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Countdown to Windows Vista: The THG Rundown

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January 23, 2007 2:10:53 PM

January 30 is Microsoft's official release date for its new Windows Vista operating system. Microsoft claims that Vista is more secure, faster, more versatile and easier to use. We take a look at the new OS and give you the information you need to know.
January 23, 2007 2:39:47 PM

Hmmmm nice plug/article for Microsoft Vista.

What is wrong with XP it works great :?:

I cant' imagine upgrading for at least another year. :wink:
January 23, 2007 3:11:30 PM

One reason is that Vistas Kernel is far more secure XP's Kernel as it is more locked down and Vistas Kernel is fas less buggy than XP's.

I've been testing Vista since Vista Beta 2 and even when it was a Beta, It was already far more stable than XP. The RTM Version I've been running is even more stable and faster than the Beta.
Related resources
January 23, 2007 3:15:14 PM

If I go from XP pro to Vista basic will I loose anything? I prob wont upgrade for another year and wonder which version of Vista to get that is the equivalent to XP pro which has been great for me. Very stable no problems at all.
January 23, 2007 3:18:53 PM

Quote:
Home -> Hardware -> Cooler and Heatsinks

:roll:
January 23, 2007 3:32:02 PM

definetly agree about vista being more stable, intuitive, and much less of a hassle overall than xp. been using the rtm version lately, the only drawback is to make sure your hardware is fairly current, that and increasing driver support, but thats pretty much it... hasnt crashed at all, is pretty responsive with all graphical settings enabled, the games i installed performed fluidly on high settings (on an x2 3800+, 7800gt, 1.5GB ram), if an application does crash, it doesnt bring the system down at all either, and overall is just very intuitive and easy to pick up on
January 23, 2007 3:50:46 PM

I wonder if Tom's will devote some time to a hands-on with Ubuntu Linux, which is free, stable and powerful as well - and considering China's decision to go Linux, may end up with as large a user base. I'm thinking that for anyone but an all-out gamer, it's a viable option.
January 23, 2007 4:01:35 PM

I've never upgraded a PC from one version of Microsoft DOS/Windows to another for any reason other than entertainment or technical analysis. I have always organized the timing of PC hardware and operating system to coincide with each other. This includes my personal PCs and business organizations with hundreds of PCs. In fact, I have rarely upgraded productivity software (e.g. word processing) in place over a previous, older version. But, come to think about it - I guess I can recall 1 time in the early 90's having to sync about 150 PCs to the current version of IBM OS/2 due to some budget issues.
January 23, 2007 4:23:16 PM

According to Extreme Tech your current version of Windows XP can limit your choices if you decide to go with a Vista Upgrade instead of a full version.
January 23, 2007 4:40:52 PM

I'm on W2K and still love the speed and stability. Although I've heard XP is very similar....just a little slower and bloated. I couldn't imagine what Vista will be like.

Unfortunatly IE 7 and a couple other key problems that recently came out only work on XP, so I'm going to be upgrading to either XP or Vista. I'm leaning heavily towards XP at the moment. I could probably comfortably sit on XP for a couple years and run the programs I need to run - and of course my beloved games.

Opinions? Why upgrade? To get stupid widgets or retarded 3D views of my open windows? LOL, geeze these people must need some real work to do.

And if you have good virus software like NOD32 and a hardware firewall - and don't download a bunch of crap software off warez sites then what's the benefit of Vista security? I also keep a clean OS image on hand that I can load up in 5 minutes and have a perfectly clean OS running. My files sit on another drive. Why Vista, why?????? I'm still trying to talk myself into XP!
January 23, 2007 5:03:28 PM

One thing would be stability.

Another would again be security. Even if you have the best anti virus in the world there are still vunderabilities. Vista actually locks down the kernel, system files and registry from being changed. If a program being installed needs to make changes or access them, Vista only allows the relevent parts of the kernel, system files, and registry access and locks out the rest. It's just another layer of security added to an anti-virus.

Oh couse a hardware firewall is great for protecting you from threats. However, for those without a hardware firewall the XP SP2 built in firewall is more lacking than the Vista firewall. The XP firewall does not protect you from outbound UDP connections and the like and is more difficult to configure. Vista's firewall protects you from all connections and is easier to configure.

If you are a gamer, your older games may have a problem running on vista. However, if you plan on playing the next generation games, you will definitly wany to upgrade to vista as it will be running the new DX10 API (DX10 will not be available for XP). Of course you;ll have to upgrade you Graphics card as well. On the graphics side it uses a unifed shader archietcture which eliminates unsued shaders. That's just scratching the surface of the changed in the DX10 API. If you've seen DX10 screenshots they are jawdropping. All of a sudden my Farcry looks like crap.

Honestly the new interface and widgets are a very minor part of why you should upgrade to vista. Most of the changes are under the hood. There are many more changes than just visual in vista and I suggest doing your research as they are too numerous to list here. If you like running Windows 2000 then I would suggest going to vista as it's kernel is actually based on the Windows Server 2003 kernel which basically put's it in the next generation of NT Kernels.
a b K Overclocking
January 23, 2007 5:12:23 PM

Because the MS machine says you should upgrade to keep their coffers full so they can try to crush open source.

They don't mention much about the security being in lockin. They are forcing users more and more into what they want them to do (see trusted computing). The DRM is another reason I would never use Vista. I don't think anyone has the right to tell me where I can watch something I legally purchased or what I do with it.

The DX10 not being available on XP is a joke also. They could make it available if enough people pressured them instead of MS telling people what it's going to do the market tell them what they are going to do.

Ahnilated, happily Vista free. :D 
January 23, 2007 5:16:35 PM

Quote:
Microsoft claims that Vista is more secure, faster, more versatile and easier to use. We take a look at the new OS and give you the information you need to know.


No coverage of all the DRM sh**t included in Vista? That alone is enough to make me postpone Vista on my systems as well as my clients systems until at least 2008. Also the UAP is probably the worst idea since Clippy, the Office Assistant - but at least that can be turned off.
January 23, 2007 5:17:08 PM

I saw this link on another thread, I forgot which. I believe it is a must read for anyone that has a computer because Vista's (DRM) Digital Rights Management and (HDCP) High Definition Content Protection are going to destroy the computer industry. Please read it in it's entirety and respond with feedback. I am really interested in whether anyone has any concerns. I know I'm afraid, very afraid. The more you read the more impossible it seams.

A Cost Analysis of Windows Vista Content Protection
http://www.cs.auckland.ac.nz/~pgut001/pubs/vista_cost.h...

If one tenth of this is true, and I think it is, I will go Linux. Class action lawsuit anyone?
January 23, 2007 5:22:36 PM

I Think ill grab it from my school's MSDNAA and check it out.

The RTM is there now.., would that be any different than the final retail? Im thinkin final should be there a week or so after release.

Thinkin of replacing my XP/Ubuntu Dual boot setup with XP/Vista :) 
January 23, 2007 5:28:47 PM

Why is that thread in coolers & heatsinks?
January 23, 2007 5:29:51 PM

There is all this talk about security and stability for windows vista. Well security is going to last about a month before some hacker somewhere finds a nice little chink in vistas armor.

And stability, please give me a break its Microsoft. Stability is not exactly Microsoft's strong suit (windows 98 bill gets a BSOD, I still remember that one) Not to mention they try to make games, Flight sim X good luck running that with out it crashing 5 out a 10 times(at least for me its like that).

I will give Microsoft credit for this they are and have been making great progress twoard better OS's, but if every program out there didnt need windows there would be no way id use xp or vista. Linux is looking better and better every day to me, but my gaming keeps me shackled to windows.
January 23, 2007 5:55:26 PM

I have Four PC's in my home all with XP on them. There's no way in hell I'm going to replace the OS on those machines at $150 to 240 a pop. There's no reason that I can see for me to change until MS wont support XP anymore.
January 23, 2007 6:02:50 PM

You can get additional home premium licenses for $50 a pop, if you fork out the $3-400 for Ultimate. :D 
January 23, 2007 6:05:29 PM

Quote:
Why is that thread in coolers & heatsinks?



show me one thread based off an article in the right area of the forums...its just the way things go.
January 23, 2007 6:05:50 PM

i personally cant wait for vista, im getting a new rig about a month after vista is out.
January 23, 2007 6:10:29 PM

Always lower performance... I wish there were a Vista Lite edition. It's easy to do, M$: Just get the damned install options that 9x had!!!!!!! I don't want voice recognizing, firewall, WinMail, Media Player, crappy games, handwriting tools, etc, etc... Yet it installs the entire thing the same.

