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Windows 7 is coming in time for the holiday shopping season

Windows 7 has been the talk of the tech community for months now. Excitement over the operating system reached a high point when Microsoft released the first public beta of Windows 7 during CES 2009 in early January. Microsoft then upped the ante last week when it provided the first Release Candidate (RC) version of Windows 7 to the public.

Microsoft is now confident enough in Windows 7 that it today announced that the operating system will be available in time for the "holiday shopping season". Although Acer has leaked its intention to release a product using Windows 7 by October 23, this is the first confirmation from Microsoft that the operating system will ship this year.

"Microsoft is committed to ensuring that IT professionals and developers continue to have the platform and technologies to drive maximum value and business results. Getting the most out of IT investments is even more important in today’s economy," said Bill Veghte, Microsoft's senior vice president of the Windows Business. "With early RC testing and extensive partner feedback we’ve received, Windows 7 is tracking well for holiday availability."

The overall reception to Windows 7 through its beta and early RC stages has been overwhelmingly positive. In fact, the reception to Windows 7 has been quite the opposite of its predecessor, Windows Vista, which was plagued with software and driver incompatibilities at launch. Given that Windows 7 builds upon the foundation laid down by Windows Vista which has had a few years to mature, many of those growing pains are long gone.

Windows 7 will be available in Starter, Home Basic, Home Premium, Professional, Enterprise, and Ultimate editions. According to Microsoft, over 75 percent of Windows 7 installations will come through OEMs and the majority of installations will be 64-bit.

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One version and lower price
By gigahertz20 on 5/11/2009 11:16:36 PM , Rating: 2
I think it would have been smarter for Microsoft just to sell one product and call it Windows 7, that is it. Then when installing, you have the option of installing which version you want Starter, Home Basic, Home Premium, Professional, Enterprise, or Ultimate edition. And of course it would explain to the user what the differences are and then they pick.

Also, one flat price, Apple charges $130 for Leopard so I think somewhere near that would be a good price. Say $150 or $200.

RE: One version and lower price
By RandomFool on 5/11/2009 11:32:53 PM , Rating: 3
Apple charges $130 for an OS X upgrade disc. You can't buy it standalone.

RE: One version and lower price
By pukemon on 5/12/2009 7:59:17 AM , Rating: 2
The retail boxed copies are standalone. The only way you get an OEM disc of OS X are the discs that come with a new machine that usually only work on that particular model.

It's $129 for a single license, $199 for the "Family Pack" that allows for up to 5 installations.

Either disc (which are really the same physical disc) lets you do an upgrade or a clean install.

RE: One version and lower price
By Targon on 5/12/2009 8:19:20 AM , Rating: 3
Since Apple has locked the OS to work only on Apple computers, a part of the price being so low is that a part of the price is integrated into the high price of the computers. So, you can say that the high price of Apple computers is partially to offset the low cost of the OS.

Microsoft on the other hand, does not sell computers, and does not get some special license fee from every computer sold if the computer does not include Windows.

Yes, it is a trade-off, but since the vast majority of people will NEVER upgrade the OS on their computers, the price of the OS is never fully understood by most computer purchasers anyway. When you can buy a new computer from Best Buy for $350-$380 that comes with Vista Home Premium, you have to understand just how little that version of Windows ends up costing the customer.

RE: One version and lower price
By Uncle on 5/12/2009 1:49:35 AM , Rating: 5
MS is only selling one OS called Win7, the flavours all happen when you punch in your serial number.

RE: One version and lower price
By yacoub on 5/12/2009 8:10:29 AM , Rating: 5
i read "the flavors all happen when i punch you in the face" and did a double take. early morning :(

By drunkenmastermind on 5/12/2009 8:52:19 AM , Rating: 2
That was fu#$%ing funny! I was pissing myself on that post.

RE: One version and lower price
By Golgatha on 5/12/2009 12:27:32 PM , Rating: 3
If you enter and try to validate a pirated serial, you get punched in the face!

RE: One version and lower price
By Sulphademus on 5/12/2009 3:09:49 PM , Rating: 2
If you fail the Windows Genuine Advantage check, all your windows become loops of the Steve Balmer dance.

