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Business 2.0 Says 'Boycott Vista' 756

Posted by Zonk
from the business-gets-surly dept.
amyandjake writes "Business 2.0 has a story about Vista's delays, the amount of time wasted by Microsoft bringing Vista to market, and the fact that it doesn't seem to have any compelling features for upgrading. The last paragraph of the story says 'Boycott Vista. Keep your old Windows XP PC around. Don't buy a new one. That's the only way we have to let Microsoft know Vista is an overhyped, late, and pointless update to XP — a perfectly fine operating system.'" Relatedly, torrensmith writes "Paul Thurrott is at it again with his seemingly never-ending supply of information about Windows Vista. This time, he discusses the things he dislikes about the program, in the article The Dark Side of Windows Vista RC1."
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Business 2.0 Says 'Boycott Vista'

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  • Re:OK... (Score:3, Informative)

    by ohearn (969704) on Friday September 08, 2006 @03:00PM (#16068180)
    XP is a perfectly fine operating system. I haven't had any of my boxes crash in years (including my XP box or my wife's XP box). The only crash of a machine I have had in the past several years was my laptop overheating when the fan had to be replaced and that was a hardware failure. For what most people use a computer for Windows does just fine. Do I wish it was cheaper?, YES. Windows tends to have much better product support than other platforms most of the time, finding drivers is not an issue like it can be for linux, and as long as you have a user smart enough to avoid the majority or viruses and spyware XP doesn't crash very often. So yes, XP is a perfectly fine OS. Trust me if most Macs or linux boxes are abused the way the average Windows box with a ID ten T for a user if they would have problems too. I am not a particular fan of MS; I'm just tired of listening to Mac and linux fanboys all the time.
  • Right... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Klaidas (981300) on Friday September 08, 2006 @03:04PM (#16068213)
    Boycott all you want - it will became a standard anyway. Just like [insert_windows_version_here] was. Justl like XP is. You want it, or you don't. It will.
    Because changes happen. Welcome to the world of computing.
  • by Senjutsu (614542) on Friday September 08, 2006 @03:15PM (#16068293)
    Oh, I know this one! Because there was no consent decree Apple was involved in that was supposed to put a legal damper on that sort of behavior. What with the not being a monopoly and all.
  • Re:Flaimbait this is (Score:3, Informative)

    by iluvcapra (782887) on Friday September 08, 2006 @03:19PM (#16068323)
    Simple 'highlight current position to the end of the line' shortcuts vary from application to application

    In just about every text entry box in Mac OS X, Apple-Shift-RightArrow will deliver the desired result; in carbon and cocoa the base TextView class has the same behavior, and everybody uses NSTextView unless they're using a decades-old or explicitly cross-platform UI codebase. I can think of a few programs that break this rule, but they're extremely rare -- however I am aware one particularly-popular productivity suite that does not conform to the selection keybindings, on account of legacy behavior and a cross-platform codebase.

  • by RevDobbs (313888) * on Friday September 08, 2006 @03:20PM (#16068326) Homepage

    I think you hit the nail on the head: the article is about not upgrading every PC in your 50-office company, and is not about not buying new PCs.

    The author states that there is no compelling reason to purchase an upgrade, and I'd have to agree. What makes Vista better than XP besides more eye candy and sane default security settings? Any competent power user should have the sense to not be logging into their desktop as an admin, and production installations by big companies (should) already have their end-users' PCs locked down to prevent lusers from hurting themselves.

