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Windows Vista (31/01/2007 08:56:34 PM)

vistalogoSo most of you think I hate Microsoft Windows Vista adamantly. Well, I myself hate the new Microsoft operating system, especially after beta testing it since the days it was known as Longhorn. It doesn't mean I won't use it, and it doesn't mean it is the biggest pile of garbage. The thing is, of course with the launch, I have had people wanting to upgrade to the latest operating system already! So, I thought I would post my proper views on the Operating System.

Why should I upgrade to Microsoft Windows Vista?
If you like transparent windows and a somewhat flasher operating system with less viruses than Windows XP, then by all means upgrade. Is it worth the $282AU for the Home Premium upgrade (the home premium proper upgrade, not OEM nor Academic Edition) just to get a few new cool features? Well, that's up to you to decide.

What version should I get?
Home Premium is the lowest system you would want to get to notice any major improvements. Home Basic does not come with the Aero theme, not a good choice for laptops (whatever the reason may be), no Windows Media Centre, no Backup, no HDD Encryption (even Business doesn't have this), no games and no HD capabilities. Basically it's going to be minimum $282 to upgrade, then you need to make sure system is capable.

computerWhat is a reasonable computer?
For most of my clients, a simple RAM and Video Card upgrade should be all that's necessary. 1024MB of RAM is roughly $150, and a Video Card can be had for about $60. All up, $210 should upgrade your current system enough. Ideally, you will want a processor above 1.5GHz, a HDD with atleast 40GB of HDD Capacity, 1024MB of RAM (if you plan on running the Aero theme), and a 128MB ATI Radeon/NVidia Geforce video card.

When should I upgrade?
I would suggest holding off for at least 6 months given if you want help with any issues, next to no-one will have a thorough understanding of the Operating System. Of course, I will myself over the next 6 months thoroughly testing the OS on a spare machine I have lying around to work out what bugs are there, and what error messages mean what. By then, Dual Core machines with 1GB of RAM will be quite affordable, and Vista OEM editions can be found cheaper when we buy a new system Wink

Apparently Vista allows me to listen to music, photos and stuff. I couldn't do it on Windows XP!
If you honestly believe that Microsoft Windows XP was incapable of displaying your photos and listening to your music (which is what Microsoft Windows Vista is claiming), then you certainly will be unable to operate Vista's Media Center given you still need to copy photos off your camera, and copy music from CD's. My point is, Vista is only enhancing the way you interact with photos (ie using Media Center on your PC or a Media Center Extender like the XBOX 360). If you can't click Start - My Pictures, or Start - My Music, then Vista is going to be just as difficult to sort through Tongue out

Are you saying Microsoft Windows Vista is pretty much garbage?
As with the release of any new operating system, there is no reason to splash out on it. There are features that will be Vista-Only, for example the DirectX 10 Library (for gamers) that will require an upgrade to Windows Vista. This is why I suggest 6 months to 12 months before people will start realising they need to upgrade. For the time being, Windows XP is not passed its used-by date and can probably idealistically be used for another 2 years before support really starts to drop for it.

Are you going to use Windows Vista?
I have no choice but to. Given my career choice, I would be severely disadvantaging myself to not use Vista. I'll be using my newly acquired Ultimate Edition on my IBM NetVista 1.8GHz with 128MB Video Card and 768MB of RAM when I have the time and inclination to do so. Vista is going to be the future, no doubt, as software developers won't be switching to another platform just yet. I am personally holding out for the Longhorn Server to be released given the better RAM management and stability that makes Windows Server 2003 a great desktop operating system. Strange how it works hey Wink

linuxIs Macintosh better than Vista, Linux better than Vista?
Depending on the application, there are strong points to all 3 operating systems. Dependant on your needs, a Macintosh might in fact be a better solution. For myself, an Apple Macintosh is not an ideal Operating System. It is severely limiting (despite being a derivative of BSD), however in it's limitations is where Security becomes a great positive. For those browsing the internet, listening to music, making DVD's with no emphasis on game play (mind you, with Boot Camp you can install Windows to a mac but then you defeat the purpose of owning a Mac Tongue out) then a Mac is ideal.

Linux is in a world of it's own. The community in general (sorry to those in the community) is disgusting, and in my opinion very unhelpful. You will generally find a few who are happy to bend over backwards to help you, but overall it's pretty terrible. It's run mostly by teenage kids who don't know the first thing about it which is a shame (judging by many forums I have visited). The community is very much 'ha ha you are too n00bish' which in English translates to you are too stupid. Despite this, the operating system if you know what you are doing is quite a good operating system. It's flexible, and you can fine tune it to the finest of details. Would I recommend it to a client? Only SLED 10.1 without YaST, Terminal and any super user access Laughing so, short answer No.

I don't feel I need to reiterate the Microsoft Windows strong points, as you are most likely used to them now anyway. Windows is here to stay, and will be around for a long time. We will certainly see Mac and Linux come up with some decent competition (especially for those who can't afford $500 to upgrade Surprised who will stick with XP anyway).

Final Thoughts on Vista?
Of course, everyone has their own opinion on Microsoft Windows Vista. Personally, I can't see (from a technical aspect) how an Operating System should be allowed to use up 400-500MB of RAM on idle by default. I know it's terrible with Windows XP sitting on 500MB of RAM with stuff open (especially on my 512MB of RAM in my laptop). However, computers that will be released over the next few years will come standard with 1024MB of RAM and 128MB Video Cards, so this won't be an issue. What annoys me the most is how Mac, and Linux have been able to implement fantastic GUI's (for looks) and still use VESA drivers to draw them (VESA in english is pretty much just a standard driver that utilises no special features in Video Cards). It is not an excuse to say that Windows is not Linux nor is it Mac. The simple fact is, there is a drawing algorithm out there embedded into Operating Systems that do not require 128MB Video Cards.

To finish, I suppose time will tell on how successful the operating system is. The only time we will know if the operating is really a success is in 4-5 years if Microsoft is still making operating systems Wink


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