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University of Penn. Recommends Against Vista SP1 286

Posted by kdawson
from the windows-me-plus-seven dept.
At least one university liberal enough to accept the deeply flawed and mostly rejected Vista OS is recommending faculty and students stay away from SP1. "University of Pennsylvania tech staffers are advising faculty and students not to upgrade their computers to the new service pack for Microsoft's Windows Vista operating system. The school's Information Systems & Computing department said it will support Vista SP1 on new systems where it's pre-installed, but added that it 'strongly recommends that all other users adopt a "wait and see" attitude,' according to a newly published department bulletin." And CIO magazine doesn't quite go so far as to call on Microsoft to throw away Vista, but it does ask its readers to weigh in on that topic.
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Penn State Recommends Against Vista SP1

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  • Wait and See (Score:5, Insightful)

    by 26199 (577806) * on Sunday March 23, 2008 @02:51PM (#22838186) Homepage

    Isn't that the standard advice for any major upgrade on any operating system ever?...

  • Liberal? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by conner_bw (120497) on Sunday March 23, 2008 @02:52PM (#22838188) Homepage Journal
    At least one university liberal enough...

    Shouldn't that read conservative a.k.a reactionary a.k.a cautious about change?

    • If they were cautious about change then they would not have accepted Vista, which is a change. Accepting the change to Vista would be liberal, not conservative.
    • Re:Liberal? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by RonnyJ (651856) on Sunday March 23, 2008 @03:26PM (#22838490)
      It's a stupid statement anyway, demonstrating an obvious anti-Vista viewpoint - what exactly is meant by "one university liberal enough to accept ... Vista"?

      The university would offer advice and support for the students own computers - any reasonable university is going to be "liberal enough" to let people use their own machines!

      • by perlchild (582235)
        Why do we have to confuse a technically-charged "business" decision with politics anyways?
        I swear I wish we could keep those conservative vs liberal arguments for the goverment's spending.

        Oh wait you think because it's public money, it becomes a governmental issue? Then why isn't the CIO of a university elected?

        Sheesh it's gvmt or it's not, but it can't be halfway.
    • Hi.


      Liberal had a meaning prior to politics - specifically - lacking moral restraint [merriam-webster.com].


      It's sort of funny that liberal is seen as a pejorative. Or at least a "high reaction" type of word. . .

  • Huh? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by The Ancients (626689) on Sunday March 23, 2008 @02:56PM (#22838224) Homepage

    As has been said above; this was going to happen. I know of companies running OS X, companies running Linux servers, who all adopt the wait-and-see approach. I'm not that impressed with Vista either, but I don't think I've ever seen an update to an operating system in which all users had total confidence in the manufacturer and OS enough to all update, no questions asked.

    Yes, I agree there are certain aspects of Vista which deserve to be slated, but this is more process related than product related.

    • Re:Huh? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by webmaster404 (1148909) on Sunday March 23, 2008 @03:04PM (#22838304)

      I know of companies running OS X, companies running Linux servers, who all adopt the wait-and-see approach.


