Windows

The RTM version of Windows 7 is ready, but are you ready for it?

Microsoft has announced that Windows 7 is now at the Release to Manufacturing stage of the development process. Greg Shultz takes a look at some of the upgrade paths and pricing for Windows 7, now that its general availability is imminent.

Shortly after last week's Windows Vista and Windows 7 Report blog was published, Microsoft did it -- they announced the Release To Manufacturing (RTM) version of Windows 7. According to Brandon LeBlanc, in the July 22 issue of the Windows 7 Blog:

"...RTM officially happens only after sign-off occurs. What happens is a build gets designated as a RTM contender after going through significant testing and meeting our quality bar for RTM. Then, it goes though all the validation checks required for RTM including having all languages of that build completed. If all the validation checks have passed -- sign-off for RTM can occur. Today after all the validation checks were met, we signed off and declared build 7600 as RTM."

In the same blog, LeBlanc goes on to specify:

"The RTM code will be delivered to our partners within the next few days who will then start preparing to deliver some amazing new products timed to hit at General Availability (GA) of Windows 7 on October 22nd."

The actual RTM event was even documented in a promotional video of the final signing ceremony that was shot inside the Microsoft campus and released on YouTube. In a more formal announcement at MGX (Microsoft Global Exchange), Microsoft's annual sales kick-off event in Atlanta, Steven Sinofsky and Steve Ballmer announced the RTM of Windows 7, as well as the RTM of Windows Server 2008 R2, and Ballmer signed the gold RTM DVDs.

Wow, this is great news, and I would suggest that we all put aside our gripes about Microsoft for a moment and offer them our warm congratulations on reaching this milestone in a timely manner. After a moment or two, feel free to resume complaining.

This blog post is also available in PDF format in a free TechRepublic download.

Windows 7 family pack

In my recent blog, Microsoft Windows 7 pricing deals spark interest and controversy, I commented on rumors about the availability and pricing for a Windows 7 family pack. Well, we now have partial confirmation. In the July 21 issue of the Windows 7 Blog, LeBlanc writes:

"I know there have been some rumors going around about a "family pack" for Windows 7. We have heard a lot of feedback from beta testers and enthusiasts over the last 3 years that we need a better solution for homes with multiple PCs. I'm happy to confirm that we will indeed be offering a family pack of Windows 7 Home Premium (in select markets) which will allow installation on up to 3 PCs. As I've said before, stay tuned to our blog for more information on this and any other potential offers."

While this too is good news for consumers, actual pricing information would have been nice. Still, the rumored $150 MSRP price tag sounds reasonable. However, keep in mind that chances are that this is not a total cost.

As you may remember, in the Windows Vista Family Discount program, you had to first purchase a retail version of Ultimate (Full or Upgrade) in order to take advantage of the discount. You could then go to a special Microsoft site and purchase two Home Premium upgrade licenses for $49.99 a piece.

Just to refresh your memory, here is how the pricing for the Windows Vista Family Discount program played out. (My example Vista prices came from actual prices offered at Amazon.com during the early Vista availability time period.)

Table A

Windows Vista Ultimate (Full) $369.99
Home Premium upgrade License $  49.99
Home Premium upgrade License $  49.99
Total $469.97

Table B

Windows Vista Ultimate (Upgrade) $247.99
Home Premium upgrade License $  49.99
Home Premium upgrade License $  49.99
Total $347.97

Now, I don't know if this is the same way that the Windows 7 family pack will be priced and packaged, but if it were, we could expect to see something along these lines:

Table C

Windows 7 Home Premium (Full) $199.99
Home Premium upgrade License $  75.00
Home Premium upgrade License $  75.00
Total $349.99

Table D

Windows 7 Home Premium (Upgrade) $119.99
Home Premium upgrade License $  75.00
Home Premium upgrade License $  75.00
Total $269.99

Keep in mind that I am using the full Windows 7 MSRP prices here as that is all I have to go on at this point in time, so you really can't draw any direct comparisons. Again, I'm just speculating here based on what we saw with Vista. Microsoft may come up with a whole new pricing structure with the Windows 7 family pack.

Windows XP upgrades

I've recently been receiving questions from people running Windows XP wondering whether there will be Windows 7 upgrades, and the answer is yes and no.

Yes, Windows XP users will be eligible for the upgrade price. No, you will not be able to use the Windows 7 Upgrade DVD to perform an in-place upgrade on a system running Windows XP. In other words, you will not be able to insert the Windows 7 DVD into the drive on your XP system and perform the upgrade while leaving all of your applications and device drivers in place.

