For the last 3 months or so I have really needed to backup everything on my hard disk, wipe the whole thing, and reinstall everythign from the ground up. However, since Vista was coming out sooner of later, I held off on doing it figuring that I would simply kill two birds with one stone. Well, that time has come and those birds are dead.
Yesterday I picked up the Vista Home Premium Upgrade edition, which give you almost, but not all the features available in VIsta. Basically you don't get file/disk encryption, file journaling (the ability to fall back to an older version of a file if you screw something up) and Texas Holdem; baiscally stuff that's not worth the extra hundred bucks for the Ultimate version.
Installation went pretty smooth, and actually took less time than installing XP used to. The downside is that apparetnly, because I have the upgrade version, if I ever have a problem that causes me to wipe and reinstall, I will have to first install XP, then install Vista over that. This is, needless to say, irritating and stupid.
Now that it's installed though, what is it like? Is it a giant leap forward as Microsoft has stated? Is it the single most significant advance in computing in the history of man?
Not so much.
Here then are the thins I like and the things I hate about Windows Vista. If there is anything here that I am off-base about a setting that I am missing or soemthng that will fix what I hate, please let me know so I can fix it.
Things I like:
Um...thinking. There must be something...Nope, not really. There is nothing, as near as I can tell, that is that great about WIndows Vista. Building in media center is okay, but reall would not have mattered to me at all if they had not crippled support for Divx on the Xbox 360 to begin with. So, nothing that I like about it.
Things I don't like:
I use FireFox and Thunderbird and it actually seems like Vista tends to ignore my preference for Firefox (set as the default browser) and fire up Explorer all the time. XP managed this just fine.
I don't own a Mac for a good reason.Several years ago Apple went nuts and forgot all the interface design lessons they had ever learned and replaced their "get the job done and stay out of your way" interface with a colorful, flashy stupid thing that interferes with your ability to judge color, concentrate for more that two minutes and takes up half the screen space with pointless design elements. Windows has now caught up. There is no reason on earth for color-gradient window frames and transparent title bars. Mac users will no doubt disagree. They are, however, retarded. I say this a someone who gave up on the Mac around OS 9 as too gaudy.
The code signing stuff is pretty irrititatng as well. I use several programs regularly that are not code-signed (winRAR, for example) and everytime I use them I need to grant them permission to run. EVERY TIME. Not once and it remembers; Every. Freaking. Time. I know that I could turn off the user account controls and it would stop doing this, but I would also lose the advantages of having it warn me in cases where I DO want to the opportunity to decide whether or not to permit unsigned code to run. They really need something in-between all or nothing protection.
Those are the things that are bugging me today. I may post more later. The quick rundown though is, as expected, there is no reason to upgrade to Vista today, or any time in the near future. All of the main feature are available elsewhere, typically as a free download for XP (IE 7, XP Powertoys, etc).