Demand compensation from Microsoft

If I was independently wealthy, I would give discounts to customers with Windows Vista. Alas, I am not independently wealthy and my business supports my family, so I charge for time I spend in a client’s office or home. One customer , today, could have saved 30-40% off their bill had they bought one of the few remaining laptops with Windows XP.

This brand new Toshiba laptop with only 1 GB of RAM (half of the minimum need to run Vista with any appreciable speed) took a full 4-5 minutes to boot up each time it required a boot. And that was down 2-3 minutes after I took off the bloated trial security software and the other trial software loaded on this machine. True, the extra software contributed to the slowness…initially, but even with the startup cleaned up, the machine was pathetically slow. Her husband’s almost 5 year old Dell desktop with 512mb of RAM could run circles around this ‘new’ laptop.

With Microsoft releasing nearly 50 updates in just the six months since its release and their first service pack (major re-tooling) already announced as well, Microsoft has pretty much admitted that Vista has not lived up to its own expectations. I sure hope Service Pack I for Vista (due out next spring) brings some major improvements to this seriously flawed operating system.

In the mean time, for those who want to listen and save time, money and frustration, here are my suggestions for those looking to buy a new computer:

1. Go through the business arms of Dell, HP, or small, local retailers and get Windows XP with 1 GB of RAM and you can work circles around Vista machines.

2. Consider getting a “new” machine by switching to Ubuntu Linux on your existing machine. If it is less than 7 years old, has at least 256mb of RAM, and other wise functions well, you won’t be sorry.

4. STRONGLY consider a Macintosh computer from Apple

5. IF you absolutely MUST get a Vista machine, make sure it has AT LEAST 2 GB of RAM, a dual core processor, and a fast, dedicated video card. Unfortunately, this means that to get a decent running Vista machine, you will need to spend a minimum of $900-1000 and probably upwards of that.

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