The rantings of a beautiful mind

On life, society, and computer technology.

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Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

I live in the Fortress of Solitude. I drive the Silver Beast. My obsession is justice. I used to be a Windows software developer. I retired in 2000 when my stock options helped me achieve financial security.

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Overall Evaluation of Vista

I like Windows Vista, I really do. Despite the fact that I found several bugs, none of them are showstoppers and I expect that people will generally have a positive Vista experience. Having said that, I have to say that there is no compelling reason to upgrade to Vista. The Top Reasons for moving to Windows Vista are:
  1. The attractive Aero interface.
  2. The built-in Media Center application.
  3. The built-in Search capability.
  4. The new security features.
I must admit, I am drawn to the Aero interface. But let’s be honest, this is all about cosmetics. Functionally, Aero doesn’t really improve usability over Windows XP. However, there’s no denying that people generally enjoy “eye candy.”

I also like the built-in Media Center application...I can watch TV while I’m on the computer! However, I could do this under Windows XP using Hauppauge’s own TV software. Vista’s solution is simply more elegant, that is all.

While the built-in Search capability is nifty, the fact is, you can add this capability to Windows XP using free, third-party applets. (Ditto for Vista’s Sidebar widgets.)

It remains to be seen how much safer Vista’s much-vaunted new security features will make your computer, but the fact is, you can make your Windows XP machine pretty safe by adopting appropriate security measures.

Bottom line: there is nothing compelling about Vista to make you upgrade from Windows XP. So my recommendation is that if you like Vista, wait until you get a new PC. In other words, if your PC is obsolete or problematic (eg, if you’re still running Windows 98, or if Windows XP is causing you difficulties), then get Vista with a new PC.

If you’re happy with your current Windows XP machine and you are not experiencing any problems, then do NOT upgrade to Vista. It is not worth the risk or hassle.

Either way, you can buy yourself some time until the first Vista Service Pack is released which will fix most of the bugs you are likely to encounter. If you do get a new PC now, I think you’ll like Vista. But be prepared to work around a few glitches...


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