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XP or Vista?    

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XP or Vista?

XP or Vista?
Technology with Integrity

By Tim Torian, Torian Group, Inc. 

Windows XP was scheduled to stop selling last January. Microsoft extended the sales life cycle -- the time during which PC manufacturers and system builders could sell computers with XP installed -- to June 30, 2008. Then they extended it again- they will stop selling XP altogether on Jan. 31, 2009. The mainstream support period for XP was also extended to April 14, 2009, in an effort to reassure customers. After that they will not issue any major updates, but will continue to provide fixes and security patches as part of the extended support period.
Many have already adopted Windows Vista. Most of the initial bugs have been worked out, and Service Pack 2 will be out shortly. Most applications are now Vista compliant. However, many businesses have older software which does not run on Vista, and/or have no desire to switch. If you are one of them, you may want to consider replacing any computers you need replaced before XP stops selling.
If you go down to the local store, you will not find any XP machines. They are nearly all Vista 64 Bit. This is fine for home use, but may not be the best choice for business. To purchase a machine with XP, you will need to order online from companies like Dell or HP. Only certain models can be purchased, and they come with “Vista, downgraded to XP”. In other words, the computer comes with Vista, but has XP installed. You pay the Vista price.
Unless you are running 64 bit software, performance will not improve on a 64 bit computer. The number of  "bits” is the how many binary digits are processed in each clock cycle – theoretically allowing more power by processing twice the information. Unfortunately most 32 bit software – which is most business software – actually runs slightly slower in a 64 bit computer, because it has to convert each instruction to 64 bit and back.
The next version of Windows (Windows 7) for the desktop will be out around December 2009, only a year away. Initial reviews are positive – security is less intrusive, performance is better, and there are some potentially compelling new features.  It is designed to integrate with Microsoft online services. Many may opt to skip Vista altogether. Microsoft is already promoting it here: www.microsoft.com/windows/windows-7  and you can find out more here: http://windows7news.com.


Tim Torian has taught computer networking at the College of Sequoias and Cal Poly Extension. He has a BS in Computer Science, and has been consulting on computer networking for the past 30 Years. His industry certifications include: Cisco CCNA and CCNI, Microsoft MCSE. He was recognized as Entrepreneur of the year for 2008 by the Tulare County EDC. He is president of Torian Group, Inc. which provides a full range of Technology Consulting services to local business, including computer services, networking, web and custom software development. www.toriangroup.com


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