Yesterday’s question of the day over on Gizmodo was What don’t you like about Vista? This question tickled my fancy , since I thought, well, because… I HATE VISTA. I truly do. But I don’t feel badly, even Bill Gates hates Vista!
As a Microsoft consultant, I was an early adopter, first using Vista in beta, figuring I would need to, since it was inevitable, and that soon all PC’s would ship with Vista, like every new Microsoft OS before it had. The increased hardware requirements didn’t effect me, since as a gamer I generally only have a PC for a year or so, and my hardware is relatively current. I was set to go.
So I installed Windows Vista Home Premium, the 64 bit version. I used all new hardware to build the PC, and followed a standard hardware configuration I have used previously. My hardware list is important here as a control group factor, because I’ve built this same basic configuration in easily a dozen PC’s, both for myself, family, and clients, and it works.
Once installed, Vista proclaimed its temperate love for my new configuration by giving me a low, 5.4 out of 6.0 rating on my Windows Vista Experience rating (that sounds like and IMAX ride). My one low score was on my wimpy, dual core 3.3 gig processor. OK, there are quad cores out, so I figure I’m still OK. All my other hardware rated at 5.8 out of 6.0 or higher, with my video card and memory at 5.9. The Total Score rating seems to be based solely on your lowest score of the 5 components rated. It’s definitely NOT an average.
The latest incarnation of my PC includes the following basic hardware:
- A Gigabyte M61P-AM2 Motherboard,
- 4 Gigs of Corsair XMS2 – DDR2 800 memory
- An AMD Athlon 6000+x2 Processor
- An eVGA 8600GTS 512 MB GDDR3 video card
Wrap that in a $40 Cooler Master case, a $20 DVD burner and $75 SATA hard drive, a $75 power supply of your choice, and you have… The Ultimate $600 Gaming Machine. That’s another article though…
Every hardware fanboy will recognize not only these brands, but likely the specific models of these parts. I picked all of the from the Customer Choice Award Winners list at NewEgg.com. These were ALL best sellers, most with thousands of happy purchasers to their credit, before I bought them. I run the same configuration with Windows XP, and Fedora Core, with no problems. Ever.
At first I chalked it all up to being Beta. Who can bitch about beta software? The release version was worse, and it keeps getting worse. Here are the most obvious things that I can think of that I don’t like. Your own results many vary. These things have all plagued me from the day I got the product, and still plague my installation. Most I have given up fixing, and I am waiting for an open platform version of Mac OS.
Please add your own dislikes and grumblings in the comments at the end:
My list of 10 things I hate about Vista:
- User Account Control. This feature is just plain awful. It is invasive, and it NEVER GOES AWAY. Even after being disabled, it will continue to ask you if it can re-enable itself, forever, each time you reboot. There is no way to stop this, or get rid of the big red X on the shield at the bottom of your task bar. In Microsoft’s eyes, it seems, you are permanently deficient due to your lack of good sense by choosing to decline using the User Account Controls. Microsoft can’t believe your stupidity by not trusting their good judgement here, and will therefore never forgive you. But they will nag you, FOREVER. Oh and if you aren’t Microsoft certified, and highly computer literate, good luck even turning it off. It’s not so easy to find. It really doesn’t identify itself until AFTER you turn it off. Most users wont know what it is called, except that it sucks. For these reasons, the User Account Control is easily the single most annoying thing about Windows Vista for me.
- Vista is not a stable gaming platform. I run a pretty vanilla system, see above, and it still crashes, a lot. In many games from many vendors. Not weird Japanese games, but mainstream, best sellers, from big companies. None of whom, seem to have a Vista logo on their boxes either, despite this product being out in beta for two years. All of these games crash. Most crashes seem to be sound card, so I changed them, many times. Different video cards, new drivers, the lot. All different hardware, and still more CRASHES, and yet more crashes. Bleh.
