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Microsoft IT

Vista is Slower, But XP Is Still Dying 573

An anonymous reader writes "Though the Redmond software giant may be extending the lifetime of XP on low-end laptops, the end is nigh for the aging OS. That extension makes perfect sense, as recent studies have shown XP is far faster than Vista across a number of platforms. Still, Microsoft is 'sticking to its guns' when it comes to drop-dates for most other uses of the XP operating system. 'There are several dates that apply, but the one you're probably thinking of is the June 30 deadline that Dix referred to. That's the last day when large computer makers -- the Dells, HPs and Lenovos of the world -- will be allowed to preinstall Windows XP on new PCs. It also marks the official end of XP as a retail product.'"
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Vista is Slower, But XP Is Still Dying

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  • by symbolset ( 646467 ) on Saturday April 05, 2008 @07:26PM (#22975840) Journal

    You have to follow a few links [computerworld.com] in the first link to get to this fine article where they explain that in 2007, XP's share went up in the enterprise. Since we know the end is nigh for Vista as well there seems little motivation to feel this pain.

    That's telling, isn't it? And that's actually from Forrester, whose bias is legendary in favor of Redmond.

    I should think some Vista evangelists aren't getting their bonuses this year.

    • by Ethanol-fueled ( 1125189 ) * on Saturday April 05, 2008 @07:29PM (#22975874) Homepage Journal
      For now it's up to the users to decide if and when XP "dies". There are two ways I can think of for Microsoft to kill XP: (1) They could develop and release a useable next-generation OS(which remains to be seen) or (2) Putting on the tinfoil hat, I guess Microsoft could "accidentally" leak hitherto-unknown XP vulnerabilities so that XP will be so exploitable and unpatchable that it will eventually be unuseable...but that scenario is unlikely given Microsoft's support lifecycle policy [microsoft.com]. I doubt that they could handle lack of innovation and 1 or 2 more crappy OS releases before *NIX and Apple eat MS' marketshare. Also, MS' foray into the services market may go bust and after that, supporting their legacy software may be one of the few things that will earn them money.
      • by gnutoo ( 1154137 ) * on Saturday April 05, 2008 @07:43PM (#22975974) Journal

        You might have heard of this little thing called GNU/Linux that's been able to do everything XP and Vista can but with far fewer resources. No? Oh well, run your 7 year old OS and wait for Windows 7. The 7 to 7, or 7up should match the Coke classic upgrade very well, complete with a corn syrup obesity epidemic. Where did you want to go yesterday?

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by DAldredge ( 2353 )
          Really? How do I run Office 2007 and VS 2008 under Linux? What about current and next gen games? How do I get those to work?
          • by symbolset ( 646467 ) on Saturday April 05, 2008 @08:00PM (#22976082) Journal

            How do I run Office 2007 and VS 2008 under Linux?

            In a VM or better yet in a Citrix session, silly. That's not a good excuse to run Windows as your base OS.

            What about current and next gen games? How do I get those to work?

            This wikipedia link [wikipedia.org] should help.

            No charge. If you need anything else I'll be here all day.

            • great answer (Score:5, Interesting)

              by sentientbrendan ( 316150 ) on Saturday April 05, 2008 @08:20PM (#22976196)
              >>What about current and next gen games?
              >>How do I get those to work?
              >This wikipedia link [link to playstation 3] should help.

              So your answer on how to get PC games to work on Linux, is to not play PC games? I'm just *not allowed* to play starcraft II when it comes out?

              Many people own PC's specifically for playing games, and don't do much else with them. Is your solution for them, that they don't need a computer at all? Or maybe they should put Linux on their computer, and then throw it in the closet and never look at it again?

