Windows Vista is Microsoft's current flagship operating
system for consumers. The operating system launched in late November for OEMs
and was released to consumers on January
Microsoft has long-touted the operating system as a
revolutionary product for desktops and notebooks -- a product that would leave
no consumers longing for the 5-year-old Windows XP operating system.
"Windows Vista and Microsoft Office 2007 will transform
the way people work and play," said Microsoft chairman Bill Gates on
January 30. "Windows Vista and Microsoft Office 2007 squarely address the
needs and aspirations of people around the globe."
"The visual effects are spectacular; the navigation is
streamlined and intuitive," added Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. "They
make it much easier to protect your PC, yourself and your children online. And
they work together to help you accomplish more throughout the day."
In the months following the consumer launch of Windows
Vista, Microsoft played the numbers game with sales figures. The company
announced in late March that it sold
20 million licenses of Vista within two months compared to just 17 million
for Windows XP. The number crept up to 40 million by mid-May
and by late July; Microsoft reported that 60
million copies of Windows Vista had been shipped around the world.
Microsoft expects to have shipped one billion copies of
Windows by the end of 2008.
Despite the many successes that Microsoft has touted with
its operating system, some consumers just aren't impressed. Some have derided
Windows Vista as being a bloat-fest with a prettier GUI and slower performance
than its well-seasoned Windows XP predecessor -- ironically, both of those
"flaws" were leveled against Windows XP in comparison to Windows 2000
after its launch in late 2001.
Other features that have irritated a number of consumers
include the intrusive User Access Control (which can be turned off),
application and driver incompatibilities, beefed up anti-piracy/activation
scheme and Explorer's inability to remember View Settings among countless
others -- feel free to add your own in the comments section.
The numerous issues many customers have with Windows Vista
are compounded by the fact that many feel that Microsoft's pricing for the
operating system doesn't quite mesh with the perceived value offered over
Windows XP. Windows Vista is priced at $199/$99.95 for Vista Home Basic,
$239/$159 for Vista Home Premium, $299/$199 for Vista Business and $399/$259
for Vista Ultimate (full/upgrade).
As a result of the complaints from customers and businesses
regarding Vista, Microsoft recently began offering an "XP downgrade"
option for OEMs. The decision to downgrade a Vista installation is fully
supported by Microsoft, but it’s up to each individual OEM to provide the
option to its customers. Unfortunately, the option only exists for Vista
Business and Vista Ultimate installations – Vista Home Basic and Vista Home
Premium users are out of luck.
Fujitsu, which took matters into its own hands by offering
copies of Windows XP with its Vista notebooks and Tablet PCs, fully embraces
"That's going to help out small- and medium-size
businesses," said Fujitsu's Brandon Farris to CNET
Other PC retailers such as Hewlett-Packard, Dell and Lenovo also
provide their customers with Windows XP if they so choose.
"For business desktops, workstations and select
business notebooks and tablet PCs, customers can configure their systems to
include the XP Pro restore disc for little or no charge," said HP
spokeswoman Tiffany Smith.
"We've been offering it and we're still offering
it," added Dell's Anne Camden.
While Vista Business and Vista Ultimate users have always
had the right to downgrade to Windows XP per the licensing agreement, the
actual implementation of the program has been lacking. The process by which to
get XP media for new systems with Vista Business or Vista Ultimate
pre-installed was often complicated and troublesome, but changes made over the
past few months have made it considerably easier for customers.
Some companies, such as Dell, have
even gone so far to allow consumers to purchase new PCs with Windows XP
pre-installed; thus leaving Vista completely out of the equation.
With that said, the window of opportunity to acquire Windows
XP is slowly closing. Direct OEM and retail license availability of Windows XP
will cease on
January 31, 2008.
quote: 2c(how many remember THAT one?)
quote: anything to ME? downgrade
quote: You CANNOT score higher than a 5.9 on the Vista Experience...iirc.
quote: It's not just about performance. MS made approving drivers very difficult, so more than a year after developers got their hands on Vista, there are still no drivers for a lot of hardware. Many of the drivers that do exist were rushed out the door.
quote: And my system with overclocked quad-core, two 10k rpm HDs in Raid 0, 8800GTS, and 4 GB of RAM scored only a 5.9/10 for the lame Vista experience system test.
quote: UAC is completeley retarded, those people who you are talking about will click continue no matter how many UAC prompts they get, they have no idea of what they are doing.
