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Windows Vista Review

Windows Vista Review


Tuesday was the day after “Vista Launch.” Some people say
that it’s good; some people say that it’s bad.  Whatever it is I think that
most of my friends are most likely going to find their local software maven and
ask for an unfiltered opinion.



As some of you know as of June last year I am not longer
engaged with Windows Division of Microsoft so I have absolutely no pride to
defend with my review.



How do I know??



Besides participating in the development and design of
certain parts of Windows Vista I have installed the final version of it on my
old home laptop to try it out.  The machine is an old Compaq Presario 2500 with
the following specifications: Pentium 4 2.4 MHz, 1G RAM, 40G drive space.



The highlights



Search everywhere



I personally have a lot of files and programs installed. 
Unlike the regular user who might have just a browser and an office suite I
have some financial software, development tools, various graphics tools and
other things I find interesting.



I also do not like to put my files in folders.  Sure I have
a few folders where I keep big categories of files such as Music, Pictures, Tax
Returns, Book Materials etc…. but I don’t sort things into folders like some
people do.  Most of the times on Windows XP I sort things by date and just look
at the things I have worked on last.



Search is built into the start menu and in every folder view
in Vista.  I find it extremely helpful.  I no longer have to think about where
I should go to find a program or to open a document.  I go to the search box
and start typing what I think that file should be named.  This feature I think
is absolutely terrific.



There is Google desktop and Windows Desktop Search for
Windows XP, but those tools aren’t seamlessly integrated into the Windows and
they are not integrated that well into the start menu.  I for example like
using the keyboard so I like the fact that I can start searching my programs
right after I hit the “Start” key.



Another place where I really appreciate the search is
control panel.  There are so many different options there that when I just need
to zoom in on the printing I want the system to let me go straight there.



Increased security



Windows Vista protects your computer a lot more the Windows
XP did.  Some things that were optional in Windows XP; in Vista they are
required.  The system stops you when you are installing software that can alter
your system, when programs try to send information to the internet, when
registry gets altered.



Yes this was possible with XP but you had to configure 3rd
party software or Windows Defender, but most people didn’t want to bother with
it until it was too late.  Now we have everything built in so casual users like
my parents get it from the start! Being protected by default is great.   



This is a true story:



I downloaded a ZIP file that was supposed to include a trial
version of a DVD decoder.  Upon installation Vista told me that the setup was
trying to send things to the internet.  I stopped the installer and went to the
company website instead of the shareware website to get the authentic
installation.



Once I got the authentic install it didn’t try to send any
information to the internet.  I have avoided a possible spyware program!



Hardware support



Hardware support is currently a weakness of Vista.  Unless
you have a system you purchased in 2006 I would not advise you to upgrade to
Vista.  Old hardware that is not shipping now is most likely not going to get
drivers.



My old Compaq laptop needed a new wireless network card, the
integrated network card stopped working.  What used to be DirectX video card
now is not fully utilized and I can’t use Aero user interface.  The best thing
is of course to purchase Vista with a new computer.



Microsoft has provided a great tool – Windows Vista Upgrade
Advisor – for those who want to see if the current system will run Vista. 
There are some reports that even after running the tool people have experienced
problems, but the tool is evolving all the time.


http://www.microsoft.com/windows/products/windowsvista/buyorupgrade/upgradeadvisor.mspx


The verdict


I think most of the people are going to naturally do the
right thing – get the new operating system with a new computer.  Is it better
then Windows XP? Absolutely!  Is it a must? Not yet. 


 

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