VistaBook Pro

3 10 2007

Well it’s been a looooong time since I last posted, I sorta fell out of the habit, and didn’t really have much to say that a lot more people weren’t already saying, but today I thought I would share with you my latest experiences with Windows Vista…on my Mac.

Not a lot of people I know who use Windows, use Vista. Mostly they have stuck with XP because there was no real need for them to upgrade, and the strange lack of drivers, even now, would have forced them to buy a lot of new hardware that is supported.  A friend of mine from work has been waiting pretty much since Vista was released, for his sound card to have drivers made for it – and this is a relatively new sound card that is still being sold today!

The only real reason I need Windows at all any more is for the games. There just aren’t as many games out for the Mac right now, as there are for Window – and even when a game is released on the Mac, it is usually a long while after the Windows release, and invariably has compatibility problems if you try to play over a LAN or the Internet with Windows clients.  The additional price of a Mac release is also a little irritating.

For me, the only real solution to this is just install Windows itself and boot into it if I want to play a particular game.

So, having downloaded and installed Basecamp 1.4, burned a drivers CD  and inserted my Vista DVD, I was soon running through the Vista installation process. That itself was very quick, and in around 10/15 minutes I was actually booting into Vista for the first time.

Out with the Vista CD and in with the Mac drivers CD, I ran the setup file and let it install all the drivers, and then rebooted to see Vista in all it’s shiny glory:

VistaBook Pro

That was all I needed to do to get all the hardware on my MacBook Pro working with Windows. I have sound that works with the keyboard volume controls, I have a remote control, I have latest video card drivers, I have the works.

Even more impressive is that my Apple Bluetooth Keyboard works perfectly – all the characters are in the right place, and the software function keys work great as well.

Vista reports a Windows Experience Index of 4.1 on my MacBook Pro, and performs amazingly, in fact is probably the best I’ve seen it perform to date, the visual effects look truly gorgeous on the widescreen, and since they don’t lag or cause any slow down on the MacBook Pro, they don’t feel like they’re in the way all the time.

So with such an easy and quick trouble free experience installing on a Mac,  why are people having so many drivers issues with newer kit, and why is it taking so long for the PC industry to respond with new drivers for what must surely be considered the target OS?

The fact that the Mac platform can run Vista so well is yet another good selling point for potential switchers – having Windows work on your new Mac exactly how you would expect it to, with no strange Mac related behaviour, is a sort of safety net, meaning people can more confidently make the transition from PC to Mac.

The new version of Leopard of course has BootCamp built in, and apparently BootCamp for Tiger will expire when this new version is released – here’s hoping that the process runs just as smoothly when it is.