I won't be "upgrading" to Vista anytime soon. I used the RC2 and it looks good and whatever, but its painfully slow compared to XP, even with 2 gigs of ram.

I hope I can get Dx10 on XP. That would be nice for the average entusiast.
January 23, 2007 6:39:21 PM

Quote:
I saw this link on another thread, I forgot which. I believe it is a must read for anyone that has a computer because Vista's (DRM) Digital Rights Management and (HDCP) High Definition Content Protection are going to destroy the computer industry. Please read it in it's entirety and respond with feedback. I am really interested in whether anyone has any concerns. I know I'm afraid, very afraid. The more you read the more impossible it seams.

A Cost Analysis of Windows Vista Content Protection
http://www.cs.auckland.ac.nz/~pgut001/pubs/vista_cost.h...

If one tenth of this is true, and I think it is, I will go Linux. Class action lawsuit anyone?


I'm concerned and believe MS is heading to yearly licensing fees IMO. Amazing that DRM was not mentioned...
January 23, 2007 6:50:59 PM

Quote:
I saw this link on another thread, I forgot which. I believe it is a must read for anyone that has a computer because Vista's (DRM) Digital Rights Management and (HDCP) High Definition Content Protection are going to destroy the computer industry. Please read it in it's entirety and respond with feedback. I am really interested in whether anyone has any concerns. I know I'm afraid, very afraid. The more you read the more impossible it seams.

A Cost Analysis of Windows Vista Content Protection
http://www.cs.auckland.ac.nz/~pgut001/pubs/vista_cost.h...

If one tenth of this is true, and I think it is, I will go Linux. Class action lawsuit anyone?


I just Googled Vista "digital rights management". I am shocked and chagrinned. I'm embarrassed that I wasn't aware of the ramifications of copy protection built into Vista.
I was assuming that I would put Vista on the next PC I build. At this point there is no way I would purchase Windows Vista for my own use.
January 23, 2007 6:51:00 PM

The security and stability arguments are lost on me too.

I dont run virus software... and I havent seen a virus on my PCs in about 7years (and that last time was due to a dumb mistake on my part).

Stability?
I have 3 PCs at home, laptop & 2 desktops.
my laptop has the same install of windows 2000 that came from the factory. Its never bluescreened or crashed in 5 years of running.
my old desktop also runs windows 2000. Had it for 6 years and I dont remember the last time it bluescreened or crashed.
my current desktop runs xp x64 which ive had for almost 2 years with only a single bsod due to a bad soundblaster driver.

otherwise, they just run...

I have no plans to upgrade to vista.
January 23, 2007 7:05:43 PM

Quote:
Why is that thread in coolers & heatsinks?



show me one thread based off an article in the right area of the forums...its just the way things go.

I don't see why I would have to show you anything. I open the "coolers and heatsinks" forum and most of the threads are about cooling and heatsinks.

There is a software/windows section in the forums, where this thread should belong.
January 23, 2007 7:06:39 PM

Quote:
The security and stability arguments are lost on me too.

I dont run virus software... and I havent seen a virus on my PCs in about 7years (and that last time was due to a dumb mistake on my part).



ROFL.... 7 years, you must not connected to cable, or ever use floppys from other people..... or don't use email.
January 23, 2007 7:07:48 PM

I was pointing out that these article based threads are never in the right place... so dont be surprised.
January 23, 2007 7:07:52 PM

I think the "security and stability" aspects are way overrated based on the fact that you can take some very basic , and FREE, steps to secure windows XP to the point where it will resist pretty much all but a dedicated attack. When you combine this with the much smaller footprint XP has, even when counting the additional software, why should I spend the money to upgrade to an OS that looks nicer, screws with my content rights, and only runs apps at the same speed or slower than I have now (not to mention a lot of my apps don't work with it).

Even this article points out that there is very little that Vista provide that we can't already get. DX10 is the main thing, and that will be hacked into XP at some point.

Most significant MS OS ever my ASS. They are just trying boost their revenues in light of the recent gains by alternative OSes and the age of XP.

