back to article Counterfeit Vista rate half that of XP

The piracy rate for Windows Vista is less than half that of Windows XP, according to Microsoft. The vendor made the claim as it revealed plans to further curtail piracy when it launches the first service pack for Vista. Redmond attributes tougher anti-piracy measures in Vista, which it intends to further improve, for its …

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Silver badge

To modify a common joke...

Why do seagulls fly upside down over boxes of MS Vista? Answer, nothing worth shitting on. I suspect that is the real reason why the counterfeit rate is lower.

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Gates Horns

Nobody wants to pirate it, obviously!

Why bother running counterfeit Vista when counterfeit XP works better on your machine?

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Alert

vista piracy lower?

This could have something to do with no one wanting vista due to it being less use than a chocolate teapot

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Gates Horns

*Ahem*

"Customers want to know the status of their systems, and how to take action if it turns out they were victimized,""

I'd submit that given that MS are apparently incapable of keeping their spyware in functional condition ( http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/08/27/wga_server_outage_aug_2007/ , http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/10/04/microsoft_wga-validation_snafu/ ), then I'd suggest that the most likely "victimization" is of legitimate customers, who'll end up with nagware demanding that they repurchase software they've already bought...

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Stop

Isn't a likely reason for this ...

... that most people don't want Vista enough to bother using hookey copies?

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Worse than a car stuck in first gear

Ignoring the obvious comment that normal functionality mode can be like driving a car stick in first, Reduced Functionality Mode is worse as about the only thing you can do in this mode is to go through the activation process. At least a car stuck in first will get you there eventually...

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Stop

Who is the great pretender?

Would I be wrong in thinking that the real reason Vista piracy rate is lower than XP is because it's a pile of shite?

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Happy

Reason

I think the reason for this is the fact that not many people want Windows Vista, or their PCs are not capable of running it. In order to install Vista you need a very high spec PC, and if you can afford a high spec PC then you can afford a copy of Vista as well.

I think we will see a lot more counterfeit copies of Vista when compatible PC prices drop.

I purchased a copy of Vista, but then just removed it and am currently happily using XP.

Adnan

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Jobs Horns

This is silly.

"The changes Microsoft has introduced with Vista SP1 are designed to go after pirates and counterfeit software in a way that minimises any disruption to our genuine customers, according to Sievert."

Why should there be any "disruption" to genuine customers at all? This isn't something that should be "minimised", it simply shouldn't happen at all. Wankers.

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Flame

Ok, enough...

Enough with the Vista bashing. I've had it. I hate M$ as much as the next guy, but Vista does have it's uses. If you've got lots of ram, then you've got to have it. If you want to run Windoze apps and you want to use your fancy 64bit cpu to the fullest, then you've got to have it. Let's all be honest about it.....

I still use 2000 a fair bit, and XP a bit too. I've also used Vista enough to see that if you've got the hardware for it, it's really fast - even with Aero on. Put that hardware in XP or 2000, and you won't see that sort of speed.

Ok - flame on.

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Wait for Vista SP1

I imagine like XP SP1 they'll beef up the copy protection stuff when they release Vista SP1. So that all the pre cracked torrents your seeing now will fail to install and already installed ones will complain.

Then I think Vista and XP will probably be equal.

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Linux

I didnt realise you could do that....

I mean, did they just go into a pub and say "Anyone who pirated, raise your hand" now did they? Its a meaningless statistic build on meaningless absurd assumptions.

But yeah, could also be noone wants it, even at "£0" too.

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Anonymous Coward

lol

XP piracy goes up as people format their machines of vistaids and put an operating system that works back on their computer.

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Gates Horns

Can't even give the shit away?

lol

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Who needs it?

I wouldn't install Vista on my Home PC if it was given free by M$. So why would anyone in their right mind pirate it? Most of the converts to Vista are people who buy a new PC and it comes with Vista installed.

Why is M$ so desperate to get every last sale of Windows when they already have more money than they know what to do with?

One of the main reasons I don't want Vista is because of all the Activation and WGA crap. If I have one PC and one Windows licence, why should I have a hassle if I want to upgrade some of the hardware components to make it run faster? Why does Windows have to be in your face all the time?

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Paris Hilton

Could it be...

...that the reason such an unusually high percentage of Vista machines are passing validation (if one chooses to believe Redmond PR) might, possibly, owe something to the fact that the worlds no. 1 selling Vista crack (the OEM BIOS certificate trick) fools Micro$oft so completely that "pirate" installations pass "validation" just like purchased copies? Perhaps?

