For Me: Windows XP Out, Windows Vista In

Actually, it’s not as dramatic as the headline suggests. I’m still primarily a Mac user and my only Windows usage is in a virtual machine. I do very little in Windows (outside of my day job). There’s a couple Windows apps I like – AnyDVD and Windows Live Writer – and I also use it when I need IE. While I did install Vista on my iMac awhile back I never bothered to move over to Vista and actually start using it. This past weekend I fired up Vista, applied SP1 along with a bunch of other updates, installed the apps, and began using it.

I almost feel sorry for Microsoft (hard to actually feel sorry for a company that makes that much money) and think there’s been a lot of anti-Vista piling on. For example, Infoworld declared “partial victory” in their petition to save Windows for things Microsoft has done for several years (allow OS downgrades) and for things they already said they’d do (use XP on “low power” PCs – the ones that can’t run Vista). Let’s face it, Windows XP was derided when it was originally released and took a service pack before it really began to make inroads.

So I figured I’d spend more time in Vista to see if all the hate was justified.

I had one interesting problem that turned up when I missed a setting in Parallels. I ran Windows XP virtual machine in “bridged” network mode so that the virtual machine received it’s own IP addressed. When I moved to Windows Vista the virtual machine had the default setting of “Shared Networking”. I found that when the Vista VM was running I would eventually lose the network connection to my Windows Home Server from OS X. But Vista would still be able to connect to the server so there wasn’t any network or server problem. The problem went away when I switched to bridged network mode.

I figure Vista needs more memory so I’ve allocated 1GB to the VM where I ran XP with 768MB. I can’t really speak to speed comparisons since I also moved the VM to a faster hard drive. The software I use doesn’t stress the vm, Vista memory usage is about 50%. For what I do, no speed complaints so far.

So now that I have Vista let’s see if I learn to hate or love. (I suspect it’ll be neither.)