Dell Warns Customers About Complications From Vista

from the careful dept

Microsoft has a lot riding on the success of Vista, but there are concerns about its onerous hardware demands and the attendant implementation challenges. After a brief period of selling only Vista, Dell was forced to bring back Windows XP, since there remained a lot of demand for the old system. Now Dell is going even farther, as it’s warning business customers about the difficult challenges that lay ahead of them if they decide to adopt Vista. This is odd, because a company in Dell’s position would typically relish the increased sales that come from a major software upgrade. Dell must be fearful that it will suffer if their customers make a major investment into new machines running Vista that doesn’t pan out as planned. The official word from the company is that it still recommends Vista, although given everything it’s said and done, this recommendation might be taken with a grain of salt.

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Comments on “Dell Warns Customers About Complications From Vista”

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Matt (profile) says:


Not me. I was mid-way through the life-cycle development of XP when I finally realized that virtually *anything* was better. Microsoft obtained its dominant status by virtue of marketing agreements with IBM that were perpetuated back when things were marketed as “IBM-Compatable.” It’s hard to believe that there was a when that actually *meant* something.

Now that Dell, one of the major PC marketers, is now offering a no-shit alternative to XP/Vista, it’s going to give other people a real… choice. Looking to save a few bucks? Get Ubuntu pre-loaded. See that there IS an alternative. Or, you could do what I did and go for the elegant Mac OS. I’ve been a happy Mac user for a couple of years now, and I can almost literally feel myself getting dumber between the hours of 8 and 5 when I have to use an XP box.

Yeah, I’m sure that some M$ fanboy’s going to get his wood wet just thinking about firing off a “MAC SUX!!11!” missive, but I have to expect that.

Anyway though, Vista’s nothing new. It’s pretty much XP with all of the various patches and eye candy, and even that is only if you pony up and get something that’s not the “basic” version. No thanks!

Jacob Buck says:

Re: Surprised?

I’m glad that you are so stupid that you can’t understand just how stupid you are. Windows doesn’t make you dumber, it just makes you realize how dumb you are. Anyone and their retarded brother can use a Mac. My grandmother who can’t even sign onto AOL uses a Mac. I’m no ms fanboy, but at least I take the time to learn how to use a product before I run all over the interwebs bashing it. I bet when you got your cell phone, you had to call customer support to figure out how to store numbers in it, and you complained about it to everyone until you made them sick.

Matt Johnson (profile) says:

Re: Re: Surprised?

Jake, Jake, JAKE…

Wow, man. Such hostility! I guess that it gives you a warm and fuzzy feeling to read what I’d written earlier and try to psychoanalyze me AND attempt to asses some sort of … shortcoming… in my technical abilities.

I HAVE used Vista. Just for fair disclosure, I’ve used every version of Windows from 3.0 on up, both personally and professionally. And I’ve only rarely not been able to figure something out without some assistance. I’ve run the dog shit out of Windows more than once, and I’ve not been satisfied. Again, it’s not dominant because it’s a great platform. It’s legacy, nothing more and nothing less.

But seriously, I’m happy to see that my post earlier managed to distract you from your Solitaire and Minesweeper marathons long enough for you to post. I’m sure that your two index fingers were so tired afterwards that you weren’t even able to click on the stack of cards to get the next single card to flip over. (Red seven on the black eight, by the way!)

Maybe your AOL-using Grandmother could show you how to use a Macintosh long enough for you to get a clue. I’m sure that your retarded brother would also be able to help you with your anger issues, because, you know, retarded people tend to be generally happy, right?

M$ Fanboy says:

Re: Surprised?

First off, how serious can I take you when you use a $ sign for the S in Microsoft? Secondly, while I truly am not a Microsoft fanboy, I find it hard to believe you are not an Apple fanboy. I too use both operating systems. Considering Apple has total control over the hardware their software is run on, I see any and all problems with the Mac OS to be unforgivable. I doubt they would get off so scott free if everybody and their brother was trying to run the OS on and combination of hardware parts.

Linux ISN’T for the average user. You mention gamers as a reason not to buy Vista. I agree completely, it is the SAME reason you shouldn’t buy a Mac. Just come to terms that you hate Microsoft no matter what kind of OS they put out. It’s a fact. Live with it, we all have to.

Bill says:

Re: Surprised?

Too bad Steve Jobs is a snob and won’t sell the excellent Mac OS X for generic Intel / AMD x86 machines… All they have to do is work with the chipset makers to tape out an OS X HAL compatible chipset and Apple could literally SINK Microsoft!!! I don’t own a Mac because I think the hardware is overpriced and underpowered but if i could load the O/S on my custom-built rig, holy smokes I’d dump M$ and Linux in a heartbeat!

