Vista SP2 RTM.. looking both ways

Published on: Author: Mike Hall 1 Comment

Uninstalling RC drifted along smoothly, as did installation of the standalone five language RTM. It has taken a couple of days for the system to settle back down, but Vista 64 is running nicely again, and I have no major issues. There are still niggling problems such as windows not retaining view settings but, other than that, Vista has proved to be an excellent and stable base for me.

Language packs have disappeared from Windows Update again, but will no doubt reappear in compatible form before too long, and all will be well again.

Looking back:

I have never really understood why Vista is seen as so different from its predecessors. It has all of the attributes of its predecessors and some operational features which started way back in Windows 95. Vista is the last of its kind, and people will miss it when it has gone. It is often compared to Windows ME, something I have never seen as fair. ME could blue screen on its first reboot after installation, and would even blue screen if left doing nothing at all. Vista has never been that bad. It just lacked the support from the rest of the industry at the beginning of its life.

Vista was not a good candidate for installing onto what had been an XP budget machine in a previous life. It took up more hard drive real estate than anything before it, but new machines were supplied with considerably larger hard drives anyway. It required 2gb of RAM to run well, but XP’s performance was barely adequate in 256mb, not too bad in 512mb, and a flyer in 1gb. Install Vista onto an high end XP OEM Media Center machine and performance was every bit what you would expect it to be.

Looking forward: 

Windows 7 will not suffer the same fate as Vista did because the industry as a whole learned valuable lessons at the end of 2006 and into 2007. While Vista and Microsoft took the brunt of the early criticism, the real culprits knew who they were. The sad part is that the hardware manufacturers  and software authors will not have to run around like scalded cats because the donkey work has been done. What finally was made to work in Vista will work in Windows 7, assuming of course that no specific OS identifier has been slipped in surreptitiously. They should still have a bomb placed under them if only to keep them on their toes.

For the most part, upgraders will avoid Vista and make their way directly to Windows 7. Make no mistake, Windows 7 will take up way more space than Windows 2000/XP ever did. It will still not fit well into a 20gb partition along with user preferred applications, taking up 15gb as it does without anything else being present. It will still have the same memory requirement as Vista if anything other than mediocre performance is to be expected. The only difference is that it will not be left standing on its own as Vista was for the reasons stated already.

Oh, and by the way, if you didn’t upgrade to Vista because you didn’t like the look of it, there is a possibility that you are really going to dislike Windows 7.

Personally speaking:

With rumours abounding of an impending Windows 7 release as early as October of this year, it looks like Vista will be well and truly consigned to ‘Room 101’. I am not ready to do that, and I will not be ready in October either. There are features which have been dropped from Windows 7, features that make my life much easier than what is being offered in their place. Until somebody can come up with a work around for a menu system that works for me, I may put Windows 7 into Room 101 for a while.

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