Woody Leonhard of Infoworld summarizes the current state of Microsoft KB 2919355, the ambiguously-titled 'Windows 8.1 Update' (not to be confused with the update _to_ Windows 8.1).
In short: Microsoft has frozen two discussion threads on KB2919355 issues (after 103 and 116 pages of comments), and updated the Knowledge Base article with workarounds for seven major errors... some of which don't work.
In last week's Patch Tuesday, Microsoft changed their deadline for this Update until June (formerly they were requiring all Windows 8.1 and Server 2012 systems worldwide to have installed the Update in order to receive new patches).
Meanwhile, if you run a WSUS server, you may notice that the package for KB291355 (last reissued for the third time on 6 May) was apparently silently reissued over the weekend with a new release date of '15 May 2014', but there's no indication of any software updates in the KB article. The article revision number, however, now stands at '21.0'. Yes, twenty-one revisions. With no changelog.
Anyone else with interesting stories about your deployment issues with this Update?
I've installed both Vista and 8.1 recently, and had no issues with either. (Well, other than the general UI madness in 8.1)
I suspect the worst parts of Vista have been Windows Update'd away over the years - it runs fine now on my old desktop machine.
(I never touched Vista back when it was new, so I can't really compare.)
Your thoughts echo my experiences. Vista was appalling but service pack 2 makes it stable and usable. It's basically Win 7 with a slightly older GUI at that point although it still needs slightly more memory than Win 7.
I found the one Vista machine I had wouldn't take the SP 1 upgrade and I needed to download and run the Microsoft Upgrade diagnosis tool which sorts out any corruption or duff updates that may have occurred on the machine.
The updates take ages and it would be quicker to just install a Linux distro from scratch, but if you have Vista and you paid for it with your machine you may as well get it working well.