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Vista Makes CNET UK's List of "Worst Consumer Tech" 484

Posted by kdawson
from the in-bad-company dept.
Several anonymous readers pointed us at CNET UK's Crave blog for a list of what is or was, in their opinion, the worst consumer tech in history. Vista comes in at number 10, in company with Apple's puck mouse (number 6) and Sony's CD rootkit (number 9). According to Crave: "[Vista's] incompatibility with hardware, its obsessive requirement of human interaction to clear security dialogue box warnings and its abusive use of hated DRM, not to mention its general pointlessness as an upgrade, are just some examples of why this expensive operating system earns the final place in our terrible tech list." That's gotta hurt a little, coinciding as it does with Apple's Don't Give Up On Vista attack ad.
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Vista Makes CNET UK's List of "Worst Consumer Tech"

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  • by downix (84795) on Monday November 26, 2007 @07:27PM (#21486263) Homepage
    Come on Microsoft. Vista is #10 on the index. You need to try harder, that #1 slot can be yours within an SP or two!
    • by uncoveror (570620)
      Even Vista is not as bad as the Sony CDs with rootkits. That should have been number one.
  • by UnknowingFool (672806) on Monday November 26, 2007 @07:29PM (#21486289)
    Apple's puck mouse was #6. Vista was #10 and Sony's rootkit was #9. I admit that the mouse was more form than function. But it didn't really cause harm unlike like Sony's rootkit and isn't the fiasco that is Vista. So why is it higher? Also if users didn't like the mouse, they could replace it with a $20 model from a store. Many people I know don't use the mouse that came with the computer. You can't easily replace Vista or get rid of the rootkit.
    • by Bryansix (761547) on Monday November 26, 2007 @07:36PM (#21486349) Homepage
      I have had the displeasure of using one of these things and they are right about not knowing which way is up. Because it is circular there is no way to control how the thing is rotated so it frequently would become the case that moving the mouse (if you could call it that) left would move the cursor up on the screen. It seriously made me hate MAC computers just based on the "PUCK" and it made me contemplate putting out a hit on whomever designed this useless piece of shit. Yes, you could replace it but most Universities with MACS did not replace them.
    • by NetDanzr (619387) on Monday November 26, 2007 @07:39PM (#21486375)
      I admit that the mouse was more form than function. But it didn't really cause harm unlike like Sony's rootkit and isn't the fiasco that is Vista.

      Vista and the Sony rootkit can cause onsets of rage or heart attacks in few cases, but that mouse was an ergonomic disaster. Using it for a few hours cramped your fingers so much that many male Apple users ended up lonely at night, without their hand being able to perform its marital duties.

    • by jpfed (1095443)
      When I programmed for some psych labs at UW, they were running an experiment on Macs where participants indicated their responses by pushing a lever forward until it hit a stop. Now, every once in a while, this caused the program that drove the experiment to behave in strange ways.

      We eventually determined that every once in a while, a participant would hit the lever's stop hard enough that the vibrations would propagate through the table and cause the puck mouse to click itself. This could happen because
    • by moosesocks (264553) on Monday November 26, 2007 @08:24PM (#21486749) Homepage

      Apple's puck mouse was #6. Vista was #10 and Sony's rootkit was #9. I admit that the mouse was more form than function. But it didn't really cause harm unlike like Sony's rootkit and isn't the fiasco that is Vista. So why is it higher?


      If you RTFA, you'll notice that the ordering of the items in the list seems arbitrary, and that the authors don't really refer to any sort of ranking within the list.

      And yeah.... the puck mouse did suck, but it also wasn't horribly difficult to go out to buy a new mouse if you hated the thing. It was the first apple peripheral, after all, to use a universally standard interface. (Apple really led the pack with USB and Firewire. The PS/2 interface *still* shows up on many PCs! It's a bit sad, however, to see FireWire slowly dying out, as it was undoubtedly the technically superior interface for data transfers)
  • Think different? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by garcia (6573) on Monday November 26, 2007 @07:30PM (#21486303)
    That's gotta hurt a little, coinciding as it does with Apple's Don't Give Up On Vista attack ad.

    I wish they would go back to the ads showing how sexy the technology they offer is (like the PC with a mess of wires in the back compared to the iMac with nothing but the keyboard and mouse or the continuing awesome iPod ads with catchy tunes from bands with moderate success prior to the release of the video) instead of those crappy "attack" ads. Hell, go back to the old ads with the geek chic that was ever so popular here on Slashdot even.

