Friday Rant - Things I hate about Windows Vista

Friday Rant - Things I hate about Windows Vista

Summary: It's Friday again so it's time for another Friday Rant. This could be a very long post ... but I'll try to restrain myself.

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TOPICS: Windows, Microsoft
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It's Friday again so it's time for another Friday Rant. 

This could be a very long post ... but I'll try to restrain myself.

First, some background.  When I've been sitting in front of a Vista machine during the six months since its release I've usually been in one of two modes. 

  • The first mode is where I'm exploring Vista and getting to know the features of the operating system, where things are and how they work.
  • The second mode is where I'm actually doing my day-to-day work or play

As time has passed I'm spending less time in "explorer" mode and more time in the second mode where I'm just working.  But here's the odd thing that I've noticed, when in "explorer" mode I quite like Vista, but the more I try to leverage Vista as a platform the more irritated, annoyed and frustrated I seem to feel, and sometimes I absolutely despair at how low my productivity has sunk when trying to carry out some tasks. 

Sure, if you're blogging, surfing the web, working with emails and looking at digital photos, Windows Vista is mostly quite happy.  I've also worked on an edited update of one of my books using mostly Vista and that process went pretty smoothly even though it required the use of a lot of different applications to run and test code, edit Word documents, read PDF files, take screens shots, edit images and package up files for delivery to the publisher. 

This is the happy, smiling face of Windows Vista where the operating system is in the background and you just get on with your work.  But there’s another face, the angry face, the face where things don’t work and you spend hours (and a ton of cash) trying to figure out why things that should be working, don’t.  Drivers, codecs, applications and hardware. 

And I’m not even talking about stuff that falls into that grey area where there's no official Vista support, I’m talking about things that have Vista compatible on the box.  Want examples, here’s just two – a Hauppauge TV tuner and Adobe Premiere Elements 3.0.2. Both of these products claim Vista compatibility but both have given us a lot of grief.  The driver supplied with the Hauppauge tuner just plain wouldn’t work, and Adobe Premiere Elements is unhappy with some file formats (specifically .MOV files) and throws up random BSODs.

Then there’s the random element to Vista.  On one of our Vista rigs trying to copy files from a card reader results in the system regurgitating an error message that seems to mean little to Microsoft.  I’m not the only one seeing this problem, and so far there’s no solution.  It’s a small problem but one that puts a serious kink in your work-flow if you happen to want to offload several gigabytes of data off of a handful of CF cards.

Then finally there’s the overall productivity angle.  Sure, Vista looks kinda nice but I’m still not sold on whether “WOW!” translates into extra productivity, even if I ignore all the headaches and hassles.  I won’t argue that there are some features in Vista that are cool, but there’s nothing that I couldn’t live without.  There’s also a shed load of features that feel squarely aimed at the home user that to be honest I don’t miss when I shift back to an XP system.

Sometimes I miss XP …

Thoughts?  And remember, since it's a Friday, you can vent your spleen about anything tech-related that annoys you!

Topics: Windows, Microsoft

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  • There is no WOW to Vista.

    Sorry but I just don't see any WOW. I much prefer the classic look to Vista.

    "Want examples, here?s just two ? a Hauppauge TV tuner and Adobe Premiere Elements 3.0.2. Both of these products claim Vista compatible but both have given us a lot of grief. The driver supplied with the Hauppauge tuner just plain wouldn?t work for us, and Adobe Premiere Elements is unhappy with some file formats (specifically .MOV files) and throws up random BSODs."

    The first is not an example of a problem with Vista. It is an example of a problem with a driver written for Vista. The second is suspect as well. If Elements can't read a file that indicates a problem with Elements, and not Vista. The concern is why the BSOD. If you're receiving BSOD's as a result of an application reading a file I suspect there is a fundamental problem with the system.
    ye
    • Tired

      I'm sick and tired of blame deferral. The app doesn't work. End of story. Who's
      fault? Who cares.

      Microsoft is the architect of broad licensing. They are responsible for encouraging
      sloppy code. The application developer is responsible for endorsing it. The
      consumer is responsible for the consequences. Stop announcing your impotence
      in this matter. Do something about it and take your money elsewhere, or accept
      the blame yourself. Blame the Windows ecosystem and yourself included for it's
      unwavering pursuit of mediocrity. If you don't have anywhere to go ? well that's
      another problem. A much bigger one in fact. I wonder who's to blame for that.
      Harry Bardal
      • LOL! Nice attempt at blaming Microsoft for all that is wrong...

