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Windows Vista Launches To Mixed Reactions 674

Several users have submitted stories reporting on the launch of Microsoft's newest operating system. The Guardian focuses on virus warnings already threatening the OS, while the New York Times discusses the bug hunt that's begun. With hackers writing scripts to attack, and well-paid bounty hunters looking for bugs to defend, Vista's first few months on the market are sure to be interesting. In the meantime, what is your impression of the OS? Have you had a chance to use the retail version yet? Are you supporting it in a business environment? What's the launch of Vista been like for you?
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Windows Vista Launches To Mixed Reactions

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  • by hal2814 ( 725639 ) on Tuesday January 30, 2007 @01:18PM (#17815638)
    Thank you, brave gamma testers for being bold enough to put this OS on your computer now so that at least some of the more glaring bugs can be worked out by the time some software company puts out a "must have" app that only runs on Vista at which point I'll have to upgrade.
    • by Samalie ( 1016193 ) on Tuesday January 30, 2007 @01:25PM (#17815748)
      I've Beta'd Vista since Beta 1, and while the software has.....matured....since the initial beta, quite frankly, its still not ready for primetime.

      Vista will still peg your processor at around 30% most of the time, mostly for bullshit you don't need or want. User Rights Management may be great for Grandma, but if you know what the fuck you're doing its just obtrusive (although it can be turned off). Driver support is dodgy, even with the big boys (Your video card will probably work, but expect signifigantly lower performance).

      Oh, and add in the time during Beta 2 where Windows Update fried my install completely. Thank you for playing, re-install your OS. Yes, it was Beta still, but shit, I can see breaking pieces, or degrading performance, or any other assorted issues I expect. Frying the OS I do not.

      All in all, as far as I'm concerned, this is just the next WinME
      • Hmmm.... (Score:3, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Vista will still peg your processor at around 30% most of the time
        I can imagine needing to run Vista on a Beowulf cluster to get decent speed.
      • by PCM2 ( 4486 ) on Tuesday January 30, 2007 @02:02PM (#17816490) Homepage

        Vista will still peg your processor at around 30% most of the time, mostly for bullshit you don't need or want.

        This is the second time I've heard this figure cited on Slashdot and I have no idea where it's coming from. I call bullshit. Here [] is the Task Manager of my Vista system running idle. This is a 3.4GHz single-core P4 system (with HyperThreading, hence the two CPU meters), with 2GB RAM and an nVidia 6600 with 256MB. I have Aero enabled and this screen shows the system with several processes running, including Thunderbird and the Windows Media Center services.

        The only thing I can guess is that a lot of the people who are reporting outrageous system demands from Vista are running to check the performance meters right after the system boots. (Just because you can move the mouse doesn't mean it's done yet.)

      • by DimGeo ( 694000 ) on Tuesday January 30, 2007 @02:44PM (#17817152) Homepage
        What's pegging your CPU at 30% is the rendering of the clock gadget. Sounds silly, but try turning it off (only the round clock gadget, not the whole gadget sidebar) and see the difference. Looks like it has something to do with IE7 rotating the clock hands images each second.
        • by Ubergrendle ( 531719 ) on Tuesday January 30, 2007 @04:21PM (#17818578) Journal
          So instead of popping up Clippy (utilising system resources that are comparable to calculating Pi to the 10,000 digit) we get Clocky? I just demoed Windows Vista at Best Buy across the street over lunch and I can confirm the ~30% figure for the clock. The widget menu bar also has a 'cpu monitor' which conveniently lets you see real time how detrimental the new UI is to performance.

          I find it interesting that there's no big launch party, midnight madness, etc for Vista. Wii got it; PS/3 got it; Xbox 360 got it; heck even The Burning Crusade got it. There is a definite lack of hooplaa with this release. I think the retailers know that its a dog sales wise; its a standing in place upgrade whose main sales will come through OEM equipment.

          This is probably the most underwhelming release since Windows ME. I get the sense that Microsoft really has jumped the shark. 5 years for this? Oi vey...
    • by Alien54 ( 180860 ) on Tuesday January 30, 2007 @01:30PM (#17815864) Journal
      Sort of like all the colors are in HiDef, slightly oversaturated.

      and everthing looks slightly puffy

      like it's bloated, or slightly over-inflated

      Almost like the world has been redone in the Microsoft Cute Theme.

      Can Steve Ballmer look Cute? (Now that's an image ....)

      Will let you know when I see more....
  • by dethndrek ( 870145 ) on Tuesday January 30, 2007 @01:19PM (#17815648)
    Since XP support is due to last until 2011, I'll let you know how it is in about four years.
  • by xzvf ( 924443 ) on Tuesday January 30, 2007 @01:22PM (#17815694)
    I drove by the local Best Buy and Circuit City and didn't see any lines.
    • by Planky ( 761118 ) on Tuesday January 30, 2007 @01:32PM (#17815910) Homepage
      No, I was in my car... checking for lines...
    • by twitter ( 104583 )
      From the Gaurdian:

      The company has already felt the ill effects of launch delays: last week it announced a 10% drop in earnings for the six months to December.

      I doubt anyone trotted out last night to give M$ money and that's a sign of things to come. It's safe to predict that 99.99999% of Vista sales will be OEM installs. The low price of new computers combined with the high price of Vista will kill over the counter sales. For the price of new software that won't work well with what you have, you can bu

  • by andy314159pi ( 787550 ) on Tuesday January 30, 2007 @01:22PM (#17815696) Journal
    I prefer the Internet Explorer to the Vista. And If I have to buy a new Vista then I hope the fucking drinkholder doesn't break on the first day I use it.
  • No Way! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Robber Baron ( 112304 ) on Tuesday January 30, 2007 @01:24PM (#17815718) Homepage

    Are you supporting it in a business environment?
    No way I'll be deploying this anytime soon. We've only just managed to get the kinks ironed out of XP.

