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Vista Beta 2 has Major Problems 683

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the so-does-every-version-of-windows dept.
WebHostingGuy writes "In a review by Gary Krackow from MSNBC who reviewed Vista Beta 2 over the last week he had very disappointing problems. "for me [it] was one of the worst operating system experiences that I've ever encountered." Built-in audio and wireless didn't work on his Levono laptop. It took four days to get the first installation."
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Vista Beta 2 has Major Problems

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  • Article Summary (Score:5, Insightful)

    by AKAImBatman (238306) * <akaimbatman@gmai[ ]om ['l.c' in gap]> on Wednesday May 24, 2006 @09:56AM (#15393634) Homepage Journal
    "I tried to install on a laptop, and it didn't work."

    Am I the only one who's sitting here and wondering, "What was this guy thinking?!" Laptops have so much custom hardware these days that it's a Bad Idea(TM) to attempt an OS installation from anything but restore CDs. This guy not only tried to install from new media, but he tried to install a cutting-edge operating system that isn't even out of beta!

    Desktops are cheap these days. Would it kill him to keep one or two around for "kicking the tires" of new Operating Systems? His install experience probably would have been smoother, and we might have actually been able to hear some real complaints about Windows Vista. ;-)
    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 24, 2006 @10:14AM (#15393806)
      I agree, the article suggests that Vista is crap because his two older laptops had hardware problems and that Lenovo hasn't released Vista-ready drivers yet. Sounds pretty weak to me.

      But get a load of the feature list for Beta 2!!!
      -New version of Solitare
      -Better looking Start menu (wow)
      -Better startup sound and alert chime
      -Search box on every Explorer window hogging screen realestate
    • Re:Article Summary (Score:5, Insightful)

      by chundo (587998) <(jeremy) (at) (jongsma.org)> on Wednesday May 24, 2006 @10:25AM (#15393914)
      Yeah, I don't really see how that's any different from XP. After a fresh install, I can't even get the network card to work on my Dell without downloading the driver from their web site on a different computer and burning it to a CD.

      On the other hand, Ubuntu and Mandriva have supported everything perfectly on the last 5 computers I've had (3 of them laptops that have tons of unsupported hardware with an XP stock install), so "there's too much custom hardware" is no excuse for a miserable OS installation experience. So he does have a very valid gripe, but it's also nothing new with Vista.
      • Re:Article Summary (Score:5, Informative)

        by happyemoticon (543015) on Wednesday May 24, 2006 @11:26AM (#15394504) Homepage
        "there's too much custom hardware" is no excuse for a miserable OS installation experience

        I totally agree with you. However, it is probable that Windows XP doesn't ship with the drivers for all but the most common hardware for a reason. I think that since the drivers are proprietary, they would certainly have to get specific permission to distribute them with Windows. Linux enjoys the advantage of having GPL drivers that it can distribute anywhere.

        • Re:Article Summary (Score:4, Insightful)

          by PygmySurfer (442860) on Wednesday May 24, 2006 @11:53AM (#15394763)
          The problem isn't that Windows XP ships with only the most common drivers, it's that Windows XP shipped 5 years ago. There's obviously been A LOT of hardware released since then. The Linux fanboys usually conveniently leave that little tidbit out though, and then claim Linux has better driver support.
          • Re:Article Summary (Score:5, Insightful)

            by SanityInAnarchy (655584) <ninja@slaphack.com> on Wednesday May 24, 2006 @12:15PM (#15394959) Journal
            The Windows fanboys always tell us that nothing matters except that It Works (TM). Philosophy doesn't count.

            Ok, then, Windows XP shipped 5 years ago. Ubuntu ships a new (free) version every six months. Ubuntu has better driver support. It happens to be because it ships more often. Maybe MS could learn something about "release early, release often"?

            Happy? Or would you like to claim that there's some reason other than incompetence that Windows ships every 6 or 7 years and Ubuntu ships every half a year?
            • > Maybe MS could learn something about "release early, release often"?

              MS could learn A LOT of things from Linux development.

              ** n-Step Plan for MS to save themselves: **

              o Continue support for Win2k Pro for the next 5 years, and continue selling (licenses + install media) and developing for it. Come out with an update that has all the latest driver support.

              o Go back to teh Win2kpro codebase, incorporate all the best kernel features from XP along with faster booting, firewall, etc. Ditch the fancy graphic
          • Re:Article Summary (Score:4, Insightful)

            by Phisbut (761268) on Wednesday May 24, 2006 @12:23PM (#15395042)
            The problem isn't that Windows XP ships with only the most common drivers, it's that Windows XP shipped 5 years ago.

            If you bought a CD of Windows XP 5 years ago, then yes, you can indeed say that it was released 5 years ago and that it is a valid reason for not supporting hardware that was released 3 years ago. However, if you buy a Windows XP CD today, it is a recent version of Windows XP, it even includes SP2, so it no longer is something that was released 5 years ago... at worst, it was released 18 to 24 months ago (I don't even remember when SP2 was).

            Still... We installed a very fresh version of WinXP last week at the office, with that SP2 preloaded and all, on a 4 years old computer, and it still couldn't get a network connection without us downloading the drivers from another computer and then burning it to a CD (because network drivers these days don't fit on a floppy).

            Microsoft really makes no effort at all in providing even generic drivers for hardware.

            • Re:Article Summary (Score:5, Informative)

              by Vancorps (746090) on Wednesday May 24, 2006 @01:05PM (#15395403)
              That's because people blasted them for doing that with Windows 9x. They generic drivers screwed up the computers causing BSODs. Now people are bitching because they only include certified drivers with the OS. Am I the only one that thinks this is insane? Is it really that hard to keep custom install CDs with all your in-house drivers on the same media? I use nLite with every new hardware purchase. That is when its a new model with different hardware. My install cd puts all the certified and more importantly latest drivers on the cd so when the install is finished there are no system instabilities from outdated drivers. SATA RAID controllers are the worst for this. I've had firmware upgraded on them and then old drivers don't work and if they work they really don't work well.

              My SUSE installs really aren't all that different, I load up the install CD, since the installer has to be able to connect to the Internet to update itself they've included every network card driver they could find. The update then ensures that all the latest drivers and system packages are installed and the end experience is a stable and fast OS experience.

              SP2 is not a new release of XP. It does contain a few new drivers but the base is still the same. That is the big difference between how Microsoft releases software and how most Linux distros do. Microsoft keeps it consistent only adding necessities like drive support beyond 160gigs. They have to for their business customers who really don't handle change very well.

              So yes, XP was released 5 years ago, it has great hardware support. Dell seems to always put in strange network cards that require additional drivers but they give you a cd with them on it so no big deal. Most everytime I install it the NIC at least is least given a driver that will work. Nforce boards are an exception as they are completely new since the release of XP. Vista hardware support is interest since it appears that the drivers for XP check for XP as the version of the OS rather than specifying it as a minimum. XP drivers should work just fine. Older drivers will not as they need to be signed for the OS to let them in unless you open up the default hardware policy which is fairly easy to do if you know where to look for Windows policy settings.

              I think I've said enough, there is a lot of crap floating around, last I checked XP even in safe mode had 256colors and 800x600 res with practically any video card. I'd call that some pretty amazing generic driver support. Now that people can see what they are doing they may shift their focus to making sure people can connect. I don't know but I do know if enough people complain to Microsoft about it then it will happen. That is exactly what happened with the group policy changes to Vista. A lot of changes to SMS and MOM are driven the same way.
              • by mangu (126918) on Wednesday May 24, 2006 @04:41PM (#15397247)
                That's because people blasted them for doing that with Windows 9x. They generic drivers screwed up the computers causing BSODs. Now people are bitching because they only include certified drivers with the OS. Am I the only one that thinks this is insane?


                Keep one thing always in mind: Linux ships with all device drivers. And with no BSODs. People blasted 9x because it was so much more unstable than Linux. Now people blast XP because, if we consider only the "certified" drivers, it has worse support for hardware than Linux. How difficult would it be for Microsoft to have a decent set of updated hardware drivers?


                We hear all the time from the Microsoft astroturfers that Linux has poor hardware support. XP is much worse. I once mentioned a particular problem I had, with XP bluescreening when a JVC camcorder was plugged into the USB port. They told me "but that model has no certified driver!". Well, then that model of camcorder is *not* supported by XP. And if the hardware is too old, XP has no drivers for it. I know because I have an old Adaptec PCMCIA SCSI card and a Genius scanner for which I could never find XP drivers.


                Now you are saying that if the hardware is very new then XP doesn't have the drivers either. I know that too, because I have a Philips wide screen LCD monitor that I could never get working perfectly in XP, the drivers supplied in the CD aren't recognized by XP. The best I could get was a squashed 1600x1024 resolution, instead of 1680x1050. Should I blame Philips for that? In Linux it took me thirty seconds to get that monitor working perfectly, why is it so hard to get it working in XP?


                If it's too old it doesn't work, if it's too new it doesn't work, if it isn't certified it doesn't work... I have a Dell desktop at work, a white box desktop at home, a HP laptop. All of them are dual-boot, XP+Ubuntu. In Ubuntu all the hardware I have works perfectly, with only one exception, an HP 3570c scanner which only works in some modes. Everything else, including the Adaptec SCSI card, the Genius scanner, the Philips monitor, and the JVC camcorder work perfectly in Linux, but not at all or with BSODs in XP.

            • by kylef (196302)

              Microsoft really makes no effort at all in providing even generic drivers for hardware.

              This is a joke, right? So your NIC (the make/model of which you conveniently neglected to mention) doesn't have an inbox driver in XPSp2, and the conclusion is that Microsoft makes no effort to supply inbox drivers?

              There are tons of generic class drivers inbox in Windows. In fact, I challenge you to name one that is missing that is available in, say, OS X. I'll be waiting.

              Microsoft does not redistribute vendor

          • Re:Article Summary (Score:5, Insightful)

            by tehshen (794722) <tehshen@gmail.com> on Wednesday May 24, 2006 @12:50PM (#15395263)
            How is this Insightful? It is nothing more than an excuse.

            The problem is that Windows XP shipped 5 years ago.

            That's the problem, right there. Microsoft's operating system doesn't contain that many drivers, but that's because a new version hasn't come out for five years - but hang on, isn't that Microsoft's fault too?

            If you walk to work and arrive two or three hours late, would your boss accept that you can't be bothered to drive a car, or aren't too fond of public transport? No, you'd get in trouble for it, and any excuses you make would be ignored.

            Windows Vista is coming out four or five years late, and (to use my awful analogy even more) isn't even trying to run. Linux is throwing stuff at it from the top of the bus.

            You can't complain that the rest of the world is moving too fast when you're the one being slow.
            • Re:Article Summary (Score:3, Informative)

              by Vancorps (746090)
              Microsoft has never shipped Windows with all drivers in the world. Just enough to cover the majority of people installing it. The drivers are available for the OS people are just too lazy to go and get them for some reason.

              I've had this happen with Linux too involving Osprey 230 cards. 64bit drivers still aren't available. Should I blame Novell for this? I don't think so since that is the vendors fault. Microsoft pretty clearly makes an effort to give you as many drivers needed to get your system up and ru

      • Funny, I had the opposite problem with Ubuntu. XP installed my (dirt common) PCI wireless networking card just fine, but Ubuntu couldn't figure the darn thing out. Even after I got the drivers installed and ndiswrapper figured out, it keeps saying there's no signal (despite five-bar reception in Windows). I could probably find a solution if I was willing to get help from the Ubuntu forums and so on, but it's still pretty annoying.