Kyros (profile) says:

I agree with mat. Linux and OS X (based on Unix) both greatly crush Windows. Linux is the ideal system for programmers, and it’s becoming more user friendly. OS X is extremely friendly, and it’s a beautiful platform for graphic designers and budding movie makers. I mean, look at vista, is it just me, or does it look like a OS X, Linux hybrid?

Vista is a hog on top of that. It uses 512mb of ram, pure clean install. It’s unfathomable for a gamer, and vista is extremely annoying for ANY end user. Not to mention it is rather clunky in many parts. To be honest, I expect it to turn off window fanboys because it’s so different from the different windows.

bradley stewart (profile) says:

Vista is really a WOW

Having used Windows XP2000 for three years. I just purchased a second computer with Vista Home Premium pre installed. It really is a WOW. However I must say the second computer i purchased was custom built by someone who is quite familiar with my limited computer experience.The new system works great with the new Vista operating system, but i did watch him configure it with all my other computer pariferals and if i would have tried to do it myself i would have been completly lost. As he explaind to me the real problem with this operating system is not the system, its everyone is trying to be their own computer technitions. best regards bradley stewart

Strife Caecus says:


I’m currently a WinXP user, but I’m currently taking the dive into a couple of flavors of Linux (Ubuntu and SUSE). Mac OS X is also a better choice now since its move to Intel chips. Because of this, the whole Mac vs. Windows argument doesn’t hold much water. Need Windows for something? Then use Boot Camp and boot into it and then switch back to Mac. There’s also open source virtualization programs for Mac that can run WinXP/Vista, Linux and more! You can stay in Mac OS X and do your Windows stuff in a separate window. Anyway, I’m not the most thrilled with Vista either so we’ll see how it does in the upcoming months…

EatingFork says:

“Dell Warns Customers About Complications From Vista”…

I dont see SONY or HP or ASUS of FUJITSU or PANASONIC or ASUS or TOSHIBA (…etc) complaining about this.

and as you said, Joe, “although given everything it’s said and done, this [DELL] recommendation might be taken with a grain of salt”, I think you are absolutely correct about.

Able-X says:


Of course, you don’t so any of those companies with the massive corporate penetration that Dell has either. Are they out there in business’? Of course, but not on the same scale.
We haven’t purchased anything but a Dell PC in years, and all new servers are Dell also. Is there better? Probably. But they make it really simple for us to do business, they treat us right when we have issues, and they give us good discounts.
So I absolutely would take what Dell’s saying seriously, as they’ve been listening to the issues that the customers have been having, and how many of us are NOT moving to Vista at any time in the foreseeable future. For a business environment, the advantages simply aren’t there to do so.

Richard Chapman says:

Watch out for the stampede

There are metrics we don’t know about. Like what are the user requests for support numbers for Ubuntu compared to say XP or Vista in the same initial time period. It’s just possible that the Ubuntu numbers are much lower compared to Microsoft’s OS’s. If so, that would save Dell a huge bundle. And if that word gets out, then Microsoft will get flatted in the stampede of pre-installed Linux.

Triatomic Tortoise says:

Usual Fights between MS and Other Platform Fans!

An OS is only a platform for us to run application. How good or bad is that depends on what can be developed to add value on which platform with the highest ROI. In that respect Microsoft is still ages ahead of Apple and Linux folks. Ok, the situation may change tomorrow, but for today, I am happy with Windows…

It is a pity that Dell is confused in their marketing messages. As such the company is already in a tough spot having their main product commoditised and hence yielding lower margins.

I run both XP and Vista on different computers. As far as I have seen Vista should not pose any special challenges for corporate deployments.

Able-X says:

RE: Usual fights

Have you SEEN a corporate deployment?
You do realize that there are plenty of computers out there happily tooling along on windows XP that were designed for Windows 98 right?
Do you think Vista is gonna fly in those environments?
Do you think CFO’s are in a hurry to plop down money for all new hardware and put up with the training needs of a new OS for no significant advantage? We have 1, that’s ONE, machine running Vista, and the poor guy hates it. He’s your typical corporate exec, and his opinion of it was “When you turn off the fancy graphics, it’s like XP, but alot slower, and harder to find stuff.”
Mind you this was a brand new Dell Laptop it was on. So what’s the advantage to Vista? Honestly? Other than “It’s pretty.” What can it provide for a corporate environment, that XP can’t?

Nasty Old Geezer says:

Re: RE: Usual fights

My employer has thousands of machines in offices coast to coast and border to border in the US. There is a real possibility we will skip Vista completely because of the costs and disruptions of the rollout of a new OS. We have some custom in-house written apps that simply don’t run on a Vista box.

Microsoft usually pushes support for OEM OS version off to the PC manufacturer, so Dell is not being altruistic — they will have to answer the phones from corporate IT units with some real clout. Any Ubuntu purchasers are likely to be individuals, and usually geeks who don’t want or need any help.

