Vista Me

I have completed my reinstall of Windows XP SP3 from scratch, on my new hard drive, for my Thinkpad. The thing that took the longest was getting my apps in order, a process which made me realize just how few essential apps I use, and how dependent I am upon them for my workflow. I think it’s even more clear after this process than before just how damaging a move to the Mac universe would be. And frankly, I had forgotten how great XP can be. Everything just works the way i want it, the way I know it.

With regard to Windows 7, the successor to Vista, Bill Gates promises the emphasis will be on performance this time around:

We’re hard at work, I would say, on the next version, which we call Windows 7. I’m very excited about the work being done there. The ability to be lower power, take less memory, be more efficient, and have lots more connections up to the mobile phone, so those scenarios connect up well to make it a great platform for the best gaming that can be done, to connect up to the thing being done out on the Internet, so that, for example, if you have two personal computers, that your files automatically are synchronized between them, and so you don’t have a lot of work to move that data back and forth.

In a nutshell, while Vista was all about security, Windows 7 will be about efficiency. It should be noted that a while back, Microsoft engineers demoed the core kernel of Windows 7, to run within 25 MB of disk space and 40 MB of RAM. Obviously that doesn’t include the GUI or the main OS features but its impressive to think that the essential core of Windows can be optimized that far down. And they aren’t done yet.

The truth is that for the modern computing environment, Windows XP trumps Vista by virtue of being leaner and more stable. I probably use my Asus EEE about 75% of the time, because it is so portable. The relatively slow speed (and lack of a big storage disk) are no hindrance because I sync my files to my main PC using FolderShare, and even the EEE has plenty of juice to run Office. However, it can’t run Vista, and given that the market for small PCs of the EEE variety is just starting to accelerate it’s no wonder that Microsoft is hinting about keeping XP around for a while longer. A lot of big businesses are also taking the long view, opting to skip Vista entirely and wait for W7.

We still don’t that much about Vista – Ars has a handy summary of just what we do know – but as far as my compute needs go, Vista is akin to Windows Me. I don’t need it, and I don’t want it, and I am going to wait for the “real” upgrade down the line.

6 thoughts on “Vista Me”

  1. Vista was pretty much an interim release. The big feature planned for it was an entirely new file system, which used a relational database for its indexing. But they couldn’t get it ready in time, and it had been so long since XP came out that they felt they had to ship something.

    So the big deal with Vista, besides the security upgrades, was eye candy.

  2. Vista ain’t that bad, I think.

    This is coming from a Mac guy who has depended on OSX for the last five years, and has never been let down. I decided to give it a chance on my latest build. Believe me, I know the heartbreak of Windows ME, and had the same apprehensions. I was going to dual boot with Ubuntu anyway, and decided on Vista Ultimate 64 rather than the 64 bit version of XP.

    I’m pretty happy with it. It’s much faster than the XP computers I’ve been dealing with (apples and oranges, I know…). Rock solid so far after two weeks, and I haven’t found a problem yet.

    The transition between OSX and Vista hasn’t been that hard, and is pretty much a toss-up at this point. You have to scratch pretty hard to find an app that will only run on one of them.

    For coding purposes I still prefer my powerbook, and a new Macbook Pro will likely be my next purchase. You’ll understand once you buy one someday.

    I’ll declare here that Vista isn’t Windows ME. If you’ve got a build that will handle it Vista is a very nice OS. It’s not ME.

  3. I’m curious about these essential apps you mention. Obviously I won’t realise until I actually do a re-install but I can only think of a handful of applications that get used on a regular basis at home. At work, that’s a different story.

    But at home, I can only think of gvim, putty, and launchy as being my heavy weight apps (ignoring the obvious Firefox, Thunderbird, AVG, and office).

    Then occasional apps which I would get around to re-installing eventually would be picasa and filezilla.

    I’m probably forgetting a few obvious ones so I’m curious to see what’s on your must have list for XP.

  4. Picasa and filezilla, definitely. However, I also am a heavy Notepad++ user, and I am heavily reliant on EndNote and MathType.

    I also have a MATLAB license which is for an older version, on PC and Unix. If I were to switch to Mac I’d need to buy a new license. And I use OUtlook heavily for access to my institutional mail, as well as basic todo tasking.

    I’ve also become addicted to Foldershare, CDBurnerXP, 7zip, doPDF, and a few other minor utilities. These are now part of my “standard install” and it would be a pain to research alternatives.

  5. I just took a look at launchy, and am intrigued. I can see how this could become pretty central to my routine. It might be even more appropriate for my EEE in fact…

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