Tag Archives: vista

Vista is a horrible piece of software

gmgDesign has an unusually weak post that criticizes technology users for disliking Microsoft Vista. Garrott mentions two valid complaints as valid — Vista’s poor performance and user-hostile interface — before dismissing them, and then says the real reason “geeks hate Vista” is

Because they’re supposed to. Because other Slashdot users loathe it. Because it’s Microsoft, and Microsoft is eeevil.

While “If everyone is doing something else, do the other” is valid in many parts of life, when applied to Vsita apologetics, it’s just embarrasing.

Here’s just five of the problems I’ve had with Vista:

1. The intergration of IE with Vista makes it impossible to downgrade the included Microsoft browser when it breaks
2. Many commonly-used elements, such as Add / Remove Programs and “Display Properties,” require the users to navigate different paths than in previous versions of Vista. This is worse than just throwing away years of experience: familiarity with Windows leads to negative transfer in Vista.
3. Vista’s display model breaks all previous VNC servers. If you don’t know what this is, or how it effectively forces the user to use a properitar, security-risky alternative like Mesh, you have no business defending Vista.
4. Vista’s multilanguage support is incoherently bad.
5. On a laptop, which came with Vista pre-installed, loading Control Panel is a task so processor intensive that it crashes before it renders.

It’s too clever by half to say that people dislike Vista because they dislike Microsoft. People dislike Vista because Vista is awful.

Further, I’ve been impressed after a watching a friend effortlessly install Windows 7 on a netbook, and the general excitement around Windows 7 shows a desire for a new, modern, and functional Operating System from Microsoft. Indeed, Windows XP and Windows 95 were welcomed by the community for just this reason.

But the ability to maek a good operating system (95, XP, etc) does not predict Microsoft from occasionally making clunkers (Me, Vista, etc.) Defending Vista shows not just an ignorance of operating system and user experience fundementals: it tricks both fellow users and even Microsoft employees into spending time and resources in wasteful and potentionally harmful ways, intsead of concentrating on how to use and build the Windows features that we all need.

Vista. Not good. (Dell isn’t either)

I spent much of the time between lunch and dinner yesterday “fixing” my father-in-law’s new Dell computer, a process very similar to how I spent a similar amount of time “fixing” my mom’s new Dell notebook a bit ago. I say “fixing” because I’m sure Dell would claim nothing was wrong with it — only Dell’s bloatware. Dell puts so much nonsensical junk on its computers to make the machine nearly unusable. Programs loaded so slowly, and froze so frequently, that only critical tasks were done on it. Everything else waited for him to go to his office, and use his Lenovo ThinkPad.

About half the time went to removing general bloatware, and the other half to getting rid of the awful antivirus program.

It really makes me angry how bad Vista is in general, and Dell’s bundling in particular. A lot of people are like my mom or father-in-law: smart people who are new to computers, and have their experience really degraded by this nonsense.

A little more than two hours later, most of the junk was removed and localized versions of Firefox and 7-Zip were installed. At the beginning of the day I offered to install a fresh copy of XP, but by the end I had turned off most of Vista’s bugs (UAC, the annoying popups, etc) so that it was almost as good as a computer bought 2 (or 20) years ago.

Apple, the computer of choice (but not for me)

Slashdot’s report that 66% of high-end personal computers are macs was a surprise to me, but perhaps shouldn’t have been. I have admired Mac OS X for years, with its superb combination of usability what-you-see-is-what-you-get usability and BSD unix power. Indeed, the last computer my family purchased would have been a Mac, if our standardized line of printer supported that operating system.

Because Mac OS X is thus out of the picture, and I’ve never had a pleasant experience with Vista, I plan to make my next PC a Windows XP box. It runs the software I need, which is more I can say for either Vista or OSX.

Vista: What a joke

This morning, I have had four browser crashes in Microsoft Windows Vista, in both IE and Firefox.

Choosing Vista instead of XP on this laptop was a mistake.

Comparing the pain that Vista regularly causes with the “it just works” niceness of the OS X machine I use while editing vista is staggering.

What a joke.