA.

    Ok, I'll step off my soap box now and get my coat....

  46. Smell My Finger

    Microsoft to blame!

    Wey-hey - the same pointless arguments recur again. Without sounding like either a Microsoft or anti-piracy shill, there is still a basic argument for stopping piracy and it has nothing to do with protecting the already obscene amounts of money Microsoft rake-in.

    Bootleggers who sell this stuff are taking money directly from your pocket. In fact you might as well throw £10 notes out the window. Bootleggers aren't paying tax, VAT, National Insurance - they're defrauding everyone. I couldn't give two shits about the money Microsoft is "losing" but I do care about criminals making off with untaxed income. This hurts us all, the more you steal from the taxpayer the more the legitimate earners have to stump up. Untaxed and undeclared income even steals from children, the easiest way not to pay child maintenance is not to show legitimate income - I know there's a lot of men who already do this (I know of one personally who thinks this is a great wheeze).

  47. Andrew
    Thumb Up

    Hooky Vista

    Microsoft never try very hard to clamp down on piracy because it increases thier market share. Right now for the computer litterate the choice of 'free' operating systems are a flavor of linux, XP or Vista. Why would you not take Vista? Almost everyone I know has Vista installed no-problems the rest have XP, not one of them paid for a copy of it. Microsoft arn't going to come down hard on these people because that would damage thier market saturation. The easy that which Office 95/97 were pirated had a direct effect on Word becoming the defacto standard for word processing, everyone could have a copy so they did.

    I'm not entirely sure what people do to thier Vista to make it so bad. I've had it installed for coming up a year now, no problems, no crashes, no malware (and before you say it I'm not talking about MS software, seriously you guys are hiiiilllarious), no viruses. I cannot understand who people who profess some knowledge of computers break it.


  48. Michael
    Gates Horns


    if M$ wants to get rid of piracy then they need to start selling XP/Vista word et al. for a sensible price. I think £10 each would be about right. Hell, you'd probably be able to convince people to buy an update every couple of years at that price and make more money than they are just now.

    I've got a brand new laptop I've been working on with Vista home premium. The specs far outstrip my old laptop, however it runs incredibly slowly. Boot times are long compared to ubuntu on my existing machine and they seem to have done everything they can to hide control of hardware in obscure menu options. I'm sure with patience I'd learn how to use Vista but why bother. Other than office and a couple of compilers I need for work I never need office. Everything else I need works perfectly in Linux, is quicker to run and cheaper.

  49. Dam

    Seriously who wants vista ?

    Just bought an asus z99Sc for my father this weekend, comes with a centrino duo, 2gb ram and a (5400rpm :/) 160gb drive.

    I plug the little beast in, hand it to him and he's like:

    -it takes some time to load doesn't it... ?

    some time later, the login prompt shows up and my father auths

    -it's still loading things right ?

    some time alter after the desktop is displayed but the OS still struggles

    -reckon I can use it this evening... ?

    The very next morning I was downaloading a copy of XP pro SP2 and installing it.

    I'd have straight away, but nothing beats showing the user *why* you're removing vista.

    Now he knows, and he certainly won't want to try it again in a hurry.

    The only concern that remains is, how to use my vista premium licence to make this downloaded XP pro legit... think it can be done can't it ? the EULA (which I bothered to read actually) says so but doesn't mention a phone number.

  50. John

    re: Ok, enough

    "If you've got lots of ram, then you've got to have it. If you want to run Windoze apps and you want to use your fancy 64bit cpu to the fullest, then you've got to have it. Let's all be honest about it....."

    I guess you're referring to Vista 64bit and not the run-of-the-mill Vista versions that are only 32bit. I have XP 64bit, so i have no need for Vista, 32bit or 64bit. :)



  51. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I didn't like XP at first

    but I grew to love it, both at home and at work.

    Vista's problem for me is that I can't see any advantage to installing it when XP works beautifully and does everything I want it to. The fact that it's twice as expensive in the UK as it is in the USA will also keep me from switching to it for a very long time, if not forever.

  52. Stan


    Don't the 2 comment's by AC and Test man go together well? Not the usual reg 'post now, see it later' kind of thing, almost as though they where posted one after the other. Test man for who I wonder?

    A lot of the XP adoption comments are worth a second thought. When XP came out there where a lot of complaints, hardware requirements, drivers, older app's etc. BUT what else was there? Many folks stuck with 98 for as long as they could get away with but, in the end, HAD to 'upgrade' to XP as support for 98 fell off. The situation is a lot different this time round, the product quality may be comparable but the price isn't and there ARE tried, tested and 'on ur desktop an not readin ur mailz' alternatives.

    I think MS is getting a bit of a sweat on, not a lot (yet) but enough for them to be reaching out wherever they can to get a foot in the door. I wouldn't be surprised if DX10 does get ported to XP, meanwhile I recon MS are spreading themselves a bit thin trying to get both feet in door's AND put together the next window's version ASAP in case vista gets labeled 'Millennium 2007'. Could be worth keeping a note of the 'windows "7"' above ;)


  53. Stephen Gazard


    Windows XP 64 bit works fine. Drivers may be hard to come by but I know people who have it working just fine, and it works with memory >4Gb quite nicely due to the 64 bit architecture.

    That said, I deliberately bought a new laptop (~May, 2007) with XP rather than Vista, and would still do so. Even XP gets a little slow at times. Now Ubuntu was 15 minutes installed and it just works. Much faster at connecting to Wi-Fi, and 7.10 has improved my start-up time.

    All I need is to test Wine on everything and I'd get migration done, barring a few important Windows apps.

    XP's built-in 'compressed folders' is nice but stops at any recent zip files, or those from Linux

  54. peter

    RE: Ok, enough...

    In a stress test like Crysis as a new gen game pushing the video GPU, CPU, and memory to the max. XP will either tie or beat Vista for max FPS and average frame rates. DX10 has swayed no one as it deals mainly with streamlining programming instead of performance gains, Vista is the same.

    Vista is dead in the water, no gains in performance, new security risks and a pointless and very very expensive upgrade for business users.

  55. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    mmmmm Why can MS just charge say £100 for initlal purchase and say £25 per year after that, same as AV and just about everybody else does. That way they could build on the strengths and fix the weaknesses of the OS.

    Why do we have to have a full new OS, and all the attentand heartache with upgrading and bugs every few years?

