Smoothwall Firewall project

Thursday 23 July 2009

Windows 7 a lot of money for not very much

I keep around an old windows XP virtual machine for things like CV's that agents will only take in word format, and I haven't been bothered to change it over to Google docs yet, but I will. So this VM gets powered up now and again on my Ubuntu Desktop to do this one task, and then it gets put away again.

So I thought I would take the Windows 7 7100 build for a spin and try it in VirtualPC, as I had already built a test VMware one. Well, the install went pretty well and once it had rebooted I was sat with an empty desktop, with no applications again. I fired up IE8 so I could download Mozilla Firefox, and it forced me to go to the Microsoft home page. I then downloaded some anti-virus software - AVG - and installed the Virtual PC drivers, another reboot.

I finally installed all the Microsoft patches and another reboot. It must have taken me about 45mins in total, to end up with a working virtual instance, and all I had installed was a browser and the anti-virus. Now that's OK, as I will put on my copy of Office, and I can continue to edit those CV's, but I then got to thinking about the point of this.

With virtualization and the standard hardware reference model that you get, I don't ever need to upgrade my XP virtual image, and it will continue to work until I can be bothered to move it to Google Apps. I know you won't be able to get security updates etc, but then I don't use it for seriously surfing the web anyway. I can also run it with no network connected if I wanted, and isolate it from the outside world , simply for it's legacy value.

So the question here is, why would I possibly spend £200 on Windows 7, the answer is I won't. When the RC runs out next year, then I will just delete the VM and that might be the driver I need to move over to Google apps completely.

I think a lot of people need to think very hard about upgrading to Windows 7, it might be new and shiny, but what exactly are you getting for you hard earned money. In my opinion not a great deal. Especially when you could go and buy a brand new Acer Netbook for £149 with all the software you could want, and spend the rest on treats for yourself.


The Branded Marquis said...

funny. i keep a virtual windows xp around on my ubuntu system for this very same purpose.

looking forward to chrome os next year, the continued development of linux distros and new offerings from apple. great competition for microsoft and consumers are being offered some excellent choices.

Codfather said...

Yes, I agree. The winner in all of this is the user, and it will push them all to offer better value and more features. If Microsoft just had the field to themselves, they could charge £450 for the OS, and people would be forced to take it. I personally don't buy Apple Mac's as they are more expensive, but it is good kit and the OS is compelling. Linux on Dell just works so well, I don't have a reason to change.