Robert McLaws: Windows Edition

Blogging about Windows since before Vista became a bad word

The Worst Windows Vista Review Ever

Ed Bott has been pointing out terrible reviews lately. Long Zheng railed against bandwagoners complaining about the Zune on Thursday.

But today, I officially read the worst Vista review ever.

When you switch to Windows Vista, you'll be figuring out how to cope with questions as little as why 'My Documents' turned into just 'Documents' and as big as where to get a new driver for your old printer--if you can get one at all. Your old security software won't work, so you will have to find, pay for, and install replacements. You'll be tearing your hair out every time you encounter new features that work differently from the old familiar ones for no apparent reason. And if you're a particularly early adopter, you'll probably be googling frantically in search of others who have run into problems similar to yours.

I'm not masochistic enough to test Microsoft's betas and release candidates. The final product is usually rough enough; and as I write, that's not yet available. But I've seen the demos and read the propaganda and first looks. Vista promises a lot of potentially useful new stuff. But for now I can think of only one reason to worry about the thing: It will come with your next PC. [Emphasis mine]

Unless that machine is a Mac, in which case you'll be offered a new OS every year or two with a couple of modest features that pretend to change the world and claim to be worth $130. But at least you'll waste less time in the upgrade process.

So you haven't actually seen it, you've just read about it. And that qualifies you to be able to report on it? Did you happen to pass a reporter doing an interview one day, and decide that you were a journalist, too?

Just one more reason why journalists should need a license to practice their craft, just like lawyers.

And yes, the first two comments at the end of the article are mine.



  • Long Zheng said:

    A lot of journalists and bloggers these days are beginning to use their statue and influence as a form of justification on whatever bullcrap they want to write about. I don't know why companies continue to send these guys free stuff.

    But then again, I'm just ranting because I get nothing.

    November 18, 2006 4:36 AM
  • Martien said:

    I think it's sad that some of these self-named, sexual frustrated journalists are trying to get some sadisfaction out of bashing stuff they actually don't know *** about..

    November 18, 2006 6:47 AM
  • Josh said:

    I think he stayed at a holiday inn express the night before writing this...

    November 18, 2006 8:23 AM
  • List244 said:

    Haha, that was great. This guy obviously isn't fit to write a review of Windows Vista. The last thing we need is reviews by people that have only read... reviews. If I wanted a compilation, I would look for that. I have been using Vista for some time, I have not had any issues of, "where did it go," that took longer than 5 minutes to solve. If he doesn't like change, let him use XP, Mac, Linux, whatever he prefers.

    November 18, 2006 9:18 AM
  • Ian Smith said:

    I'm staggered at the naive "fan boy" criticisms here. Sounds very much like the rave "Zune" reviews before the more independent reviewers got hold of it.I think the guy hit the main issues Vista will face right on the button, and frankly if you really think it's the worst review ever all I can say is you're leading an INCREDIBLY charmed life.

    Yes, I have played with Vista during the beta's. I HAVEN'T yet upgraded to the RTM because I'm fed up of wasting hours looking for drivers that aren't there, dealing with changes that aren't well documented, and wasting hours of my limited free time installing software that then needs to be replaced with the reliable XP because very basic driver support for very common sound cards or network adapters isn't available. And then hours more getting back to an XP SP2 system that can give me the stuff I'm interested in from Vista (WCF) but on a platform I can rely on.  

    I'm fairly confident that by the time new PCs are being shipped with the RTM there's a chance that SOME of those missing drivers will be there but I work in the industry. Look at the lack of support for Visual Studio during the beta's, the lack of Zune, PowerShell until next year etc. This is a joke and anybody who doesn't think you need to be a masochist to go ahead with the release now is living in cloud cuckoo land.

    Would I recommend friends and family to upgrade? Absolutely not. If you really think that's the worst review you've read then I think you're leading a charmed life!

    November 18, 2006 4:38 PM
  • Neil said:

    How come this guy gets actually "paid" for writing an article like this one, PC World should sack him "immediately" I feel, if they want us to think that they know what they are talking about !

    To actually say that he had not used Vista and then say what he did defames journalists in general, not to mention the editor who allowed it to be published !

    On the whole it doesn't say much for PC World as a magazine that ANYONE should buy, with this sort of story he should be working for "MAC World" !

    November 19, 2006 12:38 AM
  • Neil said:

    Mind you have you the articles on "Microsoft-Watch" lately, some of them are no better than the PC World one.

    What is happening these days, you used to see an article in the media and it had been checked over by the editor (sub editor, whatever) these days they just publish it !

    This just plays into the hands of people who will stop at nothing to promote their favourite OS (Mac, Linux, etc.) if you are going to criticise something AT LEAST know what the hell you are taking about.

    Not this ANTI MS crap, just for the sake of being ANTI MS, some people who don't know anything about computers that want the best OS for their kids or work "may" be swayed by this BS !

    November 19, 2006 12:50 AM
  • tethys said:


    What exactly is a joke? That a pre-release piece of s/w has bugs? Is missing drivers? etc? Why exactly would you not recommend an upgrade to follks?

    Perhaps you should wait for the consumer launch instead of complaining about something that you can't buy yet anyways...

    November 19, 2006 1:03 PM
  • Brenton said:


    I think you need to understand what the concept of Beta testing is! It is a time for the developers of Hardware companies to review their drivers and get it working before Vista is released. As I've installed later and later builds of Vista there has been a rapid growth in the devices that Vista supports without the need of installing drivers. I believe I only had to install one driver myself after setting up the RTM version.

    November 19, 2006 6:45 PM
  • ac said:

    I feel that many articles in some of the web news outlets get published with the agenda of getting links from sites like slashdot etc. Any material for a good flamewar is poised to get linked from there.

    When my local tech news site started picking and writing their news by what kind of news got most readers, I sure noticed it...

    November 21, 2006 11:30 AM
  • thedude said:

    I have alot of information on Vista from Microsoft and from non Microsoft sources. To be honest until the OS goes on sale and there are first hand experiences on the application I don't really know who to listen to. There are 2 common negative remarks regarding Vista. One is it is a extremely bulky application. The other is if you want the full  Vista Experience you need a top end system. I am running a P4 533 bus. I have 1 gig of memory and a 128 meg video. While this is not top end it is reasonably fast and from what I have read it is not enough for the full Vista experience. If this is the case I think microsoft made a big mistake.

    November 22, 2006 1:33 PM
  • Geoff said:

    As someone who was a long time PC user and regular tester for Microsoft's products that finally had it with Windows and switched 3 years ago to Macs..  

    However, that article isn't a review.  It's about hype and propaganda.  Well written and correct, IMO.

    November 28, 2006 1:58 PM
  • JD said:

    You dumb hack -- you think journalists need a license to write? Only well after the licensure program for programmers has well been established. Never has such a lazy bunch of incompetent jerks been so self-righteous.

    November 30, 2006 3:24 PM
  • BJ said:

    Journalist are the most ignorant and self righteous SOB's on the planet. And, I quote, "Why do you want to be a journalist?, To Change the World?".

    November 30, 2006 8:06 PM
  • November 30, 2006 8:58 PM
  • November 30, 2006 8:58 PM
  • Doug said:

    thedude: Your Vista experience should be just fine. Whether or not you want to turn on all of the graphics bells and whistles depends on whether your graphics card is fast enough for you, but otherwise Vista should run quite nicely.

    For the most part, Vista is faster than XP, and it makes better use of available memory. However, it does require more memory up front, so 512 MB is the minimum. 1GB is better and should be ok for most stuff. 2GB if you are doing heavy lifting.

    December 1, 2006 3:33 AM
  • Anonymous said:

    get your info on Paul Thorntons super website for Windows and read the latest reviews on Windows Vista "". and think twice before pointing your opinion on how mighty you think Vista might be as the review is made by an IT pro whose tested the O/S. Vista isnt even developed on the infamous WinFS that they were working on since god knows when. Good luck in buying yet another blotchy crappy upgrade to your current o/s simply renamed as Vista which only gives you the glass effect. You might be better off just making your Xp look more like Vista. Do a google "Make Xp look like vista".

