Why Vista isn’t as good as the Mac

Yesterday Guy Kawasaki tried to give Steve Ballmer heck about Windows Vista, but he didn’t manage to really nail Ballmer with something specific.

I have one. Dell a few weeks ago sent me a new Tablet PC to use for a month. I have been using it exclusively for a couple of weeks now, and it is the only machine I’ve taken to Mix and SXSW. If you’re at SXSW please do ask to see it, if you need a Windows machine, it’s certainly one of the ones I’d choose. Why? You can put an extra battery onto it which will give you more than five hours of battery life. This is HUGE. I forgot how much I missed long battery life on the Mac (I only get two hours on my Mac).

The machine is well built, well designed, and fun to use.

So, why do I still like my Mac better?

One simple little thing: the Mac starts up and shuts down properly every single time.

My Dell? It doesn’t always startup right. Just now, I opened it up, which doesn’t turn it on, like the Mac does. But that’s a nit, which just requires hitting the power button.

Today when I did that it promptly blue screened. My Mac has only done that once and it turned out I had a bad set of RAM. This isn’t the first time the Dell has given errors or problems on boot, either.

Once it starts up, by the way, I like Vista just fine and it even has some things I like better than the Mac (the fonts on Windows are more readable, for instance and things do seem snappier on my Dell, plus that darn battery life is just wonderful, especially when I’m flying across the US like I’m about to).

It’s a real bummer, too. Because I want to love Windows and most of the tools to build great Silverlight experiences will be on Windows and not on the Mac. Not to mention that killer WorldWide Telescope.

I checked with my friends who run Vista on laptops and they noticed the same thing, that they have had problems with sleep and wakeup on their laptops. What could be causing this? I’ll show it to Dell on Sunday and see if we can figure it out.

144 thoughts on “Why Vista isn’t as good as the Mac

  1. I feel that the steam in 'Mac is superior to PC/Vista' is swooshing out. Look at the 'Why Mac' on Apple website – the only main point seems to be – 'Mac already had what Vista has now'. So what? Where are the softwares for Mac?
    CPAP machine

  2. I feel that the steam in 'Mac is superior to PC/Vista' is swooshing out. Look at the 'Why Mac' on Apple website – the only main point seems to be – 'Mac already had what Vista has now'. So what? Where are the softwares for Mac?

  3. What I don’t like about Mac users is that they are not “users.” They are members of the Mac Cult. Mac “users” are emotionally attached to their machine, their software, and the other Mac cult members. Steve Jobs knows this, which is why he treats his cult members so badly by making all his new computers incompatible with his old ones. Mac cult members accept this obvious marketing ploy as the price for having “the latest and the best.” There is no question that Mac software is really cool, but that comes with a high price. Mac users claim to be less “geeky,” less interested in technical stuff. That may be true, but it proves just how expensive ignorance can be. The truth, I suspect, is that Mac users are just as involved with their software as most Windows users. It is true that Windows is less stable than the Mac OS, but usually the instability comes from using something from the vast array of options available to PC users, options unavailable to Mac users. For me, a former Mac Addict, backwards compatibility, much lower prices, and the flexibility of the PC far outweight the price I have had to pay with “instability.”

  4. What I don’t like about Mac users is that they are not “users.” They are members of the Mac Cult. Mac “users” are emotionally attached to their machine, their software, and the other Mac cult members. Steve Jobs knows this, which is why he treats his cult members so badly by making all his new computers incompatible with his old ones. Mac cult members accept this obvious marketing ploy as the price for having “the latest and the best.” There is no question that Mac software is really cool, but that comes with a high price. Mac users claim to be less “geeky,” less interested in technical stuff. That may be true, but it proves just how expensive ignorance can be. The truth, I suspect, is that Mac users are just as involved with their software as most Windows users. It is true that Windows is less stable than the Mac OS, but usually the instability comes from using something from the vast array of options available to PC users, options unavailable to Mac users. For me, a former Mac Addict, backwards compatibility, much lower prices, and the flexibility of the PC far outweight the price I have had to pay with “instability.”

  5. I have started to have problems with my Toshiba Tecra M4 tablet “Not enought resources to…” to go into sleep mode. The machine will turn itself back on with the lid closed — heating up my backpack and wering down the batteries.

    Yes, I know this an old (2005) machine and the problem is likely to be some Windows update. But this problem has caused me to give up the Tablet PC and switch to a MacBool Pro. But, I will still long for Tablet Mac.

    SaS

  6. I have started to have problems with my Toshiba Tecra M4 tablet “Not enought resources to…” to go into sleep mode. The machine will turn itself back on with the lid closed — heating up my backpack and wering down the batteries.

    Yes, I know this an old (2005) machine and the problem is likely to be some Windows update. But this problem has caused me to give up the Tablet PC and switch to a MacBool Pro. But, I will still long for Tablet Mac.

    SaS

  7. #43, 67: just want to point out–it’s a pretty standard convention on computers/laptops in general that you can get the equivalent of switching off the power by holding down the power button for 5-10 seconds. You don’t need to pull the battery to force a complete shutdown.

  8. #43, 67: just want to point out–it’s a pretty standard convention on computers/laptops in general that you can get the equivalent of switching off the power by holding down the power button for 5-10 seconds. You don’t need to pull the battery to force a complete shutdown.

  9. I’m glad you raise this issue, as there is now a chance that Microsoft will address it. I just bought a Sony VAIO FZ21M with Vista Home Premium, and I had exactly the same problem. I left it in sleep mode for a few hours the other day, and when I returned it had ‘woken up’. Problem was the screen was off and the only way I could get access to the desktop again was to pull out the battery and reboot. There is no indication what caused it.

  10. I’m glad you raise this issue, as there is now a chance that Microsoft will address it. I just bought a Sony VAIO FZ21M with Vista Home Premium, and I had exactly the same problem. I left it in sleep mode for a few hours the other day, and when I returned it had ‘woken up’. Problem was the screen was off and the only way I could get access to the desktop again was to pull out the battery and reboot. There is no indication what caused it.

  11. It is probably bluetooth breaking when trying to handle sleep states. Have a look in event viewer at the time of trying to wake or when it slept and look for bluetooth errors. If so, uninstall packaged bluetooth software from add/remove programs.

  12. It is probably bluetooth breaking when trying to handle sleep states. Have a look in event viewer at the time of trying to wake or when it slept and look for bluetooth errors. If so, uninstall packaged bluetooth software from add/remove programs.

  13. Silverlight? Please. A year from now, we will all be reminiscing about how Silverlight turned out to be the technological equivalent to the Edsel. The dev community does not want another proprietary media layer for the web. And guess what? They don’t need it. With Javascript, SVG, and MP4/H.264, the bases are covered. If you want proprietary, there’s already Flash, w/ 99% browser penetration, and cross platform authoring tools.

    The only people developing anything for Silverlight are the shills that Microsoft is paying to do so.

  14. Silverlight? Please. A year from now, we will all be reminiscing about how Silverlight turned out to be the technological equivalent to the Edsel. The dev community does not want another proprietary media layer for the web. And guess what? They don’t need it. With Javascript, SVG, and MP4/H.264, the bases are covered. If you want proprietary, there’s already Flash, w/ 99% browser penetration, and cross platform authoring tools.

    The only people developing anything for Silverlight are the shills that Microsoft is paying to do so.

  15. This article points to the one reason a Mac is better; it’s the hardware not the operating system. Vista is getting nailed because of the rip offs like Dell.

  16. This article points to the one reason a Mac is better; it’s the hardware not the operating system. Vista is getting nailed because of the rip offs like Dell.

  17. We have a bunch of Dell laptops here and have seen various mobo problems. I wouldn’t be surprised if this was the cause of your problems.

    The good thing about Dell (and by extension Microsoft OS) is that they come out to us next working day to fix any faults. Is this type of support available for Macs?

    Having said that, XP runs much better on our Vista capable laptops than Vista does.

  18. We have a bunch of Dell laptops here and have seen various mobo problems. I wouldn’t be surprised if this was the cause of your problems.