      Yes, but companies need much much more stability then college students. Most OS X upgrades are just fine and only usually break apps that modify the OS a lot, the same could be said though with adding random repositories to Ubuntu/Debian and the OS will break sometimes on installing the next version. But generally, I wouldn't recommend a Ubuntu user not upgrade to 8.04 when it comes out, nor would I recommend a Mac user not going to Leopard. However it seems that Vista SP1 is bad enough to warrent students not to upgrade, now that is saying something.
      • Re:Huh? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Z_A_Commando (991404) on Sunday March 23, 2008 @03:31PM (#22838512)
        I happen to be a college student who upgraded to Vista SP1 on Tuesday when it showed up on my Windows Update. I have had no problems whatsoever in the past 5 or so days since the upgrade and my machine hasn't been shut down since the upgrade. Your response appears to be more conjecture and, dare I say, fear mongering. If you haven't upgraded to SP1, which I suspect you haven't, then please stop making the entire OS sound absolutely horrible. The wait and see attitude works fine, just don't make it sound like you should never upgrade. Why would Penn's IT department, which provides end-user support for students and staff, advocate upgrading? They have to support many more boneheaded users across a much wider array of systems than any corporate IT staff ever will. The number of unknowns and unresolved issues at the release of any patch, however large, is the reason for the wait and see attitude. They would much rather have someone else deal with problems as a result of the upgrade than deal with it themselves. That's the main reason for "wait and see". Allow someone else to iron out the problems, and hopefully it's Microsoft and whoever made the application that's broken. So there's nothing new here, just more fodder for people to say Vista is such a bad OS without ever using it for more than 10 minutes at Best Buy.
        • I am going off the article, where usually if a college doesn't recommend their students to upgrade usually the service pack isn't that stable or for some reason they are a MS hater. I myself don't have a Vista machine however I do lots of troubleshooting/repair on them and I have to say its about the worst OS, haven't seen any with the new SP though.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by DrEldarion (114072)
        My place of employment has a very healthy mix of Windows, Ubuntu, and OSx computers. Twice since I've started there, OSx updates have broken critical functionality of the computers (like wireless capability), and there have been no problems with updates to any other operating systems. I've gotten to experience these firsthand as an at-work Mac user (by choice, mind you).

        Vista isn't a bad piece of software. You can criticize it on its high system requirements or the fact that there isn't really a hugely comp
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Tony Hoyle (11698)
          So vista has no problems - it's all due to poorly made drivers and programs... even when the programs are Microsoft software (VS2003 & 2005, SQL Server 2000...) and WHQL drivers.

          But OSX upgrade problems are all the OS's fault!

          Sorry, that won't wash.

          Vista has major issues, and should never have been released in the state it was. SP1 fixes most but not all of them... but it's still way below the usability of XP.
          • But OSX upgrade problems are all the OS's fault!


            No, they are all Apple's fault. When you make the hardware and you make the software, people expect compatibility. Apple even advertises this as an advantage.
      • I totally would recommend a user going to Leopard! Using Leopard (laptop-work), Vista (desktop - Home), XP (Latop-Home) and Unbuntu (desktop-home) Leopard is by far the least stable, that includes Vista! Leopard crashes, or refuses to respond with at least one core program, at least once every couple of days, Vista seems to run fine for 2-3 weeks (and it's being used on a 4 year old Dell 8300). I have Mac fanboy friends who've rolled back to Tiger because of the Leopard poor stability. Now I'm not an IT per
    • Re:Huh? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by erroneus (253617) on Sunday March 23, 2008 @03:20PM (#22838446) Homepage
      That hasn't always been the case. There are still people who happily swallow anything dished out by Apple. And truly, Microsoft once had a fan base that had people standing in line for Windows 9X for days! Actually, as OS updates go, people have been begging for Vista SP1 because Vista in its original form was abysmal for many users... the people had been hoping that SP1 would provide what the original release failed to deliver. For some people SP1 actually made things worse.

      And while CIO doesn't come out and say "Microsoft, dump Vista!" they 'explore the idea' in such a way that it's pretty much what they are saying without using expletives and they certainly seem to be recommending it.

      What I find amusing is that force ONCE my predictions on something have come true. Before Vista was released, I believed it would be as popular as WindowsME. Well, I wasn't entirely correct--I think WindowsME had a stronger following. But as far as OS successes go, Vista ranks right in ME's neighborhood.

      In the past, the next version of Windows might have been hailed as a 'triumphant come back' or some such thing... WindowsME did not cause the public to doubt Microsoft in the slightest. They just counted WindowsME to mean "Windows MistakE." But Microsoft has saved its real mistake for Vista. Vista has been FORCED onto a public through OEM channels resulting in a public that actually refused to buy hardware based on the fact that there was no WindowsXP option quite frequently. Microsoft back-peddled by allowing "downgrade rights" but I'm not sure how many people actually got that memo because the practice of avoiding machines "sold with Vista" is still going on.

