Super UserWhy is Vista Disliked?
[+29] [29] Frank
[2009-07-15 22:32:23]
[ windows windows-vista ]

I don't think this has been asked yet.

Why do so many people seem to dislike Vista? I think as far as an OS goes, it works fine. I don't have any more crashes with it then on my XP box or even my MacBook [1].

But I continually hear people -- my master's professor for one -- degrade Vista as though it was Windows Me.

What is the main reason for the contempt toward Vista? Or, for a different perspective, why is XP suppose to be so much better?

Updated: It was asked to make this a community wiki and I can see the argument for that. But I don't think I agree... I don't mean people are attacking Microsoft -- it's Vista that is being attacked and that is what I'm wondering about. What is it about Vista? Is it the new security? Program incompatibility? Will games not run? That sort of thing. Poeple seem to be perfectly happy with XP but will not use Vista.

(18) Let's try to keep this as technical as possible and lay off your standard run-of-the-mill "M$ is evil" style posts. This is just a friendly reminder. - TheTXI
(3) Regarding the wiki: It is to avoid reputation gain for a question that does not have a real answer. - Diago
Vista is now to be replaced by Windows 7, maybe we can let him rest in peace, now? - Gnoupi
but windows 7 isn't XP either! - Phoshi
Windows removed support for horizontal spanning in the xp->vista transition. This problem persists even in windows 7 - aCuria
[+50] [2009-07-15 22:35:19] Jonathan Sampson

Lack of support for various drivers early in its infancy. Today, it's largely disliked over naivety. People haven't used it, and instead base their positions largely upon hear-say. They will argue that you have to deal with UAC often - but that simply isn't the case. I rarely ever see it, and I'm a fairly active user doing diverse things all the time.

(3) Also, UAC is easily disabled. - gclaghorn
(4) With the emphasis on early problems with drivers. Many who had poor early experiences with the beta were vocal in their dislike long after the problems had been addressed. - Bevan
@gclaghorn yes, but then the red shield appears on the taskbar saying that you must enable it again - djeidot
(1) @gclaghorn: and you have to then worry about viruses and other internet related crap. If you disable security tools... don't complain when you have problems. - Matthew Whited
(1) People who complain about viruses on Windows shouldn't disabled Windows' virus protection tools :) - Jonathan Sampson
I am still having issues with drivers for my graphics card (nvidia 8800 gtx), but that is my only real complaint. - Berek Bryan
@Berek What issues are you having? I have the same exact card at home, and haven't noticed anything. - Jonathan Sampson
@gclaghorn I wouldn't disable. It is really annoying when you first get the thing installed, since you are doing a ton of program installations / driver installations. However, after a week passes and your "regular" apps are all set up, it's pretty easy to go weeks without seeing a UAC dialog even once. - TM
IIRC, you don't get UAC annoyance if you're running as a regular user, as you should be, for normal operations. - romandas
the /need/ for virus protection tools in windows is a defect. - Kent Fredric
@romandas: I don't think Visual Studio will work right as a regular user. The title bars on the windows I have open read "Microsoft Visual Studio (Administrator)". In contrast, I never need rights above regular user to develop software on my Linux boxes at home, although sometimes I have to escalate to install it. - David Thornley
[+26] [2009-07-15 23:14:48] bobobobo

It just wasn't better than XP

(3) Or, it was better in some ways, but worse in others, and the areas in which it was better were less visible than the areas it wasn't. - GalacticCowboy
(3) This is pretty subjective and it arguably is better than XP in many ways. - jasonh
This doesn't really properly address my question; I'm asking about why people are so upset with Vista as a product -- not releative to other products. - Frank
(9) More like: It just wasn't XP - Factor Mystic
(1) Win7 is a Vista "do-over" - Chris Ballance
(3) Personally I like it better than XP. I understand that not everyone did, and I respect their opinion / right to use what they like. But saying it's "not better" is different than saying "I didn't like it any better". - TM
[+24] [2009-07-15 22:34:55] RSolberg

Below is an example of why many users were unhappy with Vista when it was launched. I have personally been using it since it was in BETA just as I have Windows 7. In my years of Vista usage, I can safely say that I've only had one big annoyance seen below. Outside of that, I've found the platform to be stable, easy on the eyes, and easier to work with than XP.

