Sunday, October 21, 2007

Windows Vista - Why bother?

Bought a new HP Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 2.40GHz (model M9040N) desktop computer about two weeks ago. It comes with 3 GB of RAM, 640 GB of hard drive (2 * 320GB), a 16X LightScribe Dual Layer DVD Burner, NVIDIA GeForce 8400GS 256MB and Windows Vista Home Premium.

When I first turned it on, it had no problems connecting to my router and the internet. So I went into Windows Update and downloaded the necessary updates. Ever since, my internet connection has been sporadic, at best. Sometimes the pages take forever to load.
Meanwhile using my four-year old laptop with XP SP2 and a wireless connection, pages load up with no delay.

Vista shows the computer as being connected to the network (my router) and to the internet. I disable the network connection and then enable it. This works, sometimes, but it seems that it takes a few minutes for the connection to get up to speed. I power off my router and, again, that seems to work. I've played around with various settings in the router, in the network card, in the tcp/ip stack, and so on. Nothing seems to give me a reliable network connection. I can go a whole day with no problems and then, with no warning, nothing wants to load, and I go through the steps all over.

I have researched this problem and it seems that Vista's new TCP/IP stack is largely to blame. Seems that some routers and network cars are not compatible with Vista, according to Microsoft and other experts. I look at it as Vista not being compatible. Microsoft is 'aware' of this problem and it may be fixed with Vista SP1, but this problem has been around since 2006. I'm not holding my breath.

Now, there are individuals that will defend Microsoft to the bitter end, but these people need to ask themselves: what does someone with little to no computer knowledge do? Pay $50+ for tech support? Shouldn't each successive operating system be easier to use? Shouldn't things be simplified?

My wife just walks away from the desktop and pulls out the laptop and browses to her hearts content. That's not a good sign for Microsoft.