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Why Vista Won't Suck 796

Posted by Zonk
from the i-like-the-look dept.
creativity writes "ExtremeTech is running an article on the new features of Windows Vista and why it is a must upgrade for all Windows users. They take apart the marketing hype and tell you what exactly to expect in Windows Vista. They specifically pick out less-hyped features like a kernel which has new Heap Management and details on SuperFetch, which is Vista's application cache."
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Why Vista Won't Suck

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  • by conJunk (779958) * on Tuesday February 28, 2006 @04:42PM (#14821089)
    Sorry to be so negative, but this is like the Highway Division saying "Well, we got tired of projects taking 15 years to complete, so now we're going to do them in one year!"

    If it's true, great, bully for them and well done, but I'll believe it when I see it. My hopes aren't too high for all these cool fixes/features to actually function as advertised. Maybe I'll be pleasantly surprised, who knows?

    • I'm not optimistic. It seams like Microsoft has lost its greatest asset. Talented developers. They don't make great software like they used to (Word, Excel).

      cl1p.net [cl1p.net] The worlds largest notebook.
    • Having played with it for 13 days after getting it off of BT, I can say that Vista is as much a change away from XP as Linux is. I actually found it easier configuring things in KDE and Gnome than I did in Vista -- how crazy is that? Of course, this is mostly because every configuration you could do via a particular widget on the control panel has been moved to another widget, or hidden, tucked away in the shadows to the left, but it's much different.

      Whether or not the security model truly is secure is
      • It did make use of a C:\Users\ folder, however, which was rather nice.

        How many years has DOS been dead, and drives are still identified by a letter. Just one of those things that makes me shake my head sadly.
    • Don't be sorry (Score:3, Interesting)

      by QuaintRealist (905302)
      I remember my last intentional switch to Windows (Win 95). It, too, was going to have all these wonderful new features (better GUI, better memory management, multitasking). I tried for 2 years to get the same level of stability I had in DOS, and then went to OS/2. And machines which didn't ship with Win 95 were even more of a beast to get working correctly if you had added stuff to your box.

      IMHO, "upgrading" to Vista will be the same thankless task, and it will be at least a year before machines shipped
    • Seriously, this thing is going to be a hog. But its not even that that bothers me, as I've come to deal with XP's size also. Its the games.

      Because of the lack of back-porting DX10, its upgrade or quit. Maybe with all the licensing/driver signing, some of the smaller studios will switch to OpenGL, but if Vista's rumored OpenGL support is true (shitty implementation wrapped into DX10 and slow as hell) then the big companies won't go for it. They won't stick with DX9 either, since it probably won't
    • I bet the registration/activation scheme will be even more secure now.
  • Foot? (Score:2, Funny)

    by Yonatanz (798506)
    For a minute there I was looking for the foot icon.
    Oh silly me.
    • I get the mental imagine of a boot stepped on a human face when I read the bit about foot icon...
    • Joe Sixpack doesn't care about these new "features". Here's a summary:

      -rewritten kernel
      -rewritten SW/HW interfaces
      -heap improved
      -power management. I can't leave this one alone. In Vista, when the tech support guys tell you to "reboot", Joe Sixpack will be even more confused: "you mean even though my computer was off, it wasn't really off!?" This is just a lame way to avoid the "long boot time" complaint. (Linux is also guilty here)
      -USB drive caching (SuperFetch)--USB drives are fairly fast right
      • He will care when he finds out his mega new super wrestlemania game will only run on this "Vista thing" and he will have to shell out the $$$ for it

        That is how MS has been making money with Office. As soon as someone upgrades and sends the new version of documents to everyone, everyone else is forced to upgrade and so on...

  • "really quick read" dept.
  • We know Vista will have a ton of advantages over previous Windows incarations, either by innovation or outright copying ideas that have come along and work, so the question should be 'Why would Joe User -or- Corporate Cathy want/need to upgrade from XP, vs 1) staying with XP (or 2000) 2) migrating to another OS (Linux?) that won't force them to buy new hardware or 3) move to Mac, since they have to buy new hardware anyway.

