Where Microsoft went wrong with Vista

As I mentioned in my last post I've made my way to Microsoft HQ with a Visit to Canada on the way; this meant flying out through Heathrow Terminal 5.

T5 got off to a bad start, and we made contingency plans for lost luggage, delays etc. The reality: the easiest taxi drop-off I've seen at a UK airport, very short queues to check in in, lower security hassles than most airports, and as pleasant a place to wait for my flight as I've found; and baggage arrived successfully at the other end. The story is doing the rounds that the initial problems weren't just teething troubles, but were down to BA not training its staff on what was new... I understand that they showed up for work on the morning the terminal opened and had to work out where they were supposed to park and go on from there...

Now one of the things that has come up in the meetings I have been in is that we've done a lot of survey work around Vista. 94% of PCs sold via retail have Vista on them. In our recent financial statements to Wall street we said we'd sold 180 Million licences. Corporate customers are buying Vista licences faster than they are deploying, but the same happened with XP, and the rate of deployment of Vista is about the same as XP was at the same point in its life. But Vista is not getting the good press it deserves.

click for full size image. 2 years ago, at every meeting I went to someone would try it plug their laptop into a projector to show their slides. And it wouldn't work "Press Function F5" someone would call out "No, this one's a Dell , F5 is for the HP" another would say. "Oh... try F8" .  People would slip out of the room to get a coffee or make a quick call. By the time it had been sorted out 5 minutes had passed. It's a very conservative estimate to say I lost 10 minutes a week this way. Over a year that's a whole working day. 

Then Vista came along and it has the Mobility Center. Press [Window key] [X] and up it Pops. Click connect to display and WHOOSH the presentation is on the screen. That's a day saved: and knowing what Microsoft consulting Services used to charge for my time, that's worth more than cost of the upgrade licence, and the deployment cost and so on.

I brought this up in the group meeting this morning when someone said something about "people not being able to use PowerPoint because of Vista".. The betas of Nvidia's Vista driver 6 months before launch didn't work when a monitor was plugged in, but 3 Months before launch that problem went away. I must have sat through upwards of 500 PowerPoint presentations since Vista came out, and I've never seen a problem related to Vista. If the battery fails in someone's slide clicker what I hear is "That's vista for you", if the projector won't focus "It's vista". That's wearing a bit thin. What shocked me was someone at the same table leant over after I'd said all that and asked "What was the key combination for that ?"

Earlier in the session, a senior Microsoft person said she'd really valued the training everyone received on XP, and how she missed that with Vista. Anyone can switch from XP to Vista without re-training. You get security benefits, a better network stack, easier deployment  but it takes a little time to show people what can be done. How you get the best out of search, use tagging and previews in explorer, turn off the sound for one irritating application without turning them all off. The list goes on. We didn't teach people those things. And not everything about a brand new OS is positive.  Some hardware isn't up to the task - I will tell the story of my Home PC another time, but the short form is it needed me to spend £40 on RAM and the 5 year old graphics card doesn't support Glass; it works better and does more than it did under XP. Some things won't have drivers in the early days. The number of drivers available at launch was a creditable 30,000 but that's increased by over 150% (77,000 at SP1). Some applications don't work on a new service pack never mind a new release: not everyone has got to grips with the Application Compatibility Toolkit which has helped to provide an environment where some real horrors can be persuaded to run. And user account control annoys IT Professionals like the seat-belt alarm in my car annoys drivers. I don't need to be told I'm manoeuvring the car with my belt off. I do want to know if my children undo their belts when we're driving down the motorway. I hope the safety parallel is obvious.

We didn't give our own people the skills to talk about these things. And our own gleaming new state of the art product had a "Terminal 5" experience. SP1 for Vista was a milestone which gave people the feeling they could go back and have another look at Vista (in fact almost all of key changes had happened before SP1). I wonder how long it will be before people stop trying to avoid T5.


Update. Fixed several typos. Jet lag. Grrrr.

Comments (47)

  1. Anonymous says:

    If you think Windows Vista sucks then I suggest you take a moment to view the recordings on the Mojave

  2. James ONeill says:

    Jonathan, I understand the need to keep an old OS running for support reasons and some of the pain of old apps.

    Vista did not discontinue support for parallel ports. If you’d installed Vista you’d know you can go to Add Printers, choose "Add a Local Printer" – which tells you USB ones are auto-detected, choose your COM or LPT port (which show up in Device manager as well), and add your printer. It may be we don’t auto detect printers but I’ve just told my Machine it had an Epson FX 80 on LPT1.

    The Outlook thing is something I hit from time to time as well. As I understand it, threading in Outlook isn’t as clever as it might be.  When I had a 50MB mailbox this didn’t matter, with a 1GB mailbox… it does stutter from time to time.


    No need to convince myself. The first time I tagged a bunch of photos I knew there was no going back. Vista does have a bigger memory footprint than XP so if there is too little RAM it will page more, when you first use it it will index everything – more disk activity, make shadow copies – more disk activity and when you run applications for the first time it figures out how to pre-cache them – which also has an overhead

    It doesn’t make a good first impression. But once it settled in I found I can get work done more quickly than I could with XP.  

  3. James ONeill says:

    I think you misunderstood what I said there. We have a bunch of OEMs who fill their machines up with crap-ware and we just smile and say "these are our loyal partners". If it were left to me I’d dish out prizes for "Worst written driver", "Worst configured PC", "Sloppiest installation routing", "Most violations of good programming practice". There was a time when Microsoft was too rough.  These days I think we’re too soft. When drivers crash and users opt to send the crash dump in we get to see which are the culprits, and we have a gentle chat with the writers.

  4. James ONeill says:

    Ian I’m finding that a lot of IT professionals (geeks if you prefer) are very conservative in adopting Vista. I know what you mean about not knowing if you should blame Dell or Vista, or McAffee (I don’t trust McAffeee either and I’d re-install the OS clean in just about any machine I buy because so many OEMs fill the machines with Crap ware (see. http://pcDeCrapifier.com) And HP lost me as a customer by not doing a driver for my scanner. (Thought it is worth looking at VueScan from Hamrick software for their driver library).

    Gerrard. I’m using 2GB in my home machine and it is running with 2 users and fast user switching very nicely. Seriously my 4GB work laptop is not noticably faster.

