back to article Microsoft shouts 'Long Live XP'

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 …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    You pay for what you get

    People carp on about OSX, its expensive blah de blah de blah

    But, it works, you don't spend all your life trying to keep it going, you don't spend half an hour while it downloads all its prescriptions to stay alive.

    So stop winging, bite the bullet and cross over.

    Keep one old XP system for the essentials in life, games, don't connect it to the internet, don't apply any patches, and in the winter use it as a noisy fan heater.

    Running for cover now, incoming flack!!!

  2. !!11oneeleven

    echo j | format c: /u

    DOS for teh win!!111oneoneeleven

  3. Craig Ringer

    Definitive downgrade rights reference

    Here's the PDF from Microsoft that (astoundingly clearly, especially for a license-related document) explains the details about downgrade rights - including the procedure for installing XP on a Vista box.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    My 5-year old PC is on its last legs. Literally.

    Do I stay with "old-but-known" XP on a new machine; Vista (the great unknown) on a new machine, or............

    A new iMac + Leopard in a couple of weeks?

    It's a no-brainer. If my hardware drivers won't work under Vista, then I might just as well switch to Apple-compatible hardware.

    Bye-bye Ballmer, hello Job's Mob

  5. This post has been deleted by its author

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    re: Just how bad can the Vista experience be?

    Almost as bad as you can imagine, worse than ME. My family has 4 desktops and 2 lappies between us. The old lappie is 4 years old and wipes the floor with the spanking new, better specced, new vista encrippled one. I insisted that the 2 very new desktops were supplied with XP. I'm dreading the day when XP becomes obsolete as that is when I will have had to have learned how to use a different OS. It might be Linux or something else - it certainly won't be vista.

  7. Andy S

    the problem i see

    is that xp was too successful for vistas own good.

    Before xp, the idea of a pc in every home was a long way off, pc's were expensive, 98/me were unstable and a pain, and 2000 was pretty much business only.

    whereas when xp was launched it was stable and useable, coupled with the drop in hardware prices, the idea of getting a fast, stable pc for £350, prompted almost everyone to actually go out and buy one.

    now vista has been launched, the market is saturated, everyone has a pc already running xp, unless there is a good reason for buying a new one, the average man in the street won't. if you already have an xp pc that does everything you want, why upgrade? the majority of people who are getting it are buying a,new, second pc for their kids, replacing a pc that has died/not up to scratch for some modern software they've just bought, or buying a laptop.

  8. Walter Brown

    Proof of concept please?

    All i ever hear is people bitching, constantly about windows Vista, it sucks this, and it sucks that...

    I've been using it since early beta, and yes i will admit, on old hardware it sucks, but so did 2000/XP trying to run it on win98 hardware. mostly what i see is people bitching to be part of the crowd, hang with the cools kids, fighting change and so on. show me some proof concept of why vista sucks?

    I just bought a HP DV9500z laptop, 2.3ghz AMD Turion64 x2, 2gb ddr2-667, 7200rpm 120gb drive. once i formatted the drive to remove home premium and all of the HP super crapware, and installed a clean Vista Ultimate install, this thing is a screamin demon! it installed Vista, boot to desktop in 24 minutes... its extremely fast, completely stable, and all of my software runs on it. and did i mention its really fast...

    So lets see some proof of concept, put your money where your mouth is or stay on the porch...

    Long live XP, my ass, windows XP old tired and ready for bed, its becoming so bloated that hardware the was once designed on the high end to run it falls on its face anymore, you damn near need as much ram in it as you do vista, 512mb of ram is hardly functional anymore...

    Long live XP... NO! put it to rest...

  9. David Wilkinson

    People should wait for Vista SP1 or SP2

    Vista has a lot of potential, but 3rd party driver and software support just isn't where it needs to be, and at the moment it is less stable than XP.

    It takes me 5-10 minutes every time I want to switch my video card from 2 monitors to 1 monitor + HDTV. My Creative X-Fi card on Vista and my chipset drivers won't let me hotswap my external eSATA hard drives. Plus there are about a dozen programs which I regularly used under XP that don't work with Vista.

    The only reason I run it is so that I won't look like an idiot when called upon to build/repair a computer running Vitsa.

    That said the tide is turning. The last computer I built had a motherboard designed primarily with Vista in mind and the XP drivers were the ones with limited functionality.