Raymond says:

Vista... lets look at a timeline

Ok, so you all want to bash MS and team for this junk of an operating system…. have you looked at MS’s past OS’s

Windows 95 came out… it sucked pure and simple… but people used it because it was new..

Win 98 came out… now that was a rock solid OS.. and still is great

Win ME lets face it that should have never come out

windows XP once again rock solid… (i currently use)

and now, they have Vista… you tell me the pattern here,

and lets face another thing, if your a Linux or Mac OS user, of course its safe and secure, NO ONE uses those… except that guy who just wants to be different.. i tried Linux, too see what the hype was, and really, there shouldnt be any hype,

and really, the games were cool for Mac, cuz i played them 5 years ago on my PC..

so you all take that how you want too, btw, im not supporting MS in anyway, i hate the company, but they offer the best OS on the market right now, so you have to give them something

Neji says:

Re: Vista... lets look at a timeline

Dude, you forgot Windows 3.11 and Windows 2000, and 2003 and…

Check your pattern.

And oh, keep thinking that no one uses Linux and OSX is the only reason they are more secure… someone needs to take your blinkers off you. Just because their market share is smaller does not mean no one uses it.

Matt (profile) says:

Re: Vista... lets look at a timeline

Actually, the largest problem with coding games for the Mac in the past was that it was a different underlying programming for the PowerPC. Now with Cider though, developers are able to relatively easily port games to run on Mac OSX running on an Intel processor. EA announced at the WWDC that a few of their latest games that will be available on the Mac in the next few months.

Of course, I argue your point that M$ is the best OS on the market, but that’s a given. I will, however, concede that it is the best SUPPORTED OS on the market. This is largely a function of marketplace dominance, and it’s something of an error to correlate market share with quality. It’s not always the fastest (or best) horse that wins the race.

Technomancer says:

Use the best tool for the job

Anyone touting their OS as “the best” needs to keep in mind that operating systems all tend to fill in certain niches.

Linux is great – if you happen to be computer savvy, and know how to configure your drivers, and don’t mind limited app availability. Keep in mind that users of other OSes will eye you with suspicion, and not understand anything that you say about computers.

If you want to play computer games, XP would seem to be the logical choice, because there are more games for XP than any other platform. Be prepared for Mac users to call you a M$ Fanboi.

If you don’t mind Windows users making fun of the fact that you are only bright enough to use one mouse button, then you can enjoy the elegant beauty and power of the MAC OS.

Everyone’s always screaming about how their OS is the best, but honestly, all of them have advantages and disadvantages.

Vista has its own pros and cons. It’s an excellent OS, but of course, it’s by no means a mature one, and it’s going to be just as much of a pain to transition from XP to Vista as it was from Win 9x to XP. It may prove to be the best choice, with coming hardware designs. Not sure if anyone remembers, but there were computers that Win 9x ran better on than XP does … we’re at that same point with this whole XP/Vista argument. Instead of fighting over “which is better”, it might be best to ask what you want to do with your operating system instead, an find the one that’s best for your needs. Glad Dell is finally giving their customers a choice. I hated the fact that they were strong-arming all their customers.

Xanthir, FCD (profile) says:

Bleh on Vista

Just to put this out front, I’m an XP-lover. I’ve used Windows all my life, and only recently have I started using Linux (put Kubuntu on my laptop, and even then I dualboot to XP for a couple of apps).

I see Vista, though, as an unadulterated piece of crap. We’ve got a Vista machine in the office, and it’s pure and simple difficult to get around in. They’ve taken all the power out of the XP user interface (what was there, at least), without adding ease-of-use. This isn’t even “new software” talking – I’ve sat down and learned the damned thing so that our company can support it. Even after you learn it, it’s just not as good for getting around your computer.

Plus, a substantial portion of the OS is build around enabling DRM. Wanna know why Vista’s had so many driver issues? It’s because MS is drastically rewriting the standard on how hardware and drivers are supposed to work so that ‘premium content’ is more secure! The OS actually downgrades your video signal quality if it’s ‘too high’, an evaluation made not based on how powerful your hardware is, but whether or not it’s running above 800×600. That stuff’s hardcoded into the OS!

No thank you. I’m sticking with XP for the familiarity and app support, and gradually moving into Linux for the various things it simply does better.

While I’m here, “bradley stuart” just screams SHILL to me. I’ve got nothing against people who like MS (I’m one of them, after all – the company still does a lot of good things), but that guy is just creaming all over the company. Throw in some “blame the user”, and you’ve got a healthy recipe for shill pie.

Matt (profile) says:

Re: Bleh on Vista

You know, I hadn’t even touched on the whole DRM-thing. I find it incredibly shitty that the MPAA was able to strong-arm Microsoft into implementing the HDCP requirement for Hi-Def programming. Then there’s the whole thing with the cut that Universal Music is getting from each Zune that’s sold… I resent the fact that there is this assumption of guilt on the part of the MPAA/RIAA that people who own digital media devices are “stealing music.” I don’t care that it’s only $1. It’s giving them the inch; guess what they’ll take next?