RE: One version and lower price
By lagitup on 5/22/2009 11:59:23 PM , Rating: 2
If you enter and try to validate a pirated serial, you get punched in the face!

So *thats* why i woke up with a bloody nose...

RE: One version and lower price
By yxalitis on 5/12/2009 2:10:57 AM , Rating: 1
Ummm, that's pretty much how it works, there's only one ISO, with all flavours on board, the serial decides which is installed.

RE: One version and lower price
By gigahertz20 on 5/12/2009 3:39:55 AM , Rating: 1
Yeah, the serial that you purchased decides which one you can install. You should be able to buy Windows 7, then pick whatever one you want.

RE: One version and lower price
By omnicronx on 5/12/2009 8:42:54 AM , Rating: 2
And then you can upgrade at any time if you so choose.

RE: One version and lower price
By omnicronx on 5/12/2009 8:41:59 AM , Rating: 2
How many times must this be said, Windows is not OSX!

OSX is not a full fledged business ready OS like the higher tier versions of Windows. OSX should directly compare to the home premium version, which is right in the pricerange you are asking for. I'm pretty sure the only noticeable difference between the two is OSX has shadowcopying, although I would wager a large percentage of OSX users don't even use this feature, especially on laptops as it eats up HD space.

Furthermore something gives me the feeling the MS marketing team knows what they are doing, they are one of the best in the business after all. I'm pretty sure they could convince a blind man to buy a car, they did sell a wackload of pre-sp1 vista after ;)

RE: One version and lower price
By B3an on 5/12/2009 9:21:00 AM , Rating: 5
Windows is also vastly more advanced than OSX and supports literally tens of thousands of different hardware configurations and devices. unlike OSX.

RE: One version and lower price
By callmeroy on 5/12/2009 9:45:00 AM , Rating: 1
If you are gonna make just one version -- then make just ONE version. What exactly is the point for users to get a screen that asks them what version to install? Would you not just install the the most feature rich version 8 out of 10 times (with the 2 other times being a situatlion like putting it on a lower end machine, or just install a quick test box)?

Now Microsoft's PoV --- what incentive do they have on giving you seperate versions for install all for the same price? How many companies offer upgrades of their product line for no added cost?

In short, this idea makes no sense to me --- at all.

I'm fine with MS selling multiple versions, and I see no "foul play" in charging more or less per vesion based on what the version offers or does not offer.

But again, if you want just one version for the sake of simplicity alone -- then I'd say just make a SINGLE version, what you install is what you get -- that's the product.

RE: One version and lower price
By Sulphademus on 5/12/2009 3:14:51 PM , Rating: 2
What exactly is the point for users to get a screen that asks them what version to install?

No such screen exists.
The serial key decides which version is installed. You know what serial you bought because it said so on the box (assuming a retail purchase). The actual data on the DVD is universal though.

Now waiting on pricing....
By croc on 5/12/2009 12:02:38 AM , Rating: 2
If 'the price is right' then I'll consider it. But I refuse to pay 150% over yank-wanker's prices just because I choose to live down under.

RE: Now waiting on pricing....
By woof69 on 5/12/2009 1:32:39 AM , Rating: 2
Think of it as the we have nicer beaches tax

RE: Now waiting on pricing....
By oab on 5/12/2009 1:38:57 AM , Rating: 2
Part of it is that your currency is 30% less valuable and your minimum wage is over twice that of the US leading to a higher cost of living.


That and Australia is a very large country with a small population relative to that of the US and Europe.

RE: Now waiting on pricing....
By yxalitis on 5/12/2009 2:08:45 AM , Rating: 4
"Part of it is that your currency is 30% less valuable and your minimum wage is over twice that of the US leading to a higher cost of living."
Which effects the cost of importing software how?
You are also confused as to what the exchange rate means as an economic doesn't mean that AUD is 30% "less valuable", on that basis, Italy and Japan would be super world powers with their excchange rate! It varies on how "good" an investment choice for foreign investors the counrty is perceived to be, low interest rates drive foreign dollars away, so exchange rate dips. We were nearly at parity a few months ago, but the economic downturn drove interesst rates down, reducing australia's value as a place to store currency.
"That and Australia is a very large country with a small population relative to that of the US and Europe. "
Relevent perhaps if referring to the costs of developing nationwide infrastructure: roads, railways lines etc, but not to software distribution.