quote: Running a Windows box with Administrator rights is retarded, you really do not need to do it and if you do to use a specific kind of software, then whoever made the software to only work with Administrator rights is completely stupid.
quote: Running a Windows box with Administrator rights is retarded
quote: Vista is SO bad on memory, that I'm starting to see $500PCs come with 2GB of RAM! 512mb was FINE for XP for basic users and $400~500 PCs of last year. 1GB was still better. But a 1GB Vista BASIC PC is WORSE than a 512mb XP.
quote: Streamlined? The Display Properties on XP and older is far faster and easy to use with TABS than the new browser-type on Vista... which requires more hunting and going BACK to the main page to get somewhere. Never mind hiding some Network settings deeper rather than where it has been since Win98 (on the network tool tray icon or control panel).
quote: Truth, talk to many people at FRYs who sell or work on PCs - they don't like Vista. The sales people WISH they could sell HPaqs etc with XP. Yeah, you may say "Fry's is a bunch of idiots" - but they know more than more retail stores and even THEY know XP is junk. Business-only resellers are still only pushing XP... too many vista problems.
quote: When it comes down to it, *WHAT* exactly does Windows 5.2 actually offer over 5.1(XP)?
quote: The original "Longhorn", based on the Windows XP source code, was scrapped, and Vista development started anew, building on the Windows Server 2003 codebase, and re-incorporating only the features that would be intended for an actual operating system release.
quote: Apple is still making their OS better and better but without the RIP-OFF pricing that M$ does
quote: Vista is a bad joke. 5 years, this is ALL they could come up with? Apple's Aqua GUI is older than XP... Vista has some aspects of it - but it's still not even close.... funny, 5 years and its nothing that can't be added to XP in minutes - then charge $200~400 to the masses! Bwahahahaha!
quote: Shut up and eat progress!
quote: Opening the control panel causes a box to come up.
quote: Seriously, lots of people have never used their control panel on the PC, I know they all ask me for help.
quote: the control panel does not in any way bring up the UAC prompt.
quote: Sorry, you're wrong about that. There are plenty of controls in the "Control Panel" that invoke UAC. These are settings that apply to the machine as a whole and/or to other users of the machine. By definition changing these settings requires elevation. I can give you a number of specific examples if you don't believe me.
quote: Dunno if you see the same mac commercials I do, but they are so true.
quote: 7. Memory hog. I have 2gig and have very little leftover for usage cause Vista takes all. And still the performance issues above.
quote: 8. Too much HD space taken. Why? Can anyone one of you, more advance users, explain this without the normal well it's new and has more features. What's so new and what are these features that makes Vista so bloated?
quote: Basically the XP downgrade is for clueless muppets who can't be bothered to figure out how to use a new version of an OS and adjust their attitudes to a safer, more secure and better coded environment. If kit you want to use doesn't work yet then bitch at the hardware vendor and provide feedback to MS and eventually it will.
quote: but if you take that choice don't go whining about a perfectly good OS in public forums until you have tried it properly.
quote: Even when it USES the memory it still doesn't "seem" to perform any better. Even when I take 700MB+ to run one of my virtual OS's it performs almost the same. That's good and that's bad. Bad that it doesn't seem to be helping much by using Superfetch. And good, in a way, that it doesn't slow everything down even more.
quote: And you're seriously going to justify Vista being bloated with what you've listed? Have you done any programming?
quote: I'm sure you've tried other OS's that are just as full-featured but not as bloated. They're not the same and that's the problem. Almost everything MS programs is bloated.
quote: With DVD capacities and such why worry right.
quote: More than 4gb of ram.
quote: will be applicable to Vista64, right?
quote: Seagate exec: To fully leverage the Vista, you need between 250GB to 1TB of storage
quote: Vista is a great OS, but is not perfect. Time will only make it better.
quote: Vista is basically XP with cute graphical effects.
quote: Microsoft expects to ship one billion copies of Windows Vista by the end of 2008.
quote: With that said, the window of opportunity to acquire Windows XP is slowly closing. Direct OEM and retail license availability of Windows XP will cease on January 31, 2008.
quote: $299/$199 for Vista Business and $399/$259 for Vista Ultimate (full/upgrade).
quote: Vista is so blatantly easy to use
quote: As a result of the complaints from customers and businesses regarding Vista, Microsoft recently began offering an "XP downgrade" option for OEMs.