Windows Vista forum

General discussion

Should I wait for Windows 7 or move on to Vista now?

by Lee Koo (ADMIN) CNET staff/forum admin / January 9, 2009 4:02 AM PST

My 7-year-old computer running Windows 2000 Pro is on its way out and I?m ready to buy a brand-new system to start fresh with new hardware and operating system. However, after reading some articles on Windows 7, which is suppose to be due out sometime end of this year, do you think it?s worth the wait to skip Vista completely and hope that my current computer will last until Windows 7 is released? I know this sounds premature to ask now since Windows 7 is a long ways off, but I want to get some ideas so I don?t make the move now to Vista and regret it to find out Windows 7 is the way to go. What?s your opinion? What would you do, go to Vista or wait for Windows 7? All feedback is welcome. Thank you.

--Submitted by Jerome T.

Here are some featured member answers to get you started, but
please read up on all the advice and suggestions that our
members have contributed to this member's question.

.... and how long will you wait? --Submitted by Old Dog New Tricks

I would wait at least a few months... --Submitted by John.Wilkinson

Should You Wait For Windows 7 --Submitted by waytron

If you have some additional recommendations, thoughts, or opinions for Jerome please post them here. Please keep the discussion civil and on topic--this is not a "Go buy a Mac discussion!" Windows 7 Beta testers your input would be invaluable. Thanks everyone!
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I would wait at least a few months...
by John.Wilkinson / January 9, 2009 8:33 AM PST

Depending on your perceived urgency for a new computer, you may consider waiting closer to Windows 7's release. First and foremost, Windows 7 is, as Steve Ballmer described, 'Vista only better' with increased performance, additional functionality, and greater ease of use while maintaining both the same hardware requirements and existing software and hardware compatibility. If you purchase a system now you will undoubtedly desire an upgrade to Windows 7 in less than a year's time, although at that point you would have to pay an extra $100-$300 for it. Therefore, unless you have an immediate need or desire to replace your existing system I would recommend waiting on your anticipated purchase.

I would also like to note that there are two unconfirmed yet realistic rumors circulating. The first is that Windows 7 will ship to the general public before the end of the year, making its debut before the holiday shoping season, which Microsoft sorely missed upon Windows Vista's release. The second is that those who purchase computers running Windows Vista July 2009 onward will receive a free upgrade to the corresponding Windows 7 edition upon its release. Therefore, you may only have to wait six months before making your acquisition rather than the nearly-full year till Windows 7's release.

Regardless of the accuracy of those rumors, however, the computer manufacturers and stores will offer greater discounts as Windows 7's release date approaches as they attempt to liquidate their stock of Vista-based systems. Those potential deals alone may make the wait worthy, and the free upgrade to Windows 7 only sweetens the pot.

The ultimate decision is yours, but I wouldn't make a snap decision at this point.

John Wilkinson
Microsoft MVP
Windows 7 Tester

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by broncopeter / January 10, 2009 8:09 AM PST

Load Windows XP to start with, so fare the best system from MicroSoft, then upgrade to 7 later when 7 has had the bugs ironed out after about 6 to 12 months.

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Agreed, there is another option
by prypkema / January 18, 2009 3:07 PM PST
In reply to: VISTA OR 7

I totally agree. Microsoft is the biggest of sinners when it comes to releasing products before they are ready for most folks. Vista was another clear example. Why pay big $ for something with so many initial bugs. Remember Windows Me? Go with another XP machine and wait 'till SP1 comes out for Win 7.

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xp just plain old works
by puma / January 19, 2009 1:22 AM PST

win7 will bridge some of the gap between OS X 10.5 as it will incorporate some of the features that Mac OS X already had for years. the only concern now is the stability so i agree i would wait, but i would wait til sp2 as MS has an unfortunate history that it repeats over and over again by squeezing $ out of consumers and corporate customers while ignoring the technical aspects of OS security design. by then, win7 will be be out-performed by Mac OS X 6 or 7... MS please spend more money on R&D and less on marketing!

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by jfalsken / January 16, 2009 12:04 PM PST

The question you might be asking instead is; how much of my other equipment will need new drivers in order to use them in Vista. Some printers and scanners donot have drivers that will allow you to use them in Vista. Some companies that do have drivers will charge you extra for the updated driver themselves. Hp being one that will charge for the Vista driver and some equipment do not have a driver or a work around even in the works. If you have a home network and don't know how to set up the network using Vista and Xp machines. You may find it will not work together well enough. On a network Xp and Vista don't like to work well and sharing of files over the network can be troublesome. Vista has a little backgound program that will not allow you to del a file and treats you as a dummy by restoring the file for you, without giving you a choice in the matter. So much for removing viruses or old files on a Vista machine. The help files seldom answer the problem and in many cases takes you to a totally unrelated subject rather than answer you problem. As far as Vista goes it is once again a operating system that requires us all to Microsoft's beta testers for products they market as working versions, when they are not!