        In other words, I don't think you can give the clear advantage to Linux here.
    • Re:Article Summary (Score:5, Insightful)

      by barawn (25691) on Wednesday May 24, 2006 @10:26AM (#15393921) Homepage
      Laptops have so much custom hardware these days that it's a Bad Idea(TM) to attempt an OS installation from anything but restore CDs.

      Er?

      I've installed Windows XP on all of my laptops over the past few years, and everyone else in my office does the same thing, too. Laptops come with too much cruft installed by default, and in general, it's silly for us to pay to upgrade to XP Pro when there's a site license available for next to nothing here. So wipe the drive, in goes a new installation of XP Pro, alongside Linux, typically. I've never run into a problem.

      Jumping to Dell's [dell.com] site for the laptop I'm on now, all of the drivers are right there ready.

      Now, there aren't Vista drivers. But if what he's saying is "driver support for Vista may be lacking, so you might have trouble", I don't really see that as a problem. A lot of people only have laptops nowadays, so not being able to install Vista on a laptop easily means a lot of people aren't buying Vista.
    • Am I the only one who's sitting here and wondering, "What was this guy thinking?!" Laptops have so much custom hardware these days that it's a Bad Idea(TM) to attempt an OS installation from anything but restore CDs. This guy not only tried to install from new media, but he tried to install a cutting-edge operating system that isn't even out of beta!

      Funny this should come up at this time.

      I was able to get a -great- deal on a ThinkPad just last week (R50e - $600). I took a Knoppix CD with me to the stor

      • Got the cheapo Winbook A210 at Microcenter, saved $250 by buying a mini-pci wireless card and antenna, slapped on an Ubuntu testing daily cd and my only issue was it tried to use my wired connection, rather than my wireless connection during the install.

        After my first boot, I plugged in my WEP key, and I was off to the races. Seriously, that's all I had to configure - everything other piece of hardware worked right out of the box - off a 750MB CD no less. Vista comes on a DVD, with enough room for ever
    • Re:Article Summary (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Asphalt (529464) on Wednesday May 24, 2006 @10:27AM (#15393930)
      Am I the only one who's sitting here and wondering, "What was this guy thinking?!" Laptops have so much custom hardware these days that it's a Bad Idea(TM) to attempt an OS installation from anything but restore CDs.

      Well, a year or so ago, laptop sales surpassed desktop sales.

      So if you had to test an OS on a machine, statistically you would go with a laptop in 2006.

      The hardware isn't terribly specialized anymore.

      If Vista doesn't run on laptops, then Microsoft will be cut out more than 50% of all new computer sales.

      • Re:Article Summary (Score:5, Informative)

        by AKAImBatman (238306) * <akaimbatman@gmai[ ]om ['l.c' in gap]> on Wednesday May 24, 2006 @10:39AM (#15394054) Homepage Journal
        If Vista doesn't run on laptops, then Microsoft will be cut out more than 50% of all new computer sales.

        Vista will run on laptops. But like with most XP machines today, custom drivers will be built to handle all the embedded hardware. The problem here is that Vista is in beta, ergo it has very little driver support. Thus if you want to review a beta (as opposed to doing bug reporting for Microsoft) then you should use a more standardized system. i.e. A Desktop.

        Make no mistake. I am making no assertions about Vista's capabilities. I'm sure that it will follow the tradition of Windows just fine (i.e. Some stuff is good, some stuff is bad.) The only assertion I'm making is that the reviewer's strategy is flawed.
        • Re:Article Summary (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Asphalt (529464) on Wednesday May 24, 2006 @11:00AM (#15394233)
          Vista will run on laptops. But like with most XP machines today, custom drivers will be built to handle all the embedded hardware. The problem here is that Vista is in beta, ergo it has very little driver support. Thus if you want to review a beta (as opposed to doing bug reporting for Microsoft) then you should use a more standardized system. i.e. A Desktop.

          Not sure I agree.

          You can put together a desktop computer with 1,000,000 different hardware configurations. Laptops are actually much less configurable ... hardware-wise.

          Desktops need just as many drivers as laptops (if not more), and they are hardly "standardized".

          You can get a generic Dell white box, or an Alienware Gaming Monster. Both desktops, very different computers.

          Laptops are actually more standard these days, IMHO.

          You are unlikely to have dual-7800 Ultra cards running SLI with an AMD X2 with Cool-N-Quiet, and Raid 0 in a laptop.

          Desktops are far from standardized, and I don't see any reason why it would be easier to get Vista running on one.

          • Re:Article Summary (Score:5, Insightful)

            by GoRK (10018) <johnl AT blurbco DOT com> on Wednesday May 24, 2006 @11:42AM (#15394653) Homepage Journal
            It is probably easier to get vista running on a desktop simply because they are built out of commodity components, and the third party vendors are usually better about having things like vista-ready drivers available to download.

            Laptops with their more specialized hardware (albeit there are fewer options to deal with) are mostly reliant on the laptop vendors for driver support, and I can tell you this: the vendors don't much care at this point about the upgrade path when Vista is still in beta. Even when it is released, current laptops may be difficult to install and support due to vendor disinterest. After all, they'd rather sell you a brand new machine with Vista preinstalled.

            Still this author tends to echo the senitment of most computer users nowadays. People tend to dislike Linux and think it is hard to use because it is hard to install. Meanwhile, said users have never had to trudge through a Windows install from scratch themselves (Or they have only had to use restore CD's). Whenever they first have to they realize it's not particularly easy either. The only OS that really is easy to install in my experience has been the Mac OS, and the primary reason for this is because the OS vendor is the hardware vendor and they know ahead of the install exactly what hardware is in the machine. I personally think that people trying and failing to upgrade to Vista will switch a lot of people over to macs, but it also will simply cause a lot of people to throw away that $350 computer and just buy a new one instead.
          • Re:Article Summary (Score:3, Insightful)

            by AKAImBatman (238306) *
            You can put together a desktop computer with 1,000,000 different hardware configurations. Laptops are actually much less configurable ... hardware-wise.