              Blind evangelism isn't helping Linux... it turns people off when they are given bad advice by people with an agenda.
              • by Junta ( 36770 ) on Saturday April 05, 2008 @09:00PM (#22976460)
                I use linux very extensively and find a number of niceties (compiz has far more practical features than Vista and OSX, and a number of general benefits of running a platform that is comprised entirely of things I can examine transparently myself but also is a healthy competitive landscape from the commercial vendor perspective). Making the hardware consist of interchangeable commodity parts has done wonders for the pricing of components, and the similar phenomenon is even more pronounced in software. Every user including gamers should appreciate what that means. Especially as MS increasingly treats the customers as the enemy (embracing DRM, increasingly bold 'anti-piracy' measures).

                That said there are certain approaches:
                -Ignore Linux and gaming. The highly immediately pragmatic stand, probably what you would justify. The question here becomes are you forced up the upgrade trail by Vista? A weaker, yet not currently aggravating stance is to at least boycott Vista and tell microsoft you won't pay, and by extension boycotting games if they make DirectX 10 a requirement, hardware if they fail to provide XP drivers, etc.

                -Use Linux and cave if Wine will run the game. Wine runs a surprisingly large number of games (Orange Box a popular example). This, of course, doesn't necessarily send the desired message, but it goes a ways. I have seen software patches and graphics drivers note Wine-specific issues, so some developers are seeing Wine as a valid demographic to target given the effort. This requires being vocal about your mode of usage, or else face game patches screwing up your experience by making Wine-incompatible design choices.

                -Use Linux and refuse to buy any non-native games. There are some publishers that released native games. NeverWinter Nights (but not 2), id games, Savage 2. Reward them for publishing quality games for your platform, while being vocal about refusal to buy other titles. There are some decent Free games too, I was surprised how decent Nexuiz was (though I confess the artwork isn't as nice as other games, but the engine seems pretty good at its core).

                I'm a hybrid of sorts. I'll check out a demo under wine if the game is overwhelmingly interesting (i.e. orange box) to see if I want it and would risk it, but will be much much more likely to buy a random game with a native linux binary. A lot of my gaming is reserved for console games, but FPS and RTS and the like I feel no console has an adequate interface (though metroid prime on wii was not too shabby). BTW, server-only binaries on linux aren't enough for me. I know it seems like being partly evangelical, but the reality is I want more out of my core platform experience and don't want to be beholden to a single corporate entity. The PC architecture is great for that, with multiple compatible vendors for practically every part except the OS platform, so long as MS is the dominant vendor. Making moves to change that is a good thing for consumers.
          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by somersault ( 912633 )
            You mean office 2007 doesn't run under WINE? Well, it will eventually, though why you'd freakin want to use it over 2003 is beyond me. As for Visual Studio, if you're developing for Linux (MS truly ending XP sales will be enough to push me and other IT managers to start using Linux on all machines that don't *need* Windows-only apps - for general office uses Linux is fine, though as Autodesk don't do any CAD apps on linux then I'd have a real job switching over our engineering dept..) then why would you nee
            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              "well, consoles are getting pretty darn similar to PCs these days"

              Yup. Similar in usability and price.

              I'm a HUGE GTA fan and when San Andreas came out I bought a PS2 just for that game. I think I paid around $200 CAD for both the game and the system.

              GTA 4 comes out later this month and with the PS3 and XBox 360 at $400 + there is simply no freakin' way I can justify shelling out the cash, and I'm heart broken because I've been looking forward to it since like 2004 after I finished San Andreas.

              On the other h
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            Depends on the game.

            If you mean all current and next gen games, you'd better have a few consoles, too.

            If you just mean enough, there are quite a few games with Linux ports (more than you'd think), and more run under Wine. I honestly don't have time to play all the games that I could play on Linux. I will confess I dual-boot, though -- to XP.

            The answer to Office and VS is to run alternatives -- in particular, if you have to run VS at all, chances are you're not developing anything that would run on Linux any
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Smauler ( 915644 )

          I'm someone who's grown up with windows... I installed Vista recently and it is quick (though it does play with the hard drive far too much for my liking). I play games...

          I bought a new PC recently and got vista oem with it because I wanted it. I've got windows 2000 installed on my system too, it's a decent operating system. It was a hell of a lot easier to get up and running than Vista... I just installed the drivers that weren't there and it worked full stop. Anyone who thinks Vista 64 is easy to

    • And marks the end of Microsofts dominance on the desktop...
    • "enterprise" customers buy volume licenses with generous downgrade rights anyway so they really aren't affected much by this end of availibility.

