back to article Microsoft says ‘hasta la vista XP’ - well, kinda

Microsoft yesterday sent customers a letter reaffirming its plans to kill off Windows XP sales at the end of June and that system builders can continue to ship machines loaded with the OS until early 2009. That widely-known caveat has been viewed by many as a considerable insurance policy for the software giant, which has …


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  1. John Robson Silver badge


    "Windows 7 (which to us sounds increasingly like Vista, mark two) will land about 18 months from now."

    Yeah right...

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    windows 7

    So why not wait until windows 7, they might have made it work by then.

    Need a lemming icon for corporate lemming behaviour!

  3. Paul

    And Microsoft says...

    We got it it wrong again - never mind hey!

    No picture - 'cos you don't have one of Bill G or Steve B with a knob on their heads!

  4. Piers Meynell
    Gates Horns

    Vista a new WinME?

    Anyone with any experience of Windows Server 2008? (driver support etc?) Is it going to be the new PC powergamer platform?

    It runs DirectX 10 (the Vista carrot-stick) and without the Vista cruft (and unnecessary services have been disabled) apparently performs around 15% better too. Have MS created a new WinME-Windows2000 split, where those whom are most likely to upgrade (chasing the latest game features/performance) are going to avoid the OS MS has invested so much attention in and skip it in favour of what feels more like the successor to XP?

  5. Terry
    Gates Horns

    What's the point?

    I still don't get it. The press seems completely obsessed now with windows 7. But it seems obvious to me that the problem with Vista is the new architecture and corresponding code base. SO... if windows 7 is just Vista piled higher and deeper (w7 PHD) the underlying problems remain.

    The part that has been utterly lost in all the chatter is that when Bill announced M$ was spending X billions to make windows more secure people thought he meant against viruses. CLEARLY he meant the DRM that makes Vista UNUSABLE for more than solitare. Repackaging a pile of crap does not cause it's molecules to recombine into something other than a pile of crap.

    Finally, software has a VERY short lifespan - yes you can fix some bugs and make it better. But just as M$ inferred with dropping the XP code base, there comes a very finite point where you maintain it to death. W7 may be that to Vista. Of course given that Vista had an unusable, unmaintainable architecture to begin with, perhaps that isn't significant.

    What M$ should do, is acknowledge that people don't want M$ to control the universe, they want to spend money for a device that works for THEM, not back door's M$'s takeover of recorded entertainment. Go back to the XP driver model, and rip out the DRM. Then you can put aero on THAT OS and have ..... Hmmm..... Linux/KDE with better drivers that will run Photoshop. Scary, no?

  6. Joe K

    "The Vista Experience"

    Thats MS's problem, they view Vista as new "experience", when all anyone really gives a toss about is browing the web, playing solitaire, and viewing porn.

    XP can do all that fine matey, and without paying through the nose for the bonus of frosted window bars.

  7. Ian Ferguson

    What qualifies for XP?

    I wonder what resellers can get away with? I'd like to buy a 10gb hard disk on sale, pre-loaded with XP, and bundled with the installation disk, pur-lease. It's for a new system...?

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    What a shame...

    I just got "Investigate Free / Open-Source Software Alternatives for Industry Leader Applications and Operating Systems" as a Performance Management target. This means that I get to dick about with Linux and at home AND BE WORKING AT THE SAME TIME.

    So long, Microsoft!

  9. Tom
    Paris Hilton

    Business speak translation

    "It has been a year of exciting and critical progress"


    "Holy crap we actually sold some of this junk, and barely managed to get it limping... hit me up with another shot o that whiskey boy-o!"

  10. Robert Moist

    Name Change Game

    "He said that because of Vista’s incompatibility blunders, company execs, having undergone some deep and meaningfuls, decided with Windows 7 “to build off the same core architecture as Windows Vista"

    Translation: Windows 7 is Vista Service Pack 2

  11. Rob

    Windows 7 to land 18 months from now...?

    "Windows 7 (which to us sounds increasingly like Vista, mark two) will land about 18 months from now."

    Well given M$'s track record on time estimates, I won't be holding by breath. Or be expecting them to actually resolve any fundamental design issues that have existed since NT4.

    I'm sure the new GUI will look lovely though.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Waiting for Shell

    They're going to upgrade from Win2000 to Vista next year. That's going to be a disaster. They already have their machines hardly usable because of all "network monitoring and optimizing" crud. I mean dual core centrinos with like 2GB memory, on Win2000. Booting up takes already 2-5 minutes. I would like to see how Vista is going to perform with all this crudware. Accepting that they have all those thousands employees it will burn a small hole in Internet when they start complaining. I wonder if MSFT prepares special version for them just to stop all those employees badmouthing them?

    Anonymous because of obvious reasons...

  13. Steve Mann

    Dear God

    Windows 7 will build on Vista?

    Using a graph I drew based on each MS O/S "minimum requirement" I have to ask:

    Is there that much RAM in the known universe?

  14. Wolf

    Cut the crap

    Ok, time for all the "Vista sucks" brigade to sit down and shut up.

    I can buy a Vista Business machine that runs Aero (and runs it *well*) for $399. In fact I've already bought 2 of them to supplement the fleet of 9 others that cost $499.

    I can buy nicely spec'ed Vista business machine for $499 (2GB, dual layer DVD, 250GB HD, dual P4's).

    If you want a new computer, it's Vista. If you have XP, then keep XP. Where's the pain? Unless the EU's VAT tax drives the price of a new computer into the stratosphere there's simply no excuse.

    For the (very few) programs that won't run Vista keep them on XP for now and hammer the vendor to get their act together. All our other software simply runs. No muss, no fuss.

    Been using Vista for over a year now, it works, it's stable, it runs fast on new hardware (that's super cheap). We have one archaic app that needs a vendor-specific hardware card that doesn't have a Vista driver. Other than that, no issues.

    Even my SP35 badge printer now has a Vista driver!

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Our boss announced to us some months back "Vista is the best operating system Microsoft have ever produced". Since then most people have left.

  16. Andy Taylor

    With Extended Support

    you just pay lots of money to M$ to be told when you have a problem that the only fix is to upgrade. More than useless really.

  17. Matt

    Will someone please think..

    For god's sake, will someone just think of the children....!

  18. Highlander

    You know, a smart company might do this....

    If Microsoft were a smart company (I said *IF*), they might adopt the Linux kernel as the basis for their new OS and then port their proprietary user interface onto that new kernel. They could bring their virtualization to the party to enable legacy Windows applications. If they really want to do something about system security they could use that virtualization tech of theirs to run all applications inside a virtual PC and build a framework around that to trap malware activity.

    Now, I did say *if* they were a smart company.

    What I expect them to do is try to pull off some kind of bait and switch with Windows 7 which is supposed to solve all sorts of Vista ill-will. The interface will be tweaked, but in 18 months no one will mind the hardware requirements of Aero, so no problems there eh? The basic OS will be polished to make the annoying DRM and broken, pointless and yet highly intrusive system security will have a new veneer of usability and impression of capability - without actually being any different under the wrapper. However it will have been so long since XP arrived, and it won't be Vista (which will quickly be dismissed as a mistake once Win 7 arrives). So reviews will be guardedly positive and consumers will leap for it hoping that it's "Better Than Vista"(TM).

    I really would like to see Microsoft put the talents it has into building a top flight Linux based desktop OS. They do save some really talented designers and software engineers, not to mention a massive pool of talented programmers. Ain't gonna happen though.

  19. Paul Ashbrook

    Re: "What a shame"

    Welcome to the club! Have a great time with your Performance Management target. Make sure that you get a cut of the savings from not paying license fees/buying higher-spec kit just so you can see 3D windows.

    Did I really read this right?? Buy Vista (if you must), then buy XP, so you can downgrade your own kit??

  20. Kurt Guntheroth

    next OS?

    So, wonder why we're not hearing anything about the *next* O/S release from Microsoft (yes, this is irony). We are all supposed to forget that what was going to make Longhorn special was big improvements like the filesystem-is-a-database. Did that have to be abandoned altogether (like because it was too slow), or is it still cooking away unnoticed in some lab waiting to cruelly unhorse linux in the big O/S joust.

  21. Nick Ryan Silver badge


    "He said that because of Vista’s incompatibility blunders, company execs, having undergone some deep and meaningfuls, decided with Windows 7 “to build off the same core architecture as Windows Vista so the investments you and our partners have made in Windows Vista will continue to pay off with Windows 7. Our goal is to ensure the migration process from Windows Vista to Windows 7 is straightforward.” "


    "Our customers realised that Vista is a pile of bloated, over priced crap that extraordinarily requires more system resources to do less than ever before and therefore refused or dragged their heels in a very unsheep-like manner.

    As a result all of our departments have been instructed to leverage our monopoly to ensure that everything we produce from now on will inexplicably and improbably "require" Windows Vista. You will upgrade. You will pay more for it. You will come back for more again next time."

  22. Steve

    Thank god

    Anyone that has used Vista in an enterprise environment will be glad to hear XP slowly being outed. XP was a fantastic OS (well, from SP2 onwards) and Vista is just an upgrade on that. Did have high hardware spec's and louzy drivers but you can't buy a PC that won't run Vista OK on todays market and driver support is infinately better than XP.

    That in mind - what is so bad about Vista? On a new PC with no OEM crap installed there is nothing worse in Vista than XP - but there's a lot better and a lot of new stuff too. (UAC, IE7+, DX10, BitLocker, Instant Search, ImageX, new GPO's, new GUI, better driver support, mobility centre, numberous security improvements, etc.)

    Between the better driver support, much better security and new management features I stand by what I've always said about Vista.... It's not worth buying new hardware for, nor is it worth going out and paying money for the licences - but there is more than enough new stuff in it to make it worthwhile if getting it through Software Assurance (e.g. free) and/or you already have the hardware to run it.

    You get it on OEM in the last year / in the future then it'll work fine and be better than XP - plus it hasn't cost you. You get it through Software Assurance then it's worth rolling out to your desktops/laptops that have a good enough spec. Cost you nothing financially and the management/support/security improvements easily outweigh the minor effort of deployment. (Which again is better than XP using RIS/WDS via ImageX)

    Goodbye XP - we had some good times together; but I need more security and drivers, better management and I need a more user friendly UI. I'm leaving you for Vista. I'm sorry.

    So long, and Farewell

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    RE: then pay yet more to downgrade it to XP

    In the article you say "So, from July onwards, anyone who wants the old OS will have to first buy versions of Vista then pay yet more to downgrade it to XP."

    Yet, as far as I can see, there is no additional charge to downgrade. What am I missing?

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Still Not Convinced that they are on a Looser

    MS seem to really have a problem understanding that Vista just is not good enough for the "common" user with the average machine.

