Vista Helping OS X

by Aaron Wright Feb 07, 2007

According to DigitMag, Microsoft having 10 different versions of Windows Vista is one large reason why OS X will win (win what?), stating that OS X is simple and Windows is clearly not.

Yes, we’ve all heard the typical “simple computer for simple users” words thrown at Mac users from jealous or clearly bored Windows users (quite childish all this actually) over the past few years, but it seems that Apple’s way of keeping things simple is really helping their market share in the computer world.

So why is Vista so confusing?

Well, for a start, you have to decide which of the ten versions is for you. Now remember when you were a kid and went into a shop full of sweets and your mother asked you to pick out only one, you’d spend a good ten minutes deciding what to go for, simply because there was so much choice. Well, this is similar to Vista, except that Vista is more sour than sweet.

For those that want to keep costs down, it’s probably best to go for an Upgrade. The upgrade comes in a variety of forms: Home Basic Edition, Home Premium Edition, Business Edition, and Ultimate Edition. In order to upgrade you need to have a computer that can (obviously) run Vista, and have a legally licensed version of Windows 2000 or XP currently sitting on your computer. Once you’ve upgraded to Vista, your existing copy of Windows 2000 or XP is now no longer valid, but don’t throw away the disk. Should you ever need to reinstall Vista, you must first install Windows 2000 or XP and then upgrade to Vista again.

That’s probably expected, but what about all those people out there who received a simple restore disc with their computers? They’re going to need to restore their computer with all the junk programs installed, then remove them and then install Windows Vista.

Oh, and please don’t get me started on the procedure of installing an upgrade of Vista on a PC you may decide to build in the future.

What else?

As Digit Mag explains so well, when Windows 95 was launched all those years ago, consumers knew exactly what they were getting: a well needed upgrade from Windows 3.1. So simple that even my at-the-time computer illiterate parents managed to obtain a copy for me, bless them.

But what about now? I remember when Windows XP came out and I had friends and family asking me the differences between Windows XP Home and Windows XP Professional, but can you imagine the frustration I, and many others, will have to go through in explaining the differences between the following versions of Windows Vista?

1)  Windows Vista Starter Edition
2)  Windows Vista Home Basic Edition
3)  Windows Vista Home Basic Upgrade
4)  Windows Vista Home Premium Edition
5)  Windows Vista Home Premium Upgrade
6)  Windows Vista Business
7)  Windows Vista Business Upgrade
8)  Windows Vista Ultimate
9)  Windows Vista Ultimate Upgrade
10) Windows Vista Enterprise Edition

Now what on Earth does all that mean?

According to DigitMag, “Windows Vista Starter Edition is for Third World countries. The Enterprise Edition is for big companies. The Business Edition doesn’t have any of the cool multimedia stuff you want from Vista. Home Basic versions are crippled. The Upgrade versions are poison.”

So basically, stick with Windows Vista Home Premium Edition, is that right? Talk about!

My point is to coincide with what DigitMag, MacNN, and all the other websites, critics, and news folks out there are saying: don’t upgrade to Windows Vista just yet, or preferably, not at all. It’s alright for the tech heads out there who know exactly what each version does, but there are more normal people out there than there are tech heads, and it’s those normal people Microsoft and Apple are looking at (not to say that tech heads aren’t important to their overall business strategy).

Why Apple then?

With Apple you’re getting pretty much everything Windows Vista has to offer, and more. This isn’t me or the Mac nerds out there talking, this is just a fact. You could also take a search on Google and find more articles based on how Vista is just a late copy of OS X.

With OS X there are only two versions available. There’s OS X 10.4 Tiger and OS X 10.4 Tiger Server edition, the latter of which is clearly for servers. Both of these versions can be purchased as either single user license or multi and unlimited user licenses. That’s it for complications.

Along with being absolutely simple to use and purchase, OS X is also a damn site cheaper than Windows Vista. Let’s take a look at the pricing:


OS X 10.4 Tiger - $129 for single user (
OS X 10.4 Tiger Server - $499.00 with 10-client license (

Feature-for-feature, Windows Vista Home Premium is the most comparable operating system to OS X.

Windows Home Premium Edition Upgrade $159 (
Windows Home Premium Edition $239 (

Not only does Microsoft’s confusing system line-up help Apple, but the requirements Vista will need helps Apple too.

In order to run Windows Vista Home Premium Edition on your PC you will need the following:

  • 1Ghz Processor
  • 1GB Sysytem Memory
  • 40GB Hard Drive with at least 15GB of free space
  • 128MB Graphics

Now this is just to run Windows Vista, it doesn’t take into account games and software (especially Photoshop etc). In order to really get the most out of your system, 2 to 3Ghz processor will be required, at least an 80GB Hard drive and 256MB graphics card. The cheapest computer I’ve seen that is capable of running Windows Vista Premium Edition is the Fujitsu Siemens SCALEO Pa1518 system which comes in at roughly $990, and that’s not including a monitor or Windows Vista Premium Edition, the total then being somewhere nearer the $1,390 mark -– all that just to run Windows Vista. Compare that to the Mac range and the cheapest iMac comes in at $999 with everything set up and ready to go.

Now tell me Macs are more expensive.

In all honesty, OS X and the Mac have never looked more appealing to consumers throughout the world. An award-winning computer, an award-winning operating system, little hassle, more time to do the things you want, and now cheaper than a half-decent PC. The future’s looking bright for Apple.

Oh and by the way, yes I have acquired a headache through trying to learn what each version of Vista does.





  • <i>Any of you out there own PCs? Out of curiosity, do they meet the Visa requirements?</i.

