Open Thread: What Do You Think of Vista?


PC World calls Vista the #1 biggest tech disappointment of the year. Engadget’s Ryan Block says “it ain’t all THAT bad.”

Here’s my problem with Vista, aside from worries over whether it’s any good: you gotta have a machine with 2GB of RAM to get comfortable with it. That takes you out of the budget laptop realm, a realm I was trying to stay in this Christmas as I shopped for a laptop for my son.

Of course, you don’t have to use Vista. You can still buy machines with XP installed. You can get a Mac. And more and more people are choosing Linux.

My solution was to buy an Asus Eee for my son. For $400, he can do all the web surfing, email, and word processing he needs to.

What about you? Are you running Vista? If so, how do you like it? If not, do you plan to use it eventually or stick with the alternatives?

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As a Linux user, I like Vista just fine. I think this is the first time that consumers have actually thought about the implications of using Windows products: having to buy additional hardware to support the OS, bloated source code requiring more hard drive space, lower performance in order to have lots of useless eye candy, legitimate users getting locked out of the OS because they upgraded hardware, intrusive security measures that overcompensate for poor security in the OS. The list goes on and on.

I was a pre-Win95 user and worked for years as an on-site tech support analyst in a Windows environment for years for a Big 3 automaker. I have a long history with Microsoft products but finally switched to Linux earlier this year after getting fed up with security issues, buggy patches, and having to do an annual Windows wipe-and-reinstall to keep the OS running at peak performance. I can run Linux on my old 650MHz laptop — something Windows XP can’t do so well.

Don’t get me wrong. Windows is great for people like me. We make money when people hire us to fix their Windows computers.


I’ve been running Vista for about 3 months and it seems basically interchangeable with XP as far as experience goes. Hard for me to compare performance as I got it with a new laptop with greater RAM.

I’d agree with J. Pease: the disappointment stems from the length of time it took to develop Vista and hype about it. It’s not horrible, just not that great.


i hate it. yes, it looks nice, but it’s such a memory hog. i hate the “improved” security features. i would prefer minimalist design anyway, so maybe i’m not a good judge of that. i will probably go linux from here on out.

walter wimberly

I’m not running it after hear about compatibility issues with some of Adobe’s software (Dreamweaver 8 mainly). Add to that, the resources required for the system, on top of the applications I run, and I decided against the Vista route.

Dipesh Batheja

Vista came as desperate attempt to get something out as MS had not done any major OS upgrade for 5 years. Many important features were left out as they were still not ready for prime time. So for me I would rather wait for the next version of OS to really make any judgments. Until then I am a happy Mac convert.


Just to sum it up:

Vista looks better, but:
1) It eats RAM
2) Software don’t work. Especially games.
3) It costs a lot.
4) The default settings suck.
5) There are far too many versions.

If I’m getting a new OS, I’m getting OS X. An Apple can run Windows XP as well, although you do have to buy XP separately. That way you have the perfect games and software platform (XP) plus the otherwise totally perfect platform (OSX). Yeey!

Linux doesn’t have the possibilities I’m looking for in terms of software compatibility, so it’s out.


I am running Vista Ultimate on a new Lenovo T61 with 2GB RAM and a 2.2 GHz Core2Duo processor. It’s pretty nice.

Even though I have enough RAM, I turned off Aero. Aero and Vista Basic themes both use the Graphics card and should use much RAM. However, with Aero, it was holding onto ~200MB of RAM just so I could hover over my taskbar and see a thumbnail of my app. Not really worth it.

I feel like it’s more secure. It’s more capable than XP of being run in Standard User mode and prompting me when I need an Admin password for something like an install. It does ask for an Admin password in silly areas like reorganizing the Start Menu.

The best thing about it is search. Click the Start button and start typing. You can find apps, documents, etc. that way. It’s nice.

It ended up being more expensive than I originally thought it’d be because I had to upgrade my Intuit software, but that’s probably an Intuit thing.

I wanted to go Mac, but my work required me to have a PC. By the time I would’ve been finished putting XP or Vista on a Mac, the total cost would’ve been like $3000, which is way more than I wanted to spend. The Lenovo was like $1600.

Actually, the best thing I like isn’t Vista, it’s Office 2007 on Vista. Rockin’.


I’m running Vista Ultimate with no problems (other than several incompatibilities with application software whose resolutiotion seems intractable). But overall, I like it better than XP Pro which I’m running on my “other” computer.

Christoph Hoerl

Last summer, I have bought a new notebook with Vista preinstalled. Since this day I only work on this machine and I’m happy. I have no problems which I wouldn’t have in XP. There are a few things that are new and some icons I have to search for.


I’ve just recently removed Vista after about six months of pained effort, and re-installed XP.

Although the machine has enough memory and processor speed, there was just too many things about it that annoyed me, particularly in regards to incompatibilities with software.

Geof Harries

My Vista experience has been a lot like that of Ian. Coming from Mac OS X, the operating system sure likes to talk!

Vista always wants to tell me what it’s doing, what just happened, what needs to be updated and what’s not working. Is all that extra commotion really necessary? Be quiet, already.


I’ve been happy with my first computer purchase. I’ts a laptop with XP. I have had more than a few lockups that have made me decide to buy a Mac notebook as my next purchase. I can then compare the two , although most other video and graphics people have told me that a Mac would better suite the work I do. Can anyone tell me why Macs are better suited for video work . Is the finished product really so much of a higher quality , as to justify the bigtime price difference?

