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back to article Best Buy leaked memo spills Windows 7 upgrade details

A leaked memo has revealed that Best Buy will begin pre-selling Microsoft’s Windows 7 operating system on 26 June in the US. The retailer confirmed late last week the date people can start buying Vista-based computers and subsequently qualify for a free upgrade to Windows 7, when it lands in October. Engadget has published a …

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Delaying PC purchase...

Aye, I agree with your last lines: "In the meantime, anyone eyeing up a computer will be pondering whether to postpone a purchase.". i run a small company that needs to buy two new PCs pretty quickly - and completely stuck on what to do. I really don't want to inflict Vista on my staff (Vista running on my high end Sony laptop so annoyed me I bought a mac - an option not open to my staff). So what do I do? Wait until July to get a "Win 7 upgrade"? Negotiate a special discount to take account of upgrade price (and if so how much)?

When I called up Dell today, they had no clue "We only supply Vista" was the lame answer.

Any ideas, fellow readers? Or perhaps El Reg can help me in a "Dear Dierdre" fashion...

Cheers

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Gates Horns

7 will run on a computer running Vista (which Vista?)

There will be a lot of manufacturers out there will be unhappy if it doesn't mean a brand new box with 16 GB memory, quad-core processor, etc to run the 'Home' version.

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Just read the memo

Looks fair enough to me.

I wonder if other large home target retailers <cough> PC World, Comet, Dell, <cough> will be offering a similar upgrade path to the poor saps that end up having to buy a PC with Vista on it.

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Happy

Why switch now?

I have had VISTA home Pro since it came out on botha desktop and laptop and have had ZERO issues. I never understood what the problems were because I never had any. I am looking forward to Windows 7 - I'll get a desktop to use as a media device for my 52" TV but I am not going to give up my Vista at all.

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Anonymous Coward

Vista's ok really...

I've never had any problems with Vista - I run XP at home and on my work laptop, but my new work desktop machine came with Vista pre-installed (SP1) and I've not had any problems with it. I don't dislike it and I don't like it, any more or less than XP. UAC aside, it's the same as XP really from my perspective.

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Re: Why switch now?

"I have had VISTA home Pro since it came out... and have had ZERO issues"

You should try switching those machines on sometime...

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Prices

$49 and $99 eh? So that'll be £99 and £149 when it gets over here then.

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@Kwac

You obviously have no idea what Windows 7 is. I have been running the beta/RC on a single core 2gb & built in graphics machine quiet happily. It is not an ideal machine but it runs fine.

Best OS yet, better than my mac's by far.

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Coat

Winblows 7

Is that better than Windows 95 or just 88 versions older?

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Tom
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And still they don't learn...

It wasn't that the "Vista Capable" marketing campaign was a bad idea. If I were going to buy a new pc in the next couple of months, I'd probably want to know that it was "Windows 7" capable. The problem with the "Vista Capable" campaign was that they knowingly labeled PCs that weren't really "Vista Capable" as "Vista Capable" and then tried to weasel their way out of it afterward with a even more bolluxed version of the product.

Personally, I'm not worried about "Windows 7" capable on my home machine. I built it big and bad enough that I should be able to load just about anything onto that hard drive. And nothing is touching my XP partition on the other hard drive. And yeah, I could probably heat my house in winter with the PC if I left it running 24x7.

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@Delaying PC purchase

Dell regularly has sales with a XP Pro ~downgrade~ included. You still get the Vista license for possible upgrade benefit. I also need a few PCs and briefly considered waiting for OEM bundling when I read MS planned price increases. Then I came to my senses. Even if MS was trustworthy (it isn't), I still wouldn't risk a 1.0 release for work. I'll be with XP for at least the next year.

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Unhappy

isn't just a 'Vista that works' program

Considering that vista never worked.....

@adamd - Call up dell and order your business pc's with Xp and continue running that until it's time to replace those pc's. there's no sense running through all this nonsense and having to train them on the new interface and all that they can't do any more.

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Great news!!

I like vista, but only because without it I would never have tried ubuntu

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Unhappy

@Vista's ok really...

