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Windows 7: Our Long National Vista Nightmare Is Over

You're not going to have Windows Vista to kick around anymore; on Thursday, its successor Windows 7 debuts.

As I write in today's column, 7 has issues of its own. You shouldn't mistake Microsoft's new release for some transcendental reinvention of Windows, or even an advance on the order of going from, say, Windows Millennium Edition to Windows XP. It's a good upgrade -- especially over the snakebit Vista -- but not a fantastic one.

Windows 7 taskbar IE preview.jpg

In that piece, I emphasize features that would be used most often in a single-computer, single-use situation -- the likely state of affairs in many homes. As a result, I had to save some other features and details for this post. To wit:

* An in-place (i.e., non-destructive) install of Windows 7 Ultimate isn't something to do if you're in a hurry. That took two hours on a Hewlett-Packard dv3t laptop, one and a half on a Dell Inspiron 14 (yes, these are the laptops I reviewed in August). But a "custom install" over Windows XP took only half an hour on a Dell borrowed from the Post's IT department (my notes read: "install begun 4:05. done 4:35. Wow!").

* About the testing of Windows 7 Ultimate instead of the far more common Home Premium edition: That's what Microsoft's PR agency gave me, but the folks there assure me that the performance of Ultimate and Home Premium, in terms of things like bootup time and memory use, is the same. I ignored Ultimate-only features in my review.

* I also ignored the HomeGroup feature of Windows 7, a new, simplified home-networking and file-sharing option that only works between computers already running Windows 7. In that context, it can work quite well ... but I'd like it better if HomeGroup didn't first assign let you write your own one-time setup password instead of assigning a randomly chosen, 10-character alphanumeric password before letting you write your own.

* The old HP printer/scanner that Apple's new Snow Leopard release of Mac OS X supports so poorly worked correctly, without any driver downloads, in Windows 7. (But I should note that recent versions of Linux have also recognized this printer and scanner on its own.)

* Since so many of you have been asking about keeping your e-mail intact in a migration from XP or Vista to 7, here's my advice on how to do it: Go to Microsoft's Windows Live download site now -- before you upgrade Windows -- download the installer and add only Windows Live Mail, not any of the other Live applications. That new program should automatically pick up your old Outlook Express or Windows Mail messages, address book and settings. You can do this later -- Windows Live Mail brought in a set of Outlook Express mail accounts after 7's installer had wiped out Outlook Express and all of Windows XP -- but by taking care of things upfront, you get one worry out of the way.

Windows 7 jump list close-up.jpg

* About that tricky XP-to-7 migration: My concern here isn't about the Easy Transfer utility -- itself notably improved over what shipped with Vista -- missing some of your files, it's about reinstalled programs not finding the files that Easy Transfer moves back in after a 7 install. For example, Mozilla Firefox recovered all of its settings, but iTunes defaulted back to its standard CD-rip options and then wound up importing a second copy of every song in my library as part of its usual first-run sequence. Google's Picasa had to find my photos all over again and lost the album I'd earlier created in it. Extra-cost, third-party migration tools will attempt to bring over installed programs as well as data; the Wall Street Journal's Katherine Boehret tried out one earlier this week but didn't rave about it.

* Windows 7's control panel looks much like Vista's, but it has enough small differences -- for instance, it lacks Vista's "Check for updates" link on its default screen -- I'm nervous about having to write three different sets of directions in my Help File column, on top of the two already necessary to cover XP and Vista.

* Microsoft has already shipped some initial bug fixes for Windows 7; if it sticks to its customary practice, you'll see a much broader Service Pack update six to nine months from now.

You shouldn't take just my word for Windows 7. You should also consider what some of my competitors have written on this release.

* In the WSJ, Walt Mossberg covered Windows 7 in his column last week; he goes into much more detail about some new window-management tricks.

* BusinessWeek's Steve Wildstrom is positive overall about 7, writing that "it has been a long wait for something truly better, but I think we have arrived."

* At ZDNet, Ed Bott shares his notes on how 7 performed on 10 different computers.

