Deconstructing Windows Vista

Dennis Faas's picture

Flashback to late January 2007 --

Microsoft releases Windows Vista consumer versions of their "latest and greatest" new operating system (OS) with the marketing hype of "the wow is now". The Vista web site even offers 100 reasons you'll be speechless.

The top reason? "It makes using your pc a breeze" (provided your computer runs once you've installed Vista). Your chances of effectively using Vista improve if you purchase a new computer with the finicky operating system already loaded. Upgrading older computers is a waste of time and money.

Unfortunately for Microsoft, their marketing tactics are much better than the "leading edge technology" they produce.

Windows Vista has made me anything but speechless. Instead, it's made me want to rant and rave. I get numerous emails every week from people who have purchased a computer with Windows Vista, only to take it back for a refund or to exchange for Windows XP.

One of the biggest mistakes with Vista is the number of versions available. Had they kept it simple as they did with XP, they might have fared a little better.

I've had the privilege (if you want to call it that) of using Windows Vista Home Premium and Windows Vista Business. It takes time for experienced users such as myself to figure out the new locations of the newly named functions that still serve the same functions as their predecessors in Windows XP. Quite frankly, I'm not impressed.

A couple of weeks ago when my hard drive bit the dust, I came close to purchasing a laptop with Windows Vista Ultimate but ended up replacing the hard drive and sticking with XP Pro.

"The biggest problem with Windows Vista Ultimate is that there are too many things that can go wrong with it. I haven't seen a laptop yet that could run Vista Ultimate correctly," said the senior tech at the Computer Connection where I purchased a new hard drive for my laptop.

Interestingly enough, none of the techs or sales people I've spoken to during my trip had much good to say about it.

Windows Vista does have a few good points, though you have to dig deep to find them. For the most part, there is nothing that Vista has or does that couldn't be added to XP, or that isn't already available for XP from third parties. Unfortunately for Microsoft, Vista has had more bad press than good.

So, is Windows Vista worthwhile? There's lots to consider, depending on your circumstance. In my next article, I'll weigh the pros and cons.

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