I have wanted to be a Windows Vista user and developer since before it was released, but there always seemed like something didn’t work or some application I used kept crashing. The pure pain of the performance of Vista alone was not worth the "upgrade" from Windows XP.
I have tried both the 32 and 64-bit versions of Vista and had a horrible time, consistently running into problems trying to get the iPhone working with iTunes under Vista as well. I wrote about some issues before giving up.
- Windows Vista x64 and iTunes like Oil and Water
- ASP.NET Development Server Problems Under Vista
- Relieving the Headache of the iPhone on Windows Vista with iTunes
Once Vista Service Pack1 was released I decided to update a couple of my virtual machines (VMWare, no Virtual PC here) and was a bit disappointed by my observations, the VMs were not noticeably faster. I had heard SP1 was significant performance improvements over Vista RTM, but this was not so.
I had the opportunity to get my hands on a Vista disk with SP1 already part of the install, this way you don’t to install Vista and then install the service pack later. I did this first in a fresh virtual machine with 1G of RAM, the install was clean and the VM runs amazingly fast on VMWare Fusion on my MacBook Pro with 4G of RAM.
Since Vista ran so well in a VM on my Mac I decided to go for it and replace a flaky Windows XP installation on my main development system. The installation went very smooth and I did not have to install any third party drivers for my Asus motherboard.
Setting out to install all the necessary software packages like Visual Studio 2008, SQL Server 2005, iTunes and a ton of other packages has resulted in a very fast and stable platform. All of my issues with the iPhone and iTunes as well as the ASP.NET development server are gone. One of my biggest complaints, speed, seems to be a non-issue for me today.
After a few days of pretty heavy use I have to say I am pleased with Vista at this point. It shouldn’t matter installing Vista and the service pack later but it certainly seems to be better doing it this way.
If I look back to the days of Windows XP it did take Microsoft a couple service packs for users to adopt XP and be happy with it. There were performance complaints, stability issues and compatibility problem that were all overcome. I think this may be very much the same.
I think Vista is very good at this point and I have to admit it took me a lot to say it. I have been down on it since the release and all of the troubles I have faced. I have given a good deal of razzing to the Microsoft consultants I work with, they get paid to love Vista and poking at them has been a lot of fun.