A place to keep my thoughts on programming

September 29, 2007 geek ,

Vista vs. XP

About a month ago, I finally gave in and upgraded my main dev machine. It was getting a little slow for the my various build tasks and running multiple instances of LFS for my test environment just didn’t work. That Bioshock had just been released had nothing to do with it, really!

Anyway, I didn’t actually upgrade as much as build a new machine and use my old dev as another test target. So I figured I might as well go for Vista on this machine. I’d heard plenty of anecdotes, usually sticking to one end of the love/hate spectrum or the other and I wanted to find out where i’d fit.

Well, it’s been a month with Vista, but with regular excursions to XP on other machines and overall I am right at the meh centerline of the spectrum. Vista gives me no trouble, anymore than any new OS install does until i tweak it to my liking. There are various UI aspects that I like. But if I was forced to use only XP, I’d just shrug my shoulders. I really can’t find anything about the OS that I care deeply enough to make me prefer or dislike it more than XP.

So, no it’s not the worst product MS has ever put out and clearly a sign that they’re finally loosing the grip on the desktop stranglehold, as you will hear from one extreme, nor is it a next generation OS solving all the problems we’ve been having with the previous generation OSs. It’s just another version of Windows, if you ask me. From my experience I just have to discount tales of massive downgrade rushes from users as FUD that’s becoming somewhat self-fulfilling. Sure, you ought to have good hardware for Vista. But what software that is put out today doesn’t work better on today’s hardware vs. the machine you bought when XP was fresh.

Even for my latest Redhat Fedora install I finally had to admit that my trusty home server from 5 years ago was a bit too weak to handle it. Sure, proportionally Fedora needs much less hardware, but then I don’t try to put it through heavy UI lifting, which is, imho, where most horsepower, for better or for worse, goes these days.

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