Pros Awesome, sleek interface; reasonable software compatibility; friendlier networking; enhanced security
Cons Some compatibility issues; performance hog; hefty machine needed
Summary Say what you will about Microsoft, but Windows Vista is all right. I replaced XP Professional with Vista Business on my MacBook (soon thereafter, I replaced OS X Tiger with Leopard), and I have to say, even though it's a Microsoft product, I'm still impressed.
The most obvious change from XP is the new interface. Aero, I think, is an improvement over even Aqua on the Mac; the translucence of your window elements and task bar lend an airiness to the Windows interface that no other OS can match (unless you've customized your Linux to resemble Vista, of course). I enjoy this, as it's a highlight to my day shuffling among Word 2007, Visual Studio 2005, Firefox, and my other favorite Windows applications.
I was surprised to see my copy of Word 97 working in Vista without any issues; likewise, I got Age of Empires 2, a game released in 1999, working without issue. Some good. But what bugs me even today is that some old applications utterly refuse to work, and even VS 2005 has a litany of compatibility issues. But at least Microsoft is working on backward compatibility, unlike another computer company out there….
Networking is a bit friendlier in Vista as well. Whenever your Vista laptop detects a new wireless network, it handily tells you to pick an access specification for it -- "Work," "Home," and "Public" are the choices. This is perhaps the most tangible proof of Vista's renewed focus on security, aside from User Account Control.
UAC will be familiar to anyone who's used a Linux or Mac desktop for a while: when you do something that requires administrative permission (like running VS 2005 on my machine, changing system settings, or installing a program), Windows prompts you to tell you that you're doing something that requires administrative permission. If you're an admin user, you only have to click "Continue;" non-admin users have to supply the name and password of an admin in order to complete the action.
The code base is also more secure as a virtue of being based on Windows Server 2003 rather than Windows XP; say what you will about the Vista development cycle, but this was the single smartest decision Microsoft made.
Vista isn't without its warts, though. As I alluded to above, Visual Studio 2005 isn't perfectly compatible with Vista, and there are (from around the Internet, anyway) more reports of incompatibility. Most people won't get bit by those, though.
And let's face it -- Vista is a hoss of an operating system; on my MacBook, easily 40% of the machine's 2048 MB of RAM is in use at any given time. Now with that much memory and a dual-core processor, Vista is sufferable, but I'd hate to be one of the people who got a machine with 512 MB of RAM and a single-core CPU, hoping that Vista would run on it. And with an official requirement of 15 GB of hard drive space, it's nigh impossible to dual boot Vista with anything terribly recent, at least on the piddly 60 GB hard drive in my laptop -- I recently took Leopard off my MacBook to make the machine Windows-only. (Thankfully, I have a Power Mac for Leopard, and a PowerBook for Linux.) Any new machine that you spend a reasonable amount for should have enough muscle to run Vista, but those with older machines should be careful. Microsoft happens to make a "Windows Vista Upgrade Advisor" for people hoping to run Vista on their older PC -- the Advisor reports that my parents' old Pentium 4-based Compaq tower will run it just fine, thanks to the non-integrated video. But they're sticking with XP for now.
In sum, I encourage people who are looking for a new PC to just go ahead and jump in with Vista -- it's a pleasant romp, at least I think so, and Mac users needing a copy to dual-boot with can't really go wrong either. Just make sure to buy as much RAM as you can afford (but hey, that's a strategy for any OS these days, right?), and open your mind to the future of Windows.
Pros Vista Business is a considerable improvement over XP Business
Cons had a few problems at the onset, has a few bugs still in it
Summary Vista Business is far less trouble prone then XP Business. This OS is very solid with few errors and bugs. Microsoft has done a fine job with this OS despite a few start up problems. I think the net has some catching up to do before it's full capabilities are reached. This is especially true for Web 2 programs, applications and utilities involving video, gaming and perhaps audio. I believe there are still problems with connectivity, IE7, and USB support concerning "Ready Boost". More could be done to improve PC over heating problems and video connectivity. Let's hope we see these improvements in SP2. Much work should be done with "problem reports and solutions". To many problems are going unresolved. I certainly hope they resolve the event 1003, Dhcp Client error that has been present in ME, XP Business and now in Vista Business. This error consumes hardware resources and needs to go away. Fine job Microsoft, time to press forward for a perfect 10.
"Too many time-consuming and unsolvable problems to solve make Vista Business a poor choice."on by Jurislaw
Pros Some pretty useless cleverness such as 3-D display of multiple windows
Cons Incompatible with practically everything you would want to use.
Summary I cannot recommend that a small business use this highly buggy program until Microsoft updates what is really a beta software product. For reasons probably best known to Microsoft, Vista is actually being sold as a tested product. Incredibly Vista Business, installed on my Dell Optiflex 766 computer by Dell, does not work either with Microsoft Office's Word (also installed on the computer by the OEM) most of the time, or frequently with the other components of Microsoft Office. If there was one program that you would expect not to have any issue with Vista, it would be Office. Yikes.
