Is Windows Vista a flop?
Check this shit out (Fig. 1). Windows Vista has Aero, which is a fancy marketing term for new UI graphics.
When I ask that question, I need to qualify it. Obviously, Microsoft is going to sell lots of licenses of Windows Vista, if for no other reason than because it has been loaded on every new PC sold from Jan. 30 forward. (Although, Dell recently announced that it would also continue to sell some XP machines.)
And at some point, Vista will become ubiquitous just because companies and individuals will all get new computers and existing XP users will gradually be forced to adopt to keep up with the platform for which new software is being developed.
But from the standpoint of the average computer-savvy user who is not buying a new PC, is Vista worth the upgrade? For me, the answer is “no.” Not right now, and certainly not if you have old hardware and software.
I should point out that I say this as a general supporter of Microsoft’s products. People who write “Micro$oft” annoy me. (They’re a company; of course the mission is to make money.) I have a subscription to the Microsoft Action Pack and I’m an MCP. I have a copy of Windows Vista Business with 10 licenses sitting right there on DVD, waiting for me to install it. But I’m not going to do it. Not right now.
I’m thinking Vista is a flop compared to XP in terms of actual advancement in what it does for the end user. And I don’t mean improved security and all that necessary but unsexy jazz.
XP was a genuine step forward, with great new built-in user features over what Windows 2000 and ME had to offer. In addition to XP’s nice new UI, I believe it came down this: There were a lot of advances in the popular use of PC technology about the time that XP came out: MP3 players, digital cameras, etc. — they all went into the widespread popular mainstream right around this time. XP had much-improved support for all of it. With Vista, that revolution has already happened, so what does upgrading to Vista get you? The “Aero” UI. BFD. Smoke and mirrors, my friends. (Okay, I do like Vista’s new Start Menu configuration.)
Upgrading my desktop machine to Vista would for me be an all-but-guaranteed headache. I know this for two reasons:
1) I know because I have Vista on a laptop PC that I bought on Jan. 30, the day of Vista’s release. Vista runs my laptop just fine, but it has issues with several pieces of old software that I’ve put on it. The PDF printers for Adobe Acrobat 6.0 don’t work. My MP3 player’s file transfer software is non-functional. Could I fix these with updates? Maybe, but the point is the answers aren’t apparent without research and I don’t want to dig into it. This hopefully will be easier in a year or so as more vendors have updated their drivers for old devices.
2) I also know because I ran the Vista Upgrade Advisor on my XP desktop machine. The results were not encouraging. I have a lot of older hardware and software, and it didn’t like a lot of it. My XP machine is a well-oiled amalgam of older technologies (and only has 512 MB of RAM), but it’s versatile and does everything well. The minute I introduce Vista into that equation, that well-oiled machine will be destroyed. (I have, for example, grave doubts that my ATI TV card and its video capture capabilities will still work.)
Bottom line: I don’t want to go out and buy new stuff just so I can run Vista on my desktop machine and have “Aero.” Plus, when it comes down to it, I still prefer XP’s UI to Vista’s, which looks way too much like Mac OS X.
So the Vista DVD will sit there, uninstalled, until I rebuild my computer, which may be a while since my XP machine works just fine, thank you.
How about you? Are you upgrading to Vista? Am I overstating my case? Is Vista less of an upgrade headache than it appears?