            You can, but getting a standardized desktop is a lot easier. An Asus NForce board with a NVidia video card, SATA HDDs, and an IDE DVD Writer will pretty much run anything you throw at it. Part of this is because it's a highly common configuration. The other part of it is that nearly all the hardware uses standardized interfaces that will work with most gener
      • by daytrip00 (473461) on Wednesday May 24, 2006 @11:08AM (#15394314)
        Maybe he should install Linux instead. I'm sure the Audio drivers and WiFi drivers will work perfectly out of the box. So because they don't, Linux blows! That's some faulty logic if I ever heard it.

        Nothing to see here, move along.
    • However! (Score:3, Insightful)

      by porkThreeWays (895269)
      However, Lenovo laptops have very popular and generic hardware and there's nothing exotic about them.
    • Re:Article Summary (Score:3, Insightful)

      by WuphonsReach (684551)
      Am I the only one who's sitting here and wondering, "What was this guy thinking?!" Laptops have so much custom hardware these days that it's a Bad Idea(TM) to attempt an OS installation from anything but restore CDs. This guy not only tried to install from new media, but he tried to install a cutting-edge operating system that isn't even out of beta!

      Nope, I'm right there with you. See also the silliness of the BusinessWeek article from a few weeks ago where the reviewer chooses a laptop based on its the
    • Re:Article Summary (Score:3, Interesting)

      by kiwimate (458274)
      Yep, you've got it. By the way, the /. article summary was ever so slightly misleadingly out of context as well.

      Slashdot headline: Vista Beta 2 has Major Problems
      Slashdot summary: for me [it] was one of the worst operating system experiences that I've ever encountered.

      Actual article headline: Windows Vista Beta 2: The key word is 'Beta'
      Actual article text taken out of context: Installing Vista Beta 2, for me was one of the worst operating system experiences that I've ever encountered.

      P.S. note to "journalis
    • Re:Article Summary (Score:5, Insightful)

      by LWATCDR (28044) on Wednesday May 24, 2006 @12:55PM (#15395311) Homepage Journal
      "Am I the only one who's sitting here and wondering, "What was this guy thinking?!" "
      Actually this is a VERY GOOD TEST.
      Many people are going to upgrade from XP to Vista and a lot of those people have notebooks.
      It is hard to install is a killer and one of the things that is often used to complain about Linux.
      Even with a desktop would he find the driver for the NIC? What about the video card? Suppose he got one of the new nVidia all in one motherboards with integrated video, audio, nic, and SATA?
      I can tell you that when we installed Vista on our test machine we had a lot driver issues.
      Our test machine was pretty standard. Gigabyte motherboard with an nVidia chipset and an nVidia graphics card. Your basic build it your self machine and it took days to get it working.
      Maybe Microsoft needs to put ISOs of Windows in the internet so you download the latest version and install it with your old product code?
  • Maybe Not So Fair? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn@gm[ ].com ['ail' in gap]> on Wednesday May 24, 2006 @09:57AM (#15393636) Journal
    First off, you spelled the man's name wrong. It's Krakow, not Krackow.

    Secondly, as Mr. Krakow points out, it's a Beta. Do we all know the concept of that word? It's still being tested. Ironically, he loves the operating system but his main gripe seems to be ill-supported hardware drivers. Laptops are notorious for having odds n' ends hardware in them as everyone thinks their proprietary integrated devices are the best but oddly stop supporting them after that model is done selling.

    Ever installed Linux in a laptop? I think you'll find that the scavenger hunt for drivers is similar to what Gary experienced. It's a bit of a pain in the ass but a big payout at the end. Give Vista the year or two and when it's released, I'm pretty certain companies will start updating their drivers to be "Vista ready." Is this Microsoft's fault? Possibly for not making certain the early Beta versions were universal and adaptive to different hardware but I don't know enough about drivers to speculate any further.

    The points he makes about the actual Vista operating system sound optimistic. In fact, I didn't hear him complain at all about the functioning aspects and features.

    All in all, this review was a waste of my time to read. The man spent all his time bitching about his laptop/driver problems and no time at all on analyzing what the operating system has to offer.

    Perhaps the next time he reviews Lenovo Laptops [msn.com] and raves about them, he'll actually check if their drivers are supporting all operating systems. I don't know if you can depend on IBM to support their old laptops or expect the new makers of Lenovo to support the old hardware. Hell, even my Dell laptop has some obscure sound and wireless card models which are painful to find the right drivers for.

    I don't want to spout conspiracies but I think that Mr. Krakow favors the "almighty Apple" over "evil Microsoft." You can read his other [msn.com] reviews [msn.com] which may be a bit biased [msn.com]. That last one is really pro-iTunes. I guess what I'm trying to say is that this man may be a tad biased ... save yourself some time and just thoroughly read the Wikipedia article [wikipedia.org] on it.
    • by Fhqwhgadss (905393) on Wednesday May 24, 2006 @10:07AM (#15393727)
      Not only is it beta, but by the time it ships, users won't have to look for drivers, Lenovo will have it preconfigured already. So his biggest gripe is a complete non-issue for the overwhelming majority of computer users. Sounds like a thumbs-up to me.

      BTW, isn't the Slashdot mentality great? Poor driver support for Linux: "Broadcom/ATI/whoever Is The Devil." Poor driver support for Windows: "Vista Beta 2 has Major Problems." Go Figure.

    • by thebdj (768618) on Wednesday May 24, 2006 @10:11AM (#15393778) Journal
      Ever installed Linux in a laptop? I think you'll find that the scavenger hunt for drivers is similar to what Gary experienced.

