Ballmer's biggest regret while CEO was Vista's 'loopedy-loo'

Microsoft’s CEO, Steve Ballmer, is an individual who has been at the top of the Microsoft org chart for many years and over that tenure, he has made many great decision and some that he wishes he could do over again.

Mary Jo Foley was able to nab an interview with Ballmer and asked some of the questions we have been wondering about from his CEO tenure. The biggest question was what his biggest regret was when it comes to the decision he has made. To no surprise, Vista was among the decisions that took place under his watch that he wishes he could do over again. In his own words, Baller talks about his biggest regret.

Ballmer: Oh, you know, I've actually had a chance to make a lot of mistakes, and probably because, you know, people all want to focus in on period A, period B, but I would say probably the thing I regret most is the, what shall I call it, the loopedy-loo that we did that was sort of Longhorn to Vista. I would say that's probably the thing I regret most. And, you know, there are side effects of that when you tie up a big team to do something that doesn't prove out to be as valuable.

As is history, the launch of Vista was nothing short of a train-wreck for Microsoft and is certainly a black-eye on the company’s history. Vista was plagued with bugs and shaky driver support that caused the platform to crash frequently and Apple took advantage of this with their ‘Mac vs PC’ advertisements.

Of course, over the lifespan of the platform, it did eventually stabilize and became a competent OS but the public perception of the platform never recovered.

Make sure to hit the source link below to read more of the interview.

Source: Mary Jo Foley

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As well as it should be one of his biggest disappointments. Vista was and is still a big pile of dog doo-doo!

For his follow up to that disappointment, he allowed this crap called Windows 8 to be released and to totally shock the public with! Hence, the announcement to retire!

Granted, Windows 8 isn't as big a flop as Vista was driver wise and stuff, but still a flop, just the same, hence the need to already update it to 8.1.

Let me tell you another story... if this monkey stayed on CEO position for next five years and you had asked him again same question then he would have replied Metro crap on win 8 was his biggest mistake and wish he could have correct that. Let's wait for another 5 years and Win 8 and metro UI particularly will be taught in business school about things to learn from failed product. MS fan boys will definitely disagree but who cares.

Auditor said,
Let me tell you another story... if this monkey stayed on CEO position for next five years and you had asked him again same question then he would have replied Metro crap on win 8 was his biggest mistake and wish he could have correct that.

Conjecture.

“I would say probably the thing I regret most is the, what shall I call it, the loopedy-loo that we did that was… Vista,” and Windows 8. He knows that very well. I'll not miss this guy one bit. I am more eager to see some shake up and changes in Microsoft. I want them to hire someone young, talented with full of ideas and innovation for NEXT GEN. I want some next big thing coming from them to surprise everyone. Let's go Microsoft!

MaSx said,
“I would say probably the thing I regret most is the, what shall I call it, the loopedy-loo that we did that was… Vista,” and Windows 8. He knows that very well. I'll not miss this guy one bit. I am more eager to see some shake up and changes in Microsoft. I want them to hire someone young, talented with full of ideas and innovation for NEXT GEN. I want some next big thing coming from them to surprise everyone. Let's go Microsoft!

The man is able to speak for himself. I'm sure most would agree that the "regret" known as Windows 8 pales in comparison to what happened during the development of Windows Vista.

CygnusOrion said,
No. One can argue the Apple approach of full control(OS + hardware) is the only way to ensure the consumer gets a magical user experience.

I can argue with the experience being "magical". Unless I hit the 'shrooms before using my pc.

Biggest problem for Vista was that vendors didn't prepare ahead of the release with updated software that was compatible with Vista...and didn't pay attention to the pre-releases of Longhorn cause they figured Vista would have the same core as XP.

So..it made it seem like Vista was junk...when actually..it was the other way around. But vendors now take the pre-releases more seriously and have the software ready before the RTM.

As much as I bash Windows 8 (or more specifically, Metro), I'll still defend Windows Vista. It was a huge overhaul from Windows XP, and when it was released, many developers and manufacturers simply were not ready for it (despite the fact that they had plenty of time to prepare). Most consumers were not ready for it either, with outdated and slow PCs.

Windows 7 did some polishing here and there, but the changes weren't as significant as people tend to make it seem. By the time Windows 7 was released, developers and manufacturers were finally starting to get on-track with Vista support, which basically all worked with Windows 7.

As for Windows 8, I will say that the kernel people and others involved in "behind the scenes" features continued to do good work. It's the interface designers that drove the thing into the ditch.

