back to article Ballmer and Gates defend Vista, drop Windows 7 hints

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer yesterday insisted that the firm was not guilty of making huge blunders with its unloved operating system Windows Vista. Speaking at the All Things Digital D6 conference alongside lame duck chairman Bill Gates, Ballmer contended: "Vista's not a failure and it's not a mistake.” He also took the …


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  1. ben
    Gates Horns


    Nuff Said

  2. Red Bren

    The wrong goal?

    "The goal with Windows 7 is that it will run on the same hardware as Windows Vista..."

    Every version of Windows has been "capable" of running on the same hardware as its immediate predecessor, as long as the hardware far exceeded the minimum spec, but not without a performance hit.

    What MS should be aiming for is a version of Windows without the bloat, that will OUT-PERFORM Vista on a minimum spec machine. But that would break the back-scratching arrangement with the hardware makers where a new OS needs the latest hardware and new hardware needs the latest OS. Then the dreaded penguin might get a look in...

  3. M. Burns Silver badge

    All the more reason to switch to ReactOS

    The Open Source Windows XP clone:

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Vista is great

    I've been using vista for 6 months and its been a fantastic experience to be honest. Networking and security have been great out of the box. Have not had any crashes or come to think of it, any issues of any sort. Performance is great - 2ghz 2gb laptop with vista is way faster than my xp desktop which is 2.8ghz. Total boot time to get to a useable state is 42 seconds. Sleep resume is about 2 seconds. Shutdown takes 7 seconds. Battery consumption is great, with a standard 6 cell battery I get 3.5 hours of battery life.

    And this is coming from a unix admin who hates microsoft....

  5. Giles Jones Gold badge

    Final nail in the coffin for Vista

    Who on XP would buy Vista now given there's another Windows OS on the horizon? not just a new version of Windows, a new version with the first major change to the Windows human-computer interface since Windows 1.0.

  6. Kyle
    Thumb Down

    @M Burns

    Yeah, because an alpha-stage OS is a better idea than using WINE on a more stable version of Linux....

  7. Luke Wells

    Why don't Microsoft get it?

    I thought a company like Microsoft would learn to understand its customers by now.

    We don't want Windows 7.... new and improved with 10 times more bloatware than its predecessor.

    What we need is a new version of windows that runs on the latest core, but is completely stripped of all the crap and automatic background tasks. Basically its just a desktop for launching apps from. 99% of users probably don't use 99% of the "features" of windows. Business users would be queuing up to buy such a product.

    Is it any wonder that people are starting (yes .... after all these years sadly, its still just "starting") to turn to open source OS's .... you know... where all you need to get started is a kernel and a boot loader.... and from there you can choose exactly what features and packages you need or would rather not have.

    Come on Microsoft do the right thing, a nice simple stable OS please (like windows 2000 that around 70% of the computers in our office still use)

  8. Thomas

    Can anyone explain the Windows numbering system?

    Would I be right to think that non-NT 32bit versions of Windows don't get a number in the current system, and XP and 2000 share a number?

    Anyone got any idea to what extent Apple, as purchasers of FingerWorks, can claim royalties from Microsoft for their multitouch interface? I assume that Microsoft haven't been smart enough to move away from whatever FingerWorks came up with.

  9. Steve


    I'd love to give it a try - once it's out of alpha stage.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    @ Vista is great

    Does anybody else see a post like this and immediately presume it's a shill for whichever party is under attack in the article?

  11. Steve Kay

    "Another Windows OS on the horizon"

    Let's bear in mind that Windows 2000 was released in February 2000, and "Whistler" (as XP was codenamed) was "on the horizon" by March 2000.

  12. Anonymous Coward

    @M. Burns - ReactOS

    From "Please bear in mind that ReactOS 0.3.4 is still in alpha stage, meaning it is not feature complete and is not recommended for everyday use."

    'Nuff said (although I'm sure some wag will say that that's the permament state of MS-Windoze)

  13. Anonymous Coward

    They know....'s not doing well. They can check the number of activations to get more realistic figures. That they're ackowledging it's "not really upto scratch" speaks volumes.

    From my own perspective and having used Vista, it's clearly still very much beta (if even that).

  14. Steve Kay

    There's always been "another Windows OS on the horizon"

    Windows 2000 was released in February 2000, and Windows XP was "on the horizon" (as in there was a beta on the loose) by March 2000.

    Comparing that with Vista and Win7, we waited a number of months for even the screenshots of MinWin, and a bit more for a milestone release.

  15. Alastair

    ReactOS?! I'll stay with XP

    Yes, it has very noble goals but even ReactOS's web site states that it is "not recommended for everyday use". I'll be sticking with XP, thanks...

  16. Anon Koward

    @Vista is great

    Come on admit it, your Steve Ballmer posting aren't you :)

  17. Steven Hewittt


    @ AC ^

    Thought I was the only person that visited El Reg that's found Vista to be pretty good....? Am I missing some hidden sarcasm?

    Anyway, Vista is a great OS. £400 gets you a Dell with a Intel dual core 2 at 2.6Ghz and 2Gb RAM with a 128Mb Radeon to boot. The whole hardware spec thing was dead 12 months ago. The spec's for Vista to run reasonably are a single core @ 2.8Ghz and a gig of RAM. That's not some huge overhead or massive spec in 2007/2008 - that's a normal cheap PC.

    For anyone who is holding off until Windows 7 due some of Vista's bad press - DON'T. If your applications aren't written to use Windows development best practice (e.g. don't use un-documented API's, don't use hard-coded paths, test so that it doesn't need admin rights etc.) then it won't work on Vista. If it won't work on Vista, it's not going to work on Windows 7 either.

    By all means skip Vista and stay with XP, but your going to have to get your lazy ass 3rd party POS/ERP developers to start coding properly if you want to use any future version of Windows.

    Alternatively you can ditch it, start from scratch and then move to Linux or OS X - however tweaking current code is probably quicker and cheaper.

    And the whole "Vista SE" is no different to Windows XP being "Win 2k Pro SE" is it? It's all on the WinNT kernel....

    Though to be fair, Vista is such a dramatic change under-the-hood from XP (UAC, file locations, IE7+, SuperFetch, default permissions etc) that to be fair a minor release may be welcomed! :-)

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    If only microsoft lessens the crap they shove on us.

    I think they should really allow users to take advantage of the "modular" (hold the jokes till later, please) nature of Windows' core by letting users control the kind of setup they want/need.

    Instead of shoving/forcing us their idea of what we want/need (read: Home, Business, Ultimate, etc), they should tweak Windows' core to allow a more barebone setup to function. By doing so, they can accommodate alot more users, from the uber/cash-strapped to the budget-concious users, in terms of the kind of hardware the users have/can afford.

    Let's take a look at Vista's services. Let's face it, alot of these services just don't provide enough, tangible benefit to most common users, more so when one considers the cost in terms of performance drain. These services should be easily customized before installation. But how do you control the experience of the user w/o forcing them these services, you ask? Simple, you already have two ways of doing so: 1) Default Settings: if you truly understand your typical user, you'd know that they would hardly tweak things, leaving things as it is; 2) Simple warning messages/pop-up message boxes: these should give them some idea as to what is being traded-off.

    Again, give the users control of what they want to install. DRM-infected components? I'm happy w/ DVD (won't bother w/ Bluray, atleast in the near future). Indexing? I don't need it so why force it to me in the first place (before installation, that is).

    Sorry for the long message.

  19. Jamie Kitson

    No Shit Sherlock

    The super duper head honcho man admits that 7 will build on vista in this interview:

  20. Nexox Enigma


    NT Versioning:

    There was NT4, that was obvious, then 2000 was NT5, then XP was NT 5.1, since it was the same OS. Vista was 6, 7 is 7, though it sounds like the changes will be comparable to those between 2000 and XP, so they probably didn't call it 6.1 for marketing reasons.

    @Luke Wells:

    I don't know if you've been reading much, but all the indications point towards /less/ bloatware with Windows 7, since MS almost seems as if they learned their lesson. They obviously made some improvements with Windows 2008, because that's actually a decent OS that seems (to me) at least as fast as XP, if not faster at some tasks.

    My conspiracy theory is this:

    Vista was designed to suck. MS had to push through a whole lot of new driver changes (for DRM crap,) which meant that Vista was going to have terrible Video and Audio support / performance for a while. Now that MS has set the bar so low that anything halfway decent they shove out the door in Windows 7 is going to look nearly amazing, which is something that they wouldn't have been able to do without releasing crap first. And I'm sure that another 3 years of computers speeding up doesn't hurt.

