back to article Windows 7 - Microsoft minus the martyrdom

Such has been Microsoft's focus on consumers when launching and advertising Windows 7, you'd be forgiven for thinking business users didn't even exist. Yet, in early 2010, the wave of Windows 7 rollout will begin inside Microsoft-centric IT shops. A study of 184 customers considered mid- and large-sized customers by desktop …


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  1. Neoc

    Wrong quote?

    There appears to be a mistake in quote on top of Page 2

    "Windows 7 is a service pack or a fix for Windows Vista," Blake said. "But they branded it as a new product because if they said SP 3 - even if it has every single fix - they would have had to give it for free instead of being able to charge for it."

    There, fixed it for you.

  2. Anonymous Coward

    Call me cynical...

    It is almost as if MS wanted Vista to fail, lock businesses into a corner, so now all the businesses stuck with XP have got fork out bucket loads on Win7 licenses and they now have no choice but to upgrade! Now it will be such a rush, guess what you need? Yep, conultants with the Win7 know-how to come in and help you, at a huge cost of course, to get your Win7 project in as soon as!

    ( No ticking timebomb icon, so a "ticking" grenade will have to do! )

  3. jake Silver badge


    Around here (SF Bay Area), Win7 is almost universally referred to as Vista SP3.

    Regardless of how you look at it, Vista/Win7 is a bloated, slow, pig compared to XP.

    And XP is, itself, a bloated, slow pig ... One wonders why/how the featured companies seem to enjoy Microsoft's lipstick approach to OS design. It doesn't matter how many layers of lipstick you put on the pig, it's still a pig.

    Me, I'm actually looking forward to telling my clients that I am no longer upgrading my AutoDesk products, and as a result I won't be able to bleed on their plans electronically anymore ... it is going to happen at the end of the year, when my last long-term contract expires.

    It's kind of funny, actually ... I'm retiring my small cluster of vaxen on December 31, and the last of my Microsoft machines are going away the same day. The difference is that I'll leave the vaxen plugged in, and bootable, should anyone need my services ... But the MS stuff will be reformatted to run Slackware. I will never take on another MS contract. I'm quite looking forward to it :-)

  4. Anonymous Coward

    KVM switches

    I wouldn't recommend W7 for businesses if you use KVM switching (particularly DVI switches), like my company and some call centres I could mention.

    The whole KVM area seems to be an unworkable mess, for which Microsoft's solution appears to be "buy new hardware". They seem to be ignoring the problem because it currently only affects home users. Hopefully, that will change when businesses realise that it's unusable for them.

    Besides, when the switch costs 2 or 3 times what the OS costs, why would you change from a working system to a new OS which doesn't do the job?

  5. Richard 51

    Right on one thing

    Windows 7 is a Vista Service Pack.... My upgraded Vista Dell Laptop still hangs occasionally, Explorer stops working quite frequently and those annoying requests to allow programs to alter something or other! Especially Outlook... almost wish for Linux or XP.

  6. Keith Oldham
    Thumb Down

    A great investigative piece ?

    The words and phrases " whitewash, smoke & mirrors, snake oil, wool & eyes, muddying the water) come to mind.

    Seems basically an advert.

  7. Al fazed

    More MS Propaganda

    This sounds like more Microsoft marketing bullshit to me.

    Sorry, but I've heard this sort of American sales crap too many times already. Surely they must have picked up by now that it isn't the Operating System that people hate, it's the bogus company that sells broken stuff that the consumer has to fix.

    As a daily user of the PC, I have to state categoricaly, there is nothing interesting or exciting about having to go looking for the application menus that the egg heads have just moved to somewhere else, or marketing types have had removed altogether.

    Mind you, Ubuntu Linux is't a great deal better in this, it simply costs me ONLY the earning curve, which is enough, when you just want to do some work.

    There is no new hardware required, no new office software required.

    Hey ho, I've saved a packet already.

    I still need to provide the cost for maintenance, whatever the OS.

    So, if folks really like to be on the leading edge, good, I'll pick up the pieces when their machines fail.


  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So all those people who said "I won't be rolling out Vista"

    never rolled out Vista. Fancy that.

  9. Fluffykins Silver badge

    Its all in the way you look at it

    "The arrival of Windows 7 gives them the opportunity to replace aging PCs with machines boasting faster processors, larger memory, and hard drives."

    H'mmm. Shouldn't this be:

    The demise of support for Windows XP gives them no option but to replace perfectly good, working PCs with machines boasting faster processors, larger memory, and hard drives, simply to run Windows 7 adequately.

  10. Dazed and Confused


    I wonder how many companies will still have budget when it's time to put there hands in their pockets. Particularly when they find they need to buy new hardware and they've laid off all their IT staff to cut costs already.

    Once companies start, someone will get it wrong and then the bad press will start.

    I've not tried it yet, but I've already had people say "I can't do that, I've got Windows 7"

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    What a pile of steaming Vista

    Vista was hated because it was rubbish.

    Slow, and a pain to use. There was no real erason to replace XP as Vista was nothing new really other than changing the entire look and feel of the OS just because.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    That's odd...

    ... Adblock didn't pick that one up.

  13. Juan Inamillion

    Just one more thing...

    It's still Windoze.

    That is all.

  14. Duncan Hothersall

    But they didn't!

    "they did redesign the mother ship from the ground up so that was excusable"

    Longhorn was going to be a redesign from the ground up, but what Vista became was just a repackage of Windows Server.

    If they really had redesigned you could possibly have excused some of Vista's awfulness. But they didn't. And Win 7 still isn't a ground-up redesign.

  15. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

    So, marketing works, then..

    In Windows XP and Office 2007 we had the first instance of users realising that upgrading is not as compulsory as Redmond made it out to be, yet everyone is nervous they really *must* update "this time".

    That's some impressive brainwashing..

  16. Anonymous Coward

    If Win7 _is_ just Fista SP3...

    ...then how come all the drivers are different? <glares at laptop with W7 unsupported nvidia gfx which were fine under Vista>

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    "overwhelming hatred from users who hadn't used it"

    I have used it, yet my hatred of Vista is still overwhelming.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      And what is more

      Many of us beta tested it, using it for many months - not just for a day or two! We despise it not because we never intended to give it a chance, but because we gave it chance after chance after chance after chance after chance.

