Vista vs XP: Where is Windows Going?

Posted October 9, 2007 9:27 am by with 62 comments

Last week, I wrote up a quick article discussing my reasons for downgrading from Windows Vista to Windows XP on my primary desktop. I was taken aback by the comments. Some agreed with me and some took it upon themselves to attack me for saying it. Instead of shrinking from anything, I decided to debate them in the comments. I was accused of spreading propaganda. I was accused of not being computer literate and using shoddy reasoning to take shots at Windows Vista. I responded to each of these, but I was really left wondering why this subject drives people to get so defensive.

My Response

Before I go on, I will first make a few things clear. I know I am in a position where what I post can sway people to or from a particular operating system. There are a lot of people who read what I say here on this site. So, I know full well that if I bash Vista, there are some who will make decisions based on that. That said, I am glad I moved back to Windows XP on this machine. And it comes down to one thing:

Windows XP Simply WORKS! Period. Case closed.

I can’t say the same for Windows Vista – yet. And that is my qualifier here. Windows Vista IS better than XP was when it was first released to the public. With XP, it really wasn’t until after SP2 that it became as solid as it is. So, good effort, Microsoft. But, the thing is that as it sits now, Windows XP SP2 is a more stable and faster operating system than Windows Vista.

If you get Windows Vista on a fully proprietary machine pre-loaded, chances are it will work fine. And that is because the manufacturer has ironed out all the driver issues for you. But, if you buy Vista off the shelf and load it onto your machine yourself (proprietary or not), you may run into trouble. Some of the commenters in my last article kept brining up third-party software and drivers as the point of blame. They have a point, but it is short-sighted to say Microsoft is just an innocent pawn in this game. Vista is an absolute beast of an operating system, larger than any other OS in Microsoft history. The development time line kept getting pushed back and things were changing the entire time. In other words, the development time frame of Windows Vista was anything but straight-forward. Yes, they had a long beta period with Vista. But, it was a beta period wrought with unpredictabilities. If a company is trying to program solid drivers for such an operating system, it is hard to do so in such an environment.

Are third party drivers at fault for Vista instability? Yes, some. But, I think Microsoft didn’t exactly help with that problem with the constant delays of an RTM version of Vista. And enough things changed internally with Vista that some software needs overhaul in order to work properly. I know when I moved to Vista I had to upgrade at least two major applications I used just to get it to function under Vista. You multiply this issue out across the wide array of system configurations and software titles on the market and you can see why there are so many people having instability issues with Windows Vista. A search for “vista problems” on Google will give you almost 42 million results!

So, I don’t completely blame Microsoft for this problem. But, some of that blame does indeed sit at the door of Redmond. Absolutely.

Where is Windows Going?

For me, this is the question. Windows has evolved to a point where it is a beast that has built up over the years, almost to the point where I don’t even know if Microsoft fully understands how it works anymore. It strikes me as an operating system that started out with a core kernel and then got buried over time with corrections upon corrections, patches upon patches, almost to the point where Microsoft is losing sight of where it is going with this thing. In fact, in the Wikipedia entry talking about the development of Windows Vista, it states:

In a September 23, 2005 front-page article on The Wall Street Journal, Microsoft co-president Jim Allchin, who had overall responsibility for the development and delivery of Windows, explained how development of Longhorn was “crashing into the ground” due in large part to the haphazard methods by which features were introduced and integrated into the core of the operating system, without a clear focus on an end-product.

Is Windows bloated? Yes. Is it probably now too internally complicated? Yes. Windows is now a core OS that is buried so deep in little features, utilities, and system specific features that it now requires a full DVD just to fit in (as Windows Vista does). Logic usually tells you that power comes with simplicity. And as Windows moves further from it’s simplicity, my gut tells me that it will only become less powerful. Unix is so powerful and popular in intense server environments because it is simple and stable. Windows is not, and I personally have not used a Windows server that did not crash and become problematic over time.

Windows Vista is a good operating system that will get better over time, despite it being on bloated ground. Yes, at this point, I’m happy with XP. XP works. Vendors have dealt with any idiosyncrasies so that most everything works fine under Windows XP. Vista is not at that point yet. It will get there. But, then what are we left with? A big, beefier version of Windows that doesn’t really do anything new, but looks good.

Where Windows is going depends greatly on how Microsoft handles their next release of Windows. In my opinion, I think Windows needs to return to it’s core values. It needs to simplify. It needs to drop the bloat and drop some of these arcane features that could just as easily be done by third-party or even Microsoft add-ons. But, add-ons, nonetheless. I also think the next version of Windows needs to drop some of it’s backward compatibility. See, Microsoft tries to make Windows all things to all people. While the hardware requirements continually increase, they make an effort to make Windows backward compatible with a whole range of older software. The problem is that this leads to more bloat and code relics that can lead to problems.