RE: Now waiting on pricing....
By Aloonatic on 5/12/2009 5:13:04 AM , Rating: 5
There are many things that may affect the price of a product or service, but ultimately you end up paying what the market decides something is worth. When it's not produced locally you end up paying a little extra in duties and taxes, shipping etc but at the end of the day, you pay the market rate.

In the UK (not sure how it compares to Oz) it often appears that we are being ripped off but when you take into account the other factors (especially in the high-street retail space) then you realise that there isn't much difference. In fact, often the profit/margins for the producer are reduced. When you take into account the extra transportation costs (like road taxes and fuel duties), possibly (not sure, but it wouldn't surprise me) higher wages for transport workers, higher cost of commercial and retail property (through local taxes and general property costs), higher wages that are paid (through minimum wage and because of higher income taxes) and then the final probably higher sales tax (almost everywhere has higher sales taxes than the USA) then the higher price is often not some sort of evil US conspiracy where they are ripping people off royally, but it usually has more to do with domestic financial decisions.

Or maybe it is the evil plottings going on in Gate's Towers where he strokes his cat that is sitting on his lap, laughing at Australia/UK/elsewhere whilst super models frolic in piles of $100 dollar bills.

RE: Now waiting on pricing....
By omnicronx on 5/12/2009 8:55:06 AM , Rating: 2
If your currency is lower, so the pricing will be higher plain and simple. In the end its all about piracy, if they sell you a copy for 70% what you pay in the US, what stops Australians from reselling to other places in the world where the cost is more expensive?

RE: Now waiting on pricing....
By Quintessence on 5/12/2009 9:05:57 AM , Rating: 2
"Italy and Japan would be super world powers with their excchange rate!" You understand Italy uses the EURO like 80% of Europe and therfore whatever argument you were trying to say falls right out the window becasue the exchange rate is pretty much 1 to 1 with GBP...

I think 7 will be ok but not something I will be installing. If given the option for it next time I buy a PC I will be getting 7 already on it but the RC uses 29% of my laptops 4Gb RAM while idle and the footprint is bigger on my HDD than vista and I don't really see much improvements... I got rid of my gadgets on vista and could probs get a skin to look like Windows7...

RE: Now waiting on pricing....
By Targon on 5/12/2009 9:06:41 AM , Rating: 2
When you import from another country, the value of your currency compared to the source will affect the price. So, $100 here will have a different value in other countries. Since the software is NOT developed where you live, the price structure may not take the value of your currency into account(though in many cases it will, with reduced prices for certain markets).

If I import a car from Europe, not only is the cost of transporting the car going to be taken into account, but there is also the difference in currency(with the Euro being stronger). The European manufacturers KNOW this, and know it would result in lower sales due to higher prices, so you have manufacturing plants in the USA which will reduce the costs, and as a result, reduce the price to consumers.

The exchange rate is just one part of the reason for the higher prices, but just keep in mind that to buy Vista Home Premium, it is still $130ish over here for an OEM copy, which based on the exchange rate, would have a higher price tag where you live.

RE: Now waiting on pricing....
By ice456789 on 5/12/2009 7:47:59 AM , Rating: 5
Australia is entirely peopled with criminals, and criminals are used to having people not trust them, as you are not trusted by me, so I can clearly not choose the wine in front of you.

By therealnickdanger on 5/12/2009 8:09:21 AM , Rating: 2
Truly, you have a dizzying intellect.

(I just picked this up on Blu-Ray on Sunday - such a great movie! +1)

By General Disturbance on 5/12/2009 11:27:33 AM , Rating: 2
Wow, good one! Watched that again on a recent flight, it had been 15 years easily!

By Spivonious on 5/11/2009 10:32:14 PM , Rating: 5
Before anyone complains about the number of versions, I just wanted to clarify that the only versions people will see in stores are Home Premium and Professional.