      SP3 is a slight improvement. With some glaring inadequacies _still_.

  18. Bassey

    the big problem

    The big problem with getting Windows 7 into the enterprise is going to be internet explorer 6. It's still the biggest single browser out there, purely because enterprises don't want to switch away from it for fear all their internal apps and Intranets are suddenly going to fall over. In an economic downturn, what CIO is going to present to the board a proposal to invest in testing every app and every page on their corporate Intranet, update any that fail and test again just so that they can update their OS?

    I love Windows 7. It's made my home network a cinch to run. But there is no way I'm pushing it forward at work. Once it reaches a critical mass in the home and people (important people) are asking for it because they like the way it runs on their home machines - then we can start to talk about it.

    1. Anonymous Coward


      Microsoft has decided it doesn't want people to have home machines.

      For gaming your kids needs will be satisfied with an Xbox - no need for a PC, anyway games dont come out on PC anymore either.

      For all your home needs, for Internet, Video editing Digital Photography and itunes, a Mac is more suitable!

      I dont see your important people asking for windows ever again...

      1. Daniel Garcia 2

        Need title for reply? i don't think so.

        your comment proves that you don't have an idea what many mature gamers want.

        There is not a single game that i am interested that is running in a console platform.

        actually, the only reason i use windows is because those grand strategy and on-line games are almost only for windows.

        If the game computer industry bring forward a optimized Linux based OS for games and published those games in linux, i promise that one hard drive exclusively for boot that OS and games will be on my computer before they can say hi.

        1. Anonymous Coward

          Microsoft has decided...

          I know what mature gamers want! actually I am one. Microsoft knows it wants to sell the xbox.

          My point was that with parents buying the kids a console and buying themselves a nice MAC Microsoft are destroying the one box all tricks useability of the PC. why? Microsoft are deliberatly pushing games to the console away from the PC take GTAIV released on PC almost a Year after the xbox, the lost and the damned and the ballad of gay Tony still are not out for PC.

          before you ask, No I generally dont play these but Kids do! You would have thought they would use gaming to thier advantage, but no, they see a MAC has no games and want to follow suit? what are they thinking?? all the time Linux gaming is getting better, was it unreal tornament that had a Linux client? Anyway this is not a bad thing for the user/consumer but its suicide for MS!

          I too long for the day I can run all the games on Linux I too am fed up with MS's shite. but until then.. the selection of games available on the PC dwindles, while console titles increase.

          BTW if you like the RTS genre get yourself a Beta Key for R.U.S.E! its looking good.

  19. SirTainleyBarking

    Are they for Real?

    "Windows Vista was not a bad platform - it had some bugs sure, but they did redesign the mother ship from the ground up so that was excusable," Blake confessed

    A mature software company like Microshaft should be doing proper testing. Its not excusable to have to mess about with two years of bugs and poor performance.

    As picked up later in the article. The real issue is that the OS "Just Works" and doesn't get in the way. In that way its now just another white good.

    In the real world people just want whatever brand of Washing machine to clean their clothes reliably. In Blakes world it would be acceptable for it to not rinse properly and leak water over the floor.

    Seriously! Wake up sonny

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down


    "Windows Vista was not a bad platform - it had some bugs sure, but they did redesign the mother ship from the ground up so that was excusable," Blake confessed.

    How can they redesign something from the ground up and end up with an XP installation with over rated front ends. All the screens behind control panel are the same as XP

    And anything that bad isn't excusable at that price.

  21. Anonymous Coward

    I aint paying for no service Pack.

    This one is to be pirated.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      There's the trouble!

      Yep and perpetuate the need for Windows for ever more. MS, although they won't admit it, love pirates, not the rip-off and sell type they need shooting, just the home user with a single hookey copy installed. Takes real courage to make a switch from Windows to something different.

      Once an addict, always an addict!

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Not me

        I've passed up numerous chances to get Win7 free or heavily discounted.

        Microsoft has had its day, they've shown the world what an operating system created by marketing men is like.

        Now it's time for them to move over and let the world see what computers are actually capable of.

  22. Anonymous Coward

    Pay to get rid of Vista?

    Stung for hundreds of pounds for Vista Ultimate.. now stung for hundreds more to fix it? I don't think so....

    As the great comedian George Bush once tried to say:

    "Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me"

    I aint paying for no more crap from MS. EVER!

    Ultimate! the end, no more, never again.

    1. Player_16
      Paris Hilton

      I'm confused...

      There was a comedian George Carlin, but I don't remember him saying anything like that; and then there was a US President George Bush that said something similar: "Fool me once, shame on you; fool me... can't get fooled again"! But I see your point.

  23. RichyS

    Very confused article

    So, which is it? Users don't want Vista because they'd heard it was crap, or users don't want Vista because it's dog slow? Or both? The article seems to flit between both viewpoints without drawing any conclusions.

    The fact is, Vista was crap. Mostly because it was dog slow. It brought no benefit to the end user in the enterprise, so why would they embrace it?

    Microsoft have now fixed the major issue with Vista (the Windows Display Driver Model -- moving to 1.1 from 1.0, just like Windows has moved from 6.0 to 6.1 -- hey, sounds like a service pack to me!); and tweaked some of the ageing UI paradigms (let's face it, Vista brought nothing new in terms of UI -- just fancier graphics for the same paradigms).

    A combination of XP beginning to show its age, lack of mainstream XP support, and an overdue hardware refresh (which causes the inverse to the driver problems that Vista had -- try getting XP drivers for some of the new kit!) means that adoption of the latest Windows is inevitable.

    Hell, I wish my firm would ditch the Win laptops entirely and get us some fancy Macs. It's not like we need anything the PC offers on the desktop side.

  24. Anonymous Coward

    "overwhelming hatred from users who hadn't used it"

    As an owner of Vista Ultimate do I qualify when I say I contain Overwhelming Hatred for the steaming pile of turd and words fail me for the description of the lowlifes who want to seperate my wallet from me again. £30 for win7 Pro (educational Upgrade - available to any email!) but £160 to fix my PC because it had ultimate on it???!?! Pigs in the trough!