I think Windows needs a ground-up rewrite. Other tech pundits agree as well. Bring it up to the times (like Vista) but without having to also run everything else under the sun. It will alienate some, but that is called evolution.

Wouldn’t it be ironic if we ever saw a Windows core which was based on Unix? Probably will never happen, but I can dream.

Microsoft is At a Crossroads

If Windows continues to bloat unabated, I think the Windows brand will subside over time. You will begin to find more Windows virtual machines rather than Windows as the primary OS. More computing activity is going online anyway. People want things that work and are simple. And lightweight is usually the better way to go. Perhaps we will eventually see more Linux machines running Windows in a virtual environment. We are already seeing more Apple computers running Windows inside of Parallels. Will this trend continue?

I hope that Vista represents the last beast version of Microsoft Windows. We don’t need a car with more bells and whistles. We need a car that just works – every time you use it. Sometimes a Honda Civic is just more reliable than the fanciest Ford. With the next version of Windows after Vista, let’s hope they give us a Honda Civic and not a Hummer.

If they do that, driver manufacturers will have an easier time. Microsoft themselves will have a MUCH easier time and it won’t take almost 6 years to develop a questionable upgrade. And users will be happy. At least I will be.

62 responses to Vista vs XP: Where is Windows Going?

  1. Hitchface October 9th, 2007 at 1:46 pm

    Man…I hear ya. One of the awesome simple things that I like about Linux is that you can develop your own flavor of it with simple managers. Microsoft might do well to follow that example and keep all of it’s widgets and add-ons as just that: add-ons. Give the people a central location that they can go to add on those features that they want. And, the same as the Add/Remove feature that is used in Linux, make it easy to uninstall those apps. No bloat, no useless widgets (I use that as a blanket term), and no extras unless you want them.

    That is only one thing to improve, but it sure would help the stability, like you said, if they just made things simpler.

        Reply

  2. THIERRY October 9th, 2007 at 1:57 pm

    I think the point that you try to get across is viable and sustainable. But as you mention, over time it will get better if the Board compromise by keep it as simple as Lunix. Vista does nothing new unless being resource hog.

    THIERRY.

        Reply

  3. Hitchface October 9th, 2007 at 7:41 pm

    That, of course, isn’t to say that it should become Linux, but heck man, a good idea is a good idea, regardless of who thinks of it, right?

        Reply

  4. wolverine October 10th, 2007 at 3:57 am

    Nice article man !!
    But there is one more thing that is price I don’t know about the US Retail prise but here the price of Windows XP professional is almost same as the Vista’s home basic edition and that can be also a issue specially for big companies who pay huge licensing fees. Its really hard to upgrade entire structure’s operating system which not only cost more from software side but also its heavy when it comes to upgrading hardware and that also when it does not improve any functionality but create some more issues.

        Reply

  5. Silicon Avatar October 15th, 2007 at 11:26 am

    I read all this same stuff about XP when it came out. Now journalists are making the same editorials about Vista. What is the big surprise here? That people like to read the same stories over and over?

        Reply

  6. Scott October 15th, 2007 at 11:43 am

    Wait a minute, you’ve contradicted yourself again in this article. You claim to have had several software compatibility problems with Vista that required you to upgrade to new ‘Vista compatible’ versions, then claim one of the main problems with Vista is that it is coded to be backwards compatible with ‘everything under the sun’. Do you realize how much old code and old compatibility was thrown in the trash with Vista? The list of legacy programs/games that do NOT work on Vista is larger than any previous version of Windows. It is because Vista throws away so much legacy compatibility that people are encountering problems like you did.

    You are right that Vista is not very compatible with a lot of software and that’s part of its problem, but the cause of that problem is due to how much legacy compatibility Microsoft decided to throw away. Legacy compatibility isn’t exactly Vista’s biggest bloat problem by any stretch of the imagination, it’s ‘bloatiness’ largely comes from NEW code (and media) added to it for its ‘new features’. And that NEW code is what is largely responsible for its massive size and other compatibility problems… especially problems related to hardware.

    I agree with your conclusion however. Windows does need to get back to basics. Provide a simple, fast, clean, efficient, user fiendly environment with optional add-ons for various features users might want and need… letting the user choose how much of that ‘bloat’ to install.

        Reply

  7. StanB October 15th, 2007 at 1:22 pm

    Hard to believe you where attacked for posting an informed opinion.

    The facts remain the facts. I can only speak for a small segment of the Overclcoking community but my conclusion is very similar. Bottom line, XP works & it’s faster.

        Reply

  8. JimN October 15th, 2007 at 6:26 pm

    I downgraded from Vista to XP for many of the same reasons. I’m a hardcore gamer, primarily WoW and a few FPS games. I have regretted upgrading to Vista since pretty much the second week I was using it.