XP users will most likely rely on Windows Easy Transfer, which is a utility designed to copy files and settings from one Windows installation to another Windows installation on the same computer as well as from one computer to another computer.

However, Windows XP users will be able to perform one of two custom Windows 7 upgrade installations, which both essentially amount to a clean install.

The first type will install Windows 7 on a new partition in a dual-boot configuration, while the second type will install Windows 7 on the existing partition -- the one containing Windows XP. This will result in the Windows XP system files and the contents of the My Documents folder being saved in a folder titled Windows.old. Either way, you will have to reinstall all your applications and drivers.

Even though the second type of custom installation will save your data files, you will still definitely want to make and have on hand backup copies of all your data, just in case.

I'll cover Windows XP to Windows 7 Upgrades in more detail once I get my hands on a real Windows 7 Upgrade DVD and can experiment with it.

What's your take?

Are you happy to hear that Windows 7 is on target for the October 22 release date? Are you likely to take advantage of the Windows 7 family pack? Are you planning on upgrading from Windows XP to Windows 7? As always, if you have comments or information to share about these topics, please take a moment to drop by the TechRepublic Community Forums and let us hear from you.

TechRepublic's Windows Vista and Windows 7 Report newsletter, delivered every Friday, offers tips, news, and scuttlebutt on Vista and Windows 7, including a look at new features in the latest version of the Windows OS. Automatically sign up today!

About

Greg Shultz is a freelance Technical Writer. Previously, he has worked as Documentation Specialist in the software industry, a Technical Support Specialist in educational industry, and a Technical Journalist in the computer publishing industry.

55 comments
thegreenwizard1
thegreenwizard1

No, only if some of my clients got a new machine and only after 6 months in the market. Even if the actual softwares are not the top of the shelf, why upgrading? If your PC works without troubles, why spend money on it. If you can do your job with it. Never change a winning horse.

jansley
jansley

Have worked with the RC version for a while now and have found no advantage over XP other than it was a breeze to set up the net. did not look god on a CRT monitor, had to get LCD to get clear picture.Like Vista it is designed to sell new hardware. Not worth the cost. pcman

RealInIT
RealInIT

I have 2 XP Pro '32 PC's, a Quadcore notebook with Visduh 64 on it and a Linux pentium 3 PC. I have no intention of spending $500-600 to upgrade all my PC hardware to run Windoze 7, I don't care how 'great' it will be. The economy is in too crappy a shape for me to divert money for hardware & software. No, I'll continue to hold steady on XP Pro, and think about the 64 Bit version for the notebook, if HP offers an upgrade path to Win 7, that is...I'm not spending any more money on the notebook either, it has NOT yet proven itself to my satisfaction. My data continues to reside on my proven XP Pro desktop. I uninstalled the M$ Ofice version that came with the notebook, installed OpenOffice and have enjoyed it greatly, it reads all my Word and Excel files just fine, the User Interface is a bit different from Office XP, but not as different as Office 07 was! I guess I do not see the reasoning behind M$ offering a Mac look-alike OS, if I wanted a Mac, I'd buy one! I also don't care for the M$ 'disabled-features' versions of OS's either, All-Feature Ultimate, slightly disabled Home Premium, or the dumbed down 'Home' that has nothing of value, slightly better GUI than a DOS Menu... The pricing is no better, hardware is cheap right now, a Dual Core CPU and MoBo for $200...so who wants to pay $400 for the OS to run on it when Linux is free, or $100 with a service contract??? How dumb is that? OpenOffice reads and writes Word/Excel formats just fine. I just cannot see the big draw to Windoze anymore. As far as PC gaming goes, I have 3 new PC games, all rated to work on the Visduh 64 version I have, I now have more PlayStation games than I'll ever be able to finish in my lifetime!!! So no need of a PC to play games on. So, so long, M$, I shall let you happily plunge off the cliff and take the lemmings with you...sad, but I see no other future for you. $Work is not going to follow the Win7 path unless a MASSIVE VOLUME DISCOUNT is held out, like $20 a copy of Ultimate!!! Big Corp dollars are not going to be spent for massive hardware to support the Win7 'promise', they didn't pony up for Visduh, better have a HUGE carrot out there to get Big Daddy Corp to buy into Win7...big carrot...

lk_bellsouth.net
lk_bellsouth.net

The discussion about various OSs has and will go on forever, just like the exchanges between PC and Mac owners. Each OS and computer platform has its good and bad features, depending on the needs of the users and the mission that the unit is expected to perform. As a consumer who no longer has access to the "corporate toys" I can only say that I sincerely believe that for the average retail customer who has to purchase Windows 7, or any other Microsoft product off the shelf, at your local store that Microsoft has and continues to overprice their products greatly. Do they have quality products? Absolutely. But if you can't afford it then it really doesn't make any difference. In the current economic environment Microsoft needs to revisit their pricing and discount programs. Good fortune to all and thanks for listening. I appreciate it.

brickman
brickman

The computer on which I have carefully accumulated programs, protected and upgraded for over a decade - the computer on which I chose not to install Vista because of its shortcomings - that computer cannot remain intact and upgraded to Windows 7 without my reinstalling my programs and my data? What?? I have to buy Vista first, upgrade and then buy Win 7??!! I guess, in an economy when households have less money, I should just scrap it all and buy a new computer for double, triple or more the price of Win7!! This, like the Vista Ultimate debacle, the "ultimate" required for a Win7 upgrade, is intolerable and a perfect time and reason to move to Linux or Mac. Thanks Microsoft, for convenieintly forgetting your past trespasses and our present circumstances. Thanks for making that decision easy for former Windows users!

mfa
mfa

I've moved to Open Source for everything except the OS, so maybe now's the time to complete the weaning process.

h681
h681

Greg This report is aimed at the US market and [possible] users. PLEASE! [when you give your report after testing Win 7] make it pertinant to\for UK [EU] readers. Also [at this point in time] the option of UPGRADE versions are not available in the EU [this is my understanding] and it is the retail [full] that is on offer here, could you point this out to UK [EU] possible users. Finally at the moment what is on offer is Win 7 E [NO INTERNET BROWSER] and to enable a user to access the internet they MUST have the browser of their choice sitting on some form of external disk\pen drive\partition. [I know that MS has now offered to insert a drop down list with the top 5(?) browsers based on the previous 6 month most used list - but this has not been accepted by the EU as of this moment]This is the sort of thing that should be mentioned\reported so that UK [EU] members know what to expect. ErnieK

lru
lru

I've nourished a feeling that the basic raison d'?tre for Windows 7 is a Microsoft need to gloss over yet another ill-timed windows update and is certain I'll listen for reactions for at least a year before even thinking of updating a reasonable functioning XP environment. I can see from Microsofts XP update policy that this position will be prudent - I'm definitely not going to skip all for a repeat of the ME-Vista mess. Lars Rugaard

cunnind
cunnind

Once again the European pricing is way above that in the US. May be it is once again time for the EEC to take action against Microsoft. Pre release price W7 Prof. in the US: $99 = ?60 Pre release price W7 Prof. in the UK: ?189 = $311

toolznglue
toolznglue

Only when I need a piece of software that absolutely needs it to run. There's no need to change anything that works just to enhance Microsoft's cash flow.

ropateviliame
ropateviliame

I have been running 7 for twelve weeks (firstly leaked torrent then formal RC) replacing XP which I preferred to Vista a thousand times. & is indeed infinitely better - I will not switch back to XP at all. Roll on October 22.

mmaki1
mmaki1

There is no better topic for a Linux user to hear or watch discussed that Windows pricing and licensing. I love it!

DHCDBD
DHCDBD

Over the weekend I attempted to install the RTM (build 16385) on a four year old Emachines W4620 laptop (same machine as the Gateway MX-6422). I could never get the Conexant audio nor the AMD chipset drivers to both install and operate (code 10). This despite the fact that that machine will run Vista (32 and 64) without a problem. I obtained the W7 drivers from the manufactures websites and from M$ updates. I also used everyone of the compatibility options. No worky. Not only is this the hardware manufacturers problem, it is also an M$ problem because the hardware, though old, is common and very well supported under Vista. I also went back and installed all of the official and unofficial beta's and confirmed that this has been a problem from the first beta (7000). On the other hand, when the above install test failed, I removed one of the drives from a year old HP DV9700z CTO, dropped another drive in and installed W7 on that without a terrible lot of problems. Two drivers could not be found on the M$ update site. Those drivers were both NVidia drivers. One was the GE 8400 GO video driver, the other the Nvidia Nforce 530 chipset driver. Nvidia had the W7 video driver but not the chipset driver. I used the Vista Nforce chipset driver from HP for Vista and did not even have to use compatibility mode. Afterwords, I reinstalled the Linux main drive in the primary slot, W7 in the secondary slot, added a few lines to grub and am now dual booting without a problem. It should be noted that the generic M$ video driver worked fine, just not quite as well as the Nvidia driver. My primary complaint is that, like Vista, there seems to be a spontaneous deactivation. Unlike Vista, this problem seems to be related to cleaning the trash out of the system. I had to reactivate four times in 24 hours. Both Avast and Comodo work well with W7, but Comodo sees the Activation blob as a trojan; this will work out in time. My primary interest is how well W7 supports older hardware outside of a VM because all new hardware will support W7. I also have to know if W7 will support legacy apps well, and how, because my customers will be, and are currently, asking questions because Linux is not the solution for everyone. So far, I see a performance improvement over even XP pre-SP1 and certainly over Vista. Only as an example, the Widows Experience Index reported an index of 3.0 for the video chipset whereas W7 reports it at 3.6 (1.0 inside VMWare) .

jmgarvin
jmgarvin

Vista was a total waste of time and effort on everyones part. However, 7 fixes a lot of the lingering Vista problems and is FAR more enterprise ready than Vista even can, or will, be.

