I called a good friend last night and during our conversation, he told me that just got a brand new computer. His wife gave him this new computer as a gift. And he's needed a new system for several years now.
He's had this new computer system less than 15 days.
His printer doesn't work with it. Neither does his scanner or i-Pod. WordPerfect loads and runs, but he's unable to save documents.
In order to get these devices and software to work, he'll have to upgrade all of them. The cost of doing this is roughly equivalent to the cost of the new computer.
What operating system did this computer come with? If you guessed Vista, you'd be right.
"Ever since Vista machines have been popping up in stores, we have had users perpetually asking how they can downgrade their Vista machines back to Windows XP." And my friend is among the many Windows users who want to go back to Windows XP.
This appears to be the big problem with Vista. It requires new devices, new hardware, new software, etc.
I've emailed my friend information and links regarding the downgrade to Windows XP. It turns out anyone with Vista can get a free downgrade to Windows XP.
'Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, responding to a question about the support for XP off the shelf, said that customers can buy Vista, then downgrade to XP for free. "I don't know how you can do better than getting both," Mr. Ballmer said Tuesday in Washington D.C.'
Well, I know exactly how you can do better than getting both Vista and XP. Get Linux!
Once you get Linux, You'll be getting off the "perpetual upgrade-cash grab treadmill." Your hardware will work. You'll have thousands of terrific, free open source software application to use. And, if you really need to use programs like Photoshop or MSOffice, simply buy a copy of Codeweaver's Crossover and install them to your Linux system. (or just run the free alternative Wine).
For my friend, who really needs WordPerfect, the solution is just as easy. First let me explain that he LOVES WordPerfect. I can well understand his attachment to WordPerfect. For his needs (he's a history professor), Wordperfect is the Mercedes of word processor software. He knows the keyboard shortcuts and is able to actually "get under the hood" of the document he's working on. Wordperfect, in his opinion, is head and shoulders above MSWord.
All he need do then, is install Virtualbox on a Linux system, install Windows XP, and then install WordPerfect! Voila! Problem solved. Virtualbox allows you to run Windows and it's applications at near optimum processor speed. Given the fact that new computers are available with dual and quad core processors, the difference in speed would be negligible. (an anonymous poster to this blog pointed out this solution for Photoshop.)
For instance, I run Intuit Quickbooks on Virtualbox running Windows XP. I have a 64 bit dual core AMD Athlon Processor. Quickbooks runs FASTER than when I run it on an actual Windows installation. Why? Because, I'm not installing all the patches, anti-virus software, spyware scanners, etc. that slow down a Windows system. I simply make sure not to go out to the internet when I run Windows in Virtualbox. I have Firefox, Linux, and their security for all my web surfing needs.
So, don't upgrade to Windows Vista only to find out you need to downgrade to Windows XP. Switch to Linux.