As you can see, my evaluation of 7 is a little more negative than those of many of my peers. I'm prepared to be proven wrong in that assessment. Then again, I was more optimistic about Vista than that release justified.

How optimistic are you for Windows 7? What other questions do you have about it? Post your thoughts in the comments now, or talk to me in real time during my Web chat, from noon to 1 p.m. today.

By Rob Pegoraro  |  October 16, 2009; 10:49 AM ET
Categories:  Windows  
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You can set the homegroup password to whatever you want quite easily:

Posted by: jg33 | October 16, 2009 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Seeing as I now only have one Windows machine left in my house and that it is still running XP which I'm using as a make-shift file server and iTunes "master" for my Apple TV, I'll be waiting the 6 to 9 months for the first Windows 7 service pack before I even consider upgrading.

I'm hoping to buy 2 new SATA hard drives and install them in a RAID 1 configuration onto which I will install Windows 7 with a clean install. I'll then load up these new drives with all of the TV shows and movies that we've bought on the Apple TV and basically start over from scratch. The XP installation was an upgrade from Windows 2000, which was a recovered failed upgrade from Windows 98 SE (I moved my hard drive from an older machine to a newer 'faster' machine and held my breath) -- time to start fresh I think.

Windows 7: See you in 6 to 9 months!

Posted by: Annorax | October 16, 2009 12:12 PM | Report abuse

Sounds to me like you're just CYA because your Vista review was so positive before the tide of pubic opinion turned against it out of all proportion to what was actually wrong with it. To be so effusive about Vista and then so lukewarm about Windows 7 proves your reviews are just plain unreliable. I value someone's opinion regardless of whether I agree with them or not as long as they're being honest and truthful. But when it comes to your writing about Windows you're frequently just factually inaccurate as you were about the Homegroups password. If MSM tech writers spent more time writing truthfully instead of writing their glossy paean's to Apple and factually inaccurate criticisms of Microsoft then consumers would have a better idea about who to trust.

Just because some people had problems with Vista doesn't mean you should've trashed it in your review, and likewise being "snakebit" by Vista shouldn't mean that you can't write a honest review of Windows 7 now which is clearly better than Vista. So which was the untruthful review -- your praise of Vista or your faux disappointment with Windows 7 so the Mac fanboys will still think you're cool?

Once again I'll say that I have a Mac and I love my Mac but I love the truth more. And the truth is that both operating systems have advantages and disadvantages and I wish tech journalists would do a honest job of explaining this. But for some reason writers like Rob exaggerate Microsoft's negatives and downplay Apple's. Having used both systems for a long time it's clear that they are both very capable and each does some things better than the other. To claim otherwise is to simply exhibit your own ignorance.

Even your grasp of history is tenuous at best when you suggest that XP was embraced as some sort of savior when it was introduced. That's clearly untrue and despite it's good reputation today it was not widely embraced until much, much later in its life. And many of its critics were crying the same "bloated, slow, incompatible" laments heard about Vista. Similarly your amnesia over Apple's misses reinforces the suspicious credibility of your writing. Opinions and facts are not interchangeable.

Posted by: scarper86 | October 16, 2009 3:14 PM | Report abuse

I have been running two Vista machines for almost three years. There never ever was anything wrong with Vista.

Posted by: mitrich | October 16, 2009 3:50 PM | Report abuse

jg33: Thanks for the link. I'll update the post with that.

scarper86: You really should look over that Vista review--I seriously doubt anybody at Microsoft would have characterized it as "effusive." But I didn't foresee what a problem software compatibility, "reduced functionality" lockouts and 32-vs.-64-bit issues would be. Two of those factors are still possibilities with 7, so I'm trying to be more conservative in my estimates. (I'm trying to be more conservative in my evaluations overall... I've seen too many ways computers can break.)

mitrich: OK if I forward you all the reader complaints about Vista that I've gotten?

