Vista came with substantially enhanced security features that also lent the system greater stability, helping to avoid the kind of 'hanging' and 'crashing' that one suffered with previous versions of the OS. But the enhanced features also made Vista so computing-resource hungry that it slowed down all applications. The only way you could make it run well was by substantially upgrading your hardware.
That would have meant significant expenditure. And most Indians — consumers and enterprises — thought it just not worth the money.
Vista's failure pushed Microsoft to work quickly towards another version. It's called Windows 7 and is expected to be commercially launched later this year, as some reports speculate. A beta version has been under test for a while, and what's called a release candidate (RC) — a version with potential to be the final product — has just been launched. Last week, Mike Nash, corporate VP in Microsoft, gave TOI a demo of the beta version from Redmond, US. What we give below is based on what we saw and heard, and what other beta version reviewers have to say.
So, using Windows 7 as a base, I’ve put together a cheap, low-power, reasonably functional HTPC that wouldn’t have been nearly as good if I had built it before October 22. Tune in tomorrow, when I’ll let you know the particulars of the components I’ve picked. In the meantime, check out the Windows 7 Media Center PC Everton built for less than $300.