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Consumer Group Demands XP for Vista Victims 592

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the more-poison-is-the-cure dept.
thefickler writes "Dissatisfaction with Windows Vista seems to be swelling, with the Dutch Consumers' Union (Consumentenbond) asking Microsoft to supply unhappy Vista users with a free copy of Windows XP. Not surprisingly, Microsoft refused. This prompted Consumentenbond to advise consumers to ask for XP, rather than Vista, when buying a new computer."
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Consumer Group Demands XP for Vista Victims

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  • Ok, start the flames (Score:2, Interesting)

    by OptimusPaul (940627)
    What is so bad about Vista? I have not used it yet. I've seen it, and I know some people that are using it and they don't complain about it. What's the deal? Is it just that it's new?
    • by khasim (1285) <brandioch.conner@gmail.com> on Saturday October 13, 2007 @10:10AM (#20965991)
      WinVista lacks a LOT of drivers (for fairly common hardware, too). If you have hardware that WinVista doesn't support, you're unhappy (see years of previous complaints about Linux).

      WinVista also has lots of eye-candy which eats up processor time. So it looks pretty, but runs slower. The eye-candy can be turned off, but then it looks a lot like WinXP.

      WinVista has a different security model than WinXP and it takes people some effort to learn and in the meantime, they're unhappy with it (again, see years of previous complaints about Linux).

      Not all of your apps will run with WinVista, unless you use "compatibility mode" or do some extra steps.

      Which is why Microsoft extended WinXP for OEM's.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by ozmanjusri (601766)
        WinVista also has lots of eye-candy which eats up processor time.

        It's not the eye-candy which eats processor cycles, RAM and network bandwidth. It's the DRM.

        Vista was made for record companies and movie studios, not computer users.

        • Hits the nail right on the head.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by HiThere (15173)
            Any proof of this? MS has a long history of pre-loading dirvers, and even large sections of programs "for faster response". As such, I have no difficulty believing that they'd do it again, and a bit of difficulty believing that "but *this* time they didn't do it".

            Still, I'll admit I've no evidence. Merely an established pattern of behavior.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by mikael (484)
          It's not the eye-candy which eats processor cycles, RAM and network bandwidth. It's the DRM.

          Our research lab has some high-demand 3D graphics applications. With XP they run at a decent frame rate. With Vista, if the eye-candy is turned on, they run like molasses. That's with all the standard optimisations (display lists, triangle strips, texture atlases etc...)

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward
        So it's just like when XP came out? From what I recall everyone thought it was terrible and wanted to use Windows 2000 instead.
        • by pherthyl (445706) on Saturday October 13, 2007 @11:05AM (#20966471)
          Not quite. When XP came out, all the geeks thought it was terrible and wanted to use Windows 2000 instead, because chances are they were already using it. The people that didn't care about computers loved Windows XP, because they were coming from Windows 98/ME. Now people are coming from XP, which is decent, and even the average consumer doesn't like Vista, not just the geeks.
          • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

            Speak for yourself! For us Mac users, everything since System 6.0.8 has been slow, buggy, and bloated!
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by TheRaven64 (641858)
          There was no upgrade edition of 2000 that let you come from 9x/Me. The two flavours of 2000 Workstation were the full version, at several hundred dollars, or the cheaper upgrade from NT4. Those o us who were running NT4, upgraded to 2000. Those running 9x stayed with it. When XP came out, XP Pro let you upgrade from 2K (or NT4? Not sure) while XP Home let you upgrade from 9x. While XP Home was a step down from 2K, it was a huge step up from 9x.
          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by rs79 (71822)
            " When XP came out, XP Pro let you upgrade from 2K (or NT4? Not sure) while XP Home let you upgrade from 9x." "

            Not exacly true. You can upgrade from 9 to xp pro. Actually you can upgrade a freshly formatted drive to xp pro. WTF dude?

            I put xp on a few machines here but kept 98 on this machine.

            Oddly, 10 years after the fact I'm still seeing errors I haven't seen before.

            But, it does everything I need it too and it a helluva lot more stable that it was in 98. In fact I rarely have to reboot these days. Meanwhil
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          So it's just like when XP came out? From what I recall everyone thought it was terrible and wanted to use Windows 2000 instead.
          Not really. Windows 2000 -> WIndows XP simply didn't add anything that people needed. Windows XP -> Vista actually breaks things that people already have.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by jgarra23 (1109651)
        Don't forget that if you're a developer forced to work on a Vista box it's buggy as shit, there are a million and one patches you have to install and god forbid if you're asked to migrate any asp.net apps from iis6 to iis7... talk about undocumented manual conversion... ugh...
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by JasonTik (872158)
        So wait... Vista is just a really buggy linux clone? I should have known Microsoft could even manage to screw up linux!
      • by cbhacking (979169) <been_out_cruisin ... nOSPam.yahoo.com> on Saturday October 13, 2007 @01:56PM (#20967799) Homepage Journal

