February 22, 2007 4:00 AM PST

Limited choices for Windows XP holdouts

Despite words of caution from some in the tech industry that it's too early to make the switch to Microsoft's Windows Vista, many PC shoppers have no choice.

The PC industry has moved almost everything they sell to consumers--and some businesses--over to Vista, both in stores and online.

To be fair, there's a reason for it. Vista integrates new security technologies and entertainment features that were unavailable on Windows XP machines. It also makes finding a Wi-Fi connection a simpler task and makes it easier to search a PC's hard drive for a particular file or document. And PC sales did jump during the first few weeks the operating system was available to consumers.

"It's like a car dealer. They're going to blow out the '07s; they'd rather sell (customers) the '08s."
-- Samir Bhavnani,
analyst with Current Analysis

But not everyone thinks that's enough to justify an upgrade quite yet. Symantec CEO John Thompson told CNET News.com he wouldn't be upgrading anytime soon because of security concerns, and security expert Bruce Schneier wrote in Forbes that Vista's digital-rights management technology will actually slow your computer.

Add a smattering of application compatibility problems and the extra expense of ordering a system configured to handle Vista's performance demands, and there's a sense of hesitation among some consumers and businesses.

So what if your PC dies this week and you need to buy a new one, but don't want to upgrade to Vista? Good luck finding a Windows PC with XP on it at your local retail store, let alone a desktop or notebook that you actually want.

"Consumer retail is almost exclusively Vista," said Samir Bhavnani, an analyst with Current Analysis, which tracks the U.S. retail PC market.

Options are limited
So what are your options? You could buy a PC aimed at business customers. You could buy a Vista machine, buy a boxed copy of Windows XP online, and install it on the new machine--with the added bonus of getting rid of the "crapware" that accompanies a new retail PC. Or you could go through more convoluted technical exercises such as virtualization.

And, yes, you could get a Mac, or load one of the various desktop Linux distributions onto your PC. But customers who just need to replace a basic system or add a cheap desktop for the kids--and small businesses that have standardized on Windows--will either have to add all of Vista's bells and whistles along with that system or pay an additional $100 for a boxed copy of Windows XP.

Microsoft said in a statement that it expects PC companies to keep a select number of Windows XP systems around for 12 months, and that system builders and resellers that cater to business customers will be able to offer Windows XP for 24 months. Boxed copies of Windows XP will be available through official outlets for another 12 months, Microsoft said.

But PC companies said they are making a wholesale move to Windows Vista at retail, and representatives for companies such as Hewlett-Packard, Gateway and Acer said the only systems with Windows XP in retail stores are older models; new ones are Vista systems. Many of those companies have also moved all the consumer-focused systems on their Web sites to Vista without a configuration option for Windows XP.

XP's disappearing act
At a large CompUSA in downtown San Francisco late last week, a smattering of Windows XP desktops and laptops could be found nestled among more heavily promoted Vista brethren. Nearly all the XP machines were marked down as "manager's specials," with many available only as open box or demonstration machines.

Boxed copies of XP were available, but not at the prominent Vista display that greeted visitors as they entered the store. Rather, XP copies could be found at two more distant outposts that also had additional copies of Vista.

Dell still offers Windows XP notebooks and desktops, but they can all be found under Dell's Latitude business notebook brand, with the exception of the XPS M1710 with the Blu-ray disc player.

Retailers and PC companies don't get any incentives to sell Windows XP systems, so they simply don't, Bhavnani said. "It's like a car dealer. They're going to blow out the '07s; they'd rather sell (customers) the '08s."

The trouble is that most of the hype and promotion surrounding Vista have been around the Aero graphical interface, which doesn't come on low-end PCs with Vista Basic, Bhavnani said. If a potential shopper is just looking to spend around $300 on a desktop or around $600 on a notebook, they're going to wind up with Vista Basic and lose out on the fancy new graphics.

"I don't really know why somebody would buy a Vista Basic system, unless you're a real basic user," he said. Installing Windows XP to replace Vista Basic isn't too difficult, but those cost-conscious customers might balk at the additional $100 needed for a licensed copy of Windows XP.

It could also be tricky for business customers who care more about application compatibility than graphics, which is why analysts have expected them to hold out until Vista can be tested extensively and has received an initial batch of updates. Corporate PC users depend on dozens of critical applications like VPN (virtual private network) software or 3G cellular cards for notebooks that won't necessarily work quite yet on Vista machines.