      Microsoft may choose not to listen to its users, but they're damned stupid for not listening to their OEMs. Apple's popularity is only growing because of it and while there may be some out there, I have yet to actually hear about people switching back from Mac once they've committed to the move.
  • *Facepalm* (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Bertie (87778) on Sunday March 23, 2008 @03:01PM (#22838272)
    Why are they letting Twitter back on his soapbox?
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Well, you've got to fit in the daily two minutes hate somehow.
  • by PhasmatisApparatus (1086395) on Sunday March 23, 2008 @03:02PM (#22838284)
    Why not take it a step further and recommend against Vista?
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by webmaster404 (1148909)
      Because if the university runs on Windows, eventually they guess they will have to either migrate to OS X/Linux or accept Vista. Vista will eventually be accepted when 3-4 gigs of RAM becomes common and 3.0 GHZ CPUs are common also. It was the same with XP except that XP was an upgrade from ME while Vista is a downgrade from XP.
  • Yawn... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Jugalator (259273) on Sunday March 23, 2008 @03:03PM (#22838294) Journal
    This article felt so worthy of a "slownewsday" tag... We are also waiting a bit with upgrading the few Vista computers we have running over here. It's just common sense, and has nothing to do with Vista, by the way.

    The news here has to be those companies that jumps to SP1 without checking up on any risks with that. You'll have a harder time finding stories about those.
    • The news here has to be those companies that jumps to SP1 without checking up on any risks with that.


      Most companies are not using Vista. Most are still using XP or Windows 2K. The companies that are using Vista generally are smaller companies that aren't tech-based.
  • by Radi-0-head (261712) on Sunday March 23, 2008 @03:07PM (#22838336)
    I have been a die-hard Microsoft user since MS-DOS on my ancient Heathkit XT clone. I currently use XP Pro and XP Media Center. I refuse to install Vista, as I enjoy a certain degree of control over my operating system. I still, by habit, use command lines in a DOS window to do things that Windows can do via the GUI. I guess I'm showing my age...

    This experience comes at a cost, namely supporting machines for my family and friends. Never mind what the media and professionals say about Vista, but when my friends and family BEG me to remove Vista and replace it with XP, you know something is bad wrong with this operating system.

    These days, if someone is buying a new machine, and all they do is email, browsing, pictures and the like, I will always recommend a Mac. I don't have to support the damn thing - it just works. If they're intent on a PC or need one for certain software, I send them to the Dell Outlet where you can still get a fantastic Core 2 Duo Optiplex with a 3-year warranty and XP for a few hundred bucks.

    If by chance I'm forced into Vista, I too am moving to Mac. Times change. Microsoft fucked up. I never thought I'd be advocating Macs, ever.
    • Macs now have a command line now too. Have fun.
    • If by chance I'm forced into Vista, I too am moving to Mac.


      Why? That means buying a new computer whether you need it or not. Why not just move over to Linux? That way you can use your existing computer. Not only that, Linux isn't as resource intensive as Windows (especially Windows iCandy) so you'll find your current box working faster than ever. Not saying you must chose Linux, or that you'd be stupid not to, just asking why you don't consider it a viable option.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Radi-0-head (261712)
        Showing my age again... I want something mainstream, that's widely supported without reading wikis and compiling kernels and chasing down drivers for my Bluetooth chipset. I unfortunately need to run Microsoft Office in a stable, proven platform. And, for the moment, I support the mainstream OSes for all of my clients, so it helps to be running the same software they use.

        I get the allure of Linux, I understand its stability and security, I buy devices that use it whenever possible... I just don't have the
        • by techno-vampire (666512) on Sunday March 23, 2008 @03:54PM (#22838646) Homepage
          Showing my age again...