        WinVista lacks a LOT of drivers (for fairly common hardware, too). If you have hardware that WinVista doesn't support, you're unhappy (see years of previous complaints about Linux).
        Technically true, but mostly irrelevant. Vista will load 95% of XP drivers without a hitch - the easiest way is if the driver is shipped as an executable installer, since then even if you forget to set Compatibility Mode before running the installer, Vista will ask you if you want to re-run it in compatibility mode should the install fail. If it just comes as a .inf and .sys file, edit the INF to add Vista to the supported list, and right-click -> Install. The only caveats here are that network drivers won't work on account of the re-written network stack and new NDIS, and XP video drivers will work fine but you lose all the advantages of WDDM.

        WinVista also has lots of eye-candy which eats up processor time. So it looks pretty, but runs slower. The eye-candy can be turned off, but then it looks a lot like WinXP.
        If your GPU is decently powerful (i.e. isn't an integrated solution that leeches off the CPU) you'll almost certainly not see this, as the "eye candy" you refer to (much of it, like the thumbnail views of your running programs, is actually very useful) is offloaded to the GPU. The overhead numbers I've heard for using this model are about 5%, and if you look at the CPU time taken by the DWM (Desktop Window Manager) I've never seen it go higher than 5% and it's usually at 0%

        WinVista has a different security model than WinXP and it takes people some effort to learn and in the meantime, they're unhappy with it (again, see years of previous complaints about Linux).
        The people who see more than 2 or 3 UAC prompts per day, top (I'm using an exaggeratedly large number to catch the "yeah, but my program X always needs admin privileges and I run in 3 times a day" responses; most normal users see maybe this many a month) are either incessant tinkerers or admins who need full control. If you're the former, you probably know how to modify access control lists (even easier in Windows than chmod/chown) so things that you need to access and can access safely will run with your permissions. If you're the latter, either deal with a couple (literally, 2) extra seconds on most administrative tasks or run your account as an unrestricted admin (much like logging into a *nix box as root; it's occasionally handy but not something to do regularly). For the average user who shouldn't be using full admin privs all the time anyway (or your slightly-clued-in user who knows this and experienced the pain of doing things in XP as a non-admin), UAC is arguably Vista's best feature.

        Not all of your apps will run with WinVista, unless you use "compatibility mode" or do some extra steps.
        Since Vista automatically offers to re-run most programs in Compatibility Mode if they didn't work without it, and since MS provides step-by-step instructions and a helpful wizard for resolving compatibility issues, and since it literally takes 5 clicks of the mouse to set compatibility mode to XP SP2, and since the vast majority of apps will run fine on Vista without any Compatibility Mode at all, this really doesn't seem like a major issue to me.
        • by cojsl (694820) on Saturday October 13, 2007 @06:38PM (#20969627) Homepage
          "Not all of your apps will run with WinVista, unless you use "compatibility mode" or do some extra steps." "Since Vista automatically offers to re-run most programs in Compatibility Mode if they didn't work without it, and since MS provides step-by-step instructions and a helpful wizard for resolving compatibility issues, and since it literally takes 5 clicks of the mouse to set compatibility mode to XP SP2, and since the vast majority of apps will run fine on Vista without any Compatibility Mode at all, this really doesn't seem like a major issue to me." How about Quickbooks? Can't use compatibility mode here, you MUST upgrade to version 2007 or newer if you have Vista ($500-++?? for multiuser versions). MANY other industry specific apps are the same in my experience.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by dave420 (699308)
      I think it's great. All the eye-candy is performed on the GPU, and the talk about it being DRM-with-a-GUI is nonsense - it performs perfectly as a media player, with astounding video quality (thanks to everything being rendered through Direct3D, and real emphasis placed on media quality). I use Vista at work on my Dell. It only has an X1300 slim-line GPU, but that's good enough to run 2x22" screens at 1680x1050. It runs all the software I want (Adobe stuff, apache, mysql, games, iTunes, etc.), and is ne
      • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 13, 2007 @11:36AM (#20966745)
        These "I had a wonderful Vista Experience Posts" sound
        very much like they are coming straight from Redmond's
        PR people. They sound way too much like the official
        press releases and media events.
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward
        Your video quality claims are misguided, as that lies in the combination of the codec and the graphics card. ATI graphics cards have had outstanding hardware video overlay filtering for years, and yet Vista throws away overlay support in favour of the inferior Direct3D. Yes with shaders you can acheive a comparable quality, but you try running a fullscreen PS3.0 shader on an X1300 and see how your performance goes. The problem lies in the texture filtering algorithms of Direct3D being optimized for speed, n
    • A new Toshiba A200 laptop a friend bought came with Vista. The excessive amount of system alerts which pop-up confused the hell out of him, leading him to click on the adware / spyware browser pop-up ads which also looked like systems alerts, so he installed 5 competing blackmailing "buy me now or you computer is toast" apps for his "protection". These stalled his machine FLAT.

