Windows Vista – The Good and Bad Parts

by Krishna on June 2, 2007

My Google Analytics data shows that my article on “Windows Vista Problems” was, by far, the most visited page on this blog, ever. I was looking at the keywords that people used to reach the page and it is a list of Vista horrors. Here are some search keywords: “unexpected shutdown”, “vista problems”, “multiple reboot”, “not working”, etc. By this, we can assume that a lot of people are trying out Vista and many of them are finding issues with the operating system.

If you are planning to move to Windows Vista, don’t lose hope. It has been 3 weeks now since I faced those issues and I am happy to report that I am having a much better time with Vista. There are some really good features in the product and the frustrating times have been much reduced. Here are a couple of the coolest features:

  1. Start Button Search: This is perhaps the most useful feature in Windows Vista. You start typing and instant results from programs, email, web history and file folders appear. You can launch the one you want easily using the keyboard itself. I seldom use the Program Menu nowadays. I don’t have to even use the folder search often now. This one feature effectively removes any need for a desktop search tool (from Yahoo! or Google).
  2. Snipping Tool: Gone are the days when you need to hit PrintScreen or Alt-PrintScreen, paste the clipboard into Microsoft Paint and save it. Yes, there are other clipping tools, but they are not available on every system. With the new Snipping Tool, taking screen captures is a breeze. Only problem, ironic as it seems, is that I was not able to take a screen shot of the Snipping Tool using itself. 🙂 Nor can you take one of the Start menu because of the way the keyboard shortcuts work. The picture below was taken using the ever-trustworthy Paint.

The Windows Sidebar is useful if you have a wide-screen monitor. However, there are not that many gadgets that are really useful. I tried to add a Calendar gadget, but it bombed giving an error “A Runtime error has occurred. Do you wish to debug? Error: Object expected“. After that, it appeared in the Sidebar, but without any proper display. So I had to remove it. The same thing happened with the Stocks gadget. However, some of the other gadgets (Weather, Clock, Images, Notes) work well and I suppose Microsoft would be resolving some of these issues. There is a solution at http://support.microsoft.com/kb/KB927825 but frankly, reading it, I don’t know understand an end user is supposed to fix this error.

Windows Explorer is taking some time to get used to as the user interface is different with different types of icons. The drag-and-drop is slightly confusing as a thumbnail of the file appears and you are not really sure where the file is being copied to. But the biggest frustration is when you access a folder on another system. When you right-click on a folder, it takes a long time for the context menu to appear. I guess it is doing something in the background, but it is still irritating.

Copying large amounts of data can be aggravating. The dialog box has a message, “Calculating time remaining“. It provides this message before the copying actually starts and then does it during the copy, which makes it really confusing about what the progress bar is all about. Sometimes you even wonder if Vista has paused copying so that it can perform the calculation for the time remaining. I made the mistake of having Vista copy some large music files to a DVD and it went on for several hours. I don’t even know how long it took as I went to sleep before the copying was done. I should have used some other DVD burner program.

There have been no more crashes or Blue Screen of Death. Windows Explorer stopped working once and had to be killed. Internet Explorer has been relatively stable – I am operating without any toolbars now. Microsoft Office has been working without any problems. I really love the new Ribbon interface. Hopefully, I will post on that as I put together the information.

{ 2 comments }

Shopautodotca Seocontest June 3, 2007 at 11:26 pm

Thanks i was just about to upgrade to vista thanks for the heads up

windows vista skins August 1, 2009 at 8:36 am

This is a wonderful blog and a nice summary here

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: