Running Vista

OK, slightly misleading title: I’m not actually running Vista, I’m thinking whether I’ll ever run it. The other day I tried to think of one thing that WindowsXP Home Edition (the on that came with my new Dell) gives me that Windows98 didn’t have. I don’t consider myself a computer geek, just an interested party – but I could not think of a single thing.

When I got my new Dell, I booted it up and winced at the slew of AOL, Tiscali Broadband, and other intrusive icons all over the desktop. After furiously clicking “no” to various half-understood exhortations to come and find out about Windows Media Player 10, and confronted by simply baffling system tray jostling between Norton Anti-Virus and XP’s built-in security gubbins, even I recognised it was all a ploy to get me to buy something. So I decided to re-install XP from scratch. This was in the hope I’d regain some control over the configuration, and it pretty much worked. Well, I had to download a clean install image from Dell to do it (no disks provided these days, you see) but I got there in the end: just the software I want on it, and with all the defaults ready for me, and me alone, to change.

I’m probably going to have this machine for about 4 or 5 years I would think. It’s a 2.6Ghz Pentium 4 with 2Gig RAM a 70Gig hard disk. Vista, it seems, will demand most of that straight away, and will probably stub its toe on my puny IntelExpress graphics card. It’ll be grateful for the CPU’s dual core though I suppose.

But the thing that really makes me wonder if I’ll ever run it is the news from Neil Page, a strategist with Microsoft Australia, that:

"The industry needed something much better to deal with the piracy problem. Studios said
in a high-def world, we're going to have to have a very different way of viewing content.
"The downside is that all your existing flat panel monitors and projectors 
aren't going to work with high-def videos in Vista. Bad news."

All this is beginning to sound distinctly like a sales pitch for Linux to me.