An HP representative said the company will sell Windows XP PCs through its resellers to small and medium businesses as long as Microsoft continues to license that operating system. Lenovo, which caters more to the business crowd, offers the choice of either XP or Vista on all of its Lenovo 3000 and ThinkPad machines.

It might be hard for some to avoid Vista in the short term. But in the long run--once all the application problems are worked out--most Windows users probably won't want to avoid it, Bhavnani said.

"People are going to have to have a little patience until all the applications work. It's a very short-term pain that will last people less than three months."

CNET News.com's Ina Fried contributed to this report.

See more CNET content tagged:
Microsoft Windows Vista, PC company, retailer, Microsoft Windows XP, PC


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Straight answer
"I don't really know why somebody would buy a Vista Basic system, unless you're a real basic user," he said.

How about because I refuse to pay such an extortionate amount of money for an OS just because it looks nicer and has a few features I'm either not interested in or already have using 3rd party software?
Posted by adasha76 (250 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Scare tactics article
There are a myriad of sources available t you to pick up an xp system!!!

LOL ! ! ! And "if your system dies tomorrow" the license does not die with it, the hardware is replaceable,... WHAT MALARKY is this but scare mongering tactics but an industry desparate to confuse the consumer.

Imagine for a second that you are being obviously and blatantly manipulated - HOW DOES THAT MAKE YOU FEEL!?!?!

Smart money is on the "no rush no - worries" theology, and it should be, everything is fixable or replaceable.

Articles have been out for months about the BS hype of vista's so called better security system. HA!HA!HA! LOL do you really beleive it!?!? No one elase does.

And for games!??? has a long way to go before they prove to the gaming market they can make it fly.

I hate to think crap is getting rammed down the consumer's throat
Posted by Dragon Forge (96 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Not so fast!
The average user is going to look in a store for a replacement if their PC dies, and I have seen very few XP systems left in any stores. Most stores have none left. Sure, they could buy one online, but it their computer is dead how will they do it?

Also, if your PC came with an OEM copy of Windows, then your license does actually die with the hardware. Fair or not, that's how it is.

This isn't scare tactics, it's the harsh truth. An unpolished OS is being forced on consumers. I have a Vista system in place for testing at my workplace, and much of the software that we depend on runs poorly or not at all on it!
Posted by ddesy (4336 comments )
Link Flag
Do you think for a second that windows has gottten it right yet???
I was there when DOS 5 & 6 were released so have had to endure every single bit of marketing hyperbola, subterfuge and rhetoric from microlimp about their "stability" and "security".

Promises, promises, promises. You think it is going to be any more safe, secure or stable?????

What isn't already poorly done with preplanned obsolescence in mind is being actively brought down by those focused on testing the real capabilities and capacities of windows security
Posted by Dragon Forge (96 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Totally lame article
Most corporations load their own builds on new PC's either when they come in or they pay Dell and HP to do it for them. They buy licenses not software copies. Vista probably gets blown away way more for a corporate XP install than it gets left on a new box coming in. Even small businesses buy 5 or 10 copies of XP Pro and get 1 disk and the licenses to install it on their PC?s.

For home users well???.is this any different than when XP came out???? No its not, does Mac allow you buy a new PC with the last version of its OS???NO they don?t.

Anyone that has been in the PC world for the last 5 years knew this was going to happen.

Why is this even an article?
Posted by Lindy01 (443 comments )
Reply Link Flag
At least..
At least Mac OS doesn't change as radically from one version to the next as Windows does!

And this is an article because Vista isn't ready for prime time! Trust me, I've been testing Vista Ultimate with software that my company depends on!
Posted by ddesy (4336 comments )
Link Flag
Article is off but so are you.
True that a business will be able to side step the Vista issue if they have a half decent IT guy/crew.

Not true is the backhand at Macs. They are all coming with 10.4 which IS the latest. Leopard is not out yet so that is a moot point.
Posted by Far Star (82 comments )
Link Flag
If a MSFT astroturfer whines in the forest and no one hears it...
...do they really say anything important?

Ah well. The article focused primarily on retail buyers (small businesses, home users... folks who actually would go to Circuit City as opposed to Newegg to buy new machines). And yeah, the home user is basically screwed if they take the retail store route.

Does Mac come w/ the last version of their OS? Depends on when the machine is sold. IIRC, when 10.4 came out, you could (for awhile) choose between 10.3.9 and 10.4 when 10.4 first came out.