    I’m not going to get into the argument about sleeping the machine, (Things like indexing, de-fraging, shadow copy, malware scans, and so on are designed for machines that sleep). if you really want to power it down, use hibernate. But have a read of this about the options


    There really is no need to re-initialize the whole OS every day.

    @George "Does that underline etc" … yes kind of. Some people will always like the old way. "Microsoft blaming users" though – where ? I think we did a poor job of making some of the best features in Vista easy to find (especially for people who were moving up with zero training) and we didn’t even give our own people the information they need to engage with folks they met. Take what I just told Gerrard about the shutdown options: how many people realize you can change the default from sleep to shutdown ? That is our fault. There are also some really badly written apps and drivers out there and some bad practice among OEMs who pre-install the OS. Personally I wish we were a bit more willing to go on the warpath against those guys.

  5. James ONeill says:

    PhilW and George. Perhaps you should talk about "as rational as having to press something called "start" to stop the machine." vs "The start menu is horrible. Why does MS feel the need to move things around for no good reason? People get used to a way of doing things but then you move it, rename it and change the icon"

    George, you’ll probably find if Linux is going faster it is doing less 🙂 Most users never see UAC , PowerUsers see it a lot, but remember the admin account doesn’ see it at all. You’ve got a spyware checker in defender (bet you turned it off or didn’t trust MS update) so check, and use tools/software explorer in defender to find out what is loading at boot time.

    I hated the XP start menu and went back to Windows 2000 style, I get on better with the Vista version. That was what the usability labs found too. Like Mickaël, I didn’t like the fisher-price look of XP’s themes and turned them off. Vista’s don’t jar so much

    Actually the changes to Control panel in XP weren’t seen as a success (hence the use of traditional view) and again the vista changes came from the usability  labs. I just type what I want in the search box.

    SD cards , I’ve found huge differences with different readers, some appear to slug the performance of the machine and some don’t.

    The stuff about DRM checks happening a thousand times a second are simply untrue.

    Mickaël , I suspect you’re right that the tests concentrate on getting the best UI for a task, and just assume that people will pay the price of making the transition. Office 2007 deployment in my bit of Microsoft was a week of cursing while people found where things had gone, then a quiet week, and then people saying "hey have you seen X". I’ve been through the changes from MS-DOS Executive, to Program Manager, to Start menu (yes I ran progman.exe on 95 for a bit), ironically it is the changes which deliver most which tend to disrupt most.

    Jon H, I’m going to follow up the £34 quid thing because it seems odd to me.

    As for the home user.

    Media Centre, DVD burning, Photo tagging, sorting and previewing, better parental controls were the first few things I thought of. It’s those home/consumer things which make me love vista. Deployment is just fantastic, but it can’t inspire Love.

  6. James ONeill says:

    @Manfred. No it doesn’t. It’s lousy with too little RAM, but I’ve put it on my 2003 Vintage Dell at home (single core 32 bit Celeron) and I had to upgrade the RAM. I love glass on my 2006 model machine but I just don’t miss it. I put my TV tuner card on it and I have no problem at all – though I don’t trust the "Balanced" power setting not to slow the CPU when I want to record. Your problem may be something else (feel free to mail me and we’ll see if we can get you a support call to fix it)

    @Bruce. Serious question, is your Vista Machine still running all the crapware which seems to come loaded on any new box these days ? Not knowing those applications in detail I can’t say for sure, but I’m willing to bet they benefit from pre-fetching like anything else does, they benefit from the machine doing its own disk defrag as a scheduled task, and probably benefit from better memory management (e.g. a big file copy doesn’t move pages out of RAM and stuff the performance of the application).

    I’m guessing you don’t have stats to say that any of those apps take significantly longer under one OS or another.

    @Simon, go to Windows help and type user account control, first match is how to turn it off. But don’t turn it off, that’s like driving without a seatbelt because you’re a good driver. If you must do a lot of stuff which triggers it (e.g. setting up a machine from) then re-enable the default administrator account, and reset its password, it’s not subject to UAC by default.

    @John. You downgraded people’s machines rather than reseting the start menu and changing the power options ?  And you could have shown them how to make use the new features. How much time does a typical user spend in the network part of control panel anyhow ? At this conference I’ve had to deal with some very flakey networking and Vista’s "diagnose and repair" has saved me about an hour compared with what XP would have needed over the last couple of days. (Constantly running IPCONFIG /renew, disabling and re-enabling adapters to see if they can connect to the access point this time etc)

    Congratulations John you’ve made people’s  lives a little worse, not better.

    @Mickaël. I think you’ve probably got the most valid point of any so far. A lot of problems can be fixed by running using the admin account – because yes I know about running batch files that run non elevated and one line fails because it needs to be elevated. Steve Lamb has a tip of start CMD elevated so that problem goes away, and I’d also suggest doing the app setup part as administrator. Are you installing each of the apps on each machine rather than doing it once and making an image which you can deploy to everything.

    Oh and as for usability testing, millions and millions of dollars goes into it each year.

  7. James ONeill says:


    " No one in Microsoft can imagine anything is wrong with Vista and instead of listening, they blame the users."

    Where are we blaming users ? Trust me, some of the toughest Vista critics are inside Microsoft.

    " Can you guess where MS went wrong with the Office 2007 ribbon?"

    Lets see. We changed stuff. Biggest crime there is in some people’s eyes. Thing is that after a few days with it people are more productive, and after a couple of weeks there’s no going back. If you’re happy the level of productivity you have, stay with what you’ve got. If you want better, go for something newer and better.

    @dogboy. The blank space is filled in by OEM specific things. I know what you mean though, it’s always 4 items to a row, so I have 9 in all it ends up as 4,4,1 instead of 3×3

    @Chris, I try to avoid BA too, but it’s not always possible.

    @Alex, speed isn’t an easy thing to compare. Want to compare Outlook start time on a Laptop that’s been running Vista for weeks against a new install, and then against XP. The pre-fetching in Vista means that the system that has been used for a bit is faster than the XP one, and depending on memory the brand new one might be slower. Compare very large file copies ? Vista caps the memory that can be given to caching so it actually takes a bit longer but the next job starts memory starved on XP. Want to compare the start-up time of a machine that an OEM has filled with crapware against a clean one.

    Then do you want to compare the time to do a job (like finding the file you want before opening it), Vista – with intergrated search, live icons and the preview pane saves me minutes out of each day. I stuck    

    @Toni. It depends on the graphics card and projector. I must have plugged in a dozen diffrerent kinds of monitor and projector and most of them are OK when plugged in directly.  The usual problem is caused by the switch boxes and the like that you find in most conference rooms, my graphics card can’t detect a change.

