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Microsoft Manager Says Vista Has Issues

It isn’t easy being Windows Vista, living with the stigma of being inferior to its predecessor.

Much of the public carries with it even today the opinion that Windows Vista is the undesirable choice for a PC operating system, despite Microsoft’s best efforts.

In fairness, Windows Vista got off on the wrong foot when it launched in early 2007. Microsoft knows this, but for obvious reasons must downplay many of the operating system’s issues. It is for that reason, then, that it surprised many that a “high-ranking Windows product manager” spoke to Maximum PC in mid-June about Vista’s teething problems.

The Microsoft employee detailed several key issues that plagued the early days, many of which can be attributed to bad GPU drivers from Nvidia. While it would be unwise for Microsoft to point the finger at a major hardware partner, internal Microsoft memos put 18 percent of all Vista crashes around launch time as a result of unstable Nvidia drivers.

Along with unstable drivers, gamers had a reason to be especially disappointed with the OS as games ran better and faster on Windows XP. Moving to the newer OS was often a dramatic downgrade in performance. The source told Maximum PC that “spending the money to port DirectX 10 to Windows XP would have been worth the expense.” Even more crushing might be his view on the Games for Windows initiative, calling it “a disaster, with nothing more than 64-bit compatibility for games to show for years of effort.”

The source also conceded that Apple’s control over the software and hardware side allows it to avoid such compatibility problems, making Macs more and more appealing to consumers.

Windows Vista also annoyed users quickly with its User Account Control, prompting users at every change made to the system. Vista users have become so accustomed to clicking “allow” on all warnings that one has to wonder if the system is really that much more secure when factoring user habits.

According to Erik Lustig, a senior product manager responsible for Windows Fundamentals, Windows Vista is the most secure Microsoft operating system to date, validating some of the design choices. For the move from XP to Vista, Lustig said Microsoft made “changes that have had some short-term ramifications that we’ve worked very hard the last year and a half, and through Service Pack 1, to address. ... I believe that those changes are going to be a fundamental basis for the integrity of the platform.”

Perhaps the biggest shortcoming of Windows Vista is that it launched before it was fully ready. While many users still maintain their preference for Windows XP, few may realize how far Vista has come thanks to Service Pack 1.

With half a year already under Windows Vista SP1’s belt, the operating system is now performing at levels expected of it at launch. Windows Vista is now stable, fast and perhaps most importantly, more secure. It’s unfortunate then, that most current Windows XP users won’t see the strides made by Microsoft until the launch of Windows 7.

Marcus Yam
Marcus Yam served as Tom's Hardware News Director during 2008-2014. He entered tech media in the late 90s and fondly remembers the days when an overclocked Celeron 300A and Voodoo2 SLI comprised a gaming rig with the ultimate street cred.
  • mojoman94
    I'm a software engineer who's used every Microsoft OS since Win 3.1 and I have Vista Ultimate w/SP1 on my HP Quad core rig and to be honest Vista isn't worth it. It's a resource hog, the UAC is annoying, file management is slow and sometimes even seems to just hang for a moment. The media center doesn't work as well as commerical applications. I'm going back to XP. Vista is an embarassment.
    Reply
  • the_one111
    Then turn UAC off... Get something better than one gig of ram the media center is fine... if you dont like it go back to the old media center (which vista has). File management IS slow, but not as slow as xp's or mac's

    That post was retarded, all you did was whine about the NEW features that are "glitchy" if even that! what about all the "old" xp features that STILL WORK.

    Don't listen to the Macophillias. Vista owns.

    Reply
  • chaohsiangchen
    I had some problem with my home machine running Vista at the beginning. The system runs better after SP1. Actually, a lot better. Vista seems to take control of 1/3 of memory no matter how much one has. With 2GB, it took control over 1/3; and with 4GB, it still takes 1/3. The hard drive space for Vista is insane (40GB). There is no excuse for that.
    Reply
  • chaohsiangchen
    I actually like UAC. It is the way it should have been 10 years ago. Though M$'s implementation is just annoying, and they should learn how it was done by Spybot.
    Reply
  • deminicus
    People need to clarify what they mean by "resource hog". If they mean the memory footprint then I think there is a lack of understanding. Vista uses free memory and does useful stuff with it. It also throttles it, so when you load a large app/game it will shrink its footprint.

    Granted vista isn't the most amazing thing ever....ever but it is better than xp in many areas. I personally don't need or want to go back to xp, I am surprised to say that. I was weary before I switched but after some extensive research I found it was time to move on.
    Reply
  • nukemaster
    The biggest launch issue for Vista was Nvidia. Sorry to say, but its true. The drivers took well over a year to work out most of the bugs. They had the new driver model long before Vista released, but they chose to not bother working in it in advanced.

    Games now run practically(its almost within the margin or error now) identical on Vista and XP.

    One thing some do not understand is having lots of memory not to use it is a waste. So when Vista decides to cache up all your free ram to preload apps you use often, is it really a memory hog? It takes no more then the percentage difference from 98 to XP did.

    Anyone remember how bugged XP was at launch?
    Reply
  • deminicus
    chaohsiangchenI actually like UAC. It is the way it should have been 10 years ago. Though M$'s implementation is just annoying, and they should learn how it was done by Spybot.
    personally I have it turned off but I know what you are saying. It has potential. They just need to make it less annoying. I hear the reason it's tough todo is that vista has to take into account backward compatibility and crappy coding practices
    Reply
  • jameshan2k
    The biggest issue with Vista is the Hardware Vendors. They sell dirt cheap computers with horrible video chipsets, only 512 to 1024MB of RAM & then load the OS with a ton of crap offers/"free" software. The customer then gets pissed & blames Microsoft saying Vista sucks & Macs are better. If they spent a little extra cash on RAM & uninstalled the crap software they would see the benefits of Vista.

    I'm running Vista Ultimate 64 Bit with 8GB's of RAM ($180) & I'm quite happy....haven't rebooted in Months.
    Reply
  • After using Vista with and without SP1 at work, I can safely say that I'll stick to XP until MS manages to force me out of it. There is no logical reason to upgrade. None.
    Reply
  • I'm so surprised that so many people complain about UAC but in the mean time praising Mac/Linux (Ubuntu). The reality is Mac and Linux also UAC and they also prompt the dialog box for admin tasks. And even worse, on Mac and Linux it requires to enter your password everytime and it cannot be turned off. Apparently those people have never used a Mac or Linux
    Reply