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Dear Bill Gates (again)

Robert Peston | 08:55 UK time, Monday, 26 March 2007

Dear Bill Gates

First, the apology. Having complained here on 6 February that your new Vista operating system was driving me bonkers, it would have been polite to give you an update before now.

gates203_afp.jpgAnd had I been a little less self-obsessed, I would have commiserated with you for the wobble in your share price a few weeks ago when your chief executive warned that Wall Street’s estimates of revenues from Vista in the coming year were over the top (though analysts still expect Vista to generate comfortably over $15bn of sales in the year from June 2007).

But in delaying my progress report, I gave you the benefit of the doubt. I assumed that Vista would soon become compatible with the assorted tools of my trade, so I could write you a belated note of congratulation.

In fact my Vista experience has gone from bad to worse. One of your engineers has informed me that my HP iPAQ PocketPC will never be compatible with Vista, even though the software it runs is Microsoft software. Hey ho. That’s an expensive and serviceable bit of kit written off prematurely.

Your engineer has however held out the tantalising prospect that Olympus may produce new drivers such that I would eventually be able to transfer sound files from my digital voice recorder to my new Vista laptop. But so far, those drivers are proving a bit elusive and my digital recorder may also become redundant.

But as economists say, there’s no point in obsessing over spilt milk. However, here’s what almost sent me over the edge this weekend.

I installed Office XP on my new laptop, and have been puzzled and irked that Outlook will not save sign-on passwords. It means I have to type in my passwords every time I check my e-mail accounts for new mail.

For weeks I’ve been investigating possible fixes to this annoying glitch. But yesterday I came across an explanation from someone called the Microsoft AppCompat Guy, on Microsoft’s discussion forum for “General Windows Vista Development Issues”.

This is what AppCompat Guy says: “This was a difficult deliberate choice. During the development of Vista, it was discovered that the password storage algorithm used by Outlook was too weak to protect your data from future, potential attacks. Both the security and application compatibility teams decided that protecting your data outweighed the inconvenience of having to retype your passwords. As the appcompat representative, I can assure you this was not a decision we took lightly… ”

vista203_pa.jpgSo just to be clear, Microsoft has created a new operating system that isn’t properly compatible with a best-selling, still perfectly useable version of its own software. Which of course provides quite a powerful incentive for me to spend up to £99.99 on upgrading to Microsoft Outlook 2007 – except that in my current mood, I’d rather stick pins in my eyes.

In a way you’re to be congratulated. Vista should provide a significant boost to Microsoft’s cash flow, from sales of the basic operating system and sales of new versions of other Microsoft software, like Outlook, that are presumably designed to work brilliantly with it. Also there’ll be incremental revenue for the whole computer industry, as customers like me are forced to replace accessories like my HP PDA, which has been Vista’d into obsolescence.

To put it in personal terms, the £650 I spent to replace a dead laptop may lead me to spend a further £400 or so, just so that I can continue to do with my laptop what I expect to be able to do with it.

All of which sounds like good news for you and the IT industry in general.

Except that I’m left with the uneasy feeling that I’ve been ever-so-elegantly mugged. Presumably there’s no connection between your recent sales downgrade and what you might call the negative goodwill generated for customers like me.

Hasta la vista, as they say

Comments   Post your comment

  • 1.
  • At 10:03 AM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Geoffrey wrote:

Nobody with half a brain wants to add to MS's already engorged profits. If anybody is a pirate it's Bill Gates... look up the dictionary definition and see for yourself. Don't be held to ransom! (He's a kidnapper too! He's kidnapped your laptop and your iPaq and won't let you have them back till you've spent another £400.

In the real world THAT would be illegal.

  • 2.
  • At 10:07 AM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Ewan wrote:

You should try a Mac - I switched a year ago and have not looked back.

  • 3.
  • At 10:13 AM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Andy wrote:

dump vista, use linux!

  • 4.
  • At 10:16 AM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Gary wrote:

Time to buy a Mac!

  • 5.
  • At 10:17 AM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Margaret Blomfield wrote:

Hi All new users of Vista
Like the chap whose comments I have just read,I am really disappointed that the bells and whistles that Vista promises are not yet available. All the fantastic programmes I have to collect and produce videos and other special graphics are useless on Vista.
I have been advised that I may just as well put my new system in the attic for six months!. Thanks very much Microsoft.

  • 6.
  • At 10:20 AM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • SpeakTruthToPower wrote:

Thank you for pointing to the tip of the iceberg of what Microsoft is doing. The fact that it's SO difficult to even purchase a new computer that does not come with Vista points to a greedy method of "encouraging" new business that seems to have been embraced by our Windows based PC manufacturers and retailers.

Microsoft wins another battle! I sure as heck hope we don't let them win the war with tactics that reminde me of Windows ME and it's worse-than-no-upgrade release.

Come on now - you really cannot expect Microsoft to be responsible for providing drivers for every Tom, Dick and Harry's piece of kit or do you?

It is really up to the manufacturer to provide compatible drivers and they have had enough warning and time to do so - have a rant at them!

FWIW I am using Vista on my system which I upgraded from Windows XP and have also installed Office 2007. I do not have the problems you report but have had problems with some software (particularly Adobe) - most of which can be run in compatability mode.

Vista is stable and is IMHO very much underestimated - this will become clear as time goes by.

  • 8.
  • At 10:21 AM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Geoff Boyes wrote:


Just buy a Mac. Imagine a world with no viruses, no significant computer problems and all the time you spend on the computer is productive. Last time I used a PC in earnest was 1989 and I've never looked back.

  • 9.
  • At 10:21 AM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • HastaLaVista wrote:

Methinks it's time to get a Mac... All the reasons are listed here: :-))))

  • 10.
  • At 10:21 AM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Duncan wrote:

Did you not bother to check compatability issues before upgrading? Would it be ok for me to steal your passwords? Hack your accounts? You're a journalist, read the tin before opening.

  • 11.
  • At 10:21 AM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • David Edney wrote:

Don't get too excited - it does the same damned thing in Outlook 2007 when I use it with an Exchange server on a non domain machine. In a corporate environment for remote users this is an enormous frustration.

  • 12.
  • At 10:24 AM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Kb wrote:

Put your already paid for copy of XP on your new Laptop. Presto everything works again


I am really enjoying Vista. Its very robust and I have not had any problems with my hardware working apart from a bluetooth adaptor.

I am not going to defend Microsoft for their Office application not working, however I think its fair to mention that the lack of drivers for your Olympus kit is not Microsofts fault. This is down to Olympus to supply the drivers to Microsoft. It is Olympus who you should be venting your anger towards - and that is the same for every third party hardware or software out there.

As for your pocket PC, I assume its windows mobile 2002? Vista supports as far back as windows mobile 2003. Its unfortunate that you have an older model. I agree that Microsoft should support 2002 versions but maybe there were technical reasons why they could not do it.

I have never bought a new operating system at release before, but I had spent months using the Vista Beta and I simply could not go back to XP. There were too many things I had become reliant on - for example the excellent spam protection in Windows Mail.

People forget, XP had the same compatibility issues when that was released, its going to take at least 6 months for third party developers to catch up and sort themselves out.

  • 14.
  • At 10:25 AM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Phil Evans wrote:

You know, there is an alternative to Windows and Macs. You could always run Linux. People are raving about Ubuntu, for example.

I know (at present) Linux is a bit more complicated that Windows in some areas, and that support for devices is liable to lag behind, because Linux developers don't have the same oomph as Micro$oft do in forcing hardware guys to produce drivers, but, frankly, based on what you're experiencing, even learning Linux from scratch sounds easier than "upgrading" to Vista.

My advice would be this: dual boot. Keep Windows XP for those things that you can't work out how to do in Linux, and use Linux for the rest.

  • 15.
  • At 10:26 AM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Richard Brooksby wrote:

Vista is not good news for the IT industry in general.

  • 16.
  • At 10:26 AM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • robert jonsey wrote:

I'm amazed it's taken so long for someone in your position to realise that microsoft are going to mug you, elegantly or otherwise.

  • 17.
  • At 10:27 AM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • James Birch wrote:

Hi Robert,

Unfortunately you've made a classic non-techie mistake. Noone in their right minds actually upgrades to a new Microsoft operating system! One should always wait until one buys a new computer. By then hopefully most of the bugs and incompatibilities have been ironed out and your hardware will be able to run more than just the operating system without grinding to a halt.

Mind you, even then you'll probably have to buy new versions of most of your Microsoft software. It's the least forgiving because it's so closely integrated to the operating system... Other firms seem to manage to make their software work with the new O/S...


  • 18.
  • At 10:28 AM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • David wrote:

I'm not going to knock Microsoft (much) and I'm not an Apple fan - Apple in my view is extremely hypocritical - at least Microsoft doesn't try to sell you overpriced and underpowered hardware to justify an operating system. But anyone who thought it was a good idea to buy a new operating system in the first couple of months needs their head examined - people should have remembered what happened before SP2. If you want Vista now (and there's no point before DX10) then set up another partition and dual boot with XP so you can do both if you need to. And before Apple fanboys start kicking off that Microsoft should get it right - yes they should, but all software gets patched as a beta never predicts all the bugs and Apple doesn't have the same problems because they insist you use their own overpriced hardware.

  • 19.
  • At 10:29 AM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Stewart Holness wrote:

Robert - a sadly excellent note. Given that the BBC run most of the corporation on Microsoft I'm sure your IT guys are just elated right now.
We run a small but specialised software development company and are in the middle of some very challenging growth. Given 20 years of IT experience, you might be forgiven thinking that I knew what I was doing; however after three key staff laptops arrived with Vista not XP and I said "I'm sure it will be OK" I now realise that I may need to reasses my own abilities. Vista does not work in so many ways its difficult to understand how any viable, sane, decent, hell even moneygrabbing business would ever release it. Its taken days out of our schedule. Mr Gates - you owe my investors (we are financed by venture capital) their money back.

  • 20.
  • At 10:29 AM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • John wrote:

I agree that Vista is a long way from perfect, however in technical terms by the way in which it executes code and manages memory in both terms of security and performance it is a vast step ahead for ms. It worked fine for me as long as you ensure that your hardware meets or exceeds is requirments, also you will find that many drivers written for xp or 2003 server will allow your periphals to run just fine on vista, the compatibility modes also will help with software. But give the 3rd party developers time and we will get there. Remember what XP or 2000 were like when they first came out??

  • 21.
  • At 10:29 AM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Andy Taylor wrote:

I have every sympathy, since installing Vista, I have had to restrain myself daily from throwing my laptop out the window every 5 minutes as I discover something new is not working, and I slide into pure drooling fury.

  • 22.
  • At 10:30 AM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Ian Kemmish wrote:

Interesting the number of people who expect you to burn another few hundred quid on a Mac.

If Steve Jobs were as smart as people say he is, he would never have axed the Yellow Box project, which let you run any old OpenStep (now called Mac OS X) application on any old Windows PC. Pity he's not, really. That, not the halo effect from iTunes, not Intel Macs, was the way to get Apple's market share up.....

  • 23.
  • At 10:30 AM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • C.J wrote:

Robert, we feel for you and everyone else who took the pluge into Vista,truly. Isn't it really time now to consider a Mac? How much more agonizing hair pulling moments can you endure,we wonder? Watch this space...? We certainly do. CJ

Peter Gutman has written a very entertaining assessment of Vista. It's a long, amusing article, but it has some very serious points to make about Vista, particularly in relation to digital rights management.

  • 25.
  • At 10:31 AM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Doug wrote:

I am a Microsoft Certified Trainer and have used and love many Microsoft products over the years. I am used to using the latest software from them as part of my job, and I did a fresh install of Vista about 2 months ago and I am now seriously thinking about wiping it and going back to XP. The new system is a disaster really. They have major issues to sort out. I would never suggest to anyone I know that they should use Vista unless they have to...
Bring back XP!

  • 26.
  • At 10:33 AM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Mike Blackmore wrote:

I purchased a new laptop with Vita, very nice, but WHY OH WHY does it ask me if I can trust the source of the software. I even used microsoft software on it.

I have now installed XP, happy time again I can print on my printer via my home network, when vista eventually fixes all the problems I might reinstall it and 'enjoy' it's benefits.

  • 27.
  • At 10:33 AM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Tom Lyle wrote:

Pff.. I'm still using Windows 2000 Professional on my desktop and my newish laptop. Its fine. Free AVG anti virus and a firewall. Never had any problems with viruses and I tell you what, the laptop is now much, much faster then when it had XP on it. Bells and whistles are for fools, i just want something that works f-a-s-t.


  • 28.
  • At 10:35 AM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Tom wrote:

Try Linux - it's great!

  • 29.
  • At 10:35 AM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Sam Beau wrote:

New Macs all round, that's my advice.

I feel sorry for you having to upgrade to the latest stuff so you can tell us all how bad it is.

I am just upgrading to XP. It actually works quite well now on the latest hardware and the drivers for my old printer and other peripherals are available.

Thanks for keeping us informed, I am just glad I don't have to do it.

  • 31.
  • At 10:36 AM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Elizabeth Wootten wrote:

So, M$ have discovered and acknowledged a security hole in Outlook's password-storage, and prevented people from being caught by it. Instead of being pleased about this - your data is now much safer - you're bleating about the inconvenience. Do you also leave your front door unlocked because it's such a hassle having to get your keys out every time?

  • 32.
  • At 10:36 AM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Stuart wrote:

I upgraded my desktop to Vista over the weekend and I'm amazed how much works!

I have a wireless lan, digital camera and camcorder and iPod/iTunes. I use AirTunes and AirFoil to stream music. I use The Filter to build playlists. I use Windows Media Player to play DVDs and I used Windows Movie Maker and Windows DVD Maker to make a DVD yesterday. I use TightVNC to control my desktop from my laptop in the kitchen and the free AVG anti-virus. This all works. Office 2003 is fine, of course.

I'm not bragging, but for a new operating system I think that this is excellent. Every so often we need a disruptive technology upgrade. Microsoft do this approx once every five years and that seems reasonable to me.

The Mac fans can do all that I do, but does a Mac support > 2,000,000 devices and applications. I think not.

  • 33.
  • At 10:36 AM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Steve Duffield wrote:

You only have yourself to blame. New Windows operating systems are notoriously problematic for the first 6 months to a year. I find it incredible that you expected everything to work properly with Vista in the first month of release - I could understand a rookie making this mistake, but not a so-called IT professional. I suggest you revert to Windows XP and try Vista again in late 2008/early 2009!

  • 34.
  • At 10:37 AM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • David Sive wrote:

Of course, if you had bought a MAC instead of another PC, you wouldnt have had any of these problems AND you could have run all your PC applications on the MAC by running Boot Camp ! I entirely agree with your sentiments though, how can a Microsoft product not be entirely compatible with other Microsoft products ? Perhaps your conclusion that it's all done intentionally so that more money needs to be spent, is not far from the truth.

Best wishes

  • 35.
  • At 10:38 AM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Russ Varley wrote:

You could go out a buy a Mac, but this will cost yet more money and there is no guarantee that this will play nicely with your other pieces of hardware.

You could go to Linux, but again there is every chance that your other tools won't work with that either.

As someone who is waiting for his "free" Vista upgrade for my own laptop (that earns me a large part of my living) with some trepidation I can understand your anger, Robert, that the company that has supplied you with (at your expense) the equipment that enables you to do your job has apparently broken it (either thoughtlessly, or possibly deliberately).

What I'm doing is making sure that all the restore disks for my laptop are safely created so that I can put Windows XP back on my computer should Vista fail to work properly with all my kit.

In your place, I would make sure all the restore disks for Vista have been created and then do a little online searching and pick up a copy of Windows XP and install that instead.

  • 36.
  • At 10:41 AM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Duncan Brack wrote:

I endorse all the 'buy a Mac' comments. I used to use a Mac at home and a PC at work; now I'm a freelancer I use a Mac all the time and my quality of life has distinctly improved. All those 'no one upgrades Windows in the first two/six/thirty months' simply don't apply to Macs - you can expect their software to work. It says a lot about the quality of Microsoft products when the accepted wisdom is that you can't expect them to work ...

  • 37.
  • At 10:42 AM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Muzz wrote:

Your an idiot, who upgrades without checking if their hardware needs will be met with a new operating system. It's like buying a new car without checking how much your insurance or tax will cost. It's not upto Microsoft whether or not your pda/notebook will work. In this case it's HP total fault for not creating a Vista compatiable driver. Just wait a couple of months enough single minded fools like you will moan and hey presto a new driver will be created by HP. We had all this with XP years ago and now look. As as for changing to a MAC, yes its safer, more stable and looks nicer but really Apple are over charging you for lower spec stuff.

  • 38.
  • At 10:42 AM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Kev R wrote:

Firstly, it is still possible to have a brand new XP your own! It takes the best part of a couple of hours to do, and you can pick up a "system builder's" version of XP for about 50 quid!

MS always seems to set the imbalance between user happiness and future proofing in favour of the future. One only has to look at the distinct lack of support for 64 bit XP a year ago to see that. Unfortunately for MS, the days of Windows 95 are over. Back then nobody owned IT equipment and MS could sell practically what they wanted without worrying about upsetting people. In the 21st century though, we are all much more IT dependant and so it was always going to be much more difficult to plan ahead. Admittedly they could have handled th Vista launch much better than they have.

Incidentally, it's always worth bearing in mind that although MS can dish out problems, they are a little more elusive when it comes to feedback. I have had a serious and unfixable problem relating to "csrss.exe" for several months now, and a cursory search on Google shows that it has existed for years with no solution or fix ever offered. Try finding out how to submit a bug report to MS, it's impossible! Contact pages offer no email links, support pages offer no feedback solutions. MS is almost Willy Wonka'esque in their public face!

  • 39.
  • At 10:43 AM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Patrick Navin wrote:

David (post 16) complains of Apple selling "overpriced and underpowered hardware to justify an operating system" - well in terms of total cost of ownership Macs are way ahead of Windows based pcs - and every industry analyst is currently blogging as such. I have two G3 iMacs of 2001 vintage currently running the very latest version of Mac OS X (10.4.9). Does anyone fancy trying to get Vista running on a 2000/2001 vintage pc?
The simple fact is that Microsoft have got it wrong again. Sure Vista offers significant eye candy but it's the stuff in the background that's really important and this half baked release proves it's no match for OS X.
What is totally unforgiveable is refusing to support compatibility with older Microsoft portable devices, but then this should have been foreseen when the Zune came out without support for Microsoft's previous DRM.
Mac or Linux - that's your best option. One gives you total peace of mind, the other is flexible in any way you can imagine.

  • 40.
  • At 10:43 AM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Robert Kimber wrote:

What a noob!

Your expectation that Vista should be backwards compatible with every piece of old hardware is just a little naive to say the least.

Also, for the Apple brigade, MACs are only "safer" because they are not targetted by hackers.

  • 41.
  • At 10:44 AM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Owain wrote:

As a computer programmer, I don't think people appreciate the difficulty in making such a huge suite of software from a blank sheet of paper - let alone with backwards compatability.

Had it been less adventurous - closer to XP and therefore easier to make backwards compatible - commentators would have complained. They make it more adventurous and yet commentators still wish to retain the old functions of their software suite.

Yes, Microsoft generates huge revenues which could be spent better developing their range, but when it comes to programming, as you employ more programmers they become exponentially less effective. This is illustrated by the Open Source community (which I love btw!) which has hundreds of thousands of developers/testers at their disposal, yet still struggle to achieve anything you could realistically run outside of the business community with knowledgable support backup at hand.

I'm not for one minute denying that Microsoft aren't making the most of the disincentive to make everything completely backwards compatible, but seriously - Mircosoft only just gave up supporting Windows 98 mid-last year over 8 years after it was first launched. Stay on the XP software that has had 5 years to mature if you want complete compatibility - or just buy Mac only products, so long as you don't want anything other than Apple based equipment to run with it, because that would be the easy option for Microsoft to take.

  • 42.
  • At 10:44 AM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Paul Freeman-Powell wrote:

It's not the operating system that should be compatible with your devices. It's them that should be compatible with Vista!

Why do you keep writing smug arrogant open letters to Bill Gates? Why don't you write an open letter to HP and Olympus asking why the hell they're not releasing proper drivers for their products?

They're treating you, their "valued" customer like crap because they can't be bothered to look after existing customers with older products, they only care about developing new products and making more money.

Next you'll start blaming Microsoft for Apple's strategic move of deliberatly waiting ages to create a Vista version of iTunes. Vista went RTM (that means final & finished) on 8th November... almost FIVE MONTHS ago... it's no-one's fault other than HP/Olympus/Apple's that they didnt get off their butts and develop some drivers (how long would it have taken?) before 30th January.

  • 43.
  • At 10:45 AM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Tania wrote:

We've been using Vista and office 2007 since the release and not only does it work well, it solved a lot of problems we had with Media Centre.

Our house is now fully networked - including the X-Box 360 - and works superbly with Vista. As a previous commentor suggests, we aren't putting all out eggs in one basket though - we have the hard drive partitioned just in case, at least this way we can spot the problems early on.

Office 2007 is one of the smartest bits of kit that Microsoft have unleashed as yet and solves a lot of really stupid problems that always occurred in previous versions of Word and Excel (both of which I use heavily in my job - if only my company would hurry up, we only just got 2003!).

Mac operating systems are good, but no better - anyone that tries to tell you they are the same price as PC's are either lying or really bad at shopping around - they might be the same prices as a Vaio, but that's because they are both charging for design and name over function.

PC's will always be my choice because I build my own and go for the best product at the best price. Whilst I'm not a diehard PC over Mac person (i have had both in the past), I understand the PC side of things better as I actually know something about computers and how they work (I've also been virus free for about 5 years now), my problems with Apple stem from the poorest bit of kit ever to dominate a market - I refuse to pay for something that is just good advertising, smug and patronising, and not half as clever as it tries to make out. I will always go for Creative rather than the Ipod which is the poorest MP3 player on the market - shows what good advertising can do hey!

  • 44.
  • At 10:46 AM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Daniel wrote:

As soon as something produced by Microsoft goes wrong, all the Apple Mac fans crawl out of the woodwork and get ever so smug telling all of us how 'it just works'.

A quick Google search will show there are plenty of forums discussing problems with Macs, so they are not the angelic things they are promoted as.

Besides, if you installed Linux or bought a Mac, NONE of your current programs would work and you'd have to learn a whole new OS - and however user friendly, that takes time. So, please ignore the preaching of the Mac users and the linux crowd - good though they are, this is not your best solution.

Quite simply, go back to XP - you know it works, it handles all your programs in a way you are familiar with and it will continue to be supported for a good while yet.

I hate the way that people who prefer mac's and linux, immeadiately give the 'advise' of "go buy a mac" or "install linux"

the point being made here is that which ever O/S you choose, all your 3rd party devices should work. Vista was promised to be the next level in computing and it isn't, but doesn't that sound familiar? XP was exactly the same when it came out but everyone soon caught up and we all loved Microsoft again. Just be patient, it was madness to buy a new system on the hoof of Vista's release, as any hardware maker is now producing better Vista capable devices which you will now need to buy and put into your existing Vista system, or even get a whole new one.

What ever your O/S preference, don't simple state it as a solution to someone elses problems! That's just not helpful. Unfortunately this sort of blog will only attract "I told you so" posters, like me. And people ready to post their Linux or Mac fan boy comments.

At the end of the day, Vista failed to be what it promised but if you believed those promises, who's really the fool?

Dear Robert and all other people who share with us those unfortunate stories with Vista, i found a little solution for myself. Leave the new pc with Vista for a while, and install on the old one Kubuntu 7.04, the new distribution of the linux o.s. The best choice i could do.

  • 47.
  • At 10:46 AM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Harry Bott wrote:

I run a small business and we have just purchased two new PCs. The first decision we made is not to go to Vista and stay with XP - it is stable and does all we need it to do.

The big question from my perspective is how many companies and individuals will be making the same decision - me thinks Vista could well be bombing becuase there is no business need to upgrade.

  • 48.
  • At 10:47 AM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Roger Holloway wrote:

I would like to say a plague on both the Microsoft and Mac houses, they both make much too much money, but I never have the problems I had on PCs on my Mac. So, my advise is go Linux, go open source, get a Mac!!!

  • 49.
  • At 10:48 AM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Frank wrote:

Ha ha - yes a classic non-techie mistake. I am a techie and have just upgraded from Windows 98 to XP. You always need to run about 5 years behind OS upgrades cos by that time everything else has caught up. I'll be upgrading to Vista in maybe 2011 by which time it will be marvellous....

  • 50.
  • At 10:49 AM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • peter leary wrote:

What about webcams? We have three, none of which will work with Vista since the drivers are unavailable. We've had Vista in the house for a week and I already loathe it and the sense that we have been quite literally conned into doing without certain peripherals unless we shell out all over again. I use a Mac for work, thank goodness, but the family pc is causing endless headaches. Yes, I agree - switch to Mac. It's going to be traumatic at first and expensive, but why stick with a supplier who clearly doesn't care about its customers when you could be hooked up to one who does? Microsoft's arrogance and quasi-illegal operations have to be challenged.

  • 51.
  • At 10:49 AM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • gareth wrote:

Use linux. It's free and it works.

  • 52.
  • At 10:52 AM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • M Burnett wrote:

As already said...Buy a Mac! I switched about 10 months - you seriously won't regret it!!

  • 53.
  • At 10:55 AM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • anthony bone wrote:

i am surprised anyone would use vista at the moment as it will take at least two years to iron out the bugs,
but then people are sheep.

  • 54.
  • At 10:56 AM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Bob wrote:

Why pay for Vista when Linux is free and does all that normal users need, all the apps are free, upgrades are free and if you want to keep your windoze apps you can pay Codeweavers 10% of what BG charges to upgrade.
Unlike windoze Linux is inately secure, try Ubuntu for starters.

  • 55.
  • At 10:57 AM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Owen wrote:

Don't bother with Vista, don't waste your money on a Mac, use FREE linux software.

  • 56.
  • At 10:57 AM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • David wrote:

I'm a Mac user but believe the platform you use is your choice and, for many, a PC is absolutely the right choice.

You can't claim you weren't warned. Anyone who keeps slightly abreast of computing matters knows that Vista would be breaking other pieces of software and that very many users would have to spend a lot of money on new hardware and software.

Microsoft and Apple are both large corporations who are after our money. Microsoft is, however, a convicted monopolist and I'll never understand why, with all their dosh, they can't seem to get it right!

To Dave, however, I would say this: firstly get your facts right ... Apple, feature for feature, is NOT overpriced in comparison and when you look at usability, a PC with Vista which doesn't work doesn't look so cheap does it? And if there is a slight premium for Apple's style and ease of use ... well, you don't have to pay it ... stay with the herd!

  • 57.
  • At 10:58 AM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Luis wrote:


Macs are overpriced , that true but at least they work, and dont give this nightmare of upgrades and drivers fixes. I can run applications made for PowerPC and they still run, slower but run.

Linux is a good option, leave Vista until they create something better

  • 58.
  • At 10:59 AM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • stephen wrote:

I have worked in the computer industry for over 10 years, and no matter what system I recommend people to buy I always ensure that it is compatible with the tools of their trade before proceeding. It is a simple and inexpensive process, that involves having a quick google of the product you use and the product you want with the word compatibility and/or problem. OK , its not failsafe but.......£650 + £400 = a lot more than a quick google. Quicte honestly wading into the new Vista environment when the tools you use are so vital was foolish, and quite honestly you only have yourself to blame. So before you start blaming Bill Gates, maybe you want to take a quick look in the mirror and have a word with the person you see for not using a bit of foresight. Oh and as for not being able to buy new branded PC's without Vista? Rubbish....unless of course you never make your way past a high street IT retailer!!

  • 59.
  • At 10:59 AM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Bill Nelson wrote:

Dual boot? He's a user not a techie. He bought a laptop to replace his old one which died and unfortunately let the Vista hype suck him in. Off the top of my head Dell for one still has the option of XP on its new machines. Besides at this stage it would probably make more sense to sell the new laptop on, take the loss and buy an XP laptop. A few hundred quid down the tubes is buttons compared to getting back up to speed with a setup that works for you.

And anyone suggesting that a move to the Mac or Linux is going to be more-compatible with his old software is just blinded by their own fanboy-ism.

  • 60.
  • At 10:59 AM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • John Swain wrote:

Very poor journalism.

Look at the number of applications and devices windows supports. There are (for all practical purposes) an infinate number of combinations and possible issues.

Vista is an excellent o/s that moves things on - it's called progress.

It is a free market - there are many alernatives to MS software, yet none ever come close to gaining ground. Why? simple, they are not as good.

I have had a Mac for years and I love it. But I only ever use it for Photoshop. I NEVER install new software on a Mac - why, because it is completely unreliable to do so. My last experience was trying to upgrade to Tiger - what a laugh - 5 DVD drives later still nothing will boot to the install program.

The Mac reliability story is one of the biggest myths around. People leave Macs alone that is why they are reliable. The same people throw evertyhing imaginable at a PC and complain that it cannot work with someone else's software.

MS propped Apple up for decades because they needed some credible competition. Look at Apples latest ads, they are the "home computer", why? because they know they have no chance in the workplace.

MS is such a cheap shot, write something of value instead.

  • 61.
  • At 10:59 AM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Rachel Pearce wrote:

I am no great fan of Micro$oft, but all those advocating the use of Macs overlook the fact that for serious use, there is in my experience not much "work" software available for Macs. E.g. as a statistician I find much statistical software is either not available for Mac or not up to date.

I was originally turned off Macs when I discovered that the only statistical software available for them in the late 1980s or early 1990s gave the same probability whatever data you entered!

They are even making a virtue of this non-work compatibility in their current series of advertisements. Macs are apparently not designed for work use, but for "fun". I suppose it may not be Apple's fault if software writers chose not to write for their operating system, but that does not make it any less of an obstacle to using a Mac.

  • 62.
  • At 11:00 AM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Jon I wrote:

Buy a mac...!

  • 63.
  • At 11:00 AM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Michael Pierson wrote:

Great article. I'm a bit exasperated myself: my anti-virus software isn't compatable; my printer doesn't (and apparently will never) work; my external hard drive won't work until a driver is released in the summer; my ipod will not sync despite installing every upgrade supposed to fix the problem. While I agree all this incompatability is a bit fishy as it may force me to buy new stuff and am also annoyed in hindsight at how disingenuous MS's upgrade advice and tools were, I think it's more indicative of just how backward MS has become. These techies still haven't woken up to the fact that the modern user demands things 'just work' and is not interested in the technical details. I'm a software developer and really wonder how non technical users cope! If this is the best MS can do in 2007 then I worry for their future.

  • 64.
  • At 11:01 AM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Murray wrote:

Generally I agree with your comments, all execpt that its good for the IT Industry in general. As someone who works in the IT Industry, in a support role, I find it just as frustrating when new operating systems or versions of software render everything before obsolete. I think its an area which software companies should be held more accountable. I fully understand the need to make new versions, more income is the major reason but there are other genuine reasons, but it doesn't justify abandoning older platforms within 5 minutes of the new version being released. Doing this only annoys customers and makes them less likely to remain loyal in the future.

  • 65.
  • At 11:01 AM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Richard Nicholas wrote:

I endorse Andy's comment.

Dump Windows altogether and use Linux.

Mine was FREE!!! Not only the operating system (compare with over £100 for Vista), but a free office package and photo software etc etc.

AND it is less buggy and it is much more secure.

  • 66.
  • At 11:01 AM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Martin wrote:

Um, you're the BBC's business editor and no-one's told you yet how capitalism works?

  • 67.
  • At 11:02 AM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • anotherlinuxuser wrote:

According to Microsoft, Vista replaces your XP/W2k license. According to common sense; if running one of these is the only way to get your existing devices working then Microsoft can't realistically complain.

So I suggest running XP/2k under VMWare, QEMU or some other VM. Also I expect that Microsoft are going to handle BC like this in future versions of Windows (by using their own hypervisor).

Its really time to look at Mac OS X on a screaming fast MacBook Pro with a Core 2 Duo. No activation, backward compatibility, VMware and BootCamp options to run Windows XP and Vista if you have to, No product activation, beautiful applications that bring fun to computing. "Easy to use is easy to say" Give it a try. I promise you wont go back.

