XP is like facing your wife is your wife.
Win7 is like having to blind choose somebody's else wife :p, she might look prettier, but would she know to cook?
The only two reasons I've ever had XP blue-screen are 1: Driver issues (which hasnt happened to me in years), and 2: I'm dicking around with drivers or other system level processes.
Of course, your typical computer user does things like install stuff from the internet (weather buddy) and go to websites which give the PC spyware/adware. That's a guaranteed way to get at least a couple blue-screens a week. But properly using a computer you will rarely if ever see it.
I guarantee that these "typical" computer users will be able to botch up windows 7 as bad as they botch up XP. Just give it time :). That being said, the fact that XP has a blue screen is no worse than 98 having a blue screen, or 7 having a blue screen (If it doesn't, I'm sure it has some other kernel level error catching mechanism). I guess what I'm trying to say is BSOD is Windows version independent and has nothing to do with the quality of XP vs anything. XP is way better than any of its predecessors, and as far as I've seen better than it's successors at this point for a carpc install.
I wonder how many of the people that have negative things to say about Win7 have actually used it, or have made up their minds based on others or the bad rep of Vista.
I've used it.
only issue i've had is with hibernation.
But... I'm just adding my 2 cents about something that I know a little something about. I think windows 7 is a big improvement over XP. While, 7 doesn't fix the things I find annoying in windows (ie, proper window focus), I did like it for the most part. I think Microsoft is going in the right direction with this OS.
That should actually hold some weight considering I'm not a windows guy, and I find windows inferior to other operating systems (Linux, OSX to name a few).
Being somewhat new to the game, Win7 is the only OS i've run on my CarPC. I've run it on D945 Atom boards and a couple of mini-atx boards (P5-QEM, GA-G41E2SL) and found it to be reliable, stable and very fast. I HAVE seen the hibernation issue mentioned above, but I don't use hibernation or sleep. Boot up from a cold start to music playing is 29 seconds in my current system. I realize that for some, that's way too slow, but everything works every single time I boot and I've got a fair amount of toys attached (Centrafuse running bluetooth, HD Radio, XM, OBDII, GPS, Wireless, Pinnacle HDTV, Uniden BCT8 Scanner, Fusion Brain V4, wireless mouse and a 4 port USB hub/SD reader)
The two important points to be considered have already been mentioned. XP is an established product with a solid, knowledgeable user-base and good hardware/software support. But it IS 10 years old and rapidly approaching end of life from a Microsoft support perspective, and to some extent, developer perspective. Win7 is the future of Windows OSes, has better support for NEWER hardware and is what everyone will be developing for in about 2 months.
At this point, if you're fairly computer literate and enjoy tinkering (if not, DON'T build a CarPC 8-), Win7 is the way to go. If your goal is to duplicae as cloesly as possible the look and feel of dedicated hardware, then I think XP is a better answer.
Windows 7 is an XP replacement OS, for nearly all machines. especially if you have a VT processor. fact is win7 has been under heavy public testing since vista came out- and there simply is VERY little concern with compatibility over XP.
however, seeing as most of us use frontends that eliminate many of the features windows has, its not like XP->win7 is a must upgrade... but if youre wanting the newest software its not like its a dumb idea either.
I loaded Win7 pro on my carpc, upgrading from xp to vista, then to win7 to avoid reinstallation of programs. My xp install with RR (older version), xm/mp3 usb, MS gps running on a core duo acer pc with 2gb ram & solid state drive has always been very stable. The only issues I had and the reason for my upgrade were slow boot times, riderunner (newer version) issues & hibernation issues.
I had customized the boot up using the guides in this forum to strip out all windows graphics to use only car logos and had gotten startup down to about 30 seconds. That means I would back out of the driveway, go down the street and take the corner then get 4 or 5 houses down the street before my my music would start.
With Win7 installed "out of the box", boot time is closer to 10 seconds. In other words, the music was going by the time I backed out of the driveway. And thats without any tweaking.
I just finished putting the pc back in my car yesterday so Ill go through and get it finalized this weekend. I am very optomistic about the results so far. Ill also likely upgrade to the latest version of RR.
Now that I am running Win 7 on my car pc, my home PCs and my office PC, I can say that while there are still some minor UAC annoyances; it is a very nice OS and much faster than vista & XP.
Just my 2 cents...