We've just celebrated the fifth birthday of the venerable Windows XP. But unlike human five-year-olds, who've usually learned to stop soiling themselves and can contribute to society in some small measure, Bill Gates' OS offspring is just about to cash in its pension.
"Yippee," you might say, drooling at the prospect of its successor, just been slagged off by the top brass of one of the biggest PC makers on the planet.. "The king is dead, long live the king," you may add, gawking at the sexy leaked pictures of Windows Vista packaging you see to your right. But stop a minute to consider the fact that Microsoft's great white hope has
Jim Wong, senior VP of Acer, has said the 'Home Basic' version of Vista -- the one MS is planning to sell to you, the ordinary man in the street, for £155 -- will be so basic that users will be forced to buy the £190 Premium version to see any real benefit at all.
Wong told UK computer magazine PC Pro "if you get Basic, you won't feel it at all," referring to an absence of stuff actually worth owning. "There's no [Aero] graphics, no Media Center, no remote control," he added.
Our more sceptical readers may argue that Wong's comments are aimed at encouraging users to buy Acer computers with the more expensive version of the OS, and they could be right. After all, even the most basic version of Vista purportedly features better security and stability than XP. We'd counter that security and stability are 'features' that should have been present in the first place, and they can't be guaranteed until the evil hellspawn that is the hacker masses descend upon it and test it to destruction.
Personally, we don't want to upgrade to a new version of Windows just so it's more secure, or cleverer in a way that we can't show off to our mates. If all we wanted was security we'd have yanked out our Ethernet cables, cancelled our online banking accounts and joined the smelly Linux dorks or Shoreditch-living, oddly coiffured Mac fanboys years ago.
We want the flashy new Vista additions, we want the Media Center stuff Microsoft has been trying to force down our throats for the last two years -- and we want them now. We don't want a £155 security patch.
What do you think? Leave your thoughts in the comments below. -RR