Why I Will NOT be Upgrading to Microsoft Vista

vista cancel or allowEarly last week my girlfriend’s laptop was stolen from her car right in front of my house. (Friendly reminder: always lock everything, never leave stuff in plain sight, and always password protect EVERYTHING).

A Mac was not an option – those laptops are expensive! For all the hype they get, they’re a tough pill to swallow at such a premium (compared to a Windows box) and not all of us have the bankroll to swing $600 differences. So last Friday she bought a new HP laptop with Vista preinstalled, which led to my first real experience with this little beast called Windows Vista.

Right after getting the machine, we installed MS Money 2002, then found a Money 2005 disk (from the previous laptop) that we wanted to install instead.

Well, every time we tried to install Money 2005, it told us that we needed to uninstall Money 2002 first. The problem was that every time we tried to uninstall 2002, we were told we needed to put in the old disk (which is sooooo stupid). Even after we put in the disk and the laptop digested it for a while, we got some funky error that some file was not found. Then the process reversed itself and we were left stharing at the programs list with Money 2002 still on there. Oh, and I love how Microsoft tells me that Microsoft Money is from an “unknown publisher”. We repeated this futile task several times – 2005 would not install while 2002 (which wouldn’t uninstall) was still in the system.

Since installation of Money 2005 didn’t work, we decided to install the trial version of Money Essentials (even though we’d have to buy this later for $20, which is sort of like giving Bill an extra $20 after he rapes you.)

Now, keep in mind that throughout this process we went through roughly 12,347 popup screens with “cancel or allow”, “you don’t have enough permission to do this” (even though I was logged in as the only user and administrator), and “we’re just f*cking with you, press this button” messages. The whole “cancel or allow” thing that those Mac commercials make fun of – it’s very real.

We looked up the official “How to uninstall Microsoft Money” knowledge base article on Microsoft’s site. Went through all the (in retrospect unnecessary) steps, and came to the “install a registry cleaner” part. Downloaded it. Tried to install it and got a “Hey administrator, you don’t have enough administrative privileges to install (this unverified publisher’s) program”.

After several hours, my girlfriend accidentally pressed the “repair” button in the programs list and somehow the damn program figured out a way to remove itself. Ahhh, a simple, nonsensical fix! Now all would be well…

Not so fast!

After installing Microsoft Money 2005, she was prompted to login using her Passport ID. In case you didn’t know “passport” was the 500 B.C. Microsoft version of Open ID, but not open, not a real ID, and actually a total piece of crap. But they still use it apparently.

Well, apparently the program didn’t like the username and password combination (even though she verified it with the passport service online) and would repeatedly give her the “uh, uh, uhhhh” message (kind of like Newman’s program in Jurrasic Park). She was stuck. She couldn’t go back, she couldn’t go forward, and the (correct) password was rejected like a Slashdot reader on prom night.

I had to find the .mny file and delete it. Only then would the program give us the option to start a new account.

So given this 3 hour WOW experience, as well as the fact that lots of stuff you might have might not be supported by Vista (yes, even stuff previously made by Microsoft itself), I’m going to stick with Windows XP until a comparable open source OS comes out or Macs start dropping to non-elitist prices.

Microsoft should have made 2 versions of Vista:

  1. Vista 2007 Moron edition: asks you everytime you click anything (current version), great for SEFILS, and
  2. Vista 2007 “I know What I’m doing” edition: assumes you’re not a complete dolt.

(End of Rant)

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Jacek Becela March 26, 2007 at 6:19 pm

In this case, I am NOT thinking different :)


defduane March 26, 2007 at 11:07 pm

There is already the moron edition and regular edition… aka turn off/on user account control.


Markus March 26, 2007 at 11:28 pm

Aha. Alrighty then. But then doesn’t it become an all or nothing deal, kind of defeating the whole purpose?


Django Bliss March 27, 2007 at 2:58 pm

Dual Core Apple Laptops start at $1100. In many cases that’s very comparable to what people are paying for Windows based laptops. Of course the real piece de resistance is that you can install windows on the Macs so that they dual boot. Very handy.


Markus March 27, 2007 at 3:09 pm

When I looked a few months ago, the low end Mac Laptops started at $1200, but even if they’re $1,100, that’s still a hefty $400 or so more than the HP. I’d like to get one and the dual boot is very cool, but they’re still a little out of my price range at the moment.


nil March 27, 2007 at 6:57 pm

So, you hate MS Money installer or Vista UAC? Did you try to install anything else and compared the experiences? Normally, you get only one UAC prompt at the beginning of the install process.


Markus March 28, 2007 at 12:53 am

I hate the Vista UAC. I hate the fact that it gave us so many problems installing/uninstalling different versions of software. I think it stems from Vista’s massive legacy and security issues.

I really expected more after all the hype and after all those years of development.


Dylan Downhill March 30, 2007 at 11:03 pm

We have one laptop with Vista and one desktop with Vista. The person using the laptop hates it, and the desktop is shared and is avoided by everyone.


Kris Kemp May 15, 2007 at 12:04 am

Ever heard this:

“The bitterness of poor quality lingers long after the cheap price is forgotten.”

I suffered through Window’s based PC’s for about 10 years, about 5 of them, before getting a Mac 2 years ago. No viruses, ever. I’ve learned how to create webpages, publish PDF files. It’s effortless.

For all you PC users who don’t want to shell out an extra $400 – $600 bucks for a Mac, just do it. You’ll save so much time with a Mac that the extra few hundred dollars will be well worth it. Trust me.

Macs are superior.


Stephen May 17, 2008 at 11:06 am

You Mac users… I have used PCs and Macs all of my life with and they all have the same number of problems. Until Apple gets off their high horses and starts selling their units for reasonable amounts and letting the users customize them to fit their needs, Macs will always be #2.


Zeljko Prsa July 14, 2008 at 9:03 am

What to say…

Installing anything on Windows is a nightmare a kind of a Russian roulette as we all know so why bother ranting over it? Accept it, inhale it and make peace with it, even Bill Gates did it :)

*To all of you PC users claiming rights to bash at MacOS, go for it I say. MacOS is just a hypemachine although it works and looks great I must admit.


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