It has been already 1 year since Windows Vista is out. In my new company, I had a new computer with Vista on it. I quickly installed Ubuntu in dual boot. I was happy with Ubuntu for my work, until I received many Excel files OpenOffice was not able to read properly. I decided to give a try to Vista. My first impression of it when I had the computer was quite negative. I was not able to find things that used to be easy to find. It seemed slow and not very interesting.
As I thought I had to use it, I managed to make it a bit more pleasant by adopting the old Windows 95 style instead of the default colors and effects everywhere. I dislike the standard effects because it seems that they are only there to distract you from what you want to do with the computer, and don't help you to do things. I have used Windows a long time before, and installing Total Commander and Opera made Vista a bit more responsive for some tasks. Explorer is really slow and bloated.
Still on the big Java project we are working with, it took 14 minutes to (clean and) build the first time. I struggle to find out why it was so slow. Under Ubuntu, the same command took 5 minutes. As I thought it was swapping to disk, I decided to order more RAM so that I have 3GB (the build process takes around 1GB). If I build it many times in a row, because of the file cache, I can have the build in 4.30 min but it never happens in real life. In real cases it always takes at least 14 minutes, event with 3GB. And it still seems to swap !?! Now I am not even sure of anything, the fact is I did not manage to make it faster. I tried messing with various registry parameters for the cache/memory with no success. This article is completely wrong about Vista memory being much better managed. It is really awfully managed. That frustrated me how a new OS can be 3x slower, until I heard about gnumeric. Gnumeric is able to read all kinds of difficult Excel formulas, and all my Excel documents worked under Ubuntu.
So after 2 weeks of experiencing the slowness of Vista, and the first blue screen (BSODs are back with Vista), I switched back to Ubuntu. Other than being awfully slow, Vista does not have that many drawbacks, but it does not have anything compelling either when compared to XP (except a maybe better security system).