01 December 2007

Vista doesn't suck! Not with time atleast...

I’m sure everyone by now has read the infamous Vista sucks… article. I don’t know if it was a deliberate attempt at trying to catch information, or they really believe what they wroteBy the looks of the explanations, looks like the latter is true, but I really don’t think putting Vista 10th on the list of worst things —- and not even of 2007, but all time —- is the right thing. We know Microsoft got a lot of things wrong, but Vista surely deserve’s better.

Personal experience

I’ve been using Vista for about a month now. It is a better operating system than XP, that’s for sure. Integrated search, the memory management, the looks, usage pattern recognition algorithms are all much superior. Sure, something that took 6 years to make should have much more to speak for, but I think this is a worthy product. Not worthy of the $300+ price tag, but worthy nonetheless. Somethings that are wrong with Vista are probably one’s that become clear over time. The hardware requirements are high. 1GB just doesn’t cut it anymore, if you’re a multi-tasker like me (Photoshop, Firefox, Outlook all at once :P). The final cost of using Vista is much higher than the price tag of the OS itself. And one thing that irritated me tons, and still does a bit, is that Microsoft very clearly traded features for performance. XP was ‘way’ faster than Vista has ever felt; even a clean new installed Vista seems like a slug compared to my year old XP SP2. And from what I’m hearing, Vista SP1 doesn’t seem to help issues.

Someone who wants a fast operating system, should certainly have no qualms about how it looks. Hence, turning Aero off should sit decently well with them. I like my OS to look top notch, and hence, would rather keep Aero on. But I can see a good difference when the load starts to mount. Also, I was also re-introduced to the concept of ‘restarting the computer’ after long periods of use to speed it up again. I hope Vista’s garbage collection and repopulation of the memory cache is improved in SP1.

So why doesn’t it suck?

In a single line, I’d have to say because once you get used to it, and with UAC off ( :P ), you will really see your productivity increase. Vista is extremely intuitive. It has made repetitive tasks simpler, and will make you a much more efficient user. From simple things like hitting the windows key, and starting to type to launch applications, to creating advanced scheduled tasks. And after a month, Vista does feel faster than it used to in the beginningWhich I think is because it has understood over a month the applications I use the most, and loads them up in the cache everytime it finds the space.. It’s networking is much better than XP’s, with creation and recognition of networks, and their settings far better and easier. Device installation is a breeze for most of the things, since some or the driver is already present for it. And security … even with UAC off, it seems to be a stable and hardy operating system coupled with Windows Defender (and constant updates from Microsoft).

I’d really say that bar the price, Vista is a good operating system to try out. And I don’t suggest a day or a week for a trial. Give it atleast a month. Get used to the slightly different ways of doing things. Instead of making a giant leap, Microsoft has eased the changes in, so that we can get used to them slowly and steadily. It will take a little time to get used to them. And once you do, you’ll see it isn’t ‘all’ that bad :)


Deepak said...

If you care only about performance, why would you turn Aero off?
You can just stick with XP and save some bucks.

I worked with Vista for about 2 months in my roommate's laptop, and I absolutely hated two things:

1. That "Are you sure you want to do this" message box crap. (Gets on your nerves. We can probably turn it off in the registry, but I didn't try.)

2. Networking with other XP machines in my home was a real pain in the butt. (Maybe they want all of the machines to be running Vista. That's typical Microsoft-ish)

Singpolyma said...

"I’ve been using Vista for about a month now. It is a better operating system than XP, that’s for sure. "

*b0rk* Only if your hardware is 100x better and you don't mind increased instability. I am no fan of XP, but it beats Vista in any experience I've had in performance and stability alone.

Aditya said...

@Deepak: Yep, the UAC boxes can get very irritating, which is why I said 'with UAC turned off' ;)

I don't turn Aero off, and it works perfectly fine for me. I have two laptops running Vista, one Lenovo R60 (look up the specs, they suck), and a Macbook Pro. I can definitely see the difference because I can't open more than three applications on my R60, but that's the limit for 'many' users.

As far as networking goes, there's a patch for XP released by Microsoft which helps networking with Vista, but it doesn't make too much of a difference. XP's networking is terrible, and Vista's is equally good. Parallely, I've seen Leopard recognise Vista machines, but almost completely ignore XP.

@Singpolyma: I don't think you've had the proper experience. Believe me, over a month of using it, tweaking it to my needs, I've got it to work perfectly on my Lenovo R60 as well. Like I said, can't open too many applications (512 MB RAM), but for that much, this works pretty awesomly.