    Now if you want to hear my conspiracy theory for Windows ME... well that's really another story.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Vista is a huge turd

    This story reminds me of the crap coming out of the White House. I'm waiting for Bill and Co. to say they had bad intelligence when they thought up XP.

    -Only a piece of crap that was not designed properly needs a constant reminder to buy antivirus software?

    btw my linux and OSX boxes are faster to set up easier to maintain and generally are less expensive and much less annoying to keep running, they also last longer (the hardware and the software) than windows boxes. Keep windows if you need it but stop fooling yourself that it's the best system out there, its not and I work with a lot of systems. The last thing we need are more features.

  22. frymaster

    I got a high-end computer a year ago

    ...and XP ran great. Up until the point where I installed graphics drivers, flash plugin, etc.

    contrariwise, I've just bought a lapop with vista pre-installed, with specs lower or equal to my desktop machine - specifically the FSB is lower and CPU is marginally lower and gfx card is definately lower - and vista's performance is fantastic.

    Things seem much more /controllable/ than XP as well - there's a lot more you can tweak, and a lot more of the behind-the-scences data can be got at.

    It's not the fantastic leap that 98->2000 was (and half of the stuff that made 2000 good was in ME anyway), but it's a strong incremental increase versus XP, and as soon as I have a day to have my desktop machine out of commission I'm firing up the MSDN-mobile and getting vista for it, too

  23. Sceptical Bastard

    @ Thomas - Windows version numbering

    This was discussed at length in El Reg comments here:

    The 32-bit single-user 3xx and 9xx ranges are not part of the current numbering scheme. The current numbering is based on the NT line thus:



    Windows 2000 (5.00)

    Windows XP (5.1)

    Windows Vista (6)

    BTW, to check the number of an NT-based system, open a command prompt, type ver and hit enter.)

    @ Luke Wells

    Quote: "Come on Microsoft do the right thing, a nice simple stable OS please (like windows 2000 that around 70% of the computers in our office still use)"

    Hear hear. I've used 'em all from Windows 2 through 3xx, all the 9xx series, NT 4, W2K, XP and (very briefly) Vista.

    IMO W2K was the least over-complex, least unstable and (if fully patched) the least insecure (or, rather, it was the easiest to make reasonably secure by careful configuration and robust security policies). And on hardware above a 1Ghz chip and 256MB RAM it was reasonably swift

    I used XP for several years but my spare home box has reverted to W2K SP4. My main machine runs Umbongo 6.06 (Dapper) - on 2.8Ghz P4 and 1GB RAM, it really flies.

    Windows has always been a resource hog and each version has upped the hardware ante. You can (but why would you?) run a usable Linux set-up on a 486DX with 64MB RAM. IIRC the last Windows that would run well on that spec was 3.11 (or at a crawl and with frequent BSODs, 95)

    Progress, eh? ;)

  24. Neil Greatorex
    Paris Hilton

    @ Vista is great

    Who, when reading the post, immediately comes to the conclusion that the poster hasn't actually been using Fista? and, as another AC posted, assumes it's from a Microsoft shill.

    If he had, and I'm in the unfortunate position of having to use it at work, he certainly wouldn't be posting such utter bollocks.

    Paris, because even she isn't stupid enough to use it.

  25. pctechxp

    I'm switching to Linux

    I dual boot XP and Mandriva now.

    I bought Vista Ultimate and it wouldn't run games successfully so I switched back to XP.

    I might try again when SP1 has been out a while but my next move will be Linux and perhaps reactOS (thanks for the tip M Burns

  26. Tom

    That’s an OS that sounds remarkably like Vista mark two to us.

    With more shinny bits added. That was the problem with vista, it didn't have enough shinny bits!

  27. Terry

    @@ Vista is great

    Actually what I thought was either he's flat out lying about even owning a computer (sort of supports your shill idea) or if I were more generous then he indeed exists, and is a unix admin. The obvious conclusion then is that he has a bare system load of the Vista OS which he uses to run an SSH client (which AFAIK windows does NOT provivde). So, what he's really got is a super spiffy X STATION!!!!!!!!!!

    Ah yes the bad old days, my X Station used to boot in about 20 seconds and shut down in 1. I guess Vista doesn't even make a good dumb terminal.

    I will however accept on face value that if you don't install any applications, use any devices, or run any software that auto-bloats the registry, Vista is probably a very stable solitaire platform.

  28. Tom

    Self inflicted vapour ware?

    So Microsoft can later say

    Vista was good but no-one bought it because they were waiting for W7 which will be really good

    if you've got a new 4 core 64GB Barcelona setup.....

  29. John Doe

    Windows numbering

    goes something like this:

    NT4 = 4.0

    2000 = 5.0

    XP = 5.1

    2003 = 5.2

    Vista = 6.0

    2008 = 6.1

    Windows 7 = 7.0

    I'm not 100% sure about the last three.

  30. Michael Compton
    Dead Vulture

    Of course it wasn't a failure...... for MS

    but it is a failure for a lot of people who laid down cold hard cash for it

    They managed to get people to pay a fortune for a product that by Balmers own admission is a work in progress. You have to either give them credit for pulling it off or lambast people for being so naive.

    I would have said it is only the software industry that gets away with this stuff but with whats going on in the world i'm beginning to think we are all being taken for a ride by the owners and people of power.

    - Rising oil price which by the looks of it is going to be justified by saying we need to invest in alternatives.

    - Credit crunch because of cowboy lending practices

    - Draconian Copyright enforce due to dated and flawed buisness models

    - Rising Taxes to pay for inefficent and short sight government decision making.

    All these have something in common, its the common people that are being hit to pay for these mistakes while the super rich corpRats and there major shareholders just seem to get richer.

    Call me commie if you want but thats what i'm seeing. Dead vulture because it all smells bad to me :)

  31. Paul C. Hartley

    @ Thomas

    Yes you would be correct. Windows 2000 is NT5, XP is NT5.1, 2003 svr is NT5.2 and Vista and Svr 2008 are essentially NT6 as they both share the same kernal so the next bag of spanners out of the mill will either be NT6.1 or NT7 depending on just how long it takes them to get version 7 out of the door.

  32. M. Burns Silver badge


    If a mere compatibility layer like WINE works for you, fine. But remember, WINE stands for "Wine Is Not an Emulator"; it's also Not an Operating System.

  33. ken robson
    Thumb Down

    Vista, a real looser

    After spending 10 years supporting all of M$ OS's. All my machines are now Linux powered, I might have to still support M$ but the issues that vista gave me with networking (try taking 20 minutes to copy a 10Mb file to a nas share or a usb drive?) and no access to things I am used to having as a systems admin (I support over 200 M$ servers and g*d knows how many desktops) I had had enough and deleted it from my local machines.

  34. Snert Lee


    "The firm has in recent days gone to great pains to convince its business customers that grasping the Vista nettle first would ease the path to Windows 7 deployment when it reaches the masses – with January 2010 being the date Microsoft insists it will land."

    Microsoft would really prefer you to buy two upgrade licenses rather than waiting another two years.

  35. Anonymous Coward

    @ Kyle

    Given that Vista is little more that an alpha-stage OS I'd say that ReactOS is a viable competitor...

  36. Mike
    Thumb Down

    @Vista is great

    42 seconds to a usable desktop and you think that's great? My AMD4200+ with XP boots to a usable (ie I can open a program and start doing something) desktop 14 seconds after I press the power button. I'm thinking about putting puppy or dsl on it to see how fast that will boot.

  37. Joe K


    An anonymous coward bigging up Vista, and also taking a knock at unix..... of course he was a shill. Pathetic really.

    Ive had XP and Vista on dual boot for nearly a year. Can't say i've had much reason at all to go into Vista. I'm just glad i didnt pay the insane asking price for the thing.

  38. André
    Thumb Down

    @ Vista is great

    Oh yeah, I also know quite a few people who thought WinME was great.

  39. Bill Gould
    Gates Halo

    @Luke Wells

    Part of the plan with Windows 7 (as I understand it) is to strip a ton of legacy support from the OS. Then provide that legacy support in appropriate packs to businesses that require them (and of course pay for the support).

    Thus your Win7 install will support 32 and 64 bit software, Vista certified hardware, etc. The old stuff will no longer be supported which is partly what makes the Vista codebase so freakin' huge.

    As for *nix, when it can support all of my games without requiring a Windows Emulator, I'll consider looking at it.

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I have the utmost confidence in them

    Ballmer contended: "Vista's not a failure and it's not a mistake."

    Gate said that the company could learn "plenty of lessons" from its handling of the spurned OS. "We have a culture where we need to do better,"

    Customers are waiting for Windows 7 because by 2010 Microsoft will have learned and can release a definitive failure with better mistakes.

