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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 Master Kenobi on 12/18/2007 4:09:08 PM , Rating: 5
1) It is a memory hog. My 64-bit version uses 50% of my 2GB of memory not including other programs that are running.

I've seen the "problem" you speak of, and your likely using the sidebar tool "multimeter". Mine swears its using 36% of my 4Gigs of ram all the time. What I also notice is that the number never really goes up. I can load up TeamFortress2 and the memory gets reallocated since dreamscene turns itself off when any graphical application is running (I have 2 monitors, I get to watch all this in real time). Yes, at idle Vista uses more memory and your meter shows it, but what it doesn't show is that the memory usage rarely spikes (Unless you run 5 games at once, which I have done.... don't ask) I can rip and burn a DVD while playing TeamFortress2 and have WoW running in the background while surfing DailyTech in IE on the other monitor... my Ram usage spikes from 36% to a whopping 50%. I can tell you that WoW and TF2 combined suck up most of that, as windows systems cut back on how much they eat because of demand.

So, to state the point of this, your looking at the right information, however your accusation is baseless because your not watching what it does over time. If you have some skills and want to see what I mean, build your own event performance template and have it record memory usage and memory usage per process, then go ahead and play some games, and check it. You will see that the game is allocated most of the memory that was previously used by the OS (with usually a little extra since games these days chew memory down like it's going out of style.... thankfully its cheap right now).

RE: PC World
By DeafMute on 12/19/2007 4:46:08 PM , Rating: 2
To my understanding, and I get this from anand's readup on vista from some time ago, in contrast to XP Vista attempts to cache everything it can (based on what you're most likely to use - which is determined by what means I'm not sure) in physical memory so that when load an app that happens to be cached it is faster. Whereas XP tried to keep your memory as empty as possible.

Sounds counter-intuitive huh? Making a great case for XP being more efficient.

What you forget is that clearing memory is instant, loading data from your hard drive into memory is considerably longer (oh let's say 60 MB/s if you have a run-of-the-mill sata drive [and that's SEQUENTIAL, whereas in the real-world it'll often be much slower since data is sometimes fragmented]).
Many seem to think that if xx% of your memory is in use when vista is idle that means that xx% of your memory is actually being used by apps currently running and therefore only the remaining % is available.
In the case of XP where idle usage corresponded more or less to what the OS needed to run then maybe yes but in Vista once you load up an app (let's say a memory intensive one like a game) whatever useful data in memory remains there, then the game uses what is left and/or clears whatever else it needs.

RE: PC World
By 306maxi on 12/20/2007 10:42:32 AM , Rating: 2
Exactly. I tried saying the same thing the other week and got downrated for it. People are stuck in the old "Memory that not being used is good" trap that XP and everything before it taught us. As I explained sometimes Vista will sit using 50% or so of 2gb and suddenly when I start TF2 (awesome game btw) it suddenly drops to about 30% and then uses more and more RAM as TF2 loads up. As has been said clearing the ram is instant but loading from the HDD is slow so better to load frequently used programs into RAM than to have RAM sitting there doing nothing. Vista for me is far more responsive once it gets going than XP ever was and considering that I'm the type that leaves my PC on 24/7 that's more important to me than startup times and how responsive the PC is when it loads the desktop.

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