John McAllister (user link) says:

Re: Is there a cure for being slow?

The big drag on Vista system performance, I found over the first few months, was the file content indexing system.
Turn off auto-hibernation and just let your system whir away for as long as it wants to.
Things will improve enormously thereafter.
Then… use the Resources and performance Monitor (from Task Manager)to make sure that you haven’t got any misbehaving apps.
I found that a ‘freebie’, installed by Dell, (Powercinema by CyberMedia) was chomping up 150MB per hour in a memory leak (and Dell didn’t seem to be interested).
Finally, don’t even think about defragmenting your drive unless you have got a weekend, it’s REALLY slow.

yossi says:

you forget win2k, solid too, so that throws off your “timetable”.

i havent actually tried vista more that looking over someones shoulder and some random clicking around for about 5 minutes.
if its really true that turning off the “look, pretty” will make it back into xp, that i suggest ubuntu with beryl.
im on it now. it will blow your mind. makes what i saw of vista look so 2003. beryl is the main reason why i stayed in ubuntu this time. windows xp is hard on the eyes now.

mc says:


wtf man, if people want to use XP let them if they dislike one thing about vista like maybe AERO they want to stay with there old blue luna theme then let them.. why people get upset because user prefer xp than vista is there fucking wallet if they want drop money on XP or vista.. yes we all know vista has super dupoer security but maybe this joe like there xp with bloat spyware/virus/etc.. or unless they have good AV and spyware/adware removers and actually use it instead just sitting there..

realbadapple says:

Where are the REAL IT professionals?

Not at this site! How many companies have gone from win9x to XP… a handful at best. Every company that I have administered for has gone from win 2000 to XP! So, why does every one keep saying that the conversion from win9x to XP blah blah blah, and for all those saying that win9x was rock solid where did the turn ‘blue screen of death’ come from? Win9x!!!

x2 says:

Re: Bingo!

Hardly any corporate environment worth its salt used 9x; they were all over NT, and for good reason. The NT kernel’s always been more stable, and more made for that kind of networked environment. My last workplace still had many NT4-based systems on the network, and they worked just fine for what they used them for; hell, most of the systems there were either NT4 or 2000 (which I’d still likely be using at home, had I not gotten sucked into XP). All this we-need-to-upgrade-to-the-new-stuff-now-now-NOW stuff just depresses me greatly.

mark says:

Re: Where are the REAL IT professionals?

I see a lot of people bashing MS, but there were actually two timelines for MS OSs. You have the personal OS which was Win 3.1, Win 9x, Win XP Home, Vista and then you have the professional OS which was Win NT 3 & 4, Win 2000, Win XP Pro, then Vista. The personal OS was for the everyday user at home, like most of the people who use computers today and the professional OS which was made for corportate/business use. I will not bash the MAC OS, since I have never used it and I am just now checking out a Linux OS (Ubunto).

In finalizing, every OS has its good and bad points. That is one of the reasons why they bring out patches and updates or even change the OS all together.

Raymond says:

to yossi:

yes 2k was a rock solid thing, because it was a simplified XP to kind of get users ready for XP so in turn i just group it with XP… and, realbadapple, i really only got a BSOD when i would reformat, and hit a wrong driver, other than that never really had a problem with it, and hey newsflash, XP has ’em too, just they are so few and far between, infact i have not had one for many years, my first boot into Vista, wasnt even into a desktop, it BSOD’d, and restarted… that was good enough for me, and i went back XP right after

Dave says:

What are ya gonna do?

MC is right about one thing, if people want to stay with XP let them, if they wanna use Vista let them. It all comes down to personal preference and what they feel comfortable with. I for one, love my XP machine because I’m a big gamer and it’s what I’ve become used to. But I also have 2 machines that run Mac OS, and I love their ease of use. Like Technomancer said, every OS has it’s niche.

Carl says:

Re: What are ya gonna do?

Vista actually pushed me to OS X (something for which I am grateful). There’s a somewhat-well-known bug that prevents the OS from copying large numbers of files. Apparently, copying around 20k+ bogs down and the process crashes. So for example, say you have several years of photos that you want to copy to a new exernal HDD. Sorry, no dice *unless you use the command prompt and MS-DOS 6.0 commands*. When I had to sit down and write a batch file to periodically copy my files to my My Book, I started shopping around.

I don’t hate Microsoft, but I resent that it’s 2007 and the OS I deserve isn’t here yet. Well, it is, but Microsoft isn’t the one develping it…

Gracey (profile) says:

Well, as long as I can transport my Win2000Pro to each new machine, I won’t be using XP or Vista anytime soon.

