If you've been in the market lately for a new computer then you probably know that almost every new computer has Windows Vista installed on it instead of Windows XP.
Recently I helped my in-laws buy a new computer and found that Vista was my only option. Sure, Dell still installs XP on some laptop models, but we were shopping for desktops. Anyway, I did my research and found that most of the severe Vista bugs would probably not affect my in-laws, so we went ahead and got a fancy new computer with Vista installed.
I'm a computer professional, and one of the things that I routinely do is go to different seminars around Baton Rouge and try to absorb some of the knowledge floating around me. Most of these seminars bring people in by offering door prizes, and one of the door prizes that we all love to win are free copies of Microsoft Office. (They make great coasters after you install the software.)
Microsoft Office is like $150, so when I bought my in-laws' computer I didn't buy Office because I thought I already had a set of CDs. Why pay that much if you have the CDs at home, right? Well, it turns out that I chunked those CDs a while ago for some unknown reason, and was about to ask my other computer professional friends to cough up their door prizes when all of a sudden... Vista crashed.
Now, most of the time when Vista crashes, someone somewhere writes a huge rant about how crappy Vista is. In this case, I'm here to tell you that Vista saved me a lot of hassle.
You see, Vista has "restore" functionality built into it, and when it crashes it just reverts back to the last known set of working programs. In my case, Microsoft Office was one of those programs.
That's right, we got Microsoft Office for free due to a Vista crash!
What usually happens when manufacturers ship computers is that they have an image, or snapshot, of a working operating system. When you buy a computer and select the software you want, someone doesn't sit there and install all of that crap for you. They just throw on a snapshot of the most common programs and then add or delete programs as needed. Microsoft Office is most likely one of the most purchased programs, so it was installed on the image but then removed from the system once I said I didn't want it. When the restore occurred, it grabbed that old version of Office. Now my in-laws have Office, and I no longer have to mug the guys who win the door prizes at the next software seminar.
So you see, Vista isn't all that bad. You just have to know how to use its defects to your advantage.
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