I do not like what Microsoft is doing with its impending release of Vista.

I wrote an article a while back on the requirements of Microsoft’s latest OS. Vista requires more powerful hardware to run and a number of people, including colleagues have been flabbergasted by the hardware requirements. Not one of us had machines that met the recommended set-up.

Most are eager to shift to Vista since the main appeal was the exclusivity of DirectX 10 and much better graphics for gaming. However, investing on this means getting a whole new system.

A couple of of colleagues had been hankering about saving their Christmas bonuses to get either Core 2 Duo PCs or the lower-end Alienware laptops. Well that was until Intel released its quad-core line under Core 2 Duo extreme just recently. Now we just don’t know how the hardware-software choices play out and what combination will give us the best buck-per-bang value. Moore’s Law in hardcore reality.

Here in the Philippines, computers are more of borderline luxuries much like cars, education, and health care. We essentially need them as multimedia developers/IT analysts and developers but price issues and wage levels make computers too pricey.

Because of this, we demand a great deal of flexibility on the machine on which we will be investing. No use in getting a new PC if we won’t be able to make money out of it (mostly through freelance work) to justify the expense. And factor in that it should also serve personal purposes such as gaming, entertainment, and broadband Internet.

Economically, it would be much cheaper if we would just upgrade our machines (averaged specs at single core, 2.4 Ghz, 512 RAM, 128 MB GPU) with more RAM and edgier video cards but we all know that come the great industry shift for Vista compatibility and reliance will render upgrades wasted money.

Vista is clearly dictating market forces to push hardware purchasing. Intel, AMD, nVidia, ATI, Seagate, and all the other major hardware players will only be too happy if demand increases for Vista-compatible units. Face it, an optimal Vista experience can only be reached if we run it through high-end machines (Dual core, DDR2, DirectX 10 GPUs, TB SATA storage). These cost a fortune. A down payment for a sedan, actually.

And these are only the hardware woes of the ordinary user. How about licensing issues? With the great Filipino advocacy in piracy as the 3rd world strike back against the dollar-driven software prices, Vista offers a tougher challenge for crackers and pirates with the improved and robust product validity measures that will be implemented. Sure, Vista can still be cracked by those oh-so-skillful cracker pirates but it might take time. Privacy will always be the prime choice of the 3rd world user until we all get 1st world wage rates.

There has been much buzz about what’s good and bad about Windows Vista. Coming from a 3rd world perspective, I would say that most of Vista offers is bad news. I would still continue to monitor the economics of 3rd world computing in the next few months since I will probably be investing on a bit of hardware for the next year. With that in mind, I hope that it all plays out to our advantage.

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