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Brier Dudley's Blog

Brier Dudley offers a critical look at technology and business issues affecting the Northwest.

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April 22, 2008 12:46 PM

Windows Vista causing grief? One expert's coping strategy ...

Posted by Brier Dudley

With my blog overflowing with tales of Vista malaise, Microsoft's Charlie Owen suggested I check out Ed Bott's explanation of how he "saved" a Sony Vaio running Vista.

Bott went through the tedious process of scraping off all the crapware that Sony installed on a friend's laptop and tracking down the drivers needed to make its components work properly.

I agree with the underlying point -- that Vista has some great features but the experience is being ruined by PC makers and component vendors who have done a terrible job developing Vista-based systems. It's almost like they're getting revenge on Microsoft for missing the 2006 holiday season with Vista, or for its bullying tactics in the 1990s.

But the inside baseball doesn't help PC buyers who can face a bewildering array of challenges, particularly if they try to make all of their old stuff work with the new operating system. It can actually be a slog with any new operating system, but as response to Monday's column on Microsoft and Vista suggests, people have come to expect a more turnkey experience with Windows.

I wonder if Microsoft will point to all of these issues -- drivers, crapware, OEM support, etc. -- to defend itself in the class-action suit against Microsoft, alleging it misled consumers about Vista compatibility. Once you start looking into the situation, you realize there are all sorts of people to blame for the trouble you may have with a new computer. Would Microsoft defend itself by attacking the PC ecosystem that its business depends upon?

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Gadgets and games | Fun stuff I've written about lately includes Apple's iPhone, Hewlett-Packard's HDX laptop and Microsoft's Halo3. Also on the radar are new digital video boxes such as the Tivo HD and the Vudu.