    For one client who is a medical service provider, I'm pretty sure that the "rights" that M$ has awarded itself via Vista's EULA are at odds with the requirements for keeping clients' medical records confidential. So until someone can provide assurances to the contrary, Vista isn't coming anywhere near their facilities.
  • 2008 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Conception ( 212279 ) on Tuesday January 30, 2007 @01:24PM (#17815726)
    We got a business copy to play with, and I decided we aren't going to deploy it until 2008. Untested, not significantly better than XP and as such, not worth the time and money to retrain techs and users.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 30, 2007 @01:25PM (#17815766)
    I watched the Vista introduction video this morning. On most of the stuff they demoed I was thinking to myself, "I've had this on Mac OS X for a few years now."

    A few things I see Windows/Vista as being ahead of the game in are:

    1) Microsoft Office 2007 (The Mac version will no doubt be way behind the Windows version in both UI and feature parity.)
    2) HD Home Theatre/Media/IPTV (Apple TV has potential, but it's not quite there yet)
    3) Gaming (I personally don't care much about gaming)
    4) Enterprise - Active Directory, Exchange, GPOs, SharePoint, etc. (I wish Apple would tackle this)

    What do you all think about Vista or it's introduction video? That family lady was sure proud she invented the "burn to cd" button ;)
    Video: es.mspx []
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by NeMon'ess ( 160583 ) *
      On most of the stuff they demoed I was thinking to myself, "I've had this on Mac OS X for a few years now."

      As true as that may be, Vista has them now, and it's going to be harder to get people to switch to OSX.
  • by rsilvergun ( 571051 ) on Tuesday January 30, 2007 @01:26PM (#17815776)
    is the memory tester :). I can't tell you how many OEM 98 boxen I've upgraded to XP only to have the install blow up due to bad RAM ( XP copies the contents of the CD into ram before coping it to harddrive). Wasn't there a /. story years ago about some major OEMs getting caught selling bad RAM because Windows 98 had that quirk where it wouldn't use the top 20% or system RAM unless you hacked the registry?
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Volante3192 ( 953645 )
      is the memory tester...

      That's not an reason. Just pull off a freeware tester. I've used [] using the bootable CD
      version on a few occassions and had it pick up problems on two seperate occassions.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by |/|/||| ( 179020 )
      Here's a link [] to the MS memory diagnostic tool, which doesn't require vista. It extracts to a bootable CD image. Pretty handy to have around if you think your RAM is causing problems.

      As for this whole vista release thing, it's nothing but a disappointment in my view. As many others have pointed out, it's only a matter of time before a really useful piece of software *requires* vista. I'm in a situation right now where I'm going to have to go from 2000 to XP in order to use some new software.

      Note that I

    • Memory Testing (Score:4, Informative)

      by Prien715 ( 251944 ) <`moc.liamg' `ta' `epopcitsonga'> on Tuesday January 30, 2007 @02:54PM (#17817338) Journal
      In OS memory testing is mostly useless in my experience.

      1) You have to boot up your system to use it. Much of the time I've seen bad RAM, your system won't boot as the OS uses too much of said bad RAM.

      2) If your system has had a virus and/or the OS is corrupted, you're not really isolating the problem as you're still testing the OS + hardware.

      I've found Memtest 86 [] to be a better solution since (1) uses its own OS (freeDos, very small memory footprint, so it WILL boot) (2) doesn't rely on the system having on OS so it can be used with system corruption/viruses/with a hard drive (if you're building a system) and (3) is free (can download/use on as many systems as you own without needing to buy an OS license to check you memory)

      Why is the Vista tool so good again? (Am I missing something?)
  • by kahei ( 466208 ) on Tuesday January 30, 2007 @01:26PM (#17815790) Homepage

    Wait, I've been hearing about Vista on Slashdot twice a day for the last six months (at least that's how it feels) and it only just now launched?

    I cringe at the thought of the barrage of Slashdot articles that will inevitably ensue!

    Feb 1st, 5am: Vista failing to meet sales targets?
    Feb 1st, 9am: Vista crash ruins breakfast for millions
    Feb 1st, 6pm: Vista's first day: an in-depth analysis on some blog-type thing
    Feb 2nd, 1:30am: Vista! Vista! Vista!
    Feb 2nd, 8am: Vista still available after several days
    Feb 3rd, 1pm: Vista 'ate my hair' claims Sacramento teen
    Feb 3rd, 5pm: What's wrong with Vista? Six beardy Unix guys have their say
    Feb 3rd, 11:30pm: Vista vs MacOSX -- a Mac fan comments
    Feb 4th, 8:15am: Vista a flop already, say pundits
    Feb 4th, 9am: Poll: Is Vista inadequately covered on Slashdot?
    Feb 4th, 9:45am: Ten things fatally wrong with the Vista shutdown menu

    *panic panic*

  • by igny ( 716218 ) on Tuesday January 30, 2007 @01:26PM (#17815798) Homepage Journal
    upgrades the DRM status from the DNF to the DOA.
  • Not for me... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by s31523 ( 926314 ) on Tuesday January 30, 2007 @01:27PM (#17815800)
    Sounds like there is a lot of "overhead", and by overhead I mean fairly useless crap to support eye candy. I am a software engineer. I need my PC to run applications, with the machines resources dedicated to my compiles, debug session, code searches, CASE tools, etc. I don't need a search agent running, a little animated doggie, crazy OS graphics, monitoring software for unauthorized content playing out of my audio port, or any of the other "features" of Vista.