  10. Andrew Tyler


    Back when I originally learned Apple was switching to x86, I was pretty excited. With Vista turning out the way it did, they had a golden opportunity to become a major player for home operating systems. If they had released OSX for generic hardware, I think they really could have taken a big bite. It was an amazing convergence of Apple's newfound popularity, Microsoft fumbling, and the potential for everyone to just buy OSX instead of Vista without having to buy a new computer.

    Of course it's never so simple, and forced to suddenly support generic hardware, OSX probably would have turned out as bad as Vista. With a lot of effort though, I think Apple could have probably pulled it off reasonably well. To be honest, I'm a little disappointed in them. Real competition would have been great. My only serious objection to Macs is the hardware restriction. Despite the strengths to that approach, I would hate to find myself subject to a monopoly on operating systems AND hardware should Apple find themselves in a Microsoft-like position where they don't even really have to try.

    I'm pretty happy with XP. It's not great, but it works. The future seems uncertain as of now. Unfortunately, I highly doubt any good will come of it.

  11. Leo Maxwell

    64 bit OS?

    I use a 64 bit version of Suse Linux- everything works, all of my hardware, including a couple of browser plugins that insist on a 32bit emulation layer, and a 6 year old webcam.

    64 bit Ubuntu is the same.

    As for the old "my peripheral doesn't work with Linux" complaint-I think that you will find that, at present, 64 bit Linux has better hardware support than 32 bit Vista.

    Oh, and my Shiny new gigabit network card is still ignored by XP, despite the latest drivers-it works fine with Suse and Ubuntu, without needing a driver to be installed.

    Microsoft are stuck with having to change the GUI every new release, to make it obvious that it is a new OS, and to create business for their training, publishing and support depts.

    Unfortunately, customers are starting to ask why they have to retrain their staff every new release, when there is no perceptible advantage to doing so.

    Even my most computer illiterate customers are making jokes about Vista- and that's what it is - not even a good joke.

    The Vista ROI is a negative figure at the moment.

  12. elder norm


    Sorry but it was NEVER that easy with Microsoft and so its hard to reproach Apple for not solving all the worlds problems (including yours).

    Dissapointed with Apple?? Did they mess up your systems? I don't think so. Apple presents an option to change and live life easier. Do it, or do not? There is no Whine. :-)


  13. PunkTiger

    Devil's Advocate

    This is all sounding very similar to the Windows 98se to Windows XP migration a number of years ago.

    -- 98 is fast and stable, I wouldn't put that POS XP on my machine!

    -- Bloat, bloat, bloat! XP is nothing but bloated crapware!

    -- Driver support for XP? Don't make me laugh.

    -- Windows XP <- The smiley says it all.

    Sound familiar?

    So what happened to XP? MicroSoft put out some service packs and updates that shored up its shortcomings, peripheral and device manufacturers started releasing more and more drivers that supported XP (once MS started spreading the specifics around, that is) and soon, people were happily migrating to XP. So, why can't the same be done with Vista?

    Now, mind you, this is coming form a Linux user (yay Debian). Personally, I refuse to install Vista on any machine I own (laptop or otherwise) for a number of reasons, but the biggest reason is that DRM (in whatever pretty, sugar-coated form it would take) should NEVER, EVER, be part of a base OS. Period. Full Stop. End of file. But, if you don't mind having it, good for you.

  14. marc

    It's not Microsoft's fault

    Blame hardware manufactures. Quite reasonably, they ain't gonna put shed loads of ££ into developing Vista drivers for 4 year old products - not gonna sell much kit that way are they?

    As for the average consumer. Just because their "tech friend" couldn't get on with Vista, it means it must be rubbish. The simple fact is, if you turn off User Accounts Controls most software will work quite fine.

  15. Thomas Martin

    Who needs Vista?

    Who would need an OS that won't run many of your proprietary programs or programs you use for work or even you favorite programs? They are forcing you to line the pockets of the software developers because your current software will not run or runs begrudgingly and you have to buy the Vista version.

    I bought a new laptop with Vista and it stayed locked up more than I used it. I removed Vista and reloaded my XP disk.

    Micro$oft can keep Vista.


  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Vista Sales Figures

    Because we've been finding it harder and harder to pick up kit for our clients without it being pre-installed with Vista for a while now. We've been using the downgrade rights on the PCs/laptops that comes in.

    As of today, every client that didn't listen to our warning and brought a Vista machine has now returned it to us to be downgraded as businesses are just having too many problems using it.

    I'm sure we're not the only suppliers to be doing this. I just wonder; of the reported numbers of Vista sales, how many are still running Vista?