On a side note, I am enjoying Windows 7 more than Vista. We all have something to look forward to there...


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(7) The canonical example of this is the infamous "seven steps to delete a shortcut" image: (IIRC, this particular example was actually fixed before the final release). - CesarB
This argument is an annoyance, to me :P Just think about it for a moment, if YOU can do something without being questioned, so can anything else! I don't want nasty things changing my wallpaper, or indeed deleting shortcuts! - Phoshi
[+20] [2009-07-16 02:37:47] EMP

Here are just a few reasons:

  • Security "enhancements" that don't really increase security, but are frustrating as hell to the user. UAC is, of course, top of the list. Of course, you can turn it off, but then you still run into stupid things like this [1], you still cannot drag a file from Explorer into a Command Prompt window to copy its path (very useful feature), etc.
  • You have to make more clicks to accomplish exactly the same task as in Windows XP. There are all the warning prompts, as already mentioned, but take the File Security dialog as another example. Why must I click Edit to edit the permissions when before (in XP) I could edit them in the same dialog as I viewed them in? And if I need advanced permissions I click Edit (mistakenly), then click Advanced, then have to click Edit again! As far as I can see there is no new functionality in that dialog whatsoever, yet it's been redesigned to add extra steps.
  • MS seems to have moved stuff around and made it harder to find just for the hell of it. For example, what is wrong with the "Add/Remove Programs" icon, which every Windows user knows back from Windows 95?! For some reason MS just had to rename it to "Programs and Features". How do you disable hibernation? Oh, there's no UI anymore - you need to run a command-line tool. Huh?
  • Performance - it runs much slower than XP on the same hardware and what do I really get in return for that? A prettier desktop? It always seems to be doing something in the background...
  • DRM, as already mentioned, and the extra hurdle and cost it adds for driver developers.

Raymond Chen has already explained the "drag to Command Prompt" thing. Users got themed borders for Console windows, they lost drag&drop. (There's still "Copy path to clipboard" in right-click menu of a file.) - grawity
The fact that he explained it doesn't help me to drag-and-drop. :) - EMP
+1 just for mentioning performance. There are reasons for it being slower, but the reasons are not good enough and most people don't know about them at all. - Console
[+20] [2009-07-16 19:26:41] scunliffe [ACCEPTED]

1.) I think the sheer number of versions of Vista confused end users that were quite happy with just XP before.

2.) UAC didn't win any fans... and as a "power user" myself, not being able to reset my IP via ipconfig without launching my command prompt first... as "the" administrator user vs. a user with "full administrative rights" was (and to this day!) a very frustrating process.

3.) The Mac vs. PC commercials were VERY well done and subconsciously convinced many that Vista was crap.

4.) Personally I missed the old Exploring Details view with custom columns. I could organize my mp3's and my programming file versions easily in the XP view... but the Vista view dropped features but IMHO didn't add any.

Wow, over use of formatting much? - Jeff Yates
(11) I think the formatting is appropriate. - Frank
(3) XP came in two versions if I remember right: "Home" and "Professional". - jweede
I don't know how much #1 actually contributed to it. I'd instead argue that it was mostly due to its early problems, such as driver incompatibilities and performance, and people continued to use those arguments even after they became non-issues. - musicfreak
[+19] [2009-07-15 22:47:41] chaos

Bizarrely, no one has mentioned the Evil Vista DRM [1] yet. It was pretty much the centerpiece of every dialogue I was privy to about the horrors of Vista back when it came out.