"really really bad"on by hthomas49
Pros looks better than xp
Cons be prepared to reinstall
Summary I 've had to reinstall once because it wouldn't install office 2003 (office 2007 is another story. Control Panel and all included in CP dissappeared(printers etc), several lock ups, task mgr shows processor & memeory usage, but no programs are running. I don't know what the hell it's doing & I've only had it a week. I bought this new computer for increased speed and have spent all week trying to get it to work. I'll probably format and install xp pro.Updated
I've had Vista Business for about 7 months now. Its working like it is supposed to. Once I upgraded to Office 2007 I haven’t had any problems. As with most MS operating systems, you should wait 6 months before buying.
I did turn off “User Account Control” for awhile.
Pros Stable, beautiful, feature rich, VERY fast (explained below), accessible interface (search is FAST)----Definately NOT a "warmed" Over XP
Cons Price, PRICE, PRICE,Released too early (Microsoft needs to give time for software and hardware vendors to adapt), Slightly naggy security (can be changed), requires some tweaking at first install
Summary To start off I would like to say that I in way claim the illusion of objectivity in my review; I have always loved the speed and customizeability of microsoft products and have been a microsoft customer for 8+ years.
-I've had the pleasure of using Vista Beta for 1 month and Vista Business for 5 days.
-My current computer's specifications
Inspiron 6400/E1505, 120 GB 5600 RPM HD, 1 GB 666MHz RAM, ATI X1300 128 MB Video Card
First off I'd like to say that if you are interested in buying a new operating system, do your research FIRST! If your hardware vendors have not made vista drivers yet for you then don't buy Vista yet. If you really want it quickly I suggest e-mailing those vendors and pressuring them to get with the program (pun intended). Now, on to the review.
~Installation of Vista on my machine:
Installing Vista was child's work even when installing on a seperate partition along with XP (partitioning the HD however, is NOT child's work). Installation took about 32 minutes from when I put the CD in to when I was fully logged in to Vista.
I was soon greated with a simple welcome window and a windows update notification with a few drivers that I needed to download. I press a button, then another, and voila! All my hardware works! (May not be so easy for others without a vista premium capable Dell).
-The Interface (Look and feel):
These days all you hear about operating systems is how nice they 'feel' and how great they look. If you're looking to show Vista off to others you are in luck. It is a STUNNER. No where near the shear power of Beryl on Ubuntu but still quite spectacular. Moreover, this interface does not bogg the user down but feels crisp and well....bouncy.
Basically, as an extremely proficient XP user (who said I was arrogant?!1?), my windows XP already had MOST of the features in Vista installed through third party vendors and tweaks. However, for those of you without my amazing powers Vista is a GODSEND. Let me outline some things for you:
1. Search - Extremely fast and accessible searchs allow you to run programs or documents simply by hitting the windows key and typing the first 4 letters (maybe 3, maybe EVEN 2) of the program or document's name. Productivity goes through the roof! Contextual searching also makes searching through folders easy with a simple shortcut (windows key + S) when in a folder view in explorer.
Moving around in Vista is a breeze with the new 3d tab view (windows key + Tab) and previews on the taskbar. Everything I look for in a folder is exactly where I expect it to be and working with files has never been easier. However, there is a dark side to all of this (see security below).
3. Desktop Sidebar
Although this is nothing new (Konfabulator was the first) it's about time microsoft integrated mini programs ("gadgets") into its operating system. I've found some (drool) really useful ones that replace the functionality of full programs I had in XP. And when it gets intrusive simply turn it off.
4. Many others like:
i. Built in 3d games
ii. Revamped Volume controls
iii. New and fast Windows Media Player
iV. EASY networking and filesharing
With the addition of User Account control and the built in Windows Defender (for spyware) Vista is almost bullet proof when run as a standard user. Even running as an administrator is much more secure than it was under XP. No programs install themselves without the explicit authorization of the user and no system files (or any files for that matter) can be modified without permission.
However, due to the constant nagging of security it may get VERY frustrating for an expert user who installs a lot of programs. Therefore I recommend switching UAC (user account control) off when first installing all of your programs on Vista. Also, I would suggest getting a virus scanning program to supplement Windows Defender (AVG Free is great).
All in all this will become a great investment when all the driver/software issues are sorted out (all of mine have been). However, the price may still be prohibitive to many. I for one would never have bough a $300 operating system and only am using Vista because I got it free though my College MSDN free software licensing program. (Jealous?? Well I pay $40K a year to go here...)
My recommendation: Vista is the upgrade in your life that you've been waiting for. But before you upgrade, research, resewarch, and research. And if you're one of the lucky ones without any problems, Buy buy buy. (Nsyc' reference anyone?)
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