back to article Ballmer bitch slaps Vista

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has admitted that Windows Vista is an incomplete product, even though the operating system has been on the market for more than a year. Speaking at the firm's annual Most Valuable Professionals event in Seattle yesterday, Big Steve told the gathered crowd that the unloved OS was "a work in progress …


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  1. Anonymous Coward

    before fanbouys kick off

    He should be applauded. It takes real guts to admit you have cocked up. Lets hope they do learn and get rid of a lot of the bloat.

    Further more, let hpe a few more out there can admit their kit isn't perfect....highly unlikely I know.

  2. Danny
    Paris Hilton

    no vista on my network

    I'll stockpile XP licences before I put vista on my network. When I trialled it with SP1 , it broke sophos, broke our print management and broke our network monitor (all of which may well have patches but i'll wait till things mature a little) Dell have been putting it on my machines quite happily (or the account manager knows he'll lose my business).

    Paris as she comes on my network regularly.

  3. Mark Broadhurst
    Gates Halo

    MS have always said Vista was Bigger

    its designed for the next gen of computers as past OS's have.

    People get crap performance when they update their OS but not the hardware.

    just look at the minimum RAM requirements of the OS's over the years.

  4. Rich Silver badge

    Hang on....

    > ...told the gathered crowd that the unloved OS was "a work in progress"

    So he's admitting that it has been mis-sold and the wording on the box is not an accurate description of the product?

    ....errr What's the number for Trading Standards again?

    > ...he also promised that Microsoft would learn from the mistakes it has made with Vista

    How come? They've not bothered learning from the mistakes of all the other rubbish they've produced over the years? What's different this time?

  5. Anonymous Coward
    IT Angle

    Learn from their mistakes?

    What, like they did with Windows ME?

  6. Anonymous Coward

    Straight from the horses mouth

    Vista is officially bollocks. I have as much inclination to install that os as I have rubbing my testicles up and down a razor blade.

  7. Phil

    Not that bad

    To be honest I haven't had many problems with Vista. It seems people forgot all those glitches we had with XP and therefore claim it's better, but I seem to remember more problems rolling up to XP than I've had so far with Vista.

    My only personal problem with it is the ridiculous hard drive access. I can leave my desktop on for days and it will still be grinding at the disks, even after turning off indexing etc. What could any OS possibly need to be doing after being left alone for a few days? I can't see any of our Vista laptop drives lasting long that's for sure.

  8. Martin
    Jobs Horns

    Pure gibberish

    "We have to make sure it doesn't get bigger still and that the performance and the battery and the compatibility we're driving on the things that we need to drive hard to improve."

    How does someone who puts together sentences like this get permission to run a bath let alone a multinational company?

    Or is it some sort of automated quote generator, like Buzzword Bingo?

  9. Anonymous Coward

    Do I have to say it again?

    It isn't the bloat we hate. Ok, some of it is the bloat. But mostly it is the condecsending philosophy on which Vista is based. UAC needs to go. Driver signing needs to be optional. All DRM needs to be removed. Deleting files *needs to work*. The "new" networking stack needs to have application layer crap pulled out of it. And they need to take away the layers of dialogs that get added in between you and TCP settings with each OS release. Essentially, they need to throw the whole thing out, and start from XP.

    Oh yeah, and they need to fix the aweful deadlock issues so the system doesn't randomly freeze when deleting a file or whatever.

  10. Mike Crawshaw

    New Machines & XP

    Some major retailers are still selling XP machines, even to private customers. For example, that Paragon of Customer Service, PC World *cough* will still provide XP machines through their website - look under the "business laptops" section, for example and you'll see a bunch running XP rather than Vista (as of last week when I last looked). Which is nice. Though whether you'd want to deal with them is another matter...

    Nice to see Ballmer 'fessing up to Vista being "less than perfect" after so long defending it.

    <insane optimism>

    Maybe they'll extend XP's shelf-life a bit to try and stop people defecting to Linux & Apple.

    </insane optimism>

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    it's okay

    Pirate copies of XP shall circulate till the end of time. We will never need to live with Briksta

  12. This post has been deleted by its author

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Backward Compatibility

    Microsoft should just get rid of backward compatibility and move straight to 64bit instead of having a 64bit and 32bit version of the OS with the ability to run 8 bit software. That will get rid of a lot of bloat.

    But, include Virtual PC software and a XP or Server OS to install on it as part of the purchase of the new OS so they can run old software in a virtual environment.

  14. Giles Jones Gold badge

    Differences between Windows, Linux and OSX

    The big difference between Windows, Linux and OSX is that OSX and Linux run well on existing hardware and can be adapted to run in limited resources (See Linux embedded devices and OSX on iPhone).

    Microsoft has to face the fact that not everyone wants to upgrade hardware all the time to run their latest bloatware OS. Leopard runs on older Macs sufficiently, Vista won't run well on PC hardware that goes as far back as the Motorola G4.

    Microsoft knows it has to force people to upgrade their PCs to generate more revenue as many users just buy a new machine with an OEM licence.

  15. Rich Silver badge

    Re: MS have always said Vista was Bigger

    "its designed for the next gen of computers as past OS's have.

    People get crap performance when they update their OS but not the hardware."

    This is a rubbish argument. Why does "better" have to always equate to "bigger"? (and I'm not in anyway way saying Vista is "better" - I'm talking generally).

    Yes, as new features are added, code inevitably gets bigger. But it doesn't have to get 100 times or 1000 times bigger! Compare (say) Vista with the CD that Windows 95 came on! The code size difference is several orders of magnitude greater, but the functionality isn't. Is Vista (or XP come to that) 1000 times more functional than Windows 95? Or even 100? I think not.

  16. Chad H.

    work in progress?

    I guess we can't go calling it a beta anymore. Betas are ment to be feature complete!

  17. Eddie
    Gates Horns

    @Learn from their mistakes..

    Well, they did can the whole 9x line after the POS crap that ME was.

    Hmm, maybe Vista will take down the venerable VMS^w NT line next...

    And people wondered why Bill retired.

  18. Mike

    Upgrading the OS, not the HW

    I'd be more convinced that was a bad idea if I had not successfully put OS-X on a space-clam (which produced the crap performance I expected from a major new release, that's why I put this "test drive" on a "retired" machine), then eventually upgraded _that_ to 10.3, which has quite acceptable (better than the OS-9 it came with) performance.

    _Sometimes_ OS upgrades really are. And before Webster gets his knickers in a twist, yes, sometimes Apple screws up, and sometimes MSFT does "actually making it better without loads of bloat" updates. Heck, I even remember a couple VMS upgrades that really were.

  19. Tom


    Ive been with Vista for about 8 months now, on first use it was pretty good, liked it, it ran relatively fast. However it has now slowly mashed its own face in, runs like a dead horse and likes to perform random delayed actions.

    I also transfer a number of files between external hdd's, and the timing that it gives seems to be taken from a random number generator as even when the files are the same size and going to the same drive they give completely different times.

    In the new job i am using OpenSUSE, whilst not perfect as it has had some crashes with the desktop, it runs nice and quick and doesnt feel bloated in anyway. The message of this epic story is, if microsoft could produce something like opensuse, or any other linux distro then I would see no reason to use a linux distro.

    I for one would have thought that Microsoft would have released a gamers edition of their OS, allowing it to use large amounts of ram, all the useless crap removed, and network and video usage optimized, this is a market that you could easily tap.

  20. Kenny Millar

    Unbiting my toungue...

    Why not just get a Mac?

    Cheaper, faster, safer, runs everything you need.

  21. Mike
    Black Helicopters

    Some good news at last

    Well it works fine on my 'bought-to-use-Vista" PC. OK, copying is still not the zippy task it should be, but it's stable and not too sluggish in working on both of my PCs and my father's too.

    But it's good news that MS are saying Vista is not a complete product. On that basis, can I have some money back please? I don't see why I should have paid over £100 for a program that's not done yet. Alternatively, I'm willing to accept a free upgrade to the OS when it is finished, seeing as I paid for a finished OS AND as reward for my years of work beta testing their current offering.

    If I'm not eligible for my free upgrade/refund, people should fear Windows 7. If £150-350 is the price for an incomplete OS, how much will they charge when it's ready?

  22. Tony

    Computer says No!!

    OK, I'll say that it's a good thing that he can stand up and admit that things are not what they want them to be. i.e. Vista is full of bloat and has a poor track record.

    However, it's easy to say that things will improve, and another thing entirely to actually achieve that improvement. So far, we've yet to see anything that would actually instill confidence that the situation will improve.

    Can I suggest Steve, that instead of getting one of your tame techs to install a PC for you, that you take a shot at it yourself. Then, when you find something that doesn't want to play ball, you then phone the support line and speak to a cubicle dweller who is not a tech and only reads instructions from a series of set menus. You might then begin to really understand what many people have been saying for a wee while now.

    You really should have a "computer says no" icon

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Re: MS have always said Vista was Bigger

    That will be why all those people who recieved Vista with their brand new machines are having problems then? I think what you meant to say is "I'm not having problems, so they don't really exist". Consider yourself lucky because in my experience you are in a small majority if not a minority of Vista users.

  24. Vaidotas Zemlys

    Still learning

    So Microsoft is still learning? I am sick of hearing the excuse about learning. Instead of saying we messed up, firms always talk about learning process. Come on, the this is not school, Microsoft released a bunch of OSes, it is about time to finaly stop learning and starting to create some quality products.

  25. Chris

    There's a reason for everything

    Look, as a trade-off for getting exclusivity with the OEM's, they promised their hardware partners Vista would be BIG enough so people would have to buy new machines. It's a sad thing, but that's exactly what's been happening. Unfortunately for them, not everybody has an IQ of 50 and people are starting to know that there are other alternatives out there that work just as well (or better) on their old computers. The fact people are sticking with XP is not because they 'love' it, just pure and simple economics.

    Personally, I wouldn't touch Vista with a bargepole. People should completely ignore it and move on.

    The fact that when I go to a computer shop and see about 20 machines for sale/display, ALL with Vista, tells me that something wrong is going on here... it should be illegal to sell a computer with an OS without giving the consumer a choice. In any other branch of retail, this coupling would be met with total consumer outrage. So, why is it not like that with computers?

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    Vista = ME2 ?

    Why oh why does MS have to go through the same iteration of buggy, bloated product EVERY FSCKING SINGLE TIME instead of looking at the final development of their previous product and working from *there*

    Last of old technology is seriously better than the first of new technology - ESPECIALLY where MS is concerned.

    And before anyone (read: Vista fanboys) bitches - yes, XP had "lotsa issues" when it came out as well, and it was justifiably hated for it - but it's matured into a relatively reliable and stable (hah, I can't believe I just wrote that!) consumer operating system.

    Basically, switching to a new MS OS is like turning back the clock 5-10 years - apart from hardware requirements, for which you need to crank the clock 2-3 years forwards ....

