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Information Technology Pros Debate Windows Vista 377

Posted by Zonk
from the six-of-one-half-dozen-of-the-other dept.
An anonymous reader writes "As a follow-on to John Welch's widely read review arguing that Mac OS X is superior to Vista, Information Week is running the first in a weeklong series of roundtables where a programmer, networking consultant, and 3 IT managers have a serious technical debate on the pros and cons of Vista. What's been your experience with Vista? More importantly, do you think it will ever gain traction among corporate users, or is its glitzy Aero interface destined to make it mainly a consumer OS?"
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Information Technology Pros Debate Windows Vista

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  • As an IT manager (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 01, 2007 @07:39PM (#18200946)
    As an IT manager, I can plainly see Vista offers no benefits to my company. The only feature that piqued my interest was the Bitlocker technology but we use PGP's Whole Disk Encryption product already and that works fine.

    I see nothing that will make our employees more productive or save us money on IT. We'll be sticking with XP.
    • We'll be sticking with XP.

      Me too. For as long as we can. Eventually, it's going to be a forced putt ... Gates, Hell & Co. won't leave us any choice. But maybe by then it will have matured into something useful.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by jawtheshark (198669) *
      You could also use truecrypt [truecrypt.org]. I like that one... The corporation I work for shelled out quite some money to get their laptops encrypted.... *sigh*
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by v1 (525388)
      From what I've read so far though, microsoft maintains a master key that can open any bitlocker-locked home. Any truth to this? On OS X for example, they have had filevault for what, two years now. When you make a vault, you have to set up a master password, and with that you can get in and reset a password, but if you lose the master password or it is deleted from the computer, and you lose your password, not even Steve himself can get your data back.

      I don't see how people can settle for "it's totally s
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward
        Where did you obtain that delicious piece of misinformation?

        For Niels Ferguson's take on these conspiracy theories (he is one of the lead developers of BitLocker), see http://blogs.msdn.com/si_team/archive/2006/03/02/5 42590.aspx [msdn.com].
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by advocate_one (662832)

        but if you lose the master password or it is deleted from the computer, and you lose your password, not even Steve (Jobs, not Ballmer) himself can get your data back.

        you actually believe him??? How do you know that he hasn't been forced to incorporate a back door and isn't allowed to tell anyone about it. Do you have the source code for filevault and can compile it to produce the same binary?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by leuk_he (194174)
      Vista ONLY has benefits for a it manager. vista has a lot of advantages in managing things remote and a lot of policies you can set. A lot of the extra functionality of vista can also be done with XP and some external tools (like you use PGP whole disk encryption). However having it integrated and standardized is surely a plus.

      Also in some time you will see software or hardware(64 bit?) that is vista only or better supported on vista. (NOT YET), so a s a it manager you will have to migrate to it to be bette
  • Me (Score:4, Insightful)

    by skinfitz (564041) on Thursday March 01, 2007 @07:42PM (#18200974) Journal
    Having used Vista, realised the issues, then gone back to XP, my perception of Vista now is that it is basically the new Windows Millennium Edition.

    Staying with XPSP2 strongly advised.

    Roll on 2009 and the next version, however in the meantime if you are going to have the hassle of nothing working anyway, you may as well take a look at switching to OSX or Linux.
    • Re:Me (Score:4, Informative)

      by rizzo420 (136707) on Thursday March 01, 2007 @11:19PM (#18202972) Homepage Journal
      funny... i just put vista on my work laptop. well, i did it twice. first was an in place upgrade, which worked fine until i decided to put another stick of memory in it that wasn't 100% compatible with my computer and destroyed my install. so i formatted and reinstalled and had the same problem until i installed without that other stick of memory in there and it went fine. i have no plans on reverting back to XP. i like vista better. all the apps i need run on it perfectly, even some that i thought i might have an issue with (macromedia suite mx 2004, for example). there's a few things that won't work (pdfcreator and the version of nero that we've got at work, although that's really not supposed to be installed on the laptops we have because it's OEM with the dvd-rw's that come with our desktop machines).

