My father-in-law asked me this recently – “I really want to read your “rant” on Microsoft’s XP antics like stopping the sale of XP in June and later dropping direct support. Especially since Vista is held in high esteem by so few.“
To be honest, I’m not sure how I feel about it. It is unfortunate that we, the American computer consumer, have been put in a position where one company can overwhelmingly dictate to us what computer operating system (OS) we will or won’t use. Stopping the sale and support of XP is a business move. Microsoft have been “all about the Benjamins” since it opened and that is never going to change.
“But Microsoft has done this in the past,” you say. “It’s no different than when they switched from Windows 98 to XP.” I would disagree with that statement. XP was a huge step forward from 98, and especially the ill tempered Windows Me and 2000. When XP was launched in October 2001 there were at least six other Windows OS’s in use: 95, NT 4.0, 98, 98 SE, 2000, and Me. And those had all been released between August 1995 and September 2000.
XP was the majority used Windows OS for 5 years. One system over five years, not six systems over five years! That’s why there is such a resistance to Vista. After five years we want to see a vast improvement, not a glossed over remake of what we already have.
Reviews have been mixed concerning Vista. Some see it as simply a flashy version of XP that requires more memory to run, which is why it hasn’t been accepted widely by the American public – there is no reason to upgrade because the cost outweighs the benefits. Others claim it’s the best thing since sliced bread. Having had very little personal experience with it, I can’t say.
I know three people who have upgraded to Vista, and it’s because they purchased new laptops from Dell. They say that it works just fine and that the only problem they’ve had was getting to know the new OS. Maybe they had to update the RAM but, come on. With all of the gadgets and gizmos that get plugged into computers today, and with all of the programs that are run at the same time, do you really expect a home PC or Laptop to run “fast” on 512MB of RAM? Remember, you’re playing virtual games, not Pacman. You’re streaming video over a cable or T1 line, not a 256k modem.
Some people have threatened to switch to Apple’s Mac or to a Linux system. That’s fine. You can do that. You won’t be proving anything to Microsoft. Steve Jobs will be giggling all the way to the bank as people abandon the iceberg-struck Vista Titanic though. The only way that switching from Microsoft to Apple is going to force Microsoft to change there way is to do it en mass. And considering most businesses us a Windows system, well Microsoft just won’t notice a few hundred thousand people switching there home PC’s to Apple. But if you like Windows, please keep in mind that Windows 7 is scheduled for release in 2010. That only gives you one year of unsupported use on XP before a “bigger, better” Windows is released.
You can take the chance and your computer crashes, well then you’ll have to bite the bullet and purchase Vista. If you’re current computer won’t support Vista, well it’s time you got a new computer. Myself included. I have a Dell that I purchased in May, 2004. It will not support Vista. I’ve already given into the fact that, when it goes down, I’ll have to purchase a box with Vista on it. That’s OK. Progress is good. And besides, as long as I continue sacrificing cats to the computer gods, I shouldn’t need a new PC until Windows 7 is out.