      Still I bet there will be a BIG surge in PC sales come may/june as home/small buisness uses rush out to get XP while they cab.
    • by LineGrunt ( 133002 ) on Saturday April 05, 2008 @07:45PM (#22975996)
      There is a significant difference between "dying" and "being killed."

      As in "the death was ruled a suicide after the victim died from three self-inflicted gunshots to the head."
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by westlake ( 615356 )
      You have to follow a few links in the first link to get to this fine article where they explain that in 2007, XP's share went up in the enterprise.

      There are stats that show a very different picture: Top Operating System Share Trend for May, 2007 to March, 2008 [hitslink.com]

      Win XP 74% Down From 83%
      Vista 14% Up From 4%

      It's interesting that the testers chose to compare a system running Ultimate with 1 GB RAM with an unknown version of XP.

      If I were using Ultimate on the enterprise desktop, I would want it with ful

      • by symbolset ( 646467 ) on Saturday April 05, 2008 @08:39PM (#22976302) Journal

        Interesting as well that the testers didn't seem to grasp the differences in the way Vista manages applications and resources. Programs running under Vista should become more responsive the more you use them.

        Not on the eee [slashdot.org] they don't. Nor under any of the 50 low cost MIDs and mini notebook pc's [moblin.org] coming out in the next few months. For the two pound laptop with six hours of battery life Vista is dead on arrival.

        Vista 14% Up From 4%

        Lies, damn lies and statistics. All the way up at 14% after a year and a half with under a year to go before the next version is out [slashdot.org]? That means it's going to peak at something under 30%. Sure, they sold lots of licenses nobody is using. They made Billions doing that. I hope that's not the kind of trick you can get people to fall for over and over. I wish I knew it for sure.

      • by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Saturday April 05, 2008 @08:39PM (#22976312)
        Now, that looks like Vista is catching on. But let's take a deeper look at those figures.

        10% plus in one year. Now, how often does the average computer user change his hardware? Every 3-5 years. So, assuming that he also gets a new system when he gets a new machine (which is the norm for those buying computers preassembled rather than building them on their own), this should be reflected by at the very least 20% increase in Vista userbase, because 1/5 of the people should have replaced their machines (assuming a 5 year cycle).

        Essentially, what this 10% increase means is, that about half of the people who got new hardware also got Vista to it, and nobody switched "mid-life" for their hardware.

        Personally, I'm not impressed.
        • Re:New Hardware (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Technician ( 215283 )
          Essentially, what this 10% increase means is, that about half of the people who got new hardware also got Vista to it, and nobody switched "mid-life" for their hardware.

          Many people getting new hardware, got an OS other than Vista. My dad got a Mac. My new Core 2 Duo machine runs Ubuntu Studio. To get it without an unwanted OS meant assembling it myself. Boot to login and login to homepage on screen on the Mac or Ubuntu machine is much faster than any of the Windows machines in the house.
  • ...that XP thinks it is BSD?
  • two words (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 05, 2008 @07:32PM (#22975896)
    Windows Classic... they'll hire some marketing guy from Coca Cola to run the campaign. "You told us this was the software you grew up on...."
  • Activation? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by ThatDamnMurphyGuy ( 109869 ) on Saturday April 05, 2008 @07:32PM (#22975900) Homepage
    The real test will be what happens when XP is officially dead. No sales. No support. What will happen with activation?
    • Ideally when MS really drops support a crack/patch will become readily available that MS won't bother to patch away.
      • Scratch that, Ideally MS would just remove WGA in an End of Life patch for XP.