Nothing beats Tiger (Even Leopard sucks) when it comes to hardware requirements and performance, with stability. But Vista is a very stable operating system (I have yet to see a crash).

I suggest you give Vista a little more time.

Deepak said...

Oh..Is it called a UAC box? I didn't understand that at first.

(I have yet to see a crash)

If only I had taken a video of one....It used to hang whenever it tried to access some web pages. The only recovery was a hard reboot.

BTW, this laptop was a HP one with 1GB RAM and inbuilt 256MB GPU.

Aditya said...

Then your HP is much better than my R60, but I'll re-iterate. My Vista hasn't crashed yet.

Hanging because of web-pages is a Firefox thing, and you can't blame the OS for that, can you?

Avatar said...

in one year time, over 100 Vista installs have passed my hands so i think i got a good understanding and proven use of Vista in a vast array of different laptop/desktop configurations/brands.

XP is not vista,vista is based over WS2003, all the base code of the OS is better by default.

So that talk about how vista is nothing but cosmetic changes is hilarious.

Now, taking away from that huge difference when comparing them is the fact that unlike XP, where there where only two OS configurations, Vista carries around with 5 level configurations, so even if your machine is vista basic, it pays the price on the fact that all the features of the OS (ultimate), are compressed/locked/encrypted into the OS.

that takes a huge toll on the installation compared to XP

I have installed Vista Basic on pc`s as low as one 1gh/512mbs and surprise surprise, they run fine, but they do need a good configuration to run them optimal and exactly as if they were XP pro.

and just to compare Vista Issues, they weren't as bad as Leopard issues, they now got 3 screens of death, the stuck in time bug, the hdd death bug, among others i am very sure that most of the problems are caused by the not proven illuminous graphic engine and the time machine feature they rushed out so leopard could ship in 2007.

in just one month SP1 for vista public beta release will be out and all the exaggerated noise and ill perceptions will fade away during the year until they are nothing and at the same time people will start migrating from XP at faster pace than this year.

exactly as it happened with XP!!!!

and aditya, this post coming from you makes me thing you were fishing for comments and visitors.. it of course worked. :P

we should be talking about how the prospects of the new features to arrive at Blogger, Opensocial and OpenID support/integrations will make Blogger worth another shot in 2008. :P

Aditya said...

@Avatar: There is no 'good' left in this world, is there? :P I wrote this post because I didn't want people to trash a decently good operating system :)

I like Vista, and I hope SP1 fixes memory issues (cache-ing and garbage collection wise).

Although I do prefer Leopard over Vista, compared to XP, it 'is' a decent step forward.

Avatar said...

Hah, well it depends on the configuration.

Vista Ultimate on a high end tablet PC gives you the full experience and it trumps leopard all the way..

but, whatever.. :P

Deepak said...

No no no.. That is in IE7. I don't exactly remember anything common with the crashes, except that some web pages were rendering in the browser. :P They seemed to be random during browsing. And even the task manager wouldn't come up.

Anyway, I too intend to wait until they make it more stable and more secure (was that a hyperbole?) with SP1. I want it to be better, because you cannot live without windows at one point or the other, just because of the easy availability of other software for that platform.

Till then, I have Ubuntu+Beryl if I need some aesthetics. :P

Singpolyma said...

"Believe me, over a month of using it, tweaking it to my needs, I've got it to work perfectly on my Lenovo R60 as well. Like I said, can't open too many applications (512 MB RAM), but for that much, this works pretty awesomly."

I thought the idea was to get it so that end users can use it ;) Linux works great out of the box, with no 'tweaking to my needs'

"we should be talking about how the prospects of the new features to arrive at Blogger, Opensocial and OpenID support/integrations will make Blogger worth another shot in 2008. :P"

Definitely exciting stuff, I posted about the OpenID integration as soon as I saw it -- so exciting.

Avatar said...


did you said that linux don`t needs tweaking?...whoa.. that is something new, linux is all about tweaking it to get used and adjusted to it.

like pretty much any OS if you are a power user, if you are not it also works fine in all the operative system, a rookie user don`t know any different..

now, on the Blogger subject, of course. that is interesting dealio...

Singpolyma said...

"linux is all about tweaking it to get used and adjusted to it."

See, that's the old myth that keeps some thinking linux is complicated. Linux is all about beicn ANYTHING -- cell phones, routers, servers, desktops.

Some distros are made with power users in mind -- these ones can be tweaked to infinity. Some (like Ubuntu) are designed with end users in mind -- no need for tweaking.

