I’ve been using Microsoft Vista for about 9 months now on several different machines. My laptop came pre-installed with Vista Ultimate (64bit) and I recently upgraded my main workstation including the install of Vista Home Premium (64bit) (well, the hardware was upgraded, but the OS was downgraded 😉 ).
Over this time I have come to loathe the Vista operating system. Personally, I think it’s even worse than the dreaded Windows ME, which was listed at #4 on PC World’s 25 Worst Tech Products of All Time list.
I’m not alone with my hatred of Vista either. Ask most IT experts and I think you’ll find that a large percentage will agree that Vista is just plain crap. Even Microsoft started to offer a “downgrade” option to PC manufacturers, allowing customers to switch back to Windows XP on some new Vista machines. That’s gotta tell you something when the company that wrote the software doesn’t have confidence in it.
Come October 22 this year (2009), I’ll be going out and buying a copy of Windows 7, which from experience with the Release Candidate version and from various articles around the web, is far superior (and less crappy).
Here are my top reasons for why I hate Vista so much (in no particular order).
1. Extremely slow
One of most common complaints of Vista is how slow it is. It’s slow to start, it’s slow to operate and it’s even slow to shutdown. As an example, it takes my workstation approximately 10 minutes to boot to a useable state. One of the few programs that I have in my startup folder is Microsoft Outlook 2003. Outlook doesn’t even start loading until the 8 minute mark. The desktop itself takes approximately 3 minutes to fully display.
You’re probably thinking that I’m running a fairly slow PC. Well, I’m not. Remember, I just recently upgraded my machine and I’m now running one of Intel’s latest Core i7 processors. See further down this post for more information on the type of hardware I’m running.
2. Browsing folders using Windows Explorer
To browse the contents of your hard drive, you use the Windows Explorer application. In every previous version of Explorer, whenever you clicked on a folder in the left-hand Folder pane, that folder would automatically expand to show you all it’s sub-folders. Within Vista, if you simply click on the folder, the only thing it will do is display its content in the right-hand window pane. If you want to expand the folder to see all the sub-folders, you now have to double-click the folder name.
It may seem like a small thing, but when some basic functionality like this changes from hows it’s operated for years and years and for for no valid reason, I find that annoying. It also means that it’s doubled the amount of clicks required to perform the same action.
3. Folder sort order disappears
When I’m developing a website, I quite often like to sort a folder on the “Date Modified” column within Windows Explorer. This allows me to see the most recently changed files at a glance. I’ll do the same thing when viewing a folder full of images.
If you duplicate a file within a folder, Vista takes it upon itself to remove the sort order on that folder. It doesn’t even reset it to the “Name” column. It simply removes the sorting altogether. So, after you’ve duplicated a file, you then have to reset your sort order again.
4. System Tray icons disappear
The “Sytem Tray” within Windows is that small row of icons in the bottom right-hand corner of your display. It’s also where the system clock is displayed. These icons show some of the applications you currently having running within your system. One of the “features” of Windows is to automatically hide icons that aren’t accessed or used frequently. Unfortunately though, Vista has a tendency to occasionally (and randomly) remove icons all together. It doesn’t just simply hide them, it completely removes them from the System Tray. It doesn’t actually remove the application from memory, but the icon does disappear.
There is a properties setting that allows you to configure these icons to “Show”, “Hide” or “Hide when inactive”. Changing this setting though does nothing to stop them from randomly disappearing.
5. Application windows constantly display “Not responding”
As a constant reminder to how bad Vista memory management is (just in case you needed it. lol), application windows are constantly displaying the “Not responding” message. Normally, you’d expect to see this when the OS is “busy” performing a lot of background tasks and can also be caused by not having enough system RAM. Well, with 6GB’s of RAM in my system, I think I should have plenty for Vista to operate smoothly on.
6. Errors when saving network files cause automatic file deletion
This is one problem that can cause significant issues. As part of my hardware setup, I have all my PC’s networked, either wirelessly or via Gigabit Ethernet. For development purposes, I have my own web server. This server obviously stores all my web files (ie. HTML, PHP, ASP, CSS, JS etc). When I’m developing a website, I’ll access the files on my webserver, from whatever machine I happen to be using at the time. Sometimes when saving files across the Network, Vista displays a “sharing violation” error advising that it is unable to save the file in question. This in itself, is not a huge deal as you can simply try again. What is a big deal though, is that not only will it advise you that it can’t save the file, it will also delete the original copy of the file. So, if you happen to exit out of your file editor without saving the file again, you’ll find that not only have you lost your changes that you just made, but you’re also missing the original/source file as well! WTF!? To me, that’s a serious #fail!
7. Network shares don’t map on startup
I have a drive mapped to my web server to make it easier to access files when using Windows Explorer or performing backups. No matter how many times I enter in the Username and Password and select the “Reconnect at login” check box, Vista refuses to store the details and subsequently wont re-map the drive correctly on startup.
8. Editing filenames no longer highlights the complete name
Previously, whenever you single-clicked or pressed F2 on a file to edit its name, the whole filename (including the extension) would highlight. This was perfect for when you wanted to copy filenames into documents or source code. You could hit F2, then Ctrl-C to copy the name and then simply Esc to discard any changes. Now, whenever you edit a filename, only the actual filename gets highlighted and not the file extension. if you want to copy the WHOLE filename, you have to then manually click and drag to highlight the full name and extension.
9. Data fails to be stored in clipboard when copied
The “Clipboard” in Windows is the temporary location where items are copied whenever you select “Copy” from an application menu, hit Ctrl-C or the “Print Screen” button. Vista has a tendency though, not to copy things to the clipboard at random times. Throughout the day i have have to perform the same copy multiple times so that whatever I’m copying, will actually get transfered to the clipboard.
10.Folder View setting constantly needs resetting
Within Windows Explorer there is an option to set how you would like to view the contents of a particular folder. Even after configuring Vista to remember this setting for each folder, it still constantly needs to be reset. Vista seems to think it knows best when it comes to how you view your folder contents.
11.Folder Type setting constantly needs resetting
Another option within Windows is the Folder Type. You can use this setting to automatically adjust the Folder View. For example, you can tell Vista that a particular folder contains “Pictures and Videos”. It will then automatically adjust the Folder View setting according to these default “template” settings. Being a bit of a g33k, I like to view my folders with the “Details” view and with the Folder Type set to “All Items” so that you can see a list of filenames (as opposed to icons) and their type and modification date. If the folder contains mostly images, Vista has a tendency to automatically change the Folder Type to “Pictures and Videos” which then automatically changes the Folder View setting and the columns that appear. No matter how many times you reset it back to “All Items”, Vista is constantly changing it behind your back.
12.Intermittent rearranging of desktop and Quick Launch icons
Although not as frequent as some of the other problems I’ve encountered, I’ve found that occasionally the icons on my desktop or in my Quick Launch toolbar get rearranged. Hello!! I put them where they are for a reason, how about you just leave them be!
13. Devices randomly reinstall themselves on connection
How many times do devices need to be “installed”! I couldn’t tell you how many times I’ve plugged and unplugged my iPhone from the exact same USB port, yet every so often Vista decides that I’m installing a new device and that it needs to re-install the device driver. What a crock!
As mentioned above, I’m running one of the latest Intel Core i7 Processors. This chip runs 4 cores/8 threads @ 2.66GHz. My box also has 6GB of RAM, 2 x 1TB HD’s and 1GB NVidia graphics card. These specs should be more than “adequate” to run Vista.
So there you have it. My top 13 reasons why I think Vista is crap. Have you got any other reasons that you’d like to share or perhaps you actually like Vista? Leave a comment and let me know.