The Reasons Why I Dont Use Internet Explorer

Every now and then, I use Internet Explorer just to see how an application behaves with the dreaded browser from Microsoft. The results at times are surprising, to say the least. Using IE usually involves using Windows, which I don’t use that often. But, I have my old, trusty Windows XP, running in Virtualbox.

Inside Windows XP, I have a slightly older Internet Exporer 7. I want to upgrade to IE9, but there is a slight problem. When I headed over to Microsoft’s website, I learned that I can’t run IE9 on Windows XP. Microsoft suggests that I upgrade to Windows 7. No thanks. So, the best I can do with this Windows XP, is go with IE8. I guess I can do that, but I need another computer to test IE9.

In the meantime, I decided to blog just a little. I logged in to WordPress using IE7. Guess what? WordPress complained that I’m using an insecure browser the moment I logged in to the WordPress Dashboard. The message is right up there on top of the page, inside a bright red background. You can’t miss it.

So, I decided to write a quick blog, and then the unimaginable happened. The IE7 browser disappeared. It’s gone in a puff of smoke, right before my eyes. Where did it go? It crashed! It’s a good thing, I pressed ‘Save Draft’ just moments before its disappearance. So, now I’m using Google Chrome to complete this post.

Oh, what fun. And I still have to test that dreaded application with IE7, IE8 and IE9. I can’t wait what’s in store for me.

Using Linux to Fix a Windows XP Patch

Apparently, there is a Windows XP patch that has gone awry. The patch has rendered a few Windows XP systems unbootable. Michael Horowitz from ComputerWorld suggested that Microsoft should use Linux to fix the booting issue. What a novel idea! Of course, Microsoft will never use Linux to fix Windows. That’s the reason why there hasn’t been any solution offered at the Microsoft Security Response Center the last four days.

Practically, most Linux distributions nowadays can boot from a Live CD, something Windows OS could not or will not do. You can even run Linux Live CD on a system with no internal hard drive. All you need is a little bit of memory and a CD player. You’re set to go.

The offending Windows XP patch is called KB977165. Here’s some detail from ComputerWorld:

The problematic patch is said to be KB977165. There are instructions online about backing out this patch using the Recovery Console. It doesn’t take much to adapt these instructions to Linux. Since Linux offers a friendly GUI, it’s arguably easier to use than the Recovery Console.

You can read more about the patch here.

Windows 7 Pricing

I read an article about Windows 7 pricing the other day. I literally had to sit down and take notes in trying to understand the mess of it all. Windows 7 pricing is confusing to say the least. Pricing depends on which version of Windows 7 you buy, whether you get an upgrade, full version or a family pack. If you are in Europe, you will most likely pay double than your US counterpart. Payback for IE? Who knows. Nevertheless, Windows 7 pricing is confusing and convoluted.

Windows 7 Prices

Preorder – Starting June 26 until July 11, 2009, Windows users can preorder Windows 7 Home Edition and Professional. This is a limited time offer. This is an upgrade version and NOT the full version. Upgrades are available for Windows XP and Vista users only.

  • Preorder Windows 7 Home Premium Edition $50
  • PreOrder Windows 7 Professional $100

Family Pack – Allows 3 PCs in a single household to be upgraded to Windows 7 Home Edition. This is an upgrade only. Details on this offer is sketchy. Wait for Microsoft’s official announcement.

  • Family Pack Windows 7 Home Premium Edition $150

Upgrades – Upgrades are available only for Windows XP and Vista users only. Earlier versions are not supported.

  • Windows 7 Home Premium Upgrade $120
  • Windows 7 Professional Upgrade $200
  • Windows 7 Ultimate Upgrade $220

Full Version

  • Windows 7 Home Premium Full Version $200
  • Windows 7 Professional Full Version $300
  • Windows 7 Ultimate Full Version $320

Buying a PC now – Starting June 26 to October 22 and beyond, buyers of PCs with Windows XP and Vista installed can upgrade to Windows 7 for FREE. This is a bit deceiving because the actual cost is outlined below in the OEM which is passed on eventually to consumers.

