I wasnâ€™t persuaded of the need to get XP when it originally came out, and Iâ€™ve kept krappy old win98SE on all my systems except on my new laptop, which came with XP Home. I have built 2 systems for friends with XP as the OS.
This has enabled me to look at XP but perhaps in not much depth, and I would be interested in hearing CDFreaksâ€™ observations in addition to mine, now that this is a â€œmatureâ€ OS which most of us have used.
Naturally, there are many sites which discuss this topic and probably many comments already on this forum, but I hope it will still be worthwhile to have a new discussion too.
Since I donâ€™t see many (any?) things good about XP, Iâ€™ll just list my top 10 most detested things in no particular order.
Iâ€™m assuming that such things as the stupid price, the total lack of security + ridiculous amount of patching required, the obtrusiveness of windoze media player and msn messenger, and the pure irritation of â€œactivationâ€ go without saying.
– Hardware labelled as â€˜plug and playâ€™ is often no such thing, maybe not even recognised by the system. Maybe this is the fault of the manufacturers but it equates to an OS issue in my opinion.
– On a new install, XP asks you if you want to do product activation now or â€œremind me every few daysâ€. Well, select that, and it only reminds you every few MINUTES.
– Windows explorer opens in the userâ€™s My Documents (or My Computer depending on your version of XP) every time and the way to change this is far from obvious. (Win 98 explorer by default opens with an expanded C:\ tree which seems pretty logical to me as that is more likely to serve your needs the majority of the time. )
– Boot menu. When there is a problem you can no longer do â€œstep by step startupâ€. When you have a serious problem, you can boot into a pseudo DOS environment called â€œrepair consoleâ€ or something. It responds to some traditional DOS commands but by no means all, and a lot of the /switches are absent making it all but nonfunctional. â€œSafe modeâ€ is much less stripped down than win9x safe mode, and therefore, err, less safe.
– When you plug in a USB flash drive or insert a CD (etc) windoze tries to analyse what data is on the disc and run an appropriate program. Despite telling it many times â€œtake no goddam action â€“ everâ€ it will keep on popping up, for ever.
– You get bullsh about â€œdriver signingâ€ every time you try to install one of the 98% of the drivers in the world that are not signed. Oh, and if you want to install your own driver from a specific location, it still starts by looking for A:\ as default â€“ how many drivers come on floppy nowadays?
– If you want to set XP up as anything other than USA you have to tell it your country in no less than four different ways. (Regional and Language options -> includes â€œstandardsâ€ and â€œlocationâ€ / Time Zone / Default input language)
– Desktop cleanup wizard. Why oh why?
– Two different types of DUN exist side by side, which appear in different ways and are buggy.
– The default for windows Find is to bring up some fecking irritating animated dog that somehow has escaped from MSOffice into a wider world (rather like Agent Smith â€“ soon all windows icons will be taken over and become â€œhelpfulâ€ cartoon animals). You can change the default for search to â€œadvancedâ€ which actually means â€˜easierâ€™ and â€˜quickerâ€™ â€“ i.e. it is just like the good old win98 search function.
In my opinion it is actually the irritating details like these that put you off an OS, just as much as the massive and glaring holes.