Mr. Crash

I haven’t had any problems with Vista on my lappy.
Then again I am running with 4GB of RAM, 2.4GHz proc and a decent video card.

I’d consider apple, but here in Australia they seem to have the idea that it’s ok not to compete with anyone on price. Would cost me double what I paid to get the same kind of specs. Which is a shame, because i’d like one of their computers.

Seems a little excessive to call it disappointment of the year.

I think that title should go to the iphone. A phone with no 3G in 2007? WTF? Seriously. Then there’s the limited release. Then there’s all the original statements it would really be running osx. It’s not though. Then there’s the fake multitouch, which only supports two points of contact, not more. Then there’s the excessive tethering to networks. Then the price drop so soon after initial sales…

If it was 3G I would have shelled out the money to buy one on a trip to the states still… But all those problems together? Nah I might have to wait till generation 2.

Still, it interests me because it’s so disruptive a device in terms of mobile internet.


I’ve been using Vista Enterprise edition for about a year and have been very pleased. There were some initial problems with firewire devices, but Microsoft resolved them quite some time ago. I noticed that some of the commenters have expressed dislike for the new Start menu, but I’ve found it to be a definite improvement. It just took a little getting used to.


After all the good and bad news about vista (mostly bad that i read), i am not interested to use it for any purposes. I am happy with my OSX. But i think i have to re-thinking about using Vista. It seem i need it for my works, well at least not on new machine box, but it will be on Virtualization.


I’ve been running Vista for a few months now and it is very pretty, as some others have said, but it doesn’t seem to add much functionality. And, the prettiness is very thin – meaning that there are a lot of dialog boxes and menus that look just like WinXP. Talk about cutting corners!

The Aero interface – at least on the surface – is very nice on the eyes, although years behind OS X.


Vista is the reason my next PC will be a Mac. ( and I used to be so anti-apple )


Well I just had to use Windows now; clearly longer to start up than Mac OSX, it did it’s updates and then insisted on restarting (not necessary on Mac), the restart took another two minutes. I recall I’ve had one (intercepted) virus attack and four blue screens.

Maybe now I can get on and do some work!


Similar to Piers, I have 1 gig in my HP laptop with a dual core 1.7 GHz processor and Vista Home Premium. I find the Synaptics pointing device a lot more irritating than Vista, which has caused me no problems other than the inevitable idiot notifications about applications needing permission to run.

J Pease

I was just thinking about the “biggest disappointment” label.

I don’t think it is the “biggest disappointment” because it is so bad, but just that after so long – it’s not especially good.

If Vista had come out 2 years earlier it wouldn’t have been as big of a disappointment. But after waiting SO LONG, it doesn’t seem like there is all that much to show for it. Thus the disappointment.


I use a Mac and run Vista natively with 2GB ram. When I start up I get at least seven alerts and confirmations from virus and malware software asking me to update it. Then when I get round to starting each and every program, I get more, each asking me if I want to allow it. Then when I’m working and a message or alert of some kind comes in, focus is taken away from what I’m doing causing me to type in the wrong place or not all. it’s unfuriating, though I did get that on XP too.

I spent a lot of money on my first Mac and have been so glad I did ever since. They are so much easier to use and much more reliable.

The CynicalDoctor

I am running Vista on a Dell XPS M170 laptop with 2GB RAM. I have used it since the day it RTMd. I love it. The look is great, the machine is more responsive than it was when it had XP. I really like the new funtionality in the start menu and the built in search. No programs that I have installed have been problematic.
I have had no problems with any drivers and have not had a single lockup or BSOD. This laptop is my main development laptop and also runs SQL server, visual studio (2005 & 2008), SQL Server 2005 and Office 2007. I would never go back to XP.
I find it difficult to understand why Vista has received such bad press. I know that it requires more hardware resource than XP – however, should we really be worrying about hardware when the prices of 1GB memory are as low as £10. I think it is unreasonable to expect a slic GUI and expect it to have a recommended requiremetn similar to DOS/Win 3.1


I have just 1 solitary gig of RAM in my laptop, along with a dual core 1.6 GHz processor and Vista (business edition for those interested) runs fine. I do a lot of development on it, so have Visual Studio and SQL Manager open a lot along with SQL Server and IIS running in the background and it works just fine. No lag. No crashing (except for those infinite loops when I’m not concentrating on my coding). No problems.

And I only paid £700 ($1400) for it about a year ago.

J Pease

My main work computer is a MacBook with OS X. I did buy my wife a Toshiba w/ 2GB RAM and Vista Home Premium.

It seems to lock up on her rather frequently, and other than some glossy eye candy seems to be a slower, heavier, and less stable than XP. Oh and the programs menu is a visual mess in my opinion.

I really haven’t spent a lot of time with it, but overall not impressed.


Very pretty, but otherwise pointless cross-grade with limited driver support.

Avonelle Lovhaug

I’ve been using Vista since the end of 2006, and I love it. Surprisingly, I am running it on a Mac Pro (with Boot Camp), just like the Mac ad says. It has been fast, and I love lots of the little Vista details. I use XP a lot in virtual machines, so I see the comparison daily, and I really prefer Vista.

That being said, I made the switch to Vista at the same time that I got my Mac Pro hardware, so I really have no ability to compare how fast things would have been with XP. But Vista works great with my hardware.

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