  • Re:Flaimbait this is (Score:5, Informative)

    by Jon47 (979674) on Friday September 08, 2006 @03:31PM (#16068407)
    From what I hear it's still pretty much the case that windows is the ...well, not necessarily preferred, but frequently required... OS for gaming. A friend of mine in the world of Warcraft tells me that the Vista RC1 gets 10 fps higher than winXP.
  • by bravado2112 (627937) on Friday September 08, 2006 @03:38PM (#16068461) Homepage

    I really think that Vista is going to be a reality check for alot of longtime Windows users. Now, to put this in perspective, I've been a longtime Windows user myself since Windows 95 first hit the market. I've used every version of Windows since then on my own desktop and have gone on to break into IT management when Windows 2000 first came out. I also broke into web development by learning ASP six years ago. So you could say that I've supported Microsoft for a very long time and have stood by them ever since....at least up until about two or three years ago! I used to swear by Microsoft. I never understood Linux; I always thought it was overly complex. I didn't get the overzealous, almost cult-like attitude of the Mac community of users. Let's face it...Windows simply dominates the desktop and it's easy to see how Microsoft can continue to hold onto their userbase.

    However, with the release of Vista, I really feel that it will be very similar to what happened with Windows Millenium Edition. Starting with beta 1, I've installed and tried out each subsequent build of Vista all the way up to the latest RC1 release. All I can say is...WHAT THE?? It's a dog...a big ole' stinkin' dog! I couldn't believe the amount of resources you really need to run it. The default install is over 6 gigs, you need at least a gig of RAM just to get by, and the new interface is pointless unless you have a fairly decent video card that is DirectX 9 compatible. All in all, lots of fluff with little substance. Plus, the new User Account Control features really feel like something of an add-on...as if Microsoft just layered it on top of their existing security model leftover from Windows 2000 and XP. UAC is useless...especially when you consider that a user with administrator rights can simply disable the damn thing!

    The problem is this: In order for Vista or any other future version of Windows to continue to succeed, Microsoft needs to learn that Windows needs to be rebuilt and reworked with a new security model that rivals even Unix-based operating systems. Nobody can say that Unix, Linux, and even Mac OS X are bad operating systems when it comes to security. They are very secure by their very nature on how they were built. Microsoft needs to learn from this and build on top of it. This is why Apple made such a smart move when they developed OS X. Rather than re-inventing the wheel, they simply took a proven secure OS and built on top of it. The beauty behind this is that the OS is modular and can be easily updated and upgraded. Windows is anything but modular.

    I've since moved on from ASP and am now using PHP as my web development platform of choice. Naturally, I use Linux as a server platform and plan to use a Mac as a desktop. I'm simply tired of Microsoft and all their shenanigans. At least with Apple, when they say their going to do something they do it! They don't tease their customers with features and then pull them out later and say, "Sorry! We screwed up!" So, make mine Apple! I'm really looking forward to Leopard! :)

  • by HornWumpus (783565) on Friday September 08, 2006 @03:53PM (#16068551)

    Both I guess.

    Windows 2K is just as 'perfectly fine' as XP is (or any other OS).

    You just have to define 'perfectly fine' as 'the devil I know, that gets the job done'.

    Win 2K is still everywhere. The kernel of XP is just a patched up NT4 kernel anyhow.

  • Re:Flaimbait this is (Score:5, Informative)

    by timster (32400) on Friday September 08, 2006 @04:36PM (#16068854)
    You make good points, but you have a slightly incomplete notion of compression and "lossless" formats.

    Sound is an analog phenomenon by nature, and with a good microphone the amount of information we could extract, were we interested, is really incredible. Consider though that 6-channel, 96kHz, 24-bit digital encoding (for instance) is 1.7 megabytes per second. I am not even remotely kidding -- that's 13.824 megabit. A five-minute tune isn't 30MB, it's over 500MB. (We're sticking to SI units here, as is standard).

    In digital recording, we're taking quantized samples of an analog phenomenon at regular intervals. This is inherently lossy compression. (Analog recording is inherently lossy also, but that's another issue).

    If we want 30MB songs instead, we could use a very simple method of lossy compression -- we could throw away half the samples, two-thirds of the channels, and a third of the sample detail. Then we'd have CD-quality audio. Trouble is, this is very crude; we've thrown away useful detail, like the subtle, soulful sound of a sax, while keeping the same level of detail in silent passages or for simpler waveforms. We've cut the bitrate, but lost too much sound.

