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What's Windows Vista Worth? Play Guy's Guesstimating Game.

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September 14, 2006 3:18:05 PM

Guy Thomas is a computer consultant and writer with attitude and a great sense of humor. Here Guy, who lives in the UK, puts dollar values on the various features of Microsoft's coming Vista operating system to determine if it's worth the company's likely asking prices.
September 14, 2006 4:28:58 PM

I installed Vista beta a while back... My personal opinon:

New Aero interface that will lag up my computer when I try to alt-tab out of a game, $-25

The fact that it takes up twice the RAM as XP, $-30

The fact that it takes twice as long to boot, $-10

The fact that it takes 3 times as long to shut down $-10

The fact that I'm going to have to get a new hard drive to support their prefered method of shutdown/restart $-80

Needing to relearn how to do basic things in Windows (benift of the doubt here, I'm assuming it will be better than XP, if not then probably cube the following number.) $-5

The fact that I'll probably need to update the majority of my computers components to be able to run Vista well, $-800

All the games that I won't be able to play because they are not Vista supported, $-100

DirectX 10 support that allows for rendering of graphics like seen in screenshots of Crysis, Priceless.

Guess you gotta take the bad with the good, eh?
September 14, 2006 4:57:40 PM

Most of the points we're calcuating paying for in this article are actually either bug-fixes or stuff that anyone with Linux/Unix or Mac experience would consider basic operating system functionality that should have already been in windows years ago.

I installed the Vista RC1 beta and decided to go back to XP. The aero interface does indeed look good, but is very slow and laggy, which surprised me because I have a PC with a core 2 X6800 extreme, 1GB of fast DDR2 ram and an nVidia 6800 ultra video card that has 256mb of video ram.

Also the whole GUI is terribly designed from a usability perspective. There's all these redundant toolbars, sidebars and miscellaneous other crap that use system resources an generally just get in the way. I thought XP was bad for this but Vista has taken it to a whole new level.

The Vista interface is very business-task driven and targetted at non-pc minded people. If you happen to be a non-technical business user thats probably fine, but ofr the rest of us, it sucks.

Its not at all friendly or efficient if you're a home user, or someone at least semi-technical that wants to drill down, because the GUI totally hides the system and totally gets in the way of you trying to do what you want.

Vista is OK (not good, just OK) if you want to follow microsoft's use-cases and repeatedly do tasks like sign up for microsoft passport, but no real person is like that. If you want to just copy a file between two drives its now a major effort.

We haven't gotten to all the issues around Digital Rights either. I could write a whole post about how I couldn't do things with my own legitimately purchased DVDs and MP3s that I used to be able to under XP.

After what I've seen from release candidate 1, Vista is prettier but a significant functional downgrade compared to XP, therefore its value in dollars is a rather large negative number.
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September 14, 2006 5:04:56 PM

I guess I have an issue with the Vista Aero Ultimate cost... seems like I am being gouged. We kind of beat this topic to death in A fiesta with Vista and the Killer Notebooks Wakizachi thread, so I probably don't have to regurg all over this thread.

I find it funny that essentially MS steals all their ideas from Apple, Google etc, but then slaps a huge pricetag on it. How can OSX cost <$150 and work without the economies of scale MS has?
September 14, 2006 5:48:51 PM

The only thing about Vista out of all those features that appeal to me is..umm..like 3. The prettiness, which you all say is too laggy anyway...the Sidebar with Gadgets that will probably come to mimic Apple's Widgets, and the increased security measures. Can't they just...do all the same thing with XP without trying to make me pay $400 for it? I'm a big believer in quick response of boot/shutdown times, program reaction time, etc. If Vista is as laggy as u say, that'll be done for me. I guess the only way to know is download a copy tonight on my other harddrive and dual boot with it. No way am I ruining my current XP by upgrading to Vista
September 14, 2006 6:19:32 PM

Quote:
I guess I have an issue with the Vista Aero Ultimate cost... seems like I am being gouged. We kind of beat this topic to death in A fiesta with Vista and the Killer Notebooks Wakizachi thread, so I probably don't have to regurg all over this thread.

I find it funny that essentially MS steals all their ideas from Apple, Google etc, but then slaps a huge pricetag on it. How can OSX cost <$150 and work without the economies of scale MS has?


Um... Apple has stolen more than their fair share of features. For example the GUI came from Xerox Labs...

Apple can afford to sell OS X for whatever price because they ALSO sell the hardware. Essentially they are primarly driven by hardware profits (see desktops, laptops, ipods) and give the software away or at a break even price (see OS, iTunes). MS does not sell PC's so they need to make a profit from the software (see OS, Office) although they do sell some hardware at a loss (see XBox). They are completely different models for doing the same thing.
September 14, 2006 6:20:51 PM

I started with computers using windows, and still use it. I have used linux and mac and like the overall Idea of not having to "pay" for an os, but I think that even through MS unreliability, it is still pretty and easy to use. that is how they have dominated the field (also the underhanded dirty tricks by locking computer retailers into using only windows) but alas, it has worked. it will continue to work. this latest version RC1 5600.xxxx is nice enough, a little slow, but it has our office build on it and I can't bash it. It is still not a release so with 2 or 4 gb of ram, it should be pretty fast! what he didn't say in the article is how much you will pay when you buy a new computer with windows on it. Will it be the same? no, it will be less. save some money with an oem copy...buy a computer from dell, hp or gateway. the $400. will only amount to $200. That isn't that much is it?


I have to say that making money by supporting these machines has been good to me, so I will allow this to go into our company. I am waiting to buy a computer until Vista is out, so slam them all you like but in 2 yrs if you have windows on your computer, you will probably still have windows on your computer. If you don't, it will probably make you mad to know you more than likely paid for a license to use windows if you bought on from a manufacturer.
September 14, 2006 6:21:06 PM

Well, honestly, I didn't experience lag, but this was a clean install of it, not an upgrade, dual boot etc. The hard drive was clean except for Vista.