          That you are. And, unless I miss my guess, showing how long it's been since you took a good look at Linux. It now comes with drivers for most common peripherals, and almost every mainstream distro (except Gentoo, of course, but that's a special case) provides precompiled kernels. If you need to work with MS Office files, OpenOffice reads, edits and saves in that format if you need it to, and I've never had the slightest compatibility issues. Linux is much easier to work with now than it was ten years ago, and for somebody with your computer experience, it's more than ready for Prime Time. Again, I'm not saying you must or even should switch, just making sure you understand that it's a viable option now.

      • by rolfwind (528248)
        If you read into that properly, it probably means at the time of purchasing a new computer. Why would he be forced into Vista otherwise on his existing computer?

        Microsoft won't let XP be offered forever on new computers (but maybe until the next major OS release, we see how it goes). But it will undoubtedly be supported for at least the greater part of another decade (regardless of MS's current projections).
        • Just do what I do then: buy bits and pieces and assemble them into the computer you want instead of buying what some company decides is right for you. You don't even need to be a hardware guru to do this, just know one. That's what I do, I have a friend do all my hardware work because he's much better at it than I'd be. Build your own box and either move the hard drive over, clone it, or start off fresh with whatever OS you want.
    • by bzipitidoo (647217) <bzipitidoo@yahoo.com> on Sunday March 23, 2008 @04:12PM (#22838736) Journal

      My brother uses Vista. He likes to think of himself as relentlessly practical on computer decisions. I built a 64 bit PC for him, and made it triple boot: 64 bit Windows XP, 32 bit Windows XP (just in case), and 64 bit Xubuntu Linux. And he threw it away for a computer with Vista. Why? He wanted to keep using an old Canon laser printer he had. Canon wasn't going to make a 64 bit Windows XP driver for it, they weren't going to help the Linux people make a driver, but they did make drivers for Vista. He said the machine with Vista preinstalled "just worked", and mentioned some other software (VPN stuff I think) that gave him troubles. Also was afraid to use OpenOffice to create doc and xls files. Afraid that they might not work in MS office, and creating them in OpenOffice then switching to MS to check was too much bother. I suggested his email recipients also switch to OpenOffice, but that of course was a non-starter.

      He doesn't care why. When something doesn't work, he doesn't care whether it's MS's fault. He wants to use computers, not screw with them. I keep wondering how long this can last before something bites him in a tender spot and Vista (fairly or unfairly) gets blamed or excused.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by drsmithy (35869)

      I refuse to install Vista, as I enjoy a certain degree of control over my operating system.

      What do you think Vista is going to stop you doing ?

      If by chance I'm forced into Vista, I too am moving to Mac. Times change. Microsoft fucked up. I never thought I'd be advocating Macs, ever.

      So you won't go to Vista because "you enjoy a certain degree of control", but you *would* buy a Mac ?

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by HalAtWork (926717)
        Guess I'll play devil's advocate...

        So you won't go to Vista because "you enjoy a certain degree of control", but you *would* buy a Mac ?

        The thing is, this is showing the affect of Vista on this person. They dislike it so much they just want something non-Microsoft.

        What do you think Vista is going to stop you doing ?

        Maybe they feel that using Vista is getting them further entrenched into Microsoft's vision and not necessarily their own idea proper of what they want to do with their computer. They j
    • I just upgraded to Server 2008 Enterprise this weekend. It's very much like XP (most of the "crap" isn't on). It's nice! Give it a try.
  • Journal (Score:3, Interesting)

    by RonnyJ (651856) on Sunday March 23, 2008 @03:11PM (#22838368)
    'Interesting' journal by twitter linked to in the summary:

    http://slashdot.org/~twitter/journal/177855 [slashdot.org]

    Shame it's not updated for SP1, contains links to lists of links of things that are out of date (e.g. iPod problems), has silly claims, contains inaccurate/biased 'studies' like this [slashdot.org] highly scientific study of five games (highly debunked in the comments).

