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Re: WSJ Review of Vista Not So Positive

Richard Rasker wrote:
> Op Thu, 18 Jan 2007 12:01:05 +0000, schreef Roy Schestowitz:
> > Walt reviews Vista: Eh.
> >
> > ,----[ Quote ]
> > | We're willing to bet those among you that don't make gagging sounds
> > | whenever you're in eyeshot of a PC have probably already played with
> > | Vista a bit. Maybe you don't have the last beta installed on your
> > | machine, but you've sat down to a Vista box and at least logged a
> > | few minutes with oohs and ahhs at Aero and Flip 3D. So by this
> > | point you probably well understand that Vista, while being a major
> > | step forward for Microsoft, will for most users represent something
> > | more of a long overdue feature pack, finally bringing Windows up to
> > | date with OS X.
> > `----
> >
> > http://www.engadget.com/2007/01/18/walt-reviews-vista-eh/
> When I stated several months ago that Vista required some 10 - 20 times
> the system resources of a current PC, Windows apologists laughed at me.
> One of those specimens even said that Vista would run on anything with a
> 1GHz CPU and 256MB of RAM. Uh-huh.
>   "The vast majority of existing Windows PCs won't be able to use all of
>    Vista's features without major hardware upgrades. They will be able to
>    run only a stripped-down version, and even then may run very slowly."
> So Erik, there's your "On older hardware, it will run just fine in a
> reduced functionality mode": Yeah it will run almost as good as XP runs
> under normal conditions - that is, with all kinds of malware and registry
> bloat slowing the system to a crawl.
>   "Microsoft says that Home Basic can run on a PC with half a gigabyte of
>    memory and that Premium and Ultimate will work on a PC with one
>    gigabyte of memory. I strongly advise doubling those numbers. To get
>    all the features of Vista, you should have two gigabytes of memory,
>    far more than most people own."
> Two gigabytes is at least four times the amount of memory most people have
> today.
>   "Even more important is your graphics card, a component most people know
>    little about. Home Basic can run on almost any graphics system. But
>    Premium and Ultimate will need a powerful, modern graphics system to
>    run well."
> Powerful as in: at least four times the amount of normal graphics memory
> and a hefty GPU. Double the hardware resources once again.
>   "On a three-year-old H-P desktop, a Vista upgrade installed itself fine.
>    But even though this computer had a full gigabyte of memory and what
>    was once a high-end graphics card, Vista Ultimate reverted to the Basic
>    user interface. And even then, it ran so slowly and unsteadily as to
>    make the PC essentially unusable."
>    The third machine was a new, small Dell XPS M1210 laptop. In general,
>    Vista ran smoothly and well on this Dell, but some operations were
>    annoyingly slow, including creating a new message in the built-in
>    Windows Mail program. This surprised me, because the Dell had two
>    gigabytes of memory and a fast processor."
> I think my calculations were quite correct after all: *at least* quadruple
> RAM, double graphics card, and double CPU speed. In my book, that makes
> 4x2x2=16 times the amount of system resources. *At least*, because even
> a bit of stinting on memory or graphics power will apparently "make the PC
> essentially unusable."
> But wait, there's more! -- or perhaps I should say "less"?:
>   "If you bought a PC in the past few months, and it had a "Vista Capable"
>    sticker on it, it should be able to run at least Home Basic."
> Huh? What kind of a con job is this? So people get "Vista Capable"
> machines foisted upon them, to find out that it only runs Home Basic -
> sort of like XP in a crapped-down mode. People should be warned for this.
> And then there's the modes home user, who just uses a PC for a bit of
> e-mail and doing a bit of work after hours. Surely, they don't need all
> that eyecandy, and those whistles and bells of the Premium or Ultimate
> versions?
>   "But some regular users may need Vista Ultimate if their companies have
>    particular network configurations that make it impossible to connect to
>    the company network from home with Home Basic or Home Premium."
> So Vista Premium can't even perform all the normal functions of your
> average network client computer? Welcome to the wonderful world of
> software racketeering, where artifical limitations and roadblocks are set
> up in strategic places, forcing people to buy the most expensive version.
> Talking of which: why would normal office workers need some Ultimate-like
> version? It's like giving all employees a Formula 1 race car instead of a
> normal car -- with the difference that a Formula 1 race car is indeed a
> bit faster.
> So what on earth makes this man say that Vista is a "worthy" product? Ah,
> there it is: "... a slicker version of Solitaire."
> Richard Rasker

My general rule of thumb has been that each new
version of Windows and major service pack upgrade
will run 2-4 times slower than the prior version. Which
means of course that you need 2-4 times the PC
horsepower to just maintain the responsiveness you're
use to.

I recently upgraded a couple of old Win98 eMachines
by replacing their motherboards with this guy:

Newegg had this bundled with a Duron 1800+ CPU
and the board included Win98 drivers. I was even
able to reuse the dinky eMachines power supply.
I put in a 256Mb memory module, loaded the drivers
from the CD and the end result was the snappiest
PC's I've used in recent years. I have to go back to
when I retrofitted Win95 on a 933 Mhz PIII system
some years back for a comparable "snap" when
opening and closing programs.

I gave my parents an oldish Compaq Presario P4
system running XP Pro SP1 not so long ago and
somehow it became "upgraded" to  SP2,. resulting
in essentially an unusably slow PC. It probably needs
more memory at the very least, but I just might
retrofit Win2k/98 on it and keep the existing hardware

More accurate slogans for Microsoft would be: "How
slow can you go today?"; "Do less with more"; " Take
collaboration to new heights of incompatibility"; and
"Vista -- the 'Wow' starts eventually, trust us."


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