    Another thing that we could do is use sophisticated mathematical algorithms to analyze the sound in detail and figure out which bits to throw away. We might have problems if our algorithm is poor and throws out something we want, but after years of refinement we've developed algorithms that are far better than simple bit-tossing. In all blind testing, this gives much better results; you may hate a 128kb/s MP3, but try listening to an 8-bit 11khz recording sometime (88kb/s... for mono!)

    What we DO need to do is use higher bitrates. MP3 can be encoded pretty well, but nowadays there's no reason to cut the bitrate so much. If we used the bitrate of a CD (1.4 megabit) and our better "lossy" compression formats, we'd get way better sound than we get from a "lossless" regular CD.
  • Re:Flaimbait this is (Score:5, Informative)

    by ThinkFr33ly (902481) on Friday September 08, 2006 @04:53PM (#16068974)
    I posted this in a previous Vista thread. I'll post it here again, with a couple small additions I've thought of since.

    • Various kernel improvements in scheduling
    • Completely new TCP/IP stack that offers much greater performance on high latency connections
    • Composited desktop / Aero prettiness (looks far less childish than XP, imo)
    • Resolution/DPI independence
    • Nice UI improvements like Flip3d (works well), taskbar thumbnails
    • Revamped security model (UAC, new system services model, etc.)
    • IE 7+ (Protected Mode IE) - this will virtually eliminate malware via the browser
    • Much better networking UI / auto network discovery - much cooler than I expected
    • New start menu really is a LOT better than XPs
    • Far better Explorer interface - bread crumbs are great (about time)
    • WAY better file operations dialogs
    • WAY better file operations in general (no more huge lag when accessing network devices, disks, etc.)
    • ReadyBoost (uses USB disks as disk caching locations, works very well.)
    • SuperFetch - a much improved version of XPs intelligent caching
    • Integrated Search - works better than anything else out there, including Mac OS.
    • Windows Presentation Foundation (although this will be available on XP)
    • DirectX 10
    • Windows Display Driver Model (virtualization of graphics card memory!)
    • Dramatic improvements in driver development (can develop a simple driver in 500 instead of 5000 lines of code)
    • Great backup utils
    • New audio subsystem with TONS of cool features like being able to adjust audio for individual applications or the system as a whole.
    • Speech Recognition that really, really works. (Ignore the FUD about that failed demo and TRY it yourself.)
  • by ThinkFr33ly (902481) on Friday September 08, 2006 @04:57PM (#16068995)
    They're not providing DirectX 10 for XP because it relies on the new WDDM (Windows Display Driver Model) which is radically different from the one in XP and all other Windows versions.

    It's not *just* a marketing thing, it's also a technical issue. In order to back-port DirectX 10 to XP they would need to include a huge chunk of functionality from Vista (in addition to DX10) into XP. There comes a point where you have to draw the line. (No pun intended. :)
  • Re:Another issue (Score:4, Informative)

    by symbolic (11752) on Friday September 08, 2006 @05:05PM (#16069041)

    Vista is supposedly rewritten from scratch. That's fine, because the code now incorporates an awareness of security issues that weren't anticipated when the original codebase was developed...or so they say.

    If you listen to Steve Gibson's latest Security Now podcast, he talks about the same mentality at work again - creating new 'features' that might be 'cool' to a technically-minded person, but will create nothing but headaches. The specific feature to which I am referring is Vista's purported ability to broadcast internal, non-routeable IPs, making them accessible from the outside. This completely eradicates NAT as a first (and very effective) layer of security for many people.

    Issues like this aside, when code is rewritten, it introduces a whole new set of problems. Obviously, the objective is to minimize them, but I have a feeling that Vista users will experience some of the same kinds of pain they've already endured with XP.
  • by saridder (103936) on Friday September 08, 2006 @05:44PM (#16069272) Homepage
    Bundling 3rd party apps may be unfair, but it's not illegal. Hyperterminal (another 3rd party utility) is also bundled, but that's not illegal. It's only when MS bundles it's own apps and gives them away for free tha they run into trouble.
  • by Frostalicious (657235) on Friday September 08, 2006 @05:52PM (#16069313) Journal
    Oh wait, its MS, so they can't do it because they are a monopoly, except that no one is forced to buy Windows. A monopoly is the old Ma Bell, where you really didn't have a choice. You have a choice