        Fat chance. 10 years from now we'd still see "Windows XP Compatable" stickers.
    • I had to reload XP on a system the other day and had the issue of having to call in the activation because it wouldn't activate over the internet. I had to explain that yes this install was not being installed on more than one PC etc and finally they gave me the unlock code. So what happens in the future? Who knows!
      • Re:Activation? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 05, 2008 @07:55PM (#22976056)
        I've had to reactivate my legal copy of Windows XP so many times that I finally gave up and downloaded a pirate version...I expect many people will do the same...I purchased a copy of XP, I think it's reasonable that I should be able to replace my hard drive without having to contact Microsoft and convince them that I'm not stealing their product...If you treat your customers like thieves they just might meet your expectations...
    • Hmm, better get your cracked copy on The Pirate Bay now.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I don't know about you all, but I'm ready for someone to buy Microsoft and turn it around.
  • In other news... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Timmmm ( 636430 ) on Saturday April 05, 2008 @07:41PM (#22975966)
    MSDOS is even faster! Seriously you can't just say "Vista is slower so it must be worse". There are other factors to consider - functionality, aesthetics, hardware support, security, and so on.
    • Re:In other news... (Score:5, Informative)

      by tftp ( 111690 ) on Saturday April 05, 2008 @07:51PM (#22976034) Homepage
      As it stands now, virtually none of ham radio applications run on Vista, and chances are slim that they will be updated. FlexRadio's PowerSDR, for example, works on Vista only if you have one of two supported $300 audio "cards" (external FireWire boxes, to be precise.) On XP it works with any audio card, even unsupported.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Necroman ( 61604 )
        But who's fault is that "hardware X" is not supported on Vista? OSes change over time and sometimes drivers need to be updated to support a new OS. I'd say the blame for incompatible hardware falls in the hands of both Microsoft and Hardware vendors. MS screwed up and didn't give people a backwards compatibility mode, as well, they didn't give hardware companies enough time/warning to fix the problems.

        But at the same time, it's been over 1.5 years since software houses have known that the driver stack in
        • What's more (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Sycraft-fu ( 314770 ) on Saturday April 05, 2008 @08:47PM (#22976350)
          It isn't as though MS changes driver requirements all that often. There has been a real long time between XP and Vista. MS isn't requiring people to release new drivers every 6 months, more like every 5-6 years. That isn't unreasonable. Have a look at how often nVidia has to change their Linux drivers and tell me who requires more.

          Also, as you noted, it isn't as though there hasn't been some time. Vista has been on the open market for over a year now, and MS told their developers at Beta 2 that all the driver interfaces were stable. That's a lot of time to have developed a new driver. If you still haven't, well I have trouble feeling that it is MS's fault. If you can't learn the new (very well documented) interfaces in a year's time, well then there is something wrong on your end.

          Computers change, that is simply a fact of life. If you can't deal with that, then you are in teh wrong business. You can't expect to release something and not have to change it for 30 years. Interfaces (serial, USB, firewire, etc) will change, buses (PCI, PCIe) will change. OSes will change. You are going to have to update to support those.

          When Vista first came out, I told people to lay off the hardware companies. It takes time to build a stable driver on new architecture, especially the video card companies who had some really massive changes. Now, I don't defend the hardware companies at all. You've had a year, and just about everyone does have a stable, tested driver out. If you still can't, well that is your problem, not MS's.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Opportunist ( 166417 )
      That's a given. But if you don't show the user where his performance goes, he gets a tad bit upset.

      When you switched from Dos to 95, you saw the difference. Quite literally. When you went from 98 to 2k, you noticed it (in a LOT fewer BSODs). Since then, though, it has become rather hard to explain the decreased performance.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by fwarren ( 579763 )
      MSDOS is even faster! Seriously you can't just say "Vista is slower so it must be worse". There are other factors to consider - functionality, aesthetics, hardware support, security, and so on.

      The difference between MSDOS and XP in this instance is that XP gets the job done.

      1. Want to browse the web, XP does it.
      2. Want to watch full screen video, XP does it.
      3. Want to edit video, XP does it.
      4. Want to sync your iPod. XP does it.

