Microsoft Vista: Not ready for prime time

I write this post in anger.

I bought a new PC in March 2007. Vista was the only operating system that came on a new PC. So I’ve had Vista long enough to know it well.

Note: I develop software for a living. I’m not a network expert but I am quite proficient with Windows XP Pro and Microsoft Office. I have two computers on my desk, with Vista and Windows XP Pro respectively, and I toggle back and forth using the same keyboard and mouse. It’s a great way to compare operating systems.

I’ve spent many dozens of hours trying to get Vista to work well on our local area network. Sharing files with other computers in our office has been difficult. I finally bought Network Magic, which made Vista almost functional on the network, but I never know when Vista might decide to quit sharing my data with our other computers.

After several months of use I have found Vista too unstable for most work, so I use it to work on Microsoft Access applications and to surf the web. Now, after installing some recent updates, Microsoft Office 2003 applications have quit working on Vista. When I start Access or Excel, I get a message

… has stopped working. A problem has occurred that keeps the program from working correctly. Windows will close the program and notify you if a solution is available.

Two weeks ago my MSN Money Center portfolio page asked me to update. I did and it hasn’t worked since. I’ve spent several hours trying to get it to install correctly but it hangs. MSN is a Microsoft web site and the portfolio manager is Microsoft software that is not working on Vista.

The only positive comment I have about Vista is … it has a very striking look. It’s display and user interface is very pretty.

Vista’s security reminds me of the Atlanta airport — far too much hassle, very time consuming, and unpleasant.

Microsoft released Vista far too early. The company managers must have ignored the testers. Microsoft may or may not pay dearly for this mistake, but it opened the door for Apple to get some market share. And it stinks of monopoly behavior.

I have lost all trust for the Windows Vista brand. Microsoft’s credibility, which has been falling for years, has taken a dive with me.

If I find an easy way to install Windows XP Pro on my Vista PC, I’ll do it. Microsoft has a solid operating system in Windows XP Pro — Vista is not in the same league.

I feel better now.

P.S. 9/6/2007: The Firefox browser will not run on my Vista PC now.

P.S. 9/11/2007:

Dell Warns Customers About Complications From Vista

Microsoft has a lot riding on the success of Vista, but there are concerns about its onerous hardware demands and the attendant implementation challenges. After a brief period of selling only Vista, Dell was forced to bring back Windows XP, since there remained a lot of demand for the old system. Now Dell is going even farther, as it’s warning business customers about the difficult challenges that lay ahead of them if they decide to adopt Vista. This is odd, because a company in Dell’s position would typically relish the increased sales that come from a major software upgrade. Dell must be fearful that it will suffer if their customers make a major investment into new machines running Vista that doesn’t pan out as planned.

P.S. 9/16/2007: Microsoft Expression Web, an excellent web site/page design application, has started crashing on Vista.

P.S. 9/16/2007: Mark Cuban at Blog Maverick writes:

P.S. 10/1/2007: Then I upgraded my PC to Vista. What a disaster. I had grown accustomed to my PC freezing every now and then. Enter Vista and my PC was frozen more often than it was working.

After many hours of frustrating search, I found a fix for the applications crashing:

bcdedit.exe /set {current} nx AlwaysOff

See the following link for instructions: