For the most part I like windows. Perhaps I'm just more of an anti-mac zealot but either way windows does what I want it to. But my last experience was not a fun one at all.
First off Dell's "Vista ready" PCs were a complete ripoff. A relative of mine got their vista ready computer from dell back in January and just received her version of Vista now almost 5 months later. That is a travesty right there how buying a whole computer doesn't get you some kind of pre-order status is beyond me.
But once she had it I jumped at the chance to install it for her. The only way you really get good at windows is through practice and I do love to learn. I didn't have a ton of time and so I took the most direct rout and did an upgrade so all the files would stay in place and they would just have a shiny new OS wrapper.
For a Vista ready computer it definitely installed slow. And the process makes no sense. If I remember correctly the steps listed were: Transfer files, collect files, extract files, features and updates, and setup complete. If you just look at that it makes no sense. Why would you transfer files randomly so that they then had to be collected? Why would features and update just be one step? Why not tell people what the features are? How is setup complete a step? It's more like a message you get when your done.
The first 3 steps took about an hour which was frustrating but over all not horrible. I was excited when features and updates popped up to see what it was installing. It didn't give any indication of what it was installing and it was done in about 2 minutes. Wait... what? 2 minutes? Over 5 years and millions of man hours and your going to tell me that features and updates took 2 minutes? I suddenly feel a little ripped off.
Next was setup complete. I was happy to be done so I could play with Vista. I know they have more then 2 minutes of features no matter how dumb their setup was. Setup Complete took an hour to get to 50%. What was it doing? At this point I'm dieing for any indication of what it is doing. Even a list of files it was installing would be better then the flashing ellipsis to show that something is happening that is probably just an animated gif anyway instead of an actual indication of processing.
At 51% it had reinstalled the graphics card drivers and flashed the screen to show a decent resolution. At 54% the screen flashed black again but then restarted the computer. It started to load Vista and then crashed to a blue screen. This was a vista ready computer... it has no business crashing to a blue screen on install.
I tried a repair but after letting it run all night (I mean 50% of the OS was never "Setup Completed") but in the morning it was clear it wasn't actually doing anything but showing me a load bar that was an animated gif. I finally figured out how to restore XP but it was hidden on a option screen that only flashed a second on screen during boot time. I tried a second install but it failed in the same spot.
I didn't have enough time to do more or try backing everything up and trying a clean install. It hardly matter though because an XP to Vista upgrade should go smoothly no matter what. I'm kinda pissed and exhausted that nothing was accomplished after all that work.
(P.S. I don't need other OS zelots mocking me in the comments. Go ahead and try. I will censor you and maybe even edit your comment for comedic effect. I am a despot.)