Saturday 9 February 2008

Windows Vista

Whilst there maybe a few good features and improved security in Vista, which are hardly noticeable in every day usage, these are far out-weighed by the serious performance issues on hardware that XP performed well on.

Good things about Vista

- Speech recognition software (though it's still not perfect)

- independant Volume controls (yup I cannot think of anything else!)

-Improved task manager (although Dtaskmanager, is a better alternative!)

Bad things about Vista

- The new Windows Explorer. It's horrible, i thought the old file manager was bad enough but now they've managed to make it worse! File copying is incredibly slow - especially over a network - and the integrated Zip function is even slower than before.

- General bloatedness. Unless you have a PC with 4GB of ram (and dual core CPU) it's as slow as a slug wading through treacle. I first tried Vista on a friends Acer SFF machine with 1GB of ram, Core 2 Duo CPU, and 320GB hard drive. it does mostly use laptop components, and is let down by onboard Intel HD ready graphics. It also features dual analog/digital TV tuner and onboard 7.1 HD audio. If it was running Ubuntu 7.10 or XP it would be rather good. Unfortunately, it runs Vista Home Premium, and therefore takes almost 3 minutes to boot and still felt rather sluggish after reverting to Windows classic theme. Running VMware with another OS such as XP or Linux was impossible, it slowed to a standstill. My old homebuilt machine with Ubuntu or XP would piss all over Vista on this PC.

- Poor hardware support for any device older than 2 years old. I wonder how many old perfectly working scanners and printers and other devices will be frown away just because they're no longer supported. Even if they worked fine in XP or Linux. They're seems to be abundence of them in local charity shops already. Even with its environmentally friendly standby modes, this is not exactly an environmentally-friendly OS.

- Audio A poor sound system crippled with DRM.

- Horrid Security messages. If you have administrative privileges, you should not be hassled by pop up "are you sure?" messages every time you move through the control panel, or change any settings. Yes you can turn it off, but its not exactly friendly for newbies.

- Choice - Microsoft are trying they're damned hardest to get rid of XP as fast as possible in order to force people to upgrade / buy a new PC with Vista. High street stores no longer stock XP, except for businesses (who still demand XP, as its what they know, it works (to a degree) so why upgrade?

At the moment, there are only a small number of people who are buying copies of Vista: Gamers who 'need' DirectX 10, even though most DX10 games at the moment barely use any of it's features; gadget freaks who want the latest fad; and system builders, who supply for demand. The rest of Vista's sales are down to people who have bought a new PC which has Vista on it, as they don't realise there's other options.

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