For the last 3 or 4 weeks, since my PC died, I have been running Vista Home Premium strictly and I still have to say – even with SP 1, there are a lot of reasons why a normal user would get bent, and even more reasons why someone like me could get fed up and go back to XP Pro. Still, I think that a fair amount of the problems are due to 3rd party developers not doing their due-diligence when developing apps and drivers.
I noticed that my machine no longer goes to sleep when I tell it starting about a week or week and half ago. At first I thought it to be that hybrid sleep mode was disabled and hibernation was enabled. Nope. I fiddled and I Googled for an hour to two, and finally chucked in the towel after a day of settings changes to no avail. Last night I found the solution. Resident applications running in the background.
I was looking at my System Configuration settings for Startup (found under Control Panel > Administrative Tools > System Configuration > Startup tab) and what I saw was a laundry list of applications. It didn't take me long to identify some I don't need: Adobe Gamma, Logitech Keyboard Mapper, and a couple others. After I turned these off in the applications settings, magically my computer would go to sleep again. Also given the last thing on the list that I installed before my sleep problem was the software for my Logitech G15 Keyboard, I am pretty sure that is the culprit. This isn't the first time I have run into issues with Logitech's keyboard software. I also have a Wireless Desktop (I forget the designation) that when they came out with new software for I had to revert back to an old version because the security of the application wouldn't let me use quick keys in Photoshop. There was some configuration process for it, but it always failed on the last step and simply hung until I force quit.
Consequently my machine boots a little faster now, but it is still slow as hell to boot up – especially after installing SP 1; which overall has improved the performance.
I still have 24 other apps running resident on my machine, some of which are going to get the boot here soon. This is something that most folks don't really think about and maybe they should. These applications can suck a lot of memory, like Adobe's Acrotray which just waits for you to open a PDF file, and helps it along uses almost 3 mb of RAM – to do nothing 90% of the time. Buh-bye.
These types of problems, memory leaks, over CPU utilization or whatever with these little apps is just poor development. I know Software Development can be hard, I know its hard to build to every possible PC and hardware variation – but these in particular deal directly with the OS. Maybe if all these companies weren't always in such a hurry to get on to the next latest and greatest they could spend the time needed to make a solid app, rather than a mediocre app that needs 15 patches in it's lifespan.
And Microsoft is already talking about Windows 7….