Oh for crying out loud... will e-v-e-r-y s-i-n-g-l-e post that mentions Vista always have comments like this?

Yes, of course SOME people have had no issues... of course, SOME people even like it but after all this time, surely it's clear that REAL people have had (and continue to have) REAL problems with Vista?

I, for one, do and, although I'm over the moon to hear that you have had no problems (and your fellow anonymous coward specifically states he has has ZERO), it does nothing to help me hearing you bleat that it must all be my imagination.

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@Tom

Hey.....leave it on 24x7 and join the Vulture Central III team on the World Community grid. All readers welcomed as we need all the help we can get. If it's as meaty a beast as you imply you could be top 10 in the group in no time, and it's in a good cause....what more could you want?

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Bargain ?

Buy a PC now, so I can spend $50 to $100 for the privilege of reinstalling the OS four months from now? Wow, how compelling is that?

The only question worth betting on here is how long will it take Microsoft to admit that, aside from new consumer PCs (as if they had a choice), the uptake on Windows 7 will have been below expectations.

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Anonymous Coward

@Martin

Love that post - most of my time is split between XP, 7 and Ubuntu and Ubuntu is great for getting work done on.

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Jobs Halo

Vista haters

Vista isn't that bad. It's not great, by any means, but it's not that bad. It's a long way from being the worse OS that Microsoft has ever perpetuated (Windows ME has that title locked up) _if you have good enough hardware_. If you try to run it on low-end crap, it'll crash and burn. I use Vista on a regular basis on three machines: a Toshiba laptop running Vista Home Premium, a HP laptop running Vista Business, and an Apple iMac running Vista Business in a Boot Camp partition. Of them, the best behaved is the iMac. All three have similar specs: Intel dual-core processors, at least 3 GB RAM, at least 160 GB hard disk. (The iMac has 4 GB RAM and 320 GB disk, the Toshiba has 3 GB RAM and 160 GB disk, the HP has 3 GB RAM and 250 GB disk) The Toshiba has shown irritating slow-downs when doing certain tasks that the HP and the iMac just sail through; in some cases, it's actually faster to start up VMWare Fusion on the iMac and access Vista in emulation under OS X than it is to run that task on the Toshiba, something which should really embarrass Toshiba's engineers. Side-by-side comparisons show that in many cases the problem is the hardware, not the system. You get what you pay for, usually; the Toshiba was by a significant factor the cheapest of the three, but the HP was more expensive than the iMac though not by much. It seems that Apple makes better Windows machines than HP and Toshiba and gives better bang for the buck than HP...

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Linux

Oh, what a decision to have to make...

"In the meantime, anyone eyeing up a computer will be pondering whether to postpone a purchase."

Pish. It won't stop me, because after suffering the M$ tax on any new PC, I'll just clean it properly and replace it with a proper OS. It's just a shame (as in "shame on you"), that you can't get the M$ tax refunded in a reasonable way. I don't see how it can be justifiable (legal?) to insist that you buy a machine with an OS on it that you don't want and then have to claim back some pitifully small amount by jumping through all the hoops.

The Bill icons need to go, you now need a "Mad Ballmer" one. I don't think you need one of those with a halo though.

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Flame

WTF?

What is all this crap about whether or not a machine is capable of running the OS for f*cks sake?

If you need a beefy machine with tons of memory, CPU horsepower and cutting edge graphics just to run Windblows then there must be something wrong.

When I did Computer Studies (a good few years ago now mind) we learned how an Operating System sat in the background minding its own business for the principle purpose of running user processes. What the hell does Windows 7 need all these resources for just to run itself?

The world has gone mad.....

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Linux

@adamd

Easy - buy a PC with Linux installed, and see how the person using it matches up against his/her colleagues after a month or two. If they are more productive, you win. If they can't handle it, then downgrade to Windows, paying the M$ tax as usual.

You get a month-long, real test of Linux for the difference in price between OEM and full cream. And believe me, in testing whether Linux is more or less useful, you can't just try for a couple of days, on a dual boot - it's like any foreign language, you have to live in the culture for a month or two before you really understand it well.