    In this day and age of high speed connections/fast downloads, no one in their right mind is going to go for an OS which is so sluggish when calling up information from within as well as the constant nag of Admin rights etc, etc.

    In my opinion, XP is superb (with a bit of time playing around with some free tweaks from various sites).

    With or without MS support, XP will be with us for a long time and if MS wish to retain customers then they need to come up with something better and faster - before someone else does.

    Paris - because even she could tell you what works for her and what does not.

  25. Simon Aspinall


    And never will be.

    Open Source = No Control, pure and simple. Each group/person , only concerned with their little bit of code to do something.

    The saying too many cooks spoil the broth is very rellevant to open source.

    Could you really imagine your Gran running a linux machine. causes my blood to run cold.


  26. Seanie Ryan
    Jobs Halo

    windows 7???

    ok... trying to figure it out

    windows 3.1

    windows 95 = 4

    windows 98 = 4.5 (?maybe)

    Windows 2000 = 5

    Windows ME = 5.5 -ish

    Windows XP = 6

    Windows Vista = 7

    Windows 7 = ?? Vista reboxed?

    I remember when I first booted Win2k and the message on screen said "Built on NT Technology". laughed myself silly. 'Drive our new car, its built on the chasis of one 5 years ago'

    Why the hell are they admitting Win7 is built on Vista? If I was the PR guy, i would be putting as much distance between 7 and Vista as possible. Lie for gods sake if needs be.

  27. Chris

    RE: Deluded

    Our boss announced to us some months back "Vista is the best operating system Microsoft have ever produced".

    Damning with faint praise.

    Mine's the one with the Shakespeare First Folio in the pocket...

  28. Anonymous Coward

    Hardware not capable

    I recently bought an ACER 5150 laptop for my girlfriend (Moderate spec but cheap and seemed reasonable for the light use its needed for), which came with Vista pre-installed.

    This thing sports a nice fast AMD Sempron processor, a gig of RAM and huge amount of disk space ... yet you have to go take a coffee break waiting for it to do ANYTHING. This is a brand new machine, not yet cluttered with all the stuff a well used machine ends up having installed. I have been through the services and stopped as many redundant processes as possible, but its made little difference. Presumably the next step is to add another gig of RAM, but upgrades for laptops are NOT cheap.

    VISTA is clearly NOT viable for some machines its being sold with. I am desperately seeking a copy of the orginal XP image that these machines were sold with until recently.

    I am holding off installing XP Home from CD (which I still have from her old decomissioned PC) because I've read that the XP drivers on the Acer site aren't all suitable for that machine, and there is no product recovery disk supplied with the machine in case I wanted to abandon the rebuild and reinstate Vista...

  29. Derek Brabrook

    My Gran does run Linux

    and she loves it, she says it's nicer looking than XP and simpler to use.... don't diss the silver surfers ;¬)

  30. Tawakalna
    Gates Horns

    so effing what?

    every sh*t Vista crapola that comes my way gets flattened back to XP so our stuff works. We don' need no steenkeen' Vista...

  31. James

    Windows 7 will sink unless they ditch DRM

    Let's face it, Vista performance is comparable to a dead dog with three broken legs. The DRM is the worst problem. There's plenty of other performance sapping and unnecessary crap but DRM's the killer. Literally and figuratively. I won't be upgrading Windows until DRM is out of the core. I'm philosophically and pragmatically against it. It shits on performance and it shits on the customer's rights to legally use their computer as they see fit without being automatically suspected of being a criminal.

    NB Microsoft: what customers *really* want is sleeker, faster and without constant security holes in. We don't want new for the sake of it.

  32. Mark
    Gates Horns

    Software lifespan

    "Finally, software has a VERY short lifespan - yes you can fix some bugs and make it better."

    Uh, no. There are still companies stuck on DOS applications from 20 years ago. There are X applications distributed today with linux that are 40 years old. And older.

    The only reason software has a very short lifespan is closed source.

    You can't copy it because it's copyrighted, even though the owner doesn't WANT any money from it.

    You can't update it for the new hardware/OS/hotness because you aren't given source code.

    You can't reuse any of it because even bits of it are (a) hidden (b) copyrighted.

    Software doesn't rot. It doesn't wear out.

    MS's big win was making people think it did.

  33. Anonymous Coward

    Grandparents and Linux

    I'm a grandfather and have no problems at all running Linux...

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Seanie Ryan

    If you ignore the 9x/ME series (since it was a completely different beast than the NT series anyway), you get:

    Windows NT 3.1

    Windows NT 3.5

    Windows NT 4.0

    Windows 2000 (NT 5.0)

    Windows XP (NT 5.1 - Try VER at a Command Prompt and you'll see...)

    Windows Vista (NT 6.0)

    Windows 7 (Probably NT 6.1 (-;)

  35. John


    "Could you really imagine your Gran running a linux machine. causes my blood to run cold."

    Simon, I have actually now got several older relatives using Ubuntu as their desktops brought on in part by me getting fed up of having to go around and continually fix problems for them, and secondly because all they want to do is browse the web, do some email and sometimes write letters. Ubuntu installs faster, is up running faster and simply breaks far far less (by an order of magnitude). In fact I have only once this year had to help any of them with one single problem so far. They universally all find Gnome a simpler and clearer desktop to use, so tell me, why is all this a bad thing ?

    I have preempted any problems by setting them up a Dyndns with an ability for me to login via ssh in the event of any issues, I am also able to double check they are doing the system updates correctly, all in all, a much better experience for them and me. More often than not if a problem did occur I will not have to pop around, and I just fix it from the comfort of my own desktop.

    Yes I like Linux, no I am not a fanboi, I also like Win XP, but a bit like anal fisting its just not for everyone. People should use whichever suits the situation and needs best, and frankly a surprising number of people would find Ubuntu (or many other desktop linux these days) a much easier desktop to maintain and install than XP than many realise.

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ Seanie Ryan

    ok... trying to figure it out

    windows 3.1

    windows 95 = 4

    windows 98 = 4.5 (?maybe)

    Windows 2000 = 5

    Windows ME = 5.5 -ish

    Windows XP = 6

    Windows Vista = 7

    Windows 7 = ?? Vista reboxed?


    XP was windows NT 5.1 (as it was what 2k should of been) and server 2003 is NT 5.2. Vista is NT6. They're all NT product numbers really and don't really factor in the 9x line.

  37. Andraž Levstik

    @Simon Aspinall

    Of course it's not... Linux is only the kernel... It can run other apps on top but it's only the

    kernel. Now a GNU+Linux system That would be the answer.

  38. Lager And Crisps
    Jobs Horns


    Most people I have come across hate Vista, they despise it with a passion. XP is nearly always the answer to their problems. Even my own mother dislikes Vista, and she is the most technology apathetic person I know.

    People by and large have dismissed Vista as nothing more than force-fed crapware. Any other company that has released such a reviled product would have got the message. But no, Microsoft wants us to bend over and suck it up again and again. Their customers want XP, but Microsoft know whats best don't they!

    I use Linux because it works, I use XP because of games. Vista kills all performance and resources on every machine I have. I don't like XP but it serves a purpose, Vista is just a Windows too far.

    Monopolies come and go, Microsoft has had it's day in the sun. They are not going anywhere and will become not unlike IBM. But by the time Windows 7 is released Microsoft will be saying how crap Vista is and to bend over and suck it up one more time.

    And to all those Microsoft apologists that defend their corporate masters no matter what...bend over...pull down your pants...clench those buttocks...Ballmer has needs too you know!

  39. borat

    @ Simon Aspinall

    "Could you really imagine your Gran running a linux machine. causes my blood to run cold."

    Could you imagine thousands of grannies (and other typically computer-illiterate users) running windows? Sadly you can, and they do. Consequently we have botnets with more collective bandwidth available than some countries and spam coming out of our arseholes - mainly because these people don't know how to secure their PC properly.

    For your typical granny linux is no worse an alternative than windows - all they need is a web browser, mail client and (possibly) a word processor. All of these come bundled with most mainstream linux distributions, for free, and they work well. Better still, they're significantly less likely to get malware/botnet shite all over their PC and end up in PC World in 12 months time because their PC is "too slow".

  40. Francis Boyle

    Oh the irony

    Nice to see you around here, Mr Ballmer.

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ Simon Aspinall

    I don't see my gran recompiling source code or haxxoring the neighbours' WiFi from the command line, no (not least because she died twenty years ago, but that's a different matter). However, in my experience of getting less computer-savvy relatives up and running with the browsing and email which they wanted to do, the only real difference is what the icon you double-click looks like.

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Vista is slow

    I have a stonking 2-core, 2.2Ghz machine with 2.5GB or RAM. Vista Business, with all that Aero cr*p turned off.

    I click on "open" in an app (any app). And wait.

    That is wrong.

    The machine has been in use for a few months, so it's had a load of stuff installed - just as any machine would.

    I am considering wasting the time installing XP on it, as I'll get the 6 hours back over the next month or to in not waiting for it to respond, or start up, or shut down.


  43. fon

    still confusion then...

    @Ian Ferguson:

    what do you mean 'get away with'??

    you can buy XP + SP2 for about £50..

    as said, the extended support policy runs to April 2014..

    so give them a ring as I did, they did not need me to buy anything else, just understand that it is for experienced users only...

    - activation was quick and simple, no need for telephone support..

    vista maniacs: yes, it IS possible to get it working lovely, even easier if the vendor has done it for you...

    - but then you load some DVD-util program(nero, realplayer, etc...), and find it has taken the 'associations' away for its use, and you cannot see where to restore WMP11 player functions...

    - the truth is, you cannot do this, it is locked!! attempts to 'upgrade or repair' wmp11 are met with "the player you want to use is older than that installed!" and you can go no further, until WMP12 ...

    @Paul Ashbrook: I think the point is, buy a pc with vista (it is cheaper, due to MS deals with the company!), then just reformat, install *your* OS... BUT make sure the company you buy it from has good OS support, in case of 'strange' components! :D

    @linux scaredy-cats: hey guys, its FREE!!! (as long as you agree to the open source stuff!! = for the simple guy at home that does mean no money given...)

    - if a Granma can do it, you can, other wise wimps can just send lots of cash to MS!!!!

  44. Khaptain Silver badge

    Enjoy the overall [Vista] experience. WTF

    Quote - want broader support for devices and applications in order to enjoy the overall [Vista] experience. EndQuote

    WTF is all this shit about "experience", I dont believe that business or even home users want an "exerience". I think I speak for many when I say that all I want is a fucking system that works without bloatware, crapware, drmware or any other kind of fuckware that MS wants to throw in.

    Aero, I could'nt give a shit about it [Bloatware]

    File copying [ DRM Ware]

    Security Popups [ Crap Ware]

    10 Gb just to get the damned thing installed with a minimum of updates [Jokeware]

    I can't see anything wonderfull about Vista for the moment. Advantage to the user = 0.