(3) It hasn't been relevant to the vast majority of users. - Jonathan Sampson
(1) It'd bother me, but i haven't bothered with packaged HD video at all yet, and have no plans to do so in the near future. Vista works just fine for ripping DVDs, so... - Shog9
(2) Funny that OS X is equally (if not more) DRM-encumbered but you never hear complaints about it. Plus, it's even locked to specific hardware, which is the ultimate DRM. - TM
(6) I can't believe this has 10 upvotes because it is totally and utterly irrelevant for 99% of users 99% of the time. If DRM is the reason Vista is disliked, why did the iPod become so popular given that it is/was heavily encumbered with DRM? It do belive FUD over the DRM playered a bigger role than the reality of the DRM itself, mainly due to a lack of trust of MS. - Charles Roper
What's the DRM on the iPod? iTunes started with DRM that was really easy to crack, but that's been removed. The only music on my iPhone was ripped from my CDs or bought from iTunes, and hence non-DRM. - David Thornley
Anyway, the reason nobody's mentioned it is that people have been generally good about complaining why they in particular dislike Vista, and it hasn't come up. The main effects of the DRM were to slow development of drivers, and that has been mentioned. The other pernicious effects were either exaggerated or haven't affected as many people as expected. - David Thornley
[+14] [2009-07-16 03:08:53] ldigas

The way I look at it.

alt text

[+10] [2009-07-15 22:37:13] lagerdalek

It largely got a bad rap when it was first released as it was slow, there were driver compatability issues and, of course, UAC debuted on it.

Recent updates, and especially SP1 have improved it no end IMO, but the stigma remains.

I recently purchased a laptop as a dev machine which had, to my horror, Vista Home Premium installed on it. I initially decided to regress to XP, but laziness largely stopped me. I have very few issues with it, and a lot of the new features I do like. I am a reluctant convert.

(1) Me too. I had intended to upgrade to Server 2008 or something, but I've been very happy with Home Premium. I should probably upgrade to Ultimate because of some special things I'd like for programming, but it's not a big deal. - John Saunders
(5) Shame that people forget they had the same complaints with 95, 98, NT, 2000 and XP - Matthew Whited
The driver compatibility issues were partly Microsoft's fault. Because of the DRM in the design, it was not possible to use normal debugging tools in the normal way when creating drivers, and that slowed their development down. - David Thornley
[+9] [2009-07-15 23:17:01] Oskar Duveborn

It was late and mostly new under-the-hood - but gave little to no thought to the user experience. Most of the development time seems spent on the architecture (which was good in the long run but, not so engaging to normal users as it didn't break much ground over XP in that perspective).

The hardware requirements went up a lot. Going to XP from 2000 wasn't really a change in architecture so little new hardware was needed. Having a PC from 2000 running Vista however, especially with the clunky UI and slow graphics drivers in beta if running Aero, could be taxing to say the least. So it was bloated, or blamed to be anyway. Compared to XP it certainly was.

As the driver models were changed in many ways, graphics and other performance-wise important drivers were back to square one - performing badly in many games compared to mature XP drivers.

Most of the UI was new, things were moved all over the place, trying to find a control panel applet or just your documents became perhaps not a huge obstacle but an obstacle anyway for many users.

The file copy that apparently was more accurate in not showing a copy as complete before it was flushed from cache made it look like it took ages to complete - hence some operations being really slow from a user experience standpoint. Just an example, I bet there are many more.

The UAC thing... When I install a Windows machine for someone (yes even relatives, non-corperate stuff), they don't get admin access by default. They get a separate admin account for administrative tasks, and they rarely need to use them. For them, UAC was never a problem, because they were used to run as a standard user hence no prompts ever appeared unless they tried something they weren't normally doing.

But everyone who wasn't, and still ran their desktops as administrators 24/7 - obviously had UAC prompting them about stuff all the time, perhaps because they never thought about what they were actually doing as administrators or because they really needed to do those things... the fix should be easy though, if you want to run as admin, turn UAC off... it's not a security boundary anyway. Though I will get spanked recommending anyone running as admin by default so please don't ^^

I think there's no end to possible reasons it's disliked... it's already a novel, doh.