    The good thing about Dell (and by extension Microsoft OS) is that they come out to us next working day to fix any faults. Is this type of support available for Macs?

    Having said that, XP runs much better on our Vista capable laptops than Vista does.

  19. Robert – that’s a hardware issues, not a Windows vs Mac OS issue.

    I run Vista on my Macbook. It never fails to resume from sleep. Never.

    Leopard resumes slightly faster when I open it (although partly this may be deception because I don’t resume to a login screen on Leopard, but do on Windows). It takes about a second to resume to Leopard, and about 2-3 seconds to resume to Vista. Very small difference.

    Vista goes to sleep faster, though. Leopard sometimes sits there for up to a minute after I close it before the light on the outside goes into its “sleeping” heartbeat mode.

  20. Robert – that’s a hardware issues, not a Windows vs Mac OS issue.

    I run Vista on my Macbook. It never fails to resume from sleep. Never.

    Leopard resumes slightly faster when I open it (although partly this may be deception because I don’t resume to a login screen on Leopard, but do on Windows). It takes about a second to resume to Leopard, and about 2-3 seconds to resume to Vista. Very small difference.

    Vista goes to sleep faster, though. Leopard sometimes sits there for up to a minute after I close it before the light on the outside goes into its “sleeping” heartbeat mode.

  21. Perception is everything. As product man states well, it may be a Sony, or a Dell or whatever, but when there is a problem, that MS Vista logo is very prominent.
    MS wants everyone to know where the os is coming from. “Vista Ready”, “Running MS Windows”…. stickers tend to be all over the machine. And since MS dominates the market, well, they get the blame. Sometimes undeservedly. Most of the time not.

    Thomas makes a good point as well. MS and OEM’s are too worried about “innovation” that they don’t take enough care of the essentials, or at least it appears that way. The sleep function is good example.

  22. Perception is everything. As product man states well, it may be a Sony, or a Dell or whatever, but when there is a problem, that MS Vista logo is very prominent.
    MS wants everyone to know where the os is coming from. “Vista Ready”, “Running MS Windows”…. stickers tend to be all over the machine. And since MS dominates the market, well, they get the blame. Sometimes undeservedly. Most of the time not.

    Thomas makes a good point as well. MS and OEM’s are too worried about “innovation” that they don’t take enough care of the essentials, or at least it appears that way. The sleep function is good example.

  23. I have to agree with you. As a Mac user and a PC user, my biggest complain about Vista is startup time and inconsistent startup. Why does it just turn on when I open the lid? Most of the times yes, other times, I have to reboot it. Confounding. This is because Apple controls the hardware and Microsoft doesn’t. For Microsoft and its hardware vendors, it just ends in a finger point game, with Microsoft saying, “hey, we did out part”. Its pretty much true that Microsoft did its part and the hardware guys from Dell to Sony fail, but from a consumer’s view this is a “Vista problem”. I don’t think this situation will ever improve across the board.

  24. I have to agree with you. As a Mac user and a PC user, my biggest complain about Vista is startup time and inconsistent startup. Why does it just turn on when I open the lid? Most of the times yes, other times, I have to reboot it. Confounding. This is because Apple controls the hardware and Microsoft doesn’t. For Microsoft and its hardware vendors, it just ends in a finger point game, with Microsoft saying, “hey, we did out part”. Its pretty much true that Microsoft did its part and the hardware guys from Dell to Sony fail, but from a consumer’s view this is a “Vista problem”. I don’t think this situation will ever improve across the board.

  25. “Vista is a solid and well designed OS and is selling well and will continue to sell into the hundreds of millions, they’ve already passed the one hundred million mark in sales during year one.”

    uhhhh, isn’t that like AT&T of the 1970′s stating that the rotary dial telephone is a big hit and will continue to sell well?

    Vista will continue to sell since it is the defacto standard and that XP, at some point, will no longer be offered on packaged systems.

    Granted a few will make the leap to Apple. Some may even be tempted to get the linux boxes that are being sold at walmart, since those will surf the web, do email and have Open Office.

