Did Vista get a bad rap?

Did Vista get a bad rap? That probably is a bit of a debate in some camps.

I used Vista on my old system for a period of about 9 months until I built my current system and installed Windows 7 Professional [thank you TechNet Plus!].

Here are some of the usual complaints and what I think:

  • My current software isn’t compatible: That is probably true for most operating systems you will upgrade to. The software manufacturer doesn’t want to continue to support the same version forever. they want you to upgrade to the latest version. Some software that interacts with the lower level of the OS such as anti-virus, software firewall, etc.  One issue that was causing problems was that people bought 64-bit Vista with 32-bit applications to install. Most are fine but some aren’t.
  • My hardware won’t work with Vista: Like software, the hardware companies don’t want you to use the same hardware forever. But there was also people who were upgrading before checking to see if their hardware was compatible [did they use the advisor software from Microsoft?]. Some figured their hardware would be compatible out of the box.
  • Upgrading was a pain or caused problems: I’ve said it before [but maybe not here] – if you system has ever been hit with malware or a virus, it never fully recovers – no matter if the removal software said it was cleaned. Those who had complex systems or those who didn’t remove certain software [some drivers, anti-virus and firewall software for example] had issues or took forever to upgrade.
  • I don’t like the new interface: After using the same interface for maybe 5+ years [or even longer if you used the “classic” interface in Windows XP, as well as in Windows 2000, ME (argh!), 98, 95, etc.], they are used to it. It’s like driving a standard ignition car for 15 years and then switching to an automatic. In the end people are turning around and liking it – look at the adoption of Windows 7 and Vista. Over 35% of the OS market and growing.
  • I’m happy with what I got – why change?: Unfortunately like any software, Microsoft can’t continue to support an older [and more vulnerable] OS forever. Microsoft’s policy is 5 years full support and then 5 years extended support [i.e. security updates primarily – note that retail versions aren’t covered!]. Because of the long gap between Windows XP and Vista, Microsoft extended the extended support to 9 years [set to expire in April 2014]. Additionally other software companies don’t want to continue to support an older OS as well [sometimes the older OS doesn’t have features that the new OS has].

Now in my situation, my old system was modern enough that all my hardware functioned in Vista. I also didn’t do an upgrade but a full installation [so I didn’t have any inheritance of issues from my old system]. I also learned to “live” with the new interface and found it mostly easier [Windows 7 corrected a few issues]. I have software dating back to 2001 that worked on both Vista 64-bit and Windows 7 64-bit with just a very minor glitch in the program’s interface.

Vista and definitely Windows 7 are probably more stable and more secure than Windows XP. Sure the User Account Control complains a bit [but you can turn it down or off – I wouldn’t recommend the latter]. I only get the UAC when installing software or specific software that many needed better system access such as anti-malware scans. I like the idea that you can basically aim just about everything into My Documents in Vista and move My Documents to a better location where you can find it. Homegroups [the updated version of workgroups] was one of the best thing that they did in Windows 7 [unfortunately not backward compatible – still need workgroups].


About ebraiter
computer guy

One Response to Did Vista get a bad rap?

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