HypnoToad72
HypnoToad72

* Small RAM footprint * Small HD footprint * Nix FATxx and NTFS for non-fragmenting partition formats * GET RID OF THE SODDING REGISTRY And other steps that show MS is making good after years of releasing products that are (bleep) until after SP1 is released. I won't get fooled again. And I've been in PC support for nigh on two decades, despite holding a degree in business/database management as well. At least I get to use those skills too, but PC support was my love... until Vista. I do have to thank Microsoft... without the plummet called "Vista", Expression Media, and Flight Simulator 10, I never would have gone to Ubuntu and the Mac...

Oz_Media
Oz_Media

I've been playing with all the Win7 releases for quite a while now, dual boot in a WinVista notebook. I have not experienced all these famous Vista issues others complain about though, it runs like a top for the most part. Win7 is a bit quicker to boot, restart and open SOME programs, however for my Vista install runs great too. I MIGHT change the whole partition one day, but as for now, while Win7 is TAD quicker in some areas, Vista has done me no wrong. Now, for the people who downgraded multicore PC's to XP and thus removing the muticore processor support of the OS, they will see a great improvement. For people who installed Vista or bought new PC's that could barely run Vista, they will see an improvement with Win7, but for most, who have a decent PC properly built for Vista, the benefits are marginal, though you can believe anything you pput your mind to really. If you feel it will be better and faster, chances are it will seem that way, whether it really is or not. if you feel it is buggy and slow it will be, which is why I don't jump on the yay or nay bandwagon to fit in with peers. One thing I found with 7 is that it doesn't need much tweaking, where Vista needs some attention to get it running properly for your hardware build. So, out of the box, people will say its much faster. Either way, I think the masses will cling to 7 as they expended so much effort putting down Vista and saying they'd wait for Win7, just like the people who backed off of XP to stay with the much better performing and more secure Win2K at one time. I think it will be accepted by most IT staff as it is simpl not Vista and it's cool to not like Vista. I' have guys at work who joke about Vista, when I ask what their experience is, they all parrot teh same BS, it too slow, it sux....however they haven't used it, tweaked it or anything, they just go with the general flow of opinions read online and feel it applies to them too.

CG IT
CG IT

I like it. It is far better than Vista with UAC being made very usable and friendly. There is one drawback that I've run into that is going to cause some small business users and possibly consumers a lot of headaches. This is in Windows 7 Network and Sharing Center and using any of the well know Total Protection AntiVirus/spyware/firewall programs. The issue, if you decide to change your IP address, or switch between networks, The Total Protection AV/Firewall/Malware programs and Network & Security Center might make you lose Internet Connectivity. It seems that changing which network you use will cause Network & Security Center to designate the new network as public while the total protection software bundle might say its standard or trusted [as in the case of McAfee Total Care software.] This is a conflict and you lose interenet connectivity. The Microsoft gurus say Network and Security Center has to be able to contact either the default gateway or a DNS server or you won't get Internet access. A built in security feature so the average consumer isn't online without any protection. But if you can't choose because a dialog box doesn't open up with the Total Protection Suite then the network is considered untrusted and internet access is blocked. I've had to uninstall the Total Protection suites to reestablish internet connectivity and when that doesn't work use system restore. I've tested Norton Total Protection, McAfee Total Protection, Bulldog, Kaspersky, and have run into this problem with all of them. The bad part is there is no way to turn off the Network and Security Center and no easy way to switch between profiles. Often the Total Protection Suites end up either not displaying the change dialog box or block the Network and Security Center Dialog box so you can choose.

Mark W. Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin

While many businesses are taking a wait and see attitude toward Windows 7, the jury is still out on whether consumers will mass adopt the new OS. Given what Greg has explained about pricing for Windows 7, will you be installing a copy on October 22? Are you upgrading from Windows Vista or Windows XP?

lk_bellsouth.net
lk_bellsouth.net

Greenwizard, I quote "Never change a winning horse" and all I can say about that is I LOVE IT! Now sometimes an "old horse" gets tired and has earned his peace and quiet in advancing years. At that point its time to give him his due rest. Yes, I can identify with the "old horse". (grin) But I do see your point and its a point very well taken, promise. Thanks for your post. I appreciate it. Take care.....