    In my opinion, M$ should dumb down Vista. It sounds like they spent a lot of time revamping their kernel and they should have released (or should release) a lean version with, as the Nissan Xterra commercial says, "everything you need, nothing you don't".

    I just wish more of my development apps ran under Linux.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      Sounds like there is a lot of "overhead", and by overhead I mean fairly useless crap to support eye candy.

      Actually, what happened is about 4 years ago someone realized that most of the time fancy graphics processors are sitting idle, so someone decided to offload some of the basic UI functions to it saving CPU use. They also realized they could add "eye candy" that was cool looking and in some cases actually useful, as in providing visual clues to the user about what the OS is doing without any real cost

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Traa ( 158207 )
      I just wish more of my development apps ran under Linux.

      Now there is a painfully honest line that explains a lot.
  • by Holy69 ( 938902 ) on Tuesday January 30, 2007 @01:29PM (#17815850) Homepage
    I've been using Windows Vista for about a month now and I have found it to be more problems then a big worth while upgrade. Vista seems to be a extreme large resource hog that even with my 1 gig of DDR2 ram and a Pentium M 2.0 processor, it still runs somewhat slugish. As time has gone by and the more I use the OS I have run into countless software conflicts, video driver issues, and many other problems that just should not exist in an operating system that has been in the making for so long. Aero, although looking attractive, still poses problems that in the long run should just not exist. If your going to copy Apple, at least make the system itself work properly.
  • Vista (Score:5, Interesting)

    by LiquidFiend ( 1050386 ) on Tuesday January 30, 2007 @01:31PM (#17815890)
    I've been using Vista at work for just over a month now. I personally like the sidebar, not that it's anything that I couldn't have downloaded seperately anyway, but I enjoy having the CPU usage meter right on the side, along with a calender, the weather and a currency converter. I do not have Aero installed since this computer would not handle it, nor would I want to use it even if it could. The operating system itself has not crashed on me, and it has run suprisingly smoothly. I've got everything I need for work installed without a problem. There is one thing that drives me absolutely mental though ... in the windows explorer there is no "up" button, and back does not do the same thing, and yes, I am aware that I can just hit backspace, but when I'm in "mouse only" mode, this does not cut it.

    I like the added shortcuts (ie windows key+0-9 to launch quick launch programs) but I hate having to use the "search" method in control panel to find the things that should be in the obvious spots. Also the defrag is terrible, while the command line version is significantly better, I would still like a visual display of what is going on.

    All in all though, it has worked for me quite well at work, however it will be a long time before I would use it at home, it's simply not worth the money IMO.
    • Re:Vista (Score:4, Informative)

      by Tony Hoyle ( 11698 ) <> on Tuesday January 30, 2007 @01:48PM (#17816228) Homepage
      that drives me absolutely mental though ... in the windows explorer there is no "up" button, and back does not do the same thing, and yes, I am aware that I can just hit backspace, but when I'm in "mouse only" mode, this does not cut it.

      Backspace doesn't work (it doesn't go 'up' and more). They've tied it to the back key.

      There's no way to go to the parent directory in vista that I know of other than clicking on the address bar & editing it.. which is hell for me (in keyboard only mode).
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Dilly Bar ( 23168 )
      The no up button caught me by surprise as well. There is something that gives you the same functionality (and actually a bit more). If you look at the address bar that usually shows the path of the files, you can click on a folder name and explorer will take you that folder. The nice thing about it is that if you want to jump to a folder up more than one, you can do that.

      Confusing at first...
  • It's Ok. (Score:4, Informative)

    by Laoping ( 398603 ) on Tuesday January 30, 2007 @01:31PM (#17815892)
    Well I have been using it for about 2 months. I am a developer and have it on my laptop, so I got it from MSDN.

    It's pretty good. Nothing too wrong with it, I have had some issues with drives and a few program not working but that is to be expected. I guess I would say it you get it for free or if you get a new computer it's worth it. The instant search is the coolest "New" feature. It is prettier to look at. One thing I do have to say, I bring my laptop home, my wife, who is a non-technical person like it a lot. She likes the pretty interface, and instant search.

    It does have a few annoying prompt screens, and they changed the control panel again, so I can't find anything again :)

    I give it a good 7/10. I would not actively avoid it or pursue it. Is it better than Xp, probably, worth spending money on, probably not yet.
  • by ettlz ( 639203 ) on Tuesday January 30, 2007 @01:34PM (#17815954) Journal

    From the BBC []:

    Windows Vista is "dramatically more secure than any other operating system released", [said] Bill Gates.

    Meanwhile, in other news, several open-source developers in Calgary, Alberta were admitted to hospital for treatment of coffee burns and choking injuries caused on by an acute attack of the giggles.

  • by avalys ( 221114 ) on Tuesday January 30, 2007 @01:36PM (#17816028)
    Best Buy had a Vista demo station set up yesterday. They were using what looked like a brand-new demo machine, with Vista branding on it and everything.

    When I tried to turn up the graphics settings, I got a warning saying that the highest setting would result in severely decreased performance. When I tried to open the Media Center application, it crashed.

    I looked around in the Control Panels, Start Menu, and Documents folders, and tried out IE 7, and was amazed at what a disaster the interface was. The cheap eye candy looked tacky and ran slowly, the "Flip 3D" feature was next to useless and an obvious failed clone of Expose, and I still found old Windows 3.1-style dialog boxes and icons littered throughout the system.

    More than anything else, the interface was confusing, overly busy, and disorganized. I'm sure a power user would find what they're looking for eventually, but I got a headache just thinking about my parents, secretary, and other casual users trying to puzzle it out.

