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What's so wrong with Vista?

What's so wrong with Vista?  I can't think of anything that XP did better than Vista off the top of my head, and I can think of two big improvements:

1. By default you have to be prompted to do anything requiring admin privileges, which is a HUGE security improvement.  I mean, Linux does the same thing (at least Ubuntu desktop does).

2. The single Vista feature that makes me unlikely to ever desire XP again: the start menu.  Just hit the windows key, and type part of the name of the application you want and hit enter.  No mouse required, no searching through 500 folders for an app that you can remember the name of but not what company makes it.  Just type what you want and it finds it, surprisingly well.  On my XP machine at work I feel crippled whenever I have to go back to clicking the start menu.
Kip Robinson Send private email
Monday, August 20, 2007
 
 
Explorer for me crashes occasionally.  I haven't pinpointed why yet. 

I also hate how certain software while running disables the aero interface -- just the effect of the screen going black and reverting to standard interface back and forth gets annoying.  Thats the breaks though if you choose to run Aero.

Other than that though i like it.  I've had almost no problems with software, drivers, etc.  Networking is a breeze.  Wireless works much better than linux for me (I have yet to get a broadcom wireless card to work on Fedora, Suse, or Ubuntu -- on multiple machines). 

Funny thing is software that would crash on me in XP does not in Vista. 

I'm amazed when I read slashdot the sheer effort people put into slamming it.  I read one comment where some guy was complaining how it took 2 hours for him to figure out how to change a tnsnames.ora file.  Clearly a user problem....
grover
Monday, August 20, 2007
 
 
* Cant write to program files
* When I double click on an Icon I am asked (sometimes twice) if I really want to run the program - duh that is why I double clicked on the icon.
* To many other annoying items that are not worth taking the time to write about.
Scott Woods Send private email
Monday, August 20, 2007
 
 
"Cant write to program files"

You just showed everyone that you have no idea what you are talking about and that any comments you make should be completely ignored. What is it with so many of the programmers out here that they can't get even the simplest security concepts? I suppose you also run as an administrator under Vista instead of a standard user like you are supposed to.
anon
Monday, August 20, 2007
 
 
> I suppose you also run as an administrator under Vista instead of a standard user like you are supposed to.

I got sick and tired of having to confirm what I was doing every time I wanted to run Visual Studio and and MMC snap-ins (which is a lot in my day job) that I turned it off. Having a dialog pop up that asks for confirmation when you try to run or install something is just something most people will ignore and find a frustrating stumbling block. It's not a proper attempt to reduce spyware, etc because if you're able to install spyware on XP you're just as likely to do it on Vista, only you have another button to press in the process!
John Conners Send private email
Monday, August 20, 2007
 
 
I don't think that Vista is all that bad, it's just that it isn't sufficiently better than XP. To get people to switch to a new version, and be happy about switching, your new product has to be significantly better than the old one.

Not just a little better in some ways (and worse in others), but oh-my-god-how-did-I-live-without-this better. And Vista really just just doesn't have that (ahem) wow-factor.

And to address the OPs point about the new start menu, there are dozens of add on programs for XP that add that "start typing and get a list of documents/programs". I've tried Launchy and Google Desktop.
Bill Send private email
Monday, August 20, 2007
 
 
"What's so wrong with Vista?"

The OS they delivered is dramatically different from the one they said they were going to build when they announced Windows Longhorn at PDC2003. The original vision for Longhorn was exciting and *gasp* innovative. Windows Vista is neither. Neither is Mac OS X Leopard, actually. At least Mac OS X works properly and doesn't feel like layer upon layer of bloat and cruft. All the discipline and direction of Windows NT feels like a distant memory.
John Topley Send private email
Monday, August 20, 2007
 
 
I wouldn't use nearly all the crap that comes with Vista, like Media Center, BitLocker, etc.

To me, the main "improvements" are all cosmetic. I've spent a lot of money on my computers, and I'm not wasting their extra power on fancy visual effects that annoy me or get disabled.

I thought the same about XP, too. Until there is a good competitor to Windows (on the desktop), we're all forced to upgrade to Vista at some point in time.

As for the extra security, well.. it's more to do with stopping you (the user) from causing damage, rather than some jerk trying to 'hack' you. Additionally, running as Administrator in Windows isn't the same as running as root. My user is always in the admins group, it's just too restricting for the work that I do. Windows is inherently insecure, it just wasn't designed with security in mind from day one. It's just a load of patch-work and hole covering.

I'll probably upgrade at SP2, like usual...
coco
Monday, August 20, 2007
 
 
@Bill: "To get people to switch to a new version, and be happy about switching, your new product has to be significantly better than the old one."

Unless you obsolete the earlier version, and it's an app that is a must-have (e.g., Microsoft Word or Excel) for doing business.
Paranoid Android Send private email
Monday, August 20, 2007
 
 
>1. By default you have to be prompted to do anything
>requiring admin privileges, which is a HUGE security >improvement. 
But it doesn't ask you for the root passwd like linux does it just pops up boxes asking you to click yes to a question you don't understand, and it does this so often you end up automatically clicking yes to get any work done.

