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"98, XP, Vista, Vienna+" - I need your Help!

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Can someone tell me what is the "intrinsic" difference between
Microsoft Windows 98 SE , XP Pro SP2 , Vista Ultimate, and the prototype
that is Vienna+ ?

This may seem too simple a question, but what is the "core essential
difference" between each of these OS's beyond and beneath the superficial
differences that we are all accustomed too? A technical explanation would be
most welcome.

One thing that forever puzzles me is this: Why did Microsoft release Windows
98 in 1998 and then just THREE years later release Windows XP in 2001. But
from Windows XP to Vista we had to wait a whole SEVEN years. And yet, now
Microsoft will release Vienna only 2 years after Vista?! What is the pattern
here? Why did Microsoft wait so long to come up with Vista after XP was
released, but in such a hurry to release Vienna right after Vista?

Vista to XP is a HUGE jump, a jump that many are not ready or willing to
make for many different reasons. One would think that by 2009 just when the
general public has barely gotten adjusted and comfortable with Vista
Microsoft would be out of its mind to release Vienna and basically force/PUSH
everyone to upgrade again, to another so called "faster"/"better"/"more
secure"/ etc OS? And thus the headache begins even before the last one
cleared? Why?? Why when XP works just fine should we make the transition to
Vista only just to be told once again that its obsolete and we NEED TO HAVE
the latest and greatest shiny brand new OS called Vienna from M$FT?

But onto may last and real reason for this posting... I believe IMHO that
Vista is Windows ME (Mistake Edition) II Reincarnated... For this reason, I
would like, to the maximum extent possible, to stay with Windows XP
Professional SP2 & SP3 (?) for as long as possible, perhaps until 2014 when
Microsoft Officially drops all support for XP. The only way I would switch to
a new MSFT OS is if in 2009 Vienna turns out to be an elegant, efficient,
powerful, intuitve and truly robust Operating System of the future. I
generally like technology and advancement. I watch Star Trek. But The way
Microsoft is going I have my doubts, but if ME->XP sets an precedent,
perhaps, just perhaps Vienna would be the successor to XP whilst Vista is the
successor to ME.

I am hoping in 2009 Microsoft will actually "WOW" us with a 'perfect' (near
perfect) OS that is Vienna. Vista is really, well lets just say I don't like
it much and my opinion of it isn't going to change because of a service pack
or two, especially when Vienna is already on the horizon and we all know how
fast MSFT sunsets a previous version of Windows the moment the next comes out
so it can Pimp it out and whore the pockets of Billy Bill Gates and Ballmer.

Until then I am sticking tightly to Windows XP Professional SP2 PERFORMANCE
EDITION. But the QUESTION is how? How can this be accomplished?

Will XP still be a valid OS in 2012? What if I buy a new computer in 2010
and want to reformat with an XP OEM? Will there still be support for older XP
drivers from manufacturers in 2010/2012?? If DELL/HP/etc doesn't support
anything XP by then, can I build my own PC to the specs where each and every
hardware component is fully compatible with XP and drivers exists for XP??
I've heard some Bios manufactures are in bed with Microsoft and some newer
Motherboards will only run on Vista?!? This is bad news for me... Is this
going to be more and more of a prevailing trend?? Is there any way around

To conclude, I know the XP OS will always be around, so to speak, but will
it still be a generally usable OS into 2010-2015 era? 98 is still around, but
we don't generally consider it an usable OS even for daily use purposes
anymore. Especially if I buy a new computer in 2008-2010, how
practical/possible is it for me to reformat and install XP and get all the
hardware and drivers working? Will most software companies such as adobe,
autodesk, norton, etc drop software support of XP? (ie will all programs only
be written and compatible for Vista in 2009?, or will they still have XP
backwards compatibility built in?)