    Frankly, I was amazed at how horrible it was. It seems like an early Beta release, at best - and not a very promising one, at that.

    • by mordors9 ( 665662 ) on Tuesday January 30, 2007 @01:47PM (#17816214)
      Your IP has been logged and forwarded to our Civil Litigation division. Please cease and desist from any further spurious comments on our fine product.---Microsoft WatchDog Division
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by david.given ( 6740 )

      Frankly, I was amazed at how horrible it was. It seems like an early Beta release, at best - and not a very promising one, at that.

      To be fair, that was a publically accessible demo machine, and they never work properly, regardless of what operating system they run. It was probably also loaded with some god-awful OEM version of Vista, too.

      Still don't want to touch it, though.

  • Seriously comon... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Drakin020 ( 980931 ) on Tuesday January 30, 2007 @01:37PM (#17816030)
    Ok so I know im gana get trolled for this but I have to speak out

    In the meantime, what is your impression of the OS? Have you had a chance to use the retail version yet? Are you supporting it in a business environment? What's the launch of Vista been like for you?

    Are you seriously going to ask that here at Slashdot? Thats like asking a liberal "So what do you think of Bush?"

    As for me what do I think of it? I think it has a lot of bells and whistles perhaps a lot of home users might like. But for more hardcore computer geeks such as myself it may not be needed. I am looking forward to trying it however I do not support the whole DRM thing. I will be open minded, they did good with 2000 and XP.

    • by MS-06FZ ( 832329 ) on Tuesday January 30, 2007 @02:26PM (#17816892) Homepage Journal

      Are you seriously going to ask that here at Slashdot? Thats like asking a liberal "So what do you think of Bush?"
      ...Right, 'cause we all know that The Liberals are inherently incapable of answering a question like that in a reasonable manner. There won't be any meaningful thought, there will only be Liberal Bias, because The Liberals hate America.

      Or maybe it's possible that, among a group where the prevailing opinion is anti-Bush, or anti-Windows, individuals will be able to engage in rational discussion - and even if they've already formed the opinion you expect of them they may have very good, logical reasons for having done so.

      Or maybe they're all just sheep. Baaaa! I think what I think because a man on TV told me to!
    • by ciggieposeur ( 715798 ) on Tuesday January 30, 2007 @02:41PM (#17817108)
      Show me what Linux can do for a business, and I'll show you how Microsoft does it 20 times better.

      My business is molecular modeling.

      I need to do a lot of coding in C, C++, F77, and F90, along with some csh, ksh, bash, and perl scripting. I need to test the same code on my PC that runs on the 128-way SMP boxes in the high-performance computing facility, so I need compilers that support a POSIX-ish C api and MPICH, and I'll also need good (scriptable) connectivity ala ssh, scp, and rsync. Oh yeah, one of the data centers uses Kerberos. I also need reasonable data analysis tools like Matlab (though Octave will do in a pinch) and Maple. I need visualization tools like PyMOL, viewmol, vaspview, and GaussView, but also an X server so I can run beefier packages like Cerius2 directly off the big machines. I need to be able to write both small reports for quick printing and large (50+ page) papers with lots of mathematical formulas and endnotes/footnotes, and of course I need to output PDF. I also need virtual desktops to keep my workflow organized: desktop 1 is development, desktop 2 is remote terminals, desktop 3 is data analysis, and desktop 4 is general purpose desktop. Finally, I need to be able to back up my work easily, preferably with just a simple file copy, and all of my file formats will need to readable for 20+ years.

      So far my needs are met at near zero cost with Debian Linux plus two commercial packages (GaussView and Maple). I have ssh, scp, rsync, perl, csh, ksh, bash, gcc/g++, g77, gfortran, MPICH, MPICH2, X11, LaTeX, Emacs, Octave, KMail, and OOo. And as a nice bonus with Debian my PC both plays DVDs (and ignores the UOP flag allowing me to skip directly to the menu) and browses the 'Net with ease, and so far I have had no problems with viruses.

      I'm very interested in how a Microsoft solution will be 20 times better. Please tell us more!
  • My impressions (Score:4, Insightful)

    by norminator ( 784674 ) on Tuesday January 30, 2007 @01:53PM (#17816314)
    I had one of the Vista RC's on my laptop, and just updated to the release version of Ultimate through the company's business copy. It runs like molasses on my P4 which runs XP and Ubuntu Edgy flawlessly. Shutting down takes forever, and logging in takes even longer if I'm not hooked up to the company LAN. I'll probably keep Vista on here for a while, but the next time I decide this laptop needs to be wiped and redone, I'll do it with XP.

    One annoying issue I've been having, which I just figured out the other day, was sometimes when I would power on, I would get the "Resuming from hibernate" message, even though I hadn't remembered hibernating. As soon as it was done resuming, it would say "Shutting Down". I finally realized that sometimes after I hit shutdown, I unplug the AC adapter, then close the lid. For some reason, Vista doesn't know any better than to try and hibernate even though it's in the middle of the shutdown process (did I mention shutdown takes a long time?). So I had to change my power settings to not hibernate when the lid is closed on battery or on AC power. Also, I don't care for "the new sleep" (haven't there been versions of sleep since '95, and none of them work right?). At least, I don't like the idea on my laptop. Maybe it would be fine for a desktop. But I don't want the default shutdown option on my laptop to but it in a low-power state. What if I don't use it for a week or two, then suddenly I need to use it on battery?

    The power settings are an interesting change, indicative of the rest of the change in the user experience. They have a simple, general set of power settings, then there's an advanced button that throws any possible power option at you. I think the idea is OK, but the presentation makes it feel overwhelming. I think they want to make everything "simple", but they do it in a way to try and draw attention to how simple it is, which ends up making it more complex when you actually have to do anything. I can't really put my finger on it, but I don't like their attempts at simplicity.