      I have installed Linux on my Dell Latitude 8600 twice once with Mandriva '06 and the other time Fedora Core 3. I never had this mystical hunt for drivers you speak of. My laptop actually worked right out of the install. I had to do more drivers work on it the one time I installed Windows.

      While I will admit, using a laptop for a test install of a beta is a bad idea it isn't the worst thing ever. Windows is notoriously bad for driver support and I have had to install drivers for an FA311 after installing Windows (I think it was 2k) and the FA311 by Netgear has to be one of the most common Network cards ever.

      Of course, default video card drivers in Windows also suck. So even if there is a driver installed you still need to go get the "real" ones from ATI or nVidia. So, please do not attribute this problem to simply a beta install or a problem common with Linux and laptops.

      He might be a bit biased, but the last article you link he does complain about the sound quality, so it is not like he is a mac fan boy who will sing their praises even when something is wrong. Also, he works for MSNBC...you do remember what the MS in that stands for right? I mean if he leaned anyway you'd think it would at least be to the M$ side. By god, can't someone just have opinions anymore without being f#cking biased one way or another?
    • by slummies (976848)
      What is also maybe not so fair is that the article actually says "Installing Vista Beta 2, for me was one of the worst operating system experiences that I've ever encountered." In the article summary we get "for me [it] was one of the worst operating system experiences that I've ever encountered." There is a rather large difference there. Something got lost in translation?
    • by CaptainZapp (182233) * on Wednesday May 24, 2006 @10:23AM (#15393890) Homepage
      Ever installed Linux in a laptop?

      Yep!

      I think you'll find that the scavenger hunt for drivers is similar to what Gary experienced.

      Nope! [ubuntu.com]

      As a matter of fact I installed it on two laptops recently. A (now more or less) brandspanking new Samsung X50 and on a fairly ancient Dell C600. Except for a few very minor quirks (specifically suspend to disk) both work like a charm; this includes the widescreen at its designated resolution and WLAN.

      As a matter of fact, while I spent an entire afternoon installing W2K on the Dell (drivers, reboot, loads of hotfixes, reboots, newer version of software, reboot, hotfix for the new version, etcetc...), Ubuntu took less then an hour in order to be installed and fully updated.

      I'm not claiming that Microsoft sux and Linux rox, but in this specific case installing Windows was definitely a pain in the butt as compared to Ubuntu.

    • by Slashcrunch (626325) on Wednesday May 24, 2006 @10:26AM (#15393929) Homepage
      Ever installed Linux in a laptop? I think you'll find that the scavenger hunt for drivers is similar to what Gary experienced.

      Yes... yes I have. Quite a few times actually. And you know what? Over the years the install process has gotten easier and easier. On my current laptop I am now running Ubuntu Dapper which is still Beta. Everything just works out of the box, including built-in wireless with WPA. My last laptop ran Fedora then Gentoo, and once again everything just worked.

      I do not know of these mythical driver problems you speak of. I think you will find installing Windows these days is more of a pain in the ass than installing Linux. I see our desktop/network guys at work re-install windows from time to time, and I always chuckle about the nastiness of a windows install... and thats with *non* Beta versions. I showed one of the guys a Ubuntu install, and he just about pee'd his pants at how easy it was! :)
    • by MasterC (70492)
      Secondly, as Mr. Krakow points out, it's a Beta. Do we all know the concept of that word?

      I take it that you don't [gmail.com] work [froogle.com] for [google.com] google [google.com]? As far as all the linked services go, I don't ever seem to have your typical "beta problems" like crashing every 10 minutes. My point? Beta depends on who you talk to and the "concept" no longer means what it used to mean. Especially as google extends its grasp on the world.

      How much software of today is "beta"? Why spend developer time debugging when you can make your clien
  • "... how did you like the play?"
  • Built-in audio and wireless didn't work on his Levono laptop.

    That's because the audio is reserved for spying on the US military (and wireless to transmit the data back to China!)
  • Levono (Score:4, Funny)

    by kevin_conaway (585204) on Wednesday May 24, 2006 @09:58AM (#15393655) Homepage
    Maybe if he had bought a Lenovo instead of a Levono from that guy on the street in the trenchcoat with shifty eyes, he wouldn't be having problems?
  • Dumb article (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Sethb (9355) * <bokelman@gmail.com> on Wednesday May 24, 2006 @09:58AM (#15393657) Homepage
    To sum it up, his first laptop didn't have updated Vista drivers, and the other two he tried both had hardware problems, so "obviously" Vista is crap. While I haven't installed Beta 2 yet, I did install the February CTP on a Dell Latitude D610 laptop, and it worked quite well, I had all my drivers, and apart from the somewhat pokey video performance, it worked great.
  • Grr (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 24, 2006 @09:59AM (#15393662)

    You know, if there's one thing I loathe more than intrusive

    CONTINUED ON PAGE 2

  • OS X...? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by metaomni (667105) on Wednesday May 24, 2006 @10:01AM (#15393670)
    The article reminds me a lot of this video [google.com] of OS X overlaid on a Gates presentation of Vista.

    I'm no Apple fanboi, but it does seem like Vista isn't really innovating anything that OS X hasn't had since at least 10.4, if not earlier. Feel free to disagree.

  • by The-Ixian (168184) on Wednesday May 24, 2006 @10:02AM (#15393681)
    Somehow I find that hard to believe. Windows 9x made for some pretty hellish experiences.
  • I'll give them the benefit of the doubt for the moment, it's far too early to judge just how bad the final user experience is going to be. They haven't really pefected all the mindfucks yet.
  • by Utopia (149375) on Wednesday May 24, 2006 @10:02AM (#15393688)
    .. and the new Vista drivers went live on Windows Update yeterday.
    I am not suprised it took him time until the drivers were available.

  • "I did not try to install the Vista Beta on the computer I'm using to write this. I'll bet you can figure out why."

