Reasons NOT To Upgrade to Vista

The other day we linked an article that listed 15 reasons to switch to Vista. The article was from PC World. Now they have one called: “Wait! Don’t Buy Microsoft Windows Vista!” Here are some of their reasons:

• Vista is incomplete, and they’re already planning a service pack.

• It’s expensive.

• It’ll work better on a new computer.

• You should just switch to a Mac anyway. “Apple will start selling the next version of OS X, code-named Leopard, this spring. The details of this operating system are secret, but it’s likely that it will be spectacular.”

Oh, life is so hard. So many difficult choices…—MEGHANN MARCO

Wait! Don’t Buy Microsoft’s Windows Vista [PC World]

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  1. rekoil says:

    It’s true there are undisclosed features that Leopard will have, but a lot of them have been published:

    http://www.apple.com/macosx/leopard/

  2. Allow me to take a moment and *shudder* defend Microsoft. All software is incomplete until it’s abandoned. See: systems development life cycle.

  3. Hawkins says:

    Mr. Dropout:

    You’re right, of course… but when PC World starts suggesting that you switch to a Mac, it may be worth listening.

    I try hard to be agnostic regarding operating system religions, but I recently switched to OS X, and it’s sweet. Like the article says, for those of us that do most of our stuff on-line, things work substantially better.

    Plus now I feel more like an artist (in the same way that putting racing stickers on your car makes it go faster).

  4. DieBrucke says:

    I am of the mindset that it’s an unnecessary upgrade from XP SP2. Most of the things that it does do better won’t substantially help user experience to justify paying the full economic cost of the upgrade. Besides, much of the software that’s out currently doesn’t take advantage of its abilities any better than they would on XP.

  5. olegna says:

    I’m one of those odd birds that has used both platforms regularly for over five years (I own an iMac and a Windows-based PC) and I don’t see what all the fuss is about with Mac, honestly. It seems much of the fuss is related to the Mac skin. Windows-based PCs have a lot more third party software options. If all you want is something you plug in and that keeps you warm and snug inside the bubble of the Apple family of software and hardware (and paying more for it), then I suppose go with Mac. (Though, honestly, iTunes is not that user friendly, it’s big and bulky, it “imports” tracks that are already on your hard drive, you can’t control the order by which your Store purchases download, you have to “point” iTunes to your media folders (??), and — because Apple only has like 5% parket share it wants to be the whore of the entertainment industry pimp).

    If you prefer a more customizable, modular experience, (and in many cases, easier, such as playing a song in WinAmp (about a couple of megs, the pre-AOL version) directly from the MP3 compared to firing up iTunes (a 40-megabyte monster), “importing” a track, wathcign the little bar load the song, then playing the song, then cleaning up your cue or having a million little playlists, who has that kind of time? . . .

    then a generic PC with Windows is the way to go. (Yeah, yeah, Unbutu. But, you see, I don’t need another learning curve in my life.)

    With that said, did anyone else ready that Christian Science Monitor story recently saying Vista would help the economy by increasing worker productivity?

    Sweet Jesus, talk about hyperbole! It’s just a f@%king operating system after all.

  6. shoegazer says:

    While I’m not switching to Mac anytime soon (my profession dictates I stay in Windows), neither am I excited about Vista. Microsoft has done so much to fack up this release that I wonder whether it’s being managed in the background by Apple sleeper agents / moles.

    I don’t expect my OS to change the way I live, play or “experience” or whatever other marketing catchphrase they care to use. As long as it’s secure against malware, doesn’t give me random useless messages, doesn’t conflict with every new component or device I choose to upgrade to, and doesn’t suck up all my memory or resources at the slightest provocation, then I’ll bite. Sadly the only OS that applies to is the one on my monochrome Nokia. :(

  7. aestheticity says:

    I’ll buy a mac when I want to pay a 100% premium for shiny things and inability to use 90% of software.

  8. aestheticity says:

    Ps. and I’ll buy Vista when someone gives me the (less than a mac but still) ridiculous amounts of cash for a sufficiently new PC.

  9. Starfury says:

    I will not be upgrading to Vista any time soon. My 3 yr old systems run everthing I need at home (Office XP, Firefox, few games) without a problem. Instead of dropping $1500 on a new PC (just the PC, no monitor/extra bits) I’ll just keep plugging alone w/ XP Pro. I’ll probably have to upgrade the video card in one of them to run any new games I get, but $150 upgrade isn’t that much compared to the cost of a new PC plus a version of Vista that will do what I need/want.

    Where I work there are no plans to upgrade to Vista; the firm would have to replace all of the PCs and laptops (several thousand); I expect 2-3 years before they’ll switch. As a bonus: IE7 isn’t compatible with a lot of the web applications we use.

  10. olegna says:

    OK, I just purchased a Vista ready generic build system. I had the monitor already, I had the external CD-ROM. For $750 I got the following:

    Core 2 Duo 2.13 Ghz compliant Gigibyte Mobo and the Intel processor

    Two gigs of RAM card

    The box to put these things in.

    A 256 graphics card.

    So, no, a Vista-compliant system doesn’t cost $1,500. With a monitor: $1,000.

    As a general rule: If you buy off-the-shelf (or from Apple) and the price seems very sweet you’re getting ripped off somewhere.

    Either they’re scrimping on the RAM, or the Mother board, or the HD, or the speed of the DVD reader, something — they calculate these things very carefully.

    You cannot beat the democracy inherent in being just a little educated about computers and buying generic parts from myriad manufacturers and putting it together yourself, or hiring some 12-year-old to do it for you for $50. And you save a lot of money that way, and you get exactly what you want.

    And then, if you have a PC that isn’t branded with the Apple, then you have a million choices in software, plug-ins, a lot of customization, third-party free stuff, etc.

    With Apple, you might as well get the company’s logo tattooed on your ass.

  11. medalian1 says:

    On Friday I received a copy of Vista Business FREE from watching three 1 hour webinars on Microsoft’s website a couple months ago. I’ll install it whenever my defective ram gets replaced. Until then I doubt my 256MB will be sufficient.

  12. pestie says:

    It’s Ubuntu, not Unbuntu. And it’s got a much gentler learning curve than you might think.

  13. Scazza says:

    Its sad when the “in” thing to do is constantly mock microsoft and its OSes. Welcome to 2001 I guess.

  14. pestie says:

    No, it’s sad when Microsoft keeps squeezing the rest of the world’s collective testicles tighter and tighter, selling us broken, half-assed operating systems, charging more and more while taking control of our own computers away from us.

    I knew when I dumped Windows XP for Ubuntu that I was in for some serious ass-aches, and I was not disappointed. But XP was already full of ass-aches — just different ones. I’d rather put my time and effort working with a community of people who want to make a decent, free OS and desktop environment than throwing my time and money at a company who’s overtly hostile toward me.

    I’m not trying to engage in some holy war about which OS is better. I’m a realist — the answer to that question depends entirely on what you do with your computer. But that doesn’t change the very real fact that Microsoft and their craptastic OS’s suck in many ways.

  15. olegna says:

    @pestie: Out of curiosity, can all of my software run on Ubuntu? (Adobe CS2, for example) or do I have to buy it all again or run two operating systems? People say it’s easy, but I’m nervous that I’ll discover WinAmp won’t run and I have to go find a Ubuntu version of that and 20 other programs I’ve grown very accustomed to using.

    (Also, one problem with a lot of third party and ope-source software is it’s created by complete dorks who can’t write a complete and clear sentence of simple instructions and always assume everyone is a geek like them that knows 40 things that only geeks would know, and then they’re condescending pricks when you ask them how to do something (like on a forum for instance). Lawyers, doctors and computer people are three groups who have zero written communication skills — the first two hire people who do.)

    The thing with “Windows people” is that they really have no loyalty to the operating system. What they like is the economics, the versatility, the huge amount of software options, etc. That cannot be said about Apple folks, who are so damn loyal about a brand name that they might as well get that aforementioned tattoo.

    I’d walk away from Windows tomorrow if I could take my software and tools with me and find a seamless transfer of my tried and true software.

    Oh, and that new operating system must NEVER, EVER have to look at a black screen and flashing cursor and plug in commands. Been there and done that when I was in high school. I am a designer, not a big fan of that command line.

  16. Absorber says:

    Look, I’m as anti-PC as any Mac user/former employee, but really PC World? Repping Leopard? You have “PC” in the title of your publication! By definition you really shouldn’t be telling people to go buy Macs; can’t be good for ad sales.

  17. @medalian1: I also got a copy free through PowerTogether. I got it Thursday.

    I installed it friday night, took 22 minutes from pressing the any key to boot the dvd to when I booted up to fully functional windows. It would have been several minutes faster had I not run off to get a drink when it was asking me what partition I wanted it on. As of now I’ve noticed no incompatibilities in any software, I havent noticed it eating resources (which was a problem in pretty much all of the previous releases, and yes, I’ve run them all), and I genuinely enjoy the new UI. I personally think that its a very welcome improvement of a previous system, much in the same way xp was an improvement of 2k. I don’t know if I’d go out and pay 300 bucks for it, but I must say that I’m pleasantly surprised with it. I do have a few reasons not to switch to Vista though.

    1. You don’t like change

    2. Your computer is a piece of garbage and you don’t want to buy a new one

    3. You don’t want to shell out upwards of 250 dollars for it

    4. You’re a netadmin and you don’t want to put a piece of software that you aren’t intimately acquainted with on your network. (Home users disregard this one)

    That’s all.

  18. I run both systems – Dell at work Mac at home (we do have mac’s at work also – i don’t qualify).

    the real answer is what makes you happy. for me at home it was a machine which looked nice, is uber quiet (which is a big thing for me sadly), took me 15 minutes to buy, came ready to roll, and I could focus on other things.

    yes, I can part out a system for less, and it will probably be uber fast. But it’s like rebuilding engines – I’ve done it a few times and know how to do it. Doesn’t mean I want to do it everytime.

  19. pestie says:

    olegna: Nope, Ubuntu (or any other Linux) is definitely not for you. Most Windows/Mac software is unavailable on Linux (although there are notable exceptions). The usual approach is to find open-source alternatives (replacing Microsoft Office with OpenOffice or WinAmp with XMMS, for example) but for people like yourself who are heavily invested in Windows software packages, you’ve pretty much got to keep running Windows, for better or worse.

    Right now, Linux is a good choice for two classes of people: the geeks (like me) or the ultra-casual computer users who do nothing but check their e-mail, browse the web, and maybe write a letter with a word processor from time to time. The geeks can take care of themselves when something goes wrong and they have to deal with the dreaded blinking cursor of the command line, and the ultra-casual users don’t even know or care what their operating system is, as long as everything works (and Linux systems don’t get infested with viruses and spyware and other such crap).

    You’re absolutely right about the problems with the open-source community. They can be a bundle of pricks sometimes to anyone they deem clueless, and the lack of decent documentation is frustrating even for someone like myself. Combine that with the fact that many programmers can’t design a decent user interface to save their lives and you get a situation where it’s often difficult or impossible for your average Windows user to make the switch to open source. It’s sad, but true. Many people are aware of these problems and some are working to change it. I wish them luck. There are a few of us geeks who take pride in both our technical skills and the ability to communicate well, but we’re few and far between.

  20. rekoil says:

    Absorber: So what you’re saying is that a Mac is not a Personal Computer?

    At any rate, IDG also publishes MacWorld and probably uses the same sales reps for both magazines.

  21. FLConsumer says:

    Let’s face it, Microsoft released Vista because of investor pressure. Windows XP was their last major success. Office 2003 still hasn’t been fully accepted in the marketplace, Server 2003 even less. With 5 years without a decent new product, the investors started to become antsy.

    I’m still searching for the perfect OS. MacOS has a nice engine (unix) but the GUI sucks. ADHD icons, limited customization and generally is designed to keep the user from messing with things. Win2k has a good no-nonsense interface and allows a good amount of customization (especially with 3rd party products), BUT is terribly inefficient. It’s more of a patchwork system than unified OS. Then there’s the issue of the registry. I’m sure it sounded great on paper, but it’s terribly complex compared to every other OS out there and is also quite fragile. Any glitch to your registry and you might as well reformat. The registry also poses a huge security hazard, which MS seems to ignore. The other problems with Windows are MS’ insistence upon everything working within IE, so if one part hangs, the whole system hangs. They’ve gotten better about this, but it still isn’t great. The other is trying to make the OS do everything. It’s an OPERATING SYSTEM, not a fully-integrated suite. It’s only supposed to get the computer up & running and be ready for programs to do work. The built-in programs aren’t worth a damn and take up room. If I want to look at pretty pictures, I’ll install a program to do it. If MS wants this functionality, they should consider bundling their products with those from other companies who do it right.

  22. Jimmy M says:

    Point two is only valid without 3 and 4 as options – which are FAR more expensive.

  23. Xkeeper says:

    Regarding PC World’s comments:

    Or you could, uh, you know. Not upgrade.

    Hell, I ran 98 until two years ago (that PC just would NOT have it anymore, understandable due to the conditions I put it through, not an OS problem) and has been running 2000 since.

    This laptop’s been running XP and I have no desire to change.

    There’s no reason to OMG A MAC! and spend even more time and money re-learning a crappy OS and buying propitary crap.

    (PS: I call it crappy due to the reasons someone posted above: unintuitive ‘running applications’ / shortcuts, lack of ability to make the OS feel like it’s yours with customization (every single one I’ve ever seen looks the same minus dekstop background), and so forth…)

  24. dugn says:

    PCWorld has been running articles for and against Vista for the last few months to leverage the hype around its impending release. Look back in their recent archives and you’ll see “10 Reasons We Love Vista”, followed by “10 Things We’d Change About Vista” followed by even more pro and con articles.

    I’m not going to fault them for taking both sides and milking the hype as much as possible. But the fact that this article got more coverage then the previous 7 surprises me.

    On a related note, my family has all asked me if they should upgrade to Vista or Mac. My question back to them: “Does your computer do what you need it to do today?” Invariably, the answer is “Yes.”

    “Then don’t upgrade.” It’s that simple.

    For someone looking to buy a new computer, the learning curve on Vista is so high, that’d I’d encourage them to buy a Windows XP SP2 machine instead (unless they’re feeling really adventurous). The move to Mac is just as big.

    Try both a PC and a Mac out in a store and decide for yourself.

    For those who don’t have specialty needs – like graphic layout and design (Mac) – or prefer almost universal compatibility with most applications (PC), the choice between the two is a matter of comfort and ease-of-use. For common tasks such as email, word processing and web browsing, the difference is simply personal preference.

  25. One good reason to not upgrade yet is because of support. Who will provide support for your old software if it doesnt work with Vista. Are all of the new drivers compatible with Vista?

    When you call up tech support for assistance are you even going to receive proper assistance?

    I dread the release of a new o/s from a support standpoint. Hopefully this will not be a nightmare for those of us who live in cubicles.

  26. batasrki says:

    This is my 2 cents. Vista is XP with an overdose of eye-candy. No advanced features that are supposed to make it a cut above have been included in this release. The stuff that is there has been in Linux and OS X for years now (read: User Access Control). Therefore, this is not a worthwhile upgrade. Maybe a year or two from now, but definitively not now.
    As for people asking could they make their software currently running in Windows run in Linux, the answer is yes, you can. Not easily, but you can. The issue here is are you willing to spend some time to wean yourself off of Windows platform. And therein lies the rub. Microsoft has made people lazy and dependent on them and that needs to be broken. Sorry if this sounded like a rant, but I do get upset when people are unwilling to change because of stereotypes or bad experiences. For every idiotic Linux geek out there, there are at least two geeks willing to help out and explain things in terms non-geeks can understand. If anyone is interested in Linux and needs help, I’d be willing to help out.

  27. olegna says:

    >> yourself who are heavily invested in Windows software packages

    If you mean software that runs in the Windows environment, yes. But the only Microsoft products (that I’m aware of, perhaps drivers and someother stuff, too) I use is the OS, Word and Excel. I’ve started using Outlook for the first time simply because I find the export/import more intuitive. BUt even that I only use to download my Gmail. I relay heavily on Adobe productsand any way you cut it, GIMP is not as good as Photoshop.

    If you mean all the open source, freeware and little cheap apps — well, there just seems to be more (user friendly) stuff for a computer running in the Windows environment. I don’t consider WinAmp (the best, simplest and sweetest player out there: the pre-AOL 5.0 WinAmp when it was just a few geeks that got user interface right) — well, that stuff isn’t “WIndows software” more than it’s “Software made to run on the world’s most popular OS”.

    >> lack of decent documentation is frustrating even for someone like myself. Combine that with the fact that many programmers can’t design a decent user interface to save their lives and you get a situation where it’s often difficult or impossible for your average Windows user to make the switch to open source.

    That’s it in a nice nutshell!

    I can always tell a geek’s website from the awful design. They just don’t value GUI at all. That’s part of their problem. They don’t have the skills and they don’t consider it important. GUI is more than just “eye candy” in most cases (Apple is mostly about “eye candy” — Windows hits a nice medium, though Vista might be more about eye candy than any previous release) — it’s about turning your computer into a tool that’s easy and intuitive to use, not forcing users to participate in coding and ugly design. My computer is a tool. I want a screwdriver, I don’t want to make one through collaborative efforts. That turns the screwdriver into a project in itself.


    >> Or you could, uh, you know. Not upgrade.

    That’s probably good advice. I bought an OEM copy of Windows XP for my latest desktop purchase with the “free” upgrade ($79 plus shipping) to Vista Home Pro, but the upgrade might just sit in my desk drawer for a year before I actually install it. I have to wait and see if my setup is easy to migrate or if I have to play the “find the driver” game at inopportune times.

  28. Ran Kailie says:

    Like any smart person I wait at least a year after a Microsoft product is released before upgrading.

    You should just switch to a Mac anyway. “Apple will start selling the next version of OS X, code-named Leopard, this spring. The details of this operating system are secret, but it’s likely that it will be spectacular.”

    You know what I’ll switch to a Mac, and please apple fanboys/girls everywhere the day one of these three things happen:

    A. The games I play work on Mac, no I’m not giving up my stress relief.
    B. Hell freezes over and Satans signs the title to hell over to me.
    C. All fanatic Apple fans die in a horrible fire immediately doused with a bucket of cancer.

    But seriously, I have such a hate for Apple, and I actually use to like the operating system prior to OS X. Nice for some things, worthless for others. DRM much?

    No operating system is perfect, Windows may blow, but at least in Windows I can blow away bad guys in City of Heroes after a bad day at work.

  29. olegna says:

    >> And therein lies the rub. Microsoft has made people lazy and dependent on them and that needs to be broken.

    Hmmmmm, and that’s worse than being dependent on Linux chat boards when I find out I can’t run my $600 copy of Photoshop, which I do depend on greatly? Just like I depend on the city utilities to provide me water and electricity rather than building my own well and windmill?

    Lazy is how you look at it. It’s not lazy to use my dependable system to make $1,000 on a freelance deal instead of spending that time trying to figure out the Linux equivalent of making a concert poster in Illustrator and export it in PDF work-flow into a standard format for delivery.

    When I start seeing my industry migrate to open source, I’ll go.

    Here’s an interesting point about that. My employer recently tried the Mac equivalent of OpenOffice. It sucked, big time:

    #1.) When you open OpenOffice (the Mac equivalent, not sure about the versions for other platforms) it opens ALL OF THE APPS! In other words, I want to write a document in OE I have to boot up the spreadsheet and all the other apps instead of just opening the word processor. That doesn’t sound like a big deal until you enter and exit that software 20 times a day in an office network on deadline.

    #2.) The TXT files in OE when opened in Word display both the quote marks and the apostrophes as the same ASCII gibberish — which means that you can’t even “search & replace” the ASCII. This minor glitch in OE is a headache at production places that flow files in TXT (either everyone in the world we ever deal with inside and outside of the company had to use OE to receive a TXT file, or we had to stop using OE.

    This was a bad experience in open source. When “the plebs” make the software Wiki style, it seems like there isn’t enough thorough product testing to help office networks. Like the screwdriver analogy I mentioned: I don’t want to waste time “tweaking” the screwdriver itself. If that makes me “lazy” so be it. But in the time I take migrating to Linux I can make $1,000 and pay for my copy of Windows.

    It’s not “lazy” just because most computer users don’t want to “code” and scour Linux Forums for the geeks that don’t call the rest of us “lazy” and corporate bootlickers to solve problems they wouldn’t have in a commercial O/S environment. In that sense: Windows and Apple users unite! Call me a Luddite, but the computer is a tool that I don’t want to delve into that much. I just want to use it like a screwdriver (and let the industrial engineers worry about the shape of the handle) to make money and stay connected to the world.

  30. olegna says:

    Ran is right: the big elephant in the room is the gaming issue. If you play games, Apple and Linux are out of the equation. I don’t play that much (a WWII simulator from time to time) but it’s nice to have the option.

  31. B says:

    My “switch to Mac” flowchart:
    Can I play the newest, funnest games on a Mac:
    If No, then don’t switch.

  32. pestie says:

    Heh… Games are another reason I can be comfortable running Linux as my primary OS. ‘Cause my “flowchart,” as B puts it, goes something like this:

    Are games a huge waste of time and money? Yes? OK, then!

    Yeah, I know how cool and addictive games can be. 10 years ago or so, I used to play various Quake mods online for hours every day. Damn, it was fun. I bought a first-gen Xbox when they came out, too, and killed a bunch more hours playing Halo. But as it is now, I have so many interests and so many projects going on that I never get anywhere near finishing all the projects I’d like to. I’m working on getting off DirecTV for the same reason (TV is at least as bad as video games, maybe worse). Games are like cigarettes (which I also quit) — it would just take one to get me hooked again.

  33. Mr. Gunn says:

    There’s something else no one has mentioned yet, and that’s the DRMification of the whole Vista OS. We’ve all dealt with DRM issues before, but it’s different with Vista. If you play any “protected content” on a system running Vista, it will query the hardware to see if the hardware will respond to its copy protection request, and if it does not, it will forcefully shut down that hardware until the protected content is no longer playing. The thing is, hardware manufacturers aren’t even making hardware that does this yet, and don’t really have that much of a plan to start, since the degradation of the signal produced by the DRM will make it look like their hardware is much crappier than it is. Thankfully, there isn’t that much of the stuff they call “protected content” available, but wouldn’t it suck if everything started going that way once you were locked in to Vista, and you had to buy all new hardware, just to support the DRM?

  34. DF says:

    aestheticity: “I’ll buy a mac when I want to pay a 100% premium for shiny things and inability to use 90% of software.”

    Don’t forget to add, “and when I realize it’s no longer 1997″ ;-)

  35. Her Grace says:

    I’d walk away from Windows tomorrow if I could take my software and tools with me and find a seamless transfer of my tried and true software.

    That sums up my feelings on it completely. I’ve been looking into linux distros and learning how to partition my harddrive to do a dual boot and all sorts of things. But I checked the compatability of my hardware, and it turned into a moot point. I can’t afford a new printer/scanner, and it’s not linux compatible. That’s the big one. Photoshop, other programs…I can learn to use the alternatives. I’ve used and have no real issue with GIMP, but then again, I’m not a big Photoshop junkie. Same with my other media programs. But I can’t even get a guarentee my monitor will work. So it’s not feasible for me now. Then again, neither is uselessly upgrading to Vista.

  36. batasrki says:

    olegna, I wasn’t suggesting that you switch all of your apps to Linux versions or Open Source versions. As I am a geek, I do tend to speak tersely sometimes and for that I apologize. What I was suggesting is that you run a Linux as a base OS and then run the Windows apps you feel comfortable with and you’ve invested your money in through Wine, a program capable of running Windows programs on Linux. You could even have 3 partitions on your hard disk, one for Windows (for those times when you simply cannot use Linux), one for Linux which should be your primary OS and one for data formatted in such a way so that both OSs can read and write to it. I know it sounds like a bit of work, and it is initially. The reason I am advocating for Linux is that MS will eventually stop supporting XP and will force you to upgrade even if you may not want to. Upgrading to Vista will handcuff you media-wise as it is full of DRM restrictions, with more surely to come. These restrictions can also be imposed by other software makers not just Microsoft, for example, Adobe. With Vista, this is possible.
    I am not trying to sound like a fanboy, cause I’m not. I genuinely dislike DRM and Microsoft filling their OS full of it is a big issue. I am only suggesting to keep your options open, that’s all.
    I had a similarly bad experience with OpenOffice on a Mac machine, but never on a Windows or a Linux one. So, what you’ve experienced sounded like immaturity of the product on the Mac platform at that time.
    I hope I’ve explained my point clearly enough.

  37. Legodude522 says:

    All you Mac zelots can STFU.

    Go Linux. :-)

  38. spinner says:

    People seem to think Macs are priced like it was 1997. They’re not.

    Spec comparisons’ people. Go to the DELL webpage and build a PC with the same brand components.

    The couple of hundred dollars difference justifies the iLife suite and all the time you won’t spend upgrading, configuring, upgrading, configuring your firewalls and Anti-Virus software.

  39. spinner says:

    DFrakes – you totally got there first.

  40. olegna says:

    bata: yes, you explained it well. From what I’ve read so far, I don’t plan on actually upgrading form XP to Vista (even though I ordered the “free” $79 plus shipping upgrade). The DRM thing really peeves moi. Perhaps I will try out partitioning my HD and installing Linux. I’ve alway been chill to the idea of installing two operating systems, but perhaps doing so is the best way for a Linux-curious Windows person to try it out while still having the guarantee that the current setup of tried and true software (vital to my job and other projects) is there for the taking.

    If I could have a whole setup of third-party freeware or low-cost apps that are easy to use, I would invest the time in setting it up. (Aside form my work, my single most-used app is pre-AOL version of WinAmp, I love that piece of code — beats the hell out of iTuneswhen it comes to the simplicity of playing MP3s, and it represents the best of the open source movement. If I could find other open source software that exhibits that perfect balance between open source mod-ability (tons of great plugins) and user-friendly GUI, that would be the perfect system for me.)

    This, of course, illustrates what distinguishes Windows users from Mac users: Windows users have a lot more options for making a computer that is distinctly customized to that individual’s tastes. All Macs are the same, in comparison, and it’s amazing how willing Mac users are to adhering to a lifelong devotion to living in a self-imposed “box” of a major brand name. I rarely meet a Mac person that even knows how to change a hard drive. Though to be fair: Apple doesn’t want them to do that. Some models like the free-standing iMac I use at work can’t even be opened without a special tool. And the sheer stupidity of customers being happy with not being able to change the iPod battery (or the iPhone battery) without mailing it into the manufacturer or prying it open with a screwdriver is amazing to me. But I digress…

  41. batasrki says:

    olegna, I totally agree with your Mac argument. There is some customization to be had with the Dashboard Widgets and, while I haven’t fully explored that, it is limited.
    To tell you the truth, there is even an easier way to explore Linux if you’re interested. Both Ubuntu and Knoppix offer excellent versions of “Live” Linux CDs. That is, you can run Linux off a CD without ever worrying about partitioning and all that. To save data, you would have to have it installed on its own partition, but as an exploration tool, these live distributions are excellent. As for open source products in the class of WinAmp, I think that there is potential out there and the hardest thing is wading through the sea of choices before finding what suits you the best. Also, consider how old the WinAmp project is compared to the relative explosion in popularity of Linux. So, maturity is an issue right now and that will be fixed in time.

  42. helio9000 says:

    The article itself is pretty lame but I think that the comment that the features of Leopard “are likely to be spectacular” hilarious. I use XP/Vista, OS X and Ubuntu finding good things and drawbacks about each platform but none of them are even remotely spectacular. I’m a geek and can’t imagine only using one OS and I have been using computers for 25 years and I haven’t seen a truly brand new thing in the OS world since the original mac. The fact that fanbois at the Mac PDC were cheering wildly about virtual desktops, a 20 year old feature in the real world, tells me all I need to know about how secluded and delusion one-platform users often are. Or, I suppose, what passes for spectacular these days.

    >DRMification of the whole Vista OS.

    This is true but pitching it as just a MS issue is misguided. Apple is the biggest pruveyor of DRM in the world and I doubt very much that they won’t build the ability to playback protected BluRay discs (players are slated to be built into the nextgen desktops) into Leopard. On this issue Linux is the only way to go. Also, the article linked to, while it makes some good points, is also full of absolute FUD. The claim that non protected content will be degraded is utter nonsense and clouds the larger issue that all DRM is bad. Not just MS DRM.