I need a new computer. That’s pretty easy to state. I want Microsoft XP; that’s not as easy at this time and place.

It seems that I missed the deadline. As of 6/30, all new PCs with a Microsoft operating system has to come with Vista, no questions asked. Some computers, if you order online, can come with both Vista and XP, but Vista is the big dog now, plain and simple. Suffice it to say, I’m not overly happy.

The Microsoft people have done a lousy job of convincing us why we want Vista loaded computers. They initially came out and said we wanted it because it had all these capabilities, and that it was prettier than XP. Then we heard the reality, that not only was the version most people were getting lacking the “pretty” part of Vista, but most of the computers being sold were deficient in power, so they couldn’t run the new operating system properly. And let’s not forget that it wasn’t compatible with an overwhelming number of hardware or software products that the masses already had. In other words, Microsoft had a massive customer service issue, which I wrote about on my other blog. It’s such a bad problem that, oddly enough, when most companies are advertising their computers these days, they don’t even mention the operating system until later in the descriptions; that’s a shame, and it’s somewhat disingenuous since the release of Windows 7 is pretty close to only being a year away.

So, what do I do? At least these days most computers are being loaded with Home Premium with the first service pack; that’s a step forward, but from the normal consumers position, is this much more improved than what we initially heard? I could buy the sucker, erase the operating system, and load my own XP professional version, which I purchased for another ungodly $300 a few years ago. I could go the route of trying to put together my own computer components and loading it myself, or better yet hope to put together a component package that still ran IDE drives so I could slip my own drive back into it; nope, that doesn’t make sense, since the reason I need a new computer could possibly be related to the drive (I don’t think so, but who really knows, right?). Or I could pay big money through a company that puts computers together independently such as Falcon Northwest, but at the moment their computers are a bit pricey for me. Or I could just take my present computer to the shop up the street to see if they can overcome a problem that Comp USA couldn’t for a year or so (before they skipped town, along with the $299 I paid for 3 years of maintenance) for under $500, which, as a friend of mine said, makes little sense when I could probably buy a budget machine for less than that that’s more powerful than what I have now; that’s a shame.

Decisions, decisions,… who to trust, how to trust, what to do,… I sometimes wonder if it’s better to not have any knowledge at all about computers, so I could walk in and just pick either the nicest looking one or the cheapest one and get on with life. Luckily, I don’t have to buy it today, so I have more time to think about it. Other than looking at RAM, what does anyone else think is the most important thing I should be looking for, and would you be balking at Vista right now, especially since it’s being forced on us?

Sounds True, Inc.