    C'mon MS start learning to streamline your OS. Incorporating DRM might keep the RIAA happy but they don't pay for you software, WE DO......... AND NO EVERYONE IS NOT A FUCKING PIRATE....... Some of us actually pay for our software so why dont we have the right to REMOVE the DRM crap that makes copying files a fucking nightmare........

    But then again the only way MS are going to move their asses and listen to people is when

    1 : the *NIX crowd manage to bring out a better interface, (Gnome and KDE look like kiddie script material) The Linux interfaces "feel" like crap...

    2 : Someone manages to create a MS Office clone ( Please do not mention Open Office, Star Office or any JAVA crap) bring back AmiPro all is forgiven.....

    How come 1.2 Billion Chinese can't seem to create a new system anyway ????

  45. marc
    Gates Halo

    Vista is actually faster than XP

    For me it runs faster on my dual boot system. While boot time is slightly longer, (mostly due to services not bothering to use the *new* delayed start-up API), everything else - program launching, context menus, task switching and sleep/hibernataion are MUCH faster than XP. Getting rid of unresponsive programs is also quicker.

    What is this "bloat" I keep hearing? What it uses your graphics card's memory to store off screen windows instead of repainting everything every time something changes.. like Mac OS X... oh yes that's very wasteful isn't it!

    The only thing I resent about Vista is the need for Anti Virus products. That's where the Mac and Linux users really can boast.

    So don't believe the media... oh go on then, believe everything you read and downgrade to XP :) Might as well vote Tory while you're at it too :p

  46. Herby

    Bundling problem in Windows

    The big problem with the various editions of Windows is that they are all bundled up. Smart systems (Linux is but one) have the kernel separate from the windowing system, separate from the applications. Microsoft (by design) doesn't do this, and we all pay for it. When they want to release something, they have to "do it all", and it has to "work". With so many interrelations there is bound to be some junk that doesn't work as planned, and the more interrelations the worse it gets. Fixes, fixes, and more fixes get stuck on a balloon with zillions of holes, and no matter how many band-aids you add, the holes are still there, leaking like a sieve.

    You see, Microsoft built this messy balloon, and now they have to live with it. The problem is that Vista is but ONE result.

    As silly as it sounds, Microsoft (and us) might have been better off if they accepted the Anti-trust ruling, and broke up the company. Too late for that!

  47. Peter

    @Hardware not capable

    First of all, a "cheap" Acer notebook will never perform properly. It will have a low-end chip, little RAM, and probably a slow disk that's not made by a good manufacturer (likely a Hitachi).

    Second, a Sempron is not a fast processor and 1GB of RAM is insufficient to properly run Vista. Realistically, that machine should not have been shipped with Vista.

    To run Vista (on an AMD notebook), it should have had a Turion processor and 2GB of RAM, and preferably not been made by Acer.

    As to your claim that upgrades for laptops are not cheap, actually, when it comes to RAM, they aren't any more expensive these days than for desktops (at least, not in North America at somewhere other than your local big-box store [e.g. Best Buy, Future Shop, etc...]).

    In addition, there is one performance eating element of Vista which you can't turn off... Indexing. This combined with memory paging due to the amount of RAM is probably why that machine is failing so hard.

    Honestly, this is my biggest grievance is that people can't be bothered to figure out what they need to properly run something, then gripe about it once they buy something underpowered and find that it's nto running it in the manner they expected.

  48. ratfox


    Completely agree with you. Why do people want to keep older systems anyway?

    On the same train of thought, starting of tomorrow, everybody in Great Britain will drive on the right side of the road. It will make it easier for car makers, because they will finally be able to make only cars with the driver on the left. Everything will be standard, which is of course better.

    Speaking of standards, the metric system will now be standard in US. Americans will just have to get used to kilometers, liters, kilograms and Celsius. And forget those dumb "US letter" and "US legal" paper format. From now on, it's the world standard A4 for you.

    How about plain realizing that Vista works DIFFERENTLY than XP, and people plain PREFER the way XP works? And that they see NO reason whatsoever to change their habits? And that it will cost MILLIONS to large companies to adapt their IT to Vista, because, yes, the applications they use do not work under Vista, and it is a nightmare to create a new version without having to upgrade every single computer they own?

    "From tomorrow, we will stop selling paper. If you want to write on anything, buy our brand new plastic sheet. Only new markers can write on them, if you have pencils and paper in your stock, you can use them until you run out."

  49. Steve

    Same old droning...

    Just thought I'd read the rest of the comments, and as much as I'd like to defend Vista from the hordes of Linux fans (not that there is anything wrong with Linux I'd like to add) - I can't see anything in the comments that actually point out a legitimate reason as to why Vista is so "bad"....

    For such a technically aware audience you don't half put yourself down with meanless comments.

    @ AV / Hardware not capable

    Um, a sempron? WTF?! I'd point to that being the issue, but If it's more than 2.0Ghz and a gig of RAM i'd guess it work work fine to be honest. Had a AMD Athlon @ 1.8Ghz and 512MB that worked alright as a media centre box. Let me guess... it was OEM....? Do yourself a favor and format the bloody thing. Will run twice as fast. Failing that use MSCONFIG to remove all the nasty startup guff.

    @ James

    Um, I can't say I have even seen a post on the net about Vista's "DRM" since before it's launch. There are two types of DRM in Vista. One is the same as XP (product activation which is your product code and a one-way checksum. Ohhh - scary!). The other type is the same that's in any HDMI compatible device. Can't say I know anyone who has had problems with it as it's not exactly taken off yet. Although If you really want to stay away from DRM I guess you won't be "renting" any movies, downloading anything from iTunes and will be staying away Blu-Ray as well....?

    @ Highlander

    I agree with your sentiments - but the Kernel is not the problem. In fact from 2000 upwards the NT kernel has been very, very stable. BSOD is pretty much a thing of the past. Without stats to hand, I'd guess you'll see as many kernel panics on Linux as you would on WinNT. MS really need to get the GUI sorted and add in some more innovation - but the kernel would be the last thing think I'd want to change.

    Everyone else - grow up. Vista was bloated 2 years ago when 512Mb RAM and dual core was top of the range. In todays market Vista will run fine of cheap hardware. It's stable, more secure than XP and requires less 3rd party guff to get going. The cost for Business compared to XP Pro is less per $/£ and there's an abundance of drivers for pretty much everything. Poor drivers, promising too much and high hardware spec's were all true at launch. But 2 years later it's a different story.

  50. Seanie Ryan

    numbers made the excel way

    "XP was windows NT 5.1 (as it was what 2k should of been) and server 2003 is NT 5.2. Vista is NT6. They're all NT product numbers really and don't really factor in the 9x line."

    Yeah, just like 20 comes after 12 if you dont factor in the all the teens !!!

  51. EnigmaForce

    @ Simon Aspinall


  52. Tom Chiverton Silver badge

    It's not that you can buy Vista-running machines

    It's not that you can buy Vista-running machines, ala "I can buy a Vista Business machine that runs Aero (and runs it *well*) for $399" it's that the same hardware will be much much faster if you run XP on it.

  53. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    The Best is yet to Come

    I attended the Windows XP launch in Austin, TX (even got a t-shirt) in which Bill Gates, via video, claimed that the Best is Yet to Come.

    Hmmm... so, does this mean that every version of Windows being shoved down our throats since Windows 1.0 is NOT the best?

    That what we are using is only a stop gap in eventually what will be the best?

    (which I am assuming that once the Best is shipped, then MS can no longer justify coming out with new OSs.)

    The icon... yeah Bill, you know what you are.

  54. Rune Moberg
    Gates Halo


    "There's plenty of other performance sapping and unnecessary crap but DRM's the killer."

    You haven't even installed it, yet you arrive at this tantalizing conclusion based on ...what? Are you a psychic?

    In a recent meeting with some other developers, a comment was made along the lines that Windows 7 would fix all Vista's problems. Which, as this article shows, just crud. Windows 7 is all about waiting for OEMs to play catchup with drivers. The Creative Labs of this world are still busy at work cranking out somewhat stable Vista drivers. Heck, some of them still struggle with XP... I'm not sure I am willing to blame MS for the current situation. After all, Vista didn't exactly ship ahead of schedule. Where were the OEMs?

  55. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Grand Pa and Linux

    Linux (any flavor) is not ready for prime time (in 2015 maybe?)

    Grand pa don't have problems with Linux because checking webmail can be done on easly jus ta about any hardware/OS. It does not make Linux more attractive(or easier to use)

    Vista suffer from a very negative image. But like most other OS (especially CrapOS X) when a big update come along a lot of stuff get broken.

    Install Vista on your 5 years old computer and you get what your deserve for been so stupid.

    On a recent hardware Vista Run great and is stable. but no, it won't play win98 games nor Print Shop 1997. or any other software from the last century.

    All this said, it is no excuse for all the ILLEGAL DRM that infest vista. But it as once again been proved completly useless:

    1. Vista is as easy to pirate as previous MS OS

    2. DRM for media (for down vista by crimnal organisation such as the MPAA/RIAA) is also useless. As BluRay disk can be viewed on vista at full 1080p with ANY Digital Display, you can also rip Bluray as easy as a DVD. In short: HDCP is cracked and so is BluRay encryptions,and no DRM in vista actually work to prevent you from doing that.

    I just hope that MS learn its lesson (as if) and will remove all illegal DRM (DRM by its very nature is illegal in most country). This should give vista (AKA: windows 7) a bit more pep.

  56. Doug Glass
    Thumb Up

    Scientific Terms

    There's a term for the progression of Microsoft released products: BOHICA. That's pronounce, Bow (rhymes with "go") - Hick - Uh.

    "Bend Over Here It Comes Again"

    Get use to it people, buy a giant jar of petroleum jelly, take notes and learn to love it. Until such time as somebody's OS actually competes with M$'s 85% world-wide market share, this scenario will be repeated every time MS comes out with a major product revision.

  57. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I have vista ultimate 64 bit & 4gigs ram and i cant say ive noticed any "performance issues", it was however annoying to have to ring a (nice) man in india in order to re-activate it because i had the gall to take my graphics card out AND THEN PUT THE SAME CARD BACK IN! when changing the cpu fan for a better one.

  58. Dave


    "Windows 7 (which to us sounds increasingly like Vista, mark two) will land about 18 months from now."

    Define 'now'.

    Mine's the one that hasn't arrived yet.

  59. Andy Bright

    I think not

    "our customers have made it clear to us that they want broader support for devices and applications in order to enjoy the overall [Vista] experience".

    Actually what we want an OS that isn't shite. The fact it's crap with hardware is just another problem in a long list of problems, which range from the incredibly annoying (file copying taking upwards of ten times as long as any other OS) to the dangerous (security software fucked over by a so-called service pack).