      Functionaly, XP has it. What new functionaly does VISTA really bring? I know, it is

  • Let it die (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ShieldW0lf ( 601553 ) on Saturday April 05, 2008 @07:47PM (#22976002) Journal
    Good riddance. With a new LTS release of Ubuntu coming up in a scant few weeks and support for the entire Adobe creative suite in Wine, I don't see as there's much reason to bother with it.
  • by penginkun ( 585807 ) on Saturday April 05, 2008 @07:53PM (#22976040)
    This is going to sound crazy, but bear me out. So here's what Microsoft does. They take the OS and develop a Windows GUI for it. They pour a billion dollars or so into WINE development and research (while providing WINE's coders with full access to existing Windows APIs) and they bring WINE's performance and compatibility to dizzying heights. And then they sell it. Call it Windows, sell it as Windows and do what Apple's done with Darwin. Keep the proprietary stuff proprietary and the OSS stuff OSS. You'd wind up with a rock-solid OS, and your users could run their old software until their apps received an update to the new system. Eventually WINE would no longer be needed.

    This all sounds a lot like Apple, MacOS X and Classic, doesn't it?

    Anyway, there we go. I'm sure there are a thousand valid reasons why this couldn't/wouldn't work and naturally it will never happen. I understand that. I can dream though, can't I?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by drsmithy ( 35869 )

      This all sounds a lot like Apple, MacOS X and Classic, doesn't it?

      No, it does not. With MacOS "Classic" Apple had a single user OS with no memory protection, no pre-emptive multitasking, no multiprocessor support, nothing. Their OS was a technological relic.

      With NT, Microsoft has an OS with everything Linux has to offer, plus more. Why on Earth would they throw that all away to create Yet Another Linux Dustribution ?

  • XP won't die (Score:4, Interesting)

    by eebra82 ( 907996 ) on Saturday April 05, 2008 @07:54PM (#22976048) Homepage

    That's the last day when large computer makers -- the Dells, HPs and Lenovos of the world -- will be allowed to preinstall Windows XP on new PCs. It also marks the official end of XP as a retail product.
    I wouldn't bet against anyone who thinks torrents will be flooded with cracked XP copies when this happens. Windows XP is actually selling remarkably well now that people agree Vista isn't what it once promised. Now that Microsoft is cutting off the supply, people will see piracy as a more viable option and say that it's either that or OSX/Linux.
  • Not the problem (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Perseid ( 660451 ) on Saturday April 05, 2008 @08:05PM (#22976116)
    The problem is not the increase in resource use. This is nothing new. Every release of Windows, most releases of OS X and even some new flavors of Linux have increased resource use because they do more. The big problem for Microsoft this go-'round is that Vista really doesn't give you enough reason to accept the increased resource use. XP is a perfectly fine OS and to get people to move away, especially if that move is to a resource hog, you really need to drop the hammer and give people a kick-ass must-have OS. MS clearly failed to do that in Vista and they're paying for it now.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by toby ( 759 ) *

      Actually, it's fairly well known that every new release of OS X has been FASTER and leaner: specifically 10.1, 10.2, 10.3 and 10.4. (This is backed up by my experience on personal machines and production studios of Macs.)

      In particular, 10.3 is noticeably snappier on G3 (even beige) compared to 10.2.

      Can't speak for 10.5 as I've had limited exposure, but few are complaining - maybe because the Intel Macs are so fast out of the gate anyway :)

  • by saleenS281 ( 859657 ) on Saturday April 05, 2008 @08:08PM (#22976128) Homepage
    Seriously, can we just stop doing this everytime there is a new release of windows? When XP was released it was "OH MY GOSH, NOBODY LIKES XP!!! WINDOWS2000 WILL BE AROUND FOREVER!!!!". Now we're doing it all over again with Vista. There isn't a pattern or ANYTHING. Like maybe large enterprises that move at a snail's pace tend to adopt one rev behind.

    http://it.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=05/06/15/0035209 [slashdot.org]
    • by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Saturday April 05, 2008 @08:55PM (#22976418)
      The difference is that this time it's not just the geeks. Sure, you always had geeks lamenting that they will not, under any circumstances, accept the horrible changes (be it activation in XP, DRM in Vista...), and that the whole system looks so Teletubby, and that they won't touch it with a 10 foot pole. Not even with a 0x10 feet one.