Very good points though saying there was no new user experience and then mentioning how slow Aero was seems a little contradictive... Aero was suppose to be the new user experience.... - Frank
+1 - My primary issue with Vista is silly UI changes for little to no gain. Administering XP was easy for anyone who came from Windows 2000, because they didn't futz with the GUI too much. - romandas
[+8] [2009-07-16 00:27:11] Nosredna

Desperate to finally ship Vista, Microsoft allowed computers with low specs to have "Vista Capable" stickers. My Vista laptop came with 512M of RAM. You can imagine how fun that was. I believe this situation resulted in a lawsuit.

Also, early on, copying files from one place to another was crazily slow--like an order of magnitude slower than it should have been.

Also, it didn't help that every cool thing that was supposed to be in Vista was removed before it was shipped.

Actually, the copying speed "issue" was very much a misnomer barring one bug to do with some W4WG legacy support network copy feature. In actuality, it just seemed to copy slower because they changed the way the progress bars worked - a perception issue. In reality, it was copying faster! With SP1 they "fixed" the progress bars (and the bug) and everyone is happy now. - Tall Jeff
No, it was actually copying slowly. - Nosredna
No... it was waiting to copy the file until after it figured out how long it would take. The file copy took less time. It was just this calculation that took longer. - Matthew Whited
No... There were many actual copy problems. Especially over networks. Here's the definitive blog post which says all the things done for SP1 to address the problem. It was not just cosmetics.… - Nosredna
The money quote: "File copying is not as easy as it might first appear, but the product team took feedback they got from Vista customers very seriously and spent hundreds of hours evaluating different approaches and tuning the final implementation to restore most copy scenarios to at least the performance of previous versions of Windows and drastically improve some key scenarios." - Nosredna
It wasn't desperation to ship. "Vista Capable" was due to pressure from Intel, who wanted to continue shipping low-end IGP chipsets. - kmarsh
Came here to write what kmarsh wrote. - Mark Allen
[+5] [2009-07-16 01:15:23] Factor Mystic

Why do so many people seem to dislike Vista?

It's very simple: Lack of proactive marketing. People who aren't technical (and even a lot that are) simply believe what they are told. And why shouldn't they, most people are generally truthful. But in the case of Windows Vista, there were a few specific, negative articles of dubious truth that created a foundation of misinformation that Microsoft didn't kill or meaningfully respond to, allowing a culture of negativity to take over their product.

Case in point: Peter Gutmann's A Cost Analysis of Windows Vista Content Protection [1]. While the claims are (sometimes, comedically) false, it didn't matter. The executive summary calls Vista a "suicide note" ( great for headlines [2]). This lead to articles claiming Vista couldn't play back media well, put DRM on your MP3s, and that it caused global warming [3]!. Media disaster.

Have you noticed the huge number of ads, technical blog posts, informal info releases, and document revisions leading up to Windows 7? It's no mistake, Microsoft leadership has learned that flooding news sites with positive information means positive attitudes, which means positive sales.


Microsoft became the victim of fear, uncertainty and doubt? Oh the horror... ;-) It might be part of the problem but don't you see any issues with the product itself. - Jon Hopkins
(1) Actual issues with the product were blown way out of proportion thanks to the bad media engine already in place - Factor Mystic
(2) This is close to what I would have answered. I believe there was an epidemic of negativity towards Vista and it reached a kind of 'negative [tipping point][1]'. The press and the industry mavens slammed it and so the consumers started doubting in, and that trend never reversed itself. Don't forget, though, when OS X first came out, it too suffered many of the same problems Vista did, it's just it wasn't as significant, at the time, as Vista's launch. Apple are now masters of media manipulation; MS need to catch up. [1] - Charles Roper
I also agree that the real day-to-day problems were blown way, way, way out of proportion. I know many (normal, non-IT) people who have absolutely no problems with it at all. It's usually IT-types who don't like it, and if IT-types don't like it, then that sows seeds of doubt in the minds of normal people. - Charles Roper
[+4] [2009-07-16 14:07:22] FerranB

Because it consumes a lot of resources to do more or less the same that XP.