    Just enough talking about Vista and Windows -- they're starting to sound like politicians. In fact, they've been picking up other bad habits. My wife and I went into the Apple store at the Mall of America and while I was gawking and drooling over those huge displays, two of their employees launched a Best Buy style sales attack on her. She actually said, "you know, we used to enjoy entering this store and you're now very much like Best Buy, you might want to rethink that." The sales people actually left her alone after one replied, "sorry, I will bring that forward." Who knows if they did or not.

    Think different, again, please!
    • by ad0gg (594412)
      Its funny how apple bashes on vista. Yet microsoft managed to sell 88 million copies [pcworld.com] of vista.

      With microsft posting double digit increases [news.com] in Q4 revenue from client(vista) and business(office) divisions compared to last year, I guess microsoft failed at failing.

    • by mdwh2 (535323)
      I wish they would go back to the ads showing how sexy the technology they offer is (like the PC with a mess of wires in the back compared to the iMac with nothing but the keyboard and mouse

      It runs on batteries??
  • by jtroutman (121577) on Monday November 26, 2007 @07:31PM (#21486305)
    and its onerous security notifications, adherence to DRM and general pointlessness, I don't think that "incompatibility with hardware" is really a valid statement. It runs on modern hardware from a wide variety of vendors. If you want to see an operating system with stringent hardware requirements, you need look no further than OSX. At least I can show people how to run the OS on my own hardware without the software's manufacturer coming after me [hardmac.com] and threatening legal action if I don't stop.
    • by Bert64 (520050)
      That said, OSX at least supports the hardware it's shipped with...
      I've seen systems shipped with vista that had unsupported or broken components.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Osty (16825)

      and its onerous security notifications, adherence to DRM and general pointlessness, I don't think that "incompatibility with hardware" is really a valid statement.

      I'm not even sure "onerous security notifications" and "adherence to DRM" are valid statements. If you're seeing a bunch of UAC prompts, either you're running some really crap apps that don't understand how to work in a multi-user environment, you're doing a lot of admin work (in which case you may as well just turn off UAC), or you're doing som

      • by jtroutman (121577) on Monday November 26, 2007 @07:53PM (#21486531)
        In an average week of work + home computing, I see maybe two or three UAC prompts the entire time, and I'm running with UAC on.

        That's three times more than are necessary.

        Obviously Vista has to follow certain rules in order to play HD-DVD and/or Blu-Ray content, but that's the fault of the MPAA, not Microsoft. Either you implement the secure pipeline and require hardware to match (HDMI-everything), or you don't get to play that content at full resolution.

        And if Microsoft, with 90+ percent of the market, said, "No, if you want to get your movies into our market, you'll get rid of this annoying, overhead causing crap that our consumers hate."

        And as for the old, debunked rumor from several years prior to Vista's release you should read this [auckland.ac.nz], last updated earlier this year.
        • by empaler (130732)

          In an average week of work + home computing, I see maybe two or three UAC prompts the entire time, and I'm running with UAC on.

          That's three times more than are necessary.

          To be honest, my personal experience with Windows Vista is not one I cherish nor want to repeat, but 3 times a week? I think I do more than that that requires me to authenticate on both Mac OS and Fedora during a week. That is, of course, depending on what you are doing to your computer, but power users tinker, and it's a good thing that tinkering requires authentication if it is exploitable.

        • by calebt3 (1098475) on Monday November 26, 2007 @08:36PM (#21486847)

          That's three times more than are necessary.
          I enter my password quite often in Ubuntu when doing admin-level adjustments.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Technician (215283)
          And if Microsoft, with 90+ percent of the market, said, "No, if you want to get your movies into our market, you'll get rid of this annoying, overhead causing crap that our consumers hate."

          By default, Microsoft should have left HD playback out of the OS. MS should have a HD/Content protection option for those who want to pay for a HD drive and use it with HD content. Build in HD DVD content protection into on OS that is loaded on a PC that doesn't even come with HD drives is a terrible mistake.

          The ball wo
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Just Some Guy (3352)

        Obviously Vista has to follow certain rules in order to play HD-DVD and/or Blu-Ray content, but that's the fault of the MPAA, not Microsoft.

        BS. The *AA members need Microsoft more than Microsoft needs them. Imagine the hurt if MS announced that their systems will no longer play anything other than Red Book audio CDs. What's Jane Teenager more likely to do: run out and buy a Mac or just download her albums from now on?