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Scanner Drivers
by rxtxau / January 16, 2009 10:00 PM PST
In reply to: Wait

Although it costs, a way to run older scanners on newer operating systems is to get VueScan. This supports most scanners regardless of age & often actually gives improved performance than the manufacturers drivers as well as being quick & efficient.

You can try it free to see if it works although scans done during trial have a disfiguring watermark.

From memory the cost is $40 for the basic version & about double that for the professional version with extra features & updates for life. You can pay the extra to update from the basic to professional.

Since it works with almost all scanners out there, you can use it with what ever new scanner you get as well so the cost isn't wasted when you upgrade.

I've found it works great.

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smart thing to due...
by puma / January 17, 2009 6:33 AM PST
In reply to: Scanner Drivers

smart thing to due is to wait as vista is still not as stable & secure as win xp and win7 will not be released and be ready for prime time until at least 2011. win xp is fine for your 7yr old daughter as well as 99.44% of corporate customers. the goal is to have a system that not only works, but one that it also productive. think of your OS as a tool. if the tool does not do what is expected, don't use it

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by santuccie / January 19, 2009 7:07 AM PST
In reply to: smart thing to due...

Actually, Windows Vista is one of the most secure mainstream desktop operating systems around, even with UAC disabled (not recommended). When UAC is armed, one can actually forego antivirus and surf the Web with impunity; even the latest variants of Sinowal can't get past it. UAC is also good for an alert to an infected e-mail attachment, as a request for root privileges to open a simple media file is a red flag. That said, it's best you scan all e-mail attachments at VirusTotal, as more malware are written for Windows than for any other platform. And if Trojans can run in other platforms without root privileges, they might find a way to do it in Vista someday. But still, three years is one heck of a feat. Vista is <b>that</b> tough.

Antivirus, antispyware, and HIPS are some of the biggest culprits in terms of system instability. Eliminate them, and you can enjoy a stress-free computing experience. Vista is also less "delicate" than XP and 2K, as you probably won't be able to mess it up by installing/uninstalling software. The biggest problem with Vista is weightiness. And unless you are buying a machine with a dedicated graphics processor, Core 2 Duo or higher, and 2 GB or more of RAM, I recommend waiting for Windows 7. If you will be purchasing a system that meets these requirements, then you could go ahead with Vista if you like. Personally, though, I'd say wait until after July 1. That way, you get a free upgrade to Windows 7.

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Different worm
by santuccie / January 19, 2009 9:03 AM PST

There are a lot of nasty Windows parasites out there now, but this isn't the one I was talking about. The latest variants of the Sinowal super-Trojan, called Mebroot, will actually infect the MBR and fly under the radar. GMER is the only utility I know of that can detect it, by locating a copy of the original MBR on sector 62.

Once again, Vista's UAC blocks this, as well as the Conficker worm. I use XP on all my machines at present, but protect them using the lockdown method at Invincible Windows. Cheers!

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Just for substantiation
by santuccie / January 19, 2009 9:23 AM PST
In reply to: Different worm

I just found another article on Conficker entirely by chance: On this page, you will find this quote: <i>"It can be accomplished with an unauthenticated connection in Windows XP Pro and Windows Server 2003, but requires an authenticated connection in Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008."</i>

I wasn't even looking for this, but it was an interesting coincidence. Cheers!

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by puma / January 20, 2009 4:52 AM PST

"The replication methods are quite good. It's using multiple mechanisms, including USB sticks, so if someone got an infection from one company and then takes his USB stick to another firm, it could infect that network too. It also downloads lots of content and creating new variants though this mechanism."

looks like it's the worm that is invincible to windows, go figure?

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You have to be able to run it
by santuccie / January 20, 2009 7:30 AM PST
In reply to: substantiated

Remember the adage: If you can install software, then you can install malicious software. When you disable access to the system files, including the command utility, you cannot install any software. The only way to install software at this point is with root authentication.

In Windows Vista, you will get a prompt before the worm can autorun. If you had nothing set to autorun beforehand, then you have a red flag; otherwise, you can tell by the filename. With UAC armed, you still have to authorize the worm to run. It's not "invincible to Windows," even from a local drive.