      i'm the first staff member in my place of business (with between 700 and 900 employees) that's using it. there is 1 issue that i see so far... group policy in AD. we have policies that force the user to use automatic updates (because too few computers were being updated). it prevented me from getting around that to install the optional updates (which include drivers and office 2003 updates as the policy did not allow me to install microsoft update). i had them exclude me from the policy though, that way i got all the updates i needed, mostly for office and drivers.

      frankly, i think while the UAC is quite annoying to the power user who installs a lot of stuff (especially since i had to for my clean install), it won't be that bad for the user who buys a computer with vista pre-installed since the average user does not install a whole lot. i think it has the potential to make it more secure by making them think before they say "accept".

      unless my computer literally blows up, i will not be reverting back to XP. and for the record, your comparison of vista with ME is completely off the mark. ME was just plain terrible and a completely different operating system altogether. vista was built practically from the ground up and has a lot of nice features (some purely superficial) and is 100x more stable than ME, perhaps the worst operating system ever made (at least by MS). i strongly recommend anyone buying a new computer to get it with vista, at least home premier.

      my laptop is an HP nc8430 with a core duo 2.16 MHz, 1 GB RAM and ATI raedon x1600 with 256 MB, happily running vista.
  • WTF? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by RzUpAnmsCwrds (262647)

    More importantly, do you think it will ever gain traction among corporate users, or is its glitzy Aero interface destined to make it mainly a consumer OS?"

    What the hell does Aero have to do with business use? You can disable it if you don't want to use it in a business environment, which I'm sure that many businesses will do for hardare reasons anyway (Intel's Extreme Graphics / GMA900 can't run it anyway).

    Would you claim that Mac OS X's "glitzy" UI makes it inappropriate for business use? Or that Beryl mak

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by ADRA (37398)
      I spend a few hours a month fool around with the AIGLX window manager of choice to see the cool prettiness of it all. When I want to do my real work again, back to metacity I go.

      Why?:
      1. Too slow
      2. Distracting visuals
      3. Limited screen limits (2 monitors limits me to 1024x768)
      4. Less stable - I've seen creeping little things that just aren't right

      Basically I like to poke around with it and eventually a 'plain' version of them may win me over, but as it stands today, I won't use any of them for when I code.
    • by sumdumass (711423)
      I would. Or at least I would say they aren't for business depending on what the business does. But as far as i know about mac's UI, I don't see too much of an issue there.

      The problems I see are were your fixing complaints about tranparent wording in Icons (win98 alot). Or have certain Spyware or regular software install hooks into explorer making it's performance seriously hinder productivity in XP with all the UI effects. It is really one more layer to making a job more dificult. Usualy, I get rid of view
  • by Monkeys!!! (831558) on Thursday March 01, 2007 @07:48PM (#18201032) Homepage
    I've been running Vista Ultimate for 3 days now.

    So far, my experience with Vista has been mostly positive. The intergrated search is quite useful and the re working of the explorer shell is a noticeable improvement.

    On thing I have noticed is that Vista has re-done the menu layout and prompts and it now closely resembles KDE, imo. Not a complaint or a compliment though I do imagine the layout change is going to confuse a lot of people. I can see why it was re-done though and I imagine once I've gotten used to it I will find it an improvement over XP.

    Really I can't say much else as I've only just scratched the surface of what Vista can do. Is it better then XP? So far yes. Is it worth years of delayed devlopment and several hundred dollars? That remains to be seen.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      I've been running Vista Ultimate for 3 days now.
      Oh, so you're the one!
      • I drove a 93 escort wagon until around 5 months ago. It pained me greatly to put her down, but ma said it was for the best. My children will go to a better university because of all I was able to squeeze out of that car.
  • Vista (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Nex6 (471172) on Thursday March 01, 2007 @07:49PM (#18201050) Homepage
    its all about the apps, most windows shops have heavy investments in windows based infrastructure. that includes exchange, .NET apps, and all sorts of someware and middleware.

    replacing it all is not easy, and many shops dont have the stomach for it, or the talent. and in some cases the shops have windows apps that can only run in windows. that all said:
    when you really look at Vista objectiveily its a huge improvement over xp and 2k.

    but sure it does have some things that are odd and different that annoy you, but in some and most cases that can be changed.

    and some of the postive stuff like low rights framework that IE uses is exposed so other apps can use it. and .NET is a good thing.

