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Tom's Hardware Looks at Microsoft Vista Beta 338

Posted by timothy
from the no-not-the-vista dept.
RockClimbingFool writes "Tom's Hardware has a pretty good overview of what the current beta version of Microsoft Windows Vista has to offer. The article is written from an average user's perspective, specifically highlighting exactly which differences the average computer user can expect to see from Windows XP to Windows Vista. It covers everything from IE7, to the new Windows Aero interface, to brand new games." But if you'd like your eye candy open source and downloadable now, check out Lunapark6's review of the current version of Ubuntu Dapper, with "emphasis placed on helping someone set up the system for everyday desktop usage."
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Tom's Hardware Looks at Microsoft Vista Beta

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  • by Infernal Device (865066) on Wednesday May 31, 2006 @09:25PM (#15440976)
    Nice article posting, but was it necessary to shill for Ubuntu as part of the post? Advocacy is one thing, but it's really starting to get out of hand around here.
    • But yeah, it was out of place. Wow, I should get a levelheadedness record.
    • Starting to get out of hand? Where have you been?
    • by RockClimbingFool (692426) on Wednesday May 31, 2006 @09:45PM (#15441082)
      Yeah, my submission was only the italizied part. That other garbage is just submission crapping.
    • I just noticed its also filed under Linux. Nice, very nice.
    • Necessary I don't know, but it is useful because so many people out there are totally unaware of the great features offered by alternative OSes. Regarding Ubuntu, in no particular order: Aero-like features already available via Xgl (while Vista is not yet released), centralized package management system, 1-click full system update and security patches installation (under Windows, MS-only software is upgraded), generally easier to use than Windows (according to one of my family member who is an average desk

      • Necessary I don't know, but it is useful because so many people out there are totally unaware of the great features offered by alternative OSes.

        Out there is not in here. The typical /. denizen is more than aware of the alternatives.

      • by Columcille (88542) on Wednesday May 31, 2006 @10:21PM (#15441276) Homepage
        If you really believe all those points, then I don't think you've used Linux for very much or on sophisticated hardware. XGL support, while looking good, is buggy and immature, not all software is under the package manager and updating manually installed software can be a pain, easier to use than Windows? On what world? For many basic tasks I could agree that the ease-of-use is probably about even, but I wouldn't call Ubuntu easier. Easy to install? On this one I think Windows still remains quite easier, even if Dapper does bring with it a lot of improvements. No drivers? The kernel has come a long way, but there is still quite a bit it doesn't know. I've never installed Linux for desktop use that I didn't have to spend quite a bit of time making all the hardware work right. Ubuntu is doing a lot to make it easier for the average user to use Linux, but it's still got a long way to go before ease of use can compare to Windows.
        • by Chosen Reject (842143) on Wednesday May 31, 2006 @10:38PM (#15441373)
          I've never installed Linux for desktop use that I didn't have to spend quite a bit of time making all the hardware work right.

          Funny, I re-installed XP only 6 months ago and had to spend hours just getting the OS up and running with updates and drivers and such. Then another several hours putting on applications such as Visual Studio, OpenOffice, Firefox, etc, and I'm not including games. Just over the weekend I installed Fedora Core 5 and after an install that took less time than Windows I spent about 1 hour running the updates and had myself a usable workstation, with Anjuta, OpenOffice, Firefox (with plugins), etc. And no, this isn't new hardware. All my hardware was purchased before Windows XP was released, so the age of the OSs shouldn't be a problem when it comes to drivers.

          But maybe you were counting customizing the look and feel. Because most distros don't come with Nerzhul as the destop wallpaper I had to do that, whereas for windows it's just the blank blue for me. So yeah, you have to spend a little time customizing Linux, but at least you can do it, whereas for Windows you get what they decide looks nice to the eyes.

          In case anyone is wondering, Nerzhul goes on Linux [fedoraforum.org] because I can make everything blend in better with a dark wallpaper, whereas the simple blue on Windows blends in better with the blue-ish theme in XP.