Just a thought ;-)

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Happy

But how do we know?

"Windows Vista goes into reduced functionality mode that leaves systems flagged as counterfeit about as friendly to drive as a car stuck in first gear."

Vista is like that anyway...

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Jobs Halo

Another nail in the coffin

Even the market stalls can't shift it

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Before even reading the article

I thought to myself "Yeah, I bet the XP counterfeit rate is twice what Vista is doing, because who the hell wants Vista?"

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Gold badge

Growth

It all goes to show that Microsoft has reached saturation point, it can only grow the Windows and Office market by forcing people to buy it and not copy it.

This is also why Vista and Office keep rising in price, they need to increase profits. It also allows Microsoft to be totally incompetent and write the next OS about 5 times before getting it right (even then they don't).

Microsoft's growth is reliant on China and other markets. But they simply can't afford the sort of prices Microsoft charges EU customers, therefore piracy is rife.

If they don't do something about Vista ASAP then they'll start to lose market share. I'd be glad to see a leaner meaner less bully boy Microsoft. If they halved in size and stopped ripping off the consumer it would be a good thing. Apple charges arounf £80-90 for an OS upgrade. Not the ludicrous £200+ Microsoft wants for Vista.

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There's lies, damn lies and M$'s statistics

After having to support it professionally I can honestly say that I wouldn't want a copy even for free.

Using Windows isn't the goal. It is a means to accomplish something else. Unfortunately it now takes longer to do the "something else."

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Anonymous Coward

Victimized?

"Customers want to know the status of their systems, and how to take action if it turns out they were victimized"

Wait, why would they care if Microsoft receives revenue from the copy of Vista they are running? It's like when they said 'DRM protected your digital rights'. It's to attempt to mislead with doubletalk.

If the *Customer* wanted to know if their system was considered by Microsoft to be pirated, then you wouldn't need to force WGA on them, they would run it themselves voluntarily.

They *don't* care if Microsoft gets revenue or not, they *do* care that WGA phones home regularly with god knows what info. They *do* care that at any particular fault or upgrade WGA may decide the copy is pirated and shut it down. Even the change to nagware is bad enough.

It's the usual misleading gibberish coming out of a Microsoft VPs mouth.

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Bronze badge

Could it be...

...that making note of it might actually encourage somebody to do it?

Nahhh... that's crazy talk! Probably the anasthetic talking!

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Gates Horns

It's cheaper to pirate

You can pay a few hundred Euro for XP pro. If you pirate it and try to validate it, MS offer to make you legal for €80

Of course you get this "Buy It Now" online option often with a re-install of a perfectly legitimate XP pro.

Actually MS has no real way of knowing how many of either are pirated and less methods to estimate lost revenue.

Maybe Windows piracy huts Linux & Mac more than MS.

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XP vs Vista

I notice the comments all knock Vista (again)

Is it only me that remembers the comments about XP when it first came out. Incredibly high hardware requirments, nothing ran on it, no device drivers, etc, etc. Sound familiar?

It all settled down when the software/hardware manufacturers caught up and now everyone loves XP.

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Anonymous Coward

as above...

as above....

I've heard DodgyXP runs faster than DodgyVista!

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Pirate

Oh Joy !!

”One trick Microsoft aims to stem involves modifying system files and the BIOS of the motherboard to mimic a type of product activation performed on copies of Windows that are pre-installed by OEMs.”

Can I please please be amongst the first to experience the joy of Microsoft software modifying my BIOS? I’m sure NOTHING can go wrong there!

“As long as Vista remains slow at performing basic functions like file copying, users and pirates alike will view it with something approaching disdain.”

Vista slow? I wonder what Microsoft is doing to tune the performance…

“All copies of Windows Vista still require activation and the system will continue to validate from time to time to verify that systems are activated properly.”

So basically a service running at all times, checking my installation, contacting MS servers to verify that it is STILL a valid installation, and probably slowing my system while waiting for the check to complete, or even freezing my system if Microsoft servers are slow to respond (or my laptop is offline), etc.

Yeah, that will make me switch from XP!

“Customers want to know the status of their systems, and how to take action if it turns out they were victimized," explains Microsoft VP Mike Sievert.

How does he know?

I assume “customers” here refers to someone who’ve bought and paid for a supposedly legit copy of Windows Vista from a store somewhere.

