In response to ’10 reasons not to get Vista’

In reply to my 10 reasons not to get vista Dan posted 10 reasons you should get Vista as a cheeky response to my own piece. We’re like that here at APC nothing is taken at face value and we certainly never let anyone get away with anything too easily!

 

So first in response to Dan:

They are indeed a good list of positive points about Vista. But I have just one thing to say about them — are they worth $AUD385 to you? Or if you go ultimate at Microsoft Australia’s recommended retail price of $AUD751? Yeah I thought so :)

 

Managing Editor of OSNews Thom Holwerda must have found my piece inspiring since he posted a rebuttal on his personal blog with some interesting points. So in response to Thom:

 

I have indeed tried out Vista I’ve been using it since RC1 in fact and (just for the irony) I’m using it now to write this. It’s part of my job to be familiar with technology especially something as significant as the first major Windows release in six years. I also have XP Ubuntu and Gentoo on my system.

 

“Can I change the volume on a per-application basis in Windows XP? Do I have integrated system-wide search in Windows XP? Can I set the language on a per-user basis in Windows XP? Does Windows XP have per-file emails and contacts? Does Windows XP have a photo organiser application (the fact that it sucks compared to iPhoto and especially Picasa2 is irrelevant)? Does Windows XP have an up-to-date modern look? Does Windows XP have all those under-the-hood improvements like address space layout randomisation a new networking stack and so on?”

None of which you actually need to keep on doing what you’re already doing. Show me the browsing email work that you need Vista to do because XP can’t do them. Are the bells and whistles (some of which you mention) in Vista nice? Sure. Are they worth hundreds of dollars to you in order to get them? And when XP is already doing everything you need to get your work done day to day? My first point was you don’t need Vista and certainly not while it has the problems I listed and this point still stands.

 

“Good point. However 95% of the world will get Vista not by retail but via OEM. And when it comes via OEM people don’t experience it as “paying for†(even though they obviously do).”

That’s an excellent point. We’ll monitor here at APC exactly how much prices on PCs go up as vendors bundle Vista.

 

“This is a typical ‘your mileage may vary’. Vista is demanding on resources no doubt but not as bad as some make it out to be.”

Yes it is. But by way of example a family member here asked if their machine could run Vista. It’s an older machine (not too old still has 1GB RAM) that runs XP now and runs it like a dog. Could Vista install on it? Probably but it’d run slower than XP doesn’t enable them to do anything they’re not already doing with XP and would cost them hundreds of dollars for the experience. Would you really recommend this to someone?

 

“Yes. This is usually the case when an operating system has seen massive internal restructuring like new frameworks for graphics and audio.”

I agree but it doesn’t make the point any less valid. I considered appending ‘(just yet)’ to the title of the article since some of the points — like application compatibility and driver support — will obviously improve with time. But right now they’re not there yet so again is it worth people buying into the marketing hype to plonk down money for an OS that’s actually got less functionality for the moment than the one they’re already using?

 

“This one is kind of weird as the author claims Vista has nothing to offer over XP – yet he does recognise it has a ‘new and untested’ architecture. Contradictio?”

Not at all. That point addressed the architecture being more vulnerable simply because once it gets mainstream more eyes will be on it and more holes will show up. This is guaranteed. The extensive beta testing is nothing compared to the world market. And as I linked to there are already exploits released for Vista do you think this will decrease as it enters the hands of more people?

 

“Multiuser an afterthought in Windows NT? Does the author even have the slightest understanding of what NT is and where it came from? NT has been designed from the ground up with multiuser in mind and I do not think Dave Cuttler would like it that NT’s multiuser was called an ‘afterthought’”

That may be but I stand by my point. Yes NT has come leagues and Vista more so (let’s not even mention XP here it’s a joke). But it’s not as great as you assume. Granted I can see myself eating my hat on this one if Dave himself comes in to explain — after all I didn’t work on the OS — but from my understanding users aren’t truly separate as they should be — different users still share the same system registry for example and it’s precisely this lack of complete separation that’s a base for loopholes being exploited.

I’ve been careful not to mention Linux so far because the points I made are based off Vista and Vista alone not as some comparison but here I will make one — in Linux there is not a single thing a user account can access where it shouldn’t with regards to root access. The OS completely separates them. I think Vista is the closest to this Windows has ever been but it’s not the same as having designed it that way from the ground up as it was with Unix.

If there was a point in my list to concede however it would probably be this. I will happily be proven wrong here (heck if for nothing else than my peace of mind).

 

“In this section the author spreads some misinformation (like the license transfer he mentions which has been changed by Microsoft months ago) so it is pretty difficult to correctly rebut it. Microsoft has some darn restrictive licenses and I do not think Vista is an exception.”

Actually I made sure I read the latest version directly from Microsoft’s site here and unless that’s failed to be updated (or I had a moment of dyslexia) I still read the first point as one license change. Even so the rest of the comments about the license still stand and as you agreed are overly and unnecessarily restrictive.

 

“The author has failed to mention the real weaknesses of Windows Vista such as the idiotic amount of different editions or the simple fact that Microsoft’s obsession with backwards compatibility is hindering its development.”

You’re right I did. On versions I agree but on development I don’t. Microsoft would be shooting itself in the foot if it didn’t try and ensure backward compatibility — and I say ‘try’ because as point 6 in the original article noted Vista’s not completely compatible now. There’s a good summary here of software that’s been found to work well or not which will clearly be updated on both sides of the fence as the OS enters mainstream.