- RP

Posted by: robpegoraro | October 16, 2009 6:44 PM | Report abuse

Kudos to scarper86! His post is almost worthy of a Pulitzer prize!
I,ve been running Vista for several years, on several machines, without ANY problems.
I am now running W7 Ultimate on an old Gateway with 1GB RAM and aside from the inability to show the eye candy, due to it only being VGA, it boots in 22 seconds and brings a smile to my face.
If I can find a modern, half-height video card for it, it just might become my favorite machine!
When my $50 copy of W7 arrives in a week, it will go on my laptop, as well.


Posted by: FiOS-Dave | October 17, 2009 12:54 AM | Report abuse

It's enough to make me want to run screaming away... Vista should have been called ME2 it's so awful. It's sad they want me to pay to waste time to "upgrade" to a "new version" that's mostly just less broken than the last attempt.

Why do I want to finance their continued failure to produce a decent operating system?

As much as I can I think I'll just stick with my OpenSolaris & not have any of these problems.

Posted by: timscanlon | October 17, 2009 1:01 AM | Report abuse

While I admit, upgrading to windows 7 is no small feat, the operating system has proven to be superior to XP (I'll not include Vista here as my cat would provide a better computing experience). As a member of an IT department currently contemplating the campus wide upgrade to 7, we are scared. But once installed, we are not. It is faster, more graphically pleasing, and is compatible with almost everything (while almost might not be great, it is better than the roll outs of XP or Vista).

Regarding Vista, Microsoft just missed something. The best I can say about Vista as an IT professional is that it felt wrong, things were in the wrong place. It had no flow. Artistically it was like music made of random sounds. 7 is more like the symphony Windows is trying to get at. It makes sense. I am a windows fan once again.

Posted by: iphitis | October 17, 2009 1:04 AM | Report abuse

Aye kudos to scarper86 and his intelligent and well thought out post.

I find it shocking you can be down about windows 7, I've been using the 7100 build since it was released and I have never had a blue screen, it runs flawlessly, when installing initially it took about 30-40 min (clean install) and it recognized my scanner, printer, videocard, ethernet and motherboard, installing drivers flawlessly.

I'm anxiously awaiting my home premium upgrade disc next week and encourage anybody who's on the fence to at least give it a try, I think most will be pleasantly surprised.

Posted by: orangefh | October 17, 2009 1:35 AM | Report abuse

Rob says that Windows 7 has "issues of its own". He is one of the few people who uses the word "its" correctly. Most people do not know that there is no apostrophe in the word "its" when it refers to possession. Just look it up in Oxford or Webster's or American Heritage Dictionary.

Posted by: bentleychan | October 17, 2009 4:21 AM | Report abuse

I've been using Vista on my Aspire One netbook (2 GB RAM) for several months and find it great, with no unnecessary warnings (no more so than with Linux), the OS booting in a few seconds (maybe 4 seconds) from sleep status which I leave on all the time and having never crashed or failed to "wake up." I initially planned to upgrade to Windows 7 but see no advantage from VISTA.

Posted by: byron11 | October 17, 2009 5:04 AM | Report abuse

Gosh and to think that besides coming with all the "office productivity" applications I could need for work, I also get a few other things.

I'll start with no viruses. Then, there's the out of the box concurrent 32/64 bit runtime capacity. That along with reliable realtime if I want to use it on the fly too.

Oh hey, and if I lose a core, or a stick of ram, it's not the end of the world. Fault management will handle the problem for me without interrupting my work.

Since my files are stored on a ZFS filesystem, I can reliably just yank my laptop battery out anytime I want to just shut that machine down fast.

Oh, and anytime I'm really not sure how something works, if I really want to, I can go look at the program source code to read how a program will run.

I can tell you some options and you could copy data from your Microsoft OS machine to an OpenSolaris OS machine and have them checked for viruses before the data is written to disk on the fly if you'd like too.

I don't have to pay for any of this either, did I mention that? I pay for support when I need it, and only when I need it. It's kind of nice that way. I get a lot more mileage out of a lot more hardware than I could when I ran Microsoft's OS in preference to others.

Anyway, that's what I do at home, and a bit of why.