Quote:
the Sidebar with Gadgets that will probably come to mimic Apple's Widgets
which can be duplicated with the Yahoo Widget Engine.

and as far as security, i don't need more stinking security from my OS. Look at SP2, what did that acomplish? I got a half a$$ed firewall and IE that supposedly helps me in some way, but it blocks all the stuff I actaully want, and the scumbags still use multiple pop ups or pop unders etc. so you might as well just turn it off.
September 14, 2006 6:26:26 PM

ROFL, you are comparing stealing a GUI from Xerox, who in fact did not come with it:
Quote:
Doug Engelbart's Augmentation of Human Intellect project at SRI in the 1960s developed the On-Line System (NLS), which incorporated a mouse-driven cursor and multiple windows. Engelbart had been inspired, in part, by the memex desk based information machine suggested by Vannevar Bush in 1945. Much of the early research was based on how young humans learn.

Quote:
Engelbart's work directly led to the advances at Xerox PARC. Several people went from SRI to Xerox PARC in the early 1970's. The Xerox PARC team with Merzouga Wilberts, codified the WIMP (windows, icons, menus and pointers) paradigm, first pioneered on the Xerox Alto experimental computer, but which eventually appeared commercially in the Xerox 8010 ('Star') system in 1981.

to what MS WHOLESALE freaking lifts from the MAC OS? That's crazy talk.

As far as MS Office, don't even get me started that Sun's Open Office is FREE and can do everything MS Office can.
September 14, 2006 7:21:14 PM

I completely agree with Niz.
oh, and.....I have three letters for M$: XGL
it's only (very)beta, but still does the job for me!
September 14, 2006 7:32:04 PM

Here is my breakdown
AERO - $25
Explorer - $15
IE7 - $0
Bitlocker - $0
Secure Startup - $5
Task Dialog - $15
Flip 3D -$5
Sidebar - $0
User Account Control - $0
DirectX 10 - $60
Restart Manager - $5
Networking Components - $20
Sleep - $0
Superfetch - $10
Shadowcopy - $0
Readyboost - $25
Windows Meeting Space - $0
Media Control Center - $0
XImage and Windows Deployment Services - $15
Various other features - $10

$210

Note this is before I start deducting for inconvenience costs
Inclusion of tons of DRM crap - -$100
Bloated as hell laggy operation - -$100

There we go.

So I would be willing to pay ...... $10 for Vista. Which version will that get me?

Can I get the version that is JUST DirectX 10 for XP? I'd pay up to $60 for that ;-)
September 14, 2006 8:19:18 PM

For new builders who wan't the best graphics then I guess they don't have a choice but to go with vista and DX10...eventually we will all have to make the switch anyway(minus the linux and OSX useres)

I would definitly wait atleast 5 months before I buy vista though, so they can get most of the bugs fixed.
September 14, 2006 8:59:33 PM

I pretty much have the same sentiment as above. Why do I need 570 new 'features'? I can only think of a few programs that I use in XP; remote desktop (for work), ms office (again, for work), visual studio (work)... thats all I can think of.

All of the other main programs that I use on a daily basis (EditPlus, uTorrent, Firefox, Winamp, Alcohol 120, CuteFTP, iTunes, PowerDVD, Adaware, Spybot, WavePad, etc) are all free downloads (well, sorta free :)  ).

I would be willing to pay $300+ for a new version of Windows if it did the following:

1) Got rid of all of the unecessary crap that XP has.

2) Took OUT all of the 'added functionality' of windows explorer. That means no specialized views for viewing folders with different media (I really hate that).

3) Make it more stable (not that bad right now, but could be better).

4) Make it run faster. This means get rid of all of the extra services that users don't need. Even just give users a more user-friendly way of deactivating anything that takes up resourses (along with a description of what each windows process is).

5) DX10 (the only reason I will eventually have to get Vista, also the main reason they left it until Vista I bet).

Thats it. To me, it seems that they could have accomplished all of this with much less effort and in less time than it took to make Vista.

Actually, I would like it if they could just change $100 for DX10 and let me run it on Linux. That would be sweet :) 
September 14, 2006 11:00:25 PM

I dunno, Honestly anyone with some knowledge of the XP Operating System cant say that its unstable, Ive never had a problem with XP, But like some of us have said, DX10 will probably be the main reason most of us will be making the switch anyway, Lots of people will say that they are going to "switch" right away, but guess what, We will still be using Windows XP most of the time for at least 6 months after Vista's release. Or at least until Vista's First Service Pack.

Is Vista Worth it? at $249 is too soon to tell. But I think it will be in the long run.How many of us just purchased a WinXP upgrade version for $150 and have installed it at least 50 times through "upgrades" on more than one comp over the years? Plus all the free software we have on our comps that with all honesty shouldnt be "free".

Will we be switching? Eventually.......But its not like we have a choice....Specially gamers.
September 14, 2006 11:18:19 PM

True enough. I will probably wait until either my work gets a few copies or somebody I know gets an OEM version and then I will install it on my machine. That is if M$ lets us install on more than one machine. Of course, you could always just pull the old 'I just upgraded my hardware and not it says I am not allowed to reinstall'. If you actually call their tech support and tell them that, they will always let you do it. I have installed the same copy of XP on probably 6 different machines (I did actually own all of them, but for all M$ knows I didn't).
September 14, 2006 11:40:18 PM

I agree with waiting for a while, at least untill there is a good DX10 game out that I want. Untill then, XP will be fine for me, I value all the extra fetures at $0 I am getting along fine with XP for school, work, and gaming fine. Why would I want to "upgrade" to vista for 300+ when I dont need it.
September 14, 2006 11:45:17 PM

Ok, so I read this article and was surprised to find there are some new features that actually sound good. BUT, alot of them are things we already have, they just wrapped a nice GUI and Wizard on them. You could do this with any OS (I really REALLY wish the linux community would hop on this already. People only think MS GUI wizards are good because there is no real competition, linux community should be able to do so much better).

