I am no longer a user of Windows Vista.
It has been nearly a year since Microsoft released Vista. I first wrote about it when I tested the upgrade process from Windows XP to Vista Business Edition. Shortly after that I upgraded my laptop and resolved a few minor issues with the optical drive, the Intel wireless configuration utility, Media Player, Explorer, Small Business Server, and constant system beeps that were starting to drive me nuts.
For most of the year now I’ve used Windows Vista Business Edition on the laptop in my home office and the laptop at my work. Both are about the same hardware spec – dual core CPU with 2Gb RAM. The home office laptop originally ran Windows XP Professional with only 1Gb RAM and was very fast. I later upgraded it to 2Gb RAM after Vista was installed. The laptop at work arrived with Vista pre-installed by Dell (which I stripped right back, removing all the ridiculous apps they ship with) and had 2Gb RAM from the start.
Why have I stopped using Windows Vista?
My primary gripe is the performance of the work laptop. It is just unacceptably slow. When I sit and consider my morning office routine I realise that it is based around how long it takes for Vista to boot and be at a functional desktop with my email and web browser open ready to start work. It takes forever.
Usually I power it up as soon as I get to my desk, and am able to logon pretty soon after that. Then I walk away and make my morning coffee, maybe say hello to a few people, and walk back to my desk. By now I can see my desktop background, the taskbar, and maybe the Sidebar has started loading. This is when I fire up Outlook 2007, and turn away from the laptop to drink my coffee and chat with colleagues. There is plenty of time to do this, because Outlook takes an age to finish launching, and the laptop is virtually unresponsive for the duration.
The Windows Vista features I hate the most!
- Folders that decide to present a view suitable for photos, even when no photos are in the folder. Being able to see the “Date Taken” field is pretty useless on a folder full of Microsoft Word documents.
- Slow resume from a being locked or in standby mode.
- Snipping Tool crashes if running Virtual Machines using 512mb of RAM or more.
- This ridiculous behaviour in Explorer.
The bottom line with Vista is that I might put up with these problems, work on tweaks and fixes, maybe even submit error reports and support requests to get some of it fixed, if any of our customers actually wanted to deploy Vista in the near future. But with no customers asking for it there is really no point in me putting up with these painful issues, or investing a lot of time in learning the ins and outs of how to work around or fix them. Good luck to the desktop specialists when customer uptake starts to accelerate (if it ever does… whats this about Windows 7?).
What I’ll miss now that I don’t use Vista
Snipping Tool – this little utility is fantastic for taking screenshots for documentation. It is unfortunate that it crashes when virtual machines are using 512mb of RAM or more.
That is all.
Replacing the things I’ll miss about Vista
Goodbye Snipping Tool, hello SnagIT – you can get a free version of SnagIT by following the instructions here. Its not the latest version but it well and truly meets my needs.
Goodbye Sidebar, hello screen realestate – I think I’m really just glad to have the space back on my screen. There are alternative sidebar apps around but I could also just buy a digital photo frame like the Kodak Easyshare SV-710 for the baby photos.
Goodbye Windows Vista, welcome back Windows XP.