back to article Microsoft gives users six months longer to flee from Vista

Never mind that Microsoft has kicked off a hyped ad campaign to convince the public to buy Windows Vista PCs, - it's also given users more time to switch back to Windows XP. OEMs have been given an additional six months to sell PCs running Windows Vista with the ability to downgrade to Windows XP using an accompanying recovery …


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  1. Charles Manning

    Maybe they need a marketing department

    That actually goes out into the world and finds out what Joe Punter wants.

    When the customers actively resist buying your new product and want to buy your old product, even when you make it very hard for them and you've told them the old product is crap....

    Maybe it is time to start trying a different tack and making "Windows classic" or something.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    i should think so

    some of their largest customers have very complex desktops built around XP are simply can't just "drop it and run" to vista (and the more expensive computers required to use and support its bloat)

    Paris, 'cuz she could make XP last longer, too.

  3. Herby

    Windows Vista "killer"

    Is actually Windows Vista itself. It all comes down to "why bother"? If you have something that "works", don't "fix it".

    Of course, there are those who consider Windows (from Microsoft) a virus that should be eliminated, and we might actually be right.

    Remember: As long as there is a "C:" drive, it will always be DOS (or actually CP/M) in some form (and therefore broken!).

  4. Kevin Rudd
    Gates Horns

    Blow off Vista

    They should extend XP until Windows7 is released, then possibly, into the future after that for an indeterminate period till Win7 proves its worth. (more than likely then, forever.....)

  5. John Doe


    That's truly rich.

    I wonder if they've already fired the team that was supposed to market Vista effectively? Not to mention the guys in charge of developing Vista usability specifications. :)

  6. It wasnt me
    Thumb Down

    Welll done M$ - nearly there.

    Now all you have to do is acknowledge us customers who were saddled with Vista before this option became available. You have acknowledged that Vista is a piece of shit that is not fit for any purpose at all.

    Now can I finally have my computer that I paid for please? All you need to do is let me put XP on it. You have my money, and you have the opportunity to keep a customer for free.

    No? Thought not.

    Microsoft must be brought down over Vista. There is no other company in the world that takes your money forcibly and is not legally required to provide you with a working product. Thats what governments do.

    Absolute fscking cnuts the lot of them.

  7. Moss Icely Spaceport
    Thumb Up

    XP's meaty goodness, just gives and gives.....

    ...and my next OS, when XP is truly unfit to continue using, will NOT be Windows!!

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Old Hardware

    Are the hardware companies still trying to get rid of old hardware that doesn't run Vista very well?

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    In b4

    In before the usual bullshit about Vista.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    XP lives on..and on...

    Xp gives me everything I need in a Windows machine. I really cannot see any reason to upgrade to Vista and be forced into a hardware upgrade cycle when my existing hardware is perfectly adequate for my uses at the moment. It's unnecessary expense for no gain. When Xp finally snuffs it and support is no longer forthcoming in the form of patches and updates then I shall virtualise my machines and move them over to some multi-core Linux workstation to begin the process of migrating to Linux totally.

  11. Paul Murphy
    Gates Horns

    Ha Ha

    Vista really has been an own-goal for MS in lots of ways, but the bulk re-sellers of their software being so adamant that their customers really want to stay with XP is the marzipan and icing on the cake.

    I wonder how long it will be before MS starts releasing a Windows kernel, with all the rest of an OS as options, so that people can just have the bits they want.

    Personally if I am forced to leave XP I'll be trying Linux and wine (again) rather than wasting too much money on Win7.


  12. Dan
    Thumb Down

    Waste of money

    All that effort - MS would have been better off developing another release of XP, at least it would have improved their reputation, since any XP post-SP2 was considered to be pretty stable anyway.

    I wouldn't want to be buying a new machine now, I like OSX but not keen on the iron grip Jobs keeps on that market, and the security by obscurity approach. My missus doesn't like Ubuntu so that's out as well. XP is decent, but it's getting a bit long in the tooth to be on new machines.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Vista just doesn't work

    On the helpdesk I work on, we are able to guess with 100% certainty that the OS the person ringing us for help is using is Vista. It's the same bugs over and over again. The most common being really slow file transfer, mapped drives with big red "X"s through them that won't disconnect, VPN's that wont connect when their XP counterparts will with the same settings.

  14. Enrico Vanni

    Only thing that can be said....


  15. Adam Foxton

    @Herby - C Drives

    In XP (and probably the other NT series OSes the "C drive" stuff is just a front*. You see the "real" drive path occasionally- it's something like Device(0)\partition(0)\ etcetc. So I fail to see how having lettered drives makes an OS broken. Not *nix like and broken are two entirely different things!