      He was ready to axemurder his new computer, and still is cheesed about his first big computer purchase leaving him with such a ba
    • What is so bad about Vista? I have not used it yet. I've seen it, and I know some people that are using it and they don't complain about it. What's the deal? Is it just that it's new?

      Mock surprise! Really, do you live under a rock? People don't complain because they don't know they have easy alternatives that work. They just use what they are given until someone shows them something better. Vista's pains have been documented at length here and you can see them for real if you watch what your Vista usin

    • by suv4x4 (956391) on Saturday October 13, 2007 @02:19PM (#20967957)
      What is so bad about Vista? I have not used it yet. I've seen it, and I know some people that are using it and they don't complain about it. What's the deal? Is it just that it's new?

      The reason isn't simple. Anyone giving you one single reason so many people reject Vista would be silly. Here are few:

      - yes it's new, means back compat issues with software hardware
      - eats lots of resources and delivers little for it (comparable Linus/OSX interfaces run on lesser GFX chips and deliver faster responce... why this is, no clue, let's hope Vista SP2 fixes it)
      - no direction, GUI chaos, feature chaos

      The latter is a bigger problem than one can imagine, since it's not one that solves itself with bugfixes and time.

      Vista clearly lacks focus and lacks central philosophy behind its GUI. We see that a huge team worked on this OS, but no one gave them a single set of rules to work behind. Everyone just had its own idea how to change the Windows experience and simply went for it without regard to the rest of the OS.

      Last time we talked someone said "but typing to find apps is so much faster than menus! I hate the whiners that don't like vista's start menu".

      Right. So if typing is so much better, how come they converted the Explorer address bar from *hinted typing* to *menus* in vista (you need to right-click, then deselect, and then you can finally double-click a segment to retype).

      Or maybe the Start menu exists in a universe of its own from Explorer.

      The Control Panel is entirely unpredictable. It starts like a web page, but half of the features pop-up the old XP control panel applets, with the other tabs disabled (or not disabled.. again, all this is random).

      Unhiding hidden files, which is what many people do, causes two "desktop.ini" files on the Desktop (they had the sense not to show those in XP and before!).

      So, basically stuff like that. It's not crucial, you can do your work, but it's a *lesser* experience, it's a pain, and goes against you, for no good reason than "I'm new, buy me". And why go for the lesser experience, when you can go for the better experience, which is XP?

      So there. Now Microsoft will have to weight both sides: can they admit failure and fix Vista, or keep demanding it's just fine, but we need to get used to it?

      I really wish they fix Vista, but they don't give a sign of doing this so far though. SP1 will build on performance and stability features, which is great, but they only fix couple of UI issues.

      Maybe SP2 is where they will do it. We'll see.

    • by Eivind (15695) <eivindorama@gmail.com> on Saturday October 13, 2007 @05:29PM (#20969231) Homepage

      My wife got vista for her new laptop half a year back. She didn't know any better. (neither did I, I'd have opted for Ubuntu, but I honestly wasn't aware that Vista is so horribly much more annoying than XP as it is.) (as if XP ain't annoying enough: Wanna reboot now, or should I nag you again in 3 minutes ?)

      • It asks for "confirmation" in literally hundreds of everyday situations. This adds nothing to security, because inside of the first week everyone gets used to automatically click "yes, do it, go away, let me -use- the damn computer, stop nagging me damn it" (the option says something else, but this is what people thing, aproximately)
      • it lacks support for bog-standard 2 year old mainstream hardware. Much worse than Linux has been on the hardware front lately. For example, our bog-standard scanner doesn't work, a driver is promised "in 2008", this is a scanner from 2005. One that sold 700.000. Same for our laserprinter, though there it's possible to have it work halfway by using a driver which exist for a smaller model. This loses the functionality lacking in that smaller model though (such as the duplex-unit)
      • The backwards compatibility for games suck. This matters, since more games is one of the sole remaining advantages for Windows over the competition at this point. Heroes of M&M IV works, but is buggy, especially the network-support. Capitalism II doesn't even start. SC3K seems to be working, sorta, it's hard to say, the palette is messed up, something I ain't seen on linux since X11 used to run in 8-bit palette-modus...
      • It's a resource hog. The laptop of my Wife is a Core-2-duo, 2GB ram and decent graphics. Should be more than adequate. Isn't. It's -swapping- as I write this very moment, There's no programs open other than FF which eats 112MB, if we believe Vista, and Thunderbird which eats 87MB. Don't ask me why it's swapping under these circumstances, but it is.
      • Java-support sucks. Yeah, that's probably partly a sun-issue. But Eclipse, under the same version of the same JVM crashed regularily on Vista, never experienced that on XP or Linux or Panther.
      • "Fast user switching" is a joke. The -fast- part particularily. ctrl+alt+F8 takes how long on Linux ? A second ? In vista, you click on switch user. It then spins for 10 seconds (with the aforementioned powerful laptop), it then displays a login-prompt. Where you can log in a second user, and in another 10 seconds or so you're good to go. This rigamarole repeats itself on each switch. That's rigth, even if both users are logged in, you still need to wait for the login-screen to load, then click on the user you want to switch to and enter the password. Half a minute for switching a user ain't fast in my book....
      • It still doesn't have any of the neat stuff that unix invented in the 70ies. Ok, so maybe I shouldn't have been hoping for that, but it's still a mystery. "shortcuts" are still a hack in the shell and don't universally work like symlinks and hardlinks have for literally 30 years in unix... Disks are still managed with "drive letters", and you've got no way to say move a directory from C: to D: and have the move be transparent to the user.
      • It still can't manage to move, rename, delete or in some cases even -read- a file if some other program has the file open. All of this stuff actually worked, literally, in the 70ies on unix.

