Since we released LandlordMax with full Windows Vista support, we started to notice a certain level of error reports coming with messages stating that the software couldn’t write data to database because the database folder was read-only. Obviously, if the database folder is set to read-only, it can’t write, but the big question is why are any database folders being set to read only? Was it specific to Vista?
At first it was only a few read-only errors so it was harder to nail down. But it didn’t take us long to isolate it to Windows Vista. Although we support Windows Vista, only a small percentage of our customers use it. I believe the current market share is somewhere in the the single digits percentage wise. But as time passes and we add more and more Vista customers, not to mention Vista growing their market share. It’s a growing issue for us and all other software vendors as you’ll soon see if you aren’t already experiencing this issue.
After a lot of investigation we discovered that the “read-only Vista issue” is very prevalent. It’s frustrating a lot of users! To give you an example of just how big an issue this is with Vista, I just did a Google Search and found these threads here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here within seconds. A lot of people are complaining, it’s affecting a lot of software. But worse, it’s not just affecting the software applications but also the users data folders. For example a lot of people are also complaining that they can’t even edit their pictures.
Delving further into the issue, what’s happening is that Microsoft is trying to add extra security to prevent “Malware” from getting onto your computer. Whether or not this is the right approach is an entirely different discussion, but the downside is that it’s definitely causing a lot of frustration to their users! As I’ve already said a lot of people are complaining. Software vendors are getting hit with a lot of extra “support” costs to deal with this issue. After all, if the software doesn’t work, it’s probably the software vendor. Not in this case, but you can’t blame the customer. I initially had the exact same reaction. Windows Vista is still too new that most people haven’t yet figured out this is a Windows Vista issue.
On top of this, something we’re just starting to experience, sometimes if you change the file properties from read-only to read/write (ie uncheck the read-only file attribute), it comes back as read-only!!! What? I uncheck the checkbox, close the folder properties dialog window, and re-open it only to find the read-only checkbox selected. And yes I’m in Admistrator mode. I myself am confused and I’m nowhere near a novice user. I can only imagine the storm that’s going on as most people would have no idea what to do.
Up until recently all our customers could resolve this issue by just changing the folder permissions (at least as far as I know). Now this doesn’t always work. There’s no indication of what to do anywhere within Windows Vista. It changes your settings without you wanting to. I’m personally at a loss and will be contacting Microsoft on Monday to see what’s going on.
I have no doubt that they will have to revisit their decision on this aspect as they gain market share and it becomes more obvious what’s happening within the community at large. I can only imagine the scale of the storm that’s already brewing…