Posted by: timscanlon | October 17, 2009 6:54 AM | Report abuse

Why oh why do most people still use Windows in any version? Linux is free and better. I am reminded of the people who stuck with the old ATT to the bitter end happily ignoring the fact that they were paying far more than everybody else.

Posted by: Desertstraw | October 17, 2009 7:36 AM | Report abuse

Fortunately, there's a "Live CD" I can use most anyplace I need to, so I need never be deprived of a reliable operating system.

I'm not someone who's ever been of great property or means. I taught myself computers to finance my college education, so I'm admittedly slightly backwards in these matters than some of the more entitled who're interested in computer technology. The thing about that though is that what I've found myself looking for was reliability and low cost. What I ended up using to meet those goals the most also has ended up being the one I can do the most complex work on that's possible for me. I get this gigantic amount of hardcore computing capacity that'll run well on everything from a Pentium 3 to uhhh well, I haven't seen the end of the core rainbow yet...

The out of the box 10g support is pretty darn sweet too, especially since you can pile the ports as deeply as your hardware will handle.

I like that I can throw a box online and fit it into an NDMP environment, or use fcip on the fly if I need that. There's some variety of data channeling I can do much easier than I can with any of my other choices, this extends to every network interface I can cough up a driver for too. Since I have Solaris Intel disks from earlier versions, I can even deal with old crap pulled off a shelf to get a box on a network.

I also think it's kinda sweet I don't have to deal with serious kernel bloat or screwed up thread scheduling, but that's another conversation entirely.

In terms of business politics, I've been remarkably pleased with Oracle's approach to their recent purchase. They clearly have been seeking to avoid any loss of value on their assets. I think there is some non-obvious demonstration of lessons learned from the .com crash going on when they act in that manner as well. That's probably good for shareholder value and all that crap. I don't care about any of that though, what I care about is being able to continue to create solutions to data problems, and from that perspective I am somewhat reassured as a customer type person.

Did I mention I like not having to "upgrade" my non-system software if I don't want to? I tend to take that for granted.

I suppose it's a sad sign that I'm a geek that my favorite travel trick is to do the laptop battery yank to see people's reactions to doing it...

Posted by: timscanlon | October 17, 2009 7:49 AM | Report abuse

What Rob really means by Vista Nightmare is that he is going to have to look for some new cheap shot to fill copy with. I developed software professionally for twenty years. I have used Vista everyday since its RC2 except for the couple months I used the Windows 7 release candidate. The truth is that Vista is a very successful operating sytem that works very well. Windows 7 is a modest improvement on it. The character assasins managed to position Vista the way they wanted it to provide them a lot of cheap content. Most of that content just showed that the Vista critic's abilities were limited to entertaining the technically illiterate.

Posted by: dnjake | October 17, 2009 8:24 AM | Report abuse

I have to agree with dnjake, vista has never been a nightmare.

Posted by: lostinthemiddle | October 17, 2009 9:04 AM | Report abuse

Vista nightmare ended, Windows 7 nightmare starts. Yet another piece of garbage from MS, what do you expect? Rob, I don't even know why you waste your time in writing about anything from Garbagesoft!!!

Posted by: sayNo2MS | October 17, 2009 9:31 AM | Report abuse

I am glad Microsoft Vista is not human because it would be killed on sight because it is more hated than Osama.

Posted by: truth1 | October 17, 2009 10:58 AM | Report abuse

scarper86's post is one of the best WaPo posts I remember ever reading. +1.

In terms of reporting, Brian Krebs is a mensch. Rob, not so much.

As far as Vista goes, I installed W7 RC on a severely memory challenged laptop and it was noticeably faster in terms of bootup, and significantly less prone to slowing down the longer it was on. This is an issue when you have hundreds of users who do not bother to turn off their computers at night and then want to know why their PC is so slow. I look forward to W7 on my new PC with 6x the memory.