        ...on the Windows platform. In the end if a piece of software/hardware doesn't work with Vista then the only place of blame is with the company that made the product in question. Otherwise we'd have to blame Apple for the miserable failure to support every Windows application in OS X.
        ye
        • Swing and Miss

          Another blithely missed point. Nicely done.

          Blame doesn't matter. The product doesn't work. Productivity goes down. Money is
          lost. You've effectively lost revenue - then you endorsed it's loss by excusing it.

          Open architecture lacks accountability. The flaw is not the drive, that's a trifle, and
          only significant in aggregate. No, the real problem is the accountability gap. Your
          inability to grasp this essential issue is a glaring example of how and why you folks
          get this wrong over and over again.
          Harry Bardal
          • Then Apple is really lousy at writing an OS!

            "Blame doesn't matter. The product doesn't work. Productivity goes down. Money is lost. You've effectively lost revenue - then you endorsed it's loss by excusing it."

            Why can't I run the 100,000 of Windows programs on my Mac?
            ye
          • You fool because it's made for Windows .

            The next time you purchase software take a look at what it runs on . Then again you could buy yourself a Mactel install Windows alongside of Mac OS X , and then you can run your Windows software on the Mac . I love Windows Vista even with its inherent diseases . I am NoneZealot , you hear , NoneZealot !!!
            None_Zealot
          • According to Harry reasons why are irrelevant.

            All that's important is that it doesn't work. Yes, it is a stupid argument. But you'll have to take it up with Harry.
            ye
          • Don't Even

            Wow, you must have a lot of RAM.

            Are you seriously going to try to tell me that the platform economy that corals
            applications into one vendor's jurisdiction, is somehow a good thing? That this
            essential restriction of choice is an advantage to you? Are you an advocate for
            this? Or are you just being quiet and taking it? I really want to know.

            In this age of virtualization, are you saying your 0's and 1's are different than ours.
            That your logic gates have Microsoft-centric features? Do tell. Let's ignore that the
            Apple platform actually allows for the running of more apps than Windows?you'd
            likely just credit Microsoft for it. Instead, let's focus on what most people do most.
            The big market for common things. Tell me exactly what falls outside of Apple's
            purview. Tell me what functionality lies outside Apple's range. Once you've done
            that, let's make it abstract. What is a Mac incapable of?

            If you've purchased an Apple computer in the last 5 years, you've done all you
            have to do to return some sanity to the market. If you are a fan of technology, and
            own both platforms, good on you. Voices of reason have to be reasonable
            however, I'm tired of weak chanting "that's the way it is". If you're joining that
            chorus, shame on you. If you lack the imagination to see a multiple vendor
            marketplace, shame on you again. This is about coexisting, but not at 95% vs 5%.
            At 95 to 5, it's a triumph of politics over tech ? if that's what you're into ? run for
            office.
            Harry Bardal
          • I've got to admit: You're good at writing a lot and saying nothing.

            Do try and keep on topic next time.
            ye
          • 95 vs 5% selling, not owning

            I've seen a 16% figure for installed base of Macs, and increasing.
            http://macdailynews.com/index.php/weblog/comments/5933/

            [i]"the Software Publishers Association (SPA) estimates that 16 percent of computer
            users are on Macs."[/i]

            Still more Windows PCs out there but not as many as some may think.
            75%? Maybe just 70%? It's also likely a lot less if just counting home users, maybe
            even less than 60-65%.
            Mikael_z
          • Accountability

            Harry:

            That's twice in this message thread that you've mentioned "accountability". What you [b]should[/b] have said was "responsibility".

            Who is responsible for the products' failures? In the first case, Hauppage. In the second case, Adobe Systems.

            You're very good about hopping on Microsoft's back when they introduce a new OS and legacy items get broken, but you're equally good at ignoring any broken legacy items when Apple introduces a new OS.

            Oh, and if "closed architecture" was so great, we'd be stuck using only Radio Shack, Atari, and Commodore computers.

            Or, Bog help us, Macintoshes.
            M.R. Kennedy
          • But the Windows incompatibilities are so many

            In fact, I have a hard time seeing or remembering any other platforms with so many
            inherent problems.

            I agree with Harry. Why so many excuses? Buy something else instead or shut up!
            (No it doesn't have to be a Mac even if it's the best alternative with a huge margin)
            Mikael_z
          • re: But the Windows incompatibilities are so many

            Mikael:

            You don't remember XP's initial release, do you, or how many legacy programs and applications were "broken"?