Chugworth said,
As much as I bash Windows 8 (or more specifically, Metro), I'll still defend Windows Vista. It was a huge overhaul from Windows XP, and when it was released, many developers and manufacturers simply were not ready for it (despite the fact that they had plenty of time to prepare). Most consumers were not ready for it either, with outdated and slow PCs.

Windows 7 did some polishing here and there, but the changes weren't as significant as people tend to make it seem. By the time Windows 7 was released, developers and manufacturers were finally starting to get on-track with Vista support, which basically all worked with Windows 7.

As for Windows 8, I will say that the kernel people and others involved in "behind the scenes" features continued to do good work. It's the interface designers that drove the thing into the ditch.

vista was absolutely a huge update from XP.

I am sorry, but I can't help say that I think a lot of these posts missed the point here. It doesn't help that this quote was taken out of context though. "Longhorn to Vista" - is the kicker right there. Longhorn was supposed to be the ambitious followup to XP that was going to be huge: revised task-based (or "iterative") user interface, an extensible, dock-like, Sidebar, and a SQL Server 2003-based storage engine called WinFS (Windows Future Storage).

It ended up being too ambitious and scrapped, rebooted if you will, and Vista is what we got instead. The Aero interface is really the only thing that remained in Vista from the Longhorn initiative. I may be reading into this but I think Steve regrets having spent so many resources on Longhorn just to scrap it, start over, and release a half-baked product; Vista.

Darth Squishy said,
I am sorry, but I can't help say that I think a lot of these posts missed the point here. It doesn't help that this quote was taken out of context though. "Longhorn to Vista" - is the kicker right there. Longhorn was supposed to be the ambitious followup to XP that was going to be huge: revised task-based (or "iterative") user interface, an extensible, dock-like, Sidebar, and a SQL Server 2003-based storage engine called WinFS (Windows Future Storage).

It ended up being too ambitious and scrapped, rebooted if you will, and Vista is what we got instead. The Aero interface is really the only thing that remained in Vista from the Longhorn initiative. I may be reading into this but I think Steve regrets having spent so many resources on Longhorn just to scrap it, start over, and release a half-baked product; Vista.

You forgot to mention that "Longhorn" was to be mostly built on top of the .NET Framework.

However, there are other features from "Longhorn" included with Windows Vista besides the Aero interface, some of which include: breadcrumbs in the address bar, indicators for drives in the Computer folder, parental controls, and "live" scalable icons. Windows Vista also includes the Windows Presentation Foundation (codenamed "Avalon") and the Windows Communications Foundation (codenamed "Indigo").

I feel that "Longhorn" is, at least conceptually, Microsoft's greatest endeavor and the pinnacle of operating systems. As much as it pains me to admit it, I often think of Windows Vista as "Longhorn" with only one horn. If Microsoft did not have that (mostly) self-imposed 2006 deadline, I'm sure Windows Vista would have had more in common with its 2003 incarnation.

Edited by Ian William, Aug 24 2013, 12:27am :

Yup, and down the road when it finally sinks into his extremely thick skull he will realize Windows 8 and 8.1 were the biggest 'loopedy-loo' of all.

Vista was slow on mediocre hardware, but I disagree that it was unstable. I ran the RTM from November 2006 up to the Alpha of Windows 7. Vista had its problem, but I think it was the timing that was the problem and the lack of industry support around it. Most IHVs didn't get drivers ready until after Vista was generally available.

And that OEM's sold PC's full of crap, Norton internet security with a grand total of 512mb of ram, minus what ever was reserved for integrated graphics.

I remember my mates Grandma been really disappointed her new pc with Vista took over 7 mins to load up and be usable. In comparison her old Windows ME pc took about a minute.

Maybe Vista could have been done better, but part of it's problems was getting driver writers used to creating proper WDDM drivers and program creators used to not requiring admin privileges and dumping files everywhere.

And SP1 was a HUGE fix for many of the problems. I installed many SP's over the years many times and I don't think anything ever took as long as SP1 for vista.

My bet, is that people that protected Vista is not protecting Surface RT saying "it is a good product", "it is MS fault" an such.

Aside from being a resource pig, the whole point of vista was to exploit stupid people.

Its absolutely insulting that a company has to release 6 variations of the same product! So some non computer person looking at this spreadsheet sheet of a comparison chart is probably thinking to themselves hm.... well... bit locker sounds safe and secure... I should probably spend $200 more and get Ultimate... ultimate... sounds amazing!

Of course I'm probably going to read later Hey now! It brought diversity man! Scroogled man right!?

