Helping people with computers... one answer at a time.
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 Windows XP.
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 annoying.
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 to article number box to access the show notes, the transcript and to leave me a comment. While you're there, browse over 1,200 technical questions and answers on the site.
Till next time, I'm Leo Notenboom, for askleo.info.