Stories of Vista Bliss
Despite what we've been telling you here for months -- and, to be fair, the
vast majority of e-mails
we get still bash it -- not everybody is unhappy with the forlorn Vista operating
system. We've run tons of negative e-mails on Vista, and we've received some
more very good ones recently.
But in the interest of some equal time, and because we said we would, today
we're giving you positive -- or at least not screamingly negative -- e-mails
about Vista. Some of these, as always, we had to edit for length, but the basic
ideas are intact. Let's get started:
Richard starts us off by saying that if we don't like Vista, we shouldn't blame
Microsoft...we should probably blame ourselves:
"Vista's 'failure' is a communications failure between Microsoft
and its customers, between Microsoft and its partners, and mostly between
Microsoft and its Tier 1 OEMs and ISVs. The entire channel was NOWHERE NEAR
prepared for Vista's release. And while we see that a few unwise compromises
were made between key Microsoft executives and their OEM and ISV counterparts
vis-à-vis which CPUs and chipsets were 'acceptable' for the Vista experience,
almost everything they baked into Vista came out of customer feedback and
demand: bulletproof security, security best practices (least privilege), and
a much better user experience that, regrettably, demanded better hardware.
"I'll tell you too what I don't miss: I don't miss never seeing a
blue screen since I've owned Vista -- something I could never say about XP,
Windows Server 2000 or 2003...or even NT 3.51 or 4.0, for that matter."
We agree that a lot of third parties dropped the ball on Vista. The extent
to which Microsoft tried to work with them on holding the ball (how far can
we stretch that metaphor?) is another topic of discussion altogether. Anyway,
Zenner strikes a similar tone and also suggests that XP love is more like a
"Holding on to XP (especially when required to pay for 'downgrade'
rights) is self-defeating, bordering on mental illness. I will agree that
in its initial release, driver support was a major headache, not mention the
requirement to 'finally' retire a lot of 8-, 16-, even some wholly inadequate
32-bit peripherals. The fact is, hardware as well as software were being hobbled
by backward compatibility. X86-64 processors have opened up a completely new
benchmark for PC performance; there is no need to continue with the arbitrary
designation of workstation vs. PC. PCs, even laptops, have evolved to the
point that it's almost impossible to purchase an under-powered computer anymore,
yet clients (and closet Luddites) are refusing to step up to the challenge.
"The biggest complaint I still hear seems to be a lament that Vista
is 'too' good. Finally, Microsoft creates what everyone was complaining about
-- security, stability and defaults that start secure and allow the user to
decide how much compromise he is willing to endure for connectivity and communication.
Despite being given nearly everything that magazine writers, governments (national
and international) and business concerns have lobbied for, we are faced with
a consumer revolt, and what is it they are whining about this time? That it's
too difficult having to make a few minor adjustments to reap all the benefits.
That driver compatibility (which peripheral providers had been warned years
ago would be needed) is somehow under the control of Microsoft. Maybe complaining
to the root cause entities is not nearly as satisfying as continuing to find
something, anything, to justify mistaken animus toward Microsoft."
Maybe, Zenner, there is some anti-Microsoft sentiment at work in the press
(although we try to remain objective here), but XP is also a Microsoft OS and
people seem to like it well enough. Sometimes familiarity breeds contempt; in
this case, it seems as though the opposite is at work.
Grant, writing from South Africa (we love contributions from outside the U.S.,
by the way), suggests that hanging on to XP is not a good idea...and that Vista
is not so bad:
"I have deployed a number of Vista Business machines with very few
problems. Applications are catching up fast (except those that still write
in Cobol). By downloading the latest drivers from the PC manufacturers' sites,
SP1 downloads gracefully. The users seem to like the new interface and features.
From my point of view (IT administrator), Vista is good, because it is so
much more secure than XP.
"Recommending to customers that they 'downgrade' Vista to XP is irresponsible
and short-sighted (as well as lazy and selfish, because they know XP well,
so it's easier to maintain, and they don't have to learn how to maintain the
new OS (yet)).
"If Windows 7 comes out in 2010, add two years for stabilisation
and user acceptance, we're looking at running XP for the next four years.
You've got to be joking! Imagine what Apple (Cougar, Lion or whatever) will
look like by that time. What would Microsoft's credibility be then?"
Good question, Grant. We're sure some folks in Redmond are wondering the same
thing. Or maybe cloud computing will make the OS mostly irrelevant and make
the browser the only environment we need.
Finally, Dave's just happy all around with Vista:
"My system starts up, honestly, in about half the time XP took. Task
Manager -- take a look; it's been greatly enhanced. All the extra apps that
are included are great additions for novice and power users. The organization
of the Start Menu is wonderful. There's nothing worse than looking at three
columns of installed programs on an XP machine. Oh, and if you like Apple
cutesy, the dream scene desktop background rocks. Honestly, after two weeks,
I'm cruising around Vista without a hiccup."
More power to you, Dave. We're glad it's working out for you.
We're still looking for Vista tales; we'll run them -- positive and negative
-- from time to time here. Send them to email@example.com.
If you haven't seen yours yet, don't give up. It might still appear. And thanks
to everybody who has contributed.
Posted by Lee Pender on August 28, 2008 at 11:54 AM