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Vista 9 months in - PC Mag Editor "throws in the towel"

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  • User profile image
    irascian

    OK, so I found this via Slashdot, but I thought this was interesting given how a year ago when I said that I thought Vista was looking like a dog that was nowhere near ready for primetime all I got was "It's a beta, what do you expect?"

    http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,1895,2171472,00.asp

    My experiences with Vista on older hardware were a nightmare, and I haven't been impressed by Angel the number of Microsoft demo's which are still given on XP (what happened to eating your own dogfood before releasing it on the public?! Answer: if the dogfood tastes like crap you change back to the diet that works for you)
    (b) spending close to 5 grand on a laptop with Vista pre-installed to find a whole bunch of issues which mean I'm spending way more of my time on an old laptop running XP SP2 than I am on using the shiny new beast (and even then it's typically to run an XP dev environment inside VPC 2007).

    What's surprised me is the number of colleagues (all developers) who not only haven't looked at Vista, but have no intention of doing so in the near term. And the lack of knowledge (let alone interest) of LINQ, Silverlight and Orcas.

    Microsoft haven't helped anybody with their release schedule and ridiculous versioning. We have the farce of the long wait for .NET version 3.5 (that's the one that ships with C# version 3.0 as opposed to .NET "version 3.0" which shipped with C# version 2.0 - no wonder everybody's confused) and so little development support in Vista that a year after release nobody I know has really looked at WPF, let alone considered using it for an Enterprise application). I was looking forward to RTM of "Orcas" and a solid basis for WPF 3.0 but oh look they're sliding in what is effectively the second release of it because it's taken so long to get out the door and they missed the boat with VS2005 (don't even get me started on the farce that was the Application Projects add-in before it got integrated in a service pack). "Cider" seems to be dead in the water. And we now have a world of endless CTPs and Betas of this add-in and that new feature that no developer who wants any kind of "life" can possibly keep up with unless they're not working!

    Oh and don't forget you should also be learning whatever the latest "fad of the month" is whether it's Ruby on Rails, F# or Lord knows what else the "self-promoting" in crowd are pushing at the moment.

    I wonder if all those blogging about all the new stuff (don't get me started on the SilverLight alpha) actually have real jobs or are doing full time development?! If so I wish they'd share how the heck they keep up with the endless monthly cycle of this version of that add-on which only works with the other version of this beta which in turn requires that CTP of that product, and still manage to deliver enterprise quality software on time!

    So if you're a full-time professional developer, what versions of software are you using? Are you REALLY using beta's, CTPs and endless new languages, or are you struggling to keep up with what went RTM a year ago? 

    And if you're developing full-time under Vista what arguments have you got that says the editor of PC magazine is wrong to throw in the towel on Vista?

  • User profile image
    kettch

    Sorry, I must be a customer of a different Microsoft, because I haven't had any of these kinds of issues.

    I've been running Vista since RTM, on older hardware, and it runs better than XP did.

    As far as development goes, we stayed on .NET 2.0 until Orcas beta 2 and then we moved to 3.5. We're using LINQ and some of the new language features. We're probably going to use WCF, and I've got an incubation project that implements WPF to add some extended functionality to one of our pojects. Also thrown into that mix are new versions of the compact framework and SQL Compact which we will be using.

    I can't really complain about the speed that Microsoft does releases, I mean how often do you hear people complaining about Microsoft being too slow?

    I'd recommend taking a step back, and a deep breath. Don't try to learn everything. Just skim the features so that you know what can be done. That way if you find some project that will benefit from the new technologies, you will be able to know where to look.

    Of course, I am a young cocky whippersnapper. Tongue Out

    *shrugs*

  • User profile image
    cornelius

    bashing microsoft is popular because it brings in traffic to click on adverts...

  • User profile image
    kettch

    Chinmay007 wrote:
    
    kettch wrote:
    
    I can't really complain about the speed that Microsoft does releases, I mean how often do you hear people complaining about Microsoft being too slow?


    Maybe perhaps around the issue of Windows Vista being delayed for five years? Personally I don't care, but it seems lots of others did.




    Yeah, I realize I wasn't very clear. I meant that lots of people complain that Microsoft is slow, and lots of people complain that Microsoft is too fast.