Aero is a retarded resource-hungry waste of electrons, but you can turn it off so I won't count that against Vista.

The new hybrid flash HDs. Why are they inventing new hardware for their OS? If you want a flash HD for swap and prefecting just install one and have the OS configure itself to use it. Or if you did make a hybrid to save space just partition off the flash part, no need to reinvent how an OS accesses storage or how a HD presents itself to a system. At the last Computex these HDs were still not ready. A software company should not be rushing a hardware company to bring new hardware to market.

DRM DRM DRM, is not your friend. I might actually consider using legit download services. Itunes really does have an impressive collection and sometimes it really would be worth 99cents to be able to just find what I'm looking for easily and get it quickly... but DRM sucks. It ONLY hurts legitemate users. DRM has never bothered me, because DRMed files get deleted off my HD emmediately. Customers of mine have lost gigs of data to DRM and had compatibility problems with media devices, it's just silly.

I will not be down-grading my system performance by installing Vista. I resisted installing XP for a long time but eventually gave in because I had to support it. I no longer do end-user support (thank god) so I am free to familiarize myself with whatever OS I desire. WinXP should do me just fine as a backup until I'm ready to switch over to linux entirely.
September 15, 2006 3:35:09 AM

Quote:
... save some money with an oem copy...buy a computer from dell, hp or gateway. the $400. will only amount to $200. That isn't that much is it?...
I have to say that making money by supporting these machines has been good to me, so I will allow this to go into our company. ....


You're logic is skewed. People don't buy a whole new computer to save money on windows. And yes...$200 is still a lot. Especially when you can get Linux for nothing.

>>I have to say that making money by supporting these machines has been good to me, so I will allow this to go into our company. ..

You mean that you'd prefer this to go into your company because you already see Vista will need a lot of support work, so keeping you in a job. Although probably true, thats not a very good commendation of Vista fo the rest of us.
September 15, 2006 3:40:13 AM

Quote:
...
Is Vista Worth it? at $249 is too soon to tell. ...

Will we be switching? Eventually.......But its not like we have a choice....Specially gamers.


You can download a release candidate copy from Microsoft already. Trust me, you'll go back to XP after the novelty of the new GUI has worn off. For me it took about 20 minutes.

Acutally gamers will have a choice. There won't be any DX10-only games out. so they'll all run under XP on DX9. You miss out on the odd extra shimmer and twinkle of water reflections or something but so what?
September 15, 2006 3:46:10 AM

I don't get you guys/girls. This system offers benefits over xp. If you are mad about resources, look what windows 98 required compared to its predasesor. Everyone thought 256MB was too much then! Now you all have no problems poping in 1GB of ram just so a game will run faster, so it's really about the game now.

As for Aero, get the standard home addition that doesn't come with aero. And why not get that standard system, you don't seem to like all the extras of vista anyway. Besides, more isn't always better.

As for copy-cats of OS's, you can't say that MAC didn't copy anything. If you think a Mac thought up everything it has ever made on it's own, you are walking around blind then. Oh, and lets not forget to mention that Mac has successfully charged extra for every update to their 5, yes 5 new opporating systems. Lets not forget how crappy the updates were too.

I could write pages on how rediculous it is to complain over an operating system that will probably only cast maybe $200 dollars for a good update, if not a full version. On top of it lasting you well over 4 years. If you buy the $200 dollar version, that's a whopping $50 a year for your expense. I'll save the monthly value for you to figure out, or that might be too expensive for you to figure out. Might be too much time, could end up waisting it and loosing money somewhere.

Oh, and windows 98 finally stopped getting support, so that means in the 5 and some odd years XP has been out, people could use 98 without updating to XP. This means that you could still use your precious XP (because it uses up only a 1/3 of your ram rather than 1/2 OH NO!!) and just wait for the next operating system after that.

All in all, quit being so picky! It is a new improvement in home based software and it benefits the normal everyday user! Finally, we get a home version that doesn't suck.
September 15, 2006 8:19:58 AM

Quote:
I don't get you guys/girls. This system offers benefits over xp. If you are mad about resources, look what windows 98 required compared to its predasesor. Everyone thought 256MB was too much then! Now you all have no problems poping in 1GB of ram just so a game will run faster, so it's really about the game now.

As for Aero, get the standard home addition that doesn't come with aero. And why not get that standard system, you don't seem to like all the extras of vista anyway. Besides, more isn't always better.

As for copy-cats of OS's, you can't say that MAC didn't copy anything. If you think a Mac thought up everything it has ever made on it's own, you are walking around blind then. Oh, and lets not forget to mention that Mac has successfully charged extra for every update to their 5, yes 5 new opporating systems. Lets not forget how crappy the updates were too.

I could write pages on how rediculous it is to complain over an operating system that will probably only cast maybe $200 dollars for a good update, if not a full version. On top of it lasting you well over 4 years. If you buy the $200 dollar version, that's a whopping $50 a year for your expense. I'll save the monthly value for you to figure out, or that might be too expensive for you to figure out. Might be too much time, could end up waisting it and loosing money somewhere.

Oh, and windows 98 finally stopped getting support, so that means in the 5 and some odd years XP has been out, people could use 98 without updating to XP. This means that you could still use your precious XP (because it uses up only a 1/3 of your ram rather than 1/2 OH NO!!) and just wait for the next operating system after that.

All in all, quit being so picky! It is a new improvement in home based software and it benefits the normal everyday user! Finally, we get a home version that doesn't suck.

I am using Windows 2003 x64 and i dont see any befenits to move to move to Vista, but quite oposite.
Using 10 times more resources for windows itself ?
Be annoyed with overprotected scheme ?
Need 2+ times more CPU power to play same high resolution video just to be sure its "uncrackable" ?
I dont think so.
(not mentioning microsoft stupidest idea whats important for normal user, of more then 2 concurent sesions available only in most expensive versions of windows directed to companies)
And more important there will be many programs whitch will not work in Vista and I am sure companies whitch just spent milions for curent software whitch will have problems run on Vista will not move on it anytime soon.