    You might be better off !

    December 6, 2006 10:56 AM
  • Vladimir Novikov said:

    So now journalists need licenses, huh?

    I wonder how many LICENSED engineers MS employs.

    1% of all the workforce?

    And I hope you're LICENSED engineer yourself.

    How about normal WARRANTY on this great new Vista?

    I bought a car recently, it has a warranty - 7 years.

    Why MS does not provide a WARRANTY, but a DISCLAIMER instead?

    I suspect they now Vista much, much better then you and me - that's why!

    Unless MS won't take their products seriously by providing WARRANTIES instead of DISCLAIMERS, why should consumers take MS and Vista seriously?

    December 13, 2006 3:36 PM
  • Alvige said:

    Until about a month ago, I was convinced supporter of whatever Microsoft did. I tested Vista since Longhorn Alpha, have been using it on my work and home machine since Beta 1 (the same thing I did with XP previously), and I believed in Vista, really did.

    Then I installed RTM, and now I regret the time invested into it. I don't believe in Vista any more.

    I really do apreciate all those fancy new features and everything, but which one of them  can justify so many other mistakes they did.

    I work with MS Gold Partner company, we are a VAR who works in MBS (or Microsoft Dynamics) field. Whole line of Microsoft Dynamics applications are *INCOMPATIBLE* with Vista, with plans to make them compatible within next three months. However, that will work only for current versions, all previous versions simply don't work. They simply crash when you start them, no matter which "compatibility" mode you set them to. Yet, Microsoft pushes us, as a Partner company, to migrate all of our customers to Vista. My gosh, if this isn't a mistake, what is? That's "just" about the business "value" of Vista - which we won't be able to realize for the next two-three years, untill when I hope somebody at MS will realize what huge mistake they have done when they decided to emphasize the "eye-candy"-ness of Vista to the functionality and backward compatibility.

    I have been working with Windows professionaly, since NT 4.0. Not a single version has ever been as backward-incompatible as is Vista. This reminds me of the days of Windows ME. Those of you who read this, and don't even know what ME is, I am not surprised at all - you really didn't miss a thing.

    There are plenty of examples of the things that don't work any more.

    For example, if you have a Windows Mobile device (and I dare say who doesn't), you will have hard time making them work. I have two of them, a PDA and a SmartPhone, both of which haven't been synchronized for months. Ok, I understood that while in beta, I had to give in, because, hey!, it's still beta - it will work when it reaches RTM. What a disappointment it was only to find out that in Vista RTM you still have to "rely" on Windows Mobile Device Center Beta 3 to synchronize with Outlook, and it doesn't work for me, for none of my devices. And guess what - I have read (yeah, blame *me* for reading now) numerous posts where people have the same problems as I do. Very few solutions, which work only in rarest of occasions.

    The next similar goof is Virtual Machine. The only version which "works" on Vista is 2007 beta 3. You can't forget about 2004 SP2, because it has known compatibility issues. In the time where competition invests heavily in virtualization, Microsoft dares publishing a "final" release of Windows which has no compatible virtualization product.

    These are three things that I really can't find acceptable.

    I can name hundreds of other, that all come from my experience. So, I totally agree with the "worst Windows Vista review ever". IMHO, Windows Vista is the worst Windows ever.

    In the end, it's good for everyone who does not jump into Vista right away. Because the next version of Windows might really be all of those things Vista now can only dream to be.

    January 11, 2007 4:07 AM
  • Sjaak said:

    Aaah. So sweet when a Windows Vista blog desperately tries denying the 'bad' reviews. here's some more to deny

    or maybe this one

    have fun!

    January 18, 2007 11:11 AM
  • R. said:

    vista is a collection of crap, really!

    January 30, 2007 6:13 AM
  • September 5, 2007 2:04 AM