      The biggest problem though ? There is not a -single- actually relevant improvement from a user-perspective. Not one. Lots of drawbacks, no advantages. Oh, I'm sure they're there allrigth. But how splendid are they really, if the user doesn't even -notice- them in the first half-year of use ?

      At this point my wife would swap Vista for XP in a heartbeat. Hell, she'd swap it for Windows-98 if given the chance.

  • Yeah! (Score:5, Funny)

    by eddy (18759) on Saturday October 13, 2007 @10:06AM (#20965951) Homepage Journal

    Boycott Microsoft for... er... Microsoft. That'll show them!

    • by peragrin (659227)
      actually that's a really good idea. customers get what they want and MSFT gets burned by developing an OS that no one wants.

      next up Universal will have a free subscription service that only works with universal branded mp3 players, that can only decode universal's mp3 drm.

      oh wait.
      • "customers get what they want and MSFT gets burned by developing an OS that no one wants."

        Or, customers get what they think they want, and Microsoft (why must people abbreviate it? It's not that long of a word) gets to keep it's market share relatively even while also having it's older OS (XP) look much better to many people (upgrade to linux? Nah, I'll just go back to XP. It was perfect as I remember).
    • by jkrise (535370)
      "Boycott Microsoft for... er... Microsoft."

      I think you got it wrong there... it's like boycotting Bullshit to slightly better smelling manure. People need time to get used to the multiple new flavours, of .. you know, like.. It's not fair for Microsoft to break the stenchometer and get away with it.
  • My friend just bought a copy of XP Pro because he has so much problems with Vista.

    No surprise here, M$ has found a way to make the manufactures pay and fatten up the profits. Bet Microsoft does not want to publish downgrade and after market sales replacing Vista. But making lots of money in the process.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by porkThreeWays (895269)
      I recently bought a laptop with Vista on it from newegg. I knew I was going to have to try and get an XP disc from the OEM, but I didn't realize how easy it would be. I just called and asked and they are sending it for free. I guess there must be considerable demand if it was that easy. Two of my friends bought computers when Vista first came out and tried to get XP on them from the OEM. It was basically impossible and just ended up putting pirated copies of XP when the computers came. Funny how there's suc
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Almahtar (991773)
      A friend of mine almost did the same as well. He owns two restaurants, and has PC-based terminals in the more recently made one. He wanted to get the same system installed in his first restaurant, so he called up the company that makes the software and they told him to buy 3 PCs and they'd come get everything set up. He buys 3 PCs which come with Vista, and they tell him that 'for security reasons' he has to purchase XP Pro licenses (at $170-$220 a pop, depending where you get them) for the systems befor
  • Flamewar anybody? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Z00L00K (682162) on Saturday October 13, 2007 @10:12AM (#20966011) Homepage
    It may be time for PC manufacturers to also be able to listen to the consumers and actually ask them which OS they want (if any). This so that when a consumer buys a PC with expected performance he/she isn't forced to select a specific OS or version of OS.

    It may be that when buying a PC it only comes bundled with XP Home, but the consumer needs XP Pro, in which case it's necessary to purchase the OS TWICE. Or if the consumer wants Linux it's not possible to get rid of the M$ Tax...

    • Re:Flamewar anybody? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by ais523 (1172701) <ais523(524\)(525)x)@bham.ac.uk> on Saturday October 13, 2007 @10:22AM (#20966073)
      Actually, it is possible to get rid of the 'Windows Tax'; if you don't accept the licence agreement on Windows and then uninstall it, it's possible to get a refund (see this BBC News story [bbc.co.uk]). Presumably this applies whether you want to install Linux, an older version of Windows, or even another OS.
      • That is not always true. Sometimes the seller has legal right to break the whole deal if customer doesn't accept one part of the deal.

