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PC World calls out Microsoft on Windows Vista

The hatred for Windows Vista has been well documented on DailyTech and by millions of Vista users around the web. From the very beginning, many consumers took issue with Microsoft's multi-tiered approach to Vista.

Microsoft currently has four versions of Windows Vista aimed at the consumer market: Home Basic, Home Premium, Business and Ultimate. Vista Home Basic is the cheapest and has the least features, while Vista Ultimate is the most expensive and most feature-filled version.

Many felt that Microsoft should simply take Apple's approach with OS X and just include a single SKU for everyone and charge everyone the same price. Many also championed Apple's 5-user license policy with OS X versus Microsoft's "reduced" pricing efforts with Windows Vista Family Discount -- a program that ended on June 30.

In addition to pricing, licensing and marketing, many people consumers simply are disappointed with Vista's performance. Many users have claimed that Vista simply is slower than Windows XP for many operations with pesky trouble spots including networking and gaming.

Microsoft plans to address many performance-related problems/bugs with Service Pack 1, but Windows XP is getting a speed boost of its own with Service Pack 3.

All of the controversies and disappointments related to Vista were enough for PC World to label Windows Vista the #1 Biggest Tech Disappointment of 2007.

"The user account controls that were supposed to make users feel safer just made them feel irritated. And at $399 ($299 upgrade) for Windows Ultimate, we couldn't help feeling more than a little gouged," remarked PC World's Dan Tynan.

"No wonder so many users are clinging to XP like shipwrecked sailors to a life raft, while others who made the upgrade are switching back. And when the fastest Vista notebook PC World has ever tested is an Apple MacBook Pro, there's something deeply wrong with the universe."

For me personally, I'm rather indifferent to Vista -- I don't hate it, but I also don't love it. I currently own two PCs: a HP desktop with Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 RC1 installed and an Eee PC 4G with Windows XP Home SP2 (nLite’d of course). I don't game on either machine and I mainly use both for Internet, email and productivity (Office 2007 on the desktop, OpenOffice Portable on the Eee PC).

I routinely go back and forth between both machines during the day and don't miss anything in particular from either machine (feature wise) with regards to the operating system. In other words, given my usage model, I could use my Eee PC all day and not really long to be on my Vista-equipped desktop.



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RE: PC World
By wien on 12/18/2007 1:42:54 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
SuperFetch slows down your system? Huh?

For desktop applications it's a good thing and generally does a fine job, but for gaming it's quite likely the most annoying thing I've ever experienced.

I've been playing Crysis lately (Q6600 @3.1GHz - 2GB memory - Vista64) and I can barely move around because Superfetch is "intelligently" trying to swap pages I might need in and out from disk, apparently completely ignoring the pages Crysis actually needs. All I have to do is turn around and I get a > 1 sec stutter with disk thrashing. Turn back and the same thing happens. It does fine the 3rd or 4th time you play a level of course, because then it has learned, but for a single player linear game that just doesn't help as you progress through the game. It completely ruins the experience.

In constrast Crysis on XP (same rig) is silky smooth no matter what I do. Vista with superfetch disabled is very close to XP performance but I still get more disk thrashing than in XP. (FPS is also a good 20% lower, but I'll put that down to drivers for now)

Now I'm sure I could upgrade to 4 or 8 gigs of RAM to keep superfetch happy, but you know what? I'd rather just use XP and get better performance. Progress indeed.


RE: PC World
By Murst on 12/18/2007 2:57:53 PM , Rating: 2
I'm sure you can come up with many situations where any feature of an OS becomes problematic.

However, for 99.9% of users out there, superfetch is a great boost.

If you fall into that <1% category, turn it off. It is pretty easy.


RE: PC World
By wien on 12/18/2007 3:20:51 PM , Rating: 2
It's easy for me because I know what is causing it (after some investigation) and I know where I can turn it off. Most people would only conclude that "Vista is slow".

But that's not really the point. Superfetch is a splendid idea and, as I said, for desktop applications it works just fine (Though the endless HDD grinding drives me up the wall). The problem is that the damage it does to memory hungry applications like games by far outweigh the benefits you get in normal desktop applications, unless that's all you use.

I just don't think the OS should render some applications completely unusable just to speed up applications "most people" use. Superfetch really has to get better at getting out of the way of applications that really need the memory.


RE: PC World
By Murst on 12/18/2007 6:18:18 PM , Rating: 2
If superfetch cripples a certain application, there should be an API call that the developers of the application can make to disable superfetch while the application is running.


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