    -Nex6
    • Vista has built-in DRM.

      My current OS does not.

      Therefore, my current OS is superior to Vista, because I can safely rely on it.

      Nothing trumps that.

      I wouldn't install it if it was free.
  • Huh? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by DogDude (805747) on Thursday March 01, 2007 @07:51PM (#18201078) Homepage
    Huh? Of course it'll be widespread. It works fine. It's got all of the features of XP, and then some. MS is gonna stop selling XP eventually. What else are people going to use OSX? Linux? Turn off Aero, and it looks and acts like Windows XP 95% of the time. It's run every Windows XP app that I've tried to use on it. It's really not a big deal from a user point of view.
  • I'll wait... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by apdyck (1010443)
    Given Microsoft's history of releasing operating systems at least six months before they are ready for market, I think I'm going to wait for now. I'll stick with XP/FreeBSD any day of the week over a new MS offering.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 01, 2007 @07:52PM (#18201090)
    Vista is just not ready for the desktop
  • Showstopper (Score:4, Funny)

    by jareth-0205-mobile (909903) on Thursday March 01, 2007 @07:55PM (#18201110)
    You keep using that word... I do not think it means what you think it means...
  • by UnknowingFool (672806) on Thursday March 01, 2007 @07:58PM (#18201128)

    a programmer, networking consultant, and 3 IT managers have a serious technical debate on the pros and cons of Vista.

    I can't tell if that is the setup or the punchline.

    • by geekoid (135745)
      Just another managerial top heavy group.
    • ..the programmer enthuses that from a technical point of view, the elegance of the user interface and well structured internal architecture makes it an exciting development platform.

      The networking consultant explains that a switch to Vista will improve network performance and data security.

      The IT Managers wonder if there is a Vista Conference they can attend - somewhere abroad with decent nightlife - and they start to debate who has the highest limit on their corporate credit cards.
    • I can't tell if that is the setup or the punchline.
      It's a floor wax and a dessert topping.
  • by Shivetya (243324) on Thursday March 01, 2007 @07:58PM (#18201130) Homepage Journal
    As for corporate computing, nothing wrong with it, so if it comes preloaded figure business will eventually use it. Hell it took my company until a little over a year ago to deploy large number of XP machines. All under the guise of thorough testing but the real truth is, the PC group is slower than molasses in winter, lazier than the people in a welfare line, and more interested in new gadgets than running an OS through the testing requirements we have.

    For the masses its just fine, my parents recently bought a new laptop which has Vista. Other than finding a few items moved or renamed they just use it. The key is, its just a damn operating system. It doesn't mean DIDDLY to them. they don't care. they saw a laptop with features they wanted at a price they wanted to pay. OS be damned, it didn't matter. All they wanted was to get mail while on the road, connect to wireless, and use WORD.

    As for AERO, fwiw, if you have a video card with 32mb of memory you might just see a performance boost with it turned on, especially with low system ram installations.
    • As for corporate computing, nothing wrong with it, so if it comes preloaded figure business will eventually use it.

      With many (most?) Enterprise computing environments, they have a volume corporate license and a "standard image" that they load on every machine regardless of what it comes with preloaded. It's a support issue, really.

  • The only good thing that Vista's release did was it forced PC manufacturers to finally ship computers with 1 Gig of RAM minimum and sometimes up to 2 Gigs. Take that ramped up comp and strip Vista from it and you have a pretty decent workstation for photo editing and movie editing.
  • Idiots (Score:5, Insightful)

    by realmolo (574068) on Thursday March 01, 2007 @08:14PM (#18201334)
    Am I the only one that thought all the interviewees were idiots?

