Some take 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it' view on Vista

Discussion in 'Off-topic Zone' started by WoodysGirl, May 1, 2007.

  1. WoodysGirl

    WoodysGirl U.N.I.T.Y Staff Member

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    Copyright 2007 Houston Chronicle

    Elaine Mesker-Garcia is in the market for a new notebook computer, but she's got a problem.

    Under no circumstances does she want a computer with Windows Vista. Mesker-Garcia, 33, says she's heard too many bad things about the latest version of Microsoft's operating system, but it's getting harder to find a computer that comes with the OS she wants to keep using: Windows XP.

    "Every little thing I read makes me more convinced I don't want to try Windows Vista," she said.

    Mesker-Garcia, who wants a new computer because she's just started her own photography business, goes through a laundry list of the issues that have her shying away from Vista:

    • "Windows XP has been solid. It has not given me any problems. I don't feel real compelled to switch."
    • "Yes, there are some security issues with XP. But Vista's scaring me because it seems it wants to be so secure, it will slow me down."
    • "Vista is such a drain on performance. I'm looking at a powerful computer for working in Photoshop, but I'm afraid the operating system will drain most of it."
    • "I'm worried about drivers. My husband has a 12-year-old DeskJet printer he loves — he's had it since college — and I'm afraid it won'twork with Vista."

    Mesker-Garcia is not alone. Although Microsoft says it has sold 20 million copies of Vista in the first month it was available to consumers, and sales of Vista in the first quarter drove Microsoft to post a 65 percent increase in profit, there remain a lot of users who would prefer to stick with its predecessor, Windows XP.

    In fact, there is enough demand for the older OS that computer maker Dell, which initially offered Vista-only PCs once the new operating system launched, late last month backed off and began offering consumers notebooks and desktops with XP again. Dell took the step after visitors to its IdeaStorm Web site,, urged the company not to "eliminate" XP for consumers.

    Compatibility worries

    One of the biggest issues, particularly for buyers of new computers, is the availability of drivers — the software that acts as a go-between for hardware components and the operating system. Buyers like Mesker-Garcia, who want to hold on to older peripherals such as printers and scanners, are right to be nervous — traditionally, a new version of Windows brings a maddeningly slow response from hardware makers who often take months to get drivers for the newer OS out the door. And in many cases, they take the opportunity to drop driver support for legacy products.

    At HP, the company's imaging and printing group plans Vista support for 450 different products, according to John Crandall, director of strategic alliances. Drivers for many are still in progress.

    So far, he said, HP has released drivers for 193 inkjet printers and 119 laser printers. And Vista itself ships with support for 270 HP products, including scanners.

    Crandall said the reason HP and other companies don't yet have drivers for all their products has to do with the number of programmers available to work on drivers; the number of products they must support; and Microsoft's development schedule for its operating systems.

    He said over its five-year development period, Vista's code was "a moving target," with Microsoft changing features and tweaking fundamental components of the operating system. Even with the final betas and release candidates, he said, things were in flux.

    "We never know what the final thing will be until it ships," he said.

    The wait for Vista

    Vista was finished in late October, but HP had to give Microsoft the drivers to be included with the OS in mid-2006.

    After that, Crandall said, driver development couldn't really proceed on other fronts until HP saw what a finished Vista looked like.

    Of course, not all the products HP has ever produced will be supported by Vista, but Crandall said many older products are — though only the most basic functions may be enabled.

    Still, HP's making an effort to make sure older devices aren't left behind. For example, of all the laser printers HP has ever produced, only 10 aren't supported in Vista. One of those is the very first LaserJet HP ever sold, and Vista is the first version of Windows that won't support it.

    "It varies where the cutoff for support is," Crandall said. "If you have a product that's three years old or newer, that's probably going to be supported."

    Mesker-Garcia hasn't checked to see if her husband's beloved DeskJet is one of the 10, but she doesn't intend to find out. Her replacement notebook simply won't have Vista.

    "Look, XP has been solid, it just has been," she says. "If it's not given me any problems, why would I want to move to Vista?"
  2. trickblue

    trickblue Not Old School...Old Testament...

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    We've brought in a Vista for Business PC in to start working with it. It has massive compatibility issues...

    Luckily Microsoft doesn't force business class PC's to jump into new OS's like they do the consumers. That would be a disaster...

    We'll be able to stick with XP Pro for probably another year or so on our new PC's...
  3. WoodysGirl

    WoodysGirl U.N.I.T.Y Staff Member

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    You know what's funny TB, my company is still on Windows 2000. They're rolling out laptops with XP to the attorneys. Vista isn't even on the IT department's radar. Regular support staff is still on 2000 and there's a project in place to roll out XP sometime in the next year. But we did upgrade to Outlook 2003. Good stuff, huh? :cool:
  4. trickblue

    trickblue Not Old School...Old Testament...