    @Paul. I take it you don’t run Vista, as you plainly haven’t a clue what you’re talking about.  

  8. James ONeill says:

    @m2iCodeJockey  There’s a post by Marc russinovich on this, which is basically on XP when you do an enormous file copy, it allocates a huge amount of ram for caching doing it, which knocks the stuffing out of any apps you run afterwards. Vista caps it, so you will find these kinds of performance effects.

    Yes, I understand the "that’s not typical" "But it is what **I** do argument", but on the the flip side when I copy a DVD image it is from the US to the UK – lots of bandwidth and a ton of latency. It used to be something I had to leave overnight with XP, now it’s less than an hour.

    George: the start menu. Personally I prefer it, the usability labs tried a bunch of different combinations and the one we went with came out top. We all have our preferences. Performance change over time. Well it could be as simple as you’re shutting your machine down every night and Vista’s default scheduled defrag never runs. It could be that you’ve got infested with other stuff.

    If the machine doesn’t run it’s shadow copy because it’s turned off it will start it at boot time (though that should be a low priority IO task) and the more files it has the longer that takes. The list goes on.

    The SD card thing isn’t the card but the reader. I’ve had a bunch of readers and some suck big time, some are fine and I’ve never got to the bottom of why.

    I shouldn’t have said never. I don’t see UAC as a problem because updating iTunes once in while is something where a box popping up saying "Did you know something is changing the software on your computer" is actually a good thing. But it’s not a daily or even weekly occurrence. I’m not sure what the percentage of usability test time that went into UAC was (do I detect sarcasm). But there are a bunch of settings around do we display it for (a) THE admin account (b) members of admins (c) Non admins with a credentials box. The defaults are set differently for each. So corporates can push out a policy which says you have to type your password to install iTunes if that’s what they choose.

    Conclusion. Slower. Every OS does more, but demands more hardware to do it. Fact of life (and I did do the update from Windows 1.03 to 2). There are some crap SD readers. And some people like what they have. Hell I’m running Paintshop pro FIVE which is NINE years old. I tried V.10 and it might have been better but I just didn’t like it. Love… I can see my photos in explorer and tag them, then do a search and find all the pictures which have a particular friend of my daughters and burn her parents a DVD. No add ons needed.


    Look if you want to think I’m being condescending and calling you a lame user then that’s up to you. [I’m not. My point was we did a lousy job of making the new stuff discoverable and compounded the crime by not giving our own people the knowledge to talk about it. ].

    File save instead of clicking the down arrow on the right click the arrow on the left. I quite like the arrows in the breadcrumb trail but the IE style "Recent" list isn’t something I find helpful in a file explorer/file save setting.

  9. James ONeill says:

    Looks like you and I are never going to agree on the productivity aspect. Vista saves me tons of time, from quicker finding programs, search, better explorer, protecting me from myself with Shadow copies etc.

    I’m pretty certain that all the NT derived OSes are pre-emptive (only the DOS and 9X ones were co-operative).

    You don’t like UAC… well it does two things one is it makes people aware when they are running things which change the system. And I think that is a good thing – usually: it’s a pain in the neck when building a system.

    Leaner isn’t better. DOS was not better than Windows 1,2 3.x or 9x. Windows 9x was not better than NT. 2000 was not better than XP. On the one hand you complain about changes on the other you suggest that we change the OS to be a single compiled file – which presumably means a reboot for each driver change and earth shaking changes which affect compatibility.

    As for "Dell, Intel, IBM and HP" doing private tests which you know the answer to… does that even deserve and answer.

  10. Chuck says:

    Your post illustrates exactly where Microsoft  went wrong with Vista: No one in Microsoft can imagine anything is wrong with Vista and instead of listening, they blame the users.

    PS: Can you guess where MS went wrong with the Office 2007 ribbon?

  11. Peter Green says:

    I know what you mean about Vista. Personally I love it and have been using it on my home machine and laptop since it came out but it seems to be taking the brunt of criticism in the IT world, mostly unfairly. From a business perspective its application compatibility rather then driver compatibility that means we dont use it. Its not the big apps that are a problem as 99% of them have been updated, its the very small, specific or bespoke/partially bespoke ones which dont work or arent 100% reliable. I think a lot of business have over the past 10 years spent large amounts of money on these apps and are now going through a phase of making them return on their investment and are simply not willing to pay again for them to be updated. I think its a shame, but remembering back to Windows 3.x-95-NT-2000 upgrade pains, Vista will become the de facto standard, it will just take a little longer. In my opinion the IT industry just isnt as quick to embrace new technologies as it used to be (well maybe it still is in the consumer market).

  12. dogboy says:

    i learned 2 things: (1) win-x brings up a window and (2) that window reeks of the same stupid design mistakes that microsoft makes over and over again – nice blank space.

  13. Chris Matchett says:

    I don’t avoid Terminal 5 as such. I avoid British Airways now whatever terminal they fly from.

  14. Alex Shirley says:

    And not a single mention of Vista’s speed compared to XP even with powerful PC’s! :).

    The reason why I haven’t gone Vista is that I know experienced tech support people and developers (from more than one organisation) who are downgrading to XP, because it’s too slow.

  15. Toni says:

    But why I have to press anything to get projector or display working? Why doesn’t it just start working when I plug it in?

    And where does that windows+x come from?! There’s no X in the word mobility.

  16. PAUL TAVARES says:

    Wow, your reality distortion field is as big as steve job’s. In the ideal world, your projector display issued would have been resolved via an icon in the control panel, but in your world a keyboard shortcut is the obvious solution to everyone who doesn’t know or want to know the special shortcut for anything or everything is. Once again, wow. Sorry about this but reality called and they want vista(xp redressed and screwed up) recalled. FACT. Vista is garbage. And no BS is going to change that.

  17. rolly poly says:

    it’s just a pain is all, there was plenty about XP that wasn’t broken and it got "fixed" anyway.

    on T5:

    we’re still dealing with the illusion that macs are better for desktop publishing (etc..), when anyone with a clue knows that just isn’t the case anymore.

  18. Mickaël Pointier says:

    Typically what irks me Vista is mostly that most things seems to be only half done.

    The new fancy access control is a good example.

