Vista Part 3 - gHacks Tech News

Vista Part 3

Well I don’t think I’ve ever had so many responses as I have to these Posts on Windows Vista =) But obviously it’s a controversial subject.

Now I realise that many of the things I said where good about Vista can be backported or substituted into XP. There are freeware alternatives to everything really, and Microsoft has allowed many things intended for Vista alone to be installed into Vista.

While this is true, I don’t think it makes for a killer argument on why we should stick with XP. As Thinker said:

“BTW, one thing to say: Many says, that all that stuff in Vista can be downloaded for XP too. I assure you, that when you try your to load all those application into XP it will work terribly slow. I checked it”

Okay, again, I know that depends on your set-up etc, but I’m thinking of this from the point of view of 90% of users across the world. Yes, personally I use Media Monkey instead of Windows Media Player, but most people will use the supplied applications.

Just imagine clean-installing Windows XP SP2.

Its good, its clean, its fast. But It’s also pretty dated in terms of a modern Operating System being 7 years old and all. That’s okay because you can of course give it all the functionality you want by installing additional software and updates.

If you really want to spend you time removing out of date software, updating new software, finding freeware etc then go for it. I’m guessing most people will not.

Paul Thurrott makes the strongest case I have seen for why XP is good, but not good enough:

“Aside from obvious look and feel issues, the most striking thing about downgrading from Windows Vista to XP is the sheer number of things that need to be installed and configured in order to bring the older OS up to speed with its more recent stablemate.”

Amongst these he describes the following:

  • Hardware Drivers, XP is distinctly lacking
  • Out of date software applications including MSN Explorer, Outlook Express, and Windows Messenger, IE6 and WMP9.
  • Missing applications, such as all many new applications I mentioned yesterday
  • Microsoft Update, a crappy web-based version. You’ll have to find and download the new Microsoft Update software.
  • Start Menu, It likes to shuffle programs randomly. See if you like it after trying the Vista start menu.
  • Hidden applications,
  • ClearType, disabled by default in XP.
  • Windows Search, download and install Windows Search or suffer with the default.
  • Networking, Rarst mentioned XP having vastly improved networking making it worth upgrading. Vista has even more improved. “In XP, you have to enter the WPA network key TWICE to initially configure wireless networking. There are repeated "Now connected" pop-up balloons: Yeah, we get it, you're connected. And then there are those annoying disconnected network adapter icons in the tray.” Oh well, I guess there are some handy registry hacks for that aren’t there? =P
  • Power management, Manually enable the power management icon and hibernation
  • Backup, XP has none of this
  • User interface, dated, ugly and lurid.
  • Disk Defrag, doesn’t happen automatically
  • Hibernation and Sleep modes, good luck with getting these to work

“I know, I know. You're looking at this list and you're thinking big deal. Remember, however, that this isn't a list of unique Vista features--a list that would include such technologies as BitLocker, Media Center, and Windows Calendar, among many others. This is a list of things that impact me, as an individual, on a regular basis. A list that should be combined with the list of issues from the previous section to provide a wider overall picture of the real world day to day differences between using each system. In this light, the advantages of Windows Vista are very real. Very real indeed.”

I couldn’t agree more.

I think it is easy to look at Vista and say, “so what?” but the reality is once you have actually become accustomed to using it, going back to XP feels like stepping into the 90s.

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Comments

  1. Rarst said on July 25, 2008 at 10:22 am
    Reply

    >Its good, its clean, its fast. But It’s also pretty dated in terms of a modern Operating System being 7 years old and all.

    System is dated when it is unusable on modern hardware and/or with modern software. My personal definiton.

    I have experience working with professional Unix distribution (HP-UX). It feels ancient in design and usability. But somehow no one calls it dated – as long as it works and performs tasks.

    XP lacking in dirvers comparing to Vista??? Either it was about system bundled ones (which shouldn’t be used most of the time anyway) or extreme case of self-hypnosis.

    About applications same argument – who cares? We are talking about OS, not bundles which Microsoft bought from 3rd parties, stripped of main features and stuck into Vista like something great. It was same with XP btw, I don’t remember anyone burning disks with XP but it was hyped feature.

    >And then there are those annoying disconnected network adapter icons in the tray.

    Which can be easily disabled by any person who has a slightest clue about networking in XP.

    >User interface, dated, ugly and lurid.

    Yeah sure, I am already running to the store for some Aero eye-candy… not. :)

    >Hibernation and Sleep modes, good luck with getting these to work

    Works decent without luck.

    I want to make short summary.

    Vista doesn’t appel to people who:
    1. don’t need bundled applications and/or don’t use most of system applications (explorer, search, update, etc).
    2. are not going to benefit from upgrade (faster application start time was mentioned as feature, but not everyone needs it, etc).
    3. are going to suffer from update (slower file system performance for example).
    4. are going to need massive hardware upgrade.
    5. use non-desktop hardware (notebooks, netbooks, nettops, etc).