    Yes.  I have a PC laptop that meets the requirements.  And I use my iMac as a PC (does that count?) and it also meets the requirements.

    Beeblebrox had this to say on Feb 07, 2007 Posts: 2220
  • 99% of PC users will only migrate to Visa if and when they buy new computers. There won’t be any confusion over which version of Vista to use; it will simply be what ever is loaded on the machine by the manufacture.

    TheOldMan had this to say on Feb 07, 2007 Posts: 5
  • I have a Mac and a PC on my desk.  The PC is borrowed from a friend who never got around to taking it out of its box when he bought it about six months ago.

    The PC completely flunks the requirements for Vista in every category.  Vista Basic is “recommended” despite its fairly recent vintage and fast processor.


    David H Dennis had this to say on Feb 08, 2007 Posts: 7
  • Wow, your guys are really on your game on this one.  I mean how can you complain that you can’t buy a PC for less than $1000 that can run Home Premium, when the ONLY computer that apple even offers for less than $1000 are those crappy MAC Mini’s.  Not only that, the $999 iMac might as well be a MAC Mini, cause if you haven’t noticed, it has something called intergrated graphics.  Last time I checked, intergrated graphics are NOT a good thing, certainly not “comparable” to what MS requires for Vista Premium (ahem, notice the 128mb Graphics requirement).  For all intensive purposes anyhow there are 4 versions for the everyday consumer.  2 upgrades and 2 Full Versions, thats it.  Thats a good thing, cause why buy features you don’t need or can’t use, and why buy full if for cheaper you can just upgrade.  Its not that I hate MAC’s, quite the opposite.  I’m usually a supporter of the “little guy”.  But the complaints in this article are certainly throwing things out of proportion.  I build my own PC, because both Apple and PC Manufacturers don’t give alot of bang for your buck.  Hopefully having a Premium Edition will wake up manufacturers to provide better specs, for better prices, because people will want that version.

    d.frids had this to say on Feb 08, 2007 Posts: 1
  • Youch what a slam… I honesly have not had 1 problem with my mini’s due to graphics… However my old G4 did have issues. Sure onboard isn’t the wildest thing out there. But with the effecient OS X system it works flawlessly (keyword here). And on my iMac g3 400 with 8mb onboard it works there just fine too. Little slow but most defenitly tollerable. We don’t use it for much it’s generally for the kitchen and my son to play with.

    You’ll have to include Vista Super Duper Crackalackin Ultimate edition in your rundown as well, that makes 6 (full+upgrade) cause that’s what there showing off to the world as the NEW MAINSTREAM OS.

    Personally it sounds like I need to get a 3SGTE in my Tercel just to drive it, IE: Ineffecient.

    xwiredtva had this to say on Feb 08, 2007 Posts: 172
  • and yadda yadda… I’ve built my share of networks, servers, PC’s, thin clients, HT, etc… I’ve built PC’s when you actually had to use chip pullers, purchase individual chips for ram and we had socket proms and eproms… So to everyone who can build a PC today I say “Wow, you can read directions. Wonderful, why’s your VCR still blinking 12:00”. Building a PC today is probably easier than building a house or welding up a tube buggy for rock crawling (done both and working on a 4th buggy). It’s not like in the past. You start with a motherboard, the manufacture tells you what compenents it should have. Woopidie do. Try piecing together an 8086 system from scatch.

    xwiredtva had this to say on Feb 08, 2007 Posts: 172
  • Any of you out there own PCs? Out of curiosity, do they meet the Vis[t]a requirements?

    None, and I mean none, of the computers at the company I work for are capable of handling Vista’s only significant new feature. Most of these are recently bought, ~£1000 machines.

    Benji had this to say on Feb 08, 2007 Posts: 927
  • “...So to everyone who can build a PC today I say “Wow, you can read directions. Wonderful, why’s your VCR still blinking 12:00”. Building a PC today is probably easier than ....”

    I can sense a “little” aggression here, but don’t be mad, it’s a good thing PCs can (still) be built/upgraded by people at home, this is one of the main points that make PCs a good practical alternative to Macs.

    PS. And by the way, you have no way of knowing my or other’s experience in building computers. Keep the gratuitous offensive comments to yourself.

    ediedi had this to say on Feb 08, 2007 Posts: 16
  • So to everyone who can build a PC today I say “Wow, you can read directions. Wonderful, why’s your VCR still blinking 12:00”.

    And IT guys wonder why people hate them.

    Beeblebrox had this to say on Feb 08, 2007 Posts: 2220
  • But with the effecient OS X system it works flawlessly (keyword here).

    That’s not exactly true.  Some of the “eye candy” elements don’t work on the Mac mini and older Mac hardware, which is the main criticism of Vista on older machines.  Aero glass doesn’t work, but Aero glass is hardly necessary.  If there are other components that are disabled by onboard graphics cards or a slower processor then I am sincerely interested in knowing what they are (I plan on getting a full-install soon).

    Beeblebrox had this to say on Feb 08, 2007 Posts: 2220
  • The issue with onboard chipsets is the lack of DX10. If your going to Vista, grab what ya can and use what ya got. The price of DX10 cards right now is mind boggling. Let the price drop then in a couple months pick up a decent 256 (or in your case) 512mb card. PCI-E 16x if your board supports it would be best. And from what I’ve been reading and seeing drivers are still buggy, namely nVidia 8xxx series.

    Sorry, I was a little harsh. Just spent half the day telling an “IT PRO” command line instructions to force connectivity to a linux server… Seems they don’t teach the CLI anymore at ITT Tech. :>)

    xwiredtva had this to say on Feb 09, 2007 Posts: 172
  • Page 2 of 2 pages  <  1 2
You need log in, or register, in order to comment