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April 14 2008

Windows Vista: Who Will Save Us From You?

Windows Vista LogoMy ever so-secretive friend, known only as “M” round these parts, called me from her super secret lair, high in the mountains of Transylvania today… with yet another tale of woe in regards to her laptop that sports the evil known as “Vista“.

Less than a year ago she needed to replace her aging Sony Vaio, found a good deal on an HP, but, alas it sported Windows 6 AKA Vista. Biting the bullet, she took the plunge and… regrets every minute of it. It runs slow… it crashes… if it sits idle too long, it tells her she improperly shut down, and, worst of the worst, today it ate her paper that was due in hours. She purchased it from Staples near her old apartment (somewhere in the Himalayas, I think), and swung by another branch closer to her current abode. Immediately upon telling the tech desk that her computer was being naughty, they replied with, “Is it running Vista?”

Is this a good sign for an operating system that spent five years in development? If tech people are rolling their eyes at the latest iteration of the venerable Windows brand, shouldn’t this tell Microsoft that they got it wrong? Not just wrong, but horribly wrong?

Already Microsoft has answered one consumer outcry for an extension of Windows XP sales, but that new date is quickly approaching (June 30th), and people are again crying out for it to not go away. You would think Microsoft might realize that this really is what consumers want when they have even caved to the idea of releasing Service Pack 3 for a six year old operating system. Consumers want XP… why not give it to us?

Microsoft blew it, and they blew it in such a monumental way that I am not even sure there is anything to compare it to. Many people bring up the disaster that was Windows ME, but it was always meant as a bridge between Windows 98 and XP, it was fairly well known it wasn’t a fully realized OS. The difference with Vista was it was supposedly the be-all, end-all of the Windows universe. XP was to be immediately forgotten and everyone would, once again, flock to the loving arms of Microsoft and embrace the latest release as the second coming to the computer world!

Vista Tech SupportInstead we got a resource hogging, sluggish pile of trash, foisted off on to the unsuspecting public that now leads tech support guys to ask, “Is it running Vista?”

I can understand why Microsoft doesn’t come out and just say, “Our bad, hold off until Windows 7 due in 2010!”, but to kill off XP, which, despite its flaws, actually works, is just wrong. As of July 1st you will have a minimum of 18-months of sales of nothing but Vista on new computers, and, to me, that borders on criminal. Mind you, that is 18-months MINIMUM, knowing Microsoft and their delays, it will probably be years.

If Steve Jobs was smart… well, smarter than he is… he would come out with some “Introductory Macs” right now. Yes, the Mac Mini is “affordable”, but it is somewhat underpowered compared to the PC market, and at a starting price of $599 with no keyboard, mouse, or monitor, it still seems high to the average consumer. If he was to strike during these proposed “Vista Only” months with a Mac that anyone could afford and get behind, the market share for Apple would sky rocket, giving Microsoft the kick to the teeth they so richly deserve for this debacle.

(Before anyone even says it, no, Linux is not an option here. Linux is cute, and a great boon to the homebrew PC crowd, but it is not ready for mass sales of this scale)

Do I think Jobs will do this? Unlikely. He likes his luxury/elitist image of Apple products. Heck, I would love to jump to MacBook Pro, but starting at $2,000, it’s not happening. And that’s where this all comes back around to my recent laptop hunt. I’m ready to buy, and I am going PC again, and I am going XP again. How sad is that? I’m one of those supposed “early adopters”, someone who lives on the forefront of the tech scene, and I’m going to buy a new computer… with a six-year-old operating system. Even I have to give myself an “Extreme FAIL” award for that one.

So, what’s it going to be Microsoft? Will you allow XP to live on, offering the computer world a minor olive branch to somewhat offset your follies? Or will you continue down this road of peril, possibly causing people to either switch to Mac, or using rapidly aging equipment, hurting the sales of equipment manufacturers? Microsoft has the ball firmly in their court, let’s see if they serve it wisely.

In the meantime, I know one Vista user who would like to shove her laptop firmly where sun doesn’t shine of one Mr. Bill Gates.



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  • Ken

    you people are such whiny babies…. I have had vista for 6 months…. unless your a moron its no different than XP… all the security features can be turned off, and just like any new OS, yeah you have to upgrade some older programs (but most work fine!) Get a grip and lose the lazy attitude and LEARN something! My Vista has never crashed…. NEVER…. and if u turn off HIBERNATION and/or take the time to set your settings for what windows does when it is idle, you won’t have these problems! XP shuts itself off the same way! JEEZ…. get a grip and embrace change!

  • Linux IS ready for mass scale. Take an easy distro like ubuntu or pclinuxos. Linux wasn’t ready years ago, don’t stickto the clichés (this entire post has become one too)

    You can keep using xp till the Seven comes, You’ll just wont have updates. So if youstay with xp, be sure you have something to do the security.

    People shouldn’t switch to mac because it’s too expensive. And so is windows.

  • Yuffles

    My new pc came with vista and i have had no trouble at all. Ever.

    Not a single blue screen, no hiccups at all. It runs at great speed and after a couple weeks i was perfectly used to the new layout.

    It just took a little getting used to and some goofing around with settings to get it in tune. First thing i did was turn off all the stupid “user account control” features. It was smooth sailing from there.

    At one point i had issues with some drivers. I just downloaded the updated versions and I was good to go.

    I don’t see where the problems are that people have with vista. Mabey people don’t know how to take care of their PCs properly.

    My advice: Buy a mac. I heard that the limited hardware and software options on macs makes everything work like the day you bought it. And when something goes wrong all you have to do is find the nearest apple store and wait a week while they do their proprietary hardware voodoo magic.

  • Pingback: Najlepsze Programy, Recenzje, Informacje. » Blog Archive » Windows Vista: Who Will Save Us From You?()

  • I hate windows vista as well. FIrst thing I found out was that I had to get a new printer, because my TWO YEAR OLD printer didn’t have drivers for Vista. Then came the email problems with windows mail…

    It’s the worst operating system I have used in a long time…

  • Roy

    I have vista running on my quad core and I don’t have any problems with it. IE is a different story though but I use FF mostly. I’m been running Vista on my this PC since September last year and it has crashed “0” times. Seriously, it’s not as bad as people what it to be.

    Anyways, if you don’t like it why don’t you just buy a Mac already!

  • Windows has always sucked, though XP is the best OS that Microsoft has made to date. Vista definitely seem worse. The required specs are just outrageous. Your OS shouldn’t require that much graphics processing power, sorry.

    I just bought a MacBook this week, after using Windows XP since 2002 (and Win98 before that), and it’s great.

  • Using Windows Vista has lead m to believe that the next version of Windows will work like this:

    http://www.yoyogames.com/games/show/21104

  • logan

    Hey I face the same problem too! It’s really irritating. When it gets real bad, what I do is just run a computer check up. That usually does the trick in solving all these issues. You might want to give it a try too, i believe its free at http://www.pcaholic.com.

  • Pingback: SeanPAune.com » Blog Archive » Windows Vista Is “A Work In Progress”()

  • between moving everything around so users dont know how to do basic things like they did in Windows and altering basic features like windows networking Microsoft has caused massive problems for IT managers, pc support staff and I believe any non-geek who has vista.

    I have had to answer soo many unnecessary questions for users who are left in the dark by Vista. its no wonder new pc orders are seeing like 40% of the orders for Windows XP

    At the very least, Vista makes Windows XP look magnificent, lol