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me
Stop

minimum requirements

In order to install Windows 7, the minimum requirements listed below must be met:

1) 100GB RAM (1TB recommended)

2) 10 exabtes of HDD space for installation, only 9.99 eaxabytes required after install. 25 exabytes recommended.

3) any CPU clocked at light speed or above

4) minimum of 2 cooling towers

Note that these requirements do not incluse any user data, should there be any.

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jim
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$100 ? not me

Who would pay $100 for this upgrade? Try $25.

Oh wait it's a "new operating system". Cough.

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Coat

"Microsoft ponders what a 'qualifying machine' looks like..."

Well, I think we can rule out Lewis Hamilton's McLaren...

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WIndows Capable Hardware?

Wait now -- this is supposed to be commodity hardware and os remember? If you have to spec out hardware requirements like those bad old unix os's what is the point beyond sending more money to Redmond?

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@ Post #1

Dear Dierdre

Have you considered Mac's with virtualised Windows?

A couple of iMacs using Apple's Spaces (say one space for OS X and one space for Windows) will allow you to put XP Pro (assuming one has sufficient license to do so).

And, of course, Office software and so forth can be installed as well.

As you already have one Mac perhaps it would also double as a test machine?

That way you can demonstrate to staff how applications work virtually.

Any bespoke software designed for Windows can also be tested for full functionality.

I'd also suggest a couple of neat utulity applications. One will allow Windows to read/write to Mac disks and the other will allow Mac to read/write to Windows disks.

What more could one ask for?

2 iMacs

1 wi-fi disk thingy that will create a network, allow network storage to disks, allow access to the internet if you wish

MacDrive (to allow stuff to flow freely between Windows => Mac

Paragon NTFS for Mac (see Smith Micro for both of these)

And the above should do the trick nicely.

Mobile Me is also worth delving into

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Happy

@Chris Williams (@Vista's ok really... )

<QUOTE>

Oh for crying out loud... will e-v-e-r-y s-i-n-g-l-e post that mentions Vista always have comments like this?

</QUOTE>

I feel the same when in every mention of Vista or Microsoft I find comment after comment from those who are obviously Linux/Mac users saying how crap Vista is and they cant believe there are still people who use Vista; and Vista users who say its total crap and if they weren't shackled by the ankles to the cursed thing they would be off to Linux/Mac Land and live happy ever after! I am happy to accept that you have issues with Vista but that no more defines the operating system than my lack of issues does.

Every operating system has people who have problems and people who have none. Which of the two groups define what the operating system is like? It depends on your point of view and which of the groups you belong to. People with problems are naturally more vocal than those without so for every bitch you find online I suspect there are hundreds(maybe thousands, given Windows saturation) who are quite happy but who say nothing. An operating system can either make us unhappy, or not unhappy. It does not positively make us happy, it is simply a lack of "unhappy." People without issues have no reason to say so but sometimes one of us gets slightly aggravated enough by all the bitter and negative comments and pops its head up to say so. We know you don't like Vista and never will, you told us so, over and over ad nauseum, so there's no need to do so one more time. We get the message. We're not as stupid as we are fatuously characterized to be.

If an operating system DOES make you positively happy I would recommend a long vacation to somewhere without electricity.

PS I'm not the original anonymous poster, just another of the vast numbers of the not unhappy vista users just doing stuff with it.

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J
Alien

"that uses less computer resources"

Cool, if true. Just missed the qualifying "than the previous Windows version". I guess that is implied...

But anyway, would that be a first for Microsoft? A new desktop Windows that needs less resources than the previous one? I don't know, since I haven't been using Windows regularly since Win 98. But I strongly suspect that to be the case.