  • 69.
  • At 11:02 AM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • R Donald wrote:

Have to agree with most of the coments so far, other than the fact that there is an anti-Apple thread which is sour grapes...... I personally, want a system which is as stable as possible.... I don't give a toss for who produces what.....and I am not an Apple share holder, or closet Apple geek..... BUT Apple gives us a computer and system, which works...period.... and whilst they are more expensive than the myriad of others out there, at least they work most of the time.... unlike the myriad of folks, who are continually bitching about how unreliable their £9.99 laptop is.....
I don't think this is rocket science.....

  • 70.
  • At 11:02 AM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Stephen Baker wrote:

Why are you so surprised that you are finding problems? Microsoft has always had an approach to testing its products by using customers to find and report problems. This reduces the time it takes to bring the product to the market place (i.e. it's available following basic checking)and instead of Microsoft having to employ hundereds of people to undertake testing, they have millions of customers who do it for them.

  • 71.
  • At 11:04 AM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • robert wrote:

I have to agree with what Duncan said
"Did you not bother to check compatability issues before upgrading? Would it be ok for me to steal your passwords? Hack your accounts? You're a journalist, read the tin before opening."

There is a checking utility to see if it works with your PC and other didnt do your research a flaw i would say for a journalist.

Journalists (and mac users) are the first to bang on about viruses and hackers (I have free software that works flawlessly and has never been a problem)and when Microsoft do something about this you start moaning!

I was an early adopter of XP this had all the same issues (infact it wasnt until SP2 that things for me started to work better) with programs and equipment not working with it.
This is universal in the Electronic buy one thing then its outdated or incompatible very quickly.
My PC has evolved from the unit i bought in 1999 because of the PC "format" i have been able to do this instead of buying new out went the USB1 and CD rom drives in went better hardware over the years. This is what this software(microsoft operating software) trys to accomodate .The fact that it works at all is an amazing achievement when you understand what is required of it.

I myself am waiting until many of the programs i use are vista compatible.

Macs will NOT do what i want to do with my computer as there is no software for my particular applications.
Not everyone just does the basic tasks.
My son has a Mac in his room as it does things my PC will not do (hes a graphic design student).

It is really not a OSX Vs Vista or XP its all about compatible applications and what you use it for ..if a mac suits ALL your requirments go for it.But dont bleat if it doesnt do what you want.

It does worry me that the BBC is planning to align its video distribution quite so closely to Microsoft.

I'd prefer to see the BBC adopt a cross-platform and open-source approach.

Or indeed any sensible policy that avoids monopolistic practices.

  • 73.
  • At 11:04 AM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Robin Thompson wrote:

Why not reinstall XP? I certainly will not be upgrading to Vista for a long time and, even if I buy a new pc/laptop, I will install XP on it.

At my workplace, even our top spec machines are struggling to run Vista. It is amusing therefore to see new pcs and laptops, running at a relatively low spec coming with Vista pre-installed. I am staying well away until I have no choice and, by then, I suspect I'll be using a Mac!

  • 74.
  • At 11:04 AM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Paul Bines wrote:

As someone already posted, if you are unhappy with Vista, switch back to XP. I have both Apple and Wintel (XP, W2K and the now positively antique W98) platforms and each is fine for the use to which I put them, I update drivers and install security updates when required (and when available), but don't feel the need to spend tons more cash in replacing perfectly servicable components and accessories just to get the new look that the 'upgrades' provide.
The key question anyone thinking of 'upgrading' should consider is - does the current Operating System work in the way you want it to? If the answer is "Yes", then why bother 'upgrading'? Especially if, as seems to be the case for some, 'upgarding' reduces usability and involves additional and considerable expense!

Honestly, just because it's new, it doesn't mean you have to have it!

The password issue you mention with Outlook is a classic case of "We can't make it work the way the end user wants, so we're going to tell them the bodge we've actually been able to get working is a super new feature"...

  • 75.
  • At 11:05 AM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Kit Barker wrote:

You really do need to think before you write. There are a number of things I would like to point out.

1) Non Microsoft hardware drivers (like your HP iPAQ PocketPC, or Olympus camera) are not Microsoft's responsibility and never have been

2) What would you rather Microsoft did regarding saving of your passwords? They weren't saved as secure as they could be, they did their best to protect your data.

Also you searched for weeks before you bothered to look at the MSDN for a solution to your problem? It seems to me that you really need to do some research and start moaning at the right people.

And as for the comments about Macs being faultless, come on, get real. And before you bash me for being a MS fanboy, I use Macs and have done for ages.

OS X has its faults, Safari crashes all of the time on my Intel Macs as I need to run it using Rosetta to get certain plugins to work, and there are only no viruses on it because no virus writers can be bothered to spend their time writing a virus to affect a handful of computers.

  • 76.
  • At 11:05 AM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Steve wrote:

I've just stripped Vista off of my machine and gone back to XP: the final straw was when I tried to upgrade the graphics card and got stuck in an endless loop of Blue Screens Of Death or occasional Black Screens Of Nothingness, that couldn't be fixed whether booting from the DVD and/or putting the old graphics card back in. I couldn't install the new graphics drivers OR reinstall the old ones because the machine never got to a point where that was available!

Nice one Microsoft, I've always defended their OSes in the past (and my day job is programming for Windows based applications): but now I'm not so sure whether I'll wait until Vista Service Pack 1 ships and try again, or whether it's time to overcome my reservations and go for a flavour of linux like Ubuntu ...

  • 77.
  • At 11:05 AM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Darren wrote:

Why do you bother having a password if you want it automatically stored and filled in? Because people with more common sense than your require it, perhaps?

Would you be happy to have someone access (and send) emails on your account should you leave your laptop in the back of a taxi?

As for the issue with the drivers - your HP Ipaq and your Olympus recorder don't work. Have you tried talking to them? Have they told you why they haven't produced drivers? I imagine they would recommend buying their newest product.

Have you tried installing Vista on a typewriter? That doesn't work either! Why don't you blog about that too?

  • 78.
  • At 11:05 AM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Dan wrote:

There are always teething troubles with new operating systems and drivers/extensions; it's frustrating for a while, but it's a learning experience and it generally comes good in the end.

All hardware has a lifespan and it's unrealistic to expect vendors to support hardware indefinitely. Remember when USB was introduced over SCSI and DIN connections and we all had to buy new printers (or at least adaptors)?

You could always buy a Mac. But I've had endless problems with drivers and trying to run vital software through Rosetta on the new Intel-based Macs, so it's not really much of a solution.

  • 79.
  • At 11:06 AM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Jonathan Clough wrote:


1) Don't buy a MAC or get Linux - you think you have compatability problems now - just you wait! There's a lot of software for the PC that doesn't exist for the MAC

2) Never upgrade to a new Microsoft OS until about a year after it's released. Better still buy a new PC with the new OS preloaded.

3)If it ain't broke - don't try to fix it. XP's fine.

  • 80.
  • At 11:06 AM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Michael wrote:

My partner, who is severely disabled, and relies on her PC, and particularly Outlook, to enable her to communicate with the outside world, has recently had to buy a new computer. We actually went to the bother of buying a PC that ran WindowsXP as we had been informed that there was a major compatibility problem between Vista and the voice recognition software (Dragon) which my partner relies upon to navigate around the PC, and to interface with software such as Outlook. You can imagine our dismay therefore, when we loaded Outlook, and discovered the password glitch also manifests itself in the latest version of WindowsXP. This is nothing short of a disaster for my partner, as entering a password into a small box every time she wants to receive or send email is a very difficult and time-consuming task due to her disabilities. Before someone suggests buying a Mac again, Dragon have so far been unable to produce a version of their software which is compatible with Mac. And hardware peripherals, such as adapted keyboards all seem to be geared towards PCs.

  • 81.
  • At 11:06 AM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Lawrence wrote:

I do think that the launch of Vista and the uproar surrounding all of its misgivings could not have been timed better for Apple with the imminent release of Leopard which is building upon rather than redesigning the popular OSX Tiger.

I wander if they will ever release a PC compatible edition of OSX (although it would make much of the Mac Hardware redundant)?

  • 82.
  • At 11:07 AM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Glyn wrote:

Well, my HP iPAQ Pocket PC works with Vista - you've got the Windows Mobile Device Center update??

I thought I had a written off piece of kit until I got it, and my iPaq is a few years old.

  • 83.
  • At 11:07 AM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • James wrote:

Microsoft has not released an incompatible product as you so say. They have decided to make it more secure, not incompatible.

Also, just imagine what would have happened if vista would have been released on schedule - chaos..utter chaos

  • 84.
  • At 11:07 AM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Trevor Barker wrote:

I imagine manufacturers of PC peripherals, digital cameras and the like are quite happy if their drivers prove to be incompatible with Windows Vista. Rather than spend time and money updating drivers so you can carry on using your old equipment, they'd rather blame Microsoft and wait for you to buy new kit from them.

  • 85.
  • At 11:08 AM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Scott wrote:

I've just upgraded to a mac and I've found every single peripheral (like digital cameras, mobile phones, ipod, etc.) are all found seamlessly as soon as you either plug in the USB cable or search for them using Bluetooth. No need to install special software, no need to keep restarting the computer... It all works and isn't that what most people want? I couldn't imagine using a Windows PC at home ever again.

  • 86.
  • At 11:08 AM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • James wrote:

*insert smug look for not even entertaining vista at the moment*
sorry but anyone with half a brain wouldn't rush out to buy vista when xp works perfectly well (apart from the 64 which while it works is annoying getting drivers for).

i'll get vista when they release a sp2 for it 8-P.

  • 87.
  • At 11:10 AM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Followedthelight wrote:

So much talk about apple being too expensive... After years of splashing out on pc accessories, repairs and replacements, I got fed up and switched to macbook. So far for the same spec its proved much cheaper - and it looks so good. Not only can I run all the previous programs that I have need of (namely office) I've found great apple alternatives which run faster and crash so much less frequently I'm sure I've saved money on stress treatments. Plus no need to buy a new one yet! (I found that PC laptops had a usable life of 2 years before they became too buggy and had to be wiped on a regular basis.)

So I'm an extremely happy and richer customer.

In 1984 I paid my £50 deposit to take a Mac home for a weekend trial. At last I had found a computer which did not come between me and my work and I have never looked back. But the Great One was displeased with the people of Job. "It is just a toy" he said. And the multitude (magazines relying on his advertising) echoed the same.

And now 24 years later a friend of mine is thinking of buying her first computer. I said buy a Mac, you can't go wrong, but her response was that the vast majority used Microsoft based PCs. And so unfortunately she will follow everybody else over the cliff. I guess that it is just human nature.

  • 89.
  • At 11:10 AM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • michel wrote:

Aside from the previous comments regarding MS greed and the problems of jumping into bleeding edge technology there is another aspect to this.

Vista is vastly bloated in terms of size and resource hogging compared with XP. None of the remotely interesting Vista features (assuming they work) are of any use unless connected to a Longhorn server which begs the question why any home user would want/need Vista.

I made the switch to Apple some time ago, and like so many others have not look back. Now why is that? Its true you pay more of apple product and almost everything just works.

Compatibility, reliability, and speed are the thing that are important to me, for my work, and I never got that from a windows Pc. But why buy a Pc when a Mac can do all, and run a Windows-!!

Its true to say Apple does have some problems OS X. It not perfect. But it never that far away from perfect.

I think the Microsoft tied has change and Apple will take over from windows in the years to come. But I dont honestly think that is a good idea.

Think of it this way. If you want to buy a 2nd hand mini thats fine, as it will get you to from "A" to "B". but if you want reliability, compatibility you will have to pay for that. You pay for what you get!

Vista works fine on my MacBook Pro :)

  • 92.
  • At 11:12 AM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Paul wrote:

Ignoring all the Mac fanboy comments, I think you are misguided in your belief that Microsoft software should always be backwards compatible. Microsoft have been (rightly) slated for their poor regard to security, but now they are being attacked because the new operating system doesn't let unsecure software work as well.

As far as the drivers are concerned, it is the same issue with Vista as I had running Ubuntu Linux because the hardware manufacturers as too lazy to write drivers for the operating system. It's not as though the launch of Vista has caught them unaware!

  • 93.
  • At 11:12 AM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • VistaUser wrote:

Here's a simple solution, if you don't like it, uninstall it and put XP back on. No-ones forcing anyone to upgrade to Vista yet, Microsoft and hardware manufacturers have both admitted that things won't be running smoothly for a little while, so why did everybody jump on Vista without even looking properly? As for using linux, most flavours are not user friendly and finding the correct drivers and adding them is something of a pain. On an extra note, as operating systems go, aside from the current (temporary) compatibility issues, Vista is a very solid and intuitive OS.

  • 94.
  • At 11:12 AM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Chris BB wrote:

Difficult to comprehend for some I'm sure, but since upgrading to Vista I've had very few problems apart from one piece of hardware that needed new drivers. Seems like I'm in the minority though...

  • 95.
  • At 11:13 AM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Kevin Hall wrote:

I can barely put into words how irritating and stupid comments are along the lines of "buy a Mac" and "use Linux" because neither approach will solve Robert Preston's woes with Vista. Today's Macs are simply overpriced Intel PCs with an operating system, FreeBSD, most of which Apple didn't write. Using a Mac would also be economic suicide as it would cost somewhere in the region of £1500 and more just to buy the hardware without any Mac compatible peripherals.

Similarly Linux, or at least the Ubuntu distro is another boat that won't float. Recently I installed Ubuntu 6.10 and it was an utterly miserable experience. Apart from several bits of hardware that wouldn't work (like a HP Scanner) the out of the box Ubuntu experience has no Java, no Flash, no MP3 support and installing something simple like a Citrix client was agony. Even syncing an iPod presented me with applications that looked about ten years behind iTunes (iTunes itself being no great application either). The idea that users are going to wade through endless "howtos" and Internet forums to accomplish basic tasks is naive beyond comprehension and is the reason Linux will never migrate out of its ideological ghetto. I've read that Linux is about to have the "break-through" year on the desktop for about the last decade and even Gartner reckons only about 1% of desktops use Linux - desktop Linux has been a failure, only its apologists now have any belief in their own feeble propaganda.

  • 96.
  • At 11:14 AM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Andrew wrote:

Anyone with a tape backup drive should also be aware that Microsoft took a strategic decision to remove support for all tape drives in their built backup software. Another hidden 'feature'.

  • 97.
  • At 11:15 AM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Luke wrote:

I started beta testing vista for microsoft about 12 months ago, and found some and good and bad things, how ever i have informed everyone at my company that vista wont be used for at least a further 12 months till microsoft have sorted it out, as you always need to wait for SP2 of the O/S stick with XP it works.

  • 98.
  • At 11:16 AM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Paul wrote:

I'm not surprised - I am seeing horror tales about Vista and it's unswerving incompatibility. It's very early days, and really you'd need to wait a year before flipping the switch.

However, as many have rightly pointed out, there are alternatives. The Mac platform is probably the best. There is Office for the Mac, as well as tools to get your HP Handheld data on to it, and synced in with the Mac's internal address and calendar software.

Do you have a compelling reason to stick with Bill's platform?

  • 99.
  • At 11:16 AM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • ChrisR wrote:

I agree in part that Vista does seem to have been released without MS making it clear to potential users that there are very many 'issues'. In trying to improve security they have opened a very nasty can of worms, in my opinion. However, the OS works really well as long as your hardware and software is compatible.

And while I'm on the subject, Linux and MAC users should remember that people in glass houses shouldn't throw stones. Linux lags way behind on drivers and to suggest either OS could run as wide a range of software as Windows is laughable. The fact is, if Robert were to move to a MAC or Linux box it is likely that he could find some similar software for 90% of his needs but there would always be Windows-specific apps that he could only run on a Windows PC.

So, the moral of the story is - always check compatibility (or be prepared to replace stuff) and wait for the service packs if you want to minimise problems.

  • 100.
  • At 11:17 AM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • John K wrote:

I decided very early that I wanted nothing to do with Vista, so I have just bought a new XP machine while I still could - they are disappearing fast!

Didn't seriously consider a Mac - overpriced, nothing like as easy to use as their adherents claim, and as for the Apple mouse....

  • 101.
  • At 11:18 AM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • James wrote:

The best kept non-secret in the computer software industry - endusers are also beta testers.

There are exceptions, of course, but the vast majority of programs will ship with errors, some critical to performance, which will only be found by people actually buying and using the software, which is unless the bug isn't already known and just quietly ignored until negative feedback accumulates.

And best of all, instead of the company paying these 'beta testers' THEY pay THE COMPANY! Brilliant! (not)

It's sloppy, frustrating and completely unprofessional, but it's probably far too deeply embedded in the industry to ever change much.

If your lifestyle *requires* you to be on the cutting edge, you're sorta out of luck. If you can wait, though, it's nearly always better to. You get a more reliable product, more reliable reviews, and the software is probably cheaper, too.

  • 102.
  • At 11:19 AM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Richard O wrote:

I've been trialling Microsoft Vista for 6 months now, and as a result I will not be upgrading or buying any PC's in my company for at least another 12 months. I am concerned with the comments made about backward compatibility with MS Office software since I've yet to discover this as a problem with Outlook 2003. I refuse to be held hostage to upgrading though, and if this is the case with MS Office, I will be moving my whole company over to OpenOffice asap.

It is purely a commercial ruse, XP was so successful there was no real need to have to upgrade operating system (and hence invest in new PCs, media devices etc. etc.). I'm running several 10 year old PC's (Win2K) working fine and safe, but obviously unsupported by Microsoft who would like me to spend more money and time upgrading hardware, memory and software and retraining staff. In this instance "Less forward please".

  • 103.
  • At 11:19 AM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • DW wrote:

Two points from David about Apple that can, nowadays, be laid to rest: 1. 'Underpowered'. Not any more; they're pretty much the same computers under the hood as any PC. 2. 'Overpriced'. You have to factor in added value here: you get integrated cameras, remotes, wireless 'n', antennae etc as standard. They do look good. Moreover, the OS costs half as much, or less, to upgrade than Windows. Savings on software alone justify any additional expense on hardware. And yes, they do insist that you run Mac OS on a Mac. In return, you get a computer that actually works in the months immediately after an upgrade.

  • 104.
  • At 11:19 AM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Jay wrote:

Of course some of us have got the sense to wait till vista's been on the market for a year or so before "upgrading", to give some little webmonkey time to write code that will (hopefully) ensure our old machines can still work perfectly well.....
Greetings from XPland! ;-)

  • 105.
  • At 11:20 AM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Kieran Briggs wrote:

I'm not a microsoft fanboy, or an apple/linux fan either. What I do object to though it bashing microsoft whatever they did. this time last year journalists were complaining that MS were taking too long in making Vista backwards compatible, rather than being like apple and concentrating on new things. Now that some of the old pieces of hardware don't work, they are getting bashed for not making sure that its backwards compatible.

Perhaps you should look to HP for the ipaq drivers, since its their hardware.

  • 106.
  • At 11:24 AM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • rob wrote:

i dont think your comments about outlook xp are sensible.

Outlook xp is over 5 years old now - and if microsoft have identified a flaw in the password algorithm then i think they are justified to do what they have done.

is the same true of office 2003? i dont suppose it is.

Olympus's reluctance or imability to produce drivers - is also not microsofts fault. vista has been around long enough for manufacurers to produce drivers.

Apple being one of them - why did they wait until after the consumer launch of vista to say itunes wasnt compatible when vista had been available to business for 3 months previous and to anyone with an msdn subscription for a lot loner. (for those who dont know msdn is microsoft developer network, where you can get all of microsofts software to use for development)

Lastly. if you are having so much trouble adapting to vista - why not investigate the possibility of 'downgrade rights' this is where you can buy the latest msft software or rather the licsense to use it - and install the previous versions.

You may find you are able to reinstall Windows XP and go back to a happier simpler time.....

  • 107.
  • At 11:25 AM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Jeff Grant wrote:

Use Linux. I dumped Windows - after having worked with it for 15 years - 18 months ago, and I'd never return. Download (for free) PCLinuxOS. Check out its reviews - they're raves. It's easier and quicker (by a factor of about 3) to install than XP, has drivers for every bit of hardware I've so far come across, has 5000 programs with it, is rock-stable, is every bit as easy to use as Windows, is immune to all Windows viruses, is elegant, stylish and with a support system second to none. The days of Linux desktop being more 'difficult' are gone.

  • 108.
  • At 11:25 AM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Alan Sawyer wrote:

I feel compelled to also add what has been written here several times - get a Mac! Really - they are that good.

  • 109.
  • At 11:26 AM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Chris Brown wrote:

I upgraded my work PC to Vista 6 weeks ago and I think it stinks. Its value proposition seems to be added complexity with no added functionality. I say this with some sadness as up to now I was a loyal Windows supporter. I work in IT and supporting Windows has paid my mortgage for the last 15 years. I think Vista looks great but do I have to relearn everything just to run the same features? For that one fact alone I would not recommend a general upgrade where I work. Everybody here has invested 3 yrs in learning the XP/2003 interface and now it’s back to square one. On top of that there are to twin curses of update hell security purgatory.

I am seriously thinking about buying a Mac for home use. I say this despite the fact that I once had a very bad experience with an iMac. My family would not learn the interface as it was different to Windows. All hardware and software accessorise where very expensive, Apple has the worst customer service in the world and it was not compatible with of the Web sites my children wanted to use. All of which seems better that to prospect to using Vista.

One final point I like XP it was the right product at the right time easy to use and even with Microsoft’s crazy update setup well worth using and still relevant. Economics has dictated the release of Vista not technology.

  • 110.
  • At 11:26 AM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Alex McCaffrey wrote:

Get a Mac, get a virus!

If you're believe Apple's hype and blatant lying Mac's don't have viruses you're a fool.

Try searching on Google for Mac Viruses and you will see they very much exist. I wouldn't run any OS without a Firewall, AntiVirus or AntiSpyware.

As for Vista I understand the bloggers annoyance but he is trying to run very old software on an OS not designed for it. Office XP is 5 years old a life time in computing. Vista partially exists to try and make things more secure, if the Office XP password system is now consider ineffective you'd be stupid to want to carry on using it.

If the iPAQ doesn't work it must run pre-Windows Mobile 2003 making it too very old. NOTE: Vista supports the 3 latest Windows Mobile OS's:

Windows Mobile 5.0
Windows Mobile 2003 SE
Windows Mobile 2003

Do you really want it to be burden by supporting even older OS's?

Besides people are acting like all this is new? Try running an iPaq on Windows 98 or running Windows 3.1 software on Windows XP. Times move on, software becomes redundant.

It was "exactly" the same when Windows 95 took over from Windows 3.1 and Windows XP from Windows 98, although helped by Windows 2000.

In 6 months all this "Vista is not compatible" talk will be completely redundant. Software manufactures will simply catch up.

As for Bill Gates being a pirate the last time I checked a pirate forced you to hand over money etc . . . Funny I was under the impression installing Vista was optional.

All this Vista bashing.

  • 111.
  • At 11:26 AM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Mark Smith wrote:

Lets be honest, no-one should ever upgrade to a new Windows until its been out at least a year, because thats how long it takes to get everything sorted out. See Windows XP SP1 and 2 for a perfect example.

  • 112.
  • At 11:29 AM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Thomas Guymer wrote:

I agree with Phil Evans, do what I do, put XP on your machine and dual boot, if needs be, with Linux. What was your motivation with upgrading to Vista anyway? If it was all the graphical effects and the much ranted Aero theme, then Linux has it all, and better, with 3D desktops etc... James Birch was right, you made the classic mistake of upgrading, always wait until your machine is outdated and then buy a new one with Vista on it, by that time all the bugs will be ironed out. I wouldn't bother going down the Apple road, if you feel tempted to, then get Linux instead (it is free). I personally use openSuSE.

  • 113.
  • At 11:29 AM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Paul wrote:

Time to move to Mozilla Thunderbird for your e-mail.

It is free, will transfer your address book, e-mail folders and other settings from Outlook and will remember your passwords securely.

It will also has many extensions and themes to choose from.

  • 114.
  • At 11:29 AM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • chris wrote:

I would agree that it's not microsoft's responsibility to provide drivers for third party kit.... but if the drivers were written to spec for NT/2000/XP, Microsoft should not rule them out as incompatible with a Vista upgrade - they should have come up with a wrapper layer or something which provides backward compatibility for old drivers even with an OS upgrade - linux is half way there with things like ndiswrapper to allow xp networking drivers to be used.

I wouldn't touch an apple mac with a barge pole - being locked into propriotory software and hardware... I think not. Linux seems the obvious chose - SuSE 10.2 is fully featured with a selection of free applications to do just about anything you could want to, and looks nicer than XP/Vista anyway. I've made the switch on my laptop, and am dual booting with 2000 on my desktop PC.

  • 115.
  • At 11:30 AM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Myles wrote:


Having recently looked at the new ubuntu beta (7.04) due to be released on the 19th of april, linux has got alot more usable, the networking is now simple and straight forward. If you want a machine that does what you need it to do and you can get all your tested and compatable app's for free without having to trawl the internet for weeks then this is the stuff you want. As with anything its never going to get it right 100% of the time but it doesnt try and mug you whilst getting it as wrong as vista does.

  • 116.
  • At 11:30 AM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Mimi wrote:

I bought a new laptop with Vista . . . and consequently spent hours on the phone to technical advisers to de-install wireless drivers, so the machine would work, and various other bits of tweaking. My main problem with Vista is that everything is SO SLOW compared to XP, also the manipulation of documents is inferior . . . in My Docs for example on XP you click a doc and are given a host of options, with Vista nothing like this happens - it seems more OLD FASHIONED somehow. Regarding MAC - I used to, but there were probs, tried again a few years back but didn't work for me.

  • 117.
  • At 11:31 AM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Simon Barnes wrote:

Why are you complaining about your iPaq being obsolete? Does it still work with the OS that is installed on it?
Don't blame MS for driver issues when that is down to the equipment manufacturer, they have had enough time to write new drivers, go bug them about it.

This is typical MS bashing when there is little cause me thinks!

  • 118.
  • At 11:31 AM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • James Wallis wrote:

In other important news I was disappointed by 300, some of my stocks have gone down, and my muesli this morning tasted faintly of woodchips.

A BBC Business weblog is not the place to moan about a bad consumer choice you made. Once is excusable but twice, as Oscar said, looks like carelessness.

Just use Linux. Faced with similar issues to yours I've bitten the bullet this week and it's not as bad as it might be. Really.

There is a learning curve but I predict that with more and more users abandoning Microsoft help for Linux newbies will get even better fast.

Can hurt to give it a go...

  • 120.
  • At 11:32 AM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Chris Greenwood wrote:

We've got 2 Macs and 2 PCs. XP is ok but I'm dreading the atmosphere in this house when we have to switch to Vista. There'll be lots of shouting and hardware flying across rooms - just like there is every other time we have a problem with our PCs. Yet there is still such brand loyalty to Windows and PCs generally.

There is never any trouble with our Macs but still people are prejudiced against them even in this house. If you ask me PC users are getting what they deserve by remaining so blinkered. Buy a Mac, run Windows on it for a while until you get used to OSX. Go to a class at your local apple store. Eventually you'll ditch Windows and you'll even find you don't have to replace your hardware as often.

Who knows, if enough of you switch the prices may even come down?

  • 121.
  • At 11:32 AM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Alex McCaffrey wrote:

Linux isn't the answer to Vista problems. Installing Linux means even more configuring, command line scripts and hours trying to get a driver to work.

It has nothing to do wit MS stopping Linux support as one poster has said, it's simply because so few users use Linux. This is entirely the Linux communities fault for not having one Linux OS, who wants to have to decide which Linux OS to go with and when a better one comes along install that.

The MAC is an alternative but then you'll still need to emulate Windows from time to time because some software you need hasn't been written for MAC. To run Windows on a MAC seems absurd to me.

Even the number 1 Office suite is written by Microsoft (which is always a year behind the Windows versions), where is Apple's Office suite.

It did make me laugh watching the Apple Mac propaganda adverts effectively saying a Mac is useless for Office work (and a PC isn't). Great way to sell a computer.

With all it's faults Windows has come a long way.

  • 122.
  • At 11:32 AM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Michael wrote:

You are mad, who in their right mind moves to version 1 of any operation system thats been over 3 years in development and more importantly originates from Microsoft. Microsoft and Intel are in league with each other. Every MS operating system in history has been sold around 2 years ahead of reasonably priced hardware being available to run it well. Vista actually gives you bugger all apart from a pretty naff 3D window changer and a few other things you dont really need. Wait until you buy new hardware and a year or so has elapsed then it will be reasonably stable with drivers available. I will stay on XP for office work for the forseeable future, but use Gentoo Linux for any serious development.........good luck.

  • 123.
  • At 11:33 AM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • james wrote:

yawn yawn. another smug journo jumps on the I havent read the manual but why should i need to bandwagon.

  • 124.
  • At 11:35 AM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Neil wrote:

"at the BBC...this is what we do"

Windows XP continues to be supported by MS and will support it for some years to come. Nobody is forcing you to upgrade (not yet anyway). If you don't like the experience, use XP. Or why not use the opportunity to explore Mac OS, Linux (I recommend Ubuntu), Amiga OS4 (if you can get the hardware!) or the many other operating systems out there.

If you really have problems and need to use incompatible MS products on Vista install the Free VMWare workstation or MS Virtual PC - and install XP on it.

I have made the transition from XP Pro to Vista Business edition without too many headaches. I have lost no functionality, and have come across few problems (VPN Connection list takes ages to appear). I'm sure these will be resolved in the first service pack.

Get a grip and spend your time writing something more productive rather than moaning. Nobody is making you use Vista.

  • 125.
  • At 11:35 AM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • nick sharp-rees wrote:

Go Mac. People in denial always claim things that work properly are overpriced. Darwinism in action. My head of PC IT has now gone Mac with absolute resolution to never return to the poisoned well.

  • 126.
  • At 11:36 AM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Rory wrote:

"Noone in their right minds actually upgrades to a new Microsoft operating system! One should always wait until one buys a new computer"

Uhh.. James, did you actually *read* the article? He bought a new laptop with Vista pre-installed.

David: Apple can deliver a seamless, integrated user experience precisely *because* they manufacture their own hardware, thus they can ensure everything 'just works'. I for one dont mind paying a premium for a premium machine and OS. I recently bought a MacBook Pro from their refurb store for a very reasonable £899 (for a dual core machine with x1600 graphics and 15.4'' 1440x900 screen, thats not bad at all).

IMHO, Microsoft need to ditch the legacy ball and chain and write a new OS from scratch. Hell, they have some of the brightest engineers in the industry, but until they realise that their 20-year old code is just cruft, they're always going to have a majorly sucky OS.

Look at what apple did in the transition from the legacy (and very VERY bad) OS 9 to Mac OS X. They ditched the old stuff and put in a compatability layer. Now they've dropped the legacy stuff with no major ill effects. Why cant MS do the same?

Apple's hardware, these days, is neither overpriced nor under-powered. Those who have got Vista working on the latest Apple hardware have actually reported that Vista runs faster on a Mac, than on a computer designed to run it natively.

But these teething problems are bound to happen for any new OS release - the problem is they are pre-installing this .0 release on every new PC you buy. Mac OS X was practically un-useable for the first 6 months of its life - but at least Apple didn't ship its computers with OS X as standard until 10.1 came out nearly a year later. You had the choice if you wanted to be an early adopter or not. Microsoft like to force it on you.

  • 128.
  • At 11:37 AM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Nick Stone wrote:

Have you considered installing a virtual copy of Windows XP on your Windows Vista system. I have a little experience of this; I use VMWare (freely available) to run virtual instances of both Linux and Windows XP in a Windows XP system. Assuming that VMWare is compatible with Vista, you can install VMWare on Vista and then install a virtual copy of Windows XP. This hopefully provides a no-cost method of regaining use of your iPaq and digital recorder. Personally, I am using VMWare as a convenient means of evaluating Linux; the Vista stories are pushing me in that direction!

  • 129.
  • At 11:37 AM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Mark wrote:

I've been using Vista since it was first available for corporate users back in November and haven't really had a problem with it. That said, I knew when I installed it that I would have to wait for vista-compatible versions of some of the programs I use, despite the fact that the companies producing these have had versions of Vista for over 18 months now. Oh, and if Apple are so great, how come they can't get ITunes working on Vista yet or are they deliberately just being awkward?

I've used both Macs and PC's in my job as a publisher and I can honestly say that they both crash as often as each other.

Also Mac users gloating now have conveniently forgotten all of the problems with Mac programs when OSX was originally released.

Oh and any problems you have with Vista would seem like nothing if you tried to get some Linux distro working properly for you.