        But even if I wouldn't have a computer, I would really pay Windows tax, literally. I pay taxes and the goverment buys Windows licenses with that money.
        • by aliquis (678370)
          They also buy salt and asphalt for roads, plants for parks, machinery for hospitals, and so on, the horrors!!
  • I'm still wanting to go past that 120 day "trail period" for XP Pro 64bit Edition...
  • This is a piece of backlash that should have happened when XP replaced Win2K. Seriously, what did XP add that Win2K didn't have, other than the kiddie-toy "My First Computer" window-dressing and the "phone-home" validation behavior--both of which are non-features as far as I'm concerned?
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by NetCow (117556)
      Actually, it did add a few improvements - a better process scheduler and improved backwards compatibility with application not written for the NT product line come to mind. However, that's about it, and, seen as an immutable, an owner of a Windows 2000 license shouldn't have needed to bother upgrading unless specifically running into a problem that was only fixed in XP. Unfortunately, there's the question of product lifetime, and once Microsoft stopped supporting 2000 people were more or less forced to swit
      • No, there were some pretty significant kernel-level changes in Whistler. Just read the MSDN library for features that require a specific SDK version to see what XP had that 2000 didn't.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by m.ducharme (1082683)
      Because most home users weren't using Win2000 when XP came out, they were using WinME or Win98SE. XP was a significant upgrade from both of them, and well worth the money.
    • by RonnyJ (651856) on Saturday October 13, 2007 @10:31AM (#20966139)
      Unfortunately there wasn't a cheaper 'home' version of Windows 2000, and so Windows XP was a good upgrade path, being a huge improvement over Windows 9x.

      As you say though, Windows XP offered little to people already using Windows 2000 (and still doesn't offer much extra now, besides the extra support time).

    • by aliquis (678370)
      People have already said a few things, much improved networking is another. (Same as win2k3 afaik.)
    • by dave420 (699308)
      Improvements to the GUI, lots of new hardware support, fast user switching, remote assistance, built-in CD burning, ClearType, Remote Desktop, ACPI (with hibernation support, sleep modes), greatly-improved boot times, major kernel improvements. And that's just from a cursory glance at the Wikipedia article.
  • by SmallFurryCreature (593017) on Saturday October 13, 2007 @10:18AM (#20966047) Journal

    The consumentenbond is very powerfull, IF a company has its product rated as best it WILL use that in all its ads, it is marketing gold. Being labelled as bad is the exact opposite, MS just got itself a whole shitload of bad advertising and not by some computer mag or newspaper but by an organisation most dutch people believe.

    To give you an idea off how powerfull consumer organisations are in holland, this is the only country in the world were Sony will freely and without question exchange PSP's with ANY defective sub-pixel. The ONLY country in the world. Not after you threaten a lawsuit, not after hours on the phone, turn it into a store, if they make trouble refer them to a letter Sony send to kassa and get your new PSP (did it twice until it went past even dutch warranty). Some stores (not sony itself) still try to make trouble, go ahead ask for the manager and tell them to call Sony, Sony will chew them out for you, Sony doesn't want more trouble.

    In fact if you are in the netherlands you don't have to accept dead subpixels on anything. I exchanged my iPod video after 6 months, an mp3 player is a device that should last longer, and Apple just had to replace mine or face a court case it was going to loose by default.

    This is the country MS refused to simply give XP (costs them NOTHING) to legit buyers of Vista?

    Seriously, MS really needs to hire a better public relations officer. They might be lucky that this is the weekend and as such the free working week newspapers won't carry the story but this is just asking for a whole lot of bad press.

    On a side not, might Vista's uptake lack because it is harder to pirate? The only people I know who use Vista are those who got it with their new computer for "free". I build my own (and run linux anyway for desktop) so for me Vista would cost a shitload of money. Piracy seems out, wich makes me not use it and therefore I get no experience with it, except for when my friends ask me for advice and I can't give it because I don't know Vista. This actually matters to some as I have helped two people reformat and install XP to get rid of Vista.

    I wish just once there was a story from MS that doesn't make it sound like it got some kind of horrible fascination with shooting itself in the foot.

    • by jkrise (535370)
      I don't think it is a big mistake at all. It would've been a big mistake if Microsoft gave away a free upgrade to XP for buyers of Vista. I think we will see a pricing announcement for this XP upgrade shortly.
    • by khallow (566160)
      Nonsense. It's better to lose the Netherlands as a market than to start a policy, anywhere in the world, of upgrading Vista to XP for free.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by houghi (78078)
      If Sony gets bad press, people will buy something else. If Apple gets bad press, people will buy some other brand.

