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Microsoft Makes Vista Fixes Public

Remember those patches for Vista that caused some confusion last week? Well, maybe they weren't SP1 after all, because they're well and truly out there for anyone to download now.

And with Vista back in the news (as if it ever really left), let's go to the vault for some reader e-mails.

David says that Vista's fine; it's other stuff that's screwing everything up:

"I wonder how much of the 'bad' Vista experience is actually Vista versus the other programs that came out with it such as Office 2007 and Exchange 2007. I use Vista as my primary desktop at work (I am a member of my company's group that is piloting the technology to better understand it before rolling it out to the rest of the organization) and at home on a gaming computer. Yes, there are some problems, but my overall impression is that the underlying operating system is pretty solid and better Windows than XP.

"Some of the things I like are almost trivial, like hooking up to an external projector, accessing a wireless network from my hotel room or connecting to a printer. These things just work better. Things that aren't working as well include authentication issues and redundant extra prompts. Also, I still haven't figured out where everything has been relocated. Sometimes it takes some hunting before I find a function I know is there.

"My biggest issues are with Office 2007. At first I thought it was pretty good but the more I use it, the less I like it. It's more a usability issue than anything else. I spend way too much time searching the ribbon bars hunting for functions. I still haven't found the option in Word to make a title page with vertically and horizontally centered text. Well, actually I found it, but it won't enable me to select it. I'm sure that sounds pretty stupid but the new ribbon interface isn't making the applications more useable for me. On the other hand, I do like the new Outlook to-do bar.

"I think the whole Vista thing is much ado about nothing. Vista is a whole new operating system. It's going to take a while to sort out the compatibility issues. It is also going to require users and developers to do some things differently than before. But on the whole, it is a significant improvement over XP and a solid foundation to build upon."

We're with you on Office 2007, David. Trying to navigate it on a friend's laptop the other night was like waking up to find that our familiar local newspaper was suddenly being published in Farsi.

Greg's not so happy with Vista. In fact, he's flirting with the Penguin:

"I've used a lot of systems in my day. I'm not a self-proclaimed guru, just a novice who knows how to 'Google' for the info or tips I need with an OS. It is sad that Microsoft released Vista too early, especially since Win XP was such a decent OS. Vista is great with a lot of eye candy (what the limited computer users want). I know there are bugs and quirks from all I've read online about Vista so I'll wait and bide my time while keeping Vista on a test machine until all the bugs are worked out or until I'm confident enough with the system to move to it fully -- which I probably will do anyway in another month or so.

"Linux is the best OS I've seen to date and for me, because you have to literally earn the right with the system to use this application or that one. Linux is strong and well-protected, as well. My favorite is Ubuntu, and I've noticed how much Vista looks like a few Linux distros as well as the fact that Firefox, with its multi-tab ability, was out long, long before IE 7. Anyway, reading your article, I thought I'd give my 2 cents. Vista is still a baby, so it will be about a year or so until the baby is stable enough to walk (in my opinion). Vista shows some good promise and XP makes a great fall-back when Vista decides to quirk out on you. Do like I do and either multi-boot the two or have XP on your main, Vista on your tester and good, old Linux on your laptop to rescue you when you need it. Thank you for time and your patience."

Thank you, Greg (and David) for your thoughts. Anything else to add? Add it at lpender@rcpmag.com.

Posted by Lee Pender on August 09, 2007 at 11:54 AM