Fact is, with any new release like this, there will be compatability problems to start with. Best to wait six months, let the dust settle, look around on the net to see what works and what doesn't, and then decide whether to go with Microsoft or Apple

  • 130.
  • At 11:38 AM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Craig wrote:

I had a networked printer that I'd used on my old XP laptop across a wireless network. I went to the printer manufacturer's website to look for drivers to use it with my new Vista laptop. I got a very negative message there saying that there was no Vista driver and users should attempt to get minimum functionality through the built in Vista drivers. At this point I expected to have to bin the printer, (which is only a few months old).

I thought I'd give Vista a chance anyway, despite thinking that it wouln't work. On my old XP laptop, it had taken me 20 mins using a CD and a couple of restarts to install the printer (plus a bundle of other software I didn't even want but they force you to have). In contrast, on Vista, the OS found the printer and got it working in 20 seconds, without any CD, downloads, restarts or anything. It seems some things do work better in Vista! Well done Microsoft (for once).

  • 131.
  • At 11:39 AM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Bob wrote:

Now what you mean about hard to buy laptops with anything else but Vista on it now days but it can be done, Dell's website lets you (at least it did for me as a SME)otherwise go to your local indi computer shop buy XP and get them to install it, then hey presto all your old stuff will work again and it will be cheaper than buy new ones!

  • 132.
  • At 11:39 AM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Glyn Davis wrote:

If you really must use a microsoft product then stick with Xp there is absolutelly (sp) no reason to switch to Vista, anybody with any sense though would now be looking for a cheap second machine to instal linux upon and use the time from now until suport for XP is withdrawn to learn linux's introcacies and then make the switch permantly then and stop being bill gates cash cow

  • 133.
  • At 11:40 AM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Alex McCaffrey wrote:

Reading further through the Outlook XP and Vista issue it looks like it is possible:

The article doesn't say if Outlook 2000 or 2003 are also effected? I presume at least 2000 is???

  • 134.
  • At 11:41 AM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Ashley wrote:

Sorry to disagree with David, but: I bought my first Mac a couple of years ago, & recently purchased a shiny new iMac. Everything just works straight out of the box. I find the machine excellent value for money: great design & no more computer rage! My (supposedly) high spec wondoze machine at work, which crashes daily, is apparently not powerful enough to run Vista. Sadly, my bosses do not have the budgets for a true upgrade: dumping 6 PCs & a server for a Mac OS X network. A lot of cash for a small business....

  • 135.
  • At 11:42 AM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Lyn wrote:

Definitely buy a Mac - we got ours two years ago and haven't looked back since. Never had any problems with crashing, viruses etc, the graphics are more superior .... what are you waiting for?

  • 136.
  • At 11:43 AM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Westy wrote:

Anyone that has upgraded to Vista without checking whether their hardware works first deserves everything they get. It is not right to bash an OS for incompatability when they have software online that will check your system and tell you if things won't work yet. Don't blame Microsoft for your impatience and inablility to upgrade properly. Vista has also been in development for 5 years, so if your hardware manufacturer has still not bothered to release Vista drivers that is their fault.
Vista is not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but the core of it works much better than any previous version of Windows. It's just fashionable to slam an MS OS on its release.

  • 137.
  • At 11:43 AM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Paulo wrote:

Peston the idi0t.

Obviously hasn't read previous blog comments...

device drivers are made by the people who make the devices! not MS.

YOU should have checked out all compatibility issues before upgrading!

i do wonder why the BBC employed such an arrogant man.

  • 138.
  • At 11:44 AM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Ben Archibald wrote:

The essence of a new operating system is that it is new; if old stuff works with it, that's a bonus, but by no means a certainty. The shelf life of an Ipaq is no more than three years (at a push) anyway, and why anyone has an Ipaq when a well known company on the highstreet named after a colour and a popular citrus fruit is offering a PDA Phone with built in keyboard free with a thirty pound tarrif is beyond me.

It'd be great if technology was forward compatible in perpetuity, but we don't expect to buy a new hifi and ram an 8-track cartridge into it, or expect our DVD players to run LaserDisc; why should we expect old peripheral hardware to run with next-gen software?

As for people going on about the mac, how's the vaunted firewire handling going for you? Still charging up your ipods with that particluar dumped technology?

  • 139.
  • At 11:45 AM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Steve wrote:

A few years ago I made the error of upgrading to XP as soon as it was released. This turned out to be a very expensive mistake and it took months before everything was working again.

This time I replaced my laptop just before Vista came out so that it came with XP installed. I'll probably upgrade to Vista in a couple of years when most of the problems have been ironed out.

  • 140.
  • At 11:45 AM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Alex wrote:

Lots of the posters seem to be missing an important factor. If you buy a new machine you pretty much can't avoid buying Vista.

And as a none tech follower lots of people will just be buying a new "Windows" PC and expect all their applications to still work. Which seems pretty reasonable really unless Microsoft stick a nice large label on saying something like "Not compatible with lots of your existing software".

I suppose if people can be bothered they can try to return them as not fit for purpose if existing programs and products aren't compatible with it.

  • 141.
  • At 11:46 AM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Ian Frame wrote:

I speak in praise of Vista, very very faint praise. Its Speech Recogntion facility is excellent for dictating the kind of text I use BUT - a big BUT - it is impossible to start the Speech Recognition facility unless the program is in a good mood and decides to let me. Usually, the "Starting Speech Recognition" screenlet appears and freezes or else prompts an (untrue) error message about the language configuration of my PC.

Embracing Windows Viper will get you bitten.

It's slower, unsupported and unstable. I won't use it (and my company has copies to use).

I've installed Viper on new & existing hardware for other people and have suffered Blue Screen (even the screen of death crashed, just got blue - no text), hardware driver issues and a 20%+ performance hit.

Why couldn't Microsoft have made a FASTER version of XP instead? That's what we wanted. Not some slow and wobbly techno-terror thats sole reason for purchase is "you have no alternative". And no, I cannot use Linux or Apple because this is the real world, not fanboy land.

  • 143.
  • At 11:49 AM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • GP wrote:

"Vista is not good news for the IT industry in general"

Maybe you'd like to back this up with some reasons?

In my experience so far vista has been excellent and as someone mentioned above, it is not Microsoft's responsibility to make their oporating system compatible with every single device; the manufacturers should make the devices compatible with the OS!

  • 144.
  • At 11:50 AM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Pragmatopian wrote:

I'm slowly ironing out Vista's over-the-top security policies and there are a few old versions of software that I can't use with it. However, I like it overall - nice interface and good performance on my machine, although bear in mind that I've just built it with Vista-compatible components!

As other posters have said - don't rush to upgrade: wait until the next time you upgrade your hardware and you'll have far fewer headaches. At the moment it's still a bit rough round the edges to give a stress-free experience for non-techie users.

I did consider moving to Mac before building my new PC - they are beautifully designed and simple to use: the kind of computer I'd recommend my mum to buy. However, they are expensive for what they are, less upgradable and with less choice of hardware and software than Windows-based PCs.

  • 145.
  • At 11:51 AM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Gordon wrote:

If I'm not forced into buying, I ususally wait until my ex-employer (a blue chip company) decides that it is time to upgrade to a new system. In the past year they have finally changed out to XP. I'll wait and see when they decide to change to Vista. It will probably take a couple of years at the minimum. Hopefully allthe glitches will be gone and suitable periphery drivers will be in place!!

  • 146.
  • At 11:51 AM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Marcus wrote:

James, if you actually read Robert's excellent post he didn't upgrade to Vista he bought a new laptop with it installed, 'OK'.

  • 147.
  • At 11:52 AM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Kevin Thomas wrote:

Yup, I agree with the majoriry...time to buy a Mac.

I bought one recently and haven't looked back. Plus, with it's dual boot facility I can still use some of my Micro$oft applications under XP.

I'd never consider upgrading to Vista and why would I considering Micro$oft are merely repackaging the GUI that Mac have made popular for years.

Time to take stock of what you really need your laptop/desktop to do for you, and then take the plunge. Maybe when people start purchasing more Macs, Mr. Gates will realise that people are prepared to fund his ill written, ill conceived software.

  • 148.
  • At 11:52 AM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Junior Ballmer wrote:

Hi Robert,

I'm sorry your laptop died but if you were a Microsoft shareholder you'd realise that pre-installation of new OSes on consumer PCs is one of the few ways MS have of effectively maintaining the monopoly; as you may be aware, MS charge the PC manufacturers very little for the pre-installed OS (much much less than the cheapeast price an off-the-shelf copy would cost); the majority of the MS revenue following the release of a new OS historically comes from application upgrades and from retail OS upgrades - hence the warning to the financial analysts because Vista isn't going anywhere in that market right now, for the reasons you note, despite the mass of pre-launch publicity from MS-focused PR organisations and magazines and blogs and...

As has been pointed out, you could have legitimately chosen to upgrade your new PC to (say) Windows XP (or even Linux). However, this would have deprived you of access to the world of Vista-only applications which MS have been readying for the market for several years.

If you really wanted to stay with the Windows and applications you and the rest of the market have been used to, you can still buy business class laptops with Windows XP (Pro) for about the same price as you paid for yours with Vista; many vendors in that market know their customers aren't ready or willing to go to Vista. (Don't look at Dell, they've misunderstood and gone heavily into Vista).

Take your Vista one back and demand a refund, it appears to be unfit for purpose, then work out what you *really* need (and ignore the hype) before buying the next one.

  • 149.
  • At 11:52 AM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Nige Kenworthy wrote:

Anyone who upgrades to a new OS without accepting the fact they are actually Beta-testing on behalf of Microsoft is just being naive, and deserves all the headaches they get in my opinion. So, either accept the headaches and then accept the fact you are contributing to what will eventually be a reliable and stable platform to use, or wait 2 years like the rest of us who know that it can't possibly support the vast array of hardware available or software for that matter, even if it is made by the very same company. That's why it's been 3 years in development, and not 10 - development isn't finished yet. It's the price you pay for having it now, and it's the very same price you pay with any other OS, don't believe MAC have their cake and eat it, I've been on the forums and seen the gripes - and so I'll bet has Bill.

  • 150.
  • At 11:53 AM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • David Lock wrote:

Stop using your position as a a blog writer on BBC news to have a massive winge about Microsoft, when the problems you have outlined are not the fault of Microsoft at all.

Olympus and HP make the drivers, not Microsoft. Have a go at them instead of blowing it completely out of proportion and blaming Microsoft for everything wrong in your life. Vista is a step forward, and considering it is designed to run on millions of combination of different hardware setups it is pretty impressive.

Also what you fail to realise is that the £650 you spent replacing your laptop is over HALF the price of buying a decent mac. So if you look at it in those terms you CAN spend about 600/700 upgrading your pda, camera and office applications and still have some change left over.

  • 151.
  • At 11:53 AM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Tom Taylor-Duxbury wrote:

Who paid for the develpment of VIsta? Steve Jobs?

  • 152.
  • At 11:54 AM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Anonymous Coward wrote:

Do yourself a favour - try Ubuntu.

Download the free "Live CD", stick it in, and reboot.

It won't install anything and it won't break your system - you can have a look around and see what you think and if you don't like it, you can go back to Vista.

  • 153.
  • At 11:54 AM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • adam wrote:

Why don't you just buy a Mac? Much cheaper in the wrong run, and irritations like this won't happen any longer. I've stopped feeling sorry for people who insist on persisting with Windows and Microsoft - surely their scam is obvious to all by now?

  • 154.
  • At 11:54 AM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Dave wrote:

It amazes me the number of people who think that everyone can move to a Mac or Linux and solve all their problems. There are so many types of software that are simply not available for these other platforms. Try running most CAD systems on anything other than windows. Find me a diagram application as good as Visio. Find me a spreadsheet application as good as Excel (and no - the open source equivalents are nowhere near as fully featured).

Incidentally, I use both UNIX and Windows desktops at work, and I'm a software developer who has developed for all major platforms, currently doing more UNIX than Windows - so I do know what I'm talking about here.

  • 155.
  • At 11:56 AM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • robert wrote:

My advise is to stay with (any) stable version of any OS you have. If it works on the PC you have, leave it alone.

Always run a firewall, virus and spyware tools, keep them upto date. Defend your own security at all times. Dont download or visit dodgy software/sites, regard all 'free stuff' as probably compromised and full of spyware. Only use free software from known good sources.

But, yes Vista should be more secure, but it only shows up how appalling the previous OS versions were.

Only upgrade when you need to and a long time after any new OS has come out. Make sure you can get all the drivers you need before you upgrade.

Dont play the MS game, stay with the oldest, most stable programs you can, these are generaly quicker because they have not been 'bloated' by hundreds of generally useless 'enhancements'. Loads of MS software does not work with itself, but then neither does a lot of other software! This is mainly because the PC is a (so called) 'open platform' and anyone can write anything for it (in theory) and its not always well tested.

You can get a complete windows compatible word processor, excel etc package FREE for download (or low cost) I think (the windows compatable ones provided with Linux - sorry cant remember the names).

The whole system is a bit of a joke. Poor OS and application software slows amazing high performance hardware, everyone rushes out and buys new hardware and software to do the same job of the previous stuff!

Its only (some) games and specific applications that really need the performance. For most, people can stay with what they have!!

  • 156.
  • At 11:56 AM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • David May wrote:

My copy of Vista along with the new HDD purchased to install it on have both been consigned to the nether regions of my workstation hopefully to be resurrected at some future date when other software companies and Microsoft themselves bring out the necessary patches & drivers to make things work as well as they do in XP.
Well done Bill Gates for taking the WOW out of my computing experience.
Older, definitely poorer, but any wiser? I doubt it.

  • 157.
  • At 11:56 AM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • CLB wrote:

The problem of backward compatibility is nothing new, and is certainly not limited to Microsoft. Ask Sony and PS2 compatibility on the PS3 or Apple about running the latest revision of OSX on anything older than three years old.
So you want to run an old version of Outlook on Vista - where do you want to stop - I have a copy of Locoscript PC on 5.25" disk, would you expect MS to support that?
As for third party hardware, such as the Olympus device you mention, MS can't be expected to code for every obscure piece of proprietary hardware - Olympus should take the blame here (I had the same problem with an Orchid soundboard with Windows95 and OS2 in days of old).
I do agree and sympathise with the PDA issue though - there are a hell of alot of Mobile 2003 devices out there that should have been supported by Vista. However, I should point out that no-one bleats about OSX lacking in-built support for Windows Mobile devices at all.
Anyone who beleives that ANY OS is the panacea to all ills is sadly mistaken. At least until Vista Service Pack 2 ;-)

  • 158.
  • At 11:57 AM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Gary H wrote:

"Get a Mac, get a virus! If you're believe Apple's hype and blatant lying Mac's don't have viruses you're a fool. Try searching on Google for Mac Viruses and you will see they very much exist. I wouldn't run any OS without a Firewall, AntiVirus or AntiSpyware."

This is the most ridiculous comment I've ever seen. Google "UFO" and you'll get million of hits. Is that proof that aliens exist? If so, you'd better ring NASA, as they're missing a trick.

The fact is that thanks to the inherently more secure by design UNIX architecture, there are still ZERO Mac OS viruses. None. Antivirus on the Mac exists for two reasons only: 1. Antivirus firms like selling software, and 2. if you're a generous sort, you can install it to prevent accidentally passing on a virus to a Windows PC.

However, the more viruses there are, the worse the PC experience is and the more likely people are to investigate the far superior alternatives (and I count both Mac and Linux in that). This is why I don't buy antivirus software for my Mac and never have done - why should I pay for Microsoft's incompenence?

  • 159.
  • At 11:58 AM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Simon Elvy wrote:

I have been using Vista since release. It's not easy getting used to a new system but now I have I would not go back to XP. It's more stable and once you learn to use it very efficient. It's a pity that people can't accept that any new technology requires a bit of patience and application.

The big problem with Vista is that it was hyped to be more than it is. It's an operating system, not an office suite, game or other application. It really is quite boring underneath it all, but it does work.

  • 160.
  • At 11:59 AM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • ThunderRobot wrote:

Unlike many I have no axe to grind against any manufacturer / developer. I say it as I see it. And I see it as an avid user of Windows XP / Vista, Mac OS X, Linux and Unix.

  1. It’s not down to Microsoft to develop drivers for third party manufacturers. These groups have had alphas, betas and pre-release versions of vista for over a year. They have chosen not to provide support, not the other way around.
  2. Get a Mac, they say; Not all software runs on Mac OS X. Even with bootcamp. In addition the cost of the hardware for an equivalent rig in prohibitively expensive for many people. Finally there are viruses / malware / spyware for the Mac. However because they are not nearly as widely used the spread of them is rare. If there was more uptake of Mac OS X then there would be more attacks.
  3. Linux is a great platform. More power to it. However if people think finding drivers for Vista is difficult, they will not enjoy a Linux journey. For that matter there’s plenty of problems locating drivers for many pieces of hardware on a Mac as well. But no one blames Apple.
  4. I can’t believe that the author is genuinely complaining that Vista fixes security flaws in previous versions of software.
  5. Finally everyone of sense – everyone in the tech community – everyone with half a brain stated time and time and time again, that Vista would be a problematic transition for at least the first six months. Unless you’re a new user buying Vista approved kit, there’s will be teething problems. Don’t want them, then don’t upgrade yet. There is no software or hardware that requires you run Vista – yet.
  • 161.
  • At 12:00 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Isaac wrote:

I have bought a laptop with Windows Vista on it and I haven't had so many problems with it.
There is a glitch with Windows Live Messenger but there is an easy way to solve that without spending hours in the phone to technical advisors.
Go to and everything you need is there.
Getting used to the Windows Aero experience did take me a little while (About 2 days).
But other than that I have found no problems running Vista. It is absolutely FAB!
Stop whining to Microsoft about things that aren't compatible when it is clearly not Microsoft's fault!
And by the way, if you have a laptop or printer with a memory card slot, then take the memory card out of the camera and put it into the computer/printer and Windows Photo Gallery will load up showing you all your photos and download them! Problem Solved.

  • 162.
  • At 12:01 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Boris wrote:

Sorry but goto Linux.

I thought much the same as everyone else did that a Linux installation would be a hard techie kind of thing.

Downloaded Fedora 6 in Nov last year , burned it to CD, slapped the disk in and re-booted.

Follow the simple installation guide given on their website, and once I'd picked the options to installl with, off it went.

Since then I've found I much prefer Linux to windows and whats better, it recognised my digital camera straight away without having to find a driver from the manufacturer

  • 163.
  • At 12:03 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Mark wrote:

I agree with some of the above... you cannot expect Microsoft to be responsible for producing drivers for every piece of kit out there.

Vista was long enough in beta test for manufacturers to have developed drivers for it. At my company, we have a piece of software we provide to customers to place orders... that was tested on the business edition of Vista as soon as it came out to ensure we didn't have any issues... shame others didn't do the same ;-)

  • 164.
  • At 12:03 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Fred242 wrote:

Absolute no-brainer: get a Mac. If you still need to run Windoze you can still do so on the same machine- you've already paid for an XP licence, install it on the Mac using parallels or bootcamp. Remember that a Mac has the same internal architecture as aPC and will run windoze fine.

  • 165.
  • At 12:04 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Harry wrote:


Amongst the Register's "10 reasons to buy a Mac" -

10. Smug-tastic

It's impossible to feel smug after buying a PC. Can't be done. Won't ever happen. Never going to be a factor.

  • 166.
  • At 12:04 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Åge wrote:

Mac OS vs Windows vs Linux. Yawn.

Nobody is interested in advocacy. Advocacy doesn't solve problems; it only spreads half-truths.

  • 167.
  • At 12:04 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Becky wrote:

I know I'm not the first to say this but, seriously, get a mac. I started using macs six years ago and would never go back to PCs. Why would you? The OS is more stable, you don't have to worry about viruses, you can run multiple applications at once without fear of crashing or going slowly ... I could go on! In short, they just work. Here is an example. I signed up to Blueyonder broadband a year ago. If I had tried to use it with a PC, I would have had to install software from a CD-ROM which, apparently, takes 20-25 mins. With my mac, er, I just plugged in and switched on. I feel like macs are built with the user in mind - I definitely don't get that feeling with PCs.

I believe that this comic says it all:

The only reason I'd willingly use Vista is if I was given a laptop with it pre-installed. (Currently saving for a MacBook)

  • 169.
  • At 12:08 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • mvan wrote:

Had been running RC2 as a Vista Beta discovered there was no real reason to upgrade from XP! Then MS released the UK prices for Vista upgrade, which are a total rip off, so decision made! Stick with XP for now and save hundreds of pounds, then investigate Linux or buy a Mac...The problem MS have is that more and more interaction on computers is carried out via a web browser which does not need an OS with a billion lines of expensive code to run (Ubuntu is free and using firefox does everything online Vista can do)...Macs are looking more & more inviting, a well designed and elegant OS that does all the things you need to do with good support. Now only if they reduced their laptop prices!

  • 170.
  • At 12:08 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Julian Turner wrote:

I do like Microsoft products, but I am always confused by the fact that their priorities for new versions seem confused, and their new versions seem to come with irritating changes.

They seem to forget that millions of people develop intimate relationships with their products, the interfaces, and the fine details of the idiosyncracies (like auto complete), which impact on the minutes and hours of their working day. Even small changes can cause large amounts of stress, as you have to re-learn routines; loss of efficiency measures doubly-so.

I have been running Windows 2000 and Office 97 on my 800Mhz laptop for the last 7 years.

I have been able to develop my own web sites, applications, manage e-mail, create and manage complex documents, edit images and video, all perfectly well, all at acceptable speed, and am still able to do so.

So, I have been perfectly happy with Microsoft's software at the point of Windows 2000 and Office 97, and I am not quite clear what fundamentally has changed since then (other than security).

Microsoft's latest versions, used at work, do nothing very differently (for me at least) when it comes to this core functionality, other than to add irritations by making software "more helpful" or "more secure".

So I am not particularly sure what huge leaps Microsoft itself thinks the average customer is getting from Vista.

My mother recently purchased a laptop with Vista on, and judging by her experience and the lack of help given by computer vendors, it is not materially more easy to use (for your inexperienced user) than previous Windows versions, and this is made much worse by the uncertainty as to which software is or is not compatible.

I fully appreciate the vast amount of work that goes into Micrsoft's software, and am always very grateful for the privilege of being able to use something representing millions of man-hours of work.

99.99% of the time I am happy, and I also appreciate that someone needs to keep the developers fed and shareholders paid, and to move forwards means accepting change.

It is just those 0.01% of features, which we all feel and use, directly, at the keyboard, every day, which sometimes Microsoft does not always seem to recognise or manage as well as it could.

  • 171.
  • At 12:09 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • thomas ellison wrote:

Get a mac! I would neer go back to microsoft!

  • 172.
  • At 12:10 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Martion Jayne wrote:

go Mac, young man. Things that work are not overpriced, things that don't are.

Vista's fine.

Device manufacturers have been slow on the uptake. That's their problem, not Microsoft's.

Stop mithering. It's a perfectly good - and stable - operating system.

  • 174.
  • At 12:11 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Nick wrote:

Fair enough about the driver support, that will just take time. The main issue here is that people have been screaming at Microsoft to make it's operating systems more secure and slating them when flaws are found. Microsoft have now done that using things such as UAC and now people are screaming that they have to type their passwords in all the time. If you store your password on your PC you leave yourself open to hacking and online fraud. It's make your mind up time, do you want a secure OS that takes an extra few seconds to type in passwords or do you want to just take the easy option that will end in tears eventually?

  • 175.
  • At 12:12 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • SpaceJunkie wrote:

Having just had a friend report he'd successfully intalled and used Eve-Online on a Linux box gives me one less reason to worry about leaving the Windows world when (not if) Micro$oft eventually stops issuing security updates for XP.

Yes, I really am this shallow :-P

  • 176.
  • At 12:12 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Martin Cottingham wrote:

I have been using Vista for 8 months on a number of test & now work systems - I have had mixed results with drivers for devices & have all of the latest s/w.

I have spent a long time now re-learning how to do things & I can not see how large companies are going to justify this, there is little productivity gain & I don't see any improvement in facilities that you can't do with add ons to other OS's.

I can't change to another platform, I do work for clients that uses Windows only software, I have tried various Linux versions and there are benefits in some of these, but be warned, you have to know what you are doing & the HW vendors don't help a lot.

Macs are not an easy answer, I used to use them a lot & whilst good at what they do there are still barriers to the majority of the corporate world.

I agree with many others though, did you test this before hand or just leap in ? I have implemented all of MS's Windows versions & it is vital to test on a non-critical PC - DO NOT expect things to work straight away.

I share your frustration but some of your misery is self inflicted, sorry.

  • 177.
  • At 12:13 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • nik wrote:

Welcome to the real world guys. This is exactly what the computer industry has been doing for years. The only difference now is that instead of affecting the geeks in the basement and the beancounters on the tops floor, it hits you and me right in the pocket.

Of course none of this would realy be necessary if the systems were switched over to Linux - cannot comment on PDAs but better than even shot someone's done it. Of course the down side is you have to know a little bit more than zilch about the gear you're using. If you can't or won't learn then don't bleat about microsoft.

My apologies for being blunt, but better to know the truth as it is than be left with comforting clucking sounds of sympathy only to find out you assumed wrong. Which in this case you obviously did. Did I hear caveat emptor anywhere?

  • 178.
  • At 12:13 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Baz wrote:

Alex McCaffrey wrote: Get a Mac, get a virus!

Well I've been a Mac user on-line for 8 years now and I have never, ever had a Mac virus or Spyware. The AV software I run to catch any Windows viruses so that I can't passively pass them on has caught plenty of them, but not a single Mac virus. I also don't know any Mac user who has. Don't believe everything you Google or what Bill Gates says. OS X also has its own built-in Firewall and if you use an ADSL broadband router, many will use NAT and have their own firewalls.

The lack of viruses and spyware on its own isn't enough justification to switch, but it's certainly a nice bonus. Oh and I can also run the latest version of OS X on my 8 year old 400MHz Mac, which is still fast enough for use daily for proper jobs. Try running the full version of Vista on an 8 year old PC without any upgrades.

  • 179.
  • At 12:13 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • MCSE wrote:

Having read all these, I think more than anything else, it is the Anti-Microsoft-ness is talking here. I personally appreciate what Microsoft has been doing ever since the inception of windows 3.x where most people embraced it (and its next generations) due to its features. No matter how much you moan and winge, the majority of the computer users around the world use Windows which speaks for itself.

The mistake you (the author of this article) made was not giving enough time for VISTA to be adopted by the market. No one in goond mind would go to an OS upgrade until atleast the SP1 comes out (unless oyu have nothing to loose of course).

Also when an OS comes out, it is entirely up to you to either use it or leave it. also you always have the option to revert back to the old OS and wait for more enhanced / compatible drivers are made available by the manufacturer of the HW.

In a big industry like IT where lot of different vendors compete, one cannot blame Microsoft for not maing a fully compatible product for all but should appreciate the level of compatibility it does provide.....!

I made a decision to refuse to support any friends or family who run Vista. I encourage them to use Ubuntu, but I don't force it upon them. There is a nice guide for people considering switching to Ubuntu Linux from Windows. Worth a read:-

I've said it before and I'll say it again.............MAC owners have every right to be smug when reading of you Windows users crying into your Tizers. The con of the last 2 Centuries is still going on? Shame on you....fool you once guys must be up to at least fool me 29 times by now! The MAC is a superbly designed OS, once you try it you will never go back to clunky, slow, unstable Windows..I mean you wouldn't still be riding a penny farthing would you..just because evrybody else is?! Maybe you would...........

  • 182.
  • At 12:15 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • cmatthews wrote:

It's actual an absolute scandal - and yet the computer industry has been getting away with such dreadful behaviour for decades.
It's hard to think of any other industry where you would have to pay so much money for such grotesquely badly performing products.
I moved to Apple when I had one computer crash too many with Windows. Although it's nowhere near as good as it is hyped, it does seem stable and perfroms bettwr than Windows.

  • 183.
  • At 12:15 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • William Knox wrote:

While I'm by no means a computer geek, I have had no trouble fixing any problems on a new vista laptop.
I set up a wireless internet connection on it which gets its signal from a router which I use on my desktop PC running XP. I downloaded drivers for a printer, it works with three different ipod type MP3 players, all of which are over a year old. I installed anti-virus software which was already paid for and used on XP.
Basically it works.
I do however have a load of problems with the linux computer. No end of problems.

  • 184.
  • At 12:16 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Martin Fagan wrote:

Robert – I don’t think I’ll be the first to offer you this advice, nor do I think I’ll be the last, but my advice is this (and it’s very simple): don’t throw good money after bad buying a new PC. Use the cash to buy an Apple Mac instead.

At home and work, I’ve used Macs for the last 15 years and have just blissfully got on with things. I changed jobs eight months ago and now have to use a PC at work, with deeply frustration results. How do people cope with this patent rubbish? I’m no technophobe, but I’m not a nerd either, and PCs are just terrible – they don’t work! Macs are the tools of liberation and PCs are the tools of enslavement.

Here’s one very tiny example of why a Mac is more efficient. In order to remember something, have you ever written it down on a Post-it note and stuck that note to your computer’s monitor in order to jog your memory? I look around at the PCs in the office and most of the monitors are festooned with yellow stickies. On a Mac there’s this program called – wait for it - “Stickies” and these are Post-it notes that stay on your desktop, they save the content when you shut the Mac down and, when you boot it up, they appear back on your desktop. Simple, but very effective - and environmentally friendly, too. I can’t find an equivalent program anywhere on my work PC.

The decision by Bill Gates to give his fortune away doesn’t come from a blossoming sense of altruism – it’s acute embarrassment. He’s finally come to his senses and can’t believe he’s made so much money by selling people such cruddy products that can only be used by nerds and dweebs.

Robert – get your life back. Buy a Mac, and sell your PC on eBay!

  • 185.
  • At 12:16 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Stefan wrote:

Quelle surprise, Robert.

I'll add a "seconded" to Harry's (#47) comment.

I've been a die-hard Windows user since 3.11 (not for Workgroups, but the updated 3.1 based on WfW), and frankly, I'm getting disillusioned. Give me an excuse to switch and I will. I've had it.

As for the smug commenters elsewhere... HP only provides the USB drivers, however, the ActiveSync software is all Microsoft's. And if ActiveSync fails to work, then it's a MICROSOFT problem, not HP.

  • 186.
  • At 12:17 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Jason Scott wrote:

As others keep pointing out, a Mac is a great alternative now, especially with the safe guard of Parallels running Windows XP if you really can't live without something.

I haven't regretted the switch one bit.

  • 187.
  • At 12:18 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Ian wrote:

Oh come on now.

The Outlook XP password protection is too weak and people may be able to steal your emails. This is a bad thing. Of course this was Microsoft's error, but they are fixing it in the only way possible (don't store the password).

This is not a bug, or a lack of compatibility, or even Vista's fault. They'd do it in XP if that were possible. This is a proactive step to fix something that was not seen as a problem 6 years and two OSs ago. I understand that it is annoying, but it is also annoying to check before crossing the road. I bet you still do it though.

Security is a pain. By definition, security reduces what can be done with your machine. Is your user account password protected? Do you run as a limited user rather than an administrator? These are all steps MS would love to enforce but know that if they did everyone would claim Vista was "broken", despite the destructive effect it would have on viruses and other malware.

  • 188.
  • At 12:18 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Jim Gardner wrote:

You could have saved yourself an awful lot of time and money by buying a real computer in the first place. Without walls and fences, who needs Windows and Gates?

Take it back and buy a Mac.

  • 189.
  • At 12:19 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • kh1234567890 wrote:

Microsoft have completely lost the plot.

Take for example Excel 2007. Very pretty, but completely unusable in real life. Charting more than a few data points takes forever (about 10 times slower than Excel 2003), making it useless for any scientific application. I gave up on it after about half an hour and rolled back to Office 2003. Thank god for backups.

  • 190.
  • At 12:20 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • anon wrote:

Office XP ... what a muppet!

Are we really paying our license fee for this sort of uninformative tripe?

  • 191.
  • At 12:20 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Erpman wrote:

Firstly, I cannot stand Windows bashing for the sake of Windows bashing. Have you ever tried writing software? Have you ever tried writing complicated software? What about software the size of Vista that provides an interface for literally thousands and thousands of hardware devicesto give other software manufacturers are provided with a decent interface? What writing software that provides the ability to have the level of protection that the consumer demands? It is not easy.

