Not Just The Faithful

Tuesday August 21, 2007
As I've said before, Microsoft Windows Vista is a terrible disaster which I hope I never have to deal with in any capacity, professional or otherwise.  I suspect that it is inevitable, but I will resist it for as long as possible.

The FSF has a campaign, "BADVISTA", to educate end-users about the ways in which Vista is limiting your freedom more aggressively than any other commercial software product to date.  Unfortunately this can sometimes sound a bit ... overdramatic, even if it is pretty much all true.  For example, a prominently featured quotation:
Windows Vista includes an array of “features” that you don't want. These features will make your computer less reliable and less secure. They'll make your computer less stable and run slower. They will cause technical support problems. They may even require you to upgrade some of your peripheral hardware and existing software. And these features won't do anything useful. In fact, they're working against you.
I recently had the experience of talking to a Regular User in a consumer electronics store about his vista "upgrade".  His "computer guy" had told him that Vista was like XP, but better.  Little did he know that the "better" would mean that the computer ran visibly slower, had reduced functionality, and required the purchase of newer, more expensive hardware.

Of course, I gave him my rant about the other reasons he shouldn't have upgraded, and the poor guy turned white as a sheet.  I don't think he's going to be purchasing any more "upgrades" from his "computer guy".

But, what does the other side have to say about this fancy new operating system?  Surely there are some worthwhile new conveniences that we are trading this freedom for?  Let's see what one ex-Microsoft employee and prominent Windows developer has to say about it:
"I've been using Vista on my home laptop since it shipped, and can say with some conviction that nobody should be using it as their primary operating system -- it simply has no redeeming merits to overcome the compatibility headaches it causes. Whenever anyone asks, my advice is to stay with Windows XP (and to purchase new systems with XP preinstalled)."
... and there you have it.  Friends don't let friends use Vista.