Why MS need so many power just for windows itself when any other OS need like 1/10 to make same task.
September 15, 2006 1:30:04 PM

Quote:
...
Is Vista Worth it? at $249 is too soon to tell. ...

Will we be switching? Eventually.......But its not like we have a choice....Specially gamers.


You can download a release candidate copy from Microsoft already. Trust me, you'll go back to XP after the novelty of the new GUI has worn off. For me it took about 20 minutes.

Acutally gamers will have a choice. There won't be any DX10-only games out. so they'll all run under XP on DX9. You miss out on the odd extra shimmer and twinkle of water reflections or something but so what?

Funny, you should mention that, I did install the RC1, 2 days ago, and it took me about 20 min. to make up my mind that I didnt want it and im coming fresh from a format.

But what happens when we need to upgrade a Video Card? I wouldnt stick with DX9 cards forever,eventually we will make the switch, specially with all the talk of samarter/greater performance in a DX10. I dunno, I guess we will have to see.
September 15, 2006 2:04:01 PM

Well, I haven't tried RC1; still, I gave beta2 a spin some time ago.

I also gave AIGLX and XGL a spin recently. I also gave Firefox 2's beta a spin, too.

So, let's take a Dell mid-range PC, with all-Intel hardware and integrated graphics - but still dual-core and 64-bit capable.

Aero Glass don't work on it. AIGLX works out of the box at full speed, though. I even made a 1999 TNT work with XGL. Save 200$ (plus 50$ for Vista Premium).

You need at least 2 Gb of RAM to forego slowdowns in Vista. 1 Go is more than enough for GNU/Linux. Save 30$.

You need to purchase the new Windows to get DirectX 10 support. You merely need to update your Mesa libraries (included with Xorg anyway) to get the same functionalities under OpenGL: direct hardware access, GLX updated in version 7.1. Save at least 150$.

You have to deal with authorizations - and learn about them - in Vista. It's part of install with Linux, and flexible systems already exist (kdesu, sudo etc.). Save time.

IE7 uses sandboxes. A Linux user account already is a sandbox. Save on antivirii runs.

IE7 provides anti-phishing. So does Firefox 2. Ff2 also provides a nice source viewer, XHTML support, real XML parsing, SVG support. Save on an extra IE theme (15$?)

Meaning that right now, considering I'm using a 'normal', paid-for version of Linux (which includes an office suite, a graphics editor, and advanced CD/DVD/MMedia tools built-in) which cost me $50, you'd need to pay me:
200+50+30+15-50 = $345 for me to consider Vista instead of an editor phone-supported (not OEM flaky answers) Vista version, and I'll want MS Office and Photoshop thrown in for free for good measure.

I'll go back to my CPU-saving, memory frugal, too fluid (I had to put a break on the FPS, it was sickeningly fluid on my FX5200), fully equipped, well designed, cool looking 3D transluscent desktop now.
September 15, 2006 2:06:48 PM

The main point that I am making is the main stream purchasers are going to buy new machines with vista. they won't have [much of] a choice anyway. In m$ licensing, you do not have a choice (unless you buy an OEM copy of XP either b/c you built the system or in addition to the license you already bought (a new computer with Vista) to go back). There are some retailers that are begining to allow Linux to be included instead of windows, but for the most part, it is windows. Besides, companies just make throw-away computers for this purpose.
Like one of the guys stated, if the linux guys made GUI installers, there would be more desktop penetration in the market.

NIZ: In case you haven't noticed, the corporate world has caught on to gamers spending money on hardware/software. 2-3 years from now, when m$ comes out with another os, that is not compatible with new games, you will be forced to shell out more. then your computer will have to be upgraded...Just make more money... I still game, just not as much. I don't buy new games (much), I wait until they are $20 or less or I buy them used.

xrodney :who the heck runs a server o/s as there primary o/s???? they have 64 bit xp, and linux. MAC too!
September 15, 2006 3:29:15 PM

Quote:
I don't get you guys/girls. This system offers benefits over xp. If you are mad about resources, look what windows 98 required compared to its predasesor. Everyone thought 256MB was too much then! Now you all have no problems poping in 1GB of ram just so a game will run faster, so it's really about the game now.


umm... You can easily run 98 on 64 megs of ram and it will still work fine with 32. I don't know where this 256 meg figure you came up with came from.

Quote:

As for Aero, get the standard home addition that doesn't come with aero. And why not get that standard system, you don't seem to like all the extras of vista anyway. Besides, more isn't always better.


The standard home edition does not support logging into a domain and I had to upgrade my home network to a domain years ago. More than 11 computers makes workgroups unworkable. Also this standard home edition does not support dual processors, which many of us will probably be switching to when 4x4 comes out.

Quote:

As for copy-cats of OS's, you can't say that MAC didn't copy anything. If you think a Mac thought up everything it has ever made on it's own, you are walking around blind then. Oh, and lets not forget to mention that Mac has successfully charged extra for every update to their 5, yes 5 new opporating systems. Lets not forget how crappy the updates were too.


I don't think anyone was trying to say Apple didn't copy anything. Everyone in the PC industry steals from everyone. Most people don't even realize how many important technologies were developed by Commodore Amiga and promptly integrated into everyone elses products. I fail to see this as relevent.

Quote:

I could write pages on how rediculous it is to complain over an operating system that will probably only cast maybe $200 dollars for a good update, if not a full version. On top of it lasting you well over 4 years. If you buy the $200 dollar version, that's a whopping $50 a year for your expense. I'll save the monthly value for you to figure out, or that might be too expensive for you to figure out. Might be too much time, could end up waisting it and loosing money somewhere.


