After 2 weeks with Vista I am back to XP
I've been using Vista as my stand alone OS for the past two weeks solidly. I can say that I like most of Vista, and I will probably upgrade to it. The only question is when?
I ran C# Express to develop the jspimp IDE in Vista and had no problems with that. The main thing that was causing problems with the RC 1 Vista CPP was that there were too many critical (blue screen) bugs. I would have expected those types of bugs in a beta, but not in a release candidate. The fact that Microsoft has named Vista RC 1 a release candidate is suspect, and I'd think that it has to do with marketing. Microsoft is pretty sure that no businesses will upgrade to Vista until Service Pack 1. I don't intend to upgrade to Vista until SP 1 either. That means that while Microsoft can say that they have gotten Vista out in 2006, no real customers will be using it. Except perhaps for some of the game development studios, and maybe some software companies in controlled labs for testing.
The problems that I found were that whenever an older program, one not built using .net tried to call the file chooser, it caused a blue screen crash, and that when you are trying to pick a desktop photo it goes blue screen. This might not seem like a big issue, but it cause plenty of problems for me in use. It also is not that I have some esoteric machine with strange hardware. I run a stock dell.
I had gotten my hands on the beta 1 version of Windows 95 a long time ago, and I remember it as being very stable, more stable than the production version of Windows 3.11, which was an awesome OS BTW. The Windows 95 beta version didn't have all of the features of the final release OS, but what was there was completely stable. The second beta, when I finally got my hands on it was pretty much a release candidate, and the RC version which I never got to use must have been pretty much perfect, because the production version came out right afterward.
I obviously know that Vista is immensely more complicated than Windows 95. Why it is I don't really know. I think it is because Microsoft released so many different ways to write software for Windows, I.E. frameworks, that it became difficult to support the huge installed base of code in the OS. Microsoft sort of missed an opportunity with Vista. They could have simplified Windows by writing Vista to only work with .net 2.0 code and up. They could stop supporting all of those frameworks. I mean Vista has been in the works so long that all of the software companies of note could have .net versions ready by now. They could provide backward compatibility ala Apple by running XP on top of Vista. This would make their future OS development much easier because they would only have had to support .net. Now, however because they have gone down this path they will have to support all those frameworks for at least the next 3 to 5 years.
This is the problem with having a plethora of frameworks to do the same thing. Obviously software darwinism will ultimately whittle it down to one or two, but with each release of the supporting code, the legacy battle gets difficult. Apple did the right thing by cutting off developers hard and by making Cocoa the framework for Apple. Period. Microsoft really has got to do the same thing. I actually think they should start forking their OS development again now with a new Pro OS built around .net. This OS would eventually become the replacement for Vista, but it should be released during Vista's timeline.
The real problem here is that it took Microsoft a long time and a lot of hacks to get XP to where it is truly usable. They are now asking users to abandon XP and go to Vista which is going to be where XP was 5 years ago. Except with the added complexity of even more frameworks built on top of all of the old ones. Vista will be a good OS, but it will take time and a lot of hacks to get it there. RC 1 and RC 2 are really Beta 3 and Beta 4. Service Pack 1 will be the true 1.0 release for Vista. Microsoft should listen to me and go the Occam's razor route. Simple, Simple, Simple. Their current path will cost them more in development dollars and get them less in the way of features.