Ok, to get things in context; I have not yet upgraded to Vista. I plan to, but there is no need at the present. XP on the other hand is a fantastic OS and I can say with with no exageration that I has not crashed on me. Don't get me wrong, other software titles crash, but this is not the fault of MS, its the fault of the other software companies for not producing perfect software (some thing that is practically impossible to achieve).
I do agree that there are things wrong with Xp and if you go back to pre SP1 days, it was full of holes (lets not mention the netsend through cmd.exe feature!), but such is the process by which software is developed and released. In the same way that beta testing vastly increases the bug finding potential due to the number of concurent testing instances in the test domain, the use of error reporting and the "Would you like to send this report to MS" button has the same affect post release and illuminates other bugs that can then go on to be fixed. Vista will be the same.

Now to Linux. The idea behind it is brilliant, and to MS's credit they realised this and implimented a security architecture that reflects it. How stable the base OS is though is debatable and tends to be one that is skewed by personal usage and not average stats. I for one crashed Linux with in 5 minutes of first using it with something as simple as plugging in a USB key, where as it took a Virus (over dialup internet) to bring XP down for the first time on my computer which was a good year after getting it. This was my own fault; I turned off Antivirus as i had limiting processing power and I regretted it.

I personally believe that anything that improves security is worth it, irrespective of user irritation. I think what MS have done in 'unifying' (I know this isn't technically true but it's what they are trying to do!) hardware under one software umbrella is excelent and all out lives have been made easier because of it.

I'd also like to mention that no, I don't work for MS! Non-Microsoft software is not the responsibility of MS to make compatible with Vista! I'd also like to apologise for the terrible spelling but I am typing fast and I am supposed to be working...and I'd like to advise everyone who isn't buying a new prebuilt computer with a preinstalled OS to hold off on Vista until atleast the first Service Pack is out, as there is most probably nothing really wrong with your current Opeating System, and Vista will be better after the first load of fixes, and once DirectX10 comes along in all its glory.

Best Regards.

For those people suggesting that nobody is forcing you to upgrade to Vista, you're forgetting that many hardware vendors will very soon be shipping Vista pre-installed. This takes away your choice.

Best thing to do is buy a "naked" PC and install your own choice of operating system - whether that's XP, Linux, BSD or whatever.

You get even less choice with a Mac. It's OS X or nothing.

So much Microsoft bashing in such little space!

Vista is pretty good, I've been using it on my 5 year old notebook for over a month without any problems, nothing's crashed, ceased to work, annoyed me or made the experience an unpleasant one.

Generally there's not a vast amount of difference over XP cept the new look and some menu changes, so be prepaired to have to hunt for stuff for a while.

I use Linux [Centos] and Windows, they are both very different but in the main if it wasn't for Mr Gates we'd all be years behind when it comes to main stream computing use and that's a fact. Can you honestly see people downloading, uncompressing, compiling, making install files and then finally installing a program before finally figuring out how to use it - as with most Linux installs? That's not to mention failed dependencies, security users / groups and the like.

If you don't plan upgrading / buying a new PC for some time stick with XP, if you're upgrading or getting an all signing new machine go for Vista, if you truly hate Bill and can't stomach paying MS some money have a go with Linux, there's enough distro's out there - even ones that'll run off a CD so you don't even have to install them to try them.

If you want Vista, go for it but stop moaning about how much money microsoft makes :)

  • 194.
  • At 12:23 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Julian wrote:

Like many I suspect, I was intending to 'come in from the cold' and replace my pirated xp with a nice legal (and therefore supported) copy of Vista. I felt guilty about my misdemenour and really felt it was time to do the honourable thing and go legit.
Sadly, just as I prepare to do the honourable thing, Microsoft does the opposite and behaves in a thorougly disreputable fashion. Aside from the fact that I too have an Ipaq and intend to continue using it, as I suspected, there are a litany of other software mismatches that means they can mug me for more money to replace perfectly functional software for new (and presumably buggy) versions, full of expensive nw features I don't want or need.
Following your experiences, I'll save my money and stay on the 'outside'!

  • 195.
  • At 12:23 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Jim Blake wrote:

If it ain't broke, don't fix it....why would you upgrade from XP, which did everything you wanted to...unless it was to get *more*, not less functionality???

And in that case, if you are upgrading for security and functionaliy, either go with Linux or Mac, both of which are superb engineering solutions so clearly no match at all for the Marketing triumph that is Windoze!

  • 196.
  • At 12:23 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Philip Edwards wrote:

I recently built a new computer. I'd decided to install two operating systems; Ubuntu Linux and Windows.
I was left in a quandry. Should I go for Vista, or should I go for XP.
I decided on XP.
Best decision of all though was Ubuntu. Don't believe the people who tell you that there is no such thing as a free lunch. My Ubuntu system does just about everything that I want it to do and all I've had to pay is £15 for a printer driver.
My advice.........don't buy a Vista computer yet. Linux, especially Ubuntu is just plain gorgeous.

  • 197.
  • At 12:23 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • stephen wrote:

Three little words.....GET A MAC.......i struggled for years recording audio into a pc only to have so many conflicts and crashes and updating ...(windows m.e was a disaster as is vista a poorly executed osx clone) holy christ never never will i ever buy a pc even if im the only one using a mac.

  • 198.
  • At 12:24 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Jel wrote:

I think we have a new Flexicon verb, to be peston, meaning to be suckered into buying subrelease 1 of a Microsoft OS upgrade. As an old hand, Bob, you should have known better: this is one old dog of an OS which will never learn new ways.

  • 199.
  • At 12:24 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Gary Newport wrote:

Oh but for all the knocking and digging!

I was one of many who beta tested Vista and thought, and think, it is a beautiful piece of software. Of course it's taken from other ideas (DOS was Unix after all) but then if Microsoft are pirates, so are all major car companies and any other business that saw a good idea and adapted it.

Buy a Mac? Use Linux? Why? Macs are graphically superior but only just, whilst most software won't run and if it does it costs a fortune! And to go backwards with Linux! It's a poor system for a non-techie to use. And that is the strength of Windows. Microsoft have developed operating systems that people can use. The fact that we decry is part envy and part expectation. We expect more than is appropriate for modern software.

Vista is not compatible with your iPAQ? In what way? Drivers? Then that is HP and not Microsoft!

I am NOT a pro-Microsoft individual but someone who learnt some time ago that if it were not for Microsoft we would not be having this conversation anyway. It is the growth of the PC, of DOS then Windows that has brought computing into the work place and then the home. Knock it, decry it, get over it. Vista is an excellent OS with flaws (unavoidable and a reason why you do not upgrade but buy new) and in 5 years the same people will be on here decrying the next offering and saying 'stick with Vista'. Unless of course they submitted their comments using Windows 3.0?

  • 200.
  • At 12:24 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Dino wrote:

I have been using a mac (OSX) with firefox (web) and thunderbird (mail) for about 2 years now, and have forgotten what it must be like to have things mess up, go wrong or be intuative in a really annoying way ... except at work, where i spend an inordinate amount of time swearing at my slow, annoying, messed up and messing up PC ... macs just work.

  • 201.
  • At 12:25 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • John wrote:

To be honest, why would anyone buy Vista? With all the potential problems you've highlighted plus the zero benefit over XP, with the possible dubious exception of DX10, I doubt I shall ever move to it unless, ultimately, I'm forced to.

Let's face it, it's only really an excuse for MS to be able to sell more bloated software with additional features that most people never use. And, on the back of that, of course you need ever more powerful hardware to support the ever increasing 'gloss' that contributes nothing to productivity.

  • 202.
  • At 12:26 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Jason John wrote:

DO NOT TOUCH VISTA -- BILL GATES FORGOT TO TELL US HE IS RELEASING XP Service pack 3 next year which will be so similar to VISTA BUT I SUSPECT better! do not waste your money wait for window xp service pack 3. OR IF YOU HAVE TO HAVE VISTA WAIT FOR the SERVICE PACK.

  • 203.
  • At 12:29 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Ewan wrote:

Buy a mac! Had an imac for a year now, best computer purchase ever made!

  • 204.
  • At 12:30 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Anthony I.P. Owen wrote:

Why don't you 'downgrade'? I'm sure you probably have a copy of Win 2000 lying around (IMHO Win 2000 was the most stable and easiest to use Windows there has been). Just install that.

I've been using Win 2000 + Open Office +Firefox + Becky (for e-mail) for ages and have no intention of changing, this does everything I want (I also author DVD's and edit film professionally, professional programs for both of these purposes run fine under Win 2000) so why bother to change.

And yes, I do upgrade my hardware once in a while, I construct my own machine and then throw my copy of Win 2000 on...never known any problems yet.

(Can anyone tell me what the advantages of Vista are? If all one does is video compressing and editing, e-mails, text processing and a few spreadsheets?)

  • 205.
  • At 12:32 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Grant Girdwood wrote:

lets look at it from this point of view, vista is the same as every other microsoft os that has been released, there was and always are going to be bugs and not everything will be compatible from the get go.

what you failed to do Mr Preston, was find out that only office 2007 and 2003 are compatible with windows vista, which really boils down to you not looking in to this before you spent £650 on your new laptop.

The only advantage of vista over xp is that vista is nicer to look at aslong as you have vista home premium, thats all it is a shiner version of xp.

  • 206.
  • At 12:32 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Rachel H wrote:

I was one of the lucky ones to get Vista when it released on MSDN. Or so I thought. Thank god I was sensible and decided to partition my disk so that I could dual boot and keep XP.

My Webcam, TV Card and Soundcard wouldn't work. Creative released drivers for the soundcard, but no 3d audio because MICROSOFT made the decision to remove support for DirectSound3D.

I removed Vista from the extra partition and went with OpenSuSE. Very nice.

A few months later I returned and reinstalled Vista, this time, it didn't add the same pretty boot menu, instead it junked the XP boot loader. Lucky I had a boot disk.

Vista is, in my experience buggy, slow and if I were paying for it, overpriced.

Recently I switched to a new Mac. I get to run my 3d games on XP using Bootcamp, plus I get to "live" in OSX, which in my opinion is far more professional and polished than anything Microsoft have come up with in Vista.

  • 207.
  • At 12:33 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • gary darnell wrote:

I've been using a linux based system for nearly three years now and haven't spent a penny on software nor had any incompatibility issues. My computers runs smooth, fast, is safe from windows virus's, is compatible with mac and windows documents, and extremely customizable. Stop the complaining and do something about your situation.

  • 208.
  • At 12:33 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Roger Greenwood wrote:

Here are the rules in 2007 for a typical home/office machine without special apps:-

Cost not an object, just want productivity NOW, not bothered about compatibility, lock-in or future access to files - get a mac.

Want to stay mainstream, brain hurts with technology, like to blame others when it goes wrong, cost not a big issue, not bothered about lock-in - get a PC.

Prepared to be a bit risky and to learn as you go, need to future proof your files, need multi-compatibility, must be low cost - get Linux + openoffice.

Under no circumstances try to upgrade the OS on any PC running windows. Take great care when upgrading Linux OS - only required very infrequently. Applications can be upgraded at will.

  • 209.
  • At 12:33 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Darren Wilson wrote:

All I can say is the same as what I have said from day one; before doing major changes to a computer system, do your homework first!

You cannot blame MS for not supporting older software or technology, else the operating system would be more bloated than it already is!
As someone has already pointed out, you iPaq must be running a much older version of Windows Mobile than the 2003 version, as that is supported and works fine under Vista (I know this for a fact as my O2 XDAII device runs it and works fine with Vista Ultimate).

Blaming MS for the lack of third party drivers is also something that is not right either. I made sure that ALL my peripheral hardware would work fine with Vista before installing Ultimate Edition on my laptop here. Granted I had to wait 3 weeks for Toshiba to release the SD card reader drivers, but I have never used it anyway due to my camera using Compact Flash/Microdrive (plus my printer has a card reader built in to it anyway that works perfectly fine).

As for any speed issues, Vista Ultimate is certainly no slower than XP on the same hardware even with all of the Aero 'eye candy' turned on (including the animated desktop that is provided free by MS for Ultimate Edition). If anything, turning off the Aero interface on Vista doesn't make it any faster or responsive than it already was (thanks to the GPU taking some of the workload away from the CPU with Aero turned on).

Still using Office XP? Office XP was known to be very buggy anyway as was Office 97, but Office 2003 works perfectly fine with Vista (as does Office 2007).

As for the rediculous claims that Macs are more secure than Windows, absolute poppycock!!
Mac OSX has just as many security flaws as Windows, it is just that the marketshare of Mac OS compared to Windows is vastly smaller (less than 5% for Mac OS going by last reports I read). As most of the malware/viruses are written by criminals, why would a criminal want to target a very small minority of the market? If the criminal managed to infect 10% of Windows based machines, that would be significantly higher numbers infected than the whole of the Mac market share!!! Basic numeracy skills there.
also Steve Jobs and his crew also only allow their software to run on proprietory hardware, which essentially makes the Mac a 'console that can have software actually installed to it'. With the infinite different specifications of hardware configurations for the PC platform, Microsoft have done a damn good job with Windows in the past 10 years at least. If Apple would allow their OS to be able to be installed properly without any hacking of the OS onto true PC hardware, we would then be able to see if it was all that people make it out to be. Until that day comes (which I doubt it ever will until the PC motherboard manufacturers start to use EFI instead of BIOS), the MacOS is going to stay proprietory to overpriced PC hardware (which is all that recent Mac's are now!).

I just love the way that people are still blaming Bill Gates for everything, even though he hasn't been the CEO of Microsoft for a couple of years now!!!! If people really want to have a go at someone, why not have a go at Bill's replacement, Steve Ballmer? Oh sorry, I forget that Mr Ballmer is not as laid back as Mr Gates is and everyone sees Bill Gates as an easy target who doesn't respond back to aggressive remarks made against him.
Lets also not forget who bailed Apple out a few years ago when they were in financial trouble. Yeap it was Microsoft!!! $150 Million Dollars from memory as well (although that figure could be wrong I cannot be bothered to look up exact amounts).
As for people saying that iTunes doesn't work under Vista. v7.0 (not 7.1) of iTunes works fine under Vista Ultimate even with the iTunes shop and DRM crippled files that Apple choose to sell. None of the iPods here have been erased or damaged using the iTunes Updater either.
Maybe it is just that my hardware is fully Vista compatiable as is the software (barring a couple of Adobe products that needed to be installed in compatability mode such as Acrobat Pro 8).

People should learn to think before commenting on issues in all honesty, especially if they haven't done any research before taking the plunge and especially if they haven't spent any length of time using something. I have been using Vista Ultimate Retail since January 30 with no problems, and was using it on another system in all of it's Beta stages. For an initial release, Vista is probably the best non-service packed version of Windows yet, and will only get better as time goes on. Yes MS did remove some features from it that were in the original specification list such as WinFS, but is a new file system really needed?

  • 210.
  • At 12:34 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Sam wrote:


I find your attitude defeatist. QEMU lets me run windows under unix, you're simply describing the lock-in that enables Microsoft's monopoly. Until more people move away from Microsoft's platform, application vendors will have no incentive to port their applications to *nix.

Google's spreadsheet, Gnumeric, KOffice or openoffice are fine for the majority of spreadsheet tasks. Solidworks isn't available on unix but at the high end, OS and Workstation costs are irrelevant. Despite this leading VFX houses choose to run linux, even going as far as funding WINE development so they could run a certain Adobe application without Windows. So thankfully the smart money doesn't appear to share your attitude.

  • 211.
  • At 12:37 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Anthony Smith wrote:

I'm sorry, but this is just moaning for moaning's sake.

First off, the ipaq. 30 seconds after reading your story the first time round, I had found upgrades for it's OS available on ebay. Go buy it. It will then work. Problem one solved.

Your olympus digital recorder drivers - yeah, cos that's microsoft's fault isn't it? Technology moves on, things change. People don't like it but it is, nevertheless, inevitable.

You stated last time that you regret your decision not to migrate to the mac platform? You join the rest of the world in the misguided belief that apple is any different. Neither photoshop nor quark express worked when OSX was released and they're it's two biggest selling points in the commercial market.

Please stop jumping on the "Microsoft are evil" bandwagon - it's not exactly objective reporting and you're obviously doing it from an ignorant perspective.

I changed to Mac one year ago and I only run Windows within Paralells when I have to for one Windows only program.

Can't bear going back to Windows and really pleased to have made the change. I was worried when I started and I kept the Windows laptop on the desk for a week but found I was only using it to get some data from time to time. So I got all my data on the Mac and retired the laptop.

No need to suffer Vista all the new stuff in it I have the use of in Mac OSX for the last year.

Several times when I changed over I found myself saying out loud - WOW thats good. After using Windows for so long and never being impressed like that it felt good to be enjoying using a computer again.

  • 213.
  • At 12:40 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Dave Forster wrote:

so uninstall vista and install XP... you'll still have a licence to use it because your old laptop is dead.


take it back to the shop and get a refund if its not fit for use - then buy a laptop with xp on or no operating system at all so you can install what you like


quit moaning and splash the cash. Vista has been coming for years and microsoft made no secret of it... they gave more than enough warning about potential incompatibilites, even with their own "older" products - Office XP is now 6 years old matey! and you can't blame MS for others failures to bring their products up to date.

There are organisations out there who knowingly and purposely rip the public off by making "incompatible" products re : HD DVD vs BLU RAY. MS are actaully trying to make things safer and easier for us (believe it or not)

  • 214.
  • At 12:40 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Lee Hoosein wrote:

I have used SuSE linux in the past and found it a great piece of software. The only problem is, if you have been using Windows products for the past ten year (and lets face it, the majority of us have) it is so hard to get into the in's and out's of installing and unpacking new software packages. If you've got Vista and having problems with Office, bin Office and download It's a powerful office suite, packed full of features yet as easy to use as the Microsoft Office suite, but best of all its totally free and Office files will open and work fine on it.
If your having problems with Outlook as a mail client, check out Thunderbird. Although it doesn't have the depth of use of Outlook (notably the calendar and planner), it's a great, and secure (as it uses many of the same components as the Firefox web browser), mail client. And, again, it's free.
So, if you still want the Vista experience, go ahead and get it. But if you're holding back because you don't want to fork out for Microsoft Office (understandable seeing as the Pro version of 2007 is £360), remember that there are free software packages out there that are just as functional.

  • 215.
  • At 12:41 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Cris Charles wrote:

I was so excited getting my copy of Vista Upgrade to update the more recent of my two PC's. There were no major compatibility issues, certain software I could honestlty do without.

The new logos, graphics etc were pretty to the eye and then I tried doing what I do best, creating movies with Windows own Moviemaker.

I could only get half an image when saving, the other half was an interesting shade of Chroma Key Green.

Connecting it to my other PC was reminiscent of the Northern Ireland Assembly, the two never talked.

In the end I was lucky to be able to restore the whole PC back to Windows XP with a nagging thought in my head "You tried it before upgrading a Windows ME PC to XP and it never worked then!" Why oh why did I think it would be any better now.

Vista may one day work for me when I need to replace a PC. Failing which a helpful man from Microsoft to come and help me would be great?

Does anyone have a use for a pretty curved plastic box? A vase perhaps..

  • 216.
  • At 12:41 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Mark wrote:

Let's get a few facts straight.

1. Steve Jobs (Apple) isn't more benevolent than Bill Gates, just less successful. If you jump ship to Macs then Apple will use their dominant position to squeeze your cash.

2. Switching to Ubuntu or any other flavour of UNIX isn't a viable option for most. If you're interested in computing then great but if you want the computer to simply facilitate a task you're in for a shock. I've given up trying to edit a text file to get Ubuntu to work with my TFT monitor. Plus most of the applications you want to use don't run on UNIX.

3. Microsoft is a business and businesses, unlike the BBC, are here to make money. It's all very well selling an operating system for a one off fee and then having users demand security patches in perpetuity; businesses need ongoing revenue and therefore chargeable new releases.

The reality is you're all lemmings. If you're not jumping to the call from Bill Gates, it'll be Apple, or if neither of those then Google. Accept you're a lemming and, instead of complaining about having to jump, learn how to land without hurting yourself.

  • 217.
  • At 12:42 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Chad H wrote:

To those people saying that HP is responsible for Vista drivers for the IPAQ... Sorry, have to give you all half marks.

Pocket PC devices, like the IPAQ, connect to the PC via Activesync (on XP and 2000) or a similar thing in Vista (I think its Windows Mobile Centre, But I'm a bit sketchy). Activesync was made by Microsoft, not HP, as is its Vista replacement.

Microsoft have chosen no longer to support some older Pocket PCs on Vista, although they worked with XP. This isnt a HP decision, its Microsoft.

Of course, HP *could* design a workaround, but considering the age this IPAQ has to be for it to be left off the list... why bother? Buy a new IPAQ, or PDA.

  • 218.
  • At 12:42 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Teej wrote:

I moved over from Windows to Ubuntu linux 2 years ago. I'd accidentally unplugged my laptop, and when I switched it on, Windows had broke. Thought it was time for a change.

The documentation and help with linux (particularly Ubuntu) is second to none, and most of what you can do in Windows, you can do in linux - even run windows programs (through Wine) if you so wish. It's true there's some things such as CAD that may be difficult to do in Ubuntu - but I don't think the 90% of people that don't use CAD packages will be too concerned by that. In any case, you can dual boot.

However, there are quirks - but this comes from the fact that you can always get the cutting edge releases of software, without having to wait 4 years or so. So for me it is well worth the trade off.

You can even get the slick flashy interface like Mac, and nicer than Vista - using the Beryl window manager.

And it's free

  • 219.
  • At 12:43 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Marios Patrinos wrote:

People have some serious misconceptions about some of the topics covered by this blog, not least the journalist.

I've upgraded (yes, upgraded a 3 year old PC) to Vista 2 weeks ago and it runs like a dream and looks great.

Any driver issue is because manufacturers have been caught napping and are as much to blame for encouraging uncessary upgrades as any software/car/AN Other manufacturer. I managed to find new drivers for all my hardware though in some particularly obscure places.

Only other problem is that Sky Anytime doesn't work. Now again, this is simply because Sky have not been pro-active and issued even a beta-test version of it even though everyone has known that Vista was on its way for 2 years.

Everyone needs to simply be logical and careful about an upgrade. It's been so long since the XP launch (5 years)that people seem to have awful short memories...

So, a lot of people are saying go with a Mac, some Linux, and then there are the people retorting on MS's side of things.

I am a Mac user, so you know what I'm going to suggest, but let me look at it from another point of view.

I recently attended a Microsoft 2-day seminar. It was an MS event through-and-through, promoting Microsoft's latest web design suite of software (Expression). I joked with colleagues that I would be the subversive one pulling out a Mac at an MS seminar. As I walked in, I noticed at the first stand that the guy there was using a Mac. He was not a delegate, he was a UK product manager for MS responsible for this softtware. Throughout the next two days, I saw lots of MS people presenting with their MacBook Pros running Vista clearly visible on stage, and I heard from a man whose job title at MS is 'Vista Specialist' that his colleagues all said that 'Vista ran better on the Mac'.

That said, I'd still rather run OS X on the Mac, but the point is that you have a choice :-)

  • 221.
  • At 12:45 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • ben jammin wrote:

A lot of people have commented on how we should not use a new operating system until it has been out for at least a year. I agree (I personally avoided XP for 18 months) - however when a new PC is bundled with Vista then some people don't have a choice.

My father bought a new PC 2 weeks ago which came with Vista pre-installed. He didn't want it, but he didn't have a choice. My sister bought the same PC only 4 weeks ago and was supplied with XP Media Centre.

I know that I can rebuild his PC with my copy of XP Pro, but that wouldn't be enitirely legit, would it?

  • 222.
  • At 12:46 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • James wrote:

My university network forces me to re-type my email address every time I log on to their webmail service.

You get used to it and it is definitely more secure. The worst thing is when you have autofill on by mistake on a public computer having been used to having it on with your own personal computer

There's Mac, and then there's "dirty old Mac" (or Vista, as I like to call it).

  • 224.
  • At 12:47 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Emile Duquesne wrote:

Retyping passwords: If what the AppCompat Guy said is true, why couldn't MS give you the option (!! at your own peril !!) to make the "difficult deliberate choice" yourself to store your passwords? Default to No, with an option to allow this, accompanied by a stern warning, etc. Doesn't seem too difficult. (In networked organizational environments, Admins can just say No.)
I like to make my own choices. After all, it's still a PERSONAL computer, at least for now...

  • 225.
  • At 12:49 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Dan Baker wrote:

So instead of modifying their alogrithms to use one of their secure ones (I assume they *do* have actually secure algorithms... right....?) they simply remove password storage altogether.

Good thinking.

Sure glad I'm running Ubuntu now. Open Source is the way forward, stop giving microsoft money.

  • 226.
  • At 12:49 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Dick wrote:

If you buy a new machine with Vista pre-installed my best advice is to remove the hard disk and put it in a cupboard. Then buy yourself a new hard disk and do a clean install of XP.. This way everthing will work and when in five years or so when Microsoft have sorted out all the Vista bugs you can then reinstall the original Vista hard disk and download all the updates.

That said, my advice is never to buy a machine that has anything installed on it.. Always get a clean machine and install your own software.

  • 227.
  • At 12:49 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Steve wrote:

No need to get a Mac, except you already paid for your computer. Why not just install Ubuntu (a completely free and user friendly linux distribution) and get on with your life ?

  • 228.
  • At 12:50 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Peter wrote:

There is one simple anti monopoly law that could be passed that would change everything. All application software must run on at least two independently available operating systems. No doubt there would be loud squeals but it is technically feasible and would counter what is probably the biggest legal monopoly in history.

  • 229.
  • At 12:50 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Mark wrote:

I've been using Vista Business/Office 2007 on my 2 year old Dell laptop for a couple of months and have not had a single problem, either with the laptop or peripheral equipment that I use. Yes, I added a gig of memory to help it along but, again, no problem. Ignore Peston: he should be berating hardware manufacturers who can't be bothered to write drivers for their own kit: it's not up to Microsoft to fill the holes for legacy kit. It's a brand new operating system and, as someone who writes sofwtare for a living, let me tell you now: there is no such thing as perfect software. I recall the same moans when previous versions of the os arrived. Give it a chance: in 6 months you'll be wondering how you lived without it.

  • 230.
  • At 12:51 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Simon Hollingsworth wrote:

It is simply time to head for the light that is MAC. I am not there yet but will be going over very soon. Sorry Microsoft your time has come. People are getting sick of the slack prep work and poor coding. Come on OSX!

  • 231.
  • At 12:52 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • andrew wrote:

For those raving about Macs, we had just the same issues on our MAX OS upgrade, making various peripherals and software completly useless!? and MAC peripherals and software is way more expensive IMHO than what you get on the PC platform...

  • 232.
  • At 12:52 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • John Robb wrote:

I have switched to Mac after 15 years of PC. A little bit of learning the different ways, but MUCH better. Everything generally does what it is supposed to do. I also bought ThinkFree Office which is completely compatible with MS Office and instead of costing £300, cost £29 + delivery charge! Gates domination driven by Greed has to stop.

  • 233.
  • At 12:53 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • David Thomas wrote:

Just thought I might mention (if nobody else has - haven't read all the comments) that presumably you had XP (plus license) on the old laptop that died. If you still have the disks, maybe you might want to think about downgrading. Even if you don't have the CDs, you are legally allowed to use XP against your Vista license, so shouldn't cost in that area. Not a huge job to do, and even getting it done by an expert will certainly not cost anywhere near replacement of your existing peripherals.

  • 234.
  • At 12:53 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Mike Burn wrote:

I started to learn computing on a PC 15 years ago. My son worked at home on a Mac. I 'borrowed' it when he wasn't about, and found it to be so much easier to use. Retired for 13 years now, I have two Macs., operating OS 9.1 and 10.3, and have had no trouble with bugs, viruses or crashing. Pcs have been chasing Mac superiority for years - they still haven't caught up ! But don't buy a Mac if you only want to play games - in my book, the Mac is for grown-ups !

  • 235.
  • At 12:56 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Aaron Eriskin wrote:

Please correct me if I am wrong but it seems the concept of Vista was for MS to build an OS that 'worked' along the lines of OSX in the way it is an easy to use and maintain.

For my self absorbed 2 penneth I have spent the best part of a grand on building a PC to use as a Digital Work Station ( A computer based recording studio for those of you who have a life). Silly Aaron!! My girlfriend and chums have been mac users for some time and I have been converted and will be collecting my mac-book next week. I urge fellow MS users to follow suit. If more people converted to Mac then surely the cost of these wonderful machines would reduce and be affordable for the masses.

  • 236.
  • At 12:56 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Steve Cotton wrote:

My advice to you is simple.......Roll back to windows XP ! 75% of the PC's we have at the company I work for are 1/2 years old, of this 75% 99% fail the vista hardware test. Vista for us is at least 18 Months away.

Good Luck

  • 237.
  • At 12:57 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Bryan wrote:

Count me among the many suggesting you get a mac.

Lot's of people here, and elsewhere on the web, have been saying that you have to cut Vista some slack because it's new and there will inevitably be glitches and bugs that need ironing out in a .0 release. That's true to some extent, however it just reinforces the fact that, if you want to know what PCs will be like in 5 years, just get a mac. Vista is almost exactly where OS X was half a decade ago.

Do yourself a favor: get a Mac while you can still say you were ahead of the curve. You know you're going to eventually anyway.


  • 238.
  • At 12:59 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • GuyFawkesWasRight wrote:


If your older devices and applications are still working/useful then just download a full driver set for your new PC and then install a copy of XP of 2000.
You could even have asked your laptop supplier to do that for you..

  • 239.
  • At 01:00 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • miles wrote:

People are right that it's pointless bashing MS for the failure of device manufacturers to get on board with Vista and provide updated drivers for things like your iPaq.

As for your other issues, they do seem to revolve around very old software and any OS upgrade will leave software behind. All these Mac proponents in this discussion seem to have conveniently forgotten that when OSX came out many programs could not be opened at all, almost everyone had to have a dual install of OS9 and OSX.

I run both Macs and PCs and I prefer the PCs mainly because they run the software I use and the Mac doesn't. There are differences in the way the OS's work but they're not as wide as the manufacturers would have you believe and neither is the intuitive clever solution they pretend to be.

  • 240.
  • At 01:01 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Joe Archer wrote:

2 words, Ubuntu Linux.

  • 241.
  • At 01:02 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • wonery wrote:

This type of thing happens every time a new version of windows is launched. Does anyone remember back to 95 launch?

People need things for different reasons, I use windows and linux, they are good at their own things, windows isn’t bad, its just windows but linux/macs are good, they just are.

You get a new computer and install linux on it you are going to have a problem with something or other, you just learn to buy hardware for an easy ride and its usually backwardly compatible with everything you have had working. You install a new version of windows then you are going to have issues with older stuff, its not rocket science!

If you have a good wood saw that is “the best at cutting wood” you don’t use it for hacking a big chunk of metal in two do you!!! Choose carefully and choose for what you need!

I gave up on Windows and MS 5 years ago. Many of my friends are either using Macs or thinking of doing so.

I use SuSE Linux, Fedora 6 and BSD. There are thousands of applications to choose from, most of which are on the same DVD as the OS - no need to go shopping.

I think Microsoft have seriously 'lost it' and they are not where the innovation or the action is any more. Many of the features they brag about in Vista have either been removed or have been available in other systems for years.

Just how much abuse are you willing to take from MS now that you now have so many other choices ?

  • 243.
  • At 01:02 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • FudFighter wrote:

In the mid 1990's the IT world made a big mistake and standerdised on the wrong opperating system.

The result was viruses, spyware, trojans, hijacked browsers, adware, zombi PC's, botnets, spam and an overall poor user experience.

Do we really want to continue with this when there is an alternative that offers a fantastic user experience, is as secure as computers get and is pretty much virus free.

Get a Mac and you'll never look back!

  • 244.
  • At 01:03 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Stephen wrote:

So, you need email and office on a decent OS that gives a professional experience. Why exactly aren't you using a mac yet?

  • 245.
  • At 01:05 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • John Grimsey wrote:

There are many posts suggesting the author purchase a Mac.

There are some posts criticising Apple and people who are "Vista bashing".

There are an awful lot of people like myself who have switched over from PC to Mac and are really very glad they did.

I lost my temper with Windows XP and bought a MacBook Pro. I have genuinely reduced stress levels and my productivity is increased. Also, I find that I enjoy the entire experience of using my Mac, all of the time.