        • by this great guy (922511) on Wednesday May 31, 2006 @11:13PM (#15441556)

          I have been using, contributing, and developping source code for alternative OSes and various open source projects since 1998; all of my 5 personal boxes have been running Linux/BSD only since 2000; and 95% of the server and desktop machines I have installed or administered at my previous and current jobs have been running Linux/BSD. So I think I have a pretty good view on the advantages (and inconvenients) of alternative OSes.

          Let me reply to your questions. It is true that Xgl is very new and will continuously need to improve. It is true that not ALL apps are packaged by Ubuntu, however with a current count of 17,000+ it is way enough for an average desktop user (I have personally only had to package myself obscure command-line tools that nobody else should ever need). However you are fundamentally wrong when stating that "it has still got a long way to go" for the desktop user. The remaining issues can basically all be regrouped under 2 banners: "lack of open source drivers" or "lack of proprietary software XYZ under Linux". Those 2 things are VERY important, but the whole framework for a successful operating system is already here. If your hardware has open source drivers and if you don't depend on a particular proprietary application, then there are virtually nothing preventing you from fully enjoying Ubuntu as a desktop user. Unfortunately I also recognize that it is apparently going to take quite some time to convince the remaining "closed" hardware vendors to release open specs of their devices, and that commercial software vendors are also only very slowly starting to consider Linux as a target OS.

      • Informative???? How can that be informative? It's also useful to know how to degrease a '78 Chevy! Doesn't mean it needs to be mentioned in the post header.
    • by strider44 (650833) on Wednesday May 31, 2006 @11:09PM (#15441538)
      If it upsets you then perhaps you should start visiting a web site that's *not* run by the Open Source Technology Group.
    • Nice article posting, but was it necessary to shill for Ubuntu as part of the post


      You mean it is not useful, when assessing an OS, to compare it to the competition?


      You must be a windows user.

  • 40 pages (Score:2, Informative)

    Yippee....
  • I like how clicking the link "operating system" in an article about Vista brought up a mini-advert for Sun.
  • Give me a break (Score:4, Insightful)

    But if you'd like your eye candy open source and downloadable now, check out Lunapark6's review of the current version of Ubuntu Dapper, with "emphasis placed on helping someone set up the system for everyday desktop usage."

    And this is relevant to the article how ... ?

    It does nothing good for the Open Source movement to desperately insert some plug at any opportunity. It just reinforces the notion that it *needs* the desperation (which may not be false, but that's another subject). See also: religious cults, Amway (or any MLM), smokers who quit, Libertarians, and the Apple Macintosh. If people just want you to Shut Up Already, you're not helping your pet movement.

    • It does nothing good for the Open Source movement to desperately insert some plug at any opportunity.

      Blanket advertising helped microsofts level of market penetration. Not everything MS does is bad.
      • Blanket advertising helped microsofts level of market penetration. Not everything MS does is bad.

        You're joking, right? A lot of things contributed to Microsoft's success, but advertising isn't one of them. Microsoft doesn't even do that much advertising, and what they do do, completely sucks.

  • by Spytap (143526) on Wednesday May 31, 2006 @09:26PM (#15440988)
    But if you'd like your eye candy open source and downloadable now... Now I understand the Slashdot bias, but some of us are just genuinely interested in the progression of computing; and yes, a new version of Windows qualifies. Not EVERY article needs to be an ad for Linux. Yes, I tried it, and yes it was neat. That's...well, that's pretty much it. I'm still going to use a Mac, I'm still going to dual-boot Windows when needed, and I'm still going to be interested in occasionally reading articles that don't mention Linux whenever the words "operating system" appear...
    • by Anonymous Coward
      THere is no bias; it's the Slashdot redesign. The new CSS has collapsible sections, and whenever there is a mention of Microsoft or OS the article expands to show whatever Linux distro has just been released. For balanced news reporting, and all that.
    • The review is of Vista, Microsoft's latest and supposedly greatest OS, which has some new features. The editorial was just noting that those features already exist in another OS. How is that biased ?

      If the mozilla developers announced some new feature in Firefox version 2.0, and the editorial pointed out that such a feature was already in Opera, would it be biased towards Opera ?