    Vista is going to appeal for people who:
    1. care about system applications
    2. get it with new PC
    3. need exact features Vista provides
    4. care about eye-candy

    That’s my view and my problem with Vista. It’s easy to accept it as new OS with new high-powered desktop… But there are very few reasons to invest in upgrade just for the sake of upgrading.

  2. Jojo said on July 25, 2008 at 10:27 am
    Reply

    You might find this article interesting:

    July 24, 2008 4:00 AM PDT
    Microsoft looks to ‘Mojave’ to revive Vista’s image
    http://news.cnet.com/8301-13860_3-9998336-56.html?hhTest=1

  3. unruled said on July 25, 2008 at 11:33 am
    Reply

    “and Microsoft has allowed many things intended for Vista alone to be installed into Vista.”

    @author: I think you meant to be installed into XP.

    Also, I don’t think XP needs quite as much care as is made out here. SP3 was just recently released, which cuts down the amount of updates needed for the OS, as well as backports some vista functionality.

  4. rruben said on July 25, 2008 at 12:57 pm
    Reply

    “but the reality is once you have actually become accustomed to using it, going back to XP feels like stepping into the 90s.”

    I couldn’t have said this better :-P

  5. Rarst said on July 25, 2008 at 1:42 pm
    Reply

    >“but the reality is once you have actually become accustomed to using it, going back to XP feels like stepping into the 90s.”

    Hammer is more than 30000 years old of a tool. Stil pretty good for hitting nails.

    For me OS is a tool not “hype of the year” fashion.

  6. Rico said on July 25, 2008 at 2:08 pm
    Reply

    i think if people actually read the article, they’d agree with Paul’s assessment for the most part, at least in terms of the OOBE for the average user.

    i’ve got a list of annoyances with Vista, but i find they’re typically not the ones that many people online seem to have, particularly the ones who sound like they don’t use it day-to-day.

  7. Mike said on July 25, 2008 at 2:34 pm
    Reply

    I could not agree more with Rarst. “Old XP” runs good in our firm and it will… For the time being there is no interest to invest in Windows Vista (almost all of our programmers have powerful machines, but they prefer XP, rather then Vista).
    Every advanced user wants more speed then eye candy!

  8. Pietzki said on July 25, 2008 at 2:43 pm
    Reply

    “Hammer is more than 30000 years old of a tool. Stil pretty good for hitting nails.

    For me OS is a tool not “hype of the year” fashion.”

    Yeah but in line with your analogy, Vista is a more versatile, convenient and useful tool than XP. I know, XP does the job, but vista does it better.

  9. Rarst said on July 25, 2008 at 3:02 pm
    Reply

    >I know, XP does the job, but vista does it better.

    It really fails to convince lots of people (me including) that it is “better” enough to justify upgrade costs. And if you are deciding not for home PC but for firm and those costs are suddenly multiplied by hunreds (or even thousands)…

    It may be a better hammer, but do you buy new hammer every year?

  10. Roman ShaRP said on July 25, 2008 at 3:52 pm
    Reply

    And I have to say again: I don’t need MS’ new crap.

    The first thing I run on XP – XP-antispy, disabling most of that crap.
    I never use Outlook, MSN, Windows Messenger, WMP, and disabling them too.
    I almost never use IE.

    What does Vista offering to me? More crap and more new crap.

    But I don’t need new crap. I’m already happy that I turned off old.

  11. iampriteshdesai said on July 25, 2008 at 7:30 pm
    Reply

    As an American it would be better to live in the 90’s

  12. joshua said on July 25, 2008 at 8:12 pm
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    Ah, Rarst I think we are getting somewhere!

    In line with your comment about who Vista will appeal to… I think we could safely say that covers about 90% of end users?

    I certainly wouldn’t just upgrade for the sake of it… really I believe the argument was over wether or not Vista was a *good* OS, a *better* OS then XP. Which frankly it is.

  13. Rarst said on July 25, 2008 at 9:04 pm
    Reply

    >In line with your comment about who Vista will appeal to… I think we could safely say that covers about 90% of end users?

    Disagree. Number of existing hardware (that falls under “needs massive upgrade”) is huge. So are going to be new low-priced devices (netbooks, etc).

    >I certainly wouldn’t just upgrade for the sake of it… really I believe the argument was over wether or not Vista was a *good* OS, a *better* OS then XP. Which frankly it is.

    I think that argument came to:

    “Vista is justified because it has plenty of bundled applications and is cute”

    versus

    “Vista is not justified because it offers no advantages over XP”

    Some people find Vista fitting and upgrade to it and are happy with it. Which is perfectly fine. What they don’t get is that other people may have different expectations – which Vista failed.

    Big picture is Vista does not have small group of haters like any other software product (there are always haters).

    Vista has alienated (maybe too harsh word but I decided to keep it):
    1. Low-budget and low-power hardware sectors. Which actually is biggest share of PCs. +Intel scandal, people dislike to be lied to.
    2. Power-users who were continiously promised important core features that were never delivered (like new file system). I remember how hype about “important things” gradually changed into empty eyes and bitter dissapointment.
    3. PC manufacturers. Feedback about Vista improving hardware sales was extremely disappointed. Vista failed to boost sales because it failed in budget sector.