    As a developer in a company running a very complicated set of legacy stuff running on various OS, we have lot of things which is not "perfect" but kind of worked fine with previous versions of XP, but that now can’t be used with Vista when the access control is enabled. The fact that it was crappily done in first place is not relevant: We have to change it to get it to work on a normal Vista install.

    Just try to run a registry file from a network drive by double clicking it.

    You will have a confirmation request about security concerning running something for a network drive, press ok, then it runs regedit, which finds out that it’s running from a network drive and refuse to run it.

    For some reason the access rights does not transfer in the sequence of events that follows the double click.

    This is the kind of things that kills me all the day long. Had to change tens of batch files that are doing things like checking if a local install is up to date compared to some network repository, check if the VSRedist are correctly installed, and if not run the setup from the network drive… and miserably fail silently, leading to a non working application.

    Windows 95 was okish (was new), 95 OSR2 was usable, 98 was actually quite good and usable (a bit too many blue screens, but well), Windows Milenium was kind of something I really never understood. Managed to get some things done globally, it but kept crashing and I could not find drivers for most of my exotic hardware, Windows 2000 was great. Serious, was using it until last year (then my pc died) been running for about 6 years on the same machine. Windows XP is good. XP64 is… well… pointless. And Vista could have been good, but for some reason every single bit of goodness seem to be compensated by an equally frustrating element.

    I think what Microsoft should do is to actually start looking at the way people use their machines and operating systems/applications, then devise way to improve the experience, instead of what for me looks like an attempt at improving what some people at Microsoft believe how people are using their machines.

    I have also plenty of examples about "smart" things in Office (all versions) that are just plain frustrating in practice, despite what look like a good idea on paper. Just obvious lack of usability testing 🙂

  19. John Sanders says:

    I had to remove Vista from many computers because people genuinely find if confusing to use.

    IE: The start menu doesn’t make any sense, neither does the network control panel, you never know why the hard disk never spins down, and in general vista feels way too different than any other windows just for the sake of being different.

    And not to mention being slooooooooow on current’s people hardware.

  20. Simon says:

    Initially I hated Vista. I made the mistake of installing the 64bit version then realised that most of the third party software I ran didn’t work. After reinstalling the 32 bit version the machine (a Compaq 8510P with 2Gb RAM) the machine just seemed slow. Opening My Computer takes a while that I never saw in XP.

    I tried to install XP on the machine but the drivers were not available for my machine from HP. After 3 months I have got used to Vista, I don’t like it as much as XP. What I would like in a future O/S from Microsoft is an IT Professional version where you can easily turn off/on functionality to test stuff. The UAC was a pain until I found a great article on how to stop it.

  21. Bruce Ordway says:

    Vista on the brand new PC is slower than any of the other much older PC’s in my house & I have 10 of them. The box that is starting to get a lot of use now is the Mac. I also work in a mid sized IT dept. No way we’re putting Vista in until something changes drastically.

    Powerpoint presentations are meaningless here, I work in engineering and animation. Maybe you can tell us all how Vista will improve performance of Solidworks, Inventor, 3D MAX, Maya, etc..

  22. Manfred says:

    I agree with Toni. You shouldn’t have to remember an arcane key sequence to perform a task.

    My experience with Vista so far has been mostly positive. I haven’t run into the "long goodbye" yet like other users. But I also haven’t networked it into my domain yet, either.

    It generally works well… for me.

    Other than:

    It demands new hardware… really GOOD hardware. If you’re  a year or two behind the curve…

    I’m running Vista Ultimate and the Media Centre freezes on me every 20 minutes or so.

    As well, the video is choppy from my TV tuner card. It’s not the card, either. It works fine under Windows 2000 and linux.

  23. Mawdo says:

    1 day a year saved from {windows}+{x}.  That justifies spending ~ $2000 on a Vista capable Laptop and License?

    Good work at $2000 a day, no wonder you like Microsoft!

  24. nick says:

    I use Vista and I have to admit that the one feature I really miss when going back to use a collegues XP machines is the start button ‘instant search’ feature to run applications and I rarely traverse the ‘start’ > ‘programs’ these days!  

    At home though, I have a decent Vista PC and a Macbook and I do find myself favoring the Macbook with nothing more complex than the browser (using online services like Google docs) to do most ‘home’ tasks over firing up the PC with Office.  The Mac is by no means perfect but it starts up far more quicky and feels way more responsive despite being older and a lower spec than the Vista PC and the benefits of ‘cloud’ computing are of far more value to me than semi-transparent window borders.

  25. j fox says:

    It’s not necessary to upgrade to a new OS for some petty functionality(hooking a projector &co).

    Don’t get me wrong , I will some day switch to the hungrier new OS after my current hardware life cycle will be long over.

  26. j fox says:

    It’s not necessary to upgrade to a new OS for some petty functionality(hooking a projector &co).

    Don’t get me wrong , I will some day switch to the hungrier new OS after my current hardware life cycle will be long over.

  27. Mickaël Pointier says:

    I do not doubt that Microsoft is spending a lot of money in usability testing. What I question is what is tested, and how.

    Testing generally follows a protocol, and the results you get are directly relevant to what the testing protocol specified.

    Let’s see the "change for the sake of change" kind of comments. Most people will agree with the fact that many of the user interfaces changes done both in Vista, Office, Visual Studio, etc… taken out of context (old habits and experience) are actually good ones.

    Problem is, they change some basic behaviors of the system (configuration, menus, way of doing things, etc…), so the user that need to upgrade to a new system or application can really wonder why to not switch to something else entirely. After all, if all these years learning by heart the shortcuts, the location of parameters, etc… is lost because the new version of the application/system is very different and need to be relearned, why move to Vista vs MacOS or some Linux distribution. Why move to Office 2007 instead of Open Office ? (well, that was for the sake of argument I think OO is really crap, but typically at home I’m using Office 2000 because in my book it’s still the fastest and streamlined version of office ever. It has all I need, don’t see why I should change 🙂 Should I ?)

    Typically I’m using XP, in "Classic Window" mode, because I don’t like the "Playschool" look.

    I’m also using Visual Studio, but with "Visual 6 keyboard shortcuts".

    That’s two examples of things done well in Microsoft products: I can continue to work with what I know, without having to relearn a whole set of acquired knowledge.

    So yeah, I suspect that the kind of testing which is done is "Does it work well ? Do you like it ? What can be done to improve the product ?" without the "Is the transition going to be easy for people used to previous versions ?" fundamental question.