      But usually, the general audience and especially companies accepted the new system. It offered more ease of use, easier integration of peripherals, looked nicer and so on. Vista is different, though. Yes, it looks nicer. But people started to catch on. They noticed that the final version for an MS product is sporting an "SP2" sticker next to it. They got what they want in XP. They heard that this or that hardware doesn't work in Vista anymore. But the biggest problem is what we (geeks) have been lamenting for years now, and which backfired when MS started to take it serious: Security. UAC is one of the things that is very high on the annoyances list of the average user.

      This is the difference this time. It's not only the geeks who turn their noses at the new MS-OS. It's a general sentiment. And even OEM manufacturers are pressing MS for prolongued support for XP, since they saw the demand for machines with an "old" OS. Tells you something. Because geeks are certainly no important market segment. Yes, we buy more soft- and hardware than the average guy (ok, at least hardware, since the real, pure geek won't touch anything but OSS... yeah, yeah), but we're few compared to the masses buying PCs these days. And we're picky, and we're not easily turned away when something doesn't work out, we're not really an interesting customer group. Certainly we're not the core customers for Dell or HP. And these companies exactly demanded and pressed for longer OEM sales of XP.

      So the rejection of Vista isn't the geek phenomenon that it usually is. It's a much, much broader reaction this time.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Yes, history is repeating itself, but you missed the proper analogy:


  • by sentientbrendan ( 316150 ) on Saturday April 05, 2008 @08:40PM (#22976314)
    What I'd like to see is a more concerted effort to address the problems with Vista. Microsoft could make Vista as fast and usable as XP today if they would just get through their thick heads that some of the policies they came up with for vista are bone headed.


    1. Drivers. There's no reason Vista can't be made compatible with XP's faster video drivers, except that Microsoft is being stubborn.

    2. 64 bit support. Microsoft has willfully hamstrung Vista 64 by not providing compatibility with 32 bit drivers, and by making the Vista 64 driver model more restrictive than the Vista 32 bit. If you look at Apple's systems, they have a much better model where 32 bit drivers work *fine* on a 64 bit system. There's no reason your video card driver needs to be 64 bit anyway...

    3. Background tasks. Here's a hint: Let us easily turn them the fuck off. There should be some kind of Windows performance control panel that provides a central place to switch off file indexing, and the endless other miscellaneous tasks that spin the drive on Vista *constantly*.

    Until those issues are addressed, it's stupid to expect gamers who need good graphics drivers, and laptop users who can't have the spinning harddrive wearing down the battery constantly to take a second look at Vista.

    I gave Vista a good 6 months, and really did appreciate things like not having to run as administrator constantly. I felt much more secure running with lower privileges user like I do on my Ubuntu and OSX installs. However, dispite the fact that I tweaked the hell out of my system (including turning off file indexing and switching off aero in favor of the win2k look), and the fact that my system *should* be ridiculously overpowered by looking at the hardware specs, the background services made my system run like a *dog*.

    I've switched back to XP, and it is like night and day. Suddenly, my machine no longer locks up doing some stupid task in the background. Suddenly, the stutter is gone from my games. Suddenly, everything is snappier.

    What's more, I now actually get to run with file indexing ON, by using the google desktop. This gives me all of the same search functionality as I got on vista, but with no noticeable performance overhead. Hell, I could probably start running as a non admin user on XP, now that applications have finally been forced to learn to live with reduced permissions for Vista compatibility...
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      I did the same thing as you. I gave it 6 months to grow on me. All it did was aggravate the hell out of me too!

      My grievances are as follows:

      1. Give me the ability to turn aero completely off damn it! I don't need all of that resource gluttonous crap running at all period. Even if I do run the Win2K look!

      2. Give me the option to not use "Windows Explorer Proper" when I'm browsing through my files. I also want my little "up a directory" button back!

