I ran MS Windows 2000 for several years after MS Windows XP was released. Why? At over $200 WinXP was just too damned expensive! I’ll drop $50 to $100 for prior MS operating systems. It was fun to have the latest bells and whistles, and worth it to me, but at $200+ that’s just too huge a financial commitment.
Add to that the genuine copy crap you have to put up with just really turned me off to upgrading. I waited and waited for Microsoft to drop the price of WinXP Pro for literally years. Finally I was able to find a legitimate copy online for $130. Windows VISTA was released and to make upgrading even more unappealing Microsoft introduced the concept of tying the software and hardware together. You could buy an upgrade but then you couldn’t move that copy of Windows to a new computer. Perhaps I am uncommon but I’d rather spend a few dollars more building my own system than buy a ready built computer. Normally I just upgrade the motherboard, CPU, memory and graphics adapter, keeping the hard drive(s). If I wanted to do this I would have to buy the full priced version of VISTA. Thankfully VISTA wasn’t something that I would have wanted to buy anyway.
Windows 7, on the other hand, seems to be a better release. It still has some of the negatives of VISTA but since my computer at work is VISTA I’ve learned many of the subtle changes. My main reason for wanting to move to Windows 7 is th 64 bit architecture. Since I like playing around with Oracle’s VirtualBox I would like to have more system memory than the 32 bit OS allows (>4GB). After I was recently unable to do a podcast because my WinXP computer was infected with a JAVA born virus I thought I really needed to do something different. Something that didn’t require a multi-hour process of research and repair, or the seemingly shorter process of reloading WinXP. Seemingly because of the hours and hours of reloading and reconfiguring the software that has been loaded and used for literally years on my current PC.
Oracle’s has VirtualBox versions for Windows or LINUX. I thought, what if I could run Linux as my host system and run WinXP Pro as one of poientially many guest systems. Host refers to the primary operating system that “boots” when the computer starts up, and guest is the virtual computer and operating system than runs on the host system. Linux is free, and 64 bit means I could run many Gigabytes of memory. I already have WinXP Pro, and if I had the ability to do what I needed to do on Win XP but at the same time have Linux available to find alternatives, well I might be able to get off Windows at get on a free operating system forever.by