  28. jon honeyball says:

    Vista is a very curious thing. There is a great deal in there which is way way better than XP — single image installer, for example.

    For a corporate with 10k seats to manage, theres much to love and cuddle here. No doubt about it.

    However, what is there here for the home/SME user?  Glass? No meaningful upside, and a high hardware requirement. Redesigned UI — no meaningful upside (we had already learned XP UI, thanks).

    And so on and so forth.

    Why does Vista need antivirus and antispyware tools? Why wasnt this nailed from day one? Answer – MS too scared of the likes of symantec and EA to make them code properly to the appropriate standards.

    What happened to the three pillars of Vista? The XAML programming stuff – nice, but no direct value to me today. Aero — nice if you have the hardware, a pain if you dont, and still no real value. WinFS? I think I’ll stop right there…

    Bottom line — MS promised too much for too many people, and delivered too little for everyone.

    XP was adequate for most people most of the time — Vista simply isnt compelling enough.

    And now look at the pricing on the Dell UK website — buy a new Optiplex 330 and you get Vista Business bundled. Add in XP Pro downgrade rights for free. Go for Vista Ultimate with XP Pro downgrade rights and its 34 quid more. Well that was a hard choice…


  29. philw says:

    It’s not about Vista, or even any technical or "usability" features of Vista, it’s just the way people react to change. It really doesn’t matter how good, bad or indifferent the changes are.

    Fanboys aside, the people who will be the last to move to Vista were likely also the last to move to XP, and they were probably equally rude about that at the time. The operating systems get better, but the people stay the same.

    On the specific example of Etch-a-sketch users having to press some key combination to run something called a  "Mobility Center"[sic] before they show their Power Point slides … well that sounds about as rational as having to press something called "start" to stop the machine.

    I use Vista because it’s more secure and stable than the previous stuff. I like non-technical people to use it because it’s harder for them to screw up. But it’s still the wrong solution for most people, who really need an appliance not a computer.

  30. George Kapotto says:

    First thing I did on my new and relatively speedy HP laptop (2.16 Ghz, dual core, 4GB memory and 256 dedicated video RAM) was repartition to installe Ubuntu for dual boot. All I am going to say about Linux is that it runs faster and that is with the fancy visual effects enabled in Ubuntu so from my validated perspective Vista has serious speed issues.

    Functionally, Vista has a few things I like but the UAC is stupidly intrusive. I hate IE7 and have hated it since XP so that isn’t Vista’s fault. Thank goodness for Firefox.

    Boot time on my laptop is slow and getting slower. I keep my kids off the machine and have limited apps installed so either my machine is spyware ridden and the UAC is crap and all the security claims are just posturing or the system really is slowing down over time.

    The start menu is horrible. Why does MS feel the need to move things around for no good reason? People get used to a way of doing things but then you move it, rename it and change the icon It is no wonder people are confused about new features so don’t claim that it is just uninformed users who don’t really appreciate the improvements. Remember the changes to control panel in XP? What percentage of people switched to the ‘tradition’ view because it was comprehensible – I bet there were a bunch. Stupidly I struggled with the new view in the expectation that this was the way MS was going so I might as well get used to it. And then Vista changes everything around again. It would be like the Oxford dictionary saying "this month champagne will be spelled sham-pain, pronounced ‘bubblyboo’ and it will actually mean ‘beef flavoured jelly roll’. This is the real pain that MS puts users through every time they re-jig the UI for no apparent reason other than convincing the unwashed masses that it is something new and worthwhile.

    Performance wise, one of my first lessons was don’t try doing anything while transferring files from an SD card. As this was a new laptop I transferred files from my old system and found that a 2+ Ghz dual-core system could do absolutely nothing else effectively while moving files off a memory card at a rate far *slower* than XP wrote them there in the first place. Based on other web discussions, analysis, etc. my suspicion is that Vista has so many paranoid DRM checks that it kills performance for legitimate uses and users. Perhaps you should wrestle with the consequences of kowtowing to the recording industry – another monopolistic dinosaur – at the expense of lost customers. In the end, where do you get more money and who should you respect more?

  31. Brian says:

    So I have been at the PC thing since 87 at Compaq and I would say the shock to the user is no better or worse than multiple prior ‘new’ releases… anyone remember WordPerfect’s pandering in Print Ads "I’m sticking with DOS".

    Can remember which morph of office, I think moving 2000 where the UI shifted radically that caused a lot of bitching.

    RE: The Office 07 Ribbon.  I too had a lot of UI indigestion until I discovered that by hovering in the Ribbon you can scroll with your mouse from Home to Developer tasks quickly without lifting a finger.  After a lot of tinkering I believe quite strongly that this Office 07 is by far the best UI to date.

  32. m2iCodeJockey says:

    Dude, not everyone is just Vista bashing.

    Not everyone is pro-Mac (which you can’t own if you don’t have a turtle-necked shirt and wire framed glasses.)

    Not everyone likes open source, which is for and produced by people that don’t mind doing hard work for free.

    Here’s a simple test:

    Using a pair of Vista installed machines with gigabit net adapters, copy a DVD image from one machine to the other, look at the transfer rate. Before SP1 the highest I saw was 3.3MB/sec before tweaks, 8.5MB/sec after. After SP1, 13.1MB/sec.

    The same test on XP to XP, the highest I’ve seen is 54MB/sec, average 45MB/sec.

    Being a software dev, I tried this on many different machines multiple times and multiple OS tries per machine, even multiple switches. To rule out switchgear, I’ve even tried crossover cables.

                    1Gb/sec = 125MB/sec. Why so low?

    I also saw an increase average temp at idle from XP to Vista.

    On a 2GB RAM machine, RAM at IDLE, XP 400MB, Vista 550MB with no Aero/Sidebar.

    Before you jump over this without trying this test and whip out some jack-assery like ‘I’m not inclined to copy a whole DVD from on PC to another’ ask yourself ‘WHY IS THIS SO SLOW? Why does it not matter what hardware this is tried on? Is there something else that is ALSO NOT WORKING to caps? Will higher average machine temp have a NEGATIVE IMPACT ON THE PLANET? (More heat = more power usage = more AC usage = even more power usage)’

    Well, I AM inclined to build and copy DVD images to archive. Apart from me, somewhere, someone has to be cutting feature films, producing commercials or source media for games.

    Some of those people are paid by the hour…

    Why should I pay a higher price for less actual performance?