But, taht wasn't really the point, since Apple compatibility issues are few and far between, and hardware upgrades of Macs are on far longer cycles (PC's usually get replaced every 3-4 years, while Macs can usually stay in situ for 5 years or more).

Many businesses have totally different setups, but there is still one bump in the road: how much longer will XP drivers be available for specific hardware (video cards, peripherals, etc)?

Posted by Penguinisto (5042 comments )
Link Flag
Apple doesn't recall their computers from vendors for the
purpose of forcing users to buy their latest system.

Apple owns, and controls their hardware solution, and does not
infringe on anyone elses business solutions to force their
providers to sell ONLY their latest OS (by the way, one can easily
argue that's because they have no such providers ... irony)

The article isn't lame, it's just shining a little light of truth.
Posted by Thomas, David (1947 comments )
Link Flag
Totally lame Microsoft shill
We all know you're blindly pro-microsoft. Give it a rest.
Posted by extinctone (214 comments )
Link Flag
I'd upgrade from XP to a Mac
Even though I've never used a Mac, if I had to buy a new PC, and had a choice of either:

1) Upgrading to a new high-end PC and watching Vista grind it to a halt and force new DRM crap on me
2) Upgrading to a Mac (which from what I've heard runs faster than Windows)

I'd take the latter. I've never used a Mac, but it sounds like the less painful option.

I'd use some dual boot or virtualization software to run a copy of Windows XP as needed on the Mac.

If Microsoft got rid of the DRM "enhancements" and toned down the extra GUI showoff features, so it ran well on a regular PC, I'd consider upgrading to it.
Posted by bluemist9999 (1020 comments )
Reply Link Flag
In all fairness...
I admit that I am a Mac lover, but when it comes to speed Macs don't really have an advantage over Windows PCs. At this point their share most of the same hardware, so the main difference is the OS itself. For some things Mac OS X is faster, for some Windows is faster (well, at least XP, that is).

At this point, at home I mainly run Mac OS X for my primary OS and Windows 2000 is my secondary inside a Parallels virtual machine. I have found that this mix is suitable for anything but graphically intense Windows software. For that, there is always the option of running Windows XP via Boot Camp.
Posted by ddesy (4336 comments )
Link Flag
Mac Leopard OS out soon!
When Leopard arrives, I'll get an iMac!
Posted by gary85739 (613 comments )
Link Flag
i agree sort of
os X is much better than vista and looks about as cool...with the boot camp software you can play games/apps. that used to force you to buy windows

the only problem is that you don't really have an option of upgrading your video card past the one apple gives you (which is decent)

no SLI or crossfire, probably no DX10 for a year or so

also, mac is more expensive than windows with the same parts
Posted by 0taka0 (6 comments )
Link Flag
Vista/XP and Charity license for client seats
In the middle of an upgrade, we learned the hard way that MS
has ceased charity license for XP Pro completely. Must buy Vista
at $72.00 a client seat instead of XP Pro at $8 a seat - a major
hit on the budgets of most charities. (Come on, Bill, can't the
Foundation subsidize some here?) Of course, they allow the
charity to install XP Pro under the Vista seat license, with the
purchase of the media disk. How all this goes in reality we have
yet to see, and our IT is dubious about the smooth install. Will
XPro recognize the Vista codes, etc. But what choice is there? We
are afraid to call back and ask if the same marketing models
apply to charity licences for Office. That would be a slap on both
cheeks - or more accurately a one-two punch to non-profit
budgets already staggered by real needs.
Posted by dmeriwether (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
RE: Vista/XP and Charity license for client seats
Charity open licenses have stayed the same price between XP Pro and Vista. Not sure where you were getting it for $8 but it's always been around the same price. I'm going to assume the $8 price was something outside of the charity open license program or perhaps not for the Pro version but maybe a home edition, or some charity oem program I haven't seen.

When you purchase a license under the charity open license program you get 3 license numbers. 1 for Windows XP Pro 32bit 1 for XP Pro 64bit and 1 for Vista Business edition. If you have purchased open licenses in the past when Windows 2000 was still supported then you can purchase new Vista licenses and install your old Windows 2000 Pro volume license key if you want.

The reason they stop selling the Windows XP license when the new version came out is that the license agreement specifically allows you downgrade rights to previous versions under these volume license programs. There is no reason to purchase an older license because the new license includes access to the old version in volume licensing.
Posted by Que.Ball (29 comments )
Link Flag
eight dollars
Wow. We are paying 92 Canadian. Who do you hav eto sleep with to get $8
Posted by gggg sssss (2285 comments )
Link Flag
Consumers share responsiblity
I have numerous issues with this artible excpet on the business side of it.

