Sunday, December 31, 2006

Vista in the horizon

After 6 years, Microsoft is finally releasing a new operating system to replace Windows XP. Yes, it's been 6 years so it's about time! The question in everyone's mind is should we upgrade? Depending on your PC situation, there are also a couple other questions to consider like --- when should we upgrade? or can we upgrade?

Why do we upgrade our OS anyway? I remember when XP came out, I only upgraded by default when I bought a new laptop and it came with XP installed. But it was XP Home Edition and when I needed to run IIS for a project using Visual Studio I switched back to Windows 2000. And then a few months later I heard about this wonderful software called Windows Movie Maker and lo and behold it would only run on Windows XP, so I reinstalled XP on my laptop. This upgrade was necessitated because I wanted to run software that wouldn't run on my older OS. I've heard of a couple folks upgrading to XP in the past few years because they got an iPod and iTunes would only run on Windows 2000 or XP.

If you're thinking of upgrading, make sure that you can even upgrade (run the Vista readiness test from PcPitstop). Vista requires more PC muscle than XP, so if your computer is more than 2 years old, there's a good chance it may not even be able to run Vista well (if you find XP slow on your 2 year old computer, Vista will make it even slower). Plus consider the cost of upgrading. The premium home version of Vista is going to sell for $159 (upgrade price) so you may also just consider getting a new PC which will come pre-loaded with Vista.

If you really want to upgrade and your PC has the muscle to run Vista, it's probably prudent to wait until Service Pack 1 is released. We're probably looking at Spring 2007 when this might be released --- of course this will all depend on how many bugs are reported and how critical they are. Plus let's wait and find out which among the many consumer software will not be compatible with Vista.

If you're worried that Vista will have bugs and problems that will make your life miserable, consider that XP, after 6 years is not bug and problem free either. In fact if you're diligent about getting those Windows updates, you probably got another XP patch/bug-fix from Microsoft just last week.

So YES, Vista is in the horizon, and after 6 years, it's about time!

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