    Vista may be more polished now but it had ugly start and ugly reputation.

    >*better* OS then XP. Which frankly it is.
    So you say. Someone is going to say Linux rocks. Someone roots for FreeBSD. :) etc.

    Vista may be better than XP… But not better enough to convince lots of people to switch.

    PS spam filter ate one small comment on hammers, could someone please fetch it out of void? That filter hates me. :(

  14. Thinker said on July 26, 2008 at 12:27 am
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    @Rarst:
    When you use Firefox you use an application, and it would behave probably same on XP, Vista and Linux too. The main difference would be window borders and icons :) When I run Photoshop it behaves identically on XP and Vista. When I play games they looks same on both systems. So most of users that now uses XP dont have much reasons to switch to Vista from XP. I totally agree with that.
    Personally, for me, Vista is about, lets say, 20% better than XP, because it works faster than XP.

    I agree with you, that if in some firm all using XP – there is no reason to switch to Vista. But if you buy new PC I would recommend Vista as better product.

  15. Starboykb said on July 26, 2008 at 3:24 am
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    When i first used Vista, I feel that I shouldn’t be using it until Window 7. But it seems like i was wrong feeling that way after the SP1 and started liking it.

    Vista is not that bad really, but you simply need a fast rig and more memory ram to run better.

  16. joshua said on July 26, 2008 at 8:33 am
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    See Rarst that’s the frustrating part… Vista IS a commercial success. Perceptions are one thing, reality is another…

    let me think of my class at university… my course has around 100 students… a quarter of them have laptops… of that number about 2 have a Mac and about 3 chose to buy XP over Vista without even trying it.

    The rest are all using Vista. No one is using Linux.

    After your comments about hardware, I went and had a look in all the brochures for stores around here.

    I don’t know about you, but here a low budget PC of around a 1000 bucks gets you 2 gigs of RAM, dedicated graphics and dual core processor. More then enough to run Vista extremely well.

    Also, the comments about Vista failing to deliver on core features I think is a misunderstanding of the whole development process.

    The concepts for Longhorn where simply too huge an undertaking… hence the reset 2 years before Vista’s release.

    Those concepts where never abandoned, they where put aside while Microsoft concentrated on building the platform to support this.

    Vista made those major architectural changes necessary for the next generation of OS’s. It took the fall for compatibility issues and performance issues.

    The next Windows OS is purely evolutionary… hopefully bring in many of those ideas from Longhorn. Some are already making it into Windows Server.

    See most consumers, that 90%, will never be encouraged to switch by any OS. It’s just fact of life… when their computer gets old and slow they upgrade… whatever OS is out is the OS they will get. Most people I know didn’t even know there was a Vista until they had to go out and buy a computer.

    Bloody hell… I remember back to XPs release when I was barely out of primary school… everyone was talking about how it was pointless, buggy and unstable and that Windows 98 was much faster.

    Do some Googling back to articles published back in 2001… you’ll find many suspiciously similar quotes about the interface being all eye candy and resource intensive.

    I can’t believe so many people have such short memories.

  17. Rarst said on July 26, 2008 at 9:51 am
    Reply

    >Vista IS a commercial success. Perceptions are one thing, reality is another…

    Sure is… But it’s first time since ME it actually loosing some customers. But now there are viable alternatives for them to go to.

    >I don’t know about you, but here a low budget PC of around a 1000 bucks gets you 2 gigs of RAM, dedicated graphics and dual core processor.

    Know many firms with such budget for office PC? :) I still have some few Celeron-400 running at work.

    >Those concepts where never abandoned, they where put aside while Microsoft concentrated on building the platform to support this.

    So they say… Wait, that’s Microsoft. Clearly not a brand whose promises I take seriously. :)

    >See most consumers, that 90%, will never be encouraged to switch by any OS. It’s just fact of life… when their computer gets old and slow they upgrade… whatever OS is out is the OS they will get.

    Yep… So what? I should go and buy and love Vista because of those 90%? Eventually it will wash out XP… But that process is way more slow than with previous releases which is not a good sign.

    Again – I am not saying that Vista is doomed. My opinion is that it has nothing to offer (to me, my work and people with similar needs) and not worth upgrading to.

    >Do some Googling back to articles published back in 2001… you’ll find many suspiciously similar quotes about the interface being all eye candy and resource intensive.

    Why google what I remember? :)

  18. GRTerrero said on July 26, 2008 at 10:21 am
    Reply

    So…I have to ask because I’m a trouble maker…what do you guys think of Windows 7?

    It’s the John McCain of OSes, I say. Like George Bush, but with a stylish, better tricked out wife.

  19. Rarst said on July 26, 2008 at 10:52 am
    Reply

    >what do you guys think of Windows 7

    I think there is nothing to think about yet. :)

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