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Paul's Picks - 26 Oct 2004



Microsoft Windows XP
Professional x64 Edition beta
Contact: Microsoft * 1-800-426-9400
Web: http://www.microsoft.com/
Price: $649.99
Summary
Pros: More secure thanks to hardware-supported Data Execution Prevention (DEP); compatible with most 32-bit Windows applications; includes most XP Pro features; performance improvements over 32-bit versions of XP
Cons: Not compatible with 16-bit DOS applications or NetBEUI; requires special hardware
Rating: 4 out of 5
Recommendation: Windows XP Professional x64 Edition is available now in a free beta release, and all organizations looking to the future should evaluate it as soon as possible. You can run today's 32-bit versions of XP on x64 hardware without problem, but in the future, switching to XP x64 will provide you with access to vast amounts of RAM, better security, and better performance. Sadly, there's no software upgrade: You'll need to perform a clean install to use XP x64.
Full Review: http://www.itprotoday.com/article/showcase/windows-xp-professional-x64-edition-preview.aspx


Microsoft Virtual PC 2004
Contact: Microsoft * 1-800-426-9400
Web: http://www.microsoft.com/
Price: $649.99
Summary
Pros: Cheap; virtual machines are compatible with those of Virtual Server 2005; more secure than previous versions of the software
Cons: Linux support is minimal at best; worse performance than previous versions of the product and VMware
Rating: 2 out of 5
Recommendation: Microsoft has a lot of work to do to make Virtual PC a viable competitor with VMware Workstation. Unless out-of-pocket cost is your primary concern (Virtual PC 2004 is very inexpensive) or you plan to use Virtual Server 2005 and want to implement a compatible development environment, skip this release and go with VMware. That said, I expect Microsoft to improve Virtual PC dramatically in the next year.
Full Review: http://www.itprotoday.com/article/reviews/virtual-pc-2004-review.aspx


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