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Doug's Mailbag: Thoughts on Windows Home Server, XP and Microsoft's Overall Reliability

With Microsoft's Vail hitting beta, one reader discusses his thoughts on Home Server:

I tested WHS RC on a 1 GHz PIII machine, purchased and installed the WHS OEM version when it was released and have been running backups on occasions ever since. WHS works well. Each service pack has installed without glitches using a wide variety of disk drives, both internal and USB external.

I don't presently use any of the file-sharing features.

WHS has one glaring unmet requirement -- off-site copy. My current WHS machine is not 64-bit capable so an upgrade to Vail will be big decision. Without wizards or other procedurized means for off-site copy backups, I am hard pressed to see improvements that warrant new WHS hardware and software. I am not an expert in the new Vail WHS version but I have observed any references to the off-site copy requirement. I am keenly interested in whatever future direction guidance Microsoft may be giving in regard to the off-site copy requirement.
-Eric

Here's another opinion on Windows XP reliability after news broke of a security hole associated with the OS and McAfee Antivirus:

I've never experienced an XP crash in all the years I've been using it. I can't remember anyone else in my department ever complaining of such a thing.

I've had applications freeze up, but I usually have 40 things open and I'm starting and stopping code in Visual Studio in debug mode way too fast. And even that is rare and my fault, as I've probably written something that the system just can't handle or haven't waited long enough for the pieces to properly fall back into place. But during normal usage, never. Same for Vista. And I give these OS's a workout, believe me.

And crashes, never. At least, as of me writing this. Hope I'm not jinxing it.
-Anonymous

Finally a reader writes in to discuss Microsoft's overall vulnerability after Barney discussed a report that says most problems come from third-party software vendors, not the OS:

I have used Microsoft products professionally since 1983. The critical jump in reliability for me came with the jump from Windows 95 to Windows NT4. (Windows 98/98se/Me were simply too unstable for me to use.) I have not had an attack by malware or a virus of any kind since I took that leap.

Along the way, I have worked professionally with a number of flavors of Unix and even tinkered with Linux. In my experience, Windows has been, by far, the easiest and (ironically) the least costly to maintain.

If one takes a few simple precautions, keeping your Windows system reliable and up-to-date is a snap.  
-C. Marc

Share your thoughts with the editors of this newsletter! Write to [email protected] Letters printed in this newsletter may be edited for length and clarity, and will be credited by first name only (we do NOT print last names or e-mail addresses).

Posted by Doug Barney on 04/30/2010 at 1:17 PM


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