Monday, January 29, 2007

Yet Another Reason to Not Upgrade to Vista

I've pretty much avoided discussing Windows Vista on this blog as I really haven't found many interesting tidbits about this new OS. I am of the general opinion that Vista is an XP "point" upgrade - like XP.5, or something like that. It isn't adding features with which I am particularly impressed.

High on my list of annoyances are the many different flavors of Vista available (5, I think), and the lack of a clear message detailing what you get (or don't get) with each version. I can see many people looking at the various flavors and saying, "WTF?".

Much of Vista's marketing push seems to focus on the user interface enhancements made to the system. Of course, to make optimal use of these new enhancements, Microsoft recommends a computer with a pretty hefty set of requirements - a list which many non-gaming PCs will fail to meet. So, you could run Vista in a "degraded" mode where many of the UI changes are not present... and end up with a product similar to XP.

Microsoft has also made a fairly draconian change in the usage of the upgrade editions of the new OS. In the past, upgrade editions could either be upgraded over an older version of Windows, or you could do a fresh install on a blank hard drive. This came in handy, as it was common practice for some to reinstall Windows annually to clear out all the cruft that accumulated. Also, it is essential to do a clean install when a system has been infected with a rootkit and/or many viruses.

To reinstall a Vista upgrade edition OS, you will first need to install an older version of Windows, and then do the upgrade all over again. Either that, or you could bend over and fork out a good chunk of change for the "Full" Vista (insert flavor here) Edition.

If you have XP, then I'd recommend not upgrading to Vista. The extra hardware costs needed to receive the full benefits of Vista plus the hose job Microsoft is handing out for their "Upgrade Edition" are just too much to swallow. Stick with XP on those Windows boxes you need, and maybe look at trying out a Linux distribution like Ubuntu for others.

If you need to get Vista, I'd look at buying a new PC and getting it bundled with the system. For the full retail price, you might as well get a system that works well with it at the same time.

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