Posted by: gbooksdc | October 17, 2009 12:13 PM | Report abuse

The glaring error in Vista was the initial releases were gobbled up by the folks that now complain about Vista. Reason? They like to ride the cutting edge, as it were, and ran it on minimum CPU and RAM configs. On a Duo Core with three gigs, in 32-bit, Vista is smokin' fast, assuming a little control over startup programs. On a Quad-Core CPU with upwards of 8 gigs of RAM in 64 bit, Vista is REALLY smoking fast. The problem wasn't Vista itself, it was the release of Vista onto machines that simply weren't equipped to run it. All the little bitty weenies that whine and cry and complain about Vista, #1, Can't evaluate what they're doing; #2, Are the ones that were too cheap to upgrade their gear and tried to run it sans RAM and CPU upgrades; #3, Think they're cutting edge running to a new OS before their hardware's time. When they can't deal, they whine and cry.

If history teaches us anything about MS Windows, you ALWAYS wait for the first service pack and a minimum 2-generation leap in CPU tech and RAM architecture before you jump to the next OS. The weenies that are first on the block to jump before the OS and hardware are ready are the ones on these pages whining. Average users get stuck, but most of the posters complaining are simply ignorant of the realities.

Posted by: JamesChristian | October 17, 2009 12:24 PM | Report abuse

To get a clear, concise, accurate, impeccably honest evaluation of Win7, fade to Mossberg-WSJ and let Pegorora twist in the wind of his misses.

Posted by: lienkirk | October 17, 2009 12:53 PM | Report abuse

To sayNo2MS and truth1; I am an IT director with a top 50 corporation - and you both are so wrong about your statements. We have been using Vista on multiple hardware platforms for 3 years with no issues - this cannot be said for Macs or Linux systems (that also require patches). For one person to say that they like an OS over another is one thing, but to trash another system is uninformed. What technical specifications are you both referring to that makes you so upset? Is it potential viruses or malware? If so then allow the fact that they exist on all OS - no matter you read from biased media. If its system crashes or hangs, those are present also on Mac and Linux systems. There is a reason why MS is used in 90% of businesses worldwide; competent techs can push out specific images to multiple hardware systems with lockdown security settings and have shared docs, database , spreadsheet macros that automate hundreds of transactions in order to get your job done by 5PM - as cannot be duplicated with other open systems. Bottom line, MS products are as safe as any other products - it’s the people and not the system that are unsafe!

Posted by: SammyB1 | October 17, 2009 12:54 PM | Report abuse

2 & 1/2 years ago commentard'd that Vista 32 Ultimate Was to be AVOIDED, Not due to Software, Due to Lack Of ANY, Not Even One Hardware setup that could run it. Forget 64 bit then, Now 64 bit shines, xp has ended ALL Sales from Microsoft & -=7=- works better,As System Developes. Not Super Great, Just better than ANY other Clunker Out There.

You still have dsl modem problems. IE 64 won't stream, Without Seamonkey Browser as option, LOST IN Space, Warning Peoples, Warning.

Audio still gets corrupted, hdmi shrinks & often takes several start ups to get any audio. ALL Same OLD List, dsl connections get made into dial up, complete ZERO.
so ITS Better Than Terrible & Machines are much more powerful, yet stay with working system or YOU BE Loser. Websites that lay down (Malwared) pages on top of each other, cause -=7=- to explode & quit, Completely. New Install Required.

If You Do want Change Your System, You may end up with NO SOFTWARE O/S at all, At least ADD As many SATA HDD as Slots Make Possible & fill 4 partitions per HDD.


Posted by: ThomasStewart1 | October 17, 2009 1:10 PM | Report abuse

Vista was only a nightmare because it wasn't properly documented. Which means then that it never had the big problems its accused of.

Take OSX Snow Leopard's present ability to delete all primary user files just by logging into the guest account, and one may appreciate nightmares.

I have been using Vista x64 since day one, and have been responsible for rolling it out onto the office's workfloor to workstations that needed the computing power it provided.

The only thing wrong with Vista that I found was the significant lack of documentation as to how to work with its newer 'features'. I found that, inorder to complete more workable configurations, it became necessary to deal with the registry to disable poorly thought out behavior.

Similarly, I've been using Win7 since it was in beta, I'm not finding it that significant an improvement over Vista. In several ways a few dialog interfaces are a regression. Win7 still requires that it be altered to work in a more reasonable fashion with some of those same new 'Vista' features.