  41. Doug Glass

    What They're Good At


  42. Dana W

    Ballmer is totally nuts.

    This is just sad, this guy is further separated from reality that Bush.

    I'm getting normal "non tech" people asking me about Linux. And you practically have to fight your way into the Apple store, and Vista is a "success"?

    I had fifteen years of their junk software, before I finally said no. Simply ENOUGH. Enough apologizing for a company that sells unrepentantly bad crap and blames everyone else!

    I run OS X and Linux now, with a little bit of XP for some old games on the Wintendo. If it hadn't been for Vista I'd still be using Windows for my primary OS, For that I'll thank him.

    How many people do they have to lose before they figure out, PEOPLE DON'T LIKE VISTA! And forcing them to take it if you want to buy a PC is not a sign of popular acceptance!

  43. Anonymous Coward

    Gobsmacked... MS have *utterly* lost the plot

    >"Ballmer contended: "Vista's not a failure and it's not a mistake.”"

    Holy fuck, I cannot believe my eyes. YOU DO NOT DENY THOSE THINGS OR YOU HAVE ALREADY ADMITTED THEM BEFORE YOU EVEN BEGIN. This is the most appalling PR blunder I've heard of in a long, long, looong time... Ballmer should be fired on the spot for that and sent back to infant's school, or possibly even nursery. Coming next week:

    Steve Ballmer denies Vista kicked your puppy.

    Steve Ballmer denies that he still beats his wife.

    Steve Ballmer denies that he routinely has carnal knowledge of the sows on his pig-farm despite the pleas of his wife and children.

    ...etc. PR and marketing is the one and only thing MS have ever gotten right - certainly not their software - and if they've lost that now, then they have *nothing*!


  44. bigfoot780
    Gates Horns


    ok I'm not wanting to hump apple here but windows 7 touch looks like a large iphone interface.

  45. Frank

    Are you guys even using Vista ???

    I can only shake my hand when I read all the comments posted here...

    Yes, I'm using Vista -admittedly the 64bit version, which meant that I could forget about ssome of my old apps-, at home, and quite frankly, I have very little issues with i, especially now that SP1 is out. The only thing I'd appreciate for Ms to fix would be that explorer crashes randomly when unplugging a usb drive, but I can live with it.

    Apart of that, it is STABLE, ,I am still to get a blue screen, and my box usually stays on for weeks without a reboot.

    But, of course, I also bought decent hardware. If you plan on having it run on some exotic 20€ motherboard, with a Trident or Virge graphics card (am I showing my age? ), 512MB Ram, and dodgy drivers, don't expect anything positive of it.

    Rememmber how people ranted at Win95 ? Sure, it wasn't very good, and sure, it waas only a DOS with some bad graphical interface, but that's what Linux is today, in more stable. People also ranted about 2000, about XP, well, today, they don't want anything else.

    A stripped OS ? sure, that might be nice in a business environment. Oh, wait, would it mean I'd have to buy some ACDSee license to view pictures, winzip for compressed files ? Find some video player that wouldn't install spyware? Install that nightmarish thing called Firefox, and at least 20 other programs that my users need ? Been there, done that, did add at least 150€ on a PC, and it was a nightmare to get it all ready. And then to explain to users why they all had different interfacess. No, thanks, in a corporate environment, I'd rather have an integrated OS, even if some functions are a bit reduced compared to specialized software. Users won't notice anyway. (But I could do wihout the DRM stuff).

    So, if you hate Vista so much, go buy a Mac (and don't try to inplement even a new service inside, it is a jungle of non standard Linux in there), or be happy with the latest X11 interface of your choice, but please, stop whining about an OS that you openly admit not to use.

    And before anyone starts making comments, NO, I don't work for any Redmon affiliated company, and yes, I do exist. I'm also confronted to Linux systems all day, and also use XP on a daily basis, which isn't any better or worse than Vista.

    So... get real, guys!

  46. Nic

    Vista aint great but its not as bad as you whiners make out

    Okay so I have a very high end computer but Vista 64 ultimate crashes far less than XP did for me and I can handle vast amounts of open programs at a time.

    I like new toys so I shall be upgrading as and when.

  47. Edward Pearson
    Thumb Down

    @ReactOS Steve

    ...where it has been for the past 5 years and shows no sign of movement.

  48. Mark
    Gates Halo

    @Steven Hewittt

    Hmm. Two things:

    a) According to MS, the 3D GUI requires 512MB in the graphics card. So not Aero ready.

    b) I think your meds are oversubscribed. Unless your name really does end with three t's.

    PS That's not a halo he's got his head up...

  49. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm not a Microsoft Shill

    Why assume that I'm a Microsoft Shill just because I have had no problems with Vista, there are plenty of people having a great experience. This seems like very narrow thinking. Sure you can also have a good experience on other OS's, I'm just saying that Vista is working fine for me. No driver issues, no crashes, nothing.

    I use it for web surfing (firefox 3 RC1 now), office, photoshop and graphics editing, watching divx and dvds, and listening to mp3's. For this it all works fine. And the performance has been great. Why does stating this make me a shill??? No I don't do any gaming, but with SP1 vista's gaming performance on the whole is up there with XP (with some exceptions - see recent comparisons that anandtech or whoever it was did).

    I did a little tuning but who doesn't. Turn off indexing service and a few other things and job done. I did notice my CPU was jumping to 5% used every few seconds and my hdd would do an IO every 2 seconds or so, and using Procmon (the SysInternals program - free download is great) I discovered the cause was a sidebar widgit I'd downloaded, so I stopped using it. Also disable system recovery on all drives except OS drive.

  50. Mark

    @M Burns

    Yes, WINE is not an OS. Neither is DirectX and the Win32 API, which is what WINE is a reimplementation of. It doesn't *emulate* Windows, it *implements* the various API's.

    Wine is getting pretty good at DirectX compatability (up to 9, though if they get 10 working, Wine/Cedega will be a better gaming platform than XP!!!) and since the OS is leaner, the games often run faster. Of course, if you're using a game that uses OpenGL, then Wine works even better. Only problem is that you can't often use the installer because they have "Copy protection" that ought really to be called "installation protection" since it seems more likely to stop installation...

  51. Tom Kelsall

    @the "Vista is Great" guy who can't be arsed giving us a name

    "I use it for web surfing (firefox 3 RC1 now)"

    ...and I suppose you're also going to tell us that FF3.0 RC1 is rock solid and you have no problems with that either?

  52. James Butler

    @Bill Gould

    If all you're interested in is games, then get a game system and leave comments about computers to those of us who know what they are supposed to be used for. As evidence of your ignorance, I point out that games function on the platform for which they are written. That has nothing to do with the OS and everything to do with the developers.

    Get a PlayStation or, hell, even an XBox. You'll be happier and seem smarter.

  53. Christopher E. Stith

    Linux and games

    The secret to getting games to run well on Linux is to buy or download games that are native to the OS. Yes, that does limit your selection. TANSTAAFL. WINE widens your selection some, but at the expense of stability and speed. Having two OSes on two separate computers or dual booting fixes the issues most people have, but that's twice the expense.

  54. Anonymous Coward

    Couple of kids, really...

    'Speaking at the All Things Digital D6 conference alongside lame duck chairman Bill Gates, Ballmer contended: "Vista's not a failure and it's not a mistake.”'

    They then spent the next hour shouting and screaming 'not, Not! NOT!!!' until they were sent to their rooms and told to stay there until they were prepared to say sorry, and mean it, *and* come up with something better.

  55. Geoff Gale

    Another Reasonably Satisfied Vista User

    I'm running Vista Business on a fairly high-end machine that I built last year. Except for some problems I encountered getting the ancillary settings for that Mushkin performance RAM that I just HAD to have sorted, this machine has never given me any trouble. I corresponded w/Mushkin one time and they gave me the settings I needed to fix the problems, and since then, the computer hasn't crashed once since Sept. '07.

    It's a dual boot machine that I run Mandriva 2008 on as well, and I spend roughly an equal amount of time on each OS. So far, I've not had a lot of complaints about either - they both allow me to get the work that I need to do done without a lot of fuss. I share data (mp3's, video, image, .txt files, etc.) between the two OS's on a separate drive that each OS can see, so I'm generally not out of touch with my data no matter which OS I have booted. Each OS has it's setup quirks, but nothing that I haven't been able to sort out, and ultimately, the investment that I made in the hardware and software has been worthwhile for me.

    I'm not in the business of suggesting to others what they should not or should do, like, or try. Though I have disagreements with Microsoft regarding their corporate style, I could say much the same for a lot of other companies (computer-related and non-computer-related) with which I deal. To me, playing the whole " I hate X" game seems like a whole lot of emotional overhead and hand-wringing for nothing.