  27. Joe

    @ Mark Broadhurst

    Yeah, you're absolutely right, but the market doesn't want it (as the sales figures show).

    Personal Computing seems to have arrived at a point where 99% of users can do what they want, and have no reason to upgrade. Actually, I think it arrived there in about 2005.

    If a 5 year old PC can run a web browser, spreadsheet, word processor, email, and run them well, why pay for faster hardware just so you can pay for a new OS that will enable you to continue to do what you've been doing all along?

  28. Ross

    Nub + crux

    "Certainly, you never want to let five years go between releases" says Mr Ballmer.

    Which is pretty much the nub and the crux of Vistas problems. Do you think the tech side signed off Vista as ready for the market, or do you think management stuck their oar in due to the half a decade lull between OSes?

    It could be a really good OS. If they got around to finishing it.

  29. Anonymous Coward

    Nice one Wispering Steve !

    Glad you could admit that Vista is a load of shit and a beta piece of software that M$ is charging the earth for.

    I mean £201.48 for home premium from Amazon ! Are you lot having a laugh ?

    OpenSuse 10.3 £0

    When you lot at Redmond do finally get your act together you might not where Apple and Linux are.


    Behind you !

  30. Will
    Gates Halo

    Think about it logically

    You wouldn't install Windows XP on a Pentium 2 233MHz with 64MB of RAM, would you? So you wouldn't install Vista on a Pentium 4 2.4GHz with 512MB of RAM and expect it to work miracles either. I've got a Core 2 and 2GB in the desktop at home, with Vista Ultimate, and in my experience while Vista does indeed eat up more resources, it'll do more with high-end hardware. I've been using vista for over a year now and have neither had driver problems (and I'm using x64!) nor compatibility issues nor stalling/freezing/performance trouble. It's a new OS designed for new hardware. Keep on using XP on your current PCs, but Vista is perfectly acceptable for anything bought off the shelf in the last year.

  31. Peter Simpson

    Ballmer never said...

    ...anything about keeping XP around. He said Microsoft was sensitive to customers' concerns, heard what they were saying, understood their position. But not once, did he simply state, "XP will be around for you as long as you need it"

    That alone is enough for me to decide that XP will be my last Microsoft product.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture

    Gerald Ratner, anyone?

    In this context is "bitch slap" analogous with "total crap"?

  33. Adam Trickett

    It matters not

    Vista is like NT4, bloated, late, missing features, buggy, unloved, and there is a cheaper faster alternative from Microsoft (95 to NT4 and XP to Vista).

    However MS came back with 7 service packs (1-6a), then tried 2K then XP. In all honesty they have never produced a good OS yet, but people keep putting up with it and they keep promising that the next one will be better.

    How is Vista any better than any of their other products? how are these admissions any different from any of their other promises to do better next time?

    After the move from Win3.x to WinNT I lost patience in them and have been a happy secure and content Linux user ever since. Others I know upgraded to Linux or Mac and have been happy there too. I only touch Windows at work where I'm forced to use it and frankly I'd rather not.

    Windows 7 will fix some bugs, introduce some new ones, fail on most promises and cost more money, just like every other product Microsoft ever produced. If you are a Windows addict you need to go cold penguin and try a superior operating system - any Unix/Linux flavour will do, or stop whining and pay the man his money...

  34. quartzie

    re: Vista for Nex Gen Computers

    The problem most customers are experiencing isn't that they're trying to run the bloated OS on vintage computers, it's the performance drop they get when they compare their old computers running XP and the new multicore machines loaded with Vista.

    A company can't (or shouldn't) responsibly release a product aimed at computers that aren't even being sold yet. Not to mention the abysmal compatibility with current software, an issue clearly underestimated during development.

    I'd say back to the drawing board.

  35. Anonymous Coward

    What was up with THIS sentence?

    "We have to make sure it doesn't get bigger still and that the performance and the battery and the compatibility we're driving on the things that we need to drive hard to improve."

    Either his quote wasn't taken down correctly, or he needs to learn not to have run-on sentences in his speeches/addresses.

  36. Andrew Carpenter
    Thumb Up

    @ Anonymous Coward

    "What, like they did with Windows ME?"

    They learned to kill off the 95/98 kernel in favour of the NT/2000 kernel. I'd say that was a lesson well learned.

  37. Greg

    *Banging head on desk*

    "Certainly, you never want to let five years go between releases."

    No, no, no, no, no! That's *exactly* what you want to do. Build a system that ruddy well works, and then provide cheaper paid upgrades as necessary, Mac OS style. Don't overhaul the entire system every 5 years and make everyone commit to expensive upgrades for more eye candy. That's when you FAIL.

  38. frymaster

    To be fair...

    ...the list of reasons why SP1 might not be available in general seems to boil down to "you're using crap drivers / have monkeyed about with your system, and although you were lucky enough for it not to break so far, the changes in SP1 expose the latent crappiness"

    re: SP1 "break"ing sophos... having used that....charming....piece of software before, i'd bet that it was always broken, it just didn't know it before

  39. Tom

    For business customers maybe

    "I got a piece of mail from a customer the other day that talked about not being able to get XP anymore, and we responded: XP is still available."

    When was the last time he went into Bestbuy or other shop that's taking Microsoft Vista only payola. They are trying to make Visa sell by making it hard to buy XP.

  40. Dazed and Confused
    Black Helicopters

    @Mark Broadhurst

    The problem is that they encouraged a lot of hardware vendors to stick labels on their new boxes implying that they were ready to run Vista, when they weren't.

    As covered here before, the conversation with the vendors when something along the lines of

    MS: You need this kind of spec

    PCVendor: that's ridiculous, that'd cost a bloody fortune, no one will buy it.

    MS: Well that's what it needs.

    PVC: Well it'll never sell then


    The upshot was they agreed to use weasel words to imply it would, they just didn't explain what they meant by "supporting vista", and shore enough if you close the top of your laptop it's possible to balance the DVD on the top - So look it supports Vista, it stops it falling on the floor.

  41. thomas k.

    Curious about trying Vista

    My main gaming rig is still doing nicely running w2k and I have another box running XP. A while back I bought another copy of XP for when I build another boxI (and am considering getting one more before the June 30th deadline, just in case, you know).

    Last week I ordered a laptop that will come with Vista. I'm excited as it's my first laptop and I'm actually, after all that's been written about it, kind of curious/excited about getting to try Vista for myself; always (well, usually) fun learning something new, innit.

    Fortunately, it's coming with Vista Ultimate so I can always downgrade to XP if I find the experience less than satisfying.

  42. Rafael
    Thumb Up

    Learn from mistakes

    > he also promised that Microsoft would learn from the mistakes it has made with Vista.

    I've read this as "would earn from the mistakes", it sort of made sense.

  43. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Re: *Banging head on desk*

    No, in this case Ballmer has it right. If you have long development cycles there is a temptation to make huge changes instead of incremental ones. This leads to delayed releases and when you finally bow to market/shareholder pressure to make a release the product is unstable and bloated.

  44. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    oh dear

    I wonder what tradings standards, watch dog etc will say about that, oh and those lovely class action suits you get in the states. Oh not to mention the EU oooooooo fun times :)

    @Will, will I for one wonder hwo xp would preform on the same hardware you need to run Vista, as well as you can run xp on a P4.

    @Greg, I agree, I think Apple basicly ditch the old system when it stops "working" for people (and usual before most people want them too), but it gives you the time to get the thing in a usuable state.

    @frymaster why shouldnt I be able to "monkey" with my system it is after all my system, if i want to use driver x y or z, well then its a build driver after all, it interfaces between vista and the hardware, why does it have to be vaildate just to bloody work.

    I have just upgrade from 2K to XP, as the 2K box wouldnt boot everytime, I think it was more a harddrive issue then anything, and too be honest XP dosnt really give me anything that 2K didnt.

    Oh and I will be upgrading to an iMac in the next few weeks :D

    It does take courage to admit your mistakes, but then saying you will learn when you havent learned from any of the other mistakes. Why dont I believe them.

    For once Steve B gets respect, and I am sorry, but I hope a few class action suits, then maybe they will learn!

  45. Erno Aho

    Just upgrade to Linux

    If you are planning to buy a new PC, please ask your dealer if you can get it without Vista. If not, please don't accept the MS EULA. Instead call MS customer phone and demand for refund. In case this is not available for you, you must contact EU officers in this case.

  46. D....
    Gates Horns

    Vista, Just say NO

    I was at the Dublin launch of Vista.

    It was marvelous to see all the funky things you could do with it. It was blindingly fast on the laptop the presenter was using.

    We then caught a glimps of the 4GB mem and out there graphics card. Serious bucks worth of hardware!!!

    Needless to say that when I received my free copy of ultimate I threw it in the bottom drawer of my desk and it still resides there unopened and long may it live there.

  47. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    Creative marketing

    So let's try the new creative marketing ploy -- "a work in progress" -- on other products:

    HDTV -- We've got the sound working real good now but, because this is "a work in progress" the picture can only display green hues.

    Car -- This new model is still "a work in progress" so the airbags sometimes deploy when you slam the doors.

    Airliner -- We've got the going up bit nailed but because this is a "a work in progress" getting down is a problem.

  48. Huns and Hoses

    Vista just plain doesnt work

    Case in point, I've just bought a new top-end laptop which came with Vista pre-installed. Even with 2.5gig of ram and a >2ghz processer it absolutely crawls. Sure it ooks nice and flash but the cool-looking new hourglass icon loses it's shine fast once you realise how much of it you're gonna see.

    Long story short, I said **** this, formatted and put Windows "it just works" XP on. I try to ignore the gloating looks I'm getting from my Gentoo partition on the same machine.

  49. Gray
    Jobs Halo

    Ballmer's Words to live by!!

    When the high priest/executioner of Redmond Temple speaks:

    "We have to make sure it doesn't get bigger still and that the performance and the battery and the compatibility we're driving on the things that we need to drive hard to improve."

    Translation: "We are assimilate you; resistance is grateful denied!"

    (Genuflection while easing out the room backwards)


  50. Ian Davies

    @Giles Jones & Mike

    OS X wasn't always the nimble lover of old hardware that it might be now... 10.0 and 10.1 were *atrocious* piles of slow, buggy, unfinished junk. 10.2 was the first time I was able to use it as my everyday OS on existing hardware (Powerbook G4 500Mhz baby!) but booting back into OS 9 still gave it's tubby arse a complete pasting. I didn't move our studio onto OS X until we got dual G5s running 10.4

    Microsoft's move to Vista is very similar to Apple's shift from OS 9 to OS X in terms of things like driver model and the scale of architectural changes, so I have *some* sympathy for their situation. Apple struggled with (and their customers suffered at the hands of) a lot of the same issues.

    That said, every iteration of OS X has been quicker than the previous one, on the *same* hardware. MS can only dream of such a thing.