This article is less than useful in understanding the actual details of this new system, and what its real requirements are. In terms of both the computer and the user.

I hope you are planning on detailing that in future columns.

Posted by: rhenley2 | October 17, 2009 1:54 PM | Report abuse

Been using Vista for a year, never had any problems. I don't get the Vista and Microsoft bashing. Vista is the most trouble free Microsoft OS I have ever used.

Posted by: blueskyfrostydog | October 17, 2009 2:52 PM | Report abuse

What Vista nightmare? I don't know anyone who has Vista. At home, I use XP and at work, we use Linux.

Posted by: win_harrington | October 17, 2009 3:55 PM | Report abuse

The main problem with Vista was that the hardware requirements raised the price of a computer running Vista. Companies had the choice of getting rid of their older computers to run Vista or keep XP.

This was a non brainer and most companies kept XP and then when necessary bought less expensive computers that still came with XP.

In regard to Windows 7 the main question is whether Windows 7 can run on a netbook.

If Windows 7 requires the higher priced hardware like Vista there may not be that many business users willing to buy.

Posted by: bsallamack | October 17, 2009 3:58 PM | Report abuse

The headline for this posting is outrageous: "Windows 7: Our Long National Vista Nightmare Is Over". Our long NATIONAL nightmare? The freakin Civil War was a long national nightmare, Pegoraro; Vista was an OS that you didn't like. Get a grip.

Posted by: lostinthemiddle | October 17, 2009 4:42 PM | Report abuse

Been using Vista for a year, never had any problems. I don't get the Vista and Microsoft bashing. Vista is the most trouble free Microsoft OS I have ever used.

Posted by: blueskyfrostydog
Have to agree.
When their was a quality laptop with Vista at a low price.

The laptop was duo core with plenty of memory so there was no problem with not enough power in the hardware.

Annoyed at a few features but the system is better than XP. Really see very little that Windows 7 can approve on.

Given the economic environment and the state of hardware I do not think Microsoft or the computer makers are going to do a great deal with Windows 7.

When you already have a powerful computer and software that meets your needs there is not much of a tendency to jump to the next level.

Computer prices have decreased and this is the first time prices on laptops have gone down. The lowest standard price was about $500. This prices dropped to the $400 range and Staples has been selling fully loaded laptops for $330.

We are no longer seeing manufacturers offering more powerful computers at the same price as last year and instead are seeing an actual drop in computer prices.

This does not bode well for either computer manufacturers or Microsoft.

Posted by: bsallamack | October 17, 2009 6:48 PM | Report abuse

I progressed from Windows '98 to Windows XP to Windows Vista - I vastly preferred Vista - the only thing wrong with Vista is that is wasn't "TECHIE" FRIENDLY. Too bad. I'm going to keep it on my desktop for as long as I can..............

Posted by: sandynh | October 17, 2009 7:35 PM | Report abuse

Microsoft should give everyone who bought into Vista a free copy of the equivalent version of System 7, if they ask for it. An OS that has only a market life of 2 years is retarded.

I'll continue using Vista, as it's been perfectly stable for me and I have no complaints. It seems Microsoft failed in marketing Vista and made it too demanding in some of its hardware requirements.

There's no way I'll be an early adopter of their new system, improved or not.

Posted by: dlkimura | October 17, 2009 8:13 PM | Report abuse

My experience: Installed Vista on a new quadcore machine. First thing was to connect to microsoft and download updates. When the system rebooted after it installed the updates, BSOD! Not a great start.

Have just installed Win 7, 64-bit version using the ISO image downloaded from microsoft (being in their partner program). First noticeable difference is that there is no icon on the task bar for the 3D Flip view of open windows, as there is in Vista. I've had to create a shortcut to run the API and pin the shortcut to the taskbar. [the shortcut needs to run C:\windows\sysWOW64\rundll32.exe dwmapi #105 to do this].
Anyway, the reason that most companies run windows is that microsoft has the best marketing, NOT the best software or operating system. The Sheeple just follow blindly along.

