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Last post Author Topic: To Vista or not to Vista that is the ?  (Read 23679 times)

nevf

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To Vista or not to Vista that is the ?
« on: May 01, 2007, 03:39:40 PM »
I've written an article for anyone thinking about upgrading to Vista. See: To Vista or not to Vista that is the ?"

Comments most welcome. Best posted on the blog.
Neville Franks, "Save anything you see on the Web or on your PC" with Surfulater

f0dder

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Re: To Vista or not to Vista that is the ?
« Reply #1 on: May 01, 2007, 07:05:17 PM »
Quote
What impressed me the most was it was able to install and work with a range of nVidia Video and nForce LAN drivers without me lifting a finger. On Windows XP on the same hardware I need to manually install these drivers from the CD that comes with the Motherboard.
Only because Vista is more recent than XP, so those drivers have been added to the default install - for other hardware, you'll still need to load drivers during setup (though those can, finally!, be loaded from USB drives and whatnot, not limited to floppies). With 2k and XP you can fortunately make a slipstreamed and driver-integrated install CD, so you don't need to use floppies. And with something like www.nliteos.com , this isn't just limited to über-geeks, but also in the realm of the power users that would usually do an install themselves.

Quote
Vista has a very attractive new User Interface called Aero which I think looks great.
And it's the first thing a lot of us are going to turn off as the first thing after installing... there goes one sales argument :)

Quote
however from what I now know after doing the work to updating our software products for Vista, is that there are some quite fundamental areas which must be addressed for software to work correctly on Vista.
Many of the "new requirements" for vista compatible software is actually just about writing clean and well-behaving applications; a lot of the "omfg vista breaks this!" would already be broken on NT4 if run from a non-administrator account...

The question is, really, "why bother". There's some interesting kernel changes, but they're swamped down by the rest of the system (okay, turn off Aero, tweak the install, substitute blackbox and xplorer^2 and it should be bearable), and there's the added DRM and driver paranoia.

The two big selling points would be DX10 and suppot for hybrid flash drives, both which I can't see any real technical reasons for not being supported on XP. We'll probably even begin to see applications that are artificially limited to run on Vista, even though they'd run fine on XP (like one of the Age Of Whatever games that had no problems running on Win2k, after reversers patched out the XP checks).
- carpe noctem

nevf

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Re: To Vista or not to Vista that is the ?
« Reply #2 on: May 01, 2007, 07:46:33 PM »
Quote
What impressed me the most was it was able to install and work with a range of nVidia Video and nForce LAN drivers without me lifting a finger. On Windows XP on the same hardware I need to manually install these drivers from the CD that comes with the Motherboard.
Only because Vista is more recent than XP, so those drivers have been added to the default install - for other hardware, you'll still need to load drivers during setup (though those can, finally!, be loaded from USB drives and whatnot, not limited to floppies). With 2k and XP you can fortunately make a slipstreamed and driver-integrated install CD, so you don't need to use floppies. And with something like www.nliteos.com , this isn't just limited to über-geeks, but also in the realm of the power users that would usually do an install themselves.

yes you are likely right, however this particularly motherboard has everything on it (video, LAN etc) and nothing much worked on XP before installing the mobo CD, whereas on Vista everything worked.

Quote
Quote
Vista has a very attractive new User Interface called Aero which I think looks great.
And it's the first thing a lot of us are going to turn off as the first thing after installing... there goes one sales argument :)

I would assume a cross section of DC readers will turn off UAC, but I certainly hope that's not the case for the majority of PC users, especially the mom's and pop's who get themselves so easily into hot water.

Quote
Quote
however from what I now know after doing the work to updating our software products for Vista, is that there are some quite fundamental areas which must be addressed for software to work correctly on Vista.
Many of the "new requirements" for vista compatible software is actually just about writing clean and well-behaving applications; a lot of the "omfg vista breaks this!" would already be broken on NT4 if run from a non-administrator account...