    *just like on most other Operating systems. You just don't see it as much in Windows, though the naming/folder-mapping stuff is remarkably flexible when you get used to it! Want to install something to a USB stick but can't because it's removeable? unmount it from it's drive letter in ctrl panel/advanced tools/computer management/disk management and remount it as a folder on a fixed drive then install! Same as Linux, I guess, just a bit clunkier due to the lack of a decent command line.

  16. Anonymous Coward

    hehe that should be Apples next ad

    "OSX, the one you get when you leave your Mrs in charge of the computer"

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Seriously, why are people disliking vista so much, ok i understand the concept of why change something if it isnt broke.

    my counter argument is XP has always been broken, it was their first propper attempt at moving from DOS environment to a pure NT environement for the HOME market there have always been issues with it and still is.

    Vista wasnt a leap forward no, i agree, but i have over 100 PCs of verious specs working fine with it, even my home PC has been running Vista since Betas, after the RTM went live it had that on there too, a simple install over the top job, nothing "clean" and yet still, years later after attempting to load as much crap on it as possible that would have brought XP to a halt now, vista is still flying along, even intentionally filling it with Malware was os much easier to clean off but equally you have to be saft to ignore most of the warnings you get about it! and dispite not havng an anti virus package ive not had a single virus yet, this has been a test, a test im about to give up on because its taking to long.

    So can someone explain why i can have this working perfectly in over 100 PCs dispite my best efforts to scew it on my home pc, yet other folk cant get the stable doors open on it? am i jus super inteligent, i dount it as you may have judged from my spelling!

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    Vista SP2

    "Remember: As long as there is a "C:" drive, it will always be DOS (or actually CP/M) in some form (and therefore broken!)."

    That is a ridiculous statement and one that really betrays your lack of knowledge about Windows.

    Look, Vista has its problems and it has really hurt Microsoft. I'm sure within Microsoft that its been pretty career limiting for some people.

    But the fact is that Microsoft are not the world's biggest software company for no reason. I fully expect Windows 7 to be be pretty awesome. Also, Server 2008 is looking good as well.

    Everyone now talks about how great XP is but when it first came out everyone was saying it was awful, and that there was no way they were moving off Windows 2000 as all that was new was some graphics that looked like they were designed by Fisher Price.

    Two service packs later and everyone is praising it as a fantastic OS and saying they'll never move to Vista. Windows 7 will be XP SP 2 for Vista and it'll fix a lot of the problems that Vista has.

    It's been a very costly exercise for Microsoft though so they're gonna have to get this right.

  19. N

    No point...

    Ive yet to 'upgrade' from Windows 2000 which runs fine under VMWare on my MacBook for the few occasions I actually need Windows

  20. N


    "XP is decent, but it's getting a bit long in the tooth to be on new machines."

    Agreed, but it runs like the wind, most things work & its reasonably stable.

    The last thing you want is calls from clients because X dosnt run with Y and makes Vista crash along with all the other rubbish on their brand new PC Wurld - Packard Smell incarnation !

  21. Ben Bradley
    Jobs Horns


    The thing that annoys me is that there's nothing wrong with XP, unless you're one of these people with a Start Menu that cascades out about 5 columns. It absolutely whizzes along on my 3.5yr old laptop. Sure, a re-format every 10 months or so helps, but that's hardly a big deal.

    Just keep releasing new service packs and drop the price to about $100 and they'd make a fortune from XP

    XP is so customisable as well, to an extent that most people don't realise. You don't like the interface? Go out and install a new shell ontop of it! There's some mega-cool open source windows shells out there these days.

    The OS is not a big deal now anyway, most of the apps that people use can run on anything now. Thanks to Wine and VMWare! GIMP seriously needs to add CMYK support though so I can finally ditch Photoslop!

  22. Anun

    Here's a thought

    What would you prefer to be.

    The last person to switch to Vista, or

    The first person to switch to Windows 7

  23. Ken Hagan Gold badge

    Re: Waste of money

    "I wouldn't want to be buying a new machine now, I like OSX but not keen on the iron grip Jobs keeps on that market, and the security by obscurity approach. My missus doesn't like Ubuntu so that's out as well. XP is decent, but it's getting a bit long in the tooth to be on new machines."

    An excellent summary, sir. Can we really have reached a situation in 2008 where you can't find an acceptable OS to put on a new machine? It's stunning. There's a market opportunity there for someone willing to combine "usable" and "trustworthy" in a single package.

  24. Anonymous Coward

    I hugged a penguin

    All the crap around Vista made me think even harder about Linux, then having to use Vista in work made me try it out. M$ can go ram Vista where the sun don't shine. Linux may be "interesting" around the edges, but for the average user (i.e. me) it does what I want, on the hardware I have and doesn't run like a dog.

    I have also ditch MS Office and whilst OpenOffice looks a bit rough, guess what? It does what I want.


  25. Matt

    still dont see the vista issue...

