Vista – A User’s Observation

Now that my laptop’s no longer brand new, I suppose I can talk a little about my experiences with Windows Vista. Vista is a hot topic on many geek boards.

The laptop itself is a joy to use. I know Dell is no longer the darling it once was, but this laptop performs just as well as I’d anticipated. With 2Gb RAM, a reasonably large hard drive and very high resolution screen&#185 it’s sweet.

Vista is not as nice!

Maybe it’s growing pains. Maybe it’s just no one likes change. Maybe things weren’t well thought out. Whatever the reason, Vista is nowhere near as easily operated as Windows XP was.

I know of at least three programs I want to run but can’t, because they’re not Vista compatible. I sense it’s not just these individual pieces of software, but whole classes of programs which have to deal with Vista’s architecture.

Kaspersky virus software (I have used the freeware AOL version) won’t load. Neither will Nero, the disk writing software. I used to use Nero a lot.

I bought a wireless remote control to allow me to control PowerPoint presentations from afar. They say there will be Vista software – just not now. The remote’s currently a paperweight.

My poker software from FullTilt is also Vista challenged. The sound and video are no longer in sync. Cards will come to me, I’ll make a bet and then the signal “ding” will sound telling me it’s my time to act… though I already have.

Just as troubling is Vista’s ‘improved’ security. As far as I can tell, all that means is asking me incessantly if I approve of what’s going. Usually, I know the correct answer. I assume less sophisticated users will not and just say “Yes.”

Microsoft has been advertising Vista as having a WOW factor, based on its Aero interface. I certainly don’t think there’s any functional difference with Aero. And, some programs have problems properly displaying in this Aero configuration. I have never seen a reason to use the 3D floating windows feature that Aero is known for.

There are more troubles when it comes to files. I still haven’t figured out how to allow my networked computers to write files to and from the Vista machine. One program I use, which tries to write data into it’s own directory, is thwarted by Vista’s security ‘features.’

Even worse, Windows Explorer has devolved to be less friendly and less usable.

Like I said, I like the laptop a lot. Using a free program from a Scandanavian developer, I now do most of my DVR watching on this machine. I’ve also used it with Photoshop and Picasa to manipulate photos with no regrets.

But Vista – it’s just not ready yet.

&#185 – I have one of those newer glossy screens. It is more prone to glare than the original matte LCDs.

5 thoughts on “Vista – A User’s Observation”

  1. Geoff,

    You’re the first person I’ve heard complain about the True Life screen. A lot of people who have this laptop love it.

  2. I just bought my wife a Dell laptop and chose to have Windows XP installed instead of Vista. I wasn’t sure if I made the right decision but based on what I’ve read and your thoughts I’m glad I’m waiting until the kinks are worked out. I’m sure with future updates everyone will eventually forget about XP.

  3. 1. All new Mac’s run windows (XP or vista) in most cases as fast or faster, simultaneously too (want a demo?).

    2. All Mac’s include remotes (that work more than just power point) and “Keynote” is much better than PowerPoint. Watch Steve Job’s iPhone Keynote or this demo

    3. Mac’s really don’t need virus software (of course if your running windows in the Mac, within itself should have the protection, but most likely you won’t use the risky applications anymore once you have a Mac.)

    I use a processor/graphic intensive solid modeling 3D software package “solidworks” on my MacBook PRO that works just as is does on my office windows desktop machine.

  4. Geoff –

    While you’re waiting for Vista to become ready for everyday use, would you consider installing XP along side it as a dual boot option?

    btw, the last poster needs to fess up to the fact that Mac/OSX has now devolved to the same low quality we pc users are already accustomed to…and get over the whole “mac is better than pc” fallacy.

  5. There is no better or worse fallacy, it simply about the OPTIONS and what one feels is easier to use. I use both, but get paid to use Windows as I am sure most are. As the previous comment suggest to dual boot, I simply suggested to triple boot (or more) with even more OPTIONS in software and security.

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