    Ultimate should have free fixes surely?

  25. The BigYin
    Thumb Down

    Win7 offers nothing...

    ...and the only reason to upgrade will be the slow demise of any support for XP. Then again, what do you upgrade too? And does Win7 let you do anything better/faster than XP does?

    If Linux gets decent printer support (I'm looking at YOU Lexmark/Dell), multi-head support (a few Gnome bug fixes and Intel/ATI given a slap - thank god I'm Nvidia on the big box) and VPN support (hello CheckPoint, this is the 21st century calling) then it could well be a viable alternative. Ooo yeah, and you can get Flash to actually run with out it becoming jumpy-jerk fest.

    With the rise of Droid and the whole Googley love-fest, some of those might actually get fixed. Which would be nice.

    My Chrimbo project: have another look at MythTV and see if it has got anywhere near MediaCenter (which, apart from notepad, is about the best thing MS has ever written. Hmm, add the calculator to the list; that's pretty good too).

    1. Keith Oldham


      I've just upgraded my systems to OpenSUSE 11.2

      I didn't touch the command line

      The computers all found the networked laser printer ( Samsung ML-2570) automatically - it's on a OpenSUSE 11.0 system)

      I tried an old laptop on a LCD TV and it went multihead (1280x800 laptop with a 1920x1080 TV screen seamlessly linked)

      My wife is using VPN to access her school's system - no effort to install

      I had a problem with the Broadcom wifi on the laptop so rather than faff around I just put in a PCMCIA card and that sorted it.

      1. The BigYin

        It's pot luck

        Lexmark printers won't work on Linux (OK, that's a bit over an over-generalisation, but the support really sucks).

        Multi-head is a bit pot-luck. You might be lucky, you might just have to fiddle a bit with xrandr or you may enter the pain zone (gnome+intel graphics+multi-head = nightmare; that's been my experience anyway, yours may vary).

        The way the corporate firewall is set up, it will only let in a CheckPoint client, and CheckPoint does not support Linux. OpenSwan etc are no-go (I'd be summarily dismissed if I tried).

        I know all these things *can* be done, but it still hit-and-miss I'm afraid. I'm just hoping that the fanboi rush to droid will force companies to up their game (or open their code up so it can be ported).

        1. Rattus Rattus

          If you want to do multi-head,

          use a real video card, which Intel certainly ain't. What the FUCK is it with Intel and their frigging chipsets? I've had nothing but trouble with Intel video and Intel wireless adapters under both Windows XP and Windows 7. Ironically, I've had less trouble with them under Linux (though still some issues). Seriously, Intel, get the hell out of the goddamn wireless and video markets if you can't make a decent bloody card to save your lives. Or write some drivers that actually work. Or some bloody thing. Maybe it's time to return to using the old 'Evil Inside' stickers.

  26. Tom 7

    Its redesign from the ground up!

    Shame most of the monsters seem to live in the cellar...

  27. John Sanders

    MS still thinks that Vista was just a marketing failure.

    "Windows Vista was not a bad platform - it had some bugs sure, but they did redesign the mother ship from the ground up so that was excusable," Blake confessed.

    So there was nothing wrong with Vista then...

    "It would have worked quite well in our enterprise apart from a few glitches, but the overwhelming hatred from users who hadn't used it wasn't something I wasn't willing to contend with."

    The original Microsoft theory that all that was wrong with Vista was marketing related.

    "The fact Microsoft just got Windows 7 "right" on stability and performance is more important than the fact Microsoft's introduced new features such as Windows XP Mode."

    I'm confused here, if Microsoft got 7 right, does it mean that Vista was not "quite right"? Oh yes! I know, the marketing on vista was bad.

    Back in the day I got people who voluntarily embraced vista with a good attitude, those same people came back screaming: take it out! put XP back, take this rubbish out of my computer!!!!

    Now I know it was all hatred, Win 7 works because MS removed that hatred, I wonder what they did to remove the hatred... vista was perfect... but 7 is right and stable hmm.

  28. Paul Shirley

    me too "overwhelming hatred from users who hadn't used it"

    Another vote for 'tried it, hated it'. If Win7 is just a fix pack for Vista its going to be less painful moving to Linux. Even the brain dead desktop versions pouring out of Ubuntu ;)

    You'd think by now the Microsoft fanbois would have accepted it wasn't a whispering campaign of disinformation that killed Vista, the product really is that bad. They've spent so long astroturfing they assume everyone else is just as corrupt.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    IF you only use office packages, and general purpose commercial software packages, then an upgrade isn't a big issue. However, I work in banking, and we use hundreds of custom applications. Even if we don't change a single line of code, it all has to be tested for months on end before anyone will stick their neck out and say do it.

    And that's if nothing changes, i know for a fact that all of the browser based applications were written by a bunch of cowboys, and i knwo they'll fall flat on their faces and cry as soon as you take IE6 away from them. Any changes that, say, impact the tcp/ip stack will mean a lot of our proprietary networking code needs to be looked at (hey it was cutting edge 15 years ago) as our whole infrastructure has grown up around it.

    The upgrade itself will be a massive undertaking as a large number of our machines chug along with XP, never mind 7. So the real driver for upgrade will be when the cost of ongoing XP support from microsoft, outweighs the cost in upgrading, exactly as it was for NT4 a few years ago. Maybe in 10 years time when it's had a chance to mature!

  30. Saucerhead Tharpe

    Win 7 meh

    I had a machine with Vista Ultimate on iot, never saw any reason that the extra was charged for, and as I got that machine free from MS (not that the WiFi worked from install, when it did on a Live Ubuntu CD).

    Din't like it.

    New games machine came with Vista Home Premium, with service pack ok enough, but nothing fantastic.

    I put Win 7 onto it at the weekend, still not impressed. When the trade press rave about the semi-hidden show desktp button, you know they are finding it hard to justify.

    In many ways my Xubuntu Asus 701 is a nicer machine to use, my Rock Pegasus with Xubuntu is a joy from the software side, responsive as anything.

    I'll dual boot my Win 7 machine but, if games like LoTRO and Company of Heroes were in Linux form, I'd dump Windows in a heartbeat

  31. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge

    I never had

    the delights of Vista, mostly due to buying this PC 2 weeks before it came out


    a few things puzzle me

    Why do people accept a slower and slower OS on faster and faster hardware?

    Why does the OS get in the way so much of people who just want to work/play/send rude e.mails?

    Why cant they just bring out a business version at 59.99 and a home user version at 39.99 and watch the things fly out the door?

    But what do I really care.... Linux for me and for free

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

  32. King Edward I

    I'm running it...

    my mate bought it, I tested it on his computer, and finally upgraded my XP partition. It's faster than vista, and I needed something DX10+ capable so I can get new pretties running on it :D Plus I get it for £30 for bring a tax dodging student :P

    Ubuntu remains my primary OS for uni work and general webbrowser usage, but I no longer feel quite so lost when I reboot into windows. (If you've used any modern Linux distro/mac, XP feels hella clunky) and I can FINALLY get the HL2 cinematic mod to work (kinda).

  33. Ihre Papiere Bitte!!
    Thumb Up

    I'm gonna be hated for this....

    Just bought a new pc with 64-bit Win 7 - It's a replacement for an XP system that finally died last Thursday night. I was planning to upgrade next year once it's had chance to settle, but looking at over £100 for new bits to make this one work again made me think "what the hell" and I splashed out on a complete new box, and have spent the last few days setting it up and playing with it.

    I have to say, I like Win7. I skipped Vista at home, but have to use it at work every day, so I'm *very* familiar with just how flaky it is and how much of a PitA it is to use, especially for dev work.

    I've obviously had to spend time getting it the way I want it (after 6 years with a system on XP, nothing is where I want it and was used to it being!) but overall, I am impressed with it. I can't refer to it as Vista SP3, because it works, and I enjoy using it - something I can't say about Vista at all.

    I eagerly await the abuse...

    (PS: even as a Win7 supporter, that article should have read "advertising feature"!)

  34. Scott 9
    Thumb Down

    It's a $%$!@! service pack alright.....

    I installed Vista late last spring, after all the horror stories it was stable and I didn't have any of the copying problems or other issues people reported. I did have the Vista-ific issues with an explorer shell that is now completely $@$%!@ed up, and a control panel that is more arcane than helpful. I honestly couldn't find things when I searched, and what happened to the up folder button? Why keep screwing things up? It's like someone in marketing said "25% of the people like to do things this way, 25% like it that way...." and the manager said "Let's put them all in!" And don't get me started on UAC.....

    So I install 7.....aside from a a different start screen and menu it looks like the exact same thing, even using the same drivers, or maybe not. You're supposed to use Windows 7 drivers if they work. And now I'm having blue screen crashes after years of never seeing one. The "Windows-Kernel-Power" error looks like the new "General Protection Fault." Anything from your sound card drivers to Ram voltages seems to be able to cause it. Have I fixed it? Heck if I know, just keep using the Windows Experience and see if the night of upgrading drivers and flashing firmware worked.

    I still have UAC, I still have an explorer that doesn't work, I still have a messed up control panel....Hey Microsoft, if you think we're all idiots then quit trying to make these things idiot-proof! Just stick on a button saying "Do you know what you're doing? If no, then stay out of it!" Why is the display resolution now "Appearance and Personalization," why is there the #!$%^!# "Anytime Upgrade?" If I wanted it I would have bought it in the first place! Why so many versions? Why not just two, one for home users/gamers and one for business?

    So I basically all it feels I got was a new splash screen and a lot more aggravation. Thanks a lot, Microsoft!

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Didn't find Vista toooo bad

    I did have Vista for a while, and for what I used it for it was ok (clunky in places but generally ok). My wife who got a new machine with the rip-off that was Vista Ultimate installed, hated it with a passion for many justifiable reasons.

    I have since thrown W7 on both machine, and we both find it a lot more comfortable to use.

    I regularly try out the likes of Ubunto just to keep an eye on what is happening, but I inevitably end up discarding it due to ugly displays (the font rendering seems to be dreadful) and the fact it cannot run some of the programs (Première pro) and all important games that I use. However, if I ran a business where all that was needed was the normal office suites, then the lot of them would be running Linux and openoffice unless there was a spectacularly good financial or technical justification for them not to.

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Don't gang up on me but.........

    ........ I love windows 7.

    I have been using it a corporate enviroment since the RTM version came out, and it's alot faster than XP was on the same hardware. the legacy app installer helps alot when it comes our rubbish apps like BMC Remedy etc.

    i liked i so much so i updated my netbook(advent 4211), desktop and workbook, and the only thing I needed drivers for was the fingerprint scanner on the 8710w.

    the big pressing point for us rolling it out to end users is the training it will require, no start button anymore, not a big deal, but going from office 2003 to 2007 caused us some training issues. deployment will be done with WDS and MDT2010, really looking forward to it !

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up

      @Don't gang up on me but.........

      Agreed - best OS i have used in years - that includes 3 versions of OS X.

    2. Anonymous Coward

      I dont doubt it..

      I would expect 7 to be better than vista! some of us made the mistake of thinking Vista would be better than XP. It is supposed to be an upgrade after all.

      but it sucks that its not a free fix. yes if you are on XP pay for 7 but the poor souls screwed by vista should be offered a like version gratis.

  37. Anonymous Coward

    Buy things from we.

    "Organizations on Windows XP are running old machines that need replacing."

    "We want you to replace Windows XP with Windows 7. You will not be able to run Windows 7 on your old hardware because Windows 7 is now so bloated it makes Mr. Creosote look like Kate Moss. You will therefore need to upgrade your hardware. This is perfect for us because we're tied into deals with Intel (bing-bing-bing-bing). There's actually nothing wrong with running Windows XP except that it's old and our industry is all about being new, new, new! So be new and not old and buy new Windows 7."

    "Windows XP Mode is ready for the enterprise, but the enterprise it's not ready for it"

    "The enterprise doesn't yet see the need to buy new hardware so it can install new Windows 7 on it just so they can run old Windows XP when they already have old Windows XP running just fine on old hardware. They need to see that they must buy new things becase new is good and old is bad."

  38. Alan W. Rateliff, II
    Paris Hilton

    Hatred of Vista from people who didn't use it?

