Thursday, April 17, 2008

XP vs Vista

With Microsoft saying it will stop selling XP in June (which may or may not be true), there's been a lot of talk recently about the superiority of XP over Vista and the reluctance many have to move to Vista. There have been petitions and threats of law suits.

I suspect that those creating a lot of the hoopla do not recall the early history of XP. Early adopters found XP to be a disaster. Then the first service pack came out and created even more problems. Finally, with SP2, XP became a decent OS.

I have two computers, one running XP and one running Vista. Both have Office 2007. My main problem with Vista is performance-related. I have a powerful, fast computer that I purchased with Vista installed. It is not overly full and I defrag it on a schedule every week, but it can be reduced to a crawl by using Windows Media Center and Word at the same time. Or maybe the problem is some phantom process that's running in the background. Whatever is causing it, it's a pain.

I'm very iffy on the new face of Office 2007. Why the heck did they get rid of automagical typing? Now when I type an address in Outlook, I have to click on the suggested name. Bill Gates says his goal is an OS that requires less clicking, but Office 2007 requires way more clicking than ever before.

The problem with Word 2007 is that in trying to make it simpler and easier they've made it way more difficult. Loads of arcane actions are front and center, while common actions are buried. Try and insert an en or em dash without the shortcut key; sheesh. It's easier to see how to insert a histogram in a table than how to insert a row. The biggest issue, though, is customizability. For anyone writing substantive documents, Word is not designed to be used "as is" - even Microsoft documentation tells you this. But now the style sheets and properties are buried, and the customization process is bizarre.

Vista's first service pack is coming out soon, and with luck it will solve the performance problems of Vista and introduce fewer new problems than XP's SP1 did. On the new look and feel, I fear we're stuck with them, at least for now.



Anonymous said...

As a graduate student typing my thesis with office 2007 has been a pain. The footnotes and reference settings are far harder to use with the office.

I am currently thinking about a switch to a Mac doing this for another 300-400 pages will just destroy my inner person.

Northern PoV said...

Never had a problem with XP.

Vista (esp. for networking) sucks big time IMHO - based on experience

I have always avoided MS one point zero versions

but thought that, after all the negative publicity over the years, they had to get this one right

jokes on me

my corp IT guys hates Vista with a vengeance btw

never mis-under-estimate the ability of MS to screw up

Tootrusting said...

I never had a problem going from 98 to XP with a new computer designed for XP

Buying a new computer with Vista has been an absolute disaster, a complete resource hog that required too much new software, I went back to XP

I'm seriously looking at trying Linux again rather than fighting with Vista, If I have to struggle to with a new operating system and new software it might as well be a free or low cost one.