      But seriously, what alternatives do people have instead of Vista for a pre-installed system. Seriously?

      I like Linux and I am convinced that it is ready for the desktop right now. However there is no serious choice of pre-installed Linux PCs. And that is what people want: A pre-installed system

      So due to their monopoly position, MS does not have to care what anybody tells them, advices them or adv
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Almahtar (991773)

      On a side note, might Vista's uptake lack because it is harder to pirate?
      It isn't. I have a few friends that know pretty much nothing about computers (they're casual gamers and that's it... like if the guy at Best Buy tells them something, they believe it). They've managed to pirate Vista without headache. Some liked it, some went back to XP, but none had any trouble pirating it.
  • Vista issues? HA! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by crowbarsarefornerdyg (1021537) on Saturday October 13, 2007 @10:44AM (#20966257)
    I applaud their efforts to get M$ to let the consumer trade in Vista for XP, especially after my experience with my wife's computer. We bought her a Compaq SR2010, which came with a "free upgrade" (LOL!) to Vista Home somethingoranother. Anyway, when we got it, I went ahead and installed it, because she wanted to try it. She'd already experienced it on my new computer. The damn thing even had the little "Vista Capable" sticker on the front. Cool, it's worth a shot.

    I installed Vista, used the HP Driver Disc that came with Vista to upgrade all my drivers, and waited. After everything was done, I checked the system, and two or three devices weren't working. I went to HP's website, and there were no new drivers for them. To make a long story short, we reformatted her computer, and I wiped the drive on mine and we both went back to XP.

    • by dave420 (699308)
      I installed Vista on my PC, and it detected everything first time. Yay for anecdotal evidence! We just cancelled each other out!
  • Go ahead and mod me as a troll. The unhappy Vista users should give a serious look at Ubuntu [ubuntu.com]. I've been using it for over a year on a Dell laptop, and I've installed it (and previously Fedora) for about 10 or 15 friends. With the exception of specific Windows apps (such as Solidworks), Ubuntu apps do everything that Windows XP (the usual old OS) applications do. Email, web browsing, office apps (OOo 2.3 is remarkable), and more. I could go on but I'm (seriously) not a zealot and I'll get a bad enough troll
  • They aren't kidding (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Heliode (856187) on Saturday October 13, 2007 @10:59AM (#20966415)
    The Consumentenbond is taken very seriously here. Today I found an ad folder in the mail from the Mediamarkt (big computer/electronics store here in Holland) with a large ad in it advertising new computers with XP. "We have them again!". I can't find anything about it on their website. I scanned the ad, and I would upload it if I had some place that could handle the load. I'm open for suggestions!
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Heliode (856187)
      Hate to reply to my own post, but the scanned ad can be found here [imageshack.us]

      As an anecdote; recently, the person with the least technical skill and knowledge I know (and that says quite a lot), told me she bought a new computer with XP on it because she heard Vista "has to many flaws". I'm pretty sure that if even she knows, everyone in the country knows. I'm pretty sure we didn't have this when XP came out.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 13, 2007 @11:03AM (#20966451)
    Seriously, having read the comments on this article, I would have thought I was reading a Microsoft forum. Isn't this slashdot? Where are all the M$ haters?

    Well, I'm personally not an MS hater per se, and am very happy with working in C# and Visual Studio over using Java and Eclipse. However, when I tried Windows Vista, it lasted all of one month on my computer before I went back to XP. I did really like some of the interface improvements. The Aero interface does look nice, and I liked the screen preview feature of the taskbar. But that was about all I liked.

    Why did I switch back to XP?

    1. Half of my games wouldn't run in Vista.
    2. I quickly got sick of having to click "OK" on 3 different security validation popups every time I'd want to run a program.
    3. I got sick of having to acknowledge that I'd turned off security every time I booted up (see number 2).
    4. I got tired of having to install half of everyting I bought twice, because it would fail the first time due to the Vista "protect the user from himself" theology. Even though my logon acct was Administrator, it wouldn't install apps as administrator mode until it failed the first time. What the?
    5. Of the half of the games that did run, graphics performance was about 15% worse than on Vista. Even when I upgraded to a dual-core and was running two ATI cards in Crossfire mode.

    I'm not able to give you a lot of technical "this process was x because they did y in Vista" but the above were my experiences with what was bad about Vista versus XP. Personally, I consider Vista to be on par (as far as MS OS's go) with Windows 98 First Edition. I liked 2000 because it stopped me from getting he "buffer underrun" error every time I'd burn a CD. I liked XP because it gave me a lot more "home" and gaming functionality. Vista is a downgrade from both.
  • Okay, let's assume that Vista doesn't get that much better when SP1 ships out. Can we reasonably expect to see a larger market share of Apples? How about demand for and supply of Linux installed computers?
    • Re:Logical question: (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Foofoobar (318279) on Saturday October 13, 2007 @11:53AM (#20966891)
      2 out of 5 laptops sold last year were Apples. Apple realizes that the 'static' desktop market is not the future; the portable market is the future. This is why they are focusing on portable music players, portable computers and portable phones.

