Microsoft Vista… Where too?

Seems to me like my initial hunches over the glossy, now 1-year-old, operating system may have been right all along.
You see, I was one of those many millions (maybe billions) of people waiting with bated breath for the arrival of MS Vista. I had started using computers when Windows 95 was fresh on the market and at which time it was a “WOW” if you had a notebook with Windows 3.1.

From that time to just before the release of MS Vista, there had been a great deal of changes and they were generally good changes which meant improvements in security and user-friendliness. MS was making leaps and bounds with hardware compatibility and self-customization.

Of course MS also had its dips of pure ridiculousness, like Windows ME and Windows 98 (prior to the Second Edition).

Then Windows XP came out in its two infamous flavors, Professional and Home. Either way you were pretty alright, except for the fact that XP needed hundreds upon hundreds of MB worth of security patches and “Hot Fixes”, which were all compiled later into “Service Packs 1, 2 and 3”.

So after all those years of Windows XP having been released and being constantly under the “surgeon’s knife”, we heard of the new Windows Operating System that was going to be “Ultimate” in looks, design and security.

Well, the world of computing was in for a shock – and not a pleasant one.
As Acer CEO Gianfranco Lanci explained in an interview, “The entire industry is disappointed by Windows Vista. I really don´t think that someone has bought a new PC specifically for Vista.”

Now there is a lot of mud-throwing going on and Vista is literally caked in the grimy brown matter. But is it REALLY all that bad?

When you consider that the idea of something “new” coming out to the public domain is meant to be a step forward and a general lead to progress, then yes, Vista really is “that bad” – at least a year ago when it was just released. Of course, give ANY operating system enough time to be used by the public and the bugs are bound to be fixed and the gaping holes filled. But what I am talking about here is the time at which Vista was released — it was a “disappointment” for the most part.

Now there are always going to be the odd few who say they have “no problem with Vista”. I have known a couple myself. One of them owned a desktop replacement which was more powerful than most desktop PC’s – P4 3.2 GHZ – 2 GB RAM – 120 GB HDD – 256 MB Dedicated Graphics – a machine that would cost about $3000.00 new, and a machine who’s specs if bought today would cost the same amount. This is by no stretch of the imagination a “regular” machine, or one that you could draw your standards from.

The other chap who was happily using Vista was doing so on a workstation. He had the Vista operating system stripped down to an absolute minimum and was using it on a high performance PC. His tasks were server oriented and relatively straight forward. But even he had somethings to tell me about Vista. He spoke to me of problems and bugs in the Vista system. He was aware of these issues and therefore had equipped his PC with a dual boot option to Linux.

Most people I know (95%) who own a computer, own a laptop. The laptops they use are something between the Pentium 4M 1.6/2.0 and Centrino to the Duo Core 1.6/1.8 with the rare exception of a few Core 2 Duo 1.6/2.0 CPU’s. Average RAM is anywhere from 384 MB to 1GB. Hard Drives are between 60 and 80 GB with the rare 120 GB occurring. Graphic RAM nowadays is mostly shared, which means it steals from system RAM, and if dedicated its a meager amount between 64 and 128 MB.

Laptops that have a really good spec on one account will usually be cut back on another side. For example, you may have a Core2Duo 2.0 GHZ CPU, but only 512 MB of RAM. Or you may have 1 GB of RAM but only a Core Duo 1.6 GHZ CPU. Few are the people who own a laptop which is high specked on all sides.

My point is that for the average PC user MS Vista will not function smoothly. I know this for a fact due to having personally experienced the utter frustration of everything working in slow-motion on brand new laptops and desktops which were pretty decently equipped with resources. Windows XP Professional, however, ran very smooth and swift on the same machines. This happened with a brand new Toshiba laptop, a brand new Dell Desktop (with HIGH specs), and 2 brand new IBM Thinkpads.

After seeing Vista struggle to perform even the simplest of tasks on these machines, the owners and myself, began looking for alternatives. MS XP Professional and Ubuntu Linux were in the runnings. For those who could afford Windows XP, they went in that direction and are very happy with their new machines. For those who could not afford the extra $200.00 for a MS operating system, Ubuntu Linux was the answer, and they are happy as well…..

I now have switched entirely over to Ubuntu Linux, as have a number of others around me. Linux is not for everyone, mind you, at least not for those who are past learning new things. For those who have changed from Windows to Linux, they have done so with relative ease and swiftness. It’s wonderful to see 50 year olds and 15 year olds getting into the Linux groove just the same…..

But for those who cannot bring themselves to learning a new method to accomplish the very same tasks…. go with Windows XP Professional and don’t let MS Vista rob you of time and computing resources.

Some interesting links:


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