Posted by: sandbagger | October 17, 2009 9:08 PM | Report abuse

At first I thought I would hate vista home...true it is a bit naggy..but it has worked great for me. As well as XP which I preferred..but I got Vista with a system 2 years ago.
I also run two Ubuntu machines which work well. All the windows 7 articles are the same basic churning that comes out with every Op system. Its expect...and newspapers need to do it...I don't see any reason to spend over a $100 bucks until I need another system...or switch totally to Ubuntu. My two Ubuntu machines set up a networked printer so easy..had to leave the windows system out..couldn't set it up.

Posted by: protonz | October 17, 2009 9:19 PM | Report abuse

"...OK if I forward you all the reader complaints about Vista that I've gotten?

- RP..."

I have been reading this stuff the whole time. I just think it is ca-ca.


Posted by: mitrich | October 18, 2009 12:38 AM | Report abuse

Many XP users uses Mozilla Thunderbird for email. How are Thunderbird emails preserved in transitioning to w7?

Posted by: TeresaBinstock | October 18, 2009 8:16 AM | Report abuse

FYI - This website gives away one free software program every day. The catch is you must install and activate it within the designated 24 hour time period:

Posted by: Ricardo3 | October 18, 2009 8:38 AM | Report abuse

XP Pro has been the best PC OS in history. The 64 bit version even moreso.

It is unfortunate that Microsoft's business plan requires moving the cheese every so often, even if the location of the cheese was not as issue in the first place.

Vista has always felt like an additonal wall was built between the user and their OS - ostensibly to "save" them from learning how to run and maintain the OS.

I love to hate MS.

Posted by: rowens1 | October 18, 2009 8:38 AM | Report abuse

I find it amusing that a page in the technology section has a CSS error.

Posted by: Ravyn | October 18, 2009 9:18 AM | Report abuse

There is no point to Linux on the desktop. I still don't understand how Linux on the desktop zealots still exist. You've lost give it up, no one is buying what you are selling. You've lost so bad, you are trying to get Windows applications running on Linux (WINE).

I'd rather use a Mac than ever use Linux on the desktop.

Posted by: swalsh37331 | October 18, 2009 12:51 PM | Report abuse

@ swalsh37331: I use a dual-boot Vista / Linux (Ubuntu) machine; 98% of the time I'm in Linux. It does (almost) everything I want (an astronomy program I use in my teaching requires windows), boots and runs fast on my rather modest equipment (2 gig ram, Centrino processor), and is rock-solid. What's not to like?

As to the Vista "nightmare" (probably too strong a term) being over, what about the many users who have it and find it problem-laden -- and there are plenty of them, as MS's rush to release Win 7 testifies?

Posted by: TeacherGeek | October 18, 2009 4:13 PM | Report abuse

I have spent too many hair pulling, clawing my eyes out, howling at the moon, wasted hours of my life trying to get Microsoft to do even the most basic of activities. i.e. boot, run programs.

I kicked them out over a year ago in favor of Ubuntu, Open Source and productivity. Now guess what?! I actually have time to get work done!

Begone Microsoft. You'll never darken my door again.


Posted by: steve97 | October 18, 2009 4:30 PM | Report abuse

steve97 wrote:
"I have spent too many hair pulling, clawing my eyes out, howling at the moon, wasted hours of my life trying to get Microsoft to do even the most basic of activities. i.e. boot, run programs."

Did you try putting the installation disc in the drive?

Posted by: presto668 | October 18, 2009 8:54 PM | Report abuse

I'm another person who has had no problems with Vista. I never bought it to upgrade from XP, but, bought it on 2 new PC's and 1 new laptop. The only problem I've had with 1 Dell PC wasn't due to Vista, but, due to an antivirus program that I bought; I switched to a free antivirus and that took care of the problem. I'll change the laptop to Win7 because it will be free and I'm curious to see it for myself.

I agree with the earlier thought that Vista problems are USER problems, not system problems.

Posted by: mdogsmom | October 20, 2009 10:27 AM | Report abuse

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