Is Vista Worth It?: A Closer Look

Dennis Faas's picture

Is Vista worth it?

With all the hoopla, hype, and criticism floating around the 'net since Vista's release, it's no wonder users are confused as to whether the leap to Microsoft's new operating system is a good investment.

In a recent article by Laptop Magazine, author Jeffrey Wilson wrote that "it's no secret that Microsoft's new operating system offers plenty of additional functionality over XP and gives users a much better experience overall."

It's also no secret that Vista has taken some serious heat in recent weeks for a number of issues, the most frequently reported surrounding compatibility problems in moving all of Microsoft's popular applications to the new operating system (OS). (Source:

The Positive Side of Vista

And yet, change is good. That statement is more than just a corny tag line for Arby's restaurants, however, and readily applies to all of the generally positive adjustments being made to PC use with the introduction of Microsoft Windows Vista.

" Vista ... Now. So far, no regrets. One of my older printers (circa Windows 95, no longer manufactured) won't work with Vista, another needs new drivers (due out out soon), three other printers are working fine. Other than those two printers, everything is working, better than ever, faster than at any time under XP. All software that worked under XP is working under Vista and I have a lot of programs that I use regularly. " ~ Infopackets Reader Mike M.

Not convinced? Here's some evidence of why you will be moving to Vista in the coming months and years, and why this won't be nearly as painful as some flashy journalists would have you believe.

  • It's Safe: if you've seen the Apple's commercial with the "man in black" bodyguard -- it's both funny and amusing. Essentially, the competition alleges that Vista kindly requests permission to launch certain applications. That's true, but it's hardly an initiative that will stand in the way of work or play. Rather, it's simply a safe way to ensure your computer NEVER becomes infected with spyware, adware, malware, or various viruses. The security is worth it, and that's something the competition won't show you in flashy ad campaigns.
  • It's REALLY Safe: There are other security tools under the surface. For example, unlike Windows XP, Internet Explorer is *finally* a separate entity from Outlook Mail. This means that if a threat ever made its way onto a Vista system, it would be quarantined in one of the completely distinct web-linked applications.
  • It's Easy-to-Use: Popular tech critic Paul Thurrott recently named Vista's "Integrated Search" as one of the top five reasons the operating system is worth the upgrade. Unlike other systems which have tried such a search, like Mac OS X, Vista's is far quicker and more accessible. The instant a user begins typing, the search begins its journey into the hard drive. Results are returned for each and every additional character entered. Integrated Search isn't limited to files, however, but can search individual documents, the Control Panel, and Help.

    " I installed Vista last week. I am primarily a home computer user and I find some of the new stuff pretty slick ... I also installed Office 2007. That has a fresh look to it and some of the functions are nicer for the minimal user ... About the only thing I find slightly annoying is the new security which asks me to permission to do almost anything ... [but then again, Zone Alarm firewall functions the same way and it's been around for ages]. " ~ Infopackets Reader Sue L.
  • Media Center is Far Improved: Just TRY not to like Media Center. Anyone with an HDTV can connect it to their Vista-powered PC and record television shows. Yeah, forget the VCR, forget DVD Recorders, forget TiVo. In addition, sports fans can have scores streamed to them constantly.
  • Easiest Install, EVER: If any (or all) of the above sounds at all worthwhile, then you'll be happy to hear that Vista's installation has been extremely simplified. There are a few ways to do it, with strategies out there to make Vista usable on even dated computers. (Source:

    " I have been very impressed with Vista to date. It's smooth running and has easy to use features that seem intuitive. I was surprised by its appearance as I have been trying out SuSe 10.2 with beryl [a Linux distribution], which has many more customizable features. However Vista holds its own in other ways: the Media is seamless, the new Microsoft Gadgets are easy to apply, and all my hardware registered the first time after I installed Vista on my PC. And best of all: integration to the Internet is exceptional. Overall, I'm very pleased with Vista, although I still think the price could be lower. " ~ Infopackets Reader Dave T.