And by and large, who did the exploiting? OEMs - not Microsoft. (And not even all OEMs did so - how many of Vista's multiple SKUs did Dell or even HP offer? Other than corporate customers, Dell and HP concentrated on just two SKUs - Home Premium and Ultimate - for both Vista and 7. The OEMs had gotten off that bus by the time Windows 8 came around - which is why 8 has a mere three SKUs.)

Oh they both have been playing the licensing game VERY WELL and they have it down to a science. The more useful your product is, the more exploitable it is.

This is the very reason why competition in the tech industry is GOOD. Look at the mobile market right now; Windows Phone does not (and thank you Google and Apple) have to market share to screw us with their licensing stunts right now like they tried with Windows Mobile 6.

Microsoft is consistently the only company that splits up their SKUs as much as possibly and charges the living **** out of them.

Microsoft Windows: Cash Cow
Microsoft Office: Cash Cow
Visual Studio (COME ON): Cash Cow
Microsoft's Enterprise Software: We gettin' arab money + cash cow + Rockefeller would smirk

All thanks to licensing WOO HOO!

Vista wasn't a problem, blame OEMs for offering Vista systems with 512mb of ram. Or even Nvidia with their half baked drivers.

OEMs dragged their feet on driver support for years in some cases. The OS never had a chance. Still managed to lay the ground work for Windows 7.

yowanvista said,
Vista wasn't a problem, blame OEMs for offering Vista systems with 512mb of ram. Or even Nvidia with their half baked drivers.

Exists a comment of an Intel engineer about how MS changed the drivers for Windows Vista and how horrible was to migrate to this new technology and hoe MS did it nothing to help it.

Brony said,

Exists a comment of an Intel engineer about how MS changed the drivers for Windows Vista and how horrible was to migrate to this new technology and hoe MS did it nothing to help it.

I would have sympathy if Intel weren't one of the main origins of driver problems throughout my current IT career before and long after Vista. I especially like how they have previously lied in their OpenGL 2.0 compliance reporting and ineptitude to handle application GDI+ calls correctly for an entire chipset line.

yowanvista said,
Vista wasn't a problem, blame OEMs for offering Vista systems with 512mb of ram. Or even Nvidia with their half baked drivers.

And who authorized OEMs to put "Vista ready" and "Vista capable" or whatever the wording was , on theose boxes?

Fritzly said,

And who authorized OEMs to put "Vista ready" and "Vista capable" or whatever the wording was , on theose boxes?


MS had its fair share of blame, but it's really XP-era PCs that weren't even capable of handling Vista which was deemed too resource heavy at that time. OEMs couldn't offer decent Vista systems, those same manufacturers provided buggy drivers. Those systems may have been approved to run Vista but the reality was that they were hardly able to perform with all the OEM bloatware installed. That hugely contributed to Vista's poor reception.

Brony said,

Exists a comment of an Intel engineer about how MS changed the drivers for Windows Vista and how horrible was to migrate to this new technology and hoe MS did it nothing to help it.

They had years to get it right, but they started working on it at the end of 2006, when it was already to late.

Longhorn was awesome, tried a few builds, even though it was slow as balls on my then 'decent' machine. (AMD 5000+, 1,5gb of ram). When Vista came out I was slightly disappointed, but it ran an incredible amount smoother on the same system(by then with 3gb of ram) which more then made up for it.
And reading back on why they dropped Longhorn for a 'reset', Makes sense and it showed definitely in the Longhorn builds.

I also never had any issues with Windows Vista the product itself, other than waiting for about a month for them to release a compatible WMDC. In fact I thoroughly enjoyed it, especially Media Center and its HD recording and Instant Search.

I think what Ballmer is referring to is the 5-year development of Vista from what was code-named Longhorn back in 2002/2003. This is a product that should have been done in 2004, or 2005 tops. The fact that they did a reset really hurt them, and that's why manufacturers weren't ready with drivers and compatible hardware when it came out.

Vista was great i thought, like you i loved how much Media Center had advanced since XP MCE 2005, then even more so in Windows 7.

Too bad Media Center has pretty much been killed off in Windows 8, such a letdown.

Windows 8 is more stable, fast and secure that Windows 7. Desktop is same as on Windows 7. Plus we got touch friendly environment. ....If someone can't get full screen start menu i think that person is a complete moron.