    Oh, and if someone posts, "This is the year for Linux on the desktop" now, well, it'll
    • 1) Your computer breaks.

      2) Purchasing searches for a new one, and buys the cheapest one they can find -- a new Dell with Windows Vista.

      3) Office envy sets in, and soon the entire dept./company has to have a new Pentium (IV/V) with (256/512) megs of RAM and whatever flashy new screensavers or icons Vista will come with.

      At most companies, this is exactly how it works. Greed and envy and laziness mean that 90% of corporate users will fight to stay on the Windows upgrade treadmill as long as they can.
  • by Foofoobar (318279) on Tuesday February 28, 2006 @04:45PM (#14821130)
    1. DRM is good for you. It builds strong bones and healthy muscles.
    2. Using half your memory for your windowing tool will impress all your friends.
    3. Now you can set the color of your blue screen of death to mauve or taupe.
    4. You know the customer support is only going to be better.
    5. Collectable virus game built in! Better than Pokemon on crack.
    • 2. Using half your memory for your windowing tool will impress all your friends.

      I was thinking how funny it is that our processors and ram keep becoming more and more limitless, however we can't take advantage of it because the os we use is taking more and more resources.
    • "2. Using half your memory for your windowing tool will impress all your friends."

      Well, sort of. This means you'll need a computer with 2GB of RAM to get any work done. That will, in theory, impress the friends with their piddling little 512MB.

      Because, hey, let's face it: Big numbers are always better.
  • Well lets see, I finally broke down and upgraded to Windows XP about a month ago when I decided to upgrade my old PIII 800 Mhz machine. Given that, I figure I'll upgrade to Vista about 5 years or so after it's been out.
  • Exsqueeze me?! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ettlz (639203) on Tuesday February 28, 2006 @04:47PM (#14821150) Journal

    From TFA:

    SuperFetch also takes advantage of external memory devices--plug in that spare 256MB USB key (any size will work, really) and Windows can cache a lot of the working set to it. It's not as fast as your system RAM, but it's much faster than randomly grabbing small bits of data from all over your hard drive.

    Aside from the fact that modern hard discs are supposedly faster than USB 2.0, isn't paging out part of the VM to a hot swappable device just dope-assed? Shurley shome mishtake!

    • Caching the working set from a Windows app is a lot different from caching the heap. You can't cache the heap on a removable device without risking a bit of twitchery, but you absolutely *can* cache unrelocated program code, which saves you seek time on the hard disk.
    • Not to mention that most USB keys aren't going USB 2.0 speeds. AFAIK all the ones I have are USB 1. And how does latency compare on the two systems (USB vs. hard drive)?
    • isn't paging out part of the VM to a hot swappable device just dope-assed?

      Yes, but I don't think they're using it as "generic" VM space. I think, based on the language, this is stuff that could be re-read from the HD if needed, like chunks of the application code.
    • From TFA:

      SuperFetch also takes advantage of external memory devices--plug in that spare 256MB USB key (any size will work, really) and Windows can cache a lot of the working set to it. It's not as fast as your system RAM, but it's much faster than randomly grabbing small bits of data from all over your hard drive.

      Aside from the fact that modern hard discs are supposedly faster than USB 2.0, isn't paging out part of the VM to a hot swappable device just dope-assed? Shurley shome
    • Aside from the fact that modern hard discs are supposedly faster than USB 2.0

      Well, that's assuming you get contiguous blocks. This isn't likely to happen when you consider relocatable libs that need loading etc. In any case, Superfetch measures the IO performance before using the device because most USB drives are pretty dog-slow.

      isn't paging out part of the VM to a hot swappable device just dope-assed? Shurley shome mishtake!