    Because you bombed three installations previously?
  • by Se7enLC (714730) on Wednesday May 24, 2006 @10:04AM (#15393700) Homepage Journal
    So basically when Microsoft says "beta" they mean:

    it sorta works. ok, there might be a few bugs. ok, so maybe it can't even install itself or use hardware.

    When google says "beta" they mean:

    it's more done than most web services that have been around since the early 90s will ever be, but the moniker "Beta" has a nice ring to it. Plus we like how elitist it is to have to be invited to a webmail service.
    • For all the people who have a knee-jerk response here -- "It's Beta, it's supposed to have bugs!" Or, "Gmail is simpler than an OS."

      Here's how I interpret these stages:

      Pre-alpha, nightly build, etc: We're not even sure what we're doing.

      Alpha: Can be made to run, sometimes, at least enough to demonstrate that the software could concievably work.

      Beta: Feature-freeze. Should be feature-complete, should mostly work. Usually, this means, works for the developers.

      Release Candidate: No one who's testing it
  • From TFA:
    Beta 2 is a good looking operating system with a number of new features, which will be familiar to you if you've played with recent versions of Apple's OS X.

    Or, in other words, features that were lifted/copied/etc. from OS X. It looks a lot like certain Linux desktops I've seen with all those sidebar applets... can't imagine what kinda hardware spec you'd really need to keep all that crap running. Can you even imagine what "sidebar" spyware will do to systems? Probably inescapable installs of pole dancers and casino crap... I rue the day!
  • Hardware problems (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Taimat (944976) on Wednesday May 24, 2006 @10:06AM (#15393722)
    From reading TFA, it looks like he had the majority of problems because of his laptops. Hard drive dying, replace batt. Perhaps he should invest in new testing equipment. I thought the article was going to be about vista beta 2, not, why I couldn't get windows installed on my hardware. Yes, vista is supposed to support a ton of hardware, but I feel the article's title was misleading. Yes, I like linux and windows... No, I am not looking foward to Vista. 2000 and XP (and a wide range of linux) is fine for most workstations in the corp world.
  • by amichalo (132545) on Wednesday May 24, 2006 @10:09AM (#15393757)
    Even though Gates is quoted in the NYTimes [nytimes.com] as saying Vista will ship "on-time" (relative to the last delay), on the same day CEO Ballmer is expecting more delays [cio.com] even to the current January 2007 date.

    When the two cheifs can't even agree, at least in PUBLIC, it doesn't bode well for the rest of the project.

    Now where did I put that OS X brochure?...
  • In other news, the sky is blue, and water is wet.
  • YAY! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Spy der Mann (805235) <spydermann,slashdot&gmail,com> on Wednesday May 24, 2006 @10:11AM (#15393776) Homepage Journal
    "for me [it] was one of the worst operating system experiences that I've ever encountered."

    Yay! For the first time Linux is more friendly than Windows! *ducks*
  • by drafalski (232178) on Wednesday May 24, 2006 @10:14AM (#15393814) Homepage
    Built-in audio and wireless didn't work on his Levono laptop


    There was probably a conflict with the Chinese spying hardware built into the laptop.
  • by Pecisk (688001) on Wednesday May 24, 2006 @10:17AM (#15393837)
    I propably will be modded down to hell by Microsoft PR guys here as troll or something, but I would like to point out that Beta or not, drivers usually should in this stage of version. For example, I run Ubuntu Dapper betas for three months and...emmm...it works :) Almost any hardware I have trown at it simply works, or works after checking out Wiki/several Synaptic sessions.

    Anyway, as IT guy I would say that such driver problems gives OS bad name, so it is rather strange that Microsoft have major problems with it. Maybe it was too early to call it beta.
    • Apples and oranges. Vista is an all-new system, and it's closed source and proprietary on top of that. Dapper isn't a huge change from Breezy, from a driver standpoint, and devs had access to all the code involved all along anyway. Vista is introducing a whole new driver model. Besides, even if the drivers are written, why would hardware manufacturers be realeasing drivers for an OS that's not even finished, much less released? I'm not a big fan of Microsoft, but it doesn't make any sense to criticise them
  • Beta (Score:3, Insightful)

    by miffo.swe (547642) <daniel DOT hedblom AT gmail DOT com> on Wednesday May 24, 2006 @10:19AM (#15393857) Homepage Journal
    A beta this scruffy is not sounding that uplifting. Since Vista is due gold in October there aint that much time left to ease the quirks out. If you believe the developers at Microsoft its very time consuming to fix bugs in Windows Vista. I really hope Vista wont be as ridden with bugs as Windows XP.

    Actually i dont think Microsoft will meet the October deadline if they dont let a lot of bugs slip through their fingers. Doing that would really be to shoot themselves in the foot. The last thing Microsoft needs right now is another Windows Millenium that people just ignore. If most people just hold out until the next version of windows instead it could do a serious blow to Microsofts income.
  • by Jugalator (259273) on Wednesday May 24, 2006 @10:21AM (#15393871) Journal
    I think this article is spot on the issues coming from an as imprecise term as "beta". On Google services, Beta often doesn't end up meaning anything more than "new" to end users because they're usually very solid, and can also remain in beta for years without anything even happening to them. In computer software, the same can sometimes apply, but others use "beta" with the older definition at least when developing large applications, like Microsoft. A "beta" that means "don't run this in anything like production systems".

    He has these things to say when excluding his whining:

    - I was given a pre-beta 2 release but will call it "Beta 2" in this article.
    - I can't install this "Beta 2" on my Lenovo ThinkPad X60 laptop.
    - I know beta software can be quirky.
    - I couldn't run an automated upgrade from XP.
    - I could run a clean install, but not all drivers are available yet, like that to my wireless card.
    - A clean install will not let you keep old drivers.
    - Install on Computer #2 failed because my clock battery was too old.
    - Install on Computer #3 failed because my hard drive crashed early on.
    - With Microsoft support help, I now have Vista running to some extent on my laptop.