    How about the hatred of Vista from people who DID use it?? I have had to roll back more than a few Vista installations to XP for customers (some angry) who either found the new Vista interface unusable and confusing or the performance of Vista far below tolerable. We ran into several issues which limited productivity or prevented users from doing work entirely, including stupid bugs, random crashes due to driver problems, slow performance over VPNs, poor performance over internal networks, and so on.

    Windows 7 is no more a service pack to Vista than it is a service pack to Windows 98, or XP was a service pack to 2000. Internals aside, as are detailed in great nauseum by Russinovich and crew, it is more stable, performs better, and more compatible than Windows Vista.

    I have run Windows 7 in various stages, and have been pleased with what I have seen. I abhor the Vista interface so I have not implemented it on the metal of any of my own machines, but instead run it virtualized in VirtualBox and VirtualPC. The results have been very pleasing. And for the experience with 7 on metal, compatibility with software and hardware has been more than acceptable. There may be issues with some old or obscure components, but IMNSHO these types of things should not be in use except in extreme cases -- you know, when you center and entire enterprise around a whiz-bang gadget from a company which went out of business in a couple of years. (Of course, ignoring operating system compatibility, if that gadget dies, what then??)

    Paris, whiz-bang gadget.

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    anybody getting the black screen of death?

    1. Anonymous Coward


      because I dont use that crappy PervX software.

      More bad reporting from beeb.

  40. Tim Brown 1

    You may say that...

    "Windows Vista was... [a] redesign the mother ship from the ground up"

    Except that of course it wasn't really was it? More like knocking down a few internal walls, (including the odd supporting one, whilst forgetting to stick an RSJ in) and then buying a cheap kitchen that looked good but where half the drawers didn't work properly and the sink leaked.

    (c) Bad analogies are us 2009.

  41. Michael C
    Thumb Up

    7 is a big improvement...

    ...over XP.

    If you have vista, and qualify for one of the cheap upgrade options to 7, it might be worth it, but only if you're certain all of your apps are 7 compliant.

    If you have XP, and a very recent machine (likely because you downgraded from Vista), with 2GB of RAM or more and a dual core, then going to 7 is worth it, though you'll likely have a lot of software to buy. If you have an older machine, wait until you get a new one.

    There's still issues:

    - control panels are an inconsitant nightmare, worse even than vista, but simply ignore that and launch the panels direct from the start menu and you'll never notice.

    - Backup is still broken, but now worse as the image backups are also automatic. File recovery works, but not system recovery, unless the images are burned to DVD, but that's not an option unless you do them manually on your own. Images to disk or network locations are STILL broken (restore media can't find them even if you browse it to the right folder manually).

    - lots of default settings are not the prefered settings

    - Search still sux.

    - changes to start menu basically force you to use search instead of browsing for an app as you're used to

    - home folders are still screwed (why can't I move the WHOLE home directory, instead I have to move 15 seperate folders which takes 6 clicks each and i have to browse each time for the new location! OMFG!)

    That said it is more stable, its definetly faster, it certainly looks better, the taskbar is an improvement (if marginal), networking is much improved, reinstalls are quick and painless (reinstalling XP now takes hours with so many patches and packs to install followed by dozens of apps and features included already in 7), media center is improved, and honestly, once you use it for a month or so it really is a nicer experience (it's no OS X, but it's clearly taking lessons from it).

    Stop listening to the media, swap out your hard drive, install 7, and USE it, then you can bash it if you don't like it. Odds are you won't dislike it, other than typical "why did they move/change that" which you soon get over, and in some cases, realize that although it's not what you;re used to, it is better in many ways.

  42. Peter Kay

    @'Vista was crap', tape and KVM troubles

    I actually like Vista - or at least I did after waiting for SP1 and sticking 4GB RAM in there. Windows 7 seems like an improvement, but has a few niggles - most recent of which is dropping Removable Storage Management in W7 and Server 2008 R2. I'm not terribly amused that Microsoft is trying its damnedest to kill off tape, and that any tape software other than enterprise level (possibly even that) is utter crap - Windows Backup was adequate for most people.

    I wasn't impressed by some of the drivers shipped with Windows 7 (incomplete, buggy), but Vista was the same and quite possibly XP was too. Fixed with official manufacturer drivers.

    I can't say I have any problems with my KVM (A Compaq rebadged Avocent VGA one). In fact, I'd say it was easier to get all the resolutions on my monitor sorted in Windows 7 than under Vista, which fights you somewhat if your monitor isn't PnP enabled. It's also lovely to finally be able to install a display driver on Vista/Windows 7 without rebooting!

    Given that Microsoft's most recent response to the KVM issue was 17 hours ago, I don't think whinging about their present 'lack of response' is acceptable. Complain if they go quiet for a month!

    Frankly I've had KVM issues with plenty of OSses, especially the cheaper KVMs. The ways in which OSses cope with duff KVMs can differ, depending on the robustness of their keyboard/mouse code. I wouldn't say Windows was worst here, either.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      My expensive KVM switch was not duff

      until Windows 7 came along.

      It's the monitor switching which Windows 7 can't cope with. It refuses to cooperate with a KVM switch that doesn't continuously broadcast EDID info.

      "Complain if they go quiet for a month!"

      That's pretty much what they did. That's why the contributors to the thread got irritated with them.

  43. Bilgepipe
    Gates Horns


    "they did redesign the mother ship from the ground up so that was excusable"

    It is absolutely damn well NOT excusable. If Microsoft want the whole bloody world to use their shitty products, they are obligated to make them work, not release an update that simply doesn't work anywhere near as well as it's predecessor.

    Bloody Microsoft apologists.

  44. Dave 129

    @Michael C

    Home folders can be moved entirely............ but only if you create a custom install image and set the mount point for it in an auto answer script. Apparently you can symlink the Users folder, but on a live system I don't think I'd fancy my chances with that one ;)

    Quite why MS can't just give an "Advanced" option during installation, I will never know. I would dearly love to be able to say "Stick Hom... sorry Users on the D: drive please, thanks". I totally agree with you though, it shouldn't take 600+ clicks to just move your folders to a place outside your OS partition.

