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.


As soon as I finish downloading Microsoft Office Ultimate (which I bought for $60 – you need a .edu email address to qualify), I am going to shut down my Thinkpad, remove the hard drive, and install the new hard drive I bought earlier. Then I will put the nlited DVD of Windows XP SP3 (using the original Windows license that came with the Thinkpad) in the drive and hopefully boot to the install screen. If all goes well, I’ll have a clean install on a clean hard drive. I’ve already backed up my data and also have an external USB case for the old hard drive handy.

Gulp. Here goes. I’ll be twittering updates if anyone is curious to follow the progress.