What does MS Vista really offer?

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aristide1
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What does MS Vista really offer?

Post by aristide1 » Tue Nov 28, 2006 11:50 am

Over XP Pro with all the SPs installed?

I mean real stuff, not cosmetic issues and changes in the way things are done, just for the sake of change.

It plugs security holes? Really? When was the last time they plugged a hole and didn't create 2 news ones? Bill Gates makes the little Dutch boy look like a master plumber.

/rant off
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Post by vertigo » Tue Nov 28, 2006 12:17 pm

They want you to rant about Vista. Why do you think we've heard about the next two versions of windows?

Vista is the next millenium, bud. Can you say "planned obsolescence"?

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Post by ciz28 » Tue Nov 28, 2006 12:21 pm

DirectX 10, User Account Control, completely new networking stack (including IPv6 support), incredible driver/device support...

Have you ever tried actually using Vista? I think it's just generally more polished than XP ever was.

/end counter-rant :lol:

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Post by vertigo » Tue Nov 28, 2006 12:22 pm

incredible driver/device support...
What's wrong with WDM?

Edit: Oh, sorry, thought you said "device driver"...

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Post by ciz28 » Tue Nov 28, 2006 12:30 pm

vertigo wrote:
incredible driver/device support...
What's wrong with WDM?

Edit: Oh, sorry, thought you said "device driver"...
Right, I agree that Windows XP's device driver model is perfectly fine. However, XP's coverage is terrible. I've had to burn so many CDs just to get network drivers for systems so I could download the rest of the drivers it's not even funny. They should have standardized a basic NIC driver long ago, just like the basic monitor and video card drivers.

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Post by jaganath » Tue Nov 28, 2006 12:34 pm

According to some big cheese at MS, Vista is so secure it doesn't need an anti-virus. Colour me sceptical....

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Post by ciz28 » Tue Nov 28, 2006 12:50 pm

jaganath wrote:According to some big cheese at MS, Vista is so secure it doesn't need an anti-virus. Colour me sceptical....
Ha, well that all depends on the user. I haven't ever had to use antivirus or antispyware software, but I'm sure there will be some people that manage to bring their Vista installation to its knees in no time.

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Post by Buddabing » Tue Nov 28, 2006 12:51 pm

Seems like every time I change motherboards, the whole operating system has to be reinstalled.

If I didn't have to do this with Vista, I would switch.

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Post by ciz28 » Tue Nov 28, 2006 12:55 pm

Buddabing wrote:Seems like every time I change motherboards, the whole operating system has to be reinstalled.

If I didn't have to do this with Vista, I would switch.
I can attest that you don't have to with Vista. I just upgraded the motherboard on a Vista installation and it handled the change very gracefully. Now, I didn't do any benchmarking before or after the swap, but I can say through normal usage, it was just as quick as a fresh installation.

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Post by AZBrandon » Tue Nov 28, 2006 1:21 pm

Also keep in mind different features are available in different versions. I found the VIA Arena post on this subject to be helpful to see the different offerings. For most power users, the Vista Home Premium or Business would be the best offerings, depending on if you wanted the encrypted filesystem technology or not. Pricing is pretty steep, as is typical for Microsoft ($400 for Vista Ultimate) but that's the price to play.
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Re: What does MS Vista really offer?

Post by sjschwinn » Tue Nov 28, 2006 1:30 pm

aristide1 wrote:Over XP Pro with all the SPs installed?

I mean real stuff, not cosmetic issues and changes in the way things are done, just for the sake of change.

It plugs security holes? Really? When was the last time they plugged a hole and didn't create 2 news ones? Bill Gates makes the little Dutch boy look like a master plumber.

/rant off
DVD & Blu-Ray "ripping" with DRM / encryption and the ability to serve it to media clients (ala XBOX360).

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Post by jaganath » Tue Nov 28, 2006 1:32 pm

I just upgraded the motherboard on a Vista installation and it handled the change very gracefully.
Was the new mobo similar to the old mobo (ie same brand, features, drivers)? XP can handle upgrades if they are to similar hardware.

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Post by ciz28 » Tue Nov 28, 2006 1:38 pm

jaganath wrote:Was the new mobo similar to the old mobo (ie same brand, features, drivers)? XP can handle upgrades if they are to similar hardware.
I went from an Abit NF7-S to an Abit NF-M2 nView, so I'd say they were sufficiently different from each other. On the initial boot into Windows, the system popped up a little message saying that it was installing the new drivers for all of the new devices associated with the motherboard. I rebooted once afterwards, and everything worked fine. Probably worth noting, is that I did have to reactivate afterwards, for those of you that are concerned about this issue.

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Post by jaganath » Tue Nov 28, 2006 1:57 pm

So you didn't have to re-install the OS at all?

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Post by CA_Steve » Tue Nov 28, 2006 3:48 pm

How much system RAM is Vista consuming? A quick look at a friend's laptop after booting showed about 700-800MB of physical memory used. Is this typical?

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Post by jaganath » Tue Nov 28, 2006 4:39 pm

CA_Steve wrote:How much system RAM is Vista consuming? A quick look at a friend's laptop after booting showed about 700-800MB of physical memory used. Is this typical?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_vi ... quirements

For "Vista Premium" (ie Aero) you need at least 1GB of memory.

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Post by aristide1 » Tue Nov 28, 2006 4:49 pm

CA_Steve wrote:How much system RAM is Vista consuming? A quick look at a friend's laptop after booting showed about 700-800MB of physical memory used. Is this typical?
Just like in the past. Too much.
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Post by aristide1 » Tue Nov 28, 2006 4:55 pm

vertigo wrote:They want you to rant about Vista. Why do you think we've heard about the next two versions of windows?

Vista is the next millenium, bud. Can you say "planned obsolescence"?
And without any reasonable, if at all, price drop on XP.

The only thing that made me smile in the last 6 months was an article that said salary inflation for programmers in Bangalore runs 20+% annually.
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Post by ciz28 » Tue Nov 28, 2006 8:09 pm

jaganath wrote:So you didn't have to re-install the OS at all?
Nope, I didn't have to reinstall the OS at all.
CA_Steve wrote:How much system RAM is Vista consuming? A quick look at a friend's laptop after booting showed about 700-800MB of physical memory used. Is this typical?
My systems tend to be using about 400-500MB of RAM on startup. I can't confirm this, but I have heard that Vista sort of frees RAM 'on demand'. So it will take up quite a bit of RAM if it's available to smooth out some effects in explorer, but will free it up as necessary to applications that request it. Feel free to take this with a grain of salt, though. My work systems run 1GB, 1GB, and 2GB RAM each, and both of my home machines run 2GB :oops:

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Post by aristide1 » Tue Nov 28, 2006 8:29 pm

The idea of buying 2GB of DDR2 is not pleasant as its still too expensive and DDR3 is just around the corner.
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Post by ciz28 » Tue Nov 28, 2006 8:34 pm

aristide1 wrote:The idea of buying 2GB of DDR2 is not pleasant as its still too expensive and DDR3 is just around the corner.
Agreed, it's frustrating that 2GB would have cost me $150 a year ago, but now it's all the way up to $250 :(

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Post by Devonavar » Tue Nov 28, 2006 8:45 pm

XP installations can usually be transferred without problems if the drive controller is the same or similar enough. The other drivers are pretty much all irrelevant IIRC, but the drive controller is necessary to boot to a state where XP can start detecting devices.

I'm told that XP can be flawlessly transferred to any system if the drive controller driver is installed beforehand on the old system, but I haven't tested this extensively.

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Post by floffe » Wed Nov 29, 2006 6:12 am

ciz28 wrote:My systems tend to be using about 400-500MB of RAM on startup. I can't confirm this, but I have heard that Vista sort of frees RAM 'on demand'. So it will take up quite a bit of RAM if it's available to smooth out some effects in explorer, but will free it up as necessary to applications that request it. Feel free to take this with a grain of salt, though. My work systems run 1GB, 1GB, and 2GB RAM each, and both of my home machines run 2GB :oops:
That's more or less how linux, and I assume many other *nixes do: They cache disk access up until memory is pretty full, and by then it releases the caches in favour of apps requiring memory. After memory is pretty full with apps, it starts using the swap. In XP I've seen quite a bit of swap usage with memory 50% free :roll:

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Post by Rusty075 » Wed Nov 29, 2006 8:06 am

yeah, Ciz is right-on. Vista handles RAM much differently that XP does, so comparisons between the two are not really apples to apples. The Superfetch tends to put more stuff into RAM in anticipation of it being used, so theit looks like more RAM is in active use than it really is. But it also unloads the superfetched app data to free up RAM much faster then XP does. A Vista system with a 75% RAM load (in Task Manager) behaves much different than an XP system that is claiming the same amount of RAM used.