As for the BSOD…uh, that was standard on ME which came with my original computer…a daily event. I don’t think I’ve had one on 2000 (oh, yes I had something like that when my internal fans died, otherwise it’s been good).

I’ve been looking at unbuntu myself for my next upgrade. As for mac, good for graphics but until it can run all the programs I’ve already got, no. I’ve got more money in programming than in the cost of the computer.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: no movies

That’s total BS. It may or may not support the exact codec software from, but do you even know ANYTHING about audio/video codecs? As a heavy anime watcher, I require compatibility with numerous codecs. All you have to do is download and install something called the CCCP pack. It installs ffdshow with a bunch of other things, as well as a couple media players that support playback of all the various formats. I can watch any format you can give me on my Vista PC.

That being said, I am running Vista at home and at work, if for no other reason than to stay in touch with the latest tech and be able to answer people’s questions about it when asked. There are things I very much like about Vista, and things that I very much hate as well. The point is that it’s not all good, but it’s not all bad either. It’s just that at this point, I’d say no, there is no big compelling reason to upgrade to Vista if you’re happy with XP, unless you absolutely have to have DirectX 10 for games. That being said, there are several things I like about Vista, but again, there’s not really a whole lot that makes it worth the time and money for the upgrade.

Just fyi, configuring your sound card and speakers under Vista is a ROYAL PAIN!!!!! You have no idea how long I fought to get full 5.1 surround sound working with my new Creative X-Fi card. The interface for it is confusing at best. Why they had to drastically change it is beyond me. I can see how they tried to improve it for user-friendliness, but they failed miserably. I’m a computer technician, so I feel like that’s saying a lot. Also, file transfer time is MEGA-SLOW!!! Again, that has to do with the almighty DRM crap. There is an MS patch available (though difficult to find, not on Windows Update) that supposedly fixes the problem, and will be included in SP1, but in only helps slightly. File copy/move times are still way slower than they were in XP.

I’m expecting miracles to come out of SP1. If not, I’m pretty much gonna tell most people to wait for the next version of Windows. Oh, and don’t believe all this hogwash about there not being anymore big OS releases. That’s total BS and you know it. We may someday achieve a more modular upgrade method, but it ain’t gonna be anytime in the near future, that’s for sure.

Cheryl Brown says:

Re: Re: no movies

I was reading you post from last year and saw something that I was interested in. I’m wondering if you could possibly help me on this. I also got the upgraded Creative X-FI card and have a newer Vista Dell 1702. I’ve never been able to get it to work. I installed it correctly and have all of the settings right, but when it’s plugged in, the sound totally is muted and doesn’t work. My laptop speakers are supposed to be pretty good but since I installed this and have been fighting with it, the sound now for just the laptop speakers is really tinny-sounding. Would you be willing to share your solution? I know it was alot of work that you put into it and I’m know enough to get around on mine, but not nearly at your level of knowledge. Thanks for your time 🙂 Cheryl

Brice Smith says:

Most People Are Stupid

yes microsoft dominates the market we all know that however the mac market is starting to increase at a rapid pace and so is the linux market personally if your going to run windows use xp and have a decent internet connection so you can stay up to date vista blows out the wazoo and its just because its “pretty looking” DOES NOT mean that its any good it you want fast and easy to use buy a mac if want cheap yet secure use linux windows is just popular because of a pre-existing market without that microsoft would have gone bankrupt as of xp the only good thing about windows is the gaming selection

Eric says:

My boys, my boys!

You should see the vista mayhem I see everyday… there definitely could have and should have been a better system to replace XP, Vista, sorry, you don’t cut it… for corporate use, for personal use, for nothing, you suck.

Ubuntu, you are great, you are pretty and fast, on any configuration, your constant flow of updates and open source makes you continuously improving and I do appreciate that… you don’t have to know any linux and the install is fast and easy! not to mention, when you wear that beryl dress it makes you look hottt, yes, with 3 t’s!

Mac, you are a good alternative for just about anything, if you dont like windows (and no one will like vista) you can use Mac without fear, you are always there and you interface with your buds good (ipod, etc)

XP, why did you like your retarded brother out of the basement, you should have kept the door locked or killed the sad thing…. I’d rather use your dad, 2000, than to try to make friends with your retard sibling, Vista.

Thanks alot Microsoft for causing so much angst in the corporate and tech world, I see your money is going to good use!

– I’m done here.

Haywood says:

Long live w2k

I occasionally run support for small business networks, and Windows 2000 still rules. I see 300mhz computers with 256k that have to be over 10 years old purring away day in and day out. They perform reasonably well, since the requirements are so low. They network easily, you can throw random IPs at them and they just adapt. MS made a mistake not updating this business O.S. My people wouldn’t even update to XP, they sure aren’t going for Vista. MS if you are no longer supporting W2k, please cut it loose and make it open source.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Long live w2k

“MS if you are no longer supporting W2k, please cut it loose and make it open source.”