The question is, really, "why bother". There's some interesting kernel changes, but they're swamped down by the rest of the system (okay, turn off Aero, tweak the install, substitute blackbox and xplorer^2 and it should be bearable), and there's the added DRM and driver paranoia.

The two big selling points would be DX10 and suppot for hybrid flash drives, both which I can't see any real technical reasons for not being supported on XP. We'll probably even begin to see applications that are artificially limited to run on Vista, even though they'd run fine on XP (like one of the Age Of Whatever games that had no problems running on Win2k, after reversers patched out the XP checks).


With the step to XP a lot more hardware "just worked". With Vista that has happened again, as witnessed above. This on its own is a very good reason to use Vista. With my few days of playing I felt Vista was easier to use and things seemed more logical. Again a plus for all users.

Another very important area I didn't really mention is the new IE7 Protected Mode when running on Vista. This locks down the Browser and should make it nigh impossible for malicious code and web sites to screw up your PC. This has to be a major source of problems for many users and should dramatically reduce problems people face.
Neville Franks, "Save anything you see on the Web or on your PC" with Surfulater

MrCrispy

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Re: To Vista or not to Vista that is the ?
« Reply #3 on: May 01, 2007, 10:51:02 PM »
We should really look at Vista as a new kernel with a lot of improvements under the hood, most of which manage to completely disappear by the time you get to the UI. Microsoft Server products, which apparently don't have to go thru the marketing bastardization process quite so much, are uniformly excellent. Win2k3 and the upcoming Longhorn server are both really neat.

Give Vista about 6-12 months. SP1 will be out and most everyone will be on it and thats when people will start bashing XP as 'quite inferior'. Same thing happens with every MS OS - Win9x, NT, XP :)

steve_rb

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Re: To Vista or not to Vista that is the ?
« Reply #4 on: May 02, 2007, 12:21:47 AM »
I'd rather to look at the face of the beautifull girl in the icon of your post rather than vista. Who is she? Why people don't belive whoever created such a beautifull creatures is able to creat much more pretier than the most preterier woman on the earth and who don't want to marry  such creatures?

Let leave everything (vista, computers, money, life, ... ) and think about the very first moment our eyes will grasp such a beautifull angels no one can imagin.

surry guys I couldn't help myself thinking about angels which are prepared and ready for all those who are true belivers.


 :-*

Hirudin

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Re: To Vista or not to Vista that is the ?
« Reply #5 on: May 02, 2007, 01:11:21 AM »
Heh, I've wondered who that is for a while now too. I think someone called you "Angelina" once, I took that to mean that it's Angelina Jolie...

Back on topic.

I don't know, I used-to turn off all the eye candy on my Win2K computers (I even kept my desktop clean to "save RAM"), then I turned off a little less on XP (I didn't like the start menu being blue and the button being green... also, it was needlessly larger), now I have Vista with all the Aero stuff in full tilt. I guess I've come to realize that it doesn't make that much performance difference (if any, 'specially in Vista) and since it does look better, why deny myself the niceties that come with having a powerful computer?

Oh, sorry, I like the gigantic icons too.
« Last Edit: May 02, 2007, 01:26:40 AM by Hirudin »

nudone

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Re: To Vista or not to Vista that is the ?
« Reply #6 on: May 02, 2007, 02:04:00 AM »
MrCrispy's avatar image looks like Liv Tyler - or more precisely, Arwen, in the Lord of the Rings films.

Renegade

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Re: To Vista or not to Vista that is the ?
« Reply #7 on: May 02, 2007, 06:43:00 AM »
For now, I'd say that you'd have to be nuts to blindly buy and install Vista on an older system simply because it's still an MS OS and they do get heavier. Vista is one that you get with a new PC or buy a new PC for (or if you've got some good recent hardware, then that's fine as well).

As for Aero, I rather like it.

You (OP) mentioned older software in your blog - the thing that I'd worry about people doing is installing older low level utilities (e.g. disk utilities, etc.) that aren't designed for Vista. That's a potential recipe for disaster.

