Paul Thurrott published a new review about Vista SP1. I covered many of the things he said in several posts here on 4sysops. But his article gives a good overview about the changes in Vista SP1. Actually, it is more of an assessment where Vista stands today. It might be of help for those who are hesitant to deploy Vista or not.
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Paul is more pro Vista than me. And I have already been accused of being too Microsoft friendly. For example he wrote:
The truth, as I demonstrated back in May 2007 in Hot or Not? Measuring the Success of Vista's First 100 Days, is that Vista is the most compatible version of Windows that Microsoft has ever shipped.
Even though I didn’t encounter any serious compatibility problems with Vista, I wouldn’t go that far. If you look at the discussion forums, you’ll find countless Vista users suffering from compatibility problems. I think it is rather pointless to count supported devices and applications. I seriously doubt that anyone really knows about all the applications out there. In the end, the only thing that counts is if your applications and devices work or not.
He also supports my view regarding the performance comparisons with Windows XP that I discussed a few days ago:
While it's unclear why this is notable or even newsworthy, you shouldn't be surprised to discover that while Vista with SP1 outperforms or at least equals the original version of Vista from a performance perspective, neither version outperforms its predecessor, Windows XP. Obviously. This has been the case with every modern version of Windows since, I don't know, 1995.
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What I find strange is that never before people were complaining so much about the performance of a new Windows version. It must have something to do with this Vista bashing virus.
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When it comes to rejection due to Vista hardware requirements, I think there is another explanation than Vista bashing-virus even though it is somewhat true.
My feeling is that people had less problems with hardware requirements and OS performance in the last years (1995 -> 2002) because many new possibilities, features and hardware standards appeared during these years.
In no particular order, the Internet, then the “multimedia”, like playing DVDs or DivX movies on their PC and the new Video games which were now running more and more under Windows and not DOS anymore and started to be in 3D.
At every step, the user had the feeling to be able to do something new and more when getting a new OS with a new computer… thus the hardware requirements gap from one version to another was explainable as he was getting new groundbreaking features.
You couldn’t do much of these things in Windows 95, let alone use USB devices which were slowly starting to replace the Serial and Parallel devices (but remember, its minimum RAM requirements were 4MB! : and when people moved to Windows 98 they were happy with the gap in hardware requirements because they were getting new features that they would use on a daily basis.
Also, the hardware was evolving very fast at this time and you could get a twice as fast low-end machine for the same price 1 year later, so people were somewhat pushed to buy new PCs, partly due to the perceived quick obsolescence of their still rather new hardware.
Nowadays, hardware still evolves quickly, but I don’t feel it is on the same scale.
You can do pretty much the same things on a P4 than on a Core 2 Duo (albeit less quickly), but the same wasn’t true with a PMMX 166MHz and a Celeron 300a.
But XP lasted so many years, that people can do everything on it now : there is no real revolutionnary feature requiring them to move to a new OS.
Browsing is well established now and switching to another OS will not make the user experience much better, the “new” hardware standards like USB are well established as well now and there is nothing revolutionnary in that area requiring an OS change as well, same goes for multimedia and entertainment (but granted for Video games, DX10 only works on Vista).
My point is that, in the past, there were always incentives for people to either buy a new PC or upgrade the OS, but not in the current era…
It may be one of the reasons why people bash Vista : it consumes more resources and doesn’t do more from their point of view… a sidebar and a new look and feel aren’t enough, and that’s barely the new features an average user would notice.
In that, Vista reminds me a bit of Millenium Edition : more demanding and no new groundbreaking features that would require you to use the new OS… the result was the same : rejection from the market and bashing from users and experts.
That was for some home user/consumer point of view, but some of the things I said apply for Enterprises as well, especially in terms of browsing and hardware support.
My problem as an admin is not even that I like or don’t like Vista, but simply that it won’t run on most of the workstations of my network and that my company is not keen to invest in new hardware at the moment for budget reasons unless I give them very good reasons to do so…
I am sure many people are in the same situation as well.
There are other reasons why I don’t upgrade to Vista (new UI would require additionnal retraining costs, etc) that I already explained in a previous comment.
If Microsoft had been easier on the resources required to run Vista by focusing more on performance and optimization, it is likely that more companies would be using it now.
Vista requires at least 4 times more RAM than its predecessor : when you do that, you better have groundbreaking features or a special market opportunity like what I said earlier or a great marketing strategy !
When you narrow your potential market so much, you can’t cry when seeing a low adoption rate…
I think the Vista market share will increase when companies and consumers will renew their PCs (and I’m talking about some who can run Vista decently unlike many off-the-shelves we can see in store)…
Perhaps I’m just a boring, boring guy… Because I haven’t had any problems running what I ran in XP, in Vista.
If my copy Fallout 2 (+F2 restoration project 1.1) doesn’t run on it, then I’ll go around complaining about Vista compatibility.
As of today, we are still hesitant to deploy vista (company of 180 people) simply because a lot of our applications and tools are still not available in a vista version. This is not vistas fault for sure but as a company I can not influence what (mostly small) business related software companies do or don’t. Fact is, I can not deploy until all departments have their core apps and tools vista ready.
JC, I think your analysis is quite correct. That’s how most people see it. That is, they don’t understand why they should buy new hardware because Vista has nothing interesting to offer. However, I think that this view is wrong. Vista has many interesting new features. Most important is the improved security. People always accused Microsoft on concentrating too much on new features instead of security. And now that Microsoft finally understood that security is a feature itself. It seems as if customers are the ones to blame now. Besides, Vista’s new deployment capabilities are a must-have feature for corporate environments. This alone is reason enough to move to Vista as soon as possible.
Leonardo, perhaps you’re not a boring guy but a lucky guy? Of course, it could also be that you’re a smart guy. 😉
Christoph, you are in the same situation as many others. If important apps don’t work, you usually don’t have much choice. However, I would always consider replacing them with Vista compatible apps from competitors. I mean, if a software vendor still doesn’t support Vista after one year, then something is wrong.