Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 28th Jun 2007 21:39 UTC, submitted by jayson.knight
Windows Microsoft is simplifying the processes via which its PC-maker partners will be able to provide 'downgrade' rights from Windows Vista to Windows XP for their customers. Microsoft will implement the first of the policy changes for its Gold Certified (top-tier) OEM partners within the next couple of weeks. The company will streamline downgrade-rights policies and procedures for the broader channel somewhat later, said John Ball, general manager of Microsoft's US Systems Group.
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Vista has been a disaster
by monodeldiablo on Thu 28th Jun 2007 22:31 UTC
monodeldiablo
Member since:
2005-07-06

We migrated several of our dying machines to Vista out of necessity (nobody would sell us an XP box). This was supposed to be a quick swap, since we've been swamped with business.

I've spent the better part of three weeks fixing all the various breakages and bugs, instead of doing my job. User accounts get periodically locked in AD. Some internal .NET apps run across the network, others don't, and still others don't run at all (WTF??). Microsoft's migration wizards appear to ignore configuration files and documents at random. *ALL* of our third party apps required an upgrade (and, surprise surprise, a new license purchase) to work. And they still crash. Frequently.

Speaking of crashes, everything seems to crash or slow to a grinding halt with eerie consistency. IE whitescreens an average of once an hour for each computer. Firefox is worse. New problems crop up every couple of days. Oh, and everything is slower than molasses. Upgrade? Where? This stuff ran as smooth as butter on XP.

In the end, if you factor in the money it's cost us to buy new hardware, buy new licenses and redirect our meager tech resources to support the constant breakages, the Vista "upgrade" has cost us our entire hardware and software budget for the year. ROI my ass. No new servers. No PM software. We've got to make due with what we have now. Thanks Microsoft.

What I would give to put XP on those desktops and get the past three weeks of my life (and my operating budget) back...

Reply Score: 5

RE: Vista has been a disaster
by Ventajou on Thu 28th Jun 2007 22:59 in reply to "Vista has been a disaster"
Ventajou Member since:
2006-10-31

Why don't you spend the rest of the year working on deploying Ubuntu? Then you can publish a nice how-to or even a book ;)

Reply Parent Score: 1

flanque Member since:
2005-12-15

I suspect he'd blow the rest of his budget trying to get these "must have" apps working.

Reply Parent Score: 3

JonathanBThompson Member since:
2006-05-26

What, precisely, do you mean by "We migrated several of our dying machines to Vista out of necessity" do you mean you installed Vista on the old machines, or bought new machines to replace the old ones, couldn't get XP (not too surprising) and found that all the old stuff wasn't written correctly?

A lot can be blamed on poor drivers, there's likely little doubt there, as they aren't mature, sadly, but if you're running on dying/unreliable hardware, well, I don't know why you'd expect any OS to run properly, but how you expressed things left room to doubt what you meant.

If you were forced to replace old machines with new ones, combined with also not being able to install a known quantity OS that everything else works with already, that's just not something you can expect to happen without fireworks, regardless, and sadly, too many Windows applications are written on various assumptions of how things are configured, often with security not being properly taken care of, etc. and that's something you need to scream at your software providers for.

Rolling out systems into a production realm without having a validation plan that's executed first is just asking for problems, regardless of the OS vendor. Going from one major (.1 or more) version release to another with BeOS wasn't perfectly smooth, either, and some things broke (not that there's been that many applications total to break) and don't even talk about Linux being immune to such hiccups when changing versions of libs, etc.

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE[2]: Vista has been a disaster
by Morgan on Fri 29th Jun 2007 00:40 in reply to "RE: Vista has been a disaster"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

What, precisely, do you mean by "We migrated several of our dying machines to Vista out of necessity" do you mean you installed Vista on the old machines, or bought new machines to replace the old ones, couldn't get XP (not too surprising) and found that all the old stuff wasn't written correctly?


I don't know for sure, but I think I comprehend his situation fairly well. He is in a smallish company, they have a somewhat limited budget and their current machines happened to reach their end-of-life right around the time all the vendors started shipping Vista exclusively. They weren't big enough (or didn't have the budget) for volume licensing on XP so they just bought a few XP preloaded machines as needed. Now, they're stuck without a way to wipe Vista from the new hardware and install XP. This has led to a snowball effect with their software and network needs due to Vista's current instability and lack of backwards-compatibility.

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE: Vista has been a disaster
by flanque on Fri 29th Jun 2007 03:08 in reply to "Vista has been a disaster"
flanque Member since:
2005-12-15

It sounds like your situation is rather typical of most SMEs.. time, money and resource poor, coupled with a demanding business requirement. I feel for you.

However, placing this directly on Microsoft or Vista isn't exactly fair now is it? I'm not sure how you downgrade other than having to buy preloaded Vista systems and then installing XP onto them.

Two points. Firstly, Windows XP is still widely available through various channels, typically the local computer stores. I just checked several of mine and Windows XP is available for purchase.

Secondly, you can in fact purchase white box computers from the same local computer stores without an OS, sometimes even from bigger vendors such as Dell. You may even be able to purchase the Ubuntu boxes from Dell and just install XP onto them.

Also, why couldn't you just use the XP license from the old boxes you're replacing?

As for application compatibility, this should have been done well before the machines were into production, even if only checking online compatibility lists. If it's not compatible, speak to the software vendor. Microsoft have changed the way Vista works for a number of reasons. I'm sure some of them are strategically beneficial to Microsoft's software, but also to improve security.

Drivers we can expect, though I don't agree it should be this way, to be buggy with Vista. This is a hardware vendor problem trying to rush things, not a Microsoft problem. I have buggy print drivers for my Minolta laser printer which cause screwing print jobs and false paper jams. Minolta's answer... "sorry, it is a known problem but we're not going to fix that for XP. it works fine on 2000." Gee, thanks.

Upgrades on other operating systems goof up due to version problems. Happens on Solaris and Linux regularly.

I think if you wanted to, you could have quite easily gone down the XP route, but perhaps you were time poor. You wouldn't be the first person. I know it sucks but perhaps some pre-work would have avoided the situation.

Reply Parent Score: 4

stestagg Member since:
2006-06-03

Also, why couldn't you just use the XP license from the old boxes you're replacing?

OEM Licenses are tied to the machine. Doing this is illegal

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: Vista has been a disaster
by polaris20 on Fri 29th Jun 2007 14:39 in reply to "Vista has been a disaster"
polaris20 Member since:
2005-07-06

We migrated several of our dying machines to Vista out of necessity (nobody would sell us an XP box). This was supposed to be a quick swap, since we've been swamped with business.

All your problems could have been non-existent had you done 5 minutes internet research.

Dell, Gateway, and HP all offer XP Professional loaded machines. Insight (and probably CDW) are both selling boxed retail full and upgrade versions. No need for volume licensing.

Newegg.com sells the OEM in single or 3-packs.

Don't get me wrong; I'm not a big Vista fan either. But you can't blame this one on Microsoft, because your IT dept failed to do proper research and planning.

We've continued to buy quad-core workstations, ultra-light laptops, 17" workstation laptops, and middle of the road laptops all with great selection, all with XP.

Reply Parent Score: 1