Which operating system? Vista or XP

I’ve been using Microsoft Vista since its release and here is my take on it, in non-technical terms:

After reading the system requirements that Microsoft released for Vista, I initially installed it on my home computer when it was released in January 2007. Being an IT professional, I should have known better, but I wanted that candy. My obsession got the best of me; but, that is how I learn. At the time, I was running a PC, with XP Professional installed, with a single processor and with a gig of ram… Basically my XP computer was very stable, was fast, and did everything I needed it to do. All my external devices (PDA, Printer, WebCam, Drives, etc..) performed flawlessly. Long story short… It installed, but was slow, very, very slow… I even backed the operating system down to its’ very basic level and it was still slow. Not only was it slow, my PDA, printer, webcam and wireless mouse had issues. I ended up purchasing additional memory and once I did that, the operating system became tolerable. I eventually gave the computer away to a teenage relative due to the issues I experienced with some of the external “legacy” devices I had.

I have experienced every operating system that Microsoft has ever released, from DOS to Windows Vista. I’ve found that when a new operating system is released by Microsoft, and the “system requirements” are published, you can pretty much take those requirements; and, if you double and sometimes triple the basic requirements, you will be OK. Basically what this means, is wait awhile after an operating system is released (at least six months to a year), then buy a new computer. That pretty much gives the computer manufacturers the time to come up to speed to meet the requirements of the operating system. I ended up with a new PC with dual AMD processors, 3 gigs of RAM, 256 MB video card, 500 gig hard drive, TV Tuner, etc… and suddenly Vista came to life. Since my purchase, there are now computers with “quad” processors, more memory, etc…  My personal opinion, Vista is a good operating system that was probably ahead of its time… It has a lot of eye candy, which I personally don’t think people really want. I sometimes wish Microsoft would just come out with a “basic operating system” and leave all the eye candy to the third party vendors.

Why are so many people skeptical of Vista? Windows XP is probably the only operating system most users ever experienced. People do not like change. Secondly, as the Windows operating systems evolve, they have become very stable. Why would you want to change, when what you have is working fine?  HOWEVER, technology is going to continue to change until we hit that proverbial wall. Personally, I don’t even think we are even close to the wall yet.

As some measure of defense for Windows Vista, I came across an article recently published by CNet News (click here) . Microsoft basically played a trick on some users who had a negative impression of Vista. They rounded them up, told them they were releasing a new operating system code named “Mojave” and had them have a go with it. More than 90 percent of the users fround “Mojave” to be a positive experience. Following this experience Microsoft informed the users that “Mojave” was actually “Vista”.

UPDATE – 29 July 2008

Microsoft releases videos of the “Mojave Experiment”.  The videos can be viewed at:   http://www.mojaveexperiment.com

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