Complaints about Windows Vista’s sluggish performance keep growing

“The complaints about sluggish performance in Windows Vista keep growing. While it’s unfair to point to beta software apps—or whatever Microsoft wants to call them—the warning flags are already evident,” David Morgenstern writes for eWeek.

“A batch of complaints reached my inbox following my recent column looking at Apple’s Mac OS X Leopard and Vista. One message, from reader Randall Asato, warned that folks thinking they can run Aero on older hardware will be out of luck,” Morgenstern writes.

Morgenstern writes, “He said he expected that most upgraders will be at the least forced to purchase a new video card with sufficient VRAM (video RAM)… There are signs that the base performance of Vista on almost any hardware configuration may disappoint. Or at least concerns that Vista will run sluggishly on the system configs that Windows buyers are accustomed to.”

“At the same time, performance may be hindered by the traditional thin configurations offered in the Windows market. Many machines ship with 512MB of RAM, and in the mindset of the market this is sufficient.
For example, the software industry still maintains the fiction that a Windows XP machine with 256MB of RAM can do all the tasks that need to be done, or that users might want to get done. Look at almost any piece of software and 256MB is listed as the base system requirement,” Morgenstern writes. “But that amount has little to do with usability. It’s a joke.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: First of all, 99% of Windows users have no idea what a video card is, much less the ability to upgrade it. Let’s face it, these people bought their personal computer at Wal-Mart. So, when Joe and Jane Sixpack are faced with the idea of having to buy a new computer to run “that there great new Winduhs they got out now,” wouldn’t it be nice if they knew there was a better way this time around? The more ads Apple runs for the Mac right now, the better. Get a Mac.

Related MacDailyNews articles:
a href=””>Apple’s Boot Camp 1.1 runs Microsoft Windows Vista Pre-RC1 – August 28, 2006
Apple’s Mac OS X Leopard is 64-bit done right, unlike Microsoft’s Windows Vista kludge – August 14, 2006
Microsoft Windows Vista: If you can’t innovate… try to impersonate Apple’s Mac OS X – August 10, 2006
Analyst: Apple’s new Mac OS X Leopard sets new bar, leaves Microsoft’s Vista in the dust – August 08, 2006
Windows Vista rips-off Mac OS X at great hardware cost (and Apple gains in the end) – June 13, 2006
Computerworld: Microsoft Windows Vista a distant second-best to Apple Mac OS X – June 02, 2006
CNET reporter: Apple Mac mini is my most ‘Vista Ready’ PC – May 24, 2006
What’s the difference between Mac OS X and Vista? Microsoft employees are excited about Mac OS X – March 22, 2006
Analyst: Windows Vista may still impress many consumers because they have not seen Apple’s Mac OS X – January 05, 2006<


  1. After reading MDN’s snipet at the top my first question was the same as Ray’s, “…what VISTA users?”

    Obviously we’re being referred to beta testing or preRelease trials, but the tone of these critiques sounds like its [VISTA] out there now, and its falling short as a final product release. Talk about WWII style propaganda…

    Sometimes making a thing or event seem worse than it really is has the net effect of making the reality not seem as bad as its really going to be. (I think Confucius said that somewhere.)

    So my advice to MDN (not that anyone asked of course) is to maybe lay low and let VISTA be whatever VISTA is going to be – let it speak for itself. An objective, sans rhetoric, reference to an article from time to time would be ok, but anything more might just be a mistake. I live in rural southern IL (I was born and raised in the “big city”), and I can tell you that calling people stupid, directly or indirectly, has the strong tendency to make people even less prone to any positive change. Just FYI.

  2. I used DOS and Doze for 20 years before I switched. I was the office geek/tech advice guy, and built more top of the line Dozers than I can count. I will argue that the average (I said AVERAGE) Mac person probably knows no more about Vcards than the average PC person does. I’ll bet the top Doze gamer subset would blow away the equivelent Mac subset as far as box mods and upgrades go. It’s the gamer PC way of life.

    But, having said all of that, any non-gamer who doesn’t seriously consider OS X just hasn’t been paying attention. I just finally got tired of Doze and was ready for the change. I’ve never ever regretted my move to the light.

  3. You guys complaining about MDN’s take are being far too sensitive. First of all, they’re joking. Way back before the the world became a bastion for political correctness, there used to be this thing called HUMOR, where you could make fun of something, and people weren’t afraid to laugh, sometimes even at themselves.

    Second, regardless of whether you used to be a PC user or not, if you’re hanging around these boards, you are not the type of person MDN is talking about. The truth is, most of the population is extremely ignorant when it comes to computers. They are the people who think a 3.5″ floppy disk is a hard disk, that their monitor is the entire computer (and they don’t own iMacs), and that the operating system they run is Microsoft Word. We see these people everyday. In fact, you might very well be sitting next to one of them right now. If you’re reading this post, on a Mac-centric website, chances are, you are not one of them.

    PC folks also criticize the Mac for not being upgradeable, but the truth is, very few PC users ever upgrade anything.

  4. To ndelc: Just because an insult doesn’t directly insult me, doesn’t mean it’s any less wrong. In our case, why would we expect PC users to discard their preconceptions that us Mac users are snobs when we resort to such tactics? We get all bent out of shape when people want to “put a lit cigarette” in our eye, yet we feed the fire that caused those feelings.

    Also, in my experience, those who bash political correctness are often doing so to cover their own racism. Unlike some, I do not fondly look back on the days when racial slurs were uttered as a matter of course. The world is better now than it was, but obviously we have a long way to go.

  5. Well, I had to replace my Radeon 9800 Pro (128 megs RAM, stock) on my ’03 dual 2Ghz G5 to make it work with Aperture. So this is hardly a major complaint about Vista. After all, you’re happy with what you got? Don’t upgrade!

