Upgrade to Windows Vista - Maybe not yet.

We explore the reasons to wait or jump in

Microsoft has identified a number of reasons that Vista is the operating system that you should consider for the future. Most of the arguments forwarded are targeted to the business community but a number apply to the average consumer.

The following information is extracted from Microsoft Technet.

• The fast, integrated desktop search in Windows Vista helps make it easier for users to find the information they need, even if it is on a shared drive or other network resource. Windows Vista Desktop Search is integrated throughout the operating system—in the start menu, control panel, and their document folders—making it easy to find the information they are looking for.

Once the user has entered the search information, Windows Vista helps make it easier to identify the right data by displaying high-resolution thumbnails (miniaturized pictures) of the content. Users can dynamically adjust the size of these thumbnails to make them large enough for users to know whether they've found the right document without opening it. The user can then store the search results in a "search folder" to be recalled for later use.

• Windows Vista helps make users more productive managing online information as well. With tabbed browsing in Internet Explorer 7, users can visually scroll to the right page. Web page printing is also improved so you can capture all of the information, without cutting off part of the page.

• The most recognizable improvement in Windows Vista is the new, Windows Aero interface—its glass-like, transparent windows allow users to multi-task bringing focus to current window while allowing easy access to the rest of the desktop. Live icons that give users a preview of the document and new ways to navigate the windows on the desktop help users find what they are looking for in less time.

Greatly enhanced security.

On the other hand, as with any new release, there are many as yet unresolved problems.

Firstly, you may need a computer with greater capability than you currently have. The following are the minimum hardware requirements;

• at least a 2.0 GHz Pentium 4 (or compatible) processor• 1 GB of RAM or higher• 60 GB hard disk or higher• 64 MB video RAM or higherMany familiar peripherals will not work properly since the drivers for them have not been released.

Many programs have not been converted to be Vista compliant so you may miss some of your favorite programs or utilities.

There are bugs and problems that are yet to be resolved.

The hardware requirements in terms of processor speed, memory and video capability are steep, and there does not yet appear to be any compelling advantage in the new system.

The new security requirements can be burdensome and require getting used to. In general, the new interface and way of doing things will take some adjustment.

The digital camera support is weaker than in XP. You don’t have the choice of which pictures to download. You have to load all the pictures currently on your camera.

If you need to network your computer with other XP machines, you may also encounter difficulties. If you need to connect to a network domain such as a business network or school network, your only choices are the Business version or Ultimate. Company or school policy may not allow you to connect at this time.

If you have an existing computer that is working reasonably well, it doesn’t pay to switch yet in my opinion. The overall rule is one should never purchase serial number 1 or any new software or hardware. Some have set the release of service pack 1 of fixes for Vista as the benchmark which would mark a level of maturity where plunging into the new waters is worth the risk.

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