With the lockdown method on XP, the worm will start to launch, then run into a brick wall as soon as it tries to declare a command. You have to use the "Run As" command to install anything, and supply the password to an account that is not locked down (it's just like sudo under Linux).

I think you're of a mistaken impression that the big difference between older MS operating systems and their competitors is that the competitors magically have a higher quality of code, that somehow blocks infection while allowing legitimate software to install.

I want you to consider that theory for a moment: how does the operating system tell the difference? It doesn't (see adage above). The reason Windows XP is so vulnerable to infection is because it defaults to full administrative privileges. This is easy enough to change. And with Vista, it's already done for you.

I'm not here to bash operating systems. All I'm saying is that Windows can be setup to work the way other platforms work out of the box. It places a burden on the user, no doubt. But for those who need Windows, this is the trade-off.

Since I launched the Web site in August of 2007, I have yet to see a single parasite get past my defenses. And I don't simply scan with some AV engine; I know how to check system file integrity, view network traffic, and pull up hidden processes and anomalous registry keys.

If my method were obsolete, I would have taken down the site and switched to Linux. As it were, my method stands. I offer what I consider to be the best of both worlds. If your conception of Utopia is one without any Microsoft software, then your choice is easy; Apple only releases one version at a time. But this is a Windows forum, and we <i>can</i> avoid infection without emigrating. I've been doing it with Windows XP since October of 2006. No antivirus, no antispyware, no HIPS, no constant freezes and crashes, <b>and</b> no infections.

If you're not convinced, then I'd invite you to try it for yourself on an XP machine, if you know somebody with a unit you can play with. Until then, be assured that my desktop unit has seen just about everything there is to see, as I am running autosurfs in 14 tabs nearly 24/7, and have been doing so for at least a year. It remains squeaky clean, fast, and fully operational. Now, can we get along?

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"Run As"
by santuccie / January 20, 2009 7:48 AM PST

By the way, the "Run As" command only works in XP and Vista, not in 2K. The reason I haven't added this to the tutorials is because certain functions, such as Control Panel functions, don't work with "Run As" unless you go directly to where the file is located. I intend to add this information eventually, but am planning on compiling a directory of paths and shortcut options that is as close to exhaustive as possible. For the time being, you access the "Run As" command by right-clicking on an executable file.

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Vista Or Windows 7
by baghermbm / January 22, 2009 3:14 AM PST
In reply to: "Run As"

I'm not yet experience about Windows 7? Is it good or bad?
help me! I should select a windows for my PC.
Thank You.

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by santuccie / January 22, 2009 7:43 AM PST
In reply to: "Run As"

To baghermbm,

My recommendation is that you buy a new computer with Windows Vista after July 1. This way, you have a choice between two operating systems. I haven't tested Windows 7 yet, but the feedback I've been reading is positive. The consensus seems to be that it is faster and more backwards compatible than Vista.

After you get your new machine, I suggest you search Google periodically for news articles concerning Windows 7, and see what they say. If people seem to agree that it's better, then you should take advantage of your free upgrade when it hits the market. If not, then hopefully Vista will continue to mature as XP has done.

I've downloaded the public beta for Windows 7, and backed up Windows XP on my laptop. Once I've copied all the files to an external hard drive, I will install Windows 7 and give it a go. Then I can come back and tell you more. Cheers!

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by puma / January 21, 2009 9:37 AM PST

the big difference between MS operating systems and *nix boxes is that the *nix boxes do not magically have a higher quality of code, that somehow blocks infection while allowing legitimate software to install. there is a reason why *nix boxes have higher quality codes, security measures are implemented at the core base during the initial phases of OS design. security should never be considered a feature, it's a necessity...

i've seen windows locked down so secure that the machine is rendered useless. what good is that? Sad

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by santuccie / January 21, 2009 10:05 AM PST
In reply to: difference

My machine can do anything I want to do with it. The only difference is that I have to authenticate when I want to install something. This is exactly the same way on any *nix box, whether you install from a package or through the repository.

Apparently Microsoft sees your point of view, that security should be considered a necessity. That's why it is now implemented out of the box. But locking down XP doesn't make it any less functional than any *nix box, or Mac, for that matter.

Once my security measures are in place, security ceases to be an issue. And without security monitors (e.g. antivirus, antispyware) to hound other processes, stability ceases to be an issue. What's wrong with that?