Places like Newegg will have Starter and Ultimate. Home Basic is only available in developing markets. Enterprise is simply the volume license version of Ultimate.

RE: Clarification
By SunAngel on 5/11/09, Rating: -1
RE: Clarification
By InternetGeek on 5/11/2009 10:57:00 PM , Rating: 2
Well, what she gets is basically people get with other OSs: A lot of stuff they *might* not need ;). However with Windows it's quite easy for her to remove what she doesn't need, provided the "Standard" installation has more than she needs.

RE: Clarification
By Lifted on 5/12/2009 1:37:27 AM , Rating: 2
I'm pretty sure Starter is the one that's only available in developing markets, not Home Basic.

RE: Clarification
By Lifted on 5/12/2009 1:38:11 AM , Rating: 2
I've also heard starter may come on netbooks... but who knows.

RE: Clarification
By VaultDweller on 5/12/2009 7:48:06 AM , Rating: 2
That was the case with past iterations of Windows. For Windows 7, Home Basic is the emerging markets edition... which makes the Home Premium name somewhat unusual, since for most people the only "Home" version will be the Premium one.

However, I believe Spivonious is mistaken on availability of Starter edition. Whereas Ultimate will have limited retail availability (and as such will be available from enthusiast stores like NewEgg), Starter is available for OEM licensing only.

RE: Clarification
By Targon on 5/12/2009 8:04:17 AM , Rating: 2
Home Basic was showing up all over the place on machines without decent graphics(aka, machines with older chipsets, Intel graphics, etc). Home Premium is really the replacement for "Media Center". Business is really Home Basic with many business features added, but lacking a number of features from Home Premium.

Starter as I recall reading, has many limitations not just when it comes to features. Multi-tasking for example will be limited, so software will work, but you won't be able to run many applications at once.

We will see Home Basic, Home Premium, and Ultimate available all over the place.

RE: Clarification
By omnicronx on 5/12/2009 9:05:44 AM , Rating: 2
Home Premium is not an MCE release, MS scrapped that a long time ago. You will find Home Premium on most PC's destined for guess what.. Home use.. Those buying special cable card MCE boxes will surely get the ultimate release, not Home Premium.

You also won't see Ultimate 'all over the place', it will have limited retail sales. What you will see in stores is Home Premium and Professional. Home Basic won't be sold in stores at all in the US, it is mainly for emerging markets and perhaps OEM if MS decides to do so (maybe for netbooks).

It'll be the first...
By ummduh on 5/11/2009 11:10:43 PM , Rating: 2
Copy of Windows that I'll actually pay out of pocket for.

I've used 98, 98SE, 2KPRO, and now XP. All of them pre-installed.. (Had Macs pre-98, when my parents were still paying!)
Anyways, I was getting bored with XP.. Need something new. Didn't like how hard Vista was on my hardware.. I don't think my fans ever turned off.

I like 7 so far and am actually willing to buy this one.

RE: It'll be the first...
By mikeyD95125 on 5/12/2009 12:43:45 AM , Rating: 2
Don't expect Windows 7 to be to much softer on your hardware. Especially if you are planning on running Aero. Refer to the Anandtech review of the release canidate.

RE: It'll be the first...
By afkrotch on 5/12/2009 2:38:01 AM , Rating: 2
Unless you were buying workstation/server class hardware, you wouldn't have gotten Win2k pre-installed.

RE: It'll be the first...
By feraltoad on 5/12/2009 5:53:45 AM , Rating: 2
He probably purchased through or from work. I know of a local company that sold off hundreds of PCs they were replacing, all with Win2k installed.

RE: It'll be the first...
By Silver2k7 on 5/12/2009 9:13:28 AM , Rating: 2
"Unless you were buying workstation/server class hardware, you wouldn't have gotten Win2k pre-installed."

2000 was my choise also over the Millennium Edition... 3.11 -> 95 -> 98 -> 2000 -> XP -> Vista

RE: It'll be the first...
By GaryJohnson on 5/12/2009 9:37:27 AM , Rating: 2
2000 was shipped on desktops. It was on all the PCs in the computer labs at a college I was at and they were definately not workstation/server class.