    Dude man

  6. Akido, first of all, it’s unlikely that the type of people who MDN is talking about would ever visit MDN anyway, so I doubt that they’d ever see it to be offended. Second of all, what we’re talking about here is the purchase of a product. I would question the common sense of anyone who would decide not to buy a superior product that would make their life easier just because they regard others who use it to be snobs.

    “Also, in my experience, those who bash political correctness are often doing so to cover their own racism. Unlike some, I do not fondly look back on the days when racial slurs were uttered as a matter of course. The world is better now than it was, but obviously we have a long way to go.”

    At what point did I mention anything regarding racism? I don’t appreciate you putting words in my mouth. I don’t tolerate racism, but I also believe that going to the point where you cannot even acknowledge differences in people is equally as damaging. How will we learn about other types of people if we can’t talk about what makes us different? Political correctness has been taken to the extreme in this country, to the point where you basically can’t risk offending anybody. Forget race, you can’t make a joke about hair color, or style of clothing, or apparently, what computer one uses. That’s ridiculous. Life is funny. There’s nothing wrong with pointing that out. My favorite comedians are Dennis Miller, Chris Rock, and Bill Maher. What they have in common is, they’re honest, and they don’t apologize for offending anyone with their honesty.

    Take a step back and look at this discussion. You’re all bent out of shaped because MDN joked that most computer users in the world don’t know much about their computers. Sorry, but I find it ridiculous. No offense ; )

  7. It is almost inevitable that Vista 1.0 will run at the same speed as the first retail version of OS X.

    However, before I get flamed to death, let’s be clear on the differences…

    When OS X was released, memory was more expensive, video processing power was more expensive – hell, everything was more expensive. As a result, it was more ‘difficult’ to own a system on which Cheetah (as it was known, with unintended irony) would run with ease.

    To put some flesh on that argument, OS X was initially released in an era of PC100/133 SDRAM, 80GB EIDE disks and <shudders>sub-GHz G4 processors</shudders> with a truly crapulous 256KB of L2 cache. Vista will, by contrast, be released (and is probably being tested) on systems with DDR2 memory, fast SATA disks and multi-core multi-GHz processors with more L2 cache than an Apollo mission could shake a Saturn V rocket at.

    That, in spite of all of these advantages, Microsoft have still managed to build a piece of OS software that can overwhelm its host hardware beggars belief and calls into question any number of elements of Microsoft’s development process and expertise including…

    1) Design and programming: Einstein has a quote attributed to him which, paraphrased, says something about things being as simple as possible and no simpler. Buckminster Fuller is quoted as saying “When I’m working on a problem, I never think about beauty. I think only how to solve the problem. But when I have finished, if the solution is not beautiful, I know it is wrong.”

    I’ll give dollars to doughnuts that if you looked at a Microsoft design or the finished code as a monolith, it would be neither simple nor beautiful. Look at any number of Windows apps versus their equivalent Mac versions and you’ll see that problem in miniature: bloated by feature, bloated by size, less elegant in implementation, less consistent – need I continue.

    2) Development tools: how well optimised are the tools that Microsoft are using for their OS platforms. I know we live in a high-level world where the C/C+/C++ languages are the weapon of choice, but there is a solid possibility that the tools being used by MSFT’s developers are generating code which is, at best, inefficient. Combine that with a set of APIs which are more concerned with customer lock-in than elegant development and is it a surprise that Vista might be a little sluggish.

    3) Quality assurance: As I’ve mentioned on several threads before, recent betas of Vista displayed some (pretty serious) bugs related to the completely rewritten network stack.

    Now these bugs have been resolved (although there are probably more available to take their place), but the question remains: if you had these problems nailed in the old Win2K/WinXP network stack – which you allegedly ‘acquired’ (nudge, nudge, wink-wink) from one of BSD environments – how in the name of almighty Zarquon did you let them re-appear in Vista.

    Does MSFT not have a “Network Stacks for Dummies” manual?

    And if they don’t, how many other “re-inventing the wheel” fsck-ups can the Vista customer expect.

    Which brings us to the nub of the QA issue: if they can’t get the basics right through QA and testing, how on Earth are they going to deliver an OS which has any concept of performance optimisation.

    As a sidenote: the last Monday of August is a public holiday here in the UK and a number of PC retailers are running “promotions” which appear to be concerned with shifting as many Celeron laptops as possible for around £350-£400 from manufacturers like Toshiba and Acer. I wouldn’t dream of selling a system with that spec without doing the whole “caveat emptor” thing about Vista, I wonder how many <strike>suckers</strike> customers are going to be disappointed when they come to load Vista on their systems in twelve months.

  8. Looks like one of the few personal computers that can run Vista decently will be the Mac Pro Quad Zeon Workstation. Since it appears Microsoft is cutting off a huge segment of its current Windows users due to hardware requirements, MS should have just done a more drastic reduction in legacy support “by design” (instead of “by accident”).

  9. Um…yeah. For all those thinking MDN is being snobby when referring to average users, I have a little wake up call. Redmond, Washington is a hugely snobby city. Microsoft is a snobby company and they are smug too so, In my opinion, turnabout is fair play ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”raspberry” style=”border:0;” />

  10. Good take MDN. The point is that most people aren’t going to fiddle around with video cards. Either they think Vista warrants a new computer, or they stick with XP.

    And the difference between Tiger and Vista today…


    and what will be even better will be the arrival of Leopard on the scene”


  11. Hey! What’s wrong with being trailer trash? Some of us use Macs. I spent over half of the year in a trailer of one sort or another. Mac on one side of the desk and AV software riddled Windows PC on the other side with internet access over satellite and a diesel generator for power.

    I don’t know if it means much but the Windows PC is on the left hand side of the desk.

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