There are some nice changes/additions, but they appear to have used bloated code, and have stopped at about halfway to where they would have made a viable OS upgrade.
January 23, 2007 7:11:07 PM

and remember, they promise to produce OS's much quicker this time around, 1 about ever 2 years instead of 4-6.

This means you pay for Vista now, and around the corner comes (forgot the name) for another $$$.


XP works for me just fine and a quick google search will provide much improvement when concerned about securiing XP.
January 23, 2007 7:11:49 PM

I was running the RC1 version of vista for awhile. I will wait until they have a good driver for the 8800 before I switch back. It is a nice OS, the search in the start menu is awesome. I also noticed that is utilizes dual core processors a lot better. My PC score on 3dmark2005 one of my systems with a Opty 170 2gigs of ram and a 7800GT nearly doubled going from 5,658 with XP Pro to 10,001 on Vista, however my graphics score went down about 500 points with Vista. I haven't ran it on my other system that has a C2D e6400,2 gigs of ram, and a 8800GTS but I assume it would have similar results. It was interesting seeing 6-7fps on the cpu segment where I normally only get about 1-2fps. I will have to make the switch once there are DX10 games available I hope they have good drivers and most of the bugs worked out by then.
January 23, 2007 7:16:25 PM

Quote:
I think the "security and stability" aspects are way overrated based on the fact that you can take some very basic , and FREE, steps to secure windows XP to the point where it will resist pretty much all but a dedicated attack. When you combine this with the much smaller footprint XP has, even when counting the additional software, why should I spend the money to upgrade to an OS that looks nicer, screws with my content rights, and only runs apps at the same speed or slower than I have now (not to mention a lot of my apps don't work with it).

Even this article points out that there is very little that Vista provide that we can't already get. DX10 is the main thing, and that will be hacked into XP at some point.

Most significant MS OS ever my ASS. They are just trying boost their revenues in light of the recent gains by alternative OSes and the age of XP.

There are some nice changes/additions, but they appear to have used bloated code, and have stopped at about halfway to where they would have made a viable OS upgrade.


I hope that dx10 gets on xp bc that is THE ONLY reason i will go to vista is to play games
January 23, 2007 7:18:36 PM

so it is in MS best interest to not put DX10 on Xp, so you will spend the money to upgrade.



Its pronounced M$ remember.
January 23, 2007 7:24:44 PM

Quote:
if you don't use virus software how the hell do you know?


well I know the programs that I run, so when i hit ctrl+alt+delete and see something i dont know i google it to see what it is. That and im on dial up so im basically never on-line on my home pc anyway.

Also if i do find something bad on there i will most of the time just reload xp not a big deal for me.
January 23, 2007 7:26:42 PM

Quote:
so it is in MS best interest to not put DX10 on Xp, so you will spend the money to upgrade.



Its pronounced M$ remember.


yeah the key word i was looking at though was hack because i know M$ wont put dx10 on xp. still slim to nill chance of that happening.
January 23, 2007 7:32:32 PM

Quote:
if you don't use virus software how the hell do you know?


well I know the programs that I run, so when i hit ctrl+alt+delete and see something i dont know i google it to see what it is. That and im on dial up so im basically never on-line on my home pc anyway.

Also if i do find something bad on there i will most of the time just reload xp not a big deal for me.

Guess you never heard of a root kit.
Or a virus that uses the name explorer.exe or svchost

Then again, its not like your doing anything personal on your computer, so who cares.
January 23, 2007 7:32:56 PM

Quote:
There is all this talk about security and stability for windows vista.

...

And stability, please give me a break its Microsoft. Stability is not exactly Microsoft's strong suit (windows 98 bill gets a BSOD, I still remember that one) Not to mention they try to make games, Flight sim X good luck running that with out it crashing 5 out a 10 times(at least for me its like that).

...

CPU
AMD 3500+ overclocked from 2.2 to 2.6



Maybe your stability issues are something to do with your overclock.

And for everyone else saying how unstable XP is...

My TBredB 2400+ @ 2.43GHz is incredibly stable with XP. I haven't had a BSOD or crash or anything out of the ordinary in years! My last BSOD was on a win2k machine with bad RAM.

XP really is incredibly stable, anyone saying otherwise has hardware or software issues.. software other than Windows that is.

Edit:

And to keep on topic...