I refuse to consider operating system software as a service. The mere concept sickens me.
I can accept antivirus as a service because it reacts to external forces.
I can accept MMORPGs as a service because they are adding a lot of new features regularly and have to maintain high bandwidth servers constantly.
Windows updates are not the same thing because they are fixes for things that should have worked right from the beginning and new features are few, far between, and generally unwanted/needed.

Quote:

Oh, and windows 98 finally stopped getting support, so that means in the 5 and some odd years XP has been out, people could use 98 without updating to XP. This means that you could still use your precious XP (because it uses up only a 1/3 of your ram rather than 1/2 OH NO!!) and just wait for the next operating system after that.


Your ratios are a bit skewed. Also people who wanted to use any remotely recent applications could not just continue to use 98 because they no longer ran on 98. The main reason I care at all is because I REALLY want the benefits that DirectX 10 would provide, but I don't want ANYTHING else that comes with Vista. I WOULD be willing to pay good money for a version of DX10 that would run on 2000/XP, but chances are that this will not happen.

Quote:

All in all, quit being so picky! It is a new improvement in home based software and it benefits the normal everyday user! Finally, we get a home version that doesn't suck.


Quit being so blind! I fail to see how any of this benefits the everyday home user more than XP. I also fail to see how the basic edition is really any better than XP home, and several ways in which it is worse.
September 15, 2006 3:37:41 PM

I expect additional value over XP pro to be around $250-$300.

I would surely get the Ultimate version with a new laptop/PC(OEM), good for around 4 years or so( and then may be another couple of years)

The concept that Superfetch will save battery life, using onboard flash memory, is very appealing.

Since I do not think linux/OSX is a realistic option for me as the only os on a laptop(the main PC) comparing costs is pointless at this point.
September 15, 2006 3:53:30 PM

UAC can be disabled via running msconfig from the run line.
The far right tab (I think is called tools?, I am not running my vista box right now). Scroll down the list and there is an entry called "Disable UAC"

click it, then hit the launch button on the lower right.

Reboot and enjoy.

If someone else has already posted this... well, screw them... I posted it too.
September 15, 2006 4:44:54 PM

You can also disable UAC from the Users portion of the control panel. Just select the "Turn User Account Control on or off." (This is in RC1 as well)
September 15, 2006 5:19:49 PM

Nothing. I think the cost is to cover their botched development process (lenghy with lots of promised features discarded) more than the actual value to end-users.

I'm still happy using W2K at home. I have XP at work. The only thing Vista and Microsoft's endlessly expensive (product plus new hardware) and low-value upgrades (add Office to that list) have encouraged me to do is start messing around with Linux and more open source software. I have a dual boot system at the moment and can see myself transitioning over the next year or so to a Linux system with one or two Windows programs for which there are no alternatives running in a virtual machine.
September 15, 2006 5:42:13 PM

Heya Barry ;) 

I dunno about a monetary value, but a lot of what was mentioned is derived from marketing. As a lot of system engineers and developers are aware, there's generally a plethora of changes 'under the hood' that make the OS better. This leads to better, more stable software applications for the new OS.

More managability, more stability, better software. Count me in.
September 15, 2006 5:59:18 PM

First of all, the reasons that it was worth it to upgrade from Windows98 to 2k (I actually just skipped right to XP) was because:

1) 98 was horribly buggy and crashed pretty much daily

2) Vastly impoved security (still not great)

3) NTFS File system

4) Ability to run as a limited user (i.e. not administrator)

5) Supports active directory

6) Moved away from a monolithic architecture to a modular design (allows easier updating)

6) Supports SCSI

7) First Windows version that supports multithreading (I think, somebody correct me if I'm wrong)

Vista, so far, has not offered any new 'features' that offer any real value (dx10 excluded). We were willing to upgrade to 2k,XP because although they used more system resources, if we had adequate resources, our application performace would improve. To me that is the main reason to upgrade to a new OS. So far most of the new features that come with Vista do not seem that useful. Bundling more applications that I could get elsewhere does not really add value to me. I want more fundamental OS upgrades. Where is the new file system that was supposed to be with Vista?

Once Vista has been out for a while and M$ has released some of the 'updates' (new FS, etc) that were supposed to be included, then I will definately move to Vista. Its not really a question of money. If the OS will provide even slightly more value over XP, then it is worth the upgrade. But for now, once DX10 cards come out, I will probably buy a cheap top end DX9 card (upgrade from my x850xt), so I have no real reason to upgrade.
September 15, 2006 5:59:27 PM

Under the hood improvement:
- Vista uses Windows 2003's kernel. I don't see where the improvement lies.
- the botched 'modular' design: under Linux (or BSD), you need to restart the computer in a single case: when you replace the whole kernel. Changing a video driver merely requires restarting X (all your servers and services keep running happily).
- DX10 will be the underlying graphics architecture. X has been using DRI/DRM and GLX for quite some time, and this in fact comes as a correction of a model failure: the embedding of the GUI in the win32 kernel (ring 0).
- most of the UI elements are made using .Net. As a result, you need 400 Mb of RAM to store the GUI - that's pushing it quite a bit.
- IE should never have been embedded in the system. The 'sandbox' is nothing more than going back to IE being a standalone application.
- user and admin accounts should never have been the same; this lesson has been taught by Unix for 30 years, as a result you had so many sloppy coders relying on admin access that Windows is built on a flawed model: you need admin access to do pretty much anything, the system can be given priviledges that an administrator can't touch or modify, and setting up user accounts has become meaningless since everybody has full control of the machine.