For most people, I'd say wait until you need a new PC. For those of us that suffer from gear lust... Go to town! :)
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zridling

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Re: To Vista or not to Vista that is the ?
« Reply #8 on: May 02, 2007, 08:43:26 AM »
Thumbs down on installing Vista on an older computer, too. Just wait until you buy your next system, and be warned: Vista will eat every bit of CPU, RAM, and Videocard memory you can throw down its gape. However, several things are distinctly better than XP:
  • disk management is freaky-easy
  • it will automatically diagnose slow startups
  • you gain several good new fonts
  • far more stable than XP, and I don't say that lightly

Vista bad:
  • Control Panel is layered and scattered, even if you use the Classic option, you still have to go back to 'new Vista' to access some options
  • Damn memory hog
  • Needs Core 2 Duo (at least)
  • Sleep mode is broken, it kills your session
  • Aero is overrated; UI offers few choices
  • Too many choices. Home Premium is "OK"; Ultimate is disappointing; Business is the best value among them all, and has 10-year support
  • Vista Explorer is an unholy nightmare

f0dder

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Re: To Vista or not to Vista that is the ?
« Reply #9 on: May 02, 2007, 09:01:03 AM »
Far more stable than XP? Weird. The only time I've had stability problems with XP have been bad hardware or bad drivers (including the ones I've tinkered with myself :) ) - and that's on 15+ widely different machines.

Also I don't think disk management was bad in XP or even 2k, at least not when you don't need to resize partitions.

I really wouldn't mind having I/O priorities and more aggressive caching in XP, along with a few other of the kernel enhancements in Vista. But at the same time I don't dig the DRM and the über-bloat (and yes, I've played around a bit with Vista on real hardware).
- carpe noctem

zridling

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Re: To Vista or not to Vista that is the ?
« Reply #10 on: May 02, 2007, 10:05:12 AM »
Another thing I should have mentioned in Vista's favor is the 20-25 minute one-reboot unattended installation. That's nice, too. However, I called Microsoft Support and asked about licensing when I upgrade my CPU chip later this year, and was told I'd need to buy another copy of Vista if I did. I escalated the call to a manager and was told the same thing. That's a real bummer. All that "one device" talk in the EULA is intentionally vague so you get different answers everywhere you google it.

gjehle

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Re: To Vista or not to Vista that is the ?
« Reply #11 on: May 02, 2007, 02:07:21 PM »
my personal decision: "no"

thefritz_j

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Re: To Vista or not to Vista that is the ?
« Reply #12 on: May 02, 2007, 03:28:18 PM »
My personal decision, Wait until SP1, and run WindowBlinds (paid the measly $20) on my Win XP to get bee-ewe-tiful next-gen User interface! :D

f0dder

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Re: To Vista or not to Vista that is the ?
« Reply #13 on: May 02, 2007, 04:11:03 PM »
Quote from: zridling
I called Microsoft Support and asked about licensing when I upgrade my CPU chip later this year, and was told I'd need to buy another copy of Vista if I did.
Just the CPU? That single little item, and not the whole box? New Vista license for that? Christ.
- carpe noctem

Carol Haynes

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Re: To Vista or not to Vista that is the ?
« Reply #14 on: May 02, 2007, 04:37:06 PM »
Another thing I should have mentioned in Vista's favor is the 20-25 minute one-reboot unattended installation. That's nice, too. However, I called Microsoft Support and asked about licensing when I upgrade my CPU chip later this year, and was told I'd need to buy another copy of Vista if I did. I escalated the call to a manager and was told the same thing. That's a real bummer. All that "one device" talk in the EULA is intentionally vague so you get different answers everywhere you google it.

Hmmm ... that is the defining moment for me with with Windows if that is to be future product policy.

Personally I think other major players such as AMD and Intel (not to mention software vendors like Adobe and Corel) should be wading in on this as this policy will seriously impact on their component sales to the enthusiast market and consequently software sales - who is going to buy a new Windows license just to install a $100 CPU ???

Madness.

What about component failure? Bad enough to have a system go down without MS looking for a pound of flesh!

