Thursday, January 15, 2009

Stupid Things Windows Still Does Under Vista

[Updated 6 May 2010]

I've been using Windows Vista on a new Dell Dimension desktop machine now for about a week, and I thought it would be useful to start keeping track of the really stupid things that Microsoft did not fix in its Windows operating system and Office applications

1. MIA text in text selection

Often when you select a block of text, one or more words will somehow disappear from the selection and get unselected by the time you try to copy it and paste it to somewhere else. It is as if a little gremlin tinkered with the selection to make sure you are not actually able to copy everything you want to.

2. Templates that are impossible to change

It is harder than ever to get rid of the silly complicated formatting in the Normal template in Word so that I can just type my documents in the simple way I like them in nice readable Times New Roman font.

3. Making Google Ask Permission Over and Over

Google Toolbar needs to update, but for some reason Windows bothers me and tells me I have to give my permission. And it does it twice right in a row.

4. Impossible Networking

If it were possible, networking is even harder to figure out in Vista than in XP. I don't want to have to administer a network (or a computer either, for that matter) -- I just want all my machines to work together.

5. Assumption that you are in a corporate setting

When Windows has a problem it can't fix by itself, often the error message says I should get help from my "Administrator." Yeah, right. Hello, Administrator? Administrator? Anybody there?

6. Blitzing your work during restart

Windows has to restart in order to finalize certain updates, which happens frequently. The OS still isn't smart enough to reopen all programs that were running when it decided to restart. As an online knowledge worker, I keep certain web sites open all the time, so every time Windows restarts I have to go find them all again. Also, I often need a certain web page open for reference for a day or two while I'm working on something. So if Windows needs to restart during the night, I lose any open work like that.

7. Thinking you want to rename folders

If you don't double-click just the right way, Windows thinks you are trying to rename a folder instead of open it. Several times I have almost renamed my hard drive!

AB -- Originally posted 18 March 2007, updated 6 May 2010