So, was there a questionnaire or something like?

Q1: If it turns out, the copy of Vista you bought is not a legit copy, what would you like to happen?

A1: Crash my machine

A2: Format my harddrive

A3: Lose access to functionality or features.

A4: Present me with clear and recurring notices about the status of my system and how to get genuine systems.

Maybe a 5th answer was missing?

A5: Let me report it to Microsoft, and let their legal department deal with the store I bought it from. Until I’m proven guilty of buying software I had a chance of knowing was not legit, I don’t think Microsoft has a right to modify anything on my system.

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Gates Horns

I agree...

Yep - Vista is not even worth pirating (Is that a word?)

@Anigel - I would consider a chocolate teapot a lot more useful.

You could eat it (Cant eat Vista), make a nice hot chocolate drink (Cant do that with Vista either), it would look nice (Vista is ugly) ,etc.

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Jobs Horns

It seems ...

It seems that everyone EXCEPT Microsoft gets it, that Vista is a piece of junk. Microsoft sent me a survey asking would I recommend Vista to my customers. I told them no because Vista was annoying and inefficient. Pirates are capitalists too. They only bother with what is in demand.

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Vista

I don't know many people who have obtained Vista (outside of a company) and use it, unless it came pre-installed on a new PC. Even then a fair few people switch back to XP, which probably explains why the piracy rate is so low.

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Boffin

I've seen pirates advertising "We will help you to get rid of preinstalled Vista"...

"...and will help to install XP on your notebook"

Ha-ha-ha...

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Bronze badge

Sorry I like Vista

I use Vista on my home machine and XP on my work issued one. And I rather like Vista, it looks good, handles multiple applications well, and terminates misbehaving applications smoothly.

Simon

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Happy

Their priority is where ?

Should they not spent all their resources on how to make a better OS ? rather than think of every trick under the sun to steal user info in secret/WGA/ Locking out genuine users by accident ?

Like the rest said, the uptake of pirated Vista is low, as normally pirates will be the first to use it, now the pirates worked out its better to stick to XP, hence the low figures.

I think Vista is doom to failed, I am suspecting Microsoft is actually working on a new version based on XP but still call it Vista .

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plans to further curtail piracy

Um, that has to mean "even more restrictive DRM", which will inevitably lead us to "more false-positives in WGA" and hilarity ensues as the DHS is reported as being locked out of its own computers.

Meanwhile, normal users will continue to use XP SP2 for the foreseeable future, and they will be vindicated when Microsoft finally ports DX10 to XP.

Yes, I am convinced it will happen.

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Ash
Linux

Finally got my Wireless working!

Install Ubuntu (Over a "trial" vista busniess install, none the less!) and plugged in the ethernet cable temporarily, hit the chat room on freenone IRC, and within 15 minutes I was up and running on wireless. Graphics card was next, which took about 2 minutes to download and install the suitable driver package (Brand new 8800gtx, by the way; not something old and likely to be supported), and that was it! nForce 650 SLI chipset, Realtek Hi-Def audio (7.1 channel), and USB hard disk all supported "out of the box".

Wine runs my games suitably well, which is all I had windows for anyway.

I have no reason to use Microsoft any more, especially as DX10 is being ported by the Cedega project as we speak.

I encourage anyone else with even little knowledge of computers to try Linux. It my not be the most simple, but it's certainly more stable, more secure, and many orders of magnitude less succeptable to malware.

Anyway, end of (new) fanboy rant. GO LINUX!

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There is nothing wrong with vista

Personally I think this is an improvement, i do believe any anti-piracy methods in the most part only cause issues for those that buy the product... OS's, Apps, Games all suffer the same problem due to poor thought and implementation of anti-piracy methods, and in some cases drives people towards priacy to avoid the extra hoops legit versions make you continuously through.

Regarding those saying vista is a pile of shite... XP is a great os and so is Vista... yes theres a few quirks that need sorting, and performance hicups too...but no more than xp or any other OS microsoft or otherwise hasnt needed after first release... so anyone who says its shite I assume has not even used it, or at least properly.

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Alert

Re: XP vs Vista

Exactly mate. It's the same old rubbishness. All. Over. Again. Give it another few years and everyone will be praising Vista while slagging off WIndows "7".

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Pirate

Radiohead

I suspect that even if MS adopted the Radiohead business model, once users found out how user unfriendly Vista is, they'd demand a refund...

