This is in response to Robert Peston's whinge on his BBC blog. Mainly about how his iPAQ isn't supported on Windows Vista, and how Outlook XP makes him type his password in.

My HP iPAQ PocketPC will never be compatible with Vista, even though the software it runs is Microsoft software. Hey ho. That's an expensive and serviceable bit of kit written off prematurely.

That iPAQ would be running a very old version of Windows Mobile then. Windows Mobile Device Center (the actual software that interfaces with it, Windows Vista doesn't per-se) supports the last four versions of Windows Mobile.

Have you actually checked with HP to see if they have a ROM update that carries Windows Mobile 2003 or above? May be you should find out and if they don't, ask HP why they don't (let's be honest - they want you to buy a new one). A lot of Pocket PC manufacturers release updates. Perhaps you should shop around next time and find out which manufacturers have the best track record for doing this.

Your engineer has however held out the tantalising prospect that Olympus may produce new drivers such that I would eventually be able to transfer sound files from my digital voice recorder to my new Vista laptop. But so far, those drivers are proving a bit elusive and my digital recorder may also become redundant.

Right so this is an Olympus problem so why are you writing an open letter to Bill Gates? A guy who after all didn't handle the development of Windows Vista and a guy who doesn't and can't tell Olympus what to do without being dragged to court over being anti-competitive or abusing power of a near-monopoly.

I installed Office XP on my new laptop, and have been puzzled and irked that Outlook will not save sign-on passwords. It means I have to type in my passwords every time I check my e-mail accounts for new mail.

Right so it works other than that?

This is what AppCompat Guy says: "This was a difficult deliberate choice. During the development of Vista, it was discovered that the password storage algorithm used by Outlook was too weak to protect your data from future, potential attacks. Both the security and application compatibility teams decided that protecting your data outweighed the inconvenience of having to retype your passwords. As the appcompat representative, I can assure you this was not a decision we took lightly"

Right. So the password encryption used in Outlook XP (6 years old) could in theory within the next few years become retrievable using a realistic amount of CPU time on a compromised machine.

Between a rock and a hard place. What would you be saying if your e-mail password was compromised, yet Microsoft had the ability to prevent it? Well Microsoft have prevented it. What's worse you having to type your password in, or somebody potentially reading your e-mail?

So just to be clear, Microsoft has created a new operating system that isn't properly compatible with a best-selling, still perfectly useable version of its own software. Which of course provides quite a powerful incentive for me to spend up to £99.99 on upgrading to Microsoft Outlook 2007

You do not need the latest version of Outlook (2007). Even a four year old version of Outlook will do the job fine too.

The upgrade adviser (downloadable from Microsoft's website) would of told you your iPAQ wouldn't sync, it would of told you Outlook XP has some issues, and it probably would of said your Olympus voice recorder won't work or at the very least it doesn't have any information about it. May be you should just install Windows XP on the machine, and ask the supplier for a refund on Windows Vista?

And a quick word on all the comments on Robert's blog coming from the Apple-faithful, getting a Mac isn't the solution.

1) You'd have to spend well over one thousand pounds to get the thing doing nearly what the Windows machine did. You'd need new software, new hardware, new peripherals, etc. Instead of one or two things being incompatible virtually everything would be incompatible.

2) Apple have a horrible track record of compatibility. Just take the iChat application, if you're using an old (in Apple land old is just 2 years) version of Mac OS, say 10.3, you can no longer chat to people on 10.4, because Apple released an update for 10.4 which stopped people from being able to connect to the iChat application on 10.3, because they no longer supported 10.3. So that's a hundred pounds somebody would have to put down, just for a tiny incremental update so they could chat to somebody again. I won't even bother going into the whole Mac OS 9 -> Mac OS X thing, or the whole PowerPC -> x86 thing.

Get real, we're trying to ease the problems Robert Peston, and some other users are having, not make them twenty times worse.