Windows Vista RC1 (build 5600, the one we didn’t get a chance to review..) is just great. It runs really fast, even faster than XP on this Centrino Duo with 2GB of memory. It’s stable (I haven’t restarted since installing it half a day ago, which for me is quite an accomplishment), and doesn’t require reboots even after installing core system drivers, such as the chipset, onboard SATA controllers, and audio devices, whether you use XP or Vista drivers, it just works.
Now that we’ve got that out of the way: Vista support for Pocket PC or Windows Mobile 5.0 devices is terrible. Very terrible. Some people were really happy back when Beta 2 got an update that fixed all aspects of Windows Mobile synchronization with Windows Vista, but guess what… it still doesn’t work.
I’ve got 5 Windows-powered PDAs in the house (no, they’re not all mine), and none of them synchronize properly with Windows Vista. One of them is a legacy Windows CE 3.x PDA, two are Pocket PC 2002, and the last two are Windows Mobile 5.0 powered. I’m on RC1 (build 5600) at the moment, and I can’t even get WM5 devices to synchronize with Vista.
Ever since the December CTP, Microsoft has endlessly promised a code-complete ActiveSync replacement for Windows Vista, but here we are at Release Candidate number 1, the thing that supposedly does the trick, and it still doesn’t work. Don’t get me wrong, it’s improved quite a bit since; it actually sees the device, and you can browse the PDA’s ROM drive and move files between the systems, you can synchronize it with Windows Media Player, but I’m sorry to say, it’s nowhere near the ActiveSync replacement they promised us.
I can’t install programs, I can’t synchronize contacts, and I can’t even upgrade the firmware that finally came out for my (ill-advised purchase, the) Torq P120. It demands that I have some sort of ActiveSync installed, but guess what? Microsoft decided its version of Vista’s ActiveSync was good enough, and now I’m not even allowed to install ActiveSync!
RC1 may be great, but Microsoft has serious issues that need to be addressed. You can call Vista code-complete if you like, but that’s admitting a serious failure. RC1 is really fast and really stable, but things like this shouldn’t have gone this far without being addressed. And people did complain. The newsgroups were filled with “How do I synchronize my PPC with Windows Vista” threads throughout the entire beta program, but apparently, no one cares.