It seems like a lawyers solution to the problem of an insecure system = we aren't liable because the user agreed to allow that trojan to run and overwrite a buffer.
Martin Send private email
Monday, August 20, 2007
 
 
Nothing is wrong with it. I have literally had NO problems. I am a software developer and run lots of different programs. I am baffled by all the moaning and gnashing of teeth.
Mountainous Send private email
Monday, August 20, 2007
 
 
I think the biggest issue with Vista is that many of the menus and settings you were used to in all the previous Windows iteratations have been moved or now reside behind multiple different windows.  Joel listed the issues with Networking as an example.  Another easy one to pinpoint is adjusting the display.

Windows XP:
- Right click on desktop
- Click on display properties and adjust your resolution/multi-screen layout

Windows Vista:
- Right click on desktop
- Click on personalization
- Click on the display properties
- Adjust display

It's only one extra click, but it's annoying as hell when most of the other options on the personalization menu are rarely used.

A second annoyance deals with Netmeeting.  I know it's old, but everyone uses it in corporations.  It's simple to use, installed on all the computers, and IT JUST WORKS.  Substitutes for Netmeeting (i.e. WebEx) require much more time to set up and just don't work as well.  I wound up installing Netmeeting on Vista, but it doesn't allow you to share your programs, just view other people's programs.

The list goes on and on.  I'll admit that some features are great, primarily the search feature in the start menu.  However, it doesn't make up for all the odd changes in the operating system behavior along with the various annoyances and incompatibilities.
Jason Lin
Monday, August 20, 2007
 
 
Granted Marvin, Microsoft has enough power in the industry to force Vista on us despite its lackluster reception. Eventually they'll just refuse to keep selling XP and that will be that. They simply won't back down on Vista like, for example, the Coca-cola company did on New Coke.

But I did say "switch to a new version, and be happy about switching". The key point I was making was to explain why most people aren't *happy* about switching.
Bill Send private email
Monday, August 20, 2007
 
 
You can have OS security without bugging people to death like Vista does. Try a Mac to see how to does this right.

Vista is going to give a huge boost to Apple's market share, now that Macs are running on Intel and can now run Windows programs at reasonable speeds. I've already moved my laptop from Windows to Mac and am seriously thinking about moving my primary desktop there too (we develop software for both platforms).
Cross-platform developer
Monday, August 20, 2007
 
 
"I got sick and tired of having to confirm what I was doing every time I wanted to run Visual Studio and and MMC snap-ins (which is a lot in my day job) that I turned it off. "

You can't "turn off" running as an administrator. You either are or you aren't. You are clearly talking about UAC which is a different thing entirely. So now that you've turned off UAC and are still running as an administrator you're right back to being lumped into that group of people who call themselves computer experts but clearly know nothing about security. If you are going to turn off UAC you should at least be running as a standard user.

The Linux users will continue to laugh at you for running as the equivalent of root all the time. And the virus writers will continue to target Windows users because they are "low hanging fruit".
anon
Monday, August 20, 2007
 
 
"Vista is going to give a huge boost to Apple's market share, now that Macs are running on Intel and can now run Windows programs at reasonable speeds."

This whole thread is ridiculous. Show me a windows program that runs natively on Mac OS please!?!? Oh, you mean that Apple will sell a lot more computers because they will now be able to run windows programs on a windows OS on an Apple computer. Gee... that has nothing to do with Vista at all does it?!?!
anon
Monday, August 20, 2007
 
 
Sorry, I was unclear. These are two separate issues:

1) Vista is much less pleasant to use than XP, motivating people to look elsewhere. UAC is the worst offender but not the only one. We have Vista on a couple of machines here and I hate it everytime I have to use it instead of XP.

2) Mac now is a better alternative now that Macs run on Intel chips, because there is no more discrepancy in CPU speeds, and you have an out to run Windows programs effectively using Parallels or Fusion. Virtual PC on a PPC Mac wasn't acceptable for most people.

My prediction is that the combination of these two factors will cause Apple to gain market share rapidly. No problem if you disagree!
Cross-platform developer
Monday, August 20, 2007
 
 
"No problem if you disagree!"

I disagree but thanks for the clarification.

For the record, I think UAC is great. But that's because I am used to running as a limited user on XP which can be quite painful. Those of us who have been running as limited users on XP realize that UAC is awesome. I no longer have to search for the RunAs equivalent to do things that require admin privelges. I can now just attempt it and I'm automatically given a user/password box to raise my rights to perform the function.