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

starting from scratch, considering how much effort (well directed or otherwise) that goes into it. Quality products, well that I could argue.....

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

Never ever upgrade a windows OS. The only time it might work is if you start from bare metal with only MS drivers while disconnected from the internet, and then successively install windows versions in order doing absolutely nothing else, except crossing as many fingers as possible.

RealInIT
RealInIT

Right On! Power to the User!

Oz_Media
Oz_Media

Waste of time on everyone's part. My Thinkpad, win2K died and the boss let me run out and pick up an HP with Vista Home Premium in it. 2GB of ram and the graphics dance circles around my old Thinkpad (RIP Thinky, I'll miss your blue button)even though I loved it so much, it wasn't designed to be a gamer box. But the problem I am having is that my Vista notebook has run effortlessly and without issue for nearly a year now. I have loaded the full MS Office Suite (figrued for SUR Ethat woudl mess it up), the FULL Adobe suite (including all graphics and webdesign programs that were once the Macromedia Suite)and it renders lighting and texturing a lot quicker than any XP or 2K box I've seen, I play countless numbers of games, Call of Duty and any other war game I can find, as well as teh Guitar Hero games, FPS and driving, sailing, boating etc., I run Cakewalk (an upscale/professional ProTools), diagnostic software for my ODBII vehicle scanner, MAYA-3D a HUGE creation/animation studio used by Lucas Arts(rendering takes a while with a notebook compared to a large processing bank!!!) all that plus everything else common to most users, except I like to have everything at hte same time, about 200GB of software installations alone. My problem is, that with all this installed and some simultaneously running, it still boots and reoots as fast as anyone elses around here (and they all run XP)it's very stable and secure, it manages processes opens and closes apps with that POP that well tuned PC's have, etc. What am I doing wrong? I didn't upgrade to 4GB of ram, I figured 2GB would be the most useless but I ws wrong. It is supposed to be junk, slow, crashing, bug ridden etc. I even installed two old impact printers with tractor feed last week (it FOUND drivers online automatically, maybe generic or something, I didn't look as I just printed instead) to print some invocies and I still couldn't get it to screw up. What's even worse is that I also had a friend buy an entry-mid level desktop a while back also with Vista Home Premium, and that one runs well too, right off the shelf! Luckily he kept his receipt so he can always return it if it doesn't live up to other people's opinions. We just can't figure out how to make them useles so we can join the masses and hate Vista too. Please help, my Vista notebook runs too well and I know it's not supposed to, or at least that's what XP fanboys keep telling me, and I really want to follow the masses of naysayers, but I just can't seem to make mine useless enough to speak from actual experience. :(

Oz_Media
Oz_Media

Vista has worked liek a charm on my noteook. Absolutely no problems, is just as fast and responsive as 2KPro (which I fell dances huge circles around anything since), secure & stable. I run dual boot with Win7, not a huge difference, again just startup and shut down but i have a lot more running on the Vista partition. It's a personal preference. I avoided XP like teh plague until well after SP2, when I had a client buy me an XP PC to manage his VoIP PBX with (compatibility). Before that XP was well known to e the most unstale and bug ridden OS MS ever released, which is not teh case with Vista, I've found most people's main complaint is that it doesn't run as fast on an old POS computer or a new cheapo laptop. These same people have tweaked and updated XP for svereal years though, while rarely offering Vista a single boot to show off. I know, I know, YOU have installed a billion copies of XP and removed 2 billion copies of Vista. Vista is this and that, the world hates Vista just read the blogs yada yada, but that neigher changes my experience with my own or other users machines which were designed to PROPERLY run Vista. Another peer here did a very good comparison with XP and Vista, benchmarkign several versions with various updates on an identical machine, Vista won or matched almost every benchmark test, except one or two frame rate tests that would only be of value to a hardcore gamer, and one who would have a much better machine to begin with. Yes you have seen issues, yes you have heard user complaints as I have too, but then again only half of those I heard or saw were valid and not just people jumping on the bandwagon so their friends didn't hassle them, peer pressure gets to the weakest of us always.

chris.parsons
chris.parsons

I don't know why it has such a negative press. I have had no problems with it, find it incredibly reliable, a bit slow at file handling across networks, maybe, but other than that, not bad at all. Now, Win2k, that was an operating system!

