Well, I’ve been using Vista now for about eight (8) weeks and I thought I should tell you about my observations and experiences.
Yes, I know I’ve been telling you NOT to upgrade to Vista and not to purchase a new PC with Vista on it and I still feel that way…with a few exceptions.
I am now on my second Vista unit already. Why, the first one Dell sent me, as a replacement for my old unit, was way too big for my needs. So, I ordered a much smaller, 12”, system. Generally, I love the laptop…a Dell XPS M1210.
But, MS Vista, is another story.
This unit has MS Windows Vista Business. It also has MS Office 2007 Small Business Edition. I am what many would consider a “power user” frequently having multiple programs simultaneously. (I almost always have Internet Explorer 7 and Outlook 2007 running plus one or two other things.)
MS Office 2007 has some known issues that aren’t problems, just inconveniences. What does this mean? About half the time when I close Outlook, Word etc., after I close the program I get an error message that says “______ has quit working and needs to close. We will search for a fix.” After a few seconds that window closes and everything is fine. I have every available patch (fix) loaded for both Vista and Office. Also, when I run Office diagnostics, it reports everything is working fine. All I can do on this is hope that Microsoft eventually gets this fixed.
You will likely have to patch or replace all “third party” applications. Third party means anyone other than Microsoft. Sort of like Jews and Gentiles. A Gentile is anyone other than a Jew. (If you would like to know more on this topic, please let me know.)
Overall, I like the look and “feel” of Vista and Office 2007. They have replaced the Tool Bar and Menu Bar with something they call a “Ribbon.” This truly is an enhancement as it does group things together more logically, in my opinion, and makes commonly used functions much easier to find and use.
The “search” feature of Vista is a vast improvement over anything MS has produced before. (It could still use some fine tuning, but overall it is faster and easier to use.)
My biggest disappointment, and expected issue, is the fact that it takes a very powerful PC to run Vista acceptably. I am typing this on a laptop outfitted with Core 2 Duo processoer T7200 running at 2GHz. (A Core 2 Duo Processor at 2GHz is faster than a Pentium IV running at 3GHz) It has 2GB (gigabytes) of memory, which for Windows XP was fantastic, but is barely acceptable for Vista. This unit also has a high-speed hard disk drive which improves overall performance.
I recently had the experience of a Vista Home system with only 1GB of memory. At times it crawls painfully slowly. At other times, it performs at an acceptable speed. I have not been able to determine why it fluctuates so much.
One feature of Vista that you may not be aware of is ReadyBoost. ReadyBoost allows a end-user to “upgrade the RAM” without any knowledge or understanding of hardware. You simply buy a “USB thumb drive” of 1GB or more and plug it in. Vista should then ask if you want to use it to boost your performance and you should answer YES. If you want a more detailed explanation of this, please ask.
So, bottom-line? There is no compelling reason to upgrade an XP machine, or anything older to Vista. I still say never ever upgrade a PC that is more than 1 year old to Vista without also increasing the RAM to an absolute minimum of 1GB. Plus put a 1 or 2 GB USB thumb drive. But I’d really suggest you buy a whole new system rather than upgrading…if that is at all possible.
Microsoft’s marketing says it is “essential.” It is NOT essential at this time. Please don’t fall for it.