    You throw in not being able to do anything without confirming it at least twice, a completely unintuitive user interface, the gob smacking (even for Windows) resource requirements to run just the OS, and as noted, diabolical hardware support - no amount of shiny objects will make my organisation adopt Vista. We'll stick with XP even if the patches stop, because at least we can still run anti-malware applications. My organisation has over 15,000 users - and not a single one will have Vista installed on their PC or laptop, I guarantee it.

    My own feeling is if they don't go back to the drawing board and start over from scratch, Linux and Apple OSX become realistic propositions. There is fast coming a point where the hardware requirements of Windows are so steep, even a Mac seems like good value in comparison. That's just astonishing given how badly Mac owners are ripped off by Apple.

    Remember, this is just the OS. We're not even talking about running an application yet and the machine is too slow with over double the memory and 3 times the processing power needed to run XP efficiently.

    They said that the hardware requirements for Windows 7 won't be much higher than Vista! My attitude is if you run Vista and a single application on a 64-bit, dual core processor with over a gigabyte of ram - and you actually have to wait any time at all when switching back to the desktop, it's complete and utter shite. A fucking Amiga could do it instantly with a 16-bit, 7Mhz processor, 1/2 A MEGABYTE of memory and NO fucking hard drive at all. Tell me that something isn't wrong when you need 2 gigabytes of ram just to run the OS and you're an idiot. Remember, no actual applications, just the bloody OS. You haven't even started work yet, you've just booted some kind of retarded OS.

    Well like I said, at those requirements even a Mac seems good value in comparison, and if Linux had applications beyond word processing and spreadsheets, we'd already be using it.

  60. C


    That means your question must be along the lines of :

    "What's the most bloated, clumsy, buggiest, slowest POS Operating System I can find, with the worst hardware compatibility, at least 2 back doors, sh*t tonnes of DRM, and phones home a hundred times a day?"

    If your question is "What OS can I use that doesn't get in my way or dictate what I have to BUY next, and just plain works?" Then the answer is going to be either Linux or a Mac.

    BTW people if you are looking for drivers for XP so you can kick Vista out of your life, check out I keep a current set on a DVD-RW, unpacked, and when I find a machine that needs drivers (for absolutely anything) I pop in the DVD and let XP or 2000 'automatically' search for drivers. I'm starting to think the temperature in Satan's fireplace is headed south of 32 F, because it WORKS!

  61. Anonymous Coward

    Microsoft will eventually see the light

    when the game companies pushing the tech curve all go bankrupt because they demand DirectX 10, and people refuse to get Vista - like me. My XP system's been stable ever since I built it, and having worked with Vista personally - it refused to even install Apache Web Server on a laptop, and ACK'ed and died on PHP code - I refuse to install the beast on my rigs.

    As a diehard gamer, I refuse to upgrade until I get a usable OS. Period. Electronic Arts, Ubisoft and all the rest can go belly-up and die for all I care. Maybe then Microsquash will listen to their user base. If my mom had the problems I had with Vista, she'd take the entire computer back to the store she bought it from and demand her money back, and rightfully so.

    Once the game companies go belly-up, the sales of computers will die off as the hardcore gamers have no reason to upgrade/replace their rigs. Once Intel, ASUS, etc. feel the pinch, they'll bite Microsoft's ass and whip them back into line. One company can screw up the entire hardware/software market at this point, and Microsoft is playing the idiot spoiler to the hilt right now by forcing Vista on their users.

    To MS: Give up on Vista and write a new OS! Do it RIGHT this time!!! I don't care how much money you wasted on Vista, you won't get my money unless the new OS is 100% backwards-compatible and performs at AT LEAST the same speed as the previous OS! I'm sick of this stupid, insipid debate! XP has IPv6 enabled, so I have Internet for the next 50 years - I have Microsoft Office for XP, so I have all the office apps I need - I can buy game consoles instead of PCs, so I don't need DX10! I can always build blank computers and install Linux if I need to! If you can't do this next OS right, then you can go bankrupt and go to hell!

  62. This post has been deleted by its author

  63. Daniel B.

    @ Simon Aspinall

    "Could you really imagine your Gran running a linux machine. causes my blood to run cold."

    Windows is not much better. I recently had to guide my ex-gf by phone on the initial Vista "setup". This is an OEM PC, which should have an easier method for end-users to get it up and running. She was baffled with the EULA screen ... imagine what kind of nightmare it was to walk her through the rest of the process.

    Ubuntu's setup (and some other Linux distros like Fedora) are now comparably easier than the standard XP/Vista install, don't confuse end-users with EULA stuff, and don't ask weird questions that the Average Joe is not familiar with.

    My aforementioned friend took 7 DAYS to finally get the damn thing working, as I was the only computer-literate person in her circle of friends.

    As someone else mentioned, Vista seems to be the new winME; remember back when win2000 was supposed to be "business only"??? I distinctly remember that DirectX was stated to be win2000-incompatible, and that it would be "never, ever released for win2000". Except someone hacked DirectX into win2000, and the masses ditched winME in favor of win2000. Then M$ changed its stance and gave us DirectX for win2000 thru the official channels.

    At least they didn't shoot themselves in the foot, as windows server 2008 does support DirectX by default. Though I'd wonder if M$ really wants us to jump from "NT workstation" to "NT Server" as a main platform??? Looks more like a genuine cock-up this time.

  64. Martin Usher

    I finally did it!

    I can't run Vista & I don't want to buy a new computer so what am I to do?

    Load up Greasy Gerbil (or whatever its called)(OK, Ubuntu 7.10). Things it does well:-

    -- Much faster boot up time

    -- Boring browsing and mail experience (not bothered by viruses and Trojans)

    -- Really simple package installs and updates

    -- Printing works really well (a surprise, I'd expected the worst but it actually works better than Windows)

    -- It handles removable drives way better than older versions of Windows (seems to be a lot less hassle burning media as well)

    Things it doesn't do so well are one or two packages that are Windows only (haven't tried the emulation packages yet) and you need to go to console for some esoteric stuff.

    Linux works just fine for day to day work for me. Can't imagine what took me so long to finally switch. Its just like a Mac with slightly less eye candy. Now tell me again -- what's MSFT got that is so compelling? Its starting to look like license management and DRM, that's about it. Hardly worth clagging up the computer for, especially as there's nothing really I need that justifies that type of stuff.

  65. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Some facts

    Vi$ta business and vi$ta ultimate come with UPGRADE rights to XP Pro. you don't have to pay scumbag (M$) extra to use the prefered OS.

    For every 100 copies of XP we sell, we sell only 1 or 2 copies of vi$ta.

    Nobody wants it.

    It is absolutely clear that M$ vi$ta sales numbers are made up purely from the sales to the badge box mfg's... lets face it, M$ sells it to the Hp's and Dells etc for the equivilent of about $2.50 a copy so of course they're going to be complaint and do as they're told no matter what....

    Paris... cause even the dumb blond would be so stupid as to install vi$ta....

  66. jim


    We need an asteroid impact to kill off this dinosaur.

  67. Alan W. Rateliff, II
    Paris Hilton

    18 months? Not with DoJ at the helm...

    With the DoJ overseeing the development of Windows 7, we will be lucky to see it in 18 years.

    Paris, because even she is faster than government oversight and bureaucracy.

  68. Anonymous Coward
    IT Angle

    HP to discontinue their entire line of workstations?

    HP currently offers five lines of workstation computers: the XW4550, XW4600, XW6600, XW8600 and the XW9400. These dual server processor number crunchers are a staple in CAD, GIS, engineering and server software development environments among others.

    Not one of these is available with Vista on it. The closest match is "Vista pre-downgraded to XP" which is a bit of a lie since you can't get the things with Vista on them at all. What will HP do? Will they abandon the lucrative high-end workstation market entirely? Will they get Vista to run properly on these (8 core 64GB RAM RAID array supporting) machines? Will they balk and continue to offer XP on them, even with a fictional Vista license? What's the liability there -- selling a computer bundled with a license to an OS that won't run properly on it?

    Presumably the issue is that "The following components are not yet supported on Microsoft Vista Business and HP Workstations; ATI graphics, 1394b cards, dual graphics configurations, Creative SoundBlaster X-fi, RAID 5 10 or data array, memory riser." Really? It's been almost two years now since Vista launched, and HP _had_ to have some advance time as well. To not support these things implies either they're not trying or Vista is really, really bad.

  69. John Bailey

    What kicks Vista in the fork for most?

    Basically.. hardware.

    It doesn't really matter if you can get a little business powerhouse for £399. It is still a dual core 2 gig machine with a hard drive in the hundreds of gig. Great for an enthusiast, or someone who is going to take advantage of that, but for the average person in the street.. It is an insane amount of power. The computer equivalent of a 4X4 to do the school run in London.

    A recent refurbished model on the other hand, will do all they need for a fraction of the price, and an old model with a copy of Linux slapped on it would do even better.

  70. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    moderate spec girlfriend

    quote AC: "I recently bought an ACER 5150 laptop for my girlfriend (Moderate spec but cheap and seemed reasonable for the light use its needed for),"

    Where can I get me one of those?

    PH because she seems reasonable for light use, but is cheap in only some ways.

  71. Anonymous Coward

    @ Simon Aspinall

    What rock have you been hiding under? Been dipping a bit too heavily in the microsoft FUD bucket, have you? Any user with casual needs (browsing, email, media player and the like) will be far better served by a Linux box than by anything microsoft has to offer. Lower hardware requirements, no extortionous "licensing fees" and none of that insidious DRM crud that prevents you from using your own media that you've legally acquired.

    Obviously you've been so brainwashed by ms-speak that you won't even try a modern Linux distro. If you'd done so, you'd know better.

  72. Robert Harrison

    Small business

    I can see absolutely no genuine reason for SMEs to upgrade their relatively small networks to a Vista install set. All I can see is downtime and pain. Especially if the established company network is predominately used for email, sharing office files and a limited set of financial applications and that is all it is likely to be used for in the next 10 years.

    The established network is secured, it works, it gets security updates as necessary, why forcibly change it. No I'm not a luddite, just trying to alleviate the problem of IT and software development often being viewed as a cost centre. 'If it ain't broke don't fix it' is the mantra. How do you justify the expense of this particular upgrade:

    - Re-training needed for server admin and users at the desktop.

    - Possible hardware upgrades for existing XP-based stock - to meet Vista requirements.

    And the benefits to the company (productivity?, security?):

    - ?

    Operating systems and Office software have levelled off in the last few years. There was massive benefit to moving from Win95/98 to Windows 2000/XP (obviously again little benefit really in moving from 2000 to XP). Likewise with MS Office.

    At the most I could understand that kitting out a new office might standardise on Vista. But what about established sites?

