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Recently, I’ve been toying with the idea of shucking Windows XP and flirting with the idea of purchasing Windows 7. I picked up Windows XP with a new system close to the last days it was still available.

Talking the matter over with a friend, led to a conversation that went something like this:

Them: I don’t get it. You’re really considering Windows 7?

Me: I’ve heard some good things about it.

Them: You’ve also heard some good things about Vista. We all have. That didn’t stop it being what it is.

Me: Good point. Okay, so I’m hearing better things.

Them: Which means you’re actually considering spending US$400 on it?

Me: I was hoping it’d be cheaper, actually.

Them: It’s not. Why would you even consider spending that money, when Windows has never really worked right for you?

…

And that’s really where things really bog down. She’s right. While Windows has mostly worked, it hasn’t really worked well, and only really delivered what it was promising two versions previously.

There’s not really any need to catalogue Windows’ issues extensively, I’ve pretty much seen them all over the years. If there’s something that could jump out and bite off the tip of my finger or set fire to my underclothes, mess up my files or launch a CD across the room like a weapon, it’s done that.

(I’m actually not kidding about the CD thing)

Yet there I was, considering paying regional monopoly pricing for Windows 7. For around that price I could run out and get a PS3, instead, I suppose.

It’s not like I don’t have my eyes open. I expect to be getting something that doesn’t quite work right and is at its most hindering when it tries to be most helpful, and frankly I’ve already got that with Windows XP, and had that with each previous edition.

Take US$400 (the local selling price) and add the fact that I’m already more or less maxed out on drive usage, and will probably also be looking at a memory upgrade. That’s not a price-tag, it’s an investment.

And you know? I still can’t quite figure out why I’ve even been considering it. After all, for the most part, in my normal workflows, Windows is the stuff that sits between the tasks I want to do. When was the last time I even saw the Windows XP desktop? Not for quite some time, that’s for sure. It’s buried down there below all these other tasks. You know, the stuff I’m actually doing.

The Start Menu? The Task Bar? Haven’t used either of those in a very long time either. I’ve long since gotten replacement tools for both of them.

I’ve been using Windows XP for so long now, that I’ve replaced virtually every visible part of it with some other software.

What’s left is down there, somewhere underneath. Still causing the same old issues (you’d think, for example, that Windows could wake up a barely-used hard-drive without freezing every task and application for 5-15 seconds, wouldn’t you? But no).

So, what do I really get for my money? DirectX 11, and XP-mode (to make sure my old stuff keeps working as if I hadn’t actually spent all that money on an upgrade)? Is that really all?



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