      Yep - you misunderstood what it is. Basically it's just a disk cache that is ma
  • We did a show [frontrowcrew.com] a short while back when the last article [yahoo.com] telling us why Vista won't be horrible appeared. I hate to say it, but this one doesn't really give me any more reason to give Vista a second look than that one did.

    For every "improvement," they seem to be adding at least two shortcomings: no unsigned drivers, DRM, etc... I've kept both Windows and Linux around for the longest time, but I'm getting the feeling more and more that Windows XP is going to remain on my other partition indefinitely.
  • Wait a second... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Many users view Windows XP (and Windows 2000, and previous Windows versions) as unsafe. No matter how many patches and updates Microsoft releases, the foundation of the OS itself the kernel is designed and built in a way that prevents it from being truly secure. The only solution, it is argued, is to redesign and rebuild the kernel with a focus on security and stability.

    Isn't this what linux people were saying more or less all these years and were called zealots by MS fanboys?
    • Isn't this what linux people were saying more or less all these years and were called zealots by MS fanboys?

      I like how they're linux people and MS fanboys.

      I'm almost exclusively a Windows user. Never had a need for anything else. I've said since I first got my hands on Linux in 2000 that MS could stand to learn some lessons from it.

      The difference between me and the zealots is that I recognize the strengths and weaknesses of both.

      MS is aiming for an easy-to-operate OS that is accessible and reasonably secure
      • by geekoid (135745)
        the problem with Visgt is it's monolithic archetecture, DRM and MS's driver signing policy for vista.

        Linux can be just as easy to use as windows. Depending on how it is packaged.

        OF course, the other big difference that if you wanted to, you could fix/change whatever you want in Linux. Not that most people would, but they could.
  • by Jugalator (259273) on Tuesday February 28, 2006 @04:52PM (#14821229) Journal
    Why limit yourself to Windows Vista!?

    Windows Me

    "Windows Me: PC Health Features Keep PCs Stable, Secure and Reliable -- and Take the Frustration Out of Computing for Home Users" (source) [microsoft.com]

    Windows 2000

    "Our primary goal is to improve security and safety for all our customers -- consumers and businesses, regardless of size -- through a balance of technology innovation, guidance and industry leadership," Gates said. "We're committed to continued innovation that addresses the threats of today and anticipates those that will undoubtedly emerge in the future." (source) [microsoft.com]

    Windows XP

    "Windows XP is the most secure and dependable operating system we have ever produced." (source) [microsoft.com]

    Windows Vista

    "In Vista, it should be much more difficult for unauthorized programs (like Viruses and Trojans) to affect the core of the OS and secretly harm your system." (source) [extremetech.com]
  • There is one reason bigger than everyone else that says Vista will indeed suck. DRM, just refuse the rimjob.
  • a "MUST UPGRADE"? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by WoodstockJeff (568111) on Tuesday February 28, 2006 @04:57PM (#14821290) Homepage
    If you want it, you must upgrade... everything. Unless, of course, you're currently running the latest blood-still-flowing-from-the-wounds-edge game machine, in which case you'll just need more memory and a better video card.

    Why must I upgrade, though? What will I gain that I want in the first place? Better game performance? Not needed, since I don't do games. The ability to run the latest Microsoft Office at speeds approaching what you could do 5 years ago? Sorry, I already jumped ship to other options. Stronger DRM so that I'll be able to play Sony's next CD/DVD/WhateverD? I'll pass...

    What I'd like is some tuning on the current operating system, so that it doesn't need more CPU cycles to do simple tasks, like display directories. And how about fewer holes for virii and worms, without introducing a whole new layer of software to protect the last new layer of software, which was to protect me from bugs in the previous new layer...

    Oh, wait... that's Linux.

  • by xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) on Tuesday February 28, 2006 @04:58PM (#14821303)
    Looks like a forced upgrade for US gov users; if AES-256 and "SHA-2" hashs are really going to be US gov security requirements, the only way Microsoft will support them is by upgrading EVERY windows desktop and server to Vista. (For some reason Microsoft has refused to put AES-256 support into any non-Vista version of its SSL stack even though the rest of the industry has been doing so for almost five years now.)
  • You say 'why it will be a must-upgrade for all Windows users' as if any Windows users are going to have much of a choice once it's out for a while. Really, how long will MS let XP kick around and be supported by upgrades, and by other sofware houses, once Vista is out?