The only reason I can see for upgrading to Vista in the future (on a new PC obviously..) is that new games will require DX10 or they won't run.

However, I would not be at all suprised to see DX10 hacked back into XP by enthusiastic users. MS will probably claim that this is a breach of the DMCA though. ;-)
January 23, 2007 7:43:05 PM

Quote:
The security and stability arguments are lost on me too.

I dont run virus software... and I havent seen a virus on my PCs in about 7years (and that last time was due to a dumb mistake on my part).

ROFL.... 7 years, you must not connected to cable, or ever use floppys from other people..... or don't use email.

I don't have any anti-virus software installed as well, and most of my consulting clients don't as well. Anti-virus software monitoring software is a flawed concept as I see it, and it does have a habit of getting in the way of reliable computing. I only install it on the most computer illiterate clients PC's. And even though all of them is on the internet 24/7, none have been infected with viruses.

If you:

1) Run a hardware firewall, correctly configured.
2) Only run nessesary services/software.
3) Keep your software patched.
4) Never, ever open executable files/content - and educate users of what can be executeable.
5) Disable ActiveX.
6) Run as a standard limited user - not on an administrator account.
7) If you, as an exception, needs to open/install a potentially dangerous file, then use a online virusscanner.

Then you are safe from viruses and malware, much safer than the false safety of a "security suite" which interferes with system stability.
January 23, 2007 7:49:48 PM

If you know how to properly configure or even chose a AV software, your even more better off.

You cant prevent a strong virus from hopping on a disk and loaded on a customers machine.

But you do as you see fit, as it seems to work for you.
January 23, 2007 7:59:18 PM

Quote:
you are letting virus writers and other people win by limiting the way you use your comp and the things you do. i mean they are disrupting your life if you do that so why not just fight back, do what you want to do with a comp and by using security software, saying screw you to their faceless faces.


That is a very unsafe attitude towards computing. No security suite will make you safe from your own actions. It is allways prudent to be careful when computing, and being careful will make you much safer than any automated solution. I only install security suites on PC's, if I consider their user utterly irresponsible and/or incapable of following simple instruction. All security should be based on two levels: The perimeter of the network (virusscanning on email servers IS essential) and in the users heads. Anything else is dangerous.
January 23, 2007 7:59:38 PM

Quote:
...it, and it does have a habit of getting in the way of reliable computing. I only install it on the most computer illiterate clients PC's. And even though all of them is on the internet 24/7, none have been infected with viruses.

If you:

1) Don't let the users access the internet.
2) remove the cdrom / floppy and disable the usb ports.
3) give the user no rights to their machine
4)dont install software

Then you are safe from viruses and malware, much safer than the false safety of a "security suite" which interferes with system stability.
January 23, 2007 8:05:50 PM

Quote:
If you:

1) Don't let the users access the internet.
2) remove the cdrom / floppy and disable the usb ports.
3) give the user no rights to their machine
4)dont install software

Then you are safe from viruses and malware, much safer than the false safety of a "security suite" which interferes with system stability.
[/quote]

Thats your words, not mine. Myself, and my clients, are on the Internet all day long, we do receive nessesary documents in mail, do use USB keys, and I (not they) do install new software on their systems.
No problems - ever.
January 23, 2007 8:09:32 PM

Quote:
There is all this talk about security and stability for windows vista.

...

And stability, please give me a break its Microsoft. Stability is not exactly Microsoft's strong suit (windows 98 bill gets a BSOD, I still remember that one) Not to mention they try to make games, Flight sim X good luck running that with out it crashing 5 out a 10 times(at least for me its like that).

...

CPU
AMD 3500+ overclocked from 2.2 to 2.6



Maybe your stability issues are something to do with your overclock.

And for everyone else saying how unstable XP is...

My TBredB 2400+ @ 2.43GHz is incredibly stable with XP. I haven't had a BSOD or crash or anything out of the ordinary in years! My last BSOD was on a win2k machine with bad RAM.

XP really is incredibly stable, anyone saying otherwise has hardware or software issues.. software other than Windows that is.

Edit:

And to keep on topic...

The only reason I can see for upgrading to Vista in the future (on a new PC obviously..) is that new games will require DX10 or they won't run.