    Im running vista on 2 machines... a meaty HP laptop with full aero goodness and an old tablet PC with 768mb ram and a 900mhz ULV Centrino setup (obviously without aero)

    the HP is fine.. nips along as fast as an XP machine, every now and then it has its wobbles, but so did my previous XP laptop...

    The tablet too, once its booted is fine... fast enough, stable enough, and the Tablet interface is head and shoulders above the Tablet XP offering :)

    time people moved on... I remember a similar sort of reluctance to shift to XP...

  26. Andrew Kirkpatrick

    People don't like change

    I agree with Matt, people just don't like change; users were never going to like Vista no matter what, purely because it takes them out of their comfort zone!

    IT professionals like most of us have a different view on things, but then of course we do. Users don't see things the same way and we often forget that...

    Not saying that M$ couldn't have handled the changeover better mind!

  27. Paul Ashbrook


    Ha ha ha hee hee hee. Good to see this old chestnut appear again.

    I hope that El Reg is keeping the text to this story somewhere safe, for when MS extends the date again. Just remember to change the dates, guys.

    Linux - because there is a choice.

  28. Luke Wells

    What the hell is Vista for?

    I use windows 2000, because its compact, efficient and works! The only time I ever reboot my PC is when windows update makes me

    What is an operating system for?

    I thought it was to manage the filesystem, manage memory and serve as a shell for launching applications from?

    What the monkey ball munching christ would I want to fork out more money for an operating system that is 10 times more bloated and 10 times less efficient.

    I want a desktop, with icons on it, I want to be able to click on the icon and it launches the application. I also want something that lets me manage my files (explorer works fine) but a third party app could be used for that.

    I use thunderbird and firefox with good reason, so why do I have to endure internet explorer and outook express being installed by default (along with another load of crap built in applications that no-one needs)

    Linux (which I dont use - so no fanboy comments) does what it says on the tin, you can install a couple of core components and you have an efficient operating system with no bloat at all. You can re-compile the kernel to remove any functionality you dont want or need.

    When I can get Cubase and Grand Theft Auto 4 in linux I will happily switch over. Everything else I need is already there.

  29. Anonymous Coward

    Linux Fan : Vista's not that bad!

    I use Kubuntu and CentOS for running websites back-ended by Oracle, so I know enough about Linux/Unix to get by. I tried the big V about 2 months after it came out, it was truly awful, however I recently thought I would give it another go. Installed it in bootcamp on an iMac, shoved on SP1 and I have to say that it is actually very good. Installed Oracle 11g, kitted up a DB, ran some CGI with an Apache kit, seemed OK. Also ran up a copy of FarCry and UT3, sorry to say, it actually is not that bad. Seems to make all the right noises when i try to change something I am not entitled to. I do feel that they rushed it, hope they will get it right with the next Windows kit or they really will be in trouble. OSX and Linux have had plenty of time to make the world aware of their presence and I think people are actually listening!

    Most people are just jumping the "Vista's cack!" bandwagon, most of them not even having tried it. Unless you have actually tried it AND done stuff that normal people would do with it ( REMEMBER IT'S A DEKSTOP O/S NOT A SERVER O/S! ), not recompile God knows what and try to get Crysis running on some bizarre combination of unknown Taiwanese pattern parts, STFU!

  30. Nigel
    Thumb Down

    Just carry on saying no!

    I am not intending to buy any operating system that I can't run on an Eee PC with an affordable solid-state disk drive. Linux fits easily, with all knobs and whistles. XP just about fits (and with a little RAM upgrading and another flash card, fits into a VMware VM running in an Eee PC running Linux ). Vista? That's like trying to fit an elephant into a mini. It's huge, it's slower than slow, it's riddled with DRM, and nobody wants it.

    Your typical Joe will buy a Vista PC for home, not knowing any better, and his next "PC" will be a Mac. Microsoft must have a death-wish.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    Re: What the hell is Vista for?

    >I want a desktop, with icons on it, I want to be able to click on the icon and it launches the application. I also want something that lets me manage my files (explorer works fine) but a third party app could be used for that.<

    Precisely why I use OS/2 Warp. Object-oriented desktop, spectacular inter-application insulation, crash protection, and there's that vast array of ready-made applications as well!

    Damn Bill Gates! Why can't I have a new version of OS/2? Bastard.

  32. John

    So why don't businesses use Vista....

    Go to Dell's website. Select a workstation or laptop like the M series (Precision Line).

    Hit customize, and you will see the default is XP downgrade. Why?

    Try adding a video card.

    If you want a business graphics card like the FX series, Dell is just now, finally, offering Vista as an option. They weren't offering it just a couple of weeks ago, and the same was true of Alienware. The unit I speced out to purchasing with an FX 3600m last month has "available only with Windows XP" on the same line of the quote with the graphics card.

