Is Windows Vista Sinking Like the Titanic?

Dennis Faas's picture

A lot of things have been written about Windows Vista...some good, some bad. As with everything else, Vista has its good and bad points. Some have even compared Vista to the Ford Edsel, and to Windows Millenium (ME) at its worst. Now Vista has sunk to a new catastrophic's now being referred to as the second Titanic, which if you'll recall, sank on its maiden voyage.

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes made the comparison in an article published on He also writes for "An operating system (OS) isn't a stand-alone item" he writes. "For an operating system to be successful it has to both thrive within and further foster the hardware and software ecosystem in which it lives."

Not only does an OS need to be able to support hardware and software that currently exists, it also needs to be able to support hardware and software that will be developed a few years after it's released. Software and especially hardware incompatibilities with Windows Vista are among its biggest problems.

To date, the typical Vista installation has either worked great or been riddled by one constant problem after another. On a new machine with relatively decent specifications, Vista has proven more reliable than trying to upgrade an existing machine that's been around for a couple of years, although it still has some big problems when gaming.

The Windows Vista kernel was rewritten before it was released, and is constantly being changed by Microsoft as more bugs are found. A lot of software and drivers that worked for Windows XP probably won't work well, if at all, with Windows Vista.

A lot of hardware and software vendors have used Vista as an excuse to sell more hardware or updated software, rather than upgrading existing versions of drivers and software to work with Vista. That means that consumers who want to use their expensive new OS will have to shell out more money buying newer hardware or software. The majority of hardware and software vendors didn't get serious about developing Vista compatible software until Vista was released to manufacturing.  That means there wasn't time to test for compatibility issues while Vista was still (officially) in the beta phase.

Many home users have more than one computer and use more advanced features such as networking and file and printer sharing. It can be difficult setting up a small home network between Windows Vista and Windows XP.

As for Kingsley-Hughes, these are the reasons he gives for calling Windows Vista Titanic II. "The Titanic wasn't sunk by any single build or design flaw, it was sunk by the environment in which it operated, and Vista is suffering much the same fate" he writes.

Vista is being sunk by hundreds if not thousands of hardware and software incompatibilities. Not only does it affect existing Vista users, it also has a negative impact on anyone looking to switch to Vista any time soon.

More details about Vista Service Pack 1 (SP1) from Microsoft would probably help alleviate some of the doubt, but Microsoft remains quiet.

My opinion? It's unlikely that Vista SP1 will improve hardware and software compatibility issues when it is released. Some businesses and consumers are waiting for SP1 to help decide if and when to upgrade, too.

Your best bet, if you're brave enough, is to purchase Vista on a new computer. It'll probably work much better if you do. Otherwise, if what you're using is working for you, stick with it.

It might just keep you from drowning in the icy, miserable waters of software incompatibility.


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