      If, as you say, you are genuinely interested in the progress of computing, why aren't you interested to know if a feature is reall
      • "If the mozilla developers announced some new feature in Firefox version 2.0, and the editorial pointed out that such a feature was already in Opera, would it be biased towards Opera ?"

        Except that they never do, other than for certain things (Linux and Firefox to name two). Hence why it's a bias.

  • 1 page version (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 31, 2006 @09:28PM (#15441001)
    • I hope you read fast (Score:3, Interesting)

      by patio11 (857072)
      That page, for some unaccountable reason, will get META-refreshed into an ad after about 5 seconds, and will NOT take you back to the page afterwards.

      This site has quite possibly committed the worst sins of "maximizing advertising revenue at the expense of usability" of any site I would ever admit to browsing of (admit, mind you).

  • by yagu (721525) * <yayagu@gmai[ ]om ['l.c' in gap]> on Wednesday May 31, 2006 @09:29PM (#15441004) Journal

    Well I was able to get through about 30 pages of this "review" and pretty much gave up. Hundreds of screen captures of Vista "stuff" with a caption describing said capture does not a review make.

    So, I went to the last page to work my way back for summary and recommendation info. Turns out, last page is the summary. Save yourself some time, the gist of this article is:

    Microsoft's new Vista is surprisingly entertaining. The new look of the operating system is good, and lets it outshine its Linux and Mac OS competitors. One notices repeatedly while working with this software that Microsoft scoped out its competition very carefully.

    This is a review?

    • by CtrlPhreak (226872) on Wednesday May 31, 2006 @09:34PM (#15441031) Homepage
      Yeah it's a great review! I was on the edge of my seat when they were going through how they changed the look and feel of the newest and greatest parts of windows, solitare and minesweeper! I just can't wait to get my hands on a copy of vista now that I know that they've updated the card games to look flashier! I can't see how OS X can hope to compete against a (for the first time ever mind you) completly reworked version of Spider Solitare.
    • This is a review?

      Welcome to Intarweb 2.0

      KFG
    • by iluvcapra (782887) on Wednesday May 31, 2006 @10:36PM (#15441362)
      Microsoft's new Vista is surprisingly entertaining. The new look of the operating system is good, and lets it outshine its Linux and Mac OS competitors. One notices repeatedly while working with this software that Microsoft scoped out its competition very carefully.

      I wish they'd made an argument or two to support that conclusion. After reading TFA (or rather looking at it, it's very low-wordage), I have come to the conclusion that it has a very nice user interface, it will be easier for average people to use, and if the security features work as advertised, they might have that particular problem licked. I think it will also spur the Windows fanboys to make hundreds of pronouncements about Vista's unquestioned superiority over Mac OS X, on the basis of two interlocking arguments:

      • Windows Vista matches Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger's user interface, almost feature for feature.
      • Vista can run more programs.

      These things given, Vista is a better operating system. But...

      1. Whatever claims MS had to being a leading force in usability and human interface, they have relinquished them. Vista represents no objective improvement on what others did years ago, and most of the big questions that float around a usability engineer's head nowadays involve CSS and XML, not buttons and sliders. Thus...
      2. It not clear that MS will even be putting more work into their OS over the next 2-3 years, since they're going to be turning the whole ship around and start bearing down on "Windows Live" and Internet featurism, built atop Vista's able platform. I personally think they're overreacting to the whole google thing. BillG used to say that the desktop was their platform, but that all has gone out the window since they're losing ground in the Internet.
      3. If things go well for Apple and badly for MS, Vista and OS X 10.5 could release in the same basic timeframe, and MS appears to have almost destroyed itself to get this thing out the door (I see no Apple employees writing anonymous blogs about how everyone should be fired).

      I think BillG and SteveB are convinced that MS will become the American Megatrends of the Internet-connected future if they don't take the lead and kill Google, which is causing them to gamble big on web services -- I just don't see such things as the end-all that the Win32 OS is.

      If MS really wanted to make money off web services, they'd fully adopt open web standards, and then buy a telco or 3.