      People are portable and they expect their devices to be as well and though Windows can work on portable devices, as usual, they are late to the game and this time I doubt Apple will make the same mistake they made the first time by letting Microsoft step all over them. But then again, they also need Microsoft otherwise they will becoem just as evil (*cough* iPhone *cough*).

  • They won't give you a free copy of XP, but they will let you trade your Vista license for an XP license?

    Or am I thinking of something else?
  • Stop stalling (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jlarocco (851450) on Saturday October 13, 2007 @11:26AM (#20966645) Homepage

    Will you Windows people stop whining? In the next few years you're going to use Vista, because that's Microsoft's new thing. People whined about XP, and look where we are now. So get on with it. Stop whining and take the plunge. We all know how it's going to turn out, and the rest of us are tired of your bitching.

    Alternatively, try switching to a different operating system. For years the most common reasons for not switching to Linux or Mac have been that those operating systems don't support necessary hardware or software and are significantly different than people are used to. Now that Microsoft's own "new thing" is significantly different and doesn't support much hardware or software, it's the perfect time to put your money where your mouth is. Switch to something else, or shut up and take it.

  • by A_Mythago (204246) on Saturday October 13, 2007 @11:29AM (#20966671) Journal
    Having Microsoft provide copies of Windows XP to customers will only fix half of the problems on many new PCs as several of the newest laptops and desktops have limited support from the manufacturers for Windows XP (read: non-existent in most cases). In many cases I get a customer who "downgraded" their system only to find that several components are unsupported in XP or have proprietary settings that prevent the generic drivers from working. I hold the Toshiba A215-S7447 laptop up as a good example of this. Although the cynical part of me praises the industry for this revenue stream, it shows that just giving the OS would cause more problems and frustrations for customers in the long run as the software and features pre-installed by the manufacturer that the customer has come to expect are missing from a "vanilla" install of XP.

    Most of the complaints I get regarding Windows Vista are of the "I cannot find this feature" or "my 5+ year old piece of software will not work". In nearly all cases like this the problem can be fixed by a little advise on the help system and showing the customer how to use compatibility mode. Hardware is the biggest complaint but again it is almost always for 5+ year old equipment (many of which are no longer supported by the manufacturer) and these are incidentally the same type of customers who complain their sub $500 computer does not have a parallel port.

    The majority of the customers that come to me and say "Vista sucks!" are the ones who bought a sub $500 desktop or laptop running Windows Vista Basic meeting the absolute lowest requirements. When you add shared video memory overhead to an already low installed RAM it is no wonder the system bogs down when attempting to do more than one task at a time. Microsoft's biggest mistake was to make this version as in my experience the person who wants to pay the least for a product is the one who tends to be the most vocal about any perceived problems.

    One more thing that comes to mind is "who pays"? Microsoft can not be required to pay companies to develop and support their operating system or provide OEM copies of additional value-added software such as DVD decoding or advanced burning capability. The manufacturers of the hardware and especially the large system builders are just as guilty of making the transition as painful as it is.

    Vista is not perfect, in fact it reminds me a great deal of Windows XP pre-SP1 and there are a lot of problems that are being ironed out over time. The fact of the matter is unless the hardware manufacturers are willing to incur the additional expense of continuing to develop and support Windows XP drivers, a move to "force" Microsoft to provide "downgrade" disks would be useless to the average customer.
  • by Metalenkist (1173293) on Saturday October 13, 2007 @11:41AM (#20966791)
    Microsoft did the right thing here I think, It's very easy to blame Microsoft for all the problems here but who should support hardware in first place? Microsoft or the manufacture of who made the hardware? We're 8 months now after the release of Vista many company's had time to build Vista drivers for their hardware. If I had a HP printer who doesn't support Vista, I'll blame HP for being to lazy to support my printer. I fully understand that consumers are disappointed when hardware is not working with the newest Windows version and that they blame Microsoft for it. From a consumers union I expect that they tell consumers the truth and how things work and who to blame when things are not working. The consumentenbond takes the easy way here!
  • by erroneus (253617) on Saturday October 13, 2007 @12:02PM (#20966961) Homepage
    With all the people out there 'hating vista' I find it amusing that there are some confused individuals who actually love Vista out there who are asserting their denial that Vista sucks.

    I think the reasons people are offering for hating Vista are both valid and inconsequential. I say this because it's not the reason that matters so much as the fact that there's discussion about it at all... what's more, there's actually pockets of consumer action growing out there.