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Linux

@john fielder

You are correct, people did gripe at Xp, but XP worked out the box.

Back then Xp did have higher Pc needs but older pc's could run it, It didn't need a dedicated graphics card, or 1 GB ram to run and most of the older Pc's just needed more RAM. Xp when it came out wasn't triple the price for the top version.

Old software would work if you told it to run in a compatible mode which actually meant something back then as well.

And Pc's didn't need silly stickers to say "XP ready" because it had such a finite list of compatible requirements in hardware.

No one wants to spend time to hack into vista as pirating sh1t is a waste of anyones time. There are pirated versions out there and they work fine, however people very quickly remove them for Xp again as they realise what a turkey it is. That would account for the lack of piracy, people by word of mouth know it is a pile of bloatware.

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Cut the price to fight piracy, don't add DRM stuff !

If Microsoft wasn't the far from legal monopoly that is now and if there was some real competition on the market, they would never ever started using DRM tactics to force customers to buy their inflated product prices.

Politicians and judges all prefer Microsoft "gifts" to citizens and the law, so we got the biggest and worst monopoly ever appeared in history. The only way to change the current status quo would be to split Microsoft in 4-5 parts and force Bill Gates to sell all excluding one to the market so that that competition could exist once again in the industry.

The new locks on Vista are only going to raise adoption of XP even more. And if XP SP3 is going to use the same DRM tactics to spy on users, then even those who bought their legit copies won't upgrade. Anyone that is installing many machines each day and knows how to optimize a system should be using the famous WGA "cracks" found on the 'net to avoid troubles to their own customers. Just like killing all the useless services that slow XP and Vista systems down a lot. Disabling the useless Microsoft spy-on-customers stuff helps a lot.

The right price for Vista and Vista SP1 should be $99 for the Ultimate version and $39, $49, $59 for the other versions. Instead Microsoft is pricing its own products so high that it's just quite obvious that average people need to use a pirated copy.

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Stop

To Adnan Rana

"In order to install Vista you need a very high spec PC, and if you can afford a high spec PC then you can afford a copy of Vista as well."

Um, no.

I've been buying Vista systems since they came out. My favorite is the Powerspec B600 series. I just bought two for $350 (closeout price). That's a Vista Business computer that runs Aero just fine, thank you very much.

I'm currently running 9 of these systems and they co-exist quite happily in an Active Directory network with a dozen or so XP machines, a Win98SE machine, Win2k, 2k3, and 2k3 64 bit servers.

At this time we're running exactly one vertical market application (with its own special hardware card) that Vista won't run (no driver for the card). Other than that, everything runs, the systems are stable, and I haven't had a bit of trouble from the Vista machines.

Mind you, the *most expensive* one is mine, it cost a cool $500--with 2GB of RAM.

Dunno where this "high end hardware" BS is coming from--unless most Reg readers are still hanging on to their Pentium II's?

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Anonymous Coward

Everybody now loves XP?

No we don't.

The only reason I have it is because I've bought PCs that have it pre-loaded. And they are ...errr ...more legal than my old [home] copy of 2K.

Windows 2000 was as OK as Windows gets, and I'd have stopped there, but XP could be made to look almost like it and it wasn't *so* dreadful.

I have no wish to ever spend any more money on MS Office upgrades. Office 2000 is fine for me. Probably is more than most people need.

In fact, I have no wish to spend any more money on MS software. Might have done if it was good --- but I've lived with somebody else's for a couple of weeks, and I'll abandon MS altogether (never was too keen anyway; just lazy) rather than give houseroom to that heap of dung

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UVMe

"Customers want to know the status of their systems, and how to take action if it turns out they were victimized,"

My last latop came preinstalled with vista and I feel Victimised. what actions do I take !?

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Ash
Linux

@Ash (Myself)

Good lord, who disabled the inline spell checking?

business

freenode

For those of you saying Vista is pretty, So is Compiz / Beryl. Check out the videos on youtube; a visual experience comprable to the most recent Mac GUIs. The only thing Vista has going for it now is game support through DX10 (Which I covered above). Graphics, video and audio editing is Mac realm, and affordable, usable software is where Open Source fits in.

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Pirate

Wonder how much XP Piracy has gone up since Vista?

Since Microsoft is trying very hard to kill off XP, legit copies of XP are very hard to come by. I can't tell you how many of my friends have bought new computers in the last 10 months that ship with Vista pre-installed, only to find out it sucks and start looking for "extra legal" copies of XP, since legal copies have evaporated from store shelves.