    There's a huge number of so-called "IT Professionals" that just don't have a clue. Lots of middle-aged guys who managed to get a job running the FAX machines at some corporation 20 years ago, and eventually ended up being the "IT guy". But they don't know ANYTHING. They buy whatever new hardware they think is neat, and that the salesmen from their vendors tell them they need. And then they pay for all-encompassing support contracts, so that they don't have to configure anything, or troubleshoot anything, because they don't actually know how to do that stuff.

    I sometimes wonder if those guys are the majority of the IT employees in the United Stats. Guys that use the company's money to hire other people to do their jobs. The only reason they get away with it is because their boss is even MORE clueless about how IT should work.

    Sorry, kind of off-topic, but I just can't stand the attitude of rags like "Information Week".
    • by moexu (555075)
      I think Information Week is the worst magazine ever published. I used to get it sent to me at work but thankfully they stopped sending it so I don't have to spend 5 seconds every week throwing it in the trash.

      Where I work, those "IT Professionals" are in upper management. They don't know the tech, buy whatever some sales guy can get them to agree to, and insist on worthless support contracts that are never used for everything. Meanwhile, the real IT people are hindered in being able to do their jobs by al
  • ...What the comments here would be like if the criticism from the "Windows camp" about the latest release of Ubuntu or OS X was as shrill, biased and ill-informed as the daily "zOMG ! Vista is t3h suxx0rs, LOL !!11!"-style blog/article/review/journal making the front page of Slashdot.

  • After checking out Vista at the local Best Buy & Circuit City (for hours...), I decided that I didn't want M$'s latest & 'greatest'. If running Aero the machines all acted like XP with a 600Mhz Celery processor. Boy, only 20 days after Vista was released & all the retail stores are on the Vista bandwagon, no 'mo XP in sight. Wonder where all the old gear went ?

    I wanted a hot laptop, AMD TL-56 64bit DP, 1GB memory, DVD+-, good screen, Nvidia graphic card, etc. Best Buy had one that was everything
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Windows Vista is the new Windows ME
  • by drsmithy (35869) <.moc.liamg. .ta. .yhtimsrd.> on Thursday March 01, 2007 @08:19PM (#18201400)

    Information Week is running the first in a weeklong series of roundtables where a programmer, networking consultant, and 3 IT managers have a serious technical debate on the pros and cons of Vista.

    The Aristocrats !

  • My Vista pros/cons (Score:5, Informative)

    by daybot (911557) * on Thursday March 01, 2007 @08:22PM (#18201444)

    Pros:

    • Scheduled defrags without third party software
    • Aero interface looks less dated
    Cons:
    • Regardless of memory usage, it's slower than XP. Games are slower (see Tom's Hardware), CAD/CAM apps are slower (same again)...
    • A great deal of Windows software doesn't work on it yet. PGP has just reached beta, iTunes is having trouble, I can't get Cygwin to work properly, VMWare server doesn't have a released version that allows it to work as a host OS. That's most of the programs I run!
    • UAC is broken. It slows down your system, bothers you far too often. If you've seen the Mac advert slagging off Vista security - well, it really is that bad.
    • Games are slower
    • It's DRM crippled to the extreme
    • Aero doesn't run smoothly on mid-range Quadro cards...
    • That stupid Windows-Tab animation keeps getting shown in the media when they talk about Vista's innovative new features - sorry, it's a very slow tool to use; press F9 on OSX to see how it should work (someone's done a hack to make this work in Vista, but it's bloody slow on Quadro).
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by spyder913 (448266)
      UAC is broken. It slows down your system, bothers you far too often. If you've seen the Mac advert slagging off Vista security - well, it really is that bad.