(1) You could easily make the same argument that XP consumed a load of resources to do little more than add a bit of lipstick to Windows 2000, at least Vista gives you a whole load of new functionality for those resources. - GAThrawn
(2) Some of us don't actually benefit from the new functionality. XP was mostly good enough. - David Thornley
+1 for saying what I did, but only using one sentence. - kmarsh
[+3] [2009-07-15 22:47:05] ianix

OK, here's a little ranting.

I've been using Vista for about 6 months and sometime in the lapse a windows appears saying that I might be "a victim of counterfeit". I can't open the control panel, I can't do a Windows Update. Investigating a little, the problem is that the Software Licensing service isn't running. I tried to start it and it stops. I tried restoring from a checkpoint and nothing. No answers in the MS support.

Of course my version is valid (was part of the HW I bought). I even checked it with a tool provided by MS. I think I can live with it, but it nags a lot a pop-up almost every hour I'm almost a pirate, that windows defender isn't updated, that my system is not up to date, have to do a workaround to open the control panel... all for a service that does just a check if my software is valid. I never had a single problem with XP, and I although I heard a lot of bad thing I gave it a try. All I can say, one way or another, these people were right.

Sounds like a rootkit or virus to me... - GalacticCowboy
Yes it could, but it's the only issue I have with Vista. What really annoys me is that I don't have any solution, something like repairing or reinstalling the service. At one point I thought that Vista SP2 could resolve the issue. How wrong was I. I couldn't log to the system! I had to restore to a checkpoint. I can only hope Windows 7 solves everything. - ianix
[+3] [2009-07-15 22:51:23] AZ
  • Awful infancy: People upgrading found out that half their computer devices (exaggerating) weren't working properly. And then, frustrated people begin saying bad things about Vista.
  • Lack of expertise (or patience): The change is not as smooth, people gets frustrated and begin saying bad things about Vista.
  • Prompts: Prompts are soooo annoying in Vista, but there are people that don't have the patience need to find out how, and get frustrated and tell their friends Vista is no good.
  • Requirements: I find it slower than many better-looking Linux desktops. So people, don't like to wait for somethings to load up and get frustrated and tell their mateys, Vista nay goodie.
  • Frustration: Frustrated people saying bad things about Vista to others who believed without trying.

[+2] [2009-07-15 22:41:24] kishore

There are few nuances like below under vista But I don't think that's the reason for vista's failure. There are couple of reasons I can think of.

1). Too many versions which confuses people. XP is simple, XP prof and XP home 2). The performance suffers on old machines because of hardware requirements 3). Drivers not available for some of the hardware when it was released 4). Never penetrated to enterprise market

[+2] [2009-07-16 13:44:22] Adriano Varoli Piazza

Apart from moving things around for no good reason (my mnemonics of the control panel elements from XP are shot with Vista), and the difference in performance without visible gains (oh, I can Win-Alt-Tab and it's 3D? So?), my other main problem was overpromise and underdelivery. They promised winFS, Powershell, etc, and all of those were eventually reduced or scrapped.

EDIT: Also, coming from Ubuntu, the right way to implement UAC was evident. The system does not bother you nearly as much with sudo and gksudo as Vista does.

[+2] [2009-07-16 13:46:40] tim

One of the most annoying things about Vista (aside from the poor way they handled UAC) is that simple things that I got used to on XP were not there any more and I had to find where they hid them.

For example, right click on a folder in explorer and choose "Search". That was replaced with a brain-dead search.

Little things like that irk me - when I have to re-learn how to use functionality I KNOW is there.

I understand there are a lot of nice, slick features in Vista, but breaking/moving things I got used to really sucks. Things I never had to think about now cause me to stop and take time away form real work to think about and find how to do something.