RE: It'll be the first...
By therealnickdanger on 5/12/2009 10:01:08 AM , Rating: 2
I worked at CompUSA during that period and we sold plenty of stock HP/Compaq desktops with Win2K pre-loaded.

You might be thinking of Windows Server 2K.

Oh really?
By the goat on 5/12/09, Rating: 0
RE: Oh really?
By Targon on 5/12/2009 8:59:17 AM , Rating: 2
When you buy a freshly released product based on a new design, there is the possibility that you will be hurt because when you are on the bleeding edge of technology, you CAN expect problems. It is expected that over time, the problems will be resolved, so those waiting 6-8 months after an initial product release can generally expect a better experience than the early adopters.

Windows 7 is really Windows Vista with a number of updates and improvements. As a result, all of the bleeding was done during the first five to seven months after the Vista release. Read my longish post in this topic if you do not know why Vista had so many problems, and why the perception of Vista is still bad, even though the problems had been fixed over a year ago.

These days, the general requirement in computers should be a dual-core processor, and 2+ gigs of system memory, with a DirectX 9 or 10 graphics adapter/GPU. If your computer does not meet this level, then why would you expect anything NEW to run on it decently?

RE: Oh really?
By the goat on 5/12/2009 9:39:37 AM , Rating: 2
When you buy a freshly released product based on a new design, there is the possibility that you will be hurt. . .

What are you talking about? My post was simply highlighting the fact that most of the coverage of windows 7 is neutral not outstandingly positive like the article makes it sound.

RE: Oh really?
By theapparition on 5/12/2009 10:48:04 AM , Rating: 2
And what are you talking about. Every article I've seen rates Win7 as the best OS ever from MS. Hardly neutral.

RE: Oh really?
By omnicronx on 5/12/2009 11:06:26 AM , Rating: 2
If an OS works well, and is considered the best release to date, then who cares about comments about '7 is just more Vista', and how does that result in coverage being nutral?

To me it just shows how little reviewers know (or what their true intentions are). How can they review the OS itself so high, yet compare it to Vista which they reviewed so low. Its nothing more than a way to get more clicks.

If the OS is reviewed well that is all that matters, you are just nitpicking to make a point.(and a bad one at that)

RE: Oh really?
By omnicronx on 5/12/2009 11:06:49 AM , Rating: 2
I should really stop feeding the trolls..

RE: Oh really?
By omnicronx on 5/12/2009 11:01:15 AM , Rating: 2
I'd like to see some of the vast commentary you have read. Because from I've seen, although many people comment on how 7 is based off of Vista, they also claim it is the best Windows release ever. But I guess if you go into an article looking for the negative, that is what you will leave with.

You also probably know damn well that the days of a completely new OS every iteration are gone. OSX has had the same base since 2001, is snowy leopard just more OSX? I think not..

Best part is most of these so called 'Reviewers' don't even know what they are talking about. These are the same people that said there was no difference between XP and Vista.

Nothing but
By chmilz on 5/11/2009 10:37:30 PM , Rating: 2

By ThePooBurner on 5/12/2009 5:18:25 PM , Rating: 2
A new picture of balmer! And looking sharp, too. Things really have changed.

Get your Mac out of my PC
By ggordonliddy on 5/12/2009 7:32:12 PM , Rating: 2
Would you Vista/Win7 fanboiiis just go buy a Mac already? Anything good about the PC experience is gone now that we basically will have Mac clones.

By Colthan on 5/12/2009 11:40:51 PM , Rating: 2
Their is very little difference between Windows 7 RC and Windows Vista. I built my pc last fall with all new up to date components, to avoid any or most problems and had very few.. just saying coming from Vista not much of a change.

I probably should have read more posts from some of you It's almost wasted of time to try out this new Windows 7 RC when I have Windows Vista.

By 9nails on 5/11/2009 11:10:16 PM , Rating: 2
I wonder if they will announce the cost for upgrades anytime soon? And how soon after the release will places like NewEgg have inventory?