    I don't see any compelling reason to use Vista for now. It amazes me that for 6 years Apple has made Mac OSX run faster with each release (at least, that's my understanding, I'm not a regular Apple user), and in the same time frame, Windows has gotten much, much slower. It's crazy to think that this laptop was a pretty fast, new machine when Vista was halfway through the development process. Just think about that: When they started showing off developer previews, the computers they were using to preview Vista back then would hardly run it today. I really do think Microsoft (and its customers) would do a lot better by having smaller releases, much more often, and for a much smaller upgrade price. That way they would stay on top of features, security, and performance better.

    Just my 2 cents.

  • I waited several hours in line on the night before release to be one of the first to use Windows Vista. I must say that Vista is an amazing operating system. It is hands-down the best product that Microsoft has ever put out, and probably the best operating system that the world has ever seen.

    Why upgrade from XP? There's so much new in Vista that your head will just boggle. From new Internet Explorer 7 to desktop search features to a virus / spyware scan utility that eliminates the need for Norton, Vista is on the cutting edge of technology. Another thing that impressed me is the improvements Microsoft made to the little games that come with the OS. Solitaire, Minesweeper, and all your favorites are back with improved graphics and game play along with newcomers like Chess and Hold'Em. Did I mention the the Aero desktop environment is the worlds first 3D desktop?

    Windows Vista is more than just an incremental upgrade, it's on a whole new level compared to XP. Congratulations to Microsoft for releasing an amazing product. They spent $6 billion and five years on this operating system and it really shows.
    • If you really believe that Windows Defender eliminates the need for antivirus and anti-malware applications, you're in for a horrible shock. We connected a "Vista Ultimate" box to the 'net, and it lasted 23 minutes before it was totally trashed. The "firewall" doesn't work, Windows Defender is useless, and there are endless ports open by default to the outside world.

      Why do you think Dell are shipping all that "anti-virus" software pre-installed on their machines. It's because they want to minimise the "f
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by nutshell42 ( 557890 )
      Congratiulations mods. It's refreshing to see that despite an asshat ratio of 20% (atm) there's still enough brains distributed among /. mods that deadpan jokes aren't automatically modded into oblivion.
  • by ookabooka ( 731013 ) on Tuesday January 30, 2007 @01:57PM (#17816392)
    Just wanted to remind fellow CS student slashdotters that your school is most likely part of the MSDN Academic Alliance, and you can get all sorts of microsoft stuff for "free". The only stipulation is you can't use it for for-profit stuff. In any case its a great way to get legit keys to use so you can get the updates "legally". I'm downloading the DVD of Vista right now, I'll prolly install it on a separate partition just to get a feel for it, but I'm gonna stick with XP for a little while.

    Linky [] for the lazy like myself :-D Though you'll have to talk to your CS dept. about how to obtain login information.
  • Its not bad... (Score:3, Informative)

    by trogdor8667 ( 817114 ) * on Tuesday January 30, 2007 @02:00PM (#17816434)
    I got a free copy of the business edition, and I installed it over XP Pro 64bit. To be honest, it runs much more quickly than XP 64 (less CPU usage, programs appear to start more quickly).

    However, Microsoft did a presentation here on Vista, and I have to disagree with a lot of their reasoning for "improvements." Users want more security, and, in my opinion, UAC is more annoyance than security.

    Our presenter said the new start menu and search came from research that said most people use their keyboard to move around choosing programs, not the mouse. Ok, the search feature IS nice. However, if you do use your mouse on the start menu (and most people I know do use the mouse here, sadly), its harder to use than the menu in XP. My favorite thing when it comes to this, is that everywhere, Bill Gates has said that everyone will be blown away by the Vista Search the moment it comes out of the box. My computer is basically a brand new top of the line system, and it took it 12+ hours to index my almost empty hard drive. While it is doing this, it gives you a message telling you to try the search later. So much for it working immediately out of the box.

    Now, one place I have to give Vista props is the look. Vista looks nice overall; I didn't know my $30 graphics card could show images that crisp. Aero isn't bad either.

    Vista has not crashed yet. The only problem I've had is with Visual Studio 2005; it likes to complain a lot, but it runs.

    Anyway, those are my two cents on Vista. I had no idea if I'd like it, but its honestly not half bad. I'll still stick with my MacBook Pro for most stuff, though.
    • "Users want more security, and, in my opinion, UAC is more annoyance than security."

      I seem to hear this a lot, often from Linux types who've been advocating the advantages of su for years. The problem is you don't get security for free. You cannot, barring something like TCPA that takes away your control, have more granular security access without having to deal with that. You want real separation between privileged and non-privileged? Ok fine you can have that, but then you have to provide input to switch,
  • by Bluesman ( 104513 ) on Tuesday January 30, 2007 @02:06PM (#17816568) Homepage
    I love when Microsoft comes out with a resource hog OS.

    It just means that when I buy my next low-end PC, the hardware will be incredible just so it can run Vista, and FreeBSD will run like a dream on it.

    I think we all owe MS a great deal of gratitude for pushing the envelope so that decent OS's can make use of commodity hardware that ten years ago was unimaginably fast.