You prefer XP search to Vista search? Really? Bloody annoying dog and all? - Phoshi
What dog? I got used to the new method now, but the annoying part is having to learn new gestures or new locations for many many things. - tim
[+2] [2009-07-16 15:46:46] Keithius

Some basic reasons:

  • Poor driver support when it first came out (that whole debacle over the older Intel video drivers that were commonly in use in lower-priced PCs not being the new WDM drivers so people couldn't use the "Aero" effects)
  • The whole hullaballo regarding the "Vista Ready" label
  • The huge time lag between XP and Vista really worked against it, for several reasons:
    • Because of the (relatively) huge time lag between XP and Vista, there was a sort of "psychological" shock in how much more power Vista required
    • Again, because XP had been out for... what, 6 years?... before Vista came along, people had REALLY gotten used to it, and the many changes to the UI & other things in Vista was too much change all at once
    • Because there had been no new OS releases in so long before Vista, people had no reason to upgrade their computers - so they were using "older" computers for a relatively longer period of time, and when Vista came out (with it's higher system requirements) it "felt" like such a big change from what XP required (and what people had) that it generated a lot of resentment. (For example, the difference in system requirements from, say, Windows 2000 -> XP was a lot less than from XP -> Vista... but then again, there were only, what, 1 & a half years between 2000 and XP.)
  • UAC prompts (just look at how they've changed in Windows 7 and you'll see what was wrong with how they were implemented in Vista)

Of all those things, most were fixed later on with service packs or just the passage of time (getting used to something new always takes time).

The only one that still REALLY bugs me is UAC - which is still annoying. I mean, sure, it is less annoying once you're done installing programs... but it still rears its ugly head in weird places when trying to do (fairly) common things... like, say, deleting a shortcut from your start menu:

  • "Are you sure you want to move this item to the recycle bin?" [Yes] [No]
  • "You need to confirm this operation." [Continue] [Skip] [Cancel]
  • "Windows needs your permission to continue. [Continue] [Cancel]

I guess the lesson to be learned from Vista is not to change too much all at once (or, don't wait 7 years between OS releases!)

Under XP, a simple batch file, or 2 line program in almost any language, could delete a vital system file and force a shutdown. Now, an experienced user may be able to repair that, if they knew what was going wrong, but anybody else'd have to reformat. That's why UAC exists, there is no middle ground. Either you can do nothing that has systemwide implications, or you can do anything. - Phoshi
The same is true with Vista, you just get one more annoying pop-up question in your way before you do whatever it was you were trying to do in the first place. Only AFTER it's done do you realize it was a bad idea. (This is, alas, a common scenario - look at people who delete things they didn't mean to, even after multiple "are you sure you want to PERMANENTLY delete this?" question prompts.) - Keithius
Nope, you can't do it, you don't own anything in \system32. - Phoshi
[+2] [2009-09-09 14:49:34] Phoshi

Why is it disliked now? It's not XP. This is a legitimate complaint, it is (imo) a better OS, but it's a different OS, and some people have a hard enough time getting round one, never mind changing.

Why was it disliked at launch? It sucked. Not MS's fault, but driver support hadn't gotten used to using a good driver architecture, so stuff went wrong.

People who complain about UAC are, in my honest, frank opinion, either programmers who don't like being reminded they're using code they shouldn't be, or people who don't understand it.

No, you can't change your wallpaper without being asked. Why is this a bad thing? If you can do it, so can virus.exe, or ITakeOverYourMouse.exe. This is not a good thing! It might be slightly annoying on the odd occasion you need to launch something elevated, but how people think it's a bad thing I do not know.

Except that it is useless to most users- given the choice between security and dancing pigs, most users will pick dancing pigs every time. - kmarsh
And then they'll bring their PC to me because it's broken and they "didn't do anything." Fun fact: Nobody who runs with UAC on has complained of that to me. - Phoshi
[+2] [2010-02-10 10:14:44] Joe Taylor

Vista got an awful reputation when it was first released due to many quite major changes in the way the OS was designed and presented. The security prompts and differences in things like file browsing confused and annoyed average users. While problems with Network File Transfer speeds and massive driver problems annoyed administrators. Throw into that the whole Microsoft Vista Capable debacle which flooded the market with cheap pc's that were underpowered and totally ruined peoples first experience of Vista.