  17. Sabahattin Gucukoglu


    People who observe RAM usage: this is normal and it's due to M$'s new and improved memory manager. (Improved is, of course, an entirely subjective term, and this opinion is that of Microsoft.)

    You can summarise Vista thusly: XP with new flash to make you feel good about buying it but for no other reason, and some (though not nearly as many as their should be) low-level improvements. If you turn the flash off, you're left with XP that has some features it should/could've had five years ago, or perhaps even 2000 should've had. You notice how every future version of Windows now has GUI elements for configuring new features added in the last? At last, Vista allows you tune (reasonably) the TCP/IP stack. Likewise, XP let you configure the time service added in 2000. Linux, on the other hand, is all low-level and no GUI (okay, yeah, but let's be fair to the great unwashed here). Linux has had stuff Vista is only just developing ages ago, with all that wonderful reliability to boot (accellerated networking, better threads/scheduling, IPv6, etc).

    You can't downgrade without an existing license to XP - you have to install XP with a key you already own and then activate over the phone. Laborious and just the thing to guarantee you don't bother.

    As for hardware prices going down because of Vista - well, that's just great! More for Linux, and to be used wisely!



  18. Adrian Esdaile


    "Plus you don't have to retrain your entire bloody business"

    If you have to retrain people to use Vista, you have one of two problems:

    1. IT staff not smart enough to realise you can make Vista's interface look and behave exactly like XP. In which case, get better staff.


    2. Staff too stupid to understand a minor change in interface style, in which case they also have to be retrained when you repaint the office doors, or when daylight savings kicks in. In which case, er, run like hell!

  19. heystoopid


    Thus allowing Moores Law to catch up and overtake this bloat ware OS !

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I like problems

    If software, computers and everything else IT worked without problems I would be unemployed!

    Re, downgrade rights: Last week I had to downgrade a laptop that clearly did not have the power to handle Vista Business (Acer Travelmate 5310). In order to do this you will need a Windows XP CD and a valid product key. Once installed you then call Microsoft to activate by phone. The amusing part is that they did not ask me any details about the Vista licence, so how do they know the machine I just installed XP on did indeed have a valid Vista licence?

    So anyone want to test this? Borrow an old machine, and use a mates XP key and say you are downgrading from Vista :-)

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    "Quite reasonably, they ain't gonna put shed loads of ££ into developing Vista drivers for 4 year old products - not gonna sell much kit that way are they?"

    Indeed. However, Microsoft wants to shift it's new OS, so Redmond's going to have to twist some minion's arm - quite reasonably. Else they aren't going to sell their kit, either. Microsoft vs. the peripheral manufacturer vs. the consumer? Pick a winner.

    "think that you will find that, at present, 64 bit Linux has better hardware support than 32 bit Vista."

    Still, neither is as comprehensively supported as XP32. Cost aside, 64-bit OSX beats 64-bit Linux, as peripheral support is to a known standard.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Vista is great

    I've never read such a load of utter rubbish. XP was a good business platform, and yes, if you really want to go on using it you can, BUT it is time to embrace the new world. Vista REALLY is very good, and EASY to use. You only need to remember one thing - Start Search. If your Company has refreshed equipment in the last 18 months your hardware is ably compatible, and if you haven't then you have got 18 months to plan a move (3 year cycle). Persevere, Vista is very good. (and no, I don't work for Microsoft)

  23. fon

    great news!!

    me and a mate are looking for a new laptop, gonna just put win2000 on it... now might even put on XP... if the shop can now get this put on, would be good...

    I have never properly used XP, due to stories about activation probs, but that seems better, reading the above, and you dont change that much on a laptop!! Any opinions about this??

    yes, XP got a lot of flak when it came out, but the 'MS-fanboy' mags etc still said 'it will get better', no real moaning... about 6 months later, a lot of how-to's on removing unnecessary services, and speedups...

    when vista came out, it was a different story... Even the 'MS-fanboys' were saying something was wrong... this is further complicated by the variuos versions out, some of which work ok on particular types... but outweighed by the many that are a real PITA....

    The more positive views on this, is that the new 'high security model' in vista is what is causing problems...

    but of course, the fact that the price of vista in UK, for 'basically no improvement' is actually higher than US, did not help....

    and yes, Apple are having fun... big new adverts on TV..... very suble, unlike the 'MS Vista' ones a few months ago....

  24. Steven Hewittt

    Whats the problem?

    Lots of people are saying they would rather die than upgrade to Vista, but there's not much substance in these comments.