  • Since you asked.... (Score:5, Informative)

    by hawkbug ( 94280 ) <psx AT fimble DOT com> on Tuesday January 30, 2007 @02:27PM (#17816898) Homepage
    I've been running Vista since the RTM was released. I'm running Vista Ultimate x86. I have a dual core AMD Athlon system on an Nforce4 motherboard with 2 gigs of RAM. I'm not interested in trying betas or release clients at this point in my life, I've got more important things to do with my time. So when the RTM came out, I decided to use it on my primary workstation in a dual boot environment. I have nothing good to say about Vista actually - and lots negative. I use my workstation for the following things:

    1) Email, web surfing, word processing - all the basics.
    2) Video editing with tools like Adobe After Effects, VirtualDub, DivX, etc.
    3) Web development - I have a version of ColdFusion dev installed, which is supposed to work with IIS.
    4) Database development - SQL Server 2005.
    5) Local network administration for the windows network here in the office - Active Directory, Exchange management, etc.
    6) Linux server management, I only need an SSH client here.
    7) Backup DVDs to either my iPod or for backups for our car.

    While I may not be the prototypical end user, I think most of the stuff I do would be common and stuff that Microsoft would make sure was ready - ESPECIALLY their own tools. Here is a list of the tools that don't work are aren't stable on Vista:

    1) Exchange 2003 System Manager, won't even install. It uses IIS6 for some stupid reason, and IIS7 (despite what it says) is not backwards compatible.

    2) Active Directory - as a result of no Exchange tools, you don't get the exchange based tabs to administer basic email properties of user accounts. M$'s solution is to RDP to a server. Nice.

    3) Windows Live Messenger - crashes all the time, mostly when you go to exit the program. It's annoying as hell.

    4) SQL Server 2005 - You get a warning when it installs about how it won't work, but I did it anyway. It's mostly functional, but you still have the occasional system freeze, etc. Good times.

    5) Since none of my 3rd party DVD making apps seem to want to work with vista, I tried Windows Movie Maker. After opening a raw avi movie file straight from my video camera, movie maker decided it didn't want to work. It just hung and after a failed attempt to kill it with task manager, I had to reboot. I tried again with exactly the same results. WTF?

    And those are just the Microsoft products that don't work, which seems completely idiotic to me. You would think with an OS in development for 5 years, you'd iron some of that shit out with your own software. Now for the 3rd party apps:

    1) Nero - I use it for CD and DVD burning like everybody else. For whatever reason, everytime I move my mouse over an mpeg or avi file in windows I get a RunDLL32 stop error and windows freaks out. This only happens after installing Nero. I'm running the latest verison as well, straight from as of yesterday. If you do anything with videos, windows throws up these errors. Makes video editing impossible.

    2) iTunes 7.0.2 - basically, nothing about iTunes works for more than 5 minutes. You can't burn cds, so that's bad. Then if you leave it open for 5 minutes, eventually the user interface freaks out and starts blinking in parts and removes the colors, etc. Then if you minimize it, you'll never get it back without restarting or manually killing it with task manager.

    3) Firefox - about one out of every 10 times I open up Firefox, I get the blue screen of death with a MEMORY_MANAGEMENT error. This only happens on one of the workstations I put Vista on, the other doesn't have this same issue despite the fact that it's the same hardware exactly. Very strange.

    4) Nvidia drivers - using the latest nvidia drivers from their website as of yesterday, my machine becomes completely unstable. Windows Explorer crashes every so often. I had to roll back to the default microsoft drivers for my Geforce 7600GS.

    Now if all that isn't bad enough and reason to stay away, here are my gripes about the OS itself:

    1) It's slow as he
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      Are we using the same RTM? I've got it installed on a AMD A64 3200+ with 1.5GB of ram and a Geforce 6600GT 256MB.

      Not sure about the Exchange stuff, didn't try to install it.

      Windows Live Messenger - I've had no such problems.

      Nero 7.5 - Works just fine. Burns CDs, DVDs, without a hitch.

      iTunes 7.0.2 - While I do get ONE graphical glitch from iTunes, it fixes itself quickly and works fine. When you first open the program it's window is nothing but flat black. Maximize and minimize the window and it redraws it p
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by man_of_mr_e ( 217855 )
      While I don't doubt you that you've experienced this, all i can say is that some of your problems were real and have already been solved, some of them are not common and you seem to be the only person i've ever heard with them, and some are definately legitimate.

      I've not seen nany problems with Live Messenger since RTM. SQL Server has had a publicly available beta patch available for quite some time (along with Visual Studio). DVD and other apps have always had a lot of trouble with new versions of Window
  • by tenzig_112 ( 213387 ) on Tuesday January 30, 2007 @02:28PM (#17816922) Homepage

    REDMOND, WASHINGTON- With the launch of their newest solitaire engine, Vista, Microsoft hopes to bring the art of single player card games to a whole new level. Gone is the flat green background, replaced by a seductive green-to-dark-green gradient. The "play" and "quit" buttons are pleasantly shiny like beads of glass, softly inviting you to click them. Even the diamonds, hearts, spades, and clubs all have a sexy updated look. After poking around Vista for a few hours, it's difficult to imagine stacking sequential cards of alternating suits with anything less.

    Even harder to believe is the steady stream of bad reviews for Vista. After five years of waiting, it would be understandable if some members of the press felt that Vista should represent a bigger jump from its predecessor than it does. For instance, they point to Microsoft's original promise that all versions of Vista would feature a common 64-bit architecture- but that makes no sense at all since the game only has 52 cards. It seems fairly clear that anyone talking trash about Vista just hasn't played it.
    Excerpt from [] Somehow I don't think this is serious.
  • by cashman73 ( 855518 ) on Tuesday January 30, 2007 @02:46PM (#17817198) Journal
    Well, I have a pretty new computer (as of October, 2006), so hardware compatibility is not an issue for me to upgrade at all. Will I be rushing out to upgrade to Vista? I have no plans to, no.