        Microsoft happily caved, pure and simple. They give the excuse that "the *AA made us do it!", but that's just a convenient cover story so they don't have to admit that they want DRM (so they can be the next iTunes Music St

    • by Just Some Guy (3352) <kirk+slashdot@strauser.com> on Monday November 26, 2007 @07:52PM (#21486515) Homepage Journal

      I don't think that "incompatibility with hardware" is really a valid statement.

      True. Many people don't own printers or scanners or sound cards, and so will never notice that half their peripherals are now driverless.

    • by pkulak (815640)
      That's a pretty specious argument. Vista doesn't run well on the hardware it is supposed to run on. OS X does. Should we penalize Windows and OS X for both not running on my TI-83?
      • by jtroutman (121577)
        Vista doesn't run well on the hardware it is supposed to run on

        I'm not sure you understood my argument, I didn't say that Vista ran well on the hardware it supposedly does based on its system requirements. But that if I take off-the-shelf hardware, hardware that Vista will run well on, and show people how to install it and get it running smoothly, no one will bother me. If you do the same with OSX, though, if you run it on anything but the approved hardware (conveniently sold by Apple) and then show other
  • I don't think there is any specific order with respect to collateral damage. Though it may seem that the order implies (1 being least to 10 being highest) their perspective of the worst products.
  • How can a mouse with a somewhat confusing design be "worse" than someone selling a rootkit that compromises the security of functionality of your computer? Shouldn't crappy design take a back seat to outright sabotage?

  • by ClosedSource (238333) on Monday November 26, 2007 @07:33PM (#21486325)
    Nine old obscure products I can use as an excuse to slam Vista.
    • Yeah, no kidding. A Squircle? I've never even seen these on this side of the ocean. The only things that most people would know in the USA are Windows Vista, Sony rootkit, Atari Jaguar, Tamagochi, and puck mouse. Although, personally, of those 4 things, I think Sony rootkit is the only one that deserves to be there by itself from 1 through 10.
  • by ToastyKen (10169) on Monday November 26, 2007 @07:36PM (#21486345) Homepage Journal
    The Apple mouse was ranked 6th while Vista was 10, but the article has a pro-Apple stance. I just wanted to point that out. I mean, I'm a Mac fan, and I know Vista is the more current topic, but still, kinda unfair....

    (Yes yes, I know, "You must be new here." :P)
  • by jo7hs2 (884069) on Monday November 26, 2007 @07:37PM (#21486353) Homepage
    That device (puck-mouse) should be listed as a torture device. It hurts your hands, it is counter-inuitive, it clicks sometimes for no reason, and it is the ULTIMATE nightmare in function follows form.
  • by suburbanmediocrity (810207) on Monday November 26, 2007 @07:48PM (#21486483)
    I seem to recall reading a number of articles a few years ago where Gates and Balmer said that they were "betting the company" on the upcoming release of Windows. I wonder how this is working out for them.
    • by gordgekko (574109)
      Fantastic [news.com]. Only real weakness when it comes to Vista is that consumer adoption is outpacing corporate adoption. Don't you keep up with the news or do you just post on /. and hope no one responds with facts to your assertions?

  • by headkase (533448) on Monday November 26, 2007 @07:50PM (#21486505)
    I've run Linux as my only OS for a whole year once, but now I'm back to XP simply because I like to play my games. I see no compelling reason to upgrade to Vista - I don't have DX10 hardware and WindowBlinds makes XP look almost as nice. Right now I run Linux in VMWare and I really hope someday that I can switch to Linux fully as my booted OS and run my Windows games in VMWare or equivalent! Games are the *only* reason I still use Windows, Linux is much more fun to tweak for a person like me!
  • "Vista... general pointlessness as an upgrade..."

    Praising Microsoft products again, I see.

    Microsoft has once again released a product before it was finished. That has wasted the time of many, many educated people, dragging down their quality of life and their productiveness.

    That is NOT "pointlessness". That is abuse.
  • by Infonaut (96956) <infonaut@gmail.com> on Monday November 26, 2007 @08:04PM (#21486603) Homepage Journal

    The abundance of "lists as articles" makes me want to vomit, but this one takes the cake. They just randomly put down ten tech mistakes in an ad-baiting format (click here to see the next on the list - we won't tell you what it is, but if you click here, we'll get more ad revenue!). What's the time period? What are the criteria for selection?

    The writers just pulled nonsense out of their asses, and somehow that passes as valuable information. In this so-called Information Age, one would think better writing would rise to the top. Sadly, that doesn't seem to be the case. We get crap, but at least we get it instantly!

