Microsoft’s dream of a Vista only world moved farther out on the horizon yesterday as the software firm admitted it would extend sales of Windows XP by another five months. XP was supposed to be off the vendor’s price list by the end of January 2008. Now it will stick around until the end of the second quarter. The cut down …
Ever increasing environmental costs of Microsofts OS
I think the thing that is most telling is that the Computer resellers are blaming shortfalls in projected earnings on failure to sell millions of £ worth of upgrades to people whose PCs cannot run Bloaterware (sorry Vista).
Planned obsolesance has never been so apparent since they designed Alpha Romeos to dissolve in the rain.
Slight rant: what other industry is allowed to produce this amount of waste. I drop stuff of at the dump (now the council have stopped picking up recycling in my area) the number of old PCs is staggering.....
Most of us are getting sick of this constant cycle of forced upgrades/ new PC purchases. No wonder people are moving to Linux to extend the life of their kit.
I have desperately been trying to keep a 4 yr old and a 3yr old quality spec' machine running XP as each successive patch (let's not call them upgrades, sticking plaster is more appropriate term) drains the life out of what were once really spritely bits of kit. New boards, more memory, upgraded PSU etc etc....
I'm running an old mac and it runs the new OS perfectly with no upgrade required and I am also running a 13yr SUN Sparc Station which has been up constantly for over 2 yrs.
At the end of this financial year I'll retire the PCs to playing games and I'll migrate my finanicial system to Mac, removing Microsoft from my business life for the first time since DOS2.x on Dual 4" floppies.
Business Hardware replacement cycle
of 3 years is no longer necessary - BUSINESS apps (ie MS Office, ie what most people actually use to get their jobs done) have not increased their hardware requirements for some years and many businesses haven't even bothered upgrading from Office 97 or 2000. I'm using a 4 year old XP laptop at home and it's fine - it runs email, web and office apps as quickly as it did when i bought it so why replace.
Any business looking at its bottom line should be sweating their IT for longer and if it's being sweated for longer it will be longer until they move to Vista.
Next Ubuntu release 7.10 Gutsy Gibbon - 18th October 2007
Next Ubuntu release 7.10 Gutsy Gibbon - 18th October 2007
Did he really say that?
“While we’ve been pleased with the positive response we’ve seen..."
That's it? One positive response? Hardly something to crow about, is it?
My 3 year old PC is chuntering along quite happily and I probably won't want to replace it for at least a year or so. When I do replace it I am almost certain that I will not want it with Vista, thank you very much.
Would it make sense to buy a copy of XP now and have it installed on my new machine in a couple of years, long after XP is no longer available in the shops?
Jesus H Christ, the MS-haters and fanboys are out in force today!
> When people want to play games, then Microsoft can get some money for
> xBox games. There is no reason to run Windows on a PC by anything except
> by emulation.
Any PC gamer would tell you they would NEVER ditch a PC for an Xbox or PS/2. The type and variety of games is far better on PC, and the PC is where all the innovation is happening (Wii excepted). Until someone can come up with a better platform to develop games on, people will need Windows PCs. Apple? Don't make me laugh. It needs to be an open hardware platform for a start, and Satan will be ice-skating to work by the time Apple can be trusted with a monopoly.
A few people have written of the Vista memory requirements. There WAS an issue with games memory usage under Vista because of the way Vista virtualises video memory, but this has been fixed. Vista reports higher "base" memory usage because of far more caching and indexing. This memory is readily released if applications need it.
I've been running Vista for 4 months with no problems whatsoever, on a self-built PC, even with the very latest games. Sure, some people have driver problems, but can anyone honestly say Linux and OSX have good driver support for that shiny new graphics card, or that ancient faxmodem?
Fact is, many people WANT Vista to fail.
Oh, and DOS 6.21 was by far the best OS ever.
"Get yourself a real mans PC!"