JamesRL
JamesRL

Both XP(SP2 and higher) and Vista support multicore processors. In fact Infoworld did some tests, and for todays applications XP is often faster in multicore. But the underlying arhcitecture is improved for Vista/7 so when the number of cores rises dramatically they will be faster than XP. http://www.infoworld.com/t/platforms/generation-gap-windows-multicore-273?page=0,3 I have a dual processor system. Not dual core, 2 physical processors (Xeon). XP Pro, which came with the system, handles them fine. Vista Home Premium, on the other hand does see the second processor. But for most tasks I don't see the difference. I run a dual boot system - XP for games and Vista for everything else. Edited to add clarity: I can upgrade to Vista Ultimate and have it see the 2 CPUs but I don't see the point. Will wait for 7 and do it then, once its stable (SP1). James

PKA
PKA

Pricing and XP upgrade

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

with our current code base now. Doesn't look too bad, but Vista didn't cause us that many issues either. For home unlikely. My Vista Business set up on very recent hardware is working just fine as is SimplyMepis. I see no value in coughing up for W7 as yet. I've no particular desire to go thru a full install either. An upgrade option will never be on my list, seen that not work right way too many times.

jck
jck

I bought a laptop last night, and it has the free upgrade from Vista to 7. I am going also going to "procure" a copy of 7 from work, and install it on the hard disk from scratch too. I am gonna run analysis and see whether or not the upgrade works as well as the full install. I don't want a crippled version of Windows 7 from doing the upgrade, if that happens. Stranger things have happened after upgrades.

zlitocook
zlitocook

But it is still in testing until next year, we will deploy it company wide then. But I have a big problem with both Vista/Win7, it is still way to insecure. I have had to help several small companies and individual users remove updates because they lost connection to their network or internet connection after updates from MS. I have also spent hours removing spyware, root kits ect. This is after the companies have bought new dual core or better computers and have updated and use both MS and other approved software and not approved software for stopping and fighting both malware and virus problems. It seems that even with the protection that Vista/Win7 provides that I will never be with out a job.

kennethhine
kennethhine

Have had the RC (x64) for a couple of months now and it is great! Using it on a new Dell Latitude E5500 with 4GB RAM. A couple of commercial-grade tax programs broke but they'll have to come up to speed. Everything else is pretty much as advertised

LarryD4
LarryD4

I'm looking forward to Windows 7 at home, but we have no intention to go to 7 at work, for atleast another 8 months to a year. Its always been that way, I know some people that refuse to go to the newest OS until atleast the first service pack release. I'll be going from XP to 7, at home, on two PC's and from Vista to 7 on my wife's PC.

lk_bellsouth.net
lk_bellsouth.net

Tony,in my earlier post I stated that MS gave us quality product. However, none of the OSs are perfect no matter whose they are. They each have their good and bad features. As for the price of MS OSs, well, I can only conclude that when one can purchase in the US netbook, which is fully functional out of the box, for approximately $300US and the retail user has to pay approximately $320US for *.Ultimate off the local store shelf then there is a tremendous imbalance here somewhere. I could also conclude that you, perhaps, have more disposable income that a great many of us and for that I'm sincerely happy for you. Take care and thanks for the post. I appreciate.

jruddy
jruddy

Just wait till you get a black screen of death out of no where for no reason and the only solution is to reformat. Seen in 4 times in the last 2 months.

tnahas
tnahas

I have 5 Vista PC's all of different brands and one i built myself and I can't get mine to run poorly either, no matter what i try!!! One was an older box that had a chronic problem when it was running XP no matter how much i worked with it and then, when i installed Vista on it, the problem went away! I don't know how to get the problem back!!! Seriously, though, i have installed Win 7 RC on an older gateway that i had laying around with only 2 gb ram and it DOES run circles around a Vista box with a Core2 Quad and 4gb ram! Needless to say, I have already pre-ordered a few copies of Win 7. I can't wait till October!

Mike Decker
Mike Decker

Maybe it is HPs fault, but my home HP running 64 bit Vista Home Premium has no problems either. What can we do to get the same issues as everyone else? Maybe it is a BC thing - someone took pity on us because we are by the ocean?

jhoffmaster
jhoffmaster

I'm a network administrator for a managed services company. I deal with both XP and Vista on a daily basis on a number of different machine configurations. I use Vista 64 at home on a fairly fast gaming machine. It's been my experience that if the machine specs are with the times than Vista has little to no problems. I actually prefer the changes to networking in Vista then in XP. I'm not sure what everyone's gripe is with Vista, I think people just hate change and try to refuse it as much as possible in any aspect of their lives.