However, I would not be at all suprised to see DX10 hacked back into XP by enthusiastic users. MS will probably claim that this is a breach of the DMCA though. ;-)

It could be because of my oc but it ran prime 95 for over a day and it was fine so I don't think its that. xp will crash with no oc as well but as i don't run non oc that often I dont know how many crashes happen non oc as compared to oc.

Also im not just basing this on my own pc. My work pc that im on right now for some reason doesn't like winamp get crashes all the time bc i bring up some music. Automatic updates never seem to install properly, I come in day after day to find the "please don't shut off your computer it will do so automatically...ect." then i have to manually reboot and xp doesn't like its updates to be interrupted like that let me tell you.

And dont get me started one the networking in my home. I have had a guy I know go over everything many times and sometimes the network works sometimes nothing. And hes been in the IT field for over 10 years so its not like he has no clue what hes doing. Hes set up hundreds of networks even for companies like Sears. I changed out switches, cables everything and the only way to fix it is to reboot xp and hope it picks up all the computers on the network(thats the prob sometimes all the computers show up and sometimes its like the cable is just unplugged from the switch)

anyway I complain about windows but i still use it namely because of games its a love hate relationship if there ever was one.
January 23, 2007 8:10:12 PM

but you think adding AVG would detriment the security of your system?
Or even Norton corporate.
January 23, 2007 8:18:38 PM

Quote:
but you think adding AVG would detriment the security of your system?
Or even Norton corporate.


No they are not detrimental to the security - but they ARE detrimental to stability and trouble free operation. So comparing a small gain in security, against a big loss of stability, I think going without is the best solution - IF you have the dicipline to do safe computing, and professional help (or own knowledge) availible for designing a safe network, installing software and updating systems.
January 23, 2007 8:23:43 PM

Is it just me or...

Is the whole Vista thing really unimpressive?

I mean people are worrying about the fact that Vista Home won't have the oh-so-impressive Aeroglass interface, but I never used alt-tab switching anyway. Frankly, I don't care if it comes in a nice cascade or if they just show you icons. What a complete waste of space. I thought it was impressive for all of 10 seconds.

As for all the improved security stuff, my God is it irritating. They ask for verification every time you want to breathe without asking.

Oh, and don't forget they've included loads of DRM bullshit. Wow, what an improvement that is... not.

Why the hell didn't they do something useful, like change the way drivers and processes are loaded? Wouldn't it be nice if you could actually delete a program and it didn't leave your system running loads of unnecessary drivers, and leaving files God knows where? Wouldn't it be nice if you could actually manually allocate resources to programs so that you could tell your OS where you want things to go? Even with dual-core CPUs, it's fecking annoying to watch your apps choke each other out. I know that they've improved this a bit, but why no manual option?

The best thing about the new OS, as far as I can see, is the addition of
Chess as standard! That's about it...

I know there's going to be lots of small improvements over XP that don't translate into headlines, but I fail to see why anyone is remotely excited over Vista. It's really very unexciting, as far as I can see.
January 23, 2007 8:26:11 PM

Quote:
but you think adding AVG would detriment the security of your system?
Or even Norton corporate.


No they are not detrimental to the security - but they ARE detrimental to stability and trouble free operation. So comparing a small gain in security, against a big loss of stability, I think going without is the best solution - IF you have the dicipline to do safe computing, and professional help (or own knowledge) availible for designing a safe network, installing software and updating systems.

sounds like a lazy tech.

But seriously, if you have things configured where everyone is productful, and you dont have problems, that good job, thats hard to do.
January 23, 2007 8:41:53 PM

Quote:
But seriously, if you have things configured where everyone is productful, and you dont have problems, that good job, thats hard to do.


No kidding I know how dumb people are;

"But the internet said I had a virus and i needed to click the ok button to get rid of it, so why is my home page set to a porn site now? Didn't that thing on the internet get rid of that bad stuff on my computer?"
January 23, 2007 8:41:58 PM

Quote:
But seriously, if you have things configured where everyone is productful, and you dont have problems, that good job, thats hard to do.


It has worked perfectly the last 20 years, but it does take knowledge on the part of IT personal, and dicipline from the users to make it work.
So going without a security suite is not for everyone, but I do recommend doing without if you are knowledgable (or can pay someone who is) and diciplined.
!