    For what it's worth, I'd highly recommend that Vista users install SP1.

  • Vista SP1 helped me. When I installed it and recieved more driver errors than before, I decided it was time to venture beyond the mac/windows/linux world and into the world of BSD's. I'm so torn between FreeBsd and OpenBsd....now I have both on my server :)
  • by tietack (982580) on Sunday March 23, 2008 @03:23PM (#22838470)
    I know it's important only to alumni and friends of these schools, but Penn State (Twitter's Firehose title) is different from the University of Pennsylvania.
    • I know, this bothered me too. I'm NYU anyway but I grew up in Philly and now UPenn's campus and its the mark of a foreigner to mix up Penn State and Upenn because UPenn is in Philly and is Ivy. Penn State, however, is a great school (even if these days "state" in a school name is looked down upon for some dumb reason). Tag !pennstate if it bothers you.
  • by westlake (615356) on Sunday March 23, 2008 @03:33PM (#22838518)
    1 It bashes Vista

    2 It's a post from Twitter.

    3 It got the green light from kdawson.

  • Just curious, who out there actually uses vista and enjoy's it? I have an upgrade from XP to Vista from my university sitting in a drawer, but I won't touch it, not until I start hearing good things about Vista, but I guess its just going to sit there. Do you think maybe Microsoft thinks it has too many customers?
    • I use it and it works great. I also have hardware that suits it: Dual core 3.0ghz, 2gb ram, hd2600xt video. If you have old hardware (e.g. what came with XP) then I wouldn't recommened using Vista but if your computer doesn't contain parts made of stone then Vista works good. SP1 makes it even better. And some people complain that it's a RAM hog, it is *but* the reason RAM utilization is high is because Vista takes unused RAM and dynamically uses it as a cache. When Vista does it it's considered a pig
    • Running new hardware? Not running antique software? Then upgrade, otherwise leave it in the drawer.

      All the crying and moaning is just MS bashing. Vista works just fine on both my machines.

    • by Stevecrox (962208)
      I like Vista as a x64 user its great to finally see large amounts of x64 drivers being written. Since the last Nvidia driver I get the same FPS in games that I did in Xp. Some of the UI changes while annoying at first do work once your used to them and some can be really usefull (the Games folder on the start menu for instance.) The new networking stack has actually made home network shares easy to set up. Vista on a network does strange things too I used to have a Dell machine that would refuse access to a
  • by wicka (985217) on Sunday March 23, 2008 @03:46PM (#22838588)
    "At least one university liberal enough to accept the deeply flawed and mostly rejected Vista OS is recommending faculty and students stay away from SP1."

    I wonder if by this you mean that they are ignorant enough to recommend against a service pack that, on the four systems I've installed on, works great and improves any troubles I've had with Vista. I still wonder just how few of the people who call Vista "deeply flawed" have actually tried it (my guess is four).
    • by DavidD_CA (750156)
      I agree. Does the same university also recommend users NOT install patches, especially critical updates?

      What they should be recommending is that users check the list of known incompatibilities and then, if they don't see any conflicts in that list, that they go ahead and update.

      Remember that they're talking about machines outside of their own control.. mainly student machines and possibly some faculty/staff personal machines.
    • by urbanriot (924981)
      Recommending Vista SP1 won't make the front page of Slashdot.
    • This blog post [waynehartman.com] summarizes the problems I have with it. Excerpt:

      I installed the Ultimate version of Vista, but one of the biggest things that I can't understand is it's 10GB installation footprint. It really bothers me that the base installation is bloated. I really wish that I could turn off and uninstall a lot of features that I know that I won't use on my workstation. For example, let's get rid of Media Center. I don't have a tuner card installed, so I won't watch TV. I don't watch DVDs on my computer, that's what my entertainment center is for. I don't need x. Don't need y. Why won't you let me remove them?! I want to be able to have just in case I want to use them, but please! I want to have a little bit greater control than you're giving me!