    Honestly, who cares if you hate X? It's your affair, not mine. Why subject the rest of the world to your mental masturbation as you vent your precious feeeeeeelings?

  56. Claire Rand

    windows 7...

    if they have any sense at all, they will do an apple, base something on a form of unix, or frankly *anything*, and provide an emulator for legacy applications, with maybe a fancy one for games in a virtual environment (maybe allowing direct access to sound & video in full screen mode).

    keep the core OS light and fast, old stuff still runs, the new OS gets the same APIs coded for it, with all the legacy stuff switched off.

    if they seriously want fun, make a window manager for X, port office using a number of custom libraries (in effect 'wine+') precompiled X64 only, and release a custom licensed unix of some sort.

    kills all the legacy spyware etc dead, if it installs in the virtual machine? yeah whatever.

  57. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    Why bother

    That is the main problem with Vista - why would anyone bother to try and struggle with the hassle of an 'upgrade' when there is so little on offer at the end of it all.

    Conclusion: wait a while.

  58. Greg Fawcett


    Having switched to Ubuntu a year ago, I'm non-plussed by the anguish everyone seems to have over Vista. Just pop in an Ubuntu live disk, and be done with it. No viruses (or processor-hogging-monthly-subscription-virus-monitors); perfectly good MS office format compatiblility; click-install-run just about any sort of software you could want (mind-mapping? video editing? sudoku? There are several alternatives for all of them); WINE for any special Windows programs you can't find a replacement for... the list goes on.

    Best of all, you get your PC back. You can set it up the way you want, and there's no "we won't let you do this because it might hurt someone's commercial interests even though it's legal in your country". And none of the silly hoops the more computer literate jump through to gain a bit of control back.. Once you've tasted this freedom, you'll start to wonder why everyone else is angsting about the latest version of Windows, instead of just popping in an Ubuntu live disk...

  59. Roland Newmark

    Vista is OK

    Vista has its problems but I have it running on a 2.2 GHz desktop (home) and a 2.6 GHz laptop (home/work). They run great. Of course for my work desktop that I must count on I run XP for now but I think a lot of the Vista stuff is over blown and being said by people not rolling it out to hundreds of desktops and had a problem with their custom or old kit. Again Vista is not great, but not the total piece of crap claimed. As for XP running faster that is true and if I take the same PC and run 2000 that is even faster. So you need to weigh the benefits of the newer OS versus the hardware you are running it on. As for rolling out and controlling/securing desktops Vista is a step up and if all your users are running is Office, Adobe and simple stuff like the it's even good. People run out and load Vita without doing any evaluation of whether they should and when it doesn't run on their old PC or their 16-bit apps get errors they say it sucks. If you were in IT you would never do that on a production system and identified the performance on a test PC. Which is why a portion of PCs came downgraded to XP because they weren't a good fit for that dept.

    I'll stop now, just tired of the Vista flametards who never used it or used it in a scenario that was never going to work and would have benefited from planning.

    I get aggravated at plenty of MS software crap from admin'ing many of their products so you'll have to take my word I'm not a fanboy. Just someone who doesn't feel need to jump on the bandwagon...

  60. Michael

    tsk tsk Ballmer...

    "Vista's not a failure and it's not a mistake."

    Keep telling yourself that, Ballmer. Saying it over and over doesn't make it the truth.

    Having said that, I got a free copy of Vista Ultimate 64 for beta testing the OS and I have that running on my machine at home. It's not bad and runs pretty fast, but I am painfully aware of how much fastER it would run on XP. Vista just doesn't offer anything so wonderful that it's worth the performance hit.

    The only reasons I haven't switched back to XP are 1) I don't have a 64 bit version of it, and 2) I don't feel like reinstalling my video games...

  61. Anonymous Coward

    Vista isn't great but it is just about usable

    I recently bought a new gaming PC, pretty top notch item, and I decided to try Vista since I've been resisting for so long. The box I bought came with Vista 64 bit pre-installed, and I played for a bit and it seemed ok, everything worked out of the box (with SP1 already factory installed). Having said that, the company had clearly tweaked out of the box Vista for me to avoid a lot of the normal gotchas. Aero was disabled, and UAC was also disabled. I thought I would give UAC a shot, mainly because it would sandbox internet browsing which is pretty porous on both Firefox and IE (by the way, anyone else noticed firefox becoming *much* less stable over recent releases - I've been seeing quite a few crashes on multiple installations on multiple platforms).

    Anyway, what I discovered was the UAC is as buggy as hell - definitely only alpha grade software. Having had 1 software install put UAC into an infinite cycle, and had another result in a bunch of processes each taking 2 minutes to do anything. One game was a nightmare to install until I discovered a trick on a forum to get it to install through UAC. I've spoken to a bunch of friends who use UAC, and to a man they have all turned off UAC to get Vista to work. It seems that there are ways to get it to be usable but the general rule is:

    Overspec hardware

    Only run it on new stuff

    Only run it on a system that has it pre-installed (since it is most likely to have all the drivers)

    Turn off all the new stuff MS added etc...

  62. Steven Raith
    Paris Hilton

    Vista, vista, vista...

    Seeing as we are all bashing/defending/busting our nuts over the technocratical shite.

    Most of my experience of Vista hasn't been nice - it's been slow, unintuitive [user error really, I know, but I get on with Ubuntu/Suse fine...] and buggy in the early days - although I haven't seen many problems with the couple of handfuls of Vista machines I have used lately that have been patched up.

    It does seem a good spec is a modern C2D-esque processor and a gub of RAM - 2gb seems to work well - with the [really, really] required DX9C GPU to cover Aero. In those circumstances is *is* much nicer to use from a POV of 'flow' - it jerks very infrequently, apps load nice and zippily, etc.

    However, I still just can't get on with that bloody new UI layout - after years of 2k/XP I find the control panel setup frustrating, and why segregate the Desktop/Display stuff? What was wrong with the four or five tabs for themes, resolution, screensaver etc? I thought having all that stuff in there worked fine?

    TBH I think want MS *really* want to do is to take the Win2k8 setup, drop the SysAdmin stuff that I like [well, I'm a low level sysadmin, of course I'll like it], add Aero, and then you should have most of the speed and stability of 2k8, without the crap of Vista, including all the NuMediaCentre, indexing, etc. Or at least have them disabled by default.

    Sell it as VistaLE [as in Limited Edition] and market it at hardcore gamers with a lower price tag for retail purchasers, or as a downgrade option for OEM machines, and I reckon they'd be onto a winner with that, me hearties.

    I must admit, I'd pay £100 for that on current hardware as a retail pack - at least until, as Mark notes, Wine gets clever enough to pretty much run anything Windows can without any bugs/glitches.

    As for Windows 7, regardless of whether it's just VistaRedone, if they can get the whole 'compartmentalising' and 'modularity' done as well as it appears to be in most Linux distros I've played with, then that would be a pretty major step forward. I suspect however that it will not even come close.

    Steven R

    [my coat is the one with the WDS PXE boot documentation in the pocket - still haven't learned that for NT6 but it looks sweet and works well for NT5 images if you have a chunky enough LAN]

    [PS: I didn't know about the DX9 stuff in WINE, does that mean if I can get my X1650 to work in Ubuntu - fat chance IME ; I love Ubuntu, but like the best lovers it has it's flaws - I could play, say, rFactor and FEAR/HL2 with full shiny acceleromated grahical thingys? ]

    PPS: Paris because I'm just rambling on now :-)

  63. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    Wasn't there a movie ...

    ... called 7?

  64. anarchic-teapot

    Children, children

    _Do_ stop squabbling. In the end, it doesn't matter whether Vista is good or bad: if people aren't taking to it, then it's not a success. That's all.

  65. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Just a few observations...

    Aside from the usual zealousness, Microsoft has been applauded of releasing something revolutionary and accused of essentially forcing people to choose between upgrading their OS, eating or being evicted from their flat (as insinuated by the commie).

    Most of us have a fair idea as to why they did what they did and to a certain extent it was a great idea, but piss poorly executed.

    Windows, in general & in the hands of a lay user, isn't focused on security right out of the box. Part of this is due to the Microsoft and industry misperception of what the "average" computer user wants, or has the understanding of. And one has to give props to Microsoft for being a pioneer (yes, I said it, with the full knowledge that I will probably get flamed) by making computers relatively easy to use for the average and dumb masses.

    With that being said, Microsoft flat out missed the boat, even with the gift of 20/20 hind site, that they needed to be a little more security minded, by protecting the OS from the end user, regardless of whether or not they had elevated privileges. Bad Microsoft <insert punch to the throat, here>! BAD! BAD! BAD MICROSOFT!