The corporation I work for won't be going to Vista anytime in the next fiscal year. It will probably be FY09. This is due to getting the best TOC from our existing desktops and software compatibility. I'm sure this is typical accross most corporations.

Consumers on the other hand... In Microsofts 'defense' they simply cannot and should not continue to support Mom's 9 year old Kodak software. Or Printshop deluxe from 1999.

Consumers have to face the hardened facts. At SOME point in time they're going to have to upgrade software. While I understand that not all software is compatible, its not entirely Microsofts fault. The software vendor has to create compabtible versions and the dev network has had their hands on Vista for quite some time.

Companies like Microsoft have to move forward for obvious reasons. Vista is a move in that direction and if you don't get the glassy nice look because you can't spend an extra $200 on a faster system then sorry.

I don't care what that article says or what these "experts" like the Symantec CEO says (yeah he doesn't have alternative motives does he), people see Vista and they want it. They use Vista and are very impressed by it. Its a good OS and brings a slew of new features and capabilities that XP couldn't provide. So you gotta buy faster hardware. Since when was that a bad thing? You get more life out of the system and the experience is better!

One example of why a faster system is required is when you're watching a video in Media Center in Vista, you can shrink the movie down, move it to the side and continue working. Not only that, when you switch between your programs and sift through the windows like a rolodex, the movie is still playing! Works flawlessly.

My advice: Put your money down and get a good computer. You will be happier. No, I'm not a reseller and don't work for Microsoft. I'm an IT guy with some common sense.
Posted by BruceLawrence (90 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Sorry for typos
Few typos in that first sentence. Looked bad but I'm in a hurry today :)
Posted by BruceLawrence (90 comments )
Link Flag
extra $200 . . .
Tell you what. Why don't you shrink your income down to less then 15 to 20 grand a year - better yet, how about less? Then see how many extra 2 Franklins you have, much less the cost of a high end machine.

There are a hell of a lot of us out here, both small charities & individual users, who buy used machines when the old one dies simply because we do not have the "extra" to buy a new one. Or we buy the $300 variety, which can't use Vista anyway. We use free open source security, which works very well for us. We don't need or want all the bells & whistles. When MS drives us out of the market, watch your revenue from Net advertising decline.

I currently use Windows ME and open source security. The only problems I have had is when the browsers are hacked. I have never used Linux, but I can learn. After all, I had to learn Windows. Already, there are ways to get Vista & XP free, w/o getting caught. Sounds like a serious security breach to me. MS thinks they have a problem with piracy now. Wait a year & see how bad it gets. Wait a year & watch their market share goes down.
Posted by Bob H in NPR (39 comments )
Link Flag
Of course you're not
"don't care what that article says or what these "experts" like the Symantec CEO says (yeah he doesn't have alternative motives does he)" I assume you mean "ulterior?" And, yes, Symantec does have money motives. No matter what I think of them (Yuk seems to fit) many, many people use their resource hoggers. Maybe I should get four g's of Ram if I want all this? Along with a new $300 graphics board? And whatever else this over priced OS wants me to have? Buddy, can you spare a dime?
Posted by Catmoves (15 comments )
Link Flag
Another Windows first - a movie player which works flawlessly when you're NOT watching. Smoke, mirrors, bells, whistles.......nothing changes except the price of the upgraded requirement......
Posted by scktwstdfrk (1 comment )
Link Flag
It happened to me.
I went to BestBuy, Walmart, Circuit City, CompUSA and Staples just to name a few. Microsoft has apparantly twisted their arms with their strong arm tactics. I did not see a single XP computer on the shelves. I asked a worker if they had any XP computers in a Bargin area or something and he said there was one and was going to sell it to me for double the amount it was worth. I told him never mind and that I will buy a Vista machine. He said there where no more in stock. As a matter of fact in all the stores there where not many Vista computers to choose from. Staples only had two. Walmart only had Emachines and I really did not want them as a matter of fact the only had Vista Basic and one was on disply with a real awful and blurry picture. I ended up buying one in Best Buy. Just a note I went to one Best Buy and the sales person was to busy talking to her friends for over 15 minutes while we stood there. We walked out and went to another Best Buy. Two people lost a big sale and nobody cares. what is this world coming to? I have the Home premium Vista and found it not to friendly although the Utility bar was pretty cool. I am pretty good with computers and I am pretty sure I will get it to work, but I must say that I do feel sorry for all the people who have even a slight amount of difficulty with computers. I believe Vista is going to be a nightmare for them!
Posted by Ted Miller (305 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Why oh why?
Boy, you must really love Vista to go thru all that problem to get
one. Why oh why did you not consider getting 2 computers in one.
Get a Mac and with Boot Camp and XP and there you go.