    Am I also going to slam it as a completely useless, worthless, and ridiculous product? Despite the enormous temptation to do so here on slashdot, no, I won't do that, either. ;-)

    If we look at Micro$oft's history, they've admittedly had quite a few crowning moments back there. The upgrade from Windows 3.11 to Windows 95 was big. It was a huge step at the time, and I'll admit, I was pretty excited about that back then. A much more user-friendly OS, the death of DOS (well, not really, but sort of),... I was even fairly excited about Windows 98, because, while it wasn't great, it did include a lot of little improvements to Windows 95 that made things run a lot better and smoother. Windows 98 was great until Windows 2000 came out, which made things a lot better. But 2000 still wasn't perfect, particularly in the arena of gaming, so 98 reigned for a bit longer in some areas.

    I don't even think I should even give the dignity of even mentioning Windows ME, which, if there's any OS out there that deserves to be slammed more than any other, that's the one. I pity all the fools that were suckered into that,...

    Windows XP was another crowning moment in Micro$oft's history. I really can't find anything wrong with this OS. They've merged the NT core of Windows NT/2000 with the legacy, gaming, and "home-use" aspects of 95/98. I have yet to see a BSOD in Windows XP. It runs all of the applications I need (well, except for a couple of molecular modeling apps that seem happier in linux ;-) ... It doesn't seem to be too much of a memory hog, at least not annoyingly so. The interface is decent, who really cares about some fancy eye candy; computers are there to get work done, not stare at graphics all day long while fancy-shmancy moving things dance all over the screen gobbling up RAM,...

    So right now, I really see no reason to upgrade. Sure, I'll probably eventually get Vista, but it'll be in about 3-5 years when I buy a new PC that has Vista pre-loaded. Unless, of course, I opt to go for a Mac, which I almost did last year when I bought this computer, except that they're still a little pricey for the 17" and larger screen notebook models,...

  • by gelfling ( 6534 ) on Tuesday January 30, 2007 @03:03PM (#17817460) Homepage Journal
    They are reporting that Vista is incompatible with virtually every online game out there. They go on to add that for the most part all in-pace device drivers today will not run on Vista either nor do working drivers exist nor will ever exist for most 'older' hardware. They conclude that much 'older' software will never be made to work or work right either.

    Now you have to understand that CNBC has been a MS corporate cheerleader from way back. Now I understand why Bill Himself has been pimping this out on TV personally. This looks like it could be a hellacious scary train crash.
  • by Vellmont ( 569020 ) on Tuesday January 30, 2007 @03:09PM (#17817580) Homepage
    One of the features of Vista I was looking forward too was less rebooting. The driver model is vastly different, so driver replacement should (in theory) result in no reboots. There's also a manager that's supposed to handle services better, so there's another area where reboots should be lessened.

    Unfortunately, I haven't really seen much change in the number of reboots. I uninstalled fax and scan manager along with installing the new games. Reboot. I installed a new beta driver for my video card. Reboot. I installed the updates that came though today. Reboot. Not a great track record MS.

    I've also been unfortunate enough to have a motherboard that has AGP drivers unsupported by Vista (nforce). So the video card runs on a PCI-PCI driver at reduced performance. Some may argue that this machine is "too old" to expect support for it. Maybe, I've got a video card that supports Aero, 1 gig of RAM, and a speedy HD, so the rest of the hardware is up to snuff. I guess you can put the blame for this one on Nvidia, as it's not Microsoft's responsibility to write drivers for the AGP bus. Aero is speed enough, I'm just not expecting good gaming performance with no support for my AGP bus.

    So that's the bad side. The upside is that the new interface is pretty usefull. I really like the search function, no hunting around for different apps, or hidden control panels. The menu structure seems a lot more intuitive. The sleep function actually works! I haven't seen sleep/suspend actually work properly on a non-laptop running Windows before. It'll certainly save me some money on electric bills. I'm also glad to see they ditched the stupid IE interface for Windows Update. Ugh, that POS was nothing but trouble. It CONSTANTLY broke on my various windows machines. Hopefully this new non-IE based Windows Update will work properly. I also like the Aero theme. I'm quite glad the decided to ditch the Fisher-Price themed XP. I could never figure it out, and was a major reason why I never bothered with XP. I know you can switch the theme to Windows 2000 (and I did), but XP was actually less reliable for me than 2000.
  • by N8F8 ( 4562 ) on Tuesday January 30, 2007 @03:16PM (#17817706)
    Summary: 10% more usable OS. 35% more usable Office.

    I upgraded a Compaq Z2615US 14" notebook (Semtron 1.8ghz, 128mb ATI 200M video, 1GB RAM) to Vista Business 32bit.

    Aero Eye candy aside, I feel like I'm making fewer clicks and finding things easier. The sideshow doesn't have any really compelling widgets/gadgets yet (the weather gadget only show the current weather). The system feels more responsive. Had a few software compatibility issues (Visual Studio 2005 and Adobe 8 Reader installer). Office 2007 is simply wonderful. Finding things is much easier and the application seems to load a lot faster than previous versions of MS Office. Office PDF export is a separate download.

    I installed a lot of third party stuff like XAMPP Lite, SciTe, Filezilla, Firefox etc without any big problems.

    I ordeered the 64bit DVD and will probably reinstall everything when it arrives.
  • by mcmonkey ( 96054 ) on Tuesday January 30, 2007 @04:26PM (#17818626) Homepage
    Some people say it sucks...others say it blows.
  • Impression? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by FridayBob ( 619244 ) on Tuesday January 30, 2007 @05:59PM (#17820140) Homepage
    Mostly I'm just kind of disappointed that we weren't able to release KDE 4.0 or a stable version of Debian etch before this day.