    We do modeling with high numbers of cloud points and need 64 bit/16 Megs RAM. XP 64 sucks and we use Vista on that, but for our CAM packages the Vista driver is horribly broken. No choice but XP. Microsoft really should have worked with developers earlier on the drivers. It costs a lot of money to develop drivers for these, and the lead time is long. MS should have known this and put some of that advertising money into customer support.

    What is obvious for most businesses: What I have isn't broke, and I'm not going to pay money to break it.

  33. phat shantz
    Gates Horns


    I am selfish. I try not to be. Selfish Phat wants Windows to work.

    In that part of my life where I pay the mortgage (yes, I still can), I do the thinking for the enterprises that cannot. I'm a "special needs" consultant.

    The majority of my clients bring a Windows Server legacy with them. Regardless of what anyone says, most are either incapable or unwilling to mix platforms between their servers and their workstations. And no, Linux cheerleaders, they won't abandon their Windows server installations just because you think Linux is cool. Remember, the CEOs get together and play golf. They talk about work. Linux has not made many CEO friends in mid-to-small-business. Sorry.

    The desktop legacy also follows Windows. The custom interfaces, server tools, enterprise applications, and enterprise software I build and support is in a Windows environment -- from server to data store to desktop to whatever.

    The challenge in supporting or migrating operating systems in small to medium sized businesses is not limited to the operating systems. It extends to the enterprise-level software, both vendor-supported and customized, that runs each business. Even the small(ish) company with fewer than 50 employees has, over the course of ten years, invested millions in the purchase, customization, integration, maintenance and modification of that enterprise software.

    A migration from one "brand" to another would be prohibitively expensive.

    As a reminder, the behemoths are still chained, unwillingly so, to millions and millions of lines of COBOL code. They cannot move for the very same reason the small and medium sized guys cannot move from Windows Server and workstation software -- the very core of the business exists in an uneasy, dependent, symbiotic relationship with legacy code that is usually more than seven or more years old.

    These companies, the backbone on which the economy moves, must be stable. They must move slowly. They must invest wisely and incrementally. "Free" operating systems would demand a re-investment in millions for a single small corporation to re-implement their ERP, integration, communications, and all the other forgotten automation that just runs.

    This is why a 40-employee company cannot slap-dash drop Windows Servers and Desktops in favor of your particular flavor of open source something. The business does not run on Linux or Ubuntu or Red Hat or even Open Office. It runs on the core business enterprise applications that have been bought and built and customized and modified over years of trial and error (and more programmers and IT geeks than anyone can remember). And nobody kept good notes.

    I would argue (in court if necessary) that Microsoft, then, has a fiduciary obligation to provide these companies, and all companies, with competent, usable, stable, efficient platforms on which these companies can run their business/enterprise applications.

    Vista does not, and cannot fulfill that obligation.

    I'm not banking on WineDOS 7, either. If history is any school, Microsoft has already screwed the pooch on that one. In similar fashion, every Microsoft release of applications or operating systems since 2003, save one, has been a bloated, resource-crushing disaster. (The jury's still out on SQL Server 2008, but I'm wondering why I need it when SQL 2005 is still on the shelf?)

    Regarding the servers, Server 2008 is decent. It made some progress over Server 2003. I have installed Sever 2008 on some new servers, but I haven't replaced any Server 2003 implementations with it.

    And the workstations, which is the point of this monologue, are all still XP Pro. Why? It works. Vista doesn't. And even that mythical under-fifty-employee company I reference would have to spend tens of thousands to install (notice I could not bring myself to write "upgrade?") Vista even on the 40 or 50 machines they use. (They would probably be required to buy 40 or 50 new machines just to do it.)

    It is all mathematical. Microsoft ***MUST*** produce and deliver a workstation operating system that is affordable, usable, dependable, and works with their current business/enterprise applications.

    Whoops! They already have. XP.

    Companies must have clear, convincing, low-risk, low-cost, usable, workable, easily-integrable options in everything. This is especially true of infrastructure. There will be no mass-migrations from Microsoft at any company. Any new machine or operating system or desktop applications must be inserted into the business management process like it was tooled and oiled and installed by a master. Otherwise it will be disruptive, expensive, risky, and bad for business.

    This is why Vista will not succeed. This is, too, why anything besides a Windows solution at a Windows-based company will not succeed.

    If Microsoft fails to deliver a success with Windows 7, there will be more businesses in distress than some little high-risk mortgage crisis can cause. If Microsoft fails to deliver a success with Windows 7, tens of thousands of companies will be forced to start all over -- and many of them don't have the margins.

    You and I, geeks and experts, can install Linux or What-U-Too on our desktops. Some can afford to upgrade to Macs and OSX. I have started installing Server 2008 on my own desktops to use as my workstation operating system.

    Businesses are not so flexible. They do not have the overall depth of expertise that you and I retain. They are at the shallow end of the technical pool, and that is how it will always be. (It will get even more and more shallow, relatively speaking, as technology progresses, too.)