Vladimir Krstic said,
Windows 8 is more stable, fast and secure that Windows 7. Desktop is same as on Windows 7. Plus we got touch friendly environment. ....If someone can't get full screen start menu i think that person is a complete moron.
What I never understood is how people can say that windows 8 is horrible, if all they have to do is download one small app of which there are many to choose from to return to the old way, also there is now multiple ways people can actually use windows with windows 8, before there was just the start menu. Now there is the start screen, or start8, or classic start, that pokki start thing in Leveno's . What Microsoft actually did with windows 8 is allow a more customized experience if people so choose.
Where is the problem with this choice? The fact that by default it doesn't suit you? Tell that to all the windows blinds users who change things to suit them instead of them bitching about it.

MikeChipshop said,

Hahaha oh dear. You sir, have the balls of an Ox


In the minds of Windows 8 users who love it, meh, not so much.

I tried Windows 8 for a week when it launched, did not like it, or perhaps never accepted the start screen. Its been 3 days since I upgraded to Windows 8 again (after my comments here were torn to bits) to give it another try, loving it since day 1.

If any of you is reading (from the old news), I was wrong on those threads.

Vladimir Krstic said,
Windows 8 is more stable, fast and secure that Windows 7. Desktop is same as on Windows 7. Plus we got touch friendly environment. ....If someone can't get full screen start menu i think that person is a complete moron.

I really didn't find it to be noticeably faster and since Windows 7 has never crashed on me ever I certainly can't say it was more stable either. More secure, perhaps but I've never had any security problems with Windows myself in the last 20 years of using it. As for the desktop being the same as Windows 7, not even close. It is so horribly ugly. That close button and those solid pastels...eww.

I know that's my opinion but I hate it; it looks unfinished and unrefined, like the stripped down Aero Basic in Vista/7 Starter Edition only uglier. I'll not even go into Metro; in any case what few positives I found in Windows 8 (and for me they were very few) were far outweighed by all the negatives. Enough about that though, its been argued about here endlessly I guess.

Greatest designers from bauhaus till very day and I as modes designer will disagree with you about visual appearance. As we call it today - "flat" design is alpha and omega of graphic design, only style that is truly timeless. You can follow how Google's visual identity becomes flat from day to day. Even Apple acquire flat design, they put those gradients in iOS 7 only because they are too proud to look exactly the same.

It's totally okay that you don't like Windows 8 and prefer 7. But it's absurd to hate it.

Vladimir Krstic said,

It's totally okay that you don't like Windows 8 and prefer 7. But it's absurd to hate it.

Why is one ok but the other absurd? They are both opinions just as it is your opinion that "flat" is a great design. It can be good, but the implementation used in Windows 8 are extremely ugly to me.

It's not only my opinion, virtually all professors of design will say that and they say that. Bauhaus school is base and "best" style in graphic design. We learned that through long history.

Let's say i love Mercedes-Benz more than BMW but I would never dare to say that BMW sucks because Mercedes style fits me better. It's absurd to hate something just because it's different. Windows 8 will never crash or lag, it will never let you down like Vista did back in time.

Being professors does not make their opinions any more important than anyone else's and it certainly doesn't make it a fact. That's the nice thing about opinions, everyone is free to have their own and no one can make them change it or tell them they're wrong. I'm glad you are happy with Windows 8 but it just isn't my cup of tea.

Also Vista, while it did have a few problems, never really let me down and 7 certainly hasn't. Anyway all that I said was I hate the way 8's UI looks; nothing absurd about that. It's just how I feel.

Why should someone have to download anything to make a usable OS? Microsoft should have given users the choice of UI from the get-go. Regrettably, arrogance got in the way.

TsarNikky said,
Why should someone have to download anything to make a usable OS? Microsoft should have given users the choice of UI from the get-go. Regrettably, arrogance got in the way.

So does that mean you use the WMP, IE, Paint, and all other MS software that come bundled with it and have no alternates whatsoever?

TsarNikky said,
Why should someone have to download anything to make a usable OS? Microsoft should have given users the choice of UI from the get-go. Regrettably, arrogance got in the way.

It is usable. If you can't adapt to change download a start menu replacement.

Vladimir Krstic said,

Windows 8 will never crash or lag, it will never let you down like Vista did back in time.

Sorry but you can never say never, iv`e had many a time on one box when iv`e clicked the desktop tile to quick and the system has just completely frozen. Sometimes i can get away with just restarting Explorer, others i have to power down!

JHBrown said,
Ballmer, I can't read minds, but I think you meant to say Windows 8.

I have to say, you're quite a pro at trolling Windows 8. You don't miss an opportunity to get a shot in.

IgorP said,

I have to say, you're quite a pro at trolling Windows 8. You don't miss an opportunity to get a shot in.

If that's what you call trolling. I just have a strong opinion on the mess Microsoft created. I guess I troll a lot of things in life. I troll former President Bush, I troll the Hummer line of SUVs, I troll pickles, I troll obese families sitting in an ice cream parlor eating sundaes, I'm just a troll according to some people who don't understand that everyone has different tastes and opinions.

Blueclub said,
I tried Windows 8 for a week when it launched, did not like it, or perhaps never accepted the start screen. Its been 3 days since I upgraded to Windows 8 again (after my comments here were torn to bits) to give it another try, loving it since day 1.

If any of you is reading (from the old news), I was wrong on those threads.

So what makes you think that you are not wrong AGAIN.

Auditor said,
So what makes you think that you are not wrong AGAIN.

Because if I was, I would have been back on Windows 7.

Windows 8 grows on you. If you really hate it, try it as your main for a month or more and then tell us your experience.

Blueclub said,

Because if I was, I would have been back on Windows 7.

Windows 8 grows on you. If you really hate it, try it as your main for a month or more and then tell us your experience.

I highly believe that problem with Windows 8 adaptation is that people don't give it a real shot. First impression is strongest and most important but also is usually very wrong. You need to spend some time with someone/something to see true value of it. First impression for Windows 8 is totally different than anything we know, we fear of unknown. People had fears of fire long ago, then they had fears of medicine, even at some point people saw computers as their doom. I hated Windows 8 back in Developer Preview but as I understand the UI concept behind it i knew it's the right way to go. In few weeks i got used to it and i love it now. Still Windows 8 isn't perfect but it's "best" base for future User experience. Modern UI is only sustainable concept for all kind of devices... from 3 inch to 100 inch viewports. Imagine projected Modern UI then imagine any other UI you know also projected(on small glass, on big wall...), who will be more easy to use? Imagine one live tile on smart watch and then imagine one iOS icon that fits same screen size? Modern UI is futureproof just give it a try, or maybe time...

Blueclub said,

Because if I was, I would have been back on Windows 7.

Windows 8 grows on you. If you really hate it, try it as your main for a month or more and then tell us your experience.

I use windows 8 and the only reason I use it because I bought it for only $15, better multi monitor support, and use it with startisback. The problem with windows 8 is metro crap which MS force feed to users. If MS had given users option then it would not have been that bad. I don't see any bright future for Metro as it seems it will go on the way of Bob. Lenovo, biggest PC vendor, started using Pokki as alternative to start screen. Abysmal app for metro portion and overall negative impression of Metro is bringing windows 8 down and not to mention has cost two top executives to be kicked out of MS. Fanboys will definitely disagree but that's why they are fanboy.

Auditor said,

I use windows 8 and the only reason I use it because I bought it for only $15, better multi monitor support, and use it with startisback. The problem with windows 8 is metro crap which MS force feed to users. If MS had given users option then it would not have been that bad. I don't see any bright future for Metro as it seems it will go on the way of Bob. Lenovo, biggest PC vendor, started using Pokki as alternative to start screen. Abysmal app for metro portion and overall negative impression of Metro is bringing windows 8 down and not to mention has cost two top executives to be kicked out of MS. Fanboys will definitely disagree but that's why they are fanboy.

In what way Metro ruins your experience? Far as i know Start was used to launch apps and search PC? Start screen is the same thing just in full screen, plus you can arrange better your apps. Just unpin all RT apps, pin those you use. I don't get it....

Vladimir Krstic said,

In what way Metro ruins your experience? Far as i know Start was used to launch apps and search PC? Start screen is the same thing just in full screen, plus you can arrange better your apps. Just unpin all RT apps, pin those you use. I don't get it....

Don't even bother. Metro haters cannot be reasoned to with logical thinking, the only thing they know is their own irrational hate of something that they are unwilling to adapt to.

siah1214 said,
Don't even bother. Metro haters cannot be reasoned to with logical thinking, the only thing they know is their own irrational hate of something that they are unwilling to adapt to.

True, and I get what you mean... now.

JHBrown said,
If that's what you call trolling. I just have a strong opinion on the mess Microsoft created. I guess I troll a lot of things in life. I troll former President Bush, I troll the Hummer line of SUVs, I troll pickles, I troll obese families sitting in an ice cream parlor eating sundaes, I'm just a troll according to some people who don't understand that everyone has different tastes and opinions.

