Ways to sidestep Microsoft's five Vista reasons

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Clearly mindful that Vista is still yet to set the market on fire, Microsoft this week published a white paper explaining why businesses — and by extension, everybody — shouldn't hold back from adopting Vista, despite its promises that Windows 7 is only a couple of years away. Here's the five reasons in a nutshell, along with some suggestions for ways you could get the same results without installing Vista.

Improves security. Newness undoubtedly gives Vista an advantage, and there's User Account Control, assuming you can stand its endless and largely pointless prompting. (In 18 months, I've never had UAC warn me of a genuine threat.) In practice, you can get similar results with a combination of vigilance and some useful free software.
Works better on notebook computers. "Windows Vista can increase the productivity of mobile workers by reducing the amount of time they spend managing their hardware and data." This claim made me laugh out loud, given how frequently every Vista notebook I've used plays up. If you want a genuinely low-maintenance machine on the road, get an Eee PC and fit it out with wireless broadband.
Makes you more productive. The big selling point here is search, which is admittedly a lot better on Vista than XP. But if you want to search your own documents fast, Google Desktop is still a solid alternative, especially if you tweak it.
Easier to deploy across multiple PCs, and reduces support costs. For individuals, these are pretty much non-issues — so OK, that can almost go through to the keeper. Though the hassle of the Genuine Advantage program is a real pain if you have to reinstall even one copy. Roll on Windows 7.


Comments

    Denis, notice the double-barrelled last point.

    More head in the sand attitudes... that don't report ANY news, just seriously biased opinions.

    1 - Vigilance and common sense doesn't exist across the world of *normal* computer users

    2 - Of all the Vista laptops I've used, all of them last longer on the same battery (yes, XP upgraded to Vista on the same laptops) and all the users of said laptops say they can "get work done quicker" with Vista... so who's right? you or Gartner's 62% of people that say Vista is much easier and quicker to use than XP.

    3 - see Gartner's report

    4 - Vista's image based distribution is extremely important! How do you think all the OEM's install their customised XP and Vista onto their PCs? manually on each and every PC??? oh'come on!!

    5 - Windows 7 will be based upon the dramatically improved and much changed core OS of Vista. So those driver problems that people had with badly written nVidia drivers etc, will exist in 2 years time when Windows 7 is released.

    Of course, by then, people would have updated their old and slow 5 year old PCs to at least current generation hardware... so they'll have 'new' nVidia drivers etc - mind you, nVidia's appallingly badly programmed drivers are responsible for at least 80% of all XP BSOD's, who really knows what they'll experience!

    At least with Vista, Microsoft has completely changed the way graphics drivers are handled, so those particular problems are a thing of the past - even if nVidia's crappy drivers crash, your Vista won't BSOD. It is IMPOSSIBLE for XP to achieve that situation.

    It amazes me how there are certain people who continue to knock vista , for me I find Vista a great os and will go as far as to say the best from Microsoft yet. for the knockers of Vista I say move on, as xp , the old 98, or whatever still turns you on is now old and uninteresting. While some are so busy knocking vista they fail to realize that the problem is that they are trying to run Vista on some antiquated pc or under powered machine that should have been used for an anchor years ago, vista is not the problem, its the ignorance of users and some web sites who continually knock and fail to realize they have a hardware problem, not an os problem.

    Cheers,
    Bruce

    My own experience doesn't bear that out. I've only run Vista on brand-new machines certified to run it, always exceeding the minimum specs recommended by Microsoft and pre-installed by the manufacturer - so antiquated hardware isn't a problem. With all that going for it, it still runs like a dog, and I've consistently found it more unstable than XP. I accept that individual experiences differ, but I think it's hard to argue that the lukewarm reception Vista has received is purely down to user ignorance. I'm much less fussed about whether an OS is "old or uninteresting" than whether it works, and for my money, Vista does not work as well as XP, even 18 months down the track.

    Angus, a number of normal questions for you.

    1. what exact hardware did you try it on? "current" generation hardware and specifications of a normal PC these days is;
    at least 2Ghz "Dual Core 2" or similar (with 1333Mhz bus)
    at least 2Mb L2 cache
    at least 1Gb RAM (DDR2 or more current)
    at least 7200rpm SATA-II with 16Mb+ caching
    at least 256Mb graphics card

    2. Did you USE Vista for at least two weeks? (you do realise the various optimisation routines take around 1 week to complete their analysis of your "daily" application usages etc?)

    3. Exactly errors did you experience? Did you perform ANY error tracing to prove what may caused your experiences?

    4. After nearly 2 years of sales, Vista IS actually selling higher units than XP's first year of sales.

    How do you explain this as "lukewarm" reception?

    I use to use Vista on a 1.3Ghz, 1Gb, Pentium M, 64Mb graphics card with a 4200rpm hard drive... and it NEVER crashed, NEVER BSOD's, loaded drivers for ALL hardware... so yes, "individual" experiences will differ.

    Glen, I've run Vista for 18 months across 3 brand new machines, all exceeding the specs you list. Far too many errors to list here, including one networking problem that Microsoft's own professional support division gave up on after three months of trying. So it's not a case of me giving up quickly or using inappropriate hardware. It doesn't surprise that Vista has sold more than XP in the first 12 months -- it was a long-delayed OS, the overall market of PC buyers is larger, and MS was much more aggressive in pushing the newer OS to hardware manufacturers. I don't see it as a measure of consumer reaction, and the fact that Steve Ballmer has said that there needs to be more effort put into getting consumers excited about Vista suggests MS doesn't either.

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