    I wouldn't call it an 'upgrade', Bob.
  • Someone's getting paid some marketing dollars...

    [/sarcasm]
  • Vista is going to suck all right. It's a huge, resource-hungry, monolithic 1990s idea launched just as we hit rocketing resource and energy costs. Small may be beautiful but if you're Vista then grossly fat is better, apparently.

    For many folks, Vista will represent an expenditure they can ill afford. Vista is unlikely to be cheaper in real terms than WinXP; probably it will be more expensive. Then there will be the obligatory AV/spyware stuff for "only" XX bucks more. After that there will be hardware is
  • Vista sucks. (Score:5, Informative)

    by millennial (830897) on Tuesday February 28, 2006 @05:00PM (#14821320) Journal
    I've been beta testing Vista for a while now. After installing Vista, I swear to God - the OS cached every single EXE file on my computer in a folder in the root of Vista's installation drive. Each EXE file is given its own subfolder in this folder, with the same name as the file followed by a unique hash. Each subfolder contains the EXE file and several accompanying files, at least two of which are XML documents.

    When all was said and done, this folder took up nearly 5GB on disk. I can't even open this drive in Explorer. I let it sit for about 20 minutes once and my PC slowed to a crawl

    Whatever this godawful "feature" is, I hope it is removed for the final version.
    • Re:Vista sucks. (Score:3, Interesting)

      by hackstraw (262471) *
      I've been beta testing Vista for a while now. After installing Vista, I swear to God - the OS cached every single EXE file on my computer in a folder in the root of Vista's installation drive. Each EXE file is given its own subfolder in this folder, with the same name as the file followed by a unique hash. Each subfolder contains the EXE file and several accompanying files, at least two of which are XML documents.

      When all was said and done, this folder took up nearly 5GB on disk. I can't even open this driv
  • I'll tell you why it's "a must upgrade for Windows users." Because Microsoft will stop fixing bugs [msversus.org] in your current version of Windows. There are many thousands of bugs listed in their "knowledge base" which state "we know this is an issue but we're not going to fix it in this version." I've been part of a development team which spoke directly with Microsoft representatives on many occasions and when we mentioned Windows 2000 bugs their answer was "buy XP." I quit.

    Thanks. But no thanks.
  • We've all heard it before.
  • asta la vista baby (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Quirk (36086)
    Not that little old me matters but as of WinXP pro I'm moving off windows boxes. I grew up on wintel boxes from DOS 3.3 up. I went with Win95/NT dual boot boxes then added Mandrake 6. I've purchased major releases of VS Basic pro and VS C++ pro. I've routinely bought new releases of Office Pro and Visio (I think both are great products).

    DRM and Windows blackbox security, along with the Ubuntu distro, have pushed me to adopt an OSS only stand. MS will try to cram DRM down everyone's throat. As a Canadian, w

  • Windows 3.1 (1994)
    Windows 95 (1995)
    Windows 98 (1999)
    Windows XP home edition (2002)
    Mac OSX (2004)

    The last upgrade has been, by far, the most satisfying.
    • Mine:

      OS/2 2.0 (1993?)
      Windows 3.1 (1994)
      Windows 95 (1995)
      Windows NT 4.0 (1996)
      Windows 2000 (2000)
      Various Linux kernels and window managers (2001-2002)
      Windows 2000 (2002)