    Secondly, they failed to make a clean break. Once again, trying to market to the largest possible of permutations, they failed to adequately inform us of a lot of the nuances that Vista seems to surprise us with, every single day. Combine that with the vast array of upgrades to non-OS related MS apps and services, it's like watching an oil taker slowly run aground.

    Yes, in some configurations it will work flawlessly, but in a lot of configurations, it's performance and stability suffers tremendously. Most of this was due to, as someone else posted, all of the useless background crap and DRM components, that a lot of people neither need nor want (assuming they even know it).

    While I openly confess to not be as intimately familiar with vista as I am other OS's, I view Vista as a mixed blessing, in that it isn't the "silver bullet" that consumers and IT have been fighting for, but in the grand scheme of things, it's a step in the right direction.

    As for Ballmer's assertion that Vista's "numbers" were so outstanding... All I can say is he must be smoking crack. Once again, as another poster mentioned, if you factor out all of the downgrades back to XP, vista's sales are less than stellar. If Microsoft's board were smart, they'd get rid of him as he's not only making himself look like a babbling idiot, but he's doing damage to Microsoft that won't be significantly apparent for another 5 or 10 years.

    And if any of you remember the rise and fall of IBM in the PC market, Ballmer's lack of vision is setting up Microsoft for the same kind of fall as IBM took back in the mid 80's & 90's.

  66. Anonymous Coward

    Vista-The BOFH pespective

    In the words of the prophet Simon , of the land of sheep botherers.

    "So you like Vista?"

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

    "Virtual Server?" the Boss asks.

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

    "So you don't like it?"

    "No. But it has does have one advantage."

    "What's that?"

    "It causes a clean reinstall of XP which is generally good from a defrag point of view."

  67. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton


    Tried it on an IBM PC300GL desktop that's fitted with a Pentium 2 266MHz CPU. Installed fine but could not get display working correctly at higher resolutions (damn you Cirrus Logic and your crappy Laguna3D Accelerator!)

    Tried it on a brand spanking new Compaq Presario C700 laptop. Hangs at the install screen.

    Has the team actually tried running this on a real PC?

    Paris, because surely she'll react to this OS.

  68. Colin
    Thumb Down

    @ bws

    .......And one has to give props to Microsoft for being a pioneer (yes, I said it, with the full knowledge that I will probably get flamed) by making computers relatively easy to use for the average and dumb masses.......

    Not flaming you, but no way should M$ get anything but abuse for doing that.

    Thanks to that particular policy and the subsequent use of computers by people who quite frankly shouldn't be given a remote control for a TV, we now suffer from vast amounts of spam and phishing scams. (The same dumb masses are the ones that fall for the crud ware)

    Simple truth is anyone with any sense moved from using windows ages ago. Why anyone would want to pay through the nose for a bloated, bug ridden, malware magnet is beyond me. The only possible use I can think of for a windows box is to play games that can't be run via cedega.

  69. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Vista ate my dog!

    ...and totalled my car, burnt my barn down and squashed my kids!

  70. James Goddard

    Windows NT versions

    The full list...

    OS2 1.0 to 3.0 as version number, then IBM and M$ split the dev trees, thus the 'new technology' was born...

    NT3.1 = 3.1

    NT3.5 = 3.5

    NT4 = 4.0

    2000 = 5.0

    XP 32bit = 5.1

    XP 64bit = 5.2

    2003 = 5.2

    Vista = 6.0

    2008 = 6.0

    Windows 7 = 6.1

  71. Angus

    Vista is great??????

    What planet is that guy on?

    HAHAHA, surely he must be a troll?????

  72. James Anderson

    Vista is OK .. seconded

    I run three laptops one with XP, one with Vista and one with Ubuntu Hardy Heron (plus an old one with windows ME).

    Ubuntu is definately the nicest runs on an old thinkpad but boots up quicker than the othe two. The Vista machine is Ok reasonably nice to use once you figure out where little used features like "save" are hidden and get used to mysterious blasts of random disk activity. The XP machine has got slower and slower as the years go by and takes an inordinate amount of time to boot up (thank you ZoneAlarm!) and is

    now only fired up when the wife wants to laod a new selection of girly

    music on to her ipod.

    So Ubuntu rules.

    Vista OK.

    XP decommisioned ASAP.

    Windows 95 -- still hanging in there.

  73. Rich
    IT Angle

    "Zomg if u like Vista u must be a fanboi!"

    I was an ex-XP fanboy who always weas the first to cry "VIsta is worthless waahhaaa" and then a few months back I decided to try VIsta and haven't looked back since, I really like it. Everything works smoothly, the OS never bogs down for me like XP did, and with UAC and indexing turned off it's a great experience. XP is history now in my eyes, albeit an important piece of history.

  74. alistair millington
    Thumb Up

    I read this bit and trembled

    "With Windows 7, we're trying to more carefully plan how we share information with our customers and partners. This means sharing the right level of information at the right time depending on the needs of the audience"

    They do this and hardware manufacturers don't get told, so they don't make drivers in time.

    It happened with Vista and SP1 still had 54000 drivers in it. Windows 7 should come with thost 54000 drivers. So Microsoft should be coming out earlier to it's partners and it's customers not holding back more. It's quite simple, you tell those that make the computers what the OS is and they make drivers for it. Only do it before you start selling the OS.

    They still don't understand...

    I am happy though on this report as it clearly states (to me at least) Vista RIP.


    Games. Pure and simple.... only you can't on Vista as drivers are laggy and bug ridden. XP it is. Cedega? (goes to google and starts looking)

  75. Lee

    Vista's OK - but would I go out and upgrade an established XP machine to it?


    I have two machines bought in the last year and they both run Vista. They were both delivered with Vista and I had no problem with that.

    One machine was a challenge as I dropped a HD DVB-S card into it and had to use Beta drivers. That issue's now not an issue.

    The other machine's a laptop and was randomly not sleeping when I closed the lid. SP1 seems to have eradicated this issue.

    Frankly, I may be someone who does not care that much about the operating system. I can get Vista to BSOD but it behaves in a similar manner to XP in robustness (my opinion).

    I have a mix of Vista, XP, FC and OSX.

    One thing Vista has tried to address is user-retardedness - the number of people who simply click on Yes, Install, OK, Screw My PC and other buttons on pop-ups is frankly very high.

    The Penguin - because he can be an alternative.

  76. Greg

    @Steve Kay

    I think the difference though, Steve, is that 2000 and XP were designed to complement each other - one was aimed at business, the other at home. Didn't work out that way in the end, but hey. Windows 7, however, is a replacement for Vista, which was supposed to be the all-singing all-dancing OS for everyone, and turned out to be the bloated all-indexing resource-hogging privacy-invading freedom-restricting drive-thrashing upgrade for no-one.

  77. Mage Silver badge

    OS bloat

    I used NT 3.5, 3.51, 4.0 and skipped Win2000 (NT5.0) to XP (NT5.1).

    My 386 server with 12M RAM was fine with NT3.5

    My NT 4.0 RAID5 Server was fine till this year. Had to update to Server 2000 to run WSUS to reduce amounts of downloads for our XP clients. Server 2003 (NT 5.2) needed more RAM than could be afforded (RAMBUS RDRAM!!).

    I have a copy of the 1st NT, 3.1. The 2.0 version of NT was essentially MS OS/2 with LAN Manager. (NOT IBM's OS/2). Not many people used it.

  78. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Windows Lite?

    Personally I am still putting systems in that run on VIA powered ITX boards. VISTA simply will not run on this hardware with anything approaching usable speed, and even XP is not ideal, so W2k still has to be installed for best performance. I don't need gigabytes of Digital Rights Management and advanced graphics - it all gets switched off.

    So what OFF THE SHELF version of windows should I be using?

  79. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Surely you meant VistaME in honour of the famous WindowsME*

    *Famously named after a debilitating disease**

    **And performed accordingly.

  80. Liz Fuhr

    "Average" user

    I'm a non techy in a big way but a little more savvy than a lot of my friends (20 years in the industry in one role or another and you pick up a few things), so that probably makes me around average as a home user. And everything I've read about Vista tells me that when I upgrade my home PC I definitely do NOT want it.

    Those people who say it's great usually end up qualifying that with "of of course this was after I disabled this function, and turned that one off" - well I've got news for you guys, the "average" home user doesn't want that hassle & most couldn't do it anyway, they want something that runs well out of the box without technical fiddling. The vast majority of the new bells and whistles just won't get used, e.g. they don't want the OS to do indexing for them, they just want to stick it all in the relevant folder in My Documents or possibly a sub-folder there. The more complex it is, the more confused they get. And the more complex it is, the slower it gets for doing all the stuff we bought a computer for in the first place.

