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Last post Author Topic: Maybe Vista doesn't suck?  (Read 36613 times)

Ralf Maximus

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Maybe Vista doesn't suck?
« on: November 09, 2007, 12:23:33 AM »
I'm still not a convert, but this short article goes a long way towards explaining what I miss from sticking with XP.  The speech-recognition video is especially intriguing, especially since I've experimented with XP's speech functionality and found it wanting.

Maybe it's because I don't have a cool British accent?

Dormouse

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Re: Maybe Vista doesn't suck?
« Reply #1 on: November 09, 2007, 01:02:36 AM »
Seems to me it is more an article about someone who hasn't installed the software to do these things on XP. The reason people most like dislike Vista is that it doesn't work well rather than not having more features than XP.

zridling

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Re: Maybe Vista doesn't suck?
« Reply #2 on: November 09, 2007, 03:39:30 AM »
For me (notice I emphasize that), Vista has been a poor experience in a wide variety of ways, among them driver support, DRM issues, price increases, and the continuing WGA/validation debacle. It also will eat as much hardware as you throw at it. Quad-core screams on Linux, but suddenly crawls on Vista x64. I could go on all day, but that kind of crap really makes me mad.

In the meantime, to get the bad news about Vista behind them, notice the increasing number of "Windows 7" leaks to the media over the past three weeks. Vista will join the infamous ranks of "ME" in the history of Windows OSes. Think of it this way: Vista has been so "suck-sessful" that record numbers of users are using other OS platforms, including me. Microsoft's HALO team should take over coding Win 7!

Josh

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Re: Maybe Vista doesn't suck?
« Reply #3 on: November 09, 2007, 06:36:26 AM »
Zaine: I've asked this every time someone raises the "problems" you mention. What problems have YOU experienced with DRM and WGA? Everytime I ask this, I never get a reply. It seems that most users get upset over problems OTHER users have claiming them as their own. DRM has never caused me a problem.

I don't think you can hold drivers against Vista. Thats a problem with developers not updating their drivers to be Vista compliance.

Lashiec

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Re: Maybe Vista doesn't suck?
« Reply #4 on: November 09, 2007, 08:35:27 AM »
Well, Bungie is no longer a direct part of Microsoft so... But don't worry, with Mark Russinovich on the company and the guy behind Office 2007 in charge of Windows 7 management, I think it could be really great. Everything is hinting as a complete breakup with past Windows' foundation, like Mac OS X did before, so that means they can focus on the OS, and not on backwards compatibility.

I'll answer Josh, but I think he already knows this. DRM only causes problems to early adopters who bought these "fantastic" new HD formats that are crippled with DRM. Not that is much of a problem today, as SlySoft cracked yesterday the last scheme behind Blu Ray. That is the only DRM present in Vista, necessary for HD video playback from those discs. Well, apart from WGA, and you know which kind of problems this caused, although it's true it did not cause a general problem for all users (apart from building up a hardware database with unique IDs identifying you). I think Zaine detailed his personal problems with Vista on his blog, so you know where to look ;)

The first thing you'll see there is not exactly DRMed though, but it's truly NSFW ;D
« Last Edit: November 09, 2007, 04:28:54 PM by Lashiec »

Dormouse

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Re: Maybe Vista doesn't suck?
« Reply #5 on: November 09, 2007, 10:31:47 AM »
I don't think you can hold drivers against Vista.

Of course we can. Either stuff works or it doesn't. XP mostly does, Vista often doesn't. I don't care if it is because I have unusual stuff, because MS have done a bad job or because other people haven't updated their drivers.

And if I'm worried about drivers, I'm not going to upgrade without being certain that everything I have or might get will work with Vista (and there's still quite a bit of software that isn't compatible and some less maintained stuff that probably will never be).

And having Vista on one computer and XP on the others means I know that I never think "I wish I had Vista on this computer", but do sometimes wish I didn't have Vista at all.

Beth UK

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Re: Maybe Vista doesn't suck?
« Reply #6 on: November 09, 2007, 11:24:11 AM »
The reason people most like dislike Vista is that it doesn't work well rather than not having more features than XP.

I really punish systems by the amount of 'tweaking' I do and I have yet to find a problem with Vista. Vista works well for me.