From an SPCR perspective there's a couple of potentially useful features:
The new Sleep state should reduce idle power consumption, assuming you can get it to work with your hardware. And the ReadyDrive plus the new Hybrid drives will reduce the power consumption of the HDD system.

Not really SPCR-related, but the ReadyBoost feature is pretty slick. For most of us its essentially a free performance boost.
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Post by Beyonder » Wed Nov 29, 2006 10:53 am

jaganath wrote:According to some big cheese at MS, Vista is so secure it doesn't need an anti-virus. Colour me sceptical....
XP doesn't need anti-virus in my opinion, so I think your skepticism is unwarranted. I haven't run anti-virus in the last five years, and I have yet to be infected with anything.
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Post by Beyonder » Wed Nov 29, 2006 11:03 am

CA_Steve wrote:How much system RAM is Vista consuming? A quick look at a friend's laptop after booting showed about 700-800MB of physical memory used. Is this typical?
It is very typical; Jeff Atwood (wumpus on SPCR.com) had a blog article that talked about this.

Long story short: vista has a very, very different approach to memory management, and attempts to pre-emptively populate every byte of system memory with what it thinks I might need next. This makes sense; instead of having free memory hanging out and doing diddly squat, it's leveraging unused memory as a caching mechanism much more so than XP does.
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Post by Mar. » Wed Nov 29, 2006 11:25 am

Beyonder wrote:
jaganath wrote:According to some big cheese at MS, Vista is so secure it doesn't need an anti-virus. Colour me sceptical....
XP doesn't need anti-virus in my opinion, so I think your skepticism is unwarranted. I haven't run anti-virus in the last five years, and I have yet to be infected with anything.
How would you know? lol
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Post by jaganath » Wed Nov 29, 2006 11:37 am

Beyonder wrote:XP doesn't need anti-virus in my opinion, so I think your skepticism is unwarranted. I haven't run anti-virus in the last five years, and I have yet to be infected with anything.
Do you have an always-on broadband internet connection?

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Post by Beyonder » Wed Nov 29, 2006 12:08 pm

jaganath wrote:
Beyonder wrote:XP doesn't need anti-virus in my opinion, so I think your skepticism is unwarranted. I haven't run anti-virus in the last five years, and I have yet to be infected with anything.
Do you have an always-on broadband internet connection?
Yes, and I have for the last five years.

My method has remained the same: apply all patches, and check for patches regularly. This is much easier now than in the past, since XP now informs users when a patch has been applied. The vast majority of viruses/worms have been patched before ever being seen in the wild.

Second, I don't do anything stupid, like download strange programs from the Internet, or open weird email attachments. The sad truth about viruses and trojans is they often rely on an uninformed user, rather than the incompetance of Microsoft. I think that's a detail that often gets lost; it is certainly much easier to blame Bill than ourselves.

Third, I always have a hardware firewall running. This is pretty easy; firewalls are built into almost every SOHO router being sold these days. I often see people plugging directly into their cable/dsl modem, which is generally a bad idea.


One thing that bugs me about AV software is that it "protects" users from security holes that could/should be patched with an update from MSFT. Often times, I find computers where the user is running the latest version of some anti-virus software, but a quick trip to windowsupdate shows they have 37 unpatched critical security holes. This drives me nuts. To me, AV is a band-aid fix to security issues. A much better fix is always to resolve the underlying security issue.
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Post by Beyonder » Wed Nov 29, 2006 12:14 pm

Mar. wrote:
Beyonder wrote:
jaganath wrote:According to some big cheese at MS, Vista is so secure it doesn't need an anti-virus. Colour me sceptical....
XP doesn't need anti-virus in my opinion, so I think your skepticism is unwarranted. I haven't run anti-virus in the last five years, and I have yet to be infected with anything.
How would you know? lol
Because it's pretty easy to tell. I program for Win32 for a living, so I have a pretty good idea of where and how to look for something--if you want details, I'd be happy to share.

That being said, I don't look often because there isn't a point--there are simple things one can do to not get infected in the first place.
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