Windows XP vs Windows Vista

Since getting my HP Pavilion Entertainment Laptop back from the repairers: Warrenty repair of HP laptop dv62000 – wireless network problem, I decided to use it as an opportunity to reinstall the OS.

I’d already upgraded the laptop to 2GB of memory (from the original 1GB), and I’d recently bought a 250GB disk drive to replace the 160GB which came with the laptop. As I moved to the larger hard disk drive I decided to reinstall Windows and add Linux in a dual boot (and Virtual machine) setup.

The decision was whether to install Windows XP or Windows Vista. The computer came with Windows Vista, which is in the form of a restore disk only. In fact it didn’t include a restore disk, but it did have the option to make one, the HP restore is a partition on the hard disk. I do however have a full (non OEM) version of Windows XP Professional which I could install instead. Here is some of the pros and cons relative to keeping Windows Vista.

Pros for Windows Vista Home Premium Edition vs. Windows XP Professional

  • Windows Vista Looks Good
  • Includes media centre (Home Premium and above only)
  • It’s the latest version so has a long life (Windows XP is getting nearer to end of life)
  • Security is a bit better
  • Errmmm – that’s about it

Cons for Windows Vista Home Premium Edition vs. Windows XP Professional

  • It is slower than Windows XP – much much slower
  • It is not particularly stable – despite what Microsoft claim Windows XP is more stable than Vista from my experience
  • It doesn’t run some software requiring either a payfor upgrade (e.g. Nero) or won’t run at all (including many games)
  • Some hardware doesn’t work – the laptop is Vista ready, but some of my peripherals don’t have Vista support

Based on this and particularly the issue of not running software I decided to go for Windows XP and remove the Windows Vista that came with the laptop. Unfortunately I found that life wasn’t that simple and that not only does HP not support Windows XP, but there aren’t device drivers available for many of the components. More about that in another post, but it looks like I’m stuck with Vista (and Linux of course 🙂 ).