    Let's take a short walk through recent history shall we?

    Windows 3.1:

    It was the first "usable" version of Windows. It did things that were arguably miraculous. They created a unified printing, display and user interface such that all software written for it was simply easier and better. No more hoping there is hardware support for your applications. Does anyone remember hunting for drivers to support a printer under AutoCAD or Word Perfect? Not too many people here are old enough to remember that stuff, but I'm here to tell you that it was a big deal and I was singing Microsoft's praises as a savior for the PC and its users.

    Windows 3.11... Windows NT:

    Progress and improvements! Things just kept getting better. People were happy and excited to upgrade. Things couldn't be better! ... or could they?

    Windows95:

    WOW! What an amazing difference! A bar at the bottom of the window with a menu system? Sure it was Mac-like, but it was still a wonderful improvement in terms of style. For those already accustomed to Win 3.1 and all that, we knew it was essentially the same OS but with more 32-bit-ness which, even though we didn't fully appreciate what that meant at the time, we knew it was good somehow. Windows95 wasn't "worse" than any of its predecessors and we were still happy to get it because it just looked cooler.

    Windows98:

    More 32-bit-ness. Cooler still. More old DOS stuff being hidden from the user... some didn't care for it, others appreciated it. We were all generally accepting of it though.

    Windows 2000:

    Awesome. We didn't have to understand that there were some serious underlying differences to be experienced there... we could just "feel" the differences somehow. It was still Windows NT and as such required more computing power than Win95/98, but for those who craved the improvements that Win2000 offered, it was worth giving in and upgrading the hardware to get it somehow... and yet many remained with Windows98... some serious departure from the "Happy Microsoft Upgraders" mentality is really starting to show now.

    Windows ME:

    Do I really need to mention it? I guess there were some 'good ideas' in there, but frankly, I never used it. If I wanted to "upgrade" from Win98, I went to Win2000. Like most people, I just stepped right by WinME.

    Windows XP:

    It's all about the eye-candy. Windows XP didn't offer anything that Windows 2000 didn't already offer. What's more, there was no "Windows XP server." What was that all about? My first attempt at putting WinXP on a machine revealed a slow machine that was once pretty nice under Win98 or Win2000. And given that XP didn't actually offer anything exclusively better in terms of functionality, I ignored it for a long long time... eventually as old machines died and were replaced with newer, better machines, I didn't mind going to XP so much... so eventually XP won its way in by exhibiting patience. No one clamored for XP... they just accepted it. But neither was there mass rebellion against XP.

    Windows Vista:

    It was a long time in coming. For some it was a dark cloud. For others it held the promise of fixing a lot of things and delivering a LOT of new, interesting and exciting new toys and technologies. Delivery and development delays kept coming and coming. Eventually features were dropped one by one... the hopefuls began to lose faith... the "dark cloud" folks were actually a little relieved since it meant the possibility of less chaos when it
    • by Yosho (135835) on Saturday October 13, 2007 @12:36PM (#20967219) Homepage
      Windows XP didn't offer anything that Windows 2000 didn't already offer.

      I see this get posted on Slashdot a lot, but it's just not true.

      Things Windows XP has that 2000 doesn't include system restore, driver rollback, fast user switching, a built-in firewall, an encrypted file system that supported multiple users at once (2k's only worked for a single user at once), smart card support, data excecution prevention, better compatibility with pre-2k applications, remote assistance, a remote desktop server in the professional version, and more. Not all (or even any) of those features might be useful to you, but they are there, and there are people who use them.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by jimicus (737525)
      You do realise that most of the "advances" you tout existed on various other systems for years before Windows.

      And I'm not talking about some exotic "spend $$$$$ because you're a massive business with a budget to match" - many were available to the average end user. For instance, in the UK Acorn had 32-bit processors (well, 24 bits in some parts of the CPU and 32 bits in others) in 1987, complete with a printer driver system similar to what's in Windows, a bar showing programs and disk drives along the bott
  • by S3D (745318) on Saturday October 13, 2007 @12:17PM (#20967071)
    I have impression that digg users generally more tolerant of Vista (or even pro-Vista) than slashdotters. I'm wondering if what I've seen just random fluctuation or the reason is that /. and digg have different demographics. The diggers are predominantly Windows users, but that still not explain why they prefer Vista to XP.
  • by Kainaw (676073) on Saturday October 13, 2007 @01:25PM (#20967589) Homepage Journal
    This is what Microsoft wants. Users are told ask for XP instead of Vista - which doesn't really change the amount of money Microsoft receives in any way. Then, in a few years, Microsoft stops supporting XP and forces everyone to buy Vista. So, in the long run, Microsoft loves the "buy XP instead of Vista" hoopla. They're going to double their profits.

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