Monday, March 10, 2008

Upgrading to XP

My first Mactel machine (the Macbook Air) is due any day, and with it I’ll install the first copy of Windoze that I’ve ever owned. This means that I’m at last following the whole Vista-or-not-Vista discussion that’s been going on for the last year.

I long since decided that I’m going to run XP instead of Vista. Alas, the bookstore no long sells a copy of XP — but if I buy a copy of Vista for my Macbook, our computer tech can upgrade me from Vista to XP under the CSU site license policy.

To this I add a couple of tidbits. InfoWorld has mounted a likely futile campaign to slow XP’s inexorable march towards end of life on June 30, although the significance of that deadline appears to be exaggerated. Odds right now are only 46% that The Petition Will Succeed.
The other relevant tidbit comes from this morning’s NYT, which I happened to be skimming to catch the latest political news out of NYC. I caught a cool column entitled “They Criticized Vista. And They Should Know”. And They Should Know” which talks about some really knowledgeable experts complaining about Vista problems.

As if dumping on Microsoft wasn’t cool enough, what’s even more cool is that the column is written by my coworker, Randy Stross. Even before I interviewed with SJSU in 2001, I was a fan of his work from his early Steve Jobs biography, which was a huge hit at Palomar among the staff (although today I’d recommend one or the other of the recent biographies). I also liked Microsoft Way although he seems best known for eBoys.

I’m tempted to skip Vista, go straight to “Windows 7” whatever that is. That reminds me of what my first boss after college said — every OS stops at 8.x because it gets so complex that they can never get the updates out. (The Mac doesn’t count, because it went 1.x, 4.x-9.x and then threw out the OS and started over again).

Software as a service is threatening to do away with the mega update model, anyway. If firms are not forced to come up with massive new changes to generate revenue, then resources could be taken off of Windows and put onto designing new applications or preparing for the (long rumored) post-PC world.

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