  73. fajensen

    Vista STILL fragments the disk(s) .....

    The problem with Vista is that does exactly *nothing* that I need better than XP currently does; It is merely a "please send more money" request from Microsoft.

    It still *#¤%& fragments - after 10 years and trillions of USD wasted on "development" - Vista is simply Windows XP ME!

    At least Toshiba sells lapdogs with an XP downgrade option - I just bought 3 of those to keep things ticking over (until WINE leaves the Dot.Zero twilight zone or maybe I buy Windows Server 2008). No way am I wasting dual-core centrinos with 3 GB RAM on DRM management.

  74. regadpellagru
    Jobs Horns

    Dear Kro,

    Dear Kro,

    I'm not buying any of your OS until all below conditions are met. I'll be running with the win98 licence you force-sold me years ago, propagated by some undisclosed magic, and yet morally acceptable to me, on the only OS that worked after this defective win98, aka XP pro, until then.

    1- no DRM whatsoever in your new OS. Anywhere

    2- new OS needs to have more features than XP

    3- new OS needs to run better on better HW than XP

    4- needs to be securely designed, not riddled with legal disclaimers like Vista ("are you sure ...")

    5- needs to have a browser, not a huge security hole like IE

    6- needs to be at least as stable as XP SP2 fresh after install

    7- needs to run all versions of directX since V7 (yeah, I have some games requiring this) and also opengl (yes, it's been used for games also).

    PS: I'm certainly not buying the actual failure to allow you to fund the next OS dev. Geez.

    @ Simon Aspinall: I'm doing an internet training for elderly people in my village, in august, at their request. Is gonna be done on Linux.

  75. Robin

    @Seanie Ryan

    "I remember when I first booted Win2k and the message on screen said "Built on NT Technology". laughed myself silly. 'Drive our new car, its built on the chasis of one 5 years ago'"

    Er, most new cars are probably built on chasis designed 5 years ago.

  76. Mark

    Title wrong

    Should it be:

    "Hasta Buy Vista, XP!"


  77. Hans

    XP? 2k ....

    I never get it, guyz .... we had the same in 2002.

    manager: We needa move from 2k to Xp.

    me: why?

    manager: It's faster, better ... guyz will be more productive, bla bla bla ....

    me: XP boots faster than 2k, but is hog slow with 2x the ram that 2k needs. Plus, we needa upgrade 2/3 of the computers .... you mad? Benefit: 15 seconds boot time, slow the rest of the day ...

    I left the company shortly after that. I still see NO reason to upgrade the 2k boxes that are running fine, browser here is firefox - ie7 would have been the only thing that misses in 2k. I do not work for Shell :-)

    Nobody is gonna tell me that xp is that much faster on core2duos than 2k.

    And Vista IS NOT faster than XP or 2k on that hardware!

    same bs again, complete bs.

    I wanna put solaris on those core2duos, solaris scales better with multiple cpu's/cores ...

  78. Tom
    Jobs Horns

    Thank GOD... mac zealots have waded in yet.

    If Windows 7 is actually 6.1, then lets hope they have refined it and optimised it to death. I can see them doing this specifically to target the new 'netbook' market. Why peddle XP to this crowd when they can peddle W7 for a larger license fee?

  79. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'd use Vista, if...

    They fixed DRM, got rid of that search thing, UAC, stopped it hanging, stopped it indexing, and fixed the UI, such that the up button comes back, and close stays in the same place when you close one window.

    Oh. And IE7 needs to be modified so "open in new window opens somewhere else, instead of over where you are", Or better still if you, ahem, could right click on several thumbnails of naked women at the same time, and "open all in different windows, somewhere else"

    And Office whatever number it is, what the hell have they done to the UI?

  80. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Vista is....

    ....forking out a bunch more cash for bloated software which does the same old shit previous version did but using masses more hardware resources and introducing a raft of new services which do all kinds of useless shit. Vista is only worth using if you have no other option (I would go for 98 over Vista at present. I can do the same stuff, quicker, I guarantee you...) or if yuo spend ages disabling/breaking all the new services and frameworks which serve to do nothing useful for me, as far as I can see. All they do is benefit the corporations like MS and software vendors/publishers and their `vision` of `no PC being an island`, and all the other crap that entails (like constantly forking out money for shit that you have already bought, simply because it's I.P, not just P...).

    I will not be moved from XP or Media player classic (why the hell would anyone use any other media player version I have no idea - unless you like using enormously bloated programs (visually and in code) for no apparent reason) ;) for a long time to come.... Vista is like so much today - all aesthetic and fluff and fuck all substance, just another desperate bid by a corporation to make yet more money selling a slightly different version of the same old thing was perfectly fit for purpose in its original incarnation. Who the hell needs anything that wasn't possible under, well, to be honest, windows NT/2000, but certainly XP? Come on, what? Do you need more redundant functionality, more shadowy services which do all manner of bullshit that slow down what would once have been considered awesome hardware to a crawl, more gadgets and more bullshit in general, or do you still just basically want to be able to type a letter, read up a little on the internet, maybe print some shit off, make a spreadsheet..and switch the fucking thing off. Vista is shiny dross for the masses..."ooh look at the shadows and the transition effects. and oooooh look, that menu is see through...etc... dumb shit for dumb people. Oh and crammed to the rafters with mechanisms to try to stop you doing or getting stuff for free. Fuck that. Fuck Vista.

  81. Wesley Parish

    Microsoft practice

    Microsoft usually rubbishes their previous release once they've got their "latest and greatest" out the door. It would make a wonderful project for some tech-literate art student to make an art deco set of posters out of a time-line of release-time Microsoft ads - so dig up your tech-literate art students and let's get going.

    I've encountered Vista in the wild - someone wanted help with a digital camera driver. She had spent a lot of money to get the most up-to-date laptop she could; she didn't have the budget to get a replacement for her digital camera. I told her to take it up with the people she bought the laptop from.

    FWLIW, I did say, way back when Microsoft was starting Vista ... oops, Longhorn development, that since Gates and Ballmer were rubbishing the FOSS development methodology, perhaps they should accept a challenge - release the source trees of MS Windows 9x and MS Windows NT 3.x and 4.x under the BSD license, and see which, Microsoft or the FOSS communities, would have something usable to bring out first. That was at least six years ago. Now Vista's out, and we still feel Microsoft is Vistabeting.

  82. Zap

    Microsoft Listen Carefully

    Dear Uncle Bill

    I know that this decision is coinciding with your departure and I am wondering this is a deliberate ploy so you can come back in 3 years and rescue Microsoft with Windows 8!

    Seriously, we both know Vista is a lame horse and the kindest thing to do would be to take it out back and shoot it (along with some of your developers or whoever approved it).

    The biggest problem for me with Vista is performance performance and performance (LACK OF), I know SP1 improved things a bit but network shares are still ridiculous and the PCPro benchmarks show that the thing is still a dog. I am sure that timeouts are a real part of this, put in a CD or access a network and it's SLOWTIME. Why not put some of the OS services on a second core if there is one present, for that matter why not give us the ability to do it ourselves with a CORE SERVICES MANAGER and make it something we can replicate with Active Directory. If your programmers bleat "we can't" tell them NOT to tell you what they CAN'T DO but to tell you what they CAN DO.

    The second problem is the PRICE; why should I pay more for a product that makes my current hardware obsolete or at best reduces their book value. What I want is something that extends the book value of my kit from 3 years to 5 years. Intel, Dell & HP have done their bit and made the kit run for 5 or even 7 years, so what is it with you? The answer is to give all your developers crappy old kit, the slowest you can, make them see how awful their code is so that it is optimised as it is developed.

    Next comes the RIP OFF, the features from the lowest end to the highest end should be incremental, taking media things out of the business edition means that all my SOHO workers complain. So I am either forced to buy Ultimate (I don't think so) or install a home edition which does not have the business features I need.

    Next is ACCEPTANCE, look you know you made a mistake, so accept it and go back to the XP Code and optimise it further so that next time we are compelled to upgrade. Install an ethos in your coders that performance is everything, look to improve every service in XP and make sure every new line of code is as fast as it can be by making coders compete to produce the fastest version of the same function. If you get this right you can call the next version Windows Sprint or Windows GT. Of course some features are slow in nature so turn them off or give us an install option that allows us to install for optimum performance, high performance and full feature set.

    Next comes a LEVEL playing field; why the fluck should we in the UK pay more than the US? Worse still why should India get knock off pricing just because they are an emerging market, is it not bad enough that they are nicking all our jobs (RIP Lloyds Bank IT Dept et al)? I hear you say "it is to reduce piracy", I say "rubbish", piracy is a mentality and they will copy it just because they can. Also the message you are sending is that if we steal software we get a better price.

    Finally there are DUMB DECISIONS, I am NOT going to pay for Vista and then PAY MORE to downgrade. Let me make this veyr clear to you, if buying XP costs me more I will install Ubuntu. I will start for new users and then dept by dept, country by country. In these times of recession I will probably get a huge bonus for saving us money.

    So to recap:







    I hope you LISTEN carefully because this could finish you, remember IBM it was their arrogance that led to your success.

  83. Anonymous Coward
    IT Angle

    To the Vista lovers..

    All new products come with some new features, those features may be neat, but it's the package that counts and how it works for the mainstream user base. Here is the cold hard facts, Vista=FAIL for mainstream users.

    I know a lot of non-computer types who have PCs with Vista, the consensus is they don't like it either, but not knowledgeable enough to do a 'downgrade'. As a person whose used almost every MS product since MS-DOS days I find Vista completely unintuitive too, and i've done everything from tech support to programming for Windows too (from 3.1 to Vista), and it remains the main platform I’ve used in my over a decade long experience in the IT industry.

    The DRM system as others mentioned is a real turn off. Computer OS's are meant to be about freeing the user to make the most of the hardware, not the opposite way around! Vista and ME are the only two OS updates ive encountered on any platform which actually winds back usability, and I’ve used Apple IIe’s OS, Mac OS 7-9 and OS X 10.1+, Commodore 64’s OS, AmigaOS 1.3-3.9, various Linux/UNIX distros and more. And I’ve been using computers since around 1982!

    In the corporate environment I see XP mostly being retained too in my experiences, companies I’ve worked with/for have tested out and largely shown no interest in Vista. If Vista was worth have its weight in salt it would at least be able to operate on a greater degree of older hardware let alone a good number of modern machines packaged with the ‘Vista’ capable sticker but it doesn’t, and yet Windows 2000/XP managed to, so what’s Vista’s excuse?

    Other OS’s have often historically had the edge over Windows in usability (not in terms of number of application/driver support though), but 2000 improved things and XP considerably so to make it quite a usable OS.

