I'm Still Not Down with Vista

I have now tried out Windows Vista with its first service pack and I am still not clear what Vista adds over XP, except upgrade costs, an interface system that requires retraining employees and a lot of extra computer overhead, and compatibility problems.  XP is stable and great for us. 

As you may know, most XP OEM sales come to an end on June 30.  Dell has already announced they will still sell XP units under the downgrade options in the Vista license.  Good for them.  In fact, it looks like Dell expects that customers will be willing to pay additional money ($20-$50) for the older operating system.  LOL.

Anyway, this month I bought an additional 5 Windows XP OEM licenses from NewEgg.com to put on the shelf to cover future computer builds out past June 30 (I build many of the computers for myself and the company).

By the way, if you want a gauge on how Vista is doing, check out the right bar pn this page at Amazon.com.  On the top 10 bestsellers (on June 18, 2008), XP occupies slots 2,4,6,7,9 while Vista is in slots 3,8 & 10.  Note that is over 18 months after Vista was introduced to replace XP.


  1. smilerz:

    For the record, most people do not buy operating systems, they get them with new PCs. Those that do - the tech types, have taken issue with Vista, for whatever reason.

    I appear to be an odd-ball. I am technical (I manage an IT department) and love Vista, I can't imagine going back to XP at this point. Now, I did recommend not migrating to Vista for the corporation as a whole, your points are valid - from an IT & support perspective, there isn't much gain.

    I do find it interesting how much people blame Microsoft on compatibility for what is, essentially, not in there power to remedy, but that is a conversation for another day.

  2. Streaker:

    Too bad for you. Vista is a MUCH better OS.


  3. Allen:

    Those computability issues were well within MS' control. They essentially rejiggered how the OS works for no reason.

    As a consumer, I hate Vista. It takes forever to accomplish even the easiest of tasks. Is that cuz of the hardware I'm running it on? Sure, that's part of the problem. But all I want is a cheap laptop to surf the internet with. I don't need Vista nor fancy hardware for that.

  4. Chris:

    On what basis do you say they changed the OS for no reason? Yes, they made changes to the kernel, but they were driven mostly by security requirements.

  5. Sol:

    I broke down and went with 64-bit Vista for my new desktop. So far, except for asking for permission whenever I do something that takes it into administrator mode and a few cheesy graphics upgrades, it seems pretty much the same as 32-bit XP. (Except Cygwin patch fails miserably on Vista -- what's up with that?) It certainly doesn't seem like a big deal either way.

    But then, I am running software development tools, not Office (ick) or games.

  6. Eric H:

    One word: Ubuntu. Two more words: Hardy Heron. Dell ships it now.


    We bought $27,000 worth of new computer equipment this month. We would have waited a few months or spread the purchases out over the next year, but wanted the XP operating system.

    I think PC makers will have a good 2nd Quarter in 2008. Financial analysts will get all hot-and-bothered and start touting the stocks. Sales will fall off in the 3rd Quarter as Vista haters go on a buyers strike. Kinda-like a mini Y2K boom-bust.

    Could be interesting.

  8. Jim Hu:

    On the top 10 bestsellers (on June 18, 2008), XP occupies slots 2,4,6,7,9 while Vista is in slots 3,8 & 10.

    Hmm... where are #1 and #5? (actually #1 and #3 when I checked).

    Actually, I wonder if the rankings are meaningful. I know Linux has a small market share overall (while being big for servers and among us science types) but is a ranking that places it below Win 98 a good reflection of reality?

  9. Noumenon:

    I went in on June 29th and committed to a brand new $1400 computer with Windows XP because Vista is so bad sounding.

    I thought Microsoft was supposed to have some kind of monopoly power? Have they gone soft?

  10. David Johnson:

    When it finally comes time to retrain those employees, you might want to consider Macs, or Linux. Microsoft has simply stopped serving the customer, and is coasting on their government granted copyrights. Sales down? Send out the BSA to shake down the clients!

  11. Miklos Hollender:

    There is a new installer for Ubuntu Linux call Wubi which does not require repartitioning or anything, it lets you try Linux in a next-next-OK way, worth giving it a try: http://wubi-installer.org/

  12. epobirs:

    This claim of extensive retraining is utter nonsense. It shouldn't take any human you trust to be your employee more than ten minutes to learn all they need to know to run their apps in Vista. I've set it up for some people who are HIGHLY resistant to change and all of them were having no problem within a day of the installation. Over time most of them came to really appreciate the improvements like the new Start menu with integrated search.

    I can think of a small handful of things I'd have done differently in Vista. All have workarounds and are vastly outweighed by the amount of improvements in the default setup. Are the hardware requirement higher than with XP? Sure, but no more proportionately than XP's requirements over Win2K. Less so, actually. Nowadays, a $600 machine runs Vista just fine. Even without factoring inflation, that is a good deal less than a decent entry-level XP system when XP was at the same point after launch.

    Allen, Microsoft did not 'rejigger' the OS for no reason. They had extremely good reason. How would you react if you regularly took blame for the bad behavior of people beyond your control? That happened to Microsoft every day with rotten third party software that grossly violated Microsoft's recommendations for creating Windows apps. Intuit, for instance, was doing very bad things with the registry seven years after MS had published guidelines saying don't do this and the important reasons why.

    What changed? Microsoft started enforcing the law. Recommendations became real rules and Vista would no longer tolerate their violation. Consequently, Intuit finally cleaned up their act. This is why QuickBooks 2007 works on Vista but no earlier version. This is why a lot of horrible software doesn't work and shouldn't. One of my clients is heavily dependent on an app used for billing Medicare. This vertical app has no real competition and it shows. It's awful in numerous ways that horizontal cannot be and expect to survive. But this is the one piece of software for which my client has no alternative and so they cannot have any Vista systems yet.

    Such is life. I went through the exact same thing with XP a few years ago, and Win2K before it. Actually, there were a LOT of vertical apps that didn't behave right on NT4/Win2K that caused no end of problems. So all of this whining over Vista is just that, whining. Instead of bitching at Microsoft, consumers need to take these third party companies to task for thinking the rules don't apply to them.