Save DOS: The Ultimate Antidote to Vista's Bloat

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DOS vs. Vista: No Contest

Unlike Windows Vista, DOS doesn't waste precious resources displaying unnecessary eye candy. In fact, most versions--from IBM's PC-DOS to Microsoft's MS-DOS to newer open-source variants such as FreeDOS--can run extremely well with a few hundred kilobytes of RAM and less than 10MB of hard-drive space. That frees the rest of your PC's disk space and RAM to perform more-important tasks.

Windows Vista, of course, requires a minimum of a 1-GHz processor, 512MB of RAM, and a DirectX 9 graphics card just to boot the OS. To handle all of the operating system's baroque flourishes, users need 1GB of RAM and a discrete graphics card armed with more than 128MB of video memory.

DOS could hardly be more different.

A comparison of each OS's features demonstrates that DOS outshines Vista in every relevant category.
As you can see in the accompanying chart (click the thumbnail at left to view the full-size image), DOS's full complement of user-friendly features handily beats Windows Vista's complex set of tools. Feature for feature, DOS offers a simpler, more efficient way to accomplish your computing tasks.

In today's highly mobile world, Vista's demanding specs leave many laptops--even relatively new models--out in the cold. DOS, however, can turn an aging laptop into a performance powerhouse faster than you can say "Where do I want to go today?"

DOS zooms past Windows Vista on every PC World performance test.
In our tests, DOS outperformed Windows Vista in every task we threw at it, as shown in the second accompanying chart (click the thumbnail at right to view). From its astonishingly brisk boot times to its snappy shutdowns, DOS does everything faster and less fussily. As for the things it can't do at all, well, none of them actually matter.

Hey, What About Windows XP?

Despite cries of outrage from sober, diligent, and thrifty users, Microsoft says that it intends to stick with its plan to end most sales of Windows XP on June 30, 2008, effectively steamrolling (or stampeding, depending on the visual that captures one's fancy) consumers into adopting Windows Vista from that point forward, willy-nilly.

Sensing the burgeoning wave of dissatisfaction with Vista, our colleagues at InfoWorld earlier this year initiated a Save Windows XP campaign. More than 100,000 users have signed an InfoWorld petition addressed to Microsoft so far.

InfoWorld argues that, with its smaller footprint, simpler interface, and lower system requirements, Windows XP has numerous and substantial advantages over Vista. We concur. But taking the same reasoning even further, we believe that a DOS revival would solve even more problems associated with Windows-era gewgaws and fripperies--thereby essentially eliminating the need for continued XP sales into the bargain.

Others agree.

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