      3. I want an OS that is compatible with my Server 2K3 fil

    • by Myria ( 562655 ) on Saturday April 05, 2008 @09:46PM (#22976752)

      2. 64 bit support. Microsoft has willfully hamstrung Vista 64 by not providing compatibility with 32 bit drivers, and by making the Vista 64 driver model more restrictive than the Vista 32 bit. If you look at Apple's systems, they have a much better model where 32 bit drivers work *fine* on a 64 bit system. There's no reason your video card driver needs to be 64 bit anyway...

      Windows NT makes the fundamental assumption that kernel mode programs have direct access to user-mode memory. The kernel is in the same address space as user-mode programs. Kernel drivers can directly read user-mode parameters from the same address that was passed in from user mode. This offloads parameter checking from software to the CPU's page table, a nice performance increase.

      This prevents 32-bit drivers from ever being possible in NT. A 64-bit user program would pass in a 64-bit pointer in an ioctl and a 32-bit driver would have no way of accessing that address. The kernel can't translate because it does not know what ioctls mean, and they can contain pointers.

      In contrast, Darwin's kernel has a separate address space for user mode and kernel mode. Switching between user mode and kernel mode is a full page table reload, and access to user memory from the kernel is done through special accessor functions. This is a additional cost to kernel calls in Darwin compared to NT.

      As for video card drivers not needing to be 64-bit... The extra 8 general and 8 SSE registers do help in the inner loops written in assembly language for some operations that the cards don't support directly.

      By the way, have you heard of Windows XP x64 Edition?
    • by scruffy ( 29773 ) on Saturday April 05, 2008 @10:01PM (#22976840)
      One reason Vista is a dog on many laptops is because the GDI graphics interface has been redesigned in Vista to be slow http://www.regdeveloper.co.uk/2007/12/04/vista_vs_xp_tests/ [regdeveloper.co.uk].
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by tknd ( 979052 )

      There's no reason Vista can't be made compatible with XP's faster video drivers, except that Microsoft is being stubborn.

      I believe the reasoning is that output drivers now run in a new model where if a driver fails, it will not crash the system. There have been many cases where my ATI driver crashed but Vista 64 was able to restart it without bluescreening. In XP a driver crash will take down your entire system whether it be some stupid usb device like a microphone or the video driver.

      making the Vista 64 driver model more restrictive than the Vista 32 bit

      I actually like the fact that the driver system is more restrictive. There were a lot of companies selling hardware that they claimed "co

  • by Mycroft_514 ( 701676 ) on Saturday April 05, 2008 @08:50PM (#22976376) Journal
    What matters is what goes on in the trenches. When major corporations still prohibit the installation of Vista on any machine that connects to their network, Microsoft will continue to sell XP. My Corporation is Fortune 10 and we still prohibit Vista installs!
  • by zerofoo ( 262795 ) on Saturday April 05, 2008 @08:56PM (#22976432)
    Mandatory activation.

    Vista in all of its flavors requires activation either at the mothership, or via an activation server on your network.

    This one requirement, has ZERO benefit for the end user. Microsoft made this mandatory to close the "Volume License Key loophole" that allowed corporate copies of XP to be widely and easily pirated.

    Now the anti-piracy cost falls to the end user. Corporations that deploy standard images must now manage the activation process in addition to all the other things that make a Microsoft network tick. There are a million ways that activation causes problems - remote users, computer rental companies that re-image after every use, schools that re-image labs frequently...etc.

    I don't see Microsoft "fixing" this problem ever.


  • Reality check (Score:4, Informative)

    by Ancil ( 622971 ) on Saturday April 05, 2008 @09:06PM (#22976494)
    This summary is bad even by "Slashdot echo chamber" standards. XP is "far faster" than Vista? Here's what you'll find if you actually follow the link:

    CPU benchmarks:

    XP with SP3: 2053
    Vista with SP1 Aero disabled: 2018 (change: -1.7%)
    Vista with SP1: 1994 (change: -2.8%)

    So, basically, your machine will be imperceptibly slower if you want all the whiz-bang 3D and transparency of Vista's UI. Go figure.