dennis.cb
dennis.cb

I have to agree with Oz fully on this one.. I have a Vista x64 quad core gaming box that I have been using for well over a year now and have yet to encounter any major type of issue. Of course I've had a few minor things here or there with certain apps but it isn't any different from when I first adopted XP and couldn't get printers working / device drivers to load etc. The Vista box has been running flawlessly for over a year now. So as Oz was saying.. unless your a diehard XP fanboy who is determined to find ANY reason to keep riding the bandwagon, Vista is a perfectly acceptable OS that runs well on decent hardware (gonna have to retire that Packard Bell 386 someday)..

mamies
mamies

The only problem I have really had with my Vista machine is that it doesn't like my 56 k modem, but hey I don't use it anyway so it really isn't a problem. I have had Vista for a while now and it seems to just keep on running after I have thrown junk at it. Thanks,

Evilroyd
Evilroyd

I've installed the RC-64 on two computers and have 0 problems. One was an AMD-64 machine and the other was a new Intel i7 X58 box. Windows 7 installed ALL of the drivers. I didn't have to go back for one thing and install from the motherboard CD. It's was Vista should have been.

Icemanco
Icemanco

"Before that XP was well known to be the most unstable and bug ridden OS MS ever released." Are you kidding? Have you forgotten Windows ME? That was the biggest piece of s**t MS ever produced. I've had nothing but trouble supporting Vista on a myriad of hardware, some cheap, some expensive. Hopefully, MS will have their act together with Windows 7. I personally run Windows XP, Windows Vista Business, Mac OS 10.5, and Mepis 64.

jck
jck

Vista Home Premium 32-bit came installed on my Dell laptop when I got it 2 years ago. It was sluggish from the beginning. I went in and disabled Aero, because I thought it might be a graphics weakness...no luck. I went in and turned off Defender...no luck. I went in and eliminated the search service...still slow. I upgraded to 2GB of RAM...a little faster but still not to XP's speed or Kubuntu. And with every significant change MS makes to it (SPs and what not), it seems to slow it even more. Especially I have found applications accessing the disk and loading themselves take longer...as if MS has instituted more controls on applications execution. I have the new laptop at the house now, and I'm waiting to see how Vista does on it, how the upgrade to Windows 7 does in October, and when that is done how a fresh Win 7 install functions comparatively. But if Win 7 doesn't impress me after SP1 of it, I am going to start moving toward Linux-only implementations. I've given MS 15 years of my time and money. If they can't improve their product in ways that benefit me how i need, then the sensible thing is to find something that will.

Mark W. Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin

I have been using Vista since the RTM and once I got a driver problem ironed out with HP, everything has worked just fine. The problems others have seen (or perhaps only heard about) have not been observed by me on my own machines, which includes personal PCs and test equipment.

Oz_Media
Oz_Media

[i]Computers that are equipped with multiple processors that support processor power management features, such as Advanced Configuration and Power Interface (ACPI) processor performance states, require Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2). Additional updates are available to optimize performance and behavior on computers that are running Windows XP SP2. Without these updates, computers that are equipped with these power management-capable, mobile, dual-core processors may experience decreased performance or unexpected behavior."[/i] Vista has FAR better process management for multi and quad core processors than the updated XP which only handles recognition and basic functionality for multicore processors. Initially XP didn't even know how to use a dual core at all. [i]"Because Windows XP was not originally designed to support performance states on multiprocessor configurations, changes are required to correctly realize this support on multiprocessor systems. "[/i]

lk_bellsouth.net
lk_bellsouth.net

Tony, it sounds like you have a solid plan in mind that works really well for you and for that I'm glad. We each do what is best for us and that, of course, is the way is should be. I certainly respect that. Take care and have a good one! --- Lee

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

Last purchase was a base unit. 750 quid, (quad 1300 FSB, 8 USB, 8 SATAs, 3 gig of RAM any many more trimmings. I got a full copy of Vista Business for it for 65 quid. Given how much is in there, I don't consider that a bad deal. Don't hit me with the disposable income bit either, it's only my third PC, I try to get some longevity out of the hardware, instead of the budget throw away deal, gives me more time to save up.... I never said anything else was perfect, but while Windows has a monolithic architecture, as a vaguely competent software developer, I shall continue to consider it as a low quality product.

john3347
john3347

I remember it well!!! I continued to use it on my home computer until well after XP was into SP2 because it was much more stable and functional than any of my friend's XP installations were. The only problems I ever had with ME was the occasional screen freeze (perhaps 1/2 the frequency of the same problem with Vista) and a lack of compatibility with HP printers. Now tell me how wonderful Vista is compared with ME. I would take ME over Vista even today. edit: I am, even today, running a Windows 2000 machine because it is the smoothest and most reliable OS ever. It runs applications (Pro Image Plus) and hardware (Mustek flatbed scanner)that I regularly use that even XP will not run.

jck
jck

My worst experience: Two identical PCs Same Windows ME install CD One installs the video and network drivers properly on. One it doesn't. That is absolutely shameful.

