Upgrade no machine[ to Vista] before its (or your) time

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2007/09/28 03:16 -04:00, original URI: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/michkap/archive/2007/09/28/5178248.aspx


Years ago, I worked on the Access team.

Even though the world had moved to NT4 Server at the time, one of the servers with build shares ran NT 3.51 back then, and it did so even once Windows 2000 Server builds were available and most machines were being upgraded. Maybe there were critical processes running, maybe no one wanted to take the time to do the upgrade, maybe the hardware was old and people were afraid there were no drivers and no one wanted to replace the box. Whatever -- there was some reason no one updated the box, for years.

The simple fact is that as much sense as upgrades make, there are times that upgrades have to wait. For whatever reasons.

Now I like Vista.

I worked on it as a product from the very beginning, I have a Ship-It chiclet for it, it is on 75% of the eight machines I use, 80% of the five machines I own, and it makes up more than half of the 21 partitions I have set up across those eight machines.

But at the same time, notice that none of those categories above are 100% and there used to be only one machine that ran it all the time (it now spends half its time running Server 2008, which is also as product I like).

And there is a very simple corollary to those numbers.

I do not run Vista on all of my machines all of the time.

If there are specific reasons you have to not be running Vista (you like Mac OS X/Server 2008/Server 2003/XP better for what you have to do, you have a hardware conflict, you have some really awful bug affecting resume for hibernation (as my brother-in-law is dealing with on a few machines with no patches fixing the problem) or getting security updates (as I am dealing with on one machine that a Tier 3 MSIT engagement has done nothing for) or your ability to automatically sync with your cellphone never works (as my sister is dealing with, no info on updates anywhere) or you are finding games that fail consistently due to the inability turn off Advanced Text Services off (as I discussed in Vista turns on everything) as Thanendar told me in a recent contact link message or ANY OTHER PROBLEM that makes Vista usage painful beyond the normal "learning a new product" stuff or even within that range if you don't have time yet to learn it then I have only one piece of advice:

Don't Install Vista yet.

It seems like obvious advice, and I managed to shock a few family members when I told them this, but the truth is simple. Computers are made to make our lives easier and more productive; if Vista is not doing so yet due to some blocking issue then I would recommend that you report the issue(s) to Microsoft or the OEM you got Vista from and then install the operating system that works.

I am a fan of Vista.

But I am an even bigger fan of customers getting what they want out of their computers.

So if Vista is not doing that but you wish you could run it since you like some of what it has, then wait to upgrade and let people know what the problem is. Maybe it can get fixed so that one day you can run the latest version of the OS.

And to be perfectly honest feel free to be a little suspicious of the motives of anyone who is insistent that you must do anything else here prior to those fixes bring provided.

I know I do....

 

This post brought to you by U (U+0055, a.k.a. LATIN CAPITAL LETTER U)


# michael on 28 Sep 2007 3:43 AM:

Well said! I'm in full agreement with you. Too often computer users feel the need to "go with the flow because the flow is flowing" and too little do people generally stop, drop and roll questions about "why?" or "is it necessary" etc.

I've been doing dev work on my Vista machine and sadly, I'm going back to XP. The Vista dev machine is a magnitude slower than the equivalent XP dev machine.

# Mike Dimmick on 28 Sep 2007 5:22 AM:

Can't use Vista at work because my developer tools don't work. I still need to use eMbedded Visual C++ 3.0 and 4.0, which simply crash when you try to load a project. Developer Division and Windows Embedded are completely uninterested - I reported this in the RC cycle. DevDiv only support VS 2005. VS2005 only supports Pocket PC 2003 and CE 5.0 and later development; I still need to support customers using Pocket PC 2002 and custom CE 4.x platforms. They don't even support VS 2003 on Vista even though it's still got another year to run of mainstream support.

VS 2005 is a bit bodgy even after installing the Vista patch - there's no real reason that the IDE has to run elevated, it's just that the effort to actually do it properly, separating out the bits that need elevation from those that don't, is really more than can be justified for a service pack. Hopefully 2008 will be better.

# Johannes Roessel on 28 Sep 2007 5:33 AM:

Micheal (the Kaplan one :) - I use Vista on my notebook since February and indeed, I noticed some issues, crashes are reported automatically, though I still don't quite know where to report things like glitches in the UI or similar. I've collected a few so far :)

Mike Dimmick: VS 2005 says it needs elevated privileges but I have yet to stumble over something that doesn't work as normal user.

Arun Philip on 1 Oct 2007 10:15 AM:

Man, you haven't drunk the Kool-Aid. Probably cause you drink Limonata (or whatever, but that was a pathetic joke from me, you gotta admit!)

Very valid advice, and doubly nice coming from a 'softie (don't you hate it when the rest of us tar all you 'softies with the same brush?!)

"I am an even bigger fan of customers getting what they want out of their computers"

Very true.

Now if only we could promote you to where you can push these decisions Microsoft-wide :)

Michael S. Kaplan on 1 Oct 2007 10:49 AM:

Well, I do have some powerful enemies of that kind of thinking (plus I don't know if I'd like the job much!).

But every once in a while important people listen to me, at times even hearing what I am seeing....

Yuhong Bao on 11 Mar 2009 11:55 PM:

"VS 2005 is a bit bodgy even after installing the Vista patch - there's no real reason that the IDE has to run elevated, it's just that the effort to actually do it properly, separating out the bits that need elevation from those that don't, is really more than can be justified for a service pack. Hopefully 2008 will be better."

And it is indeed better, VS 2008 runs by default non-elevated and when I try to do something that requires elevation, it asks me to restart it as elevated.

Yuhong Bao on 12 Mar 2009 12:30 AM:

"if Vista is not doing so yet due to some blocking issue then I would recommend that you report the issue(s) to Microsoft or the OEM you got Vista from and then install the operating system that works."

The downgrade rights that is often used for this, BTW, is not new. It has existed for a long time, I think.

"Even though the world had moved to NT4 Server at the time, one of the servers with build shares ran NT 3.51 back then, and it did so even once Windows 2000 Server builds were available and most machines were being upgraded."

Yep, even as late as 2000, MS was still releasing hotfixes for NT 3.51.

This FTP directory has the publicly-available ones:

ftp://ftp.microsoft.com/bussys/winnt/winnt-public/fixes/usa/NT351/hotfixes-postSP5/

In fact, according to the MS Support Lifecycle site, NT 3.51 mainstream support ended in 2000 and extended support for NT 3.51 Workstation ended in 2001. For NT 3.51 Server, it was in 2002.

BTW, do you know the last version of the Debugging Tools for Windows that still supported NT 3.51?


referenced by

2007/10/05 From partially broken to fully broken in just a couple of versions

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