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Pirate

Vista bashers for the most part are full of it

Agree with the previous poster. I'm on 7 now; it's the same kernel, virtually, as Vista. Yes, it's faster; yes, I love it. However, it's very trendy for the Linux/Mac crowd to bash Vista, when they've either never used it, or had driver issues, if they did use it two years ago. People act like Win7 is the 2nd coming of Christ and we're all gonna join hands and sing koom bi ya, and dogs will get along with cats, etc. It's an OS, ok, not your friggin' antidepressants! Yes, I love, Windows 7; yes, I love Linux (Ubuntu is running on my server right now, thank you very much). Operating systems have problems when they first come out; it's a given. Did nobody who bashes Vista use XP pre-SP1? Or do they just selectively forget the horrid experience that was? It's getting old; fanboys generally don't seem to know what they're talking about. I've used OSX, many flavors of Linux (including, but not limited to, Gentoo, Fedora, OpenSuse, Ubuntu, Red Hat, and Debian) and all versions of Windows from 3.1 on, and Windows Vista is fine; it's just become this giant trendy bandwagon to bash Vista, and those who do so underscore their ignorance.

On the other hand, Windows 7 on my laptop is significantly faster than Vista was; this is due to optimizations in the kernel, which are allegedly included with Vista SP2. Anyway, to sum up the above: stop being fools, and just use the OS you like. Learn what the strengths/weaknesses of each OS are, without insulting the users of said OS. And quit acting like Win7 is going to solve all the world's problems.

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Anonymous Coward

Who cares anymore?

I once bought a Mac and I never looked back. Why anyone continue to screw around with MS's woefully inferior O/S is a mystery to everyone whose ever used anything else. Vista is just the current version of Microsoft's failure to deliver on a promise. There's no reason to think that Windows 7 is anything more than another kluge release of the mess that is and always has been Windows.

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Go

Too slow el Reg, too slow m8 :)

For example:

http://www.apple.com/startpage/

By the way, just to deflame things, I love Vista, was brought up on Windows and can't get W7 installed swiftly enough (but I think I'll do all on one machine: a Mac Pro)

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7 *is* a "Vista that works" program

"Microsoft is launching Windows 7 in mid-October 2009. This new operating system isn't just a 'Vista that works' program"

Well, actually, that's exactly what it is. It appears to have a *few* new features, but nothing earth shattering... mainly just they slimmed Vista down enough so it's not ridiculous.

"Vista isn't that bad. It's not great, by any means, but it's not that bad. It's a long way from being the worse OS that Microsoft has ever perpetuated (Windows ME has that title locked up) _if you have good enough hardware_. If you try to run it on low-end crap"..

Vista IS that bad. You should not have to have 3GB+ of RAM and a dual-core just to run your OS. That is flat-out absurd. Saying you just don't run Vista on "low-end crap" is like excusing someone building a 10MPG sedan by saying "Well, you just buy lots of gasoline for it and it's not a problem." However, I give Microsoft credit for successfully de-bloating Windows 7, I haven't used it but reportedly it's acceptable in 512MB of RAM on a single-core processor.

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Happy

Dear Deirdre - part 2

Of course, when W7 becomes available you may wish to add it to the iMacs or alternatively replace XP. Running with three dedicated spaces rather than two is just as easy but you may wish to check what your employees are more comfortable with.

Note that not all the visual effects in W7 might be supported so it may be helpful to keep the two spaces and install W7 aided by BootCamp. That way you are likely to have all of the visuals of W7.

A couple of iPhones will neatly provide additionality especially if calendars, to dos, appointments, address books, ... and so forth need to be synced across the iMacs and iPhones.

You will definitely need Mobile Me to do that and it does come with a utility so that Windows Outlook can be synced in tune with the Macs.

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Vista 32-bit bad. Vista 64-bit good. Not sure about WIndows 7 yet.

I have extensively used MS Windows products since MS OS/2 was released. I find every version ( with the exception of Windows ME, that was a sad excuse for a new OS ) is on average better than the one before after SP1 has been released. However with Vista I have run in to something odd. Vista 32-bit runs well enough but I find is not stable in the long run. Vista 64-bit is not only faster than 32-bit, but is also much more stable. Playing with the Windows 7 betas I am finding the same thing more or less. With 64-bit drivers almost as available as 32-bit drivers now I am moving my systems all to 64-bit and am enjoying the speed boost and stability.

