Response to “Windows Vista: I’m Breaking up with You”

Update 3/13/07: Chris Pirillo recently wrote an article for the magazine Computer Power User. In this April 2007 issue, Chris wrote an article called “An Open Letter to Jim Allchin”. In this article he states:

“I’ve been using Vista pretty much exclusively for the past few weeks and have had my fair share of ups and downs with it. I haven’t been compelled to switch back to XP (or OS X, for that matter), so take that for what it’s worth.

I guess it’s not worth much, as Chris had a change of heart sending droves of people to his blog stating: “Windows Vista: I’m Breaking up with You”. So Chris, which is it? I guess Chris hates chocolate ice cream one week and then loves it the next.

Original blog entry continues…

Chris Pirillo recently wrote an article about why he’s sticking with Windows XP. He even made a 53 minute video about it. Sorry, I can’t stomach watching that, but he did list out the problems he had with Vista. So, let me take them point-by-point to calm his FUD:

1. My scanner doesn’t really work (Hewlett-Packard Laserjet 3052). HP hasn’t caught up with support yet, and software updates won’t be available until SP1 time-frame. The software works like a charm in XP – amazingly well, as a matter of fact.

Hewlett Packard has been notorious for slow driver support for new operating systems. Here’s a thread from Google Groups back in the year 2000 about how HP wasn’t supporting their scanners when Windows 2000 first came out. HP was also trying to charge their users $20 for upgraded software for the Scanjet 4200 so it could be used on Windows 2000. Instead of breaking up with Windows Vista, maybe you should break up with HP for their crappy support?

My Agfa scanner did not work with Windows Vista off the bat either: I had to use Vuescan to get it to work. Since my scanner is 7 years old, I think this is fair.

2. Windows Movie Maker crashes on a regular basis.

Can’t say either way whether he has a point or not. Did you submit your feedback to Microsoft Chris?

3. My IPFax software doesn’t work (the driver will likely never be updated to be Vista-compliant). Never, EVER caused me a problem in XP. I need this software to work, and dual-booting to use this is not an option.

Again, not a Windows Vista problem. It’s a manufacturer problem.

4. I still can’t get my Lifecam to work, but wound up purchasing the vastly superior Logitech QuickCam Ultra Vision instead (which puts Microsoft’s new webcam software AND hardware series to shame).

Yet again, not a Windows Vista problem!

5. On the same machine (AMD Quad FX), XP trumps Vista in terms of performance. I don’t have specific benchmarks on hand, but I can tell you the difference is quite palpable. This is even with most of Vista’s eye candy tuned to a dull roar. We’ll see if it runs just as quickly when everything’s reinstalled there. I only discovered this after rebooting to try my scanner in XP – blazing differences, similar tasks.

Shock, horror! You put a newer operating system with more features and programming code on your PC and it runs slower? Well, so does mine. Again, software has to be written to take advantage of your Quad architecture: you are likely not even tapping into all that power you have. For the record: AMD Quad is not really 4 cores on one chip: you have two processors with dual cores on them.

You also need newer hardware to see some of Vista’s performance improvements such as ReadyDrive. If you buy new hardware that is Vista engineered, your experience will be faster than that of Windows XP’s.

6. NVIDIA chipsets and video cards. Need I say more?

Probably, because not everyone reads Vista message boards on a daily basis. If you’re talking about what I think you are talking about, this is actually a bug within the NVIDIA NForce chipset that Microsoft is working around in their software code. Of course, all of the longhorn news groups detailing this have long since pulled by Microsoft, however I did find this news article from the Techreport:

Last week, we learned about a compatibility problem with Nvidia nForce3-based motherboards involving Windows Vista, ATI graphics cards, and dual-core processors. Nvidia informed us that its only chipsets certified for Vista were the nForce4, nForce 500, and nForce 600 series, suggesting that nForce3 users suffering from compatibility problems in Vista would have to suck it up and either stick with Windows XP or buy new hardware.

However, the company seems to have changed its mind somewhat. Nvidia Platform Products PR Manager Bryan Del Rizzo has e-mailed us saying, “There is a known issue with ATI AGP cards and nForce3 and Vista. This is currently being looked into and will most likely be resolved with a MCP driver update.” Del Rizzo adds that nForce3- and nForce2-based systems can run Vista using built-in Microsoft drivers and third-party audio chipset drivers. There is one notable exception, though: storage support. Nvidia RAID is just plain not supported, and Del Rizzo says there are “known Vista issues with some ATAPI devices.”

Yet again, not a Windows Vista problem, but a manufacturer problem! I run straight Intel hardware and I’m not having any issues.

7. I simply can’t get to my OS X machine from Vista (or mount a WebDAV server).

Doesn’t OS X do file sharing via HTTP services? How is this a Windows Vista problem?

8. Copernic Desktop Search, a far superior desktop search client to Microsoft’s, either doesn’t like Vista or Outlook 2007 – not sure which, yet. Either way, I can’t run it right now – and the Windows Desktop Search tool is still as lame as ever (sorry, Brandon). I’ll miss the new Start Menu, but I think there’s similar third-party software that’ll keep me happy in the meanwhile.

I used Copernic long before Google came on the scene and was not impressed. I’m not quite fond of the file searching in Windows Vista either: I usually drop down to a command console to do my file searching. However, the text based searching in Windows Vista is awesome. Plug in a keyword and it brings up all of the files, e-mail messages , etc. with that word. What’s so special about Copernic?

9. Explorer keeps losing my view settings. THIS IS DRIVING ME UP THE FARKING WALL! Now, I realize that XP suffers from this problem as well, but it’s never been this bad. There are so many new options that it’s difficult to reset each window’s view every time – including column headers, which are now permanently stuck on “Tags” and “Date Taken” (even though I may not be in a folder with objects supportive of these fields). Yes, I realize this problem stretches back centuries – but it seems to have gotten worse, not better.

Not a Windows Vista issue: I don’t have that issue on any of the PCs I run, whether it be Windows Vista or Windows XP. Now, the idea to remove “Date Modified” from the explorer view was pretty retarded: I’ll give you that. However, I’ve been able to force a view with “Date Modified” for all my folders. In case you didn’t know: setup a view that you like in Windows explorer. Then go to Organize>Folder and Search Options, click on the View tab and then click “Apply to Folders”, then “Yes” to change all the folders to that view. Simple, really.

10. My workaday software still seems to suffer from weird quirks now and again. I really don’t have the time or patience to wait for each developer to catch up just so I can go on living my life. All these little annoyances are starting to add up to one major headache. Instead of detailing each one separately (and extending this list exponentially), I’m just wrapping all of ‘em together into one point.

So your point is that you are using software by companies that are not interested in supporting their product for Windows Vista, so dump Windows Vista? Your headline is just an attention grabber: every operating system release is going to have issues with older software and hardware, especially with system specific software like disk defraggers, antivirus, video, etc. Of course you’ll need to work through these issues.

I’ve had a few application issues on my own system with Windows Vista: sound and scanner drivers. With a little research and tweaking, I got all of them working. These manufacturers had plenty of time during the Windows Vista beta to develop compatible software. Why develop compatible software for older products when you can just get the customers to buy new hardware and software? Do you want Microsoft to re-write Hewlett Packard’s scanner software?

The fact is that Windows Vista (and every Windows version proceeding it) is very compatible. Microsoft even works around vendor software bugs by using application shims. I’ve tested 30+ company core applications and most work with little or no problem on Windows Vista.

– Soli Deo Gloria

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.