    Oh and why the heck were AMD and Intel allowed to produce 64 bit CPU way before there was an operating system ready for them. And why the heck did AMD and Intel not kick the likes of MS in the balls and tell them to get it sorted before releasing the x64s?

  56. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Halo


    "...and if you can afford a high spec PC then you can afford a copy of Vista as well."

    I think perhaps this should read:

    ...and if you can afford a high spec PC then you can afford a Mac.

  57. foof
    Thumb Down

    RE: Everybody now loves XP?

    Forced upgrades. Gotta love it.

    Remember when an OS was something you ignored and it was the applications that were important?

    Vista does nothing that W2k can't do as an operating system. I have yet to find a game that requires XP to not run on W2k after hacking the version check. Other than eye candy and bundled apps, there is no reason to upgrade.

    Same for Office. 90% of the population don't use Office 97 to it's full capabilities yet they are "dinosaurs" if they don't upgrade to the latest "extra crap" edition.

    Because of Vista my home is now Microsoft free. Within six months my workplace will be too. Thanks Microsoft, you've helped me see the light.

  58. Steven Hewittt

    @ Alistair Millington / Vista Haters

    Get your facts rights. Vista does NOT need any more of a powerful graphics card than XP to run the OS. The year olf PC opposite me has an integrated Intel chipset for graphics and runs aero fine. That's with NO dedicated graphics card other than the standard crap you get in a business/office machine.

    We have a 2 year old Dell LAPTOP (so worse specs than a 2 year old desktop) and it had 5.1 as the performance score. (Out of 5.9!)

    Most (not all) the Linux hacks here making comments simply haven't tried Vista. I have a 4 year old PC at home with 512Mb of RAM that runs Media Centre on it fine - not a problem. Even browse the web on it cause it's so much better than my aging desktop with XP on it.

    And to clarify yet another FOSS spouted myth - comparable costs for Vista Vs. XP are the same. Windows Vista Business is $299.99 on Guess what XP Professional is..... $299.99

    XP Home and XP Pro shared a lot of features - but not all. If you wanted the full multimedia features of Home plus the domain and business features of Pro you were out of luck. Ultimate is a new edition that contains everything from both editions. Most people don't need it - Home Premium is fine. Enterprise (or Business) is spot on for businesses. Only power users and geeks really want Ultimate cause you can do the lot. Don't try and compare something that's obviously different. Cost for Windows is the same now as it was 6 years ago (in fact it arguably cheaper once you take inflation into account when the fiscal cash price is the same.)

    Seriously, get your facts right. Vista runs fine on any PC that's 2-3 years old with 1Gb of RAM. (In fact if your only using it for the web then you can still get away with 512). The graphics card thing is a myth, so is pricing.

    Our entire company now runs on Vista. Not a single driver problem (use HP, Dell and Evesham machine for hardware.) Performance has been fine, with PC's up to 2.5 years old ticking over without a problem and above all the management, security and reliability of it has been better than XP by miles.

    In fact one user refused to allow us to downgrade him to XP after using Vista as he loved it so much. (There was a legacy app that won't run on anything other than XP and we need the old version!) Simply said he couldn't live without the instant search, and the integration with Office, WM6 and SharePoint.

    Sorry guys, most of this this just FUD.

    There's a few issues. Want the management tools for servers to work properly on Vista, and the fact you can't install VS2003/.net on it is a bit of a joke (some web apps we support are still in .net 1.0!) but generally it's been nothing but an improvement on XP 10 fold.

    Instead of repeating fud from others cause it's cool, why not try it out for yourself (sure there's a free trial on the MS site somewhere) on a reasonable machine. Not a 5 year old machine, but something from the last couple of years. Runs fine on the 200 or so machine's I've put it on so far.

  59. Paul

    @ Andrew

    "I'm not entirely sure what people do to thier Vista to make it so bad."

    The same things they didn't have to do to any prior version of Windows to make it bad. Depends what vendor they got the PC from and what useless crapware was included, or possibly what way the wind was blowing when they attempted the install.

    Cases in point:

    Toshiba Satellite laptop circa 2001, preinstalled with Windows ME (yeah, I know). Worked fine until I made the mistake of trying to install any extra software and then it all went to hell very quickly. Retail copy of ME installed just fine, on the exact same system, and survived a few months before it got all crufty. Which was pretty good by ME standards. The difference was probably the crapware and Toshiba-specific stuff the preinstall had which the retail install didn't.

    Home-built system around 1999. Retail Windows 98 installed but would blue screen on every *other* boot (with nothing extra installed except essential hardware drivers). Nuked and reinstalled, with the exact same hardware and driver versions, and the problem was gone. To this day I have no idea why the first install "failed", because absolutely nothing was done differently between the two installs.

    Vista really *is* the new ME. A few lucky souls have had no real trouble (I had some good luck with it on one specific system I built) but it just doesn't work properly for the majority of people.

    And it isn't being pirated as much as XP was for the same reason that dog's milk keeps forever...

  60. Svein Skogen

    I wonder...

    How many of those on the hate-vista campaign here, has actually tried it? Register: Can you check your httpd logs and see how many of those were posted from OSX or Lin(s)ux machines?

    I've been running Vista since the last betas, through the RC, got my installation discs (Utlimate/32) for the Thinkpad I used as a workstation last january, and ran vista on it until the laptop died (blue smoke evaporated/coffee cup slipped), and my new Thinkpad came with Vista Business/32 (Which quite possibly will be upgraded to ultimate/64 when I upgrade ram. I have a spare license). As far as windowses go, Vista is one of the better ones. Had my applications worked in FreeBSD (an OS for enthusiasts, rather than for mee-too-ists) I would have run a dual-boot system (since rather few of the interesting games work with Wine, even if someone wanted to state that it works above).

    I still think most of those me-too-ing "vista sucks" above has never tried it.


    (And yes, I'm prepared to be flamed both by the penguin-lovers and the mac-slinging artistic types)

  61. Bruce Leyden

    One more voice

    I said I was never going to install XP as "2k does everything I need" but I seem to remember that at the time there weren't a whole load of options available to pseudogeeks such as myself when it came to cutting the Microsoft cord. It's getting to be more and more of a buyer's market with every passing day, and shit like this coming from Redmond only helps the cause - long may it continue!

    I'm pretty sure I could get a working copy of Vista without much hassle (except possibly a lack of BitTorrent peers, natch) but am I going to bother? Ha ha! Go on! Pull the other one.

