A Journal Of Why Vista Really Sucks

One of the commenters to this post in an Information Week blog, chronicled the repeated failures and problems with Microsoft's Windows Vista from the beginning.

There are many signs that M$ is in trouble and that Vista is a failure. This
is going to be a list of those signs. This is what Vista looks like to me. It
is such a flop it can take M$ down, which would put an end to their attacks
on free software, free software advocates and reasonable standards. Vista's
failure is the predicted, practical result of a business model that tries to keep
customers helpless and divided.

The six year development was troubled and expensive. There were signs that
nothing important had changed. Promised features evaporated and those that
came through were downright creepy.

* January 1, 2004 - Jim Allichin sees the future and does not like
* July 9, 2004 - Vista troubles go public, rebuild is promissed
but never delivered as is clear from legacy bugs.
* March 26, 2006 - M$ Employees Revolt over delays. * A buggy launch
was insured and hardware doomed because XP driver
compatibility was intentionally broken just before RTM.
* January 30, 2007 - Vista is officially released. Jim Allchin

Then came real use and real problems for users: security problems, devices
not working, features dropped, competitors run off and high costs.

* An objective study of the Vista UI shows the changes have made
things worse, not better for users who make it past install, broken
software and hardware.
* Basic operations are broken. File copy, for example, takes
forever and may fail because it can consume all of your memory. Memory
used this way is not released until reboot. IPv6 does not work.
* M$ considers network degradation for media protection normal, so
network performance is about 10% of what you get from XP or anything else.
* Insane anti-piracy harms the innocent. An anti-piracy server
accidently disabled the nicer parts and required all XP and Vista users to
"reauthenticate". Just a few weeks later, M$ made things even worse with a
new BSoD for "pirates". They backpedaled a little and now Vista is nagware
instead of deadware. The system remains a booby trap. So much as changing
a video card will disable your system without warning. People with cracked
coppies laugh but M$ can pull the plug for anyone else anytime for any
* Business as usual has not improved security. New problems have
been added to the seemingly endless supply of legcay bugs. There are
reports of double extension exploits, a cursor exploit, a an auto proxy
exploit, boot sector viruses and even their random number generator has
serious legacy problems and probably has an NSA backdoor. Microsoft
eventually admits their visible "improvement", UAC, is broken. But
business is worse than usual, M$ locked out and continues to harass other
anti-virus makers.
* Hardware requirements are more wasteful than ever. The voucher
program provides this customer a broken PC and infuriating vendor support.
Vista Capable was not (they knew it at the time, read their email
yourself), and the the 4GB of RAM "sweet spot" obsoletes 95% of existing
computers. Even computers that can take that much memory might not be able
to use it. Later, disk storage recommendations of 1 TB, obsolete
* Hardware drivers have never been worse. Nine months after
release we still see general flakiness.
* Vista's has insane digital restrictions. HD video and iPod are
broken and other media is restricted, leaving the average user better off
with gnu/linux. Some of this is intentional sabotage of competitors, the
rest reflects the interest of M$'s media pals. The reward for buying
restricted media is to lose it all and have to buy it again.
* Once again, your favorite toys will be broken. Palm did not work
until a July Beta Test. Vista sabotages Google Desktop and Firefox
* The cost of these problems for business user was estimated to be
between three and five thousand dollars per seat, and everyone knows
that's just the start of TCO. Lost work is expensive even if your time and
software cost nothing. Expect a small bonus or a pink slip if your company
is dumb enough to go this way.

The list keeps growing as people report Vista problems and restrictions.
The bottom line is that Vista demands total M$ control of your computer.
On February 2, 2008 a new lowpoint was reached when it could honestly be
argued that Vista is not as good as GNU/Linux for gaming. Yes, Vista is
not even good for gaming.

Then there was rejection and revolt.

