I have used Windows Vista ever since I got my current laptop in August of 2007. I hate it. It is shit. I want to go back to XP but it won't let me unless I do a reformat and start again. And I don't have anywhere to back up all my stuff to do that. Nor can I be arsed to spend days reinstalling all my stuff.
Windows Vista began to annoy me the day I first booted it up with its ridiculous "Aero" interface. This is basically the gimmick where your windows all have transparent frames and you can look through them and have them all cascade in a 3D manner. Accusations of ripping off Apple aside, I think I can do without that particular piece of resource-stealing gimmickry. If I wanted to see what one program was up to while I was using another I would press Alt-Tab like a normal person. So I immediately loaded up my desktop preferences and went back to the "Windows Classic" theme. This is the good ol' grey boxes affair that we've been used to since 95. It's not pretty but it works and there was no reason to change it.
Except there is, because for reasons best known to themselves, Microsoft tweaked it so that if you use Windows Classic, you don't get assistance from your graphics accelerator in drawing the desktop. This is unlike XP, where you did. As a result, you're using real processor power on this - processor power that could be better deployed in doing something useful or fun. I only discovered this today.
At least there's a middle ground, "Vista Basic", which does use your GPU to assist in drawing it but isn't a resource thief like Aero. Though I suspect that in Windows 7 this middle ground is probably gone.
Vista further annoyed me by having THOUSANDS of unnecessary services turned on by default that nobody needs. Why, pray, is "Smart Card Reader" a necessity for most people? Yet it's enabled as standard. Similarly, the indexed search feature that Heitah refers to above might sound good on paper, but actually indexing every folder swallowed yet more system resources. Turning it off is highly recommended. The same applies to "Computer Browser," which apparently is something for seeing who's on a network but we don't know what exactly. And then there's the gadget bar at the side, otherwise known as that pointless clock the size of a £2 coin. I know what time it is, it says so in the task bar. This also swallows resources.
Once I'd got all the nonsense that I didn't need dealt with, there then came the secondary nonsense. The fact that Vista is totally hopeless at copying and moving files. It's just so slow. It's so poor, in fact, that cut-and-pasting from a Zip folder once caused Windows Explorer to stop responding. Moving files about one's disks, a job that in XP took seconds with all but the biggest, lumpiest files, became a major undertaking.
Then there was User Account Control, otherwise known as the window that asks you if you're sure you want to do everything. That's switched off now. I know what I want to do, say thankya.
THEN, as if that wasn't enough, THEN, there's the fact that it's generally just so cumbersome. It's taken me years of casual tinkering just to get Windows Vista into a state where it doesn't cause me computer rage.
In short, it says a lot about Vista that people still stick with Windows XP, which is now 10 years old. XP might have been sneered at when it first came out, but it's lasted for 10 years, has most of the security holes bunged up tight as long as your antivirus is up to date, and doesn't have all the unnecessary fluff that Vista seems determined to plague your life with. And it's not such a resource hog that Vista is.
In fact, Windows XP was, in retrospect, so good that when I get my new lappy, if it comes with Windows 7, I might just reformat and shovel XP Service Pack 2 back onto it. What's the worst that can happen.
(And before anyone says, "well get a Mac then," the answer is no. If I had £875.00, which I don't, I wouldn't spend it on a spongy-keyboarded designer laptop that has the specs of a £600.00 PC laptop. No thank you. Also, may I add that some of you folks would buy a sloppy turd if it was white and had a glowing piece of fruit on it.)
But then again, I'm also told that Windows 7 is actually better than Vista and apparently solves most of the problems Vista has. I'll see that when I believe it, but watch this space.