Zaine said:
Quote
Quad-core screams on Linux, but suddenly crawls on Vista x64. I could go on all day, but that kind of crap really makes me mad.

I have used both. My Quad Core 'screams' on Vista 64-bit - not literally because that would be quite disturbing!  8)

I have not experienced DRM issues either. I have not even experienced 'driver' problems (unlike XP which initially caused huge problems).

iTunes on Vista 64-bit is a really annoying - but that is an iTunes issue as I see it and not a Vista thing.

I have machines with linux, XP, Vista, Vista 64 My daughter (10) evens uses an old tablet PC with Windows 98 on it for 'experimenting' (so she says).

Every operating system has its issues but I wonder sometimes if people get into this 'let's hate it' mentality that sometimes obscures reality.

When it comes to Microsoft pricing policies - well, yes, I would like to see changes there.



CWuestefeld

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Re: Maybe Vista doesn't suck?
« Reply #7 on: November 09, 2007, 12:01:42 PM »
Of course the driver problems are Microsoft's fault -- and no one else's. Ten or fifteen years ago, finding drivers was a huge problem. Recently Microsoft took a giant leap in fixing this, primarily through the "unified driver" model, that allowed a manufacturer to deploy drivers to all variants of their hardware in a single package. This made it easier for us to find drivers, and it made it easier for manufacturers to support their hardware.

In Vista, Microsoft made the conscious decision to do away with the unified driver model. In one stroke, all of our old drivers are invalidated, through no fault of the manufacturers. So MS has broken the old drivers, and made it harder for new ones to be produced (or found by us users). Who are you going to blame.

On top of that, one of the primary reasons for MS's decision was (AIUI) the complete end-to-end DRM support. These problems are the direct result of the DRM obsession.

I have no reason to believe that DRM doesn't work, other than the reports of it monopolizing the CPU when media is playing. But this is precisely what I'm afraid of. When I'm at my computer I have a task to do, and listening to music or having a little video window in the corner is just a nice-to-have. But MS has implemented a design that transforms my current wastage of a few percent of CPU cycles to something that materially interferes* with the work I'm doing. And that's just not acceptable.

* Or so I've been told; I haven't tried it myself.

Josh

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Re: Maybe Vista doesn't suck?
« Reply #8 on: November 09, 2007, 12:19:48 PM »
I don't think you can hold drivers against Vista.

Of course we can. Either stuff works or it doesn't. XP mostly does, Vista often doesn't. I don't care if it is because I have unusual stuff, because MS have done a bad job or because other people haven't updated their drivers.

And if I'm worried about drivers, I'm not going to upgrade without being certain that everything I have or might get will work with Vista (and there's still quite a bit of software that isn't compatible and some less maintained stuff that probably will never be).

And having Vista on one computer and XP on the others means I know that I never think "I wish I had Vista on this computer", but do sometimes wish I didn't have Vista at all.

So, you blame Microsoft for the fact that your stuff doesn't work? This, my friend, is where Microsoft gets screwed over. They are forced to retain backward compatibility with the sacrifice of not being able to move forward in technology. Microsoft decided to make changes to the driver model to adjust to what technology is available now and where we currently stand in the technological era. I, personally, don't understand how Microsoft can be faulted for the end user requiring them, yes requiring because users value the use of their old hardware (apple doesn't have this problem since their user base is so small and their hardware isnt as easily upgraded or vast in selection), to maintain backwards compatibility when it comes to driver models and honestly commend Microsoft for moving forward and changing things for the better (I.E., no unsigned drivers in 64 bit Windows).

You say it is harder for device manufacturers to make these new drivers, I again don't agree here. Microsoft has had API's available since Vista entered beta status. That is well over a years time to make drivers which will operate on Vista. Yes, the model changed, but the time existed and was given for manufacturers to update their code.

I have several purchased WMA/WMV protected media files which play fine with no excessive usage. As stated above, the only built-in DRM with Vista is in regards to HDCP protected content, as stated above, that is included in the new age HD formats. So, unless you play a BRD or HD-DVD in a video window in the corner of your screen, you wont notice any performance hits.

Dormouse

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Re: Maybe Vista doesn't suck?
« Reply #9 on: November 09, 2007, 12:38:52 PM »

So, you blame Microsoft for the fact that your stuff doesn't work?

