Scared of Windows Vista?26 Nov

Following my disaster last weekend, I decided to upgrade to Microsoft’s latest operating system, Windows Vista. There was not a huge reason for me to do this upgrade. I had mostly been operating ok under Windows XP Pro. But since I was down anyway I figured I might as well get the upgrade done.

As you know, I’m a fan of Microsoft products. There are tons of Vista detractors out there, and the “horror stories” of incompatible printers and other devices are well publicized. These complaints usually come from Apple and Linux fans that like to think their preferred platforms are the best. But while Microsoft has to build software that everyone can use and for which any vendor can provide hardware, the reality is that Apple and Linux can’t (or choose not to) live up to that mission.

So since last Monday, I’ve been using Microsoft’s Windows Vista Business. And I have to say that I honestly don’t know what people are so up in arms about. My machine operates much faster under Vista, and I like most parts of the new interface. The sidebar is nice, but not really a game changer. I do like how it’s there on the main screen instead of hiding like Apple’s version does. The one piece of software I had that was designed pre-Vista (QuickBooks) runs just fine in compatibility mode.

I have had a few problems:

  • The backup and restore wizard is poor. Vista only allows you to select types of files to backup, not specific locations. So I’m using the software that comes with my external hard drive to backup only those files that I don’t have redirected to my server.
  • My remote desktop connection to one client was REALLY slow. Here’s a great explanation of the problem and the fix.
  • Symantec’s pcAnywhere 12.0 wouldn’t install on Vista. Kudos to Symantec for not only getting me the version 12.1 with no hassle at all, but following up a few days later to make sure it was running ok.

And there are a few annoyances:

  • User account control was distracting. Prompting me two times every time I do some type of file operation is a little retarded. I’ve turned that off.
  • There is now a Contacts folder as part of the user profile. It’s meant to be used with the new Windows Mail client (previously Outlook Express). But there’s no integration with Outlook so it’s just an extra empty folder.
  • The new Windows Explorer doesn’t have an “up folder” navigation button.

Overall, nothing to really be alarmed about. Given the improved performance I get while working all day, I’m actually happy I did the upgrade.

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Since 2007, I have funded a Kiva account in recognition of my clients. Whenever I get a new client, or find a microloan that relates to the industries my clients serve, I contribute to the account. You can see my lender profile here: