I can has XP plz?
Starting today, Microsoft has stopped selling Windows XP, and the major PC producers (HP, Dell, Lenovo and Acer) have agreed to stop selling XP machines as well. Smaller manufacturers will continue to produce XP systems for a while, and all major companies offer „downgrade rights” till the end of the year at least. Support will continue until 2014, it seems. [Source: CNet]
I got used to XP after SP2 was released, and it worked alright for me. Stable enough, safe enough, plenty of applications, OpenOffice.org and LaTeX work just fine, and every summer or so I get to play online MMORPGs for a few days. It was fast enough for my aged Acer laptop (512 MB RAM w/ shared video memory @ 1.6 GHz Celeron). I got to meet Vista last year, on Corina’s HP (1 GB RAM, 256 MB video card, 2.4 Ghz Athlon X64), all shiny and colorful, but it took me about a couple of hours before totally hating it.* Because
- it is the ultimate resource hog, OS-wise;
- I like to drive my own car when I’m behind the wheel, thank you; no, the OS doesn’t get to ask me every friggin minute whether I really (really-really?) want to install something, after I just said „I DO!”;
- after installing XP, it felt a lot faster, and not just because in Vista you have to click your mouse off in order to modify or launch software; anyway, see the performance tests by the PCPro team (I mean performance, not flashy icons on the screen);
- software dear to my heart (such as TeXnicCenter) still don’t work on Vista, although both OOo and MiKTeX have now Vista support;
- I tried installing a game (Gothic III) to watch the NVidia card in action, and after 3 painful hours, it didn’t work (it started and crashed after a couple of minutes). No warning, of course.
- etc. Just google „xp vs vista„, and find out more stories of crashes, bugs, hardware and software incompatibility, and so on.
Vista just isn’t ready, as pre-SP1 XP wasn’t. It will take some years before it’s going to be—but in the meantime, what? Stash some XP boxes from the local PC shops before they’re sold out. Or, for those brave enough, move to Linux (although Matt Kohut of Lenovo disagrees with Linux laptops). Or pray to the Ceiling Cat to bring XP back from hibernation (and our dalee cheezburger).