  62. Chris Long
    Gates Horns

    Microsoft vs Piracy

    Funny how MS never bothered so much with piracy prevention when it was desperately trying to establish Word and Excel as the de facto standard office applications. Perhaps they were too busy developing that paperclip thing, and didn't have time. The upshot being that every man and his dog installed Word and Excel on every PC in the universe, until (the horror) WordPerfect and 1-2-3 went extinct.

    That's how I remember it, anyway. Where's my tin-foil hat?

  63. Mark
    Thumb Down

    @smelly finger

    MS don't pay tax here. It's funneled through other subsidiaries (Ireland allow tax free income on patents, so patent profits are funneled through there and the Ireland losses are moved to MS UK to offset any profit they can't shift). So if you were to buy legit MS Vista, you might as well be throwing fifties out the window.

    There's an agreement I cannot agree to in Vista, I do not activate my single gaming XP machine and it is not connected to ANY network (because I don't agree to the system being able to be "updated" by MS without my say) and the other copy of XP I got a full refund for refusing the EULA.

    There's nothing I want in Vista and a lot I don't want.

    So I don't pirate Vista, though as far as MS are concerned, my XP is pirated because it's the OEM full install disk off another machine (the machine had an image that spanned a raid0 system which within a month broke and it won't reinstall unless I put raid0 back. stuff that).

  64. Tom

    Don't give people a choice...

    Microsoft has to give co-op funds to the pirates to get them to only install Vista the way they do with Best Buy, if they want to get the Vista numbers up in this market they need to stop the bootlegging of XP and force the new users onto Vista...

  65. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    Tinfoil hats and DRM...

    It's a bit ironic that it is often easier to get a pirated version to run, be it windoze, games or apps, these days.

    Why doesn't any company go out and say: "We know our product is going to be pirated anyways, so we dropped any anti-piracy software and focused on making the product as easy to install and as userfriendly as we could for those who do buy it." ... Oh wait, someone did try that: Remember the whole StarForce/Galactic Civilization II scandal?

    Anyways, I buy the games/apps I really like to support the devs, but as a lot of other people I know I "try before I buy". And since I really can't say that I like either winXP or any of the other versions... Well, go figure. If I could get every program and game I have to run on Linux then I'd throw away everything M$ like mouldy bread.

  66. This post has been deleted by its author

  67. Anonymous Coward

    Vista deliberately not pirated

    Vista is used by genuine users because it gets bundled. It is not pirated at the same rate as XP because when presented with a choice people prefer to run the older OS. This may be further explained if we assume reduced hardware specs within the pirate demographic.

    Once a crack is there it gets downloaded and used by those who are inclined to do so. Details of the protections are irrelevant unless it stops the crack which this will not. It may take a very short time to work around it but it will happen and the 'floodgates' will open once again for anyone and everyone who wants it.

  68. Carlo Graziani


    To the REALLY VEHEMENT Vista/XP/W9*-lovers flecking spittle at your screens: your condition is called "Stockholm Syndrome". Help is available, but you will have to break with your captor, which may prove almost as traumatic as your original abduction. It's for the best, though.

  69. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge
    Jobs Halo


    They're all too busy pirating Mac OS X 10.5. As you can see in this technical comparison, it's a far superior upgrade compared to Vista:


    Vista- Everything has changed and nothing works anymore.

    Leopard- Old features still work. Only new features are broken.


    Vista- Harder to spell than XP

    Leopard- Can't be spelled properly by anyone who listened to 80s rock but it can be abbreviated to "10.5".


    Start upgrading! You must! The version number is higher!

  70. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    @smelly finger (also)

    What crap are you droning on about? You mean when you get pirated software, you go down to your local market and ask some bloke for it? Do you live in 1995? Welcome to the internet, where it's all "free" from The Pirate Bay or somesuch tracker site, and you're throwing away absolutely nothing. If you're claiming these pirated copies go to funding terrorism or take money away from starving infants, please explain how that works when I'm not actually paying any money... it's gotta be a win-win situation. Terrorists don't get any, Microsoft don't get any, and I get a free OS!

  71. Norman Wanzer

    Biggest Gripe

    My biggest gripe with Vista (and XP) is that they are no longer Operating Systems. They are Operating Applications. An operating system is software that runs the hardware components of your computer and acts as an interface between hardware and applications. Windows is a massive set of applications that also acts as an operating system. Each version of windows since 2000 has been getting more and more application oriented and less operating system.

    I believe this is part of the reason why each version of Windows has a progressively larger hard drive foot print - that and MS programmers tend to not write really tight code. Let’s face it; 7 to 10 GB of hard drive space is just wrong. I have an early linux build I use for a DNS server - 720kb. Runs off a floppy.

    What I would like to see MS do is a modular build. The OS with a command line interface as the base and run on top of that a GUI module with DX10 support. GUI module would have nothing in it except system utilities (IE: the stuff in control panel) Each additional application would plug into the GUI module - regardless if it was written by MS or a third party. MS could still provide all the same toys they have integrated into windows - but you would have the option to not install them. OR, could add/remove them later as needed.

    I know some will argue that Linux/Unix does this now - but until there is some kind of application install standard devised by the *nix providers that works for all flavors - I'm not interested. If MS has done anything right, it is the forced standard for application installation.

    Most money for MS comes from business that use their software. Most Admins want a small easy to use OS that performs the functions they need and nothing else. MS used to understand this. It is sad that they have forgotten.

  72. Brian Whittle

    XP easier to get round activation simple as that

    you can get round XP activation pretty easily not the same with vista. countdown cracks bios hacks for vista will be fixed by m$ but there are Techniques on XP that M$ don't seem to be able to detect .

    I am providing vista (paid for) in my builds unless the customer says no thanks yes its slower but has added functionality over XP

  73. heystoopid

    Is it

    Is it because many businesses are still welded to Windows 2000 ?

    An oldie but not mouldy so as to speak !

  74. Anonymous Coward

    I'm struggling!

    I'm struggling to understand why The Register are reporting this article as being newsworthy. My understanding was that the web site was focussed on providing comment on serious computing issues, and we seem to have lowered the fence below ground level with this story. There isn't even a snidey reference to Paris Hilton anywhere in sight!

    I applaud Microsoft for their determination to see something through, however I think the April 1st joke that Vista represents has gone a bit too far.