I call it trolling when you make inane, generic, negative comments constantly and in news stories that have nothing to do with Windows 8.

Vladimir Krstic said,
Greatest designers from bauhaus till very day and I as modes designer will disagree with you about visual appearance. As we call it today - "flat" design is alpha and omega of graphic design, only style that is truly timeless. You can follow how Google's visual identity becomes flat from day to day. Even Apple acquire flat design, they put those gradients in iOS 7 only because they are too proud to look exactly the same.

It's totally okay that you don't like Windows 8 and prefer 7. But it's absurd to hate it.

Bauhaus designers will tell you that a flawed chromatic composition can ruin any design. Johannes Itten would cringe at Windows 8 start screen color design.

JHBrown said,
Same here. Vista ran fine for me. Though I was running what you would call a beast for that particular hardware era.

Same here, no issues with Vista at all. For me the issue was OEM's squeezing it on to hardware it wasn't designed for.

Vista was a necessary transition. Drivers were sloppy and could bring down the entire OS. PC hardware needed a kick in the pants, getting everyone off their 2.8 Ghz single core P4s and 512 MB of RAM. Windows 7 would not have been nearly the success that it was if Vista didn't pave the way by generating demand for better hardware and better drivers.

His regret is not release of Vista or it's performance. It's the long, messy, delayed development of Vista. Vista disturbed the Windows Cycle, it released around 6 years after XP, and 3-4 years after first public beta (Longhorn).
I think here he is referring the transition from Longhorn to Vista.

Vista, did have terrible drives support and the performance is just awful.

Once of my family's PC is vista, and it is just terrible... horrible... I cannot be bothered to buy 7 for it, since the whole PC is due for an upgrade, but the Vista was truly bad.

Anyone who thinks otherwise, must have had some great supported hardware to run it on.

Hell, even laptops with Vista sticker on them did not run normally and businesses made money installing XP back on them. Happened to a lot of people I know,.

I had issues with Vista, but they were all purely down to drivers and nothing to to with Vista itself.

Having got Vista the moment it came out, the biggest problem were drivers from both AMD and Nvidia. They were ridiculously bad. For Nvidia in particular their drivers would literally crash ever few minutes (even on the desktop while doing nothing), you would get "displayed driver stopped responding" constantly. This problem affected what seemed to be most of Nvidia users. So a BIG user base. It went on for about 2 - 3 months after Vista's release until the drivers got usable-ish and the crashing happened less. It took about 6 months to completely fix the issues for everyone.

I believe this was the biggest issue with Vista in regards to bad public perception.

NoClipMode said,
I had issues with Vista, but they were all purely down to drivers and nothing to to with Vista itself.

Having got Vista the moment it came out, the biggest problem were drivers from both AMD and Nvidia. They were ridiculously bad. For Nvidia in particular their drivers would literally crash ever few minutes (even on the desktop while doing nothing), you would get "displayed driver stopped responding" constantly. This problem affected what seemed to be most of Nvidia users. So a BIG user base. It went on for about 2 - 3 months after Vista's release until the drivers got usable-ish and the crashing happened less. It took about 6 months to completely fix the issues for everyone.

I believe this was the biggest issue with Vista in regards to bad public perception.

While I personally did not have big problems, mainly because I used a new, overpowered box, the spped of transferring dat data, fixed in SP1, was real.

Lord Method Man said,
Vista never gave me any issues; though when I first used it I was upgrading from the trainwreck that was Windows XP Professional x64 Edition.

Oddly enough XP x64 must have stabilized just like Vista did. I've never used Vista much, but I've been running XP x64 for years now on one of my PCs. I've had very little issue with it... and I've thrown some strange hardware at it...

Vista sucked big time. I bought a shiny new laptop Lenovo that came with Vista and it was a dog, totally unusable - 5-10 minutes to boot up. I bought Windows 7 when it came out and put it on the same laptop. I'm still using it today - it flies and is very responsive. A totally different experience!

domboy said,
Oddly enough XP x64 must have stabilized just like Vista did. I've never used Vista much, but I've been running XP x64 for years now on one of my PCs. I've had very little issue with it... and I've thrown some strange hardware at it...

XP x64 came out in 2005 and shared Server 2003 x64's kernel, so it was already pretty solid from the get-go.

I ran it on my primary machine from the time it came out until Windows 7. I had some pretty specific hardware and didn't try to trip it by throwing all the strange peripherals I could find at it, and it served me well. I was still into gaming at the time, and having XP x64 wasn't an impediment in any way.