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Wednesday, May 21, 2008

James needs Vista but he likes OS X

James from JKonTheRun has published a very interesting article about two of the most important Operating System in the market: Vista and Mac OS X. Let me start by saying that the reason why we have this kind of article is because we have what we can in Vista.

The situation with Vista is quite a different matter because it is the operating system that is running most of the computers I use.  It is running four computers in my office right now and I depend on it to get work done.  I don't blame Microsoft when I have hardware problems because they don't make hardware and it would be silly to do so.  But I do blame them quite fairly when the OS doesn't do what I need it to do especially when I believe it is something that it should do properly  My heavy usage of Vista-running PCs exposes me to a lot of situations when Vista drives me crazy.  I'm not going to get into specifics here because that's not the purpose of this article but it is a hard, cold fact that every single day something happens on one of my PCs that makes me angry at Vista.  That's a terrible thing to say about any product but it's absolutely true.  At least once a day I end up saying "I hate Vista" because I'm trying to do something and Vista gets in my way to get it done.

Three weeks ago I would not understand why James is complaining about Vista all the time. Three weeks ago I was lucky enough to be using Vista in a machine where the maker did a wonderful job developing all the drivers for that machine, I'm talking about my Samsung Q1. Beside the fact that Vista was not the faster OS for that machine, everything was super stable on it and I never had any problems at all. I only ran one time into a device - a webcam- where I could not make it work because of the drivers but I was able to returned it and buy a new one Vista compatible.

But now things have changed. I bought a Fujitsu P1610 and even when Fujitsu has released a set of Vista compatible drivers the quality of them is not the best and Vista is fully unstable. But even in this situation, Vista is good enough to recover itself without giving me a BSOD. I have been battling for two weeks already tuning the drivers and looking for more updated version or substitutes for these drivers. And every time I have found one my P1610 works better and more stable. And this is one thing that I want to point. When you have your machine using Vista drivers that are not fully compatible with Vista, even if the OEM says that they are, that will affect your whole work in that machine. To give you one example, I was having problems with WiFi. Even at 10 feet from my AP the signal level was around 20%. I reinstalled the drivers and checked them to be sure that they are properly working and every thing was OK. I then searched the web for the most updated driver for that module, even if it was released by a different OEM and I found one, I installed it and all the problems disappeared. The same thing happened to my Audio driver. The ones I found in multiple Fujitsu sites were too old and some of them listed by Microsoft within the known incompatible drivers for Vista SP1. I ended installing the audio software from Fujitsu and manually installing the driver from HP. That combination is working more stable at least for now.

But... How the normal consumer can survive all this? Why somebody should spend two weeks optimizing and looking for drivers to have a working machine and OS? Why the drivers in some OEM web sites, like Fujitsu are more than a year old and never have been updated? is not because they do not care about a year old machine any more and they are pushing buyers to get the latest of latest machine that they are selling? Why some of the OEM are not supporting any more products that they are still selling? They sell you a Web cam and when you upgrade your OS you find that this Webcam maker is saying that they will not create any drivers for the new OS, instead they are asking you to look into the latest version of the same piece of crap which definitely have drivers for the newest OS. And the same thing with some software. They tell you "the version that you are using is not compatible with Vista and we won't patch it to make it compatible so what you should do is to re pay us for the latest version". 

So, as you can see, my problem is not with Vista, it's not with Microsoft, at least partially, it's with the whole macro system created by OEM to make money using every Microsoft big upgrade. And I said partially because Microsoft seems to enjoy the creation of OS with the most of incompatibilities as they can. It seems to me like the developers are sitting in their offices using the most powerful machines in the market to create their new OS. Well, guess what, for Windows 7, my dear Microsoft, you should buy to your developing team a bunch of 486 and make them to create Windows 7 compatible with those machines. I'm sure that only then we are going to have a real fast and stable OS.