* January 10, 2007 - UK schools told to avoid Vista for a year.
Before the year was up, they were advised to use free software instead.
One year later, none of the concerns were addressed and the schools were
again told to avoid Vista and Office 2007.
* February 2, 2007 - BBC calls Vista a threat to internet freedom. *
March 2, 2007 - DOT says no to Vista and IE7 due to cost and
* March 2, 2007 - BBC says avoid Vista. * March 3, 2007 - FAA says No
to Vista and considers GNU/Linux
migration. They have already saved millions leaving other M$ OS behind.
* March 10, 2007 - Vendors selling Vista with OSX screen shots. *
March 23, 2007 - A M$ blog lables Vista the " biggest software
development failure of all time", and reveals a raging internal debate
about releasing the not ready code.
* April 20, 2007 - Oracle ignores Windows * April 21, 2007 - XP
Reintroduced by Dell. * April 23, 2007 - Vista firesale due to poor
sales. * May 01, 2007 - Dell Ubuntu Plans Announced * May 16, 2007 -
Vista causes a 4% fall in M$ customer
* May 20, 2007 - The lack of user enthusiasm is reflected in book
sales and search results
* July 3, 2007 - Dell issues Vista refunds. It takes two emails. *
July 4, 2007 - 87% of home users are aware of Vista but only 12%
of them want it.
* July 17, 2007 - Vista gripes are so numerous they make the
mainstream news. Given M$'s massive advertising budget and willingness to
hold a grudge, the CNN story is remarkable.
* July 20, 2007 Vista and Office have almost no impact on M$
bottom line.
* July 24, 2007 - Number 4 PC maker Acer revolts and expresses
Industry Wide dissatisfaction.
* July 26, 2007 - Dell puts pressure on ATI for better GNU/Linux
* July 26, 2007 - Dell is pleased with Ubuntu and plans more of
* July 27, 2007 - New York Times reports Wall Street's lost faith
in M$. Sometimes reason can overcome superstition.
* July 30, 2007 - Vista SP1 slips from 2nd half of 2007 to Q1,
2008. This means that they will miss a second Christmas buying season
because everyone knows that Vista sucks as it is.
* July 31, 2007 - PatchLink Survey shows the vast majority (87%)
of Windows business users plan not to migrate to Vista because there's no
advantage. Seven months ago, more said they wanted Vista but that was
before they knew better. At the same time, Linux migration plans are up
from 2% to 8%.
* July 31, 2007 - CIO describes Windows as something for "niche
business users" only. This has been true for a long time, but a consensus
is finally growing around it because Vista has failed to deliver.
* August 4, 2007 - Straws in the wind, even M$ boosters are sick
of supporting M$ and dread the Vista "upgrade".
* August 6, 2007 - Boom, Lenovo Sells Thinkpads with Suse as they
said they would. The models hit the market, cheaper than those with Vista,
in January of 2008.
* August 8, 2007 - Dell goes worldwide with gnu/linux, and their
stratagist says Vista is more of the same from M$ and it's pushing
business to gnu/linux.
* August 9, 2007 - AMD partners with Suse * August 11, 2007 - Oracle
continues it's move to gnu/linux. * August 14, 2007 - Forbes predicts
GNU/Linux boom. * August 14, 2007 - Big patch Tuesday gives lie to
Vista's security improvement
* August 14, 2007 - 2008 is not the year of Vista for the 2008
* August 15, 2007 - Two more studies show that Big Business is
staying away from Vista
* August 17, 2007 - After nine months of suffering, PC Magazine
Editor in Chief apologizes for being easy on Vista, slams it and steps
* August 23, 2007 - The EIC was not the only person at PC Magazine
or the industry who thinks Vista is not ready. All sorts of writers, bugs
and poor uptake statistics are mentioned.
* August 25, 2007 - A study by Valve shows fewer than 8% of gamers
are using Vista. The company president calls M$'s Vista push a "terrible
* August 26, 2007 - Airbus and Boeing go with Red Hat for
passenger computers.
* August 29, 2007 - The Independent recommends gnu/linux over
* August 29, 2007 - HP joins the other two big PC makers, Dell and
Lenovo, selling desktop gnu/linux.
* September 1, 2007 - Universities dread a Vista September * September
6, 2007 - AMD goes "open" with ATI. All of the major
chipset makers have their foot in gnu/linux and two of them are free. The
last significant platform performance difference is about to evaporate as
the makers liberate themselves.
* September 10, 2007 - SP1 changes nothing for big IT. Timelines
for rollout at ATF might start in three years. Apparently, it's hard to
fool people twice.
* September 21, 2007 - Less than 2% of UK businesses are using
* September 21, 2007 - M$ allows all vendors to sell XP again, but