    XP is more stable, has better driver support, and runs faster for what I want to do than Vista.

        Reply

  9. JK October 15th, 2007 at 8:32 pm

    For the most part I agree with this article. However, there are two points which I think the author doesn’t quite get right.

    1 – Vista works much better with graphics hardware than any other operating system. I am not talking about rendering the desktop using hardware acceleration, that is purely cosmetic. I am talking about virtualization of graphics card memory, which any graphics programmer will realize as a major step forward. I am currently working on a graphics application which effectivly cannot run without this feature, and as more games and graphics-heavy programs start to take advantage of Vista’s graphics capabilities (instead of just porting XP style code into Vista) there will be a compelling reason to upgrade. I realize that this will not be a change which takes place overnight (DirectX 10 or later hardware is required to take full advantage of these systems), but I belive it will be significant.

    2 – The reason XP is so popular is because it just works – with all the applications people want to run. In other words, it is very backwards compatable. Vista (rightly) puts limits on the amount of backwards compatability in order to reduce feature clutter, and yet without exception everyone who doesn’t like Vista cites a program which no longer runs as a major reason. There really is no correct answer to this problem for MS, because backwards compatability is almost the only advantage windows has over every other OS. I think the ballance they have achieved is a reasonable solution to the problem, although probably not optimal.

    I currently have Vista as my only OS, and the few problems I have run into have not been hard to fix. I realize not everyone has advanced degrees in computer science (as I do), and so it might not be a good idea for everyone to upgrade right away. When better drivers become available, though, Vista will be a step forward from XP.

        Reply

  10. Hitchface October 16th, 2007 at 1:21 am

    The only thing you need to do to reduce feature clutter is to not include extra features. If someone wants to be able to read an outdated word file, enable a repository equivalent where they can get a compatibility pack. That way people get what they need without excess bloat.

        Reply

  11. Gizmo [gamer] October 16th, 2007 at 8:21 am

    I really enjoyed the article and agree mostly. I will continue using Vista as I personaly enjoy it [good with bad], but eagerly await the infomous SP1 which microsoft reserves the right to deny [for sales reasons of course]. We reserve the right to try and buy.

        Reply

  12. DrCR October 16th, 2007 at 11:47 am

    “Wouldn’t it be ironic if we ever saw a Windows core which was based on Unix? Probably will never happen, but I can dream.”

    Hey, you stole my comment from your last post!
    http://www.pcmech.com/article/why-i-downgraded-to-windows-xp-from-vista/

    NOt upset with you though…hopefully the concept will spread like wildfire and include MS management. :)

    DrCR

    _______________

        Reply

  13. FS October 16th, 2007 at 11:45 pm

    There’s nothing bloated about Vista. If you don’t like the new features, don’t use them, but they don’t bloat or bog or slow down the kernel.

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  14. FS October 17th, 2007 at 12:08 am

    I’m sorry, your article is just a rant. Why the hell did you even mention Unix? For rewriting the core? Dumb. Its just too random, it’s almost like saying “Wouldn’t it be ironic if we ever saw a Windows core which was based on McDonalds…” As if your rant didn’t use the word bloat enough you salted the article with linux/unix propaganda.

    Why the hell are servers and unix always brought into these discussions. Yea, unix/servers, great combination, why don’t you mention games and unix… ohhh because the unix kernel is horrible at gaming. All the versions of linux and even apple’s coveted 0S/X are garbage for gaming.

    Since the early days of dos to windows 95 to windows xp microsoft has engineered it’s OS for gaming/performance. Finally with Vista microsoft threw out their old API and fully integrated their next directx tech.

    I’ll take the Hummer over a Civic any day.

        Reply

  15. FS October 17th, 2007 at 1:13 pm

    If Vista is bloated and linux is so lightweight, why then does linux use more wattage than vista?

    http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=article&item=880&num=2

        Reply

  16. Hitchface October 17th, 2007 at 1:18 pm

    Oi, FS, no need to get all huffy. The reference to Linux was because it runs a more efficient platform. So it uses more power (no more than 3 watts more I might add) but it doesn’t degrade over time like a Windows registry does. That was, in part, why Linux was brought up. And from that article you posted:

    “Granted, this test isn’t very controlled and was just intended to give a rough overview.”

        Reply

  17. Windows Vista News October 28th, 2007 at 1:00 am

    Vista vs XP: Where is Windows Going?…

    Interesting: http://www.pcmech.com...