    Re: Backup - you also forgot with Backup, if you want to backup to a NAS or network server you can only backup to a machine running Windows 7!!!!! *arrrrgh* So it's pointless.

    That said, Windows 7 is OK, but it does have lots of inconsistencies and more than a few rough edges (Control Panel especially, fourth version of it seems like MS can't decide how it should work, hint - leave it as applets that open in a new window and have done with it!).

    @AC Still problems with Windows 7: re the taskbar/superbar thing, travesty/farce. I see you've struggled much like I did at first. You have likely tried to add shortcut icons and pin them; which is wrong! You need to pin the RUNNING program, otherwise it will reappear all over. No, I don't know why it is that retarded - but it is. So if you pin the running programs you can then drag them up and down and the position will be remembered with any new apps being thrown at the end. Hope that helps you a bit - it really, REALLY annoyed the hell out of me!

  45. Anonymous Coward

    Vista wasn't so bad... but

    Is it just me, or does anyone else prefer Vista to W7? I hated Vista, I hated XP too. My real preference was Win 2000 Pro. The only stable, usable Windows OS IMHO.

    I could at least make Vista work slightly like XP/W2K, but with W7 there's no chance what so ever. I kept Vista because it was on my new laptop (2 years old now) and also I needed it for my work. I repair PCs (no, not Windows). In over 10 years of fixing PCs, I've fixed 2 Apples. One had a dead battery and the other had a failed install of Ms Office for Mac. Admittedly, probably 90% of the Windows PCs I fix are virus/malware related problems, but there's still regular amusement when people complain their 6month old laptop is broken and after asking what OS is on it, I can tell them "no, it's just the OS has screwed up" and then finally returning their machine and telling them "I'll see you in another 6 months".

    My Vista laptop now tripleboots Ubuntu Karmic (not impressed at all), Win7 RC and er.., something else! Ahem, I'm now about to buy a Mac in January. I've tried several different distros of Linux/BSD/Others. They all have their problems, mostly printers or software ie, I can't find an OS that supports my printer AND has the best package manager. Having to install individual apps to form OpenOffice is no use, software development is overly complicated or is missing major components which I have to manually search for & install. Or in the case of Karmic, Flash/Firefox is unstable along with 1 or 2 other problems.

    I'm no "fanboi" of Apple, but I understand their control over the hardware makes them a bit more stable (mostly). My preference would be RISC OS, but until it's truly updated to the 21st century, it's not my main OS (I'm keeping an eye on you Jeff!!). I'm still running Win7 RC so I can learn to fix the influx of broken Windows PCs after Xmas. Either way, Microsoft products will never be used again for my own personal use.

    1. N2

      No its not you

      I diddnt like XP at first & make it look like 2000 (I prefer the simplicity of W2000 Pro anyway) & Vista is dire. Microsoft seem to consider its target users are 5 years old & never seen a computer before or at least it certainly looks like it to me.

      I wish there was a simple 'fix this crap' / 'Im over 40' / 'grumpy old man' button that got rid of those annoying balloon prompts and suppressed all the other rubbish in one go, a sort of universal Tweak UI, that makes any Windows OS look & work like your own PC for then few hours your fixing it before changing it all back to how it was before - ie messed up!

      I also find that 95% of my 'repairs' are fixing malware & viruses, the others are mainly going back to XP from Vista or the power supply has croaked & died or burst into flames...

      Windows 7 to be honest Im unsure, I did find one or two things during the beta & managed to crash Explorer after about 30 seconds on a brand new Dell. I just find the UI annoying and ribbon menus - yuk, please no!

      Microsoft should have focussed on XP holdouts making it as easy as possible to make the change at a reasonable price point. To me, Windows 7 is a service pack for Vista & its too expensive.

      I find my Mac Pro does a fine job and Ive never crashed it once, I run windows XP under VMWare which works for what I need & I doubt very much if ill ever buy a PC again.

      The irritating crap you get by the bucket full with a PC, isnt installed on a Mac & I hope it never is.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Annoying balloons etc

        Quite apart from the fact I've got multiple versions of the betas here and could run the RC until March/April, but removed it and went back to XP yonks ago - or could run any of several versions of the RTM using, say, Chew-WGA or RemoveWAT (which I have tested) - but here I am, still on XP:

        I don't actually want to run any OS in 'pirate mode'. I want one that is legitimately mine. But I will _not_ buy (or even take as a freebie!) any 'Home' version, because almost the first thing I do on installing Windows these days is go through Group Policy and turn all that shite off, and I am not going to buy a copy that is crippled so GP won't work - and I sure as hell ain't going to pay £100 extra - or thereabouts - just to be able to run it!

        1. N2

          The very word

          'Home' sends a shudder down my spine, 'Home' for just who?

          Malware & Viruses for two & I also resent the fact that MS in their infinite shittydom choose to maintain & cosset the very same, lame moniker that means gold for malware writers.

  46. Andy Enderby 1
    Gates Halo

    rewind that story a moment....

    For fscks sake - glitches and performance.......

    Taking the glitches first - who'd bet the future of their enterprise that they wont encounter the glitches on Vista with their apps....... When you have a platform on which they currently work, keeping up with the Joneses for no good reason simply fails to make sense. Get real....

    Performance- so in order to buy Ballmer a new banana businesses have to either accept shitty performance or spend more money, in a recession on a program of hardware upgrades.

    Further in order to support this little lot, your boss ends up spending a boatload on training because the beast of Redmond redesigned everything largely to drive training revenues - Come on, get a fscking grip, in blighty they're still trying to outsource anything that moves in support departments, they're going ot pay those training costs ? I don't think so........

    Now we have the Windows 7 corporate poster boys being wheeled out and the best they can say is that the product is less shitty than Vista.

    In corporate terms, anyone care to mention what VIsta offered over XP/2000 etc....

    Massive fail.

  47. Buzzby


    I bought a Medion quad core Pc a year ago. It has one major big thing going for it UAC. I have 2 boys, 10 & 15, they wouild install everything. UAC stops them cold, I retain control, they dont know my master password.

    Yes Vista can be a pain but I dont know if I want to upgrade to 7, this is an OEM setup and I wouldnt mind a proper copy like I had XP on my old pc. Anyone done the upgrade this way, any problems?