Most people who complain about UAC have been running as an administrator on XP and are running as an administrator on Vista which is still a major no-no. They see it as some sort of extra step that wasn't needed in the past when in fact it should have been needed in the past had they been running the way they should have been running. And so you get these "experts" telling you that it is garbage because people are going to ignore it. But UAC is really the only thing saving them from their own ignorance. Personally, I would have prefered a pop up that just called people stupid for still running as admins all the time when Vista makes running as a standard user so much easier by way of UAC. Go figure.
anon
Monday, August 20, 2007
 
 
> If you are going to turn off UAC you should at least be running as a standard user.

Ok then, tell me how to run as a standard user and debug ASP.NET applications on IIS using Visual Studio 2005 (which is what I spend most of my time doing)? Oh right, you can't, you have to run as an administrator, which means UAC prompts you to elevate to an administrator, which is what I'm talking about. And that's just one example.

And for your information, I am and expert user! ;-) Never had a piece of spyware, never even come across so much as a virus in 10 years of Window usage!
John Conners Send private email
Monday, August 20, 2007
 
 
Martin wrote: But it doesn't ask you for the root passwd like linux does it just pops up boxes asking you to click yes to a question you don't understand, and it does this so often you end up automatically clicking yes to get any work done.

Therein lies the problem.  It DOES ask for the root passwd like linux does, when you are running as a non-administrator (just like you're supposed to do in linux.)  The idea is to set up an administrator account, then another regular user account for normal use.
SM Send private email
Monday, August 20, 2007
 
 
Too much eye-candy. Too much DRM. Too much UAC pop-ups.
Peter Send private email
Monday, August 20, 2007
 
 
"Ok then, tell me how to run as a standard user and debug ASP.NET applications on IIS using Visual Studio 2005 (which is what I spend most of my time doing)? Oh right, you can't, "

Google is your friend here. I believe with SP1 that most of these problems have been ironed out. I don't use IIS since I use the personal web server so you may see a couple of issues that I'm not seeing. But do some googling. At the very least you can run ONLY Visual Studio in compatibility mode as an administrator. It is better to elevate the privileges of Visual Studio than to turn off UAC and run as an admin all the time. Makes sense right? ;)

 
"Too much eye-candy. Too much DRM. Too much UAC pop-ups. "

Too much FUD.
anon
Monday, August 20, 2007
 
 
"Therein lies the problem.  It DOES ask for the root passwd like linux does, when you are running as a non-administrator (just like you're supposed to do in linux.)  The idea is to set up an administrator account, then another regular user account for normal use. "

+1 for SM. This is exactly what I'm talking about. Any time that I see someone bash UAC because it just prompts you with an OK box I know that they are still running as an admin and have no idea what they are talking about. If you are running as a standard user it will prompt you for a user name and password just like Linux before elevating your privileges. The only times it prompts you with just an OK box when running as a standard user are the exact same times that XP prompts you today (downloaded a file from the web and are now going to run it, etc.).

Again, UAC saves your butt if you are stupid enough to be running as an admin. And it is a wonderful time saver if you are smart enough to run as a standard user. Those who bash UAC clearly have no idea what they are doing. And those who just turn it off and continue to run as an admin because this or that program won't run are not helping matters. Log a bug with the offending software company and run that program in compatibility mode until the issue is resolved. But DON'T turn off UAC and run as an administrator simply because it seems easier and the common FUD out there says that UAC is garbage anyway. It simply isn't true.

I'm done with my rant since I've gotten my point across. Thanks for listening.  ;)
anon
Monday, August 20, 2007
 
 
> It is better to elevate the privileges of Visual Studio than to turn off UAC and run as an admin all the time. Makes sense right? ;)

You're absolutely right of course and I'm quite wrong! I tried, oh how I tried to live with having to confirm things several times an hour (don't even get me started on how much Visual Studio 2005 crashes on Vista). At the end of the day I'm just a user, I use a computer to do a job and the more seemingly unnecessary things I have to do to accomplish that task the more frustrated I'll feel. It doesn't take many UAC prompts for me to have an automatic response of clicking the things and I guarantee that will be the same for most people who don't even know what UAC stands for.

As for Vista in general, take wireless networking. My wife's laptop runs vista and my laptop is a Mac. When I changed the security setting on my wireless router, my Mac popped up a dialog, asked me for the new password for the wireless network and that was it. Contrast this with Vista which immediately started moaning about the credentials being incorrect for the network - giving a cryptic error message of course. After much messing around I found I had to remove the wireless network from its list then go through a wizard to add it again with the new credentials - with several pages of things I didn't care about - I just wanted to connect to the same network with different credentials. So much for the improved GUI - it's puts more burden on the user to think than ever!
John Conners Send private email
Monday, August 20, 2007
 
 
> Any time that I see someone bash UAC because it just prompts you with an OK box I know that they are still running as an admin and have no idea what they are talking about.

Trouble with this is that where I work they don't like having anything more than one account (in A/D or your local machine) so I have to either be a non-admin and not be able to elevate to an admin without going and getting someone to enter their credentials (very painful every time VS2005 crashes), or be an admin. Kinda stupid really!
John Conners Send private email
Monday, August 20, 2007
 
 
I am very happy that I have windows Vista now, as it allows me to test if our software will work for people with Windows Vista.

