Ding Dong, The Vista's DEAD!

Ding Dong, The Vista's DEAD!

Summary: This Halloween, let's all celebrate what we're really feeling: The Wicked Vista is DEAD!In the United States, we've got a bunch of frivolous holidays.

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This Halloween, let's all celebrate what we're really feeling: The Wicked Vista is DEAD!

In the United States, we've got a bunch of frivolous holidays.

I've always regarded Halloween as a particularly frivolous holiday, one in which we encourage our children to engage in mischief and vandalism, of which the original purpose has been co-opted by business, like Easter and Valentine's day, all of which seem to be of a single mindset which is to support the mass-market confectionery and High Fructose Corn Syrup industry.

Click on the "Read the rest of this entry" link below for more.

If you aren't an adult, I also find Halloween parties to be rather pointless, because I think people beyond a certain age should never dress up in a silly costume, particularly if they aren't paid to do so. I mean, you can still have a party without putting a costume on. Just add food and alcohol and loud music with uninhibited people, and you've got a formula for success. No Costume Required.

There is also the issue of what exactly we're supposed to be celebrating on Halloween. Sure, I know about all this Celtic background and how it morphed from All Saints Day, but the modern tradition somewhat escapes me. I've always felt that it never had a purpose.

Valentine's Day I can relate to, in that you are being reminded to express love for your sweetheart -- but I get very annoyed that restaurants price gouge and people get pressured into spending money on dumb throwaway gifts in order to express affection, whereas folks really should be giving people they care about reminders of their love and affection all the time.

Easter, despite the pagan iconography that has been overlayed on top of mass chocolate egg and peeps consumption, still remains religiously important to Christians. But the American celebration of Halloween? I don't get it. At least the Mexicans have a real purpose to Dia de los Muertos, it's dead ancestor worship, a modern continuation of a practice that originated with the Aztecs in Mesoamerica thousands of years ago.

Dia de los Muertos has a lot of potential. I suggest that from now on, or at least for the next decade, that we focus our celebration on the passing of dead operating systems -- especially the one we loved to hate the most, Windows Vista.

With the launch of Windows 7 last week on October 22, Microsoft put the final nail in the coffin for Windows Vista, its well-intentioned but poorly implemented predecessor.

Vista was despised almost immediately after launch, due to the fact that Microsoft tried to ram it down everyone's throats, this despite that the software wasn't ready for prime time.

Many drivers for key peripherals and devices weren't available until almost a year after the product's initial release, the software used up considerably more resources than Windows XP and had major performance and compatibility issues, and the software just plain wasn't tested widely enough or by the right people.

New UI behavior such as the much-maligned UAC (which still remains but is far more tolerable in its default behavior with Windows 7) drove end-users crazy. But perhaps worst of all, the  OEMs weren't involved with the software from the beginning of the design process, they were effectively told to suck it up and certify their hardware.

There are some that would like to blame Vista's failure on bad press, or the slowing of the economy. I certainly published my share of articles slamming Vista, as did many other writers covering the technology industry. To be fair, with the two Service Packs, Vista definitely improved as far as responsiveness and resource utilization, but the damage was already done. The recession was simply just an accelerant for what amounted to an uncontrollable coal fire that had already started underneath Redmondville long before. It was time to sweep Windows Vista under the rug and wipe the slate.

To Microsoft's credit, they went back and had an intervention and took corrective action. They went through the source code of all of Vista -- the kernel, the driver architecture and most of the UI -- and did a bottom up stack trace of all the things that were eating up resources and optimized the heck out of it. Instead of telling the OEMs to suck it up, they brought them all in and had in-depth discussions about what went wrong with Vista and what the PC vendors really wanted to deliver to their customers. As not to leave anything to chance, Microsoft beta tested the software with millions of installations.

The result was Windows 7 -- the Vista we should have really gotten nearly three years ago.

