In a word, yes. If anything, Vista is worse than all of the bad things you have heard about it, at least for most users. Here is a March, 2008 story from the New York Times indicating how several Microsoft executives couldn’t get Vista to do simple things they wanted to do.
Today (June 18) is supposedly the last day you can order a Dell computer with Microsoft XP instead of Vista preloaded. That is so Dell can meet the edict of Microsoft to stop shipping computers with XP by June 30th. I’m certain they are getting lots of orders today. But the lawyers reading this blog will be glad to learn that there are loopholes to avoid this deadline.
My new computer has Vista. I hate it. I knew it was bad, but I figured I could handle it. I also thought that in my role as tech commentator and problem solver, it would be good for me to start learning the Vista ropes. Well, folks, I was wrong and most days here the Vista rope looks like a noose. It is much more important for me to get my work done every day than to learn Vista. An operating system should just run things and you should rarely think of it. Some days, I just lose an extra 15 – 20 minutes immediately as Vista refuses to timely start. My favorite is coming back from lunch and finding that the computer refuses to wake up from its sleep and I have to reboot. If I was in the middle of an e-mail or document when I left, well that’s not really Microsoft’s problem, is it? I do get directed to a link advising me it is a known problem.
And of course, even with lots of memory, Vista is just slow. Well, actually there are three variable speeds: slow, maddeningly slow and "not responding." As the old joke goes, it picks among the speed options depending on how urgent the task at hand is.
Well, here’s the loophole. After the end of June, you can still buy a new PC with Vista Business or Ultimate and "downgrade" it to XP. Of course that means you have to pay for something you don’t really want now. But Microsoft gets your money and gets to report it as a sale to an increasingly skeptical business press. So Microsoft is happy, which is their only real corporate goal anyway. Dell will sell you the PC with XP pre-loaded and a DVD to "upgrade" to Vista when you are ready (e.g. when Vista service pack 24 finally gets good reviews or your boss angers you and you decide productity at work is really overrated.) Until January, 2009, Lenovo will sell you a Windows XP Recovery CD to use to downgrade a system you bought from them, if you are qualified.
At least, as my friend Ross Kodner noted in an e-mail, Microsoft has a great marketing opportunity ahead if they will name their next OS Microsoft NotVista.
If you have to live with Vista, for whatever reason, here’s an article from LifeHacker on How to Make Windows Vista Less Annoying. It even has a link to a step-by-step article on how to set up your machine to be a dual boot machine, where you can choose either to boot up to Vista or XP on a given day. "Hmm… Well, I don’t have much to do today but mess with Vista for a while, so let’s boot it up."