(And I also like the big standard font and the nice care taken of the helpfiles, both in Vista as in Office)
Wauter Send private email
Monday, August 20, 2007
 
 
"Again, UAC saves your butt if you are stupid enough to be running as an admin."

I've run as admin for 7 years with never a problem.  I don't give a shit about security on my desktop.  I'm not stupid enough to execute unknown applications and my machine is behind a physical firewall.  It's a simply a non-issue. 

If I really wanted security and the hassle that goes with it then I'd just run Linux on the desktop.  Vista does nothing I want.
Almost H. Anonymous Send private email
Monday, August 20, 2007
 
 
"I don't give a shit about security on my desktop.  "

Then how about security on your user's desktops? If you write code for a living and don't care about security then you are part of the problem and not part of the solution.
dood mcdoogle
Monday, August 20, 2007
 
 
"Then how about security on your user's desktops?"

That's a different issue, entirely, of course.
Almost H. Anonymous Send private email
Monday, August 20, 2007
 
 
> Then how about security on your user's desktops?

Not all software devs write shrink-wrap.
KenE Send private email
Monday, August 20, 2007
 
 
My printer doesn't work properly on Vista.

My digital camera doesn't connect to Vista.

Some of my critical apps don't work on Vista.

What else do you need to know?
Grown fat with decadence Send private email
Monday, August 20, 2007
 
 
For the overwhelming majority of users (myself included, I must confess):
Ease of use >>>>> Security

WinXP desn't prompt me all the time, Vista does - and that's why I still use a mix of XP and OSX, which both serve my needs very well boh as a programmer and average user. And yes, if I had to use Vista, I'd most likely run as an admin, to make life simpler.

For better or for worse, security is still mostly a geek concern and not a "normal user" one.
Don't fix what ain't broke.
Monday, August 20, 2007
 
 
Vista is not a huge nightmare of problems, not that Joel says it is. It's simply that Vista does not bring enough to the table in terms of improved usability or new features to make up for all its compatibility problems. That's how I see it anyway. You take a lot of risks in terms of compatibility for very little reward.
JS
Monday, August 20, 2007
 
 
People tend to measure "security" wrongly.  Security is not a simple measure of how hard it is for an unauthorized user to use your machine - that ignores the human element of security! 

Security is the *ratio* of how it is for an unauthorized user to use your machine to how hard it is for *you* to use your machine.  Vista made it slightly harder for the hackers, and much harder for the legitimate users: a net decrease in security.

When you make things too annoying for the legitimate users, they develop habits that defeat your efforts at security, every time (outside of a military context, and even then it's a problem).

As an example, Vista's continuous security pop-ups just reward the user for choosing a short, easy-to-type password, and entering it without thinking many times a day.  This does nothing to prevent trojans, but makes the user careless of where he types his password.
Skorj
Monday, August 20, 2007
 
 
"That's a different issue, entirely, of course."

I don't see it as a different issue. If you are not developing as a limited user or testing your software to make sure that it runs under a limited/standard user account, then you force users to run as administrators. This means that you don't care about their security. If you actually cared about security and your users you would strive to create software that can be used under Vista and XP without admininistrative privileges and without triggering countless uac prompts.

And it is people like you who have created the whole vista compatibility mess in the first place. You have had seven years to get it right starting from Win 2000 (and arguably starting from way back on Win NT). Yet you still continue to crank out software with no regard for security and your user's desires to run as a standard user.

If we don't take the leading role as developers then how can we ever expect our users to follow?
dood mcdoogle
Monday, August 20, 2007
 
 
"As an example, Vista's continuous security pop-ups just reward the user for choosing a short, easy-to-type password, and entering it without thinking many times a day.  This does nothing to prevent trojans, but makes the user careless of where he types his password."

That's a fairly common argument and I simply don't buy it. It is true that if you pester someone continuously with a pop up they will finally learn to ignore it. But Vista uac prompts should NOT be happening "several times a day". They should only happen when a user is about to do something that requires them to enter a user name and password which is actually (or at least should be) quite uncommon. The average user uses their machine to surf the web, create word documents, and read email. None of which should ever trigger a uac prompt. My inlaws have been using Vista for about 6 months and don't even have the admin password to their machine. They run as a standard user and have NEVER called me to ask me what the prompt was which implies that they have never even seen it.

Don't fall victim to the same old argument that users will just click the button because they get used to seeing it. The point is that they won't get used to seeing it because it should rarely happen. And if you are seeing it over and over again, then you are using a program that is a pile of crap and needs to be fixed.
dood mcdoogle
Monday, August 20, 2007
 
 
" The point is that they won't get used to seeing it because it should rarely happen. And if you are seeing it over and over again, then you are using a program that is a pile of crap and needs to be fixed. "

It's nice that you have an opinion about how apps "should" behave.  Vista *does* pester users over and over again with the apps that exist today.  This means it has reduced security. 

