An Open Letter to Microsoft

Dear Microsoft,

I love you guys. I really do. I’ve spent most of my professional life working with your products. I love SQL Server so much, I read about and blog about it in my free time. I’ve even started a PASS chapter. I own 3 PC’s, plus an X-Box 360. I’ve owned 2 Windows Mobile devices. I program my websites in ASP.NET instead of PHP. Heck, I’ve even developed a Windows CE application. I think it’s safe to say I’m a big fan of yours.

So I have to ask… what the frilly heck happened with Vista? I mean, seriously.

I’ve tried. I really have. I first tried the 64-bit edition. Epic fail. I couldn’t install anything. What I did install, mostly didn’t worked. After only a couple of days, I gave up. I don’t think the world, or at least the average software vendor, is ready for 64-bitness. So I settled for 32-bit, which at least let me install most of my essential applications.

Now I’m trying to install SQL Server 2008 Developer Edition on my Vista laptop. I’ve installed SQL Server many times, but never before have I had so much trouble! I downloaded the ISO image from MSDN. Vista froze in the middle of the download, so I rebooted and tried again. Success. Now for the tricky part: mounting the ISO image as a virtual drive. I’ve always relied on your Win XP Virtual CD Control Panel in the past. It’s never once failed, until I tried to use it with Vista. Now, I realize I could have burned the image to a DVD, but the truth is, I didn’t feel like it. Call me lazy, but I’ve always liked the convenience of virtual drives. And really, if you’re providing an ISO image and you’re pushing Vista, you really should update your tool.

I then looked at your website, and you pointed me to Daemon Tools. This also did not work for me. You offered me a couple of other choices, but I didn’t feel like paying for what I used to have for free. Call me cheap, if you like. So instead, I had to Google for a solution. That’s right, I Google’d. I’d explain why, but I don’t really have the time to get into the issues with Live Search right now. Anyway, two wrong choices later, and I finally discover Virtual CloneDrive. This, at last, does what I need, and I proceed to install SQL Server.

First, the .NET Framework needs to be installed. No problem. I click “Install” and proceed to catch up on last season’s Heroes. When I next look at my laptop, it’s unresponsive. So, another cold reboot. I try again, and now it installs the latest patches with no problem. At this point, I finally get to the SQL Server installation screen, but it’s late, so I decide to come back tomorrow.

The next day, I boot up the laptop, configure my instance, and start the installation. And then… did you guess it? The computer froze. Again. So I cold reboot, and try again. This next time, the installation goes through smoothly.

I now have SQL Server installed on my Vista machine. So far, SQL Server appears to be running just fine. But I have to ask, did it need to be so painful?

I’ve tried everything I know. I’ve installed the latest patches, and upgraded all of my drivers. But I need to know, Microsoft… is it me? Did I do something wrong? Please let me know so I can fix it. Until I figure it out, I think I’m going to hold off on upgrading my other 2 PC’s to Vista.

Just so you know, I forgive you for wasting my time. And I still love you.

Michelle

Source: http://sqlfool.com/2009/02/an-open-letter-to-microsoft/

0saves
If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment or subscribing to the RSS feed to have future articles delivered to your feed reader.
Tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to An Open Letter to Microsoft

  1. Rhys says:

    I’ve never really had an issue with Vista andf I don’t really know why people are complainign so much. Load it up with RAM and get rid of all the fancy gui crap and you’re fine.

  2. If RAM’s my problem, then I’d consider buying more, but I would think 3 GB of RAM would be enough. And I’ve had no issue using Vista for e-mail or surfing the web. But if I want to actually *work* on it, I seem to have problems.

    I’m not inherently against Vista, but it was a very frustrating few days. :)

  3. Tim Ford says:

    Oh, how I echo my love and loathing of our mutual mistress that is Microsoft. She takes me away from my family, abuses me, and I keep on returning for more pain out of love and familiarity. I can only hope that “7″ is my lucky number or I may need to go elsewhere. (Like that will ever happen, and Microsoft unfortunately knows that.)

    While I had issues with Vista on my old systems, and have since “upgraded back to XP on those, I’ve had great success on my systems that were purchased after Vista released. I have to echo Rhys’ comments there. I even kept the gui crap because I like the ‘bling even when it makes my systems occasionally ‘blong.

    Good Post Michelle as always!

  4. Tim Mitchell says:

    Hear hear. After buying a high-end 64 bit machine preloaded with Vista and spending what must now be a couple of man-weeks getting it to perform at an acceptable level, I share your frustration. Hopefully we’ll all share a better experience with Windows 7.

