Update to Vista - Check!

10 Mar 2007 in windows |

Well, not at home, but on my work laptop. Since January I was virtualizing all of my projects, and when a colleague pointed to a blog entry about how VMWare Workstation 6 Beta (fully supporting Windows Vista as host) could be taken out of its default debug-mode, I thought that it should be fairly painless to change to Microsoft’s new Operating System.

Well, what can I say? It was fairly painless. As such, Vista is simply the next OS from Microsoft. It brings improvements on many fronts. Especially likeable after 30 hrs. of Vista:

  • Windows Mobility Center: All the stuff that had to be brought into the box via IBM utilities now in one single place. Wireless configuration / activity, projector settings, etc. Good!
  • SuperFetch: Firefox has never started that quick on any system of mine. I can only guess it’s Vista’s ability to use RAM as a cache much more aggresively by prefetching stuff that I commonly use.

One funny issue is the missing Windows key on older IBM thinkpads (what a cute way of nagging your competitor at the user’s cost…). IBM had a utility program to map a key to Windows (and in Vista you will want that key more than ever). SharpKeys comes to the rescue - it is a small .NET application that will allow you to deform your keyboard mappings. That way, your right Ctrl key quickly becomes the Windows Key.

Suffice to say, VMWare works well, all my projects still work - We can move on. Obviously it is early to say anything definitive, but as expected Vista will be a better companion than XP. It is somewhat heavier than XP in terms of performance, and so far it has missed out the in-built bluetooth controller - but all in all it is hard to understand what all the fuzz is about. Would I voluntarily plaster Linux on my laptop if I have this OS available? Not me, but I’m a Windows kid anyway. After GEOS, Windows was the first Graphical OS that I used. In other words, when Crysis comes out I’m ready to get a new PC at home - with Vista installed on it.

Chronology

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