Oh well. enjoy Vista, its DRM, its lack of drivers, and the obvious
loving care that everyone else that deals with it shows.

Elder Norm
Posted by eldernorm (220 comments )
Link Flag
Why Change?
Lets see, I have 6 computers. Win2kserver, win2k3 server, XP Pro. They all work, they are all secure, they do what I need them to do. They are compatible with the software I use, I know them. Should a computer die, I will load the same operating system on the new computer that was on the old.
The only ones captured by the preloads on new computers are the non computer savvy. My hope is that there isn't enough of them to satisfy Microsoft's projections for Vista. I would like to see Vista be the new Windows ME.
Vista should have been a service pak upgrade to XP.
Posted by coachgeorge (233 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Wasn't This Exactly What Happened With XP?
When the original release of XP happened, didn't all the retail stores largely remove any ME machines and auto-defacto sell XP machines. Honestly, though, the new OS runs well on my own PC, and it's roughly 4 years old and was a midrange model! Anyone saying "It'll slow it down" either hasn't used it or used it on something excessively low in power.

If anything, the new upgrade is definitely worth it, but if you want to still use XP, just go buy a copy and stop complaining!
Posted by clindhartsen (13 comments )
Reply Link Flag
98SE to XP
I cannot speak for retail stores, but I purchased a Dell desktop Dimension 4100 at least a year after the introduction of XP. I requested 98SE and Dell installed it with no questions. I subsequently purchased XP Pro and installed it myself, when I chose to.

Now, only IBM gives you that option, after really only a month of VISTA. I think many of us would like the system to become a little more stable before we are forced to acquire it. Why should we be MS's, or any other companies, guinea pigs? I am glad the system works well on your machine, but there are many other issues than how well it works on a particular machine, especially if one uses a large number of standard, but non-MS, software. I am aware that this is not Vista's "problem," but it can make a difference in timing decisions.
Posted by Royce (5 comments )
Link Flag
It does slow it down!
I am running the Vista Ultimate on an Athlon64 3200+ with 1GB RAM and a GeForce FX 5200 video card. That computer was definitely faster running XP, no questions at all! Besides that, plenty of the software that my company depends on will not properly run on it.

The new upgrade is not worth it for anyone who values a decent computing experience. At least not until Microsoft can get Vista running like a non-beta OS!
Posted by ddesy (4336 comments )
Link Flag
If You Want Choice...
Simply buy a vanilla box from a local PC store to replace the one that "died" and install any modern Linux Distro on it. You'll never need to worry about forced upgrades again.
Posted by armchair99 (3 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Linux on an older computer instead of...
buying a new computer with Vista,etc?
Posted by gary85739 (613 comments )
Link Flag
this never stops. Talk about a confused customer.. throw some linux on their box.
Posted by cchenoweth6 (61 comments )
Link Flag
As usual, the Wintel PC conglomerate just push us to the edge of updating things that is not needed to be updated and to have things that is total crap (yes...crapware).

That's why the best way is to do it the DIY way. We have to learn sooner or later or else we are just ripe cherries for the picking.
Posted by wilswong (22 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Of Course Symantec States security concerns!
Has anyone actually installed Vista and any Symantec product?? I have tired multiple times and each try I get the same error, "Symantec prodocuts are not compatible with Vista!". Mr. Thompson, you should be more concerned that your company has FAILED to deliver a product that works with Vista. Now that there is "Limited Choices" Symantec better do some better R&D and fast!
Posted by DStrong (3 comments )
Reply Link Flag
I am running Symantec AntiVirus Corporate 10.2 on Vista with no problems. Well, unless you count the fact that Symantec AntiVirus itself is a resource hog.
Posted by ddesy (4336 comments )
Link Flag
Scuse me...
...but after a lot of customer ******** & threats of litigation from companies with deep pockets (though not even close to having the pocket depth of MS), MS supposedly changed Vista to work with current security software. So much for their agreements. They are constantly in litigation with open source companies who have very shallow pockets over so called patent & copyright infringements. So much with working with open source. I is past time to break up the MS monopoly.
Posted by Bob H in NPR (39 comments )
Link Flag
It's all about the money...
Microsoft's cash cows are Windows and Office. Microsoft udates these packages to kill bugs, add enhancements, and add new features. They also update the packages to support new hardware.