  • by Master Switch (15115) on Monday November 26, 2007 @08:06PM (#21486619) Homepage
    I spend much of my time using Windows (2K pro, 2003, XP, and Vista) and OS X , and a little on Linux. I consider myself experienced with both OS X and Windows. I much prefer OS X but I can say there is also some things I like about Vista. I have not had any speed issues and only a few software compatibility issues. I appreciate the structural improvements made in such areas as the management console, event logger, command line utilities, and kernel structures. Vista isn't the upgrade it should have been but it is not horrible. Microsoft is on the right track with UAC, and with some fine tuning it will be worth the trouble. The display subsystem is moving in the same direction that NeXT aka OS X took 15 or so years ago (think display post script in NeXT, now display PDF in OS X). It's taken Microsoft far too long to catch up but I do think they are on the right track. Remember the resistance XP met with when it first arrived. Now it's well received. I think Vista will eventually achieve this status a few years down the road.
    • Microsoft is on the right track with UAC

      Oh no it's not. UAC is not a security feature. I don't know what it is, security is not it.

      "processes running in the sandbox are running as you, and so can read and write any files, Registry keys, and even other processes to which your account has access. That caveat creates major gaps in the walls of the sandbox and malicious code written with awareness of the restricted environment could take advantage of them to escape and become full administrator."

      http://blogs. [technet.com]
  • by HerculesMO (693085) on Monday November 26, 2007 @08:07PM (#21486637)
    I'm running Vista now (it's free from work, so I decided to install Business edition), and I have no real issues with it. It's a memory hog and whatever else, but I just have to laugh and say, "how quickly we forget".

    Almost all of these complaints were exactly the same when XP was released. Memory, drivers, utility, etc... Vista runs all my games (which is why I have it) without a hitch, even the old DOSBoxed ones. I know we will have Mac fanboys up and down the aisles here so my probability of being modded down is higher, but so much software written for OS9 doesn't work on OSX any more at all. At least I can say that four OS versions later (95, 98, 2000, XP) and software CONTINUES to work (maybe not all of it) well... that's not too terrible either. I'm not saying Vista is "the shit" either -- I much prefer my Macbook for the OS use, but when I want to play my games, old and new... I can run them on Vista without a hitch.

    I'll wait for SP1 to see how well Vista fares in the future, but as it stands right now, I haven't had a BSOD or a crash in over a month, and my games play fast and furious, though I do lose a few frames per second since the drivers just aren't as good for Vista yet.

    I'll be patient, and remember my history.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Techman83 (949264)
      "I'll be patient, and remember my history." And so will I, Millennium Edition anybody? *shudders*
    • by corsec67 (627446)
      One thing:
      Along with the change from OS 9 to OSX, Apple has also changed from POWER to IA32, which is a completely different architecture.

      How well do apps for Win 95 work on an AMD64 Vista computer? What about hardware drivers? Backwards compatability is cake if you are still using the same ISA, or a compatable ISA, see PS3:PS2 as compared to Xbox:Xbox 360.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by techstar25 (556988)
      It's much more fun to just complain that Vista is the worst OS ever. I was forced to use Vista because it came on my laptop and XP drivers are not available yet. I spent 15 minutes tweaking Vista (Defender, UAC, Classic UI theme and start menu, etc), and voila, I now have an XP machine. Well, actually it's XP but without all the problems that XP had when it debuted.
  • uac = ! evil (Score:3, Informative)

    by Skuld-Chan (302449) on Monday November 26, 2007 @08:25PM (#21486755)
    I don't see what the big deal is about UAC - especially as the Mac does the same thing. Any time you need to run an app that requests administrative rights - the UAC prompt pops up. All its doing is asking you if you really requested this elevation. You can change it so that it asks you for the admin password, but this isn't default behavior.

    My friend who is a Mac die hard tells me - but you need to fiddle with the UAC prompt when setting the clock! Well? Guess what - you do on the Mac as well. Same with installing most apps, setting a good chunk of settings as well.

    Also on the Mac if you try to copy a file into a directory you don't have permission to - it prompts for elevation - same as Vista.

    I think most people are pissed off because it doesn't work like XP which let you have free run of the machine, but then the slashdot crowd bemoans the fact that XP is insecure. Microsoft fixes that - and now Vista is crap - I don't get it.