I have... [since you're expecting to know, it has at least eighteen processing cores (I've stopped counting already), enough interface to keep ten people occupied, fills up entire walls & consumes an efficient <2kW all-on]
"If your computer doesn’t run it"
...& Vista is still too unready to run it. Though, as XP, Win98 would still be capable of doing a sterling overall job. Diddums, you can keep just your laptop. Some of us have bigger, harder & more dynamic monsters to master. Hell, NASA could've landed on the moon with a lesser combined multiple-standard network. I want it artery-gushing edge AND legacy bulletproof! :-Q
@Linux - here I come & @Aero UI
For Linux - here I come, try Dia, it can read/write visio files now. Also you may want to keep an eye on http://www.wine-doors.org (not that I'm plugging crapware or anything but I hope to have visio in the repos soon).
For Aero UI - try compiz fusion, runs on an old i810 graphics chip, and even does cover flow for your windows :) Oh did I mention, compositing by default in the upcoming gutsy gibbon.
"Well, I've got a 5 year old box on my desk for development. It got 1GB of memory and a 1.6GHz P4 and a graphics card with whopping 16MB graphics card. If I need to run Weblogic 10 or WebSphere on it, it will crawl.
After upgrading last year from NT to W2k , the option was to upgrade to XP or Vista and OBVIOUSLY I enrolled for Vista. And OBVIOUSLY the box will just grind to a hold. "
Erm...The MINIMUM spec for Vista needs 32Mb graphics, and thats for the Home Basic edition. I dont think your being very fair to your "development" if your using the spec above to test Vista. Vista calls for higher spec hardware just the same as 95, 98, ME (POS), 2K and XP did.
To all the MS haters, try using Vista or, if you did already, then try using it for longer than 1 month. Irrational hatred of a product your slating is just blindly following the herd.
Using it for a day and then running back to XP is just lacking balls and brains to make it better for yourself. I'm assuming the people reading El Reg are fairly accomplished IT Folk who generally like to muck around with hardware/software and customise it for their own use.
Is this not possible with Vista?
Didnt you like the annoying UAC pop up asking permission before you did anything? Did you find out how to switch that off before you reformated and reinstalled XP?
Dont like the flashy Aero interface? Switch it off then.
My point is that XP came with annoying faults that I'm sure many of us tweaked and customised for speed or looks. I hated those bloody balloon tips in XP but I found a way to turn them off. These OS's from MS are primarily designed for a typical end user and I'm afraid a typical end user needs A LOT of help when it comes to PC's. IF MS can make it look pretty, easy to use and warn them when the're about to f**k it up then thats fine with me.
However, us knowledgeable computer people can switch off the crap and use it for its best features. We can get the most from it and leave the end user to coo over the glass like appearance.
Everyone slagged of XP when it came out, even I did but I had never really tried it. Once I did I never went back.
I've now had Vista running for over 5 months and was just itching to find something I hated and I did. But I stopped the bloody UAC because I know what I'm doing and I dont need a prompt or admin permisssion. After that, apart from installing newer drivers I had no problems.
I've since installed 7 other PC's with Vista with different hardware variations but still havent had a problem. If your driver isnt out yet then I wouldnt buy hardware from any manufacturer that hasnt managed to get their act together and release them. As for old hardware? Tough sh*t! I'm not gonna wait for you to upgrade before a new OS is released. Its simple, stay with the OS that works.
This is the reason new OS's get released, because hardware improves, specs go up and an OS needs to be developed to use it to its full advantage. Why dont you install Win98 and see if can take use your 500Gb SATA HDD, 2Gb of memory, PCI-E graphics card, etc, etc.
If your happy with XP then stay with it, if you buy a new PC with Vista on it then give it a fair amount of time and tweak it before you slag it off. If you want to upgrade then make sure your hardware is capable of the upgrade before you spend the money.
I'm sure I'm not alone here...
Aside from all the quite legit reasons not to get Vista,...