Those that have successfully made "the switch" feel compelled to encourage others to do the same simply because the amount of relief one feels at not having to abide by Windows' methods and peculiarities. For those who spend a great deal of time in front of a computer, there is an astonishing amount to gain by choosing to adopt OS X over Windows.

It is very easy to dismiss enthusiasm for the platform. I feel a very real compassion for those who do so as they are IMHO, really missing out on a wonderful thing. To name but one (and to my joy), it works extremely well with my phone and camera, all of the time.

I would urge the author to be brave and make the same decision and then to write another article documenting whether he found the switch worthwhile.

I also encourage people not to dismiss the passionate enthusism that Mac users are known for. We are merely computer users who have discovered a different way that works to make things much easier and enjoyable for us, and we are really thankful.

  • 246.
  • At 01:05 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Nick Morton wrote:

Vista must be the most pointless "upgrade" ever. I've had it for a week since I bought a new laptop and I've yet to find anything that I like (I've found loads that I don't like). I can only assume that it exists only to boost Microsoft's profits. Why though, do manufacturers have to go along with it? Can't we have a choice of Vista or XP when we buy a new machine? Or is Microsoft afraid to give people choice in case they vote with their wallets?

  • 247.
  • At 01:09 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Andrew Kenny wrote:

How very quaint! All this up grade and incompatability!. Swapped to mac when the imac came out. Never looked back and everything works. the weakest thing is Microsoft office for mac!

  • 248.
  • At 01:10 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • andy wrote:

Well this blog seems to have realised what Microsoft's game is about 15 years too late. This is what Microsoft have always done, it is how they make so much money. Basically they sell you the same thing with minor enhancements over and over, they usually break the upgrade and they then sell you the fix. Its been going on since the days of DOS.

There is lots of good advice here, I recommend reverting to XP and investigating Ubuntu/Fedora in VMware or as a live CD. Linux even has a window manager with Vista like features called Beryl.

  • 249.
  • At 01:10 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Bryan Lambe wrote:

Some of these comments are just utter rubbish. Blueyonder does not need any proprietary software I run a PC and it just plugs and plays. Vista is an excellent offer. If you are upgrading ensure you have compatible hardware.
If buying a new PC/Laptop there is never any guarantee it will work with legacy software.
Read the label and check the HCL "Hardware Compatability List".
IT is the Hardware vendors responsibility to provide drivers. I foolishly purchased an Olympus product without checking and Olympus have given me the two fingers when I asked them about drivers.
Software vendors are also resposible for providing upgrade compatabiltiy patches. Vista is rock solid, I took the plunge and upraded my XP SP2 to 64Bit Vista Ultimate, only one program did not work at first and now I have even sorted that. Vista Rocks.
No Viruses on Mac and Linux, as we say in Scotland, Aye Right!

  • 250.
  • At 01:10 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Nick wrote:

Do what I did and install a copy of XP on my laptop and everything works fine. Microsoft seems to have forgotten that the Operating System is supposed to be there to facilitate other "Real" programs to work and is not an end in itself.

No more Blue Screens of death - heaven.

Now I have the problem of trying to buy a desktop WITHOUT Vista on it when its obvious Microsoft have blackmailed or bribed all the computer manufacturers into having Vista pre installed without giving us XP as an option.

  • 251.
  • At 01:13 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Alex Rieneck wrote:

To all the people who say that Macs cost more, do this test. Add up how many hours in a month you spend on basic upkeep of your Windows box. You know, that .dll search. That "why is the sound doing that?" investigation. All those tasks that you have become so used to. Now make up a bill where you charge yourself for fixing the problems. Charge at your normal hourly rate, be it what you are paid as a floor sweeper, or as a brain surgeon. Work out how much you *could* be paid in a month (or whatever) if you had actually been working and not trying to fix the unfixable operating system. Now take that figure and ask yourself how long it would take a Mac to pay for itself... because Macs have NO upkeep. Zero. Nada. Zilch. They also have zero viruses and zero spyware. The people who say that they do have an axe to grind and basically are lying through their teeth.

In my case, the "extra" that I paid on my 12" Powerbook in August 2003 paid for itself by November of that year. I am still using it, right at this minute, and about 9 hours a day, most days of the week. Do the math, and jump. You'll be happier, more prodfuctive and you'll soon forget all the junk that the MS crowd make you pay for and then worry about.

  • 252.
  • At 01:13 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Nick Taylor wrote:

If you MUST buy Dell, then it is true that you don't have much choice at the moment. They have just replaced a laptop for me under warranty, and the new one has Vista. It's very pretty.

But what are your options?

Lucikly there are several.

1) Try Thunderbird instead of Outlook. Least fun but easiest.

2) Try Linux. I'd vote for Puppy 2.15CE if you want Open Office to read/write in MS-Office formats. Better still, if you can educate all your contacts to always use .rtf format instead of .doc (which is always good practice for compatibility anyway), then try Puppy 2.14 with Abiword etc instead of Open Office. You can download either installation file and burn it as a Live CD, so you can try it out without saving anything. The speed and simplicity will blow you away and you may never return to Windoze. The whole installation of 2.14 is around 80Mb (2.15CE is about twice the size), and it loads in around a minute. You can save your settings and "My documents" if you want and then carry on running from the CD.

3) Buy a Mac. It's true that their followers can be unbearably smug and complacent, but get past that and it's brilliant kit. And they do "just work" out of the box.


  • 253.
  • At 01:14 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Anthony wrote:

As a general rule, never use version 1 of any Microsoft package, especially an operating system. If a new computer comes with Vista, specifically ask for XPSP2 instead. Wait for the Vista glitches to become known and patchable, and then only if you feel it is necessary, upgrade.

  • 254.
  • At 01:14 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Bill wrote:

Rule number 1: Always wait at least one year before 'upgrading' to a new operating system.
Note: Windows XP (NT 5.1) was not new, simply being an update of Windows 2000 (NT 5.0).

Don't anyone be fooled into thinking that Macs never have problems. This is simply not true. Mac OS X suffers from the same weaknesses and application crashes as any other OS, only it will cost you about twice as much to experience them.

  • 255.
  • At 01:18 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Stephen wrote:

"Find me a diagram application as [on a mac] good as Visio."

Try OmniGraffle.

Sure if you're using (and have to use) windows only software in your work, of course you should stick with xp or vista. But most who use PCs use them for email, internet browsing and normal office word processing type tasks. Macs are better at all these. I've used both for over 15 years, and have Macs and PCs on my desks, and in my view there is simply no argument to be had on this any more. My powerbook is about 2 years old now. It was expensive when I bought it but its still running as well as the day I got it, and OS X (mac's operating system) simply got faster over that time as they released new versions. I'm not even tempted to go get a new Intel Mac - my powerPC mac was built from day one to do what I use it for. It was never a compromise, because that's how Apple build. We all know that quality is often better value, even if more expensive up front.

That's the nice thing about buying product from a minor market share player - they are about gaining new customers by building better products, year on year. Not fleecing existing customers for unnecessary upgrades, as Mr. Peston has just found out. And if Vista was about fixing XPs shoddy security, why did anyone have to pay for it exactly? Anyway, ask yourself, why are mac users consistently happy about their machines, and continue buying Apple product? Could it really be that they're some kind of nutballs or might they simply have a better machine? Then ask youself is there a really a reason you couldn't make the switch yourself?

  • 256.
  • At 01:18 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Dai Bickham wrote:

Lot's of advice to 'buy a Mac'; that seems a rather expensive option - Better go for Linux and it's free and will work with your current hardware. Just about any software application can be found opensource and 'free'. I dumped Windows 16 months ago and haven't looked back. I'm currently using Sidux. Great forum if you're new to Linux - instant 24 / 7 worldwide support!

  • 257.
  • At 01:19 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Peter Swain wrote:

I have a Mac and would recommend it but....

My 2001 Imac had OS9 which in 2003 would not run ipod software. Upgrade to new Operating System OSX cost £100 plus necessary additional RAM. Then when I got a new ipod Nano at Christmas 2006, lo and behold the latest Itunes would not run on OSX, and the Nano would not run on earlier versions of Itunes. It was simpler but much more expensive to buy a new Intel based imac with the latest OS, which is admittedly an excellent piece of kit. But I'm still very annoyed that new versions of Itunes are not compatible with old operating systems and that newer Ipods won't run on older versions of ITunes. so you are snookered whichever way you turn. This tactic of deliberately rendering old hardware obsolete by making new software incompatible is really what is being complained about with Vista. Apple are every bit as guilty of this as Microsoft, and it is naive to pretend otherwise.

  • 258.
  • At 01:19 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • g pilkington wrote:

The main reason people give for not switching to a mac is that they seem to think macs are more expensive than pcs. I have just speced the basic macbook pro on line including 2gb ram for £1469 including vat and free delivery. Spec a Dell laptop to the SAME level, say the precision M65 and it comes to £1432 including vat and delivery. Or to put it another way you are getting a BMW for the price of a Citroen. A rather good analogy for the Dell as a Citroen is also made of cheap plastic and bits fall off. People just see a £399 pc laptop and then immediately assume that macs are very expensive. You have to compare like with like, though in this case the mac is better built has a built in isight camera and comes with iphoto, imovie idvd etc etc

  • 259.
  • At 01:27 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Darren Rodway wrote:

Get a Mac...nuff said

  • 260.
  • At 01:29 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Gary wrote:

Quit whining. For all you Linux users out there, face up to the fact that Linux is not quite up there with the big boys when it comes to a viable desktop solution. Windows and Apple still reign supreme. And before you knock me... I have used Linux now for over 5 years, and currently use Fedora Core 6 as a working web and file server. It works well, is highly configurable and yes, very stable, until you screw up a dependency or change a conf file incorrectly. Suddenly you have a broken system, which to the average Joe Bloggs who doesn't know what he is doing will become usless.

Windows and Apple are exceptionally good for the end user, and simply do the whole desktop thing better. I tend to prefer Windows to Apple purely because of its wider variety of software choices, not to mention the fact I have invested in Windows applications already.

I agree with others that XP is mature and Vista is having a number of teething issues, especially in the driver department, but come on people this is hardly the sole fault of Microsoft. Drivers are the responsibility of the manufacturers... they are the ones to target your rants and raves towards.

  • 261.
  • At 01:40 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • David Griffiths wrote:

I don't understand why you think that it is Microsoft's problem that your non Microsoft applications and hardware don't work with Vista. Surely you should be having a go at Olympus and HP for these issue. As for Office XP - this is 2 versions old, now, do you expect Microsoft to make every MS app backwards compatible. Surely not!

  • 262.
  • At 01:42 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Gavin wrote:

No company is 100% evil or pure, but praise and disgrace should be heaped where it is deserved.

Some interesting points, I always like the way PC zealots paint Mac zealots with the Fanboy image when they themselves are nothing more then Fanboys wearing a different (perhaps less well styled ;)) T-Shirt.

I will agree anybody that buys the first version of any companies software, and not just MS's, is just asking for trouble, and checking that drivers for your devices are avaiable is just plain common sense. There should be no reason why a new laptop shouldnt allow XP or Linux to be installed.

Macs have been mentioned as an alternative to vista a lot above, so heres my view, go on your entitled to it even if you dont want it.

Let me start from the Mac angel if i may, Macs are not over priced, check out the cost of the Shuttle X100 then compare to a mac mini (same class of machine) or underpowered, same processors these days.
The arugment that Apple has it easy because it control's the hardware isnt so true these day, its pretty much the same machine underneath, PCI, ATA etc, both Apple and MS have to follow the various hardware specs.
MS cant even seem to follow the CSS2 spec correctly, why should we believe it can follow a hardware spec any better?

Windows has been slowly turning me off for sometime now, I have no reason to be loyal to a platform that dosnt seem to fixs it own basic mistakes and continues to sucks up computer resources. For the last year my 2000 box just dosnt boot evertime and sometimes it takes hours to boot (and i dont mean it seems like hours, it is hours!), no reason why, it just sits there, with the windows 2000 screen.
So its time to move on, I no longer want to have to be adjusting this that and the other, or reformat my hardrive every year or so to ensure my system is stable, I dont want to be fighting with my computer anymore, I just want my computer to work out of the box, just like any other applience. (For that is what Apple and MS would like computers to be, and want us to think of computers as, they best start delivering on that promise.)

Considered what you get in OSX for the price compared to vista, then compare the spec of the machines you need to actually usable run those features. As was said else where, "my pc shouldnt be there to run my OS, my OS should be running my PC", OSX seems to run quite well on older (G4) hardware, does Vista run on older PC hardware?
This is where MS loses a lot of its good well. Before anybody points out Apple have been known to ditch whole systems (PowerPC over Motorola et al) to force up take of a new system. Is not having to ditch my win 2000 PC for a new one to run Vista, just the same but seen from a slight different point of view? An OS should be a thin layer that dosnt eat all your system resources to run, nor should the operating environment that runs on top. (Anybody know if vista still has a file?)

Linux/Unix/Windows/Apple all inter operate quite well these days and with open office, and open document formats there is no reason why your choice of computer should be dependent to such a great degree on being compatible with a friend, family member or workplace, formats for popular application types will continue to become portiable, and more open, we most ensure they become portable and open so our choice of what is best for "ME" is not eroded.

So, with all that considered I think I will get an iMac, (dual boot it for the one bit of software (trueSpace) that isnt available on the Mac) and setup my current box as a linux file server/firewall/router.


  • 263.
  • At 01:49 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • dm wrote:

I'm admittedly a novice at computing, and have been using PCs and MS since my initial forays, as most on the planet have. I'm in the market for a new machine right now and given all that I have read, heard and experienced first hand with MS and Windows, I have just placed an order for an IMac at my local apple agent, with a request for bootcamp and windows xp to be loaded in to support the few RTS games i play to wind down.

Personally, IMHO, if you are not a developer or have a dozen or more hardware that need to communicate with your machine, from what I have come to learn about the Mac from various forum and review sites, it appears that the little extra that you pay for a Mac for everyday applications and then some is worth it in the long run, for the reasons cited above by the apple-fanboys.

  • 264.
  • At 01:53 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Robbie wrote:

Had to buy a new PC when my old XP one gasped its last. Of course they're all (almost) vista loaded. After a weeks sweat I now am up and running most home based stuff Except Microsoft Money. Can anyone suggest why it doesn't like files created in older versions?

  • 265.
  • At 02:01 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Owain wrote:

I have already posted, so I will keep this brief.

To all those citing security as a reason for changing to Mac/Linux should really understand that hacking/virus precipitation is designed to A) Affect as many users as possible B) Take advantage of non-knowledgable users.

That means targeting the OS with the vast majority of users whilst avoiding the OS' which by definition have far more savvy users.

If Linux/Macs were the mainstream OS used by the likes of my Dad, they'd be hacked to pieces and Windows would seem secure. Windows security is a failing of popularity not poor programming.

  • 266.
  • At 02:03 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Millenium Bug wrote:

I recently got a brand spanking new pc. Microsoft are supposed to be shipping me a free(ish) copy soon -£11 upgrade. This may arrive in a month or so. Obviously then i will place the disc on the mantlepiece for 6 months or so before installing it so that hopefully the IT industry can get its act together with the necessary 3rd party support that should already have been in place as Vista has been trailed for an AWFULLY LONG TIME and was then delayed for a further 12 months!

As for the yada yada merchants on here spouting about linux and macs - if only 3% of the world uses these operating systems why would a criminal write malicious code for these? The code for mac and linux is just as rubbish as microsofts (and at 15GB there is a LOT of useless but easily exploited code in Vista) but as no one uses these systems, the code flaws are not worth exploiting. If the industry standard was linux, then linux would be compromised beyond belief by viruses, trojans, malware etc - surely this is obvious?

The simple answer is don't bother with vista until there is some actual software written for vista that does something different from what you can already do on XP.

Only gamers need vista released with directx 10 and they can get by for a few more months as there are no games released yet using DX10 to its fullest.

Interesting post here.

I don't like Microsoft overall, but have actually been surprised how well the Vista switch-over worked for me! No problems so far and great compatibility.

Regarding non-OS Microsoft products, I am not sure why anyone would use anything other than Open Office and Thunderbird for their office requirements (free and do the same as Microsoft equivalents if not better).

There are options out there, you just need to search around a bit and Microsoft will soon fade into a distant past. But the Vista OS is OK I think, the rest is a waste of time now.

  • 268.
  • At 02:04 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Darkelve wrote:

If you can, get an Apple (Mac) or Tux (Linux) machine. Both have a longer life expectancy and a lower screw-you-over factor than XP or Vista.

And hey, if you *really* need Windows, there's always virtualisation software (like Parallels or VmWare).

The final barrier, is 3D-accellerated windows-only software, such as most games and a couple of speciality apps.

  • 269.
  • At 02:06 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • David wrote:

To the number of posts regarding drivers for the HP iPaq: as far as I recall the iPaq doesn't require drivers in order to connect to a PC via ActiveSync.

It is Microsoft's decision to obsolete PocketPC 2002 (and earlier) devices in Vista by not supporting that version of the PocketPC o/s - nothing to do with HP/Compaq.

  • 270.
  • At 02:11 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Anonymous wrote:

CLN in post 62 wrote:
"ask ... Apple about running the latest revision of OSX on anything older than three years old".

You ought to get your facts straight CLB. Os X 10.4.9 runs fine on a 2000/2001 vintage iMac G3 (I'm posting from one now) - which by my calculations is 6 - 7 years old. Given plenty of RAM thse machines are more than capable of running Apple's latest OS - something that can't be said for a similar vintage pc and Vista.

  • 271.
  • At 02:16 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Gaith Bader wrote:

As many people above, I always thought Macs were under powered and over priced, until I started working in a university and use Macs all the time, now I know that their laptops are top of the range and prices better than Dells HPs and most of the rest and is actually cool and good to look at to boost! After they moved to Inter based chips and provide Boot camp utility to dual boot XP on their computers there is no reason whatsoever for people to buy anything else at all!

Robert, you should have done some research and bought a nice Macbook, since you didn’t, no one can help you now!

  • 272.
  • At 02:17 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Cliff wrote:

I think a lot of the posts appear to be from tecchie types, who seem to revel in the latest bells and whistles. I use my 2 PC's and laptop for work and need reliability and speed more than anything. All my machines (including 2 brand new ones) run XP and it's great - never had a problem with viruses, and it does everything I need. Often the upgrades to things like office make it worse IMHO. I have just moved to Open office (a free office suite) because certain parts of Office 2003 drive me nuts and why pay nearly £300 for soemthing you can have for free!!
I will continue to use XP for many years, as I have no need for any more functions

Supplementary to Elizabeth Wooton's comment I would ask you why you describe Outlook XP as perfectly serviceable when Microsoft themselves are telling you that it is not secure. Fine, complain that Vista's disappointed you (which it hasn't me), but it is entirely unfair to complain that MS are not willing to waste money adding new features to an old product when the new product already contains that feature.

  • 274.
  • At 02:19 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Eddie Benton wrote:

If you're interested in bells and whistles, try a mac. All the flashy pointlessness you could ever want and more.

  • 275.
  • At 02:20 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Kevin Kearnes wrote:

I didnt bother to read through this sea of posts but to the person who suggested simply removing Vista and reinstalling XP - you would think this would be the end all of your Vista troubles but its not! Once vista is installed on a machine its very difficult if not impossible to reinstall other OS's.

To the commonly shared Outlook issue; i have '03 office installed and i've yet to experience any of these issues... i did however find it quite amusing that Windows LiveOne Care wouldnt work on Vista Ultimate x64, even after i was refered this product by a member of the MS support team.

  • 276.
  • At 02:24 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Stack wrote:

You're a business journalist, right ? So you weren't aware of the acres of online and paper reports discussing the various incompatibilies of both software and hardware with Vista, Microsoft's most important software release in their history ?

Give me a break. I suspect you had a couple of deadlines to meet and chose an easy target for your articles.

I like Vista (and before I get flamed I also like and respect both Apple and Linux). But I knew enough about Vista's possible issues (some of which I read here at to read up on my hardware and software BEFORE installing Vista.

The success of Windows and IE in the past meant they were virus targets, and Microsoft has made a laudable attempt to bolt the stable door. How successful (or annoying) the security measures will be will pan out over time, but I for one value security over being able to use five year old email software.

  • 277.
  • At 02:37 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Matthew wrote:

I cannot imagine that anyone will read this far down, I know I didn't, but still I'd like to stick my oar in.

I.T. is a very fast moving industry and the amount of choice is always increasing, which is a good thing. I have used Linux (I'm Red Hat certified), Windows (I'm an MCSE) and I've used Macs. They are all good and bad at different things, but I have to say, you are nuts to upgrade an existing machine with a new OS, especially with Microsoft. I would consider it with a Mac and possibly with Linux, but unless I was absolutely sure I wouldn't.

I am about to upgrade a PC to Vista, but it's a PC that I bought knowing that was going to happen in the near future. I hope that it all goes well, but I'm not expecting it to be a breeze. Also I'm suprised at your naivety with regards to 'Well Microsoft did the software for my PDA so it should work with Vista'. So should you be able to take the air conditoning unit from a 1995 Astra and slot it in to a 2007 Astra? Of course not.

PCs are not cheap replenishable items. You should understand that a PC is out of date the second you take it off the shelf. But you will be able to run it for 5 years at least, provided you don't want the latest and greatest and you just need to do everyday tasks. My basic PC requirements haven't changed since 1990, but things have moved on. I need word processing, spreadsheets and a browser. Even Windows 95 could happily give me that and that's 12 years old.

I like the analogy that cars are like computers, it's simple and often very true. The analogy here is to imagine replacing your engine for your car. You simply wouldn't consider it unless you absolutely knew what you were doing.

To my mind I think PCs should be like cars. You should have to take it to a professional to be serviced regularly (servicing). You should be required by law to run up to date security & anti-virus software (insurance). Finally, you shouldn't have one until you've been properly trained!

  • 278.
  • At 02:38 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Alex wrote:

The Mac bashers are at it again, spreading FUD whenever they can! The first myth is that Apple forces you to buy their OSX upgrades. Rubbish, you'll get a more useful (and more stable) user experience out of a two-year old OSX version than Vista and no-one is forcing you to buy these upgrades. The same cannot be said about Microsoft. Most new PCs will come installed with Vista, simple as that. Where's the choice in that?

The second myth is that Apple hardware is "overpriced". Rubbish. Specify an Alienware powerhouse and it costs twice the price of a Mac Pro for what is just a bunch of overpriced graphics cards! Mac hardware is priced to be about 5-10% more expensive (at most) than their PC equivalents, but you get a better OS, better support and better reliability. In other words, you get what you pay for.

Robert, you'll have to stick to your PC for a while to make the most of your expenditure, but when you're next in the market for a machine, please consider the Mac very carefully.

  • 279.
  • At 02:42 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Carlos Blanco wrote:

I recently bought a new pc and thought I might as well buy one with vista (business) preinstalled - seemingly a reasonable decision to make unless you're up on the techy blogs/ chat forums, or are an industry insider. With hindsight I would have been better going for xp professional, for the reasons everyone makes above.

Generally I'm happy with vista (barring a few worrying blue screens recently). My main gripe on compatibility is with antivirus. I agree with the general comment that we shouldn't necessarily criticise Microsoft for vista's incompatibility with other companies' drivers, but to release software on the market when seemingly the only antivirus package that works with it is Microsoft's very own OneCare is in my view totally unacceptable. I'm having to make do with Onecare for now, whilst my chosen provider irons out their vista compatibility issues (that's another story in itself). I'll be ditching Onecare on principle though once the free subscription runs out, and hope in the meantime that it's less than pefect scanning doesn't miss any trojans.

I agree with the comments at 115 above - vista is a joy when the device you plug in is compatible (an example being my canon i950 printer that I simply plugged in and forgot about. However as far as I can tell, the most discernable difference between xp and vista is in its attempts at trying to make our lives simpler - automatic backup scheduling being an example. However if you were organised enough to do this yourself with xp, or dare I say it, actually enjoyed doing so, vista really isn't worth the upgrade.

  • 280.
  • At 02:43 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Joe M wrote:

I work in a software testing environment. I have installed all five available versions of vista on three machines.
The slowest machine is a 2.8GHz hyper-threading desktop with 1GB RAM - pretty nice. The fastest is a real fast beast!
All installations are slow and clunky. I find myself waiting over and over for windows to populate with icons before I can continue. Even with a "Windows Vista Experience" score of 4.something, I have to wait for menus all the time.
I was looking forward to Vista fixing some of the common complaints about XP, but it seems to be worse on every count.
As for the Aero desktop - what a heap of junk. Non-M$-Windows OSs have been doing this sort of thing for years, as a very brief trawl around the net will show you.
I we all usually hates a globally dominant organisation, but this product is a fat, slow, ugly waste of space that is guaranteed to make any machine run like a pig on stilts, so no prizes who wins my hated organisation of the day!
With a bit of luck, packages like Kubuntu will soon be easier to set up and run that anything M$ can dream of, at which point their dominance will at last be seriously threatened.
Come the revolution...

  • 281.
  • At 02:53 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • RareBlueMonkey wrote:

My wife recently bought a new laptop with Vista. Her experience has been relatively good (because I am the IT department) Personally, I am done with Moicrosoft. I think I am going to download some beautiful wallpaper and upgrade her to XP in the middle of the night. Once XP is no longer an option, the entire house is going Mac.

Vista - looks like Mac, Costs like Mac, works like Microsoft.

  • 282.
  • At 03:08 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Novemberdobby wrote:

Vista is ok...but i wouldn't buy it. Either something works on it, or it doesn't.
I do wish people wouldn't try to advertise Macs or Linux here, this is about VISTA. We don't need to hear about how you have been "using a Mac for the last 8 years and wouldn't think about going to Windows!
Nothing against Macs, but I totally agree with
Rant over, I will be staying with XP for as long as I can.

  • 283.
  • At 03:09 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Andrew McNaughton wrote:

I've been running Vista since it came out to MSDN subscribers mid-November 2006. Despite not having the odd driver - I love it. Best thing MS has done since... em... the best thing they've ever done. I am a very technical person so I've been able to deal with or workaround any little problems. Most problems I have are down to 3rd parties not having used the headstart given to them to write their drivers. It's progress and there will always be people who don't like change. It's a sign of aging. If you can't take the heat, get out of the kitchen.

  • 284.
  • At 03:10 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • James wrote:

"In fact my Vista experience has gone from bad to worse. One of your engineers has informed me that my HP iPAQ PocketPC will never be compatible with Vista, even though the software it runs is Microsoft software. Hey ho. That’s an expensive and serviceable bit of kit written off prematurely."

been using my visor handspring for 5 or six years now - it works and does what I want and have been using it through at least 5 or 6 versions of linux with no problem at all and is still supported by distros being produced today.

just use linux and be done with it the switch will cost $0 dollars - you will be impressed.

  • 285.
  • At 03:15 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Stephen Ferns wrote:

This has been posted all ready, but i'll chip it in anyway so hopefully its not missed.

Why not use the copy of XP from the dead machine and install that on your new laptop?

All these folks suggesting Mac's ... ummm, would this not also mean he could not use his existing copy of Office XP and probably not his iPaq, or voice recorder thing?

Got no problem with folk that preach, but if you are gonna preach about tech stuff, at least make informed point that resolves the issue in hand and not something that will lead to the same consequences, if not worse, as you are saying to cough out more money yet again to buy a Mac! ... fools!

  • 286.
  • At 03:21 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Wes wrote:

I can't believe this guy is still complaining about this.
Absolutely nothing new in this post at all and almost none if it is Microsofts fault.
I personally very much want to like Mac's but I really see them as over priced PC's. For some very narrow applications they are better, but in general just don't have the volume of applications and support that Microsoft have.
Microsoft products dominate the market because they are better, it's as simple as that. If it wasn't for the success of the Ipod Apple probably would have gone out of business (which is ironic as Apple fans hated the idea when it was first announced).
Linux is really really great, however it is vastly too complicated and not well enough supported for all but about 1% of computer users.
Oh and for everyone mentioning:
a) Viruses - It's not that Mac's are less prone it's just that it's not worth writing viruses for them, there just aren't enough out there.
b) Mac's are more stable but only because they are prebuilt and have drivers written for complete systems. This makes them more stable but less flexible. Given the diversity of hardware out there it's amazing that Windows works at all.

Anyway, if the author has spent £600 without checking that the product does what he wants it to that just makes him an idiot. Never assume anything.

P.S. The Outlook password thing sounds like an improvement, personally I don't like having my passwords stored anywhere but in my head.

  • 287.
  • At 03:42 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Alberto wrote:

I am going to stay away from vista for next 1-2 years until all the problems get Ironed out.

If I do buy a PC, get your VISTA pre-instalation removed and refunded Install Lynux, go for a Mac. Both of which can run Windows emulators for WIN XP or WIN 2K.

  • 288.
  • At 03:44 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Peter Gray wrote:

I'm not sure why you are installing such an old version of Office and expecting it to work with Vista. If you do intend to be an early adopter don't expect it to be on the cheap. You are not the only one having trouble with Vista and an iPAQ but thats what forums are for. Solutions are being found. Don't be an early adopter and then moan. Get involved, troubleshoot be part of the community that will make this work because Microsoft won't do it for you.

  • 289.
  • At 03:51 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Armen wrote:

The Mac will certainly cost you a fair premium now, but the return on the investment -- in terms of your mental health, your wallet, and your newfound understanding of how an operating system, hardware, and beautifully written software is *supposed* to work together -- will be immeasurable.

  • 290.
  • At 03:53 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • rhino wrote:

As with most Microsoft products, I wouldn't touch them till a year or two after it has been released. Firstly because the initial buyers of the product are the "guinee pigs" and report all the faults and gliches that need to be ironed out in the initial programing and Secondly because then I won't have to worry about buying a debugger program, or whatever else they offer to fix the problems they created, latter on.

  • 291.
  • At 03:57 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Ray wrote:

As with any new O/S, there are always going to be teething problems with compatibility.

When you got your new laptop, maybe you should have specified XP rather than Vista, until you could confirm that all your hardware and software would perform under Vista as you would like.

  • 292.
  • At 04:00 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • William wrote:

Has Vista fixed the File Search problem of XP? If I ask XP to find all *.rtf files containing the word Prescott, it doesn't find any, even though I have one open on my screen at the time. I'm told it is a known problem with XP - namely that File Search stops working. Have they fixed this in Vista?

  • 293.
  • At 04:09 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Mark wrote:

The irony is, Apple's new computers are PC's. Same architecture - just buy a copy of OSX and install that on your PC.

Better still, use ubuntu. It's free. I love the way people talk about linux like its the work of the devil "OMG, you have to.... read something sometimes...."

Personally, I'd rather have to read a few things to get something working, knowing that eventually it will work, than bang my head screaming at vista knowing that it won't ever. To date, I've yet to find a single piece of hardware that hasn't worked straight away in ubuntu.

Don't understand why people are so lazy when it comes to IT.

Download an Ubuntu Linux Live CD and burn it to a CD-R.

Pop it in that new laptop, and without altering anything on the laptop you can try out Ubunutu to see if it could make your life easier. You might be surprised. It'd certainly save you some $. But, it might not do everything you want without a good bit of configuring and investigating, so if that's the case, then I'd also say, Buy a Mac.

  • 295.
  • At 04:18 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Simon wrote:

I used to be a Microsoft hater. If I had bought their shares instead I would be a millionaire by now!

Consider: Vista Home Premium 32-bit costs around £70 (based on the price if you were building your own PC). It has to work on many thousands of different configurations of PC. Given an internet connection it looks after itself, for free, for several years. Microsoft do a good job and Vista is fantastic value.

Is it too late to buy those shares?

  • 296.
  • At 04:19 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Jamie Kelly wrote:

To all the people saying OS X has no viruses because no one uses OS X, I have to say you clearly have no idea what you are talking about.

Many, many high profile companies use UNIX, Linux & OS X (Desktop & Server) for data storage and database hosting, it's secure because it's been designed from day 1 with security in mind. Ever heard of file & folder permissions? I thought not. Look it up on wikipedia and you will realise that these permissions are the main reason UNIX, Linux and OS X are so secure. It's what 'UAC' is supposed to be in Vista, except in Vista it's annoying, counter intuitive and you can turn it off!

Fact: OS X is very secure because it is a true multi-user OS. It's not perfect, and it never will be, but it's infinitly more secure (and useable) than anything Micro$oft will ever make (or steal).