        Reply

  18. BrainDrain November 4th, 2007 at 10:16 pm

    I seriously I agree with you. My Dell Laptop came bundled with Windows Vista Premium. I don’t how others found vista but I’ll tell you straight vista is fraught with instabilities and bloatware. XP Pro IS THE better OS. Better in this case is more stable, reliable and faster. What this inevitably boils down to in the end is user use and preference. You want aesthetics at the expense of software compatibility and reliability then Vista is right up your alley. If stability and speed are more crucial than just a pretty GUI Vista will lose hands down.

        Reply

  19. Scorpion80 November 13th, 2007 at 1:32 pm

    I have to agree with this article. Another thing I think people don’t realize is that Windows Vista (which I have) was designed to be more than just pretty. I’ve read a lot of tech stuff about this OS and there’s so much that it does differently than XP and previous OS’s. It renders windows in a completely different way, has newer/different file optimizations, etc… It may not appear that this OS does much more or any newer things compared to XP, but one thing I’m trying to say is that it’s not so much about how much more Vista does, it’s about how it does things. Vista has been designed to be ready for future hardware and is implamenting new ways of interacting with the hardware. I think as long as MS is trying new things, and as long as the technology is new, there are going to be problems, XP was also very problematic and it still had LOTS in common with Win2k, ME, 98, etc… There was so much in XP that was the same as those other previous versions, just a new skin put over it and it had problems. Vista got rid of a lot of that to move forward and be prepared. I expected it to have problems. I don’t think anyone else should have expected it to be prefect.

        Reply

  20. Amy November 14th, 2007 at 9:12 am

    I feel that XP is better because it is faster. Bottom line

        Reply

  21. Saul November 16th, 2007 at 2:01 am

    I tried vista when it first came out…I had problems with my drivers…so i went back to xp…I just recently tried to install again…and stiil got issues with the drivers…VISTA LOOKS GOOD…thats it period…but XP defenetely gots the SKILLZ…

        Reply

  22. hitchface November 16th, 2007 at 1:45 pm

    I’m not even sure I can say that I like the eye candy in Vista. I guess the big one here is that Vista is “pretty” and OS X is “slick”. I’ll take slick over pretty any day.

        Reply

  23. salesguy December 4th, 2007 at 9:21 am

    I would like to point out, once again, what seems to be the major issue. You spent, what, a week working with a majorly changed OS. You complain about backwards compatability, yet continue to point out they removed alot of the coding. Baseline, you came in with a negative opinion, searched out what everyone else says is wrong with it, and then bashed it. Try using the features INSTEAD of just searching the issues. It is here, not leaving, and people (as well as software companies) need to suck it up and do their job

        Reply

  24. David Risley December 4th, 2007 at 9:36 am

    salesguy, gimme a break.

    (1) You assume I had only worked with Vista a week. Wrong. I used it for many weeks on my primary work desktop, and STILL use it on my laptop.
    (2) I did not come in with a negative opinion. What gave you that idea?
    (3) Do you HONESTLY think that I search Google for other people’s opinions, THEN post here on PCMech? Do you HONESTLY think PCMech.com would have been around this long and gotten this popular if I was merely a parrot for others out there?

    I have been a long time user of Windows. I still use Vista on my laptop. I am now using OS X on my main machine.

    If you’re going to bother posting such a comment, you should at least have inside knowledge of the way I work. Which you don’t.

        Reply

  25. Mark December 14th, 2007 at 2:43 am

    Look. Just get a Mac.

        Reply

  26. J-guy December 18th, 2007 at 1:53 am

    Hi,
    I really liked your article. Instead of Just being Vista or Mac Biased you have a pretty valid point. To me the bottom line is simple. Xp Works (I have a laptop(mac), and my desktop was vista – downgraded to XP Pro).
    Recently i had to buy a new OS. I decided to go mac – simply because i have used it, and i haven’t had any trouble at all, My printers, games and software works FINE with mac. Although it may seem like im Mac sided, im not. I actually think for some reason, i have a feeling that MS works better on the Apple platform.
    So seeing i have owned both OS i think at the moment, Mac > Vista. To be honest, if you think of buying a new computer. Go Apple Leopard and buy parallels.

    Also, I would take a civic over a hummer any day. Works, and also i cant afford the gas guzzling hummer.

        Reply

  27. Best PCMech Posts of 2007 » PC Mechanic December 31st, 2007 at 10:16 am

    [...] Vista vs XP: Where is Windows Going? 6 years of development and Vista was the best they could do. It begs the question: What now? [...]

        Reply

  28. The Fish January 12th, 2008 at 5:17 pm

    I agree with this article. I am a Linux-only, kinda guy. I have XP installed for those rogue programs, but I mainly stay out of it. Every problem that I run into when I want to run something, I find a fix. While everyone is flaming David, you’re not listening to what he said. To get Vista to work reasonably, you have to find fixes and patch this and update that. With Win XP SP2, I haven’t had to patch anything in a long time to get a program to work. Read what he types before you go and attack his opinion.

