The Windows Vista Monster Review

Power, Portability, and Mobility with Windows Vista

Previous versions of Windows shipped as an operating system and nothing more. As seen in the previous pages, Windows Vista is going to lenghts to make it a lot more user-friendly from the minute you install it; and perhaps here is where it’s most visible. The normal way of making a laptop travel friendly was to install all the extra junk that comes from the OEM in order to add better battery power-profiling and mobility applications.

Windows Vista come’s with three things that make this different (different isn’t necessarily better though!). First is the excellent power-profiling plans, and then there are two more applications dedicated to mobile users – in theory they’re great, but in reality, not so much.

Power Profiling on Windows Vista

If you ask anyone about power profiles on Windows, they’ll tell you two things: One, that they’re really easy to set up, and two, that they just plain suck. Vista changes that. It still has the plain-and-simple power dialog, but at the same time, it introduces a new and very powerful advanced settings window.

From there you can specify how your laptop (or desktop for that matter) acts to anything, down to the last detail. You can configure what happens to PCI-E and AGP devices separately, you can define triggers (power source, button press, lid closing, etc.) and make complex plans that suite you perfectly. With it, you can make sure you use power only when you need it and that when you really need it, it’ll be there for sure. It’s not that easy to configure, and it’s not too well labeled on some things, and there seem to be certain drop-down boxes missing the “never” option, but it’s really great.

Mobile Synchronization

Ever since Windows CE first came out and the PDA craze began, Windows users have been forced to use a wide range of increasingly crappy and unstable mobile synchronization programs in order to keep their data up-to-date – until ActiveSync 4.0 that is. ActiveSync and its predecessors were unstable, prone to extreme data loss, and sudden, unfixable no-longer-working moments.

But when Windows Mobile 5.0 came out last year with its excellent PDAs, Microsoft decided to do something about it, and ActiveSync 4.0 was released. It was great; and didn’t suffer from any of the old issues, and Microsoft promised to integrate it with their upcoming Windows Vista and let the fireworks fly. But unfortunately, Microsoft just bungled it up again.

The “ActiveSync” that comes with Windows Vista is worse than the versions that shipped with Windows-based PDAs ages ago, and almost never works. When it does its slow and tempramental, and only synchronizes with Windows Mobile 5.0 PDAs; no Windows CE or PPC (2002/2003) PDAs work with it. To top things off, Microsoft also decided to take the perogative and disable ActiveSync from running on Windows Vista – so PDA users are, at the moment, left stranded. Let’s not forget, this is RC1, and Vista isn’t complete.. But RC1 is supposed to be code-complete and virtually ready for release…. *grumbles*

Portability & Performance

Windows Vista comes with enhanced networking all over the place. It looks great, and it’s really powerful, but (just like everything else) it has terrible performance. Wireless network profiling is great, with automatic detection of networks and on-the-fly network security application. But wireless reception is absoloutely dismal at best, and if a wireless network loses range, 9 out of 10 times you have to restart your PC for the signal to become visible once more.

Bluetooth can partner with phones and PDAs without a hitch, and even send files… but don’t think about receiving anything without a really big, bad headache. Performance is OK, but if it can’t receive files, what’s left?

59 thoughts on “The Windows Vista Monster Review

  1. Every other operating system, than Windows Vista is crap!

    I like it as clear and simple as Vista is!

    Oh and 99% of software is only Windows capable, so why should i use some linux/unix/apple/mac anyways???

  2. Linux is alot easier to use than you may think. I would let my grandma use the latest distros (and thats saying ALOT). Still not perfect (a command prompt is useful to get things done quickly and efficiently. This may be intimidating to some.) Vista, when you get down to it, is still windows. It uses alot of the same code as XP but with more “features” tacked on top. This new code is untested and, I am sure, full of back doors. The only reason MS is still in business is because of a few slip-ups by other companies (most notably Apple for losing that case way back when and IBM for not buying MS) OSX is very easy to use and I would say its the perfect blend of simplicity, power, security and stability. I have used all three products extensively (though currently use linux because i love programming). If MS produces a good product, I will shut up but until then, seriously, they need to get on the ball and innovate a little.

  3. Robig, you see the problem, don’t you?

    Since the world uses MS, you have to too. At least if you want to make a living.
    If you plan on working for a desktop software developer, 99 times out of a 100, you’re going to be required to work on Windows, because that’s what your audience is.

    The reason MS and Windows are still on the top is because they won the game quickly and from the very beginning. For every OS X application you can find, there are 2000 Windows programs.

    In computing, where it’s all about standards, the one that can take over fastest wins.

  4. I just installed Vista for an old lady across the street from me, got her computer set up, and installed a printer and some other hardware.  This was the first time I’ve touched Vista.  I have to say…it’s slow, bloated, doesn’t seem to add much new from XP, and the hardware support absolutely sucks.  That’s right, I spent way more time than I needed to over there struggling to get the damn printer installed.  It should have been easy.  It is on XP.  I won’t even go into the problems I had with installing the wireless card or the terrible network center interface.

    I hated it.

  5. I have to agree Jacob, those are the same weak points I experienced in Windows Vista myself.

    But I think the rest is good though, no?

  6. Wtf are you idiots bagging vista for? It uses less cpu power thanks to the new gui which can be turned off, but why the hell would you? Most *nix OS’s have around 30 accounts, why are people saying it has 1000? Vista has around 20 itself. People who are unwilling to test it but will bag it out by comparing it to something stupid that doesn’t exist anyway are moronic.

    Hilarious quote from comment #1: the colors should not make eyes to ake

    He evidently can’t spell “colour”; and he doesn’t realise the colours are easily changeable – something you notice when you test the OS.

  7. You seem not to know your language very well, otherwise you could tell some common differences between British English and American English, one of them says “color”, the other one “colour”…

    Anyway, do you also have something valuable to tell?

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