    Extending the support lifeline of XP is the best news for business I've seen in a month. But I think Microsoft is not doing it for altruistic reasons.

    I don't think they're ready to fend off the mobs should XP die and all Microsoft can offer is a Vista monster, or its Windows 7 offspring.

    I think Microsoft is buying time.

  34. Wolf

    What a bunch of whiners

    Point 1. Try Vista (not Home Basic) on a computer it comes with. SP1 by preference, but then everybody's shipping SP1 these days.

    Point 2. Try Vista on something other than a Pentium 1 with 64MB of RAM. Jeez.

    Point 3. Right this very minute my company's running about 50% Vista in the main office, 50% XP. I have less trouble out of the Vista machines, and they run faster. (Mainly because they're newer, duh!)

    Point 4. I'm paying $399 for Vista machines with dual-core processors and 1GB of RAM. The users can't tell the difference between XP and Vista for the most part, but as an admin I *can*, and let me tell you the Vista Business machines are far easier to deal with.

    Point 5. XP was good in the day, it makes me laugh every time I hear "You'll pry XP from my cold dead fingers". This from the same set of crybabies that were wailing about how insecure XP was!

  35. Anonymous Coward

    Windows vista is shite when it works right

    (1) Remove the DRM

    (2) Standardize the card interfaces for video, sound, etc. so makers know what is going to work now is going to work on Windoze 7.

    (3) Standardize the interfaces for printing so that every printer maker out there does not have to rewrite every frikking printer program in existence,

    (4) standardize the usb so that all the frikking usb devices work properly (no, i know it's not YOUR interface, but your OS is supposed to support it)

    (5) separate IE from the file manager (explorer) and speed that sucker up.

    (6) figure out a way to make the admin features less annoying

    (7) make applications put their crap in their own program files folder and no where else)...and that means NO REGISTRY and NO SYSTEM or SYSTEM32 type crap

    (8) If you can't make it backward compatible, you MUST make it forward compatible so that vendors don't have to go thru all this again with windoze 7.

    got coat, leaving now.

  36. Anonymous Coward

    @Darren Tuffs

    if by 'super inteligent' you mean either 'only semi-literate' or 'severely dyslexic' then yes, yes you are! Here, have a cookie!

  37. B Ward
    Gates Horns

    I am bitterly disappointed.

    On my new Dell, Vista has ran fine and not crashed. Fearing the worst when my new pc arrived I was expecting flames to shoot forth from my monitor and an evil demonic head of Bill to appear. So far it's been running along fine.

  38. J
    Gates Horns


    "But the fact is that Microsoft are not the world's biggest software company for no reason."

    True, except the reasons you seem to be thinking of are hardly the most significant ones here...

  39. yeah, right.

    old argument

    Argument goes like this: "Microsoft must make quality software because they are the most popular". Alternatively "Microsoft must be doing something right because they are the largest".

    For the first one, I simply need to point to MacDonalds to show that just because something is "popular" doesn't mean it has "quality". You can sell crap to idiots and still be "popular", and companies like Microsoft and MacDonalds do just that.

    For the second, all you have to look is Microsoft's history. They didn't get big because they were good. They got big because they were mean and unethical. Through a few shrewd (read: unethical and possibly illegal, such as selling something they didn't own) manoeuvres they got a fast start in the early 1980's. Since then they have bullied their way to the top, and repeatedly, maliciously and illegally used their effective monopoly in one domain to push their crap into other domains. Meanwhile, their government let them because that kind of behaviour is considered "good" and "successful" in that culture. The bully is finally starting to see some of the rightful penalties for that kind of behaviour in countries where the rule of law means something, but it's been very slow in coming.

    As for XP vs Vista - you're right, there isn't much difference. One is just as broken as the other. However, at least XP has the background of people and software to make that broken piece of crap do vaguely what is required. Why should people pay more money to replace something that works for them with something that provably doesn't work? Why should people spend just as much switching from one lockin to another lockin as they would from switching to a system that would not lock them in so thoroughly, and would give them the option to move at their own schedule in the future? Personally, anyone working for me who failed that particular basic accounting (not to mention ethical) test would be walking the plank. Luckily, I've only hired intelligent people so far and haven't had to do that.

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Legacy Apps are the key here

    The company I work for has a policy of supporting everything we've ever made, for as long as it's physically possible - right back to the founder tinkering in his garage.

    Windows Vista has made it impossible to support a lot of our older products, and very difficult to support relatively new ones.

    We've had to dive into closed code to force it to work *at all* under Vista, and we've had to completely re-engineer quite a few of our newer products.

    We've lost fairly large amounts of development time making our new products "Vista Compatible", before we can add the actual features our customers want.

    Why? Because Vista broke almost everything that we took for granted in Windows 9x and then XP.

