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Sunday, August 12, 2007

Why you should avoid Windows Vista like the plague (at least for now) Part 3

In this three-part article I will talk about three big reasons you should avoid "upgrading" to Windows Vista, at least for now. This is part three of three.


I've been talking in the first two parts of this series of three article about reasons you want to avoid getting the new Windows Vista. I called it a real turkey, and gave you two good reasons you shouldn't use it.

In this last in this series of articles, I'm going to give you a third reason that I don't think you should bother getting Vista, at least for a while.

Reason #3:

All the new features are old features stolen from Mac OS X, and not very well.

Microsoft has a history of stealing ideas and presenting them as their own -- all of the basic ideas behind Windows (having information displayed in one or more windows, having a desktop, having a recycle bin or trash can, using a mouse, etc.) were directly taken from the Mac after Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak (the co-founders of Apple) invited Bill Gates over to show off their new type of computer.

Bill took notes and ran back to Microsoft to copy it, and he's been doing it ever since.

The new version of Windows -- Windows Vista -- was supposed to come out years ago, but it got delayed and delayed, and finally was released around the beginning of 2007.

Back in 2004, Apple announced the then-new version of Mac OS X, OS 10.4 or "Tiger" (the "X" in Mac OS X is a Roman numeral 10, not a letter X by the way) at their developers conference.

Early in 2007, some internal emails were leaked from inside Microsoft that revealed that when one high-up employee from Microsoft was at the 2004 Apple Developers Conference, he was taking notes (just like Bill did all those years ago) and he confessed Microsoft had to take a lot of features of OS X from Apple to put into Vista.

He was also worried they wouldn't be able to do those features as well.

When Vista finally came out (two and a half years later) I remember watching the promotional video that showed off all of the supposedly new features of Vista.

Every single one was clearly a knock-off of features in the 2004 version of Mac OS X, and in my opinion, not very good knock-offs.

In fact, the Microsoft employee who wrote those leaked emails is on record saying that he'd use a Mac himself if he didn't work for Microsoft.

So why pay for recycled "new features" when they won't really do that much to improve your computer (and as I mentioned in an earlier email, are likely to slow it down) -- it doesn't make a lot of sense to me.

I won't deny that I like Macs better than PCs too -- and unlike a lot of people who are big supporters of one and bash the other, I am very familiar with both types of computer, and realize that neither type is perfect -- and I honestly think that 99% of the time, you're better off using a Mac than a Windows PC.

So if you're going to get a new computer, which you're better off doing if you're getting Vista, why not get the real deal instead of the pale imitation?

Just my opinion.

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Worth Godwin has been giving people computer help
professionally for over a decade and a half, and as a hobby for years
before that. In the last few years he has focussed on his easy,
plain English approach to help people learn computer basics.

Join Worth's free computer tips newsletter now and get easy to follow emails that give computer tips, make sense of
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Why you should avoid Windows Vista like the plague (at least for now) Part 2

In this three-part article I will talk about three big reasons you should avoid "upgrading" to Windows Vista, at least for now. This is part two of three.


In the first part of this article, I told you the first of three reasons I don't think you should be getting the new Windows Vista, and why you should stick to Windows XP or Mac OS X.

In this article, I'm going to continue with the second reason that, at least for now, Vista is a turkey and you should avoid getting it.

Reason #2:

Not all of your old equipment will work because of "driver issues".

A "driver" is a piece of software that lets your computer work with the devices you have connected (outside or inside) the computer. Think of it like each part of the computer, or each device hooked up to it (like a printer, or a digital camera, etc.) talks a different language. The driver is like an interpreter that translates the language the device talks into the language Windows talks.

The same thing applies if you have a Mac -- it needs drivers to "talk" to printers and other devices. Without the right driver, the Mac has no idea how to talk to the printer, scanner, or whatever kind of device you might have hooked up to it. One big difference between Macs and Windows is that in a *lot* of cases (not all, but a lot) you don't need to jump through a lot of hoops to get a new device to work. You plug it in and it just works. But it still needs the driver for this to happen, it just is built in for most printers, mice, etc.

But back to Vista.