  • User profile image
    littleguru

    Well, well. You won't always get all people happy. There are some issues with Vista, that's true. They are in there and they need to be adressed with the SP1. Like speed or nasty bugs in the explorer - and some other things, that shouldn't just end up in a RTM. Anyway: The people at Microsoft are doing their best to fix these issues.

    Next: programming languages. It's up to you what you learn and what you don't. People are still using VB6 and ASP (as seen in another thread here). And they seem to be happy...

    Learn what you need and try to understand the general idea of stuff you don't need. You can't learn everything that is output by a big company: just try to understand the concepts and ideas.

  • User profile image
    Soviut

    cornelius wrote:
    bashing microsoft is popular because it brings in traffic to click on adverts...


    Ian isn't bashing, he's just calling it as he sees it.  While I'm not really suffering from any of it, I can see where he's getting overwhelmed with all the different releases, versions, betas, etc.  There seems to be a lot of different packages and platforms all being released at once; Longhorn (WPF, etc.), .NET 3.5 (LINQ, etc.), Orcas (Which ties in to the WPF and LINQ stuff rather heavily), etc.

    Couple all this with the fact that some of these are in beta, others are just released, etc.  What are customers using, what are developers using, when can things be expected to level off, and when is it safe to start relying on these new tools?  That's the impression I'm getting from this thread.

  • User profile image
    j0217995

    I have just started suffering with it.... Well my wife is as she mostly uses the "main" computer while I use my laptop... Anyways IE7 crashes a lot on her... WIndows Media Player locks, she can't always upload photos from the digitial camera.

    Just the other day she asked "why did we have to upgrade? can't we go back to the old version... it works better"

  • User profile image
    YearOfThe​LinuxDesktop

    j0217995 wrote:
    I have just started suffering with it.... Well my wife is as she mostly uses the "main" computer while I use my laptop... Anyways IE7 crashes a lot on her... WIndows Media Player locks, she can't always upload photos from the digitial camera.

    Just the other day she asked "why did we have to upgrade? can't we go back to the old version... it works better"


    IE7 and WMP crashing isn't normal, have you checked the drivers/codecs/explorer addons/application updates (including flash)? also try using the problem reports & solution tool that often finds out the reason of the crashes.

  • User profile image
    MB

    I see MS as being afraid that they won't sell a new OS version unless it's jam-packed full of everything they (and their competition) could think of since their last release... and this seems to result "blockbuster" releases... with stuff being there that really had no right having development focus... instead of incremental releases addressing focused areas of need.

    NT-3.5, NT-4.0, NT-5.0, NT-6.0 -- these were all recalcitrant.

    NT-3.51, NT-5.1 -- these were the gems.

    Why are we being inflicted with Aero-Interface, Media-Players, Media-Authoring tools, Fax & Scan, Meeting-Place, Full-Featured-Browsers, Email/News-Clients, DRM, Desktop-Search, etc etc, as core feature of an operating system?? and why is OS development being slowed down to accommodate those features, when more basic OS needs of Security, Stability and Compatibility are still wanting for work ??

    Apple is a niche player, and at the moment, MS seem to be falling into the trap of trying to focus on matching it's niche market features, rather than focusing on it's own strengths... the long suffering business sector... who really don't value those features.

    As I see it, the OS would work and progress a whole lot better if MS were to bite the bullet and spin off all the "consumer" features to the applications division, where they could sell (or give away if they need to) these as feature packs or feature upgrades and develop them at their own pace. They then might be forced to find out what people actually WANT vs. what the Windows marketing people want people to want.

  • User profile image
    Xaero_​Vincent

    Although I prefer Linux these days, I don't see too many issues with Windows Vista on my laptop. Vista's security is very impressive and better than the average Linux distro. The GUI/shell is richer than XP as well, though thats more of my personal opinion.

    I think people just like to complain about things, especially when its about a flagship product from a large company and guaranteed to increase page hits.

  • User profile image
    MB

    Chinmay007 wrote:
    
    Xaero_Vincent wrote:
    Although I prefer Linux these days, I don't see too many issues with Windows Vista on my laptop. Vista's security is very impressive and better than the average Linux distro. The GUI/shell is richer than XP as well, though thats more of my personal opinion.

    I think people just like to complain about things, especially when its about a flagship product from a large company and guaranteed to increase page hits.