    As Sebastian pointed out - RAM usage is a myth when it comes to viewing system performance. Vista will try and use the vast majority of the RAM. E.G. nearly everything is in RAM, regardless of how much of the OS you have open. Think of it as pre-caching.

    My Media Centre PC is an old Athlon at about 1.8Ghz and just 512Mb or RAM. System shows it's using about 380Mb after logon..!

    I can sort of appreciate businesses saying they can't run it as they don't have the hardware, but every IT dept that I've ran has always had a 3 year hardware cycle policy. And a standard 2-3 year old desktop will run Vista fine. (Unless you're very tight and brought a Celeron 1Ghz with 256Mb of RAM for £200)

    The same issues regarding changes were raised in 2002 with XP. It looks like it's designed for children, but it's still Win2k underneath it all. E.G. Where's the changes compared to Win2k?

    For home users, the only major new things are DX10, Instant Search, Aero and the new UI within in explorer (which ISN'T Aero - the new UI is across all of Vista regardless of graphics performance).

    For business users there's a whole host of new things. The new TCP/IP stack is a joy to use compared to XP/2k, group policies are how they should have been using real XML and amazing levels of control, NAP, Support and Diagnostic tools have been redone, UAC (so ANYTHING can be ran as an admin with the right credentials regardless who is logged on) and security out of the box confroms to best practice such as being invisible to other devices until you actually enable it within the network settings. From a IT Deparments point of view, Vista makes the world so much better - and that's a first hand account after a roll out to all of our desktops.

    Developers have a raft of new toys too. Windows Workflow Foundation, .Net 3.5, DX10 and various other stuff that I don't actually understand!

    From what I've looked into, Vista has more new changes compared to XP, than XP had to Win2k and hardware spec doesn't seem too high compared to what the market has been offering for the last few years.

  25. AJH

    Long live XP

    We certainly won't be deploying Vista if we can help it. We've had nothing but trouble with the few Vista machines we have trialled.

    We'll be doing everything we can to keep using XP on all of our machines for as long as possible.

    XP offered clear advantages over 98/ME. Vista offers nothing on top of XP other than decreased responsiveness, incompatibility and headaches.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ People should wait for Vista SP1 or SP2

    Jesus Christ... we had to wait 6+ years for Vista! Why should we HAVE to wait another one for SP1 or another two for SP2? Vista should have been ready years ago and it absolutely should have been damned near perfect on release. MS fucked up big time here, no two ways about it.

  27. amanfromMars Silver badge

    Windows CodeXXXX Cracked and Secured in Non-Secret Encryption?

    "Personally, I refuse to install Vista on any machine I own (laptop or otherwise) for a number of reasons, but the biggest reason is that DRM (in whatever pretty, sugar-coated form it would take) should NEVER, EVER, be part of a base OS. Period. Full Stop. End of file. But, if you don't mind having it, good for you."

    Punk Tiger,

    But that is the Back Door Rear Entrance into their Kernel..... the Fire Escape.

  28. David Glasgow

    Time to desktop.....

    " and installed a clean Vista Ultimate install, this thing is a screamin demon! it installed Vista, boot to desktop in 24 minutes... "

    My Win 98, XP and Mac boxes are all sub 30 secs. Except for the Win 98 and XP boxes.

    Hmmmmm. Even taking into account that the VISTA 'desktop' appearing is just to give you some hope, rather than being an immediately useable tool, 24 minutes is a loooooong time ;-))

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Vista doesn't seem that bad..

    I got a new PC this week and couldn't find any of my three XP CDs, so I made the trip into town to see if I could pick up a new copy, however all I could find was Vista, and not wanting to wait till my holiday is over to try my new PC out I bought that and installed it. It works fine, I haven't had a single problem with drivers, and the only thing I've had to do to fix a problem was to make a program run as administrator. Other than that I've had no problems whatsoever. It does hog resources quite a lot, but I can still do everything I want. Occasionally BS2142 craps out from running out of memory, but I'm sticking in another gig in the next week or so, and it runs absolutely fine on full detail, so I really can't complain.

    When 95 came out the majority response was "I'm not going to upgrade just to use an OS", well look where that got us. MS probably don't care too much because they know that in a few years time, DX10 will be standard and so gamers will have to buy Vista machines, and that eventually it will be standard for other machines as well.

  30. Richard Cartledge


    If I was going to spend £369 on Vista, I'd have a sanity check and then I'd spend it on a Mac Mini Core2Duo and next month OSX 10.5 Leopard is released, which will take Mac OS from being years ahead to light years ahead. I have tried Vista and after a few months it claimed it wasn't some sort of genuine advantage and stopped logging in, so I trashed it for my old copy of XP and was astounded how much better it seemed after using Vista for some time.