No, I don't blame MS; I don't care about MS. My stuff does work; it is just that it is 100% certain to work with XP and much less than 100% certain to work with Vista. So I don't move to Vista. That is not a problem for me and I don't blame anyone for it.

I do blame MS for their outrageous upgrade costs. Outrageous in the context of OEM costs, Linux costs and current OS costs (small, nil and nil).

I do blame them for producing something that brings no significant benefit to me, or at least I think it is their responsibility. I don't really care enough to blame them.

I had expected to upgrade everything to Vista. Now I'll give it a complete miss, as I did ME, except for the one system I have it on. Everything has Linux installed too. Everyone, even the kids, finds Linux easy. As things are, I probably won't upgrade Windows beyond XP.

Do I blame MS for that? No, I don't really care. Their systems are overly restrictive and getting worse. I think it will prove to be a failing business model. But I have alternatives, so I don't care whether they succeed or not.

CWuestefeld

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Re: Maybe Vista doesn't suck?
« Reply #10 on: November 09, 2007, 01:16:11 PM »
So, you blame Microsoft for the fact that your stuff doesn't work? This, my friend, is where Microsoft gets screwed over. They are forced to retain backward compatibility with the sacrifice of not being able to move forward in technology. ... You say it is harder for device manufacturers to make these new drivers, I again don't agree here. Microsoft has had API's available since Vista entered beta status. That is well over a years time to make drivers which will operate on Vista. Yes, the model changed, but the time existed and was given for manufacturers to update their code.

The implications of your response that MS must be free to move forward have profound effects on the rest of the industry. In particular, in order to open this door for Microsoft, you should realize that you're closing it for hardware manufacturers.

In the past, the hardware manufacturers were happily buzzing along creating new hardware and tweaking their unified drivers to handle it. Suddenly Microsoft rewrites the plot of the story. Now the H/W guys must go back to re-write new drivers to ensure backwards compatibility with their own, old products. And since they've only got finite resources, this must mean that they aren't able to invest as much into development of new products, which is the only way they have of making revenue.

So what are you going to do when you're in the H/W manufacturer's shoes? Are you going to pull all of your developers off of new projects so they can go back and build Vista drivers for old products that aren't even on store shelves anymore? Or are you going to acknowledge that some previous customers won't be happy, but if you want to stay in business you've got to continue the revenue stream by selling the products you're currently working on?

I don't see how you can overlook the cost that MS's own decisions are costing the hardware developers, in saying that MS has the right to move forward without looking back.

iphigenie

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Re: Maybe Vista doesn't suck?
« Reply #11 on: November 09, 2007, 01:36:14 PM »
well i think MS has given hardware developers a nice long run between 1998 and 2006 nearly where they have had to only tweak and refine their drivers...

zridling

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Re: Maybe Vista doesn't suck?
« Reply #12 on: November 10, 2007, 02:22:50 AM »
Thanks Josh. Let me answer specifically from personal experience, using Vista x64. I'll take the long way, so be patient with me.
________________________________________________
DRM
From what Microsoft marketed to us on what Vista would do from 2004-06 and what we got, it's been really disappointing for me. And when you compare Vista to Apple's OS X Leopard and something like Fedora 8 or Ubuntu 7.10 on the GNU/Linux side, you quickly find it ain't so special after all, and includes an array of "features" that you don't want. These features will make your computer less reliable and less secure. They'll make your computer less stable and run slower. They will cause technical support problems. They may even require you to upgrade some of your peripheral hardware and existing software. And these features won't do anything useful. In fact, they're working against you. They're digital rights management (DRM) features built into Vista at the behest of the entertainment industry.

And unlike other OSes, with Vista you don't get to refuse them.