OEM Price – Cost after October 22 when you buy a brand new system with a Windows 7 operating system. The cost is passed on to the consumers by vendors. Currently, the OEM cost are: Windows XP $15, Vista Home Basic $97, Vista Home Premium $121, Vista Business $153 and Vista Ultimate for $205. See the OEM prices for XP and Vista.

  • Windows 7 Starter Edition OEM  $50 (1)
  • Windows 7 Home Premium OEM $200

This means, if you buy a $700 PC, you paid for $500 for hardware and $200 to Microsoft for the operating system.

(1) Please note that Microsoft has placed a limit on the hardware requirements for the Starter Edition. Vendors have to comply not to install Windows 7 Starter Edition on anything less than the following: 10.2 inch screen, 1GB RAM, 250GB hard drive, 64GB solid state, and on a single core processor with less than 2GHz.

Europe – If you live in Europe, you poor souls, expect to pay a lot more, almost double for what the US users will be paying. After all, Microsoft has to pay all those programmers to strip IE from Windows 7 and also pay for the new packaging of Windows 7E. By the way, there is no upgrade, just the full version.

  • Windows 7 Home Premium Full Version $120
  • Windows 7 Professional Full Version $286
  • Windows 7 Ultimate Full Version $300

Competition – Finally, let’s compare the rest of the competition:

Mac OS X

  • Mac OS X Leopard Upgrade $29
  • Mac OS X Leopard $129
  • Mac OS X Leopard Family Pack $199

Linux

  • Linux Upgrade $0.00
  • Linux Full Version $0.00
  • Linux All Universe Pack $0.00

Android on Mini Laptops

Android sounds like a robot, but it is actually a Linux distribution by Google. Acer, the third largest PC maker will offer Android to its mini laptops. It will compete with several Linux distributions like gOS, Linpus and Ubuntu’s Netbook Remix among others. Most of all, Google is now a competitor of Microsoft in the OS market. Currently, most mini laptops are powered by Windows XP since Vista, Microsoft’s flagship OS is too slow and resource hungry to run the underpowered mini laptops. The Android offering is going to be attractive to consumers since Google already has the brand, the online office applications and Chrome, its own browser.

Lenovo S10

I recently bought a mini laptop, a Lenovo S10. I love it. I’ve been searching for an affordable mini for several months now. I’ve looked at Asus, Dell and HP the past few months. Last week, I just happened to be at Frys Electronics down at Anaheim looking for audio cables and I came across the Lenovo S10. I fell in love with it from the start. It took me a better of 10 minutes to decide I needed to buy it.

That’s how much faith I had in the product because I haven’t seen any reviews when I bought it. I am glad to know that the Lenovo S10 had nothing but rave reviews from several sources. Here is a list of reviews from Lenovo’s website. There are plenty more reviews from third party vendors and technology blogs and websites. The Lenovo S10 have faired very well.

What’s in the Lenovo S10? Well, the Lenovo S10 is based on a 1.6Mhz Intel Atom Processor with 1GB of RAM and 160GB hard drive. It runs on Windows XP with a 10.2 inch LCD screen with a resolution of 1024×600. It weighs only a measly 2.4 lbs. The S10 has the following ports: VGA, Ethernet, mic, and headphone and a 4-in-1 card reader. It comes with 2 USB ports and ExpressCard slot. It also comes with 1.3mp built-in webcam. The laptop comes with a 3 cell battery good enough for 2.5 – 3 hours of uptime.

Performance has been great. I love the fact that it runs on Windows XP and not Vista. The S10 is fast enough for web browsing, chat and for editing documents. I even use it for live streaming. It works great. The other reason I didn’t have any hesitation to buying the S10 was it was a Lenovo. It’s built well which is typical of Lenovo’s line of products. Not bad for a mini that only costs $349. I absolutely love it.

In addition, one of two USB ports that is available is bootable. Maybe one day, I can install Ubuntu Linux on it. The ExpressCard is also a great option for adding Firewire, a SATA drive or a Wireless 3G device. Ah, the fun. If you are looking for a mini, be sure to check on the Lenovo S10. It might be the one you want.