Vista – Why?

vista2.jpgWhy would anyone upgrade to the newest Windows version – Windows Vista? I can’t see any reason to do it and wonder how many others will. Here is why I feel this way.

Right now the Vista release candidate has around 1000 known bugs in it. When they finally ship it to computer manufacturers it still could have as many as 500 known bugs. How many unknown bugs will it have?

Most of the real improvements planned for Vista have been dropped because they would delay the release too much. The original plan was for a new, improved file system, WinFS, but that was dropped in 2004. PC-to-PC synchronization was dropped but may be made available in the future (for what cost?). The scripting shell from Windows Vista and Longhorn Server (code-named “Monad), was cut last year.

On top of that, Vista imposes heavy requirements on memory, graphics power and CPU speed in order to run some of the new features. You may actually need to upgrade your computer make them work well.

Perhaps the biggest reason to not upgrade is the oppressive security policy. Not your security, but features added to help Microsoft combat piracy (their $ecurity). This will probably (as it has in Win XP) cause headaches for people and the consequences will be more severe. If you are unable to register, Vista will force you into “reduced functionality mode” until it is activated. If you happen to be, say, in Antarctica or out on your sailboat or any other out-of-the way place, you will just be screwed. Many Windows XP users had their installations labeled as pirated even though they bought valid copies or had it preinstalled on their computers.

If you have Windows XP then it will probably be a while until Microsoft decides to abandon support. Even then, reasonable caution and a hardware firewall or router will go a long way to prevent problems.

Vista – No thanks!

I’ll stick with the perfectly suitable Windows 2000 (which I consider the best OS Microsoft ever produced) and when I can’t keep using that, I’ll either switch to Linux or I’ll get a Mac. I’ve already started experimenting with Linux and, with a few exceptions, I can do everything I want to do on it. Not as easily yet but it’s possible. Linux continues to improve and I suspect that Windows Vista will foster a huge boost to the ease of use and functionality of Linux.

Time will tell

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