      Windows 2000 "just works". BTW-- in my 4 years of running NT 4.0, I never had a single crash. Most stable OS I've ever used.
    • Lets see:
      PCDOS 2.11
      MSDOS 6 & Win3.1
      Win95
      Win98
      WinXP Pro
      Slackware
      Mandriva
      SuSE
      Fedora 2
      CentOS 3
      (It gets sort of fuzzy around this point)
      Ubuntu Warty
      Ubuntu Hoary
      CentOS 4
      Ubuntu Hoary
      Ubuntu Breezy
      Kubuntu Breezy
      CentOS 4
      And my other desktop (I've started running two side by side) has seen FreeBSD, Gentoo, Arch, and Ubuntu Dapper.
  • features like a kernel which has new Heap Management and details on SuperFetch

    I mean, seriously, "SuperFetch"? It's bad enough when one hypes things that are actually hypable; it's much worse when one hypes that which cannot be hyped, such as virtual memory.

    Is nothing sacred?
  • windows? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Intangion (816356)
    which version out of the 12 should i upgrade to ;) i think windows vista is likely to do more for linux than anything before ;) i mean what would you rather do, pay for a whole new operating system that is very alien to you, and requires you to upgrade your hardware and alot of software, and is likely unstable (and new so doesnt have a proven usability).. or download a FREE operating system that is also somewhat alien (to windows users), but has proven stability and usablity, also you wont have to upgrade y
  • Reason #1: Because it blows
    Reason #2: ???
    Reason #3: Profit!!
  • Can you finally delete files/folders without it giving you a stupid "access denied" for no reason? Plase let me delete aging files with no guff. I'm the user at the computer, so do what I say.

    Of course, delete the files in CMD(er, DOS), and it deletes them without guff.
  • I read the article and now I really want Vista! But I hate Microsoft and DRM...
    What do I do now? my heart is broken :'(
  • I mean it looks almost lickable!

    Just 7 years behind OS X in that regard.

  • Five letters: N - G - S - C - B

    (see: palladium, trusted computing)

  • by TBone (5692) on Tuesday February 28, 2006 @05:15PM (#14821503) Homepage
    From the article:

    The whole kernel has been reorganized and rewritten to help prevent software from affecting the system in unsavory ways. In Vista, it should be much more difficult for unauthorized programs (like Viruses and Trojans) to affect the core of the OS and secretly harm your system.

    As opposed to authorized programs, like the Sony backdoor, which used Microsoft-supplied methods to create the program to hide from the users.

    SuperFetch learns which applications and bits and pieces of the OS you use most and preloads them into memory, so you don't have to wait for a bunch of hard drive paging before your apps or documents load.

    Great, the new OS is going to be bigger and bloated just from the OS, and now SuperFetch is going to suck up even more free memory with programs that I may or may not load, but that my computer thinks I'd like to be able to access quickly. Like Windows Media Player, and MSN, and Internet Explorer. And Kazaa. Sorry, was that my outside voice?

    ...Vista should be far more secure by design, so hopefully we'll see almost no viruses or Trojans, or at least not any that affect a large number of users...

    Oh, so we won't use Outlook any more, that's a plus at least.

    The new networking stack has a much bigger focus on security, working better with firewalls to allow much finer granularity of which applications can use network resources in which ways, and it's made to stand up a lot better to network attacks.

    Great. Now when your parents get the popup that some application wants to access the network, and are presented with all these options for "finer granularity of which applications can use network resources", they'll just turn them all on and go instead of actually learning the ins and outs of TCP security. That's much more secure.

    Besides improved security, the most noticeable difference in Vista's networking will be its greatly improved performance.

    With the kernel sucking up all my memory by preloading applications, a brand new networking stack, and all these operations going on in the background to maximize my heap, I'll not be holding my breath.

    That's right, Vista will include a built-in speech recognition engine, and new and improved speech synthesis.

    Vista will have per-application volume control.

    Now a new feature called SafeDoc will let you automatically create shadow copies of files as you work on them, so if you accidentally delete a file or need to go back to a previous revision, you can restore the shadow copy of just the file you need.

    If you've got a DirectX 9 graphics card with 128MB of RAM or more, you'll be able to enable the "Aero Glass" desktop in Vista.

