This is the Fundamental Problem With Vista

This is the Fundamental Problem With Vista

During the time I've spent using Vista, I've always had the nagging suspicion that Microsoft was treating this new OS not as a product designed to give the best possible experience to users. Instead, it felt like the OS was designed to give the best possible experience to Microsoft's OEM partners, all the while maximizing the profits for everyone! Yesterday, a federal judge unsealed emails relating to the Vista-capable class-action lawsuit which confirmed my suspicions.

Let's hit some background first. From the beginnings of our discussions with Microsoft about Vista, we were told that the Aero experience was the default. In order to be labeled Vista-capable, machines must have a bare minimum of graphics power. Intel's integrated 945 chipsets barely met that minimum, but the 915 didn't. Much to everyone's surprise, at the end of 2005, Microsoft authorized use of the Vista-Capable logo on machines with the 915 chipset.

Now, as we've reviewed precisely one machine in the last two years that uses integrated graphics, this usually wouldn't concern Maximum PC. Poor performance with integrated graphics is the least of our worries. But the dialog between Mike Ybarra (a product manager) and Jim Allchin (the Microsoft Co-President in charge of Vista) is part of the complete PDF released by the judge, and it's very revealing. Here's Mike's email:


Jim, I am passionate about this and believe this decision is a mistake.

We are caving to Intel

We worked hard the last 18 months to drive the UI experience and we are giving this up. The OEMs are behind us here, we have the support we need to drive this experience on today's hardware.

We are really burning HP - who committed to work with us to drive the UI experience across platforms and have made significant investments. Other OEMs have made bets against this as well.

These three things just don't add up to me. We are allowing Intel to drive our consumer experience. The OEMs support our goals here and they've made graphics investments to drive the UI experience with consumers. I don't understand why we would cave on this when the potential to drive the full UI experience is right in front of us.

Allchin's response was succinct, "It might be a mistake. I wasn't involved and it is hard for me to step in now and reverse everything here again."

In case you missed what happened here, Microsoft bent their core system requirements for Vista, with less than a year to go before launch, because Intel wanted Vista to continue support its sub-standard integrated graphics solution. This is a huge decision, which was made without top-level buy-in from the person ultimately responsible for the success of Vista--Jim Allchin. If Microsoft was willing to bend on something this huge, I can only imagine what other anti-consumer changes they wrought at the behest of corporate partners. 





+ Add a Comment


The reason intel doesn't want to fix their video support is because they are trying to kill off AMD by staying ahead of them in the CPU market. This fact is also why AMD picked up ATI, to put pressure on Intel with the integrated video/CPU solution, MAKING Intel fight the war on both fronts. It's obvious. Intel, instead of fighting fair, pulls in a favor over at MS to have this happen, putting off the graphics problem for a few years at least - hurting AMD further and sort of making the ATI merger backfire.

Everyone's focusing on Microsoft when they should be focusing on Intel. Of course MS bent, but in the long run, this is really about CPU/Graphics, not operating sytems.
It's a shame for consumers.



Seams to me, the only reason Microsoft makes a new version of windows is so that it can use more resources (with nothing running), cost more money, and give software developers just enough of a reason to make their programs incompatible with older operating systems. With Vista, Microsoft did a great job on the first two, but fell rather short on the 3rd.

If I was in charge, a new OS would: use hardware MORE efficiently, use LESS resources, be more secure, and finally have a secure alternative to active x. Also, it would have been nice if they had included that new file system they were working on.

On another note, it would be nice if they did a better job working with hardware manufacturers for their driver signing program.

Maybe the problem is they are not thinking of new code anymore, just modifying old code. Maybe they should write the next OS from scratch, and NOT use old code to save time.



I've been saying it the day I installed Vista. Microsoft did not meet any of their vapor ware claims. The only thing they met was their investors requirements to make more money.

Vista != UserExperience;

Check out the Software Licensing service, always running, taking up active memory and processor resources and all it does is keep copyrighter's logos from running when granny updates her drivers. I.E., if software licensing happens to "think" there is something up, you won't be seeing ANY logos/icons, no icons will load in control panel or my computer. Does Vista say anything? no. Instead you wait five minutes (on a quad core, 4GB of RAM, etc.) for My Computer to load and you don't actually see anything. Then it hit me, one of the copyrighters (Hollywood? nVidia? ATi? Blu-Ray? HD-DVD?) must've insisted that some type of licensing be used in Vista or else--no support. Being Microsoft they could've said no and the investor would've caved anyhow, but being the Microsoft we know today they don't care about UserExperience.

To them it seems as though people who don't really know how XP works will be fine with Vista and paying just to run the consumer end this is not the case. In fact 60-70% of people will only buy a Vista-installed PC if they can install XP.



Pretty interesting stuff in it. That PDF alone could be drafted into a script for a movie. Maybe the sequel to Pirates of the Silicon Valley?

I'd call it, TYRANTS of the Silicon Valley lol.



It shouldn't surprise any of us that MS would stoop this low and cave to Intel. Intel has had the crappiest on board video for years and they don't seem to want to fix it. Oh well what can you expect from companies who think it everything ought to go their way or no way. I haven't bought an Intel board in years and probably never will until they learn to build boards that are on par with the likes of Asus, Gigabyte,MSI and last but not least XFX. KOMMANDER

Log in to MaximumPC directly or log in using Facebook

Forgot your username or password?
Click here for help.

Login with Facebook
Log in using Facebook to share comments and articles easily with your Facebook feed.