A stripped XP, not Vista

Instead of making software more easy to use, most companies will only be adding new features because features are great selling factors.

What used to be called an Operation System can now be called a Suite of Tools. It includes all sorts of image, audio and video editing tools.

And for all of you doing audio and video, we’re not only interested in an OS which is easy to use, we also need an OS which focuses on processing power rather than on other things. What we want is a slim and optimized OS, right?

Microsoft’s new OS, Vista might be cool, but the stuff I have read about it doesn’t sound interesting to me. Two things

I don’t need fancy looks. I don’t use the themes in XP. They are using more memory and CPU cycles. And I don’t like the way they look. XP and also Vista looks worse to me than Apple’s OSX.

But let’s get back to the sound issues. For example check out this Scobleizer blogpost (why did Microsoft make the mistake to offer system sounds in 22kHz? that seriously annoys ANY audio en video engineer because soundcards need to switch sample-rates for just the playback of a mouse-click or playing a welcome sound…!!!)

Ernst Nathorst-Böös, CEO of Propellerhead Software, posted something interesting about the new driver model of Vista on his personal blog today which also points to a few interesting articles about sound in Vista.

But let’s go back to what I mentioned above, an OS should be slim and optimized. At the moment I am using XP without a lot of unneeded applications, thanks to XPlite. The cool thing is that when using XPlite, XP becomes a modular system, so it’s easy to totally change the configuration/setup of XP. Why didn’t Microsoft think about this? Why didn’t they make a flexible system which can be easily optimized for audio and video instead of making this we-can-do-it-all-OS?

Microsoft has attacked Linux in the past. Linux is a modular system and one which is far more flexible than Windows. So why didn’t Microsoft adapt these ideas and put them into Vista? Is XP is a we-can-do-it-all-OS, Vista is a we-can-do-it-all-and-much-more-OS.

XP + XPlite is the best OS for me at the moment. And maybe for the next couple of years to come.


I’m in total agreement on this. XP is a solid platform in its current state for sound, visuals, Java, video, all the software I’m running … I’m in no hurry to break all of that. The good news is, to me, that Vista looks evolutionary enough that we’ll have a lot of the same control over it. But there’s no way I’ll be running the beta or switching as soon as it arrives; I’ll delay as long as I can to ensure that there will be an actual *gain* out of the system. XP sure wasn’t ready the day it shipped.

What still baffles me, though, is that there’s virtually NO information on the pro side of the new driver model. MS has been promising better support for pro audio interfaces, but it doesn’t look like they’ve actually implemented anything yet, which makes me nervous. At the very least, it’s hard to get solid info on it. That’s what I’d like to read; everything here is still on the “consumer” end (and, of course, by “pro” what I really mean is anyone doing music work, including non-pro amateurs who really have the same performance needs!)

Windows used to be an office OS, now it is more of a multi-media OS but it’s still a family affair 🙂

You’re right about the driver’s model. I think they are using the word Universal Driver, instead of WDM. I thought WDM was a serous improvement over MME and I also believe that WDM was improved under XP compared to Windows 2000 (multi-client and more devices/channels served all at once).

Waiting is in fact the best thing to do. There’s also no need to switch at all. I personally don’t believe in extra features for the OS, I believe in less features. An OS should simply serve as an interface between hardware and software but these days an OS is a bag full of avarage software which I want to delete from my system.

Why stick to Windows? Switch to Mac and you can all the things you want to do. Optimizing for audio? No problem for the Mac with it’s Unix kernel. Just startup the “Terminal” and you can optimise what you like “under the hood”.

So stop complaining! What you want is for sale for a long time. Mac has alway been and will always be a professional Multi Media platform.

Hans, switching to Apple is not an option for me. I need to upgrade all software and some of it is not yet compatible with the Intel Macs. That will cost a lot of money.

I am happy with the current performance under XP. For more than 3 years I am mainly using a fast Sony Z1 Centrino laptop. Only the new Powerbooks are offering powerful performance, but the G5’s simply were not capable of offering the same performance as my Sony. My main tool for audio is Ableton Live and it’s performance on the Mac has been slower than PC. I have done performance tests. The other tool, Nuendo2 (I won’t upgrade!), also performs much better on PC.

I am not impressed by the build quality of Apple computers. A couple of my colleagues have problems with their new Intel Powerbooks. Noise issues and heat are the most serious ones. My Sony on the other hand offers high performance, is rock solid, is quiet and doesn’t get too hot.

So the thing is: I am happy with the performance and stability of XP. Only the push/demand to switch to Vista is something I have mixed feelings about.

I have a few colleagues who are switching to PC or are considering this. People who used to be very much into Apple + Final Cut Pro and who are now using PC’s with Avid or Premiere.

I have an old orange iMac here. OS9, 64 Mb RAM. An old model. That thing is the noisiest computer I ever had. It looks good, but the fan-noise is extremely loud.

Apple computers look great. OSX looks better than XP. But XP is rock solid and is offering super performance for years. In the end it doesn’t really matter because the applications look the same on an Apple as on PC. I want performance and stability, and currently PC’s are capable of offering this.

Don’t get me wrong: a computer is just a tool and I don’t mind weather or not it’s an Apple, a Sony or some other brand. I was rather interested in the new Powerbooks, mainly because performance doesn’t seem to be an issue anymore. But still: the new Powerbooks have a few serious issues in my opinion.

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