Microsoft has reworked a lot of the core operating system to add copy protection technology for new media formats like HD-DVD and Blu-ray disks. Peter Gutmann wrote a well-circulated article about it, and was widely attacked for it. Certain high-quality output paths — audio and video — are reserved for protected peripheral devices. Sometimes output quality is artificially degraded; sometimes output is prevented entirely (ask Sternfan network guys about this). And Vista continuously spends CPU time monitoring itself, trying to figure out if you're doing something that it thinks you shouldn't. If it does, it limits functionality and in extreme cases restarts just the video subsystem. We still don't know the exact details of all this, and how far-reaching it is, but it doesn't look good.

http://www.miraesoft...protection-in-vista/
http://www.theinquir...ins-drm-tale-in-blog

As you noted, the BBC, Apple, Disney, NBC, Sony, et al. love DRM, too. Some of these companies (including Jobs on music for iTunes, but not for movies) have realized that DRM just annoys their customers. Like every other DRM system ever invented, Microsoft's won't keep the professional pirates from making copies of whatever they want. The DRM security in Vista was broken the day it was released. Sure, Microsoft will patch it, but the patched system will get broken as well. It's an arms race, and the defenders can't possibly win. Every time Blu-Ray and HD-DVD is patched, it's broken within minutes or hours.

I believe that Microsoft knows this and also knows that it doesn't matter. This isn't about stopping pirates and the small percentage of people who download free movies from the Internet. This isn't even about Microsoft satisfying its Hollywood customers at the expense of those of us paying for the privilege of using Vista. This is about the overwhelming majority of honest users and who owns the distribution channels to them. And while it may have started as a partnership, in the end Microsoft is going to end up locking the movie companies into selling content in its proprietary formats.

Microsoft is reaching for a much bigger prize than Apple: not just Hollywood, but also peripheral hardware vendors. Vista's DRM requires driver developers to comply with all kinds of rules and be certified; otherwise, they don't work. Why else has HP simply chosen not to write Vista drivers for over 70% of their existing printers? HP publicly stated they wouldn't begin tackling that task seriously until Vista-SP1 was released. And Microsoft talks about expanding this to independent software vendors as well. It's another war for control of the computer market.

Unfortunately, we users are caught in the crossfire. We are not only stuck with DRM systems that interfere with our legitimate fair-use rights for the content we buy, we're stuck with DRM systems that interfere with all of our computer use — even the uses that have nothing to do with copyright.

So far in almost a full year of release, the market has not righted this wrong, because Microsoft's 92% OS position gives it much more power than we consumers can hope to have. It might not be as obvious as Microsoft using its operating system monopoly to kill Netscape and own the browser market, but it's really no different. Microsoft's entertainment market grab might further entrench its monopoly position, but it will cause serious damage to both the computer and entertainment industries. The EU fights this battle with Redmond daily. DRM is bad, both for consumers and for the entertainment industry: something the entertainment industry is just starting to realize, but Microsoft will continue fighting. The result of my Vista experience is that it was the final straw that drove me from Windows to GNU/Linux, and few people were bigger fans of Microsoft than I was.

In light of that experience, the only advice I can offer others is to not upgrade to Vista. It will be hard. Microsoft's bundling deals with computer manufacturers mean that it will be increasingly hard not to get the new operating system with new computers. Even Dell makes it hard to buy a laptop with either XP or Ubuntu installed on it. And Microsoft has some pretty deep pockets and can wait us all out if it wants to. Yes, every time someone shifts to Macintosh, we hear about it, and some (way) fewer number will switch to GNU/Linux like I did, but most folks are stuck on Windows. My real desire is for Microsoft to get on with Windows 7 development and get sensible. Stop with the 5-version OS nonsense; just give us the best OS you make, period.

________________________________________________
WGA
WGA is a barrier that makes it more difficult for paying customers to legally use Microsoft software and products. Why does Microsoft need to employ WGA against me, a 20+ year user of its products?
— I'm honest.
— I bought your software.
— I registered your software with the serial number and activation code you provided me.
— I didn't steal it.
— I'm not copying it.
— I'm not sharing it.

Why punish me? I don't steal software and I don't mind when people who do get caught. But when Microsoft's WGA servers went down for 24+ hours back in late August, I was one of those who took the hit. It’s not such a big deal until Microsoft starts branding you as a pirate and shutting down parts of your computer just because someone’s unplugged their Windows Genuine Advantage software DRM authentication service, as happened to 12,000 people back in August, me included. I didn't make a big deal of it because my principal OS is GNU/Linux and I booted up the Vista machine to see if it was out. True to form, I could surf the net for ONE HOUR, and then I was automatically logged out. That ain't right. My copy of Windows should be good, period, after it's been validated. It shouldn't have to be re-validated continuously. If Microsoft says it doesn't phone home daily, then how come my system went down that long day? How did it know otherwise that my Vista was bad, and on that day?

wga-9933.jpg

For argument's sake, let's you and me assume WGA is about preventing piracy. Like DRM, does it really, or is this another irony of Microsoft, who sells Vista for $775 in Denmark and $400/Ultimate in the US and $3 in China. $3?!! Why can't I have China's price?