    I have 2x1Tb HDD fitted plenty of space to play.

    You want to be a telco in the uk then you have to give big brother access!

  48. Defiant


    If Windows 7 is Vista Service pack 2 then Windows XP is the Windows 2000 service pack 5 (NT5.0/5.1 & NT6.0/6.1)

    1. No, I will not fix your computer


      Windows 7 (6.1) is Vista (6.0) service pack 3

      W2K was 5.0

      XP was 5.1

      XP 64 bit and W2K3 was 5.2

      W2K8 is also 6.0, and W2K8 R2 is 6.1

      So if 2008 is 6.0 and also 6.1 (at R2) then that means that Vista (6.0) and W7 (6.1) are probably just as close, in other words Vista, W2K8 and W7 are the same codebase.

  49. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge


    Nice recovery, Microsoft apologists (not El Reg, the IT people they are quoting). "Vista wasn't really crap, it was just in the users heads." No it was not. Vista was and is CRAP! I've SEEN it running, it's slow as hell, and I hit bugs and UI inconsistencies (not "oh the border looks different" but actual ones..) within minutes of using it, not doing anything exotic but just using the Windows Explorer. Our University deployed it (some, it's too bloated for most systems) and it is slow as balls on them too. And no, the solution to this is not to just say anything less than a quad core with 3GB is "underpowered", as many Vista apologists did.. it's to use something that's not so bloated. Needing GBs of RAM and multiple cores to run *the OS* is inexcusable. No comment on usability and such.

    I give Microsoft the credit they are due for realizing this was a huge problem and worrying over performance for Windows 7 -- it's not as fast as Ubuntu but they got the performance WAY up. I am Microsoft free but I don't want to jump out the window when I see Win7 as I do with Vista.

    1. Wolf 1

      @Henry Wertz 1

      "No it was not. Vista was and is CRAP! I've SEEN it running, it's slow as hell, and I hit bugs and UI inconsistencies (not "oh the border looks different" but actual ones..) within minutes of using it, not doing anything exotic but just using the Windows Explorer."

      I call BS. I have over a dozen Vista business systems running, only 2 have 2GB of RAM, the rest have 1GB. They run just fine, and these computers cost $500 on down to $400, depending on when they were bought, and they run Intel graphics.

      Aero runs just fine. The systems are stable, they haven't given me a bit of trouble, and while I will happily buy Win 7 systems in the future I have absoutely no desire to upgrade the Vista systems to Win 7.

      Vista is not slow, it's not buggy, it's rock solid. Win 7 has some speed optimizations and memory reductions (mostly for video) but I upgraded a Vista machine with Win 7 (test bed) and while it's fun and a nice improvement, it's not enought to prompt me to spend my pitiful budget upgrading Vista machines.

      The interviewees are right. Users bitched without ever trying Vista. The Mojave experiment proved that early on.

  50. ElReg!comments!Pierre
    Thumb Down

    What redesign?

    They bloody well did NOT redesign anything from the ground up. They took server2008 and slapped a shiny interface on it. A redesign would not have been an excuse in the first place, but there was actually NO FRIGGIN redesign involved here. They just introduced bugs in a pre-existent rather good codebase.

  51. Piezor

    Windows 7

    I like it

  52. Anonymous Coward

    Linux is faster???

    why is it that so many people can claim ubuntu and the likes are faster than windows 7 or even XP? I simply do not believe that. I have a few old laptops lying about, and I sometimes play around with Linux distros (cos it's free and interesting to experiment with) but I really do not think that linux is faster or feels faster than windows 7/XP on the same system. I can't comment on Vista, I never tried it. As a student i get free licenses for a lot of windows OSs (MSDNAA) so I get the chance to play with them all, and windows always runs better than Ubuntu 9.10 for example. My latest install was Ubuntu 9.10 on a Dell 5100 with a measly 512MB RAM, and it ran slow - and the CPU fan would turn on all the time even when it was just running idly after a boot. It was really stressing the system out so I installed Windows 7 and it worked far better and far quicker. Win XP would have been ever quicker I'd imagine.

    so why is it that linux people always say it is faster and light on resources? It just is not true, i've never experienced it to be faster at all... Ubuntu 9.10 takes forever to start firefox or openoffice, and the entire interface seems to be jerky and slow.

    just my opinion, but i'd bet many people reading this will agree. the linux fans may well be more vocal though!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up

      Well I think it's faster

      I now run Ubuntu on my Macbook Pro and it "feels" faster and more nippy than the XP or OSX that I had before. It just feels more responsive.

      With 4Gb memory I can quite happily run both XP and CentOS in VirtualBox VMs at the same time and it still feels pretty good. Don't have any figures, just a gut feeling.

      [BTW I don't have an axe to grind against any particular OS, it's just a tools don't ya know?]

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I can see...

      ...that you do indeed test distros! Me too. In fact, it seems I never learn, because after I say "never again!", it seems a year on and I download a few more and try again. Half the time I don't even get the install completed, because some bug (usually not even a bug, just a stupid error or omission) has occurred that is so unacceptable I just turn the machine off, then boot something with a partition manager on and format the drive. I hate Microsoft but Windows always performs vastly better than whichever major distro I try. I _so_ want one to be good enough to permanently replace Windows with; and I detest people who claim that freeware is crap, but I'm forced to conclude that, with Operating Systems, at least, you _do_ get, more-or-less, what you pay for. And that Linux desktop advocates are basically so tight that they overlook _anything_ that could contradict their belief in the free OS. Private Fraser would run Linux. With some Heath Robinson contraption for stealing the electricity to power it (maybe an anode and a cathode inserted into a grave and tapping a difference in charge in the putrefaction process?).

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Oh dear - I bit!

      There is a good reason why the "Linux fanbois" say that - because it is pretty much true!

      Allow me to explain, there are rather a lot of differences between Linux and Windows:

      I have deleted the long diatribe that I started to write. Bugger that. Search for "unetbootin". Grab a >1Gb USB stick and try out a few distros without touching your installed OS.

      If you end up installing Ubuntu then you have my sympathy ...