What about games?
If I stick with XP it means I will stick to DX9. I don't care about DX10,
but my ONLY worry is it games in the future drop all support for DX9 then I
won't be able to play new games at all no matter how fast my video adapter is
because XP has no support for DX10. Will this mean I must switch to Vista to
play any games at all??? And now the new "VISTA ONLY" games, Halo 2 I don't
care about, but what happens when the next version of Microsoft Flight
Simulator is VISTA ONLY? I'm a hardcore simulation fan, but as of now, I'll
pass on both Vista and FSX as they are of similiar quality and construction.
FS9 on Win XP is smooth as silk, FSX on Vista is NOT a good combination,
trust me... If other software, appware, and gaming companies follow's
Microsoft's lead and start making VISTA ONLY games or DX10 ONLY games, then
I'm pretty much out of luck? What happens when newer versions of 3ds max,
photoshop, autocad, Matlab, cadence, etcetc all start dropping XP support one
by one??? Maybe Vienna will come soon to save the day? How an I extend the
life of my XP for as long as Boeing has extended the life of the 747??

Someone please help enlighten me!


I did some online reading about Windows Vienna and found this:

In the past 20 years, the Microsoft Windows operating system has accumulated
old code libraries that brought it to the size it has today, 2.5 GB and about
50 million lines of code (Windows Vista). These old code libraries consume
resources and are often the targets of security exploits. The best way to
avoid such problems, is to start from scratch, which is close to what
Microsoft plans to do with Windows Vienna. Windows Vienna will represent the
start of a different generation of operating systems, bringing in new
concepts and support for new types of hardware, along with a better security
and a modular approach, which will allow future versions of Windows to be
built more easily on Windows Vienna's engine.It is also likely that the
future success of Microsoft's products will be strongly decided by the
success of the new generation operating system.

"Microsoft has announced it will be released in 2009, it has been publicly
stated that the team that designed the Ribbon interface for Microsoft Office
2007 will play an active part in redesigning Windows Explorer and possibly
other UI elements. In that sense, we can expect that the user interface
paradigms will change significantly. Perhaps, even, the powerful
organizational capability of the Ribbon interface will permit Windows to
adopt significant new functionality."

"We're going to look at a fundamental piece of enabling technology. Maybe
it's hypervisors. I don't know what it is" [...] "Maybe it's a new user
interface paradigm for consumers."

"That means that right now when you move from one PC to another, you've got
to install apps on each one, do upgrades on each one. Moving information
between them is very painful. We can use Live Services to know what you're
interested in. So even if you drop by a [public] kiosk or somebody else's PC,
we can bring down your home page, your files, your fonts, your favorites and
those things. So that's kind of the user-centric thing that Live Services can
enable. [Also,] in Vista, things got a lot better with [digital] ink and
speech, but by the next release there will be a much bigger bet. Students
won't need textbooks; they can just use these tablet devices. Parallel
computing is pretty important for the next release. We'll make it so that a
lot of the high-level graphics will be just built into the operating system.
So we've got a pretty good outline.""

It's about time Microsoft cleared the board and started from scratch. I hope
Vienna becomes as perfect of an OS as possible, but I dread the OS being tied
intricately with Microsoft LIVE Services..... No offense, but I don't want my
life to be intertwined with Microsoft, I just want an Operating System that
does its job, that works without me needing to babysite it and feed it's UAC
"yes, I'm sure" confirmations every five seconds. The whole point of an OS is
to be as invisible as possible, like air is critical to our survival but we
never notice it, until its gone. The same way, the zen of operating system is
that it does everything in the background, transparent, clean, invisible.
Vista is anything but....

I'm also not to sure about the RIBBON interface. I hope a more intuitive
interface is incorporated in Vienna. I have used Office 2007 and gotten
around to learning the Ribbon interface and truth be told I don't think its
that great. It's not that efficient or effective and it really doesn't save
me much if any time at all. What is so wrong with the classical menu
interface and the proven way of doing things? Why change everything around
when it was working fine? I really don't get it, the ribbon interface isn't
saving me any time or making my Office Experience any more enjoyable.

Bill Gates comment really make me wonder what world he is living in:

"Students won't need textbooks; they can just use these tablet devices. "

And why would be need Vienna to accomplish this? Tablet Devices have existed
I don't see how Vienna will change their adoption to high schools and
colleges. Somehow I don't see textbooks being replaced by Tablet PC's anytime
soon. Even if it did happen, XP would have done the job. No need for Vista or
Vienna to do that...

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