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@Henry

"I give Microsoft credit for successfully de-bloating Windows 7, I haven't used it but reportedly it's acceptable in 512MB of RAM on a single-core processor."

yes, I was forced to go to 512MB for few weeks when memory died on my old ACER (I know I cannot believe memory can die). It worked really nicely. The only program which refused to work (speaking of music/internet/fun type tools) was iTunes. It just did not like 512MB at all while playing MP3

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I tried vista for a year.

It would have worked great if I had simple software needs and only needed the basic features of my drivers.

Instead I had 12 programs running in an XP virtual machine ... I'd have to restart my PC 50% of the time when I tried to switch from two desktop monitors to one monitor and a HDTV ... eSATA hotswapping would not work at all.

At the time I was doing a lot of computer repair. I'd say 33% of Vista owners has some issue that was best resolved by a reinstall of Windows XP.

Of those having a problem needing an OS reinstall ... 100% chose to downgrade to Windows XP when given a choice between that and Vista.

In fact I have no clue where my Vista Install Media went ... never had much call to use it.

When Vista works ... it works. If you have simple needs on new hardware it will meet those simple needs. Then again so would a Knoppix DVD.

Vista sucks plain and simple. Some people might not notice it sucks because they haven't run into issues themselves, but there are enough issues out there to make it a bad product.

If Vista didn't suck ... this would be Windows Vista SE ... instead its Windows 7.

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RE: Delaying PC purchase...

There's always the option of installing Windows 7 RC-1 on the new PCs and giving them to staff to use now, then upgrading to the retail version when it is released.

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Boffin

@Geoffrey W

I run Vista x64 Ultimate SP2 on a decent sort of HP lappy with 3GB of memory. For every small nice feature I have noticed (like renaming files defaulting to renaming stem names) there are some extremely annoying stuff that just gets in the way of working.

Probably partly due to Hp/Intel video drivers, but the laptop is very unhappy about waking from sleep in two locations (work/home) with different external displays. Generally takes several attempts to get video sorted and minutes go by getting the machine awake, just to do a quick check on mail (Outlook 2007). Oh, and UAC is now turned off, even though I persevered with it for ages as I really think running as root is a bad idea. COM+ subsystem is broken (I am a developer and needed this). Oh and and the only Ultimate extras I tried are broken - video wallpaper is borked with multiple monitors & waking from sleep, while backup does strange things.

Ok, it might be my subjective experience, but we have an identical machine running XP (I upgraded mine to develop & test software on a 64-bit platform) and the acid test whether is Vista is overall better than cheaper alternatives like XP or Ubuntu?. Honestly, I have to say no.

I feel for the guy trying to make a decision as to buy now or later. For me, Win7 will be helping me make the decision to buy another laptop later rather than pre-October, (though at least one guy here is now running OSX which does seem nicer), but if you need new machines now, you might as well just tote up the cost benefits; it will cost more later to upgrade vs the benfits of having a new XP/Vista machine now

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Coat

@ skelband

"What is all this crap about whether or not a machine is capable of running the OS for f*cks sake?

...

When I did Computer Studies (a good few years ago now mind) we learned how an Operating System sat in the background minding its own business for the principle purpose of running user processes. What the hell does Windows 7 need all these resources for just to run itself?"

It's called "Marketing". If the OS just sits quietly in the background, you could be using anybody's OS, and just might, as long as your software works. So they make it it sing, dance, jiggle, flash, paste its name and logo all over the place, and over-ride whatever you're doing to remind you that; "OUR OS is the one that's providing this happy computing experience, and it is very important that you keep using it, because nobody else is as compatible with us as we are, not even our last version! (That POS!). Sad,eh?

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Unhappy

Dear Deirdre - part 3

Dear Deirdre

You could also make use of the one Mac you have to set up user accounts the way you want them to work. These could be sync'ed courtesy of Mobile Me so that when the other computers arrive running OS X all you need do is perform a Mobile Me sync and voila! emails, calendars, email accounts, ... keychains are transferred to similar accounts on the new hardware.

However, you may wish to delay purchases until after 19 June?

