Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Vista: Mostly Annoying

A friend of mine dropped by for dinner the other day. We had a lot of fun, and he also brought his Lenovo laptop for the rider. He's been having some problems with the Vista operating system and I offered to help.

I don't use Vista myself. I have no intentions of doing so in the near future, either. I have seen Vista on other people's computers, and I knew instantly it would be a mistake to install it. The different horror-reviews I have seen all over the net only made me more confident in my decision. I have XP on my laptop and Windows 2000 on my desktop - ironclad OS that runs smoothly.

My friend's laptop is brand new - about a month old. He didn't install anything horrible on it (except some sort of a Symantec Anti-Virus, which we will remove ASAP). He has 1 GB of RAM. It's not an expensive computer, but it should do its job. Basic stuff like surfing the net, creating presentations and storing pictures. Nothing fancy, right?

Well, wrong. The computer is slow, annoying and full of stupid little bugs - all because of the not-so-wonderful Vista.

First thing we tried to do, was connect to my home wireless network. Denied. The computer connected to the net but I couldn't use the internet. Since we didn't have much time to play with TCP/IP settings, I decided to try and make the laptop a bit faster and more convenient, by removing some unneeded features and tweaking the interface.

The annoying Vista kept bugging me with "are you sure" kind of questions, for every little move. The pseudo-friendly names for the different elements in the control-panel aren't making things easier - I had to scan the list a few times in order to understand where are the settings I need to handle. Installing drivers for something simple as a Disk-On-Key seemed to take ages. The graphics and effects are redundant, resource-consuming and silly (the "Gadgets" thing on the desktop is especially moronic), and the main feeling is that Vista thinks it's smarter than the average human, and can solve all its problems by itself.

Well, it couldn't. It didn't solve the wireless problem (other computers connected perfectly), it didn't help to improve the system's performance and most of all - it makes the probing and tweaking very difficult.

Since that little meeting with Vista, I had gone online and did some research on how to tweak it and force it into something a normal human can enjoy. I'm going to recommend to my friend to format and install XP. If he doesn't feel like it, I'll do my best to help fix all of the problems, but I'm pretty sure it will be far from perfect.

I have been warning people from Vista from the moment it came out. Not because I tried and tested it, but because of a simple rule - Never install a new Microsoft product. Wait AT LEAST two years for most of the bugs to die. And even then - reconsider. My little meetings with Vista only proved me right. The fact the Microsoft is silently "allowing" vendors to sell PCs with XP again, just fortifies the claim - Vista is far from being the OS of the future. It's just another bad Microsoft product.


Anonymous said...

You stated you were NOT a Vista expert. And it shows. Most of the things you ranted about, were not issues at all but merely a feature.

You might as well go grab a scalpel and go find a heart patient.

Revital Salomon said...

Anonymous dear, you just don't get it. I am a proficient computer user. Vista is supposed to be simple and plain - so the AVERAGE computer user can enjoy and operate it. But it's not. If you have to be an expert to operate the basic features in Vista, than the entire OS is worthless.

BTW - I managed to fix the problems eventually, but that still doesn't make Vista a good OS. It's actually pretty lousy.

Anonymous said...

I liked your post... and just wanted to add a little. I am in a University and the latest fashion seems to be laptops! And since pretty much all of the new ones come with Vista, there are a ton of frustrated students around (mostly because no one can connect to the university's network without asking for technical help) I've suggested to many of my friends to back away from Vista (bugs, annoying pop-ups, short battery life, etc.) but none wanted to sacrifice the "look" of Vista for the dull interface of XP. But they were the first to complain about their PC being too slow or taking too much time to load.

But there's still some good in Vista after all. Some features do (and will increase) productivity, granted the aformentionned bugs don't get too much in the way. And that intergrated voice recognition system is really good but MOST users I've asked didn't even know they had such a feature installed with their OS!

XP for now.... Vista eventually.

Anonymous said...

I have been using Vista on my home computers since beta and haven't had any major problems. I would even say it is more stable than XP. I have had several programs crash in such a way that would usually result in a hard reset of XP, but Vista is able to recover just fine and only the offending application needs to be restarted. However, I think the main issue with Vista is that it takes more resources than XP, but this is to be expected in a new OS with a more graphic intensive GUI. The problem is that XP is hardly a challenge for even the lowest end computer you can buy from a retail location, but the same can't be said for Vista. It is a shame that some manufactures will sell computers with such limited resources that Vista barely runs on them, but these same machines will run XP just fine. One final note, before you reformat a Vista machine to XP be sure to check the manufacturers website for XP drivers I know many companies do not provide any XP drivers so you may have some driver issues if you switch.