Don't like Windows Vista? Love Windows XP? Well columnist/pundit Rob Pegoraro with Fast Forward, carried by The Washington Post, doesn't like your attitude. Having heard a wealth of criticism for Vista and praise for XP, Pegoraro said enough is enough in an impassioned article detailing his stances on the XP vs. Vista debate.
There have been many recent reports of both consumers and particularly businesses rejecting Vista and waiting for Windows 7 to upgrade. Despite Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates bragging of "strong sales" in the consumer sector, OEMs are pushing hard for Microsoft to extend Windows XP's life. If they can't convince Microsoft, they're going to offer it anyway, even if not officially sold by Microsoft anymore, via certain loopholes such as downgrade privileges.
Downgrades? Rubbish, says Pegoraro. Pegoraro, a strong Vista supporter, states, "By the strictest definition, Windows XP has been dead since January 30, 2007 -- the day its replacement, Windows Vista, arrived in stores and XP promptly vanished from most new computers."
Pegoraro doesn't think that Vista is a bad product. He points out that Vista does have its issues, "steep hardware requirements, its strict anti-piracy measures, its sometimes-intrusive security measures, its incompatibility with some older products", and acknowledges that these factors have driven strong XP sales. He mentions that in Q1 2008, XP sold 87 million copies worldwide, according to IDC analyst Al Gillen, while Vista sold 132 million copies worldwide.
Pegoraro also pointed to the slipping of the Microsoft end-of-life deadline for XP from January to June, under manufacturer pressure. And Pegoraro brings up the wealth of online "Save Windows XP" petitions, lead by a massive one hosted by the tech magazine InfoWorld.
He points out that XP was not exactly beloved by all when it was Microsoft's flagship product, and he accuses the public of changing its tune when presented with Vista. While running XP on existing systems is logical, he argues that on new home computers it is ridiculous not to run Windows Vista. He states, "It's another thing to say that on a new home computer, Vista is so unacceptable for mainstream use that you'd be better off with its predecessor."
Security is one major flaw in Windows XP, which is blasted by Pegoraro. He points out that even with three service packs and other smaller updates regularly released, Windows XP still needs to multiple security programs to safely connect to the internet.
With a bit of sarcasm, Pegoraro comments, "XP is not something that needs to be "saved," as if it were some architectural triumph in need of historic preservation. It's not an Old Post Office or a Union Station; it's more like that crummy midfield terminal at Dulles International Airport, a once-serviceable structure that outlived its utility years ago."
Most things that are wrong with Vista are also wrong with XP, he argues. Again, not shying away from controversy he comments, "And that, in turn, helps explain why Apple is selling so many Macs."
Vista is easier to use without configuration he argues, which in the end is another mark in its favor. He argues that most problems with Vista were fixed with its first service pack and third parties are jumping on board. As an aside he blasts those third-parties that haven't jumped aboard saying, "If they haven't, they probably never will. Presumably, those dead-enders are uninterested in any new sales to the customers they've ditched in this way."
Is Pegoraro a fan of XP on small computers like the ASUS Eee PC? Not so; while he says he can see the appeal, he argues Linux or other operating systems are much better for the purpose. He states, "But the builders of these little laptops don't have to choose between obsolete or sluggish Microsoft software. Faced with those unappealing options, many of them are instead loading the more efficient, free and open-source Linux operating system, which happens to perform many everyday tasks just as well as Windows does."
Finishing on a controversial note, Pegoraro adds, "If you're unhappy about Vista, don't get sucked in by the misguided nostalgia for XP. Root for the success of non-Windows computers. Or buy one yourself. Nothing attracts a company's attention like taking your business elsewhere."