SP2, and SP1 to some extent, has improved a lot of these issues, as well as the gradual improvement in hardware and the move to Peripherals with Vista Drivers. Ultimately it got a very bad name very quickly and thats hard to shake. Personally i run it on good hardware with the correct drivers and the latest patches / service packs and haven't had any problems since SP2.

[+1] [2009-09-09 17:27:18] David Thornley

Let's go through my annoyances:

The new Windows Explorer lacks some of the features of the old one, in particular the nice TortoiseSVN integration that is apparently impossible now. Also, when I open "Explore" by right-clicking the Start button, I wind up with a mess. Once I minimize the AppData tab, it's much nicer. I haven't figured out how to fix that.

Lots of times, it's just frozen for half a second to two seconds. I shouldn't click on a menu item, have to wait for the menu to appear, and then select which item. It breaks workflow. I shouldn't type in a text box or so and then wait for the displayed letters to catch up. My best guess is that the process scheduler doesn't think user input is really important to get right.

Similarly, when I had XP, I could hit control-alt-delete, type in my password, and have the desktop up by the time my LCD monitors got the picture. This doesn't work in Vista. It's clunky that way.

We've got a mysterious problem trying to save screenshots as JPEGs in our software. Everything I've seen says we're doing this precisely correctly (I've asked on StackOverflow and the Microsoft forums), and it frequently doesn't work on our Vista machines.

It isn't exactly Vista, but I find the ribbon interface annoying. I don't know if it's a case of not getting used to it in a year, but it seems clumsier than the old menus.

While Vista does have some serious improvements, most of them are irrelevant to what I do. (I regard the Aero GUI as a step backwards, with lower information density, and disabled it. Not to mention I couldn't pick out the active window easily, because gray vs. blue is much more noticeable than more vs. less opaque.) Despite having a much more powerful computer than my old XP one, Vista comes across as a clunky and somewhat annoying variant of XP.

Note that I haven't had problems with UAC, for whatever reason. I haven't disabled it, but I haven't been plagued with annoying clickthroughs. It's probably a function of what I do on this, which is mostly develop software and post on SO and related sites.

+1 to get un-negative. No one should be punished for complaining about a slow O/S that fights the user, instead of facilitates the user. With Windows 7 MS proved they can make a leaner, better O/S, if they want to. - kmarsh
[+1] [2009-10-21 22:52:54] alfplayer

It got a bad reputation when it was released (some people have deeper knowledge, other people simply repeat the arguments). This reputation persists.

Some reasons affecting the release:

  • Architectural changes with no immediate and obvious benefit to the end user.
  • Applications and hardware taking advantage of some new features weren't there yet (e.g. DirectX 10).
  • Old windows problems unsolved.
  • Simple adaptation.
  • Many applications and drivers didn't work anymore (some took some time to be updated, and some others never supported Vista).
  • It was nowhere near as stable as XP.
  • Released before time, there were some serious and ubiquitous crashes (not depending on hardware). Most of these were fixed with Service Pack 1.
  • Greater hardware requirements.
  • Lower performance.

[+1] [2009-08-18 20:53:21] alcadema

I've got one that I don't believe has been previously mentioned -- lack of MIDI support.

My mother, a church organist who records her songs as MIDI files, recently bought a Vista computer, with the intent to change them to MP3s and burn them to CD.

Naturally, Vista did not recognize MIDI files.

I spent a couple of weekends visiting her, and trying to cajole her computer into recognizing MIDI files. I checked various forums, and looked for possible downloads/workarounds, and could not find anything that would do the job.

Eventually, I wound up using my netbook to convert the MIDIs to WAV using Winamp (of all things), and then converted those to MP3. It could have saved a few steps if Vista just recognized MIDI, though.

Sorry to break it to you, but Vista does have MIDI support, double click on a MIDI file and it will open in Media Player and play as you'd expect. - andynormancx
I brought a few midis along with me when I took my PC down to Hull, and ended up grabbing a Vista disk - no network support, no driver updates, nothing, just the vanilla RTM Home premium, and I recall it played them fine. - Phoshi
[+1] [2009-09-09 12:05:57] Keith

I was working in a senior tech support position for a big ISP when Windows ME came out - Vista is nowhere near as bad, but it does bear comparison.