  51. Anonymous Coward


    You ask why MS has to go through the same cycle of releasing buggy OSes every time. I'll tell you why. It's not the developers' faults this is happing, it's the management. Developers at MS are under enormous pressure to make deadlines and get arbitrary goals accomplished, often at the expense of ultimate quality. If a product doesn't ship on time (on time=moderately late), SOMEone's head is in the chopper. And if the middle managers don't bow to the upper management and push their "teams" to scoot the code out the door, whether it's ready or not, they lose their cushy high-paying jobs. Everyone lower on the food chain than the head honcho has to answer to this mentality, and it's simpler to just kowtow and cut corners than take a stand and push for quality. Add to that personal agendas, politics, drama, throw in a dash of worthless meetings where nothing is accomplished except time being wasted. Mix well with mis-communication and a healthy dose of CYA, and you have a pretty standard corporate environment, pre-engineered for failure. With the economic and job climate the way it is, and MS jobs being very high-paying and desirable, no one wants to lose their ass/job/benefits over a triviality like doing the right thing. Oh, there are gifted programmers and even managers out there, trying their best, but in the end, too many people just signed their name in blood and can regret later, after they're off the hook.

    And that, IMHO, is what's going on at Microsoft. (and most everywhere else)


    Read: "I Sing the Body Electronic" ---don't remember the author, Google it.

  52. Jeff

    UAC @ Brent Gardner

    Why should the UAC have to go?

    What is it that bothers you about UAC? I'm not trying to pick a fight here, but I'm curious as to your reasons on this.

    Linux and OSX uses a similar technology in that when you perform a task, you perform is with the minimum users rights. When it requires greater privilages, you are prompted for action (a password, or those that don't have a password continue/allow).

    So if Microsoft should abolish this, you think that Mac OSX and Linux should also?

    I've been running Vista at home for some time now... Since the OS came out actually. I really have not noticed a performance difference at all between that and Vista. I admit I have had a couple of moments where copying files across my network has been sluggish, but from a home perspective, this isn't a big deal. It doesn't happen all the time anyway.

    To me the biggest problem with Vista is people jumping on the band wagon and cristising it. The media has destroyed this OS, not Microsoft.

    There seems to be a lot of sheep in the IT world, and I don't mean the wooly kind! Instead of following the crowd (it's cool to like Mac, it's cool to like Linux). Have a true opinion on this stuff! There is a reason Microsoft produce the most widely used OS.

    They give Linux away and they still can't get people to use it!

    Ok I'm getting a bit defensive now...

  53. Andrew Jackson

    @Jim Booth

    Testicles...razor blades...

    Good god man, the visual!

  54. Anonymous Coward

    "we will be sensitive, and we will listen"

    Did we realise before that this is one sweet guy?

    Haven't we all been misjudging him?

    Err, it's the coat with the razor blades in the pocket. Visuals? I leave those to Jim!

  55. Giles Jones Gold badge

    @Ian Davies

    >OS X wasn't always the nimble lover of old hardware that it might be now

    It was a new OS architecture though. Vista isn't, it's a hacked about version of Windows Server 2003 with GUI tweaks, DRM and an attempt at proper file system security.

  56. Mage Silver badge


    Switch eyecandy, restore, index & unwanted services off and XP does run in a PII 233MHz with 256M RAM.

    NT4 however will run on it faster with only needing 24M for OS.

    NT3.51 will run needing only 8M for OS. Fine on 32M RAM.

    A better OS should use LESS ram and go faster and crash less often.

    Each new MS OS needs about 2x to 4x RAM and 2x to 5x CPU speed to be slightly slower.

    Win 2008 Server "seems" better because newer HW is faster.

    Moving GDI into Kernel on NT4.0 was stupidity,

    making GUI optimised for a native DirectX/Direct3D (Evil Insane Gamers API for DOS programmers) is ultimate stupidity making non-games / traditional GDI APIs emulated on Vista. This why on real DirectX 10 gpus Aero is faster than tradtional desktop.

  57. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down


    You said:

    >>>To be honest I haven't had many problems with Vista. It seems people forgot all those glitches we had with XP and therefore claim it's better, but I seem to remember more problems rolling up to XP than I've had so far with Vista.

    Well... I had a slightly different problem, being that I was in development XP posed some new interesting challenges for software I wrote - otherwise, it never stopped me from actually working on a desktop.

    But... then you said:

    >>>My only personal problem with it is the ridiculous hard drive access. I can leave my desktop on for days and it will still be grinding at the disks, even after turning off indexing etc. What could any OS possibly need to be doing after being left alone for a few days? I can't see any of our Vista laptop drives lasting long that's for sure.

    Which is kinda an oxymoron. You have no problems, but it grinds to a halt after just a few days? Whew. I'd hate to see what you call a problem.

  58. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns


    The best way to some up my feelings about UAC is to talk about IE7 instead. I love it when you go to paste something into a text box, and it says "this web page is trying to access your clipboard: allow / deny". That kind of prompt is not security. It is the epitome of insecurity! It means, due to some horrendous architectural problem, that IE7 CAN'T FUCKING TELL that I INITIATED the action, as opposed to some malicious java-script or something.

    The same thing applies to UAC. If the user said to do something, the OS should do it. No one wants to go around pressing “I really meant to do that” buttons all day long. They will just grow weary of click-fatigue, and click “yes” to everything!

    And yes, I know Linux has the ability to elevate to root, but I’ve never used it as I just run as root all the time (queue flames), and it never comes up. And as for OS/X? I’d never run it for all the reasons I hate Vista: you don’t own the computer; you lease it from Steve Jobs.

  59. JC

    @ Brent Gardner

    Brent, there's no need to explain to someone why to get rid of UAC because if it needs explaining they'll never understand the basic truth:

    People want control of their system. They want to be able to enable and disable such unnecessary junk as they see fit on their PC. If someone wants it, ok. If they don't, never ever force it on them.

  60. Richard Scratcher
    Gates Horns

    Blasphemy - "Vista is bigger than Jesus"

    Ballmer is on dangerous ground here. He claims "Vista is bigger than XP" and we all know that XP (the Greek letters Chi Ro) is the monogram of Christ. When John Lennon said the Beatles were bigger than Jesus, sales soared. People in America's Bible Belt were buying records just to burn them. So this is clearly a sneaky attempt to sell more copies of Vista.

    No doubt in future interviews he'll claim his comments were taken out of context.

  61. Ian Davies

    @Giles Jones

    > It was a new OS architecture though.

    To Mac users, maybe. It wasn't new per se. Let's face it, in the OS world, UNIX is almost as far from new as you can get. What was new (and where most of the problems came from) was the "new" stuff that Apple added, which wasn't actually new at all, but was simply re-skinned stuff brought over wholesale from NeXT.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying it's the same, just that there are similarities. There's no reason why a technical exercise such as transitioning a new OS should be beyond the capability of MS or Apple, it's just that Apple had a lot fewer customers to piss off at the time, and as a company, was nothing like the news story that it is now. If Apple released an OS of the same quality as 10.0 now, it would get roasted, just like MS is, and rightly so.

  62. Anonymous Coward

    History repeating?

    Does this remind anyone of the bad old days?

    "You will pry Windows 95 from my cold dead fingers".

    If it was all about performance, and eye candy meant nothing, then we would all still be using DOS...

  63. Silo Spen

    @Brent: Always use root!?

    Omg, omfg, etc.

  64. Kanhef

    Mac OS

    As a dedicated user, I'll admit it has its share of bloat. 10.4 comes with 1.6GB of printer drivers and 1.1GB of translations into 14 languages. However, they can be deselected when installing. Dashboard is a memory hog and Spotlight, like any indexing service, chews up processor time. But again, they can be disabled without adversely affecting the rest of the OS. Runs well on a low-end 2001 system.

    With the resources they have, I cannot see why Microsoft makes such irredeemably bloated software. There's this thing called 'code optimization' that they seem to not have heard of.


    The correct statement is "A better OS should use less ram and go faster and crash less often PROVIDED it adds no new features." If you want 32-bit color and a built-in TCP/IP stack, you'll need more memory and processor cycles than Windows 3.1 did. How much more is the problem they're having trouble with.

  65. Colin Jackson
    Thumb Down


    I got Vista with a laptop I bought in the Jan sales. Hated it on sight, not so much for its bloat but for the random pauses and the fact that any disk ops just took forever. Also, the constant flood of dialogs between me asking to do something and it doing it were a pain. Update would NOT work, despite several hours on the intertubes tring to fix the problem. Even manually applied updates failed to install, much less auto-updates, giving error numbers neither Microsoft nor anybody else has seemingly ever heard of. So when I finally got hold of the manual SP1, and THAT failed to install correctly, I knew there as no prospect of Vista ever getting any better for me, so I scrubbed it and put on XP. My laptop immediately sprang to life, and my only regret is I didn't do it sooner. Vista is a piece of shit.

  66. Ken Hagan Gold badge
    Jobs Halo

    The long term availability of XP

    Have a google for "Windows XP Professional for Embedded Systems". Microsoft's own web-site is hardly overflowing with references, but this is a full XP-Pro system with Microsoft promising to support the product till the middle of the next decade. To get your paws on this you need to be an OEM, so it's no help to the home user, but it sets a precedent and commits Microsoft to maintaining the XP codebase well into the next decade.

    Icon: Saint Steve, because it means I won't have to port my company's industrial product line to Vista. :)

  67. Snert Lee

    bits and pieces

    So did MS settle the "Compatible" vs "Capable" lawsuit already? If not, I'd suspect a number of gleeful lawyers just saw their evidence list grow by one.


    "Certainly, you never want to let five years go between releases." Rather depends on who "you" is. If you are Microsoft, then I'm sure this is true. If you are Joe User, then I doubt you care at all. Maybe if they'd left it in the oven for a couple three more years it would have been the OS they were aiming for.


    The Vista as ME2 comparison has always irked me. Mostly because folks gloss over their respective roots. ME and Vista grew out of rather different circumstances as MS's solution to very different problems.

    ME was a hasty and slap-dash effort to ensure MS would have a sellable product should the anti-trust lawsuit of the late 90's gone worse than it did. (Google for "powered by the reek of fear" for a bit more detail.)

    Vista, on the other hand, was designed to change personal computing in a large, but largely invisible, way (aside from interface eye candy). Vista's goal was to implement Trusted Computing. (See for an excellent FAQ on the topic.) .Net and managed code are part and parcel of this same initiative. Further, anyone who thinks MS has given up on Trusted Computing is simply wrong. The only reason they did such a poor job of it is that Vista was forced out the door long before it was ready.

    The only real commonality between ME and Vista is that a large percentage of users don't like either one.


    What MS should have done is bundle the Vista eye candy with XP SP3, and sold it as a paid update. This would have gained them some revenue while leaving the bulk of Vista to finish development. But perhaps this would have seemed to much like Apple's marketing every .1 improvement of OS X as a new product.

