What do you think of Windows Vista? If you haven’t deployed yet what’s holding you back?

Windows Vista has been out in the market for several months now and the dust has had time to settle. I'd love to hear what you think of it. Have you deployed some production systems yet? Have you purchased a new PC @ home? Which areas of Windows Vista do you find the biggest improvement over Windows XP?

I appreciate that corporate deployment of any technology is typically way more complicated than simply receiving the media and installing it. Concerns over application compatibility, driver support and the need for integration testing often mean that there's a considerable delay in deployment. Reviewing the improvements and deciding how / if they'll help you to make your business more effective are important considerations before committing to a large scale deployment.

Don't be shy. Share your pain. Hit the "Comment" button. Receiving your feedback will help me to help you by sharing information about how others have overcome difficulties and embraced the new platform.

There's a great deal of support in Windows Vista for badly behaved applications and handy ways to encourage such applications to work.

Comments (19)

  1. Steve Lamb says:

    Mike> You’re the first person I’ve heard say they don’t like the UI.

    The memory requirement thing is interesting as it’s rarely an issue for new machines & the RAM in desktops can be upgraded for very little money these days – the issue is more likely to be with older laptops where it’s often infeasible to upgrade the RAM.

    Vista’s improvements are mainly "underneath the hood" so to speak – particularly in the area of security & search.

    I’m intrigued that you mention "security" and "OSX" in the same comment!

  2. KomatoZo says:

    Hmmm… Vista has much improved usability. It’s _built-in_ desktop search & VSS makes me really happy.

    There are some problems with compatibility for some older application, but they will be mitigated I hope.

    And Vista is more secure, I think, though there are some strange (and I believe not as secure as I want it to be) things about some features.

  3. Steve Lamb says:

    Pete> Please could you share the details of which apps didn’t work…

  4. Steve Lamb says:

    Mike> You’re absolutely right – you didn’t say that.

    It’s funny, as I typed the words "Trustworthy Computing" I thought they sounded like "Marketing".

    5 years ago we stopped development, went back to basics, examined WHY the code was vulnerable AND did something about it. You can’t get anywhere @ MSFT as a developer unless you take security seriously. Ongoing monthly training, root cause analysis and stringent processes have led to code that’s much more secure.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Waiting for HP to get their act together & release printer drivers for the Color LaserJet 2600n.  

  6. Steve Lamb says:


    <avoid temptation to rant>

    Since embracing the Trustworthy Computing Initiative Microsoft software has seen a dramatic decrease in vulnerability and the severity there of.

    All software has vulnerabilities including all of those you mention – they have higher days of risk than the software you knock.

    I’ve lost count of the number of admins who think that by running a non-MSFT O/S or application that they don’t need to worry about security – it’s nonesense.

    Apple recently announced fixes for >45 significant vulnerabilities – so much for being free of security defects

  7. pete says:

    I had it installed, but removed it again coz lots of my apps aren’t working with it – not even in WinXP Compat mode.

    Not too impressed by it so far.

  8. Blake Handler says:

    Broadcast Radio still has too many REALLY-OLD software packages that will not work under UAC. I mean these programs barely work well under Windows XP with Admin Rights!

    I’ve investigated creating SHIM files, but the developer still provides monthly updates for their Windows 3.11 type program (I said old).

    When the time comes — I’ve been prepped the other IT people for the past year.

    So “we” are ready to roll-it-out when asked!

    Blake Handler

    Microsoft MVP


  9. Steve Spence says:

    The only issue I’ve hit thus far has been thermal, unless we disable aero the units I’ve tested on thus far run much hotter. In the case of the HP workstations that isn’t a big deal, but other systems such as a couple of lightweight vaio and HP units were running pretty warm and exhibiting graphical corruption after about half an hour.

    It’s almost certainly the graphics processor which is responsible for this (nvidia 7600) – my macbook pro transcoding video in compressor out of Final Cut Pro sits at 80C sometimes without problem, when I boot back in to vista the CPU is at 50C or thereabouts but the unit hotter to touch and within an hour the glitching generally begins.

    Hopefully the next change in manufacture process for graphics chips from 90nm to 65nm  will help deal with the thermal issue in notebooks, but that’s going to be a little while yet!

  10. Phil Hawley says:

    I was involved with testing Vista for the bulk of last year (Jan – August, then Nov – Dec), and have all the fun of different things not working with each version as most people who were testing it had.  Had a fair bit of fun on the corporate side playing with GPO control of new features, but have only in the last week decided I should take it full time in my home network.

    After having been limping along ‘re-arming’ the produst activation for the last 3 or so  months I have literally just decided to put my hands in my pocket and splash out on a shiny new copy of 64Bit Ultimate.  I was aware this was going to be painful, but the motherboard chipset manufacturer assured me the CD had Vista 64Bit drivers, and the same with the Graphics card.  But the chipset is NVidia, the card is an AGP based ATI card, and the processor is 64Bit Dual Core.  After playing around with various version of the drivers for the graphics card I reverted to Microsoft provided drivers.  In the end I had to disable one of the cores of the processor to get the AGP card to provide full functionality.

    Having said that, Vista has been running sweetly in my house and on a dual boot work system sweetly for months now, and the issues now are down to NVidia getting themselves geared for 64Bit Vista.  Granted UAC was a pain for all of about a week, after this I could predict what was going to require elevated privileges and was expecting the prompt for elevation – small price to pay for me personally for a stable system.  Now then, how do we get NVidia to push ahead with its chipset driver production I wonder?