    Before I go on a tangent-rant about how the Office2007 print menu is hidden in the glove box next to the ‘Open Trunk’ button, I digress…

  33. nick says:

    I find it interesting that just briefly scanning the responses here, the majority (I’m guessing than around 90%) are generally negative about Vista.

    Admittedly, it’s a very limited customer sample but after the ‘Terminal 5’ launch, it would look to me like either the Vista WOW message still isn’t getting out there or perhaps people are finding that Vista doesn’t meet their expectations or needs?

  34. George Kapotto says:

    James: ‘as rational as having to press something called start’ – I find it amusing that you parrot one of the common mockeries from alternate OS communities. Beyond the ‘Start’ button being redesigned, the presentation after clicking has also changed radically and I don’t see that being a significant improvement. There are some improvements but largely I find them lost in the clutter of cosmetic changes.

    Linux probably is going faster because it is doing less: I think the issue here is – What is the less that it is not doing? And why is there a growing performance disparity over time? I can be downloading a (legitimate) ISO through bittorrent while watching a video file on a rotating cube of multiple desktops with better performance than when ONLY playing spider solitaire on Vista. btw – I also turned off transparency. It was neat, I’m a fan of neat but in the end it was just annoying and provided no real value. (Also, look at the usability of the window for controlling screen effects and dock the pay of whoever gave it a gold star.) And Vista is still slow. And Linux runs faster. It may be doing less and doesn’t appear to need to do them anyway.

    I have not turned of defender and have automatic updates enabled. My spyware remark was largely sarcastic in nature to underline a point.(Apologies for that not being clear, I will try harder next time.) It was intended to emphasize the fact that something is slowing this system down. I don’t genuinely believe that the issue is spyware – so what is it? I will take the time to look for spyware but based on my largely paranoid approach to the web and software don’t seriously expect to find anything significant. Did I mention that it gets scanned every time I use it to connect to work?

    I will accept your statement that DRM checks are not occurring. Still the card in question was an HP branded SDHC 4GB card specifically sold as a high speed card and used in my HP laptop with nearly vanilla Vista SP1 activated only a couple of days previously. I can’t see how I could be any closer to mainstream vanilla Vista on supported hardware and your excuse is that mileage may vary? If, as you say, DRM is not the issue then there must be a serious and fundamental code flaw.

    I dispute your assertion that most users never see the UAC. If you include all business users who are locked down and are not allowed to install software then, technically, you are correct. It is perhaps a bit more disingenuous of you if the statement is restricted to home users who may on occasion, Gasp!, install software or do something as radical as update iTunes once in a while.

    Or is the assumption that all family members go running to Dad/Mom or big brother/sister if he/she is the family ‘IT person’? And then that person runs as administrator to bypass all the laboriously inserted yet borked security encumbrances in Vista? If I read you correctly, UAC which Vista provides went through millions and millions of dollars of usability testing is best bypassed by running as administrator all the time.

    As for new features, most of these (with the possible exception of parental controls) are’also ran’ add-ons that bring Windows Vista up to speed with respect to the excellent freeware alternatives already out there for XP. I expect them to be there but am not moved to a feeling of love.

    Deployment was not fantastic. My personal experience was a ridiculously long startup/configuration time on first power up. In fact this delay was the leading cause of returns for my brother-in-law’s store. People assumed something was wrong and powered the PC off partway through the initial setup and trashed the OS. Great usability testing went on there. (Did you see the sarcasm that time?)

    In conclusion, all you have done is agree with me that Vista is actually slower, SD card utilization can be terrible for inexplicable reasons and acknowledge that UI changes can really irritate people.

    So where is the love?

  35. Chuck says:

    Your whole blog post is like one of those dumb interview questions where the interviewer asks "what is your biggest weakness?" and the candidate replies something like "I care too much" or "I just can’t stop working".

    You ask in the title, "Where did MS go wrong with Vista?" and you reply in your post "we are too smart to teach lame users the obvious".

    It all about attitude and MS is consistently condescending in their designs and responses.

    Tell me one thing. In a file save dialog box when I want to change the path and I use the pull down dialog box, why can’t I get the system to show me the disk hierarchy which would all me to browse to the desired directory. Why did it get changed to only display an unordered list of various places that Vista remembers?

    I dare you to explain that to this luser.

  36. m2iCodeJockey says:

    @George Kapotto

    Linux IS going faster but, not because it’s doing less.

    Multi-threaded platforms fall into two basic types: Cooperative and Preemptive.

    Windows in cooperative: While a native Win program is running, if it has a UI, the main loop contains a call to "PumpMessage." This function retrieves the mouse message and other user actions to pass them the program’s specific functions for handling. What also happens in there is processor attention is temporarily passed from the local program to the next program that needs it. A non UI can call "Sleep(1)" or a like function to accomplish the same cooperation.

    Linux is preemtive: The kernel is tuned to give each user mode program an interval of processor attention called a slice. On the trailing edge of the slice, the processor state for the local program is stored, the next program’s state is put in place then activated.

    The difference here is that when a Win hangs, Windows only preempts that program after a maximum interval is reached. The idea is that when a program is taking a long slice, it problably needs it. Such is not always the case…

    When that program is hanging, everything in user mode has it’s operation delayed.

    In Linux, when a program is slow, only the local program operation is affected unless the program is hanging inside a shared resource that allows single thread access only.

  37. George Kapotto says:

    Found another Vista weakness last night. I use a USB fob for transporting files to/from work. Opened one file and worked on it with the same application that I used at work. Couldn’t ‘safely remove’ it without shutting Vista down. Then I recalled that I have seen this before with Vista. Does usability testing involve regression testing?

    Anyway, your rebuttals are drifting into the ‘Yeah well, different people, different experiences…’ groove. Does that not underline that for many people out there, the Vista experience has been pants and Microsoft is still blaming the user/hardware when these regressions/flaws happen for some people and not others. (Parenthetically I find this reflects the most annoying part of the Linux community that responds to user issues with a smug, "Well, it worked fine for me."

    To be fair there is some valid information in your remarks but I some ways I try to treat my utilization of the desktop in the same way as an average user (servers are more my thing) and view it as a failure on Vista’s part when I cannot easily and intuitively find out how to use a feature. By that criteria ‘CTRL-X’ does not get a passing grade.

    If Microsoft wants to rule the OS kingdom, we are at least looking for a benevolent despot instead of a self-serving tyrant(and who has a keen sense of what he is wearing before going on parade.)

