Windows Vista, and other Windows versions

Looking back at previous Windows versions there seemed a compelling reason to upgrade for some versions, not for others. I really see no compelling need to upgrade to Vista, yes I’m sure it works though many claim problems, but looking back:

Win 95 was a great improvement over win 3.1x, OK not really a OS in itself, but at least it felt like a real OS in many respects.

Win 95 RC2, was sort of a add on, not much fan fair, I did upgrade for some compatibility issue.

Win 98 was a great upgrade IMHO, it smoothed out many rough edges on W95, and was a compact program compared to XP.

Win 98 SE was important if you wanted to keep Win 98 going when USB and WiFi and larger harddrives took off. I was able to use 98SE on a old laptop until last year (originally came with Win 98), and I would still be using it if the screen didn’t break.

Win Me was a joke at best and a money grab at worst. I saw no reason for it, nor it’s existence.

Win XP, yes quite a bit more horsepower was needed over 98, and even more when SP2 came around, but it is very stable compared to the past versions I mentioned and the first true OS of the bunch. Compatibility was very good IMHO, and has a very good ‘feel’ to it.

Windows Vista, well right now it seems like the hardware is not really up to running it, plus when updates come in they are going to bog down todays machine so I don’t think the hardware is ready for Vista yet and a new XP box will be usable for more years then a Vista one IMHO. But besides that, because hardware will catch up, I really don’t see any compelling reason to go for Vista today, no real advantages except for that M$ will probably continue support on it longer then XP, but again today’s hardware won’t be able to run Vista due to OS bloat in a few years anyway.

But then again perhaps M$ won’t end XP support before Vista’s as I think Win 98 SE support ended the same time as Win Me as even M$ knew that ME was a joke.

You left out Windows 2000, which was as significant as the change from 3.1 to 95. (Unless you’d already been running NT, but very few consumers were.) The two versions since then - XP and Vista - were mostly about incorporating more features (which previously required 3rd party software) and improving cosmetics.

I’ve used every flavor of Windows and Dos. I think XP was a big step up from Win 2000. So far I am completely ‘unthrilled’ by Vista and after an extended period of use, I still prefer XP SP2.

NT was a dog, ME was a waste. Windows 3.0 was crap.

As to stability, I found Win 3.11 on DOS 6.22, Win 98 SE and Win XP SP2 have been the best Microsoft Operating systems.

At home, I now run 5 XP SP2 machines. My last 98 SE was retired a few months ago. I still have an AT&T 386 Box in the house that runs a really clean DOS6.22/Win3.11 for the rare occasions when I need to transfer a 5.25 to 3.5 floppy. The last use was about 2 years ago.

Vista adds no value that I have found and many annoyances.


For me, the key release for Windows was Windows 2000. After looking at the early betas, I stopped bothering with OS/2 and Linux for my main home machine.

This machine runs Vista and I am decidedly underwhelmed.

So if I’m going to buy a new machine soon, should I try to get good ol’ reliable XP SP2? Or should my assumption be that XP won’t be supported much longer and all new software will be made with Vista in mind (I mostly use it for games at home).

If you’re a hardcore gamer and want to play things like Crysis or Bioshock, you’ll have to run Vista, as XP isn’t compatible with those games. Mind you, MS is planning on ditching Vista by no later 2010, expect to have to make another OS switch fairly soon. MS is promising, however, that the next OS will have a much lighter footprint than Vista.

Crap. I figured as much. Thanks for the info.

Win ME was the first to make a boot disk with cd drive support. You didn’t have to add it in manually. There’s the reason for the whole upgrade I guess.

I bought 2000 a few days before XP was public. I used it for 2 years until XP had the worst bugs worked out of it. I have a stable computer with XP now and I am not going to mess that up. It’s been a year and a half since the last OS install.

I haven’t tried Crysis, but Bioshock ran fine on my Win XP box. Even with all (most?) graphics settings maxed out, I had fairly good frame rates. I forget the numbers, but I think they were in the eighties or so. Not as blazing as when I run HL2 or whatnot, but good nonetheless and far from not running at all. Granted, I couldn’t run DirectX 10, but on seeing it run on another machine, I didn’t see that much of a difference. Oh, if it matters, I’ve a home-built AMD X2 4800+, 2GB RAM, and a EVGA 7800 GTX.