    More, more, more, and more performance-sucking and hardware-gobbling "features". I don't know anyone outside of hardcore gamers that currently has a DX9-compliant, 128MB video card - my parents surely don't. I just last month bought one so that I could play Fable on my comp while I'm away from home for a few months. And I guess I better get that double-500G hard drive option in my new computer so that all my SafeDoc backups don't make all my disk space go the way of my free memory used by SuperFetch.

    Users, by default, operate in a mode with fewer privileges than before, which means that "noobs" who don't know any better can't accidentally install software full of spyware.

    And "noobs" who do know just a little better will give themselves administrator accounts so that they can install software whenever they want without changing roles, completely mooting any "default user level access" security changes being made.

    Unfortunately, there is no built-in virus protection software.

    Why do we need virus softwar

    • > Great. Now when your parents get the popup that some
      > application wants to access the network, and are
      > presented with all these options for "finer granularity of
      > which applications can use network resources", they'll
      > just turn them all on and go instead of actually learning
      > the ins and outs of TCP security. That's much more secure.

      Exactly. This will continue to be the single biggest problem. There are so many places where computers tell us messages which, in aggregate, are completely
  • it comes with a vacuuum cleaner :)
  • by hackstraw (262471) *
    From the FTA:

    The whole kernel has been reorganized and rewritten to help prevent software from affecting the system in unsavory ways.

    I personally made up the X.uhoh term for untested software that is released to the public. You might have heard of it.

    The dialog box of the defragmenter (who still does this in 2006 anyway?) is still confusing.

    What is different from "OK" and "Defragment Now"? If unsure, hit OK.

    Media center updates?

    That is a separate product, one of the 6 that will be offered.

    Audio now does
  • Just because a new version of Windows is a 'must-have upgrade' doesn't mean it won't suck. It's more accurate to say that Windows Vista sucks less. (Hey, if it doesn't suck at all, the statement would still be true.)
  • Check out:
    http://www.opengl.org/discussion_boards/cgi_direct ory/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=12;t=000001 [opengl.org]

    OpenGL 1.4 support, emulated by D3D?
    Yeah right, good luck convincing slashdotters that "Vista Won't Suck" :-D
  • ...or does the idea of a(nother) "ground up rewrite" of the TCP stack fill you with fear, too? All new bugs!
  • by Keith Russell (4440) <keith@russell.gmail@com> on Tuesday February 28, 2006 @05:42PM (#14821832) Journal

    To all of you who are bitching about DRM in Vista:

    How is DRM in Vista any different from DRM in XP? Or Windows 2000? Or Mac OS X?

    The answer is simple: It's not any different. The reason is even more simple: Big Media is calling the shots, not Microsoft.

    Whether the media in question is downloaded music, downloaded videos, or HD-DVD/Blu-Ray, it is Big Media making the demands. If you're a software vendor, your choices are to go along to get along (Microsoft, Apple, Tivo), do without (Linux), or face the wrath of an army of lawyers (DeCSS, 321 Studios).

    The tools and techniques keep changing, but the principle remains the same. Big Media will burn down everything in their path to stop people from copying bits.

  • by multiplexo (27356) on Tuesday February 28, 2006 @06:10PM (#14822094) Journal
    One of the reasons Vista won't suck is because Microsoft is moving a bunch of stuff out of the kernel and into user space. OK, 10 years ago when Microsoft shipped NT 4.0 they put GDI in the kernel to increase performance, which was a terrible idea as the performance increase this gave was more than offset by stability problems. If Microsoft had been smart they would have kept the kernel as small as possible and waited a couple of years for hardware speeds to increase, as they inevitably did. So basically one of the biggest reasons Vista "won't suck" is because Microsoft has finally decided to undo mistakes they made 10 years ago. Color me less than impressed.
  • by njchick (611256) on Tuesday February 28, 2006 @06:27PM (#14822256) Journal
    Let me guess. Because it will include a vacuum cleaner, right?

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