      2 cents

    • From the review:

      This dialog box is a complete mess. Why even have this service? Why is everything on Windows so obfuscated as to need a wordy, three option dialog box just to ask people if they'd like to turn off the eye candy when the computer's performance suffers. [tomshardware.com]

      Dialog boxes like this are exactly why Microsoft is sliding farther and faster behind the simplicity and flexibility that Mac OS X and Linux represent. What a goddamn joke that Windows even needs such a dialog box or the tangled mass of crap tha
  • I'm assuming there aren't any +5 comments yet because everyone is still busy R'ing TFA, right?
  • by 0xA (71424) on Wednesday May 31, 2006 @09:33PM (#15441028)
    It's just a collection of screenshots, there is no content that actually explains anything. The entire first page on explorer has 5 pictures of somebody doing a file copy! If you are going to take screenshots make them of something that has actually changed or is interesting.

    Oh and typical Tom's 40 pages of screen shots means 40x the ad revenue [next].

  • by mad.frog (525085) <steven@crinkli[ ]com ['nk.' in gap]> on Wednesday May 31, 2006 @09:33PM (#15441029)
    No big deal to fix though. All I had to do was edit the xorg.conf found in /etc/X11 and change the driver from nvidia to vesa.

    I stopped reading when I got to this point.

    If this is supposed to be "Linux For The Masses" and it (1) can't recognize common commodity video cards correctly, and (2) requires you to hand-edit a config file to correct the situation...

    Well, let's just say I won't be recommending it to Mom anytime soon.
    • by Mr_Tulip (639140) on Wednesday May 31, 2006 @10:16PM (#15441239) Homepage
      To be honest, I doubt that I would ever give my mum a computer and tell her to install the OS herself.

      More likely, I'd just set it up, plug it in and show her where 'the internet' is.

    • Because that could be the fastest $200/cost of Vista I've ever made.

      Oh yeah, you have to replace one word in one config file. If people can't do this, they deserve to shell out money for over-expensive crap like Vista.
    • by grcumb (781340) on Thursday June 01, 2006 @02:13AM (#15442420) Homepage Journal

      "I stopped reading when I got to this point."

      Well maybe you should have started reading the paragraph at the top of the article that explains its audience and purpose. Here, I'll save you the effort of clicking the back button:

      "*Disclaimer this article was written for Linux enthusiasts. If you are coming from the Windows side and the command line seems intimidating you can accomplish all of the updates and installs from Synaptic or Adept package manager applications. Both have nice graphics and require nothing more than checking the box next to the program you want to install and then selecting the install button and you are set to go. I prefer the command line because it is faster."

      "If this is supposed to be "Linux For The Masses" and it (1) can't recognize common commodity video cards correctly, and (2) requires you to hand-edit a config file to correct the situation..."

      1. Linux is perfectly capable of recognising commodity video cards. The issue is not one of recognition, but support. Ubuntu's baseline support (i.e. drivers that ship with the OS) is a significant multiple of that available in Windows. But, just as with any operating system, not all hardware is supported equally. Driver development takes time in Linux because certain corporations have yet to dig their heads out of their borked marketing models and so driver developers have to go through a time-consuming reverse-engineering process to make them work. Linux also features a perfectly decent graphical fallback mode, which meant that the author was able to use X just fine even though the particular driver that he wanted was flaky. Windows does that, but not nearly as gracefully.
      2. Linux does not require that you hand edit a file. The author chose to hand edit the file because that's the way he prefers. Wake me up when Windows allows me to do things exactly the way I like.

      Changing video drivers is extremely simple in Ubuntu. I should know, because I boot Ubuntu from my external USB disk on about 6 different machines every week. That, incidentally, is something that you cannot even dream of doing on Windows.

  • Issues (Score:3, Interesting)

    by imcclell (138690) on Wednesday May 31, 2006 @09:35PM (#15441036)
    The windows vista still has some major issues. I understand that it's just a beta, but there are still some major bugs to be worked out.

    Current Problems:

    1) Not all wmv, avi, or mpegs play properly. Some of them can take 5-10 minutes to load and then give an error. The exact same file plays flawlessly in XP

    2) IE 7 needs has some compatibility issues. I understand that some pages have issues as they were designed for IE 6, but when Firefox and Opera render them correctly, that's an issue

    3) The new file system.....garbage......I don't need to be babied. The simplified file system is nice for normal users, but I want an option to have full control over my file system.