As has been the theme of this thread, it's not that the basic idea is bad, but the lack of a transition. Maybe in 5 years when most apps are be well-behaved under Vista your argument will have merit.  Of course, by then we'll be talking about Windows 7.
Skorj
Monday, August 20, 2007
 
 
"If you are not developing as a limited user or testing your software to make sure that it runs under a limited/standard user account"

Obviously, software should be tested under a limited user account.  But XP has limited user accounts, so that's not an advantage of Vista.  Furthermore, in the situations were limited user accounts would be common (corporate desktops) UAC is pretty useless because users shouldn't be changing settings, etc, anyway.

"This means that you don't care about their security."

Talk about a straw man argument.  I run as admin because I don't need the "additional" security.  I own the machine.  I own the software.  That's a common situation but it's not always the case.  Users can't always be trusted.  But in my house, I trust myself with my computer.

"Yet you still continue to crank out software with no regard for security"

You know nothing about me.  This is a bullshit troll response that doesn't have any facts or useful information.  It's at best a personal attack and at worse just pointless and stupid diversion from the real issues.

"If we don't take the leading role as developers then how can we ever expect our users to follow?"

This is classic, blame the user for problems with the operating system.  XP creates a nice administrator account for you during install because it's a pain in the ass to run as a limited user.  Vista just makes you feel the pain by default.  I've used Mac OS X and Linux and neither are as fucked up in this regard as Windows.  Nobody bitches about running as a "limited" user in those environments.  The difference isn't the users, it's the software.

You want a revolution and you should have gotten one.  Instead you got yet more "security" tacked onto an already broken model.
Almost H. Anonymous Send private email
Monday, August 20, 2007
 
 
The problem I have with Windows is that it just doesn't work very well. As an example my partner's Windows XP box has recently had trouble connected to our wireless network for no apparent reason. By all accounts Windows Vista seems to be more of the same, or worse. My Mac continues to work fine. It's only when you switch to another platform that you realise what you've been putting up with for so long.
John Topley Send private email
Monday, August 20, 2007
 
 
Apple is willing sacrifice backwards compatibility for better software.  Microsoft is not.  There are good reasons for both positions.  But the consequence is that the fundamental design of Windows is decades old and unlikely to improve significantly in the future.
Almost H. Anonymous Send private email
Monday, August 20, 2007
 
 
"You know nothing about me.  This is a bullshit troll response that doesn't have any facts or useful information.  It's at best a personal attack and at worse just pointless and stupid diversion from the real issues."

You are correct and I apologize.

I just get so darned tired of hearing people bashing Vista and telling me that they run as an administrator because they are smart enough to stay away from questionable sites or because they think that it is necessary. Then they turn right around and ask a question about why their app doesn't run correctly on Vista which shows that they are still cranking out applications that are flawed. Meanwhile, most users are not capable of staying away from questionable sites and malware and are screaming for us to make software that plays nicely with new security features that finally help protect them. People like me for example.

I do not know you so I have no way of knowing if you fit this category. I made an assumption based on the fact that your comments sound exactly like those programmers that I loathe. Only you know whether or not you are part of the problem.

Again, I apologize.
dood mcdoogle
Monday, August 20, 2007
 
 
+5 Scott Woods

mickysoft is trying to be everything to everybody; they've essentially forgotten who their main cutosmers are...pc users.

i personally think the company is over-ridden with too many losers who do nothing all except play grab ass and get in each others way.

if apple came out with a $500 version for poor people, everyone would switch; and only those who had to, would use mickysoft windows.
lemon obrien Send private email
Monday, August 20, 2007
 
 
Nice things about Vista:
- Prioritized I/O.  You can zip something in the background, and your movie still plays smooth.
- Usability on the start menu and explorer is improved.
- The Aero interface is just... smooth.

Bad things about Vista (some of which you can fix):
- The security changes are a usability nightmare and a resource hog.  Turn off User Account Control, Defender, Firewall, System Restore Points, and grant full control on all disks to everyone.
- Vista randomly freezes if it decides to update itself (TrustedInstaller.exe at 100%.)  Turn of Windows Update, Media Player Update, and Defender Update.
- Windows Search is hard to figure out, and it it simply doesn't work.
- Copying large files or many files with explorer takes longer than on XP.  Goes just as fast if you do it from the command line tho.

Despite these remarkable glitches, I actually switched to Vista and enjoy it.  But I wouldn't recommend it if you're not a power user.
Andomar Send private email
Monday, August 20, 2007
 
 
Nothing is wrong. IT rocks actually.