Darwin

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Re: To Vista or not to Vista that is the ?
« Reply #15 on: May 02, 2007, 04:54:49 PM »
Quote
IWhat about component failure? Bad enough to have a system go down without MS looking for a pound of flesh!

No doubt there will be loopholes/exceptions made in such circumstances, but your other point, about not paying for a Windows licence just to install a CPU upgrade is spot on. If M$ is serious about this, they are asking for an end-user backlash... I haven't really been serious about Linux but it is looking increasingly like a route for me to consider. Of course, by the time I get there M$ will no doubt have castrated Linux through legal channels.

EDIT: Of course, I'm very happy with XP Pro and am not considering upgrading, anyway. It *sort* of looks as though M$ is in cahoots with the computer manufacturers because, unless they've changed things since XP, OEM installs on desktops and notebooks are "auto-activated" and tied to the BIOS. This would make good business sense (in a strictly profit driven, no other consideration world) in that it would force people to keep upgrading as once a computer is obsolescent/irreparably broken the licence doesn't allow them to shift the OS onto a new machine, which is what I would like to do with XP Pro.
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin
« Last Edit: May 02, 2007, 05:15:54 PM by Darwin »

Hirudin

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Re: To Vista or not to Vista that is the ?
« Reply #16 on: May 02, 2007, 07:08:57 PM »
This is something I already have some experience with... MS tech people aren't any different than other tech support people. They have a pretty good understanding of how their product works, and a very good understanding of what they're suppose to say.** Also, the official story is usually more consistent and faster. "You'll have to buy a new copy" is a lot quicker than "well, sometimes you can, but you have to call, but don't be surprised if it doesn't work, blah blah". Here's another thread on another forum where I was given untrue information from a MS CSR...

First thing's first, are you using an OEM install zridling? If that's the case, the official story is that it is non-transferable. Meaning, once it's activated it is tied to the computer that it is activated on, changing machines means changing licenses. Keep in mind, this is also the official story with XP OEM, and as I'm sure a lot of us are aware: as long as you're willing to spend 6 minutes on the phone they'll pretty much activate any XP key.

But, people have said MS is going to clamp-down on this, so what happens in the future is unknown.

I actually bought an already activated copy of Vista Home Premium OEM on eBay (for $35 including shipping by the way). Installed it on a friend's computer, internet activation didn't work but phone activation did (took 6 minutes, 21 seconds if I remember right). Now he has a full activated copy of Vista Premium for $45. Not bad at all! And it's running on a (formally absolute top-of-the-line) Alienware computer that's probably about 2.5 - 3.5 years old...).

Retail keys are different, they're transferable, or should I say: officially transferable. I think you're limited to 3 (or is it 10?) transfers per year... officially. I'm sure if you're willing to make the phone call you can transfer as much as you want...

The 3rd scenario is what MS calls "Supreme OEMs" (or something like that). In order to avoid processing... whatever, 5 million activation requests they allow the very large OEMs (Dell, HP, Sony, Toshiba, etc.) to install Vista without activating. Since I don't care about prebuilt computers I haven't done the research, but if you're going to do a hardware change on an prebuilt computer you have to find your supreme OEM activation file thing and run it again or something after your hardware mod/computer swap/switch from 32 bit to 64 bit.

** I'm not trying to put them down exactly, I've been in the situation where I have to choose between towing the company line (for which I get paid) and telling the truth (which only gives me a sense of righteousness). I've usually chosen the route that keeps the pay checks coming.
« Last Edit: May 02, 2007, 07:18:23 PM by Hirudin »

zridling

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Re: To Vista or not to Vista that is the ?
« Reply #17 on: May 03, 2007, 12:09:09 AM »
Hirudin — YES, I did buy a cheap OEM "System Builder" copy of Vista Business. My other two Vista licenses are retail versions of Home Premium and Ultimate. Oddly, during that entire phone, I was not asked which version it was. After giving my name, I wonder which [activated] license they were talking about. Must have been the OEM. Thanks.
« Last Edit: May 03, 2007, 04:10:30 AM by zridling »

f0dder

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Re: To Vista or not to Vista that is the ?
« Reply #18 on: May 03, 2007, 03:40:33 AM »
Quote from: Hirudin
The 3rd scenario is what MS calls "Supreme OEMs" (or something like that). In order to avoid processing... whatever, 5 million activation requests they allow the very large OEMs (Dell, HP, Sony, Toshiba, etc.) to install Vista without activating.
Those are pretty interesting, actually.

