30 January 2007

Vista

Amidst all the hype about vista's launch, a critical thing has happened. The DRM in Vista, which was touted as a major improvement to the operating system itself and runs at an operating system level, has been cracked. More details are available Here. As the author says,

"_but as long as it’s in kernel-mode, and I’ve got code in kernel-mode, I can patch it._"

Seemingly simple isn't it ? As long as there is no clear demarcation of users this would always be a problem for windows.

Also look at what the author says:

"It’s quite ironic — Microsoft claims driver signing is to fight malware and increase system stability, so if I get sued under DMCA, wouldn’t that be an admission that driver signing is a “anti-copyright infringment tool”?."

In another DRM related news, the Defective by Design folks protested against vista's DRM in front of the place where vista was supposed to launch. Details are available Here.

One really fails to understand why M$ took all the trouble of putting in DRM and stuff and that too at an operating system level !

PC world has carried two vista articles. One about why you should switch. Read it Here. A simple glance tells you that most of the reasons seem to be things like GUI and stuff. Eye candy. The author says better wireless. What better ? How is it better ? Are there any statistics to say it is better ?

The same PC world also has an article saying why it is better to adopt a wait and watch. Read it Here. The author quotes from various websites of sound cards, graphics cards and other peripherals about the availability of device drivers for vista.

Now in case you want to upgrade, i suggest that you either read that article, or check out the microsoft website Here. Chances are, most of the old devices you have will not be compatible with vista. And yet, the biggest irony is that microsoft cliams that the vista is supported by a wide variety of devices.

And finally, even if you have been a long time Windows user, try running Ubuntu or Kubuntu linux distributions. You will see a pretty much similar interface, and most of the tools that an average home user uses, like firefox webbrowser, music player, skype, etc are already available for it. Plus, the added advantage is that you never need to invest for a anti-virus software.

This website gives you the equivalent softwares for the ones you are comfortable on windows.

Update-1: Engadget has carried a Two Part article to help you decide whether to upgrade to vista.

Update-2: Tom's Hardware has an excellent comparison of Xp Vs Vista Here.

To quote from their results:

1. "Windows Vista clearly is not a great new performer when it comes to executing single applications at maximum speed."
2. "Overall, applications performed as expected, or executed slightly slower than under Windows XP."
3. "There are some programs that showed deeply disappointing performance."
4. "We clearly advise against replacing Windows XP with Windows Vista if you need to run professional graphics applications."
5. "We are disappointed that CPU-intensive applications such as video transcoding with XviD (DVD to XviD MPEG4) or the MainConcept H.264 Encoder performed 18% to nearly 24% slower in our standard benchmark scenarios."
6. "Our hopes that Vista might be able to speed up applications are gone."
7. "No new Windows release has been able to offer more application performance than its predecessor."

Now that we have some properly documented results with benchmarks, you know what to do. Stick with XP or move to Linux. Take a bow, Steve Ballmer and others. Five years and five hundred millions of code later, the improvement is marginal or non-existent.

K.Shyam

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Posted by Shyam Krishnaswamy at 8:15 PM

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