    Fact is - I play games on my Vista box, browse the net, and watch "pirated" videos on it - and gasp - it works quite well. My TV tuner work, my scanner works, both my printers work, my video card works, everything works - and this is even the x64 version. I rarely ever have to deal with UAC unless I'm installing something.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by UnknowingFool (672806)

      I don't see what the big deal is about UAC - especially as the Mac does the same thing. Any time you need to run an app that requests administrative rights - the UAC prompt pops up. All its doing is asking you if you really requested this elevation. You can change it so that it asks you for the admin password, but this isn't default behavior.

      The difference is that only a few tasks on a Mac asks you for a password while nearly everything in Windows is considered an admin task. As an owner of a Mac, I can g

      • Re:uac = ! evil (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Shados (741919) on Monday November 26, 2007 @11:14PM (#21488181)
        Personaly I didn't see an UAC prompt on my 2 computers (work computer is on Vista too) in weeks, except when 1) using Visual Studio, which is optional and I configured it myself, because Visual Studio has system tools in it, such as controlling services from inside the IDE, of course it would need admin, 2) installing softwares available to all users of the machine, 3) reviewing the event logs.

        The only time you'll get -spammed- with UAC prompt is if you put user files directly in your C drive (in vista, user folders are in C:\Users, as opposed to Documents and Settings bullcrap of XP. That was one thing I was quite jealous of from Unix-style system, as they have more sensible defaults on that one, ie: /home) so there's no reason to do it anymore even if you're lazy (in XP and 2k I would always dump stuff straight in C:\ to avoid having to navigate to my document...), or if you use programs that were coded by idiots who missed the message back when the Windows 9x line was being phased out to stop developing software that relied on admin.

        MS isn't kidding when they say the worse part of windows is bad software... Without bad drivers you can go for years without ever seeing Windows crash, without bad software you can go for weeks without seeing UAC...
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Skuld-Chan (302449)
        The difference is that only a few tasks on a Mac asks you for a password while nearly everything in Windows is considered an admin task. As an owner of a Mac, I can go weeks without my Mac asking for a password. The most common event that requires a password is when I get system updates from Apple every few weeks. Otherwise it never asks me for admin rights.

        Last time I saw the UAC prompt on my Windows machine is when Firefox wanted to update itself. Before that I haven't seen it in at least a month.

        If your
  • by Quiet_Desperation (858215) on Monday November 26, 2007 @08:25PM (#21486757)
    At least you can swap in another mouse in a few seconds. OS X has supported two buttons from the beginning which is why those that still complain about one button get pushed around and dirt put in their hair.
  • Vista, MS garbage (Score:4, Interesting)

    by harvey the nerd (582806) on Monday November 26, 2007 @08:56PM (#21487043)
    I had an important business presentation with a Vista laptop that I had to buy in a hurry several months before (old one was damaged right before a business trip). The damn thing updated Vista online overnight by itself and then collapsed the next day on reboot and couldn't restart for 15 minutes in a meeting. There is no excuse for the problems that I have had with this Vista laptop, it should be more stable before it ships. IMHO any IT type recommending Vista deployment before SP1 or 2 should be terminated on sight. It is by far the most annoying I've had, far more than anything on previous 95, 98SE, XP laptops.
  • Puck mouse (Score:5, Interesting)

    by CaptainCarrot (84625) on Monday November 26, 2007 @09:07PM (#21487173)

    It may look much slicker, but Apple still could have learned from a similar design failure from a few years earlier. The old VAXstation 3100s [rwth-aachen.de] used a round mouse, and everyone hated the fucking things. As with the Puck mouse, you couldn't easily tell by feel how it was oriented, and with three buttons instead of one it wasn't difficult to accidentally use the wrong one.

    At least Apple avoided the other problem with them. The VAXstation mice didn't use a ball, but a pair of cylinders mounted so as to engage the surface at right angles to each other. When you were using it at the edge of the mousepad, one of they cylinders would invariably go past the edge so that the cursor would stop moving in one direction.

  • by Sloppy (14984) on Tuesday November 27, 2007 @02:04PM (#21495361) Homepage Journal

    Sure, Vista is a crappy product, but its presence on this list isn't particularly noteworthy or interesting. And Vista is lame in a mostly non-mysterious way: thanks to preload arrangements, they're guaranteed some market success no matter how bad it is. Vista doesn't make you wonder, "WTF were they thinking? Did they really think they'd be able to sell this?"

    The bad mouse is the same. If you bought an iMac at the wrong time, you were going to get one of those. It's lameness didn't really endanger Apple's profitability much.

    No, the true "star" of this story has to really be the Barcode Battler. That is just spectacularly bad, and makes you wonder how they imagined making any money.

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