I still have a number of issues with Windows 7 from a UI perspective that I would like to see fixed, but they really could be chalked up to annoyances that can be altered with a few third-party tweaks, such as the lack of "Classic" Start Menu mode.

Overall, I've been very happy with Windows 7, and I've migrated all of my personally-owned Windows-based systems to it, although admittedly this is because I refreshed a bunch of hardware and I wanted to make a clean break. Still, I'm not so certain that it makes sense to move to Windows 7 if you are happy with the way XP is working on your current system.

For those of you who are current Vista users and aren't eligible for a free Windows 7 upgrade with a recent system purchase, it's up to you to determine whether or not the upgrade fee is actually worth it. As I said, the Windows Vista Service Packs do alleviate the majority of the issues that plagued the system during it's early release phases.

Windows 7 goes a long way to re-establishing consumer confidence with Microsoft's products, but I am still of the opinion that the OS upgrade should be provided at minimal cost or free of charge to the consumer, particularly for the early-adopting Windows Vista users that do not have a free entitlement. While I often criticize the company for their tying of their software to their hardware platform, Apple really did the right thing by making the Mac OS X Snow Leopard upgrade $30 for just about every current Mac user.

If Microsoft did the same thing for all of the legacy Vista users, we could all just move on and pretend Vista didn't happen. Heck, why not distribute the download entitlement link at Staples and other retailers with a pack of 5 recordable DVDs along with down-loadable freeware ISO burning software (DeepBurner Free, perhaps?) for $30.00 with online-only documentation. It would get people into stores at the very least, and maybe they'd even think of buying other durable goods or even a new PC.

Are you going to celebrate this Halloween by installing Windows 7? Talk Back and Let Me Know.

Topics: Windows, Microsoft, Operating Systems, Software

About

Jason Perlow, Sr. Technology Editor at ZDNet, is a technologist with over two decades of experience integrating large heterogeneous multi-vendor computing environments in Fortune 500 companies. Jason is currently a Partner Technology Strategist with Microsoft Corp. His expressed views do not necessarily represent those of his employer.

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164 comments
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  • Vista is still alive here...

    "Vista definitely improved"

    Vista-preinstalled SP1/SP2 Just Works, so I have no immediate plans to upgrade to Windows 7. Right now, I don't want to tempt fate.

    I don't see why people get all emo over Vista's UAC. It doesn't bother me.

    Yes, everyone says that Windows 7 is better than Vista SP2. I don't deny that.
    Tom12Tom
    • Vista was alive, for 15 minutes...

      and I was not about to plug lifesupport in again.

      So off I went and bought XP.

      Vista = OS hell.
      CounterEthicsCommissioner-23034636492738337469105860790963
      • You bought XP?

        Well that was silly.

        I mean obviously you didn't since you're just here to troll but it's still a bit thick.
        Sleeper Service
        • You don't believe me?

          Send me your email. I'll send you a scan of the receipt.

          And it is not 'silly' to purchase something that you find useful. You want me to use counterfeit licenses? That would be silly.
          CounterEthicsCommissioner-23034636492738337469105860790963
      • Sounds like you didn't give Vista a fair test (nt).

        .
        M Wagner
        • Pathetic response.

          The customer is always right. You can act as an apologist by bringing 'fair' into the discussion but that makes you look silly.
          CounterEthicsCommissioner-23034636492738337469105860790963
          • The mohave experiment made the tech press look silly

            Vista was fixed by SP1 but everyone wanted to bash MS with it for as long as possible.

            If you want to see a failure then look at desktop Linux. 1% share for over a decade even though it is free to download.
            connor33
          • Mojave Experiment was Microsoft PR and nothing more

            The Mojave Experiment if it ever really happened was a Microsoft PR stunt that Microsoft funded.
            duclod
          • Of course it was funded by them but the people were real

            The press has a lot of power and negative word travels fast. Vista had problems at the start but the press wanted to keep bashing it as long as possible, well after the problems were fixed.
            connor33
          • @conner33 - yeah it was "real people" for all of 30 seconds

            @ Conner33's "real people" concept.. sure.. now give those people more than a cursory look, give them time to USE the thing at their home, in their office, go through frustrations of UAC in real life situations, let them work with the game they bought for their old pc that didn't work with Vista, let those same 30 second "mojave" people actually handle the thing without an expert showman sitting next to them..

            that's why those "mojave" commercials were so infuriating .... they never set up an office to use "mojave" pc's for a week ... did they..

