A Long Way to Go

Vista is on the road to success, but don’t believe what they say, it’s a long, windy road; and the end is far from being near. Windows Vista RC1 (5600) is a very big improvement over the last public build (5384) and anything before the RC1 Branches (5536). But it’s far from ready, and here’s what really stands out (in order of importance) from making it as big of a success as it should be.

  1. Too much useless bloat.
    A couple of months back we posted our popular article “Windows: Microsoft Beating on a Dead Horse,” which took an extreme viewing on the de-bloatification of Windows. But even without stripping backwards code-compatibility, Microsoft has quite a long way to go in degunking Vista, and I can’t say it any better than to link to Robert McLaw’s short article on the very same thing.
  2. Buggy stock video drivers.
    This isn’t major, if only for the fact that it can be fixed by replacing a file or two on Microsoft’s side, but nevertheless, it’s a big turn off with Windows Vista. When a rare operating system comes along promising big changes and lovely graphics, it’s sad to see that the default drivers come with zero hardware acceleration, and constantly flicker at the slightest sign of animation.. and the balk at any of the advanced Vista effects.
  3. Pitiful “Networking Center”
    Vista’s “breakthrough” network center is really a great idea, very secure, easy to use, and perfect for multiple networks… But it isn’t. Not really.
    It’s secure and very useful, but it puts almost everything several steps away. Besides having to click several times just to see a list of network connections and their status, it strips users of quite a lot of power, especially when dealing with wireless connections. Far from being stable, Windows Vista’s new TCP stack ends up crashing the wireless client time and time again when dealing with weak signals at hotspots.

These together with the infamous PPC synchronization issues should give Vista users a pause for thought. Vista is undeniably an amazing OS (yes, we’ll even have a post about some of the good things that Vista has introduced soon enough!), but it just needs a bit lot of polishing up to become perfect. It just doesn’t make sense: you spend 6 years developing an OS, you bring almost all of it up to scratch, then you just stop. Hopefully there will be an RC2 and we’ll see some of these things fixed, but don’t get your hopes too high.

Some things like the Wireless connectivity issues and the mobile device synchronization will undoubtedly be fixed; after all, they’re bugs, and that’s why this is a Release Candidate and not an RTM. But things like the spotty network stack and the useless bloat, it’s unlikely to go away. Especially the bloat – we’ve seen that before only too many times.

15 thoughts on “A Long Way to Go

  1. Seems that you’re fishing for things to complain about.

    First, the “bloat” you refer to, yet fail to specify and resort to citing another blog entry, is (according to the blog you cite) a bunch of old icons and bitmaps in the Windows directory from previous versions of Windows. Who cares? I recall that iTunes had WMA icons in its resource fork eventhough it hasn’t to this day supported WMA. So there’s some “useless” icons and bitmaps. Big deal.

    Second, regarding buggy video drivers? That’s common for a new OS. It’ll obviously be fixed, but it in no way means that there’s a “really long way to go”.

    Third, you don’t like the UI of the Networking Center. Oh well, but that doesn’t translate to “a really long way to go” either, not by a long shot.

    The synchronization problem is legit (I accept your word on that as I’ve not tried it).

    When I saw “A Really Long Way to Go”, I expected to read about constant crashes, horrible performance, etc, not these easily fixed and easily ignored matters. Sure there is some polishing to do, but you don’t back up your headline of “a really long way to go”.

  2. If that’s all the bad points for an OS release with dozens of new features, kudos to Microsoft! (It seems your headline is designed to attract readers more than reflect content).

  3. It’s an RC for God’s sake, it’s supposed to be perfect!

    The way it is with every other program out there (including Internet Explorer!) is “We’re going to release this build no matter what unless you find a major bug that we didn’t see before.”

    It’s supposed to be complete. It’s good, like they said, but it’s not perfect. And it’s supposed to be!

  4. No, he’s right…. This isn’t the most serious stuff in the world, and here’s why:

    We didn’t have time for a full review, and we were overly harsh, because this late in the game, Vista should be perfect, and it’s more important to focus on the bad than the good before Vista is released. This is the time when Microsoft pays attention to complaints and attempts to fix things that go wrong. Things like the wireless performance (which you didn’t comment on) are very important since they offer an incentive to remain on XP, where wireless performance is OK.

    Vista is good, we’re duly impressed, and we’ll have a real review up shortly. That said, yes, we are focusing on the bad in these “mini-reviews” because that’s what matters more right now. Make sense?

  5. What about the TCP? has it got better? The last I read was the symantec report which highlighted a few problems including being vunrable to old exploits. To me this seems a big issue. How have Microsoft responded to this?

  6. I’ve been using RC1 for 1 week now. The comments made by the author of this article are FAR from the truth. Vista is been rock solid with a beatiful GUI. I did not experienced any of the problems the author did. All device drivers were detected and installed correctly on my Alienware Senta M3200 laptop. The best feature of Vista is the plentyfull information it gives you. The wireless connections is just awesome. Works flawsly on all Ap I conencted and give me full details on the connection. Bloatware? What is he talking about? Perhaps he only wants to bloat the website traffic ;-) Reminds me of the review that pc magazine did and the first thing they check was “compatibility” by running a windows 95 game to see if vista will handle it! Is that retarded? Vista RC1 is prime time ready. I will be switching my office desktop to it next week and looking forward to the final release. Just make sure you have a good graphics card and you are fine.
    my 2 cents

  7. This author doesn’t know what he is talking about. Im using Windows vista right now ever since i got it ive been on it for the paste 5 hours it is wonderful . I love it . The GUI is amazing never seen anything like that in my life. Alot more useful functionality . It is wonderful . Don’t listen to what the autor is saying .. AND BLOATWEAR wat THE HELL>>?????? This author is on some drugs

  8. I have played with Beta 2 and now have been running RC1 since Monday (9/11). There are still a few quirks in the system to be sure but most seem to be driver related and that’s not entirely Microsoft’s fault.

    What I find disappointing, having used it for a few days as my production system, is that once you get past the pretty face it’s really nothing revolutionary. I like some of the new Explorer features. Icons and dialogs have moved around and such but basically that’s just going to take some time to get used to.

    Application compatibility is a problem but again that’s to be expected. The same thing happened with apps in the past. The compatiblity wizard DOES help but not in all cases. Enterprise apps and games seem to be the big problems. General productivity apps don’t have a big problem. Of course I’m running the Office 2007 beta also (love it).

  9. [quote comment=”4828″]first off, windows sucks period, the gui is like… 5yrs behind mac osx
    security is terrible, what more junk can microsoft push out?[/quote]

    LOL, maybe its true, maybe its not, but I can’t help to LOL!!

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