    A question on my part, is Vista a build of Windows Server 2003 with a different UI and other “innovations”? ( MS has really overdone that word)

  26. “Vista is a solid and well designed OS and is selling well and will continue to sell into the hundreds of millions, they’ve already passed the one hundred million mark in sales during year one.”

    uhhhh, isn’t that like AT&T of the 1970′s stating that the rotary dial telephone is a big hit and will continue to sell well?

    Vista will continue to sell since it is the defacto standard and that XP, at some point, will no longer be offered on packaged systems.

    Granted a few will make the leap to Apple. Some may even be tempted to get the linux boxes that are being sold at walmart, since those will surf the web, do email and have Open Office.

    A question on my part, is Vista a build of Windows Server 2003 with a different UI and other “innovations”? ( MS has really overdone that word)

  27. I am always amazed what computer users find as acceptable these days.

    The fact that the computer doesn’t start properly means to me the product doesn’t work. Period.

    It’s like buying a car that only starts properly sometimes. When it doesn’t start you need to disconnect the distributor cab which in most cases will fix the problem but you don’t really know why. Would you find that acceptable?

    At the end of the day I believe manufacturers should get their act together and first make sure they have a working product before they pack more innovation in… or perhaps it’s that “innovation” that is often causing the problem.

  28. I am always amazed what computer users find as acceptable these days.

    The fact that the computer doesn’t start properly means to me the product doesn’t work. Period.

    It’s like buying a car that only starts properly sometimes. When it doesn’t start you need to disconnect the distributor cab which in most cases will fix the problem but you don’t really know why. Would you find that acceptable?

    At the end of the day I believe manufacturers should get their act together and first make sure they have a working product before they pack more innovation in… or perhaps it’s that “innovation” that is often causing the problem.

  29. Yep, in the minds of the Mac fans Vista is Toast, it’s the same story when XP came out Vs Windows 2000,the same BS reasoning,the reality of the matter is that Vista is a solid and well designed OS and is selling well and will continue to sell into the hundreds of millions, they’ve already passed the one hundred million mark in sales during year one.

    Microsoft sales are up and continue to trend upwards,its wishful thinking, but sorry.. Microsoft isn’t going away.

    I have a few Mac fan friends and we always agree to disagree, but otherwise we usually have a good time together without the stillborn arguments about who’s OS is better and why.

  30. Yep, in the minds of the Mac fans Vista is Toast, it’s the same story when XP came out Vs Windows 2000,the same BS reasoning,the reality of the matter is that Vista is a solid and well designed OS and is selling well and will continue to sell into the hundreds of millions, they’ve already passed the one hundred million mark in sales during year one.

    Microsoft sales are up and continue to trend upwards,its wishful thinking, but sorry.. Microsoft isn’t going away.

    I have a few Mac fan friends and we always agree to disagree, but otherwise we usually have a good time together without the stillborn arguments about who’s OS is better and why.

  31. What does it matter that the tools to build anything related to Silverlight will be on Windows? All that will do is serve to further marginalize an already also-ran technology…

  32. What does it matter that the tools to build anything related to Silverlight will be on Windows? All that will do is serve to further marginalize an already also-ran technology…

  33. Even on XP, I’ve had the same problem with startup on both Dell and ThinkPad laptops. Never had that problem with my Powerbook. Worse, the XP laptops don’t always go to sleep, in which case, I’d have a very hot laptop, or a dead battery laptop, when I’d pull it out of the bag. So now I have to wait until it’s actually asleep before I put it in the bag. Annoying.

  34. Even on XP, I’ve had the same problem with startup on both Dell and ThinkPad laptops. Never had that problem with my Powerbook. Worse, the XP laptops don’t always go to sleep, in which case, I’d have a very hot laptop, or a dead battery laptop, when I’d pull it out of the bag. So now I have to wait until it’s actually asleep before I put it in the bag. Annoying.

  35. scoble, you do understand that when you get a BSOD its usually caused by a hardware/driissue and not software, right?

  36. scoble, you do understand that when you get a BSOD its usually caused by a hardware/driissue and not software, right?

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