You bet we are!
Before Microsoft Vista was released to the general public, we had a discussion on the show about what to look for when buying a new Vista ready computer.
I mentioned that I was fearful that the tier 1 computer makers, Dell, HP, Compaq, Gateway, and the rest, will be selling low priced machines just like they have been with XP. But!!!!! Vista is a different animal. There are five versions.
My fear was that these makers would be putting Vista Home Basic on the low priced computers. Thereby, cheating the buyer out of the full Vista experience and a number of useful features. Vista Home Basic is a bastardizedversion of Windows just like Windows ME was to Windows 98.
In the meantime, Vista has now shipped. Many are finding that third party manufacturers are lagging behind in preparing their products for Vista, and that many of these third party product don’t work properly on Vista.
All that said my worst fear came true tonight.
I was asked by a friend to visit one of his employees homes to find out why the computer was running slow.
The user is a complete novice.
When I arrived, I discovered that he had just bought this computer from Dell and it came with Windows Vista Home Basic on it. Strike one.
When I sat down to the machine, the Dell support software was asking that the NVIDIA drivers be updated. We all know the NVIDIAs Vista drivers are not 100% yet don’t we? Ok. I do this. I took 15 minutes do install after I downloaded the update!!!
I proceeded to the System Information to find out what was in this machine. The processor was plenty fast. An AMD 3100, But, the video ram was just 64MB and system RAM was only 512MB.
In addition, I found the latest version of Norton Internet Security on the machine.
Oh, one more thing. The version of Sonic DVD software on the machine was not Vista compatible. Windows kept popping up a message stating an upgrade was needed.
With all of these issues in combination, it’s no wonder this machine ever ran.
I removed the Norton and replaced it with AVG antivirus and antispyware. I made sure the built in security feature were all enabled in Vista. Added 512MB more memory, removed Sonic replacing it with Nero, and guess what? Speed! And no errors! This machine was now running much better. More like a Vista machine should be running.
He is going to put a new ATI video card into it when he gets a little more money. That should help a lot. Then this customer will be a happy camper with his new machine.
The bottom line?
What the hell is Dell doing selling such a crippled machine? This machine should have 1GB of Ram, 128MB of Video Ram, and software that does not restrict the users ability to use the system. And, all of the software should be Vista compatible.
I am sure the other makers are just as guilty of doing the same thing with their low-end machines. I just have not bumped into one yet.
Why can’t the bottom line machine at least be good enough to make sure the buyer’s experience is a good one? Don’t sell middle of the road XP machines with the Vista label on them.
Get with it Dell.