Pros It's prettier than XP
Cons Only a corporate IT administrator could love it
Summary What's wrong with Vista? Behind the translucent windows, sharp graphics and desktop "gadgets" lies Vista security to prevent you from easily doing anything that Vista/Microsoft deems as insecure. Sure,
XP was insecure unless a user maintained constant vigilance and installed all updates, but at least you still felt like you controlled your own fate. With Vista the feeling of control is gone, now Vista controls you and everything you want to do on your computer.
Say you are a bit of a techie and want to take a hard drive from your old computer and put it into your new Vista compatible machine running Vista. After you get it installed Vista sees it, you can see it, but Vista prevents you from reading the drive saying that it is "not accessible" and "access is denied". In typical Microsoft OS fashion there's no information about why access is denied, no link to more information, nothing except for the sparse error message.
Go into Control Panel and choose "Add Hardware"; an annoying dialog box is displayed requiring that you give your permission to continue. Get used to this dialog box, you will see it over and over and over again and be required to click the "Continue" button each time. In Vista's security run amok world, things you could do in XP are now considered possible security violations and require your explicit go ahead.
What about new features? Oh, they are there and some of them are good ideas, but Microsoft has missed the boat on usability. New features are worthless without an intuitive user interface that works with you, provides help when you need it and links to additional helpful information. In Vista's case the UI suffers the same, if not worse problems, than XP's. Error messages are vague, UI paths to features are convoluted, help text is, for the most part, written in the same garbled techie language that plagued XP (and ME, 98, 95, for that matter).
I can hear Microsoft now exclaiming that they've rewritten help from scratch and it's the most comprehensive ever.Maybe so, but Vista help (like XP's) mostly just tells you what's wrong and then tells you to go fix it on some menu without telling you exactly how to get there.
The shame in Vista is that after 25 years of writing operating systems and supposedly improving on Windows, Microsoft is still making the same usability mistakes that have wasted our time and taxed our patience before. You'd think they'd get the idea that the UI and the user experience is at least as important as new features.
So, what has Microsoft been doing for the last 5 years besides making Vista hard to use for the common user? They've been adding features for the the IT staff at corporations. The IT staff will love the Vista features that give them new found control over every aspect of the computers they manage. Think of Vista as the secret police working on behalf of the IT department as they seek to lower the digital curtain (my apologies to whoever coined "iron curtain").
Should you purchase Vista? Not if you want to feel like you control your computer instead of the other way around. Your best course of action is to complain loud, long and repeatedly to Microsoft about their lack of regard for Vista users. Demand they do something about it instead of throwing a bunch of features together under a pretty, but incomprehensible UI, and calling it Vista.
If you complain enough maybe you'll find someone at Microsoft that still knows what "user friendy", "it just works" and "business at the speed of thought" really means. Otherwise, just buy a Mac (and being a long-time Windows user I don't say that easily), it will save you a lot of time in the long run.
Pros Great stability. Some very cool features. Very Simplistic. The best voice recognition system ever incountered. Will run quite well with almost minimal requirements.
Cons At current state, not recommended for home users. Very annoying unless you know how to turn off some of the features. You have to give yourself drive access permissions to your own HDD. Nesting.
First of all, I'd like everyone to know that I am an IT professional and I do technical support for a manufacturer. With that said, I feel like I should at least speak out a bit of the new Windows Vista as it is released now. First of all, with Windows Vista in it's current state, I strongly recommend installing it as it's own separte OS on it's own separate partition instead of upgrading. One thing is that this particular OS has it's very good, and also very bad points. One good point is it's stability. Amoung all of the MS NT versions of Windows, I must say that Vista is the most stable out of all of them, however, at it's current state, the earliest version of Windows that you can upgrade to it from is Windows XP Service Pack 2. However, the good side to that is Vista's installation saves everything from your previous installation to another folder called Windows.old. I experienced this very situation when attempting to upgrade a secondary copy of Windows 2000 on an auxilary partition on my computer's hard drive. One thing I should also note is that my system at home is a 1.9 GHZ AMD Sempron with only 512MB of RAM, an Nvidia GeForce MX 4000 128MB video card, and an 80GB split up (20GB = Windows XP MCE 05 Partition, and a 60GB = Was Windows 2K and is now Windows Vista Ultimate) Quantum HDD. Whoo, try saying all that in one breath... Anyway, moving on, no, I did not get to experience Aero or Flip 3D at home, however, I am mostly just testing Vista for work and research purposes, so, really, just did not see it as a very big deal. When I first started to use it, I quickly set my usual options as I usually do (folder options to show everything, control panel in classic style, etc....), and thought I was done there. First thing I noticed is that when I attempted to get the usual icons to show up on the desktop (My Computer, My Documents, My Network Places, Internet Explorer, etc....), they were not in any usual place to be found, like within the Display Properties under a Desktop tab or something. No, you had to right mouse click on the icon in the Windows style start menu, or set the start menu to classic style in order to get them to appear, and even then sometimes, if you use the full Windows start menu (which I do in XP for the convienience), not all the icons will be able to appear. One thing I did not like about the new start menu is the "nesting" of it, which seems to be a common theme in Vista. Almost everything in this OS is nested in something else. Imean, I one who's all for an object oriented layout, but there comes a point where you've gotta say... Enough! I know the desktop search is suppossed to alieviate the pain of nesting, however, like most users, they will forget that the feature is even there, and therefore, maybe less likely to even use it. I honestly think there should be three options of everything in Windows Vista (Windows Classic Style, Windows XP Style, Windows Vista Style) at this point. As far as I see it, the Windows Explorer interface in Vista is very, very simplistic. Maybe a little too simplistic without tool tips. You also have to go into folder options to show menus even. I also noticed that the address bar has become more like the "Up Folder(s)" bar. That is a very cool feature, although, you know, I wish there was a tool tip to have notified me of this so I would not sound stupid asking "Where is the up folder button." One other thing I noticed was that everytime I wanted to run a program, install something, etc, I'd get attack by the User Access Control which, I do have to say is the most annoying feature of all and should not be turned on from the beginning when you first use the OS. Be advised that sometimes this would not let me install somethings as well. I quickly found this feature under Windows Security and disabled it. I also changed the way that security center alerts me so I wouldn't be hounded by that little red shirld for turning off user access control. What was also very annoying and time consuming was finding out that I had to give myself full permissions to use the partition that it was on, even if I was set as an Administrator. Also, I had to go in and do this because Vista locked out the partition from the other OSes on my computer, and this was my partition for storing music files, downloads, etc. One thing that I mentioned before was that I replaced the OS that was on the partition with Vista. When the install moved old windows files and documents and settings to the Windows.old folder, it created and not quite a shortcut, not quite a folder junction file to my old documents and settings on the root of the drive/partition, however, before I gave myself full permission to use that partition, I would click on it, and would tell me that "Access is Denied." I simply then went into rhe windows.old folder, and accessed my old files there, however, I try to copy my old documents and settings folder back to the root of the drive and the junction file kept redirecting it back. Once I gained the proper permissions, the junction file was the first thing I deleted and then I copied the folder back. Just a note, in Vista, the old documents and settings folder no longer exists. Instead, it is replaced with a "Users" folder in the root. I did not have much of a problem running my older programs and stuff once I got through all the afformentioned junk. My final words on Windows Vista is that it's a really good and extremely stable version of Windows, however, more tips, assistance, and maybe a slight step back and less security needs to be presented to the average user right from the get-go.
I hope my opinion helped a few of you and hope you'll enjoy.
Pros attractive, more "user friendly", more intelligent interface
Cons too little too late
Summary Having been a windows user for most of my profesional life, i was really looking to Vista - a much needed upgrade to XP. To be perfectly honest, after all the time that went into making Vista what it is today, all the delays and all the fuss, my firm opinion is "is that it?".
At the end of the day, Vista is basically XP with a visual upgrade, a few more functionality tweaks in terms of being more user-friendly (or dare i say it - mac like), and not much else. What with most users having to seriously upgrade their pc to run it, it seems that the trade off is a little unfair.
If you are seriously bored with XP then upgrade by all means, just don't expect to be blown away.
Pros It still does everything XP already does...
Cons Uses more resources, nothing impressively new.
Summary Let's be honest, all that Vista turned out to be is a flashy looking version of XP. In some ways, that's great, but honestly, so what? I don't see any reason why people should have to get a high-end PC (which you'd have to if you want to run Vista) so that they can simply get a fancier looking XP. The focus of an OS isn't supposed to be how it looks. It's supposed to be stability, security, and interface. I saw no noticeable stability improvements and the interface is essentially the same, just a new skin. Want a flashy looking XP? Buy Windowsblinds. Don't waste the money on an OS overhaul istead.
Pros new apps Direct X 10
Cons ELUA is Gestapo like
Summary Ahhh, new OS! Whoooo hooooooo. The Beta version has some really nice features and applications. The problem I have is with Microsofts ELUA (End License User Agreement). Examples: Benchmark censorship, Mandatory Renewal pricing (rumor has it that this may be removed), no virtualization technologies - you won't be able to work with DRM's(Digital Rights Management) and you cannot reassign Vista to another device. If you are a gamer(one who adds upgrades), video editor, music editor or PC builder you won't be able to legally do these things anymore. The bad thing is, most people never read the EULA's so they only find out after they have already bought the product. I wish everyone would not buy Vista just for these reasons. Maybe then Microsoft would learn that we just want a product we can use and not be controlled like children. The problem is that when every average Joe goes to buy a computer from the chain store and Vista is already installed, they will have already put the money into Microsofts pocket to add more restrictions and controls on the next version.Updated
The version of Vista's EULA I have is the older version. I did not know that it was updated a few days ago. The funny thing is, I make this post and Microsoft sends me a varification authorization for my version of Windows. All of my software is legit - Coincidence, I think not.