    The thing is, I as many others, don't see any compelling reason to upgrade to Vista. Same thing happened with Windows 2000 though versus XP, but since many many people were upgrading from Windows ME to Windows XP, it (seemed) to catch on much faster. Basically Windows XP is a great OS. It's not a Windows ME. And most people are using it. So while Windows ME to Windows XP was a major improvement in stability and functionality, and certain performence (yes XP booted faster then ME for me), Windows XP -> Windows Vista is not.


    Win-2K is NT-5.0
    Win-XP is NT-5.1

    With Win-XP, Microsoft fixed the problems and the missing features of Win-2K and came up with a polished product, that pretty much does what is says on the box (albeit those features are a bit dated now).

    Rather than waiting for NT-7.0... I believe that MS should be focusing on an NT-6.1 release... i.e. doing an "XP" to Vista... and get the current release nailed before charging off on another major release.

  • User profile image
    DigitalDud

    Okay, but seriously "who cares?"  Why should anyone else be concerned because some magazine editor can't setup his machine properly?  I don't see how such shoddy anecdotal evidence means anything.

  • User profile image
    rjdohnert

    Journalists like that have 2 sides.  2 % of the time they are telling the truth, the other 98% of the time they are making crap up.

  • User profile image
    irascian

    YearOfTheLinuxDesktop wrote:
     also try using the problem reports & solution tool that often finds out the reason of the crashes.


    That'll be the tool that when you keep getting an obscure hexadecimal HREF value as the "cause" proceeds to show you four or five possible fixes that have nothing to do with your problem and seem only to be "related" to your problem because they're KB articles that have hexadecimal HREF values in them too?

  • User profile image
    irascian

    DigitalDud wrote:
    

    Okay, but seriously "who cares?"  Why should anyone else be concerned because some magazine editor can't setup his machine properly?  I don't see how such shoddy anecdotal evidence means anything.



    Anybody who doesn't care what America's biggest selling monthly PC magazine has to say on the subject, or think it has no bearing on the mainstream is clearly living on a different planet from the one I'm living on!

    Presumably you ignore all media reports and live in your own self-contained world when making any kind of decision? Good luck with that!

  • User profile image
    Dr Herbie

    irascian wrote:


    So if you're a full-time professional developer, what versions of software are you using? Are you REALLY using beta's, CTPs and endless new languages, or are you struggling to keep up with what went RTM a year ago? 

    And if you're developing full-time under Vista what arguments have you got that says the editor of PC magazine is wrong to throw in the towel on Vista?


    At work we're still on XP.  This is because most of our customers are still on XP.  In fact some of our customers are using Windows 2000 and Windows 2000 Server. We only moved up from .NET 1.1 to .NET 2.0 about a year ago, although we still use some .NET 1.1 3rd part controls (which I would like to get rid of).

    I don't ecpect we'll go to targeting Vista ant time soon - in fact I suspect we'll move more to Web front ends than to Vista (our clients currently use Citrix a lot so Web front end is kind of on the cards).


    At home I use Vista (on a new PC) and like it - I've only had one real problem with having to suddenly reactivate, but it's been behaving for the last week or so.
     I play with some of the new CTP stuff just to get a feel of what it can do, but I took the decision to get off the treadmill a while ago.  I'll get VS2008 when it RTMs, just to be up to date, but I'm not making any big push to new technologies.

    I use the technologies that I know will do the job -- it they don't do the job, I'll look at the new technologies.
    For example, our application has a large state machine at it's heart (brought forward from an old ADS greenscreen system).  We could spend time and effort re-writing this using WWF state  machine workflows, but what would be the point?  We'd just get a whole new set of instabilities in the core part of our system.  Plus, who's would pay for this?  Not our customers, that's for sure.


    I expect we'll gradualy transition to the new bits over time, but only as and when there's a benefit to outweigh the cost (cost = training + new set of bugs when rewriting older code).


    Herbie


  • User profile image
    esoteric

    I must admit, I happily skate over lots of technologies like Ruby on Rails. I am keen to learn what advantages it has and what advantages Ruby has, but it doesn't appear to be any revolutionary new insight that just needs to be learned, or even a new paradigm like object-orientation or functional programming.

     

    Let's not forget the kind of complexity Microsoft has to deal with. Sometimes it becomes easy to take things for granted.

    I must say I adore this cartoon! (Nice one kettch)

    At my work we'll soon upgrade to Vista and Office 2007 (boy I love that). I'm keen to see how that works out. But I reckon it'll be allright, especially with SP1 comming up.

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