Microsoft Happy with the Evolution of Windows Vista Piracy
Microsoft says college students can 'steal' Office
Why Piracy Hurts Open Source
Microsoft seals its Windows and opens the door to Linux
Microsoft Exec Admits That Company Benefits From Piracy
'Piracy reduction can be a source of Windows revenue growth'

Beyond the whole "trust" factor, it creeps me out that my PC phones home every day to Microsoft's servers to validate my copy of Windows not once, but — "It is important to note that WGA Validation still collects information that is used to determine whether the version of Windows is genuine" — any time it wants. Even Ed Bott is creeped out over it and notes how its malfunction tanked people's computers. Ed even wrote a more detailed post on WGA's continuing failures. If you're a business, you cannot — can never — allow another company to hold your data hostage. Again, I already bought, registered, and activated your software. You have my money. You have my credit card. You have my name, my address, my IP address, my email, and so on. How MUCH MORE does Microsoft need to validate me?

It's the equivalent of waking up every morning and calling your wife a cheating bitch... until she proves otherwise. It gets old fast. Keep treating her like one and you won't be married for long. Same rule of behavior applies to loyal users. Call them thieves long enough, and they'll bolt.

Microsoft's whole WGA campaign remains nakedly disingenuous (is that an oxymoron?). This Microsoft press release speaks at length about the problems that pirated software causes for businesses and users, and persists in the notion that WGA exists principally to help Microsoft's customers. It never once says, "We're doing this to prevent people from stealing the software we've spent millions to develop."

Here's the irony: when you make it difficult for registered users to legally use your software, you encourage piracy at worst, and switching to other alternatives at least. When it's easier to download a copy of Vista (or XP or Office) from usenet that has all the latest updates and bypasses activation and registration than it is to comply, it's bad news for Microsoft.
« Last Edit: November 10, 2007, 02:29:37 AM by zridling »

nontroppo

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Re: Maybe Vista doesn't suck?
« Reply #13 on: November 10, 2007, 03:36:01 AM »
Zaine: fantastic post!

I do think DRM probably doesn't adversely affect a majority of users (arguments have been made back and forth over Guttman's article), but as an analogy I ditched IE as a browser not because I couldn't view web pages, but because Microsoft's land grab via proprietry access to an open global resource was outrageous.
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zridling

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Re: Maybe Vista doesn't suck?
« Reply #14 on: November 11, 2007, 06:42:09 PM »
Thanks nontroppo. My wish is to have several good/great operating system choices. Which I why I look forward to Vista's successor. After its first week in users' hands, Leopard ain't looking so great all the sudden with its data loss bug.

Carol Haynes

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Re: Maybe Vista doesn't suck?
« Reply #15 on: November 11, 2007, 06:45:45 PM »
Brilliant - cracking bug!!! Does anyone actually test filing system actions?

Armando

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Re: Maybe Vista doesn't suck?
« Reply #16 on: November 11, 2007, 11:07:38 PM »
Thanks nontroppo. My wish is to have several good/great operating system choices. Which I why I look forward to Vista's successor. After its first week in users' hands, Leopard ain't looking so great all the sudden with its data loss bug.

wow. Quite something.

icekin

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Re: Maybe Vista doesn't suck?
« Reply #17 on: November 12, 2007, 03:21:07 AM »
I already have all those 5 features and more with a decent explorer replacement like xplorer 2 or total commander. With Dopus, I'd have ten times as many features. And they would be full featured and extensible with plugins, along with being insanely customizable.

Listing the renaming improvement as a 'feature' is ridiculous.

nontroppo

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Re: Maybe Vista doesn't suck?
« Reply #18 on: November 12, 2007, 03:41:19 AM »
Zaine: it is a feature. It simply allows the user to test Time Machine functions properly...  ;)
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zridling

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Re: Maybe Vista doesn't suck?
« Reply #19 on: November 18, 2007, 10:11:07 PM »
I'm no Apple fan by any measure, but I give them credit for fixing Time Machine quickly. Still, it's a shame that almost all new versions of major software are betas. Doesn't anyone test this crap before they release it anymore?!!