    What the "average" user really wants is a PC they can take out of the box and immediately do reasonably basic stuff like web browsing, emails, games etc on without any hassle. If they thought about it, they would problably like it to be reasonably secure too. Full stop.

    Techies like shiney new toys, so the designers put lots of them into Vista. But in the same way that not everyone needs web access on their mobile phone but just uses it to make calls, not everyone wants added "features" that complicate life on their home PC.

    What Microsoft should have done IMHO is release Vista normal and Vista "Shiney Toys" versions, with the normal having all the "presumably good" upgrades and the "Shiney Toys" version having all the bells & whistles that complicate matters. Or just make the standard install be without all the extras and let people add them in a custom install

  81. Greg


    Have you ever considered the possibility that - when soooo many people are of the same opinion - rather than everyone else being a moron out to slate your OS of choice, perhaps you're one of the lucky ones?

    I have used Vista. I was forced to support it at my old job. I hated it from the minute I got hold of it. I've used it since. I still hate it. Any questions?

  82. Ken Hagan Gold badge

    Games on Windows

    My experience is that most Windows games don't run on Windows, so WINE has nothing to beat. I have about a dozen games for pre-school kids that I've tried to install and run on an XP box. At least one of the titles just didn't install, no matter what. For the rest, various combinations of QuickTime version and DirectX version that allow different permutations of titles to work.

    Such laughably naive approaches as "the latest version of each" just doesn't cut it because the clueless fuckwit who wrote the version check didn't know about ">". Nearly all of the games requires the child to have administrative access to the machine. These programmers should have their hands cut off so that they acnnot write another line of code.

    I no longer buy games for my children. I can no longer bear to spend several hours discovering the optimal combination of system breakage, only to find out that this game only works at the expense of another of their favourites. (My kids don't like that either.)

    [Takes deep breath.] Thanks for listening.

  83. Dale

    Severe reality dissconnect...

    Just goes to show that MS are even further disconnected from reality than people thought.

    I guess its no new MS products for me till 2015 then.

  84. William Hamilton

    What's the problem?

    I have a Core 2 Quad clocked at 3GHz, 4GB of RAM and 2 8800GTX graphics cards.

    A somewhat meaty spec and I have only had ONE issue with Vista 64bit, and that was random lockups and bluescreens for the first few days.

    It turns out there was a bug when using more than 3GB of RAM and there was a hotfix for it - installing it has seen the end of the one and only problem I have ever had with Vista.

    I have seen no issues with copying files, SP1 went on without a hitch and the performance has been fantastic.

    No doubt there will be all the accusations that I am a shill, but for the record i've also been running nightly Minefield snapshots for the last year and i've seen the progression from Firefox 2 up until Firefox 3 RC state night by night and again, i've never had a single issue with any build.

    Clearly I must also be a Mozilla shill too...

  85. Anonymous Coward

    as surprised as I was...

    I bought a little Vaio TZ a couple of weeks ago. It came with Vista installed *and* an XP "downgrade" disc. I fully expected that a move to XP would be required considering all the negative reports I'd about Vista.......

    Have to say: I like it.

    This is no powerhouse laptop, it's bleedin' tiny, and Vista is snappy and friendly - I'd go so far as to recommend it.

  86. Anonymously Deflowered

    I'm getting fed up with the vista bashing

    I have vista on both of my home laptops and apart from some initial teething problems with driver support over a year ago, it's worked brilliantly. Not only is it stable and quick (this is new hardware) but the extra software that is thrown in with the OS is brilliant too.

    My girlfriend who is a teacher had to make a DVD from a load of stop-motion footage that her class had filmed, and mix in a soundtrack with narrative and music in numerous files. Windows Movie Maker made this task an absolute doddle for her, and she didn't even require any support from me. It just worked. When the time came to burn the video to disk, Windows DVD maker did the job effortlessly and each member of her class now has a DVD with menu and extras like deleted scenes that they can take home, show to their families and be proud of. I know that XP has the same two bits of software, but the new versions are loads better.

    And I didn't have to lift a finger to help with complex software, or even help find the necessary shareware to do it.

    So, bollocks to all you haterz out there, Vista is more than an OS.

  87. Anonymous Coward

    @ The Vista Bashers

    Shut the F*ck up!

    I'm sick of your constant whinging.

    I've been running Vista corporately and at home since it was released, on both desktops and laptops. Not a single problem. Currently rolling out SP1, still no problems!

    I've a laptop at home that for the second time this year needs to be formatted and reinstalled - guess what - it's running that pile of shit called XP!

    This time I'm installing Vista - no more problems with this one!

    I don't work for Microsoft and I really use Vista.

    My belief is that the tossers who bitch about how good XP is and how Vista is crap haven't actually tried installing and using Vista.

  88. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    ""We have a culture where we need to do better" he said."

    What's that supposed to mean? "Our users/buyers are smarter than we thought they were"? "Even our developers are embarressed about Vista"?

  89. Zzx Tty

    @ The Vista Bashers

    You fail to appreciate that different people are having different experiences with Vista, some good, some bad. Mine was bad, I brought a new laptop (samsung q45), it came with vista pre-installed. It was a pain to setup, it took a long time to go through the patch/update cycle, when I installed firefox and OOo it presented me with a shed load of ok/cancel request boxes which i stopped reading. It came with a 60 (?) day demo of office, I tried to uninstall it, I couldn't, it complained about being installed in a different language. In the end (well the same day actually) I gave up and installed ubuntu. I got it up and running very quickly and it all just worked.

    I would not touch vista again, my first experience with it was bad, I also don't see any value in it. Its a huge piece of software that (from a users point of view) does nothing. It comes with notepad, IE, and demo software, thats about it.

    To me an operating system enables other software to access a computers hardware, it should be light weight, fast, and not have ridiculous hardware requirements. Also by making it incompatible with old software/hardware drivers microsoft have (temporarily) lost the advantage they had with previous versions of windows. Its the software that sells the operating system, for some unknown reason microsoft broke their lock in with vista, which is why people are looking at Linux/macs.

  90. Anonymous Coward

    redmond. start your photocopiers!

    isn't this all part of the traditional pattern for microsoft?

    * with huge fanfare, microsoft apologise for previous crappy version of windoze and announce the latest, greatest, newest version

    * new OS runs like shite and everyone hates it

    * millions of self-hating windoze drones buy it anyway and then spend the rest of the year complaining about it.

    * microsoft send a spy to apple's WWDC* and carefully note down anything new and innovative

    * microsoft apologise for current version of windoze but announce that - honestly! we mean it this time! - the next version will be really great and will feature the never-before-seen... '<insert something copied off apple>'

    * microsoft executives take cash from sales of the current release of windoze to the bank in a fleet of huge diamond-encrusted wheelbarrows, sniggering up their sleeves and shouting 'suckers!' at anyone they see using the OS.

    [wait a year or two. then repeat]

    the only mistake microsoft made this time was having their press conference a couple of weeks before apple's WWDC. hence the 'unusual reticence' in announcing what was going to be in windoze 7 - apple hadn't thought of it for them yet!

    [* WWDC = world-wide developers conference]

  91. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "[I] use XP on a daily basis, which isn't any better or worse than Vista"

    Precisely, this is why I'm sticking to XP for now. It works and does what I need it to.

    It ain't broke, so I ain't fixing it (especially not at double the price for UK customers).

  92. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I have a laptop with Vista on it and to be honest I have no problems with it.

    I use FF2.whatever the latest one it asks me to install is rather than IE and other than that it is fine.

    Takes a few tens of seconds to present the desktop after I open it up (need to logon, no auto logon crap fro me, so add a few extra seconds for typing password) which is perfectly good.

    Never switch it off and only ever restart it when it makes me after an update. WHich isn't that often to be honest. It has never crashed or blue screened in the 8 months or so I have had it.

    My main desktop is XP and I must say I have absolutely no intention of upgrading to Vista, but when I replace the computer I am also unlikely to exercise the downgrade option. Might put XP in a VM if I need it for anything though.

  93. marc
    Gates Halo

    Vista Is Great!

    Linux can't even sleep properly without editing conf files... (something to do with my NVidia drivers) hardly good for laptop users.

    Ubuntu 8's Gnome crashed when I entered an incorrect WPA key on my wireless network (silly me). Yes the OS didnt crash, but I had to restart the window server, so it might as well had. Ubuntu also doesn't work with my soundcard. While I love Linux for development, as a home entertainment system, or mobile system - it's miles off.

