Published on June 14, 2007 By averjoe In Personal Computing
I had a chance to mess around a little with Microsoft's Vista operating system over the weekend. I wasn't that impressed with what I saw.

Microsoft claims Vista is selling very well, but I know of only one person who has Vista (Vista Basic). The only reason he has it is because he brought a new computer and it came with the Vista operating system.

I guess Microsoft is selling Vista to new computer manufacturers.

I haven't heard of any businesses rushing out to upgrade to Vista either, probably because there really is no need.

The big selling point for Vista that it was so secure has proven false. There have already been over three serious security holes found in Microsoft's “much more secure” operating system.

IT departments also don't need the headache of upgrading to an operating system that is not compatible with the software they use. Having to upgrade everything is a headache that I'm sure IT departments don't want.

The home user would get very little benefit from upgrading to Vista. It might be a little easier to use, but not by much.

The computer I was checking out had Vista Basic on it. Now no one should be upgrading from a version of Windows XP to Vista Basic. There is no feature in Vista Basic which is that much better than what XP offers.

If one is going to buy Vista, one should at least put up the 150 dollars (on average) for Vista Premium. This version has some 3D abilities that are beyond XP and which one may appreciate.

The new look of Vista reminded me of some of the desktops that come with Linux or Unix. Vista also had more log files (which are important for security and other reasons) just like Linux or Unix.

I don't think the average computer user looks at log files (or something like the Task Manager), but for computer techs or the very experienced computer user more log files and the improved Task Manager do help with the installation of hardware and software, configuration, troubleshooting and security issues.

The Vista I checked out ran sluggishly. It really points to the much greater demand operating systems and other types of software are placing on memory nowadays. I don't think security software makers like Symantec, Zone Labs or McAfee are helping either.

A lot of antivirus and firewall software makers are bundling their product into total security suites that come with a firewall, antivirus, popup blocker, phishing detectors, spyware tools and a program to manage these security features and/or the security features built into the operating system. These security suites are taking up a lot of computer memory (and CPU usage) and are slowing systems down.

A lot of things in these security suites put out by these security software makers are not really needed with Vista or Windows XP ( especially XP if it is running Internet Explorer 7 which has phishing and popup blocker built into the browser}. What usually ends up happening is a person purchases one of these security suites and runs all their features in unison with the built in phishing detector, popup blocker and firewall of the operating system which slows things down even more.

I think security software manufactures, who are feeling the pressure from Microsoft's entry into the security software business and the improved built-in security features of its operating system, should concentrate on building lean and fast loading security suites that have features that can be turned off if not needed, without disrupting the performance of the security suite. I have tried Zone Lab's security suite on Windows XP Home Edition and turned off the spyware component of the suite only to see quirky behavior.

So, after this exposure to Windows Vista, I still have no intentions of upgrading right now. It will probably be a year or so before I go Vista and this will probably be with a purchase of a laptop. I don't see myself going to the store and putting up 130 to 150 dollars for Vista Premium or even 99 dollars for Vista Basic separately. Vista may be a little easier to use, a little more secure than Windows XP and have a few new features, but it really isn't worth rushing out and upgrading to.

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