I like Vista. Really! Some of its new features are very nice! I only wonder, when will the final version of Windows Vista be available? Wait a minute! Didn't Microsoft just release it? Yeah, they did. Still I continue to wonder, when the final of Windows Vista will be available.
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Some weeks ago, I moved to Vista with my own PC at work. Originally, I planned a smooth transition. Since I got a new PC, I wanted to install all the tools, I need for my work, step by step and only move to it, when everything works fine. But, then, my old PC suffered from a hardware defect, and so, I was forced to change my PC earlier than planned.
Since then my productivity decreased dramatically. I was spending a lot of time to get my new system working with the same capabilities as that of my old PC. Many of my tools weren't working. I was able to fix some problems; the others were replaced by tools that work with Vista.
Some tools seem to work at first, but after I used them for a while, I realized that they don't run properly under Vista. One example is Locknote, a tool, I use to store confidential data on my USB stick. Everything seemed to be normal when I entered new data. But when I wanted to access this data some days later, I realized that Locknote didn't store the new entries to my USB stick. I didn't get any error message, though. Now, I know that I have to run Locknote with Administrator privileges, but it costed me some hours to get the lost data again.
Many problems are still unsolved. For example, there is no Vista driver for my HP scanner. Today, I read on their Web site that HP doesn't intend to release a Vista driver for this scanner. They suggest buying a new HP scanner instead. Great idea! I will certainly get a new scanner. Rest assured that it won't be one from HP. I can't use my Dell SDLT tape drive either. Vista recognized the drive correctly, but Vista's new backup tool simply denies that this tape drive is a backup device.
Those are just a few examples. My list of apps that don't work properly under Vista is quite long, meanwhile. It is obvious that many software and hardware vendors are still not yet ready for Vista.
One of these software vendors is Microsoft. Many of Microsoft's own tools don't support Vista. The most prominent one is Systems Manager Server 2003. Microsoft speaks of limited support, but you can't take this statement seriously. SMS 2003 simply doesn't support Vista. So how can you deploy Vista if Microsoft's own client management tool is not yet ready for it? Only yesterday, they released WAIK containing many important deployment tools. Again, I was running into problems when I tried to install WAIK.
Then, I read this interesting article about Microsoft activation tools. The Volume Activation Management Tool (VAMT) is scheduled for release only in March. First, they get on our nerves with this genuine activation mess, and then, they don't even give us the necessary tools in time.
Okay, maybe I am exaggerating a little, but I am really not in a good mood. Today, my Vista machine crashed three times. Yes, it crashed! I had to pull the power plug, because Vista was not responding anymore. I am running Vista on a brand new Fujitsu-Siemens PC which is supposed to be Vista ready. I was writing a text in Word 2007, when Vista suddenly froze. Only CTRL-ALT-DEL worked. When I wanted to access the task manager to see which app was causing the problem, Vista crashed completely. Even CTRL-ALT-DEL didn't work, anymore.
I restarted Vista and opened Word again to check if at least part of my text was still there. Of course, it was all gone! Then, I went to a meeting. When I came back, Vista was in suspend mode. I hit a key to wake it up, but my screen stayed black. I saw that the hard disk was busy so I waited for about 5 minutes. Nothing happened. My display still didn't receive any signal.
I wonder why modern PCs don't have a hard reset switch, anymore. This could be quite useful for a Vista PC. After Vista booted up again, I tried to continue with my text. Good that it was being automatically saved every minute, because after 30 minutes Vista crashed again. This time, I was at least able to log off after pressing CTRL-ALT-DEL. I didn't log on again, though. I had enough "WOW factors" for one day.
Maybe, it is just a driver that's not working properly. Perhaps, I will find out what went wrong after checking the event log. It certainly will cost me again a lot of time. Considering the amount of time, I already spent with Vista problems, I have to conclude that it is not yet ready for a productive environment.
My personal answer to the question, I addressed in the heading of this post, is 2008. I think that Windows Vista final, i.e. the Vista version, I want to deploy in my network, will not be available before Service Pack 1 is out.
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Please, let me know about your experiences with Vista. Did you run into similar problems or is it working properly for you? Will you deploy it before Vista SP1 is out?