  11. Phil says:

    I’m running ultimate x64 at home… Very Shiny…

    Biggest stumbling block, no drivers available for my 3Com USB wireless dongle.  Lack of internet, unless I string a 10m cable around the house…  Girlfriend is not a fan of that idea…

    Very Nice OS though… Well Done guys 🙂

  12. Speedbird186 says:

    Love Vista so far. The only app that doesn’t work is an older version of TimeTTracker.

    For me, the Search bar in the Start menu is the no. 1 feature. I can’t remember the last time I opened My Documents! I just type in some keyword from a file I want to work with and click it when it shows up.

    (Same for Outlook 2007… I no longer bother to organize e-mail in folders, search works so well now)

  13. Chris Franks says:

    On the face of it I like Vista, looks good and I’m getting better at navigating myself around. A lot of that navigation is like Office 2007, logical. Have to agree that many software vendors are still struggling to get their apps released. I bought  a new HP C6180 all-in-one multi-function printer and that’s working a treat thanks to HP’s software release – this I checked before buying though. My parents and I bought new “Vista’tised” computers and complimented them with new mobile phones (Motorola V3i and Sony Ericson W880i) neither of which have software out and therefore mobility and contacts are severely restricted. Glad I’ve now got MahJong to keep me entertained until proper communications are resumed. My Netgear SC101 network storage/backup device is not compatible yet either and so that is worrying! I am really looking forwards to it all coming together. I’m ok with these things at the moment in the home environment but not ready to roll out across a business. I am impressed though, super OS!! Looking forwards to your presentations Steve at InfoSec London later this month!!!

  14. Mike Stoddart says:

    I don’t want something that uses more memory than XP; I have 1Gb and it’s enough for my needs.

    It’s a new product and will go through patch churn (e.g. security, stability).

    Vista has nothing that I need that XP doesn’t give me. I don’t like the new interface, and as it requires more resources I’m not interested.

    So there’s no need for me to upgrade – I’d rather spend the money on applications, not the OS. If I was going to upgrade my OS, I’d move to OSX anyway.

  15. Mike Stoddart says:

    And I’m intrigued that you say “security” and “Microsoft” in the same blog! Touche! 🙂

    I’m not an expert on security or OS internals so I won’t get into security debates with you, but to me, Microsoft has a very poor history with security. Saying “Vista has improvements under the hood, particularily in security” means nothing to me until the OS has been proven for a long period.

    Given OSX is a ‘nix derivative and was designed from the ground up for multi-user, surely it has a proven advantage over Windows? Maybe I’m being too biased in favour of non-MS operating systems and applications. But having suffered crappy MS products for far too long I think I’m entitled to feel that way. (pouts)

    I use Thunderbird and Firefox, always have, always will. Everytime I visit a site with IE I fear that my system is being hijacked or attacked in some way. Everytime I consider using Outlook I shudder at thought of what could happen.

    Now I know that those feelings are probably unfair but my underlying distrust and fear is unavoidable given MS’s sponge-like software.

    I find Vista’s interface too busy and eye distracting. My eye doesn’t know what to focus on. I’m also not keen on the colours. I’m the kind of guy who hates black as a web page background!

    I’m not saying that OSX’s interface is perfect but I prefer it simply from an aesthetics point of view.

    I promised myself I wouldn’t rant against Microsoft, but I guess I couldn’t help it! Oh well…..

  16. Mike Stoddart says:

    <avoids rant also!>

    I understand that no software is perfect or secure and a system is only as secure as its admin. As an end user, not an admin, my point of view is of the desktop, so I won’t comment on the server side. I didn’t say that OSX was secure or free of defects. At least I don’t remember saying that.

    No offence (I know from experience that you’re a great guy!) but this sentence reads like typical MS marketing. 🙂

    “Since embracing the Trustworthy Computing Initiative Microsoft”

    I’m too jaded from suffering at the hands of Microsoft for too many years, so getting a cohesive, sensible argument from me is out of the question. I’ll refrain from commenting on security and the like and I’ll try to be constructive instead.

  17. stodge says:

    Good to hear. Hopefully something good will come of all of this.

    I think I’ve been annoying enough and flogged this horse til it’s dead.


  18. jos&#233; leit&#227;o says:

    Well, I think it’s been a fantastic experience so far, I have a Toshiba Satellite A100-749 I bought this weekend and it came with Home Premium Edition. So far I’m very happy, but when I tried installing the AOL freeware version of their Kaspersky powered antivirus software, the machine crashed and it wouldn’t start properly, a blue screen would appear after the login screen, and I had to start Vista on security mode and perform a system restore, as I was getting amessage that I had to probably uninstall recently installed software, particularly any antivirus software.

    But the matter was settled with system restore. I’m relying on Defender now to keep my machine secure.

    best regards and keep up the good work

  19. Gerrard Shaw says:

    Not keen on Vista tbh, find it too resource-hungry and clunkier to use than XP (make me the 2nd person who doesn’t like the UI!)

    I also find the black colour scheme rather depressing and monochrome, on a black widescreen laptop it has the effect of “widescreening the widescreen” with the black title bar taskbar and gives me a headache after 10 minutes or so, any chance of a brighter theme anytime soon?

    I’ll be sticking with XP for a long while yet, can’t see many obvious benefits for our workplace either, certainly nothing that screams “upgrade” anyway…

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