  • 297.
  • At 04:21 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Mike Hipkins wrote:

There's a five letter fix: Apple. Buy a Mac. I've been working in IT since 1985, I've seen DOS come and go, OS/2, and all the flavours of Windows. At work, I use Microsoft products. At home, I've got a Powerbook running OS X, Open Office and the only MS product I use is Media Player. I can't remember the last time an application crashed or the machine hung.

  • 298.
  • At 04:27 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • JC wrote:

Don't follow these hippie Mac fanboys, you'll just be the victim of yet another marketing giant, and have to spend a lot of money on software, etc. Not to mention your PDA STILL won't work.

Spend half the money you would on a Macbook on a Windows laptop, then just install Linux on the thing.

Free software, and compatibility for most major devices new and old. Those that don't exist, are being worked on.

I did, and haven't looked back since.

@Wes: Interestingly, both of your points are simply wrong.

a) In the area of webservers, Apache is more common but Microsoft's IIS gets the bulk of the worms.

b) Linux is quite stable despite working on a wider range of hardware than MS Windows does.

Obviously, some other factor is at work in both these cases.


  • 300.
  • At 04:43 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Mark wrote:

I just bought a new laptop, and made sure I had XP Pro, rather than vista. As has been said, never buy a new OS when it's fresh out. Wait at least a year, or preferably a proper SP is available.

  • 301.
  • At 04:43 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • colin wrote:

You chose Vista. You should have looked at the alternatives, such as Mac or Linux. Windows doesn't do anything you couldn't do with any of the alternatives more securely and reliably.

Sorry, bad choice.

  • 302.
  • At 04:44 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • snickerboy38 wrote:

simple solution.

Uninstall Vista and go back to XP.

Or a MAc

Or Linux.

Don't bleat about it , do something. If everyone did then Microsoft would be forced to do things differently.

But of course only a tiny minority will change so it's business as usual in Bill Gates land. We are all screwed, know it and are impotent to change it.

  • 303.
  • At 04:45 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Mal wrote:

Buy a Sinclair ZX Spectrum 48K!

(got bored of all the "buy a mac" comments)

  • 304.
  • At 04:53 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • GreyCells wrote:

This is so easily resolved:

OK, it may take a little effort on your part, but once up and running it stays up and running. Nobody gets to (or even wants to try to) obselete all your data and kit.

An added benefit is that you may get to become evangelical about truly open standards such as ODF, W3C stuff etc (as opposed to de facto standards .doc, OOXML (oh how that makes me giggle), MSHTML etc).

As an IT business, we have been Microsoft free since 1997 and have no plans to go back to the dark ages.


  • 305.
  • At 05:03 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • mark wrote:

Stop moaning about vista and learn how to actually use a computer. Ive used vista with no problems what so ever. Took a bit of tweaking with drivers, but thats not all microsofts fault tho is it.

  • 306.
  • At 05:04 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Camz wrote:

First things first, I have got to tell everyone here, Mac is even more rubbish than a PC, which is also absolute rubbish. People are like "Oh on a Mac you can get a camera on the top". This makes me laugh. Plenty of PC's for sale out there also have this feature. I am fed up hearing people saying "Let's go to the Apple shop and take pictures, then send them to our phones with the built in Bluetooth!" This feature is ALSO on MANY new Windows PC's. But, I am DEFINATELY not on the side of MS. Buy whatever computer you want with the parts and criteria that you want. Just make sure you delete the Operating System and put a Linux distribution on it. Case Closed. Thanks.

  • 307.
  • At 05:11 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Tuxthepenguin wrote:

Ignore the Mac fanboys, they don't realise their hardware is boring, rubbish, and boring again. Buy a cheap Windows computer, upgrade some components if needed, and add a good Linux distro like Ubuntu or openSUSE to it. And to all the Mac fanboys who say Linux can't run anything, you might want to know that it CAN, and more than YOUR boring old OS X from like 5 years ago.

  • 308.
  • At 05:16 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Gary H. wrote:

Let's clear up all the mistakes above shall we?

1. "Macs have less software available". No. Apart from the fact that there's a vast swathe of OS X software anyway, Macs are the only machines that can run Windows and OS X. So they have the most software available, not the least - significantly more than Windows, as it happens, and in many cases a Mac will run Windows faster than a native windows PC.

2. "Macs are overpriced". No. For what is perhaps an ever-diminishing smaller increase in initial outlay, you will get a more elegant machine with better bundled software that runs faster and will resist obsolescence far longer than any PC. See if you can run Vista on a PC from 1999 - an original iMac will still run the newest OS X, and well to boot, and could be picked up for as little as £50 on eBay. Find me a windows PC at that price that can do anything more than play minesweeper or act as a doorstop.

3. "Drivers are not Microsoft's fault". This is simple misdirection. Why should a new OS render perfectly functional hardware useless when it previously worked perfectly? This IS a Microsoft problem - for the huge sum demanded for Vista, it should work with hardware (within reason - and a reasonably new printer and iPaq would seem reasonable) out of the box with no fuss. Blaming the lack of drivers is simply buck-passing.

4. "Macs have viruses too". No, they don't.

5. "Macs only don't have viruses because nobody uses them". Well this first relies on the misdirection of 3% market share. This is not the same as installed joe Public user base - the 3% figure includes ALL PC sales, inc. dumb terminals, cash registers, ATMs and all sorts of things that aren't really "PC"s at all. The actual USER BASE for OS X is far, far higher. Secondly, the security through obscurity myth is just that - a myth. The OS X UNIX architecture is more secure by design. If anything, being reknowned for its toughness should make OS X much *more* of a target for virus writers, who on the whole covet glory and the respect of their peers. They'd all love the kudos of being the first OS X virus writer. But none of them have managed it yet because it is SIMPLY MORE SECURE.

6. "Macs will suck you in to the same expensive OS upgrade cycle". Assuming you don't want to run the truly awful Vista basic, the cheapest upgrade is £150. That's twice the price of OS X. The Vista Ultimate upgrade is an obscene £230, and that will still only get you a knockoff of OS X from a few years ago that demands so much of your computer's processor time to just run that it immediately makes everything slower. You could upgrade OS X three times and still have plenty of change.

7. "MS shouldn't be bashed for improving security". And lastly, more misdirection. They should be bashed when the method they choose to make systems more secure is so boneheaded and clunky as to simply require a user to manually re-enter a password again and again and pass it off as an "upgrade". The truth is, MS - a billion dollar software firm with decades of experience - are not good enough to code an application that can safely store passwords. They didn't have the foresight to do it properly before, and they don't have the talent or inclination to do it now, so they've stuck it to the end user and told them they're doing them a favour. And yet after all the alleged "security" that Vista adds, MS still have the default of hiding common file extensions - so viruses and malware can easily spoof genuine file types and con users into running malicious code. And all because MS think YOU the user are too stupid to be able to handle seeing .doc and .xls.

Get a Mac. Get Unix. Get a Commodore 64! Just stop giving Gates and Ballmer more of your money for their appalling quality products.

  • 309.
  • At 05:17 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • J H Holloway wrote:

Look, Windows is one of the reasons that the UK public services are so stuffed. Massive problems making things work, massive cost overuns.

Windows is the Devil's own machine code.

  • 310.
  • At 05:22 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Alastair wrote:

I don't understand. Why do you still use Windows? Why haven't you switched to Mac or Linux yet? How can you complain when you use Microsoft by choice?

  • 311.
  • At 05:24 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • William T Goodall wrote:

Get a Mac.

Hi there.

I think you're a brave man even posting an opinion on _any_ operating system, let alone Vista, as the comments this entry has already received show, it's a subject that borders on fanaticism for some. I would, however, like to offer up some views of my own.

Stop picking on Bill Gates

Bill Gates stepped down as chief coder in June 2006. By 2008 he'll only be a part-time employee of Microsoft and the Chairman. A figurehead, nothing else. The day-to-day decision making is made by Steve Ballmer, yet he never seems to cop the flack that poor Bill Gates does over the quality of MS products, or the popularity of it's anti-piracy decisions.

The right tool for the right job

Screaming "Use a Mac" or "Use Linux!" at somebody that comes up with a tech support problem in windows is singularly unhelpful. I wonder how these people would feel if their Mazda broke down and they were told "Go buy a Ford!" or "Go buy a kit car!" It's the same mentality. There are things that a Windows PC does that neither a Mac or Linux PC can do as well. Yes, Linux is versatile, but it's got an incredibly steep learning curve and it's about as likely to work "out of the box" as Windows 95 was originally. We all remember the fun we had with plug n' pray and out 56k modems.. Try getting Linux to work on a laptop with wireless in less than 3 hours? You'll be doing well. The Mac has come on in leaps and bounds, and it's friendly to be sure. There are still issues with proprietary hardware and a lack of applications, although it is improving. Also, _all_ of these operating systems have their quirks and failings and regularly require updating, I dread to think how I'd explain to my mother how to recompile a linux kernel to make a specific device work, but she can install updates from Windows Update. Anyway, I'm rambling a bit now. My point is this. Vista isn't perfect, just like all the other operating systems out there. Give it time and it'll improve. Remember a time when XP was just as bad?

  • 313.
  • At 05:27 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Drachen wrote:

There is no reason to buy a Mac, but at the same time don't get Vista. I see Vista turning out like Windows 2000 or Windows ME...Wait for the next Windows XP. Until at least Vista SP1, I am not moving from my XP SP2...

Successfully replaced vista with ubuntu + beryl + vista theme.

Looks the same, minus the headaches, and I still have my soul.

  • 315.
  • At 05:34 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Steve Jones wrote:

Your machine has an enormous amount
of decent engineering inside it but
1% of it is crud. No-one knows where
the crud is and it is too dear to
test it all.

Modularisation and simplification
might happen one day, but you only
_need_ email, word processing and
spreadsheets, so get an old laptop
for £100 and use XP.

Look, Robert, make life easy for
yourself and dump all those gadgets
where they belong - in the trash can.
Help us fight consumerism and planned
obsolescence - move over to the light


  • 316.
  • At 05:36 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Steven Moore wrote:

You wouldn't expect to pay all this money out for a tv and get it home and find it can receive BBC but can't receive itv due incompatibilities but you may be able to get itv in 6 months.
Lets get real here, people are paying lots of money for an incomplete os. M$ has had 5 years to do this and they still botched it.
If M$ made cars would you buy another M$ car?

I think you should be entitled to a refund.

  • 317.
  • At 05:39 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • DK wrote:

Macs really aren't all they're cracked up to be, and people claiming they live in a 'virus free world' are ridiculously naive, and probably liable for a big shock in the coming months as hackers develop more and more virus for Macs. I've always had Windows as my OS at home but regularly use Macs at work and, despite its criticisms, I've found Windows to be a much more user friendly and stable system. Sure, Microsoft should have made a greater effort to backdate Vista with some older software and negotiate with other firms to produce a more complete package but this will all come - be patient. Anyone trying to be the first with technology will always complain - maybe you should have anticipated problems and waited for them to be ironed out before jumping to moan!

  • 318.
  • At 05:44 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Billy Reynolds wrote:

Your critique of Windows Vista seems to hang almost completely on the fact that your hardware will not work with it. So, why are you blaming Bill Gates/Microsoft for this??? Device drivers are written by the company who sells the device themselves not by Microsoft, these driver developers have had access to Windows Vista code for about a year now so the only people to blame are the lazy sods who did'nt bother trying to develop adequate drivers. You might also note that most of these defective drivers belong to some of the largest companies.

  • 319.
  • At 05:47 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Andy Moore wrote:

No offence but at the end of the day Macs are just there for, well, let's just say 'the less computer literate' amongst us.

  • 320.
  • At 05:48 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Anthony Hunt wrote:


Try Microsoft Virtual PC 2007.

It's free to download from Microsoft ( and will allow you to run a virtual Windows XP installation (use the CD key from your dead laptop) and all your drivers and software that are not yet supported in Vista will work on XP in the virtual image.

It's like running Windows inside Windows (The OS equivalent of Russian Dolls). You can run any previous version of Windows, or DOS and even Linux in a Window or full screen.

Personally, I'm sticking with XP, but the hardware vendor didn't give you a choice, so this'll rescue you from your current crisis.

  • 321.
  • At 05:48 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Marti wrote:

I'm afraid MS has driven me to distraction - never again a reg edit/spurious error/blue screen of death for me. I'll never buy another PC. After 10+ years on the user end of IT (IT Management Consultant) I never thought I would decide to decamp and buy a Mac.

Vista has given me the reason now - I'll never upgrade to this junk again. MS is a disgrace.

My advice to anyone thinking of buying a pc/mac is to wait until Apple release the next version of its operating system in the spring/summer. Here you'll be able to run MS XP or UNIX and OS/X simultaneously. Switching when needed.

Wait for OS/X Leopard.

  • 322.
  • At 05:52 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Steven wrote:

I use PCs at my office and macs at home. Why do I prefer working at home?

  • 323.
  • At 05:52 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Bryan Lambe wrote:

A recent article in the Washington Post.

Apple Patches 15 Security Flaws
Apple Computer on Friday issued a bundle of updates to fix at least 15 different security holes in its Mac OS X software applications.

Mac OS X v10.4.8 and Security Update 2006-006 corrects flaws in OS X Mac OS X v10.3.9, Mac OS X Server v10.3.9, Mac OS X v10.4 through Mac OS X v10.4.7, and Mac OS X Server v10.4 through Mac OS X Server v10.4.7.

Apple says the Software Update utility "will present the update that applies to your system configuration. Only one is needed, either Mac OS X v10.4.8 or Security Update 2006-006," available from Apple Downloads.

The updates include fixes for several remotely-exploitable flaws, including four bugs in the Mac version of Adobe's Flash player, as well as some that could be exploited just by viewing a maliciously crafted image file or visiting a nasty Web site.

What doesn't surprise me. If it was Microsoft doing this everyone would be flaming them, but when Mac does it its a Good Job Apple!
MS are a big target easy to hit hard to miss. Apple have a good product but so do MS and as for Linux being free, again as we say in Scotland, Aye Right! there is no such thing as free it comes at a price. Maybe not an obvious one to Joe Bloggsm but trust me it is there.

  • 324.
  • At 05:58 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Boris wrote:

* Owain wrote:

Windows security is a failing of popularity not poor programming.

The above is wrong

Windows security fails because of poor design inside windows, ok I'm gonna talk geek here.

In a Linux system (and a mac presumably) the file and memory system is ridgidly divided into a 'user' area and a 'OS' area.
When a user runs a program, it can only alter stuff within the user area.
only by logging in as 'adminstrator' or 'root' can changes be made to the OS area of the system.

When windows was designed, it did'nt have the distinction of a 'user' area and an 'os' area
Further more Internet explorer was tightly coupled to the OS, which means a flaw in internet explorer could make changes to the operating system.
Outlook and outlook express also used internet explorer to display e.mail, so any flaw in IE could be exploited by an e.mail message
Meaning that if a fraudster sent the correct type of e.mail with the correct type of trojan/keylogger/wormer/spambot software attatched and you were just using outlook express as installed when you bought the PC you could end up with a compromised PC(and endless hassle with the credit card company trying to prove you were'nt in Hong Kong blowing your credit limit)

However thats not to say windows PC are insecure, by using the right software a windows machine is as secure as a linux PC.

The biggest problem for Microsoft has always been their monopoly position, if 50% of PCs used other operating systems, you could be damned sure that microsoft operating systems would be far superior to the ones currently on offer.

XP sp2 on PC1
Fedora 6 on PC2

  • 325.
  • At 06:03 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Andrew Roads wrote:

This weekend after "using" vista for 3 months and having spent a week of that trying to find drivers for everything, I gave up... It just runs too slow, even though my laptop exceeds all requirements.

Back to XP for me.

  • 326.
  • At 06:03 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • John wrote:

Welcome to M.S testing by you the punter.
ala Vista, ala XP.and you pay for the doing it for M.S.
The best thing to do is this.
it would seem you are not alone in having problems.
The answer, switch to "Mepis Linux"6.5 with beryl.
and you will have a computer that is stable,
easy to use,including running M.S compatible
applications,and more eye candy than Vista will have in the next 5 years.if you want to use it.and you wont need a brand new computer to use it.
For the experts the main reason Mac's and Linux do not suffer from viruses is down to the file structure and permissions.Not because they are in the minority of use.
Fact. there are more Linux box's in use world wide than Windows ones.
The odds are your ISP uses a Linux server (Apache)
a ten computer Cybercafe and teaching suite with an I.T. budget of a mere �30 British pounds
Try doing this with Vita.

  • 327.
  • At 06:05 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Mark wrote:

Elegantly mugged Mr. Peston? Ha! There was nothing elegant about it. BBC would have done far better to have presented a series "Microsoft Age of Empire" than "America Age of Empire." You have no choice in the matter, there is NO ESCAPE for you or anyone else. Vista is not compatible by design. Like it or not, you will be perpetually forced to upgrade not only your operating system but everything else as well. Microsoft could hardly care less, the more you have to upgrade, the more money they make. Resist? Impossible. The US DOJ found out, the EU will also find out. Microsoft takes marching orders from nobody. Had the DOJ gone after them with full fury, all Mr. Gates would have had to do was pack up his company and move 100 miles north to Vancouver Canada where he'd be beyond the reach of Uncle Sam. Canada would have been only too thrilled to have him, for the revenues he'd bring in, for the jobs, and to rub the American government's nose in it...all for bundling Microsoft Internet Explorer inextricably with its operating system. In the larger scheme of things, does it really matter? Does the EU seriously believe MS will open up its works and let the whole world take a peek at what's inside? How would Europe like to wake up one day to the nightmare that Microsoft is no longer doing business there, won't be interested in selling any software there, and by the way, a new platform has just come out which is complteley incompatible with what came before. In other words to cut Europe off from the cyber world. It would be instant death. Yes, Microsoft is one vast empire but it's a lot more benign than the one on which the sun never far.

  • 328.
  • At 06:06 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • J. I. Logan wrote:

Get a Mac. Problem solved.

  • 329.
  • At 06:10 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • GD wrote:

Quit your whining. Stick with XP if you hate Vista so much.

Mac OS > Windows OS
Linux OS > Windows OS

Simple, no?

Both Mac and Linux can also emulate Windows — with Linux, using WINE, and Mac using Parallel to run both OSs. So there are plenty of opinions even if you need to use Windows.

  • 331.
  • At 06:26 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Robert Gerrard wrote:

Why would you change your operating system in the first place? Did you not realise that it is akin to changing the foundations of your house? All your walls, your roof, your plumbing, your electrics and everything in your house could be destroyed by doing that... but you somehow expected Vista to still allow you to run all your old software and devices.

Isn't it OBVIOUS that the biggest driving force behing everything Microsoft sells is the creation of deliberate incompatibilities that force you to continually upgrade software and peripherals?

Go back to XP. It wasn't broken, you shouldn't have tried to fix it, and admit it - the only reason you installed Vista was because it looked bright and shiny.

  • 332.
  • At 06:27 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Maurice wrote:

Prehaps the problem with Vista not supporting equipment due to lack of drivers is down to the manufactures not being bothered to continue supporting their own kit once it starts to age - why spend a heap of money supporting something you no longer manufacture and sell, just beause MS have issued a new OS.

But this need not be a problem if these companies issued their drivers as open source software, even if they don't want to spend the time an money updating their drivers for Vista, there would be some clever but frustrated chap somewhere also owning this kit who could take the open source code and rewrte it to work on Vista, then releasing the code for the benefit of the general public.

The key question then becomes:
If these companies were really interested in their customers why don't they open source the drivers for their products - even if its just for the obsolete products they no longer want to support?

Something to think about when you're next spending your money? there are companies out there who do open source their drivers, why would you want to buy from anyone else?

Of course the same principle could also apply to the Operating Sysyem as well, but that looks to have been covered here pretty well already, so all I'll say is that I'm enjoying an operating system thats being upgraded free of charge every six months, supports all the older kit I own and runs without a hitch for the stuff I do on my collection of antiquated PCs (one of which is even a PII 233 Hz machine).

  • 333.
  • At 06:30 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Anonymous wrote:

I keep seeing the word 'engineer' in this article, where it should say 'programmer' or 'developer'. Here in the great white, Engineer is a protected title. Only licenced Engineeers may call themseleves that. I know in the US, things are differnt, where even simple developers may call themselves 'engineers'.

Propper 'Software Engineering' might have eliminated many of these Vista messes.

Guess thats the difference between a company with 'real' engineers, and Microsoft.

  • 334.
  • At 06:45 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Al wrote:

Don't use this set-back as an excuse to get a mac. They are over priced and not really very good. They especially suck if you want to use your computer for gaming.
There is absolutely no reason to be using Windows Vista yet. I'm personally sticking with XP until either Service Pack 1 or Crysis are released.
My advice: Go back to XP, or try Linux. Suse Linux is freely downloadable and very nice to use.

  • 335.
  • At 06:55 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Peter Goode wrote:

I agree re buy a mac - this for me was a recurrent theme every time there was a new version of windows so 2 months ago I changed to mac and its great.

  • 336.
  • At 06:57 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Ian Cummings wrote:

I had the same issue with Office XP when my wife bought a new laptop with Windows Vista on it.

However, you may be pleased to hear that installing the Office XP sp3 seems to solve the issue. Not sure if the Microsoft guy you were speaking to was a lower level grunt, but he is obviously talking a certain amount of crap! You can download Office XP sp3 from the below link:

I can see how they would wish to protect the email passwords with a higher level security, so the explanation they offer has some validity. Maybe the sp3 "upgrades" the security of the password storage?

Always happy to help! :)

  • 337.
  • At 06:58 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Mike wrote:

So, all of a sudden Joe Sixpack is starting to feel slightly uncomfortable because he bought Vista and all of a sudden he can't run "Waste-a-raghead with Extreme Prejudice III" at a decent frame rate and his Dixie Chicks CDs have started to sound like Celine Dion.

You've all started to notice that MS has been palming you off with expensive cruft for years and all the upgrades and fixes do is change the direction you get shafted from.

Well, all I can say is "Live with it".

It's your fault. You made MS a monopoly. Yes, you, by not thinking or being at all discriminating over the years. You just went with the crowd. So what if some of the things MS did weren't quite, shall we say, gentlemanly? It was just easier to go with the flow and buy the Kool-Aid.

So put up with it. It's part of the price you have to pay. And don't come begging to me for help with installing Linux.

Linux "isn't ready for the desktop", remember? It's "for geeks", remember? It's "not intuitive", remember? It's "not compatible", remember?

What's that you say? It works, and Vista doesn't?

Well, whoopty-doo.

Go Vista! You deserve it.

  • 338.
  • At 07:10 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • MrBobla wrote:

I would strongly not recommend anyone to buy vista with the intention of upgrading a windows computer prior to Vista, to Vista. If you want vista then buy it with the intention of installing it on a new piece of kit where each item definitely has vista drivers available for it, or buy a new computer with Vista already on it. Upgrades are just a scam to make money. Don't buy a mac and switch from one monopoly to another, if you must switch then use Linux. At least it's free and if you change your mind you can go back to using windows.

  • 339.
  • At 07:13 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Alex wrote:

To all those suggesting the poor man buy a Mac, don't. The problems he's having are with compatibility. Will his Ipaq be compatible with mac? What about his PC version of Office? Or his voice recorder? Don't give bad advice just because you like the other tyrannical IT corporation above Microsoft.

  • 340.
  • At 07:21 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Software Engineer wrote:

What a load of tripe. Please stick to writing about subjects which you actually have knowledge of.

Macs are glorified "my first computer" Fisher Price activity centres. That should be obvious from the name "Apple".

  • 341.
  • At 07:24 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Ian Sedwel wrote:

Bad luck but par for the course, I'm afraid. Have you tried conecting your laptop to a network yet? That'll be a bundle of laughs, I can tell you! Hint: it is nothing to do with the cable, matter how much Vista insists that it is.

Go on... buy a Mac. You'll love it and it works with just about everything. mine does.

  • 342.
  • At 07:26 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Bill wrote:

It has been said before, but I'd just like to restate it, buy a Mac. I am a gamer and used to be an avid defender of Microsoft PCs. However, my confidence in Mircrosoft has faded and the cost to upgrade to Vista was the final straw. I have been using a Mac for a few months now and my positive experiances with it increase every time I use it. It has a superiour hardware and software packages. My biggest concer was the availability of games, however my favorites are either Mac compatible or have Mac versions. In short, buy a Mac.

  • 343.
  • At 07:31 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Christopher Skelton wrote:

I switched to Apple in November and would recommend it.
I run my iMac without any anti-virus or anti-spyware and can even run Windows if I have to; something that I should not have to do much longer as I migrate everything over to OS X compatible software.
I service people's PCs and I have encountered horror stories with Vista not networking with XP machines.

  • 344.
  • At 07:44 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Cynthia wrote:

I hate Vistas..
And people like me .( without much money)
can't afford to do anything about it once we buy the damn thing.

Next computer is going to be a mac..
I quit

  • 345.
  • At 07:58 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Sean wrote:

I was going to say use Linux but judging by this article and some of the replies, it seems clear your not yet ready for a proper OS. Keep paying Bill and co loadsa money and keep your anti virus up to date. Have fun with your toy "when someone gets around to fix it for you."

  • 346.
  • At 08:09 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Jeffery H. Leichman wrote:

Ah, you British are so reserved. That's the difference between you and the typical American. You say that in your present mood you'd rather stick pins in your eyes; most of us here in USA would rather be sticking pins in Bill Gates' eyes.

  • 347.
  • At 08:11 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • nads wrote:

When my laptop died over a year ago, I did a price comparison, and since my boss loved apple, I included them. I was surprised to find they were relatively cheap, even without factoring in the 'cool', so I went for it.

"Never looked back" doesn't quite describe it. "Put the pleasure back into work" gets closer. All I can say is, try it... as many others have suggested here. I like to tell people that it works like a car: open, turn on, use, turn off, close. The only 'maintenance' I do is backups, and even those will be a thing of the past once the new version of Mac OS X (Leopard) is out...

  • 348.
  • At 08:13 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Jeremy Dykes wrote:

The key thing to note here is don't buy a just released OS, it won't work.

  • 349.
  • At 08:15 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Mikis78 from Finland wrote:

Im pretty happy with my Vista. Sure, explorer-process collapses quite often, some Windows security programs won't open anymore, I can't change my LAN network because... well... I just can't because Vista won't let me - and the entire systems reboots in the morning sometimes if it has been sleeping over the night.

But Firefox, OpenOffice and Thunderbird works like a dream. :)

What was positive, since I like to play games, some of my "oldies" which were supposed to run on Windows 95 and 98 only, but not on Windows 2000 and XP, works on Vista!!

  • 350.
  • At 08:17 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • notageek wrote:

When MS issues a new operating system it is issued as a full product, which one has to pay for, and let the public deal with it?

With Linux, one is advised whether this a beta release, RC1, RC2 issue etc. You know in advance that if you take any of these options then you may have problems? With Linux I wait for the full tested version to be released.

With any new windows product I wait until the product is stable, in the case of XP, I only switched after SP2?

Vista? I'll wait until at least SP1 and upgrade my RAM first.

I am still using Win products, dual boot because of bookkeeping & modem issues. Once these are resolved, MS will be history for me.

  • 351.
  • At 08:19 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Mike wrote:

If you're going to buy a new OS anyway and then have to replace your existing software then you may as well take the opportunity to make it Linux.

I can pretty much guarantee that somebody, somewhere has a driver for pretty much anything (including a toaster).

  • 352.
  • At 08:20 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • TRUTHTELLER wrote:

I've been running Vista since it's release with no problems. Macs are for beginners. Windows are for power-users. When beginners stop using Windows, we'll stop getting the whiners.

  • 353.
  • At 08:24 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Christopher Beames wrote:

Hello, it seems all too easy for people to jump on Microsoft's back and attack all the things they do whether they are good or not. It's almost as if you see it as thier responsibility to make the perfect operating system. Mac OS isn't fantastic, infact it's harder to use, less intuitive, and visually irritating. Vista on the other hand is the easiest operating system I have ever used. I own both a Mac and a PC and I never use the Mac because it is just so kak-handed. Ejecting a disc by dragging it into the trash? Since when does that make sense to anyone? Everything in Windows is easy. If I want a picture to be my background, I just right click and bang, there is the option. Not so easy with a Mac. I'm not attacking Macs here, although I'm not a fan. I just think that instead of permentantly berating a company that does nothing but push boundaries and give to charity, you could be a little more supportive. Bill Gates is a pioneer, a visionary, he has given more to charity then I will every earn. Cut him, and his company that no doubt helped you write this blog some slack. I'm tired of hearing people having a go. Say something positive for once.

  • 354.
  • At 08:29 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Tom Lucas wrote:

When i upgraded from Win 98 to XP; Microsoft, ever so confidently, said XP would seemlessly transfer all hardware and software applications. Nothing could have been furhter from the truth. My old video cards didn't have drivers, neither did external cd writers, my dual monitor software didn't work, my external hardrive was a nightmare of lost material, dvd drives didn't work properly even after software upgrades, old photo scanner didn't scan, and a number of old applications were lost completely. Thats almost everything i used my computer for, what the hell was the point, XP was almost not compatible with anything that i had working perfectly on Win 98. My response to your report on Vista is: DUH! The whole point is to screw you and get everyone to shell out all their money. If people really cared about customer service and doing things right we would never have indian outsourcing and phone prompts up the wazoo alongwith proprietary crap that doesn't work. Lies Lies Lies

  • 355.
  • At 08:32 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • nads wrote:

Oh, and for the people that complain about "get a mac" comments, saying that there is no software for it:

I run my tiny multimedia business from a mac laptop. All my pro software has mac versions (admittedly I fall under 'publishing' where this is more likely to be the case), Microsoft Office exists on the Mac (admittedly I went for the free NeoOffice (OpenOffice) alternative, no problems so far), and there are a whole host of small programs that don't come for the mac, but I never went looking for them, because OS X has similar ones pre-installed (normally prettier ones)... any camera, harddrive, printer I have connected so far worked immediately (without popup boxes!) ... in one year, I have not found a single thing I can't do on it... so if it works for my home office, it should be good enough for Preston's home...

Yes, maybe it doesn't support some super-specialist software you run in your workplace, that's ok, you have an IT department there to maintain your windows box. At home a Mac is simpler, easier and prettier.

  • 356.
  • At 08:32 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Neil Townsend wrote:

There are a lot of people recommending alternatives here, simply becasue the mainstream public isn't aware of a life beyond Microsft. Even fewer people don't recognise the adverse effect of a monopolistic softrware vendor on the rest of the industry.

All 3 have their advantages and disadvantages. But how can you make any sort of intelligent discision unless you have firstly heard about it and secondly bothered to try it.

As for Vista, the IT community has been calling blue murder over this OS for ages. Far more than that of XP. From driver issues to unwanted features as well as less favourable SLA's.

My advice is also to stay clear and remain with XP until Vista SP1. However try alternatives if you feel brave

it makes me laugh how some of us on here point out that mac users are safe not because the system is secure but because no-one writes viruses for macs in the first place. it doesnt matter either way as the important point is that mac users are safer than PC users - the reason why is of no consequence at this moment.

I switched to apple 16 months ago after a lifetime using PCs. I'm very happy with my decision - and would stop using PCs altogether where it not for the fact that as a .NET developer I need a PC occasionally. FWIW I have a four year old dell desktop with Windows XP and have no plans to upgrade to windows either.

Perhaps with issues with software not working, as is the case with Outlook, and MS effectively "forcing" people to upgrade and spend more money on software, the software giants should not be surprised that piracy is rife....

  • 358.
  • At 08:42 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Mike B wrote:

Previously software and drivers used to run wild on your Windows PC. Now the security is buttoned down. I think it's a fair thing to say that a lot of the software needs to be re-tested and re designed.

Buying a Mac + all the Mac software is more expensive then buying a new PC which is proven to work with Vista. Don't forget how Apple dumped almost all of their legacy software when they went to Mac OS X.

Some people bought a Mac Book and never looked back. I bought a Vista laptop and never looked back. My Office 2003 works just fine.

  • 359.
  • At 08:56 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Ian Cummings wrote:

Aggggh! Seems that the sp3 for Office XP does not solve the issue. Just spoke to the wife about her Vista laptop. The service pack seemed to work for a while, but now it doesn't! Difference between Apple and Microsoft? Apple rip you off up front, Microsoft are sneaky about it.

