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Windoze XP, a rant

So I finally got to play with XP today, having re-imaged my work laptop (it was running Win2k previously). Pants. Absolute pants it is. I was hoping that XP would address a few of my beefs with Win2k, such as:

  • explore.exe: considering the file management system is central to any decent OS, this app blows goats. Too slow. Disk I/O is a joke, the thing crashes too often, and is just generally unresponsive.
  • Startup and shutdown times: Even without my employer's login scripts and so forth, these basic processes take way too long.
  • IE6: I was looking forward to trying this. It renders sites in a slightly prettier way (but then so does any other browser — it's the OS after all), and the web standards support has to be better doesn't it? But it still sucks.

The machine I'm using is a brand new IBM ThinkPad. Windoze means that this PC boots up slower (and I mean way slower) than my iMac at home, a four year old 233MHz G3 for gawd's sake! As for shutting down, I've already had "the hang" whereby the OS finds itself unable to switch off the PC because of frozen tasks (typically iexplore.exe / explore.exe). I couldn't even log on to the machine at one point; this was down to SafeGuard Easy deciding it should handle user authentication rather than the main OS, for some reason. Not seen that before.

Anyway, I could go on. Loads. About how this isn't isolated to one machine, nor is it down to third party software (MS' favourite bleat no?). I don't understand how this OS has gotten where it has — I guess people just don't know how different things can be (and I'm not just talking about OS X!).

How disappointing. Sorry. Normal service will be resumed shortly.

Comments

  1. I was going to blog about this myself but I'll leave it at this…

    I tried XP myself a while back and reverted to Windows 2000 a month or so later - appart from the childish colours and UI widgits, they've added all of those context sensitive bars on open windows under Windows Explorer - as far as I'm concerned these are a backward step and lend nothing to the usability of the product.

    Yeah, whats with the startup times - even worse under a domain/AD environment - XP was supposed to sort this but the gains require a stopwatch to see.

    For me, Windows 2000 is the more perfect Windows and very reliable.Colin Williams#

  2. yeah, I see no reason to upgrade… though I guess the driver support is better in XP.

    I've also found that the anti-aliasing makes things look a whole lot better, but that's not really a compelling reason for upgrading one's OS eh!!!Ben Poole#

  3. Driver support? - I dunno about that - for one thing it actually slowed my machine down in regards to graphics - significant drop in frame rates when playing 3D games to cause me to stop playing because I couldn't compete due to the lag. And Microsoft call this an improvement???Colin Williams#
  4. Driver support as in "let's encourage manufacturers to only make XP drivers, then we can flog more copies of XP"… that's an improvement if you're an M$ exec, surely? ;-)Ben Poole#
  5. Hmm…not seen that happening do date - most drivers exist for both as far as I'm aware. I'll/We'll stay away from WinXP for as long as we can - Win2k does the job just nicely thanks ;-)Colin Williams#
  6. Having used the OS some more, I think some of the issues I'm experiencing are down to that old chestnut, RAM. 256MB just doesn't pass muster. But I'm disappointed still that XP isn't more of a "step forward." Oh well.Ben Poole#

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I’m a developer / general IT wrangler, specialising in web apps, the mobile web, enterprise Java and the odd Domino system.

Best described as a simpleton, but kindly. Read more…