      I keep seeing this complaint but the problem is not UAC itself, it's that by default they STILL make you the admin when you set up the computer. If you run as a regular user and have a seperate admin account that you don't log into -- it only prompts you when you try to change global settings or run software that needs to write to program files or some
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by simscitizen (696184)
      Well, for me:
      • Aero works fine on a pretty low-end (ATI Mobility Radeon X300) card. Actually, it works much better than in XP, as you would expect, since it uses the GPU more...
      • Obviously the built-in search is the biggest win. If you don't mention this in your pros, no wonder you don't like Vista
      • ATI/NVIDIA still need to work on their drivers
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by daybot (911557) *

        Obviously the built-in search is the biggest win. If you don't mention this in your pros, no wonder you don't like Vista

        Vista search is an improvement to that in XP but it still sucks. Sorry to refer to OSX again, but Spotlight shows how to do search. I also find it inconsistent - for a while my procedure to find PuTTY was just to go Start --> type PuTTY into the search bar but now it doesn't find it and I haven't touched the settings.

        Another thing that sucks about the search is it rearranges the li

  • by Hawthorne01 (575586) on Thursday March 01, 2007 @08:35PM (#18201578)
    It looks just *awesome* on the shelf in the local computer store.

    I'm sure if I actually bought and installed it, though, I'd have a different opinion...
  • by PhotoGuy (189467)
    Bought an MacBook just before Vista Came out. I really love studying the various aspects of UI's that make my life easier or harder; and OS X generally does nothing but make my life easier. I'm also a Unix/Linux developer, and OS X is perfect for me; develop in my console, with a great UI kicking around for the Web browsing and other GUI stuff. I tried out Vista (ever so briefly), and my impression was that it was big, cute, a bit confusing, and didn't really seem to offer me anything that XP did. (I ke
  • I didn't think Vista was all that bad, once I switched the desktop and start menu to Windows Classic, turned off UAC, and killed about 20 unneeded services.

    I found the new icons annoying, and the fact that the User folder has now taken the place of My Documents, leading to much confusion for my end users.

    Hmm... User folder, with Documents, Pictures, etc., inside. Kind of like exactly what a User folder looks like on OS X.

    What really pissed me off is Office 2007. It makes me want to scream. I now have to ret
  • Stupid questions (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Tony (765) * on Thursday March 01, 2007 @09:31PM (#18202170) Journal
    More importantly, do you think it will ever gain traction among corporate users, or is its glitzy Aero interface destined to make it mainly a consumer OS?"

    You're joking, right?

    I hope so. Otherwise, you're not real observant. Of *course* it'll gain traction among corporate users. Because they have not fucking choice! What part of "vendor lock-in" is hard to grasp?

    See, too many companies have millions of dollars of infrastructure tied up in MS-Windows, and other Microsoftware. They are not going to replace it overnight. And, by the time they really start to feel the burn, the worst will be over (at least as far as up-front cost goes: the pain never truly ends, but that's true no matter what). New PCs will come with MS-Vista (the 'MS' is to distinguish it from the health-care package that's been around for 20 years). Corporations will soon not have a choice. It'll be MS-Vista or nothing.

    How many times do we have to go through this? We had this same debate when MS-Windows XP came out. This isn't our year. Maybe next year, but not this year.

    Microsoft might be dying (I believe it is), but it takes a long, long time for a giant to decompose.
    • We'll have no choice either but even if we turnover all of our desktops in 4 years that's only 25%/yr. Given it will be at least 1-1.5 years before we roll it out then it will be 5-5.5 years before we're totally embraced by the Microcotopus. Sauronsoft will be on to the next turn of the thumbscrews by then.
  • I have none and hope to keep it that way. At least until SP1, and long after that if possible. Aero has a nifty cool look to it? That's nice. No thanks. Why would I want to load up my machines with bloated DRM? Bill Gates was only against DRM until Microsoft started selling it.
  • Again with this stuff... Anyone who knows this stuff knows to avoid any new MS OS for the first year. Wait for the service packs which address these issues... and then upgrade if you want. If you buy a new machine now... then yeah, you'll be likely stuck with it until the fixes come if you plan to run windows. Almost everything that has been written about vista is a carbon copy of xp when it first came out. I am even beginning to think some of these hacks have pulled out their old xp articles and changed th
  • Yes. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by edunbar93 (141167) on Thursday March 01, 2007 @10:39PM (#18202708)
    More importantly, do you think it will ever gain traction among corporate users, or is its glitzy Aero interface destined to make it mainly a consumer OS?