            Microsoft did their best polish of it, and still it was rejected enmasse because it jerked everyone into re-buying software or upgrades or just plainly higher cost hardware to support vista's basics ... sure now that hardware is cheap.. 2 years on.. most video cards produced NOW can do Aero out of the box.. but not back then.. I mean.. how do you sell an OS that was 10 times more demanding than its previous? ... And now you get to Windows 7 and why microsoft didn't push the limits of current technology ... some say they "optimized" I say they finally came to grips with what was already out there for the common cheap dollar, rather than try to have people get higher end components.. that was their own saving grace for 7.
            TG2
          • You call that failure?

            Desktop Linux as a viable competitor to Windows has only been around for about three years, and with no funding, no marketing, no advertising, and nowhere where you can see it running before taking a leap into the unknown and installing it on your PC it still manages to take 1% market share.

            I call that impressively successful.
            AndyPagin
          • The ABAers all get the p@nties in a bunch if

            someone points to an Apple ad or Apple sponsored research, and blast that as being biased.

            Truth be told, if he tried when Vista came out, and Vista didn't work like it didn't on so many machines, mine included, which were "supposed" to be "Vista Capable" "Compatible" and weren't, then Vista had its far shot. Funny thing I still cannot get vista installed on the same computer, but Windows 7 goes on just fine. Thank God. Vista can die and go the way of the Dodo.
            Snooki_smoosh_smoosh
          • No it isn't...

            [i]The customer is always right. You can act as an apologist by bringing 'fair' into the discussion but that makes you look silly. [/i]

            Your post wasn't pathetic at all. I'd give it a rating of "Lame" at worst, since you actually spelled all the words correctly.
            Hallowed are the Ori
          • Kirk is another one...

            getting all excited when someone isn't thrilled like he is, with Vista...

            shrug...
            CounterEthicsCommissioner-23034636492738337469105860790963
          • Awww.. nice try, but wrong. Thanks for playing.

            [i]getting all excited when someone isn't thrilled like he is, with Vista...[/i]

            Bzzzzt!!! Wrong.

            I would be required to actually use Vista before I could be thrilled, or not, with it.

            Up until the PB of Win7 I used XP exclusively. I've never, not even once, used Vista.

            I have no opinion one way or the other about Vista.

            However, of the people I know who use Vista, none of them seem dissatisfied with it.

            Hallowed are the Ori
          • That's new - a Vista apologist who never used it...

            You're funny.

            Now back to some serious stuff.
            CounterEthicsCommissioner-23034636492738337469105860790963
          • You've NEVER used Vista

            and you are championing it? Seriously? Kirk I'm rating your post at utter fail.

            I use Vista and have for quite some time - the original (pre-SPs) that came preloaded on my laptop until after 4 months I got tired of it and ripped it out, then about a year later I bought into the lies of "Vista SP2 makes things so much better" and took XP off, reinstalled Vista, updated to SP2, and once again I'm dealing with the crapware known as Vista on my supposedly "Vista Capable" laptop.
            athynz
          • I think it makes you look silly.

            Quoting the "customer is always right" doesn't work because I'm a customer too and have had a very good experience with Vista and I've been in the industry since the late 70's
            DevGuy_z
          • Note to DevGuy: customers are different.

            Helloooooo - wake up!
            CounterEthicsCommissioner-23034636492738337469105860790963
          • Downgrade

            Since you (by your own admission) installed Vista, you probably had a Vista license, so there was really no need to buy XP, as such a Vista license give the right to downgrade to XP..

            sjaak327