    C'mon you guys at The Register. Keep up with the quality readership occupied by The Times's, and stop scrabbling around looking for readership at The Sun level! And if you are going to move downmarket to match The Sun then at least do the decent thing and give us a page 3 equivalent! (Perhaps that's where Paris Hilton comes in though).

  75. Morely Dotes

    That's no upgrade; it's a space station!

    "That still leaves Redmond with one major problem, however, getting users to upgrade from XP to Vista."

    That's a bit like "upgrading" from a Ford Escort to a Vespa, in terms of usefulness. I have Vista Ultimate (tuned to "best performance") and XP installed on two machines with identical hardware. SP outperforms Vista on *every* benchmark. So how is the extra cost and the lower perfomance of Vista an "upgrade?

    Oh, and @ buddypepper: "If you've got lots of ram, then you've got to have it. If you want to run Windoze apps and you want to use your fancy 64bit cpu to the fullest, then you've got to have it. Let's all be honest about it....."

    Good, let's be honest. If you have more than 2 gigs RAM, Ubuntu Linux (and probably all other distros) will utilize it to the full. If you ahve to run 64-bit applications, Ubuntu 64-bit Linux will do that. It will also utilize *mulitiple* 64-bit CPUs, which Vista 64 will not. If you must run Windows apps, you can use wine, Cedega, or another Windows emulator (including a VMware virtual machine, though it's hard to imagine why you'd want "real" Windows for any reason other than testing).

    So, to be honest, you *don't* have to have Vista. You do, however, have to be smarter than a cinder block.

    Here's to the pirates, who are smart enough to not bother "stealing" something thye can't sell on.

  76. Martin Usher

    XP's cheaper than you think

    The problem with software is that it doesn't wear out. You can now get a used computer with XP on it for less than the cost of XP, and while the OS isn't technically transferrable to a new system you can keep repairing and upgrading an old one indefinitely.

    This won't be of use to those who need to build the latest liquid cooled megasystem for photorealistic first-person carnage but if all you want is to do normal computer stuff then the used systems that are turning up on the market are more than adequate.

    So.....XP isn't being pirated that much because its more or less saturated. Vista is being pirated even less because there are just not that many masochists out there. And all the time you've got the omnipresent threat from the fruit machines and the stealthy advance of Linux. A chill wind blows through Redmond?

  77. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Halo

    Vista crap?

    I don't understand many of the comments here.

    As a web and database developer for many years and a PC user since 1988 I'm pretty demanding on systems and a very heavy user of each version of DOS and Windows since the earliest days. For a large part of this year I was also a MacBook user. I spent around ten hours a day before a screen for most of the last 20 working years.

    Yet I have had my Vista laptop for a month now and would never dream of going back to either the Mac or XP. The laptop cost around £500 yet boots Vista in less than half the time of XP and also quicker than OS X Leopard on the MacBook. It's far more productive than either, especially in the little touches (such as MP3 tag editing directly in Explorer), and looks great (full aero on a laptop this price, prettier even than Leopard). Almost all my hardware works, with the exception of one rarely used USB video stick. The OS never crashes - literally never - and with the sole exception of IE7 everything runs noticeably faster than with XP (Opera fixed IE7). Even Visual Studio and SQL Server run rings around the XP-installed equivalent. And yes, on the same laptop.

    I don' know what you guys do to your machines, but I've gone from slagging off MS and saying "Vista? Never!" to joining an MS Fan Club (joke). To quote from my Mac mates "Everything just works".

  78. hobs

    My choice

    I'm a self confessed IT geek. I love new gadgets, new software to play with The very target audience M$ should not need to win over.

    I've just recently built myself a quad core PC with top end GFX and 4GB RAM. What operating system did I choose to install on my new beasty? XP of course!

    All I ever do with my OS nowadays is load Firefox, watch Xvids and play games. Why do I need an operating system which is slower for that? Don't care how pretty it may look or not.

  79. fred muntenara
    Gates Horns

    @ Steven Hewittt

    I think there's another angle you may be missing. I'm sure there is some merit to your argument on technical, pricing levels etc. and there may be people commenting from a perspective of ignorance.

    I have seen but not tried Vista myself, use XP/Win2K/Server2K3 regularly, but at home would not touch Vista with a f@#!ing barge pole. I can slag it off all day without having used it and do so without being ignorant. Why? Because for me its not about this or that technical detail, feature or lack of it. It just sh!ts me that year after year I've had to pay Microsoft time and time again for basically the same thing. And I don't get to upgrade when I want to, I am forced to because of the deals with PC builders, T's & C's on the EULA etc, artificial "compatibility" requirements from new software etc.

    No, for me its about freedom, and I don't need to try Vista to know that I think its not going near any of my machines. Why would I want to fork out hard-earned cash for something that needs to keep suckling from the MS update service to keep running, lest it stop receiving regular "PERMISSION" to keep running, and for me to keep using something that I paid for. No, Vista can get stuffed.

    You probably don't understand this sentiment because you trust MS and you think your lot is OK. I once read an analogy. A battery chicken is fed, watered and kept warm - looked after in a very predictable environment. It has the freedom to do whatever it likes in that environment, but it doesn't know that it doesn't have real freedom because it doesn't know any better. It sees chickens roaming around outside the shed that are fending for themselves (software libre) and thinks that it would be too hard and far prefers to stay where its warm and there is food and water. Only the chickens that have escaped, learned to fend for themselves, and are freely roaming in the outside world have experienced both conditions and truly value the freedom that comes with escape.

    Maybe that's why they're all crowing from out in the farmyard (posting comments from other OSes). I am, and now that I have experienced the freedom, can say hand on heart that as long as it has DRM, product activation and a restrictive EULA, It is a steaming pile of SH!T.

  80. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    No pirated copies that I know of!!

    Funny, but I have never heard of anyone pirating Windows Vista. That kinda of says how much everyone wants Vista......... NOT!

  81. Nick

    To the Vista apologists.....

    I have beta tested ~EVERY~ Windows operating system from `95 on (except Mistake Edition). I was the first person to turn in a bug report that bad things happen to the OS when you drag the "My Computer" icon into the recycle bin.

    Every OS has been an upgrade... a move forward. It might be incremental. (`95 OSR2 to `98) or huge (`98 to 2000), but they were movements forward in terms of reliability, usability or scalability. XP brought us a more (arguably) user friendly face to 2000 and a kernel that was optimized for multimedia. Vista however, brings none of these things. It isn't more reliable than XP, it CERTAINLY isn't more usable than XP. Scalability increase for Vista? Not there.