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Gates Halo

@Henry

"Vista IS that bad. You should not have to have 3GB+ of RAM and a dual-core just to run your OS. That is flat-out absurd. Saying you just don't run Vista on "low-end crap" is like excusing someone building a 10MPG sedan by saying "Well, you just buy lots of gasoline for it and it's not a problem." However, I give Microsoft credit for successfully de-bloating Windows 7, I haven't used it but reportedly it's acceptable in 512MB of RAM on a single-core processor."

So how come I'm running it on a Celeron M 1.73 with 512Mb, in fact less because 16Mb is shared for video. It's not exactly speedy, but it works. The only issues I have are with Media Player occasionally freezing when repeatedly stop/starting CD's. But I don't even know if that's Vista's problem or MP's.

Yes XP would run faster, but so would Windows 98. Completely pointless argument IMHO. I also run Vista x64 on a Quad Core system which is solid and fast with everything switched on (too lazy to optimize anything...) XP had all more issues than Vista pre-SP1 did. XP required beefier hardware. So did 98 compared to 95, so did 3.11 compared to 3.0. I mean what is the problem? Other than the blind leading the blind and MS stupidly listening to them?

In fact the only beef I have is that MS caved into the mobshites and now I might have to upgrade to W7 after only recently buying Vista x64 to support future games etc.

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Stop

Too expensive!

I'll look elsewhere when XP critical update support ends. After all the only reason to upgrade is to get security updates right?

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Anonymous Coward

If I can just lower the tone....

Linux is better

*runs*

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Jay
Gates Horns

Vista can be OK, but it's still annoying

A few months after Vista came out my Dad decided he wanted a new PC. Went to Novatech and ordered one of the PCs of the spec they were selling with Vista, but without Vista installed (I really don't like having install partitions and no media). We got an OEM copy of Vista separately.

It installed without problems, and to be honest was one of the most hassle free installs of anything I've ever done. Generally it's run fine, and I'm pretty sure it's been problem free. Mind you in hindsight I could have just thrown Ubuntu on and that would have been fine too.

Mind you on the flip side I did a lot of research beforehand to find out the exact specs of the box, and then to get proper Vista drivers for them all. I also made sure I had all the little fixes to hand for the things like the network config you had to tweak in order to get any suitable performance.

The thing I really hate about Vista is the way someone decided to move everything round, especially in control panel. I could have sworn I've seen some options/prefs/whatever in the default "Change blah blah blah" text list, but for the same options not to be available in old-skool icon mode.

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Like I said before....

MS COULD have done the right thing...

Win7 could have:

No hidden files or rootkits possible

Every program install in ONLY their own folder in program files

Every program run in their OWN memory and if they go out they're done

No one but Win7 writes to c:\windows or the registry

No one access internet without permission

No DRM

Standard interfaces for devices (dvd, bluray, cd, tape, printer, scanner, video, etc.)

and on and on...

but they didn't...so win7 is more shite piled on top of ME2

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Anonymous Coward

Go ahead and buy Now

Dear Dierdre:

I'd buy now, just make sure the vendor HAS (in writing of course) a refusal and refund policy on the MS EULA. Once you get the hardware wipe the disks with a boot floppy with PC-DOS and process for your refund...While waiting on that, go right over a site such as:

www.redhat.com

www.centos.org

http://www.canonical.com

www.pclinuxos.com

Any of these are good and have different look and feel, but have the same underlying quality. Go ahead and download/buy their latest distro of GNU/Linux, and oh by the way you'll probably get 2-3 decent office suites, utilities tools, VPN software and the like thrown in for free as well from any of them.

I won't whitewash that there won't be a learning curve, there will, but it won't be any worse than that going from 98 to XP or XP to Vista, and you'll really only have to require your two employees to do it for this one last time as GNU/Linux doesn't force huge UI changes on you with every version. A nice bonus, expect to get a better part of a decade out of your two new boxes as a opposed to 3-4 years. Also while at it don't bother with Mac's either, though better engineered that the mainstream OS, they force you a price premeim that comes gratis with LINUX, also should you buy full tech support from any of these distro's your support will most likely more comprehensive than Apple or MS's.

Sincerely. Small Business Owner

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