On June 30 this year, Microsoft has stopped distributing Windows XP as a stand-alone product as well as stopped licensing it to PC manufacturers like Dell, HP, Lenovo, and others. So now your new desktop or laptop will only come with Windows Vista pre-installed. Is Windows Vista really as bad as compared to XP as it is made out to be?
Till date, Windows Vista which was released in November 2006 has not gained the same level of confidence & acceptance from businesses resulting in Microsoft having to slash Vista prices to push sales. However, that has not helped much and the fact that Microsoft has announced that its next OS, called Windows 7 will be released in the next couple of years has only induced businesses to skip Vista and await Windows 7.
Many of the problems that users have with Vista are due to attempting to install the OS on equipment meeting only minimum requirements which can cause problems with any OS. Or, installing as an “upgrade” rather than making a clean install. In so doing any problems that were present with the previous OS will be carried over. Running Vista at anything below 2 GB of RAM is asking for trouble as Vista has, without argument, very high hardware requirements.
However the fact is people dread to install Vista even on new machines which are highly configured. Most of these reasons are attributed to application incompatibilities. But it is unfair to single out Vista for this because any new OS in the market is bound to have application incompatibilities in its earlier years and Windows XP was also no exception to this in its early years.
The thing you’ll probably like most about Vista is its new Aero interface. Add to it improved networking and stronger security features (debatable), Windows Vista isn’t really bad on new systems.
Of course, there are some nuances, like the irritating User Access Control (UAC) which pops up everytime before you can take certain actions, such as adding or removing programs, or turning the Windows Firewall on or off.
Another irritating part of Vista is its Search indexing. Problems with the indexing service leads to Windows search failing to find files which you can see right under your nose and you will need to tweak the indexing in order to get the search working correctly.
But overall, Vista is not really the nightmare it’s made out to be. So when you buy your new machine this July onwards and are forced to buy it with pre-installed Windows Vista OS, don’t worry. You are, in all likelihood, going to have a nice eXPerience (pun intended). Just remember the RAM.