Monday, August 20, 2007
 
 
Driver support.
KC Send private email
Monday, August 20, 2007
 
 
I don't have much to add to the discussion except to say that I've had similar experiences to Joel. I recently bought a ThinkPad X61, although mine was in the tablet form factor (see http://coverclock.blogspot.com/2007/07/future-without-keyboards.html for photos) with Vista pre-installed. It's been a real adventure getting all the critical stuff that was working on my ThinkPad T30 XP laptop working on the X61. (Kudos BTW to the CityDesk support folks who pointed me to the new release that worked just fine.) And dealing with the new Office 2007 interface... look, it's not that the interface it better, or worse, but that it's different. So it takes me minutes to figure out how to do what used to be relatively simple things.
Chip Overclock Send private email
Monday, August 20, 2007
 
 
Oh, yes, and I've had to reboot twice after the system became unresponsive, and IE crashes and restarts about every other day.
Chip Overclock Send private email
Monday, August 20, 2007
 
 
I like Vista so far.  It came with my new laptop and I find it very easy to use.

I especially like how it will prompt you to turn off file sharing in a public wireless environment.  Well thought out.

I haven't attempted an upgrade on my XP system at home that I use for gaming mostly (laptop is for development).

I probably won't do that until I absolutely have to just for price reasons alone and possible incapabilities.

But for my work laptop (Core 2 duo, 2gig's Toshiba), it's been fantastic.
Steve Send private email
Monday, August 20, 2007
 
 
While I think the principal of UAC is admirable, it is badly concieved and implemented. A corporate desktop should be locked down, so only home users should see the warnings, which happen far to frequently and after the first few are ignored by most users.

I think the idea of having admin accounts for everyday use is, and has always been flawed. A much better approach is to have a restricted account for everyday tasks, but to prompt for an admin login when the user tries to do something that needs it.

I'm sticking with XP as my desktop OS for the moment, but I have a dual boot into Ubunto, which I'm finding does nearly everything I want. I'm really hoping it reaches 100% before XP reaches the end of its shelf life.
James Shields Send private email
Monday, August 20, 2007
 
 
I also have an X61 with Vista on it. I played around with Ubuntu and Fedora for a while, but never got everything working as painlessly as it does in Vista. Linux would have been ideal for me, but the hardware support just isn't there with a laptop this new.

Chris, if you're having crash problems, run memtest on your laptop. You may have bad hardware. I certainly don't see anything similar on my machine.
Joel Eidsath Send private email
Monday, August 20, 2007
 
 
Despite Upgrade Advisor telling me that everything would be fine, when I was running Vista, *every* time I used one any one of the shut down options something broke. First the video drivers. Then the networking. Then this, then that. Eventually, something broke so badly it couldn't even get into safe mode any more. Bleh.

Also, SP1 for VS 2005 just flat didn't install. Kept getting stuck about a third of the way through.

A few slight UI improvements to Explorer and the Start Menu were not worth it. Launchy (open source quick launch thingy) handled most of the Start Menu stuff anyway. Upgraded back to XP.
Jivlain Send private email
Monday, August 20, 2007
 
 
"I think the idea of having admin accounts for everyday use is, and has always been flawed. A much better approach is to have a restricted account for everyday tasks, but to prompt for an admin login when the user tries to do something that needs it."

That's exactly what uac does when you run as a standard user.
dood mcdoogle
Monday, August 20, 2007
 
 
> don't even get me started on how much
> Visual Studio 2005 crashes on Vista

So how is that a problem with Vista?

It sounds like an issue with MSVS to me.

It reminds of the early Windows 3.xx days when windows would crash constantly. But most of the crashes where caused by third party program written by programmers who had no idea how to program for Windows.

In the end Microsoft had started putting code into Windows just to stop these third party programs from crashing.
Jussi Jumppanen
Monday, August 20, 2007
 
 
> Granted Marvin, Microsoft has enough power in the industry to force Vista on us despite its lackluster reception. Eventually they'll just refuse to keep selling XP and that will be that. They simply won't back down on Vista like, for example, the Coca-cola company did on New Coke.

c.1987-1988, I sure somebody wrote a BBS, that "IBM has enough power in the industry to force OS/2 on us depsite its lackluster reception. Eventually they'll just refuse to keep selling PC-DOS and that will be that. They simply won't back down on Vista like, for example, the Coca-cola company did on New Coke."  [i.e., when OS/2 1.0, the no GUI verson, and 1.0/1.1 the if-you're-not-running-an-IBM-PC-you-lose-version]

My prediction is that Apple will have a few good years, just like they did in 1988 to 1991.  And in maybe a couple of years from now, that somebody else (not Apple), will do to the walking-dead Vista what Windows 3.0 did to the walking-dead OS/2 1.x.

Monday, August 20, 2007
 
 
Er, so, this improved I/O in Vista? My network file copies are slow as hell.

XP, Linux & Mac OS manage just fine though.
Lolahcoptahz
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
 
 
I have been using Vista for the last year.  It totally sucks.  There is NOTHING better than XP in it and it guzzles resources like an Abrams tank guzzles fuel.