    Otherwise, I can't see how the consumers who have bought into Vista so far will have much to cheer about. It'll be a lot slower than XP, since the recommended hardware requirements are so much higher than for XP. Aside from the new interface, its supposedly improved stability and security, Vista is really all about DRM: preventing people from playing protected content, including in cases of fair use. What they get back in return for these heinous constraints is the possibility of playing high definition content on their PCs.

    However, that last part isn't going to happen any time soon, at least not legally. To play high definition content on Vista, your graphics card and your monitor both have to be HDCP compliant [], but according to this article [], which is less than a month old, only two monitors tested last year were HDCP compliant and not a single graphics card. When will HDCP compatibile hardware start to appear? According to the article, many monitor manufacturers haven't even heard of it and can't say anything about it, while the graphics card manufacturers (nVidia, ATI) could do it, but haven't seemed to have found the incentive yet to do so. For the latter it seems to a be a chicken and egg story: no content? no support. And even if the manufacturers do decide to start making their products HDCP compliant, remember what Peter Gutmann had to say [] about the ridiculous guidelines M$ gives them: they're "fundamentally impossible" to comply with.

    The future is also looking increasingly bleak for DRM. Even if Vista does well, it's content protection will not make much difference to the content industry if people can buy super-cheap Chinese media players that play every known file format without any restrictions whatsoever. Hell, only last week we heard that the music companies seem to be thinking about ditching DRM []. If so, then Vista will become rather uncool in this respect and M$ will start to play down the protected content issue as DRM begins to disappear from music and movies.

    Of course, for M$, the MPAA and the RIAA were never what the DRM was about: they really only added it to Vista for their own benefit. M$ is always looking for ways to milk more money out of its stagnant share of the market. For years now they've had only two options: raising prices and fighting piracy. Of course, with Vista they're doing both. Now all they need is for it to catch on. However, I'm not so sure it'll be that easy. Their plan may backfire on them. Why? I know a lot of people who have remained satisfied with Windows over the years only because they've been able to run so much software on their PCs -- pirated software. If they're no longer able to do that, I'm not so sure they're just going to roll over and start paying for everything they'd like to continue to use. I figure we're about to see the arrival of a new wave of Linux newbies as a result. Perhaps not a flood, but I figure it'll be enough to offset any financial gains M$ planned on making. Most important of all for consumers, M$ will lose market share.
  • by rbonine ( 245645 ) on Tuesday January 30, 2007 @06:23PM (#17820570)
    I've been running Vista at home since pre-Beta 2. When the RTM version surfaced on MSDN in early December, I decided to hold my breath and reinstall using the 64 bit version.

    Specs: I'm running a stock Dell box, D620 processor, dual core with 1 gb RAM. Video is ATI X1300 with 256Mb, Dell dual tuner card, no-name Web cam, USB external drive, built-in sound.

    To my great surprise, all of my applications and hardware worked fine on 64 bit Vista. There was one minor exception: the SyncToy app from Microsoft would not run. Everything else - Office, Civ 4, Diablo II, WinZip, etc - worked great. Some dev tools did require updates - Visual Studio 2005 and SQL Express both had to be patched, although they seemed to work OK before I installed the patches. There is a 64-bit version of IE, but I don't run it, so I can't speak to plug-in compatibility. Most surprisingly, I haven't had any problems with drivers; even my el cheapo Web cam worked perfectly.

    Overall, I like Vista. It looks nice and works well. Programs seem to load faster, probably because of the SuperCache feature that keeps commonly-used stuff in memory. The eye candy is OK, but probably not worth the price of admission - the important thing is that it has been rock solid so far.

    Things I like:

    - The sidebar is nice, although there aren't many gadgets available yet. The ones that are available look good.
    - The OS is very, very stable. No crashes at all in almost two months. No "this program is closing" messages that I recall.
    - The anti-spyware package seems to work as advertised. I'm running OneCare 1.5 for antivirus, and that works fine too. No problems with security, although I didn't have any under XP either.
    - The new fonts are very nice - especially Consolas, the new fixed-width font. Looks great in Visual Studio.
    - Boot time and resume from standby time has been much improved.
    - No one seems to be talking about the voice recognition features, but they are awesome. It's possible to start Word, dictate a letter, save it, open Gmail, and mail it to someone using only voice commands. Accuracy is very good, and it's pretty easy to use. This is a killer feature that needs more publicity.

    Things I don't like:

    - Some of the new utilities are very, very dumbed down. NTBACKUP is gone, replaced by the most brain-dead "backup program" I've ever seen. This program is not backward-compatible, so if you have Windows Backup files, you'll have to download another utility from Microsoft to restore files from them.
    - The disk defragmenter is also dumbed down to the point of absurdity. There is no status display at all - no disk block diagram, no percentage indicator - just a "please wait, this operation may take several hours to complete" message. VOPT did this better in 1983.
    - Existing CD burning software probably won't work.
    - The new search indexer searches only a small subset of the directory tree by default. While it's possibly to manually tweak the list of directories to search, there's no easy way to tell it to, for example, index every directory except those that hold temporary files. Non-index searches (in other words, a full grovel through the directory tree) seem to be slower than in XP.
    - There is a "Run" box on the Start menu, but it doesn't work exactly as it used to. I have always used it to launch some programs and Explorer windows, and it still does this in some cases, but - for example - typing "D:" won't take you to the root of your D drive - it brings up the first application it can find that starts with "D". Very annoying.

    Other observations:

    - The ReadyBoost feature (that allows you to use a USB key as swap space) works, but I didn't notice any speed increase. This was with a very fast USB drive (patriot XT).
    - The control panel utilities and desktop properties screens have been moved around quite a bit, which may confuse some people at first, but the new order probably makes more sense than the old one.
    - There's a lot of FUD floating a

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