    Why did that happen? Because we're small. We're among the biggest in our industry, but our industry is relatively small so Microsoft weren't interested in us. We didn't get Vista until the public betas - and we couldn't trust the public betas because we knew things would change by the time it went live.

    On top of that, we sold several projects years ago - they were specified with Windows XP and had their software developed under that OS, but the customers hardware won't be purchased until next year.

    It's got to work immediately - we don't have time to port to Vista and run a proper test cycle.

    There's now some concerns about what's going to happen to Windows XP Embedded - how long can we still buy those licences, if 'normal' XP is going away completely?

    So our new embedded products run under Embedded Linux. That's the legacy of Vista.

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    How many times do we have to say this? How loud do we have to shout?

    Vista is unusable in the form its shipped to users. Instead of listening to users and figuring out what's wrong we're treated to ad campaign that says its all our fault. (Then there's Ballimer blaming Intel for not making fast enough chips....) No, its not our fault. We have work to do; this system takes perfectly functional hardware and makes it unusable.

    I'm a PC too. I run Linux most of the time.

  42. Will
    Gates Halo

    I'm loving it...

    not McDonalds, but all the people who choose to hate on Vista and then love up Server 2008. You're clearly firmly sat on the vista-hating bandwagon because if you had paid attention you'd know that as of SP1, both Vista and Server 2008 use the same kernel.

    I'm using server 2008 as a desktop OS, set to use Aero themes and do everything vista does, and I also have a desktop running Vista proper. No noticeable difference.

  43. jake Silver badge

    Usable & trustworthy

    > There's a market opportunity there for someone willing to

    > combine "usable" and "trustworthy" in a single package.

    Have you tried Slackware recently?

  44. phat shantz
    Paris Hilton


    Indeed, both the Vistaster and Server 2008 are built on the NT6.0 kernel. They diverge from there. Some independent researchers have shown Server 2008 in its desktop configuration runs 20 percent faster than Vista. Many have documented improvements between 11 and 17 percent. Given the user's ability to install only what's needed in Server 2008, the improvement can be higher, if tuned for the task.

    Clearly, there must be something fundamentally different about Server 2008 that makes it less offensive to users than the Vistaster. (The experts agree, DRM seems to be notably absent from Server 2008, and, while they cannot point a definitive finger to that one aspect, almost all agree that Server 2008 runs better, faster, and with fewer obstacles than its cousin, Vistaster.)

    Granted, they are different implementations of the same kernel and performance is a key in server software. At the same time, since the kernels are the same, where a driver is absent from Vistaster, it is absent from Server 2008. This is another good reason that XP workstations cannot be replaced by server software masquerading as a workstation. Not in theory. Not in practice.

    As an aside, that you would even consider installing Server 2008 -- knowing its checkered pedigree -- without investigating whether it would cause the same kinds of heartaches as those bemoaned by such a large community of users, was courting disaster. You may have dodged an O/S bullet by sheer luck. Where Microsoft is involved, pray don't take such chances again.

    Given our history with Microsoft, I don't think any reasonable user or consultant, working at the server level, is about to wholeheartedly and enthusiastically advocate using Server 2008, even yet, unless it is in a role that is not mission critical or in a case where the client is fully prepared to immediately regress to Server 2003. We just aren't that risk inclined. There were only marginally encouraging things said about Server 2008 in these comments. Don't misinterpret those marginally-positive statements as advocacy. You'll get yourself in trouble.

    All in all, by deconstructing your superficial comments, the careful analyist will only find further support for the case that Microsoft has made a terrible tactical blunder in their migration philosophy. Perhaps the early release of Vistaster was a warning shot across the Server 2008 development team's bow.

    Lastly, given that the researchers can all demonstrate a noticeable improvement in performance between Server 2008 and Vistaster and your findings are anecdotal, I'll lean toward the demonstrable, documented and metered examination and declarations.

    Thanks for your input, though. They have been a marvelous springboard for more detailed explanations and evaluations of Vistaster.

    Paris, because she is demonstrably slower, uses more resources, works poorly, if at all, on most platforms, and is adored by the Sigma -1, just like Vista.

  45. Kevin

    @Anonymous Coward Posted Friday 3rd October 2008 10:09 GMT

    "Everyone now talks about how great XP is but when it first came out everyone was saying it was awful, and that there was no way they were moving off Windows 2000 as all that was new was some graphics that looked like they were designed by Fisher Price."

    I still say that actually and still use win 2k pro. Anyone remember the one background that made fun of Windows XPs default backgrount by adding the telletubby house in and a telletubby with bill gates face on it?

    Only thing I ran into that won't run on 2k was some virus that actually refused to run, I actually tried to purposely install it seeing it said XP only as a test. Other than the virus I have yet to run into software or hardware that won't work under 2000 that I use or want to use. So I see no reason to upgrade from 2k even except some pretty graphic interfaces and new prettier icons.

