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Just a quick note before I actually drop off for a few hours. Over the weekend I decided to take a look at how well Microsoft Windows Vista does or doesn’t run on a netbook. Mac OS X was a nice little experiment and quite usable, […]

Msiwindvistascore

Just a quick note before I actually drop off for a few hours. Over the weekend I decided to take a look at how well Microsoft Windows Vista does or doesn’t run on a netbook. Mac OS X was a nice little experiment and quite usable, but I remember thinking about early Intel Atom news and figuring that Vista would just be too much for the little CPU that could. I’ll be spending some time with Vista Ultimate on the MSI Wind as a result. Clearly it’s up to each individual to choose the operating system that they’re most comfortable in; my point here isn’t to say what’s the best OS on a netbook because everyone’s needs are different. Many people are plenty happy with XP or a Linux distro, but Vista works well for others. Note that I upgraded my MSI Wind to run with 2GB of RAM. I still feel pretty adamant that an optimal Vista experience on any device requires two more gigabytes of memory.

All I can share at this point is the installation experience, which took about an hour last night. Everything went smoothly on the Wind but of course, many driver components were missing. MSI includes a driver disc for XP but I didn’t want to install everything from there since they were XP drivers. Instead, I only installed the WiFi driver. That worked fine and then I hit Windows Update for 33 software and driver updates. I was very impressed that Windows Update found drivers for almost all of the various components in the Wind, such as the Intel graphics and chipset, Ethernet and more. Basically, everything but the Bluetooth driver was installed or upgraded by Windows Update, which was a far better experience for me than when Vista first hit.

With the updated drivers, I have the proper screen resolution, sound, WiFi, wired Ethernet and more. All of the Wind’s function buttons such as screen brightness, radio activation and sound controls work great although there’s no on-screen display for these features. That’s simply a matter of installing the MSI utility, but I’ll likely pass on that as I don’t feel the need for it. More to follow over the next few weeks, but I stand corrected on one thing already: the Intel Atom is exceeding my expectations in terms of handling Vista. I’ve got the Windows Experience Index above for those who are interested. Yes, the Aero features of Vista work quite well; in fact the Flip3D feature is darn near seamless!

Oh, as far as me dropping off the grid for a bit. I’ll be attending a memorial service for Andy Abramson’s mom early this afternoon. Sadly, Andy lost his mom not long after I met him for the first time face-to-face at our Mobilize conference. If you have a minute to send him a warm thought today, please do. I know he could use it.

  1. if it were a UMPC i might say the extra sluggishness of Vista would be worth it. but for just a notebook/netbook i would probably stick with XP as Vista just doesnt offer much more.

    one thing that bugs me to hell, on low powered machines media playback is FAR better in XP than Vista. which is a big big deal in little laptops that can masquerade as PMP’s quite easily.

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  2. Why would the “extra sluggishness” be worth it on a UMPC over a netbook in your opinion? Curious what advantage you see there in the different form factor. I’m also assuming you’ve installed Vista on UMPCs and netbooks, so how much more sluggishness did you see?

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  3. Wow, other than the processor, those are much better WEI scores than my Sony TZ.

    Definitely good performance for the money!

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  4. William C Bonner Monday, October 6, 2008

    You say that you were able to get correct drivers from windows update after you installed vista. What version of vista media were you installing from? Did you have a version that includes SP1, or the original version?

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  5. I used Vista with SP1 for the install.

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  6. i meant that it might be worth Vista on a UMPC because of the vastly superior tablet features

    i have done half-dozen machines now with XP & Vista, all of them had compatible drivers for both OS’s. although i like Vista, it was slower on everyone of them. not in terms of GUI responsiveness (like evreyone else seems to judge) but things such as media playback, editing, rendering, etc.

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  7. Does it still run well if you enable the “power saving” settings? I have a eeepc 1000H and I was thinking about installing vista, but only if it doesn’t like cut the battery life in half…

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  8. @Daniel
    Some folks on eeeuser.com forums report that the 1000H has better battery life with Vista.

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  9. I installed Win XP SP2 Pro in 12 minutes – I’m not touching Vista with a pole.

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  10. Hi Anna,

    What about a 10-foot barge pole, that might put enough distance between you a Vista to consider touching it. Otherwise Windows 7 is your salvation, I’ve run it even on the HP Mini-note 2133 and am impressed by its performance, definitely better than Vista. Shame the damn thing still gets hot, but that’s the hardware’s fault, not Vista’s or Windows 7. Damn you HP and your Via C7 fetish at the time! :-)

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