The user interface seems to have been changed just for the h*ll of it and to be "kewl".  Why do they keep hiding things? It's as if Ford decided to put the hood release under the back seat just for a change of interface!

I am lobbying my wife to get an iMac for our next home PC.
Alf Tupper Send private email
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
 
 
Apparently MS hasn't realized exactly how bad much third-party software is. Microsoft has long published guidelines on user interfaces and security and other guidelins for writing software for windows.

One of the guidelines clearly tells programmers that there is a folder called Application Data where they should set up a folder and have stuff written into that folder, and not program files. There are also guidelines about what should be written to Local Settings\Application Data (Firefox now follows those settings though it arrogantly failed to in early versions).

You could say that Microsoft should have been stricter much earlier, but the problem was that W2000 and XP were meant as subsitutes both for NT4 and Windows 9*. Too much written earlier would have broken, so what they have done in effect is leave a seven year grace period for programmers to get it right. From what Joel says it's evident they haven't (and if there are problems with VS it's possible that those who haven't include MS's own people).
Stephen Jones Send private email
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
 
 
Until they fix the gaming issues Vista will never take off, it does not matter what developers want to use.

http://www.anandtech.com/systems/showdoc.aspx?i=3060

Quote:

All of that virtualization requires address space to work with; Vista uses an application's 2GB user allocation of virtual address space for this purpose, scaling the amount of address space consumed by the WDDM with the amount of video memory actually used. This feature is ahead of its time however as games and applications written to the DirectX 9 and earlier standards didn't have the WDDM to take care of their memory management, so applications did it themselves. This required the application to also allocate some virtual address space to its management tasks, which is fine under XP.

However under Vista this results in the application and the WDDM effectively playing a game of chicken: both are consuming virtual address space out of the same 2GB pool and neither is aware of the other doing the exact same thing. Amusingly, given a big enough card (such as a 1GB Radeon X2900XT), it's theoretically possible to consume all 2GB of virtual address space under Vista with just the WDDM and the application each trying to manage the video memory, which would leave no further virtual address space for anything else the application needs to do. In practice, both the virtual address space allocations for the WDDM and the application video memory manager attempt to grow as needed, and ultimately crash the application as each starts passing 500MB+ of allocated virtual address space.
Gamer
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
 
 
Virtual Memory:
Anyone with modern hardware should be running 64-bit Vista, in my opinion.  No (ok, fewer) problems with virtual memory.  In my experience all the games I care about work fine. 

It also seems more stable than the 32-bit Vistas I see on other people's systems.  I've had a couple video system resets, but never a full system freeze or crash.

I still think MS should have gone with 64-bit only on Vista.  Any system old enough to be 32-bit only probably doesn't have the juice to run Vista anyway.
Jonathan Briggs
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
 
 
" Any system old enough to be 32-bit only probably doesn't have the juice to run Vista anyway. "

I have a one year old Intel Core Duo that isn't capable of 64 bit. It was probably the very last 32 bit only CPU that Intel ever made. And it is plenty capable of running Vista. But I would agree that Microsoft hasn't done enough to get the 64bit version into more hands. We need to be there but 3rd party hardware vendors and software houses are reluctant because they will typically have to support multiple version of drivers and such.

It has to happen pretty soon. We are up against the wall on how much memory you can put in a common PC without starting to play the old tricks we played back in the 16 bit 8086 days.
dood mcdoogle
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
 
 
Skorj: "Security is the *ratio* of how it is for an unauthorized user to use your machine to how hard it is for *you* to use your machine.  Vista made it slightly harder for the hackers, and much harder for the legitimate users: a net decrease in security."

It is harder to break into a system and you call that a *decrease* in security?

It might be less user-friendly, but that does not make it less secure.

Sincerely,

Gene Wirchenko
Gene Wirchenko Send private email
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
 
 
"It is harder to break into a system and you call that a *decrease* in security?"

If you want your computer to be really secure, just unplug the ethernet.

If that's not secure enough for you, unplug the power.
Almost H. Anonymous Send private email
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
 
 
Compatibility issues with some software and hardware/drivers is still an issue, but I expect that to work itself out.

Overall, I prefer XP because it is (or 'feels') more usable. No question that Vista is more secure, but the usability/productivity loss is too expensive for me.

Also, Vista has placed many of the 'everyday' functions I use into different places, with different names, and often it takes one or more extra clicks to get to them (when you ultimately find them). Perhaps for beginners, this is better, but for those of us used to flying through menus to get to these things, the moving of these things is tough, especially for support (now, we have to have instructions for XP and Vista that are separate).

It's nice, the interface is very slick (looks better than Mac OSX to me), but I'll stick with XP because I can get more work done wit it.
OneNerd
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
 
 
" It is harder to break into a system and you call that a *decrease* in security?