    4) I like the fact that an instance of a program dies when an error occurs, instead of the whole file system, but an error message would be nice.

    5) Sometimes when the processor usage gets high the screen goes black and won't revert back. That may need to be fixed.

    There are some nice features, but they have a lot of work to do before this thing is ready.

    • About point #4, I once had that happen multiple times on a Win98 machine, but it turned out to be a dud power supply (as if melting half its RAM and killing a video card weren't clues enough). Other than that, I've seen stuff like that happen only one other time, and that was using defrag on a machine with GoBack installed. On both instances, no error message.

      they have a lot of work to do before this thing is ready

      I've got my money on Christmas 2010. What do you think?
  • by thewldisntenuff (778302) on Wednesday May 31, 2006 @09:37PM (#15441051) Homepage
    to put the WHOLE DAMNED REVIEW on ONE FUCKING PAGE?!? I'm still digging because there are 40 pages to this stupid article!
  • XP released in 2002? (Score:4, Informative)

    by RustNeverSleeps (846857) on Wednesday May 31, 2006 @09:38PM (#15441053)
    Quote from the article:
    Today's still-current Windows XP was initially released in 2002, which means that operating system is now pushing five years old.
    IIRC, Windows XP was released in the fall of 2001. The Wikipedia article [wikipedia.org] on Windows XP confirms this. It was released on October 25, 2001. XP is close to 5 years old, even closer than the article says.
  • First thing (Score:5, Interesting)

    by zerocool^ (112121) on Wednesday May 31, 2006 @09:39PM (#15441060) Homepage Journal

    The first things I notice:

    1.) This review is forty pages. Thanks, toms hardware [next] for really cashing [next] in on those ad [next] impressions. They've been doing this for years, and if they didn't actually have substance to their reviews, it would be remarkably annoying. Err. Something.

    2.) The very first screenshots of the Aero vs. Vista Basic interfaces look identical. Just to make sure, I loaded them up in photoshop. The "preview" window is exactly the same between the two. What?

    Still reading...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 31, 2006 @09:40PM (#15441061)
    But if you'd like your eye candy ... downloadable now...

    There's Pirate Bay [slashdot.org]. Oh, wait...
  • So... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Vo0k (760020) on Wednesday May 31, 2006 @09:45PM (#15441086) Journal
    If I'm not up to "read" 40 pages of screenshots, what, besides gfx of the UI (which has been already backported to XP as "skins") has changed in Windows?
    Oh, Vista-only apps. Yay. Now why won't they work in XP? Some essential feature of XP missing? Or just to boost Vista sales? Want new game? Buy new Windows. And of course a new computer, because even if your current hardware could handle the gfx of the game if it was running under XP, it won't handle compound load of the game and Vista.
    • Re:So... (Score:4, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 31, 2006 @10:01PM (#15441157)
      If I'm not up to "read" 40 pages of screenshots, what, besides gfx of the UI (which has been already backported to XP as "skins") has changed in Windows?

      A rather extensive list can be found at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Features_new_to_Windo ws_Vista [wikipedia.org]. Some notable features include:
      -New network stack
      -New audio stack
      -New driver framework
      -New printing architecture
      -New windowing system (DWM)

      There are a substantial number of 'behind the scenes' changes in Vista. But for some reason the Slashdot crowd seems to think that the UI is the only thing that's changed. Oh well.
    • Re:So... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by jalefkowit (101585) <jason@jaso[ ]fkowitz.net ['nle' in gap]> on Wednesday May 31, 2006 @10:37PM (#15441365) Homepage
      Now why won't they work in XP? Some essential feature of XP missing?

      Congratulations, you've just discovered how all of us who run Windows 2000 have been feeling for the last few years.

      Microsoft has been holding back features from Win2000 for ages to encourage uptake of XP. Perhaps the most annoying example is their ClearType screen-font technology for LCDs; ClearType is XP-only, for reasons that I've never found particularly compelling. And the last two versions of Windows Media Player have been XP-only too. There's no reason that stuff couldn't be made to run on XP, given that XP is just 2000 with a facelift; so it's no surprise that they would pull the same act with Vista.