Ralf Maximus

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Re: Maybe Vista doesn't suck?
« Reply #20 on: November 18, 2007, 10:43:49 PM »
I'm no Apple fan by any measure, but I give them credit for fixing Time Machine quickly. Still, it's a shame that almost all new versions of major software are betas. Doesn't anyone test this crap before they release it anymore?!!

I hear you.  However, another perspective might be worthwhile...

Step back a moment and look at how freekin complex these new releases are.  Vista's in-memory footprint is, what?  512 MEGABYTES?  I guarantee you that's not all stack space.

We're reached the point where some of these megaprojects are more like encouraging growth in an organism than building anything.  Vista spanned seven(?) years of active development with zillions of developers cycling in and out at various times. 

I know QA testors, I've been a QA testor, and yet I cannot fathom what a Vista regression test plan must look like.  My sweaty imagination conjures up file cabinets of documentation just for stuff like COM.

Pile on all the rewritten and "optimized" stuff, backwards compatibility for 12+ years of Windows NT baggage, and some poor business decisions that generated terriffic pressure to ship the thing out the door!  Now!

Hell, I'm amazed there aren't more problems.

zridling

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Re: Maybe Vista doesn't suck?
« Reply #21 on: November 19, 2007, 04:21:58 AM »
I never thought of it that way, Ralf. At some point, you do have to get it out the door. By working so long on Vista, it created another level of complexity as they couldn't keep up with changes that were going on around them — hardware vendors were moving on to 64-bit, Web 2.0 was advancing by the day, and backward compatibility was just overwhelming.

Ironic that the greatest advantage of the Windows platform has become its greatest weakness. I think some of this could have been cured if Microsoft would have only sold Vista in 64-bit versions, which would have forced anyone who wanted it to [effectively] buy a new system to run it.

Carol Haynes

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Re: Maybe Vista doesn't suck?
« Reply #22 on: November 19, 2007, 05:44:43 AM »
I don't want to appear as an apologist for MS but they do have an awesome job getting stuff tested just because of the shear diversity of hardware out there and the fact that anyone, his dog or cat can build a system from scratch from an infinite number of components all with third party drivers that MS by and large have little control over. Everyone then expects all versions of Windows to work flawlessly first time.

What's Apple's excuse? I thought system reliability out of the box was the whole point of Apple hardware lockdown (even to the point that you can even get into some of the boxes they produce - they won't even let users change batteries for god's sake!)

justice

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Re: Maybe Vista doesn't suck?
« Reply #23 on: November 19, 2007, 06:05:05 AM »
What's Apple's excuse? I thought system reliability out of the box was the whole point of Apple hardware lockdown (even to the point that you can even get into some of the boxes they produce - they won't even let users change batteries for god's sake!)
Apple's  not making the money on the software in those cases.

nontroppo

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Re: Maybe Vista doesn't suck?
« Reply #24 on: November 19, 2007, 06:06:51 AM »
Things ain't looking too hot for Vista adoption in the workplace:

http://www.microsoft...WRSS02129TX1K0000535

XP is still clearly the greatest threat to Vista.

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What's Apple's excuse?

Um, they fixed the move bug as soon as possible (which affected only a small minority of users behaviours, as clearly evidenced by the fact no one complained about this before). This was not a hardware complexity issue, but a simple software bug. Vista had a complex bug where moving >4000 files could fail, and it took them over 8 months to fix it (with some reports that it still ain't fixed). I'm sorry, but Microsofts patching record really ain't great. The security mess that is XP has things unpatched for months, again hardware is irrelevant here.

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I thought system reliability out of the box was the whole point of Apple hardware lockdown (even to the point that you can even get into some of the boxes they produce - they won't even let users change batteries for god's sake!)

Huh!? :o I can access my battery just fine, can on a MBPro too, can on my Partners old iBook. I can open the Mac pro perfectly (and the chassis is much better organised for modification than our Dell workstations). I suspect it ain't easy to open a Mac mini, but the same would go for a micro PC.
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« Last Edit: November 19, 2007, 06:08:55 AM by nontroppo »