  68. Rab S
    Thumb Down

    @ Giles Jones

    built on cough UNIX...perhaps you might wanna look up BSD theres at least 9 sodding versions of it...

  69. James O'Brien

    I didnt jump on a bandwagon

    I used Vista for about 10 hours on a laptop i got when it came out. I refuse to touch it for the time being after that impression. I think Vista has a bunch of good ideas but they need to be streamlined and have the bugs worked out first before they will be beneficial. I have a feeling Vista is a test bed for Windows 7 just like ME was for XP. Course during this time the shit storm will continue to brew until it comes out. Oh well.

    As for that visual Mr. Booth im going to go protectively hold my hands in front of the little guy and back away slowly.

    /mines the one with the cup in the pocket.

  70. Julian
    Paris Hilton

    Why XP Succeeded Over Vista

    XP has probably been Microsoft's most successful OS. Here are the main reasons:

    1. XP (NT5.1) was basically Windows 2000 (NT5.0) with a gaudy Teletubbies user interface with a few minor enhancements.

    2. Windows 2000 was released in February 2000 and XP in October 2001. This gave software and hardware developers time to build on a stable operating system.

    3. XP had been out for just over 5 years before Vista, giving XP a large user base who were quite happy with it.

    4. Windows Vista (NT6.0) is a whole new OS with all the software and hardware problems associated with it.

    5. People who already have XP wont want to "upgrade to Vista" because their hardware which could be as much as 5 years old just wont run it (don't believe the Microsoft hardware specs for Vista they are BS and even they know it!)

    Overall anyone who has XP will probably be happy with it. Anyone who has bought a PC with Vista on it in the last year or so may be happy or frustrated with it. Its certainly a work in progress. Maybe the finished work will be called Windows 7!

  71. Anonymous Coward

    @James O'Brien

    >> I have a feeling Vista is a test bed for Windows 7 just like ME was for XP

    With respect to Snert Lee: I am also angry about the ME-Vista comparison. ME was the end of the line of the Windows 95 code base, it was dead anyway. MS didn't clean up their act and (within one year) churn out the miracle that was XP. Windows 2000 Pro *already was XP*. They just added a gay color scheme.

    There is no such comparison with Windows 7. Nothing else is in the works. There *is* no other code-base. MS bet it all on Vista, and the philosophy behind Vista is to tell users what they want. I *really really* want Windows 7 to fix things, but it would take an act of god for MS to make a complete 180, and do what the users want.

    Firstly they would need to give up on the multi-billion dollar revenue scheme from Hollywood that the Trusted Computing thing has the potential to bring them. I fear the days of Windows "it just works" XP are over, and the dawn of Microsoft "Locked down more than an American cell phone" Vista are upon us. And of course the "rebel aliance" will run Linux.

    Everyone just needs a year or two to decide what side they are on :-\

  72. Glen Turner

    @Jeff and UAC

    What is wrong with Vista UAC is its user interface. We know that because we can test two UAC implementations.

    Vista says in advance: "Allow this perhaps-hostile action: yes/no". SELinux says after the fact: "I've denied this perhaps-hostile action. Do you want to know more: yes/no".

    The Vista approach is necessarily in the user's face. And not surprisingly, that annoys them. So although SELinux's approach seems more complex, it has the better user experience: it can simply blink an icon on a ribbon bar.

    The SELinux approach requires a sophisticated set of rules, which Red Hat has been building for about two years now. But these are under the hood. And it's not like Vista wasn't in the pipeline for long enough to develop a good ruleset.

    No UAC at all gives the best user experience. But so does running as Administrator or root. UAC is needed on machines using the modern Internet, as its the only method we have of dealing with zero-day exploits, even regular updates of software doesn't cut it anymore.

  73. Goat Jam
    Paris Hilton

    UAC vs Linux

    The way that UAC works is not nearly the same as things do on Linux.

    Firstly, Linux is _far_ less likely to demand root access than Windows/UAC. It seems to me that Vista is "warning" me and requiring a click-thru almost every 3 or so things that I click on. Linux only requires root if you install an app or run an admin app that can mess with system settings.

    Secondly, when Linux requires root, it asks for a PASSWORD. This is so that some prat can't come up to your PC and fsck with it while you are at a coffee break. All Vista UAC does is say "this requires administrator access" and then asks you to click yes. How does UAC know that the person clicking yes is allowed to do so? It could be anyone really. No, UAC has no clue, it is just there to annoy you, as was recently admitted to by one of the head honchos at MS.

    To make things even more annoying, they have even designed UAC so that you have to click yes _a_second_time_ to do whatever it was you were trying to do in the first place. Once to ask you whether you want to allow administrator access and the second time to give you administrator access. WTF is up with that?

    UAC does such a good job of annoying ppl that they either;

    a) Get click-fatigue and click yes without reading

    b) Turn off UAC

    c) Switch to Ubuntu


    Always run as root? FFS why?

    Paris, cuz she likes root, too.

  74. I. Aproveofitspendingonspecificprojects
    Paris Hilton

    Last past the post

    Some fool couldn't wait to be apologist numero uno:

    "He should be applauded. It takes real guts to admit you have cocked up. Lets hope they do learn and get rid of a lot of the bloat.

    Further more, let's hope a few more out there can admit their kit isn't perfect....highly unlikely I know."

    He had 5 years to get this right using the highest paid coders in history -including the comparative staff bill for Bletchley Park when they were doing something less intensive.

    He had all the business acumen of every Microsoft most valued arse snuffer too.

    Then there was the history his firm has with backwards compatibility from OS 2 days onwards.

    So why cross all the "good"? code with all the bad and make the OS the worst debacle in the history of silly things to do with a monopoly?

  75. Kristin McKechie
    Gates Horns

    If Ballmer needs some help figuring out just how fat his pice of shit is.....

    .... he just needs to read this....

    This is first objective trial that I'm aware of that compares the performance and memory requirements of all of the Windows and Office combinations on comaparable hardware, (using a virtual server to mimick capabilities)...

    These tests prove that Vista performs at least 50% WORSE than XP even with TWICE the RAM on the SAME hardware....

    No Fista fanboy will ever be able to tell me again that Fista is anything other than shit... I'l just point them at this and ask them to show me where there is any improvement over XP....

  76. storng.bare.durid
    Paris Hilton


    people who run as root.... err.. deserve to get rooted?

    seriously, mate, what are you running lindows or something? =)

    please please please, tell us you're kidding.

    Paris... I suspect she probably gets rooted pretty freuquently no matter what privileges she has.

  77. storng.bare.durid
    Thumb Up

    sad ol' gits

    That's who we are ... wtf are you doing here reading crap like this?

    Anyways I couldn't agree more with Brent's last comment.

    Now's the time to look around and see.

    GNU/Linux / FreeBSD are likely to remain the only 'free' platforms, but we should wait and see if M$ will give us an OS that sucks less and also see how Mac OS X develops. (leopard sucks way less than vista, agreed?)

    I hate DRM personally speaking and I don't like the direction these 2 commercial OS's are heading but I have a nasty feeling I am going to have to work 'with them' and not stand alone in isolation in FOSS land.

    Unless linux or BSD really zomgwtfpwnz0rs in the rest in terms of market share.. which I personally wouldn't mind.... but again is a situation that hardly seems hardly likely ....... except perhaps in China.... wait for the dragon lolz...

  78. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re Jeff - UAC @ Brent Gardner

    "Linux and OSX uses a similar technology in that when you perform a task, you perform is with the minimum users rights. When it requires greater privilages, you are prompted for action (a password, or those that don't have a password continue/allow)."

    I use XP/Vista/Linux/OSX on multiple machines. The problem isn't that UAC asks for extra rights, its the fact that their are so many things that run under vista that end up asking for the extra rights. Linux and OSX don't suffer from this problem. About the only time I'm prompted under these OS's is when I'm installing patches/applications or configuring system settings. Vista on the other hand continuously asks me for the extra rights.

  79. Ishkandar

    Perhaps Ballmer will do the honourable thing...

    ...and dive head-first through a plate-glass window, preferably from the 10th floor !! Shouldn't hurt his head one bit considering the density of the material it is constructed from !! I pity the landing zone, though. Not nice being struck by a kinetic weapon !!

    (FYI, grey matter is mostly water and not very dense !!)

  80. tempemeaty

    Don't collect user data...

    Once Steve Ballmer's will to collect user data was demonstrated in Vista all my trust in any product created by MS was lost forever. It's a nonstarter. You just don't go there. Period. Not ever!

  81. Defiant
    Thumb Down

    You must be kidding me

    "its unruly little brother, Vista"

    Little ? LOL Sorry you had me in fits with that one

  82. Anonymous Coward

    You wouldn't install Windows XP on a Pentium 2 233MHz, ORLY?

    ..."You wouldn't install Windows XP on a Pentium 2 233MHz with 64MB of RAM, would you?"...

    Actually, I've installed it on 20 old P2 233 Compaq's some with 64MB and others with 128MB of ram, and XP performs pretty adequately. Hell, even Office 2000 worked was reasonably snappy for most uses.

  83. marc
    Gates Halo

    Vista Is Brilliant!

    Well said Jeff. Vista runs faster than XP for me. You see it uses that memory that's empty is XP to speed up the system! Give me Vista over XP any day.

    Yes I had problems on my 3GHz Celeron with an ancient graphics card, driver issues. But on my new HP laptop - no problems whatsoever.

    Buy a new machine and it will work fine. I use Linux daily, and from a user perspective it's still half finished. Changing the screen resolution requires you to log out for goodness sake (this will change in Ubuntu 8 I believe). Apple have it lucky, they only have about 10 different types of hardware combinations to support - and they can cheekily release upgrades every year that users will be forced to buy if they want browser/java upgrades. I run OS10.3, and I can't get the new Safari and I'm stuck with Java 1.4. Imagine if Microsoft decided not to issue IE /.NET Framework updates to XP users.... outcry.

    SO my advise, don't believe the media muppets - buy a new machine with Vista, and as long as you arn't using a 7 year old parallel printer, you;ll be fine.

  84. hapticz

    users are the last to benefit

    MS has history of exploiting the trust of its' users. gates was educated as lawyer, balmer is a confirmed money addict. not good for the end user that forks over their actually hard earned money to them! im not surprised it's incomplete, since nothing is EVER complete. its only promoted to extract proft and gain for themselves alone. all those goody goody charities form thier ill-gotten sales?? whatta bunch of PR baloney! never have i seen such pseudo erotic manifest of Billy and whatsernames (his wifey) ethical conscience erupting !!!!!!!

  85. Maliciously Crafted Packet

    @Ian Davies

    "If Apple released an OS of the same quality as 10.0 now, it would get roasted, just like MS is, and rightly so."

