Overall Vista Impression

Discussion in 'Windows Vista Performance' started by William McIlroy, Nov 24, 2007.

  1. I've got some decades of computer experience behind me. That is either good
    or bad, depending on how you view experience. Anyhow, I've been using Vista
    since about a year before RTM and regular for about a year on my primary
    computer. Rock solid is not the term that I would apply to Vista. On
    several occasions I have installed commercial applications on Vista only have
    them operate normally for a few weeks and then, unaccountably, start issuing
    incomprehensible messages. One of them complains that it was improperly
    installed, even though it functioned normally until one bright morning. This
    behavior seems more or less epidemic among 3rd party software products of a
    certain age. Next, with Vista, one still awaits the arrival of
    Vista-compatible drivers for commercial hardware products. My Xerox 6400
    scanner will not run under Vista because there is no Vista-compatible driver.
    Finally, the gadget strip is a really good idea. I find it very handy.
    But, gadgets malfunction like 3rd party commercial software. They simply
    stop working properly without provocation or explanation. A big offender in
    this regard is the calendar gadget that is supposed to display today's date
    in an orange spiral-bound notebook graphic. Right now on my computer it
    launches, stays blank, and never updates. I've tried removing it from the
    strip and reinstalling it to the strip without any change. Vista will
    someday be the stable workhorse that XP is today. But that is a long effort
    for Microsoft to execute. We, out here in the world, await improvements.
    The mysterious upcoming (who knows when) Service Pack 1, should address some
    significant percentage of these anomalies.
    William McIlroy, Nov 24, 2007
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  2. With regard to your message below, I think it's neither good nor bad.
    The points you make stand or fall on their own merit, without regard
    to how much experience you have.

    For a large variety of reasons, different people experience varying
    degrees of solidity with Vista, just as they do with other operating
    systems. Those reasons include the stability of the hardware they run
    it on, the applications they run, how clean the computer is with
    regard to malware, etc.

    My personal experience is very much the opposite of yours. It has been
    completely stable here. I've been running Vista RTM for just over a
    year, and it has not crashed or caused a significant problem in all
    that time.

    Sorry, but I don't at all understand what that paragraph as to do with
    a message entitled "Overall Vista Impression." Yes, some applications
    are less stable than others. And yes, some applications, particularly
    older ones, are more likely to cause problems in a newer operating
    system. But application problems are not Vista problems.

    Certainly true. It's true every time a new operating system comes out.
    And in some cases those drivers will never become available, because
    the hardware manufacturer will decide that it's not worth the time and
    effort to produce a new driver for an older piece of hardware.

    But again, this is not a Vista issue, but one with the manufacturers
    of the hardware.

    That scanner, and many other pieces of hardware. But again, blame
    Xerox for that, not Microsoft and Vista.

    The "gadget strip"? Do you mean the "sidebar"?

    Yes, I like it too.

    Most gadgets *are* third-party, and like any other group of
    third-party software, some of it is better written and more stable
    than the rest. I don't run the calendar gadget that you do, but I have
    seven gadgets running all the time, and each of them is completely
    stable, presenting me with no problems at all. If one of them did
    present a problem, I would stop using it.

    It already is, as far as I'm concerned. Almost all of your complaints
    above have nothing to do with Vista itself, but with third-party
    hardware and software.

    Although I think Vista is pretty good right now, neither it, nor
    anything else, is perfect, and improvements are always welcomed.

    There's nothing "mysterious" about it. It's targeted (not promised)
    for the first quarter of next year.

    Again, the "anomalies" you mention are largely third-party anomalies,
    not Vista ones. No Vista Service Pack will fix a poorly-written driver
    written by a hardware manufacturer or a poorly-written gadget provided
    by a third-party.
    Ken Blake, MVP, Nov 24, 2007
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  3. William McIlroy

    Jack Mehoff Guest

    On Sat, 24 Nov 2007 08:55:55 -0700, "Ken Blake, MVP"

    Pretty defensive, huh Ken? Blame all problems on everything but the actual cause
    (Vista). But wait. There will be a service pack? Sounds like a plan. My plan was to
    'upgrade' to XP. That plan worked.
    Jack Mehoff, Nov 24, 2007
  4. There are two types of problems. Problems directly in Vista which are
    getting worked out in stages, and problems affecting Vista, which may or
    may not get worked out depending upon the 3rd party responsible.

