Been debating on this for a while… Do I get Vista now or wait? On the one hand, it’s new and potentially buggy and it could be good to wait until they have a few patches published for it. This is, of course, a problem with all new OSes. May I direct all the anti-Microsoft naysayers to Apple’s Macintosh OS X 10.0 release? I rest my case.
On the other hand, is there any REAL reason to wait to buy Vista? We’re going to need it eventually. It’s a major stride in Windows computing on so many levels, and if you’re a gamer, you’ll eventually need it for that elusive DirectX 10. Vista is pretty. Vista is secure. Vista is stable… From a technological standpoint, behind the scenes, Vista has changed so many things on so many levels that I can’t even begin to list them. If I wait to buy it, will the price go down? Well, Windows XP never did. If I wait to buy it, will it be more secure and more bug-free? Yes. Yes, it will. However, it will still be the same base Vista with patches applied… Whether you wait and get Vista later, or whether you get Vista now, it will ultimately be the same darned thing. Base Vista with patches applied after installation.
There’s also the matter of all the different versions… Obviously, Ultimate is the grand pinnacle of Windows Vista features. Being the l33t computer geekwad wolfdog that I am, I could never naturally settle for anything less. I had quickly taken a look at the Academic version, but it’s merely a relabeled Home Premium, and obviously nowhere near my mark. So! Vista Ultimate… Full or Upgrade?
Full is more expensive, of course. There’s more code to include on the disc than there would be if you were upgrading from XP. However, the Upgrade version requires that you install, register, and activate XP before you can install Vista (and register and activate). Extra time and I may not have access to XP. I honestly don’t WANT access to XP anymore. My copy was, sadly, somewhat less than legally obtained, being an OEM version off eBay. My authentication key was marked invalid when Microsoft mass-invalidated most, if not all, OEM keys due to illegal distribution. In short, I don’t want to mess with installing XP.
So no Upgrade! Next is OEM or Retail? Hmm. Well, I was reading some technical blogs a few days ago and the general consensus is that OEM versions are specifically for high profile computer manufacturers who can provide technical support for their customers. As such, there is no Microsoft tech support included with the OEM version. In addition to that, OEM versions will lock themselves to the hardware configuration of your computer and only allow you to activate it once for some dumb reason. This is much like what I have to go through to legally activate my copy of OEM XP now. It’s a pain, and I don’t want to do it. To top it all off, OEM discs only include either the 32-bit version or the 64-bit version. Not both.
For Retail, you get tech support (which, you have to admit, is a nice option to have, even if you know your way around your computer better than they do), the ability to reinstall and activate as many times as you want (provided it’s only on one computer), and you get both the 32-bit and the 64-bit versions on the disc at the same time, which would be incredibly useful in the future when 64-bit processors become more commonplace.
So the verdict is in: Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate Full Retail… And what a tounge twister that is. In a way, it sounds… Almost profound to say!
To bring a point to this post, I just bought Vista on Amazon today, along with two 1GB SD cards from Newegg. One for the Wii, and one for an awesome Vista feature called “ReadyBoost” which, basically, uses flash memory as a temporary addition to page files for virtual memory. Hey, for 9 bucks a card, you can’t really go wrong!
Also, if I may, I shall direct you to a blog article about why Vista seems to use so much physical RAM. I’ve known this for a long time, but I thought I’d post it for any anti-Vista snobface that comes by and starts tossing out outdated, disproven reasons about why Vista is such a nasty operating system. Essentially, Vista uses all the memory in your computer in anticipation for what you might do, based on what you load and use the most. When a program needs memory, Vista will give it to them without a second thought. It’s not at all that Vista hogs all the RAM and leaves everyone out in the cold… It’s making fair use of all available RAM and dealing it out when others need it. Like the article says, unused memory is wasted memory. It’s a good thing that Vista uses all the memory like it does. If you don’t believe me… Feel secure in the fact that OS X does this, too. So let’s see… Vista RAM hog claim debunked, the “ohmygosh Microsoft is spying on me” DRM claim debunked. Anything else?
(Yes, Microsoft seems to have copied from Apple again. (Actually, they haven’t at all, but whatever.) Boo hoo. Aren’t you Apple zealots the ones who want to abolish software patents? You know that would mean it would be completely legal to copy and rip off anyone and everyone as much as you want, right? Please shut up and think about what you say very carefully.)
Oh, and in case you’re wondering, the DRM in Vista is there because the movie industry wouldn’t allow Microsoft to label their OS as high-definition capable. The DRM that lets you watch HD content is the same that’s on Blu-Ray, HD-DVD, and even your precious Mac OS X. If you’re wondering about the motherboard-locking DRM? The one that Vista could bind itself to? First, please read that sentence again. Vista COULD bind itself to. WILL Vista bind itself to hardware on the hardware level? Maybe. Maybe not. IS Vista using it? No. But guess what? Apple has had this for a very long time already. Did you know that? Maybe you did. It’s called EFI. Is it currently used by Apple to lock the OS to the hardware on the hardware level? No. Could it in the future? Maybe. Maybe not. Does anyone care? No. It’s Apple. Apple can do no wrong. If Apple did start using it that way, they would rationalize it away. What would happen if Microsoft started using what Apple already has at their fingertips? Hmm. As you can see, the mere thought of what Microsoft MIGHT just MAYBE POSSIBLY use is setting everyone on edge. Why? No reason. They just hate Microsoft and love Apple.
Disclaimer: Any and all level-minded Apple user is hereby excluded from the generalized term “Apple zealot”. This includes, but is not limited to, Capella and Iaian7. All others please apply within for an application to be listed as an Apple fan who doesn’t go out of his way to make dumb-butt comments about the competition.