The Weekly Geek

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Vista, Windows 7 and more

June 4th, 2009 · No Comments

With the upcoming release of Windows 7 on October 22nd 2009 I felt this article was about 4 months overdue.

Over the last 18 months or so, several readers have asked me my opinion on Vista and or if I was going to write any tips about it. My personal responses have varied but were basically  “I’m testing before I recommend”. You see, too many people “test” products then give wrong reviews. For example my Palm Treo 700 phone is quite frankly a piece of junk but the reviews in the first 3 months of its release said it was gold. The same with my HP iPaq Travel Companion with Tm Tom GPS, “oh goody it’s the best think since Star Trek” – WRONG!

Unfortunately I have also given reviews that came back and bit me, the Ricoh 220 series of color laser printers is one example. I took the history of the 210 series (which still is a great printer) and applied it to my limited testing of the 220 series and wrongly concluded.

Enough of the yammering, do I recommend Windows Vista? Yes, the Business edition or Ultimate edition, not either version of “Home”. I have been using it (Vista Ultimate) exclusively for 13 months (Since May 1st 2008) and have had none of the “OMG this is junk” that some others are stating. Yes, it is disappointing that some of my printers don’t work or cannot use their full functions (such as duplexing), yes the UAC (User Access Control) does pop up more than I would like, however it is a security feature not a operating system failure.

Microsoft Windows Vista does have some shortcomings, the biggest is compatibility with hardware that was made 18 months prior to its release and older, especially printers. I do not like the thought of replacing perfectly good printers, so don’t, just add one that is Vista compatible. Printers can be inexpensive, and if you have a business a great laser printer can be had for under $500 and it is a tax write off.

With this in mind, Vista is significantly more secure that Windows XP, it also has more powerful searches and backs up my data faster and more reliably than XP does. Most all software manufacturers that are still in business have released patches or versions of their programs that run reliably with Vista, yes this does mean you cannot use QuickBooks 99 (Unless you install Windows Virtual Machine and then a legal copy of XP but that is another article that won’t be necessary).

The so called problems with running network based programs are easily resolved by the software writers who are not too lazy to secure and update their programs. The issue of using 10 to 15 year old DOS based programs is not Microsoft or my fault. Upgrade people, its called technology!

If your programmer thinks anti-virus is an option, replace them and their software.

Now the next question is which do I prefer, Windows 7 or Vista, so far Vista. Would I wait until October to buy a PC with Windows 7? If you can wait 5 more months then I guess so.

Ok enough for now, until we meet again, have a virus free week.

Tags: Software

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