I’m sorry, what planet did you say you were from? That will NEVER happen in our lifetime. Remember how some of the source code from Win2k got leaked on the net a while back? Microsoft went all spastic about it, even though it was already an obsolete product. Microsoft won’t even knowingly allow people to distribute free copies of DOS and Windows 3.1, even though there is absolutely zero revenue from those products anymore.

Furthermore, your little corner of the world may still thrive on Win2k, but you can hardly speak for the rest of us. My company has no intention of moving to Vista anytime soon for obvious reasons (need all new hardware, potential app compatibility problems, etc.), but we are dumping Win2k as fast as possible. We are down to less than 100 workstations out of over 500 (and dropping), and only about 10 or so servers out of almost 150. My observations have concluded that Windows XP actually performs better than Windows 2000 on the same hardware. Believe it if you will, but it’s the truth, and I am not alone in this observation. There is honestly no sane reason to keep using 2000 unless you simply can’t afford the XP/2003 upgrade costs. They are simply better OS’s all around. And don’t give me the crap about the “cartoonish” interface (which I like) because you can turn it off in a heartbeat. XP has been out for 6 years now, and it has stood the test of time to become the best OS Microsoft has ever produced. I bet anything that Microsoft will be forced to extend their support life cycle for it, because if Vista is any indication of things to come, they will be hard-pressed to convince a good chunk of the population to switch.

Haywood says:

Re: Re: Long live w2k

I realize the open source thing is a pipe dream. The networks I see are roughly 10 to 20 workstations. My personal stuff is all XP, and I greatly prefer it over W2k. My customers have a hard time justifying anything except keeping it running. They will buy new keyboards, mice & monitors, but so long as the employee can keep inputing data as fast as they can type, the PC is doing its job. Why mess with success.

James says:


If Vista is so grand then why is it my parent company Anheuser Bush has request that we not upgrade to it or IE 7?

I have it running on a machine in the office and for day-to-day activities it is ok, but for applications on the net as well as the intranet it is just too restrictive. A-B is a M$ house and all of their apps are .net. However, their business web prtals just will not work with Vista and the normal security settings.

I know you will say they need to rewrite the software to work with Vista but at what expense $$ should we go to just to keep running Microsoft?

As for my personal endeavors, I am through. Linux is the OS of choice for my house and my consulting business. With Ubuntu even, my 7 year old is able to surf the web chat with his friends and do everything an XP user can do with the exception of gaming.

Opps, I brought up gaming, if you have enough time to sit around for hours playing games on the pc why not just buy a PS3, WII, or Xbox and truly be amazed by what gaming is about.

Just my two cents.

From an IT Manager to you.

jimmy says:

Re: Vista

Give me a Linux or OS X mail client that can read Exchange data (mail, calendaring etc). Thunderbird doesn’t cut it. Give me an office suite that is compatible with 95+% of the software everyone else is running in a business environment. OpenOffice doesn’t cut it. Give me an enterprise AV solution that runs on linux or OS X and can be easily managed and deployed. Nothing comes to mind. Give me a Linux or OS X Backup solution that can also be easily managed and deployed. Give me a Linux or OS X Patch Management solution that can be easily managed and deployed.

What? You can’t provide anything that is of Enterprise grade. Well then, I’ll stick with my Windows.

I install Ubuntu and various flavors of Linux on my laptop all of the time, hoping that the next version will cut it. Fact is, in the Enterprise, Linux nor OS X can hold a candle to Win2K or WinXP. When those “other” OSes start working toward being an Enterprise class, then we can have a discussion as to which is better. Yes I know that LInux servers can be considered enterprise grade, but we’re talking Desktops here, not servers. As for Vista, I too have my reservations.

I spent about 5 hours installing the OS on a brand new system, installing all of the apps my client requested and restoring data from an old PC. I configured all of the peripherals with the latest Vista compatible drivers. At almost 11:30PM we were at our last our of the config and the system Blue Screened. I took it home and reinstalled XP under the same configs and have not heard of any problems since.

Vista just is not ready for Prime Time.

tjc says:

a different viewpoint:

Forget about the users: they’ll muddle along, call the helpdesk, get their hands held, etc.

It’s the system administrators who are going to have to deploy this monster that’ll suffer.

Any group supporting more than a handful of desktops are definitely NOT (or I sure hope not!) installing the os by visiting the desktop with a DVD, point-clicking and drooling their way to a finished install. And then repeating the process with Office, Adobe ware, etc.

Vista brings along a new VLK paradigm: KMS vs MAK activation — do you let M$ handle your licensing, or do you run your own server for that?

The sysprep process for Vista is WAY different than w2k or wxp. And of course it NEVER works quite the way it seems like it ought to in the documentation. I’d imagine many managers can’t just imagine why it took so long to get it installed that way — don’t you just put in a DVD????