RE: Upgrades?
By 67STANG on 5/12/09, Rating: -1
anything is better than vista...
By Mikescool on 5/11/09, Rating: -1
By CrazyBernie on 5/11/2009 11:19:12 PM , Rating: 5
You mean like Mojave?

RE: anything is better than vista...
By Jedi2155 on 5/11/2009 11:25:19 PM , Rating: 2
Even Millennium Edition??

By StevoLincolnite on 5/11/2009 11:43:08 PM , Rating: 4
Blasphemy! Don't speak those words! It's supposed to be forgotten forever!

RE: anything is better than vista...
By CrazyBernie on 5/12/2009 12:27:14 AM , Rating: 5
You know what's really odd is I never had issues with Millenium Edition. People all around me claimed that their computers were spontaneously combusting, but mine kept trucking along. I guess it's because I did really crazy stuff like download updates to Windows and device drivers.

RE: anything is better than vista...
By afkrotch on 5/12/2009 2:22:47 AM , Rating: 2
ME was worse than 98SE. I also downloaded updates and drivers. 98SE would get the like 2-3 blue screens a day, while ME would get double that.

I quickly went to NT and then Win2k just to get off both the piece of crap.

RE: anything is better than vista...
By dubyadubya on 5/12/2009 5:18:49 AM , Rating: 2
You must of had some good hardware? Windows Me was mediocre at best but I had few if any BSOD's. It's weak spot was the lack of available memory handles. 9x has a limited number of memory handles and Me just used too many itself. This caused low or out of memory errors even with plenty of physical memory left. 98se was as perfect as 9x could get. Not server stability but plenty stable for general home use.

RE: anything is better than vista...
By Targon on 5/12/2009 8:52:32 AM , Rating: 2
Don't forget that ME had VERY VERY bad plug and play support for resource allocation. If you took a card and moved it from one PCI slot to another, it might cause your system to crash, and moving the card back would not resolve the issue. 98 was NEVER that bad, so it was pretty clear that Microsoft was trying to improve that aspect of the OS, but failed miserably.

By captainpierce on 5/12/2009 7:36:23 AM , Rating: 2
Millenium sucked on clean installs w/hardware and drivers it was supposed to work with. I sometimes wished it would cause spontaneous combustion...then I would've been done with the damn thing!

RE: anything is better than vista...
By oab on 5/12/2009 1:35:05 AM , Rating: 2
Even Bob?

RE: anything is better than vista...
By Nekrik on 5/12/09, Rating: -1
RE: anything is better than vista...
By das mod on 5/12/2009 11:08:49 AM , Rating: 3
by "Dick Around" you mean "Playing games" ???

yeah, i'll stick to a PC for that ...

RE: anything is better than vista...
By Nekrik on 5/12/2009 3:52:05 PM , Rating: 3
it was a reference to the Onion article for the Apple Wheel, just didn't go over too well.

RE: anything is better than vista...
By Targon on 5/12/2009 8:49:58 AM , Rating: 3
When Vista first came out, the drivers just were not ready. You can really fault HP, Canon, Epson, NVIDIA, and pretty much every hardware vendor for this, because they DID have time to develop decent drivers and software to go with them. That was back in November of 2006 through January of 2007 during the initial release to business customers and then the retail market.

By July of 2007, the drivers and software from most companies had stabilized and were mature enough for computers to be stable. At that point though, the driver discs still were the older drivers that were not quite stable. Most people do not know about looking for driver updates, so it took a bit longer for people buying a Vista machine to have a fully stable computer. There were people like myself who went Vista in July that never had problems since we DID go out and get the latest drivers.

The problem is that it was over six months before Vista was stable due to the previous driver and software compatibility issues, and as a result, Vista was almost permanently thought of as being slower, or being buggy, or whatever. People like Mikescool obviously just follow the crowd without really looking into the source of the problems and discovering that Vista itself was never that bad, even at launch, it was all about the drivers and changes to networking and audio code in Vista, that DID break some applications.

So, the weaknesses of Vista(to be fair, I am not a Microsoft fan by any means, but I hate seeing a decent product bashed by clueless individuals)....