    Using an INCREASE in these metrics as the definition of an UPgrade, then Vista fails... miserably. Notice I haven't mentioned a word about performance. Performance is subjective... my high end gaming machine at home gets 10% better performance with XP than Vista Ultimate. Your milage may vary.

    DirectX10 is CERTAINLY an improvement toward photorealistic games. Look at Crysis running in DirectX10 vs DirectX9. And game development will be more streamlined under DirectX10. But, Microsoft already has DirectX10 developed for XP... but the shelved it as a tactic for forcing people to upgrade.

    Don't get me wrong.... I am a Microsoft proponent. I make my living from certifications I have in their products, but Vista sucks. Badly. If you doubt what I am saying, download and read the EULA from Vista versus the EULA from XP. Actually -read- them. You will be shocked. Then you will be angry. Microsoft, I must admit, well and truly missed the boat with this OS.

  82. James Robinson

    XP performance

    Bloody hell, even XP is still full of bloat that I'll never use and have no interest in trying. Have tried Vista, and it looks quite pretty, but on a day to day basis, I use a custom built (using nLite) install of XP - got rid of all the crap I don't need, and my four year old Athlon XP machine is running Windows in very little memory - thus allowing the bulk of my 2Gb of RAM to be used as I see fit, not how my operating system or Mickey$oft see's fit - same goes for hard disk space. Its /my/ computer, its up to /me/ what I have running - not what Windows tells me to - crap such as Aero, Windows Movie Maker, IE, LookOut Express, Windows Imaging, etc I strip out, taking it down to what is basically less than a W2K platform, but with the XP features/benefits that I want/need/can't find 3rd party addons for W2K - its blisteringly fast, moreso than W2K in fact, mainly due to the code prefetching in XP. In other words, XP is full of shit that 90% of the population will never need, Vista is worse - its the devils child.

  83. BitTwister

    @Norman Wanzer

    > My biggest gripe with Vista (and XP) is that they are no longer Operating Systems. They are Operating Applications.

    Spot on - and my my, isn't it *really* beginning to show with Vista? The whole WinBloat thing has become an inane happy-clappy multimedia experience which by chance, happens to run some software too.

  84. J


    Hurray for MS anti-piracy measures! I wish them all the best in this endeavour. I know it's impossible (not only due to their incompetence), but I hope they get 100% of success in fighting piracy, preferably of ALL versions of Windows.

  85. Shun F

    When will it hit them?

    I am wondering when M$ will finally get a clue and realize that Vista is a bloated piece of crap, and they must start over from scratch if they want to sell anything, ever, again.

    M$ is like all empires: arrogant, self-deceiving, and ultimately, futile. They seem to have finally hit their Waterloo moment. Now, they have a choice. They can throw good money after bad, and deepen the crisis, making Vista the last product ever to come out of Microsoft as a commercial entity, or they can run back to the drawing board.

    M$ is competing with the massive installed base of Windows XP pirates. The XP folks already have a functional operating system, and it cost them nothing. Are they going to take a chance on an upgrade, knowing that nobody in industry, government, or anywhere else has done so? Why? The only way M$ is going to "win" this game is if they make upgrading to Vista mandatory for all institutional purchasers (government, education, etc.) For various political reasons, this is not feasible.

    Remember IBM? Remember when it meant something to have a Cray supercomputer? Heck, I still remember when there were computer labs in the basement of the math(s) building of my local land-grant university. The model of computing has changed, but M$ has stubbornly refused to change with it. If M$ is to survive at all, it will most likely become a niche player. It'll sell something called OS's to people with antiquated "desktop computers". Worst case: Bill Gates presides over the most spectacular collapse in modern human history.

    Thanks, Microsoft. The view from down here is fabulous.

  86. Michael Hitchins
    Gates Halo

    Microsofts just being greedy

    Since each country/state is different I'm sure YMMV, but here in west Australia, the education dept. have a licensing agreement with microsoft for their wares. This includes 'upgrade ability' so i have previously upgraded pc's shipped with 98 to XP pro, and now XP home to XP pro and I've been doing it legally for free as part of the agreement. I also get Office 2003 and now 2007 for free (though my copy of 2007 still hasnt arrived, they arent an organised lot their SAR) to install on the PC's, as well at Encarta, or now MS student i believe now. on top of that I get heavily discounted licenses for Server, Exchange ($145AUD for std edition, not too bad), free CALs and their other fancy bits, and its all pretty nice and affordable to run MS at schools. So the other week, I looked into getting new media shipped, office 2007 and vista since I figure its about time, and school holidays coming up mean I can do a lot of imaging. This is where I find out, MS have decided that Vista wont be part of the deal, and I'm paying more per volume licensed PC for Vista than I am for exchange! After recovering from the choking shock of having to pay for it, I just laughed, since for me, thats the final nail in the Vista coffin. I have no idea why they wouldn't want the kids to see how 'wonderful' it is, unless they forgot about how indoctrination works and are just trying to recover costs from the lack of sales elsewhere. I wonder what happens when the PC's I buy are preinstalled with Vista :P

  87. J
    Thumb Up

    Not paying attention to EL Reg today...

    ...or I would have noticed that there was a Vista x XP test (for whatever it's worth, I'm sure people will find something to complain about) published here today! Blame it on meetings spoiling my Reg time.

  88. David Wilkinson
    Gates Halo

    If I bought a fake copy I thought was legitimate I would feel victimized.

    I think its legitimate to say people who unknowingly buy a fake copy of Windows were victimized. I would feel ripped off, and when it came time to do a reinstall most people wouldn't know how to get the thing activated. Whatever automatic hack that was built into the disc likely no longer works.

    On XP you get a nag screen if you have an illegitimate copy which you can then disable. Oh and you can download IE7 but not WMP11.

    At least for XP and at least for now it seems like they honestly just out to inform and not to punish.

    Personally I think they would rather have see a pirated copy on a home computer than linux, but whatever their motives it seems fair and reasonable.