    You are saying MS isn't a monopoly? Sounds to me the parent was making a legal argument, and as such the only relevant opinion here is the one of the judge who ruled MS a monopoly. [usdoj.gov]
  • by gutnor (872759) on Friday September 08, 2006 @05:53PM (#16069321)
    The dark age you are talking about where Windows NT 4.0/2000 times. It was essentially because the majority of development ( especially "consumer" development ) were made for Windows 95/98/Me. Most applications not specifically designed for NT/2K required some sort of tweaking.
    Yet, even at the time, a lot of companies with a semi decent sysadmin were able to make everything work for the end-user, in normal user mode.

    Since Windows XP, the vast majority of major products works perfectly fine in normal user account. There is still some occasional tweaking (generally give the program write access in its installation folder) to do for some small sharewares or for small open source software but nothing like before. There has really been a huge improvement in the last years. In day to day usage you will probably never have to use the "RunAs" command for anything else than system settings and program installations ( and ... games thanks to those copy protection ).

    Doesn't mean that's easy to *setup* Windows to use it with a normal user. And it is certainly beyond Joe User ability ( default Dell, HP configuration doesn't help either ) But for a power user or power user wannabe, there is absolutly no excuse to run windows in administrator mode.

  • Re:Flaimbait this is (Score:5, Informative)

    by maztuhblastah (745586) on Friday September 08, 2006 @06:48PM (#16069585) Journal
    Disclaimer: My experience with Vista has been limited to pre-RC1 and RC1, but both times, making a sincere effort to use them as both my dev OS and my primary OS.

    Various kernel improvements in scheduling

    Vista does seem to handle high-load situations better than XP (which quite frankly, sucked at dealing with them.)

    Completely new TCP/IP stack

    Both a plus and a minus -- on the plus side, yes it is fast. On the minus side, what are the bets that a completely new TCP/IP stack is free of security-holes, especially given that this isn't the OpenBSD team we're talking about...

    Composited desktop / Aero prettiness

    Compositing and hardware-accelerated windows are nice. It's a little on the graphics heavy side though, and does require a beefy video card for the really shiny bits to be usable. That said, I personally (although I expect that others feel differently) find Aero to be so-so... it's got several cool effects, but I actually ended up turning it off when I got sick of it. To each his own, I guess...

    Resolution/DPI independence

    Except not really. While the frameworks/APIs are in place for this, and some of Vista is resolution independent, much of the OS is still very much bitmap-based. If you don't believe me, take a peek inside some of the shell DLLs. It is prettier, and high-res icons are being used in many places, but the res-independent stuff isn't used very much. (For anyone who thinks I'm an Apple fanboy.... OS X doesn't have res-independence either. Leopard does have it, but it's off by default, and is very very very alpha.)

    Revamped security model (UAC, new system services model, etc.)

    About time. The UAC stuff is nice, as are the sane default settings, but this isn't really a compelling reason to upgrade (since it's all stuff that a properly configured Win2K or XP box will do.)

    IE 7+ (Protected Mode IE) - this will virtually eliminate malware via the browser

    Ha ha ha ha ha.... IE Protected Mode is nice... but "virtually eliminate malware"? I think not. As long as the mshtml engine is used as part of the OS, it is still a risk. IE7 is an improvement from IE6, but is still outpaced by other browsers, IMHO.

    Much better networking UI / auto network discovery

    Better, but still a pain in the ass compared to OS X. This actually _is_ a good feature for people, at least if they're travelling, but not very computer-savvy.

    New start menu really is a LOT better than XPs

    I agree with half of that statement: it's new. Better is subjective... but it's basically just tries to get you to use the search field instead of the traditional "Programs" hierarchy. I guess that's easier, but I honestly don't like the OS guessing what I want to run. So yes, it's new... but from me it gets a solid "meh... so what?"