It might be less user-friendly, but that does not make it less secure. "

Yes, that's exactly what I'm saying.  Computer security does not exist in isolation.  If the developer cares about security enough to do the easy stuff right, the weak point in the system is the user. 

"Usability problem" is just another way of saying "social engineering vulnerability".

Familiar examples are people writing their passwords on post-it notes an sticking them on their monitors, because some admin thought making the password rules harder would help, and corporate help desks who will reset anyone's passwords without any sort of double check because password reset requests are 50% of their call traffic, because some admin thought making the password rules harder would help.

On Vista, people will see the pop-ups so often that they'll stop caring.  A trojan will require a pop-up to install, and this *won't help at all*, because almost no one reads their 10,000th pop-up.  Further, if you type in the admin password each time, how long till malware just pops up a similar looking dialog to capture passwords - this would have a huge success rate.

This rule is true of physical security as well, where security doors get propped open if they're too inconvenient, etc.  I'm not just making this up.  :)
Skorj
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
 
 
"On Vista, people will see the pop-ups so often that they'll stop caring. "

Again, saying that over and over again doesn't make it true. You are falling for the common security FUD. Vista does not show pop-ups over and over again. My inlaws have been running it for six months and haven't seen a single pop up. I don't know what you guys are trying to do but if you are seeing this many pop ups then you need to get new software or figure out how to get the software you are writing to stop generating these pop ups. And if you are just assuming that pop ups are occurring all the time because you heard that on the Internet, then you need to actually USE the product first before commenting.

I realize that Vista has some popups. But it is certainly not to the level that people are going to see them over and over again and ignore them. That is just the FUD talking.
dood mcdoogle
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
 
 
Dood,

When you're a power user and you first setup Vista you get hundreds of these popups.  Every setting change, every shortcut moved, constantly.    When I was setting up my sister's computer, I had to turn off UAC just to keep from going mad.

Once I was done setting up her computer, I re-enabled UAC and she probably hasn't seen a popup at all.
Almost H. Anonymous Send private email
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
 
 
But most people get their computers pre-installed from Dell so are they really going to experience this? And you said yourself that once you get it set up you aren't bombarded by pop ups anymore. That has been my experience as well.

I just get tired of hearing people using this excuse without any real evidence to back it up. My experience with Vista has shown that these pop ups rarely happen and when they do it is because you are trying to do something that really should need admin privileges to run. I don't think that real users are being conditioned to just push ok when one of these pops up. And as previously stated they really shouldn't just be clicking ok because they should be entering their user name and password if they are running as a standard user like they should be.

Anyway, I really like uac and I think that 5 years from now people will be griping about the next MS operating system and praising Vista for how much better it is because it doesn't annoy you with this or that new feature. But who knows...
dood mcdoogle
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
 
 
"But most people get their computers pre-installed from Dell so are they really going to experience this?"

The point is, you're on a forum that doesn't contain "most people".  Really, anyone in the IT crowd isn't "most people".  We're going to spend the first 2-6 hours installing applications and tweaking the OS to our liking.  And, based on my time doing just that, I experienced an insane number of UAC popups -- sometimes multiple popups for one action -- until I finally had to turn it off.  So that's my *first impression* of Vista and it wasn't a postive one.

What you're seeing in thousands of IT professionals with the same first impression that I have.  Since you never get a second chance at a first impression, what you're hearing from everyone should be perfectly understandable.
Almost H. Anonymous Send private email
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
 
 
Was just downloading Virtual PC 2007, but came across this bit of info. of the memory requirements for the various guest OS's it supports:
===
Guest Operating System, Min. Memory, Min. Hard-Disk Space 
 
[Windows 98, Windows 98 Second Edition], 64 MB, 500 MB
[Windows Millennium Edition (Windows Me)], 96 MB, 2 GB
[Windows 2000 Professional], 96 MB, 2 GB

[Windows XP Home Edition], 128 MB, 2 GB
[Windows XP Professional], 128 MB, 2 GB

[Windows Vista Enterprise], 512 MB, 15 GB
[Windows Vista Business], 512 MB, 15 GB
[Windows Vista Ultimate], 512 MB, 15 GB

[OS/2 Warp Version 4 Fix Pack 15, OS/2 Warp
Convenience Pack 1, OS/2 Warp Convenience Pack 2],
 64 MB, 500 MB
===
From: http://www.microsoft.com/windows/products/winfamily/virtualpc/overview.mspx [then Product Specifications link]

Is it just me, or is it highly disturbing for Vista to require at least 4x the amount of memory (512MB vs 128MB for XP), and 15GB of space vs just 2GB for XP.

What useful things in Vista could possibly be needing all that memory and hard-disk space???

To me Vista is bloated mess that happens to look nice :)

Johnie
Johnie
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
 
 
Something else wrong with Windows Vista: network throughput is throttled during multimedia playback - http://blogs.technet.com/markrussinovich/archive/2007/08/27/1833290.aspx
John Topley Send private email
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
 
 

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