  89. J
    IT Angle


    OK, so there are people who say they bought (or installed) a computer with Vista and it is nothing short of computing Nirvana and they can run Aero even on their Palm V and it flies (not out of the window). And there are people (majority, or are they just noisier?) who say they bought (or installed) a computer with Vista and it is the new ME, to say the least, slow, broken, poisoned their dog, insulted their mother, etc. Assuming everyone is telling the truth (at least as it seems before their eyes...), what gives? Does it work or not? Is it really the OEM crapware? (I doubt, but who knows) Will Paris Hilton ever disappear and leave us in peace? (I doubt, but who knows) (Can you tell I have a "parenthesis problem"? I probably should learn LISP. I have an ellipsis problem too...)

    Will someone ever do a real, independent study on this? I guess not. Just curious, since I myself have no use for any Microsoft product anyway.

    And >10 GB of disk just for the OS and a few MS "freebies" (that most people will probably replace with something more decent anyway later), is that right? If it is, that's ridiculously unbelievable.

  90. David

    I've said it before

    And I'll shout it from the rooftops again..


    I am getting so busy wiping mickey$loth shitware from peoples machines and installing Linux on them as a result.

    I know many people who have tried vista, inc me. Many of those, the "kids machine" that was the parents old machine becomes the parents machine again, and the new machine sits idle - until they can dispose of it, or get vista off it.

    I am averaging 2 linux installs/week atm. Generally Ubuntu, generally 7.10, generally 30 mins max to do the full install and have EVERYTHING working.

    As to the microshite fanbois.. Try a LiveCD version of some Linux on your machine - I reccomend Ubuntu 7.1 personally - nice to be able to browse and whatnot, then when you've come down from the high that it gives you (runs shitloads faster from the CD than vista does from even the fastest HD, IME), forget all about even bothering to back up any data, and hit the "install" icon.. Like I have watched so many happy people do.

    Thanks Microsoft. Vista was the greatest thing you could ever give to Linux fans! :)

  91. Rebecca Putman

    I may be old-school...

    ...but to me, an operating system is supposed to *assist* me in utilizing my computer. Have it control my hard drives, memory, CPU, and all the other peripherals so that applications can read data / files, present information on a screen or printout, and store the information for later retrieval.

    A piece of software that deigns to hold my computer ransom if it takes a fancy to do so is what I call a virus or a trojan.

    I'm so glad to be Micro$oft free.

  92. Cormac


    why has no one mentioned xp 64bit edition ?? if u wanna use all that 32gigs of ram and ur new fangled shiny 64bit processor run that one and no crappy vista :)

  93. TeeCee Gold badge


    "You are correct, people did gripe at Xp, but XP worked out the box."

    Ah. So you never used a not-always-on Internet connection with vanilla, no-service-pack-whatsoever XP then? XP most certainly did *not* work out of the box (well, not reliably) until SP1 came along. I can assure you of this from bitter experience gained looking after others' PCs until SP1 arrived. I stuck to '98SE until then 'cos XP stunk so bad.

    Personally though, I don't hold to the "first service pack" theory of when a Windoze release becomes really stable. I reckon it's usually about the time MS schedule to cease support (98SE, 2k SP4, XP "SP3"....).

  94. nobby

    my name is nobby and i bought a boxed copy of vista

    I thought "lets upgrade my pc, it passed the Vista Upgrade Tests and the mobo is only a coupla of years old and i'm supposed to be a computer professional and so i should know what this Vista thing is like when i get phone calls from the family"

    Like feck did it work. My nice nforce motherboard is *not* supported and i only find that out after the sixth time of trying to get the install working. Well it works for five minutes before it hangs; but : no sound; doesn't like the on-board lan.. etc..

    So I thought: maybe my laptop will work? I know its three years old and all that but surely its got a chance of running. (I know, self-delusion)

    Laptop was much more successful.. except.. Graphics Drivers: "there are no vista graphics drivers for your laptop" Hell. I even had trouble trying to find XP graphics drivers for the laptop. And it was a little... sluggish..

    So I could have a very pretty desktop that crashes after five minutes; or a 17" widescreen multimedia laptop that doesn't multimedia anymore..

    So I wiped and clean installed XP on the desktop and Fedora(*) on the laptop and bought a cheap Vista pc.

    I just wished I'd got a pirate copy instead so I didn't waste all that time AND MONEY on a fecking boxed set of vista that i can't give away.

    Seriously - I sent an email round our offices (70ish people) and no one wanted it.

    (*) cor! wobbly windows

  95. John Angelico


    Will Vista help me to do the same things I do now, better, faster, more effectively...?

    I was raised in the era of decent education before calculators, dedicated word processors, or large scale computers, let alone the PeeCee.

    On occasion I can still beat a spreadsheet to the correct answer, because of this old distinction:

    man is slow, sloppy, distractable but a brilliant thinker

    a computer is fast, (occasionally) accurate, tireless but utterly dumb.

    I leave you all with this last analogy: I don't have to upgrade my car every couple of years in order to get from a to b. I may choose to upgrade every 4-5 years for additional features *if I believe they represent value for money to ME*. I do NOT upgrade because GM or Toyota force me back to a dealer.

  96. Geoff Mackenzie

    Re: Vista not worth pirating comments

    Well, that *is* Vista's new piracy protection. Nobody steals my car either - its primary line of defence being that it is a ten year old Metro. :)

    Go to disagree with the "Everyone loves XP" comment though - it's the better of the two by an enormously long shot but it still stinks to high heaven. I only use it where contractually obliged to do so and the crawl it slows my unnecessarily powerful (or so I thought) laptop to never ceases to amaze me. My 433 Celeron is more stable and responsive than this running Ubuntu.

  97. Smell My Finger

    Re: @smelly finger (also)

    Have you ever been to a carboot sale recently? Do you really think everyone that wants a dodgy copy of Vista really downloads 2GB (and more) of it? You either spend hours downloading it or you pay a few quid for a DVD copy already cracked and ready to go.

    Ever spoken to a trading standards officer who have thousands of counterfeit DVDs with Vista and Office all waiting to be destroyed?

    Are you really such a prick you've never seen the true extent of piracy? More special pleading for pirates and crooks - please grow up.

  98. Uwe Dippel


    "I rather like Vista, it looks good, handles multiple applications well, and terminates misbehaving applications smoothly"

    Uh, how low an expectation can become ...

    The OSes that I use all do this. Sorry, have been doing this over the years.

    And all of that without Dual Core, 2GB, GF8000+.

    You'll be loved by Microsoft. Or will they laugh at you ?

