I was going through Google reader yesterday and I hit the Larkware News feed (which usually provides a good list of nice articles, but those HUGE, and I mean HUGE, ads really annoy me, but I guess they are a necessary evil) which had a story about someone doing a review of XP and pretending that it was a review of an upgrade from Vista. It was actually quite a clever post and very witty. I really did enjoy reading it. It was pretty much a scathing review of Vista by talking about different features of XP and how they compared to Vista.
The author talked about how reliable XP was and how it didn’t crash constantly, about how IE7 didn’t crash when reading G-mail (who uses IE still these days?), about how it didn’t hang for 30+ seconds at startup, how Windows Explorer didn’t crash 3 times a day, how he didn’t get codec dialog boxes popping up when he deleted video files, etc… If you want to read the whole post, go here.
After reading about halfway through the post I couldn’t help but think to myself "wow, if I had even half of these issues I would have freaked out months ago." But honestly, I haven’t had a single problem with Vista on either of my machines. No, really, I haven’t. I have a dev machine at work that I run Vista x64 on and I have my desktop at home that I run Vista Ultimate 32-bit. They were both fairly new machines that were purchased with Vista pre-installed though, so that could be part of my good fortune. Although I rarely change operating systems on the same hardware, usually by the time a new OS comes out I am ready to upgrade anyways.
I honestly did expect Vista to be a little less snappy than XP, and it probably is a little bit (I don’t really notice it) for me, but I don’t get huge lags or crashes like this author is talking about. I mean, look at his stability chart versus what mine looks like.
The author talks about visual artifacts, of which I haven’t seen any except for one or two very rarely around my mouse cursor. I also haven’t had any trouble with device support, although I don’t really use any super old devices. I can’t really say anything about gaming, since I don’t use my machine for playing many games, I have a console that I play most of my games on. I really do feel bad for this author or anyone who has had to go through this with Vista, but I never realized it was this bad for some people. I just assumed that most people were whining about it because it was a Microsoft product.
And not only have I not had any problems, but in fact, there are several things in Vista that I am used to now that would make it hard for me to go back to XP. Number one is the search in the start menu. Being able to hit the windows key and then just type whatever I am looking for is pretty sweet. And it will find most anything, even e-mails and files. I use this feature several times a day. Another thing is that when I go to rename a file, it doesn’t highlight the file extension, that really used to be annoying. Also, Vista is much better with multiple monitors, which both of my machines have. It is much better remember which monitors applications are on, and also can handle multiple resolutions better. Vista is also much better about resizing and moving applications when you remote into a box with a machine that has a smaller resolution or only one monitor. It moves and resizes all the applications and then puts it all right back where it was before. It also has a built in back-up application that can be automated through the command line and backs up your hard drive to a VHD file. It also has a built in screen capture tool which allows you to take full screen, window, free form, or square captures. I know there are probably a few other things that I’m not thinking of right now.
My only real complaint with Vista has nothing to do with the bugs (of which there are a few) or application compatibility, or stability, but with the fact that other than what I named above, there really isn’t a whole lot in Vista that was compelling over Windows XP considering the 5 years of development time and the cost. I know that there was a lot of behind the scenes changes that have laid the groundwork for future versions of Windows, but that wouldn’t have assuaged me if I had shelled out the huge amount of money that Microsoft is charging for Vista. My point is that Vista is not perfect, but not everyone out there is having a horrible experience with Vista. I really feel sorry for those who are having horrible experiences, and there is no excuse for the number of people who are having issues (at least it seems like a lot), but there are many of us out there who enjoy using Vista and truly are having no issues with it.