  46. David Kelly


    Six months longer for more users to flee to OS X is a Good Thing [tm] ...

  47. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    Upgrade to Mac

    If Microsoft thinks they can force me to upgrade to Window Vista, they're dead wrong. I'll just buy a Mac and run XP inside an emulator when I need it. No company is going to strong arm their way onto my desktop. I will gladly pay more just out of principle.

  48. Tom Silver badge

    Six months

    as a paid director of MS and I might buy a copy of vista so I knew what I was talking about in meetings. Asuming I didnt get one for free.

    As for XP doing what you want - just keep an eye on those automatic upgrades!

    What always baffles me about thefistula supporters 'My machine runs OK with vista on it' is they dont look under the lid. If you have a ford 1600 cortina and then upgrade to a ford 16,000,000 4x4 luxury model and then find it only goes as fast as the 1600, still wont corner or go cross country - or even fly like it should with that engine - but has nicer looking leather interior would you not feel a little ripped off?

    Computer are too good for modern users!

  49. Anonymous Coward

    I upgraded from XP....

    I was a total Mac hater. Hated them and their smug users period.

    However Vista caused me so many problems, required so many upgrades and gave me so many driver problems that I just cut it and ran to OSX.

    I run all my old software in Bootcamp or Parallels in XP, and the entire upgrade has actually cost me less (new software included granted) than it would have done to go to Vista.

    I can't believe Microsoft have shot themselves in the foot Windows ME style again. XP was a great OS and one I still use everyday, but Vista needs taking outside and shooting. It's a donkey.

    And the Mac isn't as bad as I thought it would be. Some types of software are still thin on the ground and (gasp) it *does* crash, but it's certainly as stable as my old XP install. And with dual quad core Xeons, it eats everything else out there for breakfast.

  50. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    Shouting from the peanut gallery

    I bought a new computer after I killed my last one in a moment of sheer stupidity, and there was pretty much nothing I could do to save it. The old one was a dusty Compaq from 2001 which I had altered its original hardware to the point where the motherboard, processor and power supply were the only things I hadn't added or replaced. When I bought the Compaq, it came with guess what? Windows ME!!! At the time I was working as a tech support rep for Earthlink dial up, mainly network issues, and pretty much everyone I spoke to still had 98se. But the "real" techies I worked with went on and on about how awful Windows ME was, and I ignored them because my WinME was working fine at home for what I wanted. And I ran it on ME until about 2004 when I finally upgraded to XP SP1, which I wasn't all that sure I liked. And when SP2 came out, I worked with it on other computers enough to know I had NO intention of upgrading my home pc. Not only that, I kept my Automatic Upgrade turned off, because the few times I let it download and install something in my system, it seemed that I would start having all new problems. So my motto became "It works just fine, no point in messing with it, and I don't trust the updates that Microsoft sends anyway."

    Well, I went online after a long time of being "off the net" and forgot to activate virus protection on my old pc, and got something in my system that left it whacked and unusable. I managed to re-install XP using a disc from a friend, just so that I could try to rescue some of the data I had on the 2 drives. (Oh...the version I installed was in RUSSIAN...lucky enough you can find most anything in XP by sight if you've worked with it long enough.) So I retrieved what I could and then shut it in the closet.

    Short story long...I bought a new system in April and every single desktop I looked at came with vista, none with xp. So I went ahead and bought this new system, which is quite a bit more formidable than my last one, and started figuring the new stuff out. I quickly found that more than half of the programs that I had purchased for my old pc would not install properly or not at all, which is pretty much my main complaint about Vista. What I REALLY hate is the "Security Suite" that MS pushed out with Xp SP2 and continued into Vista. I prefer third party programs for my virus scans, firewalls, pop up blockers, etc. And trying to dislodge the windows security to make room for the other programs is a herculean task, especially when Vista has even "deeper" security it doesn't tell you about. I want to manage my own computer - especially because MS hasn't given me much hope that they can manage it.

  51. John Freeman

    Critical Thinking

    Have any of you tried Vista lately? I was a die hard XP user, believing all the hype spewed here and elsewhere about how bad Vista is. I waited until SP1 came out then went for the OEM of Vista Ultimate SP1. I was expecting loads of headaches which never appeared. I didn't get the UAC messages asking to confirm every single action, and very few of my applications were incompatible (those that were I loaded onto an XP virtual system). My machine isn't top of the line but there were no compatibility issues. I actually kind of like the OS. Does that make me bad? Not really. I'm just an average user (I wish I was paid by MS or some other big corporation for those doubting Thomases who think I might be firmly in the MS camp) which brings me to the point that reporters/commenters here have a responsibility to present a fair view of the OS. MS may be an evil corporation to many, but they are just that, a corporation supplying what the market wants and trying to make a profit - the basic pillar of business. I know many here are Linux fans, believe me when I say Linux has come a long way, but its not ready for the mass market (i.e. us dumb users) and without wider game support among developers, it will never be more than an enthusiast OS. Maybe you should give Vista another try before bashing it so much.