    Vista on the other hand works with all my hardware, sleeps/resumes reliably and doesn't crash when i mistype a network key. Yes it's not perfect, but nor was Mac OS X 10, 10.1, or 10.2 (10.3 became usable). User Account Control and Windows Defender means if you have common sense, you can not bother with AntiVirus software (woo give me back that CPU cycles!)

    Don't get me started on Mac. Imagine if Microsoft charged users £100 to upgrade their browser or get the latest Java version- that's what Apple do. I'm still on 10.3 and it's out of date and useless (for a Java developer!). Windows XP (released prior to 10.3) on the other hand is still usable.

    Bottom line: Don't believe what you read in the press. Do a Google News search for Windows XP in 2000 - 2002 see how many negative articles you find, tons. Now everyone loves it!

  94. Steve Campbell
    Thumb Up

    I actually really, really like Vista

    I've used Vista Ultimate 32 bit since March 2007; got it on a new machine.

    I've had a wonderful experience with it so far, marred only by two things:

    1/. initial nVidia driver problems - long sorted

    2/. my propensity to 'I wonder what happens if I do/delete/alter that'

    When I first got my new machine I plugged in my HP DeskJet 990cxi and it installed automatically without me having to do anything further. I've had no hardware problems, period.

    Games? I'm not into FPS games but my RTS ones all run brilliantly, as do the simulators.

    Networking has been problem free.

    The Vista 'reliability monitor' proved interesting reading when I discovered it. It keeps a detailed log of all system hiccups; what I noticed was that 90% of problems were due to a few applications going postal - stand-up Firefox 2 in particular. Still love and primarily use Firefox but would like improved memory handling and the stability of IE7 on my machine. Looking forward to Firefox 3...

    I oversee several Vista installations and they're all successful.

    Yes, Vista is slower than I'm sure XP would be on my machine (overclocked E6700 Core 2 Duo with 3GB overclocked RAM) but that's why I bought a new machine. It would have been strange indeed for a new OS to come out 6 years after the previous one and it not demand greater resources. Doesn't bother me at all.

    Service Pack 1 was a breeze, on all installations. Reliability is A1 on these machines.

    Even the often attacked UAC (User Account Control) is actually pretty useful in stopping auto-click-happy-mania and after a relatively short while of using Vista hardly bothers you.

    I say all this because too many people have:

    1/. been too ready to blame MS for 3rd party application developers not getting robust drivers ready in time - despite having aeons of time. I'm reminded of an HP support guy telling me in 2001 that he didn't think HP would bother getting XP drivers ready for my recently purchased printer. 6 weeks it took them.

    2/. installed Vista on unsuitable hardware. MS could've made things clearer it's true, with all the Vista Capable & Vista Ready labelling confusion.

    3/. just been trolls who have wanted to diss MS because they love to hate MS. Corporations are corporations and none of them are 'goodies'.

    I use other OSes happily enough but really like Vista and want to add some balance too.


  95. Mark

    Re: The Vista Bashers

    Well personally I have a bad experience of Vista because I've used other OS's. Vista runs. It makes programs run and it uses the hardware to do so.

    So for those whose expectations are so low or have nothing else to compare it to, Vista works.

    If they could reinstall XP (even though XP speed went down considerably with SP1), they may see how bad on the same hardware Vista is ****in relation to other OSs***.

  96. Daniel Wilkie


    I run Vista on my desktop alone as a test for the office (bought a new PC, Vista was pre-installed, orders from above that we'll be moving to it anyway within a year so I figured a test was a good plan).

    Out of the box, it ran like a sack of crap. Took ages to boot, ages to log into the network and indeed do anything network related. Applied every update that was available, improved things dramatically though network performance was still painful. Then I did some tweaking with some things I'd found on the net, disabling the global autotuning. It was perfect after that. Applied SP1, slow network performance, it had changed the setting back.

    I must admit that, on this new £300 dell (2.8GHz Dual Core) I find I have no problems with it at all other than the odd IE lockup which I'm still trying to resolve. Certainly not all the issues everyone else has been having.

    I guess the key would seem to be that it depends very much on setup, infrastructure, programs that are installed etc. I mean everyone here will be running different setups - it might well work faultlessly out the box for some people, others like me it'll work with a little tuning, and for some people it clearly doesn't work at all.

    I think what I'm trying to say is don't assume because something isn't working for you that it must be broken for everyone and anyone who says otherwise is lying/working for MS. I mean I'm not sat here saying it doesn't work for you because you're a numpty am I? ;)

  97. Stan Pons

    Multi-touch Technology

    I find the "Multi-touch" technology amusing. I guess this mean I have to buy a new touch screen monitor to run windoz 7.

    I am sure large (and small) companies are going to rush out and buy new monitors for their computer users. Please note the sarcasm in my comment.

    One other thing, it is bad enough when I have to clean my mouse after my kids use the computer. Imagine how my brand new touch screen monitor will look after a few months.

  98. Doug Lynn

    Vista SP1 is a great improvement!

    Hi, yes Vista was not great when first released, but when I got Vista SP1 it worked much better and it was faster. I also got the beta of Windows Search. There are still some strange slowdowns but it occurs rarely now instead of often. This opionion comes from a computer geek/reseller who goes back to CP/M, DOS, Windows 286, Windows 3.1, Windows 95, 98, 2000, ME, XP with 30 years of computer ownership. I am happy with Vista SP1 now. Windows XP SP3 installed fine too on my old laptop. If you read about the whiners yes you will get a negative feeling but what's worse is the Linux geeks jump in to bash Windows. Nothing wrong with Linux, but its still not for desktops but servers. And forget gaming on it, most games are Windows based.

  99. Liam

    @ James Butler

    "If all you're interested in is games, then get a game system and leave comments about computers to those of us who know what they are supposed to be used for. As evidence of your ignorance, I point out that games function on the platform for which they are written. That has nothing to do with the OS and everything to do with the developers.

    Get a PlayStation or, hell, even an XBox. You'll be happier and seem smarter"

    wow, well done... 2 paras and makes you sound like a really condescending twat...

    1) if it wasnt for pc gaming PCs would be a damn site slower than they are now, gaming on pcs has single handedly increased PC power over the years due to driving for a 'real' experience. if we all relied on you linux geeks who would prefer to sit in a terminal window all day we would still be back inthe days of DOS etc... the fact that PCs do more than just geek stuff is the reason why most homes have a pc of some variety now.

    also many people do not want a bare bones system that can just access a dos prompt. we need things like media players, indexing service (that the apple people think rocks on their platform - its surely the fastest way to find files on your PC - even though desktop search is very limited imho) etc...

    now, i wont use vista here at work (im in charge of IT here and XP is fine for business use) but for home its seems ok, we have one contractor that uses it here 2 days a week and its a nice environment to work in, albeit the confirmation msgs are a pain but they can be turned off... i have also seen people buying vista laptops that are far from capable of running vista - i think this is where a lot of the problems come from. the ex bought one and the spec would barely run XP well (512 ram etc... some shared to the video card) - even though it was 'vista capable'

    linux still isnt a viable alternative for everyone... gimp seems good if you have never used photoshop or are a pretty basic designer - but its like comparing a ferrari to volvo. people do not want all this WINE and mucking about to get games working... they arent interested in open source - they want the same OS/office suite that their mates have and they use at work - as it makes things easier for them. remember that the vasy majority of none-IT people do not want to spend ages messing around with their PCs - they just want to do basic tasks.

    quick story for you linux people:

    contactor came in a few weeks ago moaning that he cannot buy a laptop without xp/vista on. he said to the manager at dixons (more money than sense i know) that he was going to stick ubuntu on it. they refused to sell it as if he did they would not support it and it would invalidate the warantee. he then contacted linux format to moan about this - to which they replied that linux has been well known in the past to kill hardware due to dodgy drivers...

    odd eh?

    mines the fireproof one :)

  100. Steven Hunter
    Gates Halo

    Is it just me...

    Is it just me or did Microsoft just vaporware themselves?

  101. Craig


    'Have you ever considered the possibility that - when soooo many people are of the same opinion - rather than everyone else being a moron out to slate your OS of choice, perhaps you're one of the lucky ones?'

    Have you ever thought that the majority off people will post only when there hacked off with something. If I have a crap meal I tell more people about that than the when I have a good one.

    I'm no MS lover and Vista is not the answer to all our wishes but its not that bad either. I would bet my life on the fact the majority of people flaming it havnt even used it.

  102. Anonymous Coward

    Irrelevant irrelevant irrelevant

    This comment block is why techies get no respect. We shouldn't be arguing about who has betrayed the Church of UNIX and installed vista (the horror!) or whether vista is rubbish. Let's focus on the real issue which is: can Microsoft make money on Vista, sufficient to recoup the massive development costs? They are a business after all and that's all that counts. And if not, why not?

