Save Windows XP

It seems Windows XP is being phased out:

Fans of the six-year-old operating system set to be pulled off store shelves in June have papered the Internet with blog posts, cartoons and petitions recently. They trumpet its superiority to Windows Vista, Microsoft’s latest PC operating system, whose consumer launch last January was greeted with lukewarm reviews.

No matter how hard Microsoft works to persuade people to embrace Vista, some just can’t be wowed. They complain about Vista’s hefty hardware requirements, its less-than-peppy performance, occasional incompatibility with other programs and devices and frequent, irritating security pop-up windows.
“You really can’t make 69 percent of your installed base unhappy with you,” he said.

This troubles me, too. My wife has Vista on her laptop, and I’m amazed at how it makes a brand new processor feel slow. And how often Internet Explorer 7 has problems.

I don’t feel like I missed a thing when I skipped over Windows ME and 2000. I kind of have that same feeling towards Vista.

Maybe I should be happy. After all, it creates more work for us software folks. More work, but less real progress.

Many Windows apps run under Linux via Wine, or ported to Linux via a variety of tools. Is it time to (re)evaluate?

It’s a good time to think about your criteria: What do you need? What would tempt you to switch?

Stepping into Linux can’t be done casually. You may be trading one set of unknowns for another. Steep new learning curves. You can buy support, but how much will you need? How much will you spend in the end?

I’m amazed at how far Linux has come, but I still don’t think it has caught up as a full-featured desktop. And what flavor? Ubuntu? OpenSUSE? Xandros? Red Hat? CentOS?