Please, tell me what else has been 'added'.
September 15, 2006 6:12:27 PM

Quote:

1) 98 was horribly buggy and crashed pretty much daily
2) Vastly impoved security (still not great)
3) NTFS File system
4) Ability to run as a limited user (i.e. not administrator)
5) Supports active directory
6) Moved away from a monolithic architecture to a modular design (allows easier updating)
6) Supports SCSI
7) First Windows version that supports multithreading (I think, somebody correct me if I'm wrong)

1) that's what you get running a 32-bit GUI on a 16-bit real-mode kernel
2)I don't see where security lies on a system on which any computer could connect itself to a buggy, useless yet still enabled by default full-fledged server, and send spoofed messages all over the place (admin access to raw TCP sockets... eugh!)
3)I prefer ext3: it's journaled.
4)considering the administrator cannot set permissions to devices, because it's limited to 'SYSTEM'...
5)I prefer good old LDAP
6)winNT5 is more monolithic than 9x: the GUI is embedded in the kernel.
6 bis)SCSI support worked under 9x; you just needed the free Adaptec drivers to enjoy it.
7)multithreading comes from not having to limit the system to 16-bit memory addressing.

But, frankly, I must concede tha after having been out for 6 years, most of the most glaring bugs in win2000 have been ironed out.

XP runs well, too, once you've deactivated useless services, removed system recovery, neutralized WMP and IE, deactivated all themes, removed UI wizards, shut down running servers (Terminal Server, file sharing...), disabled the security center aut automatic updates, replaced the firewall, installed another Web browser, hacked a few hundred registry keys... Set up a limited user account and sealed the administrator account...

In THAT case, then XP gets almost as fast and secure as an out of the box free Linux distribution - but then it looks all grey.
September 15, 2006 6:21:15 PM

I just downloaded Vista RC1 last night and installed it...I'm not too impressed. So here's what it breaks down to:

(1) It's purdy. It also uses 33% of my RAM (out of 2 gigs) whilest it is being purdy. I dunno how I feel about that...it's fine of course, but I don't want it to rob my cpu of the RAM it needs for multitasking.

(2) What a pain in the @$$ to have to re-learn everything. Interfaces are different, terms used (like "Properties" is now called "Personalize") are different, and to me the 'simplified' taskbar and Start Menu looks a lot more confusing to me.

(3) Increased security features a plus...except I never ever get viruses or heavy spyware (using XP) just because I'm not an idiot and click on stupid links or download infected files. I don't even have an anti-virus program...I've been virus free for years.

(4) The other new features to me, being a regular home/game user, aren't important. The simplified networking (not that it was hard before), the file sharing, all that gobbly gook stuff I don't really have need for myself. So you say "Then get the Home edition of Vista" and I say "F*** that for $200, I already HAVE a fine one" The other only feature I like is the Search Bar that searches everything on the computer.

Bottom Line: It's built for dumb people. Kinda like the Mac OS. It has purdy descriptions to a T of what everything does, etc. I like the purdy-ness don't get me wrong...But its not worth all the frustration of trying to locate the features that I knew exactly where they were in XP. I really don't have a problem with XP, I never have. Never had a network or security issue. Never had stability issues. So...uhhh...why are we spending $200-$300 on a new OS? Beats me...I'm not...I'll probably stay with XP till the bitter end...Or until games start using DX10 as standard.

**Edit** And to Mitch above me, yeah you are right about all the tweaking for XP. I have pretty much done all of the above, and my OS is rockin'. I also feel that since I've done so much to it, I know XP inside and out and is also the reason I don't want a new OS cuz I know XP so well.
September 15, 2006 6:25:05 PM

I am definately not defending Windows against Linux. Linux is by far the superior OS (except for ease of use). I was just stating why it was worth the $ and time to upgrade from 98 to 2k and asking where the upgrade was from Xp to Vista.

Also, just a peeve of mine, but what happened to meaningful naming schemes? XP? Vista? I liked the year naming much more. Or even better, just regular, good old incremental numeric versioning.

*EDIT* Also like above, I do admit that to get XP to run well, you do need to spend a few hours (or even days) tweaking, disabling, etc. */EDIT*
September 15, 2006 6:42:37 PM

I wonder where 'ease of use' lies in Windows. I mean, I break out the DVD for a Linux distribution. A graphical interface starts, asking me where I'm from, then gives me a choice of what to do to my computer (wipe ou everything, or play nice with Windows). It then asks what softwares am I going to use, and copies them in 20 minutes to disk. It then asks me if it detected my hardware correctly (yup).
Next reboot: it connects to the Internet and gets all the updates I may need, then starts into an environment that I can make exactly as I wish: completely bare, a Windows look-alike, a MacOS lookalike, or something radically different - even a desktop pasted on a cube where all windows, with live action in them, putting themselves as a mosaic when my desktop gets too crowded (videos even keep playing in the shrunk windows). I can choose to use single or double clicks to open stuff, most of the applications are put away in menu folders where their function is described, I can give whatever action I want a hotkey, I can even program the media keys on my keyboard to perform any action without any need for a keyboard driver.

When I plug in my webcam, my camera, my printer and my MP3 player, it detects them, installs whatever software may be needed to use them correctly, and lets me use it without any need for a reboot.

When I need a new software, I open the software manager: if it's provided by the repositories, I click it to add/update/remove it. All dependencies are automatically retrieved, and the most recent version is selected. No need to put a CD in a drive, install the software, get an update because the anti-piracy system is faulty, get another because the update wasn't complete, get a noCD crack because the update didn't work... Nope, just click, wait a few minutes, start. If the application isn't there, I merely have to locate a packaged version for my system or one close to mine, and see it install anyway.

In the case I use an exotic system (say, an Itanium-based desktop!) and there are no compiled package for it, then I can still retrieve the source code and compile it - instead of having to wait for a port or try my hand at having running (slowly if at all) under an emulator, orjust plain forgetting about it...

Who wants to deal with Windows idiosyncrasis when you have a fast, transparent, customizable yet still simple by default, free (or almost free) good looking system?

Not me.
September 15, 2006 7:37:25 PM

Is it true that vista has got soft links (ln -s for you unix "hackers" ;) )?

If so: priceless!
September 15, 2006 8:03:41 PM

Quote:
I expect additional value over XP pro to be around $250-$300.