      • So, you paid your money for Windows 2000 all those years ago, and you want MS to keep adding new features to the software for free? Where do you think the money comes from to pay for all that technology?
  • I have seen a lot of these Windoz reviews, showing off the Fancy graphics and transparent windows. Sadly few people without new or super system will ever see the fancy graphics and transparent windows. Last I read it will take the newest video card and over a gig of ram to run anything. Joe average will buy the upgrade, then find out that his computer wont look the same after its installed I bet.
  • by Phanatic1a (413374) on Wednesday May 31, 2006 @09:53PM (#15441121)
    40 pages?

    Fourty. Fucking. Pages?

    Look, Tom's hardware used to be a useful site. It's not anymore. Stop posting their paginated ad-cancer garbage until they realize that so long as they make their stuff intentionally difficult to read, people won't read it.
  • by pestilence669 (823950) on Wednesday May 31, 2006 @10:09PM (#15441198)
    I've been suffering XP for almost six years now. Is this beta going to define Windows for the NEXT six years? If so, I'm unimpressed.

    Don't get me wrong. I welcome a much needed update to Windows. The features of Vista, however, aren't quite wowing me. The performance should be worse than XP given the heaftier requirements. There's still no WinFS, promised back in '96. The Win64 API is pretty bad (I'm a developer). Other than eye candy and clones of the most popular Mac OS features, what will I be getting for my money?

    Stability, performance, and enterprise features are what I want... not an updated Minesweeper. Will the Bluetooth protocol stack be less problematic than XP's? I hope so. Will they support WPA2 natively, without 170MB of updates? Will IPV6 be native? How about IPSEC support? Will it actually work this time? How bad is the new Windows shell? Is it close enough to Bash or even csh to be useful? What's Task Manager like? Do I still have to wait seconds for it to appear when a process runs amok? Does the UI remain responsive during heavy calculations (I do a lot of 3D)? Can I install games without worrying about which version of DirectX is installed? Will the new version of Office install things I'll have to disable, like toolbars, fast find, and Word integration into Outlook express? Do I still need to press Ctrl+Alt+Delete to do things?

    These reviews rarely touch on any issue that's actually important to me. Yes, it looks pretty and it should dammit. But does it work as well as it looks? That's what really matters. Microsoft keeps pulling features and slipping the release date. I doubt the reviewers remember Cairo.

    I beta tested Windows 95 / Chicago and recall how slow that thing was. The production release was hardly much faster, despite the assurances. In fact, the beta versions of Windows 95 ran more stable, IMO. The graphics were even slicker. I ran Win95 beta until Microsoft shipped OSR2. It was a matter of necessity.

    When will Ars Technica do a thorough review? That I might be interested in.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Yeh, I can answer some of these questions (this is all publicly available stuff):

      > Will the Bluetooth protocol stack be less problematic than XP's? I hope so.

      Yes, they've expanded profile support substantially.

      > Will they support WPA2 natively, without 170MB of updates?

      You bet.

      > Will IPV6 be native?

      Yes -- IPv6 is a first class citizen in Vista, the entire OS has been scrubbed for v6 blockers, and they actively want people running v6 only during the betas (since it's expected to be a major use case
  • ReactOS 0.3 (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    You know, Windows has some legacy junk, which hopefully
    ReactOS(or a fork of it, once it is stable) will address/remove.

    * DOS back slashes. Internet/C/UNIX slashes should be used. While windows internally understands '/' in filenames, many command utilities rely on '/' for flags.
    * Two char dos new line. There is no real reason to keep using \r\n in text files to represent a new line. It wastes one byte for every line of every text file.
    * Drive Letters are an obsolete and limiting conc
  • Not Gonna Happen (Score:5, Insightful)

    by foo fighter (151863) on Wednesday May 31, 2006 @10:19PM (#15441265) Homepage
    So, I'm a tech security consultant.

    I only bring it up because it means I see about a zillion different companies and talk to their IT Directors/CIOs/Whatevers, Fortune 500 down to Dave's Community Bank-member FDIC, every week.

