My experience so far with Vista


G

Guest

Here are my completely biased initial impressions of Vista. My first Vista
experience was with Beta 2. I am a professional in the software development
space and have been using Windows for years, and of course nothing can beat
the experience of going from NT/2000 to XP... at least not yet ;-) Let me
preface this by saying that I recognize that a ton of work has gone into
Vista, Office, and IE, and I don't wish to overlook that, but as a very busy
user that needs to get things done, the following has been my experience so
far.

So first I installed Vista on a VPC as I always do with new beta software.
It took a long time and performance was dismal. I hunted around and found on
some blogs that supposedly a new version of virtual machine additions is in
the works that will fix this, so I guess I will have wait. Fair enough.

Then I decided to install it on a laptop (Dell D600, reasonable processor
speed, 60 GB drive, 1 GB ram). I must have burned the image to about ten DVDs
before I got that would install all the way through. Is this a Vista problem
with DVD drivers? Dunno. In any case, what a nightmare.

Finally after it was installed, I did something stupid. I tried to install
our corporate Trend Micro OfficeScan client on it, wanted to protect myself
from evil. Well, the install failed at some point (some kind of IO device
stops working according to Windows) it doesn't run, but Vista also won't let
me uninstall it. Ok, I didn't check to see if it would be compatible, so my
bad.

Next I installed Office 2007 beta 2, that seemed to install just fine,
although I couldn't get Virtual CD Control Panel working, but I blame that
one on the remnants of my failed Trend installation.

I've been trying to use Vista Beta 2 as well as Office 2007 Beta 2 as much
as possible to see how I like it and what it has to offer in day to day use.

So far, I have found it takes me longer to do just about anything I might
need to than it did before. Sure, the new desktop pictures look great and the
Konfabulator-like gadgets are cool, but when I went to add the laptop to our
domain it took me 30 minutes to figure where the commands went.

So, more gripes: Where did "Start -> Run" go? It took me half hour to map a
network drive - finally I figured out that I needed to press one of the ALT
keys to see the menus.

I typed the wrong WEP key for our corporate wireless network - Vista even
told me that might be the problem, but even after spending about 20 minutes
trying to figure out how to change it, I finally resorted to an Internet
search and found the instructions. (I'm the guy who ends up helping my
neighbors with this stuff, so I think they are going to be doomed when they
get Vista.)

I have to add our internal sharepoint site to IE as a trusted site in XP in
order to get it to stop prompting me for my domain log in every time I click
something - but when I did this in Vista/IE7, it didn't help. I've entered my
domain credentials about a dozen times today while using our Sharepoint site.

I went to the Cisco site to log in and get the beta VPN client - entered my
login and told IE to remember it. I think I entered it at least 3 more times
after that. I also had to click on the that popup warning bar at least twice
to finally download what I wanted.

It seems like Vista is constantly asking me if I am really really sure that
some program that I just clicked on is allowed to run or not. Hey - didn't I
give myself admin rights already?

Then there is Outlook and Word. Actually, I don't have much to gripe about
in Outlook, other than the strange but somehow familiar items that the new
right-hand side to do bar was telling me I should be looking at- oh, and it
never popped up any reminders to tell me about the meetings I had scheduled.
With Word and Excel, I have to admit that I was completely lost. I couldn't
find most of the features I often use very easily; my colleagues had the same
problem.

Well, I can see how some of these security features will be beneficial, even
if I do find they are obstacles to productivity. In the long run, if they
stop something from wiping my hard drive, I will be glad.

As for things like Disk Defragmentor no longer showing me a graphical
analysis much less a percent complete, and for things being moved around or
hard to find - I am sure that this is just a learning curve. However, I am
struggling to see the payoff for this investment in time - what are the great
new features that are going to knock my socks off and save me time? I am sure
there are some, and I will read more about them. I'd recommend an
installation option that adds something like a power user mode or It
professional mode - something that gives me back the Run command on the start
menu and doesn't hide all the useful tools and commands I am used to.

That's my experience so far with Vista... I will continue using it (along
with IE7 and Office 2007) and I am sure I will eventually start to see all
the benefits and new features.
 
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