Now, as a side bonus, they use FUD to convince the consumer tha they need to buy Windows and Office (again) even though what they already have works well.

My XP runs fine and I use OpenOffice. Why do I need to run Vista and Office 2007?

Oh, because Mycrosoft wants to make more money? I'm sorry, that's not a good reason.
Posted by thedreaming (573 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Great choices for XP holdouts
Most of our business apps run in either a browser or a telnet screen, so the OS of our clients run really hasn't mattered for years. We've run Windows, for the most part, because the boxes were relatively cheap and XP has been reasonably secure and stable since SP2.

We have a few Windows only apps that some users need, but we've found that they don't run well in Vista. Since we'll have to redo those apps, we're moving them to a browser based system also.

Once that happens, with very few exceptions, we can run any OS we choose. And since our Macs have consistently needed only a tiny fraction of the support required by our Windows computers, guess what we'll be buying a lot more of in the future?

It looks like Vista will save us money and make us more secure. Because it has helped us to justify using a lot fewer Windows computers.
Posted by rcrusoe (1305 comments )
Reply Link Flag
IE 7 and web based apps
IE 7, Vista's primary browser, isn't all it's cracked up to be. Some web based apps no longer function 100% properly with it. For that reason alone Vista is worth avoiding for some people.
Posted by ddesy (4336 comments )
Link Flag
but you are willing to pay a 50 percent premium to get a Mac - to lower costs? I want a puff of whatever you are smoking
Posted by gggg sssss (2285 comments )
Link Flag
Oh really? What if I want to go Amiga?
<a href="http://www.amigakit.com">AmigaKit</a> offers a lot of features without the Vista crapware and bloatware. True I won't be running Windows programs any more, but at least I won't be dealing with malware and exploits that Windows systems have.
Posted by Orion Blastar (590 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Ubuntu FTW
I've have dropped both Sony and Microsoft because of DRM issues and their intrusive behavior. I hated the feeling big brother is looking over my shoulder every time I purchased a DVD/CD or was asked to authenticate my OS for a simple update. I sense moved on to Ubuntu (Linux) and have not looked back with any envy or regret due to lack of function or features available to it Vs. Vista. I?ve learned many new skills and become a part of what is easily one of the friendliest, largest, and most helpful community based projects around . I have lost nothing and gained my freedom. Linux for the win.
Posted by top5recrds (4 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Good idea!
Yeah, ubuntu is great.
BTW, if your computer's up to it, try running Xgl and Beryl. There's a cool environment (if it doesn't crash) :(. Overall, the Ubuntu interface is easier than Vista (I triple-boot: Ubuntu/XP-MCE/Vista, and run them in much the same usage ratio!
It's a free download, burn the ISO to a disk, and pop it in the drive! Can't wait for 7.04 Feisty Fawn... they say, a new interface.... intriguing...
Posted by ben::zen (127 comments )
Link Flag
Right on...
I LOVE Ubuntu. I don't care if my next computer or laptop has Windows. I am installing linux.
Posted by dondarko (261 comments )
Link Flag
XP vs VIsta
I wasn't ready for VISTA, but decided I needed a machine now, so settled for a lower end Presario with a Pentium 4...had a boxed copy of XP and loaded it up..voila..I'm good until the world catches up to VISTA.
Posted by emmay (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
ReactOS a free Windows alternative
Maybe those of us unhappy with Microsoft's Vista offerings will donate to <a href="http://www.reactos.org/en/index.html">ReactOS</a> a free open source alternative to Windows that uses Windows software and Windows drivers.

They are currently at version 0.3.0 and ready to release 0.3.1 and by the time they make 0.4.0 they will be beta ready.

They share code with the WINE project, so helping ReactOS also helps WINE for Linux and other platforms. WINE allows Linux and other operating systems to run Windows programs like they were native programs.

ReactOS is not bloated like XP and Vista are, and does not require the expensive hardware to run it. ReactOS is trying to be like XP, but will be adding on even more features as time goes on and will eventually challege Vista.
Posted by Orion Blastar (590 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Are you kidding?
Please tell me you're just trolling, or at least kidding around sarcastically.