Vista uses a system to boost overall system responsiveness called Superfetch. This basically acts as a caching system for your most commonly run applications so that they will load faster. The problem is that it uses a lot of system memory, and this can reduce system performance if you have less than two to three gigs of RAM. If you have enough system memory though, it DOES boost system performance.

Vista Home Premium(which seems to be what the majority of people have) includes the AeroGlass UI. It is actually pretty nice, but it requires a bit of GPU resources, and if your graphics card or integrated graphics chip is slow or does not have full DirectX 9 support, the UI itself will feel a bit slower as a result.

Basically, if your computer was old back in 2007 and you installed Vista, the increased memory usage of Superfetch and the increased demand on the GPU for the desktop would make low end computers feel sluggish. It did not help that it took until April of 2007 for Dell, HP, and others to realize that you really needed 1.5 gigs of system memory or above for Vista to run acceptably. There were still systems being sold with only 1GB of memory though, and people buying those systems would experience poor system performance.

Windows 7 is really just Vista release 2 with a new name. It is better about memory usage(Superfetch is more intelligent about how much system memory to use I suspect), and other systems have also been improved. The big thing is that Windows 7 uses the same driver structure as Vista, so they will be more mature right away compared to when Vista first came out(because the drivers had to have a new design at that point).

Vista really just suffers from a bad reputation at this point. Anyone who wants to put a new OS on an old computer in general is just asking for trouble. Upgrades NEVER run as well as a clean install. New operating systems add features, which will add additional demands on the system on top of the previous operating system. This is just common sense. Now, if your computer is unstable(Windows ME for example), then going to a new OS MAY help, but you have to accept that you may need more system memory, and if you have a low-end computer, you may run into more trouble than it is worth.

These days, for $350-$400, you can get a computer with a dual-core CPU, GPU that handles DirectX 9 in hardware(Geforce 6150LE), and 3 gigs of system memory. That should act as a sort of base line for what you should have if you are looking to put Vista or Windows 7 on a computer. You may not need quite that much memory, but for the price of memory these days, expect that if you go with minimum system specs, you WILL see limited system performance.

Oh, and User Account Control really does suck, but it can be turned off easily(from the UI, no obscure command line too required).

To Mikescool,
You may want to actually try something before you go around bashing it. You may also want to learn a bit about WHY things break, because if you even looked into the reason for Vista problems, you would have seen that bad driver quality will always result in a bad experience. Look at how pathetic the drivers were from Creative Labs back when Windows XP first came out as an example of this.

By Disorganise on 5/16/2009 9:09:10 PM , Rating: 2
Whilst I agree with most of what you're saying, Vista really isn't that great an OS.
I played with Vista since beta 3, and agree most issues were driver based -it took Nvidia a couple of months before I had a driver that worked at ALL with my card. By the time it was released to the general public, the basic drivers were there, but performance was dodgy and crashes too common with common apps (I recall the first few versions of adobe reader being truly excellent at turning machine into something that felt like a 286)
A couple of years on I no longer dual boot to XP, BUT, Vista does have a tendancy to go slow at times for no apparent reason - and I have 6GB RAM didn't help much.

I see Vista like Windows 2000; full of excellent ideas but ultimately rushed out the door too soon. XP built on 2000 and is a brilliant OS. Windows7 builds on Vista and will also be a decent OS I think/hope. Win2k was version 5.0 internally and XP is 5.1. Vista is 6.0 and I'm pretty sure Win7 is actually 6.2 (6.1 being taken by windows server 2008).

Hopefully the algorithms for super fetch have been thoroughly worked over since that's where i believe the biggest issues remain. SP1 brought (for me) much higher disk IO, and SP2 has turned it back to 'normal', but I still find apps far too slow to start, and too often go 'not responding' for 30 or 40 seconds or so. And this with RAM at 4.2GB in use leaving 1.8GB free, and CPU around 25%.
Having said that, my media centre PC (also Vista) has no particular problem but then that's not running office, games etc etc.

So in conclusion - I agree drivers ruined Vista's reputation in the early days, but disagree that everything is now peachy.

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