    Nobody is suggesting that Vista doesn't have some issues, but not all issues
    can be pinned directly on Vista.
    Mike Hall - MVP, Nov 24, 2007
  5. It isn't Vista at fault if some application, that works perfectly under XP,
    fails to work properly under Vista? I don't believe Microsoft touted Vista
    as an opportunity for all their customers to go out and purchase upgrades to
    the third-party software that customers depend on daily to do business. If
    you consider Vista in the light of the unfactual pretext that Microsoft is a
    start-up company newly marketing its very first operating system, then Vista
    looks quite ordinary. How many times has IE, the face of the desktop crashed
    and restarted during the normal course of operations? How often has Vista
    gotten the two optical drives in my computer confused? Vestiges of the
    postponed File System as Database for Enhanced Search capability leave Vista
    with a confusing user interface as regards Search. I'm not buying the rah
    rah party line attitude that Vista is great if only you wouldn't criticize
    it. My overall impression is that Vista, without fixes, is rather inferior
    to XP. Buyers of new computers are voting with their feet and pocketbooks.
    They insist something other than Vista be installed on their hardware
    platforms. And for good reason.
    William McIlroy, Nov 24, 2007

  6. No, of course not! Anyone who thinks this clearly knows nothing about
    the relationship between an operating system and the applications.


    Bruce Chambers

    Help us help you:

    They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary
    safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. ~Benjamin Franklin

    Many people would rather die than think; in fact, most do. ~Bertrand Russell

    The philosopher has never killed any priests, whereas the priest has
    killed a great many philosophers.
    ~ Denis Diderot
    Bruce Chambers, Nov 24, 2007
  7. I propose that the reason people who market devices that hook to computers
    are unwilling to write drivers for Vista because it is very expensive to find
    someone who is expert at Vista's newly revised device driver model.
    Microsoft, despite protestations to the contrary, is unwilling and/or unable
    to teach people, except (possibly) employees, how to use their products.
    (Red meat for Microsoft's defenders, but true, nonetheless.) That would
    include the publicly hidden environment in which device drivers operate. So,
    blame the hardware manufacturers, if you must, for not producing Vista
    drivers. But Microsoft may well have made it unnecessarily difficult for
    manufacturers to do the right thing.

    If my computer ran the Vista AERO version of the animated fish tank all day,
    and nothing else, I'd say Vista is terrific!

    Norton A-V says my Vista computer is absolutely clean of all malware. Yet,
    it still malfunctions. And, I've installed all Microsoft patches to date.
    It is a Dell: manufacturers of some of the most reliable computers in the

    If Vista was supposed to be an XP better than XP, then application
    transparency should be paramount. You cannot get an informative and complete
    statement as to the negative effects Vista may have on legacy application

    As a writer of commercial software that sells, I expect to be told what
    changes I must make in my products in order that they will run perfectly on
    Vista as well as XP. I guess my name dropped off that mailing list.

    Fortunately, I am not emotionally tied to Microsoft or Vista. I'm just
    reporting my experience with Vista. And it isn't just me. Others have tales
    to tell as well. Meanwhile, we all await improvements, which merely gild the
    lily to hear some defend the indefensible. I'd be willing to bet Microsoft
    executives are well aware of the product's shortcomings, surprised that what
    got pushed out the door is performing so poorly, and are having trouble
    coordinating the effort to regain face. Meanwhile, publicly, the corporate
    entity denies, denies, denies.
    William McIlroy, Nov 24, 2007
  8. Read what I said. Vista does have issues, but they are not ALL the fault of

    Some programs are expressly written such that they will not run on the next
    OS by virtue of having code in them which detects a specific OS. The 3rd
    party vendors want you to go out and buy, taking full advantage of the fact
    that they can blame it all on Microsoft.

    Some programs are written to take advantage of loopholes which existed in XP
    but don't exist in Vista. There are many reasons why something will not run.
    Mike Hall - MVP, Nov 24, 2007

  9. No, it is not. *Every* time any new operating system comes out, some
    applications that worked under its predecessor will not work under it.

    That's for two reasons:

    1. Although backwards compatibility is clearly desirable, in some
    respects, it always interferes with improvements in the operating
    system. You can not always add a particular new feature without
    rendering something that used to work obsolete. It is always a
    difficult tradeoff, balancing innovation with backwards compatibility,
    but some compatibility is always lost.

    This is true, not only of operating systems, but of many other
    products as well. The wheels that were used on my great-grandfather's
    covered wagon won't work on my 21st century automobile, either.

    2. In many cases, third-party software vendors take advantage of
    loopholes in the current operating and design their products in a
    non-standard way. They do this in spite of Microsoft's warning not to
    do so. The result, when those loopholes are closed in a newer
    operating system, is that those products no longer work. The blame for
    this lies squarely on the part of the vendors who chose not to follow
    the rules.

