Thursday, August 28, 2008

Why I Hate Vista

Let's be clear, I don't actually hate Vista. I hate child predators and vicious criminals. I don't hate software. That being said, there are some significant issues that I have with Microsoft's Vista and I still encourage all of my customers to avoid it.

First and foremost, I don't like eye candy software. Every time you animate an icon or add some neat effect to the opening and closing of a window, you are wasting system resources. That automatically means that we need to spend more money on more robust computers to handle all the pretty colors. Frankly, I purchase computers to get work done and to make me work more efficiently. I don't care for pretty colors and cute animations. To that end, Vista's Areo is a waste of resources.

Second, it took until the Vista Service Pack 1 updates before it could even be on par with Windows XP Pro. That is unacceptable. A new operating system should be surperior to an older operating system from day one, not 15 months later. This is just bad software development.

Third, for some reason Microsoft stopped supporting IPX/SPX. This is minor but I have several clients with old Novell legacy systems that work just fine. However, now they have to consider upgrading all those Novell legacy systems if they want to continue upgrading their Windows-based desktops. I realize that IPX/SPX is a dead protocol but there is no sense in removing support for it especially when there are numerous companies that still rely on it. For all my impacted customers I am recommending a shift to Ubuntu since it provides all the services they need and saves them money by keeping their older PC's online.

Fourth, too many online tweaks and recommended fixes require me to access the Windows registry. Don't get me wrong, I have no fear of the registry, but I think it's completely ridiculous that important settings can only be adjusted in that cryptic nightmare. All settings should be accessible through the control panel. Period.

Lastly, I think it is ridiculous to have multiple versions of the same product. Windows 95 did not have four editions and it sold just fine. While I realize that the various editions are more of a marketing/sales element, it is simply a waste. At most, Micrsoft should limit itself to releasing two versions of all future desktop operating systems, Home and Professional. The Home edition will keep things simple and streamlined for the typical home user that might not be very computer savvy. The Professional edition will include all the powerhouse features needed to run a business. When you examine the Vista editions feature comparison, you will note the differences between editions is not significant enough to justify 4 different versions of the same product. Especially when one of the differences is 3 more video games.

I could keep ranting but I will stop here. The point is that Microsoft has to start listening to the user community and understanding what it is that we are trying to accomplish with computers. We don't need four editions of the same thing, we need one edition that works well and performs the function of a computer operating system. We want to be able to make changes through the Control Panel and not the registry. We need to be able to easily shut off animations and other system resource hogs. But most importantly, we expect a new operating system to be superior to the old. And that is why Microsoft is having so many problems selling Vista.


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