Who says Microsoft Vista sucks? If you're looking online, it seems like it's everybody. A Google search brings up entire blogs and Web sites solely dedicated to exposing fair use rights infringements, CPU-hogging mandatory security programs, and lack of application and hardware support. Specialized Web sites and blogs have the most vehement criticisms: Responding to actual Microsoft documentation, Peter Guttman of University of Auckland has published an exhaustive article stating that the Vista Content Protection specification, which raises the bar on Digital Rights Management, “could very well constitute the longest suicide note in history.” Bruce Schneier condenses many of the details , concluding that the OS makes a computer less reliable and less secure. This slows down processing, and media pirates, the intended target for this software, crack the security in days. BlimpTV's "Vista Sucks " video says it simply: "No One Does Bloatware Like


On a larger scale, the Free Software Federation of Boston collects Vista-user horror stories and promotes conversion to Open Source OS. They call the campaign BadVista . The self-evidence of statistics spells it out quite clearly: as of May, Evans Data reports only eight percent of software developers supporting Vista this year, and perennially Microsoft-friendly chip-fabricator Intel has decided on not upgrading its own employees' computers from Windows XP, much to the embarrassment of Microsoft.

At the individual user level, however, things just aren't that simple. From nightmarish wrestles with new laptops resolved only by scaling back to XP, to many people actually saying, "It was better than I expected," it's only clear that Vista seems to mean different things to different people. Most of this improvement can be attributed to the various updates since the package was originally released, affording Vista users more usability and reliability.

The simplest analysis of the latest incarnation of Vista is this: Power users of the Windows platform have a lot to complain about, casual users tend to think it's A-OK (Mojave Experiment , anyone?). Eventually, support and updates may narrow this gap. In the meantime, there’s only a slim chance that a system overhaul would be worth the hassle.