      (Ubuntu - an African word meaning Gentoo is too hard for me)

    4. Keith Wingate

      Depends on what you're doing

      I'm a software professional, (and an old command-line dinosaur from Unix System V days at that) so 90% of what I do with a computer 10-12 hours a day absolutely does not require bit-mapped graphics. Point-wait-click-wait interfaces generally don't help me, so for me Linux makes much better use of the same hardware resources than any MS O/S including DOS.

      Why should I waste most of my CPU and RAM constantly re-drawing the pixels for icons whose usage I need to hover-over to figure out?

      For the "normal folks" who do not think of computing as a verb, (much less a profession) and need a GUI of some sort for everything they do, then you've got X-Windows (Linux, Mac) vs. Win32. Frankly, although much less flexible, I've actually come to find the MS GUI's more responsive, typically easier to use, and less flaky. Maybe I've just drunk the kool-aid.

  53. Neil 6

    Windows 7 = Vista Service pack?

    Your glass is half empty sir.

    I say that Windows Vista was Windows 7 Beta.


    That's exactly what we're going to do - skip the "user-friendy" Vista and hop from XP x64 to Seven for our machines... Or maybe we won't even go that far and stick with XP.

  55. Anonymous Coward


    lol @ android icon next to header on main page

  56. Anonymous Coward

    If they had just...

    If MS had left the XP interface or made it possible to go back to the basic Win 2000 look, I do not think there would have been as much resistance to the product despite the bugs. People hate change and the longer time between changes makes it worse. If you can change things but make it something familiar there is a lot less shouting from the masses.

  57. Jonathan Richards 1

    Believers unite!

    TFA says: "you'd be forgiven for thinking business users even existed"

    Thank you so much. Business users of Windows (TM) really exist!?!

    I am a believer in Tooth Fairies, Santa Claus and unicorns, too.

  58. Bruce Ordway

    My real preference was Win 2000 Pro

    Me too. Win2K seemed like the best thing MS ever did.

    Simple, easy to figure out, just all around cleaner.

    That was when I was won over by MS.

    They've been losing me ever since.

    It's like MS marketing discovered Win2K was too good and forced a change of direction.

    It felt to me like MS started tinkering with XP and delivered the full abortion with Vista.

    I suspect we'll never see a release like Win2K from MS ever again.

  59. Thorfkin

    Vista continues to be good

    I agree completely with the assessment that Vista is good and that vocal detractors have either never tried it, or have some misguided pre-conceived notion as to what a new Microsoft OS should have been. Vista started out rough but every OS Microsoft has ever release has had the same problems. I remember back when Windows XP was released. You could install a clean copy and within minutes you would start to run into strange problems with the task bar. I fielded a lot of complaints from my friends and family over that one. That and drivers were only available for the most current hardware on the market. If your machine was a year or two old you had a high likelihood of having to replace at least one piece of hardware. Since XP's release in 2001, most people have long forgotten the teething trouble that plagued its early adopters.

    As far as I can tell, Vista's bad reputation was primarily the fault of the press / media. Almost everywhere I turn even today I constantly run into articles that claim Vista to be terrible or refer to it as Windows ME2. Yet all of my friends and family who use the OS, as well just about every IT professional I personally know, agree with the that the now matured Vista is actually quite good. I wish more media professionals would do first hand research rather than just quoting the opinions of other media professionals who also didn't bother doing any first hand research. You did a nice job here Gavin! It is refreshing to read an article that genuinely parrots my own experiences with Vista.

  60. Bruce Ordway

    or If MS had left the XP interface made it possible to go back to the basic Win 2000 look,

    Yeah, or at least if the interface changes made more sense.

    With the interface change from NT 3.5 to NT 4, I was thrilled.

    There was still a lot of clicking as I'd expect from a gui, but for the most part things were easy and sort of intuitive. Win2k still good.

    XP? what was with the Fisher Price kiddy theme?

    Then Vista came along, moved/changed things & adds even more clicks.

    What was the point to these changes?

    BTW, whatever happened to the file system as a database?

    Wouldn't it be nice to see something like this delivered?

  61. Jason Yau

    This is not a bug

    this is a feature

  62. magnetik

    Mojave project

    I don't know whether to laugh or cry every time someone mentions the Mojave Project. Obviously those people don't really want to be taken seriously :-D

  63. Fred 1

    Same turd

    Better polish

  64. CADmonkey
    Thumb Down

    Maybe Windows 8?

    I have Win XP 64 on my CAD workstation and on my Thinkpad w700. They continue to make me money by processing all my stuff in a brisk and stable manner.

    The Thinkpad came with Vista Business 64. Using AutoCAD was like sitting on a chair with 3 legs. Crashes every 30 minutes. Put XP64 on & voila, stable useful computer.

    I also trialled Windows 7 up to the RC but gave up because nothing made up for what they did to Explorer & File searching. Also, you couldn't open more than 16 files at the same time. I asked Steve Sinofsky if the logical next step was to replace the Calculator with an Abacus? (Think touch-screen and custom colours!)

    He didn't reply.

    Fuck him. He also mentioned he was responsible for that fucking animated dog.

    XP64 - Still the one

  65. richard tanswell

    Yeah right!

    "Windows 7 is a service pack or a fix for Windows Vista," Blake said. "But they branded it as a new product because if they said SP 3 - even if it has every single fix - it would still have the mental attachment to that old operating system. By releasing it, that's given every enterprise the opportunity in the world to adopt some technologies they really wanted to."

    More like they didn't release it as Vista SP3 because they wouldn't get any more revenue from it!

    Great idea though, release a crap product, ask the users to help you fix it, apply their fixes, release it again with a different name and get them to cough up again for it! :)

  66. Oliver 10

    Now have used 7

    The wife ordered a new laptop that came with 7. It has enough UI changes to be confusing. Also the horsepower of the machine it comes on and it does feel kinda slow. At the same time she had ordered a refurbished machine that is roughly half the CPU power and half the RAM with XP SP3 and it feels positively snappy (although the intended user, the teenager son states he wants Ubuntu on it....), with I had stopped learning new windows with XP and that will remain so. There is less of a learning curve going to GNU/Linux (most mainline distro's) from XP than to 7. Most of the machines we have are now running either Ubuntu or Puppy these dayss...

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