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Reader Responses: What Else But Vista?

You love these, and we love these. So let's just jump in. Our good friend, Doug, who has been a big help to both RCP the magazine and RCPU in the past, gets us started:

"When I started my company, I bought a Dell Latitude D820 with a dual core Intel processor, 2GB RAM and a 256MB Nvidia video controller. The laptop only registered a 3.1 on the 'Vista experience' meter and was slow from the start. However, since I need to know Vista in order to support my customers, I kept it and learned to live with it. I considered wiping the system and downgrading to XP Pro from Vista Ultimate (which isn't ultimate but a waste). Recently, I've had some physical issues with the system, and as a result of troubleshooting with Dell, I decided to delete the system partition and install XP Pro.

"Do I still need to support customers using Vista? In a word, no. Out of all the systems I've sold and supported over the last year, I can count the Vista systems on one hand. Heck, I can count the Vista systems on one finger. My two main vertical markets are health care and financial services. The software vendors for both of those markets still either require or highly recommend XP. So, I'm swearing off Vista. My business customers (99 percent of my customers) will continue to buy XP Pro preinstalled from Dell. If Microsoft doesn't extend the end-of-life again next July, then I'll probably buy software assurance licenses for them and manually install XP Pro on new systems until Windows 7 becomes the new standard..."

Doug, your story sounds familiar -- although the "counting on one finger" line made us laugh out loud. Of course, Steve Ballmer would still like for you to believe that Vista is a big success. In related news, Ballmer also announced that 2+2=7 and that the sun revolves around the Earth and not the other way around. (OK, not really...but you know what we mean.)

On to Mike's tale, which includes a considerable but justifiable shouting rant:

"Yesterday, my son, who is a captain in the army, downloaded some Vista Windows updates -- then the computer got into an infinite loop configuring the updates. In order to stop this, I had to FedEx overnight ($26) the Toshiba recovery disk so he could get to a command prompt and turn off this process. Thank God he was not in Iraq; it would have been one month to get that DVD! NOW, WHAT KIND OF COMPANY HAS SOFTWARE THAT FORCES A PERSON TO SPEND MORE MONEY JUST TO MAKE IT WORK? VERY ANGRY!!!!!!

"Think about that, Lee. Here is a great kid serving his country and getting shot at; he doesn't need any more crap in his life. But he had to put up with Vista's poorly designed software and be knocked out of the loop for three or four days, and had he not had a dad who knows computers, his computer would have been totally useless..."

Well, first of all, Mike, sincere thanks and respect to your son for his service to our country. Your editor has a couple of cousins who are about to ship out to Iraq, and obviously we all pray that they (and your son, wherever he is) can do their jobs effectively and come home safely. And, yes, you have every right to be angry. There might be nothing more frustrating than having a computer stuck in an infinite loop -- except maybe having to FedEx a recovery disk to that computer's owner for $26. We're actually gritting our teeth just thinking about it, and we're sorry that you and your son had to go through that. We love your passion, though -- please drop us a line more often!

OK, that's it for this week's Vista rants. If you just have to get something off your chest about anything you read in RCPU, send your message to [email protected]. And thanks to all those who have written recently. Keep 'em coming.

Posted by Lee Pender on October 23, 2008