Microsoft’s Windows Vista: Your Frustration. Our Fault.

“Microsoft released Windows Vista to the world one year ago with ads likening the new PC operating system to such awe-inspiring moments as the first American spaceflight and the fall of the Berlin Wall,” Todd Bishop reports for The Seattle Post-Intelligencer. “Charles Walling just wants it to work with his printer.”

Bishop reports, “The retired Seattle warehouseman has spent hours on the Dell tech support line, installed all the drivers and, yes, double-checked all the cords and plugs. No luck. The cause of the problem isn’t clear, but Walling knows one thing: The same printer worked with Windows Vista’s predecessor, Windows XP.

“‘You can see the frustration,’ Walling said this week, sitting at his desk after Windows Vista displayed an error message in response to an attempt to print,” Bishop reports.

Bishop reports, “Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates recently called Windows Vista the ‘best new product of the year.'”

Bishop reports, “A year after its glitzy retail launch, Windows Vista has developed a reputation as a source of frustration for others. The effects of that reputation are apparent in the habits of PC buyers. At the computer store Quidnunc in West Seattle, for example, owner Bill Hibler estimates that 40 percent of people ordering computers through his shop still ask for Windows XP.”

Bishop reports, “Walling, the retired Seattle warehouseman, moved to Windows Vista when he bought a new PC last fall. Despite the problems he has experienced, he’s sticking with the operating system, figuring it would be too much hassle to go back at this point. He still hopes to fix his printer compatibility problems. In the meantime, how does he print out his documents? ‘I don’t,’ he said.”

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Rob” for the heads up.]

MacDailyNews Take: The combination of “Stockholm Syndrome” and “cognitive dissonance” produces a victim who firmly believes the relationship is not only acceptable, but also desperately needed for their survival.


  1. Leopard DOES have bugs using Photoshop CS3. The crop tool, the selection tool, pretty much every tool with a text entry box. This problem is TINY compared to using Photoshop CS3 using Vista, where a bug of gigantic proportions exists that cannot remember print settings between images!!!! Both of these are known issues. Advantage: Mac.

  2. Looking back, OS X has been known to have issues when new versions of it come out. I’m still using 10.4 because ProTools does not work on 10.5. Regardless, for the average user, the difference between Vista and OS X is that Apple actually seems to address issues faster than Vista. 10.5 is already at 10.5.1, and a 10.5.2 is expected anytime. Vista? Who knows. Some fabled service pack is coming. I’m surprised that Vista does do smaller, more frequent updates to deal with problems…..

  3. @Mark and @Berylium,

    If you do an archive install you will get a clean system without having to re-install a lot of apps. There are some prefs that don’t get copied but that’s about it. Never ever do an update install even if you have nothing but Mac apps on your system.

    Digital Mercenary

  4. “He still hopes to fix his printer compatibility problems. In the meantime, how does he print out his documents? ‘I don’t,’ he said.””

    How green is Vista!!! How many trees is it saving! Microsoft make some awesome products (removes tongue from cheek, gets back to nutting out Zeller’s congruence law….)

  5. @Beryllium

    I don’t know whether there is an application that keeps track of applications. What I’ve done is put my application and Utility folders in list view, taken screenshots of them and printed them. When it came time to reinstall, I’ve gone down the list. Actually, I usually install my Adobe and Microsoft applications first, then everything else. Unfortunately, I usually kill a weekend doing this, but the piece of mind I get is worth it.

    I currently have a new Macbook and will be receiving my Mac Pro (ordered it about a week ago) in the middle of next month, so I won’t be doing a clean install for a while.

    Part of my job is application tech support, and whenever anyone calls with some weirdness going on with their computer I always tell them, “Reboot. If the problem persists after the reboot, call me.” About 90% of the time I never back from them. Doing a clean install is the equivalent of a reboot, just on a much grander scale.

    So, as big a pain as it is, that’s what I’d suggest. And it’s what Apple tech support will suggest if all else fails.

    Good luck.

  6. I work in IT and can testify to the compatibility nightmares associated with Vista. Microsoft would have you believe that they are all the fault of third parties who are too lazy to update their drivers, but guess what? Many of Microsoft’s own existing products don’t work properly with Vista.

    I ran into this one just the other day:

    OK, so to fix it, I can either install Windows Server 2008 (which isn’t even available as a final release yet) and spend a bunch of time back-hacking pieces of it into Server 2003, or I can try to find the referenced “hotfix”. Yeah, good luck with that one. (I finally did get it, but let’s just say it wasn’t through any publically-available channel). And even then, we found that Vista still won’t work right with this product unless changes are made to the IE security zone settings and trusted root certificates on every client.

    This is by no means the first problem like this that we’ve found with Vista. Microsoft’s knowledgebase is full of articles about how “X and Y” won’t work with Vista, and that the solution is to upgrade all your servers to Windows Server 2008 (actually, many of them still say “Longorn Server” because they’ve been promising fixes for all this stuff before it even had a shipping product name). You’ve got to be kidding me!

    It’s almost like MS is TRYING to take all the IT people who are in their pocket, giving them guaranteed market share, and do everything possible to alienate them.

    If I were a MS shareholder, I’d be selling as fast as possible right now.

  7. “My father in law has an HP all in one printer/scanner/fax that he bought only a year before he got his mac mini.

    HP still hasn’t released a Leopard compatible driver for the scanning portion of the machine, which was his whole point in getting the thing.

    I wouldn’t brag too much about Leopard re: drivers.”

    I have an all in one from HP which never scanned from the printer end of it, even with Tiger. Never use the SCAN button on the printer. To scan, put the document in the printer and then use Spotlight to find HP Scan. Use the scanning prompts on your Mac’s screen, not on the printer itself. This has worked every time on all of my Macs using both Tiger and Leopard. One other thing: to scan, I have to unplug my printer from Airport Extreme and plug it directly into the Mac I am using (or a hub connected to ONLY that Mac); but that was the same with Tiger, too.
    Printing, however, works perfectly on all Macs via Airport with both Tiger and Leopard.

  8. @OpJ:
    re: My father in law has an HP all in one printer/scanner/fax that he bought only a year before he got his mac mini.

    I use Apple’s bundled Image Capture app for my scanning. Seems to work on most scanners. Look in your Applications folder and give it a try!

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