The drivers that used to work for Windows XP don't work for Vista, so every company out there that makes computer equipment has to make brand new drivers to work with Vista, and until they do, their equipment won't talk to Vista.

Now by the time I'm writing this (August of 2007), a LOT more drivers are available, unlike a few months ago when Vista first came out. But still, there are many thousands of devices that aren't "compatible" with Vista (in other words, there is no driver for them).

And the companies that make different computer parts and devices may not bother to ever write drivers for their older equipment -- even things just a couple of years old -- because this way they can sell you a new printer, or scanner, or whatever.

So even if you buy a new computer, the devices you had hooked up to it might not work anymore, and if you try to save money and just upgrade your current computer, parts inside the computer might not work right, or at all.

And if this happens, there's not a lot you can do about it.

I'll talk about the third reason I don't think you should get Vista in the third and final segment of this article.


Oh, and one last thing -- Mac users reading this, remember that if you have a Mac that was made in 2006 or later -- an "Intel Mac" of some kind -- you *can* run Windows too, and all of this information applies to a Mac running Windows just as much as any other computer running Windows.

But fortunately, most of you won't ever need to run Windows, so you can stick to the more familiar (not to mention safer and easier) Mac OS X that you're used to. But if you do have a need to run Windows, this is important to know.

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Worth Godwin has been giving people computer help
professionally for over a decade and a half, and as a hobby for years
before that. In the last few years he has focussed on his easy,
plain English approach to help people learn computer basics.

Join Worth's free computer tips newsletter now and get easy to follow emails that give computer tips, make sense of
basic computer terms, and deliver free, Plain English
easy audio and video lessons right to your inbox.

 

Why you should avoid Windows Vista like the plague (at least for now) Part 1

In this three-part article I will talk about three big reasons you should avoid "upgrading" to Windows Vista, at least for now. This is part one of three.


"As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly!"

You may recognize the quote above from the old TV sitcom WKRP in Cincinnati. The episode it was from involved the not-too-bright head of the radio station deciding it was a good idea to do a Thanksgiving promotion by giving away free turkeys -- how did he give them away? By throwing them out of a helicopter flying over the city!

Since domesticated turkeys can't fly, you can imagine it didn't go very well.

Out here in Hawaii, we have wild turkeys, which actually can fly. There was one in a tree outside my window earlier that made me think of this.

You may have heard of the new version of Windows, Windows Vista, that Microsoft started selling around the beginning of 2007.

Well, in my opinion, Vista is a real turkey, and it's flying about as well as the poor turkeys from that classic episode of WKRP.

In fact, the big irony is that I read recently that releasing Vista actually *increased* the sales of Windows XP! That's pretty sad.

There's three basic reasons I don't think you should get Vista. I could think of more, but let's keep it simple and stick to three big reasons. To keep the article fairly short, I'm going to cover the first one in this article, then the other two in separate articles.

Reason #1:

If you upgrade, you'll either need to get a brand new computer that's a lot more powerful than your old one, or you'll have to sink a lot of money into your old one to try to get it "up to speed".

You see, Vista is what we in the computer business like to call a "resource hog", which means it needs a lot of memory, a big hard drive, and a fast processor (computer brain) for it to work well. Especially if you want to use any of the newer features.

If you don't have at least a fairly high-end computer (and a new one, not a high-end PC from a few years ago) you either won't see most of the new features, or you'll be screaming at the computer in frustration at how slow it is.

So the only time to go to Vista would be if you're already planning to buy a new PC, otherwise you might spend a few hundred dollars getting up to speed, which is money that might be better spent towards a new computer.

And even then, I'd really suggest sticking with XP (or going with a Mac, but that's something to talk about in a different article).

In the next section of this article, which I'll send in a separate email, I'll talk about the second reason you don't want to get Vista, and how getting it could cause you big headaches, especially if you keep your old computer, or any older equipment.

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Worth Godwin has been giving people computer help
professionally for over a decade and a half, and as a hobby for years
before that. In the last few years he has focussed on his easy,
plain English approach to help people learn computer basics.

Join Worth's free computer tips newsletter now and get easy to follow emails that give computer tips, make sense of
basic computer terms, and deliver free, Plain English
easy audio and video lessons right to your inbox.