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    Well we actually probably have half of our PC's still on Windows 2K Pro. No need to replace them when they work perfectly well...

    XP Pro is a good stable OS and so is Windows 2K Pro... We'll stick there a while... (I hope)

    Like the article says... if it ain't broke...
  5. Yeagermeister

    Yeagermeister Active Member

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    I'm in the middle of a project to determine how many win2k and xp computers we have in the entire company. It's probably close to 1000 pc's and laptop.

    Oh and I have to have it done my the 7th. :D
  6. BrAinPaiNt

    BrAinPaiNt Backwoods Sexy Staff Member

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    My computer and the other office computers use XP.

    However all of the other computers in the data entry area use Win2K pro.

    Hey 2kPro was a good and reliable OS and it works out great for some of the older computers.

    With each release of new OS that windows puts out the increase on HD Size and esp MEMORY increases. This new Vista looks like a HUGE leap in memory requirements even compared to XP.

    Now as far as the woman complaining about not wanting Vista and so on, or others with the same complaints.

    She really has a few simple options.

    1. Buy a computer system with NO OS on it. If you have a Win XP disk at home you can just install it. You can probably still buy a win XP disk in some stores. Get the computer with no OS on it and install XP your self. Heck if the new computer has the same basic chip set (intel or amd) you may just be able to install your old Hard Drive as the Main Hard drive in your new computer and use the one that comes with it as a secondary hard drive.

    2. If the system comes with the Vista OS and it is actually cheaper to get it with the VISTA instead of without any OS. Get the computer and get a winXP disk. Reformat the hard drive and install winXP on it. Problem solved.

    3. If you know enough or has a friend that knows enough about puters you can go and buy a case, your own motherboard, your own chip and memory and not pay for the vista...put the computer together yourself and install winXP on it. Sometimes you can get bundle (barebone) packs for cheap.

    So no matter what new computer you buy, you can easily make it an XP OS machine instead of a Vista OS Machine.
  7. trickblue

    trickblue Not Old School...Old Testament...

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    She can also order a business class PC... most all of those use XP Pro...
  8. kTXe

    kTXe On To The Next One

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    I just got MS Office 2007 and am spending enough time trying to figure out all of its new features; so there is no way I will torture myself with Vista quite yet.
  9. Tricked

    Tricked Fascinated

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    This is awesome, I hear it all day. I work at BestBuy, and yes, in the computers department, so all the Vista compatibility stuff does come into play, way too much. It is very true, as well.

    When Vista first came out, there were very few printers that actually worked on it. Took them a good month to release drivers that would work on vista, but even then the scanners weren't supported. It was a joy trying to sell it, but hey, what can you do.

    As for options on what to do if people are in the market to buy, I agree with BrainPaint for the most part.

    The best option if you're worried about vista is just to have a company build one for you with XP still on it. You won't get a name brand, and it may be a bit more expensive, but then you won't have to worry about Vista.

    The only problem with buying a Vista computer and trying to put XP on there is the driver hunt. I've gone on it a few times for customers and yeah, it sucks, so if you do plan on trying this set aside a good few hours and make sure that you get your networking drivers before you even format your hard drive, because without them you're screwed.

    If you do take the plunge into Vista, don't be too scared, but you may have to update virtually all of your software. Companies aren't supporting alot of past versions on Vista. While it may be a marketing ploy, theres not much you can do about it.

    Just my recommendation though, if you do decide to take the plunge into Vista, make sure you get enough RAM. Vista is by far the most demanding OS I've ever seen when it was released, and alot of the companies are releasing computers with so little ram. As crazy as it sounds, 2GB of ram is a good way to go. 1GB of ram on Vista may seem alright, but Vista Premium requires that to run, and you'll have to remember that if the computer has shared video ram (which you'd be suprised how many do), it's not even going to be at that.

    Just my advice, though. Personally I'll be sticking with XP for a while :)

  10. Rack Bauer

    Rack Bauer Federal Agent

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    Even if Vista were working perfectly (HAHA!) there's no reason to switch. I've had almost zero problems with XP. Besides, it still feels relatively "new" to me anyway.

    Like TB said, if it aint' broke...
  11. Cajuncowboy

    Cajuncowboy Preacher From The Black Lagoon

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    I bought a brand new laptop two weeks ago. My old one, three years old, didn't have enough ram or large enough hard drive.

    I got the new one and it's great. It has the Vista Premium and it has 2 Gig of ram.

    I have not had any problems except for the WIFI at the hotels I stay at and it was only one time, the first time. The tech people said it was a Vista issue and gave me a work around and it's been fine ever since.

    I like the look of vista and the ease of have the multiple screen views.

    I do a lot when I'm on the road and it works like a charm.

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