Fun with Windows Vista…

Well, I’ve been running Windows Vista for a couple of weeks now. All in all, I think I’m getting used to it. It certainly looks nicer than Windows XP did (I was using WindowBlinds to make my desktop look nicer), and some of the design decisions are rather nice.

Still, it’s definitely not without its drawbacks. So far I’ve encountered five different issues that royally annoy the hell out of me. Granted, only three of them are Microsoft’s fault, but it still irks me to no end. I definitely hope they’re fixed sooner rather than later.

  • ATI’s beta video drivers for Vista have really poor OpenGL support. I wouldn’t be quite annoyed by this yet if it wasn’t for the fact that Defcon apparently uses OpenGL for rendering, and the game runs slowly as a result. (By contrast, Counter-Strike: Source runs about the same as it did under XP.)
  • User Account Control is a pain in the ass. Not only is it very intrusive (stopping EVERYTHING while it waits for your prompt), it has a bug where if (My) Documents is on a network share, it can’t read the network drive and as a result a number of programs fail to install.
  • The built-in support for Windows Mobile devices (takes the place of ActiveSync) is buggy. Installing programs for the device doesn’t work as the program doesn’t recognize ActiveSync as being installed, and transferring files to/from the device never works (it copies maybe 40k and then crashes, severing the link between the PC and the device).
  • Logitech has yet to release SetPoint software (for the keyboard and mouse) that will work properly with Vista.
  • Winamp is my preferred media player. However, no matter what I do, Vista INSISTS that Windows Media Player be the default player for most media files. Granted, I might need to check WMP itself, but it’s annoying that I can’t just tell Winamp to be default and it’s automatically recognized. (Even if I go into the “default programs” place to change that on the Start menu, it won’t let me change media settings.)

Otherwise, Vista’s been working fine for me, and I’d rather keep it. Still, it makes my life difficult dealing with some of these issues. (I got around one, UAC, by completely disabling it.) Hopefully MS, ATI, and Logitech will fix the issues sooner rather than later. Ah, well.

EDIT – 7:57 PM – Well, this thread on the Winamp Forums explains what the problem with Winamp and Windows Media Player is: apparently there’s an extra step or two Winamp needs to add to the registry so that normal programs can alter the file associations without requiring administrative access. Ah, well, I suppose we’ll see that before the official Vista release.