In both cases MS rushed out a release early to generate cash. ME is a total mess, while Vista isn't as bad it clearly isn't a finished OS either - just look at the half-arsed disk defrag tools.

Vista is very brave though - a lot of the things that it's doing (including UAC and Aero) are the right things for MS to be adding in order to stay competitive. They involve big changes to how the OS works.

UAC is the right way to go - the problem is not that it checks every change, the problem is that it doesn't have sensible rules as to when to ask the user, and hence always asks.

In particular the way Vista protects the operating system files is a massive improvement that needed to happen and was always going to create problems. It also is a huge leap in online security.

But really, the big problem with Vista is that they didn't seem to put any work into improving performance and hence it is slower than XP on the same machine. You 'upgrade' and your machine gets slower.

I think Windows 7 is the step Vista should have been. Its default UAC rules seem to be the right balance, and performance seems on a par with XP. The new task bar is a significant improvement, and will seem even more so once more applications have been upgraded to take advantage of it.

MS should have skipped Vista altogether, just like they should have skipped ME. However, both of those OS made them an awful lot of money, so I guess it was still good business.

[+1] [2009-09-09 14:28:02] kmarsh

The biggest problem with Vista is that didn't preserve all the XP ways of doing things.

You see, XP marks the point in modern history where EVERYONE (in developed nations) who is going to learn computers in their lifetime, learned using XP. Vista changed the way some things are done, and EVERYONE who learned XP as their first O/S resented that.

In addition, Vista (like every Windows release before it) was slower, bigger, and more involved than the last release of Windows.

The user resentment of the first point, plus the technorati resentment of the second point, gave the press full permission to blast Microsoft.

I'm not saying Microsoft didn't deserve it. Microsoft changes things just for the sake of changing them, user familiarity be ****ed. The performance improvements (of the TCP stack, for example) in Windows 7 demonstrates that Microsoft CAN improve performance, if they care to.

I've often likened it to what apple did between OS 9 and OS X, but for the UI. Nobody would argue what apple did was bad for the OS, and I don't think you could really argue what MS did was bad either. - Phoshi
[+1] [2009-07-16 00:57:38] Lucas McCoy

I would also like to point out that Windows 7 Beta is great. It's everything you like about Windows Vista without all the slowness/resource hogging and annoying UAC. I have been running it for a while now and it has been wonderful.

I'm sure this will be considered the best Windows OS for the next 15 years. It's like a poor man's mac.

I think you meant working man's mac - Matthew Whited
I'm still waiting for reviews of the released product before I pester the boss about trying out Windows 7. - David Thornley
@David: Yeah. Plus if he's had any experience with Vista he may be scared for life. - Lucas McCoy
[+1] [2009-07-15 22:35:07] smok1

Beacause people are pissed of by "Is it really you who just clicked Minesweeper.exe?" messages, and do not know how to turn this feature off ;-)

(2) Just opened Minesweeper without having to argue my identity. - Jonathan Sampson
(1) It was irony... - smok1
. sarcasm . - Tom Hawtin - tackline
I think Jonathan's comment was sarcasm too. - David Mackintosh
[+1] [2009-07-15 23:26:43] codingbear

I think many people already pointed out, but here is my 2-cents on this:

When Vista first came out, it was a nightmare to get anything working. Nowadays, many software products are capable with Vista. Today in Vista is like heaven compared to the days when Vista first came out. Nothing worked. Even when it worked, some parts of software products were not working correctly. This is all related to driver issues that people have been mentioning.

Don't forget that most of the problems with vista were third party companies that expolited APIs that Microsoft had been telling them not to touch for years. - Matthew Whited
Unlike Microsoft, who feels free to touch them all they like, until right before they obsolete them? - kmarsh
Don't forget that many of the driver issues were because Microsoft disabled debugging tools in video (and I think sound) drivers, making them harder to get right. - David Thornley
[-1] [2010-02-10 11:52:10] Nicholaz

One word (or acronym) simply: UAC