I tossed a laptop on the trash today. It was old, and the motherboard was toast. I stripped what I wanted and chunked it into the trash bin. This particular laptop is about five years old. I have another one that is still in working order that is about seven years old.
How long do your machines last you? Do you keep them forever or sell them on eBay?
I'm asking because I know the hardware offerings coming in the next few months are going to be really really fast and capable. That presents a paradox for home and business users. Do you keep what you have and continue to run the operating systems designed for it's era, or do invest in the future.
One of the interesting aspects of where we are at from a technology perspective is that many of the machines we have are more than capable Windows XP machines. In fact, Windows XP is really enjoying it's golden years right now. This is of course good and bad.
As you know, I work on the TechNet team for Microsoft. My peers have the job of attempting to stay ahead of the rest of the world in many ways. We talk to literally thousands of people every week, and learn a lot about your joy and pain. Most of the folks on my team have been in the business 10, 15 or 20 years. That's like a combined set of 175 years of experience. Now granted, that's a stretch, but you get the idea. Like many high tech teams, we aren't always in the reality of your world. Hence my hardware question...
If you read my blog occasionally, you know I did a reality check over the Christmas holiday. I installed Windows Vista Ultimate on a Compaq EVO n620c. That machine is no where near state of the art. I wanted to see why I continue to see complaints about the resource requirements for Windows Vista. I also figured if I had a bad time with it, I'd have some fresh evidence for the Windows Vista team. As you can see in the blog post, quite the opposite happened.
So what are you using today? How long to do plan to use it?
One of the reasons I ask is because the hardware world as you know it is getting ready to change pretty radically. In May, the PC makers will start shipping Intel "Santa Rosa" based laptops. Those laptops will be capable of running x64 versions of Windows Vista and Windows "Longhorn" Server. In my case, I'm interested because I'll be able to address 8GB of memory, in a laptop. In addition to the ability to address more RAM, the laptops will start shipping with DirectX 10 capable video chipsets.
Why am I bringing any of this up?
When we shipped Windows XP in 2001, what was the hardware platform like? Back then the hot laptop chip was a Pentium III and most of them were below 1.0 GHz. Anyone remember how Windows XP ran on one of those in December of 2001? I think this is an interesting comparison because I see a lot of nay sayers complain about how resource hungry Windows Vista is. That's because Windows Vista is built for now and the future. Fast forward three years... what do you think it will be like then?
Fun my friend, very fun.