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)