    You’ll find more people becoming Mac and Linux ‘Converts’ if Microsoft continually fails to pick up their game and make the ‘Vista Experience’ (heh) a significantly improved one. The ULCPC’s mixed with the Web2/Google world will be only too happy to pull the carpet out from under Microsoft’s feet if they don’t.

  84. Vince

    Not sure if Vista is a problem or not...

    My view on Vista varies. I adopted it early as the test person. My use of it during the RC phases was excellent and I said "we're going to move to Vista".

    Then the final version came out. And then it went horribly wrong. Today I am still the only person running Vista, and everyone else refuses to move and sticks to XP.

    I have Vista Home Premium on my PC at home, an AMD X2, 3Gb RAM and so on, which works ab fab, although to be honest, it hasn't got that much app wise on it, but nonetheless it's fine.

    I have Vista Home Premium on my Vye S37 - it works the best on this laptop - I don't know how, but this 800Mhz, 1Gb RAM Machine flies with Vista and I've yet to have a single issue. Nothing ever fails me. It just works, it's running all my main apps, Office 2007, Adobe apps, remote access, vpn, mobile broadband, you name it, even IE8 beta.

    I also have a desktop at work running Vista Business X64, it's an AMD X2 jobbie, 2Gb RAM, 400Gb SATA, apart from a problem which does appear to be Hardware related and occasionally causes a problem (think it's a SATA Controller or Drive problem), it's also absolutely fine.

    I have Vista Business on my Sony Vaio SZ4. What a bag. I'm starting to think that my experience of Vista is largely down to the poor show that is the Vaio. This is supposed to be Core Duo, 2Gb RAM, and all the trimmings. I haven't used it in weeks now because I finally got fed up of shouting at it waiting for it to just do anything, at all.

    I still prefer 2000 personally, and I'll use XP (but I wouldn't 4 years ago), but I can't make up my mind on Vista. There are some features I'd hate to lose now, particularly those around mobility, offline file working and the search box on the start menu (I don't know why I like it so much), and given it seems to be pretty stable (especially since SP-1) I think Vista may need serious consideration soon - but I won't be recommending it to any business that already has XP - only if they're doing a complete replacement and upgrade, as mixed environments don't tend to work so well.

  85. Thomas


    "If Microsoft were a smart company (I said *IF*), they might adopt the Linux kernel as the basis for their new OS and then port their proprietary user interface onto that new kernel. They could bring their virtualization to the party to enable legacy Windows applications."

    I believe that's known as the OS X strategy. I don't think Microsoft are even one hundredth as technologically desperate as Apple must have been at the release of "still based on designs from 15 years ago" OS 9.

    Personally I think that Linux is the answer for anyone that just wants to browse and word process. Distributions like Ubuntu are completely user friendly (i.e. everything is configured through the GUI, all the bundled apps have a consistent look and feel, the installer does pretty much everything for you, most popular hardware is supported without further intervention), if anything they're a little more user friendly than Vista's Aero look which is visually busy and full of unnecessary contrast. Then I'd probably recommend OS X for anyone that wants to do serious media manipulation, seeing as how only third-rate video editors and eighth-rate desktop publishing solutions seem to exist for Linux.

  86. alistair millington
    Thumb Down

    @Steve et al. XP needs to live to Windows 7.

    "That in mind - what is so bad about Vista? On a new PC with no OEM crap installed there is nothing worse in Vista than XP - but there's a lot better and a lot of new stuff too. (UAC, IE7+, DX10, BitLocker, Instant Search, ImageX, new GPO's, new GUI, better driver support, mobility centre, numberous security improvements, etc.)"

    I had to laugh when I read this... I was suckered into buying Vista ultimate because i got it OEM through work and avoided the absolutely mind boggling pricing structure most people will have to pay.

    Bitlocker, number one reason I can't upgrade to SP1 of vista home premium on a laptop one of our clients has brought into us. A known fact that M$ seems to ignore. And I have no known use for it. Encyrpting my porn collection or my games files is a little over reactive, most home users won't need to encrypt half life 2 save games. Unless I am missing something.

    IE7 + - That would be the annoying IE version that just does what IE6 did with what firefox brought to the market place in a vain attempt to be cool and hip.

    GUI. Yes it has a new GUI, but as other people have said, people want a working OS that doesn't crash and lets them surf the web, play games and listen to music. The GUI is just icing and if the cake is tasteless and bland or lard assed and bloated, who cares for the icing.

    DX10 - Only really makes a difference if the rest of the hard ware is upto it (ie an 8000 series graphics card) and ony a few games really show this off. (I can think of two) For most users DX10 is a little known benefit. Solitaire, Word and Powerpoint don't use it.

    UAC - The worst and most annoying piece of crudware on this side of any knonw universe. Asking a person upto three times if they actually wanted to do something. It makes people seem like morons who end up second guessing themselves because they don't know what it is or why it is there. If a person clicks on an icon to run something, they clicked on the icon, asking them are they dumb enough to know what they just did is just pathetic.

    Numerous security improvements, see above. Treating people like morons to the point they get paranoid and don't use it is an annoyance. Having to run eveything as admin just means everyone will run everything as admin, removing the safterly features behind it. Putting people back to square one. That and the fact rolling out about a dozen patches a week shows how many holes there were and where the M$ staff are concentrating all there time now.

    Driver support. Only because SP1 is out with it's 54000 drivers added, Prior to that you were lucky if things worked at all (Halo 2, SLI...)

    PC's hardware is capable of running it now, with 2 GB ram and dual core, but that spec gives mediocre performance, in XP that spec gives a much greater boost. Vista chews it up and does nothing with it, running to stand still.

    I have gone to linux after Vista because it treats people like they are right to own a machine they bought, and not like moronic sheep who should only do what M$ tells them.

  87. Dale

    This is the swansong of Windows at my workplace.

    That is all. I have convinced the management that linux is now stable and user friendly enough to replace the sub par bloatware that is Vista on new machine roll outs, all our new PC boxes are coming OS free as of this month.

    Part of the reason I made such a concerted effort to get this change was that MS seem so wrong-headed in their attitude towards OS architecture and interface design. Everything in Vista is harder to use and configure than in XP. There are no improvements in stability or user friendliness as far as I (and about 90% of our user base) can see. And the system resources used are growing with every release. Its quite frankly pathetic. Business wants a simple, easily manageable and cut down OS, not this bloated, awkward resource hog.

    Google are the least of MS worries, as the song goes "You do it to yourself and that's what really hurts"

  88. Ian Halstead
    Jobs Halo

    Contrast this with Snow Leopard

    The Vista and Windows 7 path makes an interesting contrast to Apple's path to Snow Leopard. The plan here is to learn the lessons of squeezing OS X onto an iPhone, and use this knowledge to remove bloat. Rumours are that the installation will take about 25% of the disk space occupied by a current Leopard install. Not sure what that says about Leopard...

    If they can pull this off, and do all the multi-processor and GPU stuff touted to be in Snow Leopard, we might gain a fair bit of speed.

    At some point Microsoft will have to bite the bullet and completely recode from top to tail. The sooner the better if they want to offer genuine improvements and remain relevant.

  89. Anonymous Coward

    @Simon Aspinall

    Er, you have a strange idea of Linux.

    Windows: most software written by 3rd parties, many of them small shareware vendors. Who knows what quality control any of them have?

    Linux: most software written by 3rd parties, many of them small shareware vendors. Who knows what quality control any of them have?

    If you meant the core OS - you're under no obligation to update the Linux core any more than you're obliged to let Windows Update do its thing. My company runs thousands of linux servers and we control the patch cycle just as we do for the thousands of windows servers.

    And if you think that official linux kernels are hacked together by bozos after a night on the tiles, whereas all MS releases are crafted by sober professionals and tested by droves of highly trained experts, you've been at the microsoft koolaid and aren't on the MS Beta test programme....

  90. Chika

    Mixed Emotions

    @Highlander (the Linux kernel approach)

    Ain't gonna happen. Let's face it, they still make too much money out of keeping its sources close. It's a nice idea, but politically and economically they would stand to lose too much.

    @Seanie Ryan (trying to work out the version progression)

    Actually, somebody mentioned this partially, but it goes something like this. Windows NT started alongside the MSDOS version known as 3.1 and progressed from there. Windows 2000 was, indeed, version 5 but the mistake you make is thinking that Windows ME was actually a new version of anything. It was pretty much a third version of Windows 98, hence it would have appeared as version 5 in the progression you had, if it appeared anywhere, alongside Windows 2000, if there were actually any link (which there wasn't really).

    As for the demise of XP, I'm not that worried right now. Certainly I shall not be moving onto Vista in the near future as it just isn't worth the extra money for what I use computers for, either at home or at work. Most of the stuff on offer is available on XP if you know where to look and for a sight less outlay than spending on a new OS, and that's before I even start on the stuff that I wouldn't want on any PC of mine that is locked into Vista.

    Mind you, there are only two applications that I use currently that absolutely require a Microsoft OS of any kind. The rest sits happily on RISC OS and Linux and, if I had my way, those two applications would too.

  91. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

    Patch Teusdays to be followed by XP deadline anouncement Wednesdays

    Steve: "you can't buy a PC that won't run Vista"

    Yes I can. They are cheap, come with Linux pre-installed, do not need a noisy fan, last for hours on batteries and do all that I require of them. Ever seen Vista on a Laptop? Portable Vista computers are called Notebooks because they can overheat if you restrict the cooling vents by trying use one on your lap.

    Khaptain: "How come 1.2 Billion Chinese can't seem to create a new system anyway ????"

    For a long time, there was no incentive because XP was effectively free in China. People are now keeping there XP machines because they have no reason to downgrade to a new Vista machine. As a result, manufacturers have to look for new markets. A good XP machine can be cheaper than a Vista barely-capable machine. An excellent Linux machine can be much cheaper than a tolerable XP machine (How many cheap routers run XP?).

    A really cheap linux machine can have a bucket of useful software for bundled free that you would have to pay extra for if you installed XP. The new big market is cheap linux laptops that vast numbers of Chinese can afford. Manufacturers are selling them here to recover their NRE costs on short test runs. They are going to ramp up production well before Windows 7 is currently promised.

  92. marc
    Paris Hilton

    Not as bad as Mac

    Apple make you buy an OS upgrade (and install the bloat) to upgrade your Java version or web browser. I'm running and old Safari and Java 1.4 on OS 10.3

    In comprason, XP runs IE7 and the newest Java. Vista runs it even better.

  93. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    Sorry, it's not Linux either.

    I have had, or used/installed, pretty much every MS OS since win 3.0 (remember that one?), and most of the MS-DOS' as well.

    For a project at a "local bank" I was asked to try out a version of Linux that we were thinking of basing a re-write project on. I duely went out and got a (now pretty old) copy of Red Hat Linux 6.

