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How’s That New Version Going, Bill?

Vista is been such a success that CNet reports that Dell is bringing XP back. In response to customer demand, Dell is going to make Windows XP available on its home machines, as it still is on its business machines.

The Dell was running a customer survey when Vista was introduced, and an extremely large number of people don’t want to switch. Apparently other people have stocks of XP machines, if you ask.

This is good news for people who would rather wait that switch. As Dell goes, so goes a large part of the computer market, so other companies will see the light.


1 Anya { 04.22.07 at 1:38 pm }

I’m running Vista Home Basic Edition. Having upgraded from Win 98, I can’t compare it to Win XP, so I couldn’t tell you which is better. However, I don’t have the fancy, animated GUI (for starters), and have shut off all the automatic update and user account security devices that I could find. Things now appear to run much more smoothly, except for some auto-update functions on non-Windows support programs like Norton Internet Security, Quicktime and Acrobat. Hell, I can even run programs that I have been assured couldn’t possibly run under Vista.

So tell me, with all that embroidery switched off, how is Vista different from XP?


2 Michael { 04.22.07 at 1:54 pm }

I was hoping they’d also start offering Linux. I need to upgrade my laptop one of these days, but the fact that they only offered Vista was holding me back. I had heard they were going to start offering Linux as an option, but could only find some business machines with basically no OS on them, onto which I could then somehow manage to load whatever I wanted.

I don’t have any major issues with XP, as long as Micro$uck doesn’t decide that, in order to force everyone to pay them major bucks and go through the hassles of upgrading their OS, they’ll stop supporting XP in a couple of years. So if Dell is going to make XP available again, I might consider doing that. But probably not until I’m back from France. While it would be nice to have a bigger hard drive and an internal CD or DVD write-capable drive for saving documents, I’ve just got too much going on (and not enough dinero) to mess around with buying a new machine, customizing it, moving all my software and data from the old to the new, etc.

3 Bryan { 04.22.07 at 3:03 pm }

Anya, stripped like that it will look an “feel” like XP, but it will be slower and use more RAM and disk space. No point in going back now that you’ve put the effort into setting it up.

Michael, I think they introduced Linux into their business desk-tops. It will spread out to other lines eventually. You might consider a USB external drive for back-up and extra storage if your laptop supports USB 2.0.

Vista is just too hungry for a lot of people. A little too “cute” for a lot of people.

4 Steve Bates { 04.22.07 at 3:59 pm }

I haven’t really investigated Vista much. It would take one of the high-end versions to run the development s/w I use, and I’m not interested in funding the resources to support the pretty-pretty interface animations and such… nor am I interested in being Bill’s beta tester. I have nothing against Vista; I just don’t want it yet.

My situation: I have an XP Pro desktop machine on which I’ve done most of my development for a few years. I know there are XP drivers for all my devices. I know XP supports the software I use. I have no desire to change from that machine at all, but a BIOS message at bootup tells me there’s an approaching problem with its hard drive, and occasionally I observe episodes of slowness (no, not from viruses). I hope to replace that machine with one as nearly the same as possible… faster and with more RAM is fine, but otherwise, the specs of the old one exactly meet my needs.

It has been my personal experience (YMMV) that XP Pro SP2 is the most stable version of Windows that Microsoft has produced to date. I have no desire to break a new horse if I can keep riding the old one. At the moment, the old machine continues to run with only occasional periods of slowness, presumably due to the announced HD problem. Until I can get a new XP Pro machine, we are a good match: I continue to run with only occasional periods of slowness…

5 Steve Bates { 04.22.07 at 4:06 pm }

Oops, I forgot… Michael, I understand Dell is also offering Linux on some machines because customers want it. And the pocket-sized Western Digital Passport external USB hard drives are wonderful for people in your situation. I bought one for extra storage while I transfer things from one machine to the other, and so far, I have only positive things to say about it. A semipro photographer friend of ours bought one to take on a trip to Mexico as something to which to dump camera cards. Compactness and simplicity are among its virtues: one USB cable and one indicator light are the entire external interface, and it literally fits in your pocket.

6 Bryan { 04.22.07 at 4:28 pm }

There may be a time when it’s makes sense to change, but that time isn’t immediately after something is released. Let the hobbyists sort things out. Computers are the tools of my trade. You don’t change your tools unless there’s a real advantage.

7 BadTux { 04.23.07 at 2:11 am }

Microsoft hasn’t released a good OS since Windows 2000, which was their first (and only) OS ever that was fast, reliable, and did not use an inordinate amount of resources. So of course they had to discontinue support for it. Of course.

8 Bigger, Slower, More Intrusive is not better « cannablog { 04.23.07 at 2:53 am }

[…] Hat-tip Bryan at Why Now? […]

9 Bryan { 04.23.07 at 9:43 am }

Windows 2000 was based on NT which was a ground up rewrite project lead by Dave Cutler, one of the main people involved with DEC’s VMS operating system. NT was a good OS, better before they started accommodating some of the earlier “features” of Windows. Since the core code was clean and unpatched, Windows 2000 had an excellent base to build on.

They have been chipping away at the base by using contract workers and outsourcing parts. If they had kept Cutler’s team together, people who knew and understood the code, they would have a nearly bullet-proof OS, but that’s not the way Microsoft operates any more.

10 Steve Bates { 04.23.07 at 1:31 pm }

I know a lot of people who like Windows 2000, and a client of mine about three years ago continued to run it for a lot of the app server machines even after Microsoft started pulling the rug out. Although Windows XP Pro SP2 is bulky and resource-hungry compared to 2000, and although it took MS two service packs to get it right, I have found XP Pro to be quite stable; the one computer I leave on 24×7 often goes two or three months without a catastrophe-induced reboot. (Yes, I’ve heard that machines running that penguin thingie can go a lot longer than that…)

Speaking of which, BadTux, do you have a recommendation of a Linux distro suited to a Linux beginner like me? My current plan is to go with Ubuntu.