Where is that XP Install CD?

Today, Christopher Dawson has a post at ZDnet titled Don’t downgrade me to XP!. His take on the Vista subject is that we should bite the bullet and go with Vista, since XP is already 7 years old, so installing it on new equipment and running it for 4 years will bring it to an age of 11 years - way too much in an industry where anything older then 4 years is ancient!

But turning back to reality, let's analyze who might benefit of using Vista instead of XP

First the proposed benefits: Apparently, Vista has

  • better security
  • better application support
  • is more modern and far easier to use.
The users have already said their part:
  • Vista and XP are on par at security, the only remaining benefit being that XP support is ending.
  • Application support in vista is lacking, and a lot of drivers were funky even 1 year after Vista was released
  • The interface although modern, is a huge resource hog, and hampers a lot of users

So, who will benefit from Vista?

  • Not the corporate users - corporations are riddled with legacy applications, have very stringent procedures for upgrade and are generally very careful when adopting anything. In such an environment, implementing Vista will require
    • additional training for the users
    • significant testing to verify that all corporate applications are working
    • big chunk of change to bring all available hardware up to Vista hardware requirements
  • Not the power users - power users have specific applications they use and they expect that the apps run as fast and as smooth as possible. Installing Vista will very probably:
    • reduce performance of their application
    • possibly hamper operation of their application
    • make them re-learn part of their computer use - which takes time that they can use much more productively
  • Not the gamers - Unless insisting on DirectX10, XP still delivers a better performance bang for the same buck of hardware, which is very important for gamers, since they are on the road of draining every last frame per second from their hardware. Some of the older readers will remember installing special memory managers to take maximum advantage of ALL computer resources. Users like this DON'T WANT a resource hog like Vista

In summary, although XP is 7 years old, Vista hasn't delivered any significant improvements which would justify it's use. XP still delivers much better productivity

So the only ones that will take up Vista are the ones that really don't mind productivity changes:

  • Newbies - anyone just starting out in computing, so they don't have any specifications and expectations to meet, nor are particularly oriented towards any specific application.
  • Testers - the people that must have it, in order to prove that their product works with Vista
  • Technology enthusiasts - the people that want and need to have the latest and greatest product, whether to learn it or to show off.
  • Low power computer users - any users that use most basic computer functions like word processing, simple spreadsheets, e-mail and calendar and web surfing.

The above list translates to home users and Quality Assurance and parts of R&D departments. Sorry Christopher, but even after 7 years of use, XP still looks much better then Vista.

Reality check: We WILL Move to Vista once XP support has ended and the next major flaw is found. But, in the meantime, I just got a new laptop...Where the hell is my XP Install CD?

Talkback and comments are most welcome


PCDisorder said...

Well written. I write my blog pcdisorder.com on a band new vista machine (in the office) with a duo core CPU and 4 Gigs of ram. The boot alone takes 2.5 minutes. revolting! at home I have a three year old athalon based 1.5 gig machine running XP that boots in under 40 seconds and runs damn faster.
David Miron

Bozidar Spirovski said...

My wife is a Java programmer. Since she bought her new core2 duo 2gb ram laptop she started a campaign for me to replace the vista with XP. The Eclipse environment under vista barely run, while under XP she is developing happily, on the same machine.

Keym4k3r said...

When three years ago laptop run on standard battery merely 2 hours, I expected that by now I could carry it everywhere almost like a mobile phone, without any charging problems. Instead you have ten times more RAM , better processor,
mobile platform, and ...
slower Vista with 2 hours, if you're lucky.

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