    What a croc. It had a worse install than any MS OS, and failed to even bring up a GUI (any Windows OS will default to VGA 640x480 if it can't find a driver). After many hours of swearing and digging in logs files (once I found the fuckers) I finally managed to find out that it didn't like my graphics card (too new) and that it wouldn fail. There were no drivers to be had.

    Thankfully, the bank pulled the plug on the project when we showed them that there wouldn't even be a 'rust' level of support for stuff we could get, never mind the 'gold' level they demanded.

    Then my nightmare started. I'm no slouch when it comes to installing OS', but I had a real hard time with getting rid of this virus (opps, I mean Linux). This thing had embedded itself so completely into the HDD that even a format C: /u/c/s didn't get rid of it. You can imagine my horror when the Linux flash screen came up after the format.

    I had to dig out my HDD util disc and *low level* format the fucking disc before I could get rid of it. I will *NEVER* touch the Linux virus again in my life.

    I also started upgrading my current box (core 2 Duo, 2Gb RAM, SATA2 drives, ATI 1950XTX PCI-E card) to get ready for Vista, like I always did when a new OS came out.

    And then I started reading the comments. Bloatware, DRM etc etc etc.

    I still use XP Pro and SP2. I have an original install disc, copies of SP2 and 3 (not that I've installed it yet) and all the software I need. My XP box runs like stonk, has a Blu Ray burner, a Duo Quad processor, 4Gb of matched RAM (not that XP can use it all) and has been tweaked to death.

    I see no reason to go to Vista then, now or ever.

    The picture? Linux, beware......

  94. edwardecl

    Vista problems...

    Although Vista has a few downside... OK a lot of downsides it does have some features that are good. They should take the good features like new sound options with mixers for each app and the ability to set default sound cards easily and just port them into a less bloated OS. Forget the antispyware and DRM and reserving memory for who knows what (maybe let the user decide).

    The inital installtion crashed half way through for no reason and I had to install it again.A two Windows update managed to send my vista install into a reboot loop, I thought once was enough but twice and it started to get really annoying. I had to fix this using Linux to delete the pending.xml file... excelent job there.

    Their new Vista Theme whatever its called managed to break one of my apps, (Ok this was a BETA Windows 2000 program for my TVcard). But bizzarely the TV card program itself works better in Vista (without the theme) than it did in XP, which is weird.

    DirectX10 has option such as setting refresh rates removed for who knows what reason (I had to fix this by manually editing my monitor .ini file to only allow >85hz) idiots... although now i used an LCD but at the time it was real annoying.

    I still think their best OS was Windows 2000... XP was bloated in comparison to that. The bloat should be optional.

    I don't see how this stuff got past the beta testers... was there a beta test? and is still not fixed.

  95. N

    So what...

    Cant see the point of Vista, it only benefits Microsoft,

    If you really want your PC to run very slowly just remove some of the memory & save a bundle...

  96. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    sorry but no

    just. shut up. you sad fanboi's.

    ive used vista - i wont be using it again - lets just say it didnt get the job done.

    its saddening to hear that they will base windows 7 off the vista code base - i was kind of hoping that windows 7 wouldnt be utter crap - oh well. does this mean that windows 7 will have all that drm crap in it as well?

  97. Highlander


    I understand what you're saying. Here's why I suggested using the Linux Kernel.

    Microsoft utterly borked their kernel. Microsoft has spent the better part of 15 years strting with a great micro-kernel design and gradually squashing it under a mountain of bloatware and undermining the design by moving more and more into their kernel.

    If you want to know my actual preference in a solution to the Windows conundrum, here goes.

    Ditch Vista. Completely. Do not ever dust off the code base again.

    Go back to NT, version 4 would be a good starting point, but the purist in me says go back to 3.51 as it was the last revision that actually cared about the personality layers such as POSIX, OS/2 and Windows on Windows/DOS VDM. Much like Intel distched the entire Netbust line nd went back to the future, so to speak with the Core2 architecture based on the updated/reworked and substantially enhanced Pentium M reference design.

    MS needs to go back to the purer design at the core of Windows NT and re-architect from there. Design security into the kernel from the get go. Expand the virtualization and use of virtual x86 machines to support DOS, Windows (of various flavors) and even POSIX compliance. Build the OS as strongly and purely as possible without any reference to DRM or all that bull. Build it to be secure, to protect each task from the other and ring fence any Web applications in a virtual environment to prevent malware breaking out into the rest of the system. This all has to happen in the kernel and other core components of the OS. The UI is simply a module of the OS, not a core component. MS made a huge mistake when they started pushing the UI back into the core of the OS. By doing this and integrating IE into the UI, they implicitly, if not explicitly opened the door for Malware and exploits that can take the entire machine.

    Windows 2000 would be a decent starting point, but IIRC Windows NT 4 was the first iteration of the NT design that started moving parts of the GUI back into the OS core running with elevated rights for performance purposes. Windows 2000 takes that a bit further as has each iteration beyond. Which is why I would take it all the way back to NT 3.51.

    They won't do this. It would definitely result in a stronger, and better performing OS. The OS would be truly a multi-threaded OS, and the benefits of dual, quad and more cores would be huge. However, this ain't gonna happen, it's as likely as them going Linux, know?

  98. Mike Flugennock

    "Hasta la VISTA??"

    For shame. Get your coat.

  99. Terry Donovan

    I'll upgrade to vista! when hell freezes over!!

    Posted Wednesday 25th June 2008 15:17 GMT

    I have looked at vista both in the office and on the wifes shinny new laptop, and can only say this, vista is crap, legacy hardware support sucks, all control pannel objects have been moved to different locations, it was anoying when they did that between service packs, but not on this level, when I do come accross a vista machine it makes me feel like a home user trying to find anything, not to mention the product activation anoyance as well, also the system requirements 2gb ram just to be able to use the machine with comfortable performance, it does offer some nice features but these are all over shadowed by the bad stuff and there is a lot of bad stuff, for me its Ubuntu64 from here on, at least I dont have to buy a whole new machine just to run the os let alone any apps after that.

  100. matt
    Paris Hilton

    re "Sorry, it's not Linux either. "

    Er, just be clear on what "local bank" you work for, I might need to close my account.

    of course "format c:" wouldn't work, you have to RE-PARTITION the drive silly, you did say you work in IT didn't you?

    and the reason Red Hat 6 wouldn't run is that it's 8 years old... Since Linux has all the drivers built in old versions don't like new hardware, get over it. You should have just gone to one of the big distribution's web sites and download the latest copy because it's free anyway.

  101. Joe M

    @Sorry, it's not Linux either.

    I'm basically a Windows developer and user and I don't carry a torch for Linux. However I have done a fair bit of Linux work over the years and ran a parallel setup for myself while I was at it.

    I am quite familiar with Read Hat 6 as it was my main Linux platform for a long time. I installed it on lots and lots of different systems, from Cyric GX (now the Geode) based palm sized micro PCs to rack mounted multi CPU servers. I never had any problem installing it and, yes it did default to a low res VGA screen if it had a problem with the graphics card. (Tweaking graphics drivers was one of the things I did a lot of, and one of the reasons I felt that the OS was not ready for general use.)

    It's interesting that a bank would knock back a Linux solution because I did lot's of work for banks and they usually insisted that their security and mission critical apps had to run on Unix/Linux platforms because Windows was too unreliable.

    As for the Linux boot surviving a HD format... hmmm.

    I don't blame you for being peed off by a system which wasted your time but from the description of your experience I suggest that you may have expected a bit too much of Linux. It isn't, and at that time it certainly wasn't, a simple GUI driven architecture. You have to tinker in the background and it takes time and effort to get it right. But there are many rewards in using it, especially for a software developer.

    I look at it as a good tool to solve specific problems which it handles much better than Windows. Horses for courses!

  102. Chika


    "its saddening to hear that they will base windows 7 off the vista code base - i was kind of hoping that windows 7 wouldnt be utter crap - oh well. does this mean that windows 7 will have all that drm crap in it as well?"

    Probably. Although it is to be hoped that, if they base it on anything, then will base it on the Server 2008 codebase which, though related, seems to have gained a lot more public acceptance.

    As for the guy that (rightly, IMHO) claimed Windows 2000 as the best thing they ever did, just look under the bonnet of any Muckysoft OS since then and you will find that it is firmly related to Windows 2000 anyway. And that, however much they would like to deny it, includes Vista! The Beast of Redmond wouldn't know how to write a completely new OS these days if their lives depended on it!

  103. Chika

    @@Sorry, it's not Linux either.

    "I don't blame you for being peed off by a system which wasted your time but from the description of your experience I suggest that you may have expected a bit too much of Linux. It isn't, and at that time it certainly wasn't, a simple GUI driven architecture. You have to tinker in the background and it takes time and effort to get it right. But there are many rewards in using it, especially for a software developer."

    Agreed, but the guy was talking of RH6, which is a pretty ancient distro now. Seems a little odd trying to compare RH6 with the latest M$ offerings.

    And yes, I'm using openSUSE 11 at this very moment. So there! ;)

  104. Peter Johnstone

    Is the MS bloat a myth?

    My wife's laptop is a 5-6 year old ASUS which shipped with windows XP Home, which it runs, albeit a bit slow by todays standards.

    I thought that I could get it to perform a bit faster if I installed linux on it. I couldn't find a linux distro that would install on it and run in a mode that could display a desktop.

    It did make me wonder if the MS bloat is a myth.

  105. Dave McKewan

    @ "re "Sorry, it's not Linux either. "

    Yep, I tried re-partition after tried the format. I tried the re-part several times, using various different boot discs (Win95, Win98 etc).

    I even went so far to remove the partition, reboot, add back the partiton, reboot and re-format. The RH screen still came back.

    That's when I reached for the last resort (other than a drill....) and broke out my trusty HDD util disc.

    I was trying to use it about 6 years ago, and my point was that it was not better than a Windows install. Having installed various flavours of Windows, I expected the all mighty Linux to do the same thing. Odd expectation really.

    And I got it when buying a book that touted the virtues (sic) of Linux. Strangely enough, I found no section in the book that discussed how to remove it.

    We were looking at it from both a Windows and VMS standpoint. Still glad we ditched it.

    The bank did end up using Linux for its servers, but not for this project. That ended up on an AIX box with WAS, JAVA etc etc.

  106. Highlander


    Not sure I'd say Win2K was the best thing they ever did. NT 3.51 (and NT4) was an amazing piece of software. It left behind the horrid world of old Windows 3.1/3.11 and moved into a more modern age. Not only that but it was a huge, huge, huge improvement on the first cut of the NT design with NT 3.1. It wasn't perfect by any means. However the performance of the OS (at the time, running on 80486 processors with at best local bus video) was pretty dismal. However since the processors we have noe are in the order of 200 times faster, with anything up to 200 times the amount of RAM, not to mention the advances in HDD interface speed and video hardware since the mid 90's - performance would not be an issue with Windows NT of any flavor.

