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Waiting for Windows 7

OK, so we're starting to see some peeks at Windows 7. Check this out at ars technica: http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20081028-first-look-at-windows-7.html The first screen shots of Windows 7. I'm not particularly interested in it at the moment, I'm more interested in the whole "What do I do with my 8 year old Windows XP now?"

There are several options and as a Sys Admin I get more than a few questions about what to do as Windows XP ages gracefully into oblivion. Obviously the wonderful Windows Vista is an option, as is the various distributions provided by the gifted GNU/Linux community. With Windows 7 slated for a late 2009 (probably 2010) release should users be holding out for it as their hardware ages and their PC's become due for renewal? And for businesses that have laboriously got themselves into a nice 3 year PC replacement cycle, what do they go for?

Honestly at this point I'd point them at Novell's Linux Enterprise Desktop 10. There is no way I'd suggest Windows Vista at this point. It is such a massive resource hog, plays poorly with legacy applications and just seems to be a slapped together and rushed out the door operating system. It should be noted I run Vista on several machines, and have a couple of machines out there with regular users running Vista and honestly, they give me no positive feedback on it. On the other hand, I've put Ubuntu and OpenSuSE on people's desktops and they have really liked them - especially on older machines where the processor is only a P4 with a 1GB of RAM.

So the question really is - wait for Windows 7 and hope for the best OR deploy Vista to the desktop? It's not a nice question at all. I'll admit to feeling burnt by Vista - sure it has some nice features but by crikey it can be frustrating to get it going in the right direction at times. I've rarely had issues with the various Linux dizzies I've installed and Windows XP, for all it's faults, has been a good OS from both a systems view and a users view. Obviously security is paramount with XP, but at least it works - and it works on a lower hardware spec than Vista. With the economy going spastic and the Australian dollar declining versus the US Dollar (and how does that happen when the greenback is in such turmoil with obvious poor management and leadership???) PCs are getting more expensive again. Boo hiss.

If Windows 7 requires even more grunt than Vista I see it being out of reach for a lot of users for at least a year past it's release date. As to Vista I'm going to try and pretend it never happened and keep it out of the workplaces I'm involved in. What are you going to do?

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