    Of course they didn't. Microsoft obviously tried to maintain as much
    compatibility with existing applications as possible, while still
    introducing improvements. But perfection in this regard, as I said
    above, is not possible.

    By the way, my personal experience is that except for a couple of
    minor utilities, *all* the applications that I ran under XP also run
    under Vista without a problem. I'm aware, of course, that not everyone
    has had the same experience, but those who haven't have mostly been
    running older applications, which are much more likely to generate
    compatibility problems.

    Not a single time here.

    I don't know what's happened in your computer. I have a single optical
    drive here, and haven't seen that issue.

    That's fine. You are welcome to that opinion. I know that you are not
    alone in it. My opinion happens to be the contrary, and I also know
    that I am not alone in it.

    That's what makes horse races. We don't all have the same opinions.
    Ken Blake, MVP, Nov 24, 2007
  10. Well, the fact that full backwards compatibility is impossible has been
    dragged a bit too soon into this argument. It does NOT explain the
    phenomenon of products that work for a while and then fail under Vista. Or
    maybe it does. If 3rd party software purveyors depend on planned
    obsolescence for a continued revenue stream, with the connivance of
    Microsoft, that is a kind of fraud. In my case the software product, which
    is excellent by the way, is no longer manufactured. So, I'm stuck running XP
    forever. This is contrary to the wishes of Microsoft whose business plan is
    to pull the plug on XP ASAP. Anyway, Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays to
    everyone in the Microsoft Family. It is much too nice a day to bicker.
    William McIlroy, Nov 24, 2007

  11. I have *never* seen that phenomenon. What products are you referring
    Ken Blake, MVP, Nov 25, 2007
  12. William McIlroy

    Ronc Guest

    Ronc, Nov 25, 2007
  13. William McIlroy

    Homer S. Guest

    On Sat, 24 Nov 2007 17:48:58 -0700, "Ken Blake, MVP"

    The following is a slightly edited email message from one of my oldest and most
    computer savvy customers. She purchased a high-end laptop with Vista pre-installed.
    Additionally, she is the president of the local Senior Citizens Computer club with
    approx. 125 members. Read on:


    Following is the 'Vista' review we spoke about yesterday. I want to send it out to
    all club members but would like your opinion before doing so. Here goes:

    IMHO, Vista has few redeeming values. It may be more secure, but it gets in the way
    at every second mouse-click.

    I can't readily organize my files the way I want.
    Every time I try to install a program or do much of anything, I get this "Are you
    sure?" thing I have to click off.
    I can't use my keyboard shortcut to turn the damned machine off -- I have to click a
    tiny little button that isn't labeled, and is about this 0 big.
    I thought I fixed this, but once again it's telling me I have to log onto Windows
    Live Messenger to use Shared Folders. NOT!

    In general, managing security settings to reflect my relatively relaxed outlook is
    virtually impossible.

    Vista is S ........... L ........... O ............ W! With all the advances in
    processor power, and 2 gb of memory, it's less than half the speed of XP on my
    clunky four-year-old Compaq with the overloaded hard drive. I feel like I've stepped
    back at least 10 years speed wise.
    This is just the tip of the ice berg. It's too depressing to list all the
    grievances. The bells and whistles are cute, but add zero value. Aero is interesting
    for about an hour - exactly the time it takes to realize that the system is running
    as fast as molasses does in January!

    In about two more days, despite the time I've spent loading software, this machine
    will be "upgraded" to Windows XP! Especially for someone with my understanding and
    experience, a new version of a standard program should not be this annoying!!! I
    cannot imagine teaching a novice to use this -- although a novice wouldn't have the
    preconceptions I do, and may more readily adapt to the draconian limitations.

    My husband hasn't even touched it, and I'll recommend that he doesn't. He'd go
    postal in less than three minutes. It's taken me nearly two weeks.
    Thanks for listening,

    Homer, please add my ire to your recommendations not to go here.

    This is just one example of the sort of feedback I've been hearing from customers
    who have experienced the 'wonders' of Vista first-hand.

    Another customer, who runs an auto insurance agency, purchased seven new laptops for
    his agents last month. Vista almost put him out of business. The apps he needed to
    run his business worked fine for the first few weeks, but then the fun began. Almost
    at once, all seven laptops started getting BSD's out the ass, allegedly right after
    a Vista update. He was able to remove the suspected update, but the BSD's continued.
    By the time I got out to see them, the laptops were an utter mess and my customer
    was ballistic. He had been communicating with Dell's tech support for several days
    and followed all their recommendations - BIG MISTAKE! His apps were corrupted, along
    with all new customer data from the previous three weeks. It was a disaster.