    Yes, because in 6 months, you won't be able to buy a new computer without Vista on it. And in two years, you won't be able to get support for XP. And then in about 4 years, you won't be able to get software compatible with XP for love or money.

    Corporate users never really saw a lot of value in XP either. Moreover, it took about that long for it to "gain traction", in both the consumer and corporate markets. I've been working in the ISP industry since 1994, and tech support has watched as every new OS Microsoft has produced in that time get snapped up by a small percentage of early adopters, followed by the rest of the computing population as they upgrade their computers over time.

    Most people find installing an operating system too much work, too time consuming, too difficult, or they just don't think about it at all. It *came* with the computer after all. Isn't it just a part of the computer? IT departments in companies see it much the same way. You have to upgrade the computer to get the next version of windows, so why not just let Dell or IBM do the install when you do your next upgrade? To install a new OS across an existing network of any size is too disruptive to the users, and too time consuming. A user would have to do without a computer for the better part of a day at the very least if you upgrade an existing system.
  • by surfcow (169572) on Thursday March 01, 2007 @11:21PM (#18202994) Homepage
    Windows 95, 98, 2K, XP, all were seen as a big improvement over their predecessor. People lined up to get their copies and to upgrade their machines.

    But here we are, months after the business introduction of Vista and people still debating it's merits with no sign of commitment. New machines are still being sold w/ XP by default, with the "option" to upgrade to Vista. It turns out that a Mac running Parallels w/ XP can run more Windows software that a PC running Vista. Developers are still writing for XP and are just not pumping out the Vista apps.

    Microsoft used to be criticized for being backward compatible to the stone age. Vista is different. Vista breaks lots of Windows software. Lots. '

    I see this rollout as being a complete failure. Much worse than Windows ME, more like OS/2.
  • by rizzo320 (911761) on Friday March 02, 2007 @04:25AM (#18204522)
    My day job is supporting Macintosh computers. However, due to the ever changing IT market, I always to stay up to date on what's going on with Windows and Linux. It's in my best interest to be cross platform, especially when I need to explain to a Windows user how to do a specific procedure on the Mac, and vice versa. I have been a Windows user much longer (3.1) than I have been a Macintosh (didn't get involved with Macs until circa OS 7.6.1) user, so I've seen my fair share of kernel, UI, graphics, and other changes on both platforms over the years.

    I was excited to hear that our Windows Vista (Business) Licenses had arrived via our MSDNAA account at work. So, I grabbed a license for testing and went at it. I wanted to leave my Mac alone and not try to force a Vista boot with Boot Camp + hacking. My original test box was:

    Dell Optiplex GX270 P4 2.4 GHz, hyper-threading enabled.
    1.25 GB DDR 400 RAM
    80 GB HD (7200RPM/8MB Cache)
    GeForce 4 MX 400 64MB Video Card (AGP 8x)
    17" Flat Screen display

    Install went perfect. After installation was complete, there were three or four Windows security updates awaiting me. After installing those, I started to play around. Unfortunately, my computer scored a 1.0 on the performance scale, mostly because of the video card. I was also disappointed that Aero was not supported on my video card as well, so all I had was the "Windows Vista Basic" theme available to me, without any of the new eye candy I was looking to see.

    I really wanted to see what Vista had to offer, so I didn't want to settle for the reduced package. This is significant though. Microsoft wonders why they haven't seen to many upgrades to Vista yet- well this is one of them. A large amount of users with existing computers will not see the biggest UI improvement that Aero has to offer. This is different in comparison to Mac OS X 10.4, where, except for not being able to run a few screen savers, and not getting a few fancy effects here and there, your experience is pretty much the same visually, from a G3 iBook, right on through to the newest Mac Pro. Sure, there are applications that need core image, but, for the basic OS X install set, your experience is pretty much the same right on down the line.