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(NT) Private Profile.
by John.Wilkinson / January 16, 2009 3:01 PM PST
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Windows 7
by johncihs / January 16, 2009 8:34 PM PST

I just loaded the beta of Windows 7 onto a old laptop. Its specs are a 1.6 GHZ Celeron processor with 1.5 GB of RAM.

I have found that the laptop loads the OS as quickly as it did with XP home on it. Also, Windows 7 did not have the compatibility problems that I experienced with Vista. It easily saw my wireless router and connected to the internet. My HP 6540 printer was recognized by the Windows 7.

The tools that come with Windows 7 make it an easier OS to manage. With the short time that I spent with Windows 7, I will bypass Vista and wait for the release of the retail Windows 7. In the meantime XP will work for me.

Yes, I am using Windows 7 beta now.

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Go for windows 7, if you can wait.
by medialover / January 17, 2009 1:52 PM PST

Why would you purchase something that will be out of date in a few MONTHS? That was a thought-stimulating question; you might need a new computer fast and urgently, and then you should get whatever you can get your hands on. But if you can, you should wait for the better, newer operating system.

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by puma / January 21, 2009 8:26 AM PST

well said. many people fall for the marketing campaign bull on new features and stability yet it always materializes much later than the original release

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Buy XP on the cheap...
by yslutskiy / January 30, 2009 10:50 PM PST

The latest word on Windows 7 is it's got a lot of the problems people hate about Vista. 1) It is a memory hog beyond belief! 2) It is annoyingly intursive 3)You'll spend far too much time dealing with the fixes and updates. For all this there is little gain. I've been plagued with Vista for 2 years now and if given the chance then or now I'd buy the most computing power I could get on some stable platform. XP was fine.

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Very easy answer!!!
by clafore / January 9, 2009 11:41 AM PST

Go with whatever you like/want now. If you decide to upgrade to W7 in the future, the option will be available to you. In the meantime, enjoy your new computer!

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I would not wait.
by edd3800 / January 9, 2009 11:46 AM PST

I been using Vista now for over a year and really find it problem free. I know several people who have bought new computers in the past 6 months and they are all happy with Vista. The only problem I have with Vista is you really need a lot of Ram for it to run right. At least 2gb, but I would say get 3gb of Ram. The problem I see with waiting for Windows 7 is every time Windows has a new OS it usually take a year before it is running smooth. That has been the case with every OS they have done. So your 1 year wait could be 2 years. It does not sound like your computer will last that long.

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Windows 7 or Vista now?
by snowcrashuk / January 9, 2009 11:54 AM PST

Anyone buying a new PC or thinking of buying one shouldn't really bother about waiting for windows 7 in my opinion, a system that will run Vista will also run Windows 7, the compatability issues people faced when going from XP to Vista won't happen with windows 7 as it's based around vista. the main consideration would be to get as good/powerful a system as you can afford running vista then when Windows 7 comes out you can install that on your system from disc. Better to for 64bit and also wait and see what it's like when it hits the streets, Vista had problems until updates and fixes were released but now I have no problems with it! I'm running Vista Ultimate 64bit with water cooled Quad CPU and 8Gb RAM, but for me to upgrade to windows 7 I'd need 64bit to use all the RAM i have ( 32bit operating systems will only recognise 4Gb system Memory MAX). I'll be upgrading to windows 7, perhaps not straight away, but eventually! Happy

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Vista 32-bit memory specs
by ChgoBrian / January 10, 2009 11:20 AM PST

If you did your research, you would find that vista ultimate 32-bit supports 8 Gig's of memory (as well as Vista Business, not either of the home editions). Vista Ultimate 64-bit supports up to 128 Gig's of memory (again with Business and not with home editions). If you can only run 4 Gig's of memory with Vista 32-bit, I would look into upgrading your motherboard BIOS, at it is likely giving you the limitation.

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That is incorrect...
by John.Wilkinson / January 10, 2009 11:58 AM PST

The 4GB limit is a 32-bit limitation, with around 3.5GB typically being accessible by the OS/user. It is NOT possible for 32-bit versions of Windows Vista, Windows XP, Mac OS X, Ubuntu, etc. to support 8GB of physical memory (RAM).


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Actually it is correct
by msgale / January 10, 2009 1:37 PM PST
In reply to: That is incorrect...

A 32 bit version of Windows can address more than 4 GBytes of RAM. The method is call AWE (Advanced Windowing Extensions). It is of limited use since both the Operating must be enabled and the application must use the AWE API. SQL Server does. Why back when, PCs used the 8088 processor they were limited to addressing one megabyte of RAM. Using Expanded and Extended memory allowed properly implemented applications to used additional memory.

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