The Web Gambit

Thoughts on Web Development

Making the jump to Vista Ultimate

Windows Vista

I have decided to go ahead and upgrade to Windows Vista Ultimate on my laptop. A number of factors have affected my decision to do this:

  • Vista is cool to play with. Its no OSX, but it’s no slouch either. With features like .NET 3.0 and AeroGlass, it has won over many converts in the developer community.
  • My Asus G1 notebook is now being sold with Vista Premium pre-installed. Since I was an early adopter, my laptop’s configuration is now in the minority as it came with XP Media Center.
  • Vista makes the most of my graphics card and dual core processor.
  • I needed to reformat my hard drive since Asus preloaded it with 3 partitions (two of which were FAT32 instead of one NTFS partition).

My experience so far has been great as the OS is performing well and I’ve been able to get all the necessary drivers for my laptop. My desktop, being comprised of mostly ethusiast-level hardware, is going to stay on XP for at least the next 6 months. Also I opted to go with the 32bit version of Vista Ultimate as I still game quite a bit and many of the current games are known to suffer a heavy performance penalty under WoW64. My prediction is that we won’t see 64bit computing become ubiquitous in the Windows world until a 64bit operating system becomes the default supported version by Microsoft. At this time, even Intel Core 2 Duo, 64bit capable machines are being shipped with Vista 32bit instead of the 64bit. Additionally, even retail editions of Vista (except Ultimate) are only offered in 32bit. Obtaining the 64bit version requires purchasing a copy of 32bit Vista Home Premium or Businesss and ordering the x64 version from Microsoft for about $10. While its annoying to have to jump through so many hoops to get Vista x64, it is a logical decision for MS to avoid the thousands of support calls from confused users who get the wrong version. With so many machines still being 32bit only, I can’t blame MS for keeping x64 underfoot. However, it’s probably safe to say that the next version of Windows will be a smaller upgrade to Vista (much as XP was to Win2k) and will only come in a 64bit version. At that time, most users will have upgraded to faster 64bit hardware and software emulation of 32bit for legacy applications will be less of an issue.

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