            Or, for that matter, how many legacy Mac programs, which ran just fine under OS 9, wouldn't work when OS X was initially released. (This is something that Harry has conveniently forgotten.)

            What happened in both cases? The software vendors updated and released new versions of their wares, many of them charging for the updates. Some charged a nominal fee, some did free upgrades, some charged a bundle. And life went on.

            It's not as if the OS changes in Vista were kept a huge secret. MS made it a point to show hundreds of vendors what they would need to do to make their apps compatible. Many took heed and did what was necessary. Others, who were unhappy about being denied direct access to the OS kernel, dragged their feet and whined about it to anyone who would listen. They (and we) know who they are.

            If Company A releases a new version of a rather expensive application, claims that it's "Vista Compatible" (note, not "Designed for Windows Vista"), and then it [b]isn't[/b] Vista compatible, whose fault is it? Microsoft's? Sorry, but that dog don't hunt.

            There is one XP application that I used constantly (PowerDesk Pro 6) which is not 100% Vista compatible. It works for awhile, then refuses to launch, even as an Administrator. A reboot resolves the problem, until next time. In this case, the vendor (Avantquest/VCom) is unlikely to issue an update for it. So, I bit the bullet and acquired another Explorer replacement--Directory Opus 9. It is similar enough to PowerDesk that it was easy enough for me to migrate to it. And, it's 100% Vista compatible.

            Several other apps were non-starters. ZoneAlarm, SpySweeper, Nero 6, and WinDVD 5. Big deal. I found suitable replacements. The overwhelming majority of my other pre-Vista apps work just fine.

            The excuses are coming from the app vendors. And I'm not willing in any way, shape, or form to drop any amount of money into Apple's coffers. Thank you, no. And no, the Mac is [b]not[/b] the best "alternative" to Windows. I would switch to Linux before buying a Mac.

            Oh, and if you think I paid cash money for Vista or Office, you have another think coming. I received them gratis--from Microsoft.
            M.R. Kennedy
          • To Brother Mike

            [i]"Or, for that matter, how many legacy Mac programs, which ran just fine under
            OS 9, wouldn't work when OS X was initially released. (This is something that
            Harry has conveniently forgotten.)"[/i]

            That was six years ago moving from Mac OS to unix, a big step don't you agree?
            And yet with classic installed I can still run most of the old software, except for
            one or two games. A rather miniscule inconvenience in comparisons to the Vista
            disasters I've read about here and all over the internet.

            One also has to question the reason for Microsoft's big and small changes in
            Windows. Because of a broken OS perhaps? Why does it take so many years and
            effort from them to fix it? Why do they get so many breaks, which I'd argue they
            don't deserve?

            [i]"The excuses are coming from the app vendors. And I'm not willing in any way,
            shape, or form to drop any amount of money into Apple's coffers. Thank you, no.
            And no, the Mac is not the best "alternative" to Windows. I would switch to Linux
            before buying a Mac."[/i]

            Seems irrational to me because Mac OS X is much easier to use, grandma can use
            it too, and has all the pro apps Linux doesn't have. Grandma and her grandkids
            will love iLife too.

            I think it's more rational to choose Linux than to stay with Windows though.

            [i]"Oh, and if you think I paid cash money for Vista or Office, you have another
            think coming. I received them gratis--from Microsoft."[/i]

            So you work for them huh?
            Mikael_z
          • "I received them gratis--from Microsoft"

            Sounds like any old egg=sucking dog. They
            really loves that old hen's nest.
            Ole Man
          • "very good about hopping on Microsoft's back"

            Could that be because it's so low it's easy
            to jump on?

            Of course, Microsoft is never responsible
            for anything they make. Naaaaahh! Who'd ever
            think a manufacturer is responsible for
            anything they make? Not after Microsoft.
            Never!
            Ole Man
          • Another avowed ABMer rises out of the muck

            OleMan:

            If a vendor claims that their software is "Vista compatible" and it turns out that it isn't, whose fault is it? Whose responsibility is it to make sure that it's "Vista compabitle"?

            The true answer would stun you into silence.

            Peddle your papers elsewhere.
            M.R. Kennedy
          • The true answer to ANYTHING

            Is evidently way beyond your comprehension,
            and taxes your intelligence waaaaaaay too
            much.

            You and Microsoft both make it too easy!
            Ole Man
    • Root Cause Analysis

      [i]If Elements can't read a file that indicates a problem with Elements, and not Vista.[/i]

      Or the library that handles that file type. Who provides that, Adobe or Microsoft?
      anonymous
      • My concern is with the BSOD

        .
        ye