I'm just waiting for Vista's first SP before even thinking about taking the plunge. I'm positive I'm not alone in feeling this way.
Release a decent SP1 for Vista Microsoft.
I'm sure that'll pick up sales of Vista.
"it has at least eighteen processing cores (I've stopped counting already), enough interface to keep ten people occupied, fills up entire walls & consumes an efficient <2kW all-on"
If I wanted a troll to respond, I'd have printed it out and stuck it up under a bridge.
"...& Vista is still too unready to run it. Though, as XP, Win98 would still be capable of doing a sterling overall job"
Hey, don't blame me if you can't get it working mate. Call in an IT professional to help! ;o) ... Have you tried plugging it in? Then stuff should come up on that big TV above the typewriter. I advise caution though, when you turn it on sometimes the coffee cup holder will shut and spill your beverage everywhere.
". Diddums, you can keep just your laptop. Some of us have bigger, harder & more dynamic monsters to master"
So have I, stashed down my slacks! If you consider fixing your Mums PC that hard, maybe you should just pack it all in.
"So have I, stashed down my slacks!"
Well, it'll reach one of your orifices, then. ;-)
"If you consider fixing your Mums PC that hard"
Now, come on. There's a big difference between inflicting dinner requirements on the dear & inflicting Vista upon her. Struth... average senior mother - and father, for that matter - had a difficult enough time getting up to speed with XP. Fixing ('improving') a computer, isn't even part of this equation. They just want it to run smoothly, every time; as XP just, JUST about manages. All that needs 'fixing' is their understanding of HOW to use it, not WHAT to use.
"Hey, don't blame me if you can't get it working mate."
You stuck your er... head up, for IT. :-D
Anonymous Vulture, that was without doubt the worst attempt at a comeback I've ever seen! Combined with the fact it's pretty obvious you didn't understand my post at all (most likely lack of capacity), it truly did waste time that I can never get back.
As someone who'd rather not be on Windows...
...but likes PC games too much to dump it, I'm not really having any issues with Vista. I've never seen the "long goodbye" file copy issues. All the programs I use work just fine under Vista. I can't imagine using it in an office enviroment, too much fluff. For a home user mainly interested in games it's serviceable.
My wife's new Dell, however, came with Vista pre-installed, and it's not behaving nearly as well as mine. The whole system seems sluggish and came with several programs that have automatic updaters that need to run as admin EVERYTIME THEY CHECK FOR AN UPDATE OH GOD. That's pretty annoying. Good going with that, Dell. I'll be sure to make wiping the HD the first order of business next time (if there is a next time) I buy your wares.
If DX10 was available for XP, I wouldn't have "upgraded". I would have had no reason to.
Vista Support - From a Developer's Perspective
First, I'm a developer, not an IT guy. I'm tech lead on a commercial enterprise system. I don't normally post anonymously but I don't want anyone to trace me back to who I work for because what I'm about to write could get me in trouble - they're touchy about revealing stuff like cost of doing business. Suffice it to say we are the 800 lb gorilla in one of the largest sectors in the US economy with well over 50% of that market.
Our products won't support Vista for at least another 2-3 years.
As it stands, it takes 7000 FTE hrs to fully regress our largest application suite against the existing assortment of DBMSs and OSs. Throw in our other app suites and you're looking at 20k FTE hrs: almost 10 QA years! To add Vista to the equation is just out of the question right now.
And it's not just QA. It's the pure development side of things, and the attendent unit, integration and acceptance testing as well. All the interfaces will have to be touched - which is non-trivial when you consider that Vista is effectively adding 2 window managers depending on version, on top of still supporting the old styles. Our documentation system will have to be completely rewritten (Vista doesn't support our .hlp engines, apparently, if my docs ppl are to be believed). Any extern C/WinAPI calls you kiss goodbye. We still don't know how Vista will effect our C2 login and auditing compliance routines. And the idea of testing our software against a multi-OS environment? No thanks.
What Vista features do we lose by not rewriting our stuff? None. We can't include anything Vista-only as long as we have to be backward compatible with XP, which we will be for years and years to come. As for the Vista-optional stuff... um, we write enterprise software. OLTP/OLAP. No one buys it for looks...
How have our clients reacted to this news? They're cool with it. None of them has any plans to upgrade to Vista any time soon. None.
Are we scared of losing market share by not supporting Vista sooner? Not at all. Our competition is in the exact same boat we are. And if you think changing OSs is tough, try changing the enterprise information managment software you run your company on... and then try justifying the ROI of doing so with "Cause this other software is so sparkly and smooth!"...
Bottom line: will we support Vista? Yes, eventually. But not now. Not for a very, very long time. And until we do, neither will our clients.
Just my $.02.
I learned some time ago that you simply do not install a MS operation system until SP1 is out. It is never worth the hassle to install prior to this event.
Now MS is using a releasing their SP's as betas... this does not bode well. I think I will be waiting until SP2 this time around.
Service Packs 2
Mega$haft know that a lot of people wait for SP1 until taking the plunge. That's why they started developing it before Vista was released. SP2 will, therefore, be the "real" SP1.
What does it spell? Cement!
FOR SALE: One set of testicles. No longer required, Good condition. Make an offer...
Obviously you missed this ad from the product development guys at Microsoft. It didn't raise more than a couple of bucks as the shrivelled raisins had not been of much use prior to the Vista launch - but Mickey-soft got a a square kegging whence they chose to make an operating system with more permutations than Paris Hilton bedfellows. 32-bit-home-premium to 64-bit-ultimate and everything in between (over 46 versions if you include upgrades, OEMs and 'Media Player legally compliant' versions).
All said and done they should probably have left XP for the 32's and just focussed on Vista for the 64's and made a firm line in the sand with hardware and software - driving better code and a desire for new generation hardware. Of course that would require a fresh new set of pants-potatoes which they clearly were unable to muster within the product development group or in marketing for that matter. Imagine how much progress would have been made if Mickey had only concentrated on X64 for Vista and just done a couple more SP's for XP. Clearly a lot less egg on faces all 'round I would expect.
Re:Vista Support - From a Developer's Perspective
I work for a tiny developer outfit in the UK. Getting our software to work on Vista has been, and continues to be, an utter pain in the ass.
Not least amongst our problems is the fact that Vista doesn't support MSDE, which most of our apps use as a desktop database. Sure, it supports SQL Server Express, but, that ALSO requires .NET 2.0. So a re-write of all our installers.
Then you come up against Vista's convoluted and anally retentive security :-(
You think you have it cracked, you have tested on 2K, XP AND Vista Business, then someone calls to say it won't install on Vista with Windows Wanker (OneCare) installed :-(
I seem to have spent an inordinate amount of time wandering around the office muttering 'fucking Vista' to myself since the Vista launch.
Vista is XP
Forgive my ignorant comments, but having just bought a laptop with Vista Home Basic on it I fail to see how Vista is anything other than a hazzed version up XP.
I was expecting substantial differences but they are only subtle and / or aesthetic.
Win2k is still viable
Thank god I don't have to worry about XP or Vista. My home computer, all the servers and workstations here in the office are all windows 2000 (and according to our website logging, we are not alone!)
I don't see any reason to use anything else.
What can I do on XP/Vista that I cant do on 2k? Nothing worthwhile that I have seen
What can't I run on Windows 2000? Nothing I have come across EVER
Why use 2000? Because its stable and efficient. The servers here, and my computer at home almost never need rebooting (only for software updates really)
Win2k runs faster. It is less demanding on processor and memory. Most of our PC's here would be perfectly capable of running Vista, but why go from something that runs well, to something that runs slowly, just to install the very latest bloatware full of "features" that almost no one needs.
Some of our laptops came with vista pre-installed. We downgraded after the users complained that their old laptops were quicker.
Yes you could argue that win95 would run even quicker (and my god have you seen the bootup time of win95 on a modern PC (if you can get it to work with the hardware) - probably measured in miliseconds) but of course win95/98 are not in the same league as win2k and above, most modern software wont run on 95/98, but as I say. Name some software thats worth having that will only work on Vista?
Worst MS OS transition to date?
Is this MS's worst OS transition to date? It would seem so.
I think quite a few people who have the choice are going to follow Bill Buchan's example noted earlier and simply leave the MS world behind. Bill chose to move to Macworld, others will choose a Linux.
But in the bigger MS picture the choices that individual consumers make don't hugely affect the MS bottom line. What matters is the choices of businesses and corporates, and the people who supply and influence them, and they are currently the ones with least motivation to move to Vista: they need to maximise return on their existing desktop hardware, they need to minimise desktop people costs, they need to minimise desktop application costs.
The application bit is particularly important. You've heard from a couple of developers here about why Vista is irrelevant to them for a good while, and if they've any sense they'll treat Vista as an opportunity to re-evaluate platforms in general; even if they choose to go with Vista it would be a fine time to re-design the OS interface to be ready for the next OS change, which sometimes may not be Windows.
The new "improved" (incompatible) Office app set is going to be another thorn in MS's side soon. Folks may be willing to pay money to *reduce* hassle, but the new Office doesn't seem to work out that way. Office has been a huge revenue stream for MS, but over the next couple of years I'm expecting a huge increase in interest in OpenOffice, the corporates aren't all that happy with Bill.
Oh, for the chap with Compaq/HP PCs who says HP are stopping doing XP soon: so what? Surely any competent HP reseller will build you an XP image and install it for you? If they won't, there's always Dell and their no-longer-secret channel strategy (or, as you've noticed, DIY).
This is simply awful, I can't believe what you're all saying !
Vista can't be that bad.
I should know, I've used it for ~3 months before getting so fed up with it that I upgraded to XP...
I'm completely at a loss for words at the "positive customer response" bit from MS, El Reg, you shouldn't quote such things.
Did you know that repeating a lie is also lying ?
Just like forgetting to mention all the DRM crap in Vista is lying by omission, from MS.
To all the MS fanbois commenting like "If you didn't like vista, you didn't try it long enough", I suggest you shut the hell up.
People have a right to despise an OS for what it is, bloated, slow, resources hungry, and unfit for business (or even gaming, tbh) purposes.
XP / Vista
When will MS realise that most people want a stable OS not some bleeding edge stuff. Why should the corporates have to buy new h/w every 3 years due to MS bloatware. XP SP2 is good enough ( by that I mean it's stable and doesn't need rebooting every 10 seconds to obey a mouse click ). I work in IT for an investment bank and the ideal architecture is an XP front end with a middle-tier on Linux/Unix running from a db on Linux/Unix.
MS are going down the well trod route of IBM - vastly over-engineered rubbish with no sense of what the market needs/wants.
Vista is great
and my mother's my sister.
if you're looking for an upgrade
openSUSE 10.3 is released on Thursday the 4th.
If you look how much money you have to fork out on hardware and software for the Vista experience for it to do half what Linux does for free it's criminal that so many people are blindly walking into PCWorld with their hard earned cash for this!
I've run Linux on my desktop for 8 years, the only thing I've found that it can't do that Windows is good at is catch viruses & spyware!
PCIe MSI: a performance-based reason to buy Vista?
XP can't do Message Signaled Interrupts. XP runs in legacy IO-APIC mode. That's why you can't get rid of the insane level of IRQ sharing on modern PCIe hardware under XP or W2k/W2K3 or older Linux.
Vista is reportedly MSI-capable "by heart". Can't say if cooperation is required on part of the HW-specific device drivers (the way it is in Linux), or if MSI is somehow enforced, technically or by WHQL approval.
Linux 2.6 core IRQ routing functionality has been MSI-capable for years, AFAIK, though traditionally the individual device drivers have been lagging behind with taking use of those new capabilities. Each HW driver has to explicitly ask for MSI delivery style for its IRQ, upon the driver's initialization. The situation has improved a lot in the latest 2.6-series kernels, as the most important drivers are getting updated.
Modern PC hardware is stuffed with PCI Express busses. PCI Express relies on the purely "message-signaled" interrupt delivery for optimum performance. In "legacy-compatible IO-APIC mode", all PCIe-based devices in the system share only 4 IRQ numbers, and the IRQ delivery performance is further impaired by the multi-hop routing style, where specifically devices connected to the north-bridge get their interrupts delivered to the CPU via the south bridge's IO(x)APIC and back through north bridge.
Note: IO-APIC's have become a legacy affair :-)
IRQ sharing means that the interrupt service routines for the various hardware devices have to be called in vain. Each ISR has to run a couple of random IO transactions across the system busses, to read its device's status registers, only to find out that this ISR invocation has been a "false alert", caused by the IRQ sharing. The bus transactions take time, the CPU is idle until the bus-borne read is accomplished. This latency gets worse if the brief random IO's compete for bus bandwidth with bulkier DMA transfers of payload data (disk IO, networking, graphics). This mode of operation is massively inefficient and painful to CPU load, especially with multi-GHz CPU's. Thanks god in only stalls the respective CPU core, in today's multi-core systems.
Before the IRQ even reaches the CPU (before it gets a chance to launch its set of ISR's), its transaction may have to travel back'n'forth across the link between the north bridge and south bridge, again competing for bus bandwidth with DMA. This impairs interrupt latency.
Now imagine that all of this takes place especially on high-performance devices such as PCIe x16 graphics boards or modern RAID adapters, with some USB UHCI's and per-port PCIe hot-swap IRQ lines thrown in as ballast... Actually if you happen to have some classic PCI-X based (parallel PCI) adapters in your PCIe system, attached via some PXH bridges to the PCIe-only chipset, it's them PCI-X devices who have a chance of getting a dedicated IO(x)APIC input pin, and a dedicated IRQ number on the CPU :-)
PCIe MSI ?
Surely all that is a big "so what" in Vista terms (though it may be important for other reasons)?
Most of the world's PCs have managed perfectly OK without specific PCIe support for a good while now, and most of them could continue to do perfectly OK with an OS that doesn't make use of PCIe-specific features.
The people who care about ultrafast graphics are either gamers (do any significant number of important games need Vista?) or graphics-intensive industry pros (do any significant number of their apps need Vista?).
The people who care about high performance RAID are surely mostly server people, do any significant proportion of them care about Vista?
The people who care about PCI(e) hot plug have had support from their server vendors for a good while now, who cares whether the base OS supports it?
What sort of system did you run it on?
As for the person above who mentioned that they will stay with XP on their 3-4 year old system and just play games, anyone who wants to play the latest games would not have a 3-4 year old PC. I recently upgraded my 2 year old PC and I am now running Vista, I spent about 450 quid on a quad core, 2gig, 8500GT with 500gig HD (not a particularly fast one mind). 200 quid on Vista (I posted above, I am the person who could not find my XP CDs), and using all the peripherals from my old machine. Can I really afford this? Not particularly, usually, but I got a tax rebate. If you are someone who spent more on a PC than that, for lower specs, then think twice before you post, if you are quite happy to take packaged PCs from retailers like Dell and HP then you're going to be overcharged, and probably screwed.
I'm a developer, and I'm planning on installing Orcas tonight (if the beta is still downloadable), I've been too busy at work to want to code on it yet. If it runs fine, great, if it doesn't then I'll use my old machine which I have setup specifically for work use in another room. Having looked at .NET 3.0 and its backwards compatibility with XP etc. I'm very impressed, and don't understand why anyone would have a problem doing interface design unless you're writing in Win32. Whilst my job entails that I do some of this, it's just plain naive to waste production time on Win32 and MFC when languages like C# take less time to build programs with, and run at roughly the same speed as any native code (with the possibility of being faster). If your company does it without your say-so, it's naive of them, but it's not Microsoft's fault.
Vista is actually, strangely enough, good for programming. Microsoft has for a long time been pushing specific coding standards for Windows, eg using the user folders for storing files, and telling developers to adhere to them. The fact that many companies have not adhered to them is one of the reasons that Microsoft made many of the standards compulsory for working with Vista. It leads to safer and far better organised code. Of course, if you're doing things right already, and you've moved out of the Dark Ages of Win32 you shouldn't really have any problem upgrading to Vista, and complaining about the installers is a joke, if you're a developer your release team should be worrying about that, not you.
Use VMS. You know it makes sense :-)
Vista, toilet, flush
C#, a microsoft attempt at creating a programming langauge. C# creates code bloated programs fom microsoft bloated operating systems. .Net hell is another fine example of microsoft code bloat, even Charles Petzold has comented that .net is just too big and cumbersum. If you cant do it in Win32 then your not a programmer.
As for Vista, I've been using the rubbish since its release, Ulimate addition. Its slow, my sound card don't work, its forever losing saved links, copying large files is one hell of a task, if it copies at all, burning dvd's can be just as bad. The system is DRM infested, hence the slowness. Icons in cartain folders have a strange habbit of going very large.. Vista is for ever asking "Are yuo sure" not once not twice but sometimes three times. Even before I start any programs Vista consumes around 600 MB of ram, even after some tweeking, I spent £150 on a graphics card but Vista isn't at all happy with it.
Good thing I have XP Pro to fall back on to get things done.
Vista is toiletware
Why don't they just admit...
They screwed up and produced, by committee, an operating system that does nothing that XP doesn't, doesn't do most of what it DOES do half as well and provides no real incentive to upgrade, beyond that you are buying a new machine and it will come with Vista.
Almost ALL the extra functionality in Vista is of no net benefit to the user, and just gets in the way. And those bits that are worthwhile are usually implimentable in XP. DirectX 10 isn't an "extra", other than in the sense that it's been designed not to work with XP in order to try to push Vista on people.
I'd have more respect for MS if they just admitted they screwed up and euthanised Vista, rather than trying to find ways to force it down people's throats. It's another "bob", guys. Sorry. But it sux.
Personally Windows 2000 Pro is my Favorite OS. Shame it's getting so long-in-the-tooth these days.
2k, XP and Vista
Having had XP Pro foisted on my for a good few years now can anyone tell me how XP is in any way an advance on 2k? Apart for some extremely irritating "helper" wizards, a quicker boot time (a major factor on a MS OS's usability) ever nastier GUI and wireless support (to be fair it is better than 2k) I can't see the difference.
I'm typing this on a AMD 2500+ (old) with 256mb of ram (small amount) and a Geforce4 Ti (very old), windows XP Pro (needed for some bespoke training software) runs like a dog, looks like a dog and is just nasty (imho). Linux on the other hand runs fine on the machine and will, if required, run all the flashy gui stuff without a problem.
I also have an old PowerMac G4 which must be at least 5 or 6 years old (second hand) and as much computing power as a pocket calculator and yet it runs OSX Tiger without any problems.
Now I'm probably going to have to upgrade my PC system and buy Vista Ultimate as I have to be familiar with all "consumer" MS products for my business.
So can anyone explain to me why I have to spend £100s if not £1000s on new computer kit when I can get all the flashyness, security (if you believe MS Vista is secure) from a 5 year old Apple Mac or a knackered old PC which I put together on a budget about 4 years ago using an OS that fully or in part was knocked up by some spotty hacker in his parent's basement?
As for the cost of Vista Ultimate - If I didn't have to buy it I'd be better buying a new Mac Mini, for about the same cost you are effectively getting a free computer.