    Now, is this in any possible way a surprising turn of events for beta software with about a half a year left for bug fixing, polish, and catch-ups from driver developers? I really have to defend MS a bit when clueless people like him are given enough attention to appear on Slashdot.
  • by duffolonious (956722) on Wednesday May 24, 2006 @10:23AM (#15393887)
    The clock is ticking.

    Nonetheless, did anyone think the highlights weren't that high?

            * A streamlined Start menu.
            * Instant Search in every Explorer window.
            * Search Pane lets you organize information by author, date, or type of document.
            * Windows Sidebar puts frequently used information and tasks right on the desktop. This feature will remind OS X users of that system's Dashboard feature.
            * Network Explorer puts all network connections -- like printers, other computers, and devices - into one centralized location.
            * Sync Center helps users manage all their devices from one place.
            * Tablet PC functionality is integrated into most versions of Windows Vista.
            * Windows Media Center 11, also standard in Vista, includes live and recorded television, music, photos and videos.
            * Improved Windows Media Player.
            * New power management features for mobile computers to optimize battery performance.
            * Windows Defender regularly scans and removes spyware and other unwanted software.
            * Classic Windows games, as well as several new ones.

    None of these are compelling reasons to upgrade from XP. I see minor features and re-organizations. Power management? Hmmmm... not enough. Windows Defender? Not doing it for me. I thought there were a lot of other more compelling reasons?
    • by SpryGuy (206254) on Wednesday May 24, 2006 @01:21PM (#15395533)
      A partial list cribbed from another site (an admittedly Windows fan-boyish site) of the major changes, updates, new features, and enchancements of Windows Vista:

      * 64-bit support
      * Aero Taskbar and live taskbar thumbnails
      * Automatic Backup and hard-disk defrag
      * Backup and Recovery Center and image-based backup and recovery
      * BitLocker Drive Encryption and Encrypting File System (EFS)
      * ClearType
      * Games Explorer and new Windows games
      * Internet Explorer 7.0 Anti-Phishing, tabs, quick tabs, integrated search, "fix my settings", RSS, protected mode
      * Internet Information Server
      * Network Center
      * Network Projection
      * Networking capabilities - new TCP/IP stack, diagnostics & troubleshooting, VPN, peer networking
      * Power management
      * Remote Desktop
      * Service hardening
      * Setup and installation improvements
      * Subsystem for Unix-based Applications
      * Sync Center and PC-to-PC sync
      * System Search and file tagging
      * Themed slide shows
      * User Account Control
      * Virtual PC Express
      * Windows Anytime Upgrade
      * Windows Calendar, Collaboration, DVD Maker, Collaboration, Fax and Scan
      * Windows Defender
      * Windows Easy Transfer
      * Windows Explorer shell
      * Windows Firewall
      * Windows Flip and Windows Flip 3D
      * Windows HotStart
      * Windows Mail, and Anti-Phishing support
      * Windows Media Center, CableCard support, HD support, XBox360 support
      * Windows Media Player 11
      * Windows Mobility Center
      * Windows Movie Maker, and Movie Maker HD
      * Windows Photo Gallery
      * Windows ReadyBoost
      * Windows Rights Management Services (Windows RMS) client
      * Windows Security Center
      * Windows ShadowCopy
      * Windows Sidebar and Gadgets
      * Windows SideShow
      * Windows SuperFetch
      * Windows Tablet PC functionality and touch screens upport
      * Windows Ultimate Extras
      * Windows Vista Aero, Basic, and Classic user interfaces
      * Windows Vista Fonts, Screensavesrs, Sound Schemes
      * WinFX
      * Wireless networking capabilities
      * XPS document support

      And this list doesn't touch on things that are 'internal', like more efficient memory allocation, rewritten kernel, moving of drivers to user level, removal of several required-reboot scenereos, more efficient multi-tasking, etc. You may not care about all of these things, but the sum-total does seem to be a realtively compelling package, providing they don't totally screw it up (and it looks so far like they've totally screwed up the "User Account Control" aspect, but it's possible they'll fix that before release). It's also true that some of these features will be made available to run on existing XP (like IE7, WMP11, and even the Side-bar). But all of those items will have enhanced functionality on Vista. With any luck, the security of the 'default installation' will be significantly better as well, which will also be a good thing. ANY improvement on that will be a good thing.

  • by C_Kode (102755) on Wednesday May 24, 2006 @10:24AM (#15393909) Journal
    Our Windows admin installed it on his 3 year old Dell desktop and we were quite surprised that it had all the drivers considering it's beta. The sound and the modem driver had to be downloaded by using Windows "search the internet for drivers", but it did find them and worked fine. It has to think before it does anything, but that was to be expected considering it's 3 years old. (It was top of the line when released though 1.7Ghz, 64MB video, 1GB ram) He said he was going to strip off the special effects and see how it does. (Haven't seen it since he did it so I can't comment on how it is afterwards) It defaulted to an incrediably small resulotion though. It was almost unreadable even though his laptop has a nice and large wide screen display. I like the taskbar. I prefer small unobtrusive taskbars. Which is a pain for me since I prefer KDE's feel and UI, but prefer Gnome's look. (small taskbar... I can't stand hidden taskbars though so forget it!)
  • by Spackler (223562) on Wednesday May 24, 2006 @10:26AM (#15393925) Journal
    "for me [it] was one of the worst operating system experiences that I've ever encountered."

    Which means you are a young pup. Coherrent on a 286? How about OS/2 on a Tandy 1000? DSM on an 11/44? Windows 1 (with the coolest font management that only took a week to get stuff working)? You do remember when the line printer would get stuck on the feeder and it would wear a line of text right through the paper, don't you?