ReactOS is an absolute and complete piece of garbage. I have kept up on almost all of the updates, and it is in no way shape or form ready for usage by ANYONE other than the developers. It's not useful, it behaves oddly, which means it simply does not work.
Posted by katamari (310 comments )
Link Flag
That's almost as shocking...
&gt;Good luck finding a Windows PC with XP on it at your local retail store,&lt;

That's almost as shocking as the fact that you can no longer buy personal computers with MS-DOS preinstalled. -lol

I look forward to using Vista, when it comes preinstalled on my next computer.
Posted by john55440 (1020 comments )
Reply Link Flag
...actually, you can buy PC's w/ MS-DOS installed; DOS is still in use in industrial controls (why make a bloated custom van do the job that a motorcycle can accomplish?)

Posted by Penguinisto (5042 comments )
Link Flag
Some speed benefits
My Mac boots up from a cold start in about 15 seconds. I'd like to
see Windows of any flavor do that.
Posted by i,Jimbot (65 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Yeah, it's a huge issue
Our office leaves the computers running 24/7 because it takes the XP boxes 12 minutes to boot up in the morning. Imagine how much energy that wastes.
Posted by aabcdefghij987654321 (1721 comments )
Link Flag
What a load of crap!
Vista is junk. Not only are you being told that you have to use this new operating system, but if you choose the option of buying a retail copy of XP you can be sure to expect limited or no support for it.

Only three months for software related problems concerning software compatibility for Windows Vista? Ha. I don't believe it. That is a load of crap. Vista won't be worth anything until it has been on the market for over 18 months if not longer.

I will not upgrade to Vista anytime soon and will deter anyone that I know of that is thinking about upgrading to Vista.

My XP Pro does everything that I need it to do and more. Not to mention that if I want to do something on my computer I want the option to choose which software I use for that specific task. Not a preloaded MS piece of crap that may do only half the job.

I dread the day that I have to upgrade my ten year old AMD Athlon 750. I will likely buy my next pc from a big name such as Dell due to the simple fact that I can get the hardware at a much cheaper price than I could if I were to buy the components individually. Thankfully when I do this I already own a genuine copy of XP Pro so I'll be able to format the entire hard drive. Recover the space that is being used by the recovery partition that these big name companies put on the computer and just load XP.

Posted by djhopkinson (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
GO UBUNTU! Hasta la Vista AND XP!
Now's the time to DUMP Windoze for GOOD and replace it with
the best OS ever made : Ubuntu! Ubuntu can be bought for 10
dollars at Amazon.com or less on other sites AND it can be
downloaded for FREE online! It runs on ANY computer ever
made! No question, Windoze is a JOKE and it must not be used
for any purpose. Government and Businesses should save their
money and INVEST in Ubuntu, Universities and Schools should
stop relying on Microsoft and start educating students on Open
Source software. Ubuntu and Open Source IS the future of
Operating Systems!!!

Mark McLaughlin - ubuntuworld.wordpress.com - Hudson, MA
Posted by hudsonman35 (19 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Couple of issues:

1) Its actually spelled "Windows". When Linux zealots spell it "Windoze" they just look like fanboys. And you can't trust fanboys because their blind to the truth.

2) "Windows is a joke"? In what way? It works quite well, has by far the most software written for it (try and find a good video editor for Linux), and has, also by far, the most hardware support (try &#38; find computer hardware that *doesn't* support Windows)

3) Ubuntu doesn't really run on *any* computer "ever made", does it? Ubuntu works well on 400 MHz &#38; up processors. I tried it on a P166 and it was too slow.

I have one Ubuntu (actually Kubuntu) installation and while I generally like it, I'd like it a whole lot more if encrypted wireless would work. Hopefully when 7.04 comes out in April, encryption will work.

Ubuntu getting very close to an acceptable Windows replacement, but its not quite on the same usability level. Yet.
Posted by ScottMo (71 comments )
Link Flag
Wondeful but not for everyone
I use Ubuntu as well as XP on my laptop. FYI, Ubuntu will ship packs of Ubuntu CDs to addresses for FREE (see Ubuntu's website for info).

However, although Ubuntu has thousands of applications, it's not for everyone. People who want to buy packaged software or games will have a hard time using Ubuntu. While it is just a behavior change, getting nontechnical users to change their behaviors is very difficult.
Posted by bluemist9999 (1020 comments )
Link Flag
You're a linux shrill
That's just as bad as if you were a microsoft PR person posting here. I do give you credit for aknowledging it...