I would surely get the Ultimate version with a new laptop/PC(OEM), good for around 4 years or so( and then may be another couple of years)

The concept that Superfetch will save battery life, using onboard flash memory, is very appealing.

Since I do not think linux/OSX is a realistic option for me as the only os on a laptop(the main PC) comparing costs is pointless at this point.


I Use fedora core 5 on my laptop at work fine. Not only am I more productive in it than windows, I don't have any problems integrating with the other windows users or network servers at all. I can get mail from windows exchange server, open word/excel/powerpoint/pdf attachments, I can develop software much faster under Linux than Windows too.
September 15, 2006 9:31:22 PM

Quote:
I expect additional value over XP pro to be around $250-$300.

I would surely get the Ultimate version with a new laptop/PC(OEM), good for around 4 years or so( and then may be another couple of years)

The concept that Superfetch will save battery life, using onboard flash memory, is very appealing.

Since I do not think linux/OSX is a realistic option for me as the only os on a laptop(the main PC) comparing costs is pointless at this point.


I Use fedora core 5 on my laptop at work fine. Not only am I more productive in it than windows, I don't have any problems integrating with the other windows users or network servers at all. I can get mail from windows exchange server, open word/excel/powerpoint/pdf attachments, I can develop software much faster under Linux than Windows too.

The main reason that I use Windows (other than games) is for programming. I develop ASP.NET and there are no better apps for that than VS2K5. It is by far the easiest way to develop asp.net apps.
September 15, 2006 10:24:58 PM

Quote:
Well, I haven't tried RC1; still, I gave beta2 a spin some time ago.

I also gave AIGLX and XGL a spin recently. I also gave Firefox 2's beta a spin, too.

So, let's take a Dell mid-range PC, with all-Intel hardware and integrated graphics - but still dual-core and 64-bit capable.


Ugh.. here we go with this again. The world does not revolve around Linux.

I am using Vista RC1 right now and I like it. Would I buy it for $200? Not at the moment. WinXP is fine for my purposes (VS2005/.NET dev). I would be happy to have Vista if it were to come with a brand new machine, though, which I have been desiring for a while now.

My SuSE 10.x box is slower than my 'untweaked' WinXP machine with similar specs. I love how people before me keep saying 'ok, I admit Linux is better.. but I run Windows' .. or 'ok, I admit WinXP needs tweaks to run as well as Linux.... but I still run Windows.' If these statements were even close to being true/accurate, more than 0.000000000000001 % of the population would run Linux.
September 15, 2006 10:26:49 PM

Vista is XP with a new interface and some security features. The security features could be added to XP with a SP3. If they aren't added then it means Microsoft is abandoning all XP customers to the wolves.

Other than that, there's no compelling reason to purchase XP. So the easy and most compelling answer is that the value of those features is $0.00.

Most of the meat of Vista has been removed long ago and what's there instead is a DRM nightmare hidden behind a pretty face. Essentially, it is being described as a pig with lipstick.

Most certainly those who buy Vista at the low end are getting the security features and some modifications to the API along with alot of DRM that is proprietary and ties back directly to Microsoft making it an even more monopolstic company.

Bottom line is that there's no compelling reason to purchase Vista at any price and at the current price model I think it would be viewed by many as a waste of dollars, dollars that could be better spent on say something for your children or improvement for your home, or put away for education.

XP is fine and if they come out with an SP3 that adds essentially the same security there's absolutely no reason to upgrade to it. Even if Microsoft halves the price of the upgrade cost it still isn't worth it.

Upgrading to Vista will not be a humorous endeavor for anyone. The cost of the hardware upgrades alone will be enough to turn people away. The OS just hasn't got the meat nor the features to justify for anyone with a valid XP license to upgrade.

Had there been significant improvements in speed, in capability, in security, in compatability, in software development, etc then maybe we'd see some modicum of justification.

What Vista should be called is XPME + 6. Or XP Millenium Edition + 6. Or XP Mistake Edition + 6. It is one of those upgrades that in the grand scheme of things means nothing and simply complicates the OS arena more because it will take significantly greater knowledge and more people to maintain it.

If Microsoft had addressed administration with simple changes, say to msconfig, etc., I'd be thinking slightly in another direction. If I hadn't seen the RC1 and prior betas I might have been thinking other things. It is important to give the administrator tools to help diagnose the problems and security and violations to that security. Vista is going back to the past in that we'll need security patches every month or so and we'll have to still undo all the bad nasty programs that are installed. Nothing in Vista jusifies the extraordinary amount of time it will take to maintain and clean systems of those nasties say 6 months after the release.

Microsoft has not given and will not give any assurances that our computers will remain clean of the bad guys.

I'm afraid that in the near future Microsoft will again convince the Department of Home Security to tell everyone to upgrade to Vista to secure their computers. If they could convince them to alert everyone to upgrade their computers to the latest security patches (which resulted in nothing more than getting the Microsoft Genuine Advantage Spyware program installed) then they'll have their sights set on getting the government to pressure the common man to upgrade to Vista with all this DRM nightmares and proprietariness.
September 15, 2006 10:36:15 PM

Quote:
Vista is XP with a new interface and some security features. The security features could be added to XP with a SP3. If they aren't added then it means Microsoft is abandoning all XP customers to the wolves.

Other than that, there's no compelling reason to purchase XP. So the easy and most compelling answer is that the value of those features is $0.00.


So, I guess once a software company gets a product to where people like it, they should simply stop releasing new versions/revisions or trying to improve upon it?

Saying that a new release of an OS is just the old OS with a new interface has many implications. After all, an OS really is JUST an interface foremost.
September 15, 2006 11:40:22 PM

Quote:
Vista is XP with a new interface and some security features. The security features could be added to XP with a SP3. If they aren't added then it means Microsoft is abandoning all XP customers to the wolves.

Other than that, there's no compelling reason to purchase XP. So the easy and most compelling answer is that the value of those features is $0.00.