  • Wait a sec. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by T23M (705682) on Sunday March 23, 2008 @03:48PM (#22838606)
    Weren't we supposed to "wait and see" UNTIL SP1 came out?
  • Uh, not Penn State (Score:5, Informative)

    by Tickenest (544722) on Sunday March 23, 2008 @04:02PM (#22838684) Homepage Journal
    It's saying "Penn State" in a couple of places on Slashdot, but this story is from the University of Pennsylvania, which is not the same school. Penn State is in Happy Valley, PA, while the University of Pennsylvania is in Philadelphia, PA.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Vegeta99 (219501)
      And here at Penn State, we have our 5-minute logon times for Windows Vista Business, and WE LIKE IT!!!

      Well, that is, unless you don't drink coffee. I can go to the lab, type in my U/P, hit log in, go grab a coffee and the paper, and be back just in time for the desktop to pop up.
  • Ah, Windows Vista...

    Why didn't they just call it "Windows ME, the next generation"?
  • It's one thing slashdotters slagging off Vista but what about when its critised by MS advocates?
    Codeproject is a stong MS technology site funded by MS themseleves. One of the founding members has voiced his critisim of the OS and said that he would rather use a Mac than Vista.
  • by Vexorian (959249)

    "University of Pennsylvania tech staffers are advising faculty and students not to upgrade their computers to the new service pack for Microsoft's Windows Vista operating system.
    Does this mean they actually recommended or supported vista? yiuck...
  • by EEPROMS (889169) on Sunday March 23, 2008 @05:48PM (#22839594)
    Im the company IT guy and recently one of our female staffers purchased a brand new dual core Compaq laptop to replace her ageing P4 model. What she found is two of the USB ports refuse to work and her wireless modem would not work even though they were all certified by Microsoft. She took it to an IT "Windows" specialist and and he was stumped and said the laptop must be faulty. Out of curiosity I had a look at the machine booted up both my XP live and Ubuntu Live CD and everything worked. The fix was simple just install XP and recommend she find a new Windows support shop. PS on a side note she said the new laptop running Vista was way slower than her old machine running XP.
  • by Master of Transhuman (597628) on Sunday March 23, 2008 @06:24PM (#22839910) Homepage
    The consensus appears to be developing that Windows Vista is the latest version of Windows ME. I'm advising my clients to skip Vista and wait for Windows 7 - since by that time, you'll have no choice but to upgrade to it - or switch to Linux (which may still not be an option for some people by 2009 or whenever "7" comes out.) Just make sure you can access enough Windows XP licenses to cover new purchases of machines for the next couple of years. This PC World article [pcworld.com] shows you how.
  • I have steered many people away from Vista simply because of system requirements. I also make it a policy of my business to recommend open source as opposed to Microsoft products.
  • So I guess this means we should wait for SP1 of SP1 before applying the first SP1?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 23, 2008 @09:53PM (#22841542)
    I actually work for one of the many IT departments at Upenn, so I'm getting a kick out of these replies.

    Saying "don't install this the day it comes out" is officially not news, okay? We've got plenty of custom research and buisiness systems all over the university, and getting everything to work is a bitch. I'm sure ISC will recommend installing it later after they are done testing all their systems.

    Slow news day I guess?
  • by Toreo asesino (951231) on Monday March 24, 2008 @03:24AM (#22842910) Journal
    ...and stop posting twitter journals on the FP.

    Twitter is a troll, Eris too. They both shamelessly bash Microsoft, and especially Vista at all costs, with lies or heavily distorted facts like a raving madman foaming at the mouth, blindly screaming murder.

    They represent the absolute worst of FOSS people - complete fanatics motivated by pure hatred of Microsoft, and with zero professional intent.

    They are the biggest advert on this site to stay well away from FOSS as much as possible, and in my opinion do more damage to the FOSS reputation than anything else.

That does not compute.

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