    Man, back in my day
  • Proof Positive... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by eno2001 (527078) on Wednesday May 24, 2006 @10:30AM (#15393970) Homepage Journal
    ...that mainstream "tech news" is usually done by morons. Lesson #1 that a REAL tech learns is that you never, NEVER, N E V E R install the "latest and greatest" or beta software on the latest hardware and expect it to work. Only an idiot would do that. Of course I've met a LOT of idiots who profess to being "Windows experts". No I'm not slamming all Windows users. I'm slamming the variety of Windows user who only wants the latest toys regardless of if he or she actually needs them. Living on the bleeding edge and expecting no problems is the true sign of idiocy. If you want bleeding edge, then expect to have problems. That's the way a REAL tech does it.
  • OMFG (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Oztun (111934) on Wednesday May 24, 2006 @10:37AM (#15394029)
    I tried to beta test software and I found bugs in it, and this was Microsoft software!!! Can you believe it??? I bet this would make a great news story.
    • Re:OMFG (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Pecisk (688001)
      As much you would like to make it unimportant, it IS important. Because it is not SOME Microsoft software, but it is new, hyped to death operational system, which is CORE business for them. And this beta is claimed that it will be finally "real one" by Microsoft apologists, which will be fast, won't break, freeze, crash, etc.

      For me as IT guy seeing that Microsoft newest operational system beta can't handle such things is nor surprise, nor also any indication that Vista will be "final solution" for Microsoft
  • by Hootenanny (966459) on Wednesday May 24, 2006 @10:40AM (#15394058)
    "Alpha" - we made changes to XP codebase, now doggone Vista won't compile "Beta" - we finally got it to compile, let's ship 'er out and test the waters "Final" - it's mostly feature-complete, ready for quality testing by paying customers "Service Pack 1" - final release candidate (boy did we fool them!), now let's think about security "Service Pack 2" - done thinking, done testing, the final project woohoo! (Ballmer pats chair on back)
  • by thatguywhoiam (524290) on Wednesday May 24, 2006 @12:31PM (#15395117)
    Microsoft should have copied Flickr and just gone straight to Gamma, then we wouldn't have these issues.
  • by mattsucks (541950) on Wednesday May 24, 2006 @12:50PM (#15395259) Homepage
    The summary takes the quote "for me [it] was one of the worst operating system experiences that I've ever encountered." directly from the article, making it sound like the author was describing the entire Vista Beta experience.

    He wasn't.

    The FULL sentence from whence this quote was lifted reads (with my added emphasis):

    "Installing Vista Beta 2, for me was one of the worst operating system experiences that I've ever encountered."

    Awkward grammar aside, the author is talking about the installation and configuration experience, NOT Windows Vista as an overall OS experience.

    I like to bash M$ as much as the next guy, have a mixed network of Windows and non-Windows systems at home, yadda yadda yadda, .. but come on! Save the bias for vacuum tubes.
  • by mhollis (727905) on Wednesday May 24, 2006 @01:19PM (#15395514) Journal

    Microsoft was interested in releasing this pre-Beta 2 (call it Beta 1.5) to this particular writer because doing so hypes the product and starts geting people talking about it 6 to 9 months before the OS is released. This is typical of the Microsoft PR Engine.

    Additionally, the writer's comment that Vista "... is a good looking operating system with a number of new features, which will be familiar to you if you've played with recent versions of Apple's OS X." is designed to try to stop Windows users from switching to Apple's hardware and operating system due to Mac-Envy. Read it like this: "Just wait until Vista comes out and you'll get all of the things the Mac Fanboys have been chortling about on their operating system."

    The instalation headaches are a pretty good way of decreasing expectations; it's kind of like how the US government will lower expectations for a conference by saying things like "the two sides are nowhere near an agreement." Read this like: "You'll get close to 60% of the ease of use and function the Mac Fanboys have been chortling about on their operating system."

    The author works for MSNBC and you'd better believe that the cable channel will present a report from him as if it were "news" and it will show lots of images of the operating system running correctly on his computer (or on a specially-provided one from Microsoft). This should be seen as: "Just look at all of the coolness of Vista, like the Mac Fanboys have been chortling about on their operating system."

    I should mention that I did a lot of work for Microsoft in years past and was involved in the promotion of the release of a not-very insignificant operating system release, called "Windows 95" (some here are young enough to remember back then). Microsoft released hundreds of tapes (or edited promo packages via satellite) to "news" outfits to run on their "news" programs. These consisted of video news releases (promotion masquerading as a real news story), clip reels that show everything from manufacturing to how it works (to provide the stations with something to air while they talk about it so that they'd run stories -- or free advertising -- about the new exciting Microsoft product) and answers to "interview" questions from Microsoft executives and project leaders so that they could be used as soundbites within station "news" stories. Microsoft is presently preparing to flood the airways and the press with information about their new operating system in a campaign to get users to not switch to other operating systems and to prepare to buy the Vista upgrade.

    Executives are, even now, sallying forth from Microsoft to "do the circuit" of Technology talk shows as the hype engine prepares to swing into gear. I would imagine that Vista will get the same treatment in "roll out" hype as did Windows 95.

    I should also mention that the release version of Microsoft Windows 95 convinced me that I ought to switch to Apple's operating system. I installed it on my personal computer and it proceeded to wipe out all data on two 512M hard drives (that would be the one it was being installed on as well as the other one on which it was not being installed. I reasoned, at the time, that if I was going to need to completely upgrade my way of working with an operating system, I ought to switch to something that did not tend to destroy data. Thankfully, I did have a tape backup of both drives.

  • by HangingChad (677530) on Wednesday May 24, 2006 @02:05PM (#15395931) Homepage
    I need an operating system that just works out of the box, so until Windows is more reliable I'm stuck with Linux.

    BWAHAHAHAHA! I've been waiting for a chance to use that line for years. ;)

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