Oz_Media
Oz_Media

I thought my notebook ran fine, I suppose it was BS and it's actually a piece of crap then, thanks for that, I better run out and get Win7, though it doesn't act much differently for me now compared to Vista. ME was garbage too, but XP had a lot more security holes than ANY other MS release ever. XP, when released was absolutely the most unstable and insecure OS of all, ME included. Right after its premature release, Microsoft offered over 300 security patches for XP that simply could not wait for SP1 to be released. This forum was FULL of techs stating how they would NEVER adopt XP, how it didn't work with ANYTHING an dhow it was IMPOSSIBLE to secure. Most people were downgrading from new XP boxes to Win2K, (Which was actually a huge upgrade in reality) It had the worst hardware requirements and the fewest drivers available. ME was just a poor system, though it was based on Win2K, completely stripped of anything useful.

jck
jck

the only reps at Dell I deal with are the ones who have to send me replacement parts. I bought the laptop on my own, at the ONSET (as you said) of Vista's release on Dell PCs. In fact, 2 months after I bought my laptop Dell began offering XP again but Dell would not trade me OSes (I hate them to this day for it, and will never buy a PC from them again). I could believe that they might have changed the Vista Capable thing later on, but it wasn't at the ONSET of Vista's release. Cause, I got my laptop like...a month after it came out? Sorry, but MS did let Vista flow out onto sub-standard PCs (for what was really needed to run it) for months. It was when the public aired their discontent with the functionality of it, that they A) changed the spec and B) started offering XP again. MS did have a big role to play in it messing up tho. And as I said, they should have just told vendors like Dell: "Throw in an extra gig of RAM and be happy." BTW, I wouldn't say Dell is the lowest form of retail box computing. That would belong to E-machines. :^0

Oz_Media
Oz_Media

Would be that it's a DELL, the lowest form of retail box computing on the planet. MS did initially mislead many manufacturer's with their labelling system but all manufacturer's were quickly brought up to date and that was at the very ONSET of the Vista release. In fact it was in process before Vista was released, so it's not like its a new realization. Dell and others ALWAYS sell retail boxes that are underpowered for their proposed task. They make VERY low margins in order to sell more product, as do all big box outlets also. Their staff are trained to not sell anything unless it is upgraded, otherwise it comes back and is a charge back on their commission. Dell simply could not operate as a company, if it wasn't for upgrades and add-ons, companies cannot function with 4 point margins. They seek out loss leader hard drives and video cards, they buy out clearances and liquidated parts and build computers from them, there's no other business model that works for them otherwise. That's why I have always said they don't offer standardization guarantees which all BUSINESS machine providers do, however you can't buy them in retail outlets or at low prices. So the rep at Dell sold you a notebook that was insufficient for the needs and it has nothing to do with Vista. The fact that Kubuntu and XP run fine is not a testament to anything at all, Win2K runs fine on boxes that XP will not even begin installing to.

jck
jck

It was proven that Microsoft re-vamped their standards for "Vista capable" to include less powerful boxes. If MS would have had any integrity, they would have told hardware vendors to suck it up, plop in more memory and a better CPU. BTW as I said too...that Dell laptop...no issues running XP or Kubuntu from the USB 120GB HD. In fact, Kubuntu loads faster from USB than Vista does from the internal SATA HD. Maybe something Dell did hosed Vista. If so, I can't figure it out. Maybe I just got a bad box too. Who knows.

Oz_Media
Oz_Media

Dell had a bad habit of sellign vastly underpowered Vista boxes, they were the number one complaint by the users who tried to open a class action suit but failed. It's easy to tell, ANY machine sold with Vista and only 1GB Ram was designed to run XP and is being sold as Vista Capale (not compatible or ready), it seems that your machine as well as many others sold the same way were CAPABLE but not very useful. Meaning it will only run the most basic Vista services so the user can benefit from the added security and CORE functionality of Vista. It's not the OS as much as it's the people who pawn it off in machines that will not run it properly, MS actually says this on their website, unfortunately the resellers such as Dell, failed to let customers know, that way they sell a long line of upgrades also.

JamesRL
JamesRL

That impacts those laptops (mobile) that cycle the processor up and down to save power (ACPI). Obviously Infoworld didn't use laptops in the tests. Did you read them? They show some not so great numbers on things like database crunching. So for my desktop, I'm better off with XP. James