    It never ceases to amaze me how a PC that is (conservatively speaking) 100 times faster/bigger in every aspect of performance still takes minutes to boot up, and anything up to 30 seconds to open an application. This is true of every operation on the PC. Of course I am not much faster (though I type better/faster now). Microsoft has managed, in the revisions to Windows NT/2K/XP over the years, to nullify a 100+ fold increase in processor speed, memory size, video performance and hard disc capacity/performance. Truly an awesome feat. Not only that but they convinced 100s of millions of people to pay them to cripple the performance of the OS and the PC it runs on. I swear if you could some how harness that expertise for good, we'd be living in colonies on Mars by now.

  107. Anonymous Coward

    posted before

    This is what windows 7 needs to no particular order of importance:

    (1) built-in recovery and backup (CD, DVD, HDD)

    (2) force apps to use their own files only - no registry entries by apps

    apps install in their own program folder and may make shortcut on start- program list or desktop only

    (3) no app install can require a reboot

    (4) no windows updates should require a reboot

    (5) all updates to windows create an automatic rollback file

    (6) rock solid and secure (no BSODs)

    (7) proper device interfaces that don't change with every release

    driver updates should not require a reboot

    (8) no drm

    (9) no nagware or registration

    (10) apps cannot automatically register for startup (except maybe AV & Firewall)

    until then, i guess i stay with the known of xp...the only person i know who is happy with vista is running vista 64bit

    i wish i had a penguin to do everything xp would...

  108. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    A little knowledge...

    Unfortunately, the chap playing with RH6 probably knows little of how a system actually boots, whether it be DOS, Linux or anything else.

    The "viral" problem experienced was because the master boot record was not reinitialised by format, and fdisk wouldn't do that either, ordinarily. On an IDE disk, a format [DOS 'format' command] isn't truly a strict format either, it's a zero-fill and would only fill the partitioned space, not the bootable region which is quite separate (logically if not physically). The solution would have been to use FDISK /MBR, an undocumented feature of MS's FDISK utility, and this will zero the master boot record and the MS installs (any Windows you care to name) that one might then run will see that the MBR is empty and install a boot record of it's own. RHL6 merely installed it's own boot-loader, not unreasonable really. No need for any "trusty utilities" if you know what you're doing. Even MS are sensitive to the possibility that you might have a multi-boot machine and don't presume to overwrite a non-zero MBR, it would be most inconvenient if they did. I'm not surprised that the RHL experiment was a flop, but with no prior exposure to the guts of Unix (et al), I'm not really surprised at the reaction or the results obtained. A determined repeat over some weeks with an up-to-date distro would be worthwhile, I think.

    Otherwise, I believe in horses for courses, and I have to say that my particular requirements of a horse haven't changed much over the years. I was happy with Office '97's functionality, and XP has been reasonably stable. I was gifted a copy of Office 2000 which I upgraded to for file-format reasons more than anything else, but otherwise my basic NEEDS have changed little. I daresay that many other people are in a similar position.

    Some time ago, I tried OpenSuse10.1, and I found that I could do everything I needed to do (although I'm not a gamer). Today, I use an 'ancient' Sony laptop with 512MB and a ~1GHz CPU with complete satisfaction, still OpenSuse10.1, and I have no compelling reason to change this setup. I quite like the idea of being able to still use the same laptop five years more since my actual needs will probably change little, and the likelihood is that things that need to be kept upto-date (like firefox) will still run well enough. So what if new hardware is cheap? It seems better to be able to re-use old hardware if you can do what you need to do with it, and Linux/KDE allows me to do just that, and it's one less piece of hi-tech junk to bugger things up for everyone else.

    However, Linux distros aren't for rank amateurs, and you need a geek such as myself to sort out the sometimes knotty problems especially at install, but once it's up and running it's completely plain sailing, and you're a bit more of a geek yourself if you were paying attention. If you want to really learn something about computers, you cannot do this properly with Windows - play with some Unix/Linux etc distros, it will do you good and you will learn much, and there is a lot to learn too!

  109. Bob. Hitchen

    Vista Sucks

    All this talk of anal fisting and petroleum jelly - WTF. Vista will never go on one of my boxes period. I run XP and Ubuntu oh and a media centre XP with the KM player for dvds and it uses HDMI. Linux lags behind windows for photo editing, video and games and some drivers. I use the tool that is available and most fits the task. All my current needs are accounted for - why would I want Vista or some future variant? MS withdrawing support is a joke right? What I never had is hardly likely to be missed!

    No sensible business is going to spend money replacing hardware just to run the latest OS. Most companys want PC's to run applications the OS is irrelevant.

    Oh and installing Linux is a cakewalk put the disk in and it works - it's a lot quicker than Windows any variety. Don't even have to load it just run it off the CD

  110. studentrights
    Gates Horns

    Intel passes on VISTA-ME

    Intel will have no use for it...

    Chip Giant Won’t Embrace Microsoft’s Windows Vista

  111. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hmm, shouldn't be too hard to get a XP licence

    I got four old machines (P4/1.9GHz, not very old) from a company, without disks of course, but OEM stickers intact on chassis.

    So I've now two windows 2000 pro licences and two xp pro licences, for free.

    Retail market for used licences is emerging, at least in Europe, and there are millions of XP licences floating around.

  112. tempemeaty

    Isn't supply and demand the cornerstone of capitalism?

    When customers demand a product that already exists over another and that maker of that product refuses those customers then stops selling it at a time it's out selling the other choice there is something other than supply and demand taking place.

    If their business is not about supplying the demand then what is it really about?

  113. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    @Hardware not capable - Peter

    "Honestly, this is my biggest grievance is that people can't be bothered to figure out what they need to properly run something, then gripe about it once they buy something underpowered and find that it's nto running it in the manner they expected."

    A couple of you guys have completely misinterpreted my earlier post - The point being that vendors are shipping Vista on hardware which is clearly not capable for the job. Surely its the vendors responsibility to have done the work of making sure they're installing a suitable OS on their products?

    At the time I bought the 5150, there were almost NO other lower end laptops available for the education sector which still come with XP. Those that do tend to be the £700+ machines with core2-duo processors.

    @Marc - Not as bad as Mac

    You're using Safari and complaining? Loser. Install Firefox or preferably Opera, and you can happily run the latest Java. (I run both on my Mac Pro).

  114. Aitor


    The windows vista Kernel is very very good. As a matter of fact, it is way better than the Linux Kernel (this is a fact most techies should recognize).

    The problems come from services, drivers and, mostly, the GUI.

    As for copying large files, etc, the problem isn't DRM: if you copy the same files from command line, there is no problem. It is the GUI witch gives problems: some parts are still single-threaded and blocking.... as long as these guys don't solve that problem windows will go slowly...

    Drivers: Microsoft knows that a lot of stability problems come from dodgy drivers. That's why they have decided to change the drivers model and take a "hard line" against the manufacturers.. so they make drivers the way they should..

    Services: way too many services are running in Vista. If your pc is from Acer, Toshiba, etc.. you will have more problems.. they are plagued by bloatware....

    Is Vista a good OS? Yes.

    Is Vista better than XP? Yes and No. Y you have more than 3 gigs of ram, the answer is yes.. if not, stick to XP, or explore Linux.... witch is not better, but refrains from loading sutch bloatware.. that's the main reason it goes so fast!!

    Comparison: Vista is a Ferrari towing a huge boat "just in case you want to go to the coast". Very slow and demands lots of fuel.

    Linux is a econobox not towing anything.

  115. Mike Groombridge
    Gates Horns

    Vista's just the new ME

    i remember windows ME coming out and microsoft saying it's got win 2000 security with win 98 user interface. was meant to add security for home users the same as office users

    except that the reason it screwed up nearly everything installed on it was it had 2000's code protection functions so you install some thing and it makes a change to a windows file 2000 would make a copy of the orginal file incase it needed it and let the software use the modified file protecting itself from issues ME had the same function but the modified windows file would be deleted so next time the software tried to run it died this prompted Microsoft to put together xp

    vista to me seems to be built on the same flawed plan but this it it seems to have been saying thats cram server and desktop security( which always seem to fight each over) in one operating system then over lay a pretty GUI on top

    which wouldn't be so bad if they had then gone we will push it really hard and phase out xp so when win 7 comes along and it's security works and has vista's pretty interface every one we run to it.

    i'd bet good money that 7 is the real replacement to XP and vista was the rushed stop gap so show there are actually doing stuff

    and as for the version numbers

    windows 3.11

    windows nt 4.0

    windows 95 (4.3home edition )

    windows 98 (4.8 home edition)

    windows 2000 (5)

    wins me (no idea as it was a mesh or 98 and 2000 so maybe 4.9 )

    windows XP (5.1 effective the 95 or 98 of it's day only real benifit is it's little easier to use and security was on be default i still run it in classic mode so may as will be 2000)

    vista i'll guess 6

    windows 7

  116. Mark

    Re: Isn't supply and demand the cornerstone of capitalism?

    Unfortunately, now we're consumers, the supply and demand has reversed: we supply money and they demand we give it to them.

    More seriously, copyright is a monopoly grant. Is there any wonder that "the free market" isn't working here?

  117. Biton Walstra

    The Mickey Mouse history repeats it self every time

    there is nothing new about this...

    when moved from windows 95 to windows 98 the same story

    when moved from windows 98 second edtion to windows me the same story

    when moved from windows nt3.51 to windows nt4.0 the same story.

    when moved from windows nt4.0 to windows 2000 the same story

    when moved from windows 2000 to windows xp the same story.

    so what's new here?

  118. Bob. Hitchen

    Re: Kernel

    How can you justify an OS that takes about 10gig of disk space to do nothing useful? Does anybody actually buy/build a box to run an OS or do they want to do something with it? Vista gives no added value over XP or for that matter most stuff Linux. btw Rolls Royce stands for quality and longevity and no OS offers that.

  119. Doug Glass
    Gates Horns

    The Way We Were

    The resistance to adopting Vista is no mystery. The move from Windows 98 to XP was eventually successful but that move was long, hard, and fraught with "new OS" mines. The buying public, and many corporations, don't want to go through that all over again. The move to Vista MAY in fact be a technological advance, but it's massive, overriding message is one of a step backwards in usability, adaptability, and affordability.

    If Vista had been what it was originally promised to be, it likely would be the Windows OS of choice. But it's not, and given today's economy, the price of moving to Vista is simply to great for what's being offered. What benefits there may be do not justify the "cost" in many areas.

    Regardless of where your individual sentiments are, the facts show Vista is not being adopted, and actually used, in numbers large enough to make it a product line success.

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