  99. whogivesa

    @@ Alistair Millington / Vista Haters

    'Most (not all) the Linux hacks here making comments simply haven't tried Vista. I have a 4 year old PC at home with 512Mb of RAM that runs Media Centre on it fine - not a problem. Even browse the web on it cause it's so much better than my aging desktop with XP on it."

    I am a Linux user to be more specific an Ubuntu user. I bought Vista Ultimate installed it plugged my brand spanking new USB Printer scanner combo into it and the fudging thing BSOD on me. reinstalled it again left the printer off, tried to install office and the piece of crap BSOD on me again. Then i went to the internet and downloaded the new release of Ubuntu, rebuild my machine. And every single thing worked better faster smoother and 10 times as stable as with any other version of Windows that i have ever had. The next morning I took a drive to the retailer and tried to get my money back, no go. I then tried to sell the piece of crap... no luck. so it went on for a few days. then i discovered that if you drive at 200kph and flug the vista box (with Vsita DVD in it) out the window, it makes for some awesome sparks on the road... probebly the best visual experiance i had out of the thing.

  100. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Vista for Dummies

    I downloaded a hacked Vn of Vista, just to see what it's like. Installed it under Virtual PC and it was nice to see the "new bits & bobs". I then installed it as dual-boot with XP and tried again. After "Googling" to get WIndows LIve Messenger to connect!@!@!@, I wondered what other problems where waiting to be found.

    I now only boot to Vista if someone asks me a question about Vista, or brings me their new Vista PC that has now gone strange.

    Long live XP.

  101. James Anderson

    Only my personal experience

    But my Vista machine is a lot faster than my XP machine.

    This is probably due to the "cruft" the XP box has collected over the years, but, its perceived performance that counts. Besides it only takes a

    couple of weeks to work out where they hid all the buttons and menus :-).

    A special thanks to ZoneAlarm for the 10 minute startup time on my XP.

    And a special thanks to ZoneAlarm support whose respose to complaints about slow startup is to remove any posts mentioning this from thier discusion boards.

  102. Steven Hewittt

    @ fred muntenara

    The reason you aren't going to use Vista is down to the EULA?! WTF? Every EULA i've ever bothered to look at has been a waste of space. Sign your life away to run this software etc...

    Fraid it's going to take more than a EULA to put me off running some software when we have a legal licence for it. The fact I can't sue MS if there's some gaping hole in their software makes little difference to me, we use Virtual Server instead of desktop builds so VM stuff makes little difference and the DRM thing is completely out of control.

    Just to confirm once again what this 'DRM' in Vista is... If you try to play a HD-DVD or BlueRay Disc that has content protection enabled by the publisher, then Vista will run the data through an encrypted 'tunnel' across your system through to the HDCP enabled output device. If Vista detects hardware changes or suspects hacking, it will stop the media from playing and restart it. No BSOD, no reporting back to MS, no rebooting the machine. It's only for protected HD media, which isn't in use yet. Any remember that this is the same on your HD-DVD or BlueRay drive as well...

    Oh, and I couldn't care less about WGA. Same as XP and Office which has ran fine generally speaking. (Although it does p*ss me right off I can understand why it's being done)

    The number of people saying that they will never put Vista on their machine who haven't tried it is just laughable. There is nothing wrong with it generally speaking. The performance comparisions are just a joke - as people are comparing running a 6 year old OS on a Core Duo 2, 1Gb RAM system with Vista on the same box. I'm sure Windows 2000, Windows 98 or even DOS will run fast on that setup - as the hardware is years above what the specs were when the OS was initally released. I'm pretty sure Vista will blow XP out of the water if we grabed the average box from 6 years in the future and ran Vista on it. (Whilst leaving XP on it's current setup from now-a-days)

    And seriously guys - the number of years the Linux fans have been defending the OS whilst the drivers were shit, and now of course it's a different story that Vista doesn't work with some hardware out of the box. Hate MS for shite coding standards or unethical marketing, but for not writting drivers for 3rd party hardware vendors? Um, isn't it up to the hardware manufacturers to do this? Red Hat doesn't support my wireless card - but it's hardly RH's fault that 3COM suck when writting driver software.

  103. Aaron

    MS miss the obvious

    I myself pirated vista to try it out, mainly because I wasn't about to spend £600 when it first came out knowing that microsoft os's rarely are even usable when they come out.

    I tried it and wiped it and went back to XP (yes I pirated XP to but I do own legit copies of xp but the pirated corporate editions with out WPA etc is nicer so thats what I will use).

    I've been through the cycle of trying vista several times since its come out and each time I end up wiping it and going back to XP. Mainly because its slow unresponsive buggy and directx 10 doesn't seam to do anything for me.

    Before anyone bash's my system's specs im running a core 2 quad q6600 over clocked to 4ghz per core, 4gb DDR2 PC1066, 2xRaptor 150Gb in raid 0, and 2xNvidia 8800 GTX's in SLI. It gets 5.9's on all the vista performance tests so as high as their own scale gets but still doesnt run well.

    Im looking forward to trying it again after SP1 to see if its any better, I will pirate it then as well (because we all know the pirate copys that will allow SP1 to be installed will be out very quickly), and again I will try it to see if its worth my money and much more importantly if its worth using as my main OS.

  104. glenn

    @ Steven Hewittt

    Either your couple of year old laptop has some secret processing power, or you are talking complete guff! Our desktop P4 3.2 with 1gig of ram and a 256mb Geforce 6800 GT runs vista like a complete sack of wank, and has a performance rating of 3.7. You do know that being able to boot O/S is a bit different to actually using it with multiple apps running. Vista is turd, so i'll be sticking to XP.

  105. Tim Blair


    great posts people, not worth getting it for free, LOL, over priced bloated junk IMHO,, wish google would kick out their own linux distro' an kick the hardware/software dudes into gear.....

  106. Peter Brooks

    Everybody does not 'love' XP

    everyone loves XP.


    What planet do you come from!!!

    People put up with XP, shite that it is, because they can't afford a Mac or don't know how to run linux. I can't believe that anybody actually likes it.

    Vista is, of course, likely to be worse - the more you cobble onto the DOS framework the more that is likely to go wrong.

  107. James Pickett
    Gates Horns


    "I have no wish to spend any more money on MS software"

    Precisely! You can only fool the public so many times...

  108. Dale

    The File browser in vista is rubbish...

