Friday, May 9, 2008

It Feels Like Déjà-XP All Over Again

I have been using Vista since launch and love it! I am MCTS: Windows Vista Client Configuration certified and have presented on Vista for WWITPRO. Before this, I have used every Windows OS since Windows 2.0, yes that includes Windows ME but I don't want to talk about that one! Vista and ME were the only versions of Windows I used since launch, in fact, I waited in line for a midnight release of ME...I am still in therapy over that one! Why is this important, simply this. I have used all of the excuses on upgrading to XP that I have heard others speak about Vista.

I did a Live search on XP comments and found a few choice quotations for you. "It feels ridiculously slow.", "You want to avoid installing Windows XP on a system more than a year old.", "Memory may be cheap, but for an OS to have to use that much RAM to work well, that's just terrible,". These are just a few of the comments that columnists of the day were writing. At the time, Windows XP represented an revolution rather than the minimal changes that occurred between Windows 95, Windows 98 and Windows 98 SE. And as mentioned, I have a gaping hole in my memory about Windows ME so I can't remember if it was similar to 98 of XP!

Computing power is increasing by leaps and bounds on a daily basis, the operating system is no different. If you have a computer that can't run Vista, then don't! Simple. Microsoft Vista was not designed to run on every computer ever manufactured. And frankly, neither was Apple's OS X. I have an old iMac with OS 8.6 to testify to that fact. I don't hear a big cry from the Apple community! The Apple community understands this, and continually exploits this as a weakness within the Windows community. The truth is, as with Windows XP, Vista should install on most computers that are less than a year old...sound familiar...if you were paying attention, you would have read that same thing was being said about Windows XP.

I was having a conversation with an IT professional after my Windows Vista presentation and he was upset over the lack of a driver for both his five year old scanner and his one year old Ink-Jet printer. I mentioned the fact that Microsoft does not write device drivers, which caused the professional to accuse me of coping out on the answer. Fine, I said, we'll tackle the Ink-Jet printer driver problem first. When Microsoft starts working on a new operating system, they provide education, SDKs and most importantly, time for the hardware vendors to make sure that their products will have drivers when a new operating system is released. If the printer company does not have a driver, It is not Microsoft's fault! As for the scanner, you again have to speak with your hardware vendor. They may or may not feel obligated to support the hardware but the same principles as with the Ink-Jet printer apply here. Windows Vista currently supports over 54000 pieces of hardware so it is obvious that there are some vendors out there that do support their customers.

You may or may not have legitimate reasons about upgrading to Windows Vista, that's fine but the secret if to find the fine line between what is best for your clients and users and the comments that first jump to mind with out much thought or research. There are plenty of exceptional changes to Windows Vista, most notable the improved Search capabilities and the User Account Control, both of which I will be posting about in the next week or so.

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