  38. Gerrard Shaw says:

    I’ve tried to use Vista and get used to it but I…just…can’t…stand…it! Far too "user friendly" which ends up being a right pain in the backside for an advanced user who just wants to get stuff done.

    Got a Fujitsu laptop for family use and had aggro with the wireless… took me about 10-12 clicks to get into Network settings I could see in XP in 2-3 clicks. Seven buttons for shutdown… why? And no I don’t leave any of my PCs left on at the mains, power management on not so boot speed is important to me. Something that’s now lightning quick with XP SP3 🙂

    Also the RAM situation… just about bearable at 2GB if you want smooth performance need 3-4GB from what I’ve seen and tried out personally. Problem is you’ve got the 4GB ceiling in 32-bit… what happens if Vista’s hardware requirements go up like XPs have over the years, remember XP on 256MB… not any more! Was there ever a plan to make Vista 64-bit only, now that would have moved the game forward and made it a worthwhile upgrade…

    Just can’t find anything day-to-day that Vista does better to justify the upgrade.

    Office 2007 though that’s another matter… very nice UI design and some very handy features, if Vista was as good it would have no problems!

  39. Ian Chisholm says:

    I stumbled on this thread by accident, read it, and then a couple of days later read about "Mojave" and thought I had to contribute – something I would never normally do. I retired from a techie profession getting on 5 years ago and now devote myself to fancy woodwork.  A computer is a machine for getting things done, not something for intense study and investigation.  I have a Netgear wireless router, a 3 yr old XP laptop, a couple of ancient MACs – pre Intel – a Linux box, relic of my last work assignment and a 6 year old Win2k box which 6 months ago was replaced with a new Dell / Vista Home Premium machine.  As far as GBytes (2) and GHz (dual cpu) go it’s far and away the highest spec’d machine in the house but you would never think so to sit at it.  It’s slow in general – comparable with the 700MHz Win2k box – very slow on my network compared with the other machines, unuseable on wireless and, unlike XP or Win2k, won’t communicate over the network with anything non Microsoft.  I don’t know or care if the problem is Vista, it was Dell who  got my money and as it happens I’m deeply suspicious of McAfee.  I just think average Joe ought to be able to buy a machine running the obvious OS from the obvious supplier, get it out of the box and feel he’s got value for money.  btw., yes I do have SP1 and no there still isn’t a driver for my scanner.  I haven’t reassessed wireless.

    The geeks I know divide quite simply into two.  The Mac people are all Mac enthusiasts, of course – they always are – and give the answer you’d expect.  The Windows guys unanimously say: Didn’t I know, hadn’t I heard, why didn’t I stick with XP?  NOONE volunteers to sort me out and James O’Neill, you are the first Vista enthusiast I’ve encountered.

    Where can I get one of those Mojave machines?

  40. m2iCodeJockey says:

    @James: "On the war path?" Threatening to beat up one’s own customers and contributors is high in the list of "Who and What went wrong and Where." It’s on a post-it note attached to a Balmer video, he’s holding up a list of IP violations found in other OS’ which includes "Save As." You can ask SCO how that would work out…

    Instead, how about "What can we do to help and influence companies to create more compatible SYS and INF files? Can MS put a facility in the driver applet that options sending the device signature to MS, compile a db/web site to show hardware mans what to work on and in what priority? Simple and least expensive: XP to Vista driver thunk?"

    You, yourself brought up “clean install.” I wonder if MS gives OEM’s a tool similar to “vLite” (www.vLite.net). This is what I use to make a slip-steamed, relevant drivers only version of an install DVD but, this is getting heavily into tinkerers’ territory, which for a non technophile, is counter to the point of PAYING for an OS. As I type this, my pro-Linux business partner is reminding me.

    @Gerrard Shaw:  While I’m satisfied with being able to poke at my partner about the lead machine next to his desk having XP, he is quick to remind me that neither he nor I were able maintain our workflow; during the pre-SP1 test I had to use Remote Desktop to my XP workstation in order to stay productive and ended up going back to XP, altogether. A great deal of utility software, related to my first post, will have to be replaced, some is proprietary and is simply not yet available nearly two years after V-Launch. (V-Lunch?) The current tools are backed up and perform well, there is no performance gain, or rather, a documented performance loss is involved in changing to the new OS.

    We’ll just keep taste testing until we see the performance even out over the SP releases or next OS. Hopefully, it won’t be to long before they figure out that their solution for the interrupt cadence/thread priority was unnecessary and is making machines run slower and warmer.

    As for the other 70 machines in our place: ‘loss in productivity associated with user disorientation’ coupled with ‘additional hardware requirements’ and ‘performance loss’ make upgrading cost prohibitive. My partner keeps threatening to change everything to Kubuntu, and I keep telling him that would, at the least, disorient the whole office at once since learning at leisure is not an option for the team.

  41. m2iCodeJockey says:

    "Most violations of good programming practice."

    James, the people that are here venting, and well in majority, are telling you something that you, as a company, should already know: If you replace a utility device with another that costs more, the new device should be equal or better as a functioning utility.

    Putting XP and Vista side by side, Vista looks better, hands down.

    Trying to use a PC as a component of workflow, XP crushes Vista to powder even when it’s installed from scratch, UAC disabled, network tweaked and SP1 slipstreamed.

    At your suggestion, I looked up Mr. Russinovich’s writings (I remember him from 95 or so, big in TCP tuning and later involved in breaking a Sony scandal) and, after reading more than one, took the time to write a "plain old open a file for read and open another for write" copy routine just to get a base line for judging an improvement.

    Again, using an actual hard test and not speculation or hearsay, the XP with Symantec AV disk to same disk copy was just above the speed of the Vista with no AV disk on bus 0 to other disk on bus 1 transfer rate. Vista’s disk to same disk time was 1/3 that of XP’s. Reading Mr. Russinovich’s articles on file copy and interrupt cadence now says to me that the speed and heat problems ARE in the Vista kernel, itself. Drive manufacturers are bragging on box with "SATA300, 3Gb/s (375MB/sec.)" It’s clear to me that the chances an MS OS was used to test this are very low…

    You will not get an argument out of me when it comes to OEM’s and crappy trialware (time limited MS Works does fall in there, though.


    But as a professional, doing his best to make decisions and recommendations on hard evidence, "Where MS went wrong with Vista" was in releasing it with so many changes that weigh more than their XP equivalent.