    Its something not a lot of people on here have commented on, but the file browser on vista quite simply isn't as nice to use as the one on XP. Its basically awkward and hides away a lot of functionality. I also makes it awkward to cut and paste large groups of files (You need to click inside the folder you re going to put the files into before you right click and paste), its really annoying for someone like me who works with lost of small files all the time.

    Its the number one reason I went back from Vista to XP on my work machine. The new interface is a drag to work with.

  109. Chris Collins
    Thumb Down

    gui is a nightmare

    Dale is right, vista does have problems with networking bad drivers etc. But the thing that annoys me the most is MS changing the gui so menus are hidden, run is hidden, everything needs more clicks for example in xp I double click my lan icon is systray and I then have my lan properties window, this dont work in vista and have to dive into the now bloated control panel in vista, in xp display control panel has all the display stuff in tabs in vista its all seperate panels. The window explorer I liked in xp, in vista it took me 40 mins to figure out how to get the status bar to show as I couldnt get to the menu bar and then another 20 mins to set options like show hidden files etc. Superfetch makes the hd thrash for ages and ages on a machine with 2 gig of ram and no apps loaded, windows firewall was blocking microsoft update so I had to disable it O_o, a vista lan beta driver. I have to use was ran in xp2 compatability mode as vista auto determined it to be a xp sp2 app which then made it install the xp driver O-o so I had to force compatability service to disabled, I had to install telnet manually which is a basic function in xp. Playing mp3s in wmp uses about 4x the resource as xp and they keep stuttering this I found out is due to drm. Thats all I can remember for now :)

  110. Steve Roper

    Vista is good... for Linux!

    I HAVE installed and played around with Vista, in response to my boss wanting an analysis for when we upgrade from XP. After messing around with it, the first conclusion I came to is that it is different enough from "Classic" windows that the staff retraining costs would about equal the cost of staff retraining on Linux. Add to that the cost of upgrading Office and all the publishing and design software on our systems... you can see where I'm going with this.

    Ubuntu, OpenOffice, GimpShop, Scribus and Blender are all free. Windows, Office, Photoshop, InDesign and Cinema4D are all bloody expensive. It's going to cost us the same in training and lost productivity when we upgrade either way.

    So it wasn't difficult to convince my boss that when the time comes to upgrade, we'll be ditching the commercial software and rolling out Linux/OSS across the company. I for one won't be sorry to see the back of the vendor lockins we've been cursed with since day one, and with the Ubuntu box I've now got set up in the admin office humming nicely the rollout won't be too far away.

    As others have said, Vista is probably the best thing that has happened to Linux since its inception!

  111. fred muntenara

    @ Steven Hewitt

    The EULA places restrictions on the OS's reuse on other hardware, resale, use in virtual machines without valid keys (fair enough). But it is the combination of this with Microsoft's phone-home activation that allows them to ENFORCE the terms of the EULA. I can't confidently buy a copy of Vista knowing that I'll be able to use it on the machine I'm typing this on, and on the one I buy in a couple of months, and on a machine I may buy next year, even if I only ever intend to have it on 1 system at any time. I certainly can't be confident that I can keep a backup VM containing content I create today dust it off in 20 years, fire it up and hope that MS still thinks I should be "allowed" to be running it any more.

    The fundamental problem I have with all this stuff (and the discomfort started with XP's WGA), is that the ability of my machine to keep on doing what I want it to do, now and long in to the future should not rely on permission from some company across the sea. Microsoft will be around for a while yet, and admittedly their stuff generally works well. But it only takes a few cock-ups (like WGA mistaking some legitimate XP installs for illegal copies) to make me less than comfortable with the situation.

    You admit you haven't yet experience protected HD content :) You admit to WPA p!$$ing you off - you at least have some sense of the limitations to your freedom - those are the bars of your battery hen cage. It may be roomy, predictable and comfortable for you, but its still a cage. Not for me.

  112. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Halo

    I love vista stories

    Hell I love all XP news too, it always always has the same "moral of the story" - just buy a mac.

  113. William Hinshaw
    Thumb Down

    Who wants to pirate crap

    Who wants to pirate something worse that Windows ME? That is why the numbers are down. Vista sucks and SP1 isn't going to fix some of the major issues with it. If possible we will skip this pile of crap and hope for the best with the next OS from Microsoft.

  114. N

    Vista piracy?

    Why in Gods name would anyone want to pirate such a complete pile of cr@p?

    Ive just returned from a client whos unfortunate enough to have bought a very powerful laptop with Vista

    Vista took 3 minutes to come out of suspense with several error messages before it could do anything useful.

    Vista is simply not worthy enough to be pirated.

  115. Suburban Inmate

    Windows will always be pirateable.

    The harder MS make it for the pirates, the more individuals will be forced to shell out for Windows. Corporate customers already have to anyway.

    Except those people who cannot afford a legit copy of Windows. Like the single mum on a modest wage for whose kids I just sorted out a P600 box running a cracked VLK copy of XP. Microsoft built its market share on the total or near-total lack of anti-piracy measures in 3.x, NT, 9x, and other apps.

    Make it enough of a pain in the arse and people like me, who no doubt install the vast majority of pirated software, will simply start installing a suitable Linux distro and pointing them in the direction of some tutorial sites.

    Cue a load more people well versed in, or at least comfortable with Linux.

    Cue them getting into management positions, IT jobs, and even running their own companies, ever mindful of the bottom line. Or just causing word-of-mouth.

    Cue MS going mental and releasing windows on a license similar to a lot of apps: "free for home and non-commercial use".

  116. Dan
    Thumb Down


    I've been using a pirated version of vista for two months now, not had a single problem with it, and it runs everything just as well as XP. I tried UBUNTU on the same machine and it was an abysmal failure of an installation, it will be a long time before I touch that amateur piece of pooh again.

  117. Dana W
    Jobs Halo

    Once a user, always a user?

    "How many of those on the hate-vista campaign here, has actually tried it? Register: Can you check your httpd logs and see how many of those were posted from OSX or Lin(s)ux machines?"

    And how many of us Mac and Linux "I use both" users ARE former Windows users?

    We got sick of it, get the clue, Personally I'd like to thank Vista, without it I would never have gotten into Linux, and from there into OSX. I'd still be using that Microsoft trash and thinking that computers are SUPPOSED to crash daily.

  118. Paul Hughes

    reduced functionality mode

    Microsoft obviously made some mistake - it seems all versions of Win Vista are stuck in "reduced functionality mode" by default!

This topic is closed for new posts.