learning to love Vista

I’ve been around for a few new Windows releases starting with Windows 98 and it’s nothing out of the ordinary to see new OS’s greeted with walls of resistance from technology reviewers, enterprise adoptors, and small business. It’s always been fashionable to knock Microsoft and for some reviewers it can border on hysterical, like this guy at The Observer in 2001.

“…Windows XP is a montrous, bloated brute that requires state of the art PC and 2gb of hard disk space before it will even say ‘hello'”

Personally, I love Vista. The features that have made my life easier simply aren’t there in XP. Besides, I prefer progress over being able to use my 6 y.o HP printer. Vista service pack 1 has fixed most of the issues and gripes including slow performance over the network, Explorer hangs, and security improvements. The problems I see in the field now are mostly related to application compatibility and lack of knowledge to install backwards compatibilty.

Firstly, Vista offers the choice of two account types: standard or administrator. The latter is a standard account with administrative rights, but is still a standard account. In XP an admin account had full user rights locally. This is a security feature in Vista which launches those UAC prompts. If you want to run a legacy program (such as my accounting program I bought in 2005 which runs fine on Vista) you will need to know the options and procedures to elevate privileges and install legacy programs. The options generally run in this order:

  • contact the vendor to see their articles on Vista installation, program or driver updates
  • Run As Administrator (To launch a program with elevated privileges right click the exe or setup file and choose “Run as Administrator”)
  • Use the Vista Compatibility Assistant (right click setup file, properties, compataibility tab)
  • Use Vista Compatibility Wizard (follow this path >start >control panel >click programs >then choose “Use an older program with this version of Windows”)

I’ll be posting more on learning to use Vista.