  31. Tim Butterworth

    Death of a sales model

    2007 will be seen as a landmark year in the computer industry for several reasons. Firstly, it is the year in which the SATA hard drive and dual core processor became the standard in cheap PCs. Computer users can now recode DVDs and download iTunes and still surf the web all at the same time. No longer must the computer user abandon their PC whenever they do anything resource-intensive. Hence, unless you are a gamer, a bottom end PC will now do everything you want and a good every-day computer now costs less than a good TV, washing machine or fridge-freezer. When was the last time you asked what type of decoder chips were inside a new radio or DVD player? Soon PCs will be the same and only specialist use will require cutting edge technology. Reliability and value are already replacing speed as the main consumer decider.

    Secondly, it is the first time that a major new OS is noticeably inferior to the version it is replacing. Microsoft XP does everything the average computer user needs, and does it pretty well. Forcing consumers to use Vista instead of XP on the basis that XP will no longer receive security updates looks a lot like a giant protection racket. You may not want Vista, you may not need Vista, but if you don’t buy it soon you wont be able safely use the internet anymore. Oh, and you’ll have to buy a new graphics card, wireless card, printer and you’ll need more RAM as well – in fact, you should probably just buy a whole new computer.

    Thirdly, and most significantly, is the shift in the way legislators view the IT industry. Up until now, Microsoft has had the same kind of protection that the British Empire once gave companies like the Honourable East India Company. By allowing Microsoft to behave in hugely anti-competitive ways, Western nations have seen massive growth in the IT sector. Windows XP benefited everyone – Microsoft, consumers and governments alike. However, now that IT has become established, Microsoft is far less important than it was just five years ago. Western governments don’t need Microsoft anymore, and so they are starting to undermine the company. ‘Perhaps’, think tanks and legislators in Europe are now saying, ‘the computer industry would be better off without the Microsoft monopoly’.

    Basically, these three landmarks mean that Microsoft simply can’t carry on the way it is. The continual re-inventing of the OS wheel is expensive, inefficient and unfair to consumers. Both the consumers and the governments of the West are fed up with the way Microsoft does things, and whilst a company can survive the disapproval of one if it has the support of the other, no organisation, no matter how big, can survive sustained attacks from both. It is now a matter of ‘how’ and not ‘if’ Microsoft will change the way it does things.

  32. Alan Mascall

    Mac convert

    I brought a new Fujitsu laptop last year, very hi-spec, very expensive - however it's i-spec not enough for Vista - (only a 1gb of ram and 256mb video card amongst other things!) I then splashed out a whole £50 on a 7 year old PowerMac G4, installed OS X 10.4.10 and it runs like a dream - next month it will be running the latest Mac OS 10.5.0 without any hardware upgrades. Later this year I'll be buying a new iMac - I don't intend to buy another Windows only PC again, as I am that sick and tired of having to upgrade/replace my hardware every time Redmond decide to upgrade their OS.

  33. Sean Nevin

    re: Just how bad can the Vista experience be?

    the "Vista _encrippled_ laptop" had me howling! What a perfect word it!

  34. Jan Marten

    Jan Marten

    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. Which might get me some memory / graphics card upgrades in a vain attempt to fix things before getting the box downgraded back to W2k.

  35. Paul Taylor

    Not making the move !

    As the IT Manager of a medium size company i am putting the brakes on moving to Vista as long as possible.

    Most of our typical machines are P4 2.2ghz with 512mb running XP Pro and well under the requirements for Vista.

    It would require spending HUGE amounts of money on new PC's and Laptops throught the organisation. And thats not going to happen.

    We use all Compaq / HP, and have just found out that HP are stopping XP installs in 2 months time. So we will be buying as many XP OEM's as we can and my IT dept will pre-build all new equipment.

    What MS and the IT suppiers are doing is very wrong. There is nothing wrong with XP as a business platform.

  36. JC

    Re: Proof Of Concept Please?

    "All i ever hear is people bitching, constantly about windows Vista, it sucks this, and it sucks that..."

    If that's all you ever hear, your entire post was already disproven.

    So you feel you alone have an understanding, this based on ONE WHOLE SYSTEM(!) that can discount every single valid point made? Incredible.

    "I've been using it since early beta, and yes i will admit, on old hardware it sucks, but so did 2000/XP trying to run it on win98 hardware."

    That's ridiculously wrong. So called Win98 hardware was later Pentium 2 era or newer. That spec runs 2K or XP on millions of business systems and home systems. Such systems supported at least 768MB memory, plenty for caching the OS, Office, an email client and browser. The GUI was fast enough, the hardware limitations were in application performance.

    "mostly what i see is people bitching to be part of the crowd, hang with the cools kids, fighting change and so on. show me some proof concept of why vista sucks?"

    So you're counter-bitching and asking people to state the same things they've been saying all along, as if suddenly their valid complaints disappeared if they don't make a special effort to prove to you what everyone with any sense already saw for themselves. Head in the sand?

    "I just bought a HP DV9500z laptop, 2.3ghz AMD Turion64 x2, 2gb ddr2-667, 7200rpm 120gb drive. once i formatted the drive to remove home premium and all of the HP super crapware, and installed a clean Vista Ultimate install, this thing is a screamin demon!"

    You mean it's fast enough for your needs. Not everyone has your low expectations, would rather it ran even faster by using XP instead, and did without the annoyances of Vista. We could as easily demand you show proof of concept that you have any need for Vista. Millions upon millions of XP users don't, and pretending you have an advanced insight to their needs is subjective enough to be pointless.

    "it installed Vista, boot to desktop in 24 minutes... its extremely fast, completely stable, and all of my software runs on it. and did i mention its really fast..."

    Who really cares how long it took to install the OS? XP takes minimal hands-on time to install, and it's a one-time effort. You are pimping something that in actual use, is already equalled in practical terms with XP, and exceeded.

    "So lets see some proof of concept, put your money where your mouth is or stay on the porch..."

    All you have to do to see the proof is reread everything you were too obtuse to accept.

    "Long live XP, my ass, windows XP old tired and ready for bed, its becoming so bloated that hardware the was once designed on the high end to run it falls on its face anymore, you damn near need as much ram in it as you do vista, 512mb of ram is hardly functional anymore..."

    With all due respect, that's the most moronic comment so far. To suggest Vista because XP had become bloated is a sign of your horrible confusion. If you install a lot of crap on your Vista system it becomes even more bloated. 512MB memory can run a small number of common tasks very well on XP, while that brings Vista to a crawl. Put enough memory in to run Vista acceptibly, and you have enough reserve on XP to do enough filecaching to no longer have the hard drive be a substantial bottleneck. Add 2GB of memory and you have less performance degradation with Vista, but website after website prove the Vista penalty still exists running applications (which BTW, is the whole point of an OS).

  37. Carl

    I like Vista!

    I've used DOS, Win3.1, Win95, Win98SE, WinME, WinXP, WinNT & Vista.

    The worst is ME, no doubt about it.

    At present though I have a laptop running XP Home and a desktop running Vista Home Premium.

    No problems at all with Vista, runs smoothly, is quick and the biggest hurdle was having to manually download drivers for the graphics card I had fitted. Hardly a chore.

    I brought a new PC from PC World (needed one quick or would've had one built at local PC shop) for £499.

    That's an Intel Celereon D 3.46Ghz with 120GB HDD & 1GB of RAM.

    Only mods I made was to go straight from PC World to local PC store and ask to them add another 1GB of RAM and add a 256MB graphics card.

    Cost me about £60.

    I'm currently running Vista, AVG, ZoneAlarm, iTunes, MSN Msngr, Vista SIdebar with 3 gadgets and the WIndows task maanger.

    Processes: 74

    CPU Usage: Jumping between 8% & 20%

    Physical Memory: 47%

    And iTunes is loading the music from an external HDD plugged into my router via Ethernet.

    Is Vista really that bad?

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    try Linux 64bit, even when you are stuck with Visio......

    Seeing where M$ is going, I wasn't ready to follow.... DRM'ing your own home video's, for crying out loud.........

    I already had 64bit linux for professional reasons, and was switching back and forth between win2k and linux. bit annoying, but ok.......

    Vista made me try to try linux as my only work/fun space and seee if I could get rid of the windows OS.

    I use 64bit linux (suse 10.1) on a athlon with two cpu's

    my digital camera, sattellite tv card, network card, scanner etc just worked out of the box.

    a bit of tinkering, and i got 32bit flash and 32bit acrobat to work on 64bit firefox

    windows media plays fine in the browser and in all of the media players that linux has ( kaffeine is favourite, since it also plays music, dvd's and sattellite tv ( without bothering you with region-settings.......) )

    For ugly websites stuck on M$, there is Internet explorer 5, 5.5 or 6 available too....

    Visio was a problem. i got myself crossover, a commercial wine version.

    that solved it, visio 2003 is running just fine. All the other office stuff works fine in Open Office (ppt, xls, doc etc )

    counter strike source works just fine, as well, if you are into that...... ;)

    even my old redbaron 3d game ( 1998 ! ) runs fine 32bit on 64bit, including 3dfx emulation (windows DLL!)on top of X / nvidia card.

    I am on this kit now for more than a year, and liking it better every day.

    so, there is choice; linux is one of them. If you want a 64bit working desktop, linux can do it for you.


  39. Bill Buchan

    Vista. Euck.

    I've been an IT professional since 1985, and lived and breathed windows since it came out. But Vista, on a screaming Dell XPS Gen-2 laptop - even with a respectable speed score of 4.0 - sucked.

    I tried it for two whole painful months, on my main machine. Lived and breathed it - put up with the "are you sure", "are you really sure" "still not doing it..." prompts. And finally reverted back to XP. Thank god.

    Recently in the market for a new laptop- and I chose a MacBook Pro. XP lives (for those ever decreasing number of applications that require it) in a parallels window. Took a few hours, but it cleaned everything off the old machine. Nice. And XP in Parallels seems more reliable, responsive.

    Liked it so much I bought a further two macbooks for the wife and daughter.

    It was easier moving to the Mac than it was moving to Vista. Dont believe me ? Try it.

    (This from the guy with Solaris, AIX (x2), Linux (x2) and win2k3 in his test lab).

    And now, I feel like I own the laptop - it doesnt own me. Simple things - like hibernate - work perfectly. Speed isnt an issue, neither is spyware (MS and otherwise), virii, reliability is great.

    Things just work. Skype just picked up the built in webcam, and does proper microphone/speaker distinction. No more headsets. One in a long line of nice surprises.

    Vista ? Its an evolutionary DRM-ridden dead end. And the sooner that MS realise that they're lost influence in both OS and Office (Lotus Symphony/OpenOffice/NeoOffice anyone?) the better. They might realise that they're in an "IBM in the eighties" rut, and sack their current management.

    Me ? I'm doing everything I can to create an MS-free zone around me.

    I'm far happier.

    ---* Bill


  40. fon

    get yer OSes here.... (uk)

    and yes, that is XP plus SP2, at the bottom of the list...

    Dont try the shops, most are more concerned about commision, or making a big sale....

  41. Ishkandar

    Re. - re: Just how bad can the Vista experience be?

    We are still running NT4 SP3 for all work machines including an Oracle database and a very large in-house-built application. It ain't broke and we wouldn't fix it until twylight falls on those machines.

    I refused to use XP until it was stable. Had the same problems when NT first came out and waited until it (NT) was sort-of stable (SP2) before moving on to it.

    And I have used 64 bit machimes yonks ago; mostly in middle-weight iron that served as room-heaters in winter. And for those of you who believe in the Creation according Prophet Gates, try looking up PDP-8s !! I believe that was the era of Kernigan, Ritchie, Aho (?)*, Wienburg et al !!

    Once is happenstance; twice is coincidence; thrice is definitely extracting the Michael......

    *my memory ain't what it used to be. Too many black coffees have flowed under the U-tube !!

  42. Stan

    For what its worth

    Intersting comments, though most are saying the same thing (sticking with XP) and most are voicing an opinion (like myself) without ever having tried vista.

    One point I would like to make though, I'm 100% linux and my experiences with windows have been about equal between XP and 2000. In my opinion 2000 is by far the better windows OS. It runs much better on older hardware and seems far more finished than any up to date XP installs I have seen.

    I have very little experience with mac but the foundations for OSX are 100% rock solid and definitely a 'real' OS where stability and security are first and formost, and system resources are not wasted.

    As for vista, aside from all the 'my mate said...' and mac/linux fanboyism, the hard facts suggest MS don't expect anyone to take vista seriously and are going to milk it (and the boosted XP sales) for all they can get.

    The hardware makers are (kinda) happy, the music/video dinosaurs are happy but unless SP1 is the all singing, all dancing miracle fix everyone is hoping for then then they have collectively shot themselves in the feet as MS will be on a slippery slope. I seriously expect to see a new OS from MS within 3 years and vista to be written of as ME2.

    Also, did anyone else notice the well written posts praising vista all happend to arrive at the same time? ;)


  43. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Equipment replacement

    "If your Company has refreshed equipment in the last 18 months your hardware is ably compatible [for Vista], and if you haven't then you have got 18 months to plan a move (3 year cycle)."

    The higher-level general/home user doesn't want or need this hassle, though. As a whole, everything was just about acceptable until Vista was introduced! As Alan (Mac Convert) points out; the upgrade cycle, for Mac hardware, is more than seven years. A Mac Mini is looking like good enough value, for the near future. I was surprised that one could be so inexpensive, relatively speaking - with OSX included/sensibly priced, as well. Though, I wouldn't want a forced or fast move to a Linux-based OS11, either. Potentially, the same driver problems, once more.

    So... if I'm forced to change, to choose something other than an eventually unactivateable XP OEM, then the choice goes to OSX. This is before either (another MS eventual-crippleware OS) Vista or a version of Linux; both of which, for different reasons, may or may not completely function the way an end-user wants them to.

    A rat jumping from a sinking ship? Nope. I was never on the ship in the first place; just another non-owner getting towed along in a (rather large) dinghy. Windows Product Activation was never intended to allow anyone full & permanent boarding rights, remember. If Vole was to FOSS (or at least free) their legacy OSes for all eternity, then this might restore much confidence, for early adoption of a new OS, though.

  44. Hedley Phillips

    Hang my head in shame

    We had to buy 1 new PC to run Vista and office as a test machine and I am so sorry.

    Apart from this one machine, I will continue to purchase XP for as long as I can because:

    1) Vista is rubbish (and will continue to be until at least SP3

    2) We are a small company that can't afford 30 top of the range high spec machines just to run the damn O.S.

  45. John Stag

    Vista minimum specs...

    According to Microsoft Vista runs fine on an 800Mhz CPU.

    Still, I'm buying up all the XP OEM licenses I can get. They'll be worth a fortune by the middle of next year.

    PS: "All Windows Vista Capable PCs will be able to run at least the core experiences of Windows Vista. Windows Vista Premium Ready PCs can deliver even better Windows Vista experiences, including the new Windows Aero user experience."

    Who writes this garbage....?

  46. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    EVE Online?

    Those talking about the brief dalliance that CCP had with the idea of making Eve DX10 only would probably be interested in the recent call for testers of the new linux client that CCP put out recently on their forums.

    Reading between the lines, CCP tried to go DX10 only, users said "Oy! CCP! NOOO!!!" and CCP got the message and went the other way.

  47. Mike Lovell

    Talk about rash

    I think the 'problem' with Vista is that it's quite a bit different. Everything has been renamed and moved about a bit. XP was like your old comfortable slippers, and you don't like breaking in your new shoes.

    It does take a little time to get used to, but I don't think I'd like to go back now.

    What it sounds like has happened is people will install it, use it for 20 minutes, then go “I don’t like it, I want my Mummy (Sorry I mean my XP installation)”.

    Runs fine on my laptop, I actually get better battery usage as it seems to rope in my speedstep a bit better when I tell it to change power mode. If your computer doesn’t run it – Get a job you hippy! Get yourself a real mans PC!

    Only thing I don't like is that it takes so many clicks to actually get to your network adaptors to disable/enable them.

    Office 2007 totally kicks **** also! Go MS! I love you! I am your biggest fanboy! Give me more copes of Vista to do thy bidding!

  48. The Aussie Paradox

    Marketing 101

    “While we’ve been pleased with the positive response we’ve seen and heard from customers using Windows Vista, there are some customers who need a little more time to make the switch to Windows Vista.”

    I never took Marketing as a subject at University, but I am fairly sure blaming the customer is not in the course.

  49. Nigel

    MS Left It Too Late

    The error that MS made is to leave the release of their next OS for 6 ruddy years. People got used to XP to such an extent that they dont want to change. Additionally, those 6 years allowed MS to change the OS just a little too much, and in the process introduce too many new bugs.

    A release every 2 years would have been a better bet

    I think that the market is actually right for Jobs to release OS X for PC hardware. Of course, if OS X had to run on such disparate hardware as windows does then it would probably fall over all the time, and offer plenty of quirks too.

    My main issue with Vista is the dual screen and media centre functionality. I want to use a single pc as both desktop and media centre at the same time. XP has its oddities here (like locking the cursor to the media centre window!!!), but vista cant even remember which freeking screen to start media centre up on and the video experience is far worse than XP - jerky playback due to immature video drivers!

    I run vista on my laptop cause it has some nice mobility features, but I have XP on my desktop/media centre box.

    I will likely try again in 1 year to see if the annoying bugs have ben fixed.


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