    Agreed, OS X 10.0 was a half finished buggy OS. But the difference is that Apple released OS X with a mature working version of OS 9 which you could choose to boot into at any time.

    Microsoft could have learnt a lesson here and developed a 64 bit version of Vista sans the backward compatibility bloat combined with a version of XP for the legacy apps. Any ideas as to why MS didn't do this?

  86. Lars Silver badge
    Gates Halo

    Why blame Ballmer

    It was Gates who was the "chief arhitect" for Lonhorn - Shorthorn - Vista.

  87. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    xp "gay" theme

    luna isn't gay... gay people has good taste! :)

  88. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "there is no other code base"

    "There is no such comparison with Windows 7. Nothing else is in the works. There *is* no other code-base"

    Thats what I have heard as well. MS would have to abandon the deep rooted DRM code in Vista and start over. Vista is a beast pure and simple. I have a highly tweaked vista system which takes about 800 megs of ram to boot. Open up a browser and winamp, and windows mail and I am pushing a gig. If I uninstall a one meg program and leave my system idle for 10 minutes it will start disc thrashing and defrag the drive for the one meg program. I finally caved and left superfetch on since vista runs too slow without it. But then I have to use sleep to avoid the superfetch disc thrashing... but also give up quite a bit of battery life in doing so.. or do a shutdown and have a two minute boot followed by several minutes of disc thrashing with superfetch. Many of the new vista features annoyed me horribly like defender, indexing and uac which I disabled. SP1 helped the network copying but its still slower then XP.

    I am sure if MS made a leaner/faster booting OS it would also take less power which is critical these days since so many people are buying laptops. I considered an ibook but they run hot and heat is something I don't want in a notebook. I don't expect much more with windows seven. I just wish MS could give us a lean coded OS that can boot fast and use less resources. Its my belief that no matter how much hardware you throw at a OS it will run slower on bloated code then a lean system with slower hardware.. this is the real reason people are pissed.

  89. Aaron
    Paris Hilton

    Moron's going on about hardware

    I find it so funny the moronic people bleating on about people don't upgrade to vista because of their hardware. While this may be the case for some people its not for most.

    Im a serious gamer, my pc is running a quad core core 2 duo, running at 3.8 gig per core 4 gig of ram, xfi sound card and a pair of 8800 GTX's in sli. This is the pc I put vista on, and found it ran rubbish, games were slower, nothing looked better because of dx10, crash's happened all the time. The User interface is SO poorly designed (so much wasted space to show something simple). So what did me and my gamer friends do with our legit versions of vista, binned them and went back to XP x64.

    Im the kind of person that will spend serious money to have their system's run well, and for gaming Vista = Fail. Hell I recently bought a laptop nice spec to that came with vista pre-installed. I tried it again I played around I then decided hell no and now am running osx on it :) Much nicer much cleaner and much more usable.

    MS need to forget about getting a new os out every 5 years, they need to say hey lets make an OS that works properly first time out the box. Sure its never going to be perfect but, take the time to design it from the ground up to be fast, bloat free, secure, involve the major hardware OEM's at early stages so we can have great driver support from day 1. Make it x64 only (I mean come on they don't make 32bit only chips now and haven't for a long time).

    Why paris? well because she gets more love and use than vista :P

  90. Asam Bashir

    Game Over - Mac OS X Rules!!!!!!!!!

    Even CEO of M$ thinks Vista is rubbish! and he really must know. So stay and suffer in Vista, downgrade to XP SP3 and hope for Windows 7 in 2009 *snigger* but remember it took about 5 years of NeXT development, then 8 years of developing Mac OS X to get to where we are today, you think M$ can do that in a year?

    Game over, roll-over and die Windows, Mac OS X RULES!!!!

    Anyone need a Mac OS X consultant to help with switching over from hell?

  91. Jim
    Jobs Horns

    Lets Hope...

    That Win ME is to XP as Vista is to .. Win 8?

  92. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Windows XP for embedded system

    Don't even go there! I would never ever use a single microsoft product in an embedded system: the products are just too unstable.

    On spacecraft they use VXWorks as the operating system , why?, because it works!

    Putting XP into an embedded system goes against just about evey design criteria you can come up with: performance wise, footprint size - both run time RAM size and non volatile storage to hold the OS, it's buggy and the concurrency is just crap.

    Show me a Windows operating system where the mulgtasking actually works properly! Not on even on dual core processor where the OS supposedly can assign tasks o the different cores does it work properly.

  93. Mike
    Thumb Down

    A bit chunky (understatement of the decade).

    when I worked at Apple Computer in the late 1990s, operating system 7.6 shift on floppy disks as well as CD-ROM. I realize a lot has changed concerning software development. I mean hey, games take up more hard drive space now than the entire operating system did back then.

    But the problem with Microsoft has been either downright crappy product development and or resource hungry operating systems.(Or both)

    Vista the takes the cake. Of course I'm not telling you anything and already know. But let's face it we live in a market driven society. The only way they got this big by handcuffing and force-feeding consumers. Starting with I.T. departments and large corporations demanding productivity within budget. The second loophole you find ourselves getting caught in our Microsoft certified programs. They sell the certifications of the cost. The drive up the market and make it necessary through poor product development to ensure employment of these professionals.

    The only advice I have quit buying Microsoft. And tell everybody to do the same as well.

  94. This post has been deleted by its author

  95. EnigmaForce
    Thumb Up

    @ Goat Jam

    You've hit the nail on the head with regard to UAC under Vista.

  96. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Drop Viata all toghether.

    "Ballmer also accepted yesterday that customers are incredibly reluctant to shake off XP in favour of adopting its unruly little brother, Vista.

    "We have a lot of customers that are choosing to stay with Windows XP, and as long as those are both important options, we will be sensitive, and we will listen, and we will hear that."

    What customers are really saying is take your vVsta, DRM and invasive code and practices and shove them where the light doesn't shine. It's about time MS learned a lesson, seems to me that haven't learned enough yet or Ballmer would be saying, OK, wh heard you and we're giving you an OS that is nothing more than an OS. No frills, no DRM, no hidden trojans and no forced upgrades. Nope they haven't learned a thing.

  97. Anonymous Coward

    @ RotaCyclic

    I believe spacecraft use VXWorks more because it's a real-time OS, reliability and timeliness being fairly important when the nearest person who can issue a reboot request is a good few light-minutes away, during which time mission-critical failures can range from incorrect orbital insertions to being smeared all over the Martian countryside

  98. David

    @ Kanhef

    "With the resources they have, I cannot see why Microsoft makes such irredeemably bloated software"

    It came about when they did "Windows for Warships".

    The guy from the Navy made mention of "Floatation device" for some reason or other.

    The guy handling the order had just been in a meeting with Steve, so obviously was a wee bit hard of hearing, and he thought they said that they wanted a "bloatation device", so that's what got installed.

    And it's been working ever since..

    Probably about the only thing in Windows that does work as designed.

    Mine's the one lined with asbestos.

  99. Busted

    DirectX10 and Vista supporters

    Now that they have admitted what we all knew already Vista sucks, will they reverse their stupid policy of no DX10 for XP?

    As for all those Vista supporters that state your having problems with vista cause your running it on old hardware all I can say.....

    2 x quad core 5000 Series Xeon at 2.6Ghz, 4GB of Ram, Raid 0 Raptor (scratch), Raid 0 WD 500 (system), 8800GTX 768MB.

    Vista Slow and bloated also downright unstable.

    XP 64Bit fast and stable.

    It has nothing to do with old hardware why vista sucks and more to do with too much bloat and lack of driver maturity. The later will be solved with time but the bloat seems to be the direction MS is going.

    Mines the one with the go faster stripes on it!

  100. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's really my fault...

    You know, I'm an idiot. I'm one of those people that actually BUYS software. Yes, I actually own valid licenses for the computers I own.

    So I did pay a few hundred for the 'next gen' OS. So now Mr. Ballmer has confirmed I've been had.

    So what are they going to do about it ? a year or two the're going to come out with the next next gen OS, which they can declare a heap after a year or so, but promise they'll fix it next time. Oh, and would I fork over some more filthy lucre...

    So what do I do ? Refuse to pay ? Ask for my money back ? Sue them ? Nah...I write a silly comment on this website and just poney up again...

  101. Mike

    mac users bugger off

    will all mac users please stop windows bashing...if you didn't use an operating system that needs to be recompiled and released each time apple changed the colour of the badge on the front of the unit i would honestly be more interested in what you say but seriously...oh my god...quick, we've changed the shape of the mouse - it's ok - just release 10.x+1 - and as for linux...that's worse...why won't linux users admit that it is just too complicated for most people to use - so many different choices, different installer packages on each one - can't get software etc...

    grow up - why won't people accept that the fact that windows works at all is a miracle - it can be installed easily on almost any system - it works...yes it is bigger than the rest - it does more!!!!! all those drivers for all those systems...all that backwards compatibility that you'd scream about if it wasn't there yet you scream about because it is...!!!

  102. Anonymous Coward

    Ubuntu Linux - 8.04 - Out in four days time

    Ubuntu Linux - 8.04 LTS - Is out in four days time. Why do people need Vista?

  103. George

    Just a few points...

    Vista is no way near ready for the workplace. Thankfully, companies like Dell have understood this and still provide business hardware with XP and I hope they will continue for at least the next 4 years.

    I also hope that hardware manufacturer like Intel, AMD (ATI) and NVIDIA will also continue developping drivers for XP. So far so good.

    Since MS has admitted selling a bit of unfinished software, I believe that all those who purchased Vista should get the finished product for free, being via SP or by upgrading to Windows 7. If MS had any balls, they would make this promise now.

    Since the OS is faulty, maybe a recall is needed? It would be the case for any other industry.

    Vista is a major milestone. I agree 100%. It has encouraged thousands to have a look at alternative OS. I believe that Open Source will be the big winner.

    As per "learning from our mistakes", it is obvious MS does not learn as Vista is the same mistake as ME. Again why should the customer pay for MS mistakes?

  104. Michael
    Dead Vulture

    So, when is it finally not fashionable anymore to bash Vista?

    Certainly it's not a godsend and there are problems. But maybe those people bashing it should try to give it a try at least. I've been on the XP > Vista train myself until I know finally bit the bullet and updated. And you know what? It's working just fine. Many things are working _bettter_. The RAM usage? Maybe people should read up on "superfetch". It's working and apps _do_ start a lot faster the second time in.

    It's not a perfect OS but what is? I'm running a triple install XP, Vista and Fedora so don't get me started with any of them. And OSX is just more of the same. Just keep an open mind. And if you don't want Vista, I've heard the EU recently passed a law that allows you to _just not buy it and stay quiet_.

  105. David

    The quality of Vista is Microsoft's best defence against piracy

    By making the software so bad, it reduces piracy. Perhaps this was Microsoft's plan. Seriously, I doubt there is the amount of piracy there would have been if the product was more useful.