on a disk, not installed and only as a replacement for the most expensive
versions of Vista.
* September 27, 2007 - Another mainstream news source calls Vista
a failure that could destroy M$.
* September 28, 2007 - Steven Vaughn-Nicholas of EWeek says Vista
is dead.
* October 11, 2007 - Steve Ballmer ambushed by analyst mom who
hates Vista. Ha ha, someone send her daughter some real software.
* October 18, 2007 - DSG blames Vista for $40 million of retail
sales losses.
* October 26, 2007 - An ITWeek writer joins the Vista Sucks
* October 28, 2007 - Vista sales decline, despite back to school
and other firesales.
* October 31, 2007 - John Dvorak says M$ should abandon Vista and
whines that he's going to be a GNU/Linux or Mac user. The sooner the
better, John.
* November 3, 2007 - Analysts reject hype about "strong" demand
for Vista. Demand is not even as good as XP's was.
* November 6, 2007 - Vista is used by less than 7% at home and 1%
at work.
* November 8, 2007 - On it's one year "gold" anniversary Vista is
haunted by 6 year old Macrovision bug.
* November 14, 2007 - With a patch, M$ admits some of Vista's
performance problems.
* November 18, 2007 - Back to school sales of Vista and Office
2007 had no effect on M$'s bottom line. Because sales were down, the
unchanged bottom line may reflect the entire year instead of the last
* November 19, 2007 - A new survey of IT professionals shows
overwhelming rejection, 90%, of Vista, 10% are moving away from M$ and 40%
have plans to move away.. Can you hear the sinking ship fog horns?
* November 23, 2007 - Vista SP1 fails to deliver, dooming the OS
for Christmas, perhaps forever.
* November 24, 2007 - HP CEO Hurd says Vista did not make enough
money for HP.
* November 26, 2007 - InfoWorld joins the Vista Sucks chorus. *
November 26, 2007 - Vista makes CNet's worst tech list as number
10. Number 9 is a root kit.
* November 28, 2007 - Another businessman joins the Vista Sucks
Chorus. He complains the OS performs poorly, is annoying and lacks
innovation to such a degree that productivity suffers despite expensive
hardware upgrades. This is what everyone says.
* December 5, 2007 - Resellers note increasing demand for
"Downgrade Rights" which reflects business resistance to Vista and Office
* December 16, 2007 - Damage control gets ugly as users point out
how big a downgrad Vista is.
* December 17, 2008 - Vista is PC World's #1 most disappointing
tech product of 2007
* January 7, 2008 - Despite deals that made it virtually
impossible to buy a computer without Vista, less than 40% of 2007
computers shipped with it. Makers like Dell broke those deals to stay in
* January 8, 2008 - A two year study concludes that Vista and
Office 2007 should be avoided by UK schools because they expensive,
disruptive and no one needs them.
* January 15, 2008 - Vista is MIA at CES. * January 24, 2008 - Windows
7 hype leads to rumors of panic
attack at M$
* January 24, 2008 - The Motley Fool writes M$ off. * January 30, 2008
- Mythbusters pans Vista and most non free
software practices.
* February 6, 2008 - NEC offers XP beyond official EoL because
business still overwhelmingly rejects Vista.
* February 7, 2008 - George Ou spends the night with SP1 and wakes
up sore. Not even hard core advocates can take Vista.
* February 14, 2008 - Increasingly desperate, M$ starts a lottery
to advertise Vista. Scratch and sniff the questionair, you could win
thousands of dollars worth of TV or a shirt. Remember to donate all of the
shirts to charity.
* February 19 and 29 - M$ dumps dissapearing development tools on
universities and has a world wide Vista firesale to counter Vista's poor
* March 11, 2008 - The fat lady sings for Vista as the Wintel
press hypes Workstation 2008.
* March 19, 2008 - As predicted, SP1 fails to deliver performance
improvement, instead it might just crash and destroy your computer.

This story is about over. Graduation and back to school happened and it
did not help Vista sales or boost any real measure. Vista has been
rejected by home users, business users, the mainstream and wintel press.
Investors have begun to question M$'s place in the world and worth.
Because people are listening, I'll mark the next few stories. Christmas
before SP1 should be dismal and SP1's ultimate failure to deliver will be
interesting, but the real story is now the rise of GNU/ Linux on the

Software Freedom is the only way to prevent abuses like M$ has pulled over
the years. Faith in source code that can't be seen, modified and shared is

And people wonder why I'm not a fan of Vista.

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