        Reply

  29. Bo January 15th, 2008 at 8:43 pm

    After wrestling with other’s Vista systems I knew I did not want it.
    I just bought a new home computer. I usually build my own but I went with a cheap Dell that I’ll beef up later because they are the only ones that would let me have XP. HP would not let me have XP. Does Bill own HP also?

        Reply

  30. Dave January 17th, 2008 at 12:12 pm

    Is XP Word compatible with the Vista version. Someone I know has just got a Vista laptop and on her work XP PC can’t access the Vista Word files she did her stuff on. Is this normal? Sorry to ask such a dumb question but I can’t find an answer elsewhere.

    Thanks

        Reply

  31. Poopstainthevistaandxp January 17th, 2008 at 6:44 pm

    yeah, i just read David’s comment to sales guy. He’s right you know, salesguy. Posting a comment like that without inside knowledge–that’s like, well, telling somebody how to do their job. I don’t know what you do for a living (unless you’re a bum and have no job. I don’t know–that’s on you if yes or no), but wouldn’t you find it irritating if a guy on welfare who never did a day of work in his life came up to you and said “Dude, you’re doing it wrong… idiot, you’re not suppose to do this, or that, or whatever, bla bla bla” I’d get irritated anyways if somebody did that. I’d at least want to know they work BY MY SIDE and know what they’re talking about before they state an opinion about my work. even though everyone is entitled to their opinion, it’d still upset me cuz they don’t work with me. Really frustrated. Then again, i think I just told Microsoft how to do their job–well anyways. That’s my hypocritical moment for the day. I love America–we all get a chance to be a little hypocritical. But this is off the point. Don’t care about hypocrisy. Anyways. This is between David and sales guy. I just wanted to be nosy for a sec. and bud in because nobody can do anything about it. which felt good. Made me laugh in the privacy of my own home… and that’s it. I had fun.

        Reply

  32. Poopstainthevistaandxp January 17th, 2008 at 6:51 pm

    FS??? “There’s nothing bloated about Vista. If you don’t like the new features, don’t use them, but they don’t bloat or bog or slow down the kernel.” DON”T USE THE NEW FEATURES ARE YOU CRAZY??? THE FACT THAT THOSE FEATURES EXIST ON THE OPERATING SYSTEM IS BAD ALONE!!! Like the google desktop–I was once asked if i wanted to install it. Well, hmm. That’s nice that I have an option to put on my computer WHAT I WANT. I spent like $800 for this pile of hardware and I can’t decide what I wnat on it? No, instead, I have to simply “LIVE WITH IT” you say. Fine we the people of pc users will live with it as you suggest oh wise and all knowing. but you have to pay for all our costs okay? And share the burden of our rage when something exists on our harddrive that we don’t want there. Like a google desktop–oh wait, google was the nice people who respected our freedom to decide. Thanks google!!!

        Reply

  33. Poopstainthevistaandxp January 17th, 2008 at 7:12 pm

    so no, Silicon Avatar, we are not talking about the same thing over and over. There is a difference between xp and xp sp2. Either way, it all costs too much. I need a desktop right now, and I can’t freaking afford one!!! And when I actually save my pennies for one, gues what? I open the box, spend a few moments on it, and suddenly have problems! This is what fustrats me, and then people make comments to live with it, work to find the drivers, work to get it workING. I know what you all are saying, but I also know the justice in this matter. This is why I posted so often here. It is a very bothersome topic for me. In my opinion, i think Microsoft should include a second “UPDATE” feature like automatic updates.This second feature does the work for me when i’m trying to find the latest drivers for my hardware. I play games, and my video card and such require the latest drivers. Well, Microsoft SHOULD do the work for us, and so should all the other manufacturers.

        Reply

  34. Poopstainthevistaandxp January 17th, 2008 at 7:20 pm

    Dell, Linux, Apple, Microsoft, Toshiba, HP, E-machines, Gateway, and all you who tie in with these sorts of businesses… i and consumers pay lots of money for things like this. Its all too expensive! And I can understand things aren’t going to %100 perfect. This isn’t what i’m saying–problems aren’t really the issue for me, and i’m not sure about others. My issue is that I pay so much for these products and even while ordering something like when i orderd this laptop $800! I asked if I could keep off that extra advertisment crap, they said no. That’s not right!!! I don’t think that’s being fair to the custumer!!! And when an opperating system such as Vista is so huge that it confuses me, and I contact Acer and HP and request XP instead of Vista (i know how to use xp) I get very angry. That isn’t right!! How long down the road till XP is no longer sold on shelves like we don’t find 98 anymore sold–we have problems with an operating system–illiterate computer users may not want to purchase a computer again–because none of us are really being respected as customers like we deserve! I got better treatment in Wal-mart than I did when I was making a deal with Dell, E-machines, and HP. I just get fed-up is all. These opperating systems should just work at least well enough I don’t have a computer to fix problems isntead of the main reaosn for buying one (TO USE IT?) No, I buy one to fix issues. THis isn’t right at all.