    In a moment of stupidity, I paid for an upgrade from Vista Business to Vista Ultimate on this £1620 laptop.

    I've since fitted a new 300 GB disk, and now the machine runs Solaris x86 99% of the time. Since the new disk was fitted, I did put Vista back on it, but I can't be bothered to perform the 'upgrade' again to Ultimate.

    If I do boot Vista, which is very rare, I might actually be breaking the law, as I have now upgraded to Ultimate and Business is not licensed. Somehow, I cant be too concerned.

    Solaris x86 works well for me.

  106. Rune Moberg
    Thumb Up

    @ Kristin -- choked Vista configurations used as proof Vista is bloated

    ".... he just needs to read this....

    This is first objective trial that I'm aware of that compares the performance and memory requirements of all of the Windows and Office combinations on comaparable hardware, (using a virtual server to mimick capabilities)..."

    Objective? This is yet another put-Vista-on-a-memory-choked-configuration-and-watch-it-die. Worse yet, the test machines are equipped with "virtual RAM" (512MB and 1GB it seems; whatever that is. These guys skimp on memory and don't even bother getting the terminology right!

    Monitoring the working set makes absolutely no sense. Yes, earlier Windows versions would page out a process' memory if you minimized the blighter to the task bar. The cache manager would try to still keep those pages in memory though, but it nonetheless qualifies as a very crude solution to memory management. Vista reflects modern configurations where most people realise it does take 2GB to run XP. The price of a 1GB memory stick is what? 50p? Yeah, let us all bitch about 50p.

    I tried finding some details about their test, but they weren't there.

    I know that Vista has disabled GDI acceleration. Meaning that functions to draw lines and simple GDI stuff has been moved from the graphics card's device driver and into GDI. MS says the GDI performance will take a small hit, but it is hardly noticable on today's computers and they want to reduce complexity for the driver vendors (who have bigger fishes to fry).

    I have long suspected that such de-optimization will rear its ugly head in automated tests like the one in InfoWorld, but not knowing anything about their tests, I'm excluded from making even an educated guess.

    I therefore continue to believe that Vista + Office 2007 is "fine, just fine". At least it works just fine for me, but I fail to strangle the thing with only 1GB of memory. My laptop has 4GB and it would've had 4GB had I decided to stick with XP. Because I am not stupid: Memory comes cheap! Let us use it.

    (incidentally: I've disabled UAC, Windows Defender, Indexing, SuperPrefetch and that Firewall thing on my Windows Vista installation -- it now runs silky-smooth. I do not recommend disabling UAC for "normal" users though and they'll probably want to install an antivirus product as well, to further ruin their day, but I guess that is what it takes these days)

  107. N

    Fair play, Steve

    Respect for finally admitting that its incomplete although the real truth is, in my opinion, its crap.

    Get rid of all the rubbish in it and focus on making a slimline O/S that is fast, stable and works, but those of us who have switched elsewhere have that right now, would I change back to Microsoft?

    Never in a million years

  108. Mectron

    @Kenny Millar

    When will peoples will realise:

    1. MacOS is just a ripoff OS. it is just a bad FreeBSD Clone

    2. Apple is the one play the unfair monopoly game, if not, why can i install CrapOS X on any PC i own? (because Apple cannot compete)

    3. Mac OS as so many design and security flaw, that it does not even qualify as a OS.

    4. Apple way of doing business: Design very poor quality product: iPod, iPhone, iMac (all of those know for they low quality) etc... make a lot of hype then sell grossly overprive junk because of hype.

    5. Come into the real world, get a real computer (PC) and run Linux or windows on it. just don;t make a foul out of your self by using a Mac.

  109. oldfartuk

    xp "gay" theme

    In the IT Dept i worked in at the time it became known as the 'Barbie and Ken' desktop.................

  110. Owen Ashcroft
    Dead Vulture

    Vista + SP1 seems ok to me

    Got it on my laptop, having switched off a ton of junk it runs just fine and I get nearly 3 hours battery life, so I'm reasonable happy with Vista after SP1, before it was bad, really bad.

  111. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Maybe I don't understand the problem here but...

    I just want my applications to work reliably and swiftly. If connectivity to devices is required I expect the OS to be able to have drivers loaded and that they will work reliably and swiftly with my applications.

    If Vista won't support applications in doing that then it's not an OS I'll consider using.

    Is that too difficult for MS and all the rest to come to terms with or am I just being unreasonable here? The investment I've made does the job - give me a reason to switch. But then again, I'm not locked in to MS products so I don't care. If I was I locked in then I wouldn't expect MS to care much either. Moooooo, Baahhhaaa.

  112. J
    Gates Horns

    There is a reason Microsoft produce the most widely used OS.

    And it is not technical at all, unfortunately...

  113. Stewart Rice


    Who wants to be ultra cynical and say that StevieB is just jumping on the latest IT bandwagon (Bash Vista) without checking in advance what the bandwagon actually is?

    OTOH, Vista appears to be par for the course, according to M$'s track record with desktop OS's:

    Win 3.0 wasn't so good (reportedly - I started using Windows at 3.1), but they fixed that with 3.1

    Win 95 wasn't so good (better than 3.x - maybe), but they fixed that with Win 98

    Win ME just plain failed, so they killed off the DOS kernel in favour of the NT kernel

    Win 2k wasn't so good (definitely better than 9x, though - mostly), but they fixed that with Win XP (eventually).

    Vista is floundering, so they have a choice: Fix things with Win 7 or kill off the NT kernel in favour of something else.

    The best option would be to choose the former path (which would also follow the established pattern) and fix things with the release of Win 7. Unfortunately the latest reports on Vienna seem to indicate that M$ are choosing the latter path of attempting to retire the NT kernel (at least in it's current form). This would be a major mistake, since the only reason they were able to successfully replace the DOS kernel with the NT kernel was because the NT kernel had already been in development alongside the DOS kernel since at least Win 3.1.

  114. Charles Manning

    Fuel for a class action?

    If Ballmer says Vista is work in progress, does that mean that those people that bought Vista have been mislead, or might have reasonable grounds to say so?

    If so, expect a nice class action to start in USA.

  115. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Apple do compete. Even running Vista they're still the fastest.,136649-page,3-c,notebooks/article.html

  116. Anonymous Coward

    @Anonymous Coward re: Ubuntu

    I give up. I just completely and utterly give up.

    Some people have mentioned that the Vista debacle doesn't mean TCPA will go away... well, I sure as hell hope you're wrong, because being stuck with a choice between losing my freedom and being forced to throw my lot among linux users like AC might leave suicide as the only option.

  117. kain preacher


    The problem with UAC is not that vista ask for extra things, is crappy soft ware that demands to be run at the highest privilege level .

  118. Steve Todd


    Back and as incoherent as ever I see

    >1. MacOS is just a ripoff OS. it is just a bad FreeBSD Clone

    So every Linux variant is a rip-off too then? MacOS makes no bones about being based on FreeBSD (note, not a clone, based on the same source code). Dispite all your foaming at the mouth it's the most popular BSD implementation out there.

    >2. Apple is the one play the unfair monopoly game, if not, why can i install CrapOS X on any PC i own? (because Apple cannot compete)

    To be a monopoly one needs to control the majority share of a market. Are you trying to tell us that Apple have a majority share in the OS market? Since this is not the case Apple can offer to sell under whatever terms the law will allow. They chose not to compete in selling operating systems (MS's path), but to sell complete systems. Having full control over the platform gives them a number of advantages (not least of which is the lack of cheap and nasty hardware to cause stability issues).

    >3. Mac OS as so many design and security flaw, that it does not even qualify as a OS.

    While OSX is not free from bugs and security holes, it is far less troubled by security problems than Window. If design and security flaws are the benchmark of code qualifying as an OS or not then how the heck did Windows ever get the label? Time to stop repeating this piece of idiocy

    >4. Apple way of doing business: Design very poor quality product: iPod, iPhone, iMac (all of those know for they low quality) etc... make a lot of hype then sell grossly overprive junk because of hype.

    Poor quality products? You've been inhaling the solvents again. You can argue about some of the design decisions and point at bugs (what product can't you do this to?) but any company that sells only on hype goes out of business quickly. Apple sells kit because Apple buyers are more satisfied than most of the rest of the market with their purchases.

    >5. Come into the real world, get a real computer (PC) and run Linux or windows on it. just don;t make a foul out of your self by using a Mac

    Make a foul out of yourself? How long have you had this bird fetish? Most mac users have tried at least Windows, and that's what pushed them in Apple's direction. Linux is currently for techies or masochists (or both), and it will remain that way until a distro grows up enough to provide everything a user needs, with application software that they understand and support for all the hardware that they want to use.

  119. Purple Pecker
    Thumb Down

    What an understatement

    Vista is not all that's incomplete, DirectX still does not like Visual Studio 2008. The is much more. Microsoft seems to be falling further and further behind. Maybe its time for new managers to take over.

  120. Greg


    We just called it the "Fisher Price" interface.

  121. John White

    @Marc Linux screen resolution = no restart

    Funny that Marc - I, using Kubuntu on 'Gutsy' core and I change screen resolution on the fly using the desktop system logout

    Perhaps you mean 'adding new resolutions' to the Xorg conf file rather than selecting from those available? Grant you you need to restart X then but I'm sure that adding a new monitor/driver combination has required a reboot in my son's XP box.

    BTW - the XP box does random reboots - probably due to 3rd party XP-certified games...

  122. James Anderson

    Does anyone know

    What VISTA is trying to do will all that mysterious random IO?

    Every now and then an otherwise idle machine starts puonding the disk for ten minutes or so.

    The wierdest thing is none of this IO shows up in the processor monitor. You can here the disk grinding away, the disk access LED is lit up and the process monitor blithely claims there is no IO activity.

    MS seem to have completely lost the plot. I dont think we have seen such a combination of poor product, confused management and contempt for customers since Austin/Morris proudly launched the Allegro .

  123. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Halo

    @ Goat Jam & EnigmaForce + others bashing UAC

    Try actually having an administrator password instead of running on admin account without one. You'll find out that UAC IS asking for a password;

    The whole thing is laughable; same crap was everywhere on internet when XP came out - people were complaining that they'll stack up on Win98; now the same bunch defends XP.

    Personally, I only have one complaint - GIMME BACK MY 'UP' BUTTON in explorer... why can't we have on option or something....

  124. Andy Turner

    Of course it takes more resources

    These things always do. It's not just Windows, it's not just PC stuff, but most software that's gone through a number of revisions over the years require more power than earlier versions which leads to bigger hardware requirements.

    Just how many of you are going to be buying GTA4 for the PS2 then?

