Six weeks ago, when I wrote Renewed Adventures with Vista, I wondered if Microsoft had finally managed to fix it sufficiently that I wouldn't be forced to give up on it after a few weeks again. I think that I can now say that they have indeed done that, as Vista is still running pretty nicely, and hasn't shown any of the instability or corruption that made me give up on it several times before.
I find this ironic for two reasons. First, if it had been this stable when it was first released, Microsoft certainly wouldn't have had to take so much flak over it, and probably wouldn't have had so much trouble getting users to switch from XP. Of course there were plenty of other well-justified reasons for the flak, and the reluctance, such as the amazingly bad decision on labeling underpowered machines as "Vista Capable" or whatever it was called, and the incredible lack of drivers for lots of peripherals. But honestly, should we really have been surprised by the bugs and instability of Vista? How long did it take for XP to become really stable? Certainly it was at least SP1, and most people would say that it wasn't until SP2.
Second, once Vista really did start to improve, Microsoft hit us with their insulting "take another look" advertising campaign. In my eyes, the thrust of that was "The public perception was wrong, Vista really isn't bad at all", rather than just saying "we have made a lot of significant improvements in Vista, please give it another look". Adding insult to injury is never a good thing.
All of the problems and struggling with Vista did have one very positive result for me - it motivated me to go back and take another look at Linux for the desktop, and specifically for notebook computers. I'm sure that the result of that is clear from what I have been writing here for the past few months. So although my experience with Vista for the past six weeks has been good, the struggle and the problems with it for the year before that caused me to go in a direction where I use Windows less and less, and my hope for the future is that I will get to a point where I don't even need to keep a Windows partition on my disk for the few rare tasks that I still can't do on Linux.
This blog entry is being written on Ubuntu, by the way.