Some distros are designed for embedded apps (read: phones) that do not even ALLOW tweaking.

Avatar said...


i meant it from a end user perspective, windows can also be in anything for that matter.

i have played suse,linspire and ubuntu in five flavors, gOS, sugarOS, Eee Xandros recently so it is not like i don`t have seen them lately.

i wanted to check certain apps, beryl and mono/moonlight related stuff.

also because people brought them to me looking to replace their OS with you know what. so i got to saw lots of distros this year so i know what you are saying but i also know what i saw and what i heard from the people that brought them.

Rishi said...

windows vista is the worst windows os i've seen. i never liked xp and still don't use it. i've got my god ol' 2000/fedora or ubuntu dual boot on most machines i use but a recently purchased laptop came with vista and boy what a piece of crap it is!!

UAC was such an annoying thing. Besides annoyance, it did something which wasted a day of my work time. i work a lot with hardware and during one of my hardware development, it was blocking one of my program and without even asking me. now it leaves you with no way to figure if its incompatibility of your drivers or something else. Even though UAC is a feature not-so bad, i'm forced to disable it.

I can go on about the quirks in there. And if someone says, people said same things about XP.. well, Vista took YEARSSSS to be released so you'd expect it to be better. And it is better on some aspects - better than XP that is. Still not as lightweight as 2000. Its a bloody resource hog. It EATS my core2 duo, 2gb machine up. And yes, this is after tweaking and disabling unnecessary stuff.

I wish windows never announced EOL for 2000. I wish most of my games worked on Linux.. I wish nVidia provided native drivers for linux for 8 series. Cos sadly, I'm forced to install XP on my gaming machine.

Rishi said...

And I'm surprised you're liking your experience even with a 512MB RAM. Well, you're using Home Basic in that case so don't know if its much of a resource hog.

The only thing I really like in vista is OS-integrated search. Windows just got that right over XP in my opinion. Rest all, well at least, "looks" cosmetic.

I ask anyone - if you have to tweak vista too much i.e. disable aero etc, then why would you use it over XP? Better underlying implementation? Well, for me i've had 3 core dumps in 4 months on my Vaio. Not quite stable, are we?

Avatar said...


your experience is unfortunate and it reflects a situation that 1% of the userbase in ANY OS lives.

so i regret you have to be one of the persons living under that situation.

but there is really good chance of SP1 solving your problems, so who knows.

Aditya said...

@Rishi: I'll second Avatar on this. It's very unfortunate your experience has been bad (it's not earth-shattering bad, mind you ... but I guess it's productivity-hampering bad). Vista is bad on many aspects, but it completely depends on what you want from your machine at this point of time. If you want to game, you should already know not to upgrade to Vista on a low end machine. Core 2 Duo and 2GB are only part of the info ... what video card do you use? What's your usage pattern ..? There are so many different parts to understanding the new OS.

Yes, I'll give you that Vista is impossible to use properly out of the box. It sucks! It takes a good amount of work to get it working the way you want it to work, and the way it is supposed to work on 'your' machine, but once you get all that going, it's a darned nice system. Better than XP, for sure.

You don't need to disable Aero for performance. You should, however, disable UAC if you think you can keep your computer secure enough. You need to know which parts of your hardware to upgrade (memory boosts only help so much) if you want to see improvements.

Integrated search was the part that disappointed me. It's uses of processor clocks too much. It works perfectly on my Macbook Pro, but my Lenovo crumbles. But that should improve in SP1 (the changelog is up, have a look).

And just so you know, I don't use Basic. I'm on Ultimate (both my computers), with Dreamscene on most of the time, Opera running cron jobs (for my Facebook applications), and Firefox, Trillian, uTorrent and Outlook almost always running. I'm not complaining ...

Rishi said...

@Aditya: I do not use the Vista machine for any sort of gaming at all. :) I use laptop pretty much for my development and browsing and usual multimedia stuff. It does have Oracle running on it. So, I know that takes a bit of memory. But thats the thing - a lower end machine than this laptop with 2000 and running more services is more stable and performs better.

Well, maybe its just my experience but from what I hear, everyone does have this one complaint about Vista - resource hungry - so it seems like its more widespread than just my experience.

And I'm REALLY surprised you being happy with Vista Ultimate on a 512MB RAM!! :) The recommended is 1GB and I know it takes more than that for things to run properly. On laptops, I believe it matters even more. Lot of things differ from desktops - MoBo, Bus Speed, Disk Speed etc etc.

Ah well! Its all good as long as one gets what they need from their OS. Cheers!