Is Vista Worth it? Here's My Opinion

When Dennis asked me to write an eBook on Vista, I was skeptical. After all, there had been reports that it was potentially problematic software. And then there's the ever-increasing circle of critics that jump at the opportunity to downplay Vista for a sensational headline or two.

However, as I spent some time with Vista's new features, it became apparent that -- although hardly perfect -- this new operating system is worth it.

What impressed me most?

Sure, the new graphical interface, called "Aero" is gorgeous. For a tech writer who loves to dabble in next-gen gaming on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, the visuals were a thrill. And yet, I hate spyware. Who doesn't? I've had my computer infected a few times, and each occasion seems to be more expensive, time consuming, and generally infuriating than the last. That's why I can't help but be impressed with Vista's measures to make sure malware migraines are far less likely in the future.

" I will wait for Windows Vista Service Pack 1 before I take the big step. Therefore Vista will be an even a better upgrade. " ~ Infopackets Reader Josephine B.

" I've been using Vista Ultimate for about 1 month (via MS TechNet) on a laptop with mixed results and opinions. Installing software can be a royal pain due to the security provisions ... Once past that point, though, it can be a joy to use. " ~ Infopackets Reader Earl G.

Investing in Vista: Do or Don't?

In the end, there are a number of reasons to investigate Vista before investing. You've heard some of the criticism of the operating system, and some of it is warranted. However, as a writer who is constantly putting his name on the line with (sometimes controversial) topics for various tech sites, I know a thing or two about web-based news stories. It gets attention, it gets hits, it gets money. But it isn't always the whole story.

So what does Vista *really* have to offer? In the end, is Vista worth it?

If you're like everyone else, you're dying to know. So why not take the time to read up on Vista's hot new features and decide for yourself?

Things like:

  • How did Vista come about?
  • What are Vista's hardware requirements?
  • What's truly under the hood?
  • What's the big deal about the new Windows Aero?
  • What's missing in Vista when you upgrade from XP?
  • What new security features are offered in Internet Explorer?
  • How is Vista safer than any other Windows operating system?
  • What's new in Windows Mail?
  • How will the new Windows Media Player change the way we interact with our PCs?
  • What's the skinny on Microsoft's new Gadgets?
  • How will the Windows Sidebar change the way you use Vista?
  • What hot, new burning features are present in Windows DVD Maker?

... Plus *much* more!

" I will keep Windows XP and Windows 98 on my present PC's until I buy a new PC, and I'm sure Vista will already be installed. Until then, it's great to know that web sites like infopackets will be here to keep me up to date on all things Vista. Much appreciated, and I'm looking forward to your eBook when it's available. " ~ Infopackets Reader Stan L.

Special Offer for Infopackets Readers

It's been a few weeks in the making and we've waded through countless pages to bring you the skinny on Vista -- a very special report that answers all of the above questions, and more. And, as part of a very special introductory offer, Dennis and I have agreed to discount this amazing new eBook 33% off -- but only until April 3rd, 2007!

That's right -- for the next 2 weeks *only*, you can get the next infopackets sensation, "Is Vista Worth It? A Closer Look into Microsoft’s New Operating System," a dazzling 68 page insightful guide for only $14.95.

Also included in this special report is a lesser-known secret that will teach you how to trim the fat off Vista and turn it to a lean and mean machine: perfect for lower-end PCs!

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As an additional option -- and only if you act now -- you'll also receive Carol Bratt's stunning new 180-page eBook "Office Tips and Tricks": an amazingly simple manual designed to teach folks just like you the SECRETS of MS Office -- at 33% off the retail price.

That's TWO eBooks at a very special introductory rate! What a bargain!

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Reminder: This very special introductory offer will expire April 3rd, 2007! So please act now! 50% of your purchase will be used directly to support our web site so that we may continue to grow. Thank you.

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