Isn’t Halo Vista-only? Seems right that a MS release is going to support shifting, sacrificing sales of the game for sales of the OS.

I have yet to be convinced that Vista does anything so much better than XP to warrant the switch. I do like that it gets over the three and change RAM ceiling, but don’t know how that would affect performance. Other than that it seems full of bells and whistles that don’t seem worth it. Worth it as in Firefox tabs (now IE tabs too) were worth it. YMMV

That is not correct. I was able to do that with at least Win98 SE if not Win98. I still have a handy Win98 SE Boot Disk around for emergency Fdisk needs.

I don’t know where Tuckerfan got his information from, but Crysis and Bioshock are both compatible with XP.

Microsoft has made only vague references to a release time frame for Windows 7. They currently say that they are aiming for a “three year window” for delivering the OS, although what that is relative to isn’t clear. If it’s from the release of Vista, it would be January 2010. If it’s from the release of their first preview drop (which is when the three year window was first mentioned), then it’ll be January 2011.

I use Windows Vista on my main desktop, and although I’m happy with it, I haven’t had any urge to upgrade my primary laptop from XP.

My Vista box is relatively old, with a single core processor, 2 GB of RAM and a Radeon XT850 card. Video is smooth with no glitches, apps start and exit relatively quickly, and games such as CivIV and World of Warcraft run very well. I don’t play any games that would really push a modern system, so I can’t comment on that. Task Manager tells me that my system has currently been up for 855 hours, which means that the last time I shut it down was probably when I yanked the HD-DVD drive out.

Yes, it is (Both games support XP). You just don’t get DirectX 10 support. For Bioshock, at least, the difference between the DX9 and DX 10 versions are a few water ripples and slightly better smoke – I often couldn’t detect them even when I knew they were there. And XP will give you better frame rates; Vista’s about a 15% hit on the same hardware.

Given the adoption rate of Vista, it would be a terrible business decision to make a Vista-only game now, unless you’re Microsoft.

But the other side is, if you’re a hardcore gamer then you’ll have a tricked out machine capable of running Vista without breaking a sweat.

If you’ve got an older machine then upgrading your OS is crazy talk. And if you are in the market for a new cheap commodity machine for email, writing, media and such, then sticking with XP makes sense because it uses a fraction of the system resources.

Going to Vista for gaming is a pretty dumb idea. For about 1/4 or less than what it would cost to buy a computer that can run Vista decently, you could just buy an Xbox 360 (even the Elite model is a fraction of the cost of a middling computer) which is guaranteed to have a good level of performance with pretty much any game that’s going to be coming out in the next few years. That way you can play games, and support the division of Microsoft that actually makes a decent product instead of shrink-wrapped stool samples.

We use Windows XP at my job. We tell users not to upgrade or by anything that uses Vista.

We have several home grown web-based applications that work like a champ with XP but suck with Vista.

And don’t get me started on IE7…

And we have a building full of Vista & no real problems other than getting used to where they hid some of the butttons.

The overall customer experience with Vista is all over the map.

Except that some people prefer playing games on the PC, and there are several genres of games that aren’t available on the console or if they are, they’re not particularly playable (RTS and flight sims for example.)

Actually, this is exactly what I’m talking about. I always forget that when you say gaming, people tend to think of the Half-Life/Halo/Quake type of gaming. I’m much more into less graphic intensive things like strategy, RTS, and simulation games. For example, like a lot of people, Spore is going to tie up a good portion of my life when it’s finally released.

Hell, I should probably just quit hijacking this thread and make a “build a machine for me” thread. Thanks for all the input though.

this is what pisses me off so much about “upgrades”: merely surviving is considered an accomplishment worth paying for.
People proudly say “gee whiz, I got the new upgrade, and guess what?–it actually works, with no crashes. What a great deal.”

Nobody ever says “I bought a new car today, but guess what?–It actually works, and didn’t even crash. What a great deal.”

Or “I bought a new guitar today, and guess what? --I can still actually play the same music I could yesterday. What a great deal.”

If I’m gonna spend money for something, I want to feel GOOD about it.
Not feel a sense of relief just because the new thing I paid for didn’t kill me.

I won’t repeat what others have said, but I believe Shadowrun was a Vista-only game. No one cared.

I would take that 2010 date with a BIG grain of salt. I would guess the true development cycle to be 5-6 years, but the dates on their project plans today say 3 years.