        Reply

  35. Windows Vista Turns One Today » PC Mechanic January 31st, 2008 at 4:32 pm

    [...] arrived. By October, I downgraded back to Windows XP. I was left wondering where the hell Windows was going? Is this all they can give me? Then, when Apple released OS X Leopard, I went out and bought a Mac. [...]

        Reply

  36. Jake February 6th, 2008 at 3:27 am

    What about XP Pro x64 vs. Vista? Do you think the driver issues that exist with both are about the same. Which OS would you choose?

        Reply

  37. chris March 5th, 2008 at 7:29 am

    Guys, i have a real doubt when i read all the articles that speaks about vistas greatness. Do we really need to upgrade to a system with a powerful processor and gigs of memory for the OS??
    Does that makes sense? I mean, the applications that i run hardly needs that high end configuration. I mean, that does not makes any sense. To all those guys who are getting carried away in the Vista wave, Plz come back to reality, i know hardware prices are on a decline, but that is not a excuse to put a crappy product into the market.

        Reply

  38. ace March 22nd, 2008 at 11:21 am

    fact xp is better than vista but windows itself is a poor OS full of security holes the idea of a unix based windows OS wouldnt be bad at all but why deal with MS problems when there plenty of better OS out like linux freeBSD mac OS X and so on grant it nothing will ever be perfect but windows has been always full of glitches, security holes and other problems why deal with it i got fed up with vista because
    the two words i saw the most was “not responding” i wanted to throw my laptop at the wall then i installed ubuntu and all was good but im going to buy a mac anyway i say get a mac

        Reply

  39. SIA March 24th, 2008 at 10:44 pm

    Heh. Sounds to me like all you people just don’t want to buy a decent computer, and would rather keep your crappy four-year old E-Machines surplus systems. I, personally, have had NO problems whatsoever with my Dell Inspiron 1520. Got it for $800 around Christmas, with Vista Home Premium installed. Works a heck of a lot better then XP ever did.

    Apparently, you all see a different Start button then that disgusting Teletubby one in XP, and your “mentally challenged” brains go haywire.

    ~SIA

        Reply

    • ace March 31st, 2008 at 7:22 am

      sia you must love fixing problems since you love vista thats all ive ever done on my vista machine in fact i had the task bar dissapear once and no matter what i did what short cut i tried i wouldnt kome back and couldnt do much since it wasnt there after a few hours it froze so plus some windows would just close for no reason what kan i say windows is going to hell i think so as i said get a mac

          Reply

      • SIA March 31st, 2008 at 5:52 pm

        Hey. I don’t love Vista. It has its share of problems. I’m just saying that people need to stop acting like you all are.

        That’s the reason Vista is buggy: it has to support people like you that want to run ancient programs on new operating systems and vice-versa.

        I don’t have to fix anything on my laptop, pretty much. A few things break, but hey, that’s technology. The first time I booted XP, I was stuck for an hour when the “Next” button vanished. The first time I booted Vista, it was perfectly fine and ran like a charm.

        Evolve or be buried. That’s what I say.

            Reply

  40. d metcalf March 28th, 2008 at 6:52 pm

    you’re right about someone, like me, using your information to decided the os on a new laptop. I’m going to grad school and I don’t need the hassle of trying to figure out if my laptop will work. I’m currently using xp, and I’m ok with this because I know enough people to get me “un-stuck”. thank you for your honesty,
    “D”

        Reply

  41. Bo April 1st, 2008 at 2:28 pm

    Vista is just such a resource hog with a high price tag, and I still have to purchase Word to do word processing, it is just sickening. MS Office with some simple file storage underneath is all many people need.
    The real pisser, is that Vista is being forced through HP and Dell, unless you jump through some hoops to get XP. I hope the stain their name enough to give some competition some room in the market.

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  42. BEDABALL April 4th, 2008 at 11:27 am

    About 7 months ago i purchased a acer aspire pc with vista home premium installed. i was very exited about this because i had played around with a Vista demo at bestbuy and it seemed like an awsome os. so I took it home and everything worked fine for about a month. i am a hardcore gamer who was playing games such as call of duty 4, and rouge spear (newest.) and then the compatability issues sttarted. first I attempted to play silent hunter III when i did, I discovered vista wouldnt read the StarForce security program on the game. i tried running it as an admin and it worked, problem solved. then i started trying to run older games (98 and 2000) and thats when the ever presistent,”This program has known compatibility issues with this version of windows” message started appearing. so in my opinion Vista is a good machine for bussines use but it is one of the worst os’s for gaming I have ever used.