- Windows XP file sharing works, BUT NOT in Vista? Certainly not as well. I use it in the office, and my customers offices, ALL THE TIME. This was a no-brainer back in Windows 95, and worked great in XP. Now, IT DOESN’T WORK! Go ahead Vista users, right click on a desktop folder and SHARE IT. See the amazing results, and the later fun connecting your XP machines to it. Grrrrrrrrr. I took this for granted for so long until it stopped working.
- Issues connecting to Windows 2003 Active Directory domains. IT’S THEIR OWN PRODUCT. Of course, this should work. Google this. It doesn’t work, and there is a checklist of stuff to reconfigure and registry hacks to follow to make it work. Their premier desktop OS should connect to their own server OS, with no issues, out of the box. Simple, duh. It doesn’t. Why not? I am astounded by this.
- Windows Vista (mostly 64 bit) drivers are still missing. Vista Beta wa out for two years and retail has been out for a year, and manymanufacturers still don’t have drivers. Why? My theory is that they are waiting for SP1 to arrive, to see if the product is finally stable enough before wasting their own hard to come by $$$ developing drivers for and OS that is universally dissed.
- Sound card issues. My name brand Soundblaster XtremeGamer X-Fi sound card drivers crash in Vista. Want to hear the best part – They crash earlier and more often each new release. That’s right, they keep MAKING THINGS WORSE. I would blame Creative Labs, but their drivers for XP are solid. I have tried other cards, same story.
- Memory issues – Vista has trouble with memory over a certain amount, and no surprise, it crashes. Google, Vista 4 Gig memory, and see the articles about the blue screen of death. Oh and thanks for keeping that tradition alive Microsoft. I would like to formally suggest a soft, warm, green screen of soothing shutdown screen instead. It at least sounds better, despite all the sssss’s. Get your human factors people on this, please.
- USB issues – I use a bunch of USB Drives in my work, moving files all around, backing them up and the like. I have a half dozen flash drives and external 250 gig drives. They all work well with XP. All of them. Different vendors, different drives. Vista on the other hand, decides each time you want use the drive, if it will work, and if so how much of your old data is accessible. And then, it KILLS YOUR DRIVE. Really. I have had drives randomly need repair, as suggested by Vista, ultimately be reformatted inorder to work again. Forget about the data on the drive. Using any of the drives to move data from XP to vista or vice versa sucks I count on problems whenever I do it. Lost files, corrupt files, and such mean that I am afraid to reinstall XP on my machine, because I am afraid Vista’s lasting ugly legacy will be a useless external copy of all my data, and new XP machine that will not get any more updates after this summer.
- DVD and CD Burning Nightmares – None of this works well. I will admit I recently bought Roxio to burn CD’s, and it works, But I had to do this because Vista won’t do it. This feature worked easily in Windows XP. Drag files to the CD Burner, click burn these files, and done. Go ahead and try that in Vista, if your drive is recognized properly by the operating system. This has essentially never worked for me, and is another lost feature of XP.
- Stupid Hardware Management – Vista lists my main hard drive in the Safely Remove Hardware thingee. Again, this is my primary (and only) hard drive. Why? This is an internal SATA hard drive, and has NO USB components at all. Vista seemingly does not care, and offers to let you shut it down. I am too afraid to destroy my HD in order to find out what happens. Has anyone else been willing to try this?
- Office 2007 – OK, it’s nottechnically Vista, but it looks and acts like Vista so it’s number 11. It’s kind of a Spinal Tap thing, I guess. This product is awful also, like its family member, from the simple fact that it doesn’t use the same file format as the last 5 versions of the product back to 1997, but that they moved EVERYTHING around. When I first got Office 2K7, it took me 15 minutes to find SAVE and PRINT. This practice reminds me of how my local grocery store moves everything around in the store every few years. I really only want my toilet paper and my print buttons to be in the same place all the time, is that so much to ask?
This product was rushed or just plain mismanaged from the start. They supposedly rewrote Vista from scratch to replace the antiquated XP, which after three service packs, finally worked.
I wanted Vista, I like new software. Its fun to learn. What I have learned here is that anything can get knocked off the tracks, even Microsoft. Let’s see how they recover with Service Pack 1. This better be good, those new Mac Air laptops are starting to like mighty tempting.