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Why Vista is less than optimal (and Ubuntu rocks!)

Today I bought a laptop preinstalled with Vista. Read on to see my out-of-the-box experience.

Okay, let me be blunt, my initial opinion of Vista is worse than I could imagine. This morning my wife and I stopped by Walmart to see the Acer laptop with 1 GB of RAM for $348 and we actually got one. My wife's laptop died months ago and she has been using one of my backups to watch videos and cruise the net, so this was a good opportunity. The laptop is pretty good: 1.7Ghz CPU, 1GB RAM, 80GB HDD, 15.4" Wide screen, etc. But after I setup the OS and rebooted the laptop with the OS, whatever crapware is installed, and Norton Anti-Virus, the system used 780MB of memory!?!? I killed the side bar and it dropped to 720MB. Wow! Being a Ubuntu user I was floored: on startup, Ubuntu uses 180MB on my laptop. With IntelliJ IDEA running, Firefox with 10+ pages, Thunderbird, an MP3 player, and CrossOver office running Outlook and Word, I sit at about 600 - 650MB of RAM. So 720MB for the base OS to me translates to "this sucks!" I'll go through the laptop and remove all of the "crapware", but know two things: (1) I will find out how to "downgrade" to Windows XP because Vista is worse than all the reports you've read and (2) I will try a Ubuntu startup disk and if it works then I will spend the weekend convincing my wife that Ubuntu is much bette than Windows.

How many of you have installed (or bought a computer preinstalled with) Microsoft Vista? What was your experience? Is this just an Acer configuration problem or a Vista problem. Let me know what you would do in my shoes...

Thanks,
Steve   

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