    After calming him down, I was able to recover a partial chunk of his lost data. I
    then asked if he wanted me to reload Vista - he turned red and almost hit the
    ceiling. Initially, before he purchased the machines, Dell's support had insured him
    that the apps he needed to run his business (a custom quoting program and an app
    used to check customers' credit and access insurance databases) would work
    flawlessly with Vista. He even sent them the actual programs to test before he made
    the decision to purchase the units. The only mistake he made though, was to not ask
    for my opinion. I don't actually sell laptops but I could've at least helped him to
    avoid the Vista debacle and the extra cost for me to 'upgrade' all seven systems to

    Yesterday, I deposited a check into my account, from his agency, for $2351.86....
    the cost for my labor and seven XP Home Edition Upgrade Packages - yes, I used the
    upgrade edition along with an old '98 CD to save him a few bucks. If M$ doesn't like
    that, screw them.

    Now, I'm not saying that I don't like Vista.... In fact, I LOVE VISTA!!! The more my
    customers put it on, the more $$$$$ I'll make taking it off.

    Keep up the shoddy work MS!

    Homer S., Nov 25, 2007
  14. William McIlroy

    Jack Mehoff Guest

    You mean the types of problems that should've been worked out in Beta test?
    Jack Mehoff, Nov 25, 2007
  15. William McIlroy

    Jack Mehoff Guest

    Any company (Microsoft) that changes the rules in mid-stream and dictates to its'
    customers the products they will have shoved down their throats clearly knows
    nothing about competition in a free market..... what? Monopoly? Oh, never mind...
    Jack Mehoff, Nov 25, 2007
  16. William McIlroy

    Jack Mehoff Guest

    All this says is that YOU don't get out much. I have *never* seen France, but I
    believe that France exists.

    Could you possibly be any more general in your comments?
    Jack Mehoff, Nov 25, 2007
  17. William McIlroy

    Brian Guest

    When it comes to a fine-tuned and trouble-free PC, you can't have your cake
    and eat it, too.

    Which is more important to you -- an operating system, or applications?

    If your priority is to use a particular OS, then use only software and
    devices that are designed for it or work well on it.

    If your priority is certain applications or devices, then use an operating
    system that they run best on.

    It's impossible to design an OS to be 100% compatible with all the software
    that came before it.

    I need to use a certain set of applications on my work PC. I have to use
    "Operating System A" to do so.

    But I want to use Operating System B on my home PC just so I can enjoy the
    features that it offers. So I had to make some changes to the apps and
    peripherals I use with it.

    Designers of applicatons and devices have varying committments to ensuring
    that their product will run perfectly on the OS you choose. A company that
    sells software for $9.99 ("My Super-Dooper Registry Cleaner," "My Perfect
    DVD Suite," "My Internet Optimizer Buddy") have little incentive to make
    sure it doesn't create conflicts -- they just want to sell lots and lots of
    copies at $9.99 each. The hazards and travails of free software are
    multiplied, with the exception of a few respected and well-document examples
    that we're all familiar with. PC games -- especially inexpensive games --
    are notorious for creating problems with the A/V subsystems. Sometimes even
    large and/or well-respected companies release software that doesn't live up
    to their reputation.

    Never knowingly install incompatble or poorly designed software or hardware.
    If you unknowingly install software or hardware that doesn't work well,
    uninstall it at the first signs of trouble, and find something that does
    what you need and works well. Or do without it and wait for a patch or

    If you bought a PC and it didn't work well, return it.
    If you bought a PC and it worked until you installed software, uninstall
    that software, and restore your system.
    If you changed your OS and it doesn't work well with your current software
    or devices, go back to your previous OS, or get software and devices that
    will work with your OS.

    To help your PC run optimally, you must find the right combination of
    hardware, OS and software that work together.

    Notice that I didn't mention XP or Vista. That's becuase the above applies
    to ANY OS, current or retired, Microsoft or Mac or public domain.

    avast! Antivirus: Outbound message clean.
    Virus Database (VPS): 071125-0, 11/25/2007
    Tested on: 11/27/2007 1:20:48 AM
    avast! - copyright (c) 1988-2007 ALWIL Software.
    Brian, Nov 27, 2007
  18. Drivers are the responsibility of the hardware manufacturer.
    The fact something works in one operating system has never been a
    guarantee that it will or even should be expected to work in the next.
    If the hardware manufacturers determine their customers do not need
    drivers, that is between them and their customers.
    Windows Vista has been released, do not expect changes that make older
    hardware or software more compatible.
    Once the operating system is released, that responsibility is almost
    entirely with the manufacturers.