So, I guess once a software company gets a product to where people like it, they should simply stop releasing new versions/revisions or trying to improve upon it?

Saying that a new release of an OS is just the old OS with a new interface has many implications. After all, an OS really is JUST an interface foremost.

It is because that's what it is. It is just XP with a new interface. As most of the people have stated throughout this thread many of the features are already there or have a very limited purpose. Vista is just XP ME +6. That's all. There are no compelling reasons to upgrade. The costs for the OS are far too high and the costs in hardware alone will make it prohibitive for many. The only way it will be upgraded is by force and that force will be compelled by Microsoft say through DX10 only on Vista or The Department of Homeland Security trying to sell more copies for Microsoft by warning of the need to upgrade.

Most of the security issues can be address with a service pack and most of the features they added just aren't really features, they are just marketing selling points that are not compelling enough to desire/require upgrading.

There's no reason for you to become a seller of the product for Microsoft. They are a monopoly afterall. People that think this is a worthy upgrade, considering say just the OS cost, are after the latest greatest and not necessarily after what is best overall.

Every argument given in support of Vista was given in support of ME. History has proven ME to have been a mistake. Vista is the same.

On top of that there's a pretty neat little program that adds most of the same visual spice to XP that Vista has with the AERO interface.

What has many of the supporters of this update watering at the mouth is the money for upgrades to hardware, training, new skills that will set you apart from the rest.

Right now people are still upgrading to XP and learning that it has most if not all the features they need. They are just worried about security.

Of course, if you are saying that the lipstick is important and is justification, then maybe some will listen but I frankly don't agree with the idea that the looks justify the upgrades.
September 15, 2006 11:41:00 PM

As a home user who use MS product for personal and office use, the only benefit of Vista is increased security and its new features called superfetch, readyboost and readydrive. If these features prove to be worthless once hybrid drives come out and vista launches, then there's no use upgrading to vista. The cost is too much
September 16, 2006 12:40:58 AM

Quote:
Heya Barry ;) 

I dunno about a monetary value, but a lot of what was mentioned is derived from marketing. As a lot of system engineers and developers are aware, there's generally a plethora of changes 'under the hood' that make the OS better. This leads to better, more stable software applications for the new OS.

More managability, more stability, better software. Count me in.


You sound like you work for Microsoft's marketing dept.

XP is very stable for me already. Way more than Vista. Actually I found Vista RC1 to be quite buggy. I had more than one blue screen in the 20 minutes I was running Vista RC1 (on a fresh install) before deciding to go back to XP becuse Vista is also slow, laggy and bloated compared to XP even on my core 2 extreme.

I don't agree about the managability part either, Vista hides more of the system from you so managing the system is harder because you can't find anything.

I'm not sure how you define 'better software' considering I'll be running the same applications. All the extra toolbar/sidebar bloatware you get in vista is redundant as far as I'm concerned, In XP I just quickly turn all such stuff off anyway. I'm not even sure you can in Vista.

No new OS is stable until it matures (read: had many microsoft updates). Vista won't be any different.
September 16, 2006 12:53:25 AM

Quote:
...
Meaning that right now, considering I'm using a 'normal', paid-for version of Linux (which includes an office suite, a graphics editor, and advanced CD/DVD/MMedia tools built-in) which cost me $50, ....


Why did you pay $50 for it? Nearly all Linux distros have all that already inlcuded and downloadable for free.
office suite: OpenOffice
graphics editor: Gimp
advanced CD/DVD/MMedia tools built-in: Yep on the free ones too.
September 16, 2006 5:24:51 AM

I don't know all that much about Vista but what scares me away from it is this whole super-DRM implementation. I already have lots of media of all sorts on my computer(win XP) and from what I hear(stories of peoples' legit media not running) I think I won't be able to keep it because of this.
Also, as a gamer, Vista seems to be a huge contradiction. Yes, I want DX10, but at the same time I don't want to have to pay 400$ for an OS just to have it when the said OS is a ressource hog which can potentially kill the gaming experience.
I also have a lot of uncertainty concerning compatibility. Can an older version of Office be run on Vista or am I forced to dish out hundreds of dollars on the OS plus an other few hundreds on software? How will my current free programs react on Vista?(such as VLC media player, Avira Anti-Virus, Azureus, etc).
Coming back to gaming, does it only consume more memory and run the games just as fast or does its multi-threaded nature also hog up the cpu in the background?

-off topic: Many of you have mentioned huge lists of tweaks to make XP faster when comparing it to Linux. I have halted services(remember the notorious XP popups a few years ago?) and tweaked a few things but I would like to know if there's some kind of resource out there on what to do to make the OS faster.
September 16, 2006 7:08:32 AM

because the paid for version comes with a pressed CD, 3 months free phone support, proprietary drivers and softwares built in, fast ftp access, a thick user's manual - and I felt good paying back a small amount of money to people who actually work to improve my OS.

I'd rather pay $50 to developers and get a bunch of nice extra's than $400 for a pressed CD, a small leaflet, no actual support, and uneasy upgrades to a marketing service.
September 16, 2006 2:27:16 PM

I dunno much about Linux but I'd like to know more. I know that Fedora core is a nice graphical version. If I were to just use basic programs like word programs, spreadsheets, etc. I'd might go the Linux route. But how does it work with modern games? Are most games/programs compatible with it? This is really the only reason I haven't deepy looked into Linux because I don't know what kind of compatibility it has. If someone wants to shed some light, maybe you can convert me! :-)
September 16, 2006 2:43:10 PM

PS - Ya know what else, ever since I installed Vista (I dual boot), my games in XP are unstable. Don't ask me how that's possible since they are on entirely two different hard drives...But before I installed it BF2 and Company of Heros was fine. Now I get kicked out of BF2 and my comp restarts, and Company of Heros gets an error and shuts down about 20 min into gameplay. What the hell?
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