    Getting back to Vista... I decided to upgrade the computer as much as I could to get the full Vista experience, so I bumped myself up to 3GB of RAM, a 250GB 7200/16MB Cache hard disk, and, a GeForce FX 5200 128MB video card (best I can get for a low profile card w/bracket for this Dell). This brought my performance rating up to a 2.5, again, with the video card being the weak point.

    Now I was getting Aero in all of its glory. Despite my video card being the bottom of the barrel for Vista/Aero, I haven't had any performance issues with any of the special effects (all of them are turned on). The only thing I'm kind of peeved about is the lack of NVidia support for this class of video card. NVidia has newer drivers out, however, but I had to use beta drivers from November for this card, because it looks like NVidia is in the process of dropping support for it. Despite being beta drivers, I haven't had any BSOD's or issues with them, and they are still faster than the default Microsoft drivers.

    As for applications on Vista, its a mixed bag. Most things installed and worked OK. All my typical Internet applications and plugins (Firefox, Adobe Reader, Flash Player, Sun Java JRE, etc) worked without a hitch- even Gaim/GTK worked. Divx and RealPlayer are giving me issues where Windows has to switch out of Aero mode when they are running. It's kind of weird... the screen goes black for two seconds, and then comes back in Windows Vista "basic" mode. When you close the application, the reverse occurs, and you are back to Aero, with transparencies etc. VLC won't show most movies, just a bunch of changing colors in its window. iTunes worked OK for me, but I don't have my library saved on this computer. Office 2003 worked as well.
  • by cheros (223479) on Friday March 02, 2007 @06:48AM (#18205106)
    (1) DRM. As DRM is a serial chain of single points of failure you end up with three problems. Firstly, the MTBF of that chain is the MTBF of the weakest component. Secondly, the probability of failure increases with the number of components involved - with Vista this move from being a probability to being a likelihood (even ignoring the fact that it's an MS product which ups the ante even more). Thirdly, to that likelihood of failure you have to add that all DRM components are version 1, hardware as well of software - in the Microsoft world this is in principle a public beta. In summary, catastrophic failure and data loss is as good as guaranteed. Go ahead, implement this on a corporate scale..

    (2) The 'advanced' GUI. I've been using Compiz and Beryl on Linux long enough to have played with eye candy and you know what? I switched it off. It slows my UI down, not because of computing power (plenty available) but because all that fancy stuff needs time to show itself. Opening a window that zooms or rolls or whatever takes longer than one that just appears on the screen, for example, and there's plenty of it. It gets in the way, period. The only thing I use in Beryl is a slightly transparent cube so I can see where things are because I can have quite a windows and desktops on the go.

    (3) The licensing problems. I've been fighting the misnamed 'Genuine Advantage' on other systems which were as genuine as they come and, frankly, I've had enough. From what I've read Vista has even more of that nonsense in, and that, coupled with my unwillingness for any system to be allowed to 'phone home' without me knowing what details it sends is enough for me not to use it. I have client information I need to keep confidential and I have nil trust in systems that do things without me knowing. Apart from that, I get very little for the money - I rather spend it sponsoring an Open Source project that creates value for me and others.

    (4) The eternal upgrade cycle, but that's more based on my experience with XP. I installed a couple of new systems 3 weeks ago, and I set it up so I have to authorise patches and updates. Well, it happens on a daily basis. Worse, one of the patches bluescreened one of the box to the point of me having to restore it from backup. I've only ever had that with Linux, 6 years ago, when a kernel patch went wrong - and that is easy to recover from.

    (5) As with any version of Windows, the absolute dependency on the GUI for it to work. If there's a modal window somewhere hidden under the stack of others on your desktop it will stop the machine and actively prevent you from getting to the window. And you can't cancel the task because you need the GUI for that too. That leads me to another HUGE and related annoyance: if I say 'shut down' I want a machine to SHUT DOWN, no if, buts and maybes. It needs a shutdown that simply does what it says, no further questions asked.

    And I don't buy into the 'hope cycle' that the next version will at last fix all the problems. Realistically, MS will NEVER willingly make such a version.

    Who would buy the update?

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