If you’re using a custom gina or stub, forget it. Vista doesn’t work like that anymore. Figure out something else quick.

Patches — whatever you used to manage patches in the past is now different, hopefully the process you used to qualify patches in the past can still be used. (You *do* manage your patches, right? Or do you just trust M$ to not automatically crash 500 machines or render critical software useless overnight because of a bad patch?) Do your WMI scripts that you relied upon for who-knows-what still work? Do you need to re-write all of those now?

Applications — will your old MSIs, custom or otherwise, still work on Vista? Or do you get to repackage EVERYTHING? Will they install in an unattended fashion with the new security whatever they’re doing? Oh — do those legacy apps even work on Vista? Even non-legacy apps?

Hardware — will there be a driver for everything? I don’t remember seeing a single driver for ANY Apple printers in the driver list for Vista. What else is missing?

Does anyone remember how crappy XP was prior to SP2? And did the SP2 upgrade hose anyone else’s install? I suspect that many organizations will attempt to drag their feet until the first collection of fixes (SP1?) comes out for Vista.

And just what is it that you get for this? (Other than eyestrain from those menus being blurry while going up and down?) A new UI…annoying prompts for your administrator password whenever any app wants to do something? Some extra crap for DRM? (if I only had time to watch movies and crap like that) A reason to buy a new PC? Maybe some job security if you’re doing the right thing and actually make Vista work. Those WinXP boxes may last forever if you’re not careful.

So, screw the users and anyone with less than 20 desktops. You don’t have problems.

Eric says:

Re: a different viewpoint:

One article I read makes a really good point…..
‘Vista gives the user 13 ways to turn off the PC’… 13 ways, what the hell do you need 13 ways for!

I dont even want to think about how complicated impelmenting this thing on a server will be if theres 13 ways to power off. ENDLESS NIGHTMARES.

This explains why I hear JEEEEEESUS CHRIST coming from our server room and Server team cubicals everyday!

Probablly easier to revert to paper and pencil…

Dont like this message? [Cancel] or [Allow]

Chronno S. Trigger says:

Re: a different viewpoint:

Bingo. You just pointed out every problem we are having with Vista at this company. We don’t plan on installing it until at lest SP1. At this point we don’t even support it.

Applications – Most applications work without a problem in vista (That is most of the unimportant applications.) our old antiquated version of damware works, Just not any of the applications we sell.

Drivers – Their are more drivers built into vista than any previous version of windows, you just don’t see them. That is one of the problems. what are the odds that a home user is going to have an HP Laserjet 4? (or any laserjet for that matter)

While I was reading the comments I was thinking Douse anyone remember the complaints about XP prior to SP2. XP is just a pretty and bloated version of 2000.

I have Vista. I’m the one designated to learn it before we have to support it. I have no problems with it (except that it won’t work with our software). I can get Half Life 2 running on it, full tilt, without a problem. It, currently, runs better than my XP machine. Had no problems installing drivers (I don’t use the preloaded ones) or applications or games. Nor did I ever have a problem with videos/DVDs like the roomers. Granted, I could make 98 do that.

All in all, I think its just like the upgrade from 2000 to XP, it will only be essential when Microsoft makes it. (DirectX 11 for example.)

tjc says:

Re: Re: a different viewpoint:

Yes, issues almost every IT group is going to have to consider in planning a rollout.

But the thing that really gets me are the “super-l33t” among the userbase, who thought it was pretty easy to install it on their two computers and the “server” in their basement at home. They had no problems, ergo the company should have no problems. They must be incompetent — obviously that’s why it’s taking so long.

So, maybe getting a little off-topic, it really burns my ass when I see reports of Walt Mossberg calling IT departments “regressive and poisonous” (you can google the reference yourself) because large IT departments are impeding the adoption of new technology. Precisely the “it was easy for me, so it must be easy for you!” mentality. The IT departments aren’t stifling the adoption of Vista. Vista (and microsoft) do that by themselves.

The sysprep process between w2k and XP — almost identical. Less for IT to have to deal with in an upgrade. Repackaged MSIs — pretty much identical. Those things helped.

Vista is just different enough. The sysprep process: still called sysprep, but it’s sufficiently different that I’m going to have to start from scratch. So, that means that if I admin Walt’s desktop, I’m not going to one-off install Vista because I just can’t do that by hand for every box. Not a good use of IT staff time.

So let’s say it does it himself…if it’s on your intranet, you gotta scan his box to make sure he’s up-to-date and behaving, right?

MBSA — the M$ security analyzer — v2.0.1 doesn’t support Vista. v2.1 beta does…want your organization security relying upon beta software? v2.1v1 didn’t support remote scanning. Vista is a racehorse that’s charged out of the gate — and it appears as if the saddle and horseshoes are still waiting for delivery.