  125. jeffrey
    Gates Halo


    M$ will learn from their mistakes and make windows 7 a decent product. Personally I would right off vistas codebase for windows 7, and start again. Have a nice compact and efficient kernal, one in a much more unix based style, that can run virtual copies of old os' in it (maybe even in a very bold move, include a copy of virtual 98 and XP in with the license - though restricted to only work with that installation). On top of that basic kernal, offer modules that tightly integrate with it, ONE for buisness, ONE for home use (which would include media) and maybe ONE for optimized performance (e.g gaming, or older specs), then you could select what you actually want from the OS, (e.g. any combination of packages or none at all). strip all or most of the DRM crap, and price it cheapish so that people buy it. - doubt they will do any of the above, for now I shall stick with my XP/Leopard combination, both of which work well in my opinion.

  126. Ian Davies


    Is English your first language? I hope not, for your sake.

    It always makes me laugh when pant-wetting clowns like to refer to a 'PC' as a 'real' computer. Quite frankly, if that's reality then give me the la-la land fantasy of a system without endless hardware driver conflicts and debilitating viruses any day.

    My father-in-law's Vista laptop (with up-to-date AV software) got fucked so hard by a virus the other week that it destroyed his BIOS and left him unable to even boot from a CD and reformat the sodding HD. I've been running Macs for over 20 years and have NEVER even come close to such a ridiculous state of affairs.

  127. Sean O'Connor

    Why not install XP on older hardware?

    ..."You wouldn't install Windows XP on a Pentium 2 233MHz with 64MB of RAM, would you?"...

    Actually I have and it worked just fine. Took longer to boot up, but ran ok with Office 2000 installed on an old Dell Laptop.

    Now Microsoft is notorious for performance anomalies... It was found that MS skewed the benchmarks in XP trying to show how it out performed Win2k. And ironically on older hardware upto 128mb of RAM XP did get higher performance marks on older P2 and P3 systems. But once you upped the memory over 256mb the benchmarks showed the Win2k pc's performance got a sudden jump.

    There was speculation MS purposely did something to the code in XP so that it would beat Win2k at lower memory. They even specifically forbid publishing of benchmark tests utilizing more than 128mb of ram. I think it was PC Magazine that went ahead and published the whole article even after MS threatened them.

    I bought a brand new laptop, dual core 1.8ghz, 2gb of ram, etc... And it was dog slow under Vista... It was a royal pain in the butt, and the sleep mode instead of actually shutting down is a joke. It wastes the battery on the laptop. I'd get to jobsites and find my battery was dead... And often times it was close to over heating because its actually still powered up the whole time, and while in the bag the heat has nowhere to go... I got to the point I would just force shut it down by holding the power button. It was frustrating. I finally wiped the laptop and loaded Ubuntu 8.04 on it just as a test with every intention of reinstalling XP or Vista on the laptop... But I am so much happier with the speed and performance of the system under Ubuntu that I am now leaving it that way. And I have a lot more tools available for diagnoising network problems for a lot cheeper than buying windows versions...

    Sure I cant use Outlook anymore, but Zimbra and web based email has made that a mute point anyways...

  128. Anonymous Coward


    I have no current involvement whatsoever with Microsoft products nor I hate the company for the matter, I am a Mac user by choice but have used XP in the past and have been quite satisfied with it. I have not used or supported Vista machines and therefore do not have an opinion of my own on the matter. However, based on all the comments posted on the many articles regarding the OS, I must say that a simple average of the opinions yields a satisfaction level that doesn't encourage me to go and give it a try. Some (apparently fewer) people say it works fine for them, many others hate it with passion, and then the rest seem to be only mildly happy with it. I would say that is clearly a defeat for Microsoft, when a product is inherently well designed and conceived there usually is an overwhelming majority of people who are only to happy to praise it everywhere. I am honestly curious after all this debating, and look forward to giving it a try to see what all the fuss is about, but I don't hold my breath, looks like Microsoft didn't manage to come up with a decent OS.

  129. Shakje

    @Steve Todd

    Nice, you try to insult him for making a typo with fool, then confuse the spelling of foul with fowl.

    And granted, Apple doesn't sell on hype. What it does sell on is items that look a lot nicer than they are. The iPod was underpowered as an MP3 player when it came out, the iPhone was underpowered as a smart phone when it came out, iMacs are underpowered as PCs for the price that they sell at. People buy them because they look nice and are very easy to use, and because the technical aspects of them aren't generally known to the standard user. While I'm what might be described as a Windows fanboy, I'd rather you bought a high spec PC at a low price and stuck Ubuntu on it than buy a Mac for the same price, just because Macs really are a waste of money, unless you have a stupidly high-earning job.

    If I buy a Nova with an amazing bodykit that (somehow) makes it look like a Porsche, it's still a Nova. Now let's say the Nova's got a specialist dashboard covered with the logo for the brand, let's say "Pear". Just for that dashboard would you be willing to pay three times as much the cost of the Nova and the body kit on its own? Would you even bother with the body kit if it wasn't a Pear product? I'm quite happy to accept that Windows is buggy and always has been, I'll accept that Vista is a hog on memory and CPU (although nowhere near as bad as has been made out), I'll also accept that some people would rather complain than take two minutes to turn off UAC. However, it's about bloody time that some Mac fanboys admitted that Apple products are hugely inflated, overhyped and a waste of money, in-so-much-as they cost far in excess of the worth of the system.

  130. Rob Elliott

    Refund please

    So does this mean I get my money back? Or at least a free upgrade?


    Well I guess I'll get my coat and head over to the Linux Camp.

  131. SB
    Thumb Down

    The SB test

    It's simple to tell if an OS of other software is any good, just use the following checks when using it:

    1. How often do I swear at the software?

    2. How often do I say, hmm, that's pretty cool?

    With Vista, I lost count of how many times I've sworn at it. Come pretty close to throwing the whole bloody laptop against the wall....Still looking for something cool...I mean how hard would it be to make that photo resize applet work in something other 'Send to' mail recipient for example?

    On that basis, regrettably Vista, 'You're fired'

  132. paulc


    @ Peter Leech

    "> I'll stockpile XP licences before I put vista on my network.

    No need, the vista business versions come with rights for XP if you call Microsoft licensing."

    sadly that still counts as a Vista sale... no one will ever get the truth out of Microsoft as to the number of Vista licenses that have been downgraded...

  133. Anonymous Coward

    129 comments and counting...

    ... I don't think anyone will read this but...

    I have had Vista now on a new PC for over a year. On a 2GB laptop, it is slow, unresponsive (same thing?) and increasingly unreliable. I am so tempted to ditch it and install XP, but then, will I have all the necessary drivers?

  134. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    If Apple Can do it why can't MS?

    Let me start off with: I’m no Mac Fanboy. I rarely if ever use a MAC but am getting increasingly frustrated with MS products. However if Apple are able to make an attractive, gadget filled, useful and above all non-bloated OS in the form of OS X (yes I know it’s ripoff of something else but so is windows), why can't Microsoft? A full version of OS X will run on the iPhone for cripes sake! Can you imagine what would happen if you tried to use Vista/XP/Win2k on a phone?? Put simply it wouldn't/couldn't happen, at least not without mobile phone implosion. Hell, MS couldn't even get the OS (Win CE?) for the Orange SPV phone working properly and that was utterly shite.

    I don't know why we expect MS to be any different, each time they release a new product they make a shitload of promises they know they simply can't keep and we the mugs that use their crap end up with yet another piece of tosh to try and maintain. Every incarnation of MS software is bigger and more bloated than the last. Does anyone else think that 3gb of RAM just to run Vista properly is taking the piss???

    Sort it out MS or you're going to loose another customer to Apple and when I decide to go, I'll be recommending my company of 3000+ users and 2000+ workstations moves over to open source or MAC. Sort it out please, oh and if you'd like to stop ripping us off too, that would be great.

  135. Andy Cadley


    "I for one would have thought that Microsoft would have released a gamers edition of their OS, allowing it to use large amounts of ram, all the useless crap removed, and network and video usage optimized, this is a market that you could easily tap"

    They did. It's called the Xbox 360

  136. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Halo

    Just bought a Mac....

    ...about 3 weeks ago. Well I had to! I had been travelling by train with a couple of Fanbois (one with real rose-tinted spectacles) for 2 years and heard nothing but the good stuff!

    I was a little apprehensive about the transition... after all I still needed to run some Windows applications on it such as Visual Studio and so on.

    What a great O/S. Yeah OK, I managed to crash it completely day before yesterday (equivalent to BSOD on the PC). It just said please hold the power button for a couple of seconds BUT that aside, it is a great great O/S.

    There is good and bad in everything, but it is a much better experience with Leopard than XP / Vista. The icing on the Cake is being able to run any Windows Only applications (of which I am finding few) in a Virtual Machine on the Mac.

    BTW, still wouldn't buy an Iphone.... way overpriced and lacks the functionality of my O2 orbit. Maybe some day....

  137. Zap

    We will not touch Vista - XP is fine for now.

    Vista does not just use memory it is much slower on benchmarks, in PCpro they quote Vista as a reason why a PC with particular chip is slower in reviews.

    File transfers on Network shares and NAS drives are slower too, they are a bit better in SP1 but XP remains faster.

    I am glad to see MS acknowledge the problem exists but will be more pleased when the crap code is dumped.

    MS needs to give it's developers old kit to work on, then they would feel it as being unaceptable and revisit the code before release.

    Vista is just a Millenium Edition anyway and we will not touch it.

    If they screw up on the next release we will probably go Linux, it will be an easier migration with less user training and of course it will be cheaper overall.

  138. conan

    Over a Barrel

    There seem to be a lot of people here that say you shouldn't use Vista, and should stick with XP/use Linux/use a Mac etc. but a reasonable proportion of consumer desktop machines are used for gaming. If you want Directx10, you get Vista, simple as that. Having done that, I've found Vista to be very good. There are some niggles with the interface, but no more than I've found with every version of every OS I've used. All my games run perfectly in Vista. All my hardware works perfectly with Vista. I don't think it's any better or any worse than any version of Windows (except ME, of course), except it supports DirectX10, and so right now is better than all of them. Maybe Microsoft could have included DirectX10 in XP, but there's no company in the world that retrofits their old products with the latest technology at the expense of their new ones, so I'm not really surprised.

  139. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    Re: Over a Barrel

    Native gaming on Linux (not through Wine), alot of current XP/Vista users would drop any and all MS OS's like a hot snot.

  140. Robert Flatters

    The same thing

    Every time that microsoft launchs a new OS they spend the most of the time fixing it and when they finally get a stable platform they release a new OS and the same happens again.

    There needs to be a rethink within the company as to how they develepe the next OS and really do a lesson learned cos they havnt done yet.

    Kind regards


  141. Mark Serlin

    Vista is OK

    It works fine on my new laptop. It bluescreens every day on my 5 year old Shuttle, but I don't care :-)

  142. KarlTh

    What am I doing wrong?

    I must be doing [i]something[/i] wrong. My Vista box runs fine in 1GB of RAM, yet I keep being told it needs 2GB "just to run".