    But don’t take my word; Ask Intel or Dell or IBM or HP. They each did private tests for office use and in their products and each concluded that their productivity and their sales were being hurt by "Vista only" policy.

    Something MS can do to keep from going wrong with the next OS product: Go full preemptive multitasking and put the IO interrupt cadence back where it was in XP. Falling back to cooperative should be boot option away. The opposite default and switch should be an optional Vista update. Things like UAC should have a big, conspicuous switch during first boot.

    UAC; I wonder how many man-hours across the planet are being lost through people answering the same question twice…

    Over all, leaner is better. Do things like trying to get a file copy faster than 200MB/sec. Make a system a compiled, one file boot in less than 10 sec. That’s the kind of thing we were expecting.

    If you want to be the undisputed Masters of the Universe, you have have to truely move ahead of the others again, else, you’ll hear things like "Mac sales soared!" and "Linux downloads higher than 10K per day!" Oh, wait…

  42. Gerrard Shaw says:

    Haven’t had to work on many Vista PCs yet but the few times I have I seem to turn into Kevin the suly teeanger shouting “whaaaateverrr” at the UAC prompts… quite funny in a way but incredibly annoying!

    Think the 32-bit OS need junking for the next version of Windows and start on a clean base, Vista seems like it’s carrying too much weight for want of a better phrase…

  43. m2iCodeJockey says:

    Any program that assumes an NT OS is preemptive will be one that is seen as consuming “99%” processor in taskman. Only console loops are sliced by default. Even services must at least call “Sleep” to relieve processor load up.

    I challenge you to whip out a C++ compiler and try it.

    Intel announced that it would not upgrade to Vista from XP because of the additional system requirements. *Don’t they manufacture/sell the needed components?

    A group of hardware mans lead by Dell and HP invoked a “Downgrade to XP by Request” campaign when they realized that a significant number of people were not buying PC’s from them altogether when XP and XP marked drivers were not an option.

    I come from the world of SCADA. I live and work in Detroit.

    Large machines are no longer primarily controlled and monitored by panels with knobs and gauges. We use PC’s. I can tell you that I have written systems for processes on which a plain old “E-Stop” button is not safe to use.

    While a compiled one-file OS may not be the best option for Joe-Tweaker who has a new video card every month, as an OPTION, it may just save some electricity, making a positive impact on the planet vs. the previous OS and, in my town, save someone’s life. To understand what I mean and how my clients use your OS, lookup the origin of DDE.

    You brought up timesavings, in particular “Search” and I’m guessing you mean the new indexing. Probably works nicely if you have a “Surf and doc edit” setup, about 15000 to 20000 total files in system. It hurts if you are a developer – 215000 files in MS DevStudio alone. Got rid of that right after UAC…

    2000 was a definite improvement over NT4. Relating XP to 2000, I have never seen a BSoD under XP that did not have to do my debugging someone else’s kernel mode driver but, by bringing up this succession, you are underlining my argument: We accepted these migrations because of a high level of compatibility and a measurable IMPROVEMENT in the PC as a utility.

    James, it may not be correct but my perception is that you work for MS and your jobs is to travel to companies and show them the neat new stuff in MS’ lineup. I don’t expect you to say, “Yeah, you’re right. Our new OS is crap.”

    I’m telling you, as an outsider that is nonbiased:

    – SLI does not work on Vista out of box, needs MS patch. Patch came months after V-Launch.

    – Game frame rates are lower in DX10 until a patch. The patch came more than 6 months after V-Launch.

    Many game enthusiasts stayed with XP to keep the frustration level down. After a long bout with OS generated messages “system low on virtual memory” when it wasn’t and “this program is hung and will be shutdown” when it wasn’t (CoD4 in particular while in a league match) I had to review what I was getting from this OS.

    The ability to play games that a console is not capable is a large selling point of PC’s. The things we used to wow our customers perform visibly slower than what this OS replaced. This is why when someone says in public “Vista aint so bad” they get jumped.

    What I will take on speculation is that it’s probably having a negative impact on the market, PC games in particular. The EA’s and Activisions can tell you if I’m correct.


  44. m2iCodeJockey says:

    BTW, DOS was better than Win 3.1 and then 95 if your thing was playing games. Just ask Rational Systems, the people that sold DOS4GW to developers at about $10K US back then.

    Then a REAL innovation, Windows Game API which later became DirectX with Direct3D, caused people to move forward. Between DX and OpenGL, by the time 98 came along, people had already forgotten what that "SET BLASTER thingy" had been for.

  45. Jonathan B says:

    Personally, I have a copy of Vista Ultimate sitting on my shelf, which was won at a Microsoft event. It’s still sitting on my shelf. I’m intrigued by Glass and DX10, but I have to use this computer for my livelihood as a self-employed developer. So Vista will sit on my shelf till I’ve got a second PC to put it on, because I still have to support old VB6 apps with ocx controls from companies that don’t even exist anymore. Not typical, I know, just my situation.

    I have a customer who can’t put Vista on their machines because they’re dependent on a parallel port printer, and Vista discontinued support for parallel ports. I presume it fell under security holes, but still. That’s their situation. And they’re not the only ones I know with legacy apps and hardware who aren’t upgrading because of it. I suspect even some of the large corporations that are slow to adopt Vista are in similar boats. Enough legacy equipment, software, or processes to make upgrading to Vista a very expensive proposition with a new version of the OS now perhaps a year away.

    As for Office 2007, I like it alright, with one huge exception. Outlook 2007 is a pain for those of us with large mailboxes, because it slows down the whole computer, sometimes to a full halt for several seconds (even on my 4GB RAM machine) whenever it starts pulling in email and often when opening up a mail message. So far, everything I’ve seen says Microsoft’s solution is to tell you to empty your mailbox and it won’t run slow and that the new file system for Outlook is causing massive numbers of reads and writes when it deals with mail. The necessity of starting and stopping the Word engine to render the HTML emails is also slowing it down. Fix these speed issues without making me delete my email and I’d be quite happy with it.

  46. willwander says:

    I think your trying to convince yourself. I have a high spec machine, Im an experienced developer. When I upgraded from XP to vista my hard disk thrashed constantly and my machine seemed much slower and less stable. That was my perception, that was my first impression, that was my experience. sorry.

  47. Gerrard Shaw says:

    Thing you may have just hit the nail on the head there James, first impressions make all the difference…

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