Vista’s cool and all that, but is it a compelling upgrade?
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This is Leo Notenboom for askleo.info.
A couple of folks have asked me about Vista, and since I’ve been using it
for a while I thought I’d report on where I am and what I’d recommend.
Vista has not blown me away. Yes, it’s pretty and all that, but by
and large in normal use I don’t see it as representing that massive a leap from
I use both Windows XP and Windows Vista daily. My laptop, which holds my
email and acts as my base of operations when I’m not at my desk, came with
Vista pre-installed. My desktop runs Windows XP Pro.
Vista on the laptop works, and it works well. I’ve had no real problems,
though there have been annoyances. Surprisingly, UAC or User Access Control
actually hasn’t been one of them – at least not directly. The popup asking for
permission happens at what I’d consider to be logical points in time where the
security implications of what I’m about to do actually warrant Vista double
checking. It’s a little more often than the rough equivalent on a Mac or Ubuntu Linux, but not excessively so.
The annoyances come from running as an administrator, but not really. Even
though my login account has administrative privileges, it’s actually running
slightly restricted – hence the occasional pop-up. The side effect, though, is
that file access permissions are occasionally wrong. By that I mean that I
can’t access some files. This may because I do a lot in the Windows Command
Prompt, because firing up another instance of that with full administrative
privileges gets me access to everything – except the network shares that were
created in the non-administrative window.
As you can see, it’s just a little complicated, confusing … and
I suppose I could turn of UAC, and perhaps someday I will. But that just
brings me one step closer to XP.
The other very big concern I have about Vista, and in fact the reason that I
won’t be updating my desktop, is application and hardware compatibility. I know
for a fact at least one important application I run will not work in Vista and
there are no plans to have it do so. And of course I also keep hearing of
various hardware incompatibilities.
The bottom line for me is that Vista is simply not a compelling upgrade. If
it comes pre-installed on a machine, and the applications you run will work on
it, then it’s a fine operating system. But right now the risks of upgrading
simply outweigh whatever potential benefits there might be.
I’d love to hear what you think. Visit askleo.info and enter 11679 in the go
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answers on the site.
Till next time, I’m Leo Notenboom, for askleo.info.