    I believe that they have 18 months to find out. 9 months to produce the next service pack and 9 months to watch adoption. Reasons below.

    1. Quality. Like all OSes, it's had it's problems. Let's assume that after SP2 it'll be "good enough", like all versions of NT to date. If this is the only issue, expect to see a big uptick in corporate licensing in a year or so. The file copying issue alone will have scared a lot of them.

    2. Hardware support. Microsoft messed up here. They failed to get the hardware/ driver community to keep up by stabilizing the driver interface early and giving them time to write solid drivers. Another nasty problem was the vista support logo program, which confuses the hell out of consumers. Joe Average goes into Best Buy, sees something that says "Vista Capable", finds out the hard way that that doesn't mean it actually runs with Vista, and tells all his friends that Vista sucks. Ouch. Microsoft need to flush these out quickly and end the 'capable' program. It either runs natively in Vista, runs with a IHV-supplied Vista driver, or doesn't run at all. No gray areas.

    3. Marketing. MS tried to segment the market by offering different versions of Vista. A decision that probably sounded great in the marketing research department but falls flat in the cold light of the retail store. When you are looking at four different boxes, all costing a few hundred bucks and with no meaningful information on the back, it's easy for the consumer to say "I think I'll stick with XP for a bit longer". I suggest they bail on all editions except Ultimate and cut the price a little. It also makes ISV life easier by having only one target to support.

    4. Corporate reluctance. This is more than quality. Enterprises are generally happy with XP; it's "well-understood", runs nicely on laptops etc and doesn't burn up cycles doing nothing. However I believe that there is a growing feeling within enterprises that Microsoft are changing their OSes to go after the consumer market at the expense of business customers. Hence all the work on interface design and not much work on bread and butter things like boot time (45s?? in 2008? and multitasking. MS need to knock some heads together here. Any IT person who read about tricks like ReadyBoost/ReadyDrive would have read between the lines: "Vista performance is going to be so bad that they're advising customers to set up caches". That issue should have been resolved and the message should not have been allowed to escape from Redmond.

  103. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Bad Start

    Saying vista was not a blunder is false. Mainly because they released the OS before Intel could put a chipset together that could manage aero and then stick vista capable stickers. This is how vista was born and consequently took off and immediately crashed and burned. This along with oems shipping many systems early on with 1 gig or less which surely upset their new owners. UAC and the huge slow network transfer bug that should never ever have made it to final release was completely, and totally inexcusable. Any kind of feasibility analysis and listening to beta tester concerns surly would have steered them clear of vista's weaknesses. But the huge differences in hardware requirements between XP and Vista with little or no gain in productivity and in most cases produced a system that actually reduced performance and productivity is why MS failed miserably with their business customers. We have not seen anything yet. Just wait when they end the life XP next month. That will no doubt be the dumbest, most catastrophic move that MS will ever make. Forcing vista on their business customers and the consequent issues and problems and additional resources that it will stress on them will surely turn many companies to other options. Things will get really bad for MS next month. I don't think they will do any more extensions for XP. MS ego will remain intact with market share will drop.

    With all the controversy with Vista why MS does not extend XP until windows seven is beyond me. Mainly ending the life of XP will affect their business customers and messing with that base is a really bad move. This could be the real turning point for MS dominance in the market.

  104. Anon Koward

    Vista bashing??

    I don't believe anyone has been Vista bashing per se, a lot of the comments are all around personal expriences with Vista so its a bit of an ezaggeration to say they have been "bashing".

    The simlpe facts remain Vista has not done as well as expected, MS are conducting some damage limitation to maintain integrity.

    Will MS topple over as most anti-MS fanboys want as a result of Vista no but it does allow a more competitve market for OS's which benefits me as the end user so I am happy!

    Vista/XP/Linux/Solarias shit even VMS used em all and all have good vs bad points. I just love seeing an OS will pretty colours...

  105. Mark


    So now you agree that people HAVE had a lot of problems with Vista? Good.

  106. Craig


    No I'm saying the people who wish for the return of green screens, command prompts, hand cranked petrol engines and have never used Vista are the ones complaining.

    Oh, and no need for caps, my eye sight is just fine :-)

  107. Eric Dennis
    Gates Horns

    Vista SE

    I bought a Compaq PC with Vista basic on it last November. I don't need any of the bloat ware that comes with any of the more expensive versions of the OS. Service Pack 1 still will not install. If I didn't have an XP laptop, I'd be up the creak without a paddle. I won't be rushing to get Windows Vista SE (Windows 7) when it is released. If it isn't more bare bones than Vista Basic, I won't touch it.

  108. Trevor Pott Gold badge





    TELNET [computer] [port]

    Command not found?

    Fair enough. Where's that XP CD...

    If the powers that be at Microsoft honestly believe that enabling things such as Aero, Windows Search, Turbo/Hyper/Super/Mega/Ultra/Monster Cache etc. by default, while leaving out fundamental tools such as Telnet from a default install on a business computer is a good idea, then they've gone 'round a bend I won't follow. I don't care what you put on your "home edition" operating systems, remember, those fools bought Windows ME. I've no sympathy for them. And while I agree that maintaining two separate dev streams (a-la NT/9.X) is insane...

    ...the defaults need to be changed. I install Windows Server 2008, and right off the bat, it flies. It's not perfect, a lot of "little things" that should be there...aren't, and I still want my 2K/XP explorer interface back, (WITH the damned up one level button,) but it's a far sight from a default vista install.

    The needs of those different tiers, Home, Business, "You're so stupid you thought ultimate would actually grant you something to justify the extra $200," are different. If your marketing droids feel that you absolutely HAVE TO slap a bunch of bling on to sell it to Johnny Dell Customer, fine.

    Make that business edition smooth, sleek, with all the tools and default settings a business user or power user would use, as well as the option to return the interface components of both the OS, and critical elements like Windows Explorer to that of previous versions, (read: XP,) and maybe, just maybe, we'll consider using Vista over XP.

    I've nothing against paying for the software I use. The thick of it is that if I'm to pay for software, it had better do what I want, rather than tell me to change my ways to match what some suit tells me I want.

  109. Mark
    Paris Hilton

    @Chris (re: Sigh)

    Please tell us who has harkened back to the days of the Green Screen and VT100/GT1003 terminals for I see not one.

    So were you complaining about NOBODY?

    Why then post it? I think maybe your eyes ARE failing.

  110. Greg

    @Craig: Redux

    Wanting to stay on an OS that works and can produce all the same flashy nonsense when necessary is hardly wishing to return to monochrome screens and dot matrix printers... Once again you seem willing to dismiss all those not engaging in NewThink as idiots.

  111. Anonymous Coward

    Vista works great!

    Vista Ultimate 64 works flawlessly on both laptop and dev system out of the box. It recognizes 8GB RAM perfectly -pagefile is turned off and dev box is amazingly fast. I neither have problems with games (UT, Guildwars) nor drivers problems (old CD/DVD burners, soundcard). Eclipse/Tomcat/VS2005/Oracle 10g/MSSQL 2005 the likes work without any problems.

    My girlfriend's laptop came with Vista. She is no techie but adapting to the new interfaces quite quickly from XP and the laptop runs without any hiccups. Now let's observe her productivity level when she is confined to using Linux...

    Bottom line: If you are happy with XP, by all means do not upgrade. If you want to stay with MAC or Linux or Ubuntu then move on your merry ways. I recommend keeping your criticism privately until you actually try the product and have a clue. Every new OS has its pros and cons. If you whine about the price then develop your own OS to see how far you go.

    nuff said!

  112. Craig


    I dont brand anyone as idiots, I also don't flame and chatise those who wih to voice their opinions as heritics.

  113. Slaine
    Thumb Up

    Re-Arrange "Windows 7"

    Actually, I try to refrain from windows bashing per say, preferring instead to M$ bash, being as it is they who are the slacktards who keep dredging up the unnecessary and unwanted "new and improved". Also, I am very much of the opinion that "if it ain't broke..." and thus still await the time when I will reluctantly drag my lazy carcass into service pack 3 for XP. (It took me some 4 years to finally move from Win98 to XP so I'm only being consistent).

    Suggestion: turn the "7" upside down...

    Anagram of [Windows L] is "slow wind". Hmmmmmm!

    It's almost an anagram of "Soiled Wank" too but I'd need a different icon for that.

  114. Mark

    Re: Witty

    However, you do intimate that anyone who disagrees with you are harkening back to the VT100 days, a position NOBODY BUT YOU have taken up.

    By mischaracterising the ideas of everyone who disagrees with you, you are calling them idiots (via strawman) and inviting flame (hence flamebaiting).

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