And making just M$ software install in an unattended fashion nicely can be a challenge. There’s a bug in the Visual Studio 2k5 installer which just causes the end user workstation to reboot mid-install. The fix was posted a year later in an M$ employee blog. But hey, it was documented. I’ll take that. Adobe software — now there’s some hard to package stuff.

So make the users install all of their own software. Then you have issues with properly controlling site-licensed software distributions, and they still call IT when their computer is slow, only to find that they have the cutesy screen saver installed and some registry cleaner that promised to make it faster, etc. etc.

Maybe we’re not poisonous enough?

I’m sure at some point there will be very compelling reasons to upgrade from XP to Vista. Right now, performance of win2k on an Intel 965 desktop board with core2duo is absymal. XP on the same hardware is good. I suspect it’s a function of the quality of the Intel drivers; they work OK under w2k, but perhaps were optimized for xp and Vista. Maybe in another 6/7 years, XP will be in the same driver boat. New hardware (in 7 years) with XP will be less optimal than with Vista or extra-longhorn or shoehorn or hornytoad or whatever the new OS is at that time.

And back to the original article — I think it makes good business sense for Dell to offer the OS that those who spec and purchase the systems want. Hardware will still need replacing. Providing XP will save the potential purchaser an hour of wiping Vista to install XP anyway. An hour is worth something. Justifying their decision in terms of the challenges ahead of an organization migrating from winxx to Vista–well, they’re just telling the truth.

Chronno S. Trigger says:

Re: Re: Re: a different viewpoint:

Didn’t mean to send you off on a tizzy.

on second thought I did. Vista is extremely easy to install. Its kinda hard to screw it up. The only way I can think of is having completely incompatible hardware. Since I have a 5 year old (at least) SCSI card and still had no issues installing it I also find that kinda hard. The issue I can see is just software compatibility. (Hence the comment about the software we sell WON’T WORK) We can’t even think about installing Vista until the end of August.

Now I don’t know about you but I would like to learn how to run the software before I start supporting it. Kinda important. Also kinda important to be able to support a peace of software is to be able to properly install it. Even if that includes knowing the words “I’m sorry, but I can’t install it on your PC because it can’t support it.”

I get kinda pissed off at the people who get pissed off at me for being able to do something so simple.

My comments about the drivers, applications, and the previous issues with XP still apply. XP had the same exact compatibility issues as Vista douse now. Not saying it will run like XP just saying that it will have the same learning curve.

PS. my server runs 2003. Vista is my Gaming PC.

anachreon_ says:

Just my .02 cents. I’ve used Windows most of my life, but have also owned a few Macs. I switched to Kubuntu linux last December and pretty much love it. The only drawback for me (and, yes, I am a bit of a power user) is the lack of games. But for pretty much everything else I can’t think of a reason to use Vista for anything. Even the 3D effects using Beryl or Compiz seem better than what Vista can offer.

Raymond says:

Vista... lets look at a timeline

Thanks, Bill

you hit my intentions right on the nose, i didnt mean an absolute, but there are not enough people to running these to make security problems, as for all of you who keep reminding me of OS’s that were not mentioned, i didn’t mention them simply because, they were not widely anticipated for operating systems, i didn’t go somewhere and hear people saying “ZOMG i cant wait for Windows Server 2003 to come out” and on top of that, its simply an XP spinoff…

Mike says:

Vista for Developers MUST be Tweaked First...

I was one of the “unlucky” ones who purchased a DELL Inspiron 9400 with the only OS option being Vista Business. After the wow factor wore off, I realized that the machine was pathetically slow for Visual Studio .NET 2005 development and all the other developer tools. I couldn’t understand how a fully loaded machine could be reduced to a crawl like that.

Well after days of frustration and hours of research, I found that I needed to tweak the Vista configuration so I could reclaim much of the “wasted” resources on bloatware and unnecessary services. Check out for excellent tips. Also, if your Outlook is running at turtle speed, make sure to delete the Media Direct Outlook addin which apparently has huge problems especially for Outlook 2007!

Bottomline, if your going to be doing software development that is NOT directly targeting the Vista features, stay with Windows XP for the forseeable future unless you don’t mind going through the configuration tweaks, uninstalling Dell bloatware and addins, downloading Vista versions (patches) for VS.NET 2005 and SQL Server among others.

Hope this helps.

Tom Clark says:

Vista doesn't do what it should.

I bought a new Dell with Vista not knowing if I could have an alternative. Currently no program I have installed works without some sort of patch or Tweak. I’m sick to death of vista.

It also Clashes with my 6600GT Nvidia Graphics card. Not only that but it take up at times over 500 mb of Ram, and flogs my Cpu. Now vista doesn’t work at all.

It has bricked my computer. Black Screens During every mode (safe mode/recovery/normal boot/cd boot) I’m ready to Shout at dell Telling them where they have gone wrong.

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