No Virginia, Vista Won’t Run on Your 8 Year-Old Laptop

I’ve been trying to keep up with the stories about people who are still having problems with Windows Vista.  Some of the problems appear to be people with Vista on their new computers, which is understandable since it’s Microsoft’s first OS upgrade in a long time – understandable but still a pain in the ass, because Microsoft should not have overpromised and underdelivered on Vista.

(as I’ve said before, Vista has been a pretty solid OS for me.  I haven’t baby’d my laptop either – it’s my main computer and I’m usually running a handful of video, audio or web editing software on it and it trucks along.  Not as fast as XP, but Vista is Mike Alstott to XP’s Warrick Dunn.)

Some of the people bitching about Vista haven’t tried Vista yet, but read some of the negative comments about it and added gas to the fire.  Or saw Apple’s innovative ads poking fun at Vista (Steve Jobs’s gratitude for Bill Gates bailing him out and saving Apple a few years back, but I digress) 😉

And some of the complaining seems to come from people who have tried to install Vista on that cutting-edge 1996 computer they just can’t seem to get rid of, for some pack-rat sentimental reason.  Microsoft, instead of subtly nudging people into upgrading their computers so they can run on Vista, decided to shoehorn Windows users into getting Vista – and worse, getting them on computers that won’t run Vista properly.

This has caused quite the PR kerfluffle within the computer world.  This isn’t “the good ole days” when Microsoft released XP.  Nowadays detractors have media outlets to complain to (or with) that were not available with the great XP unveiling – blogs and other social media. (Ha!  I knew I could tie blogging into this somehow!) MS should have been a little more savvy to the segment of their consumer base that isn’t ready to,  or capable of, adopting.  Now Microsoft has opened itself up to some deserved criticism as the end of life date for XP looms closer – Microsoft is really not going to cut off service to millions, if not tens or hundreds of millions, of XP users are they?

Some savvy computer makers (Ok, right now it’s just Dell, but expect other’s to follow quickly) have stated they will continue to install XP Pro on computers after the cut-off deadline, thanks to a loophole that allows them to offer XP Pro to those who purchase a computer with Vista Business or Ultimate. Microsoft should offer the same kind of deal.

Listen up Ballmer, I’m going to tell you how to turn this into a PR, and actual customer, win.

Continue reading “No Virginia, Vista Won’t Run on Your 8 Year-Old Laptop”

Microsoft Vista – “It just works…”

I’ve been reading about the various problems that Apple users have been having with their upgrades to their newest $129 service pack… er, stupendous, outstanding, super-duuuuuuuuper OSX upgrade – Leopard, or Siamese, or Tabby, or Puddy Tat, or what-the-hell ever kitty cat name they are giving this release to convince their buyers that they are a fierce cat in the computer jungle… feh.

Computers locking up, people having problems with some of the security features (the Apple Firewall is set up to be in “off” mode when you turn it on. I guess it “just works” at being turned off) – and some Apple fan-ites getting the equivalent of the Blue Screen of Death (something that, oddly enough, I haven’t gotten since I bought the completed version of Vista). I fact, I haven’t seen a BSOD in a loooooooooooong time with Microsoft.

Now I know that some Apple fanboys are going to blast me as some anti-Apple, “don’t get it” type of person. I’m glad to tell them that they are totally wrong. One of the first computers I cut my teeth on was an Apple IIc and I still enjoy puttering around on Macs when I get a chance. I’ve even told my fiancee that my next laptop will be an Apple Macbook Pro – once they get the hardware up to the level that my Inspiron E1505 is already at.

But it is nice to be able to tell Apple fans that, with Vista Home Premier, everything seems to “just work” for me.

Video editing software? Check
Audio and music editing software? Check-a-roonie
Web design software? Oh hell yeah
Photoshop? Yeah baby, yeahhhh
Anti-Virus and Firewall? Piece of cake
Video players? Check – and on a sharper screen than an Apple 15″ Macbook Pro

Not to mention, my digital video camera which works perfectly on Vista when I plug it into the Firewire port. You see, on my mom’s iMac, the video camera would not register at all.

Plug it in? Nothing.

Restart the computer? Nothing.

Pick up the iMac and shake it like a British nanny with a 3-year-old? Nada.

And don’t get me started on Apple’s great contribution to the browser wars – Safari (I’m starting to pick up a theme here… I wonder what it is…). Once it was ported to the PC platform it took… one, two days… for bugs and errors to be found? I was really excited to get to use Safari, too. I like they layout of Safari, it’s so pretty. But gosh darn it, it just… what’s the phrase I’m looking for here… “wouldn’t work” on my PC. And the fanboys went into full-on emo mode – doing the digital equivalent of sniffing and looking at their navels while saying “Gee, I don’t know why those mean, nasty Windows people take such pleasure in telling us there are problems with our browser.”

Maybe – since Macs have the opportunity to run Vista via Boot Camp – fanboys can load up Vista while they try to figure out what’s wrong with OSX: Leopa-Tabby-Puddy Tat.

See ya later, Space Cowboy…