    They are all Microsoft shops. Yeah, they have some small-u unix boxes (various flavors of linux, bsd, solaris, or etc.) running important stuff. But the core of their network, the centralized authentication servers and groupware servers (read Active Directory and Exchange) -- which means their app servers are typically Microsoft-based even if their DB and web servers aren't -- serve the core of what they do.

    None of them have any interest in Vista. Many have recently in the past year or two finally rid themselves of the last vestiges of 9x boxes. Basically, Windows 2000 satisfied any and all needs they had. Everyone running Windows 2003/R2 had a Microsoft partner consultancy come in to "help" them with their network.

    That's not to say they're anxious to jump to other platforms. Most show at least mild interest in my choice of a 12" PowerBook G4 to travel with and would start switching if "no one ever got fired for buying Microsoft". But no one is ready to start seriously investigating a wholesale switch to a non-Microsoft OS on desktops or servers.

    There are many reasons for this.

    But the core point is that enterprises have been pretty happy with their core OS since circa 2000. Everything since then is just features added to satisfy some niche constituency.

    Vista would be dead on arrival if the PC manufacturers weren't so in bed with Microsoft that everyone who buys a PC after Xmas of 2007 had it coming to them by default. The reason OS X and Ubuntu, et al, are seeing their market share creep up is because they have finally caught up to the feature set and a bit of the mind share Microsoft had 6-7 years ago.

    The computers in my house -- including my wife and kid's -- run OS X. My computers at work run Win XP, OS X, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, and Open BSD. I am familiar with Win Server 2k and 2k3, many Linux distros, and various flavors of Unix.

    Operating systems are a solved problem. The devils are in various niche details. Rational people with complete information (I heart Adam Smith) should be running OS X on the desktop and whatever they want/have to use on the server.

    Flame at will.
    • No Flames Here. (Score:4, Interesting)

      by mad.frog (525085) <steven@crinkli[ ]com ['nk.' in gap]> on Wednesday May 31, 2006 @11:31PM (#15441638)
      You've got it right on the money.

      XP is certainly not perfect, but frankly, it's "good enough" in many ways that the pain of switching and/or upgrading is just not worth it for a large organization.

      I've been using XP as my primary OS for years, and while it certainly has its share of atrocities (as do all OS's), it's the first MSFT OS I've ever actually found to be usable for the long term.

      Would I like it to be better? Sure. But Vista is going in the wrong direction. Adding craptacular 3D UI is amusing, but I'd vastly prefer that they solve the problem of "I have to reinstall from scratch every year or so to clear out the vestiges of crud".

      And yes, I know I'm making contradictory statements here...
  • From the idiodic screen at http://images.tomshardware.com/2006/05/31/windows_ vista/ie12_big.png [tomshardware.com]

    Microsoft knows that an example of a valid domain is example.com, not treyresearch.com

  • by Democritus the Minor (762206) on Wednesday May 31, 2006 @10:51PM (#15441446)
    At work i'm forced to work on a crappy WinNT box, so crappy in fact that firefox dies after a couple minutes. beware to everyone running IE6... one of those links apparently had a bit more then meta refresh. i started getting all sorts of activex, script, and download dialogs, along with a bunch of popups. the system locked, and on boot, even in safe mode, windows explorer refuses to run, even from taskmgr. my work box is pooched.

    I'm just glad we're finally switching to gentoo at the office, and good timing too: i'll be getting it installed in a day or so.

    So careful with those links...
  • by FFFish (7567) on Wednesday May 31, 2006 @11:27PM (#15441619) Homepage
    More and more it seems to me that Vista is all about gaming. It seems to me that Microsoft has essentially given up on creating a solid, secure platform for those of us who use their computers for work.

    Which, I suppose, isn't all that bad a thing. The *nix OSes have such a long lead on all the important featuressystem uptimes, system security, solid code base, etcthat it probably really is best for Microsoft to focus on their XBox systems and cheezy Windows game-focused OS.

    I'm pretty sure all the n00bs will be perfectly happy with Vista. It is very pretty, after all. Meanwhile, OS X, BSDs, and Linuxes start looking more and more appealing to people who actually want to get things done for real.

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