New Apple Ads Attack Microsoft

Two new Apple ads are again attacking for not using the word “Vista” in the latest run of adverts and also for spending money on ads about Vista, instead of using the cash on Vista itself.

The V Word:

The Bean Counter:

I’m not a fan of Apple much at all..I’ve got a couple of iPod’s around but that’s it; I can see why people do like them but Steve et al aren’t my cup of tea. Despite that, these ads are kind of funny and if they were the other way round, that would be the case even more so (!), however as the guys over at Neowin say “is this just a friendly competition, or are they taking it too far?”

Let me know what you think…

Windows 7: Vista but Better

Windows 7: “Vista but Better” is the description given by Steve Ballmer at the Gartner Symposium.

While he still stands by Vista-pointing out that it’s adoption rate at the 2 year mark is twice that of XP-he also said Microsoft are prepared for people to skip it and go straight to Windows 7.

Choice quotes from Ballmer include:

“Our next release of Windows will be compatible with Vista. The key is let’s get on with it. We’ll be ready when you want to deploy Windows 7.”

“It’s not (a) minor (release) because it’s a lot more work than a minor release. It’s a major release.”

“It’s clear Yahoo didn’t want to sell. They probably still think it’s worth more than $33 a share. I still think it makes sense for their shareholders and ours.”

More can be found over at ZDNet.

Microsoft are in a tricky position with Vista & Windows 7 really…no matter what they do, they’ll be accused of eithe rgiving up on Vista and “admitting” it’s not brilliant OR flogging a dead horse. Very close to the original Catch 22..

Personally I think Vista is a great OS. I use Vista @ home and XP @ work (I know!) and Vista wins hands down each’s easier, faster, slicker, more user friendly but some people just don’t go for it. Certainly not friends but I’d guess that one day Vista & Betamax will be casual acquaintances in the “Why didn’t they like me” bar in Techsville, TW..

Downgrade MS Vista to XP

“How do I downgrade MS Vista to XP” is a question I hear quite often at work (although less recently so it looks like Vista is gaining ground!), so I thought I’d make a quick post on how it’s done.

Can I downgrade?

In most cases yes. All Microsoft volume licenses include “Downgrade Rights” as do the OEM licences for Vista Business & Vista Ultimate. The Downgrade Chart can be found here. Vista Business & Ultimate can only be downgraded to XP Pro, XP Pro 64-bit or XP Pro Tablet…NOT Windows 2000.

How do I downgrade?

You can use any XP Media and also any previous XP Pro licence key (VLK), even one that has been used before. This prevents you from activating online so you’ll need to call the Product Activation Centre, you can get the number by selecting the “Activate by Phone” option in the installation wizard or call 0800 018 8354 and 0870 2411963 if you’re in the UK. Once they confirm you have a valid XP key, you will get a new Vista key.

Can I re-install Vista later?

Yes you can. You will need to remove the XP installation and use the original OEM Vista media.

Microsoft Server Software VHD’s

Microsoft have released a slew of Virtual Hard Disks (VHD’s) making it quick and easy to evaluate Microsoft software for free, in your environment.

Their “Run IT on a Virtual Hard Disk” initiative can be found here:

and includes product such as:

  • Exchange 2007
  • Sharepoint 2007
  • Windows Vista
  • System Center
  • and many more

By installing these on a virtual machine, you can have the application up and running very quickly, reducing the amount of time that Test & Dev takes..which can only be a good thing right? :-)

Microsoft Windows 7 Alpha @ PDC 2008

If the rumours are true, and it seems they are, then this year’s PDC (Professional Developers Conference) attendees are going to be coming away with an alpha copy of Windows 7!

I was over in Houston at the WPC (Worldwide Partner Conference) earlier this year and I got some cool stuff but nothing quite comparable to Windows 7…although one of the pens is pretty amazing (I might post up some pictures one day!).

I’m sure it will be covered with various NDA’s etc, but on the off chance it isn’t-if any of you are going to PDC 2008, I’d be most grateful if you could send me some screenshots and anything else you can.

I really hope that Windows 7 helps people get over the Anti-Vista thing that’s going on at the minute.

Vista MUI’s-Extra Languages

Recently I’ve had a few people asking about MUI packs with Vista and it can be a bit confusing for all of us. As I hope this blog will become more well read than the Meditations of Mr Aurelius/Heat magazine I thought I’d post up the info here as a handy reference guide :-)

MUI’s are only available with Vista Enterprise (Vista Business with Software Assurance) or Vista Ultimate, so OEM Vista Business isn’t eligible. Unless, you buy OEM Vista Business and then enroll it into Software Assurance.


The alternative is to download the LIP (Language Interface Pack), which is free and provides “a translated version of the most widely used areas of the user interface.” This means it does leave some areas in the “Parent Language” so for example if you had English Vista with a French LIP..some bits would still show up in English.


To see more information, go to:


or to download the LIP’s, you can go to:


I hope this helps but if you’ve got any questions/suggestions, drop a comment and let me know.