I wrote Vista first impressions a few weeks ago and shared my less then happy initial experiences with Vista on the new laptop I bought for my wife. It has been two weeks now and my wife, a typical non-technical user, refuses to use the new laptop. She no longer thinks her four year old laptop running XP is slow because it is twice as fast as her brand spanking new laptop with the resource gobbling Vista on it. So my kids share this laptop and I constantly hear screams of "it's shutting down again!", "why is this so slow?", and "can we trade it in?". This is not what I had in mind when I dropped a grand on the new Dell.
So I keep searching the web to see if anyone is happy with Vista. I go to Microsoft friendly websites like eWeek and PCMag.com and find articles like these:
Night of the Living Vista
The Vista Irrelevancy
Ok, so it's not just me, a pro-Linux guy who is feeling the pain. Popular blogger and pro-Microsoft fan Chris Perillo is not a big fan of Vista either. The more I search the more complaining I encounter. I realize that some of this is people's resistance to change. But I don't recall an all out revolt like this when XP came out. When XP came out, it was a significant improvement over the blue screen, crashing Win95 & Win98 operating systems. Those two versions were absolutely pitiful from a reliability and performance standpoint.
So what the heck was Ballmer and the boys thinking when they spent years developing this bloated resource consuming beast they call Vista? Were they seriously targeting business? Any IT shop that would buy all new computers to upgrade to Vista definitely does not understand the economics of business. Where is the ROI? What do the users get for the investment? Are they ready for the increase in support calls? I've said it before and I'll say it again, the majority of business users spend most of their time using email, browsers, or a third party application (CRM, ERP, etc.). Most users don't need a ton of hardware to perform their daily tasks. Doesn't Microsoft understand this?
For me, I have two options. First is to call Dell and beg for an XP license so I can get off of Vista or second, move to Linux. With the new laptop, we now have five machines in the house. I am moving three to Ubuntu and keeping two on XP. My wife doesn't play any games so she will be fine on Ubuntu. She has been using Firefox, Open Office, and Thunderbird on XP for years so the switch to Linux will be simple for her. My kids play a few Microsoft games like Zoo Tycoon so they will need XP. For me, the only thing I need XP for is Battlefield 2. I have been using Ubuntu at work for six months now and don't miss the constant rebooting, messed up registries, and blue screens.
Yesterday I was on the new laptop and I dragged the Open Office install and setup icon on the desktop to the recycle bin and I got a status bar that went on for over a minute. I finally canceled it, highlighted the icon, and hit the delete key and it deleted it. Little annoyances like this are becoming so common in Vista that I start to question Microsoft's ability to test. We are talking about a new laptop with next to no new software installed on it and minimal usage thus far. What the heck is the user experience going to be like after my kids mess with the laptop for the next few months? All I now is that if my team at work wrote software this bad we would be out of a job.
I'll leave you with this funny Vista installation video on YouTube.
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