What was Microsoft thinking? It seems to me that they owe a lot of their success on maintaining backwards compatibility. In contrast to earlier versions of Windows, of the first seven pieces of software I tried on Vista, just two have worked without any issues (Firefox and Office 2007), the others in no particular order are:
- MinGW C++ compiler (this is working now that I replaced one of the DLLs)
- Chicken scheme compiler
- Office 95 (I only have a non-commercial license for Office 2007 – what if I want to sell my writing ;))
- MSN Messenger (I’ve spent two hours on various attempted solutions – still not working)
- The ZoneAlarm personal firewall (admittedly, Vista has its own, built-in firewall)
All of these worked flawlessly out-of-the-box without any tinkering necessary on Windows XP. All I can say is “give me back XP please!” I don’t care about the O/S. It is entirely incidental, the important thing is the applications that run on top. With a strike-rate of 5 out of 7, I don’t have much hope. Vista has turned my general purpose PC into an internet browsing terminal.
Another gripe: if the security improvements is just User Account Control (UAC) I don’t think that is going to be any benefit at all. I share my PC with an unsophisticated computer user. We use the same limited user account and she has the admin password. For various reasons, it is not possible to change this situation. Just to give an example, I was trying to get MSN Messenger to work for her. After trying several different things – always running as admin, allowing it through the Vista firewall, running in XP compatibility mode, entering a string of commands at the command-line I gave up. She was still keen to get it working, so she googled for Messenger downloads, downloaded them one by one and attempted the install. For each install, UAC popped up the dialog to grant administrator privilleges. Without a pause, she entered the password and clicked through the dialog, allowing the software she had downloaded, which could have been laden with any number of trojans or spyware, full access to the system. Software companies have taught users really well to ignore dialogs with their EULAs and whatnot. Oh, Internet Explorer has stopped working too, perhaps because of one of the attempted solutions to Messenger, so it is fortunate I installed Firefox or the PC would be a paperweight rather than a kiosk.
So basically what I’m saying is, I hate Vista.