    Far better Explorer interface

    Amen. I like the new concepts seen in the Explorer interface. Some of them are really cool features. My only gripe, and the reason why I currently dislike explorer hasn't changed: from a UI consistancy standpoint, it's complete crap. It breaks it's own rules all the time -- stuff looks different depending on pretty much everything except for the phases of the moon. I know easy UIs have never been Microsoft's strong point, but Vista's Explorer is pretty darn inconsistent. Apple's actually made a screw-up like this too: the "Services" menu in the application-name menu. Each service is pretty cool, but the reasoning behind why they're there, and why they're enabled/disabled seems to be an arbitrary one (to the user.)

    WAY better file operations dialogs

    WAY better file operations in general


    The dialogs are nicer. The operations themselves... well... I haven't really noticed that much of an improvement over XP, to be honest. No complaints though.

    ReadyBoost

    Works well... if you have a USB drive... and if you keep it plugged in...
  • Re:Flaimbait this is (Score:3, Informative)

    by deathy_epl+ccs (896747) on Friday September 08, 2006 @06:49PM (#16069589)
    i thought windows 2000 supported dual cores. any other reason?

    Dude! Thank you for correcting me! You are right, I am wrong. I'm switching back to 2k this weekend, I hate XP.

    Unfortunately, I'm a game developer so I don't think I'm going to be able to get away with this for long - the DirectX SDK will no longer install to 2k unless you use a version that's a few years out of date.

  • Re:Flaimbait this is (Score:3, Informative)

    by mrchaotica (681592) * on Friday September 08, 2006 @07:58PM (#16069833)
    staying away from iTunes AAC media
    Every time you buy iTunes or any other proprietary DRM'd solution

    Nitpick: it's not iTunes; it's the iTunes Music Store (iTMS). Plain AAC files created by iTunes (e.g. by ripping a CD) are not restricted.

  • Re:Flaimbait this is (Score:3, Informative)

    by boingo82 (932244) on Friday September 08, 2006 @11:31PM (#16070440) Homepage
    :p

    cmd-D navigates the "open" dialogue to the desktop. and, in the "open" dialogue, ENTER opens folders. But I am sure you knew that.

    Oh, and all the spare "ENTER" hits were because QuarkXPress 4.0 is always fussing about some page layout reflow baloney and so one has to go through a bunch of dialogues to open a document. Anyway, I am female. :-\

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 09, 2006 @04:50AM (#16070908)
    I still really don't see any major reason to go to XP from 2K (other than XP booting a little faster.)

    Nope, that's not a compelling reason either! It's a commom misconception (intentional on MS's part) that "XP boots faster". This is actually not true at all. Both Win2K and XP take about the same amount of time to finish all boot related processes. The only difference is that in XP they allow the user login process to move forward while boot processes are still finishing up. Even on very fast machines you will notice that, while you do get to the desktop faster in XP than 2K, you cannot actually do any thing in XP right away. The start menu won't fully respond, and you can click on icons but there will be a large delay between your actions and any applications actually loading. With Win2K you do not get a logon prompt until after the boot process has completed, how ever once you login the desktop is immeditaly responsive (on a fast system of course). So all they did was shift the point at which you wait, in XP instead of waiting a while for the login prompt to pop up you get to the desktop and then get to wait there instead. It still takes almost exactly the same amount of time for the user shell to become responsive and applications to load.

    Also in my expeirence Win2K has a slight performance edge in most applications, probably due to a smaller code base. And we have found Win2K to be MUCH more secure for corporate networks than XP! Our advice to customers is to stick with Win2K unless XP is needed for application compatibility (which is still very rare. Halo? Bah! That game sucks any way... heh).

    I think Win2K will go down in history as Microsoft's best attempt at getting Windows working right. It's still lacking, but is a major improvement over 98 and to some extent NT. Where as XP seems to be a step backwards, and I can only imagine how many steps backwards Vista is going to be! Funny how the NT line of Windows becomes more unstable the further away MS gets from the original OS/2 kernel IBM made for them...

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