It's a mix of storing some key material in the BIOS (iirc in the ACPI tables?), along with installing a matching crypto certificate in vista. This was exploited, first by modifying and re-flashing the BIOS (which could go wrong), then a "softmod bios" that used some pre-boot code, and then a pretty clean driver-only approach... result: easily activated vista on any computer. Except x64 versions, as those won't run unsigned drivers :)

It's funny to see just how much Microsoft has shot themselves in the foot with this activation method, considering how "secure" the OS is. Expect to see similarly efficient workarounds for all the other security in the OS, malware wise.
- carpe noctem

zridling

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Re: To Vista or not to Vista that is the ?
« Reply #19 on: May 03, 2007, 04:18:20 AM »
Here's Scott Dunn's take:
"Over the last couple of newsletters, several ways to cheaply upgrade to Vista have been discussed. However, the best and cheapest way to 'upgrade' or 'buy' Vista is still the way my sister bought her Vista operating system. She bought it preinstalled on a computer, with the proper drivers already included. OEM licenses aren't legal for the average computer user to purchase and use to install on existing computers. Most of us can't legally buy or install this software on our computer systems because we aren't system builders. OEM software by definition is 'original equipment manufacturer' software and is licensed to system builders to install and bundle on, typically, new systems.

"You can read the EULA for the OEM software that I copied on my Web site. When you purchase OEM software, you are stating that you are a 'system builder' of computer devices, that is, you are a manufacturer of computer equipment. You also certify that you will provide all support for that system. And, you need to affix a Certificate of Authority to the system. The bottom line is that unless your name is Michael Dell, chances are most of us aren't system builders. Therefore, it's not legal for us to buy OEM software and use that license to install it on our systems.
________________________________________________
Guess I cheated. I bought my copy here from MicroCenter. It loaded and activated just fine, even though I bought each part separately online and assembled it all myself.

f0dder

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Re: To Vista or not to Vista that is the ?
« Reply #20 on: May 03, 2007, 04:20:14 AM »
Considering that OEM copies have been available for retail sale for maaaaany years now, I guess Microsoft either don't care, or have some pretty frigging big loopholes in their cryptic license agreement. I haven't heard of anybody being sued for selling or buying OEM copies.
- carpe noctem

zridling

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Re: To Vista or not to Vista that is the ?
« Reply #21 on: May 03, 2007, 04:25:14 AM »
Just to iterate for the 1000th time: this horse-hockey is why I've got one foot in Linux. I'm tired of playing these endlessly complex and expensive games with Microsoft. I got more important things in life than to waste it trying to figure out what they're thinking with their various EULAs.

Grorgy

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Re: To Vista or not to Vista that is the ?
« Reply #22 on: May 03, 2007, 06:06:11 AM »
Can someone tell me what they think of the nLite program, it sounds interesting, and very useful, im reloading windows for the 2nd time in a week, this time over dialup and the updates are a killer, and while ive heard of setting up a disk like it does ive never known how, but if nlite is good then it sounds easy enough for me to cope with.  (of course now i probably wont break the thing for a while but at least i'd have a disk thats uptodate till now)

f0dder

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Re: To Vista or not to Vista that is the ?
« Reply #23 on: May 03, 2007, 07:05:28 AM »
I've used nLite for XP for quite a while, works like a charm. His Vista program is still in beta though... but that might be the thing that makes that operating system actually bearable.
- carpe noctem

justice

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Re: To Vista or not to Vista that is the ?
« Reply #24 on: May 03, 2007, 07:15:14 AM »
There's always vLite, but I have never touched it.