    Backwards compatibility is nice and a great deal of older hardware and
    software works directly or with Compatibility Mode.
    There are some that feel nearly 100% should have been the standard.
    The more backwards compatibility, the more there need to be in the
    operating system to deal thus making it larger.
    Others felt Microsoft should ignore backwards compatibility all
    This would allow Microsoft to make a leaner and probably more
    efficient operating system.
    But it would also force almost everything, hardware and software, to
    be replaced since old would be incompatible.
    Where to draw the line, that is the real question.
    You seem to want more compatibility, but to please you would drive
    more against since their desires would be further ignored.
    To displease you pleases others.
    The line had to be drawn somewhere knowing someone will always get
    less than they want.

    "operate normally for a few weeks"
    Have you verified with the manufacturers they are Windows Vista
    Do you have the latest version, updates, patches etc. for this
    Can you tell if anything happens to Windows about the time the
    programs stop working?

    "seems more or less epidemic among 3rd party software products of a
    certain age"
    what if anything do these programs have in common?
    What is the "certain age"

    What have the manufacturers of your incompatible hardware and software
    said when you asked them about Windows vista support?
    Jupiter Jones [MVP], Nov 28, 2007
  19. "Norton A-V"
    For years, Norton products have earned a bad reputation with Windows
    of most versions and the trend seems to be worse with windows Vista.
    Try something else, almost anything else is better.
    Nod32, AVG, Kaspersky and Avast to name a few.

    "I expect to be told..."
    I do not write software, but this does not sound correct.
    Do you check the development information on MSDN etc?
    Has Microsoft told you in the past?
    If so, contact Microsoft at the same source to ask why you were
    Jupiter Jones [MVP], Nov 28, 2007
  20. In my case, a certain age would be seven years old. Cool Edit 2000 does not
    work properly on Windows Vista 64-bit, altho my copy did work for a while.
    (Why it stopped working is a mystery for the ages and of no interest at all,
    apparently, to Microsoft.) Now, Cool Edit 2000 (out of print) reports that
    it has been improperly installed and it requests that I reinstall it. When I
    do, it reports that it has been improperly installed. Such detail! The
    advent of COM, which has its own internal beauty, made the Registry a central
    repository for leftover junk that interferes with the proper operation of
    everything that runs on the computer. De-installation of software usually
    leaves vestiges behind in Registry entries and file folders. This makes
    reinstallation not occur into a pristine environment. Wiping out the OS with
    a fresh copy means wiping out all installed software. This is time consuming
    and often painful. The Sperry Rand Univac 1108 operating system has survived
    through many decades of advancement without ever making it impossible to run
    binary decks from 1965. Unisys still manufactures and markets computers that
    run the very same operating system with thousands of improvements and none
    that affect compatibility. Microsoft went to town on Vista, hellbent to make
    it secure, blocking areas of the file system that were previously open, and
    making changes that remain undocumented. This does not affect their business
    model, which is to sell operating systems that run on the latest hardware.
    All users are hobbyists or dabblers to Microsoft. We are not fit to consult
    when Microsoft anticipates making changes. I hear tell Microsoft has put
    many a "shim" into the operating system to accomodate widely sold software
    applications whose compatibility could not otherwise be guaranteed. So,
    Microsoft wants to be free to "innovate" by making the operating system
    incompatibile. That would be okay if Microsoft were to document the changes
    that make programs no longer run. However, Microsoft itself does not know
    how changes it makes will cause grief. So documentation of changes is
    impractical. From my point of view, there is no reason a really good audio
    file editor should experience problems on any version of Windows. It
    interfaces with any generic sound card. It draws graphs on the screen. The
    GUI is most ordinary. The Unix-standard error message simultaneously informs
    the user that something's wrong, and it'll be damned if it will reveal what,
    leaves us scratching our head. Finally, Microsoft publishes an API that
    programmers are supposed to use properly. What is proper changes from time
    to time. Restrictions are imposed. What used to work no longer does. This
    speaks to a helter-skelter design methodology more attuned to getting
    software on store shelves than putting long-term reliability and
    compatibility in the hands of end users. It is against Microsoft policy to
    confide in users how what they are doing will impact users. And by users I
    mean people like me who have designed and written operating system code
    William McIlroy

    William McIlroy, Nov 28, 2007
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