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  43. Ramon April 10th, 2008 at 7:33 pm

    For 300 dollars .. I EXPECT it to be PERFECT

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  44. zomicon May 4th, 2008 at 4:30 am

    My two cents: I need to buy a new laptop because my old one stopped working. I do most of my work on a desktop I built in 2002 that runs XP. At that point it was a very performance oriented machine, near the top of the line, but built with a definite eye toward value. I realize that even the cheapest laptop will crush my old desktop in terms of performance, but I keep waiting to buy a new rig mostly because of the vista vs. XP debate.

    Bottom line: my old rig does everything I need it to do (web, word, excel, etc, occasional games + statistical analysis) and I know where everything is and how to fix it on my XP system. I was even able to play Witcher at low buy acceptable FP with a modest graphics upgrade. So I NEED a new laptop but I just don’t want to deal with the potential vista problems…I don’t want to buy a new printer, or router, or external hard drive, because they all work fine. Why should I have to upgrade my peripherals because my new lappy has Vista instead of XP?

    I am actually thinking of buying a Mac. Definitely not a fan boy, but I find myself thinking that I could run Leopard AND XP on the same machine without having to adopt Vista…yes, I am that scared. I hate bloat and I am tired of “features” that do nothing but complicate what used to be simple tasks. What do I care if the GUI is better? It would probably just piss me off anyway, because I already know how to do it all with my current system.

    Give me a true improvement or nothing…and by the way, bahh to all the security improvements…run the occasional virus scan and don’t open executables that are emailed and you are pretty much okay (at least in my experience).

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  45. mello May 31st, 2008 at 1:03 pm

    I agree with David (author)….XP jsut let me do almost everything i need. I have used Vista of my friend’s PC…i think its only eye candy.. for me XP is just as user friendly for me as Vista with a different taste and style…

    Vista will give you a little edge over Xp from a different perspective…That perspective is subjective with different persons…

    But for me that EDGE will not push me to use Vista..My old Athlon XP 2.6 with 256MB and bro’s and dad’s both latest & ultra faster acer Core2 Duos run by XP.

    SIMPLY XP PRO SATISFIES MY EVERY NEED!

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  46. mark July 3rd, 2008 at 7:43 am

    Thanks David
    Its refreshing to see what I believe is a balanced view of the two systems xp/vista. I have currently purchase a new laptop and had no choice in it’s os, so I got vista for the first time.
    I will agree with all of your discussion, vista is a hog. I am comparing it to my current desktop which runs xp pro and for all the normal day to day running xp represents the bar to which vista is yet to reach.

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  47. Patrick July 27th, 2008 at 12:45 am

    i just dont understand why hardly any companies offer windows xp and instructions for a vista upgrade when vista does become the better OS (as is bound to happen)
    which is really the big issue here: we spend hundreds of dollars on these machines and we should be able to do something as simple as have XP be on the computer and save all the hassle. then again microsoft can afford to have a few enemies

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  48. RJ August 23rd, 2008 at 1:28 am

    dude this article is like a breath of fresh air.
    it’s great to hear someone finally telling the truth Microsoft and their total and utter sleazyness. Windows has always been a fat and bloated OS, as was MS-DOS before it. something that will put things in perspective for you guys, the first version of Linux(command-line) made by the guy we all know and love, Linus, was much more powerful than Windows XP in terms of multitasking and long-term performance, with a ratio of 1:32(L:W) footprint on your hardware!!!!

    the bottom line: Linux is the One True Operating System of our time!!!

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  49. RB August 24th, 2008 at 6:19 am

    That’s crap about the 42 million problems in google search. There’s just over a million searches for vista problems as opposed to 750 thousand in XP. Simply because XP has had a LOT of time for getting stabilised. Vista is definitely much better with SP1 than XP with SP3. Face it guys, Vista’s the future… XP is outdated. Even games these days come with a “Games for Windows” logo which means it is optimised for Vista…not XP..XP’s gone, done, finished, over, out of the running. Vista rules..!!!!

    Proud owner of Vista Home Premium

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  50. Teri November 17th, 2008 at 1:29 pm

    Dear editor,
    From my limited experience with Vista, compaired to XP, I have to agree with you;that XP

    works better than Vista (as far as my own personal experience). one of the main programs

    that I used was Photo Shop, which I cannot seem to get to work from Vista, and my anti

    spy and firwall is all messed up. Maybe it’s my own doing, but until I setitchwed to

    Vista, I never had any problems. sometimes we should just “leave well enough alone”.

