Yesterday, USA Today ran a story criticizing Vista http://www.usatoday.com/tech/products/software/2008-04-29-microsoft-windows-vista_N.htm
I wasn't impressed.
The summary of the story is: Many corporations haven't upgraded their line of business computers because some say Vista is slow.
One punch quote reads, "Adds analyst Roger Kay of Endpoint Technologies, "I have Vista on a notebook with 2 gigabytes of memory and a decent-size processor, and with Vista on there, it just doesn't work. It takes over 10 minutes just to open a Word document"
Let's take a closer look:
Dedicated line-of-business computers, such as hospital monitoring machines, POS machines, or manufacturing inventory tracking machines, run a single app all day long. They run fine with XP, a single processor, and limited maintenance. This is not the desktop power-user machine that Vista is intended for. It's like complaining that the new Lexus cars aren't selling well when counting cars used as taxis. By mixing the desktop OS and the line of business computer OS, the story lacks logic.
And what's up with Roger Kay of Endpoint Tech http://www.ndpta.com/ ? 10 MINUTES to open a word doc. Wow. He either exaggerates a wee byte or his machine needs a major cleaning. Something just doesn't sound right. Rog, be a real geek and fix your machine!
The truth is that Vista is fast. How do I know? because as I'm writing SQL Server 2008 Bible, I typically run Word, Excel (for my page count outline), a 1Gb VPC for SQL Server 2008, SQL Server 2005 and SSMS, Media Player (too cheap to get an iPod), Outlook, and IE all at the same time and it's snappy - real snappy. Opening a doc, starting a new album, switching to the VPC, running a SQL query, it's all pretty much instant. To be any faster, it would have to read my mind and know where I'm about to click. The only thing that's slow on my machine is SQL Server on-line help.
My notebook is a 15 month old Dell 620 - 2.33 GHz Dual Core 2 4Gb RAM 7200rpm 200Gb drive. I run with the notebook monitor and an extended 24" monitor at the highest resolution.
Disclaimer: The only hiccup was when I tried to go a bit too clean and I broke the Verizon broadband card driver which required a rebuild to fix.
So here's the real catch that the tech media seems to miss - Norton AntiVirus will make any machine run several times slower. Add to that a couple anti-spyware checkers and a ton of extra garbage and yes, you can force any OS to its knees with all the extra sludge.
Here's how I keep my Vista running:
- Nod32. It's the only AV I'd use. It has the smaller performance and memory footprint of any AV, yet it catches the most viruses. When I switched from Norton to nod32 a few years ago my machine instantly felt 4 times faster. (I know a little about viruses, I co-wrote Inside Norton AntiVirus with Peter Norton a while back.)
- Windows Defender for additional anti-spyware.
- PerfectDisk for weekly defrag and smart placement. I don't use the Windows defragger, and I'd never use a constant in-the-background defragger.
- CCleaner to remove all the small files left behind.
- I run Vista x64. The drivers are cleaner and it feels faster and more stable than Vista 32 bit. But when I last tired Vista 32 bit it was when Vista first came out and maybe the drivers weren't fully baked.
- VPC. I never run CPTs on my host OS. Ever.
- AutoUpdate - I let Microsoft apply every update and I check for new hardware drivers every couple of months.
- I'm playing with Readyboost, but I can't notice any difference.
- I just checked - my current Vista Reliability Index is indeed 10.0
Why do I love Vista?
- I like the improved UI to search for files, and work with directories. The new Explorer is simply wonderful. I posted a screencast on it a while ago on http://www.sqlserverbible.com/
- I like the seemless way Vista works with an extended desktop.
- I like the popup view of the minimized window that lets me pick the right minimized window faster. I find I don't use the Aero scrolling floating 3D windows to look for a window.
- I like the look and feel of the Aero UI.
- While this isn't strictly Vista, now that I'm used to it, I like the Office 2007 Ribbons.
- Considering that I typically run about 10 apps at once, I think I'm more productive with Vista than I was with XP. Which is why Vista is a power user OS and not a single app line of business computer OS.
- I run with the larger fonts and Vista is significan;ty smoother and more consistent with the larger font option. It looks great and is alwasy easy on the eyes.
So has Vista replaced XP? Clearly not. But it's not because Vista isn't a superior OS, it's because of inaccurate press, poor drivers, dedicated machines, and Norton AV.
Ok, you can blast away now.