    Jolly Roger because I'm going against the popular opinion.

  52. Neoc

    Not upgrading.

    My reasons for not upgrading have nothing to do with "Vista is crap". It has to do with "why?".

    The things I thought would be cool to try (the new Filesystem, for example) were dropped by MS. Instead, I'd get things I *do not* want (DRM, anyone - or how about even more integration between MS products so that you are either forced to use them or just simply can't get rid of them).

    In other words - apart from MS desperately trying to kill off XP, there is *no* good reason for me to upgrade to Vista... no programs, no games (I use consoles), no DRM, nothing.

  53. wibbilus maximus

    here we go again

    The same comments keep appearing constantly. Most (not all) of the peole who bad mouth Vista have not used it for an extended period, or have used it at work where it's usually locked down by sysadmins.

    I have had Vista since it came out. I fix people's PC's as my job and knew that what was going to happen was people would end up with Vista so i needed to know it inside and out. The easiest way was to use it as my main OS. I hated it for the first 3 weeks cause MS did what they do best....move everything. Now i have no problem with it. Yes, i have a much more powerful machine then i did 2 years ago but the machine i had 2 years ago would run Vista better then a minimum spec xp machine (233mhz with 64MB RAM). Anyone want to try using that specwith an xp SP3 (or even SP2) install?

    For the people complaining about Vista and saying they won't upgrade cause XP works fine: then don't upgrade!!! XP is still supported, however, if you buy a new machine then why use an old OS? (a new PC will probably use SATA disks, so make sure you have a floppy disk handy to install the SATA drivers - make sure the new PC actually HAS a floppy as well)

    The simple fact is that Vista is to XP what 98 was to 95. Different, but largely the same. old hardware not working is something that is down to hardware manufacturers (the good ones will HAVE drivers that will work on Vista64 bit AND XP32 - Xyzel for example). The install routine is quicker and much easier. The file copying seems to take about the same time on XP and Vista, but vista has the nice feature of allowing you to select "do the same for the next 18 million items" - no more holding your finger down on Y to respond to XP's question each time.

    As for DRM, like i have seen commented a few times, no one seems to have actually noticed any evidence of any DRM related problems. Can anyone provide any?

    MS have dropped the ball in a lot of respects regarding Vista; IPX/SPX over Netbios is not supported in 64bit and the removal of HAL for Directsound is a biggie but the balance between positives and negatives is closer then a lot of people think.

    And befpre any fanboys start having a go, I think linux is a very good OS just not ideal for me. OSX has it's place but it's not my choice because the software i want to run doesn't come on a Mac

  54. Brett Weaver

    Just a wee suggestion

    My wife has a laptop with Vista. She has it because I found that it was not powerful enough for me to use after I bought it because it only has 1GB of memory - Its an HP supplied with Vista on it...

    She likes to use it when we are away to play DVD's.

    She has no real technical knowledge but she allows Microsoft Updates to download when she is online.

    We are away last week in a different city, staying in a Motel with no internet (cheap place but nice actually) so we go to the shops and buy a DVD, come back to the Motel and insert it into the Laptop. The menu comes up and then MSMedia player complains that there is a problem with the DRM and shuts itself down. It suggests we download an updated driver of some kind if we are convinced that we have a valid DVD.

    I'm afraid I got really angry with MS at that point. They had disabled the DVD playing because their own drivers which they had loaded onto my previously working machine were invalid.

    As it turns out, HP had a DVD playing utility included with their software so we enjoyed some peace and quiet whilst my son watched Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.

    MS must hate their users. Its the only explanation.

    Which leads to the suggestion....

    The IT profession should righteously shun people who work for MS like tax collectors. They look like normal people, but by working for MS they show that they are not worthy to be full citizens, merely a sleazy underclass.

    So next time you are going through a stack of CV's.. Shuffle the ex MS people to the bottom. Ensure your son or daughter is made aware of the lack of humanity in someone who works for MS. This will hopefully limit their breeding...

  55. Anonymous Coward

    @People don't like change && @Bunch of Whiners

    I've said it before and I'll say it again -

    Its not a case of people not liking change, its a case of people going for useability. Remember, thats why the hordes stuck with Windows instead of migrating to free Linux - they find the less mature Linux desktop environments harder to use.

    One of the biggest stumbling blocks as I see it, is the new OS is a far bigger resource hog than XP. There is still CURRENT SPEC hardware being sold which simply can't support it.

    My G/F's new laptop, sporting a Turion64 cpu and a gig of ram absolutely *crawls* with Vista (which it came bundled with from Acer). Theres probably nothing that bad about the OS, just its so slow as to be unuseable - and thats even with every possible unnecessary service disabled.

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