    Other results from the linked article:

    • XP boots about 30 seconds faster.
    • Vista copies a large file about 30 seconds faster.
    • XP might run faster on machines with 256 MB of RAM. Obviously a huge concern with memory costing about $20 per GB.
    I don't mean to challenge anyone's world-view, but the people I know who run Vista are quite happy with it. That includes my wife, who runs Vista Home and Office 2007 on her 6 year old laptop with half a gig of RAM.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Argon ( 6783 )
      Anecdotal Story: I bought a new laptop last September (Cheap HP celeron with half a gig of RAM running Vista Home, cost me ~$400) to gift my dad. And that ran like a dog. Really pathetic performance. I immediately added another gig of RAM and performance was much better. Not as snappy as WinXP but not bad. I still don't like it but my Dad is happy with it.

      Your wife is happy with Vista Home on a 6 year old laptop with half a gig a RAM? Now I know you're BSing us. You're seriously nuts if you upgraded a 6

  • by Billly Gates ( 198444 ) on Saturday April 05, 2008 @10:10PM (#22976882) Journal
    I have written many anti vista postings since I bought a notebook with Vista loaded on it last decemember.

    Most of the anti vista comments here are untrue after you get used to it, use the new start menu features and install SP1, updated drivers, and bios upgrades.

    Both hogs such as Netbeans and OpenOffice ran slower on my notebook than XP assuming Vista is set up properly. Disk fetching and better caching is how I attribute the performance increase.

    The majority of Vista bashes are from those who have semi supported hardware.

    My notebook was running off of disk PIO mode during startup and no sata was loaded with the default Vista install. As you can imagine my system took forever to boot and when Vista indexed it slowed things down. I bashed Vista constantly here.

    I downgraded to XP but upgraded back to Vista. I missed the windows index search when you hit the start button. Here is a hint for XP users.... your not supposed to find your programs by your mouse. Just type it in! Also I can search my javadocs and my ms word papers for school quickly by seaching by content. I go to a christian school with bible versus required in my papers. Vista makes my job easier as I type a subject and it searches the index for my conent.

    Vista is not fast after Toshibe provided an SD sata driver and a bios update to start vista quickly. SP1 fixed the constant disk usage. It rarely ever gets in the way once things are up. Wow is just as fast in vista as in XP. Maybe only a few fps slower.

    But Vista is nice for computer neophytes and the hardware markers need to take the heat for the negative public opinion.
  • The intent of copyright is to allow an author of a creative work to profit from sales of the work. It is NOT intended to stop non-profit copying of a work which is not being sold. If you're engaging in non-commercial copying of a copyrighted work, a judge will take seriously a defense of "But I cannot buy the work!"
  • slower... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by smash ( 1351 ) on Sunday April 06, 2008 @12:59AM (#22977682) Homepage Journal
    ... no shit? However, DOS was way quicker at running DOS apps than windows, and look where that went.

    Features don't come for free. The different in speed for most things is negligible.

    Processor time is cheap, programmer time is expensive. *If* the new features mean we get better quality apps due to shared libraries/services built into the OS, then I don't see the problem.

  • by Kwirl ( 877607 ) <kwirlkarphys@gmail.com> on Sunday April 06, 2008 @03:14AM (#22978154)

    In my house I run Windows XP Media Edition, 2x Windows XP Pro, and Vista Ultimate 64. Hands down Vista is my favorite OS to use. Granted, early versions were harder to swallow, as I have been using Vista since early Beta.

    However, the major problems I had initially have been addressed. Driver compatibility, Stability and Memory usage - since SP1 at least, all of these problems have gone away for me, most of them long before SP1.

    While Vista may not be the best choice for everyone, I use it for Office 2007, Photoshop, Video Encoding, and Gaming (Crysis/2142) and have nothing but praises to sing for those uses.

    Of course, I realize gamers that use basic photo editing software and office applications are in the minority....

I THINK MAN INVENTED THE CAR by instinct. -- Jack Handley, The New Mexican, 1988.