  5. Brent Ozar says:

    This is why I use a Mac.

    Wait, put the monkey wrench down.

    Macs make fantastic hosts for VMware. I can run any OS’s I want as virtual machines, and Macs handle it all gracefully. The underlying host (OSX) is 64-bit, but who cares? It just works, and handles memory smoothly. It’s easier to add & remove programs, it’s visually gorgeous, and it’s fast.

    I’m reminded of all the driver problems every time I hassle with a new version of Windows. I tried running Windows 7 on a physical machine here and got so pissed off at the ATI driver reboot problems that I had to give up. Macs have none of those problems – although of course the downside is that you’re confined to the Mac hardware ecosystem. No build-your-own desktops here. (Yes, technically you can do it, but then you’re right back in driver hell, and what’s the point of that?)

  6. SQLBatman says:

    I am with Brent, my next laptop is a powerbook, just like he has, so i can run VirtualPC and build up whatever environments i desire. plus…ready for this? little to no need for antivirus software hogging up excessive resources.

    yeah, that’s right, i surf without protection. know what else? i go out of my way to click on links that i KNOW are unsafe, because they crap out immediately and then i just laugh and laugh. ah, good times.

    it is not you, Michelle, it is them. You deserve better than what they have to offer. Join me and Brent and we will show you what true happiness is like.

  7. Marcus Eklund says:

    Hi,

    I have been running Vista since first public beta and never had a problem with installing SQL och similar application, neither on my stationary or laptop.

    And neither did i have a problem on Windows 7 Public Beta, That lock up sounds like more of a nasty heat problem or bad drivers.

    If it is a laptop, make sure it doesn’t go hot since that causes a lot of problems.

  8. Brent Ozar says:

    Marcus – yep, my Windows 7 problems were due to the ATI video drivers. So now what? Am I not allowed to use Dells on Windows 7? Do I have to throw away my hardware and buy new hardware when a new version of Windows comes out? I don’t have that problem with Mac OSX, for what it’s worth.

  9. Must resist…. urge… to impulse buy…. a MacBook….

    Phew. That was close.

    But I think I’ll be giving it more than casual consideration when my notebook finally dies. If it’s good enough for Brent and that masked SQL man, it’s good enough for me!

  10. Michelle, the MacBook / Pro hardware is a little more expensive, but the stability is worth it. And the sexiness outweighs the public ridicule at Microsoft events. It just works better, looks better, and feels better. After a year with a 17″ MacBook Pro, I tossed out a dell for a Mac Pro as my desktop replacement. I do all my Windows work inside a VM or inside RDP. SQL development on its own can be accomplished with Aqua Data Studio. I still have a PC at the office but only because there is no budget for new Mac hardware, otherwise my “PC” would be silver, shiny, and less troublesome.

  11. Rob Boek says:

    I haven’t had a problem with SQL Server on Vista. That being said, I’m really excited about Windows 7. I’m currently running the x64 version on both my desktop at home, and my Lenovo X61T (I’m a Thinkpad fan).

    I’ve run both DAEMON Tools, and Virtual Clone Drive on Vista. For the 64-bit Windows 7 beta, I’ve had to switch to PowerISO. Microsoft really should add ISO mounting support in the box, but it hasn’t been a big issue for me either way.

    SQL Server 2008 does take a while to install if you choose to load everything, but then again, there is a lot being installed. I don’t find it unreasonable at all. In fact, rebuilding my laptop with Windows 7, MS Office, and SQL Server 2008 took less than 2 hours.

  12. SDC says:

    I agree with Brent and the SQLBatman. Michelle, you sound a bit like an abused partner making an excuse for the other person in this post. As Lilly Allen and SQLBatman say, it’s not you, it’s them. We’re among friends, we can all agree SQL Server is pretty much the best product Microsoft puts out anymore. But for now I’ll run my virtual machines on my MacBook and enjoy all the extra time I get to spend with my family now that I spend so much less time working with Windows. Thanks and peace out.

  13. SQLGuyChuck says:

    Don’t feel all alone Michelle, I bought an HP laptop with Vista 64bit and it works fine if I don’t hibernate, but when I do 90% of the time it comes up as if it crashed and error reports say there was some kind of issue with windows. Go figure. All drivers the latest too. I also just spent an hour trying to get past login screen, I finally had to boot in safe mode with no network support and shutdown and restart (fixing nothing) and it is working again…I am sure glad SQL runs so much better!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>