    Still waiting for the Linux lot to tell me what the Linux equivalents of AD GPOs and SMS are so that I can begin to see how I could manage an enterprise full of Linux desktops, without simply buying SLED and replacing one paid for solution for another.

    Yeah, MS stinks but it does things I need doing.

  143. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @: KarlTh

    "Yeah, MS stinks but it does things I need doing."

    It's hard to argue with that.....

  144. Steve

    @ Over a Barrel

    "If you want Directx10, you get Vista, simple as that. Having done that, I've found Vista to be very good."

    Mandriva/Ubuntu/whatever + Vista running in VirtualBox, problem solved.

    I've found that both XP and Vista run faster in a virtual machine under linux than if I install them directly onto the same hardware.

  145. Richard Preston
    Paris Hilton

    Jeux sans frontieres

    I've nothing MS particularly, but Vista does seem to have been a rather pointless release. I'd always imagined upgrades as things that provide me with functionality I didn't have before, or let me do things in a more efficient way than previously. It would be a stretch to say Vista really, I mean *really*, does either of those things, and it isn't difficult to see why it's been such a hard sell for MS and why corporate IT managers are likely forgetting about rolling out Vista in favour of waiting for its replacement (because that will be *much* better).

    Having used it reasonably intensively over the last three months, I'm pushed to name anything about it that's made me think "Wow, now that's clever/useful". It is so disappointingly pedestrian (notwithstanding all the weirdness pointed out by others, like the pointless disk thrashing, the veneer of security offered by UAC, the counterintuitive UI changes, etc.), it makes one want to weep for all those millions of man-hours spent on research, design, coding, testing, all to result in something like this. I imagine in years to come, Vista will be held up as an example of how corporate culture can take the best of ideas, and wring all logic, flair, and passion out of them.

    Mind you, for all those poking MS for releasing Vista in an unfinished state, what about Linux, and OSX, eh, EH? When are *they* going to be finished? Get your own house in order, fanboyz :-)

    Paris, because even though she's also a bit pointless, her interface has elements that are quite attractive too.

  146. Mark


    'You really should have a "computer says no" icon'

    Wouldn't that be the Face Of Hal (2001/2010)?

  147. Mark

    Re: History repeating?

    Aye, and what happened with Windows 95? You only got OEM versions with things like USB or AGP support. You cannot buy OEM versions. Or at least if you do, you'll be blasted by the BSA for illegal copies.

    Windows98? Well, that DID have AGP and (better) USB support.

    So you were forced to move on because the CLOSED SOURCE was not being used and the copyright holder sitting on it just to make sure YOU can't use what you bought.

    History repeating?

    Too damn right.

  148. Ian Davies

    @ Shakje

    >And granted, Apple doesn't sell on hype. What it does sell on is items that look a lot nicer than they are.

    LMAO! I think you'll find that's the same thing. If you're going to throw baseless insults around, at least try not to make yourself look stupid at the same time.

    > The iPod was underpowered as an MP3 player when it came out

    Underpowered in what way, exactly? You mean in a didn't-have-lots-of-marginal-features-that-only-5%-of-buyers-even-understood-much-less-actually-used kind of way? Then yeah, the iPod was 'underpowered'. The fact that it completely cleaned up the MP3 player market in around 3 years, and gave established big names like Creative a damn good hiding, has absolutely nothing to do with the fact it worked *well*, has it?

    > People buy them because they look nice and are very easy to use, and because the technical aspects of them aren't generally known to the standard user.

    There you go again, dismissing the fact that it's "very east to use" (your words) as though that's somehow not worth anything. Fortunately, lots of people disagree with you, and think that thoughtful design and usability are *precisely* the things worth paying for, rather than some geek-wank bollocks about how many billion polygons the graphics card can draw while your carrying out some graphics-intensive task like checking your email...

    [snips rambling, incoherent diatribe from Big Cocks In Small Cars Monthly]

    I'm quite happy to accept that Windows is buggy and always has been...


    [snips embarrassing denial of Shakje's own argument. By Shakje.]

    > However, it's about bloody time that some Mac fanboys admitted that Apple products are hugely inflated, overhyped and a waste of money, in-so-much-as they cost far in excess of the worth of the system.

    I'll tell you what I'll admit: I'm as smug as twin-cocked dog with the fact that

    1. MacOS X has fewer viruses than I have fingers on my left hand (all proof-of-concept, none in the wild)

    2. My computer doesn't look like it was designed by Stevie Wonder

    3. MacOS X has actually got faster on the same hardware, with each release

    4. The CEO of Apple isn't an overgrown baboon with a personal hygiene problem

    I know that last one doesn't matter, but you insist on focussing on aspects which conveniently ignore the very reason that Apple is successful, so I threw it in just for you.

  149. John Savard

    They could fix it

    They have the source code for Vista, they have the source code for XP. As they're gradually adding the features of Vista to XP without compromising performance, and gradually improving the performance of Vista to match that of XP without losing features, they could put an operating system in the box that boots up as either Vista or XP depending on which one you want to run today (with, of course, a mechanism for not allowing that as a security choice) while we wait for the convergence to complete. Sure, they would lose out on a very few dual sales that way, but those aren't the kind of sales a rational company would want anyways.

  150. Stuart
    Paris Hilton

    RE: mac users bugger off

    "why won't people accept that the fact that windows works at all is a miracle"

    yes... yes it is. Laughed for 10 minutes over that one.

    Paris, because she is the only product that can average a lower up time than a dell running vista.

  151. James J Szmak
    Thumb Up

    Vista is fine if...

    A little background before I launch in...

    I waited until a month ago to bite the Vista Bullet.

    I'm waiting for the next gen iPhone to see if it provides the functionality of my Treo.

    I been in tech longer than most of you have been out of school.

    I once was an early adopter - I no longer have time for that because that equates to being an unpaid member of the QA dept. now.

    I learn from smart people like most of you before I invest hard earned dollars into new tech products.

    My Vista experience is positive. Very Positive. Thanks to folks like you. Here's what I learned from you all:

    1) Get as many cores and as fast a CPU as you can afford. I got a quad core Pentium Q6600 @ 2.4Ghz

    2) Get memory. Lot's o' memory. I got 4 Gig's.

    3) Get video memory. As much as you can afford. I got 500 Meg of dedicated memory.

    4) Get a big, fast hard drive – I got a 7200rpm 500 Gig drive.

    The overall system would be a 5.9 on a scale of 1-5.9 except the memory bus only gets a 5.5. (System Experience metric)

    I ordered it with Vista Ultimate SP1. It came loaded with XP? Huh? No confidence shown here (Dell). Dell walked me through the Vista load process (it did come with the Vista disk) including loading a half dozen driver patches. The system sings. It dances. It taught me Travolta moves... OK, I exaggerate.

    Then I came to the task of loading my day-to-day software. Oh my God! Almost all of my apps needed new versions. However, because I waited this long, every one of the vendors had updated software. Most were free, many expensive ones were not. But, I've been using the system for a month now and have been very satisfied. I do monitor the performance of each of the quad cores. I also run Process Explorer to monitor what app's are pigs.

    (What app's are Pig's? Two in particular: Outlook2007 and Zone Alarm Pro Suite. In the correct situation, together they can consume 100% of a core each!)

    As for updated drivers for some of my peripherals, I'm a tad disappointed. At least two vendors decided to create a minimum functionality driver for Vista (Logitech for the original diNovo Bluetooth keyboard and Western Digital for a brand new 1TB MyBook Firewire drive). Otherwise, I had to replace my eight year old Wacom tablet because it had a serial interface. The drivers for my printer, card scanner, label printer, card reader, Treo, iPod, etc... all work as good or better than the XP version.

    So, what did I lose in the transition? The slowness and pain of my XP system for Video rendering, Outlook lock-ups, slooooow virus scans. And, quite painfully, Spam Bayes for Outlook - I can't get it to work no matter what advice I apply. I know people complain about UAC and the security crap, but I got over that in a day. After running ZoneAlarm in learn mode, UAC is not so bad.

    So, what did I gain? Honestly. Not much. I switched from Google desktop to windows sidebar. It’s only different. Not better. I switched from Iron Mountain to Carbonite - it’s cheaper but nearly identical. I very rarely use the much touted Aero interface. It’s showy - but that’s all. Media player is inferior to iTunes. (At least they could copy good features when they see them for goodness sake.) As for Operating System specific functions I now use that I didn’t have with Vista… I can’t name a single one. Even with Vista Ultimate I can’t name a single feature that is Vista specific that I use. I suppose I could still be running XP, but some tell me the optimum use of the quad core comes from Vista not XP. So, if that is true, that’s the only reason to run Vista.

    So... Long description, but at least you know how to get a solid Vista system. Oh, and the cost? $1423.93 (including a 20" LCD panel I am selling) for this Dell Vostro 400.

    I hope this helps those interested in taking a the exit ramp off XP highway to Vista point… (:-o)

  152. Robert Hill

    Thanks for the advice Stevie B...

    What I actually have arrived at by your "come to Jesus" whinging is the following software aquisition strategy:

    1) Format harddrives

    2) Install Ubuntu 8.04 64-bit on primary partition

    3) Install VMWare for Linux (just purchased)

    4) Install Windows XP under VMWare for when I need it

    5) Use Compwiz for my eye candy (which runs just fine on my current nVidia 7600GT graphics card) rather than bloated Aero....

    Again, Steve, my thanks for being open. I met you in 1990 at a corporate developer's meeting in opinion of you hasn't changed one bit...

  153. Anonymous Coward

    Stating The Bloody Obvious.

    A soon as MS dropped Directsound and Directsound3D they were heading for trouble. It is patently obvious that losing EAX in games was a betrayal of all the gamers who would rather game on a PC than a console. No MS we do not want your crappy Xbox sound API on the PC it stinks and the only reason the the Xbox is so prominent is because the dicksplashes behind the PS3 were to busy playing with it rather than getting it to market.

    The arguement for the removal of the HAL has no merit and I for one have not noticed any greater reliability using Vista than using XP. Vista is slow, and looks nice but HD Audio doesn't cut the mustard its lifeless and boring. The only shock regarding this issue is how in God's name has Ballmer managed to hold on to his job due to this issue. Statements admitting you have made mistakes is nice but we have ended up paying for them (literally).

  154. Elfoad Regfoad
    Thumb Up

    @James Szmak

    @James Szmak

    "1) Get as many cores and as fast a CPU as you can afford. I got a quad core Pentium Q6600 @ 2.4Ghz

    2) Get memory. Lot's o' memory. I got 4 Gig's.

    3) Get video memory. As much as you can afford. I got 500 Meg of dedicated memory.

    4) Get a big, fast hard drive – I got a 7200rpm 500 Gig drive."

    sounds great. one might add:

    5) Install Linux. Watch it zooooooooooooooooooom along!

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