  • 360.
  • At 08:56 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • bulent hasan wrote:

you should have bought a mac instead of following the crap covered in glitter in which MS calls "diamonds". Nothing about Vista is enticing and would not make me switch back. All those people who complain about a mac being more expensive, its not. Just look at all the upgrades you have to do to your software just to check email? The hardest part about Mac is actually paying for it, but honestly, paying for my mac wasn't a chore, because I get so much more use out of it then I ever thought I would have. All you suckers who spent your hard earned cash on going to Vista get what you paid for.

  • 361.
  • At 09:00 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Sarah wrote:

Not wishing to sound like a smelly geek; but instead of fighting with Vista in an effort to get your work done, perhaps you should write it off as an unstable platform and either go back to XP or, potentially, if you are after some cost savings look at one of the multitude of Linux systems roaming around.

They seem to do most of what Windows + Office can do and Evolution (it's version of Outlook) is pretty good.

  • 362.
  • At 09:04 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Dr Hfuhruhurr wrote:

Buy shares in the peripherals industry.
It's brilliant.
Microsoft - a tax on the stupid.

  • 363.
  • At 09:10 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Jim Frost wrote:

A number of people have commented that you shouldn't have upgraded to Vista so soon (if at all), and suggested migration to MacOS or Linux. This is to those people.

First, about upgrading: Hardware dies. It is a fact of life. When it dies, you typically have no choice but to buy something to replace it, and if you head down to your local computer store you will find that everything available runs Vista and only Vista.

This certainly was the case for me, replacing a relative's PC the other day. Even ignoring compatibility issues the retraining associated with moving him to a new operating system was a major disincentive ... but I had no choice.

Some say, "Just use your old XP license." Legally, you cannot. But even if you don't care about the legalities the Windows software you receive from most major PC manufacturers will not install on a different type of machine; I'm not sure of the granularity of the version-locking, but I have seen it in practice. It's one of the reasons I strongly prefer smaller PC vendors that use generic Windows install CDs.

I've been using Vista on a couple of PCs since just after it was released and, in general, it has been a pretty good experience. There have been issues with some drivers (including, amazingly, the RealTek AC'97 sound hardware -- one of the most popular on-the-motherboard chipsets on the planet, used by both smaller vendors like Acer and the big boys like Compaq). One of the children's web games my daughter likes doesn't work because the plugin isn't yet compatible. Several of my wife's games from Real Arcade don't work because apparently their installers do something stupid that Vista doesn't allow. But, overall, most everything Just Worked. It's easily the best upgrade experience I've ever had from Microsoft.

But I can certainly understand the frustration of not being able to get support for products Microsoft themselves sells, and in the case of the PDAs in particular they should be ashamed of themselves. People depend on those. I had similar problems with Palm when we got our first MacOS X box, but Palm corrected them fairly rapidly and we always had the option, however inconvenient, of running the OS9 version in emulation. For Microsoft to say that they'll never going to make it work is the worst kind of abandonment. Then again, "buy new stuff" has been a Microsoft mantra for a long time.

For those exclaiming "get a Mac" or "use Linux" there are many legitimate reasons you might not be able to do that. Quite a lot of applications are not available on either, and sometimes there aren't even acceptable counterparts. I run several versions of Windows, Debian Linux these days, and a couple of Macs. It's not a monoculture because none of them does the full set of jobs I need my computers to do. It's arrogant to assume that the writer can just drop what he's been using in favor of something else under the presumption that the experience would be better; there's the definite possibility that it might not work at all.

In the short term this stuff is going to burn people, no question about it, but in the long term it'll all work out just like similar problems did with the release of XP as people simply replace old stuff with new stuff.

That's expensive for the consumer, sure, but if you bought Windows because you thought it was going to be cheap then I guess you got swindled. It's about the most expensive OS out there in terms of long term costs in my experience. Lucky for Microsoft that most people don't have any choice.

  • 364.
  • At 09:24 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • jbelkin wrote:

The most astonishing thing about Vista is this is the product of 70,000 employees, $6 BILLION USD & 6 years later?

  • 365.
  • At 09:33 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Neil Hoskins wrote:

Buy a Mac, buy Linux - yeah, and are they really compatible with every bit of hardware? Like hell. Install Linux and go back 10 years in technology, learn how to use a prompt again! Try a Mac, you'll get tons of software you need for small prices. Viruses, spam, security issues - well guess what, Mac OS was declared less secure than Vista! If you want my opinion, as a totally biased Microsoft developer, get Virtual PC 2007 (which is FREE) and install your old XP license, run the two side by side for now. It's a great way of learning the new features without losing the old.

  • 366.
  • At 09:56 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Hector Smith wrote:

There have been a lot of postings from those who have switched from a Microsoft product to either Mac OSX or Ubuntu (or similar). I'd be interested to hear from anyone who has gone the other way......with no regrets.


  • 367.
  • At 10:11 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Bob wrote:

I ask one question to the M$ apologists can they still read all versions of word documents??? I can and I do not use a M$ app to do it. Jobs is making the same mistake as IBM selling overpriced hardware linux can run on any PC or Mac.

  • 368.
  • At 10:25 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Owain wrote:

To Boris,

I am well aware of the intricacies of Linux et al vs Windows security, but the technicalities are irrelevant. If you re-read your post you end up coming to exactly the same conclusion...

" using the right software a windows machine is as secure as a linux PC.

"The biggest problem for Microsoft has always been their monopoly position, if 50% of PCs used other operating systems, you could be damned sure that microsoft operating systems would be far superior to the ones currently on offer."

Precisely! Microsofts are a failure of popularity (monopoly) rather than programming.

  • 369.
  • At 11:01 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Jack wrote:

It really is no secret that Vista was not ready for commercial release just yet. I am a Vista user myself, and have also spent money on new hardware although I have to say I have been lucky with a lot of my hard/software thanks to XP SP2 compatibility mode.

But still, I don't think we can attack MS just yet, I'm going to wait until SP1 is released and then make up my mind on Vista.

You need to bear in mind that most of the non-business users have perfectly good XP machines and will have for some years to come, it's going to take a while for XP to fadeout.

Until this happens, I don't think MS will fret too much about compatibility issues, as upgraded users can always revert to XP.

As for new machines, such as your laptop, keep in close contact with the manufactuer with regard to drivers. Also, my previous GPU (radeon 9200) would not support Vista for the life of it, but I found with some custom drivers the problem resolved itself, mabye that's something you should look into. Don't get me wrong, I have just bought a rather pricey X1600 pro which does everything I want and more, but if you don't want new hardware just yet, as I say, custom drivers may be for you.

  • 370.
  • At 11:18 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Peabop wrote:

Am I at all surprised by Robert's problems? No, not really.

All this talk of compatibility issues shows you how immature the computer market still is. As for comments about a piece of equipment bought in 2003 being old, well for heavens sake, somebody explain the concept of return on investment to whoever thinks this is reasonable. Is it any wonder we're the throw-away generation?

Not tried it yet, but the most innovative idea I've seen for a while is the Intel Mac's ability to run both OSX and MSXP via Boot Camp or some similar apps. Of course the biggest issue with this is you still have to pay the MS licence fees...

Surely this demonstrates that you can build systems capable of looking backwards and forwards at the same time, and this must be a plus for many users.

Yes, Macs have a much more limited software choice, but I'll bet that most users keep their equipment longer than your average PC user, and they also have more fun in the process.

Get A Mac

  • 372.
  • At 11:43 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Colm wrote:

Given how much free advertising the BBC news website has given Vista and that much of that advertising has been repeating Microsoft PR, it's unsurprising that you fell for it.

"It's secure!" - XP is pretty secure now and will be until Microsoft stop security support.

"It looks great, ooh, fancy graphics!" - this should not ever be a priority for an operating system.

"It will make X,Y,Z easier" - easier than using a computer that you have set up to do what you want and have been using for years?


The sad truth is that Microsoft are releasing this new operating system to make money, the hardware producers are supporting it because they will make money from selling "recommended hardware" and the end result is that you have a more powerful computer that is running a more hardware-intensive operating system and you are essentially left with a computer that does exactly the same thing as your previous computer but you have paid for new hardware and new software for that privilege.

  • 373.
  • At 11:46 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Wayne wrote:

And this is why I bought 4 new laptops for myself, and my wife and children in the last two months - because we were able to get them with Windows XP, instead of Vista. Three of them say they could run Vista, but I'm not going to try it. XP runs fine, and I already know about it's flaws - why have to learn about Vista's flaws too?

Next time we need to buy new kit, we'll probably buy Macs.

  • 374.
  • At 12:02 AM on 27 Mar 2007,
  • wise old men wrote:

The man is the only animal who falls down two times because of the same stone, and three, and four, ...

I rather waste my time with Linux, at least the people who make it do not wish to suck my money.

Boring in know.... because everyone with any sense tells you the same thing.... but GET A MAC!

They just work.

I switched 3 years ago and would never go back.

I'm Head of Technology for a very busy and famous Sport website and they've met my needs and more.

  • 376.
  • At 12:28 AM on 27 Mar 2007,
  • Tony Murphy wrote:

I'm not even going to thn about loading Vista onto a new box until SP1 has reared it's ulgy head.

Even then, that will probably fix 200 problems and create 199 new ones!

  • 377.
  • At 12:59 AM on 27 Mar 2007,
  • Paul Irwin wrote:

I am just going to echo what has been said further up the page.

I have just bought a new PC, and had it retro-fitted it with XP. Cos frankly, I won't play the Vista game.

Next time, I am not going to be so generous with my dosh - not to Bill anyway.

Mac, anyone?

  • 378.
  • At 01:17 AM on 27 Mar 2007,
  • Rich Jowett wrote:

I don't see the problem, you don't like what you've seen of Vista, fine. No one is forcing you to run Vista. XP products are being supported until 2014, by which time I recon you'll want to get a new machine anyway. Support until 2014 on a system that will work fine without even mentioning Vista, in my mind, is not "obsolescence".

For your information iPAQ does work with Vista, I'm doing it myself - You run a program called "windows mobile device center", a program supplied by Microsoft not HP.

Just for information the following support document resolves your problem with Outlook XP. I found it in 4 minutes, I don't know where you've been looking for weeks. Try Google.

  • 379.
  • At 02:40 AM on 27 Mar 2007,
  • Patrick B wrote:

1) Vendors had several years to write drivers for Vista, they were simply too lazy to do it.

2) Linux for most people is a complete pain the butt, my modem doesn't work for example and it didn't recognize my video card. Yes, it's a winmodem but why should I have to buy a new Linux compatible modem? Just go to any linux support forum and you'll see all the problems that people have with it. It's very user unfriendly and until the Linux folks figure the average user doesn't want to deal with compiling or folders like /etc/ /bin/ etc. How about real names.

3) Vista runs great for me except it has no full screen DOS mode which ruins some of my games. However, there really isn't a reason to UPGRADE to Vista either, just wait until you have to buy a new computer. I would however like to see UAC available for XP users to download.

4) To those who complain Vista cost more to upgrade, upgrading from DOS 6 to Windows 95 cost 89 dollars back in 1995. Today, it cost 99 dollars to upgrade to Vista. If you factor in inflation, Vista is a cheaper upgrade than any other MS product over the past 12 years.

  • 380.
  • At 03:51 AM on 27 Mar 2007,
  • Batsu wrote:

Apple have the answer to all your problems.

  • 381.
  • At 06:52 AM on 27 Mar 2007,
  • Joseph Daniel Zukiger wrote:

Linux on iPaq, anyone?

  • 382.
  • At 09:05 AM on 27 Mar 2007,
  • Hedley wrote:

OK, here's my Vista experience. I work in the IT industry and seem to find myself supporting friends and family. A friend bought a new laptop with Vista pre-installed and has been having constant issues with his existing hardware (1 year old HP colour laser printer will never be supported) and software. Having spent about 2 days helping him I was not impressed by Vista - IE kept crashing, the UAC thing is annoying, and the whole thing smacks of a poor imitation of OSX. I've come to the conclusion that either downgrading to XP (difficult due to the OEM not providing XP drivers) or just taking the laptop back are his two options.

  • 383.
  • At 09:40 AM on 27 Mar 2007,
  • Finn wrote:

I gave up using Macs years ago as I just couldn't stand having to work the Mac way. Windows offered so much more freedom - even if it came with lots more warts.

I now need to upgrade an old PC and have been stalling over Vista having read posts like these. I am thinking of trying a Mac.

I went to the Apple store on Saturday and it was heaving - literally people cramming in to get a chance to try a Mac. If this is happening worldwide, then MS is in trouble.

I have problems with the Mac. I need to run Access and I need to share foreign language files with clients around the world: everyone used MS Word. I also use a lot of Access databases, which aren't supported by Mac. I could run parallels or boot-camp to run MS on the Mac, but then what's the point of that? Mac hardware running XP or Vista. I might as well just stick with an XP machine: Dell will still sell you a new bit of kit with XP on it.

Of the 9 Macs I tried in the store, 4 crashed. If that's typical, then Macs don't look like they'll be much better than MS machines.

  • 384.
  • At 09:59 AM on 27 Mar 2007,
  • Bart wrote:

Ever tried to find a solution for your Windows problem? You'll get some 150K hits reporting the same problem, with no solution.

Using Ubuntu linux, you'll find your problem already adressed. And you'll get everything Windows does not have. Also, the system requirements are really low.

So, don't spend any money on a new system, just use your old, otherwise indeed useless, stuff and install a free os on it that comes with all the extra's. At least try this before you buy new hardware.

  • 385.
  • At 10:50 AM on 27 Mar 2007,
  • Hedley wrote:

In response to Finn @ 384 - I similarly gave up Macs in about 1996 and thought long and hard about going back a couple of months ago when I was in the market for a new high end laptop. Here I am with a new Mac Book Pro, no regrets and very happy - no crashes or freezes to report and a lot more time on my hands given I don't have to fiddle about with things constantly on my old Dell any more. Parallels is an excellent package and well worth the £70 or so. At first I was using XP in VM mode quite a bit but now only for the things I absolutely can't have in OSX like Access.

  • 386.
  • At 11:05 AM on 27 Mar 2007,
  • Dave wrote:

Windows + Freedom in the same sentence?

Thanks for the laugh, it's been a while since i last laughed that hard.

If you want true "Freedom" - Install linux, because you'll never be free if your using windows.

  • 387.
  • At 12:36 PM on 27 Mar 2007,
  • David Kirk wrote:

Several posts mention checking support for other devices first. Well, I downloaded and installed Microsoft's upgrade adviser prior to moving to Vista.

It gave me a clean bill of health, listing each of my peripherals and indicating they would work fine with Vista.

I am not sure whether the upgrade adviser actually checked anything as I have since had to throw out a scanner and printer which don't now work!

That is a clearer indication of Microsoft's intent - encourage an upgrade at all costs and then leave customers to sort out the mess afterwards. That's the last time Microsoft take me for a ride.

I will be joining my wife in Mac-land soon - OSX is what Vista is trying to catch up to.

  • 388.
  • At 01:16 PM on 27 Mar 2007,
  • Pete wrote:

Vote with your feet.

Use a different operating system. I use linux (Fedora Core 5 currently) on my laptop.

  • 389.
  • At 03:01 PM on 27 Mar 2007,
  • Becky wrote:

To the writer of post 250 who claimed that my previous post mentioning Blueyonder was rubbish - if it just plugs and plays on a PC, why do I have a Blueyonder installation CD-ROM still sat in my drawer which says on it 'Please DO NOT connect your PC to the modem until requested to during installation?' Perhaps Blueyonder does work without installation on a PC, although it's clearly not recommended by the company, I couldn't comment as I haven't tried. My point was simply that stuff just works with a mac - I could also point to an Epson printer, Smartdisk hard drive, Fuji and Olympus cameras etc. that just plug and play with no problems at all.

Following on from what others have said about the cost of buying a mac, I bought my imac in 2000 in a bundle deal for about a grand, which included print, scanner, zip drive etc. It was still working perfectly well five years later when I sold it on (only because I didn't have the space for two computers!) for 175 quid which I put towards a powerbook. The only reason for changing was that a laptop is more convenient for my uses these days. Having had the powerbook for two years, I won't upgrade again until the lure of a fancy new toy becomes simply too much! Why would I when it does everything I want or need it to, and in such a beautiful, simple way?

The reason that so many mac users are so evangelical about macs is because they can't believe how many other people still subject themselves to the vastly inferior experience of using a PC!

  • 390.
  • At 05:12 PM on 27 Mar 2007,
  • Andrew wrote:

I also spent £300 on a new HP iPAQ Pocket PC just after i purchased a new laptop. Frankly its driving me spare....

  • 391.
  • At 05:29 PM on 27 Mar 2007,
  • Finn wrote:

To Hedley - post 386

Many thanks for the insight to your experience. I think, if in a bubble, a Mac would work very well for my needs, but I have concerns about files that have to be shared around the world in a range of languages and scripts. I can't compromise on compatibility.... though I could still have compatibility through parallels.

Buying a new piece of kit is such an expense ... I don't want to get it wrong. In an ideal world, I'd like to road-test a Mac for a week. Pity Apple don't have a road-test scheme for Joe Punters like me. But people like you, and reading of Robert's probs, are making me think long and hard about jumping to a Mac and then dealing with the consequences.

I don't agree with the people who have had a pop at Robert for buying Vista early: he has every right to expect his bit of kit to work out of the box. Some of the drivers he needs are provided by other companies, but MS should have made sure that those companies could support people like Robert - there must be some way in which MS could have made it possible to use/emulate old XP drivers.

Cheers - Finn

HAHAHAHAHA. I love reading all the posts from long-time PC users feeling like they've been shafted. You have! And the comment that Apple is overpriced and underpowered. I'll give you overpriced - I pay double what I would for a piece of crap PC box. But I need to have stable equipment under me to run my business. So if you want to risk $1,000 on a tinny piece of junk with an OS that is a complete joke, be my guest, you asked for it, you got it. I'm an IT manager at one of Toronto's top creative agencies - all Mac-based. Why? Because we can't afford to be down for any period of time. We have one token PC for checking web content - what a poor, lonely, solitary piece of Dell junk it is. As for underpowered, again, you're probably looking at a 1GHz Mac thinking it's 1GHz when in all reality it competes with 1.33-1.5GHz PCs and wipes the walls with them. So, cry me a river, cry to Bill Gates & Co. they've swindled you all time and time again. I got off the S.S. Microstink 2 decades ago and do not cry every time Mac releases an update because it's a pure pleasure to allow Apple to keep me happy and they do. MICROSOFT IS CRAP - GET USED TO IT - IT'S NOT GOING AWAY [unfortunately] - YOU PAY FOR WHAT YOU GET. SHARRUP! And get a Mac. You'll thank me. And you'll eventually thank Bill Gates for pointing you in that direction. Ahem... "No one will ever need more than 640K of RAM" - Bill Gates. Now there's vision for you.

  • 393.
  • At 06:18 PM on 27 Mar 2007,
  • Tim D wrote:

I read a number of posted blaming the manufacture for the drivers required to work with Vista, this is a true statement; however, the incorrect part of the statement was that manufactures were given enough time to produce the drivers. I work for such a company and we have yet to tackle the Vista issue. We knew Vista was coming, but were not able to just drop everything and spend millions on development that we could ill afford to do. Besides, Microshaft did not provide a stable enough version of Vista to work against! We are going to tackle the Vista issue this summer. So, some of you, wait to load Vista. The manufactures are trying to play catchup...

  • 394.
  • At 04:35 AM on 28 Mar 2007,
  • steve wrote:

Just wait a year or two before you upgrade, maybe longer if you can, why rush? Its not going to change your life that much.

  • 395.
  • At 10:33 AM on 28 Mar 2007,
  • Richard wrote:

Dear Robert Preston (again),

First, the apology. I underestimated you in responding to your initial post last month. Many assumed that it was a bit of a mistake that you had made to write a post about a subject so likely to raise more than 400 replies; that you simply didn't realise the strength of feeling and banality of the Vista/Mac/Linux debate. We assumed we had greater technical knowledge than yourself, as you are merely a leading journalist, and were more in touch with the grass roots technology debates.

Had I been a little less self obsessed I would have silently commiserated with you about your (or your assistant's) unwelcome job of having to approve hundreds of comments, and not commented assuming I knew more about IT, and the (political-)economics of technology.

But instead I gave you the benefit of the doubt. I attempted to point out in a comment who the beneficiaries of the problems you were experiencing really were, why it was really unsurprising from the perspective of that boring old academic subject economics that your HP and Olympus kit didn't work, why Apple happened to be oh so vocal about i-tunes problems, and why, from the perspective of a responsible software developer there was no excuse for the guilty parties making your life unpleasant. Above all, why it was not only Microsoft you should be blaming, and that your fire should be directed as much if not more at others. I assumed that you would read all the comments, learn and write, or commission, a hard headed piece exposing the intrigue and strategies below the surfaceof the market, or develop a more balanced and impartial insight in your next post, so I could write you a belated note of congratulation.

In fact my experience of your Microsoft posts has gone from bad to worse. Again you have posted on an issue which you are guaranteed to get hundreds of comments which are variously smug (stereotyping Mac favouring respondents), technically superior (stereotyping Linux favouring respondents), or indignant (stereotyping the world weary Microsoft favouring respondents). We have learnt a little more of your problems, and the amount you deem appropriate to spend on a vital tool of your trade, but is it really adding anything new? It is at least compatible with your previous post. Unfortunately again you come down on one side of a quite complicated situation without it really being apparent why you have considerd and discarded other positions.

But as economists say, there’s no point in obsessing over spilt milk. However, here’s what almost sent me over the edge this post.

You seem to state that you've now installed Windows XP on your new laptop, and now Outlook is asking you for passwords all the time. I feel your pain. I really do, having worked for corporations where paranoid IT policies have required similar ridiculous password re-entry. However you then refer to a Vista development forum, and complain about being forced to upgrade to Office 2007, implying you were running a previous version. But if what you say is true, you are running XP and the old version of Outlook, what does this have to do with Vista or Office 2007? I just can’t tell. Nor could anybody else from your post, though many have assumed. It may be that you are still running Vista. It may be that there is some legacy of your Vista installation causing you problems. It may be that you have an identical set-up to before (but on new hardware), but are experiencing a problem because you missed an installation option, or configured your mail server incorrectly. Of course the comment from the discussion forum seems relevant. As a professional product manager I would not have made the same decison, I would have offered the user a choice and a warning. But is typing in a password a dozen, or two dozen, times a day that high a price? How vitriolic would your post have been if your account, or that of a politician or member of the royal family, had been hacked?

Working in a software development company this feels very familiar. When a user has initial problems with software (at the fault of the developer, or as a result of unfamiliarity), a psychological state arises where the software is subsequently assumed to be in error, even when they revert to a setup they have been perfectly happy using in the past. It is understandably frustrating, and as an industry we simply don’t make it easy enough for the user: software engineers tend to design for other software engineers. Unfortunately typical feedback contains all the information of "computer say no", and the company is expected to solve the problem through intuition and luck. The most amusing case I have seen was a professional engineer complaining about an application window flickering and locking up: the solution was to remove his lever arch folder from resting on the Enter key on his keyboard. I'm not convinced that the product he was using deserved the sarcasm and scorn he provided before his problem had been identified...

So to be clear, you've not actually given the information in your post to say whether there is a problem with Vista, or even XP, although you clearly do have a frustrating situation. Is it really that bad that it deserves another post though? Are you adding to the debate in a meaningful manner? Are you showing further incisive insight? Have you discussed why software in general is difficult to use and the the economic drivers to the industry: price competition, financial markets demanding regular new products, user expectations that they can manage systems more complicated and expensive to develop than the NASA Apollo programme, complex value chains with different parties fighting to capture revenue, pricing models that encourage a fire and forget approach to product sales, the challenges of platform development and standardisation, the complications of anti-trust regulation....the list could go on. And on.

To put it in personal terms, how much cheaper is the £650 laptop than your previous (dead) laptop? I'm sure you'd have preferred it to be the same price as the old laptop and work first time round, but was it not your economic decision to just buy a laptop and sort it out yourself rather than paying somebody to provide you with a whole new IT solution with digital voice recorder, pda and the rest of the works? Why doesn’t Microsoft deliver this? Could they possibly? Would it be desirable? Would competition authorities allow them? Do the alternatives really compare on a like for like basis, or are Mac users comparing their £749 Macbook or £1349 MacBook Pro (minimum list price from ) to your £650 system? Are your explications really reasonable, and is that Microsoft’s fault?

To use an analogy, the last time your car broke down I'm sure you didn't replace your own engine (or buy a new car!): instead you hired a mechanic to fix the right bits of the engine (and quickly because you needed it right now), take away the worry and give you the bill and hopefully deliver a fixed vehicle. Of course you may always be the type to spend 4 hours every weekend covered in oil, reading a Haynes manual and complaining that the parts for the 2004 model you bought for your last car don't fit the 2006 despite the fact there was only 2 years between the release dates. But then if you are you probably enjoy it, scraped knuckles and all. Is there any real difference?

Perhaps we need to be a bit more realistic about computers and IT. They are pretty complicated systems: I would say as complicated as your car and more complicated than your plumbing and household electrics. IT professionals are out there, and can be used. Next time you have a problem try somebody, eventually find somebody you can trust, probably after a few attempts like your plumber and electrician, and put them in your address book.

In a way you're to be congratulated. You've generated a large response to a post again, which may lead to people reading other articles you have written, and perhaps even other BBC blogs and new media publications. Such comment figures prove the value you are generating from the Licence Fee(?).

Except that I’m left with the uneasy feeling that I’ve been ever-so-elegantly mugged. Presumably there’s no connection between the number of comments to a blog entry and any performance related bonus/target for you/your team? Or no "unofficial" bet running between the various BBC bloggers as to who can generate the largest number of comments per post? I just feel I expect more from you, and know that you can deliver it. I just don’t understand why not on this subject.

Hasta la vista, as they say...

  • 396.
  • At 11:45 AM on 28 Mar 2007,
  • Jonathan Hill wrote:

I applaud this article. I'm also pleased to see put right by other posters the false blame placed on 3rd party vendors. MS never seems to give them the time or tools to get devices working. Look how long Creative took to get soundcard drivers up for XP. I used a Vista laptop at work and decided quickly to defect to Mac. Not least because Vista costs twice as muck in the UK as in the US. It could be the best OS in the world, and I'd spurn it out of general principle for that alone. But it isn't. It's rubbish.

  • 397.
  • At 12:03 PM on 28 Mar 2007,
  • Howard Rosen wrote:

In Outlook 2003 one could choose to print just one page of a multi-page email. I couldn't find that option in Outlook 2007 so sent Microsoft Online Support an email. This is their response:

"I tried to print a part of an email in Outlook2002 and Outlook2003. It appears to be working fine. However when we tried in Outlook2007, it does not have the option to print a selection. Word2007 and Excel2007 have the feature to print a selection. However Outlook2007 does not have the option. It appears to be design issue.

The work-around would be to copy the text into a word document and then print it. As this appears to be due to the design of Outlook2007, we would be archiving the case as unresolved at the moment."

Truly appalling product 'development'.

  • 398.
  • At 01:33 PM on 28 Mar 2007,
  • Allan Thompson wrote:

'Are You Sure'
I bought a new laptop and was 'forced' into using Vista.
My advice is to avoid it as long as you can!. Fortunately the machine came with 160 gB disk and 43 gB were used already by what was preloaded.
The MS File Transfer programme supplied didn't work and neither does the latest version of Laplink. The lack of Vista drivers is a real issue - but this will get better.
What I hate are the endless 'You need permission to do that' type prompts which in the end become meaningless as the enter key is pressed automatically on seeing the message - harking back to the days of 'Are you sure?' type prompts. This is not added security it is a backward and unnecessary step! Aero is eye-candy - but doesn't improve productivity and there is nothing else of note except that File explorer is a lot more difficult to use.

  • 399.
  • At 10:32 PM on 28 Mar 2007,
  • Kirk wrote:

Some of you are either drinking the koolaid or knows nothing not about which he speaks.

The frustration is not an acceptable part of using computers. Windows is poorly designed and people are frustrated, not by the problems, but by the UNNECESSARY problems. Some of you OBVIOUSLY have only used Windows computers and "all of the other OSes have to be worse than Windows." Remember to throw money toward Redmond when you say that.

Look at:
"The Mac has come on in leaps and bounds, and it's friendly to be sure. There are still issues with proprietary hardware and a lack of applications, although it is improving. "

Why do people want to acknowledgeable about subject about which they know nothing?

  • 400.
  • At 03:32 AM on 29 Mar 2007,
  • Eric G wrote:

The advice to reinstall XP on the new laptop seems spot on to me, and I have to wonder what Mr. Peston is waiting for.

One comment regarding driver development, though: MS through the years has been more than happy to incorporate into the OS drivers and applications when it suits their business interests, but for the MS apologists any current driver lack is entirely the hardware manufacturer's fault ?

All the best, and to the switchers amongst you, welcome !

just a quick comment about when you say about that your HP iPAQ PocketPC will not work on vista. This is because that you can use ActiveSync on vista. You will have to use the new version which is called "Windows Mobile Device Center". If you download this. i am sure that your iPaq will work.


  • 402.
  • At 09:52 PM on 29 Mar 2007,
  • Charles J. Budde wrote:

More to the point, Microsoft did nothing to sell Vista and I have yet to read anything that indicates a single feature that would benefit me. Our Fortune 50 company will not be upgrading this year or next. Windows will clearly continue to dominate the PC market but, Vista is a failure. Microsoft did not prepare the market, they have not presented incentives on release and they have been silent in response to criticism.

  • 403.
  • At 03:55 AM on 30 Mar 2007,
  • sharyn Pountney wrote:

I just bought a Mac - no looking back for me! Good luck with your adventure

  • 404.
  • At 12:52 PM on 30 Mar 2007,
  • Alex wrote:

283, the reason Mac users argue about the superiority of their machines is because the Mac frees up their time to do it! PC users are too busy bug-fixing...

  • 405.
  • At 10:16 AM on 31 Mar 2007,
  • steve wrote:

I must admit that reading some of the comments about Mac users (or fanboys as so many posters like to call us) really amuses me. I am a Mac user, I have been for the last couple of years.
I am an Apple convert and love the way everything is integrated. I will not be going back to the land of XP any time soon. I will also not be treading over the line to purchase Vista (even though I can dual boot into either).

PC users come all the high and mighty all the time with their anti-Apple-user comments - Fanboy this, and Fanboy that... Don't any of the M$ users out there feel that they might be fanboys too?

  • 406.
  • At 05:49 PM on 31 Mar 2007,
  • Simon wrote:

Dear Robert,
Just to advise you that there are drivers for the DSS software for your Olympus voice recorder. Granted they are hidden away, but I have installed them on Vista Ultimate and they work perfectly. I do accept that the Pro version is still not available. But, at least I can get my DS-2 working.
Hope this helps,

  • 407.
  • At 12:35 AM on 03 Apr 2007,
  • MWS wrote:

Dear Bill Gates

The issues with Vista and all other failures in customer care are becoming predictable and unacceptable.

Another example of Microsoft is that after you install security update 920958 (MS06-049) on a computer that uses NTFS file system compression, compressed files that are larger than 4 kilobytes (KB) may be corrupted when you create or update the files. No update is available to recover files that are already corrupted.

What sort of organisation destroys customers personal property and does not provide a correction?

Disappointing, very disappointing. Shame on Microsoft and shame on Bill Gates.

  • 408.
  • At 10:01 AM on 03 Apr 2007,
  • Hiroki N wrote:

My wife and I took different approaches to "the Vista Problem".
My solution was to buy the latest PC with XP installed, and my wife made the leap of faith to join the Apple Cult. So far, both seems to be working, though Apple is facing a potential "Leopard Problem" later this year.

In the past, I never touched the latest Microsoft OS until SP1 is released, because that would give me time for one of the following:
1. Non-compatible hardware to run its natural lifespan
2. Drivers for old hardwares finally begins to show up
3. Most of the backward compatibility issues with MS applications are resolved one way or other.

  • 409.
  • At 10:40 PM on 03 Apr 2007,
  • Michael Garrido wrote:


I switch my office PC from XP to Ubuntu 6.06 Dapper Drake in order to experiment,
Take a time to figure to do some things (installing software,hear mp3) but at the end
I'm just working even more faster than XP
and no trouble with viruses.
I will suggest my general manager to switch to OpenSource

I say:
"Bye Microsoft you try but Linux have what i was looking for and don't cost me a dollar"

  • 410.
  • At 09:24 AM on 05 Apr 2007,
  • Marc wrote:

just so that I can continue to do with my laptop what I expect to be able to do with it.