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  51. TS December 1st, 2008 at 9:16 pm

    I upgraded to vista on my desktop pc not to long ago and I wasn’t happy. The ONLY thing good about vista is that it is fancier than xp. Everything else is just irritating. Also, Microsoft put so much junk into vista that it uses up so much more memory than xp. I am the kind of person that just likes the classic look of windows and not all that fancy crap. Vista also has all that “permission” crap that you have to deal with. I went back to xp not very long after the upgrade and love xp even more. I don’t know if I will EVER go back to vista. It is the worst operating system ever created by any company. The next computer I buy will either be a windows that will be wiped clean of vista as soon as it comes out of the box, or I will just switch to Apple.

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  52. Mike March 23rd, 2009 at 7:51 pm

    David, I completely agree with your comments. If Microsoft continues trying to mesmerize users, rather than provide true functionality, more users will seek a performance alternative O/S to Windows. As a PC user, I am much more interested in performance, efficiency, and stability than useless eye catchers. I was a PC tech in the late 1990′s and Windows 2000 was a major breakthrough in Windows stability. I think Vista is a wrong turn. Vista’s excessive hard drive space requirements is a flaw and represents O/S inefficiency.

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  53. david coston April 13th, 2009 at 10:48 pm

    While I enjoyed reading your article it dawned on me that your talk of “The over complicated windows kernel buried in a history of patches etc. really is very inaccurate as Windows Vista is in fact a ground up rewrite of the Windows core for that very reason (The XP kernel however does suffer from this bloat and patch layering to the extent that Vista had to be re-written from the ground up.)
    Most of the Problems people are having with Vista are due to Microsoft doing what needed to be done and writing Vista core from scratch with a more modern, modular and secure architecture.
    I guess to sum it up I think Its not fair to bring up Vista/Windows development and just neglect to mention this, Like Vista is suffering from hand me down bloat!
    To be fair you need to mention that Vista is a massive ground up re-write (Minus the core file system) of the Windows Core.
    Best Regards, David Coston

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  54. Johan April 20th, 2009 at 1:29 am

    Just buy a mac they just work… Vista sucks!!!

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  55. James Newman April 26th, 2009 at 12:34 am

    My borther has Windows Vista on his new PC while I continue to use Windows XP on my PC. One thing which as put me off trying to install Windows Vista on my PC is the fact that you constantly get a message come up which requires you to confirm. This becomes rather annoying over time since it starts feeling like my computer is treating me like I retard.

    I’m not a retard, when I want to instal a program on my computer I don’t want my computer asking me if I’m sure all the time. Another thing with Vista which has put me off using it is its compatability with my software (Counter Strike, Elite Force 1 and 2, Transport Tycoon, etc, etc)

    Furthermore, Vista uses too much graphic hungry features (Aero) that is simply not needed. Some people may wish to have a large clock on the right hand side of their screen with shortcuts to programs but this is something which slows the system down and takes up resources.

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  56. noneofurbuisness May 4th, 2009 at 8:06 am

    absolutly spot on well done we nearly bought vista but because of you we bought xp instead which is working amazingly well i look forward to reading more of your great advice and if anyone else is reading this buy it or lose it your chice !!!!!!!!!!!

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  57. Ayequitas August 6th, 2009 at 3:56 am

    I have to say, I congratulate you for getting off Vista. I know some people may disagree with me on this point but to tell you the truth, Vista requires too many resources to be a decent OS. And those endless pop ups about if you’re sure you want to do something is annoying, and have yet to find a way to turn them off on my laptop, now I’m not saying Vista is a bad OS, you just need a pretty recent computer ( 1 1/2 years at the latest) to run it decently. So if you have an old computer like me, and need a good stable OS, use XP, but if you have a more recent computer, and you don’t mind occasional hiccups, then Vista is the way to go.

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  58. Harry Williams September 2nd, 2009 at 2:53 pm

    I have just received my new PC with Vista on it, and I have to say that I cannot wait to get back to XP. Whenever I try to install something, it always asks me if I am sure that I want to install something, even with the User Account Control turned off. It also is very hard to adjust from XP to Vista, as it is so stupidly organized. The way to the future is from the past.

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  59. Anderson September 20th, 2009 at 3:11 pm

    Vista is one of microsoft’s worst OS.
    A simple way to put things…Vista eats RAM.My sister’s laptop has 1gb Vista and it moves slow. My previous pc had 512mb with xp and moved much faster. However I bought a new system 6gb ram with vista but i will downgrade to xp.

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  60. XP 4ever September 30th, 2009 at 3:59 pm

    im 15 and i continue to use my XP that we got in 2003.
    my parents gave it to me after they got their vista…and guess what happened!?!
    battery doesnt charge (2nd one) gone through 4 or 5 power cords, crashes, blue screen of doom, and all that jazz.
    my XP runs beautifully and i love it. macs beat all though i must say…

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