I’ve been using Windows Vista for nearly two months now, and while I don’t have a definitive verdict, I’ve generally been very happy so far. I first took the plunge back in January by installing a copy of Windows Vista Business on my Macbook. The installation went smooth under boot camp, except for a few driver issues because of Apple’s lack of support for Vista yet. I was surprised to find that even Aero graphics runs well on my Macbook despite the lack of a dedicated video card. Also, the overall performance experience is significantly improved over how it was when I ran Windows Media Center Edition on my Macbook. Vista really feels more responsive and speedier than old Windows XP. However, it hasn’t been all smooth sailing. I have gotten several blue screens of death. However, I think that most of these errors are related to driver issues, which as I said are due to the fact that Apple’s Boot Camp doesn’t officially support Vista yet.
After a few weeks of using Vista on my laptop I decided to further take the plunge and install Vista Ultimate on my Mac Pro. I was lazy and tried to install it as an upgrade. That ended up being a disaster. I ended up having to reinstall it as a new installation. That did bring a few problems a long as well, because of the whole Apple / drivers issue. For anyone else thinking about installing Vista as an upgrade - don’t do it unless you’re glutton for punishment. If your system had any problems before Vista, you’ll be bringing them a long for the ride. Anyway, once I got Vista up and running I was blown away. Vista really takes advantage of my Mac Pro’s power, in ways that Windows XP never did. Everything is sooo much speedier and repsonsive than ever before. For example. My computer starts up so much faster, and in general there is a lot less lag with basic tasks like clicking on folders and running programs. And I’m not going to even get in to the new features that Vista has to offer because I’m sure you’ve already heard enough about them.
Unfortunately, there have been some headaches involved with running Vista. I have been getting an occasional blue screen of death. And I’ve had a few software compatibility issues. For example, Cisco’s VPN client doesn’t work with Vista yet. Luckily, Google lead me to a 4.8 beta version which took a lot of playing with, but it finally works. Quark Xpress 7 also doesn’t work with Vista, and it’s an important program for me. However, these really aren’t Microsoft’s issues, these are individual companies problems. I just hope they all catch up quickly. Other then those two programs, everything I was running on Windows XP is running great on Vista.
So overall Has Vista been worth the headaches for me? Yes. The jump in performance means the world to me. However, if you don’t have a powerful system, Vista might just do the opposite for you. Finally, my biggest gripe is Vista’s price tag, it’s just too expensive for the average consumer. And the affordable basic edition is nothing short of a joke. Nowadays, would you buy a car without an AC and heater? So why buy the Basic Edition which is missing so much features that sure you can live without, but why should you. So I leave you with this, do your research before you upgrade. Make sure the software that is important to you will work on Vista and that your system is powerful enough to take advantage of Vista. If those two requirements are met, and you have the cash for it, go for it. I’m sure you won’t ever look back. But for everyone else, wait a while.