No... if you wanted to just continue you had no need to upgrade to Vista. This post is attacking Microsoft for no reason at all - the problems you are having are due to a lack of drivers from hardware manufacturers (not Microsoft). The Outlook problem has been explained perfectly validly - I'd rather have to enter my passwords than risk them being compromised, but you obviously feel otherwise. Perhaps you'd like to email me a list of all your Username and Password details and I'll remember them for you?

  • 411.
  • At 08:19 PM on 05 Apr 2007,
  • technophobe/computer hater wrote:

I'm not surprised by any of this. I have always thought from my own experience that Microsoft products were inferior to Apple's and I always would use a Mac any day in preference to a PC except for the fact that everyone else around me uses PC's.

At some stage Microsoft's stranglehold over the the personal computer market will evarporate. Microsoft products like Vista then RIP, until then, like a bad dose of anasty medicine, we all just have to grin and bear the agony.

After all don't people say that nasty tasting medicine is good for you O:)!!

  • 412.
  • At 11:55 PM on 11 Apr 2007,
  • Chris Partridge wrote:

Now that all the Apple fans had their predictable digs, here are some constructive steps to help:

It could be that your mail server is timing out. I was having the exact same issue. I have several accounts set up on Outlook. When the "Enter network password" kept coming up, I checked to see if any of the accounts were hanging. Sure enough, one was. I went into the settings for that account and increased the server timeout setting. It seemed to fix the problem for me.

1. Go to Tools>Email Accounts>View or change existing email accounts.
2. Click once on the account you would like to change and then click the 'Change' button.
3. Next, go to 'More Settings' (bottom right hand corner).
4. Click the 'Advanced' tab at the top.
5. Partway down, there is a 'server timeout' slider. Increase the slider to 5 minutes.
6. Click the 'OK' button to close the window. You should be back at the Email accounts page.
7. Click the 'Next' button. Then click the 'Finish' button.

This should help. It should only come up if your server takes too long (over 5 minutes) to respond.

Let me know if this helps!

  • 413.
  • At 02:20 AM on 13 Apr 2007,
  • TG wrote:

Macintosh. Enough said.

  • 414.
  • At 01:09 AM on 16 Apr 2007,
  • Original Moose wrote:

Why waste your valuable time with so much pointless grief? If your car had given you such trouble you would have disposed of it months ago. If your wife was behaving like your PC you would be heading for the divorce courts. Now, clearly, you need to head to the computer recycling skip.
Can anyone out there point out one single advantage of owning a PC compared to a Mac?

  • 415.
  • At 02:15 PM on 16 Apr 2007,
  • Pascal Monett wrote:

Personally I do not have Vista and I do not intend to try it. The DRM infection that comes with it is something I cannot bring myself to accept.
So I cannot comment on Vista performance (although I read a lot of articles online that give a rather dubious image of Vista on that point).
Without having tested Vista personally, I can nontheless express my surprise on the general lack of drivers months after the official launch of a product that has had a two-year beta program.
I do not believe that vendors have deliberately withheld their development teams, so the only possible conclusion for me is that Vista has made things a lot more difficult for driver-makers. I think DRM is more than likely responsible for this state of affairs, which discourages me even more from adopting this OS.
What amuses me, though, is how some people state that Vista is stable and tout that as a good reason to upgrade. If that is indeed a criteria, well then XP is very stable as well, so I would conclude that it is a good reason to stay with XP. In addition, XP has loads of drivers for everything. which is another sales point in its favor.
Of course, XP is all but gone from the shelves at this point, so the choice is rather limited for those who wish/have to stay in the Windows world.

Braving the risk of bringing a Fatwa down on myself I've got to say that the XP to Vista problems that you are getting (and I am too) are very much like the problems I've had on Mac as the operating systems have moved up.

My experience is that Vista x64 feels about as PC compatible as Linux - I've got a Mandriva 10 PC and a Vista 64 PC in front of me right now and they both have the same sorts of weaknesses and incompatibilities.

Wondered what Robert thinks of Apple's recent upsurge..... does it have implications for MS and the whole PC industry?

  • 418.
  • At 02:22 PM on 26 Apr 2007,
  • B wrote:

I am still using Windows 98. The thing that is pushing me to upgrade is that I cannot connect my Mindstorms robot to it. I am still deciding which way to go.
Vista: people complain, but it has interesting things like parental control pre-installed, but my Mindstorms will be tricky to install on it.
MacOS. Nice but expensive. Mindstorms works perfect with it.
Linux. Free but I am not sure if it works with my toys, also, does not have parental control preinstalled, and I have to use strange tools to connect to my Mindstorms.

  • 419.
  • At 02:27 PM on 26 Apr 2007,
  • Dave wrote:

Unfortunately Microsoft have not heard of backward compatibilty. Often new releases of "operating system" (and look up the definition - it doesn't include applications guys) are not even source code compatible. Imagine buying a new car and having to buy a new drive, garage, learning how to drive again, pass a test again. Unfortunately, joe public is too gullible to realise the "new" operating system is in fact wearing the emperor's new clothes... As for drivers being the manufacturer's responsibility, yes, they are, but MS choose to keep developing new OS's that won;t work with the old drivers. Incompetence or sharp practice? You decide!

  • 420.
  • At 09:32 PM on 01 May 2007,
  • Max Black wrote:

Just install XP with your new laptop or even a dual boot for Vista and Xp, you can then continue to use the hardware and software that loves XP and still boot Vista to test if things are fixed.

It was the same when XP came out anyone with more than 7 years of PC experience knows this and currently has a dual boot and whoops with joy when software or hardware gets fixed in Vista.

For me that was my 8800 GTX Nividia card with new drivers 2 weeks ago suddenly 50% more games now work in Vista.

  • 421.
  • At 12:15 AM on 04 May 2007,
  • David wrote:

I get sick and tired of the urban myth that Unix/Linux are secure by obscurity.

It's an OS designed from the ground up
for networking and multiple users.

Obscure? approx 60% of the web servers
run Unix/Linux.

The fact is hackers would love the
glory of creating a virus which
could spread "in the wild'.

For years there has been a
monetary offer for doing so.

Much harder than MS OS's

  • 422.
  • At 09:47 AM on 08 May 2007,
  • Pat wrote:

once you've been to Mac, you'll never go back

  • 423.
  • At 03:29 PM on 10 May 2007,
  • Henry D wrote:

Robert, Your heading says you are the BBC's Business Editor. Making comment on Vista's reception amongst users in general as input to a piece about Microsoft's business or the IT business is fair use of your position and the prominent blog the BBC gives you as a result.

However, your experience as an individual is an abuse of this prominent position. Blog it elsewhere as just-another-user by all means, but keep your BBC blog to matters on which you are employed to comment as an expert.

Would you come on the BBC television news and tell viewers about your experience of Vista (or it could be your new car...this is a general point)? Of course not.

Would you, or the BBC, be happy for me (a carpenter BTW, not a Business Editor) to write the copy for your Business slots? Of course not.

Don't abuse your position.

  • 424.
  • At 05:13 AM on 13 May 2007,
  • john x mc wrote:

I turned 40 a couple of months ago and as part of my induction into mid-life crisis I promised myself not to be left behind any more. Not knowing one operating system from another, not having a choice helped, it was Vista or nothing. I walked into the shop and walked out with my first laptop, my first of anything you don't point a remote at, I'm lovin it. You are very right in saying vista is flawed and you may be flawed too for choosing it, especially if your livelyhood depends on I.T. From my point of view Vista is fabulous, after only a few weeks of screaming down the phone at baffled after sales techies, freely admitting to teenage shop assistants "I don't know what your talking about and it sounds like you don't either", and of course spending every available second searching for, learning about, downloading and instaling before uninstalling (over and over again) all the little bits that are missing from Vista, drivers, common sense, etc., having crashed, restored to factory settings losing everything, bought a HP printer that won't print landscape or scan, a TV card that I dare not use again, blamed Virgin Media for almost everything (bless em)I now know my broadband had been vista'd long before I got them involved, but blow me, my live messenger was also vista'd and my spreadsheet, which tells me it's got no memory left and shuts down EVERYTHING. My point, over the past few weeks I've learned more about computers than I dare say some people, Vista has forced me to rise above my usual condition of "plug and play", I'm having to think about something which has been designed to do some of the thinking for me, I find myself grateful to M$ for giving me their problem to solve in my lesser world of work, eat, sleep, I scan daily when I used to shower, I force feed my folding pet with every morsel of update I can scavenge from the blue nowhere, never has has plastic and wire been so spoilt with attention. Yes there is a touch of mange on some of the sites Ive visited for cures (according to Norton), and ok my WLAN is a crip, but it's young and exciting, new and undiscovered for old gits like me who have it, not for work, but for a higher cause, it makes me feel good to win and I feel like I'm winning, byte by byte.
Are Macs as boring as they sound?

  • 425.
  • At 06:55 AM on 19 May 2007,
  • Marcelo wrote:

Ridiculous some talk about OSs be more or less secure than others by themselves. It is a matter of choice of the attackers. "60% web servers runs Linux" - from where this data was brought? And please, EVERY BODY please, go a walk at BEFORE post ANYTHING about comparing security among OSs.

Regarding compatibility, may be there are some in planet earth blaiming MS that Vista it not compatible with Windows for Workgroups or DOS in lan... You get what you can pay for - this is real including at your restaurants' choice.

Many corporations (I mean thousands of desktops) run standardizations. This is the key point. If I buy an OS (I decided that, no one enforced me!) I have to stick with compatible software, no matter wh are the supplier - including own software from the OS maker!

Or does some ingenuos believe maybe quicktime v.3 run on MacOS X?! Or all Linux old-version apps compatible with recent distros? This is really silly to think.

About driver availability ("go with Linux"), certainly the ever aboundity of drivers for Windows (Vista is a matter of litle time, as was with 95->NT, but it will, sure) is a matter of: if I run my money from hardware sales, why do I bother having to maintain $taff to write (and TEST/MAINTAIN!) dozens of drivers for dozens of distros who has 5% of market share at desktops, if I can keep only one version that attends the 95% of my market?! And certain persons come to say it´s MS "by its money power forcing OEMs" not developing other drivers - this is a pathetical elocubration!

  • 426.
  • At 12:34 PM on 24 May 2007,
  • Dappa wrote:

hmm! I have bought a new pc so I have one running Vista and the other using XP.

My thoughts on this whole debate is that, when I upgraded to XP from Windows 98se. I still had hardware issues. I bought a new sound card; I bought new software. This is less than six months ago.

However with this new computer and Vista I do not need to update and I am sure in the mean time my XP will suffice until all the other manufacturers catch up. They have been lagging behind and I am sure they new about Vista quite awhile ago. What happened to round table talks with other business heads to get things up and running. I have tested out Vista and it runs pretty smooth. quickness is the keyword and fluidity. I have been looking at all the posts and thinking in a few months or more lets see who will be eating their words. Vista will run your programmes seemlessly without hogging CPU. may take up some memory but a new comp should deal with this. patients we know it takes time but I can wait.

this is micro$oft we are talking about, my advice is to stick with your xp computer.
unless you have major problems with XP dont upgrade to vista. if you are buying a new computer, you will get vista any way.
(unless you are clever and get a custom build pc from a computer shop that aint dell, pc world, or dixons you can still get xp)

i say wait till later this year before considering vista, evan then, its best off to keep your old xp computer and buy a new vista one, life will be easier that way

- B.Gates

  • 428.
  • At 08:57 PM on 07 Jun 2007,
  • Viswakarma wrote:

I am really enjoying the trials and tribulations of the Microsoft VISTA minions!

I am have been a Macintosh user since 1989. Have gone through multiple OS upgrades and haven't experienced the pains you Microsoft minions are going through. Most of the software that I bought for Mac OS 6, 7, 8 & 9 still work on my computers that currently run Mac OS X.

You, Microsoft minions must be masochists!!!

  • 429.
  • At 01:09 PM on 08 Jun 2007,
  • Adam wrote:

I've recently bought a new PC for my office. My IT support explained that they come with Vista as standard now, and if I wanted Windows XP (which I definitely do) then I'd have to pay extra.

I think that says it all.

  • 430.
  • At 03:20 PM on 03 Jul 2007,
  • Rachel wrote:

I just bought a Mac and love it, but I don't have a major problem with Windows. Until I switched, I thought that the blue screen, crashing and freezing were par for the course; however my Mac does none of these things. I agree that XP is way better than Vista, at least for the time being. It makes me wonder though, how Microsoft convinced 95% of the market that crashing, bugs, and incredibly buggy and expensive upgrades that are not any where near perfect are to be expected? I don't have a problem running any old software on my Mac, all the way back to powermac, and I can run all of my Windows programs on Bootcamp or parallels. I just find it rediculous that consumers are willing to buy any product that even Microsoft supporters agree must have an extra year of "ironing out" to function suitably.

  • 431.
  • At 09:33 AM on 05 Jul 2007,
  • John Goose wrote:

Stop concerning yourself with the operating system and start looking at Google or other Internet based service provider. Email, search, diary, word processor and just about everything else you could ever need can be had for FREE in what is steadily becoming a networked based operating environment.

Twenty years ago there was talk of the network becoming the computer. Today the reality has arrived. In a network centric world you no longer have to concern yourself with the operating system you can let the software professionals do all that stuff, leaving you, the user, to get on with the stuff that matters to you.

  • 432.
  • At 01:47 PM on 05 Jul 2007,
  • jasper wrote:

I bought a new PC, it had Vista installed.

I say had becasue I formatted it and put XP in its place. It was just that bad.

I then read in an american magasine that vista 'spies' on what you do - if you try to pirate music, or even something which the computer thinks is similar then the program aborts.


Lets try Linux next time.

  • 433.
  • At 08:41 AM on 26 Jul 2007,
  • Nigel wrote:

As a software developer I've been using Vista since the very first Betas.

I love it!

This just sounds like a typical management whine. I can't figure out how to use this modern technology stuff, I don't understand who I should be blaming for not providing compatibility for my PDA, things were so much easier in my day when all we had to worry about was sharpening our pencils.

This shouldn't be published as a serious comment on the BBC site where people might give it too much credibility.

  • 434.
  • At 04:33 PM on 26 Jul 2007,
  • Gareth Eckley wrote:

Lazy and inaccurate journalism.

  • 435.
  • At 05:29 PM on 28 Jul 2007,
  • Ed Seiffert wrote:

Unfortunately, and surprisingly, am unable to play bridge on MSN games with Vista. That was the primary reason for upgrading from Windows 98 where bridge is no longer supported to Vista. Bummer! But cannot play on a Mac either. Only Windows XP supports bridge on MSN. Do your homework in advance to be sure Vista will fill your needs is my advice.

  • 436.
  • At 08:02 AM on 29 Jul 2007,
  • Stephen wrote:

Vista is all about graphics and very little about functionality. The graphics are certainly impressive, but once one has got over them, then oh dear. On average I find one issue per week! Most are just annoying problems from XP (very little fixed), others are plain bust. Stick with XP until the first, better the second, service pack is available. Humour yourself by trying creating a directory (folder) called 'CON'.

  • 437.
  • At 12:10 PM on 01 Aug 2007,
  • Devi Jankowicz wrote:

For pete's sake: buy a Mac, the lot of you!

It seems that Windows and PC's have become some pervasive that even dumb people have them.

What nonsense article.

You wouldn't buy a Landrover and then complain is wasn't fast enough. Nor would you buy a Ferrari and then moan about the lack of 4 wheel drive, or because you couldn't run it on LPG like you old car.

Your lack or respect for such a soft and popular target is tiresome.

Gates is the reason you can take photos on holiday and email them to your mother before you get home. Sure, there might be better ways than Microsoft to do that today - but the very fact that you can have that argument is down to him.

Were the Unix beards ever going to enable your home and desktop ? No

Did Apple have the commercial nous and clout to do it ? No

Of course his copy book is not un-blotted. Some of the methods use to do this have been classified as anticompetitive. Some of his products have stifled innovation : but that's was standards do.

Sure, nowadays we have a vibrant open source community, independent standards boards, the web etc and we're all the better for it - they expose the areas in which Gate's products are weak so we can make appropriate choices.

But we didn't 20, 15 or even 10 years ago, when Gates was ramping up to put a PC in every home, to give everyone productivity tools, connectivity etc etc.

So please, save your feeble moans about not being able get you're camera to work and write something worthwhile.

  • 439.
  • At 01:51 PM on 01 Aug 2007,
  • Joey wrote:

I have to agree with most of the sensible people here.

The fact that not every device on the planet is compatible with Vista is not Microsoft's problem.

Software developers have had years to supply drivers for Vista, most big names have.


Just how, exactly, would it be feasible in even a million years for Microsoft to make Vista compatible with every input device in the world?

Think twice my friend.

  • 440.
  • At 02:14 PM on 01 Aug 2007,
  • Talkin Horse wrote:

Why does evey one slag off MS and not Apple? after 5 yrs at a leading publishing house we are dumping 250 Macs for PCs why? because MACs in business are damn unreliable and cost the same as a full blown HP server in other words one server running citrix caters for 30 users each of whom gets a thin client ie having MACs costs you 30x that of a Windows enviornment. As for's new..anybody who is anybody knows that new = trouble give it time to establish it selve which wont take long because MS R&D is everyone who hates it and tries to break it!! Linux is cool but it too needs some time to settle

  • 441.
  • At 02:33 PM on 01 Aug 2007,
  • Talkin Horse wrote:

just remembered something else! as of 2 weeks ago Symantec and others reported the first Viruses that are platform to see how secure MACs are now :) anyone ever tried managing a mixed MAC and PC environment will know where i am coming from!! let's face it the customer is always right and thats why for every MAC there are a billion and one PCs.
one other thing...lets face it most people dont know how to use the tools at their finger tips and thats why things go wrong

  • 442.
  • At 06:03 PM on 01 Aug 2007,
  • Philip Moore wrote:

Experienced computer users know only too well that any M$ product is used in its first release at users peril - experience tells us that it is not until the 2nd edition is released that the OS is ready for use in systems that are to a greater or lesser degree critical to their users.

This has been demonstrated with Windows 98 (the 2nd edition was the real deal) and XP (service pack 2 rectified a number of issues)

But for the fact that support is lacking 2000 professional remains a good OS that incorporates most of the functionality offered by XP and Vista.

Do not forget that Vista in the released form is not as originally envisaged but a number of features (that were originally intended) are omitted as they did not work - as I said earlier, wait for Vista service pack 1 (or 2).

Philip Moore

  • 443.
  • At 06:23 PM on 01 Aug 2007,
  • SurbitonSteve wrote:

I thought Bill Gates should be congratulated for harmonising most of the world's operating systems and providing a method through Office to send files almost anywhere in the knowledge they could be opened and read.

I did not buy Vista when I upgraded my PC as I had heard about its incompatability with my CRM and Accounting software. Lo and behold Office 2007 turned out to be just as incompatable.

My concern is that Microsoft have not allowed enough time for all the people who integrate with its software to bring out their new versions that would freely integrate with Office 2007. Microsoft has either been too hasty or..? You only deserve a monopoly when you can show that you can listen to all the stakeholders for your products. I feel that my needs have been ignored.

Every new version of Windows introduced has had teething problems and compatability issues. The worst of these are when you try and upgrade a system, and in my experience this is so that the PC user has somethin to crow about "what? you're not still using XP are you? PAH!". I have resisted upgrading to Vista, because I remember the pain of upgrading from 3.1 to 95, from 95 to 98, from 98 to xp and there is a simple soulution to anyone who doesn't want the pain of upgrading to Vista - DON'T.
(and don't buy a MAC either, yes they look nice, and have a better marketing machine but don't believe the hype!)

I have just bought a lovely new shiny Sony Vaio TX5 subnote book, running Vista Pro, and have had not a single problem with it. No compatability issues with hardware or software everything runs nice and smoothly, beacuse it was supplied with Vista, and not an upgrade.

Whilst not a fan of how Microsoft operates or competes, because of the customisable nature of the PC (unlike the take it or leave it Mac - oh you'll take it huh? please give us your bank account details and the deeds to your house, and if you want the latest upgrade you'll have to remortgage for it!) there is such a variety of diferent hardware available, that issues are going to occur. The other thing that people tend to forget with regard to the monopoly that Microsoft has is that for me as an IT Support Professional, I would rather know my way round one major O/S than having a bit of knowledge of twenty, image the hardware compatability issues there!

Basically, id you're thinking of upgrading to Vista, wait a year. If you're thinking of buying a new machine, get it.

  • 445.
  • At 12:45 PM on 02 Aug 2007,
  • Lauren wrote:

Apologies for not having read the previous comments, and this may have already been pointed out:

For the total £1050 you mentioned you could spend getting a vista compatible laptop up and running, may I suggest a Macbook 13 inch Black? And that even gives you £100 change ;)

  • 446.
  • At 04:07 PM on 02 Aug 2007,
  • Marx Muller wrote:

Yeah get a Mac, right. Then you'll have a computer that doesn't work with any other manufacturers devices, except Apple (and expect to pay over the top for those). Least Vista will work with some other companies stuff.

No viruses - seriously, the only reason Macs don't have viruses is cause theres too small a user base to make it worth writing a virus for.

The solution: Why don't you just install the XP from your old PC on your new one and wait until the manufacturers catch up with Vista. Thats what I did.

  • 447.
  • At 07:31 PM on 02 Aug 2007,
  • Jack wrote:

I am looking into a new computer and not sure if i should get XP of Vista. I have heard hat vista has problems and the drivers have not be updated to work with my wirless and games. Please reply to my comment as i am hoing to get a computer soon.

  • 448.
  • At 11:00 AM on 05 Aug 2007,
  • M.Taylor wrote:

Well I bought the vista ultimate package and havernt had any problems. All drivers work and system seams stable. Its crazy how ur all complaining about vista, does nobody remember when XP came out. It was a pile or dung till SP2 came out. Also compatibility with other software wont be as good now as europe in all its glory wont let MS sell a complite package. They called it monopolising, although its what MS have been doing for years.

  • 449.
  • At 11:23 PM on 26 Sep 2007,
  • Jon T wrote:

Just a word to all those Microsoft apologistas above attacking Apple Mac OS X:

1. Macs are compatible with third party hardware and software, this is not 1990.

2. Macs are NOT expensive. They are configured not to make you go out and buy extras on day one. Prices are totally comparable. (and cheaper on time, repairs and antivirus subscriptions).

3. Macs work. You don't need to reboot for weeks (with its industrial strength Unix base), and you don't worry about antivirus software - there are NONE.

4. If you want to get on with the job, enjoy doing the things you WANT to do, get a Mac.

But if you like fiddling endlessly and wasting time, get Linux or Windows. Neither are the friends of normal everyday people.

  • 450.
  • At 08:16 PM on 28 Sep 2007,
  • R Hulley wrote:

I find it fascinating that so many people use Microsoft products (90% or more in terms of market share) but all the replies to articles like this one are people who use other O.S.'s.
Are the 10% who use Linux and Mac software the vocal ones? Perhaps the best guide to which system to buy is, FOLLOW THE MONEY.
Basically if my O.S. is X.P. and it works the way that I want I would not change to Vista anyway.
If I did want to, I would investigate the product to see if it does what I need at least noticeably better than my present product. This goes for all consumer products from Heinz to Microsoft.
In reply to Jon T (No.450) there are no viruses for Mac computers because viruses are written for mass attacks. The lack of people who have chosen a Mac computer pretty much rules out the possibility of anyone bothering to write a virus that exploits the loopholes in the Mac OS.

  • 451.
  • At 10:26 PM on 29 Sep 2007,
  • Paul wrote:

Best to stick with XP for a while until the year to 2011 of all the old driver software's will be update for Vista computer.

Bill Gates should thought of this year ago before about all the old driver software's update for vista start on it and have waste billion of dollars for nothing as all these gone wrong total upset zillions peoples all over the world.

Lat week ago I went to the PC World shop to look at the vista laptop and is also got built-in webcam on the monitor and I ask the guy to put the webcam on I need to see if any good but the guy taken ages to put on for hour a bit puzze with it and I still waiting for it and it don't work on vista laptop with built-in webcam only work ok on XP but the problem is the laptop is a XP but why every dam laptop is install the vista on XP laptop with a stamp of vista on XP laptop the rest of it all over the shelves and that is very silly thing to do like that. All computers company get sued for that to wind customer up to predent this is a vista laptop but no it not, all laptop is a XP process is install with vista on it.

Bill Gates will get red in the face very shorting to hear this I have now know to find out about this I have check it out of all the laptop is XP Process is install with Vista on it of don't work of any software as it got bad bugs on it like built-in webcam don't work on Vista laptop, only work on XP to change over it with XP only with webcam software disc for XP not Vista.

Check it out at the PC World shop, comet, currys, Dixons,and you all know this of wind the customer up with saleman lie to you, ho yes it will work everything, don't belive the manager or saleman say like that, so what to do, report to the headoffice or watchdog T.V to sued the manager and saleman of telling lie about it.

Enough said for now, I been on computer for 28 years of homemade computer as I knew Bill Gates and other computer company lie so much of it of damage your freedom waste your moneys of it. So please stick with XP for now, take my words for it. Vista is a waste of time for Zillion years.

  • 452.
  • At 09:52 PM on 01 Nov 2007,
  • brett wrote:

Sure wish you would support Linux and open source browsers...

  • 453.
  • At 03:42 PM on 17 Nov 2007,
  • David wrote:

You can't develop .NET web applications, which beats most other development environments hands down in terms of performance and functionality, on a Mac or Linux.

I've been using Vista for quite some while now and never had any problems with it. It certainly betters the Mac OS X but then so does XP. I've never seen the attraction of owning a Mac I have one but it rarely gets used and the cost of keeping up with OS 'updates' makes it much more costly to own.

  • 454.
  • At 04:45 PM on 20 Dec 2007,
  • Berry wrote:

I've had windows all my life and i havn't had a single problem with XP or Vista!

  • 455.
  • At 10:35 AM on 21 Dec 2007,
  • hex wrote:

how about taking the £99.99 outlook upgrade fee and purchasing a copy of xp - its still on sale in most retailers then you get your ipaq, voice recorder and outlook working again

  • 456.
  • At 11:15 AM on 21 Dec 2007,
  • Clive Harrison wrote:


  • 457.
  • At 12:57 PM on 24 Dec 2007,
  • Paul wrote:

I'm sticking with XP until i find a better OS. I don't like MAC so it looks like i'll switch to linux. In the meantime I try not to use any mircosoft apps, 3rd party one's are so much better. Mozilla RULES.

  • 458.
  • At 02:42 PM on 24 Dec 2007,
  • Tonya wrote:

Hi my name is Tonya and i need to write a letter to bill gates on the issue of saving the Gorillia. There are only 700 hundred left and we need to do something now before its to late!! There were 5 more gorillias that were killed included a new born!! Someone is going out and killing these beautiful animals.There is a war going on there and the soilders that are there to protect them cant because of the war and they dont have the man power to watch over them at this point. And each day that go by there maybe more gorillia's gettting killed.If there is anyone that can help me on this matter? please email. I would like to see if there is anyway i can set up some kind of program on saving these beauitful animals. If we all could take 5 mins out of our time on saving these animals we just might be able to save them. COULD SOMEONE PLEASE HELP ME WITH THIS!!!!


  • 459.
  • At 03:07 PM on 24 Dec 2007,
  • Paul wrote:

Has anyone noticed that in Microsoft Internet Explorer 6 the right hand side bar is down here at the bottom of the page not at the top. It works properly in Firefox. Just another example of Microsoft doing a shoddy job.

  • 460.
  • At 04:04 PM on 24 Dec 2007,
  • Gary wrote:

My wife just upgraded her old, early 2001, G4 Mac (used for graphic design, and office work - yes - using MS Office) to a brand new iMac.

The set up procedure asked if she already had a Mac and would like to transfer everything (Applications, files, all personal settings) from the old machine to the new one. Just needed a Firewire cable. This took about half an hour. Absolutely amazing! Absolutely everything works perfectly on the new Intel machine (even though it's old PPC software) - internet, printing -even the desktop looks exactly as it did on the old machine.

Shouldn't all computers work like this?

  • 461.
  • At 06:44 PM on 24 Dec 2007,
  • Dodgy Geezer wrote:

This is nothing compare to what computing will be like when Micro$oft have forced Vista down everyone's throats and are looking to give you your next dose of DRM. You ain't seen nothing yet!

For any of you still on Micro$oft, it's probably too late. You should have switched to Linux ages ago. Now Micro$oft own you, and God, how you're going to pay....!

  • 462.
  • At 09:35 PM on 24 Dec 2007,
  • thefatcontroller wrote:

I don't know anything other than Microsoft. I thought that Microsoft invented computers and software?! Doesn't the Space Shuttle avionics rely on XP? I just found a new planet wobbling around a star using Win98 and decrypted the Magpie Gnome with a Win 2003 server ;-)

Please people, stop backing this US Profit driven (and not very useful) corporate pile of computing rubbish and start to propagate the real 'open' computing systems such as LINUX. There are various graphic systems you can load on the top.
1) Mac - Its very very good
2) Fedora/Red Hat / KDE / Gnome etc. A1.
3) Ubuntu - other variants not bad either.

I switched from MS 3 years ago. Now I don't know what a virus or a driver is. Bliss. I just use my IT infrastructure to do stuff. I spend no more time of my life trying to make it work, good thing to, I have many many other things to do that are far more important than getting PCs to work.

And respectable IT staff should wait until they upgrade? What, I should wait 2 years before upgrading my Microsoft OS to the new Microsoft OS. Yeah lets wait 2 years until all the people that have suffered so badly have eased the pain for you. Lets face it, its not very good is it.

  • 463.
  • At 09:54 AM on 25 Dec 2007,
  • Steve Tyler wrote:

I am a software developer. I use Windows and Unix/Linux at work and a Mac at home. The Mac is by far the more capable machine. But you have to remember that Apple controls the hardware and software for this platform, it is therefore more straight forward for Apple to get it right (and they have got it right) In my view if Apple can double their market share the effect will snowball and you'll all be using Macs in ten years. Simply because it is the better platform. Even then I'm sure this argument will continue.

Computers and the software they run should be pervasive. This is the future and Apple, like it or not, are currently leading the way.

  • 464.
  • At 09:05 PM on 02 Jan 2008,
  • Jamie White wrote:

A lot of people are recommending a mac.

Let me you let you into a little secret...

No doubt you don't want to spend yet more more on Mac, and you have to. Little is known to most people, but apple make Mac OS available at two prices

The standard retail price, and only for macs, or...

Absolutely nothing, and this version works on just about any PC, just head over to

Just download one of the binary versions, though I will say, there is one big downside, you need someone who knows what they are doing to install it, as it doesn't come with the normal nice Apple installer. Lets face, Apple aren't going to encourage you to get the free version when they got their nice expensive version.


To stand on an even playing field here, not loving or hating Microsoft, and being in the IT industry myself I have to say that technically, Vista is a success.

I bought a new laptop with it on and yes, I've had the annoying moments when their own software isn't compatible, but I've found ways round it. I just think the biggest problem with Vista is the fact that they've tried to make it too user friendly and by doing that they’ve begun to annoy us with these little pop-ups that tell us we need permission etc, though that is very similar to certain Linux builds such as Ubuntu which upon installing a program requires an administrator password.

The stuff they've put in Vista is impressive but not a massive advancement and Microsoft have always claimed Vista was just meant to be a step up from XP and that the real improvements will be seen in the next version, which at this stage is called, "Vienna" or "Windows 7". Another problem is that they're not willing to step away from the kernel that they built Windows 95 on - which basically means that the technology that existed in 95 has just been done up a bit to make Vista (and XP on that note). Hopefully they will stick to one of their promises which are to "rebuild" the "Windows 7" kernel. If they do then Windows 7 could quite possibly be the way to go.

Don't get me wrong I did wait a while to buy Vista for the simple reason that I didn't trust that it was going to be stable for at least 6 months after release as I was one of the lucky few to get the final "Release Candidate 2" build and found that the OS was STILL full of bugs.

The Service Pack has been released as a testing version just a few weeks ago. I reluctantly installed it but to be honest it's holding out and seems to have fixed a lot of my problems that I've had. Hopefully the final version of SP1 will bring further success of the RC.

Just so I don't get criticised for defending Microsoft’s case here, I made this laptop a dual boot with Linux a few months ago and use it regularly because I like Linux a lot.

Just my two cents.

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