Being the resident tech geek, I have been asked by at least 10 people now if they should upgrade to the newest Microsoft Windows variant, Vista. Now, everyone is different so I can’t provide a blanket ‘Yes’ or ‘No’, but I will say that I don’t personally recommend it, I’m not using it, and I don’t plan on ever doing so in the future.
There is a great Web site called Bad Vista which can give you tons of reasons not to adopt this operating system, but I’m just going to stick to three primary ones for now:
- What I do in the privacy of my own home, on the privacy of my own computer is none of Microsoft’s business. But for some reason, the most powerful software company on Earth has let media companies push it to add in all sorts of “Digital Rights Management” crap. This will cause several problems:
- Let’s say you buy a movie on BlueRay disc, but want to take it to Mom’s house and play it back on her DVD player. Well, since a DVD player can’t play a BlueRay you slap it in your PC to convert it over, but wait! Vista says NO! It doesn’t matter that you legally own a copy of that content.
- On the other hand, you invest in a bunch of HD DVDs, like Microsoft is pushing for their 360 gaming device, but in 3 years they are all obsolete because the new Super, Duper HD DVDs have been released, so you figure you’ll convert your legal copies of those to the new format, but again. NO! Microsoft ain’t gonna let you do it.
- The cost associated with Windows DRM is absolutely astounding. Providing this protection incurs considerable costs in terms of system performance, system stability, technical support overhead, and hardware and software cost. These issues affect not only users of Vista but the entire PC industry, since the effects of the protection measures extend to cover all hardware and software that will ever come into contact with Vista, even if it’s not used directly with Vista.
- Multimedia performance under Vista is the worst of any modern operating system. Ever. And this is actually by design! So, even though people now watch TV online, have thousands of digital photos and even edit their home movies on their PC, Vista will actually do a worse job with all this than XP ever did.
- Vista requires that any interface that provides high-quality output degrade the signal quality that passes through it if premium content is present. This is done through a Ã¢â‚¬Å“constrictorÃ¢â‚¬Â that downgrades the signal to a much lower-quality one, then up-scales it again back to the original spec, but with a significant loss in quality.
- Vista will silently modify displayed content under certain situations discernible only to Vista’s built-in content-protection subsystem. What happens currently is that Vista just refuses to play premium content rather than downgrading it.
- If a copy protection weakness is found in a particular device (like your BRAND NEW ‘Vista Capable’ PC), it will have its signature revoked by Microsoft. This means a report of a compromise will cause all premium content ability for that device worldwide to be turned off until a fix can be found – rendering your expensive hardware completely useless just because Microsoft isn’t happy, and despite the fact that you don’t care about that ‘security’ issue.
- Microsoft operating systems and software are getting more insecure and unreliable with every release. This is not because it’s “so hard” to design in security features, but because Microsoft is so interested in sticking their nose in every other aspect of your digital life that the real job of the OS takes a back seat.
- Given the fact that Microsoft may push an “update” to you which disables your PC, people will disable updates in order to avoid this potential issue. The side-effect of this is PCs will become vulnerable to newly discovered malware, viruses, spyware, etc.
- The massive DRM and other bloat in Vista will require more CPU, RAM, Video processing and other hardware. It has already been shown to run at least 10% slower than XP. It also unnecessarily utilizes more power at all times meaning increased energy consumption for every PC running it – further straining the electric grid.
So, in short. If a PC manufacturer were to send me a brand new top-of-the line computer for free and it came with Vista I would either re-format the hard drive and install XP, or refuse the system altogether. And that’s not an exaggeration. Just try me…
But worse than that, considering that eventually XP will simply be outdated I’ll have no choice but to migrate to a new operating system within the next few years. And that system will be Linux.
If you really want to read a complete analysis of why Vista sucks like nothing has ever sucked before, fall asleep reading this.
EDIT: This info added 3/30/2007
This just in. More evidence that Vista is unbelievably insecure:
In what could be the most embarrassing exploit to impact Windows Vista since its commercial launch in January, security engineers at McAfee’s Avert Labs confirmed today – and posted the video to prove – that the operating system can be caused to enter an interminable crash-restart-crash loop, by means of a buffer overflow triggered by nothing more than a malformed animated cursor file.
And here is the video demonstrating how simply looking at an animated icon can freakin freeze up your system Mr. Biggelsworth…