"Mark McLaughlin - ubuntuworld.wordpress.com - Hudson, MA"

Rather than blast your ad campaign like so many other shrills and fanatics, why don't you comment about the subject of the story. You know, actually say something relavent. It had to do with Vista replacing XP. Do you even know what that is? Yes, I'm goading you.
Posted by Seaspray0 (9714 comments )
Link Flag
Got Vista, Love it....
I bought a new computer with Windows Vista Home premium and love it. Very fluid. I love the embedded Movie Maker which allows me to make HD movies in a lot simpler and more professional fashion than my old Sony Vegas Movie Studio Platinum 7.0a software. The embedded DVD Maker made the finest looking DVD I have ever created and that was my first try. I have used Internet Explorer 7 for a while now (BWV) and it works very well. Very secure. I'm formatting the hard drive on my old computer and installing Windows Vista Ultimate on it. My significant other will be using it. Can't wait to set up the DreamScene with my movies of Yosemite falls. That will be very cool.

Overall I would give Windows Vista an A+ and look forward to using this fantastic operating system for some time to come.

Oh yea, I had zero harware problems even when things like my Epson printer did not have new drivers listed on the Epson web site for Vista. I just installed the windows XP drivers and it worked just fine.

Lots of complaining here about Windows Vista from people who don't have Windows Vista. Sort of like your parents critcizing a movie you enjoyed and they have never seen it.
Posted by Lenter101 (60 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Butter would melt---
Boy oh boy, what a con job. Hey, I like a new machine too, but I
don't sound like an MS ad doing it. I do like the fact that these MS
fan boys are so canned in their approach. If it sounds like a
commercial for MS and nothing but nothing is even slightly wrong,
then ---- YEP its an advertisement.

Buy Vista cause they tell you to. : -)
Posted by eldernorm (220 comments )
Link Flag
Nice Microsoft Ad
I DO have Windows Vista running on a new HP with Intel Core 2
Duo, 2 Gig Ram, Dual 250 gig SATA Drives, Ethernet to DSL
behind firewire and router on a network with Windows 98, 2000,
XP and a bunch of Macs.

Sorry to burst your bubble: While Vista is a nice step forward
from XP here are my experiences:

1) Core OS is SLOW.
No other way to put this. Vista core features are slow, slow,

2) UAC
User Account Control is a good idea but its implementation is
annoying. There is truth to those funny Mac ads on the subject.
OS X is both more logical and more secure in its implementation

3) Media Capabilities
Vista's media capabilities are first rate on this box. Great
implementation right out of the box. Excellent

4) Internet Explorer
The new tabbed browsing is great, but it is still IE full of all its
troubles -- Firefox any day.

I give Vista a C overall.

Sorry, but your post reads like Steve Balmer wrote it.
Posted by dansterpower (2511 comments )
Link Flag
I like Vista too...
I upgraded my Gateway MX-6455 laptop to a full copy of Vista Premium. I had to dig to find a couple of device drivers which I knew would be a problem going in, but that wasn't a problem. The overall Vista experience is excellent. I'm getting better performance from the same hardware. The "Ready Boost" feature is a true Microsoft innovation and works to speed up virtual memory. All of the whining posts on this board are from the usual Microsoft-hating suspects. By the way, I also have a Mac Mini, which I really like and have experimented with Linux as well. Linux isn't ready for prime-time - it's just too geeky and the Linux names are absurd. Linux names are for those who want to be part of a secret society or something. Microsoft as pulled off another coup -- Vista is a great O/S that works well on a variety of inexpensive hardware.
Posted by tomwiles (3 comments )
Link Flag
Refuse to upgrade forcing continued XP support
Vista on a new system will likely be no faster than XP on your current system. If your XP install is dying, back up your data and reinstall that bad boy.

Sure companies are porting software to Vista, but corporate customers are going to be XP hold outs refusing to upgrade to Vista till they HAVE to.

Microsoft is planning their next OS in a much shorter time frame than from XP to Vista, maybe only a couple years.

There will be MANY XP hold outs so if you don't want to upgrade to Vista I assure you, you are not alone!

If a product you are using stops supporting XP complain! You certainly won't be alone and they will probably understand.

Vista is bloated crap and the only way to send a message to MS is to vote with your wallet and skip this upgrade cycle.

It might not be easy to find a new PC with XP, but if you don't upgrade to Vista you probably don't need a new PC.

Do a fresh install of XP and by the time windows rot gets bad enough again that you need to do something about it, the successor to to Vista should be in the pipes.

XP SP3 here we come!
Posted by Dachi (797 comments )
Reply Link Flag

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