I have a prediction to make. (takes cover) I think XP will sit side by side with Vista for several more years. Microsoft is going to be forced to support and upgrade it. There are already very high level discussions about rolling out the DirectX10 upgrade to XP (that was originally promised), as there is already external development going on in that field. Microsoft simly can't afford to let someone else to bring something like that to the market. Furthermore, all the eyecandy in Vista is available through products like Windowblinds and others.

Personally, the most onerous thing to me is the DRM. I'll be damned if I want every video I watch, every song I listen to to be reported back on. What I listen to is my business.... don't like it, get a search warrant. Microsoft is yet to be challenged on the fact that no agreement to a EULA can abdicate a constitutional right. I also don't like "renting" a piece of software. Don't know what I'm talking about? Go read the Vista EULA.

Ok, I'll step off my soap box now and get my coat....

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Microsoft to blame!

Wey-hey - the same pointless arguments recur again. Without sounding like either a Microsoft or anti-piracy shill, there is still a basic argument for stopping piracy and it has nothing to do with protecting the already obscene amounts of money Microsoft rake-in.

Bootleggers who sell this stuff are taking money directly from your pocket. In fact you might as well throw £10 notes out the window. Bootleggers aren't paying tax, VAT, National Insurance - they're defrauding everyone. I couldn't give two shits about the money Microsoft is "losing" but I do care about criminals making off with untaxed income. This hurts us all, the more you steal from the taxpayer the more the legitimate earners have to stump up. Untaxed and undeclared income even steals from children, the easiest way not to pay child maintenance is not to show legitimate income - I know there's a lot of men who already do this (I know of one personally who thinks this is a great wheeze).

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Hooky Vista

Microsoft never try very hard to clamp down on piracy because it increases thier market share. Right now for the computer litterate the choice of 'free' operating systems are a flavor of linux, XP or Vista. Why would you not take Vista? Almost everyone I know has Vista installed no-problems the rest have XP, not one of them paid for a copy of it. Microsoft arn't going to come down hard on these people because that would damage thier market saturation. The easy that which Office 95/97 were pirated had a direct effect on Word becoming the defacto standard for word processing, everyone could have a copy so they did.

I'm not entirely sure what people do to thier Vista to make it so bad. I've had it installed for coming up a year now, no problems, no crashes, no malware (and before you say it I'm not talking about MS software, seriously you guys are hiiiilllarious), no viruses. I cannot understand who people who profess some knowledge of computers break it.

Andrew

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Gates Horns

pricing

if M$ wants to get rid of piracy then they need to start selling XP/Vista word et al. for a sensible price. I think £10 each would be about right. Hell, you'd probably be able to convince people to buy an update every couple of years at that price and make more money than they are just now.

I've got a brand new laptop I've been working on with Vista home premium. The specs far outstrip my old laptop, however it runs incredibly slowly. Boot times are long compared to ubuntu on my existing machine and they seem to have done everything they can to hide control of hardware in obscure menu options. I'm sure with patience I'd learn how to use Vista but why bother. Other than office and a couple of compilers I need for work I never need office. Everything else I need works perfectly in Linux, is quicker to run and cheaper.

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Dam

Seriously who wants vista ?

Just bought an asus z99Sc for my father this weekend, comes with a centrino duo, 2gb ram and a (5400rpm :/) 160gb drive.

I plug the little beast in, hand it to him and he's like:

-it takes some time to load doesn't it... ?

some time later, the login prompt shows up and my father auths

-it's still loading things right ?

some time alter after the desktop is displayed but the OS still struggles

-reckon I can use it this evening... ?

The very next morning I was downaloading a copy of XP pro SP2 and installing it.

I'd have straight away, but nothing beats showing the user *why* you're removing vista.

Now he knows, and he certainly won't want to try it again in a hurry.

The only concern that remains is, how to use my vista premium licence to make this downloaded XP pro legit... think it can be done can't it ? the EULA (which I bothered to read actually) says so but doesn't mention a phone number.

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re: Ok, enough

"If you've got lots of ram, then you've got to have it. If you want to run Windoze apps and you want to use your fancy 64bit cpu to the fullest, then you've got to have it. Let's all be honest about it....."

I guess you're referring to Vista 64bit and not the run-of-the-mill Vista versions that are only 32bit. I have XP 64bit, so i have no need for Vista, 32bit or 64bit. :)

Cheers,

John

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